JAFFA, Israel – The Islamic State is an “army of terrorists” and its fighters are “soldiers for Israel,” the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abd al Aziz bin Abdullah el-Sheik, said on Monday.
“IS were set up against Muslims and at the same time turn their backs on the enemies of Islam,” he said in response to an audio recording released on Saturday by the terrorist group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In the recording, Baghdadi made explicit threats against the Jewish state, saying it would be turned into a graveyard for the Jews, who will “soon hear the cries of the mujahideen.”
“This threat against Israel is simply a lie. Actually, Daesh (IS) is part of the Israeli soldiers,” claimed el-Sheik.
The Saudi Mufti told the Okaz Saudi daily newspaper in a phone interview “these people (IS) are sick in their hearts, and the Saudi-led Islamic coalition, numbering 35 countries, will stop them.”
The coalition, he said, “exposed their schemes, the schemes of the enemies of Islam who planned to take over the Islamic world. The coalition unveiled their intentions and spread panic among them.”
“IS members are not considered Muslims,” he added. “They are similar to the early dissidents of Islam, because they label Muslims as heretics and hurt them and their property.”
The Mufti’s statements are meant to help create positive momentum for the Saudi coalition, whose creation was unexpectedly declared two weeks ago by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king’s son and second in line to the throne.
Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Pakistani officials said the country was not consulted before it was announced as a member of the 34-country bloc f the Saudi coalition.
Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry denied knowledge of the new Saudi-led coalition, while Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam made a statement implying his country was indeed a member, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported.
Breitbart Jerusalem reported that it was difficult to find a single Palestinian Authority official willing to publicly comment on the alliance.