A declaration, signed yesterday by 150 clerics, strongly rejected “any foreign intervention in Yemeni affairs, whether political or military”.
“If any party insists on aggression, or invades the country, then according to Islamic law, jihad becomes obligatory.”
They based their call on the Koranic verse which commands believers: “Fight in the cause of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities.”
The clerics issued this declaration not only as a warning to the West but also to urge jihad upon devout Yemenis steeped in knowledge of the holy book.
While Sheikh Abdul Majid al- Zendani, dubbed a “global terrorist” by the US, was among the signatories of the declaration, it echoes statements made recently by Yemen’s secular nationalist politicians. Foreign minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi observed: “There is a lot of sensitivity about foreign troops coming into Yemeni territory.”While US president Barack Obama said he had “no intention” of deploying American troops to combat al-Qaeda in Yemen or Somalia, Yemenis do not seem to believe him.
Mr Qirbi acknowledged, however, that al-Qaeda was a growing threat to the country’s stability as well as a problem for the West. Consequently, the authorities have urged citizens to co-operate with the security forces and not to hide al-Qaeda fighters. Yemeni media quoted a security source as saying that “the war . . . against al-Qaeda is open whenever or wherever we find these elements”.
An al-Qaeda leader, Abdullah al-Mehdar, was killed on Wednesday in the restive southeast...more..Yemeni clerics
|Fighting terrorism a tough mission in Yemen|