Abdul Rahman al-Sudais claims Saudi Arabia and US are leading world to peace and security, sparking outcry on social media
The imam of the grand mosque of Mecca has claimed Donald Trump, the US and Saudi Arabia are "steering the world to peace", in comments during a visit to New York that sparked an outcry on social media.
Abdulrahman al-Sudais said in a TV interview with Saudi channel Al Ekhbariya that Saudi Arabia and the United States are the "poles of influence in the world".
They are "steering the world and humanity to the ports of security, peace and prosperity," he added, claiming that the two countries should unite to "combat terrorism" and to "realise security and international peace".
The conference, on 'Civilisational communication between the United States of America and the Islamic World', was held by the Muslim World League over two days and attracted representatives of Islamic institutions globally.
Sudais' comments attracted criticism, with the hashtag #SudaisDeclarationDoesNotRepresentMe circulating in Arabic.
Many users criticised Sudais' remarks and his praising of the US.
— المصطلح السياسي ٣ (@cectvty783) September 17, 2017
Translation: Abdulrahman al-Sudais wouldn't have been made Imam of the Grand Mosque if he didn't have bad intentions, and evil doings, and so there is nothing weird about him saying what he said.
— Ensan Ok (@ensan_very_ok) September 18, 2017
Translation: We respect and appreciate Sudais, but what he said, to be honest, should be thrown into the nearest bin.
And some gave examples of America's role in interrupting world peace
Translation: And how does the Hiroshima bomb fit into this?
Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of a quartet of states boycotting Qatar after accusing it of funding terrorism.
The UAE, Bahrain and Egypt and the Saudis cut diplomatic ties with the tiny Gulf state in June and imposed an air and land blockade.