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Association of Muslim Scholars calls for 'Day of Rage' in support of Syria rebels
Saturday June 8, 2013 7:51 PM, Agencies

The Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni Muslim union headed by influential cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, on Friday called for a "Day of Rage and Support" on June 14 for rebels fighting Syrian regime troops backed by a Shiite axis.

The Association urged its millions of supporters to demonstrate, stage peaceful sit-ins, make speeches and pray for the Syrian rebels on June 14 which coincides with Friday..

The Qatar-based group strongly condemned "the horrific crimes... committed by the Syrian regime, with support from Iran and its tails in Lebanon, in Qusayr," the town rebels were ousted from on Wednesday.

Syria's 26-month civil war erupted after forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, who belongs to the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam, waged a bloody crackdown on democracy protests.

The conflict pitting regime forces backed by Shiite-ruled Iran and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah against Sunni insurgents, including jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda, has killed at least 94,000 people.

On Thursday, the grand mufti of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia urged governments and fellow clerics to punish Hezbollah for its intervention in the war.

Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said Hezbollah's actions vindicated the kingdom's long suspicion of the group and its alliance with Iran.

"We urge all politicians and clerics to take substantial measures against this repulsive sectarian group (Hezbollah) and all those backing it," al-Sheikh said in a speech carried by the official SPA news agency.

He supported Qaradawi's stance.

Qaradawi "has returned to the stance taken by the kingdom's top scholars and which was clear on this sectarian repulsive movement ever since it was created," al-Sheikh said.

"We support" Qaradawi in his stance and call on "all clerics of the Muslim world to stick together and co-operate during this critical moment in history", he added.

Qaradawi blamed himself for previously backing Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah who gained popularity after steadfastly leading his group in the fight against Israel in 2006.

"I defended the so-called Nasrallah and his party, the party of tyranny... in front of clerics in Saudi Arabia," which is wary of neighbouring Shiite Iran and its allies.

"It seems that the clerics of Saudi Arabia were more mature than me," Qaradawi said.

The six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) warned last Sunday that it could take measures against Hezbollah.

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