FACT-CHECK: Did Makkah Imam speak about Saudi Arabia’s normalization with Israel?

3 mins read

by Zahack Tanvir

The report is based on a clear-cut lie and the ulterior motive is apparent…

Muslim Brotherhood news agencies including MiddleEastEye have wrongly accused Makkah Imam Shaykh Abdurrahman Sudais of speaking about Saudi Arabia’s normalization with Israel, in the grand mosque of Makkah during Friday’s sermon, based on “interpreted by some” statement. But a simple fact-checking process will fail this sinister propaganda.

Propaganda

The report is crafted to stir hatred among gullible Muslims against the Makkah Imam, as the content of the report and the headlines are poles apart.

Headlines states, “Mecca sermon raises questions on possible Saudi normalization with Israel”, while the content states that, “a sermon by Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, has caused a stir on social media after it was INTERPRETED BY SOME as a prelude to Saudi normalization with Israel”.

The report does not quote any official statement or any official translation, nor does it quote any video of the sermon with verified English translation. It deceptively mentions, “interpreted by some”. 

The question remains here who are these “some”? Where do these “some” live? How did these “some” interpret the sermon as prelude to Saudi Arabia’s normalization with Israel? Are these “some” a single person or many people?

In short, the report is based on a clear-cut lie and the ulterior motive is apparent, which is to ignite the sentiments of Muslims that the Islam’s holiest place Makkah has become the hub of Middle-East politics.

Reality

On Friday, a Saudi activist Abdullah Mohammed al-Harbi posted Makkah Imam’s pictures of the sermon and mentioned in Arabic that, “His Excellency Sheikh Prof. Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais in the Friday Sermon said: ‘The issue of Palestine and the captive Al-Aqsa Mosque is our first Islamic issue that must not be forgotten in the new conflicts’”.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Farhan bin Faisal on Wednesday declared that Kingdom’s support for Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people remains unchanged despite the approval to use Saudi airspace for flights flying to and from United Arab Emirates.

On August 21, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud said that, “Saudi Arabia’s price for normalising relations with Israel is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital”.

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was proposed by the late Saudi King Abdullah Al-Saud to the state of Israel. According to the API, Arab countries will normalize ties with Israel in return Israel should withdraw its forces and settlements from all territories including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, which were captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Moreover, East Jerusalem should be Palestine’s capital.

Conclusion

UAE’s decision to normalize ties with Israel is to stop the future annexation of Palestinian territories, while Saudi Arabia is firm with API-2002 which deals with claiming Palestine to what it was pre-June 1967. Both the brotherly countries have their agendas as clear as a day. 

However, the Brotherhood’s propaganda with their constant attacks against Saudi Arabia and their Imams and leaders, has sinister motives. It is to hell-bent to create rifts between the Muslims across the globe and the Arab leaders which will eventually create confusion and chaos, so that Iran, Turkey and Qatar can sow the seeds of hatred to play their regional political games.

Zahack Tanvir is a Computer Engineer based in Saudi Arabia. He holds Diploma in Journalism from London School of Journalism. He regularly writes for MilliChronicle on socio-political issues. He tweets under @ZahackTanvir.

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