A draft law proposed by the Assad regime’s Ministry of Religious Endowments has sparked anger among Syrian loyalists because of what they called “the Islamization of society and state institutions.”
A few days ago, the Ministry finished preparing a new draft law regulating the Ministry’s work, which it transferred to the parliament for discussion.
Responding to the law, activists loyal to the regime and living in its territory announced they would organize a “mobilization” in a number of provinces rejecting the Ministry’s draft law.
They believed that the law gave the Ministry the right to interfere in other ministries and institutions and impose its criteria, and considered this to “violate the principle of the state’s secularity.”
The draft law, comprised of 39 pages, stipulated scaling back the role of the Grand Mufti in favor of the Ministry of Religious Endowments, which proposes a change of Mufti every three years. Previously, the Mufti had been appointed personally by Bashar al-Assad.
The draft includes forming a council within the Ministry called the “Supreme Council of Religious Endowments” with the Ministry of Religious Endowment “undertaking matters related to Islamic religious guidance and direction and religious endowments, and working to fight extremist takfiri ideas of all types, to defend national unity against the danger of these ideas, to dry up their sources, and to intellectually confront all those who hold these views, such as Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood organization, or other extremist groups.”
Activists launched a hashtag #No_to_Legislative_Decree_16 which spread widely among loyalists.
However opposition Syrian activists criticized this, saying that those activists in regime areas had not mobilized in response to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.