After five years "I was able to go [to Aleppo] and I brought 2200 repentant combatants with me in," who received "the government's pardon"; an initiative that has distant past positions which saw the death sentence dealt out to those found guilty of killing of civilians”, revealed the Grand Mufti of the Republic of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badr El Din Hassun, invited to Dublin (Ireland) along with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II and the Greek-Melkite Patriarch Gregory III Laham.
The of Syrian Muslim and Christian religious leaders spoke December 1
before the Irish Joint Committee for Business, Trade and Defense.
In particular, the Grand Mufti has deepened the situation of Syria
and of his native city, Aleppo, where he was unable to return since the
outbreak of the war. Sunni Muslim, Sheikh Ahmad Badr El Din Hassun has
always stood against inter-confessional or religious division between
the various souls of the country.
A staunch supporter of the multicultural, multi-ethnic and
multi-religious soul of Syria, he attracted the enmity of many Islamic
religious and government leaders, especially between the various
monarchies of the Gulf countries.
At the beginning of the war, he said an Arab prince "offered me a
large sum of money and a house, if I decided to flee Syria and declare
myself against the government." At his refusal, some mercenaries sent to
fight in Syria killed his son "throwing his body in front of the
entrance to the mosque." Not content, the grave of the murdered son was
later desecrated and the body transported to an unknown location.
The Grand Mufti Hassoun called on "the Europeans who want peace in
Syria, to travel to Damascus and discuss it with President Bashar
al-Assad". He therefore called for the European public to " not believe
what is being spread by the press in the West", which aims to denigrate
his country and distort reality. It is necessary, he added, "to always
hear the two bells." "Syria - said Hassun - needs Europeans to tame the
raging fire, which threatens to spread to the whole world."
The war that has raged for five years in the land of Omeyadi, the Mufti
said, "Iran and Russia defend Syria, while 180 nations of the world have
come to destroy it." The price paid by Syria has been very high, having
to face "300 thousand fighters from all over the world" in the form of
volunteers and mercenaries.
He directly charged Saudi Arabia and Qatar whom he says have
"threatened the Islamic militia with death if they refused to continue
fighting." Without mentioning names, the Mufti spoke of "Islamic
centers" in Europe, who praised "the creation of an Islamic caliphate in
Responding to a question on the chemical weapons used in Syria, the
Grand Mufti said that " unlawful combatants and not the government
killed civilians with chemical weapons”. He also explained why, although
invited, he has not been able to come to Europe to talk about Syria
since 2008. The reason, adds the Sunni Muslim leader, is that "two Arab
countries had asked officially I be sileneced, accusing me of being a
Following concerns raised by the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch on the
future of Christians in Syria "threatened in their own existence," the
Grand Mufti Hassoun said that there would be no danger if the Syrians
were left to decide for themselves.
"Syria - he explained - is a united and unique country, without any
distinctions between confessions, religions and ethnicities, which is
rare if not impossible in any other nation in the world." He also
expressed sorrow for "Christian children who were killed by jihadists
during Christian holidays," referring to the killing last year in Aleppo
of some children at the hands of snipers in the east of the city,
during the Christmas holidays . At the meeting in Dublin on Patriarch
Gregory III Laham also underlined that "we are here to work for peace,
not for blame; it is a war and in a war everyone is guilty. "
However, the visit of the Grand Mufti Hassoun - along with a Syrian
religious delegation - has been severely criticized by Ali Salim, head
of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Ireland [entities financed by Saudi
He pointed out that the Mufti "he asked the Syrian government in a
sermon to clean the country up of Islamic fighters criminals", that
operate exploiting their religion. He went on to charge the Grand Mufti
with "having blood on his hands" and of being co-responsible "for
The ISSM, Irish Solidarity Movement for Syria, appealed to the police
demanding the arrest of the Grand Mufti, on charges of "incitement to
hatred"; a request based on Irish law number 2014 related to terrorist
crimes. The Ministry of Interior did not comment on the affair, adding
that the ministry is not in the habit commenting on individual cases.
The Grand Mufti has solemnly refuted the charges, denouncing it as false
and tendentious news filtered in Irish Islamic circles that he had, in
the past, threatened to send terrorists in Europe.
"I do not know why
you push a lie up to this point," the Grand Mufti said, with the help of
the interpreter, before the Irish parliamentary committee. He stated
that he had spoken only of the fact that continuing to "bomb Syria and
Lebanon would only serve to wake up sleeper cells in Europe."
sermon, in 2011 and in recent years has spread on YouTube, and has given
rise to various interpretations.