Images: People of Syria, December 2012. NB: the young man who is in tears was involved in the violent ‘revolution’. He and another man pictured were interviewed on Syrian TV after their arrest.
Australians for Musslaha (Reconciliation) In Syria supports the “Ten Points Towards Reconciliation and Peace” which were presented to Australian politicians and church leaders in October 2012 by Mother Agnes Mariam.
Point 5: Furnish honest information about the Syrian conflict.
Truth can lead the way to peace. Presented below is information which this author considers “honest”. It was selected to present a bias for peace.
- The peaceful movement for reform in Syria has been hijacked by extremists and the violence of a ‘third force’. Massacres have been organized by this force and blamed on the government before critical UN meetings.
- Qatar, which hosts a US naval base, wants to undercut the price of Russian natural gas in Europe (something NATO countries would support); to do this, it must be able to pipe it across Syria very cheaply.
- The Annan Peace Plan and Geneva Statement which detail pathways for a political solution to the crisis in Syria have been agreed to in writing but not in practice by countries which include the U.S., the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.
- Extremist clerics have issued fatwas against Syria. Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, a cleric based in Qatar with a Muslim Brotherhood background, declared on Al-Jazeera last year, “It is OK to kill 1/3 of the Syrian population if it leads to the toppling of the heretical regime”. Sheik Adnan Arour has said on a Saudi satellite channel that those who support the ‘regime’ can be killed and their bodies chopped up and fed to the dogs.
- Numerous Moratorium size rallies supporting peaceful reform have been held across Syria, but rarely reported in the west. Terror bombs keep people away from such rallies today.
- Reforms have led to various political parties being represented in the government. The government mirrors multi-ethnic and multi-faith Syria. The constitution prevents parties from being based on religion or tribe. The president can only serve 2 terms.
- Syria is a secular state, which means Christian and Muslim festivals are public holidays. The Islam practiced in Syria has roots in the Sufi tradition, while Christianity has its deepest roots in and around Syria.
- Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism dominates, and Qatar, which supports the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafism, have aggressive stands on secular politics in the ME. Most ‘rebels’ in Syria are Wahhabi, Salafi, and/or MB extremists. They earn salaries, with funds coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Turkish PM’s party, and through Saad Hariri in Lebanon.
- Hundreds of thousands of people in Homs, Aleppo and Idlib, cities close to the borders, have been forced from their homes by ‘rebels’, many of them foreign fighters from Libya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Britain, France, even Australia (as reported in the media). Moreover, imams and priests who publicly support peace, professors, teachers, specialists, doctors, journalists, relatives of politicians, public servants, and children have been brutally killed.
- Hospitals, ambulances, churches, mosques, schools, souqs, factories, pipe lines and utilities, and ancient sites are being destroyed; communities impoverished. Men from some communities are being forced out of fear to join the FSA, while others out of desperation as they are given a salary.
- It is an ‘information and humanitarian’ war, well-illustrated by Sari Souad’s story. Sari was shot in the street in Homs in 2011. Men rushed to pick up the critically wounded boy and his mother chased them. They took Sari to a house and laid him on the floor, then took footage of Sari’s mother screaming over the body and promptly sent it to Al-Jazeera; AJ claimed Sari had been shot by soldiers. In fact, Sari’s mother explained there had been no soldiers in the area, which was the problem. AL and the “Syrian Observatory of Human Rights”, an unregistered body run by a Syrian expatriate in the UK, are widely quoted in the western media.
- The killing of innocent civilians by ‘rebels’ has been reported to Amnesty Australia but AI refused to publish the cases. The director of Amnesty US is Suzanne Nossel, a former US State Department official. Robert Ford, US ambassador to Syria accused of organizing death squads, was a guest at an AI conference.
- Syrian satellite channels have been censored by the U.S. and the Arab League (dominated by Saudi Arabia and Qatar).
- While Syrians make efforts to remain united to confront war, much western reporting makes mischievous generalizations and claims about the sects in Syria. Except on Syrian TV, rarely are the views of Syrians who support the secular state and a political solution to the crisis presented in the media.
- Amnesty, the UN and western media have relied very much on the claims of ‘rebels’ or refugees who support the armed opposition. (Yet, western reporters have been granted Syrian visas.)