2002 Press Release

Mosques not to be used as political platforms: official order sent to imams and khatibs

In an official letter to Saudi religious leaders, Shaikh Saleh Al-Ashaikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, said restrictions have been put in place to prohibit unauthorized persons from making speeches at mosques. The order, distributed as part of a new program for the care of mosques and their workers, warned speakers at mosques against making provocative speeches and inciting people.

The letter said that mosques are meant only for prayer, guidance and other pious activities and should not be used as political platforms.

Al-Ashaikh warned speakers against misusing mosques to make provocative speeches or incite people or exploit mosques by reciting poems in praise of some misguided people. Violators of the order can be subject to severe punishment, including removal from office.

Al-Ashaikh also commended the efforts of the imams and khatibs in fulfilling their religious duties by leading people in prayers and providing advice and guidance.  He also called upon the imams and khatibs to serve as models for others by spreading love and brotherhood.