Muhammad bin Abdul-Rahman al-Arifi (Arabic: محمد بن عبد الرحمن العريفي, born 15 July 1970) is a Muslim author and Da’i. He is a graduate of King Saud University, and member of the Muslim World League and the Association of Muslim Scholars.
Social media popularity
Al-Arefe has over 20 million followers on Twitter. As of 6 May 2019, Al-Arefe had over 24 million likes on Facebook, which places his account in the top 100 worldwide, and #10 in the Arab world and in the Middle East. BBC claims that Al-Arefe is regarded as a clerical "Brad Pitt". Al-Arefe announced his fatwa for "jihad" against Syrian to his jihadist followers on social media.
Al-Arefe engaged in a diatribe against Shias, referred to them as "evil", used the label of "infidel" against Shia cleric Ayatollah Sistani and boasted that there are no mausoleums, public statues, Christian crosses in Saudi Arabia. Al-Arefe described Jews as cowardly in battle and claimed that their tanks had urine and feces in them since they wouldn't get out of them. He also claimed they used bags or diapers in the tank. He described Jews as too cowardly to fight and said they were going to hide around the Gharqad trees they were allegedly planting.
Al-Arefe denied false allegations that he said that "mujahideen" in the Syrian Civil War could have provided with sex by emigrant Muslim women.
Al-Arefe supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Al-Arefe was lauded by Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mursi and al-Arefe and Salman al-Ouda were named as Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers. He is a known associated of them.
Holiday celebrations and greetings to Christians by Muslims was banned by Al-Arefe. He strictly explicitly banned religious greetings to non-Muslims. Al-Arefe forbade the usage of Christmas trees.
In July 2015, Al-Arafe wrote a critique on Facebook of the Egyptian Ramadan TV series Jewish Quarter, complaining that it showed Jews in a positive light, when in reality Jews were terrible people. It was picked up by Arabic media.
In March 2014, he was banned by the Home Office from returning to Britain after a series of sermons in Cardiff, Birmingham and London. A Home Office spokesperson said: "We can confirm Mohammad Al-Arefe has been excluded from the United Kingdom. The Government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they represent a threat to our society. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who seek to subvert our shared values."
Al-Arefe had a discussion with Saudi Deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud and then tweeted and posted a photo of them smiling together. The discussion was held on the same day as Saudi Vision 2030 began. He asked God to bless Prince Mohammad and posted his thanks. al-Arefe met with Prince Mohamed bin Salman again and talked with him and posted the photo of them smiling together on Twitter. They talked about the Islamic world's and the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia's) future.
Abdul Razzaq al-Mahdi, Nabil Al-Awadi, Tariq Abdelhaleem, and Hani al-Sibai who are linked to Al-Qaeda, in addition to others like Adnan al-Aroor, Abd Al-Aziz Al-Fawzan, Mohamad al-Arefe, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al Shaykh and others were included on a death list by ISIS.
The 2013 Egyptian coup d'état
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In July 2013, Al-Arefe was detained by the Saudi authorities for using YouTube to criticize the military coup d'état in Egypt, an ally of Saudi Arabia. It was speculated[by whom?] that the arrest was in response to a complaint filed by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to its Saudi counterpart. The complaint claimed that Al-Arefe was intervening in Egyptian domestic affairs.[verification needed] Before his release, he signed a pledge not to interfere in Egyptian affairs and was released afterwards but placed under house arrest. He was also banned from traveling to Doha, where he was scheduled to deliver a religious lecture there. The Saudi authorities never announced the reason behind Al-Arefe's arrest.
In October 2014, he was jailed for 40 days for stating that the train linking Mecca and other holy sites was "one of the worst in the world". Al-Arefe was banned from entering Switzerland for holding extreme views, Switzerland said.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mohamad al-Arefe.|
- Islam in Saudi Arabia
- Yusuf al-Qaradawi
- Salman al-Ouda
- Aid al-Qarni
- Mohammed Rateb al-Nabulsi
- Tareq Al-Suwaidan
- Omar Abd al-Kafi
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- "Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi: Jewish Soldiers Would Defecate and Urinate in Their Tanks Because They Were Too Scared to Leave Them". MEMRI. 5 February 2012.
- "Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi: Israeli Soldiers Too Scared to Leave Their Tanks to Urinate or Defecate; Palestine Will Be Liberated Through Force, Not Negotiations". MEMRI. 9 April 2010.
- "Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi: Jews Plant Gharqad Trees to Hide Behind When Muslims Come to Kill Them on Judgment Day". MEMRI. 11 September 2008.
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- "President Sisi, Egyptian Grand Mufti: Offering Christmas Greetings To Our Christian Brothers Is Part Of Our Religion". MEMRI. 24 December 2015.
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- "ISIS Launches Campaign Calling To Kill Prominent Islamic Clerics Such As Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, Saudi Mufti 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh, Former Egyptian Chief Mufti 'Ali Gum'a". MEMRI. 14 February 2017.
- Christian Science Monitor: "Saudi Arabia presses 'YouTube imams' to toe the line on Yemen – Popular Muslim clerics are using social media to stir dissent beyond the purview of government-controlled mosques and satellite TV stations. Saudi Arabia is sensitive to criticism of its war in Yemen" By Taylor Luck 2 June 2015
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