.........................June 3, 2002
..............Top Saudi imam sees conspiracy
........................By Paul Martin
....................THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Muslims, he said, should cleanse themselves from creeping Western values and American-controlled "globalization."
In a television address monitored here, Sheik Abd-al-Rahman al-Sudays, the imam of the Mosque of Mecca, Islam's holiest shrine, turned his ire on the followers of India's dominant religion as tension mounted between that country and mainly Muslim Pakistan.
"The idol-worshipping Hindus indulge in their open hatred against our brothers and sanctities in Muslim Kashmir, threatening an imminent danger and a fierce war in the whole Indian subcontinent," he said in a live sermon heard throughout the Arab world via the official Saudi national television and satellite channel.
The linkage of Hinduism with the sort of invective normally reserved for Jews and the supporters of Israel — together with scathing remarks about Christians — made the speech unusual. Since Saudi Arabia's leaders exercise tight control on their media and on their government-appointed imams, their comments — especially from Mecca and on the main television channel — are seen as indicators of the government's views.
The imam lashed out with thinly veiled invective against the United States, with which Saudi Arabia has close economic and military ties. He contrasted the "sublime" truths of Islam with the supporters of "fake globalization that wastes human values and ideals," an apparent reference to the West in general and the United States in particular.
Though he was particularly scornful of Jews, whom he said had been cursed and turned into "pigs and monkeys" by Allah, he turned his ire on Christians and capitalists as well.
"Their course is supported by the advocates of credit and worshippers of the Cross," the imam asserted, "as well as by those who are infatuated with them and influenced by their rotten ideas and poisonous culture among the advocates of secularism and Westernization."
The imam prefaced his remarks with a warning to his own people not to become confused by modernity. "The nation has never been in such a dire need to follow the example of the prophet in this age of tribulations, sedition, open challenges and mean plotting by the enemies of Islam," Sheikh al-Sudays said.
Leaders of former communist countries also came under attack, especially in zones where Muslims have taken up arms.
"The enemies of Muslims among the atheists insist on their arrogance and aggression against our people and sanctities in struggling Chechnya," declared the imam.
He concluded with a prayer for God to support Islam and Muslims, to humble the infidels, destroy the enemies of religion, and make his and other Muslim countries peaceful and stable.
He went on: "Oh God, support our brother mujahideen in Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya. Oh God, we ask you to support our Palestinian brothers in Palestine against the aggressor Jews and usurper Zionists.