‘US, Turkey, France behind Syrian war’

‘US, Turkey, France behind Syrian war’

By AREEBA FALAK | | 19 March, 2016
Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun

Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun blamed the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and France for the war that has wreaked havoc in Syria. The Grand Mufti visited New Delhi on the invitation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for the World Culture Festival last week. At a gathering at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Hassoun explained why ISIS targeted Syria, and said, “I request you to pay attention to the name ‘Islamic State’. My country is the country of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sunnis, Shias, Armenians, Persians etc., who are from the different sects that lived together in Syria. But in Israel, they don’t accept other communities like we do. Syria was targeted because we didn’t give in to the forces of our enemies. We didn’t do what the US wanted us to do. The ISIS first targeted us because we resisted them and because we don’t believe in them.” Hassoun had to suffer the brunt of ISIS from close quarters when his 21-year-old son was killed in 2012. “They killed my son but I forgave his killers before I buried him and I asked my wife to forgive his killers too. Do you know what message they sent me over the phone? They said they don’t need my forgiveness, and that they’ll kill me too. I talked to the people who murdered my son and asked them what he had done to them,” said Hassoun. He replied, “We got an order, a direct order from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey to attack either Hazarat Mufti himself or one of his family members or his son, and they paid us individually $1,000 each.”  “They wanted me to flee Syria. I told them that I am not going to leave my country. I got a call from people outside Syria and they offered me a castle for 50 people of my family. I refused. The brothers who tried to help people in Syria did go away after witnessing the building next to them being bombarded. They tore my country. But I am not the mufti of Sunnis or Shias, I am the mufti of the Syrian people. The whole population of Syria is my people. I have to teach them, give medication to them after that I have to guide them to pray,” said Hassoun. There has been a lot of criticism of Bashar Hafez al-Assad, President of Syria for his policies. Hassoun, known to be close to Assad, said, “My advice to Assad is the same advice I give to all Presidents. If you feel that people don’t want you then don’t sit in the office anymore. Allah won’t force people to have what they didn’t want. The religion of other people is unto them and our religion is unto us. For Syrian people there is no compulsion in religion. We have a fair political body and if the Syrian people choose President Assad to leave, then I advise him not to stay even for an hour in his office and work for the nearest hospital and continue practicing medicine as a doctor. People say that we have dictatorship but President Assad is in office because he is obliged by the people of Syria.”

 

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