Press release | Issued: 7th August 2011
Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is a renowned and highly respected Syrian cleric, born into a scholarly family that has been serving the public interest for two centuries. He is a leading authority on Islam with an established global appeal.
For the last three years he held the prestigious post of instructor in the Grand Omayyad Mosque. In addition he was the Friday speaker in the al-Hassan Mosque, situated in the affluent diplomatic quarter of Damascus, from where he consistently challenged the government on key issues such as corruption, oppression and inequality.
He openly criticised the ruling Ba’ath party and called for progressive reforms, an end to the unlawful killings of innocent protestors, the establishment of human rights and true democracy.
Following this unprecedented act of defiance, he was dismissed from all his posts and banned from any public activity. Having lost his freedom to speak, he left the country in order to continue his campaign in support of the aspirations of the Syrian people.
Al-Yaqoubi is currently visiting the UK to promote the case of his oppressed nation, and in his words, “to remove by peaceful demonstrations the oppressive corrupt regime and build a new democratic Syria”.