Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Syrian woman responds to "From Syria with Doubt"

A reader kindly translated the response by the Syrian woman (from yesterday) to the letter "From Syria with Doubt".  Here it is:
"I am a Syrian woman, and I write to you about the letter of that Lebanese person who wrote to you about his observations in Syria, and I hope that you publish my letter or some of it.
1. The Syrian people are not sectarian in their character, and this is a real truth, and the history and demographic distribution in Syria proves it. I personally am from a religious Muslim family, and when I went to Damascus to study, I lived with a Christian family in Bab Tuma. I grew up in school with Alawites and they were my friends and neighbors. The Syrian people are very tolerant when it comes to religion. Perhaps the greatest evidence of this is the ascension of Faris al-Khoury to the office of prime minister in Syria and the ascension of Hafez al-Assad himself to the position of defense minister.
2. The one who circulates the sectarian viewpoint and sectarian thinking is the regime itself, for it acts in line with the logic of "divide and conquer." The minorities fear the rule of the majority. We call for choosing a president from any religion or sect (according to elections) and that the presidential term be term-limited (No lifetime presidency!).
3. We are revolting in the face of oppression and corruption and tyranny and one-party rule and the rule of the Assad family and its entourage over the country's destiny. We are revolting against the absence, in any way, shape, or form, of human freedoms. The mere belief that our noble struggle for the sake of our freedom [is not, in fact, so comes from] stupid, fictitious stories like that which the regime circulates, like foreign conspiracies and Salafi gangs and the like nonsense. It is a betrayal of the blood of the righteous innocent while they faced, with bared chests, a fascist regime on a killing frenzy.
4. We are calling for a secular, civil, democratic state that respects all of its citizens.
5. If there is some ignorance in some of the protesters' circles, let's ask ourselves: who worked for 48 years to sanctify ignorance, to spend hundreds of millions on building the branches of state security and intelligence and idols and ugly images? Who brought the education level to the bottom in order to ban [free] thought and expression? Isn't it the regime of the Ba'ath Party? I don't recall one instance of modernization or one time that new books were added to the cultural center in my small town. And they ask why the youth fall victim to some of the Salafis and the people who circulate suicidal discourses. But even if some Salafis or Muslim Brothers were found amongst the demonstrators, that doesn't mean, in any case, that they will come to power or that Syria will become a religious state. So who said that the Salafis and the Muslim Brothers will be more bloody and more savage than the current regime that claims to be secular and socialist!?
6. Religious or racial or sectarian bigotry is present in all societies, and immunity against bigotry comes from justice and equality and the rule of law and an independent judiciary. This is exactly what the regime in Syria has failed to do since the Ba'ath raped authority and Hafez al-Assad overthrew his friends!
7. I don't agree with your idea that Saudi Arabia or Qatar have a personal interest in the success of the Syrian Revolution. For the interest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar now, at least, is in the Syrian regime staying because they [the Saudis and Qataris] are well aware that their turn is coming. They know that the success of the revolution in Syria will lead to their own downfalls sooner or later. Unfortunately for the Syrian people, the interest of Saudi Arabia and Hizbullah and Iran and America and Israel and Hamas - all of them - is in the continuance of the Syrian regime. For the sake of that, we see the shameful silence towards the killing of hundreds. We Syrians must count on ourselves and our patience and our strength on the path to our freedom.

8. The Syrian Revolution is a noble, popular revolution for the sake of overthrowing the regime that has shamed us from history and violated our humanity.
9. This is a very personal opinion. The Middle East will not be completely liberated until the downfall of all of the religious regimes that trade in God and religion like Saudi Arabian and Iran. Syria will not be a religious state and the regime will fall. Thank you."