Houthi speakers have taken to pulpits at mosques in Sanaa and other coup-held cities in Yemen to raise funds and encourage recruitment to their rank.
Iran-backed Houthi militias have been working to exploit masses gathered to prepare for the upcoming Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday event which is widely celebrated by Muslims.
For the last six years, Houthis have reshaped celebrations that mark the day to glorify their own leadership and lineage.
Sources at the Houthi-styled endowment office in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that a circular has been issued ordering imams and preachers to persuade congregations to donate money to the Houthi movement and to decorate places of worship with green paint to mark the Prophet’s Birthday.
Orders were also given for establishing private donation boxes at mosques.
The Houthi endowments office has also undertaken the printing of thousands of envelopes that are meant for collecting donations. Houthi militants will distribute empty envelopes to residents who are supposed to fill them with money for the group.
A decision has been made to dispense around 600 envelopes for every residential complex in all Houthi-held areas.
Sanaa residents complained against imams using Friday sermons to stoke sedition and incite sectarianism among worshippers.
Imams have also been cited to have encouraged generous donations to Houthis and drafting Yemeni youths to Houthi ranks.
They have also permitted placing Houthi donation boxes at the entrances of mosques during Friday prayers.
Last Friday, a speech given by an imam at a mosque in central Sanaa triggered widespread anger among worshipers. The inflammatory speech had led to worshippers rising against the imam and bringing him down from the pulpit.
Houthis have threatened imams into giving speeches tailored by the group. In this imam’s particular speech, Yemenis are labeled as cowards for refusing to fight alongside Houthis at battlefronts.
Source: Sanaa- Asharq Al-Awsat