Syria and the Killing of Muslim Religious Leaders: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Gulf Islamism. By Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

In the land of Saudi Arabia all non-Muslims face enormous religious persecution and not one non-Muslim holy place is allowed. Similarly, the Shia Muslim minority suffers from institutional discrimination and marginalization. Indeed, minority Muslim sects like the Alevi and many others are deemed to be infidels. This hatred of diversity is being used by outside nations in order to spread sectarianism, terrorism and sedition against secular Syria.

Early 2012 and late 2012 are ending in the same way in Syria when it comes to killing Muslim religious leaders. In the early part of 2012 Sheikh Mohammad Ahmad Ouf Sadeq was brutally murdered by Islamist terrorists. Sadly, in late December 2012 another religious leader was also shot in the head by Islamist terrorists. These Islamists follow the thought patterns of Saudi Arabia and other draconian Gulf nations.

The latest murder of a Muslim cleric highlights the barbarity of the various Islamist networks which are spreading sectarianism, terrorism, hatred and fear against the people of Syria. Sheikh Abdullah al-Saleh was brutally shot in the head for merely thinking and espousing mainstream Islam in Syria. This is the madness of the various Islamist terrorist organizations and the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) which is anything but “free.”

In the Syrian Arab News Agency it was stated that the “Ministry of Religious Endowments (Awqaf) on Sunday said that the terrorist attacks against scholars and directors of Awqaf directorates prove that the war launched against Syria is a war led by Takfiri and terrorist organizations against the moderation and tolerance of the Syrian religious thought.”

Sheikh Mohammad Ahmad Ouf Sadeq was killed because he desired “hope” over “hatred.” It mattered nothing to Islamist terrorists which are supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and other Gulf states. Therefore, this religious cleric who studied Islam deeply alongside Sharia law was killed for supporting a way out of the situation. He had also condemned several terrorist attacks prior to being murdered and for this he was put on a FSA Islamist “kill list.”

Syria’s Muslim scholars have condemned the actions of various terrorist networks and the role of outside nations which are destabilizing Syria. In one statement they commented that “Syria’s Muslim scholars denounce the crimes of murdering and mutilating bodies committed by the armed terrorist groups, in addition to sabotaging public properties.”

Nations like America, France and the United Kingdom know full well that nations in the Middle East are supporting the destabilization of Syria by any means possible. After all, these same Western nations are in collusion with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf states which are sponsoring the carnage in Syria. Collectively, they all have blood on their hands and clearly the growing menace of Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups is directly because of their collective policies towards Syria.

Christians have also been cleansed from places like Homs and many churches have been destroyed. While FSA Islamist elements are doing Turkey’s bidding by killing Kurds in areas which are very far from Damascus. This means that you have many proxies in Syria which are following the wishes of higher players. At the same time, international jihadists are being given an open invitation to slaughter in Syria because international border controls and airport security appears to have vanished.

Prior to outside meddling against secular Syria then all the different faith groups within Islam, Christianity and other religions, for example the Druze, had a home called Syria. However, if Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey get their way then an Islamist state based on sectarianism will rule over people with an “iron religious fist.” Therefore, it is now “open season” for Islamists to kill Muslim clerics in Syria based on Salafi hatred.

Indigenous Islam in Syria is fighting for an inclusive Syria where all faith groups share a common home. The enemies of Syria within the Middle East support the dominance of a fanatical branch of Islam which will attack and destroy Syrian civilization. Western elites in London, Washington and Paris care nothing about democracy, religious freedom or civilization – instead, for these nations it is about geopolitics. After all, if they cared about religious freedom and democracy then why are these nations pro-Saudi Arabia?