Conscription call by grand mufti finds strong support from intellectuals

Conscription call by grand mufti finds strong support from intellectuals
Updated 30 April 2015

Conscription call by grand mufti finds strong support from intellectuals

Conscription call by grand mufti finds strong support from intellectuals

Prominent Saudi intellectuals have backed the call of Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh to impose mandatory military training on Saudi youth, saying it was essential to defend the Kingdom and make them more responsible individuals. “The Kingdom’s vast territory demands conscription,” one expert said.
Anwar Ishqi, head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, said conscription was essential, especially after Saudi Arabia’s pioneering endeavors to protect Arab national security.
The Saudi armed forces had proposed conscription several times before and in the past, but religious scholars had expressed their reservations, saying it was not required as the Kingdom was not facing any threats. “Now things have changed,” sabq.org quoted Ishqi as saying.
Ishqi said conscription would make young Saudi men more disciplined to take responsibilities. “The Kingdom’s growing role in defending Arab national security demands the formation of a stronger army.”
Professor Sarhan Al-Otaibi of King Saud University in Riyadh said it would strengthen national security. “Saudi Arabia is a vast country with long borders surrounded by countries having regional ambitions. Conscription will not only strengthen the Kingdom’s army but also help reduce unemployment problem.”
Gen. Saleh Al-Qarzae (Retd) said: “It will create a strong group of military officers capable of defending the Kingdom at any time,” he added.
Al-Qarzae favored voluntary services in the armed forces to conscription, saying the former would be instrumental in producing more efficient and committed soldiers.