‘Muftis’ meet in Srinagar, discuss ways to ‘weed out violence from Muslim society’

Syria’s ‘Grand Mufti’ Ahmad Bader Eddin Mohammad Adib Hassoun and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Friday stressed on the need to “weed out the cult of violence from the Muslim society.”

The Syrian cleric had earlier met India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had assured him of “India’s support in the fight against terrorism of the war-ravaged country,” news agency PTI reported.

During the meeting in Srinagar, Mehbooba and Hassoun discussed several issues confronting the Muslim world and “the need to weed out the cult of violence from the Muslim society,” an official spokesman said.

“They also underscored the need for inculcating values of peace, tolerance and coexistence among the younger generation,” the spokesman said.

“You are a role model for the Muslim world and Syrian women would take an inspiration from your personality,” the grand mufti was quoted as saying to the chief minister.

He also extended an invitation to her to visit Syria.

The two leaders exchanged ideas on education, social system, history and welfare of the Muslim world and the need for effective inter-faith communication to spread the message of Islam, the spokesman added.

Mehbooba informed Hassoun of various developmental initiatives undertaken by her government in the state including the education and empowerment of women.

The chief minister invited the cleric and his delegation to visit the state again for exhaustive sessions with local religious scholars and academicians.

The cleric informed the chief minister that he was happy to know about her views on various issues.

The visit of the senior-most cleric has been coordinated by Indian Council of Cultural Relations, New Delhi.

The ambassador of Syria to India, Riad Abbas, adviser in Syrian embassy Nazen Nasri and other officials of the embassy as well as Regional Director of ICCR Balwant Thakur accompanied the grand mufti during the visit.

‘APPROVED EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS IN SYRIA’

Amnesty International has accused Hassoun of approving extrajudicial execution of thousands of people between September 2011 and December 2015, allegations denied by the Syrian government as “totally untrue” and part of a smear campaign.

“These executions take place after a sham trial that lasts over a minute or two minutes, but they are authorised by the highest levels of authority,” according to a report released by  the rights group.

“The process of the hangings is authorized by officials at the highest levels of government. Death sentences  are approved by the Grand Mufti of Syria and by either the Minister of Defence or the Chief of Staff of the Army, who are deputized to act on behalf of President  Bashar al Assad,” the report said.

(Note: The story has been updated to include Amnesty’s allegations against Hassoun  and the Syrian government’s response)

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