Saudi clerics call for help for Sunnis in Iraq
RIYADH, Dec 11 (Reuters) - A group of prominent Saudi clerics have called on Sunni Muslims around the world to mobilise against Shi'ites in Iraq, although a statement they issued fell short of calling for a jihad, or holy war.How will the Saudi rulers respond? They serve at the will of the clerics and they know it. Now we have already heard that the Saudis are funding Iraqi Sunnis and they told Cheney when he was summoned to Saudi Arabia that they would intercede on behalf of the Sunnis in Iraq. As we have noted here before Iraq has become the center of the 1400 year old Sunni-Shi'ite holy war. This is not a place where American troops should be.
The statement appearing on Saudi Islamist Web sites on Monday said Sunni Muslims were being murdered and marginalised by Shi'ites, backed by Iran, and the U.S.-led forces.
Saudi Arabia, a bastion of Sunni Islam, backs the Shi'ite-dominated government of Nuri al-Maliki largely because it fears that sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites could lead to the break-up of its northern neighbour and spill over its borders.
"We direct this message to all concerned about Shi'ites in the world: the murder, torture and displacement of Sunnis ... is an outrage. We don't think you would accept to be treated like this," said the statement, dated Dec. 7.
"Muslims must stand directly with our Sunni brothers in Iraq and support them by all appropriate, well-studied means ... Muslims generally should be made aware of the danger of the Shi'ites," it said.
"Clerics and intellectuals should not stand hands folded over what's happening to their Sunni brothers in Iraq; all occasions should be used to expose the Shi'ites' practices ... What has been taken by force can only be got back by force."