Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Muslims around the World Condemn Barbaric Terrorist Acts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Photo caption: Pilgrims leave the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, in this 2001 photo. Reuters/Adrees Latif

London-The terrorist attack against the Prophet’s Mosque in Makkah on Monday stirred feelings of anger and sadness among Muslims who vehemently condemned violence at the Holy Mosque.

The big flow of comments on social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter, reflected reactions of shock at the terrorist act which occurred during the last days of the holy month of Ramadan.

A Tunisian law student at Harvard University addressed those who describe ISIS as an Islamic group, saying on his Facebook account: “Do you need another proof? Terrorism perpetrated by (Daesh) and other organizations does not relate in any way to Islam! It is a mental illness.”

Muslim artist Maher Zein expressed his great anger on Twitter, writing: “Still need proof that ISIS is the foremost enemy of Islam? They attack the Prophet’s City. Terror knows no religion!”

Thousands of people published similar “tweets,” questioning the real goal behind the terrorists’ acts and calling for punishing those who violate the most sacred Muslim places and kill innocent lives in Muslim and non-Muslim regions.

Muslims around the world also condemned the timing of the attack, which fell on the last days of the holy month of Ramadan. They expressed their solidarity with the victims of recent violence in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Bangladesh.

In western capitals, both Muslims and non-Muslims condemned the violent attacks in Saudi Arabia. The international media described the explosion at the Prophet’s Mosque as a rare attack against Muslims all around the world.

The Independent British daily said that thousands of worshippers continued the sunset prayers as they heard the blast. It reported that Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was at the mosque when he heard a blast just as people were breaking their fast with dates. Many at first thought it was the sound of traditional, celebratory cannon fire, he was quoted as saying.

“I actually felt the ground shake,” he said. “The vibrations were very strong. It sounded like a building imploded.”

The Washington Post linked Monday’s explosions in Saudi Arabia with a series of terrorist attacks that hit several countries during the holy month of Ramadan. The newspaper said that 290 people were killed during that month, including 222 people who lost their lives in the bombings that rocked the Iraqi capital last week.

The United Nations Human Rights chief on Tuesday described the bombing outside the Prophet Mohammed’s Mosque in Medina as “an attack on Islam itself.”

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and a member of the Jordanian royal family, delivered his remarks via a spokesman in Geneva.

“This is one of the holiest sites in Islam, and for such an attack to take place there, during Ramadan, can be considered a direct attack on Muslims all across the world,” he said.