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Posted: 11/19/2003 10:16:25 AM EDT
I found this quite an interesting change.

Khudair Repentance Likely to Wipe Out Support for Militants
P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News Staff

JEDDAH, 19 November 2003 — A prominent Islamic scholar detained this year for promoting Al-Qaeda-style militancy has described the suicide bombers who killed 18 people in a Riyadh residential compound as “aggressors and renegades.”

Speaking on Saudi Television, Sheikh Ali Al-Khudair, who was arrested in Madinah with Sheikh Nasser Al-Fuhaid following the May 12 bombing in Riyadh, apologized for his radicalism and withdrew his controversial fatwas. The dramatic turnaround of Al-Khudair, who had issued religious edicts backing Al-Qaeda, is likely to wipe out a great deal of public support for militants.

Al-Khudair, popular among young Saudis, said in an interview broadcast on Monday night that he had decided to speak out after realizing that what he had preached was wrong.

“I would like to inform my brothers about the mistakes we made in the past and which we worked hard to justify (from a religious viewpoint),” said the elderly scholar. “But there is still time to correct these mistaken ideas in the minds of the youth and all Muslims, God willing,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the scholar as saying during the interview.

Turki Al-Hamad, a Saudi reformer and novelist whom Al-Khudair had declared an infidel, said the interview might prevent youths from throwing themselves into militancy but would have little effect on die-hard extremists.

Al-Khudair was arrested on May 28 along with Al-Fuhaid and Ahmad Al-Khalidi as well as nine of their followers during a raid on a militant hideout in a district of Madinah.

Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, said Sheikh Nasser Al-Fuhaid would also publicly repent within the next few days.

Asked how he viewed the attack on the Al-Muhaya Compound, Al-Khudair said: “No doubt it was wrong. I condemn it and I denounce it.” He withdrew the fatwas that had sanctioned resisting and fighting security forces who have launched massive manhunts and arrested hundreds in a crackdown on militants.

“Of course it has become clear they were wrong; these fatwas are wrong,” he said, adding, “I have withdrawn these fatwas and this is a clear message to listeners that I have renounced them.”

He also withdrew fatwas that had declared as infidels Saudi scholars and thinkers Turki Al-Hamad, Mansour Al-Naqeedan and Abdullah Abu-Samh.

Al-Naqeedan expressed his sympathy for Al-Khudair and said he did not have any enmity toward him after he declared him an infidel last January. “He is a person who has good moral qualities; we should be magnanimous and forgive each other,” he added.


Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:21:08 AM EDT
Do you have link to that?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:21:53 AM EDT
Wanna guess as to how long before they find his bullet riddled body ?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:22:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:24:35 AM EDT
FWIW, I interpret this to mean that the house of Saud is now clearly understanding George Bush and is explaining his meaning to those in their kingdom.
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