Saudi Arabia’s top Sunni cleric on Saturday branded a deadly attack on Shi’ite Muslims a bid to sow chaos, after villagers targeted in the bombing vented their anger at what they saw as the Sunni-dominated government’s indifference to their safety. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of al-Qadeeh town on Friday evening, hours after a suicide bomber killed 21 worshippers in
a packed Shi’ite mosque, the first attack in the conservative kingdom to be claimed by Islamic State militants. Demonstrators mourning the victims said security forces had left their communities unprotected, arguing that the official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam inspires Sunni militants and encourages intolerance of the kingdom’s Shi’ite minority. The kingdom’s top Sunni cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh told state Al Ekhbariya TV on Saturday: “This totally criminal plot aims to split our ranks and sow chaos in our country but, God be praised, it will not find a way. The nation and society are united and under a wise leadership.” Sheikh Mohammed Obeidan, a top local Shi’ite cleric, urged followers not to give into their anger and maintain the peace.