Saudi Sheikh Ahmad Bin Abd Al-Latif, Professor at Um Al-Qura University, appeared on a religious ruling program aired by Channel 1 of Saudi TV on May 24, 2004. During the show, a viewer asked whether prayers by imams in Saudi mosques for Allah to annihilate Jews and Christians are religiously allowed. Following is a verbatim translation of the viewer’s question and of Prof. Abd Al-Latif’s answer:
Host (reading the viewer’s question): Some imams and preachers call for Allah to annihilate the Jews and those who help them, and the Christians and those who support them, and call for Him not to leave a single survivor of them on this land. Is it permitted according to Islamic law?
Sheikh Abd Al-Latif: What made them curse the Jews is that the Jews are oppressors. What they are doing to the Muslims and Palestinians is known and consists of oppression and tyranny. They destroy their homes, and kill their women and children. That is why the question of whether it is permitted to curse these oppressors, infidels, and murderers is odd. The same goes for the Christians, because of their cruel aggression against Islamic countries.
Host: Okay, but the question was about the call for their total annihilation.
Sheikh Abd Al-Latif: The answer is coming. The same goes for the curse against the Christians, for what they do to the Muslims. The truth about them was revealed in Abu-Ghuraib Prison. Their false culture was also revealed, as were their claims that they want to spread democracy, while the truth is that this is a crusading war whose goal is to harm Muslims. This is why a Muslim is allowed to curse the oppressors from among the Jews and the Christians. Of course, the question was about the annihilation of the Jews and those who help them. Cursing the oppressing Jews and the oppressing and plundering Christians and the prayer that Allah will annihilate them is permitted. In fact, the Prophet himself used to curse some oppressors. But if it is possible, people should pray that Allah guides the others. There is no need for anger to overcome us. We should not pray only for their annihilation and for Allah to take revenge on them.