The General Supervisor of Islam Today Sheikh Salman al-Awdah made a TV appeal in December 2010 to Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the top al-Qa'ida leaders in Yemen, to refrain from bloodshed and to fear God for all the spilled blood that he will have to answer for on the Day of Judgment. “Whether you like it or not, you will find yourself having to face your fellow Muslims. You might think yourself to be in control of things at the beginning but you won't be in control at the end. Things might develop in ways you will not be happy with."
“The single-minded pursuit of resistance and fighting will not improve the state of the people. It will not develop them morally, nor will it strengthen their faith. It can neither foster economic development nor stabilize society. It won’t build mosques, schools or factories. It does nothing but harm others, and more often, it harms the perpetrator more than the people he targets,” the prominent Saudi cleric added.
He stressed that what takes real courage is to be able to take a good, critical look at yourself and publicly admit when you are wrong.
Sheik Awdah underlined how al-Awlaki used to be an influential Muslim preacher: “Al-Awlaki used to be the imam at a mosque in America. There are some very good recorded lectures that he delivered in English on Prophet Muhammed’s life and the lives of other prophets.”
Sheikh Awdah mentioned that he had met al-Awlaki when he visited Saudi Arabia years ago and found him to have been a sensible and respectable man, someone who could have become an effective Muslim preacher.
“But I am amazed that after the Sept. 11 tragedies, he changed so much. Maybe he felt, rightly or wrongly, that he was being victimized, and this gradually brought him to the state we find him in today,” he added.
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