Mohammed Abdul Sattar
|Mohammed Abdul Sattar|
|Minister of Religious Affairs|
8 December 2007
|Prime Minister||Mohammad Najji Outri
Riyad Farid Hijab
Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji
|Preceded by||Ziad al-Din al-Ayoubi|
|Born||1958 (age 58–59)
|Political party||Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party|
|Alma mater||University of Damascus|
Early life and education and career
Sattar was born into a Sunni Muslim family in the multicultural and multireligious town of Tartus in 1958. He has a Degree in Economy and Trade (1980) and PhD in Islamic Studies (2000) from Damascus University in Karachi Pakistan.
From 1985 until 2002 he was the Director of Religious Endowments and Mufti of Tartous Province. He was subsequently appointed Assistant Minister of Religious Endowments for Religious Affairs in 2002. In 2007 he became the Minister of Religious Endowments for Religious Affairs (Awqaf) of Syria.
President Bashar al-Assad is a member of the Alawites sect of Shia Muslims who are in the minority yet form the elite of the military officers. They rule over the majority religious group the Sunni.  When the Syrian uprising began in March 2011 Sattar was one of several Sunni who supported the regime.
In July 2016 President Bashar al-Assad announced the make up of the new Syrian government in Decree no. 203 of 2016. Dr Mohammed Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed retained his position.
As minister he has participated in several conferences and delivered lectures. At the Kiwan mosque during the 2015 International Media Conference Against Terrorism Sattar spoke of the martyrs who have defended the faith in Syria in the war against Takfiri terroism.
Sattar has been on the U.S.Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List since 2012. This means their assets are blocked and United States citizens are not permitted to have dealings with them. He is also listed on the Consolidated list of Financial Sanctions Targets in the UK last updated 2 June 2016. The European Union also has "restrictive measures against Syria" and added Dr. Mohammad Abdul Sattar Al Sayed to the list of persons 16 October 2012 as he "shares responsibility for the regime’s violent repression against the civilian population."
Contact with other religious groups in Syria
The religious majority in Syria are Sunni Muslims who are around 70% of the population while Christians are around 10%. Although Christians are a minority they have been politically influential and after the uprising many Christians supported President Assad in the hope that this will offer some protection against militant Islamists coming to power. Sattar has worked with Christians to keep the lines of communications open and to encourage Christian support for the government and its aims. In March 2013 at the Preachers and Imans in the Middle and Coastal Regions Forum held in Tartous the Minister spoke of Christians and Muslims working together to spread tolerance and friendship. In June 2014 Sattar with a delegation of Muslim scholars visited the newly installed Patriarch of Antioch His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Both expressed expressed the view that Muslims and Christians should cooperate and work together for peace.
Sattar is married and has three children.
- "Minister of Awqafr ...". Syrian e-Gov Web Portal. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Profiles of Syrian Sunni clerics in the uprising". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "The vicious schism between Sunni and Shia ... 20 February 2014". Independent. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "President Al-Assad issues Decree no. 203 on forming the new Syrian government 3 July 2016". SANA. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Awkaf Minister : protecting humanity from terroism will be achieved by defending true Islam 24 July 2015". SANA. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Office of Foreign Assets Control 18 July 2012". U.S.Department of Treasury. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) 16 August 2016". U.S.Department of the Treasury. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Statue : Asset Freeze Targets 2 June 2016" (PDF). Consolidated list of Financial Sanctions targets in the UK. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Council Decision of 15 October 2012". EUR-Lex. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Syria's beleaguered Christians 25 February 2015". BBC News. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Syrian Minister of Awqaf : Syrian society is home for tolerance". Islamic Invitation Turkey 10 Mar 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "His Holiness receives De Mohammad ... June 2014". Syrian Orthodox Patriachate. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Ministry of Aqwaf official government website