Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh has urged young Saudis not to join militant groups in Syria fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
According to al-Hayat newspaper, the Saudi mufti on Monday warned against the inflow of Saudi men into Syria, saying, “This is all wrong, it’s not obligatory.”
“These are feuding factions and one should not go there. I do not advise one to go there,” the mufti said.
Ash-Sheikh also criticized preachers who push Saudi young men into the war in Syria.
“Muslim should be fearful of God and not deceive young Muslims and exploit their weakness and lack of insight and push them to an abyss,” he said.
This is while Saudi Arabia has been supporting foreign-backed militants to change the balance of power on the ground since the beginning of unrest in Syria.
During a meeting in the Jordanian capital Amman in September, Riyadh guaranteed to continue its financial and logistic support for the militants, including al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorists.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
The United Nations says four million more Syrians will be forced out of their homes in 2014 by the escalating conflict in the country.
Two million Syrians are expected to take refuge outside the country while another 2.25 million are predicted to be internally displaced next year.