In his first appearance after being chosen for the position of Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Osama Al-Rifai, head of the Syrian Islamic Council, said that the mufti should be independent of the authority, and that his election would grant him the freedom to issue his fatwas.
In a video speech broadcast on Thursday from Azaz, north of Aleppo, Al-Rifai touched on many social and political issues that concern the Syrians, foremost of which is the call for the unification of the opposition factions, and cooperation between the various components of the Syrian people in order to achieve the goals of the revolution.
The Syrian Islamic Council had announced the selection of Sheikh Al-Rifai as Mufti of the country, on the twentieth of the month of November, in response to the abolition of the position of Mufti by Bashar Assad, the head of the regime.
Sheikh Osama stressed in his speech that he did not want to assume the position of Grand Mufti of Syria “but the assignment took place unanimously” when the members of the Syrian Islamic Council and the Syrian Ifta Council, which includes scholars, sheikhs and academics in Islamic law, insisted on this.
Sheikh Al-Rifai noted that “the Syrian Islamic Council restored things to normal” after assigning him to this position, noting that “the mufti, when he is elected, makes every effort to prevent tampering with religion and legal rulings, and from riding these rulings by the rulers,” reminding many of the muftis. Those who were elected to the post by the people of competence, before the Baath Party came to power.
He also stressed the need for the Syrians’ goals of freedom, justice and equality to be achieved through everyone’s solidarity, stressing that “the Islamic Council extends its hand to all components of the Syrian people.”
Sheikh Al-Rifai called on the Syrian opposition factions to work towards achieving “complete unification,” warning of the dangers of disunity between the military factions. He also stressed that “unless the factions’ ranks are united, we do not dream of victory.”
On the sixteenth of this month, the head of the regime, Bashar Assad, issued Decree No. 28 to abolish the position of Mufti of the Republic, and replace it with the Jurisprudence Scholar Council, which includes representatives from all Islamic currents, sects and sects in Syria, which met with widespread popular rejection, and was considered an insult to the Sunnah. in Syria.