I don’t think, so far as I can remember, that I have ever previously found any sympathy with the sayings of top Islamist cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. But I do appreciate his recent sentiment that Hezbollah is in fact not the ‘Army of God’ but rather the ‘Army of Satan.’ And I can find only one fault in his recent rallying cry, backed by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al-Asheik (with whom he has usually disagreed), that ‘every Muslim trained to fight and capable of doing that [must] make himself available’ for Jihad in Syria against Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah.
The powerful downside, of course, is the continuing civilian tragedy in Syria. So might not all sides – endorsed by Shia and Sunni leaders alike – agree that the innocent Syrian people do not need to get caught up in this fight? Perhaps they can find a piece of ground outside any civilian areas where this grand jihad can take place. Then the extremists who follow Sheikh Qaradawi ought certainly to take up his call and really go for it. If Sunni extremists of an al-Qaeda bent wish to fight to the death with Hezbollah, then who are we to stand in their way?
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.