So says the Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments:
"The Permanent Council for Scholarly Research and Religious Legal Judgment has studied the queries some individuals brought before the Chief Mufti... concerning the topic of the construction of houses of worship for unbelievers in the Arabian Peninsula, such as the construction of churches for Christians and houses of worship for Jews and for other unbelievers and [the question of] the owners of companies or organizations allotting a fixed place for their unbelieving workers to perform the rites of unbelief.
"After considering the queries the Council answered as follows:
"All religions other than Islam are heresy and error. Any place designated for worship other than [that of] Islam is a place of heresy and error, for it is forbidden to worship Allah in any way other than the way that Allah has prescribed in Islam. The law of Islam (shari'a) is the final and definitive religious law. It applies to all men and jinns and abrogates all that came before it. This is a matter about which there is consensus.
"Those who claim that there is truth in what the Jews say, or in what the Christians say — whether he is one of them or not — is denying the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad's sunna and the consensus of the Muslim nation... Allah said: 'The only reason I sent you was to bring good tidings and warnings to all [Koran 34:28]'; 'Oh people, I am Allah's Messenger to you all [Koran 7:158]'; 'Allah's religion is Islam [3:19]'; 'Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him [3:85]'; 'The unbelievers from among the people of the Book [i.e. Jews and Christians] and the polytheists are in hellfire and will be [there] forever. They are the worst of all creation... [98:6].'
"Therefore, religion necessitates the prohibition of unbelief, and this requires the prohibition of worshiping Allah in any way other than that of the Islamic shari'a. Included in this is the prohibition against building houses of worship according to the abrogated religious laws, Jewish or Christian or anything else, since these houses of worship — whether they be churches or other houses of worship — are considered heretical houses of worship, because the worship that is practiced in them is in violation of the Islamic shari'a, which abrogates all religious law that came before it. Allah says about the unbelievers and their deeds: 'I will turn to every deed they have done and I will make them into dust in the wind [Koran 25:23].'
Our friends the Saudis.
James Lewis 3 24 06