BEIRUT (Reuters) – A whole lot of mourners together with Syria’s spiritual affairs minister attended a funeral in Damascus on Friday for the state’s prime Muslim cleric, who was killed in a bombing close to the capital.
Sheikh Mohammed Adnan Afiouni, the Sunni Muslim Mufti of Damascus who was near President Bashar al-Assad, died on Thursday when his automobile was focused with an explosive gadget within the countryside close to Damascus.
Afiouni performed a big half in what the federal government describes as reconciliation efforts with armed teams who seized management of a number of Damascus suburbs throughout the nation’s nine-year-long civil battle, however who had been then pushed again by authorities forces.
He was a number one conservative scholar who preached in opposition to Sunni radicalism and the Muslim Brotherhood, which took up arms in opposition to the present president’s father, Hafez al-Assad.
“He helped to consolidate (the Assad household) grip on energy throughout the battle in opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and later the Salafi traits,” mentioned Waeil Olwan, a political scientist and scholar within the Istanbul-based al Jusoor assume tank that focuses on Syrian research.
The 66-year-old cleric described the Syrian rebellion as considered one of “destruction, chaos and terrorism,” Alwan added.
Syria’s Minister of Endowments Mohammed Abdul Sattar al-Sayed was amongst tons of of worshippers who gathered on the Syrian capital’s historic Ummayad Mosque for Afiouni’s funeral.
Photos from the funeral confirmed the masked minister paying condolences to Sheikh Afiouni’s son, alongside the son of one other slain cleric Mohammed al-Buti, the government-appointed imam of the Ummayad mosque who died in a 2013 bombing.
Afiouni headed the Cham Islamic Centre to battle Terrorism and Extremism that trains tons of of clerics and mosque imams earlier than their employment by the state.
He additionally led prayers which Assad attended within the city of Daraya after it was recaptured in 2016 from rebels after bombardment that killed tons of and displaced hundreds.
(Writing by Maha El Dahan, enhancing by Dominic Evans and Angus MacSwan)
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