2001 News Story

Prince Nayef comments on fatwa proclamations

Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, speaking at a press conference prior to his departure for Sana'a today to lead the Kingdom's delegation to the sixth meeting of the Saudi-Yemeni joint ministerial committee and finalize arrangements for implementation of the border agreement and its appendices, commented that nobody has the right to issue a fatwa [religious ruling] calling for a jihad [holy war] and support for the Afghan regime, except the ifta [jurisprudence] council or whoever is assigned by that council to issue a fatwa. All religious scholars agree on this, and jihad is not obligatory unless ordered by the leader of the country.

Replying to other questions, Prince Nayef said the unfair campaign conducted by two U.S. congressmen against the Kingdom because of the firmness of its stance is wrong-headed, and hoped it would stop, since it is unrealistic and does not address the facts. Concerning Saudis traveling to Peshawar to fight with bin Ladin and the Taleban, he observed that Saudi citizens are free to travel anywhere.