Saudi king to fight terrorism by hunting down 'extreme' interpretations of the Prophet

Saudi king to fight terrorism by hunting down 'extreme' interpretations of the Prophet
Saudi Arabia will monitor interpretations of the Prophet Mohammad’s words to counter extremism, King Salman said in a decree issued Tuesday.

The King will establish the “King Salman Complex” in Medina where elite scholars will monitor and examine religious teachings to “eliminate fake and extremist texts and any texts that contradict the teachings of Islam and justify the committing of crimes, murders and terrorist acts.” the Saudi Press Agency reports.

An assembly will be created in Medina with a council of the world’s Hadith scholars, appointed by royal decree.

The Hadith is the words and actions of Mohammad, as recounted by others, and is the second Islamic text after the Koran. Both are used as guidelines on how Muslims should live their lives. A number of the thousands of hadiths contradict the Koran and other hadiths. ISIS and other extremist groups use particular hadiths to justify and encourage violence.

The Director of the Islamic University of Madinah, Dr. Hatem bin Hassan Al-Marzouqi, gave his approval of the complex, and stressed the importance of removing impurities from the modern teaching of the Hadith, as well as stopping attempts to distort its words to insult Islam and Muslims, SPA reported.

The move is being seen as an attempt by the conservative Wahhabi Kingdom to further distance itself from the perception that it supports terrorism, sparked following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, where 15 of the 19 plane hijackers were Saudis. In cables leaked by WikiLeaks, the US State Department has accused Saudi Arabian donors of being a source of funding for ”Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

Saudi Arabia has long promoted its interpretation of Wahhabi Islam around the world, through funding schools and mosques. A 2017 report by the Center for the Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism found that, in the last 30 years, the Kingdom has spent £67 billion doing so.