Saudi paper under fire for 'blasphemous' praise of King

A mass-circulation newspaper in Saudi Arabia has been slammed by local religious authorities for publishing an article deemed as blasphemous although it was full of praise for King Abdullah.

The Arabic language daily Al Jazeira wrote in a large headline to the article that occupied most of the page: "King Abdullah .. the depth of vision, clarity in attitudes and a vision into what was and what is and what will be.”

“This is blasphemy,” said Sheikh Saud Al Shareem, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Islam’s holiest shrine, referring to a Koran verse that only God knows what will be. “You cannot give any human this description….praise is a dangerous weapon which could produce arrogance and hypocrisy and could also blind others on the truth.”

Another scholar called for punishment of the newspaper and for boycotting it while one scholar called for action to deter “blasphemous writers.”

“Every day, this dubious media shows how ignorant these writers are when it comes to Islam and the spirit of the religion,” said Sheikh Riad Al Masimeeri, an Islamic studies professor at Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University.

Another scholar, Ibrahim Bukhari, member of the Saudi Islamic society, said:”If our rulers do not deter such writers, the society will not be responsible for what our youth might do to defend our religion against those who insult it.”

Sheikh Saleh al Fowzan, a member of the seven-man Supreme Scholars Committee which has been appointed by King Abdullah, said:”what was written in that paper is an exaggerated praise…the King himself does not accept this method because he does not see the future…only God the Almighty knows the future.”


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