Saudi Mufti Warns Against ‘September 15’ Movement Opposing Kingdom’s Rulers

mufti saudi arabia
AP/Hassan Ammar

TEL AVIV — Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia who also serves as head of the council of the most influential clerics in the country, has criticized the organizers of the “September 15 Movement,” which calls for reform in the kingdom.

Social media users in Saudi Arabia have been tweeting the hashtag “September_15_Movement” in recent days, calling for extensive reforms in the kingdom and even an uprising against the ruling family.

The mufti, who also heads the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Issuing Fatwas, called the protest organizers agents of division and conflict and enemies of Saudi Arabia. He claimed that the calls for protest are forbidden according to Islam and must be discouraged. He also called for a prayer session for the security and stability of the kingdom.

In an interview with Saudi MBC, the mufti said, “Saudi society is a special society that cooperates and believes in Islam and its prophets; a society that enjoys a just government on the path of sharia; that cares, through sharia, for the interests, security and stability of the society.”

According to al-Sheikh, “Our country enjoys abundance, prosperity and security, so our enemies envy us for the great abundance and seek to turn our country into anarchy and division, a place of bloodshed.”

The mufti addressed Saudi citizens, “You the Muslim men and you the Muslim women, it’s up to you to understand that these calls are directed against you, against your security, against your religion, against your faith and against your morality. These are suicidal and primitive calls. One must support the state and its steps for security and stability and the citizens’ peace of mind. These calls are lies perpetrated by hostile forces. These kinds of things should be avoided and suppressed because there is no good in them. Protect yourself against the organizers of these calls.”

Supporters of the ruling family were quick to lash out at these calls and the protest initiative. However, those in favor of the initiative expressed themselves online via anonymous accounts.

The prominent Algerian journalist Anwar Maek, one of the strongest supporters of the Saudi royal family in the media, told the protest organizers to “wake up from your illusions!”

Kuwaiti cleric Meshary al-Afasy wrote, “We are not good people if we don’t defend the land of two of the holy sites (the mosque in Mecca and the mosque in Medina) against the terrorists and those who want to harm the security of the kingdom – and look around us at bloody anarchy (in the Arab world).”

A Saudi activist known as al-Shamri wrote, “I say to all these hostile forces, you won’t find a homeland like this one and a ruler like these rulers. Be careful (Saudis) of the provocation of those who’ve lost the way lest you go down their path to loss and the unknown.”

Kuwaiti preacher Dr. Abdulla al-Shoreka addressed Saudi citizens, “Our brothers the Saudis, I swear before Allah – there is no God but him – that you live in prosperity that most of humanity does not achieve. Be careful.”

In another tweet he wrote, “Those calling for an awakening (September 15) want you to see bodies and blood in your land exactly like what’s happening with the peoples of the countries where there were revolutions.”

Star of the Saudi soccer club Ahmad al-Fraide al-Nasser wrote, “This movement is nothing but destruction of the state and the people. God protect our country from all evil.”

Another soccer star, this time from the Elhial club, Yasser al-Qahtani wrote, “You know why this hashtag? Because all the world envies the security, prosperity and our loyalty to our leadership and our country. … Allah preserve our abundance.”

Tajalsser Osman, a Sudanese researcher of the Gulf states, wrote, “Are we talking about the same religion, you religious people? Or is the September 15 movement forbidden against your rulers while you organize opposition conferences against the rulers of Qatar?”

Saudi media personality Adhwan Aahmari also brought up Qatar, with which Saudi Arabia cut ties last month, writing, “The September 15 movement, most of the tweets are coming from Qatar. These are the ones tweeting the hashtag ‘September_15_Movement.’ Now I hope that no one asks for any more proof that Qatar is involved in this.”

Adnan Abou Taleb expressed support for the movement from Yemen, writing, “We are with you. Be free, be men, don’t be afraid, don’t accept humiliation. No to defeatism, no to fear, no to slavery, yes to freedom.”

Yemenite media personality Muhammad al-Amir, a supporter of the Houthi organization, a Yemenite group supported by Iran that fights against Saudi involvement in Yemen, wrote, “A proposal for slogans for the September 15 movement: ‘Allah created us free men. … A king can’t be an ass. … We don’t want Jews, we want to overthrow the Saud family, our demands are of the people, not the cleric or the royal son.'”


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