An influential imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah yesterday called for the imposition of stiff punishment on those daring to mock the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Delivering his Friday sermon, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais also emphasized the need to activate international resolutions that condemn and punish such crimes as defamation of religions and prophets.
“All Islamic countries have condemned this act of crime,” Al-Sudais told the faithful who packed the large mosque complex, referring to the blasphemous cartoons published by Western newspapers.
“We make a call from the podium of the Grand Mosque and the birthplace of Islam, on behalf of Muslims all over the world, that tough punishment should be imposed on those who make a mockery of the Prophet,” the imam said.
Sudais said Western countries and organizations were adopting double standards on the issue of Danish cartoons allowing abuse of Muslim sanctities and their Prophet.
“The repulsive cartoons depicting the Prophet have violated the sanctity of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world and their feelings…. This has exposed those who are actually promoting extremism, violence and hatred between peoples,” Sudais said.
He praised Muslims all over the world for standing up to the challenge and protesting the publication of cartoons.
Sudais told Islamic scholars and intellectuals to do more to spread the message of the Prophet and his noble qualities and ideals. “We must seize this opportunity to spread the correct perspective of his noble life through publications and programs in various languages,” he added.
The imam called on wealthy Muslims to use their money to confront the smear campaigns against Islam.