And he’s one of the clerics tasked with “rehabbing” al-Qaeda members held in Saudi prisons.

Via Al Arabiya:

A Saudi preacher’s religious edict, or fatwa, that prohibits traveling abroad has caused controversy in the kingdom, with one Saudi columnist denouncing it as “extremist bacteria.”

Sheikh Abdullah al-Suwailem, who is part of the Saudi Arabian Munasaha program that aims to rehabilitate al-Qaeda members held in prison, expressed “fear that whoever dies in the land of infidelity could go to hell,” in statements to the London-based al-Hayat newspaper last week.

“Travelling abroad is forbidden in Sharia except in cases of necessity and with conditions,” he said.

The first of these conditions, he said, is that a person has to be “a strong believer” and has to have religious “immunity” so as not to fall for “desires.”

“Whoever fears for himself falling for what is forbidden, such as drinking alcohol, should not travel except in the case of necessity,” he added.

Sheikh al-Suwailem told the newspaper that “God does not love” it when Muslims live among “the infidels,” noting that traveling to other Muslim countries is “less undesirable.”

He told the newspaper that even going to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of education or for business should be avoided.

“Travelling to the land of infidelity for the sake of doing business or studies is forbidden except in extreme necessity.”

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