The top religious leader of Sunni Saudi Arabia further stoked the flames of tension with Shi’ite Iran on Sept. 6 by proclaiming that the leaders of the Islamic Republic in an area once known as Persia are not Muslims.
“We must understand that they are not Muslims, as they are the descendants of the Magus, and their animosity towards Muslims – especially the Sunnis – is very ancient,”Grand Mufti Abd al-Aziz Al ash-Sheikh said.
The mufti’s comments came a day after Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Saudi authorities of killing injured Muslims during the Hajj tragedy in Mecca last year in which at least 2,426 people died in a stampede while visiting Islam’s holiest site.
In response, the Saudi Grand Mufti said Khamenei’s comments were “not surprising,” as the Iranians are the descendants of the Zoroastrians, a religious group that had assimilated elements of Islam and Christianity before being conquered by the Arabs.
Khamenei has urged Muslims throughout the world to challenge the status quo in which Saudi Arabia controls the holy sites in Mecca and Medina. He claims that the Saudis foster religious divisions and arm “the evil infidel groups,” referring to extreme Sunni organizations like ISIL, who see the Shi’ites and any other Muslim minority group as infidels deserving death.
Full article: Saudi-Iranian war of words escalates: Grand Mufti states rulers of Persia are not Muslims (World Tribune)