Christian bishops in Germany, Austria and Russia have sharply criticized the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia for issuing, on 15 March 2012, a fatwa calling for the destruction of all Christian places of worship in the Arabian Peninsula.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, chairman of the German Bishops Conference, deplored that the mufti "shows no respect for the religious freedom and free co-existence of religions", especially all the foreign laborers who made the country’s economy work.
There are at least 3.5 million Christians living in the Arabian Peninsula. They are mainly workers from India and the Philippines, but also expatriates from Western countries and the Levant.
The Saudi monarchy already bans churches and criminalizes any non-Muslim worship practice on its territory (except in special areas reserved for Westerners). Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh released this religious decree to outbid the new Constitution of Kuwait, which prohibits the construction of churches in the country. The Saudi Grand Mufti’s fatwa was addressed to the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain and especially Yemen, where the Saudi army is deployed.
The two Wahhabi states, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Emirate of Qatar, intend to extend their model of religious dictatorship to the rest of the Arab world. It’s officially at their request that Westerners overthrew the secular governments of Iraq and Libya and are currently trying to do so in Syria.
Muslim religious leaders gathered at the Ahl al-Bait World Assembly in Iran have also condemned the fatwa. According to them, Wahhabi muftis and and Saudi Salafists are not representative of Islam and have no legitimacy to issue such decrees.
The Assembly argued that throughout its history, Islam has coexisted with Christians and Jews and that a such a fatwa has never been issued before, neither by the Prophet Muhammad, nor his descendants, nor by the caliphs.
Since its inception, Christianity has always been an integral part of the Arab world. It was in Damascus that Christianity split from the Judaism to form a separate religion. In the Middle Ages, they fought alongside their compatriots against the Crusader invasion, putting the defense of their homeland before religious communitarianism. In the 20th century, the Baathist-ruled Iraq and Syria, though overwhelmingly Muslim, adopted secular regimes to ensure full citizenship for Christian minorities.
The Ahl al-Bait Assembly slammed certain Muslim scholars for their failure to speak out against practices that "distort the image of Islam" but also condemned Western governments for their backing of sectarian extremist groups.
In Iraq, Pakistan and Iran, Lybia and Syria, the Western powers enlist, via Saudi and Qatari networks, armed groups belonging to the Wahhabi sect or the Takfirist current to destabilize independent governments by lending them military support.
By oppressing Christians and calling for the overthrow of interdenominational nations in the Arab work, Qatari and Saudi religious leaders become the objective allies of the U.S.-Israeli project of remodeling the Greater Middle East along ethnic and confessional criteria, an essential requisite for the "clash of civilizations" strategy.
This goal calls for a regional reconfiguration where Israel must appear as the "civilized" and "democratic" country fighting "for its very survival" against "Muslim" extremist countries.
There is only one obstacle to selling this fiction to world public opinion: the Christian minority who has been living and resisting for centuries alongside the Muslims. Hence, expelling the Christians of the East has become the common objective of Anglo-American imperialism, Zionism and Wahhabism.