‘Ignorant critics of KSA laws’ slammed

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has slammed Sweden’s foreign minister for criticizing the Kingdom’s judiciary.

“Whoever questions the legitimacy and independence of the Shariah justice system is either ignorant or biased.” He said such claims are a “false reflection of reality.”

During the airing of his weekly radio program, Al-Asheikh said the comments by Margot Wallstrom last week were based on lies. The country’s legal system was legitimate and independent, and based on the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace by upon him) said Al-Asheikh.

He said the courts are impartial and provides justice for everyone. “Our religion protects everyone’s rights in our country, despite the diversity of our resident population. It does not oppress anyone or discriminate between Muslim and non-Muslim.”

He said women are protected under the law.

“Anyone who claims that women are not granted their rights is unaware of the reality on the ground. Women in our country are given access to all opportunities.” He said the National Society for Human Rights and other bodies are active in ensuring this happens.

Al-Asheikh said Muslims should not believe these critics because they are propagating misguided views. He was responding to Wallstrom’s condemnation of the way the country’s judges handled a case involving a Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam.

Separately, GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani summoned the Swedish Ambassador Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt and lodged a formal protest over the anti-Saudi tirade by Wallstrom.

“We condemn the insulting statement made by the foreign minister criticizing Saudi political and judicial system ignoring the rapid strides achieved by the Kingdom in different sectors,” Al-Zayani said.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani slammed the criticism as inflammatory. He said Islamic law, as derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah, protects the rights of all human beings, regardless of race, religion or gender.

Al-Samaani said Saudi Arabia’s laws are enforced based on local conditions, and comply with international norms and standards.

He said all stages of the legal system including investigations, trials and detention procedures are sound. The justice system guarantees transparency in all litigation and public hearings, and defendants are entitled to their choice of legal counsel.

He said all citizens and residents are guaranteed their right to freedom of expression, provided this does not threaten public order and infringe on the country’s values, security and peace. Many people freely express their opinions without facing prosecution because these are not considered criminal acts under Islam, he said.

Al-Samaani called on international leaders and scholars to respect cultural differences between nations. He welcomed the statement issued by the Council of Ministers, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, which emphasized the Kingdom’s commitment to international law.

He said the United Nations has charters that respect the sovereignty of nations. The Kingdom rejects those who interferes in its internal affairs and insults its judiciary, he said.


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