By Kanchan Gupta: I met Sheikh Tantawi three months after the terrorist attack in December 13, 2001 on Parliament House. This conversation took place in the office of Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, in Cairo, The conversation was on Islam’s response to jihadi terrorism. The Grand Sheikh said “Terrorism is aggression against innocent men, women and children,” he added, “In the name of Islam I reject and condemn the aggression against innocent people, regardless of whatever side, sect or country the aggression comes from,” Islam, “shows no mercy to such aggressors (as those who attacked Parliament House).”
Perhaps the views of Sheikh Abd al-Aziz bin Abdallah Aal al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, head of the Saudi commission of senior Islamic scholars and the supreme Islamic authority in the kingdom said on Islamist terrorism, including hijacking of aircraft, attacks against security personnel and suicide operations, like the one on Parliament House — he described them as “illegitimate” and “having nothing to do with jihad in the cause of Allah.”
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Maiman, a well-known Saudi religious scholar, said After the public execution of three terrorists, who had been found guilty of bombings, killing security personnel and using a car seized from an expatriate Indian, Such crimes, “are called acts of corruption in Islam, and the Quran has warned people against indulging in them”.