The Middle East Media Research Institute reports today that a Saudi sheikh has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) harshly condemning Hamas for defying the Palestinian Authority, and condemning Hamas.
"Some of the main arguments made in the article are: Hamas, like the Khawarij (a rebellious group), is rebelling against a legitimate ruler whose authority it had already accepted; Hamas labels as apostate any Muslim who has committed grave sins (kabair), for example, drinking wine; Hamas cooperates with anybody who supports it, even if he is a Christian, and consider an enemy anyone who disassociates himself from it, even if he is a devout Muslim." [....]
... a certain Sheikh Shaker Al-Hiran labels Hamas as Khawarij and sanctifies killing its members. The article responded to the recent cycle of bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip, placing the blame on Hamas and accusing Hamas of acting against a legitimate ruler. The Saudi daily Al-Watan published it on its front page on May 22, 2007.
In another article, posted May 18, 2007 on the Fatah website, Al-Hiran went even farther, comparing Hamas to the Jews. This article triggered harsh reactions and prompted online messages from readers questioning Al-Hiran's existence."