Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun
Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun, seen here in 2005, has called on rebels to lay down their arms while a Christian counterpart hit out at Western sanctions, in sermons aired by state television on Tuesday. © Louai Beshara - AFP/File
Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun
AFP
Last updated: January 10, 2012

Syria clerics hit out at armed rebellion and sanctions

Syria's top Muslim cleric called on rebels to lay down their arms while a Christian counterpart hit out at Western sanctions, in sermons aired by state television on Tuesday.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Luka al-Khuri were both speaking at an inter-faith memorial service in the capital's Holy Cross Church for 26 people killed in a suicide bombing in Damascus on Friday.

"I call on all those who have taken up arms... to lay them down," the mufti said.

"If you want to share power, put forward your programme without taking up arms, and if we're persuaded by it, we'll implement it," added Hassoun, whose son Sariah was killed in October in a wave of assassinations targeting figures seen as close to the regime.

Hassoun urged dissidents to make the transition from "argument to dialogue."

The archbishop, who officiated at the church service, spoke out against the European Union and United States sanctions imposed on Syria to punish the regime for its deadly 10-month crackdown on dissent.

"Those who are imposing sanctions on Syrians and threatening their daily bread know neither Jesus Christ nor the meaning of democracy, neither human rights nor human values," said Khuri.

The Syrian security forces have come under mounting attack from deserters who have organised themselves into a rebel Free Syrian Army in recent months.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272