Viewing cable 05MUSCAT1153
Title: OMANI OPINION MAKERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST RELIGIOUS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT11532005-07-20 12:31:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 001153 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/PPD, NEA/ARPI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KISL KPAO PTER PGOV PREL MU
SUBJECT: OMANI OPINION MAKERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST RELIGIOUS 
EXTREMISM 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 131453 
 
     ¶B. MUSCAT 1090 
     ¶C. SECSTATE 121757 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. Following the recent wave of violence in Iraq, including 
Omani denunciations of the terror attack in London and murder 
of the Egyptian ambassador-designate in Baghdad (ref B), 
there have been further statements by the government and 
press aimed at turning people away from extremist, violent 
religious ideologies. 
 
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Top Minister Speaks Out 
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¶2. Oman's top security chief, Minister of the Royal Office 
General Ali Majid al-Ma'amari, issued a statement on July 18 
in which he called for the public's vigilance against 
extremism.  According to the statement, he praised the 
awareness, vigilance, discipline and rationalism of Omani 
citizens in the face of insidious efforts initiated "for one 
reason or the other."  Citing the Sultan's advocacy of 
tolerance between citizens, he called on the public to turn a 
"deaf ear to rumors and lies meant to destabilize countries 
and to listen to the voice of reason and wisdom."  While 
reaffirming the Sultan's promise not to allow the state to 
"confiscate thought," the minister warned that this does not 
mean that the state will tolerate "extremist thought or 
destructive ideas." 
 
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Religious Supplement Sets Record Straight 
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¶3. The minister's sentiments were reinforced in the July 19 
weekly religious supplement to the government-owned Arabic 
daily "Oman."  The supplement focused on articles and 
statements by Arab religious leaders denouncing in particular 
the violence in Iraq directed at both diplomats and 
civilians.  The supplement carried an article from Al-Azhar 
(Egypt) University professor Dr. Ahmad Muhammed al-Hufi, who 
recounted the important example set at the historic Badr 
Battle, when Muslims could not agree on whether to kill or 
enslave their captives.  The Prophet Mohammed decreed that 
the captives should be freed entirely on the condition that 
they each teach 10 Muslim children how to read and write. 
Another professor, Abd al-Hakim al-Saidi, wrote that the 
American Fourteen Points were derived from Islamic principles 
on such issues as the treatment of captives, prohibitions 
against killing women, children and the elderly, and 
non-aggression among neighbors. 
 
¶4. Affirming that Islam did not sanction the attacks in Iraq, 
one author quoted Islamic scholar Ahmed Kamal Abu al-Majd, 
who wrote that Islam was the first religion to establish 
principles of protecting diplomats in time of war, quoting 
the Prophet Mohammed as saying "Ambassadors shall not be 
harmed."  The author also cited the Prophet's instructions to 
Muslims during war not to kill a woman, a child, an elderly 
person, a captive, or those who have fled.  Al-Azhar 
professor Abd al-Salam Muhammed is likewise cited in saying 
that Islam forbids the torture of captives in order to obtain 
military information about the enemy.  He quoted Imam Malik 
in replying to a question about the permissibility of 
torturing captives as saying, "I have never heard of it." 
BALTIMORE