The statement, days after Saudi Arabia and other Arab states pledged in Jeddah to combat militant ideology, was the most comprehensive attack the kingdom’s conservative clergy have made so far on Islamist radicalism and the Islamic State group.
In a statement carried on state media, they did not specify particular punishments, but said they should act as a deterrent. Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty, usually by public beheading, for many serious crimes.
Signed by all 21 members of the council and quoting extensively from the Koran and sayings of the Prophet Mohammad, the statement also prohibits militant financing or encouraging young people towards militant acts.
It said people who issued fatwas or other opinions that “justify terrorism” were not permissable in any way and were “the order of Satan”.
Mideast Christians urge Arabs lead the fight against Islamic State
Meanwhile, Middle East Christian leaders had called on Muslim governments and religious authorities on Tuesday to condemn Islamic State for its assault on minority religious communities and to take the lead in efforts to destroy its power in Iraq and Syria.
They told a news conference that the reaction so far from Arab countries had been “timid” to the militant group’s killings and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Christians in massacres against all religious and ethnic minorities.
“The situation of Christians and other minorities amid the massacres and atrocities of (Islamic State) is dire and our future in the region is at stake,” said Patriarch Ignace III of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch. “The leaders of Arab countries and the Arab League have to stand up and do something.”
Patriarch Sako I of the Chaldean Catholic Church said in Iraq over 10,000 Christians — who have had large communities in the Middle East for some 2,000 years — in Iraq had been killed by the militants and some 170,000 expelled from the north.
In areas under Islamic State control in Syria, around half a million Christians had been forced to flee areas where they had long lived at peace with their Muslim neighbours.