In Egypt, as the Middle East Media Research Institute reports, an editorial in the government weekly Akhbar Al-Yawn noted that the Arab Doctors Association is aiding jihad warriors in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia, but it declined to assist tsunami victims because the disaster is seen as "punishment from Allah." It does not apparently pause to consider that Banda Aceh, the hardest-hit province in the hardest-hit nation, is the most Islamist.
Ibrahim Al-Bashar, an advisor to Saudi Arabia's justice minister, explained on Saudi television:
Whoever reads the Koran, given by the Maker of the World, can see how these nations were destroyed. There is one reason: They lied, they sinned, and (they) were infidels. Whoever studies the Koran can see this is the result. ... These countries, in which these things occurred -- don't they refrain from adopting Allah's law, which is a form of heresy? Whoever does not act according to Allah's law is a heretic, that's what Allah said in the Koran. Don't these countries have witchcraft, sorcery, deceitfulness and abomination?
Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, a Palestinian cleric, pronounced the following in his televised Friday sermon:
Don't you think that the wrath of the earth and the wrath of the sea should make us reflect? Tens of thousands dead, and many predict that the number will be in the hundreds of thousands. We ask God for forgiveness. When oppression and corruption increase, the law of equilibrium applies. I can see in your eyes that you are wondering what the 'universal law of equilibrium' is. This law is a divine law. If people are remiss in implementing God's law and in being zealous and vengeful for His sake, Allah sets his soldiers in action to take revenge.
It would be reassuring to hear from the Muslim faithful that those who urge "vengefulness" on God's behalf and who shrug off the greatest natural disaster in years as Allah's punishment are themselves heretics. But such reassurance is hard to find.
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