Saudi cleric blames Syrian rebel losses on 'blasphemous' swearing

Saudi cleric blames Syrian rebel losses on 'blasphemous' swearing
A leading Saudi jihadi cleric has said that Syrians' habit of using God's name in swearing is a reason that rebels have suffered military setbacks in recent months.
2 min read
24 Oct, 2016
Muhaysini is highly-revered in jihadist circles, he travelled to Syria in 2013 [Twitter]

A leading jihadi cleric has said that Syrians' habit of taking "god's name in vain" when swearing is a reason that rebels have failed to win the Syrian war.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhaysini, a Syria-based Saudi cleric closely affiliated to al-Qaeda, took to Twitter on Friday to blame recent military setbacks on hot-tempered rebel soldiers using the word "God" when they swear on the battlefield.

"Six years of revolution and there are still some people who insult God when they become angry. Oh God, the words that come out their mouths are too distressing. If only you all knew that possibly this is the reason that our victory has been delayed," Muhaysini tweeted.

He then posted instructions to his 57,500 followers on how to avoid insulting the divine, and launched an Arabic-language hashtag to promote his anti-blasphemy campaign.

"I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the most serious issues that has befallen the people of Syria and has been the reason their enemies have defeated them," he said.

"Some people may wonder is it possible for a Muslim to insult God? We say: unfortunately, 
this has become commonplace among some fools and sin-doers affiliated with Muslims!"

"The regime has popularised trivialising the gravity of this heinous crime."

In the Syrian dialect of Arabic, the insults translated as "curse God", "curse your Lord" and "curse your religion" are in common usage.

Muhaysini is highly-revered in jihadi circles, and travelled to Syria in 2013 to join the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He has positioned himself in the heart of radical jihadist politics, fundraising, and legal opinion and currently holds the title of the General Judge of Jaish al-Fatah.

Since Russia intervened in the conflict in support of Assad in September last year, opposition groups have lost much ground against the regime.

Muhaysini's call for an end to swearing related to God has received mixed responses on social media with many people mocking the cleric for his "bizarre" reasoning for rebel losses.