DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syrian authorities have called for “million man prayers” at mosques on Friday to appeal for the re-establishment of security in the country, ravaged by 22 months of bloodshed, a minister said.
“Prayers will be held after Friday services in Syria’s mosques with the appeal for a return to security and safety in the homeland,” Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammed Abdel Settar said in a statement.
Syria “will prevail against the conspiracy launched by hostile states, carried out by their proxies and slaves, and led by Wahhabi infidels from abroad,” he said in the statement released Thursday by state news agency SANA.
Wahhabism is a strict form of Sunni Islam practised mainly in Saudi Arabia.
Syrian authorities have consistently labelled the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime as a “conspiracy” backed by the West, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.
The anti-regime revolt, which broke out in March 2011 as a peaceful uprising and morphed into an armed insurgency under brutal repression, has killed more than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the United Nations.