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Muslim countries condemn Johnson’s murder


JEDDAH, Arab News — The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which groups 57 Muslim countries, yesterday condemned as barbaric and criminal the murder of US hostage Paul Johnson by Al-Qaeda terrorists.

In a statement issued at OIC headquarters here, Abdelouahed Belkeziz, the organization’s outgoing secretary-general, termed Johnson’s beheading an act of barbarism.

“Islam recommends the protection of foreigners... and prohibits killing innocent people among these foreigners,” he said.

Belkeziz said the killing “distorts the reputation and image of Islam for foreigners, which harms Muslims around the world.”

He also underlined the organization’s solidarity with Riyadh in “its campaign to wipe out terrorism and destroy” those seeking “sedition” in Saudi Arabia.

In Doha, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Johnson’s murder was a “terrorist act, against all precepts of Islam, all moral values and all humanitarian principles.”

The spokesman expressed “Qatar’s support for Saudi Arabia in its struggle against terrorism,” the official QNA news agency said.§ion=0&article=47118&d=21&m=6&y=2004

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