Cairo: Leading Sunni Muslim clerics issued a call to jihad in Syria on Thursday at a meeting in Cairo, which condemned the conflict as a “war on Islam” and said believers should use all means to ensure victory.
In one of the most powerful statements yet for holy war against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and his allies from Iran and Lebanon, Islamic scholars from across the Arab world agreed a statement read by a prominent Egyptian preacher:
“Jihad is necessary for the victory of our brothers in Syria - jihad with mind, money, weapons; all forms of jihad,” Mohammad Hassan said, adding that more than 70 organisations represented had called for “support, whatever will save the Syrian people”.
“What is happening to our brothers on Syrian soil, in terms of violence stemming from the Iranian regime, Hezbollah and its sectarian allies, counts as a declaration of war on Islam and the Muslim community in general,” Hassan said.
Among those present were Yousuf Al Qaradawi, a high-profile Egyptian preacher based in Qatar, and a senior scholar from Egypt’s leading religious academy Al Azhar, Hassan Al Shafai.
The group did not explicitly repeat a call made by Qaradawi two weeks ago for able-bodied Muslims to go to fight in Syria.