Sheikh Salman Al-'Odeh represents the supposedly more liberal Islamic position in Saudi Arabia, i.e. that Islam does not seek war but considers it an inevitability to be avoided as much as possible. He claims that offensive jihad was appropriate to the circumstances during the early Islamic era, when might made right, but that it is not relevant today, when international laws regulate relations between countries.
The more traditional rigid Islamist position in Saudi Arabia declares that jihad is an imperative originating in the Koran and the Sunnah – and that, as such, it supersedes any man-made law and Muslims are obligated to implement it until the Day of Judgment
Despite his supposedly more tolerant image, Sheikh Salman Al-'Odeh is a hater of Jews and of Israel. He promotes the blood libel against Jews, and claims Jews promote war. He sees violence as a legitimate method of response.
He supported the Lebanese political group Hizbullah in the summer of 2006 in its conflict with Israel, despite Hizbullah’s being a Shi’ite movement. “This is not the time to express our differences with the Shi’ites,” he wrote on his website, “because we are all confronted by our greater enemy, the criminal Jews and Zionists.”
Al-Awda rejects terrorism in principle, but then endorses it as a militant response of last resort. “Terrorism,” he says on his website, “is a form of warfare whereby innocent people are specifically targeted to instill fear in a population … [since] targeting civilians is strictly prohibited by Islamic Law … terrorism is categorically prohibited in Islam.”
Yet al-Awda is not categorically against suicide bombings where civilians may be present. A transcript of a New York Times interview in 2001 with Douglas Jehl posted on al-Awda’s Web site quotes the sheikh responding to a question about a suicide attack in Jerusalem. “Regardless of whether the attacks were against civilians,” he says, “the fact [is] that they were within the realm of resisting occupation. Is there any international law that denies the people the right to resist with any means they can?”
Salman al-Odeh (Salman bin Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ouda or Salman al-Ouda, Salman al-Oadah, Salman Al-Audah, or Salman Al-Awdah -alias Abu Mu'ad) is a Saudi cleric or Sheikh and Muslim scholar. Al-Ouda is a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars and on its Board of Trustees.
In September 1994 Salman al-Odeh was imprisoned for anti-government activities. Incarcerated for five years for inciting opposition to the Saudi government, al-Odeh emerged again "rehabilitated" in 1999. The former dissident sheikh who publicly broke with Osama bin Laden in 2007 is now a loyal supporter of the Saudi regime and one of the kingdom's most prominent religious spokespersons.
In 2001 Salman al-Odeh began to serve as director of the popular website Islam Today, a sophisticated and expensive project, funded by Saudi donations, with pages in four languages—Arabic, English, French and Chinese—each section designed to appeal to a particular audience, and each reflecting the remade image of Islam that the Saudi government is promoting.
His fame had become sufficiently widespread by 2006 to draw a crowd of around 20,000 young British Muslims in London's East End whom he addressed in a speech. Salman has over 4,000 Facebook friends and over One million fans through the site. He gives classes and lectures over the Internet and by phone to a wide range of listeners.
The English-language section of Islam Today, which is under al-Awda’s personal direction, appears aimed at redefining Islam in a way that will mollify concerns of a Western audience inclined to see militancy and violence as built into the Islamic message.
“At one time,” he writes on his website, Islam Today (Islamtoday.com), “our discussions surrounding mass media amounted to nothing more than condemning it and warning against it. This proved to be of no benefit, nor did it repel any harm.” His goal in setting up his Internet site is “to serve our faith, defend it, and call to it,… and the Internet, with its immense, global potential … must be employed to its maximum potential.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated and posted a video on its website of an interview with Saudi cleric Salman Al-Odeh which aired on Rotana Khalijiya TV on August 13, 2012. MEMRI titled its posting, “Saudi Cleric Salman al-Odeh: Jews Use Human Blood for Passover Matzos.”
Video can be seen by hitting here:
Following are excerpts from the interview.
The Holocaust has become a source for extortion. Through this Holocaust, the Jews began to extort many government worldwide – in Europe and in the US. The Jews even began to perpetrate the same thing themselves against the Palestinian people, carrying out a Holocaust in Gaza and the occupied land. They attack children, women, and the elderly under the pretext of the Holocaust that they are trying to substantiate.
The role of the Jews is to wreak destruction, to wage war, and to practice deception and extortion.
For thousands of years, the Jews were subject to persecution, deportation, killings, and accusations. Maybe much of this stemmed from their moral values, their treacherous nature, their schemes, and the ploys, which made other nations be wary of them.
The Jews believe that they have the right to kill anyone who does not adhere to their religion. This is written in the Talmud and some of their holy books.
It is well-known that the Jews celebrate several holidays, one of which is the Passover, or the Matzos Holiday. I read once about a doctor who was working in a laboratory. This doctor lived with a Jewish family. One day, they said to him: "We want blood. Get us some human blood." He was confused. He didn't know what this was all about. Of course, he couldn't betray his work ethics in such a way, but he began inquiring, and he found that they were making matzos with human blood.
They eat it, believing that this brings them close to their false god, Yahweh. This caused a scandal.
The same thing would happen in Damascus. As you may know, Naguib Al-Kilani wrote a book titled Blood for the Matzos of Zion. This is the best story he ever wrote. It discusses what would go on in the Jewish neighborhood of Damascus or elsewhere. They would lure a child in order to sacrifice him in the religious rite that they perform during that holiday.