From Hikmet: "BBC says () regarding opposition leader Ahmad Mu'az Al Khatib:
" He is a former imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and a respected figure within Syria."
"Mr Khatib is not allied to any political party and is known as a moderate who has called for political pluralism and strongly opposes sectarian divisions among Syrians."
And in a speech last month published on Darbuna.com, he was critical of the role Islamist militants had played as the violence has escalated, saying their prominence had allowed Western countries to portray the uprising as "extremist".
But Mr Khatib also insisted that the revolution remained peaceful.
"The arrogant regime left Syrian people with no choice but to take up arms as Syrians were compelled to do so in order to defend their religion, families and properties." (in a speech just one month before elected/selected/appointed as opposition leader by USA)
Shortly before he was elected head of the National Coalition, Mr Khatib circulated an open letter in which he argued that the actions of rebel fighters, some of whom have been accused of atrocities, should not be equated with those of the security forces under President Assad and his father.
"We are required to act peacefully and justly. But... we cannot employ Platonic idealism to judge those who risk their lives against a barbaric campaign," he warned."