Saudi Arabia’s top religious authority the Grand Mufti has condemned Boko Haram’s activities as not compatible with the dictates of the Muslim faith and the teachings of the Koran.
On April 14, Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 234 pupils from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in Borno State and whisked them off to an unknown location, believed to be in the remote Sambisa Forest. Since the abduction, there has been an international outrage with even the world’s most notorious terrorist network Al-Qaeda suggesting that Boko Haram have gone too far.
Yesterday, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al ash-Sheikh, the head of the Grand Mufti, Saudi Arabia’s top religious authority condemned Boko Haram as a group set up to smear the image of Islam. He dismissed the movement, saying it was misguided and should be shown that it has towed the wrong path.
Sheikh Al ash-Sheikh added: “This is a group that has been set up to smear the image of Islam and must be offered advice, shown their wrong path and be made to reject it. These groups are not on the right path because Islam is against kidnapping, killing and aggression.
“Marrying kidnapped girls is not permitted. This is a gross misinterpretation of Islam.” As Grand Mufti, Sheikh Al ash-Sheikh is the head of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and is the one charged with issuing fatwas. Although a very conservative and controversial person in the past, of late Sheikh Al as-Sheikh appears to have mellowed a bit lately as in on September 12, 2013, he issued a fatwa that suicide bombings are great crimes and bombers are criminals who rush themselves to hell by their actions.
Earlier this week, Islamic scholars from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s largest Muslim body representing 57 countries, joined in denouncing the kidnapping. Also, Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, one of the oldest and most credible Sunni institutions of higher learning in the world, recently said the kidnapping has nothing to do with the tolerant and noble teachings of Islam.
Boko Haram leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, has threatened to sell the girls off in marriage in line with historical precedent. In the Youtube video broadcast to the world, Sheikh Shekau called the girls slaves, in reference to the ancient jihadi custom of enslaving women captured in a holy war, who then can be used as sex slaves by their captors.