Raising funds and supplying arms to support the revolution against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is a “form of worship,” Salafi preacher and former presidential hopeful Hazem Salah Abu Ismail said on Sunday.
Abu Ismail’s comments reflect the predominant view of Egyptians, as well as the official position of the state, that Assad must be removed from power. His comments came during a conference held in support of the Syrian revolution at Al-Azhar’s conference hall in Nasr City.
Several Egyptians have reportedly been fighting next to Syrian opposition forces. Sunni preachers in Egypt largely support the uprising against the ruling Alawite regime in Syria.
This latest declaration follows prominent Islamic preacher Safwat Hegazy's statement last year that killing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “a must” and that whoever encounters him and fails to kill him is a sinner.
According to UN estimates, more than 90,000 Syrians have been killed since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm