LAHORE – The Muslim world has united to condemn a terrorist attack on Islam’s holiest site – the Masjid-e-Nabawi (PBUH) in the Saudi city of Madinah – during the final few days of Ramazan which left five people dead.
Setting aside differences, world leaders, politicians, groups and activists expressed their outrage on Tuesday, a day after a suicide bomber killed at least five guards within striking distance of the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Saudi Arabia’s supreme council of clerics said the blasts “prove that those renegades… have violated everything that is sacred.”
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.”
The Iranian leadership, through foreign minister Javad Zarif, called for Muslim unity after the terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia.
There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross. Sunnis, Shiites will both remain victims unless we stand united as one. #Medina
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 5, 2016
The blast in Madinah followed two more attacks, in Jeddah and Qatif, also on Monday. Other attacks targeted the US consulate in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and the Shia minority in the east of the Sunni-dominated kingdom.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks.
“Terrorism knows no border or nationality and there is no solution except creating an international and regional unity against this phenomenon,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told state broadcaster IRIB.
Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, said “terror cannot be justified” and urged the public to remain calm but alert.
Aksi teror, di manapun, atas nama apapun, tidak dapat dibenarkan. Masyarakat harap tenang tapi tetap waspada -Jkw
— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) July 5, 2016
Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, also denounced the attack near the mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is buried.
We condemn such vile acts happened especially within the Prophet’s Mosque’s vicinity in the holy city of Medina & this is not Islam.
— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) July 5, 2016
Pakistan’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the attacks, while Army Chief General Raheel Sharif 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, also sent his condolences.
Strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. Wish God’s mercy upon those who lost their lives.
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) July 4, 2016
Mohammed bin Jassim Al-Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, condemned the triple attacks and expressed Doha’s support to neighboring Saudi Arabia following the explosions.
— محمد بن عبدالرحمن (@MBA_AlThani_) July 4, 2016
Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, also called for Muslim unity.
جاء الوقت ان نعمل جميعا لحفظ ديننا الحنيف و نزع صفة الاسلام من هذه الشرذمة المجرمة القاتلة
— عبدالله بن زايد (@ABZayed) July 4, 2016
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”.
The Masjid-e-Nabawi marks the place where Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is buried and attracts millions of pilgrims each year.