2011-11-15 10:02:00

Assad regime will not survive - Muslim scholar

Moscow, November 15, Interfax - The current regime in Syria will become a thing of the past as in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, said prominent Egyptian Muslim cleric and head of the International Union of Islamic Scholars Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi.

"The epoch of dynasties is over: the examples of the dynasties of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya provide proof of this. This fate will of course befall the family of Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen and the Assad clan in Syria. All of these regimes are a thing of the past," he said in an interview published by the Kommersant-Vlast magazine.

The revolutions that have swept across the Arab world are "100% democratic revolutions," he said. "This came as an absolute surprise to the external world. Even Americans were taken unaware, to say nothing of the regimes against which people had risen. That was the case in Tunisia, and also in Egypt, where such a turn of events took Hosni Mubarak aback," the Muslim scholar said.

Some of these regimes had grown from toppled monarchies, "but they themselves almost degraded from republics to monarchies, or the rules of clans," Qaradhawi said.

"The republican set-up is the truly Islamic system. A leader's tenure must be limited to one term, say four years, or two terms as a maximum. In Libya, the ruler remained in power for 42 years, in Yemen 33 and in Syria, if the Assad family is taken, almost as long," he said.

Qaradhawi urged Russia to reconsider its attitude toward Syria, "or your country will lose its presence in the Middle East. The Assad regime will not survive, believe me," he said.

Qaradhawi denied claims that he is the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brothers international organization.

"I am not the spiritual leader of this grouping. I am an ordinary person who has devoted his life to service to Islam. Why do people in your world fear Islam so much? Why can't they understand that most Muslims share moderate views? Muslims are the salt of the earth, they are your hope. Look at them attentively," Qaradhawi said.