"The more than 15,000 mosques in the country constitute the best forums
for guidance, but the imams have failed miserably in discharging their
duties," Nayef said in an address to a seminar on intellectual security on
Oct. 15. "Frankly speaking, I would like to say that the imams of mosques,
with the exception of the two holy mosques, have not played their desired
Nayef did not detail the failure of imams and other clerics. The
minister also urged Saudi universities to contribute to the fight against
"Since universities are centers of research, it is their duty to study
ways to root out ideas that distort religion and defame the nation," Nayef
said. "Universities should be capable of contributing to the service of the
country and it is in line with the teaching of Islam, which urges its
followers to benefit from fruits of learning."
The Interior Ministry has reported major achievements in the war against
Al Qaida in 2008. The ministry said more than 700 suspected operatives have
been arrested and that several mass-casualty strikes were foiled.
"We have proved to the world that the Saudi security forces are capable
of confronting the challenges of the deviant ideology though the country was
the main target of extremist plots," Nayef said.