3 million people from around the world arrive for Haj
Saudi Arabia's top cleric on Monday condemned Western occupation of foreign lands, during a key sermon to millions of Muslims performing the annual Haj pilgrimage.
“Islam forbids the occupation of a country, and the unlawful shedding of civilian blood, and the destruction of crops and cattle,” said Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh.
“The rights of people in Third World nations is not as it is in other countries, and it is unacceptable that nations occupy these lands and rape them of their riches,” the mufti told some 3 million people from around the world.
His speech was given in the mosque at Mount Arafat.
“But violence cannot be cured with violence and neither can terrorism be cured with force, but by lifting injustices levied on oppressed peoples,” he told the pilgrims.
Grand Mufti Al-Sheikh stressed that Islam is a religion of “great mercy” and that it preached equality.
Saudi Arabia has recently warned that the pilgrimage could be targeted by terrorist attacks. One group, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has denied it had any such plans.