Medina attack: Muslim world reacts after deadly blast

Muslim leaders worldwide denounce deadly attack near Prophet Muhammad’s tomb in Saudi Arabia’s Medina.

Bomb blast in Medina, Saudi Arabia
Monday's blast struck before sunset prayers when people were breaking their fast inside the mosque [Saudi Press Agency/EPA]

The Muslim world has united to condemn a deadly attack at one of Islam’s holiest sites – the Prophet’s Mosque in the Saudi city of Medina.

Setting aside differences, world leaders, politicians, groups and activists expressed their outrage on Tuesday, a day after a suicide bomber killed at least four guards within striking distance of the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb.

Saudi Arabia: Bombings target Medina and Qatif mosques

The blast followed two more attacks, in Jeddah and Qatif, also on Monday.

A spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry described the triple bombings as “despicable acts that did not respect the sanctity of place, time and innocent people”.

Here are some of the reactions from around the world following the suicide attacks.

Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, condemned the bombing in Medina and called for Muslim unity. 

Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, said “terror cannot be justified” and urged the public to remain calm but alert.

Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, also denounced the attack near the mosque where Prophet Muhammad is buried.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry condemned the attacks, while its army chief telephoned Saudi Defence Minister Prince Muhammad bin Salman to express his support.

“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Saudi brothers in fighting the menace of terrorism,” General Raheel said.

Melvut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, sent his condolences.

Cairo-based Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, condemned the attacks and stressed “the sanctity of the houses of God, especially the Prophet’s Mosque”.

Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, condemned the triple attacks and expressed Doha’s support to neighbouring Saudi Arabia following the explosions.

Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, also called for Muslim unity.

Saudi Arabia’s supreme council of clerics said the blasts “prove that those renegades … have violated everything that is sacred”.

Lebanon-based Shia group Hezbollah also denounced the Medina attack as “a new sign of the terrorists’ contempt for all that Muslims consider sacred”.

The governments of Jordan and Lebanon joined in the condemnation, while Iraq said the attacks amounted to “heinous crimes”.

Indian singer Adnan Sami expressed his sadness over the attack in one of the Muslim world’s most important sites.

Author Aisha Saeed said the attack was “the face of evil”.

Retired Malian footballer Fred Kanoute, who lives in Dubai, said the incident was “unforgivable”.

Muath Al Wari, an analyst at the Center for American Progress, reflected on the importance of Medina for Muslims.

Safy-Hallan Farah, an editor and writer, expressed disbelief about Monday’s attack.

Hayder al-Khoei, a research director at the Centre for Academic Shia Studies, described the attack in Medina as an act of “cowards”.

Rim-Sarah Alouane, a French researcher in public law, raised the fact that Muslims themselves are often victims of deadly attacks, and should not be made to apologise en masse for the actions of a few.

Tariq Ramadan, author and professor of Islamic Studies at the university of Oxford, called for justice.

Syrian scholar Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi, like many others, pointed to a saying of the Prophet Muhammad about harming Medina.

Retired Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar  shared his sadness over the bombing with his 115,000 followers.

Journalist Reham Khan also condemned the attack.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies