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Abdul Rahman Al Sudais

Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz as-Sudais  (ʻAbd ar-Rahman ibn ʻAbd al-Aziz as-Sudais), born Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1960)[1] is the imam of the Grand mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, and the "Islamic Personality Of the Year" 2005. He has also called for peaceful inter-faith dialogue.[2]In some of his sermons, al-Sudais has vilified non-Muslims and has called for the annihilation of Jews.[3][4] The Muslim Council of Britain, which has hosted Al Sudais, responded to some of these accusations, declaring them as being a part of a "witch-hunt" and charging that his words were "deliberately garbled".[5] BBC editor Mike Robinson subsequently rejected the MCB's claims, while accusing them of “unwarranted and wildly inaccurate attacks” and “bad faith allegations."[6]Al-Sudais has called for efforts to combat terrorism,[7] discussed ways to combat terrorism,[8] and has preached Islam's opposition to "explosions and terrorism".[9] He actively speaks out against what he believes to be the persecution of Palestinians by Israeli settlers and the state of Israel,[10] and has pleaded for medical supplies and food to be sent to the Palestinians

Life and career

Al-Sudais comes from the Anza clan, and he had memorized the Quran by the age of 12.[1] Growing up in Najd, Al-Sudais studied at the Al Muthana Bin Harith Elementary School, and afterwards the Riyadh Scientific Institution from which he graduated in 1979 with a grade of excellent.[1] He obtained a degree in Sharia from Riyadh University in 1983, his Master's in Islamic fundamentals from the Sharia College of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in 1987 and received his Ph.D. in Islamic Sharia from Umm al-Qura University in 1995 while working there as an assistant professor after serving at Riyadh University.[1]In 2005, Al-Sudais was named by the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) Organising Committee as its 9th annual "Islamic Personality Of the Year" in recognition of his devotion to the Quran and Islam.[1] When accepting his award in Dubai, he said: "The message of Islam and Muslims is modesty, fairness, security, stability, sympathy, harmony and kindness

Prayers for inter-faith peace

In June 2004, Sudais led a following of 10,000 in prayers for inter-faith peace and harmony. Racial Equality Minister Fiona Mactaggart attended Sudais' sermon at the East London Mosque. Prince Charles, who was in Washington, took part by a pre-recorded message[2] Britain’s chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, sent a message of support.[16]
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