Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz urged religious leaders on Friday to take a united stance against “terrorists” trying to “highjack” Islam and denounced the international community’s “indifference” to what he described were “war crimes” being committed in the Gaza Strip.
The Muslim world is “going through a historic and vulnerable phase,” the Saudi king said in a statement that was read live by a news anchor on Saudi state television.
“The terrorists think that their … backbones have been strengthened but they are delusional,” he the King said, adding that “it is shameful and disgraceful that these terrorists are doing this in the name of religion.”
King Abdullah affirmed that Islam was “innocent” of the actions of “traitor terrorists” and said that “they have distorted the image of Islam with its purity and humanity and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions.”
In an apparent indirect reference to Israel, King Abdullah said “terrorism has many manifestations, the most dangerous being state terrorism.”
He also highlighted how “the blood of our brothers in Palestine is being spilled,” saying both groups and countries alike were committing acts of terror.
“All of this occurs under the eyes and ears of the international community, including human rights organizations,” the king said, adding that “war crimes” were being committed in Gaza.
The Saudi ruler also criticized the “indifference” of the international community over disturbing events in many Muslim countries.
“This silence has no justification,” he said, warning that “this will bring forth a generation that does not believe in dialogue but in a clash of civilizations.”
“Those who fail to carry out their historic responsibilities against terrorism … will be its first victims tomorrow,’ the king warned.