(Adds background on council, council’s comments on Syria)
DOHA, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body condemned on Saturday a coordinated assault by gunmen and bombers that killed 127 people across Paris as contrary to Islamic values.
Islamic State, which is also a sworn enemy of Saudi Arabia, has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks.
Saudi Arabia still wields great influence in the Muslim world, partly due to its wealth and its status as the birthplace and protector of Islam. But its critics say the kingdom’s clergy have fuelled the rise of radical Islam by spreading their ultra orthodox Wahhabi school.
“Terrorists are not sanctioned by Islam and these acts are contrary to values of mercy it brought to the world,” the Council of Senior Scholars said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
The council is the only body in the country authorized to issue fatwas or Islamic legal opinions.
Saudi Arabia has joined international efforts headed by the United States to combat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and has also worked with Washington in its battle against al Qaeda.
The kingdom has itself been hit by a spate of deadly shooting and bomb attacks, many of them blamed on Islamic State. (Reporting by Tom Finn; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)