Mufti Hassoun

Syria’s Grand Mufti Hassoun Discusses Peaceful Coexistence, Love, and an Inclusive, Nonsectarian Syria

 

“The difference between war in the name of religion and war for money or oil is that with war for oil, when you put your hand on oil wells, the war ends. When you control politics, the war is over. But when it comes to religion, here is the problem: the fight will go on for hundreds of years.” — Syrian Grand Mufti Hassoun

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December 6, 2018, Mint Press News

-Eva Bartlett

On October 2, 2018, I met with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, a scholar and the highest official of Islamic law in Syria, who assumed the position of grand mufti in 2005.

Dr. Hassoun’s (archived) website notes that in addition to his title of grand mufti, his other positions include, “Chairman of the Media Committee of the Higher Consultative Council for the Rapprochement between the Islamic Schools of Thought, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” Essentially meaning that the mufti focuses on interfaith, and inter-sect, dialogue.

His speeches routinely focus on the theme of rapprochement or, more generally, coexistence and love. He takes a firmly anti-sectarian stance, and supports the removal of barriers between sects, in order to achieve national unity. CONTINUE READING

Overview of past month in Syria

Back home two nights ago after a series of flights and bus rides. Before I got on the last bus (on which I kept falling asleep as it was 4 am in Lebanon/Syria and my internal clock is still tuned into that time), an employee of the bus company asked if I was ‘that reporter who goes to Syria’, and when I replied with my name, he made a gesture of respect (hand on head) and thanked me. Turns out he is a Palestinian from Nazareth originally, living in Canada, and follows my efforts for Palestine and Syria, and had been trying to get in touch with me somehow.

I’ve commented before and will say it again: it’s encounters like these that make efforts worthwhile, and I’ve happily had many such encounters over the years, including two days ago while in Beirut airport. CONTINUE READING