Wednesday, April 27, 2011

(another) Response to "From Syria with Doubt"

Another response: "I've read with dismay the two letters from your leftist comrade about the situation in Syria (from Syria with doubt). There are many contradictions and logical fallacies in his analysis, but let me first
start by assuring you (and him) that the Syrian society at large is a tolerant one. And this tolerance and acceptance of diversity goes deep into our political history - the history that the regime tried to
eviscerate in the last 40-50 years. My dad tells me that when he was a kid (he's now in his seventh decade) supporters of the Ba'ath, Muslim brotherhood, Nasserists and communists would all protest together AT
THE SAME time in the village square all day, and when it's time to go home, each group would depart peacefully. (and yes, we can only rely on anecdotal evidence because the regime repression doesn't allow for
neutral polls and free expression of thought). Your friend asks a question: why was the niqab banned if it wasn't becoming a problem? this doesn't make any sense at all. The banning of the niqab was an
arbitrary decision taken on some level of the Syrian leadership in order to: 1- Appear as if they're struggling against an extremist population (total number of niqabi teachers are 1200 out of probably a
hundred thousands). 2- Try to stifle a form of expression and protest by a section of the Syrian society that feels left out and abandoned. We know quite well that when people do not find means of applied
justice on earth, they turn for the divine one. If The Muslim Brotherhood has any popularity in Syria, it's because they're (wrongly) PERCEIVED among some as honest and non-corrupt. So in a
nutshell, the rising religiosity in Syria is a side effect of the regime repression and its marginalization of the people.  Personally, I do not wish for the regime to fall. Although I realize this is going to be very difficult, I really wish that Dr. Bashar would opt for real reforms and maneuver the country out of this bottle neck with minimal loss of life, but also with rewards to the citizens in terms of freedoms, dignity and justice. But even then, I can't accept the tarnishing of protesters as salafists or jihadists like your friend is doing. Especially when they're risking their lives to go out and protest. It goes against all democratic (and moral) values to disregard people aspirations. I'm also troubled by your friend's assumption that Syrian people can't
succeed where the Lebanese failed. I also think,  with all due respect, that his drawing parallels with Lebanon 2005 is laughable.
If you decide to post, please keep my name (and my email address) anonymous."