Imam of Mecca Under Fire for Saying Trump Leading the World to Peace

mecca imam
AP/Mosa'ab Elshamy

TEL AVIV — Abed al-Rahman Sudais, the president and chief imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, considered the holiest mosque in Islam, has stirred up controversy on social media after an interview in which he praised U.S. President Donald Trump, saying, “Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz are leading the world to peace.”

Sudais added: “Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are two anchors of influence in the world and they, under the leadership of King Salman and President Trump, are leading the world to security, peace, stability and prosperity.”

Sudais’ comments were met with significant anger on Arabic-language social media, with criticism focusing on the praise for Trump.

The Twitter account “Issues” wrote, “Sudais says that America is leading the world to peace and on the same day their air force killed seven members of one family, most of them women and children, in a massacre in the Syrian city Al Bukamal.”

Author Ahmad Jaber wrote, “The government of the Saudi family and the U.S. government are really two anchors in the world of corruption and tyranny so why are we surprised by these comments from Sudais who supports them and has stood behind them for decades?”

Egyptian poet Said Kamal wrote, “Sudais prays for Trump, may he fall like his predecessor.”

Religious researcher Fawzi Farawt wrote, “To Sudais in all languages of the world – disgusting.”

Dr. Issam al-Jabaly, a political researcher from Jordan who specializes in international law, wrote sarcastically, “This is prostitution. Yes, Trump is becoming a great religious scholar and the mufti of Saudi Arabia, that’s what Sudais, the imam of the mosque in Mecca, said.”

Iraqi journalist Durgam al-Zaidi wrote, “Is this what Sudais gave in order to remain the imam of the mosque in Mecca? When did America lead the world toward security and where is peace in the region when Iran and Saudi Arabia intervene in the countries of the region.”

Saudi academic Abdullah bin Khaled came out in defense of the Saudi religious leader, writing, “The most beautiful part of Sheikh Sudais’ statements is that they were a provocation to IS, al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood supporters and all the other extremists and terrorists everywhere. Sudais’ words represent me.”

Qatari media personality Abdelaziz al-Ishaq wrote, “Et tu Brute?!!! I wished that when your mother desired you to become the imam of Mecca she would have also prayed for you to be a free person who doesn’t use religion for the sake of a wicked tyrant.”

Amjad Taha, a media personality from Bahrain, wrote, “This is the real discourse of our religion, moderation and civilized dialogue. Therefore, I say to all extremists, Sudais’ words represent me and represent every Muslim person.”


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