Khaleej Times Online: "Syria’s Grand Mufti condemns kidnappings, suicide attacks in Iraq
17 July 2005
CAIRO - Syria’s new Grand Mufti has condemned kidnappings and suicide attacks in Iraq and said he intends to work with all Islamic sects to prevent the growth of fundamentalism, al-Hayat newspaper reported on Sunday.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badr el-Dein Hassoun, Syria’s top Moslem cleric, told the al-Hayat daily following his appointment Saturday that “Islam does not permit kidnapping”. He said he was in contact with associations of Sunni and Shiite clerics in Iraq to urge them to discourage the practice “because it is a crime that harms Islam”.
Those contacts were aimed at “preventing (suicide) operations that impact negatively on the Iraqi people”, Hassoun said.
“I was the first to forbid (youths) from going to Iraq, because the country doesn’t need youths, but wise and rational people that will return it’s sense of self-respect,” he told al-Hayat.
He said a top priority on taking office was meeting with “all Islamic sects to unify their discourse and to together halt the spread of fundamentalism.”"