“Saudi regime projects Sunni Islam is limited to Wahhabism”
Shaykh Maher Hammoud, the president of the Association of Muslim Scholars of Lebanon, spoke in regard to a recent conference of Sunni scholars in Grozny, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya, wherein the majority of the scholars in attendance voted that the Wahhabi sect is not considered a part of Sunni Islam, Taqrib News Agency quoted Rasa as saying.
The Lebanese Sunni scholar stated that no representative from Saudi Arabia, which considers itself the leader of the Sunni Muslims of the world, was invited to the conference, adding that Saudis muftis responded to this conference by banning the participants of this conference from attending this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
He said that after the conference, the opposition between al-Azhar University, the renowned Sunni institute of learning in Egypt, and the Council of Scholars of Saudi Arabia has intensified and added that there is no doubt that Saudi Arabia made a mistake by condemning the conference.
Shaykh Hammoud said that Saudi Arabia has applied all of its efforts to declare that Sunni Islam is limited to Wahhabism and Salafism and that other Sunni schools of thought are not part of Sunni Islam through educational books in schools and through the mosque pulpits and the media.
He said that of course, this issue is extremely dangerous. The Saudis sometimes say this allegorically and sometimes they explicitly proclaim this position. “This approach is considered a type of insult to the founders of the four Sunni schools of thought – Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali and Hanafi,” he said.
The president of the International Union of Resistance Scholars stated that the Grozny conference was specifically established to stand against rebellious Saudi clerics but in his opinion, the conference itself was a big and strategic mistake.
“Although the mistakes of Wahhabis and Salafis are many and everyone knows that the Saudis are main source of the funding, weapons and even the support of terrorist Takfiri thought, but we cannot simply exclude them from among the Sunnis,” he said.
Shaykh Hammoud added that although the Saudis deny the truth, violate facts and have given excuses to Takfiri groups but the important thing is that we must never go to war over a mistaken and incorrect issue.
“I do not accept this method because I believe that any response to the conflicts between Sunnis and Shi’as and among Sunnis themselves must be discussed in an academic manner alongside a practical solution and this must be done with respect,” he said.
Shaykh Hammoud explained that all sides are guilty and no one has seriously discussed the problems of the Islamic world. Intellectuals and religious figures in the Muslim world have forgotten the Palestinian issue, which is the most important issue and have even failed in regard to the method of establishing an Islamic government or governing a country in accordance with divine commands.
“What is expected of Muslims is to provide a convenient and practical solution is to overcome this impasse,” he said.