Israel on Sunday welcomed a statement by the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars (CSS) labelling the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, Anadolu Agency reported.
“We are happy in Israel to see such approach that stands against the exploitation of religion for incitement and sedition,” Israel said on its Arabic Twitter account.
“Undoubtedly, all the monotheistic religions came to cultivate love and intimacy among people, the tweet said. “We are in bad need for a discourse that calls for tolerance and mutual cooperation for the advancement of the entire region.”
“God bless you Al-Ifta,” the tweet added.
Al-Ifta is the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta (also the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta) of Saudi Arabia.
It is an Islamic organisation established by the King that issues rulings in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and prepares research papers for the Council of Senior Scholars (CSS), which advises the king on religious matters. Its members are drawn from the CSS, of which it is a committee, and consist of the most senior Sunni scholars of fiqh in Saudi Arabia, including the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as its head.
The issuance of rulings in Saudi Arabia is limited to members of the CSS and a few other clerics.
Earlier on Tuesday, the CSS issued a statement designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and accused the movement of being a destabilizing factor in the region.
The statement attracted criticism from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Talat Fehmi, a spokesperson for the organisation, told Anadolu Agency that Saudi Arabia’s Internal Affairs Ministry had taken a decision in this direction before, adding, “the Brotherhood is not terrorist but an inviting and reformist organization.”
“The Brotherhood, which was established in Egypt in 1928, is far from violence, terror and tearing apart the ummah. Since its establishment, it has been calling people to Allah with good advice,” said Fehmi, adding the organization denies all accusations of the Council.
Fehmi stressed that the Muslim Brotherhood has always been a victim of violence and dictatorial regimes.
Founded in 1928, the Brotherhood was blacklisted by Egyptian authorities in 2013 following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a military coup led by then-General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the same year.
In May this year, Saudi Arabia officially blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
Israel sees the Saudi statement as beneficial for its crackdown on Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which adopts the Muslim Brotherhood thoughts.
Israel launched three major military offensives against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in 2008, 2012, and 2014 and still imposes a tightened blockade on the Palestinian territory, which is ruled by Hamas.