Egypt’s Grand Mufti to Asharq Al-Awsat: Religious Discourse in Saudi Arabia Keeps Up with the Times

Shawki Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt (Egypt's Dar Al Ifta)
Shawki Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt (Egypt's Dar Al Ifta)
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Egypt’s Grand Mufti to Asharq Al-Awsat: Religious Discourse in Saudi Arabia Keeps Up with the Times

Shawki Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt (Egypt's Dar Al Ifta)
Shawki Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt (Egypt's Dar Al Ifta)

Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawki Allam has affirmed that “religious discourse in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is characterized by a set of qualities that fit the era.”

According to Allam, Saudi Arabia is offering solutions to everything that concerns modern-day Muslims in the matter of their religion.

“Religious discourse in the Kingdom is characterized by moderation,” Allam told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that “it addresses everyone, and is not limited to Muslims.”

“It also calls for optimism, action, and rejection of laziness and frustration,” added Allam.

In exclusive statements to Asharq Al-Awsat, Allam talked about Saudi efforts to confront “extremist ideology.”

“The Kingdom realized the danger of (extremist thought) at an early stage, so it adopted the method of monitoring, research and study to reach methods of prevention and treatment,” explained Allam, adding that “Saudi Arabia had (adjusted) the fatwa discourse and updated its tools to keep pace with technological development.”

“Saudi Arabia has confronted (terrorism) and (extremist ideology) and has taken a number of measures to communicate with youth to spread proper ideas and confront the danger of their polarization.”

“At the same time, the Kingdom worked on spreading moderate and enlightened thought, rejecting ideas of (violence and extremism) about religion,” added Allam.

Commenting on Saudi efforts to renew religious thought, Allam stressed that “the Kingdom responded to the requirements of the times with moderate discourse.”

“It also took into account the stage the nation is going through to refute the arguments of extremists.”

Allam also noted that Saudi Arabia is confronting the attack on religious constants.

On the compatibility of religious discourse in Saudi Arabia with the modern age, the Grand Mufti of Egypt affirmed that “extremism is not of the nature of a true, tolerant and open-minded Muslim, nor of the characteristics of Saudi Arabia as an Islamic nation in any case.”



Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
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Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)

Yemen's Houthis will continue their military operations and escalate them "in quality and quantity" in support of Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, the Iran-backed group's leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The group have been attacking ships in the Red Sea region since November, forcing shippers to re-route cargo to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

The group later expanded the scope of its attacks to the Indian Ocean and said it would also target any ships heading towards Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea.