Islam Can't Be Diluted

by Abdul Aziz Ghazzawi, Arab News Staff

MAKKAH, 26 January - The Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah yesterday warned Muslims that giving in to outside pressure to alter established Islamic principles amounted to treason.

"Bargaining on Islam and on its unquestionable principles amounts to high treason and extreme madness," Sheikh Saud Al-Shuraim said while giving his Friday sermon.

"The enemies of the Islamic Ummah will accept nothing less than that the Ummah abandons Islam, distances itself from the Shariah and makes concessions so that it remains a reality only in name," he told the faithful, including, a large number of pilgrims, who were thronging the large mosque complex for the Juma prayer.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Western media has claimed that Islam promotes extremism and breeds terrorists of the kind who struck in New York and Washington, killing thousands. There have also been Western calls on governments of Islamic countries to take specific measures, such as amending their school curriculum and disbanding extremist organizations.

But Shuraim said it was unfair to blame Islam for problems it had not created. "Islamic countries and the teachings and principles of Islam have been the target of a smear campaign launched from within and outside the Islamic world," Shuraim added.

He warned against making any "ideological, intellectual or educational" concessions to those who seek to impose submission on Muslims.

Saudi Arabia has come under harsh criticism only because it is ruled by Islam, the imam added.


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