RealNews

Syria’s Unpredictable Force: The State-Sanctioned Clergy

Even before the message is delivered in the form of a Friday sermon, the medium is already humming with an efficiency that makes the Abu Nour Mosque one of the Arab world’s most startling examples of Islamic evangelism. In a nine-floor building of white stone and black marble, its windows graced with a stone arabesque, two cinema-like screens display a nearly 20-year-old speech by Syria’s late grand mufti to thousands on red carpets in the worship hall waiting for the Friday prayers. Overhead, along white columns supporting the vaulted ceiling, four television sets broadcast the same images. Captions beneath the taped message direct worshipers to http://www.abunour.net/ and another Web site. The sites clock 200,000 hits a month.Full Story

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