Riyadh: Saudi scholars, propagators and researchers have warned against the risk of depending on the Israeli Quranet website project which they describe as aimed at interpreting the Quran in a way to serve the political agenda of Israel.
The scholars expressed suspicion over the actual objective of the online Quran interpretation project which was recently launched by Israel's Foreign Affairs Ministry to serve as a "bridge between the Muslim world and the West."
Shaikh Dr Abdullah Al Mutlaq, member of the Senior Ulema Board in Saudi Arabia, denounced the project, which was developed by 15 Muslim bedouin academics in Israel as part of their Masters programme in educational counselling, supervised by Jewish professor Dr Ofer Grosbard and reviewed by three Islamic preachers. The project was also published in book form by Ben Gurion University Publishing House.
The project, exhibited at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Occupied Jerusalem in May 2008, aroused wide controversy.
In a statement to Gulf News, Dr Al Mutlaq stressed that the Israeli Quranet project should not be trusted by Muslims since it is run by Jews who openly show their hatred to Islam and Muslims.
"A Muslim who wants to abide by Islamic teachings should not depend on this website for interpretation of the Holy Quran whatever the case," he said.
He warned that Muslims should not be deceived by Israeli statements that "the Quranet transforms the Quran into a unique and useful educational tool for parents and teachers, and thereby renders the beneficial power of the Quran widely accessible".
"We regard this denounced move as an attempt to create a generation of Muslims who understand the Quran in the way that Israel and US want after misinterpreting the verses of the Quran to serve Israeli Zionist projects in the world", he said.
Abdullah Al Shihri, the prominent Islamic researcher, asked since when had Israel become keen to implant Islamic education in the minds of other nations and to enhance the face of Islam in the West?
"It is our right to be suspicious about the aims of the project which has been denounced by Muslim scholars all over the world," he said.
Al Shihri described the initiative of the Israeli Foreign Ministry to promote the Quranet website as suspicious, noting that Muslims are not in need of other people to interpret their holy book and that the relationship of Muslims with the West does not need middlemen.
Saudi propagator Fahd Al Harbi expressed his conviction that the main aim of those who are behind this project is to divide the Muslim world in a way that serves the Israeli political agenda.
"Otherwise how can we understand the good intentions alleged by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs unless we link this website with political motives," he said.