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Saudi cleric faces backlash after referring to MBS as 'Crown Prince of Muslims' 

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Paris France on 28 July 2022 [Mustafa Yalçın/Anadolu Agency]
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Paris France on 28 July 2022 [Mustafa Yalçın/Anadolu Agency]

A prominent Saudi cleric has drawn online criticism and ridicule after referring to the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) as the "Crown Prince of Muslims" in a tweet on Tuesday.

Sheikh Saleh bin Awad Al-Maghamsi who was a former imam at the Quba Mosque of the holy city of Madinah and once a student of late Grand Mufti Sheikh Abd Al-Aziz ibn Baz made the comment online in a quote tweet to footage of MBS taking part in cleaning of the Kaaba in the Great Mosque of Makkah, the most sacred site in Islam.

"May God increase you in honour and empowerment, oh Crown Prince of Muslims," Maghamsi stated.

However users on social media accused the cleric of showing "flattery" towards the Saudi Crown Prince who despite being promoted as a moderate reformer, has had his reputation overseas has been tarnished by clamping down on human rights, waging a war against Yemen and the notorious state-sanctioned murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

One user said in a tweet: "O Sheikh of the court, O Saleh, you are in the era of King Abdullah, you said that he is the king of hearts. And you know that the king of hearts is God."

He added "Now you are hypocritical and lying and saying to the Crown Prince of Muslims, is it not enough for you to be disgraced, and may God guide you with knowledge, but you are using it to serve the tyrants," adding, "O Saleh, you wear the clothes of Muslims and do the actions of the Zionists."

Maghamsi was reportedly dismissed from his position as imam of the Quba Mosque after he called for the release of Saudi detainees in a March 2020 tweet. He later denied making the call, insisting he had meant that only those with "minor violations" should be released.

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