Understanding the Arab Spring Part 5

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Sha'ban 26, 1434 2013-07-05

Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi ws sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,

As you may know, the developments that are taking place in Syria and now with the recent events unfolding in Egypt are the focus of attention for Muslims and non- Muslims alike. The issue there has become in certain areas, especially in Syria, an issue of divisiveness and polarization and sectarianism and bad feelings Much of the facts, (we think), get lost in the presentation of what's happening there. We're going to try to, (as much as possible like a brother of yours), walk through the events there placing emotionalism aside and guided by the facts and the truth as much as possible.

The events in Syria began with demonstrations in two areas there- one of them is in the South and the other one is in the North; in the South in the city called Der’a which is very close to the Jordanian border and in the North in the city called Hims which is not to the extreme north of the country but generally speaking to the north or the center. People in these two areas began to say that they want a fair and a representative government- that encapsulates very briefly what they were demanding. Remember, they were doing this in the aftermath of the movement of people in Tunisia and in Egypt and in Libya and also in Yemen and also in Bahrain. So it wasn't like it’s an isolated thing that's taking place in Syria and then developed and snowballed and it became what it is today. It’s that general context in which some young people went out in these two areas in Syria and began to raise some slogans and write some graffiti on some walls in the city. This triggered the very violent response from the government. Now, the government in Syria is like all governments in that part of the world- it’s not really the representative government. There were no free elections in that country. It’s a one party country. It is governed by one party, a secular party that has shown its irreconcilability with Islamic doctrine or Islamic orientation.

Now as far as this goes at this point it seems like it’s a development that is anticipated because these types of regimes don't tolerate dissent and freedom of expression. So the security apparatus went to work and it tried to use maximum force at the beginning to nip this issue in the bud but it didn’t happen like that. What happened was the application of more force solicited the participation of more people against the central government in Damascus. This had nothing to do with Sunnis and Shi’ites because right now there are many people who want to try to cast this whole issue in a sectarian light. It’s not like that because on both sides there are different denominations and different ethnic groups, different religions and different sects- on both of these sides. It’s not like one side is exclusively of one denomination and the other side is exclusively of another denomination. That's not the case. So all this began about two years and four months ago roughly and since that time it spread throughout the country. It spread simply because the people of goodwill on both sides- because on both sides there are people who don't want to fight, who don't bloodshed, who don't want divisions and eventually don't want to ruin the infrastructure of the country- but these people who are of goodwill on both sides simply didn't have what it takes to carry the day. It was people who were financed and armed on both sides who were calling the shots, (as it were), and because of that it became an issue that not only drew in the population in Syria but began to draw in regional powers and international powers. So this was no longer like it began. It began strictly as an internal and a limited, (more or less), local Syrian event but in the course of these two years and four months it became much larger than that so it took on a regional proportion and an international range. Now almost everyone, who is anyone, is involved in what is turning out to become a quagmire of sorts.

As far as the regional powers are concerned, we find that there is an axis of governments who could care less for the Syrian people. These governments are the governments in Saudi Arabia, the government in Turkey, the government in Qatar and of course when you line up these types of governments you can almost automatically say that the government in the United States and the government in Tel Aviv are also involved in this but in a more conspicuous manner. They are more behind the scenes and these happen to be supporting factions that are generally called either the Free Syrian Army or the rebels. For your information, there’s about one thousand of them. There is about one thousand relatively small different types of groupings in the country that are carrying arms and fighting against the government in Damascus. If you just turn on your mainstream media outlet and tune in you will hear a lot of humanitarian expressions about the Syrian people. All of a sudden now we have a public opinion that is concerned with the Syrian people?! We don't know if anyone buys in to that? No one should buy into that. There has never been any concern by the United States government or the government of Saudi Arabia or these other governments about the Syrian people. Why is it that all of a sudden they are so humanitarian? They want to offer medical assistance and they want to offer some type of clinical support to people who have become right now actually a tragedy. The condition of the Syrian people now is a tragedy. The figures differ in range but to take a middle ground here, there's about four million Syrians who have been displaced. They no longer are living in their homes. The population in Syria is about twenty three or twenty four million people. Out of that four million is a considerable number. It's one sixth of the population. So it will roughly be- if you take South Africa (where) there's fifty billion people (and) one sixth of that would be over eight million people; imagine there were eight million people who were living in their homes in this country who are no longer living in their homes. Some of them are refugees outside of the country and some of them have been displaced inside the country moving from one city or one area to the next. So this really is a tragedy of unprecedented dimensions in that part of the world.

The Syrian people who have been victimized by their own government and victimized by these that claim to represent them- none of them represent the Syrian people! Don't think that the government in Syria represents the people and don't think that these rebels now who have access to sympathy orders in the West, in Europe (and) in the Middle East represent the Syrian people. To understand this very accurately the Syrian people have no representatives and that adds another component of tragedy to this growing catastrophe that has befallen the people.

The Syrian people have been very kind and hospitable to the plight of the people around them. When the Palestinians became refugees the Syrian people accommodated the Palestinians. There are many Palestinians who have made it up the social ladder in Syria- some of them in the civic part of Syrian life and others in the military part of Syrian life. The Palestinians have been absorbed into Syrian society. When the tragedy in Iraq happened (and) when the Iraqi people were displaced they crossed the borders inside Syria and there were no refugee camps setup for the Iraqis. They were also absorbed into Syrian society. “Come live with us, we have an extra room or we have an extra apartment.” During the Lebanese civil war and during the time when the Israelis attacked Hizbullah in the summer of 2006 there were at least a couple of hundred thousand Lebanese who crossed the border, albeit temporarily, and they went into Syria. When they went into Syria they were also welcomed into the homes of the Syrians and so they Syrian people never had refugee camps for other people who found shelter in their country. Now the picture has been turned around and the Syrian people themselves are forced into these neighboring countries only to find themselves in refugee camps. In Lebanon they are in refugee camps, in Turkey they are in refugee camps, in Jordan they are in refugee camps and in Iraq they are in refugee camps. A very hospital, accommodating integrating type of people find that they are not treated the way they treated the others in their time of need. So what is developing here, (in one sense at one level), is a human calamity. Some of the Syrian families that find themselves in these refugee camps are forced to have their young daughters married to some individuals who are coming from the Arabian Peninsula or the Persian Gulf states. These are men- some of them in their sixty's and seventy's- who are coming to refugee camps in Jordan or in other places and right now what is beginning to take shape is almost a type of prostitution industry in which there are go-betweens to set up a match between the person who is coming with some cash and some money from those areas in the Arabian Peninsula to these refugee camps (where) families are surviving on a day to day basis with the resources they have. They’re forced to do something like that. Then, (when all of this is happening), of course probably not much of these types of details are presented to you- it’s only generalized that there are humanitarian issue in Syria so everyone should feel, (as the mainstream media would want us to feel), a sympathy for the Syrian people with out going through these details and then to extend that they should lend support to those who are fighting against the Syrian government.

Now, (to look at the larger picture), the fact of the matter is the people in Syria are being victimized because there's a master plan at work; that master plan is to have a final assault on the Islamic Republic in Iran. So the way the propagandist are trying to present this is “if you are in support of the Syrian people you have to be against the government in Tehran and if you are for the government in Tehran then you have to be against the Syrian people.” Who said that? Where did this come from? Think about it- where did this come from? You can be supportive of the Syrian people and you can be supportive of the Islamic orientation in Iran. Now mind you, no one would be picking a bone with Iran (and) no one would be picking a fight with the Islamic Republic in Iran if it did not prioritize the liberation of Palestine but this never enters into the analysis of what is happening in Syria or what's happening in the general area there! It never enters the analysis and this is the crux of the matter. We wouldn't have had a Syrian issue, we wouldn't have had an Egyptian issue, we wouldn't have had what is called “the Arab Spring”, we wouldn't have had other types of developments if it wasn't for that consistent policy of over thirty years emanating from the Islamic Republic in Iran to liberate the occupied land of Palestine- that’s the issue that you shouldn't loose sight of but they’re trying to derail your attention so that you are polarized here and they throw in the sectarian issue for assurances and good measure. They want to consume us in an internal fight that will take the pressure off the evil Israelis and the trouble making American regime and then have us for maybe ten, twenty (or) fifty years kill each other and the catalyst is this sectarian warfare that they present to us as being, (right now), the central issue and it's not. The central issue is the policy that has been manufactured by Tel Aviv and Washington primarily and then financed by the petro-nation states to end this serious consolidation of resources- human resources, material resources- for the liberation of Palestine. That has become the larger picture within which we should understand the details that are tragically unfolding in front of us.

You know the whole scenario can be summarized as such… In the time of earlier differences among Muslims- very early in Islamic history after the Prophet past away there was some what of a polarization in Muslim public opinion and there were two prominent figures Al Imam Ali (radi Allahu anhu) on one side and king Mu’awiyah on the other side and Muslims were sort of split as to whether we should support him or we should support Ali. There was a contingent of Muslims who broke away from Ali’s side and they said governance only belongs to Allah so these figures should be marginalized and they devised a plan of assassination and all of this. We don't want to go through history we just want to mention this and relate it to what is happening today. So when they said governance only belongs to Allah some people who were listening to this referred the matter to Ali and they said look- this is what they are saying. How do you comment on that? He said it’s a statement of truth but the intention is false. If we extrapolate from that and place what is happening today in that construct we can look at the movement of the Syrian people and we can say that it is a movement of haqq but the intention behind it is false, it is baatil and then we can look at the other side the side that basically is used- the Syrian government is being used, (let us be blunt and up-front with you), for purposes of liberating Palestine. So that government is a false government- it doesn't represent its own people but the intention is to use it for a purpose of haqq which is the liberation of Palestine. This very much gives you a summary of these developments. You can't equate people who begin at the basis of haqq but are going to be used for the purposes of baatil with other people who begin on the basis of baatil but are going to be used for the purposes of haqq!

The American and Israeli component that doesn't figure into all of this is what is at work. They don't care for Syrian life. Did they ever care for any other Muslim life around? They’ve been demonstrating how they have been liberally shedding Muslim blood all over the place- whether it is drone warfare, whether it's brute occupation as is the case in Afghanistan, whether it’s their unqualified and blind support for Israeli policies in occupied Palestine. Who are they to come and tell us “oh we have a soft heart for the Syrian people. Oh everyone should cry for the Syrian people.” Why aren't you crying for everyone else? Why are you so selective about a certain people now that you are concerned with? The reason for that is they're not concerned for the Syrian people- there’s one thing they’re obsessed with and that's their enemy number one- that's the Islamic determination that broke out of their control in the Islamic Republic of Iran and shows promises of liberating the land of Palestine which is the objective of all Muslims in the world. They want to spoil that by sectarian issue in Damascus and in Syria. They are lying through their mouths! They are speaking with forked tongues! Don't believe the Zionist-Imperialists media in what they have to say about this affair.

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