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Saudi Arabia: Eradicate This Group - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Praise be to God who safeguarded the Saudi Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, Prince Mohammed Bin Naif, from the treachery of terrorism that targeted him on Thursday night when a suicide operation was carried out, shaking Saudi Arabia and the Saudis to the core.

Perhaps this deceitful incident represents a real turning point on all levels i.e. with regards to leadership, the religious scholars and the nation, as the treacherous hand of a terrorism was extended to a man of whom Saudis are extremely proud. He does not know treachery and he is a noble professional. Therefore this form of treachery must be eradicated from its roots, without there being any lenience or procrastination. The time has come to fight terrorism starting from its ideological roots and its source [in] the mosques and education, as the Saudi nation is a religious one that must not allow itself to be misguided towards an atmosphere of clashing viewpoints, which will only cause confusion and benefit the terrorists alone.

The roots of extremism must be destroyed. This means there can be no lenience in the issuing of religious edicts, in dragging God into absolutely everything even our detailed worldly affairs, and in belittling the nation and nationalism or pretending to be protecting society, as society is the responsibility of the state, not of Jihadists or zealots.

As for opposing a state resolution, or disagreeing with an idea, or ideology, or book etc. not only is this legitimate, it is also a source of strength. However, the way in which people declare others as disbelievers with no trouble whatsoever and claim that it would be religiously permissible to kill them, and the way some demonstrate their power by challenging the prestige of the state in any way must not be tolerated or justified. Despite all the tragedies terrorism has caused and all the efforts the state has exerted, there are still people who declare others as non-believers and claim it is permissible to kill people in protest against a book or a soap opera without being held to account.

Arresting youths who belong to Al Qaeda is not the solution, it is not even halfway towards a solution; what’s more important is to pursue those who justify and instigate [terrorism] and challenge God and the state with Fatwas that seek to engulf society with the darkness of ignorance and extremism.

The targeting of Prince Mohammed Bin Naif should speed up the fight against the roots of terrorism, even if this will be an extremely difficult fight. We must pay attention to the fact that the plot to attack Prince Mohammed came about following the announcement made by the Interior Ministry that it had arrested [the people on] the list of 44 wanted suspects, or the list of doctors. It is obvious that when Al Qaeda felt the magnitude of the strike that it had received, it began to take revenge on the man who handles the security process efficiently. The importance of the list of doctors lies in the fact that they were assuming a role of religiously justifying [terrorist acts] for the terrorist organisation. Moreover, the list included names of financial supporters of Al Qaeda and they are people who exploit their professional statuses and the confidence that society has in them so that they can support this terrorist organisation.

Therefore, what is required today in Saudi Arabia is not to fight religion but to protect it from this group that is far away from religion and everything else. The best way to confront it once and for all begins in the mosques and schools. The terrorists must not be given sympathetic excuses and society must protect itself with awareness and religious education that calls for tolerance, and there must be comprehensive revision beginning with joint and united Islamic activity that aims to prohibit suicide operations everywhere regardless of the reasons for them.

That is why we say eliminate this corrupt group through ideological warfare beginning at the roots, and beware of those who pretend [to be fighting this war] as their failure has already been proven.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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