JEDDAH: Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh yesterday emphasized the importance of the ongoing trial of terror suspects at a Riyadh court, saying the move would help give a verdict deserved by them on the basis of shariah.
"After the completion of investigations it was essential to try the al-Qaeda suspects considering the requests of their relatives as well as the relatives of the victims of terrorist activities," the minister said.
"The trial will strengthen the Kingdom?s policies that are based on justice, truth and fairness," Al-Asheikh said emphasizing the impartiality of Saudi judiciary.
Interior Minister Prince Naif announced on Tuesday that 991 suspected al-Qaeda militants, arrested in connection with over 30 terrorist attacks across the country since 2003, are to stand trial.
Al-Asheikh said those who kill innocent people, terrorize them and destroy public and private properties deserve capital punishment under shariah.
"The shariah, which is based on the Qur?an and Sunnah, demands protection of life, wealth and honor of people," he said, adding that those who carried out terrorist attacks in the Kingdom had committed several crimes, including killing of innocent people.
Killing of non-Muslims who are under the protection of an Islamic government is not allowed in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has said that those who kill an ally would not even taste the smell of Paradise, Al-Asheikh explained.
The minister said the number of Muslims died in terrorist attacks was more than that of non-Muslims. "If anybody kills a Muslim deliberately his punishment is hell where he will stay forever," he said quoting a verse from the Qur?an.
He said society, especially its legal institutions such as mosques, should play an important role in confronting deviant thoughts and ideas.
The minister described the takfiri (labeling opponents as infidels) and tafjeeri (causing explosions) ideologies as a major calamity that has fallen upon the Ummah.
Islamic scholars and prayer leaders should understand the situation of Muslim youth and guide them to goodness.
"We should confront the ideology of takfir and tafjeer of these kharijites (deviants) by protecting our youth from being enticed by them," he explained.
"Mosques should stand up to the challenge posed by the proponents of deviant thoughts," he said. "It?s not a platform for courtesy nor for keeping mum on the deviants," he added.
Al-Asheikh said Islam opposes extremism. "The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had advised Muslims that they should keep away from extremism," he said quoting a Hadith.