Former Saudi chant singer joins ISIL

Maher Mishal Al-Shwaib
Maher Mishal Al-Shwaib

Maher Mishal Al-Shwaib

DAMMAM — After spending five years working as an Islamic chant singer and later a mosque imam in Riyadh, Maher Mishal Al-Shwaib, 25, joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last April, Al-Hayat daily reported.

Al-Shwaib traveled to Syria last April and joined Syrians fighting the regime and later ISIL.

Although his friend, Raed Fahad, who is also an Islamic chant singer and whom he met in Syria, left ISIL after realizing the group was a terrorist organization, Al-Shwaib continues to perform as an Islamic chant singer and has called on Syrian men and children to join ISIL.

Al-Shwaib is currently in Iraq leading prayers at Al-Noor Mosque as an imam. He participated in the celebrations of pledging allegiance to ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. On his Twitter account, he encouraged Saudi youth to join ISIL.
Yousif Al-Rameeh, criminology and terrorism professor and security adviser in Al-Qassim, called on senior scholars to issue a religious decree decrying terrorist organizations, especially ISIL, that spread deviant ideas and brainwash young men.

Al-Rameeh blames families, mosques and schools for failing to play their role in society and raise public awareness about deviant thoughts.

“Our society exaggerates behavior problems caused by drug addiction and attaches great importance to such problems while at the same time forgetting about deviant thoughts,” Al-Rameeh said.

“ISIL has a big influence on young men because society’s institutions are not playing their role well. Families are not keeping a close eye on their sons and they do not know what type of friends they have or what kinds of websites they browse. Mosques and schools are not educating young men about the biggest danger: terrorist organizations. Mosques, in particular, do not talk about the danger posed by the ISIL,” he added.


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