Following are excerpts from an interview with Abd Al-Jalil Said, resigning press secretary for Syrian Mufti Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, which aired on the Al-Jazeera network on January 13, 2012:
Abd Al-Jalil Said: The speech by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad reflects what we know about this man's mentality. I have met him several times, and I am sad to say that I detected odd and peculiar complexes in his mentality. He is obsessed not only about remaining in power, but also about his survival in Syria. The people around him – including the [Mufti] Hassoun and his aides – say to him: "Your father quelled a revolution years ago, and you are facing the same thing today. Your regime will prevail." The greatest problem is that we are talking about a man who is the epitome of criminality.
I realized that this criminal instigator of strife is worse than the regime. The personality of Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun is worse than even that of Bashar Al-Assad. The problem with Bashar Al-Assad is that he is not well-versed in religion, and does not comprehend the meaning of Allah, or what is permitted or prohibited in Islam. But a man like Ahmad Hassoun turns us in to the intelligence agencies. He is the one who preaches to the security forces on ways to kill people. The security forces do not have to pursue the imams and sheiks of the opposition – Hassoun hands them over on a silver platter.
Sir, I announce my defection and my complete resignation from the Syrian religious institution, which is supervised by Bashar and led by the criminal strife-instigator, Hassoun.