Akhee Shaykh Al-Fowzaan is advising people who engage in backbiting under the guise of jarh and ta'deel. He is not talking about scholars and students who refute clear errors legitimately and clarify widespread mistakes with proofs in order to fulfill a community obligation. Only someone who does not know Shaykh Al-Fowzaan or the Salafi manhaj would think he disallows academic criticism and refutations.
The proof: He has at least three volumes of printed refutations of indivuals who write in newspapers and magazines, "alBayaan fee akhtaa' al kuttaab." He clarifies their errors and warns the people from them. He continually writes newspaper articles criticizing the mistakes of writers, by name, and sometimes with very harsh tones.
While he says that the science of jarh and ta'deel is only for the books of ḥadīth, its just a matter of semantics, as he himself is actively engaged in actual jarh and ta'deel. Aside from his criticism, he promotes authors and their books, praising them and their works. These are common acts of jarh and ta'deel from the shaykh, whether he acknowledges that phrase as being applicable or not.
The shaykh just sees a trend in the youth where they backbite and slander in the name of jarh and ta'deel, and wants them to leave it and stop justifying it with the name of an Islāmic science laid down to preserve the clarity and correctness of Islamic teachings.
As for negating the existence of jarh and ta'deel in these times, or saying that it is limited to the chains of ḥadīth, then this is clearly not correct, based on the shaykh's own ongoing jarh and ta'deel, and based on the other scholars' clarifications, those more known for specialization in ḥadīth sciences.
And the people who quote these statements to attack other scholars, like Shaykh Rabee', are the furthest people from understanding in the Religion, the most bigoted of them, the busiest of them in making false and impermissible jarh of upright scholars and students, and ironically the closest of them to what Shaykh al-Fowzaan was warning against!! Yet they don't seem to see that... may Allaah guide them.
And Allaah knows best.
The following user(s) said Thank You: abu ibraheem, wadiabdurrahmansanchez, UmmSafura