Top Saudi cleric 'blesses' Trump-Muslim summit

By AFP
Published: May 19, 2017
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In this file photo, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House in Washington, US, March 14, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

In this file photo, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House in Washington, US, March 14, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

MAKKAH, SAUDI ARABIA: A top Saudi cleric on Friday described as “blessed” an Islamic summit in the capital Riyadh at the weekend to be attended by Muslim leaders and US President Donald Trump.

In his Friday sermon, the imam of the holy city of Makkah, Sheikh Saleh bin Hamdi, praised the “blessed meeting that will bring together brothers and friends” on Sunday.

He urged participants “to show realism… and to stress the negative impact of interferences in regional affairs”, state news agency SPA reported him as saying.

He appeared to be referring to the mainly Sunni kingdom’s regional rival, Shia-dominated Iran. The two countries have taken opposing sides in wars in Syria and Yemen.

Facts on Saudi-US relations

The imam said interference in the Middle East has “exacerbated confessional, religious, nationalist and ethnic conflicts”, and called on summit participants to act to “stem armed chaos provoked by terrorists and their sponsors”.

Trump, who will make Saudi Arabia the first overseas stop of his presidency on Saturday, is expected to give a speech about Islam to 50 leaders of Muslim countries at the summit.

In his sermon, the imam urged those attending the summit to work towards “constructive dialogue, cooperation and tolerance”.

“The world must know the nation of Islam is proud of its religion, its identity, its values and its culture”, but also “believes in human and cultural diversity”, he said.

“Relations between states and nations must be based on equality and mutual respect.”

The ultra-conservative kingdom, the cradle of the austere Sunni doctrine of Wahhabism, last year launched an ambitious programme of social and economic reforms dubbed Vision 2030.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Saeed Masood
    May 19, 2017 - 9:38PM

    Iran will be jealous.Recommend

  • Trump leader of Muslims
    May 19, 2017 - 9:54PM

    Trump is the leader of Muslims and the Muslim world. Recommend

  • ashraf petafi
    May 20, 2017 - 2:34AM

    shame on saudi arabia to damage the muslims…Recommend

  • Saba
    May 20, 2017 - 3:24AM

    The top cleric has no religious value whatsoever. Recommend

  • Iqbal
    May 20, 2017 - 7:02AM

    Am happy for muslims..Recommend

  • Aware Citizen
    May 20, 2017 - 9:30AM

    Saudis are addicted to AmericansRecommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 20, 2017 - 1:41PM

    Th e House of Saud is playing politics with the religion of Islam pretending to the Trumpers that it is the leader of the muslim majority countries. The aim of the Trumpers is to ask for submission and appeasmnt from those who are gathered in Ryad, and to sign a contract worth billions of dollrswith Saudi Arabi for the supply of weaponry.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • al e saud
    May 20, 2017 - 5:57PM

    @Saeed Masood:
    iran will definetely be jealous because a $100 billion dollar weapons will be used against muslims… Recommend

  • Trollslayer
    May 21, 2017 - 2:26PM

    Masters and servants, enough said.Recommend

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