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Leading Saudi Cleric Shot in Philippines | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Leading Saudi Cleric


MANILA-RIYADH, on Tuesday evening, Sheikh Ayed al-Qarni, a leading Saudi cleric, was shot and wounded by a gunman after he gave a speech to fellow Muslim preachers in a city in southern Philippines, according to authorities.

The pro-government cleric with over 12 million followers on Twitter is currently being treated in hospital along with Sheikh Turki Assaegh, a Saudi embassy’s official and a preacher in the Philippines.

According to police spokeswoman Inspector, Helen Galvez, Sheikh Ayed was directly shot as he left the Islamic forum in a school auditorium approximately around 8.30 p.m. by a man who had attended the speech.

Nevertheless, Qarni’s security bodyguards shot dead the gunman whose identity was not instantly identified, however she added that al-Qarni is in a stable condition in Zamboanga City hospital at the moment, noting that Zamboagna is one of the largest cities in Southern Philippines.

Allen Galvez noted that the purpose behind the unpleasant incident is still uncertain, saying that “We are still investigating the motive for the attack”.

Worth noting that ISIS considers Saudi Arabia’s rulers, “Al Saud” family, as apostates; and that is in regard of their tight relations and ties with Western countries; something what is described and seen by the ISIS militant group as corruption from one hand, and a failure in imposing a firm sufficient understanding and interpretation of Islam from another hand.

However, in addition to detaining hundreds of people for the involvement with ISIS, Riyadh has also decreed long prison terms for anyone who backs the group and further sent its warplanes to join U.S.-led strikes against its fighters in Syria.

In addition to the aforementioned, it has also mobilized state clergy to issue fatwas and other statements that condemns the group as heretical, which made ISIS preachers callout Saudi clerics as “the imams of disbelief” and call for their death.

While Sheik al-Qarni is not actually employed by the state, he however supports the government and has trustworthiness as an “independent” cleric who was once banned from preaching in the early 1990s after backing an Islamist opposition movement against the Al Saud.

Arabiya news channel reported that pertinent to al- Qarni’s prominent position in Saudi Arabia, a plan was sent by the government to transfer Sheikh al-Qarni to Manila for further treatment.