RIYADH: Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Asheikh supports the idea of mandatory conscription that would see Saudi youths participate in military service.
The grand mufti also wants legislation enacted requiring youths to be drafted into compulsory military training programs for a certain period of time.
The demand for conscription has been made for the first time by such a senior religious scholar in Saudi Arabia. Al-Asheikh said: “The Islamic world should cooperate, be prepared, and seek means of strength through training and imposing compulsory conscription on youths, so that they would be capable of defending their country from enemies.”
“I would recommend training and conscription of Saudi youths, to make them ready to protect our religion and homeland,” reiterated Al-Asheikh. If the conscription proposal is accepted by the Saudi government, then there will be a need to formulate laws that would require Saudi youths to be given compulsory military training.
A number of countries in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia have strict conscription laws in place. Turkey, Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece and Norway require their young men in certain age brackets to serve in the military. Conscription also exists in Kuwait, Libya, Algeria, Angola, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand and many other countries around the globe.
Participating in a weekly program with the Makkah-based Nida-ul-Islam Radio Wednesday, the grand mufti stressed the importance of the joint exercises saying that “the security of the Gulf states is a shared responsibility.” He further said: “We will protect our religion and homeland … and we will build a strong security wall to respond to any threat to the peace and security of any Gulf state.”
Speaking about the Gulf security exercises in Bahrain, the grand mufti appreciated the Arabian Gulf Security drills. The GCC “Arabian Gulf Security One” exercises wrapped up in Bahrain on Wednesday night. They were staged under the patronage of King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy premier and interior minister.

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