An influential Saudi preacher called Monday on Muslim scholars to issue a joint fatwa against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime – according to the United Nations – has killed more than 70,000 people since the uprising erupted two years.
Sheikh Ayed al-Qarni told Al Arabiya that the Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia and Al-Azhar University in Egypt should condemn Assad and his government, adding that the killing of the Syrian president was justified.
Qarni’s statement came following the recent announcement by Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmad Bedreddine Hassoun that it was a “religious obligation” of Muslims to support Assad.
The Saudi sheikh said that the actions of the Syrian regime go against Islamic principles, adding that Assad’s government has committed crimes against women and unarmed civilians.
“That is why all Syrians have to fight this regime. The Syrian youth should take up arms against the regime,” he told Al Arabiya.
Qarni also talked about his visit to Al-Zaatary camp in Jordan, where, he said, he heard of the “practices” of the regime.
“Syrian refugees in the camp said that officials in the Syrian army forced them to kneel in front of Bashar al-Assad’s picture and insult God.”