Saudi cleric Adel Al-Kalbani, former Imam of the Great Mosque of Mecca, reiterated his claim that the Shi'ite scholars are heretics, saying: "What would you call someone who accuses Abu Bakr, Omar, or Uthman of heresy? You cannot call him anything [else]. Any person who accused 'Aisha of adultery is undoubtedly a heretic." Speaking on the Saudi MBC TV on July 1, 2016, Al-Kalbani also said that the ideology of ISIS is a Salafi one and that most of the people who criticize ISIS do not criticize its ideology.
Interviewer: "Do you think that our current crisis is purely political, or does it have sectarian aspects?"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "It is both political and sectarian."
Interviewer: "Is it possible that this is a Sunni-Shi'ite conflict?"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "That’s what they want."
Interviewer: "Who is 'they?'"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "The West and the Shi'ites. They want this, in my view."
Interviewer: "Do you still consider the Shi'ite scholars heretic, or have you changed you mind?"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "It's not just me. You can read on Twitter..."
Interviewer: "We are not on Twitter now. I have you with me..."
Adel Al-Kalbani: "You will see that by now, many people support me, or have become more extreme than me, if you wish to call this extremism. Many of them now consider any Shi'ite to be an unpatriotic transgressor, and this is not true, of course."
Interviewer: "But you insist that the Shi'ite scholars are heretics?"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "Yes. That is my opinion."
Interviewer: "You wrote on Twitter: 'We have a national dialogue, but our reality is not national.' How can you lead a campaign for national dialogue, when you level accusations of heresy at Shi'ite Saudi scholars who sat at the same table with us in the national dialogue, like Sheikh Hassan Al-Saffar and Sheikh Musa Bukhamseen? Do you consider them to be heretics?"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "I was talking about something specific. If you go back to what I said, you would see that it is very clear. What would you call someone who accuses Abu Bakr, Omar, or Uthman of heresy? You cannot call him anything (else). Any person who accuses 'Aisha of adultery is undoubtedly a heretic. I would say the same thing if that person were Sunni."
Interviewer: "Is ISIS a product of the Islamic Awakening?"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "Yes, there is no doubt about it."
Interviewer: "You also said that a 'Salafi seed' gave rise to ISIS."
Adel Al-Kalbani: "That is right."
Interviewer: "How come?"
Adel Al-Kalbani: "They rely on... Look, some people claim that ISIS is the product of intelligence agencies. Intelligence agencies do not create anything new. They use what already exists. They have made use of people who believe in this ideology. The ideology of ISIS is a Salafi one. It is not the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, and it did not originate with Sayyid Qutb. It is not Sufi or Ash'ari either. They rely on what is written in our own books, on our own principles. That is why most of the people who criticize SISI do not criticize its ideology. They only criticize the practices of ISIS, but we want to criticize its underlying ideology. Take, for example, the issue of apostates. How come we do not clarify this issue, and explain who is allowed to execute them, and so on and so forth? No. All we say is that the execution method is barbaric, and it tarnishes our image in the eyes of the world.
"Some people believe in the same ideology, but their approach is more obscure. When they are asked about transgressors... You know that many... When some journalists were killed, it was the result of specific fatwas. Some ulema were asked, and they sanctioned their killing. These were Salafi fatwas. They were not foreign to Salafism."