A new fatwa has been issued calling for suicide attacks against Hezbollah, a group that developed the weapon of suicide bombing as a terrorist tool.
The Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) reports, “In a new fatwa posted May 29, 2013 on the ‘Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad’ website, prominent Salafi-jihadi cleric Abu Mundhir Al-Shinqiti permitted and encouraged suicide attacks against Hizbullah targets in Lebanon.”
Though to western ears it might sound odd that a fatwa is being issued against Hezbollah rather than against Jews or Israelis, here’s an indication of just how much antipathy the Lebanese Shiite group has earned in the Middle East for sending its troops to Syria to fight alongside forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.
AFP’s Chief Editor for the Middle East and North Africa Ezzedine Said tweeted “fatwa on top jihadist forum gives blessing to suicide attacks against #Hezbollah rallies in #Lebanon.” Said attached this Arabic document which discusses the anti-Hezbollah “martyrdom operations.”
Hezbollah is no stranger to the fatwa. It’s issued some of its own, including one last year calling for the killing of the director, producer and actors in the film Innocence of Muslims.
This latest fatwa against Hezbollah comes on the heels of an attack on the Shiite group by prominent Egyptian cleric Yusuf al Qaradawi who on Friday called for jihad in Syria and lashed out at Hezbollah for sending its fighters to wage battle against Sunni rebels in Syria.
“Every Muslim trained to fight and capable of doing that (must) make himself available” to support the Syrian rebels, Qaradawi said according to AFP.
According to the Lebanese Naharnet, Qaradawi also referred to Hezbollah, which in Arabic means “Party of God” as the “Party of Satan” and as “the party of tyranny.”
“The leader of the party of the Satan comes to fight the Sunnis… Now we know what the Iranians want… They want continued massacres to kill Sunnis,” Qaradawi said.
“How could 100 million Shiites (worldwide) defeat 1.7 billion (Sunnis)?” he said, adding, “only because (Sunni) Muslims are weak”.
Naharnet reports that Qaradawi blamed himself for supporting Hezbollah in the past along with its leader Hassan Nasrallah.
“I defended the so-called Nasrallah and his party, the party of tyranny… in front of clerics in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“It seems that the clerics of Saudi Arabia were more mature than me,” Qaradawi said, but he reportedly insisted that his call to fight Hezbollah is not a call to fight all Shiites.
The fighting in Syria along mostly Sunni-Shi’ite lines has spilled into neighboring Lebanon.
On Sunday, Syrian rebels battled Hezbollah fighters in what the Associated Press described as “their worst clashes yet inside Lebanon, a new sign that the civil war in Syria is increasingly destabilizing its fragile neighbor.”
“Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has linked his militia’s fate to the survival of Assad’s regime, but pledged in a televised speech last month that he would keep the battle out of Lebanon,” the AP added.