Saudi scholar publicly criticizes Hezbollah [Archives:2006/971/Front Page]

August 10 2006

Sa'eed Al-Batati
MUKALLA, Aug. 8 ) Participating in Al-Bahr Education Camp with other Saudi scholars, well-known Saudi scholar Sheikh Badr Al-Mashari publicly criticized Hezbollah, accusing it of being a Shiite party and declaring that no one should support it.

At a Monday gathering in Mukalla, Al-Mashari stated, “Muslims shouldn't be pleased with losses afflicted upon Israel and one shouldn't support all resistance parties in Lebanon [hinting at Hezbollah]. Further, one shouldn't stand with them in the same trench”

To attendees' surprise, Al-Mashari added, “We are pleased at the victory of the junior enemy (Hezbollah) against the higher enemy (Israel), but our criticism of Shiite Hezbollah doesn't mean we support Israel or will be silent about its crimes or justify them under the pretext of fighting Hezbollah.”

Speaking the same language of Saudi authorities, Al-Mashari went on to say, “We need to stand with unarmed Lebanese people, provided that we start fighting those who fight Allah and His messenger. Leading them are the United States, Israel and Hezbollah, as they are our original enemies, yet we must support those poor unarmed people in Lebanon.”

Additionally, Al-Mashari criticized the U.S., describing it as a crusader country and declaring that Muslims will defeat the U.S. and make jihad against it a judicial obligation upon all Muslims.

On the other hand, outstanding Hadramout religious figure Sheikh Ahmed Al-Mualim noted, “We are for every missile fired into Israel and we invoke blessing on any movement whatsoever targeting Israel.”

Al-Mualim went on to say, “Personally, I don't think Hezbollah will continue or achieve victory over Israel in their ongoing battle with it because there are a lot of flaws in their doctrine.”

Al-Mualim justified his attitude, saying he's afraid Hezbollah will turn to fighting Sunnis, just as Iraq's Al-Mahdi Army, which was one of the most opposing parties to the existence of U.S. occupation forces and now is one of the deadliest killers of Sunnis.

According to Al-Mualim, he's afraid Lebanese Shiites will turn against Sunnis like Iraqi Shiites did, as they share the same beliefs

Attendees expressed dissatisfaction at Al-Mashari's address. Abdullah Abdurabu commented, “Sheikh Badr is a guest and we respect guests, but his speech and criticism of Hezbollah is not accepted.” He also questioned, “Have you seen any war craft fly from Saudi Arabia or Yemen to attack Israel?” He further added, “I am with anyone who hits Israel, even if it was Britain”

For his part, engineer Saleh Al-Qarmashi remarked, “I was surprised at Sheikh Al-Mashari's speech. At present, it isn't time of differences. We must stand in one line, whether Sunnis or Shiites, in the face of the joint enemy. If Israel enters Lebanon today, tomorrow it will enter Syria and then Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We must forget about our differences until the war ends because any difference will weaken the nation.”