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Syria: Al-Assad says it’s a moral crisis! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Syrian state news agency [SANA] quoted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as saying that the crisis in his country is a crisis of morals. He made this statement during an iftar banquet at the Damascene Hall held in honor of Syrian religious scholars. These same scholars failed to express any opinion – as reported by SANA – about the crimes that are taking place in Syria today, whether we are talking about the crimes against Syrian citizens or against religion.

The crisis in Syria is truly a moral crisis, for how can we say otherwise when we see a Baathist regime that has not hesitated in killing almost 2,200 Syrian citizens, arresting and displacing thousands more? This is a regime that cuts the throats of anybody who chants [in support of the revolution], as well as breaks the hands of those who draw [in support of the revolution]. How can this not be a moral crisis when we see minarets being destroyed at the hands of the Syrian security apparatus during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, amidst a shameful silence by many Arab states? This is not all, for in addition to killing people and destroying the country, al-Assad’s supporters are also repeating certain slogans to the Syrian people, including chanting “Bashar is your God”. Indeed every region of Syria has been subject to an invasion by the Syrian security forces and Shabiha [pro-regime militia] who spray graffiti on walls like “Bashar is your God” and “Bashar is the God of the Arabs.” Indeed, we have also seen video tapes – smuggled out of Syria – in which we see Syrian security officers beating and humiliating [detained] Syrian citizens, forcing them to recite that “there is no God but Bashar” or “there is no God but Maher [al-Assad], and other even worse slogans that cannot be published here!

When we say that it is a moral crisis, this is for a very simple reason; how can we respond to those who describe the Arabs and Muslims as being hypocritical and enforcing double standards when they are silent to the heresy and apostasy on the part of the al-Assad regime security forces, whilst they reacted hysterically to the European cartoons of the Prophet, the US pastor who burnt a copy of the Quran, and even declared Salman Rushdie an infidel for his uninspiring novel [Satanic Verses]? Is it reasonable for Syrian Muslim scholars to accept all of the Syrian regime’s practices, and not to issue a single rejection or say even one word about this unjust tyrant? Why did they fail to say anything, particularly as a number of prominent Syrian scholars were in attendance of this iftar banquet held by al-Assad in Damascus, including Syrian Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowment) Mohammed Abdul Sattar, Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmed Baderdeen Hassoun, Sheikh Mohamed Said Ramadan al-Bouti, the Mufti of Homs, and others?

This issue does not just involve Syria, but rather all those that support the al-Assad regime, for where is [Grand Ayatollah] Sayyid Ali al-Sistani and his fatwas regarding what is happening in Syria? Where is the Syrian Supreme Leader of Iran [Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] who describes himself as the “Guardian of the Muslims”? What about the imams of Tehran’s mosques, particularly those who love to talk about what is permissible and prohibited [in Islam] and put forward their analysis? Where are these Iranian imams, who love to speak about protecting the religion of Islam and attacking the enemies of religion, today? Where are their speeches about the attacks on mosques [in Syria], and the violation of religion, with Syrian security officers making apostatic and heretical statements? What is even more ironic is [Hezbollah chief] Hassan Nasrallah – the cause of regional chaos – coming out to warn against sectarian strife in Syria in support of al-Assad, not caring about al-Assad’s attacks on mosques or the shedding of innocent Syrian blood, not to mention the al-Assad regime’s affront to religion! Therefore this is truly a moral crisis; one created by the al-Assad regime and its affiliates!

* N.B Mr. Alhomayed’s editorials will be on hold until after Eid al-Fitr. Happy Eid and peace be with you!