Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz congratulated Muslims across the world on the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the start of Eid celebrations, warning against those who use religion to further their own ends and tarnish the image of Islam.
Saudi Information Minister Abdulaziz Bin Mohieddin Khoja read out the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz’s statement on state television. The Eid statement, which addressed Muslims across the world, congratulated them on the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid, calling on God to “bestow his peace, mercy and blessings” on the Muslim community, but quickly went on to discuss the difficulties and challenges facing Muslims this year.
“The joy of this Eid would have been complete were it not for the harsh reality experienced by our Islamic nations in many parts of the world as a result of conflicts for the sake of slogans, calls and factions that are totally baseless,” King Abdullah’s statement added, according to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
“These conflicts would not have existed if the enemies of Islam and peace had not found a small group who went astray as a result of listening to them,” he continued. “The group has become an easy tool in their hands. They have used the group to terrorize and kill innocent people, and have distorted the texts, implications and interpretations of Islamic Shari’a Law to serve their own interests.”
“The Muslim Umma should steadfastly strive to defeat the forces that are maligning the noble and kind image of Islam and harming the believers and their sons,” King Abdullah’s statement said.
The King’s message comes after Saudi Arabia issued a number of anti-terror laws this year, including designating the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al-Nusra Front, and the Houthis in Yemen as terrorist organizations.
King Abdullah stressed that it is the “duty” of the Muslim Umma to “guide” the “deviants”—a reference to those who follow Al-Qaeda’s ideology—away from this ideology and towards true Islam. “Islam has got nothing to do with these nefarious designs. God willing, we will have to collectively thwart the efforts of all those who want to transform security into fear and prosperity into poverty,” he said.
“We will guard our blessed country against the evil deeds of these deviant forces,” the King concluded.