Syria’s Grand Mufti: voting for Assad was commanded by the Prophet

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C-R) arrives along with Grand Mufti Ahmed Hassun (C-L) a meeting with a group of various religious clerics from across Syria. (AFP)

Syria’s Grand Mufti has told a Syrian television channel that he voted for Bashar al-Assad as an “enactment of Prophet Muhammad’s commandment.”

In the television report being circulated on the internet, Ahmed al-Hasoon claimed that the Prophet declared the “army of the Levant” to be worthy of his followers’ support.

He translates this hadith, or saying, as an explicit commandment to support the Syrian military. He added that casting his vote for al-Assad pays homage to the “martyrs who have fallen protecting Syria.”Sheikh Hasoon also reminded viewers of al-Assad’s announcement that “this will be a long battle...and we will succeed nonetheless."

The Grand Mufti’s remarks are seen as a display of how religion is intertwined with political discourse in Syria.

This is not Sheikh Hasoon’s first outspoken support for the Syrian military. In 2013, he reiterated the sanctity of supporting al-Assad. He called it a “religious obligation” carried by all Muslims, inside and outside of Syria. Sheikh Hasoon made these statements after issuing a fatwa compelling Muslims to come to the aid of al-Assad against the rebels.

In a televised statement in 2013, he advocated that parents in Syria push their children to join the army. He comforted the parents by explaining that their children “will not be killed, but be rewarded by god.”

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Last Update: 16:55 KSA 19:55 - GMT 16:55
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