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Syrian scholars seek support for struggle against brutal regime

Monday November 05, 2012 10:16:35 PM, IINA

Makkah: More than 30 delegates representing the Syrian opposition have performed Haj this year as guests of the Muslim World League (MWL).

Speaking to the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), the delegates, including eminent scholars and mosque imams, have called on the Muslim Ummah to support their heroic struggle against the brutal Bashar Al-Assad regime.

On the sidelines of the Haj rituals, they met with Muslims leaders and scholars, who came to perform Haj from around the world, seeking support for their struggle against the oppressive Assad regime.


For them, Haj was not merely an obligatory ritual but rather an opportunity to muster strength for their heroic fight.


Sheikh Anas Al-Suwaidi, a key opposition activist, is one among those who performed Haj as MWL guests.


Speaking to IINA, he said the Syrian guests have tried their best to explain the real situation in Syria to Muslim leaders from various parts of the world and sought their support and positive response to their fight against the killing machine of the Assad regime.


“We have had a close interaction with leaders of Islamic communities living across the globe. We are happy to brief them on the real situation and the latest developments in Syria where the regime has imposed a media blackout,” he said.

Sheikh Anas, who is also imam of a mosque in Homs, one of the strongholds of the opposition, said that a meeting of Syrian scholars, hosted by MWL, with Saudi scholars and preachers were held to review the situation.


The meeting discussed the ways and means to extend support and help to the Syrian civilians living in extremely dangerous and miserable conditions. The Syrian scholars, who attended the meeting, included Sheikh Mamdouh Juneih, a great scholar of Homs, and Sheikh Sari Al-Rifai, imam of the famous Sheikh Abdul Karim Al-Rifai mosque of Damascus.


During last Ramadan, two worshippers were killed and more than a dozen injured when Assad thugs stormed the mosque and attacked the faithful. Sheikh Anas said that the opposition would further intensify fight against the brutal regime after Haj.


“We have mustered more strength and determination to fight until ousting the killer regime, and Haj served as a powerhouse for us,” he said adding that nearly half of about 35,000 killed in the war were from Homs.

While speaking to IINA, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Muhammad, preacher and teacher of the Shariah Institutes based in Damascus, recounted the harrowing experience of Syrian civilians living under the Assad regime.


He sobbed uncontrollably and could not finish his words when he narrated incidents of slaughtering women and children and burning their homes by the Assad forces.


“They killed hundreds of my relatives, friends and people in the neighborhood. I have lost at least 15 members of my family,” he said and walked away abruptly without completing his words.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman said that the Assad regime forces are showing no mercy even to women and children.


“They slit throats of civilians, including women and children, in broad day light, and setting fire to their homes. We are living an extremely horrific and terrible situation. Nobody know whether he will be alive the next moment or not,” he said adding that more than 80 percent of the Syrian people are against the regime.


“The army, dominated by Assad’s minority Allawi Shiites, is on a killing spree against the vast majority of Sunnis, and some of them declare in public that killing Sunnis is Wajib (obligatory duty) for them,” he added.

While the meeting of the Syrian guests with Saudi scholars was going on Sunday, October 28, the street in front of the MWL Haj camp witnessed procession of Syrian pilgrims moving to Jamrat chanting Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest) and shouting anti-Assad slogans.


"Oh God, may we see Bashar Al-Assad soon hanged or burnt, kicked out or a humiliated prisoner," one Syrian yelled through a loudhailer as dozens walking behind him shouted: "Amen."


Brandishing the rebel flag, they cursed Assad and prayed against him after performing the stoning ritual. The official Syrian flag was mostly absent from this year's Haj.

The pilgrims prayed for the victory of the opposition while they were performing Haj rituals in Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina. They also prayed for the souls of the Syrian martyrs.


In Arafat, an old Syrian pilgrim was seen in tears while engaged in supplication. The pilgrim who requested neither to disclose his identity nor take his photograph said that he was performing Haj on behalf of his 18-year old son who was killed in the ongoing war.


"I performed Haj earlier. Now, I came to perform Haj for my son who was the victim of the ferocious battle taking place in our country. May Allah forgive him and accommodate in His Jannatul Firdous," he said.


The vast plains of Arafat were soaked with tears of Syrian pilgrims, more than tears of any other pilgrims from the remaining 188 countries.

During this year’s Haj, Syrian pilgrims were very few as the deadly civil war raging in the country and that claimed so far lives of nearly 35,000 people, mostly women and children.


Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied charges of Damascus that Riyadh barred Syrians from performing Haj. At the same time, the Kingdom had issued some 10,000 visas to Syrian refugees now in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.


King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, had issued directives to host 1200 Syrian refugees. Under the direction of the king, the government had given preferential treatment for Syrian refugees wishing to perform Haj.






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