Posted by Joshua on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
Correction: Buti was NOT expelled from a mosque
Scooby said: Dear Josh,
Your title “Buti expelled from mosque” is extremely misleading. The clips that you show are from MONTHS ago, when the protests started to spread to Damascus. They occurred AFTER the Friday prayers were finished and when some people rushed the pulpit shouting anti-government slogans. All of the clips that follow took place in the week following that sermon, back in March.
Dear Joshua, The video with al-Buti is an old one, it dates back to the second Friday of demonstrations (March 25). Al-Buti was not expelled from the mosque, he just fled because he didn’t want to appear as a supporter of the demonstrators (which he’s not, of course). His comments on the demonstrators “who do not know how to pray” was broadcasted on TV before the Friday sermon on March 25 (either Thursday 24 or Friday morning). He was commenting on the first demonstration in the Umayyad Mosque on Friday March 18. Best, Thomas
Thomas Pierret writes:
Dear Joshua, The video with al-Buti is an old one, it dates back to the second Friday of demonstrations (March 25). Al-Buti was not expelled from the mosque, he just fled because he didn’t want to appear as a supporter of the demonstrators (which he’s not, of course).
His comments on the demonstrators “who do not know how to pray” was broadcasted on TV before the Friday sermon on March 25 (either Thursday 24 or Friday morning). He was commenting on the first demonstration in the Umayyad Mosque on Friday March 18. Best, Thomas
Dear Scooby and Thomas, many thanks for this correction. I was duped by this well crafted video forgery below. There are many misleading and falsified videos going around. I have frequently criticized the main stream press for not doing due diligence. Now I have been burned. Mea culpa. I have frequently used Buti as a measure of the “Sunni street.” He is a much respected Imam. I know he has many critics today because of his pro-stability stand, but for him to be expelled from a mosque would be big news and a turning point, of a kind. Thanks for correcting me. I count on the collective knowledge of this discussion board. Merci]
al-Buti – Syria’s senior Sunni cleric – was ejected from his mosque for speaking out against the uprising. He said: “Most of the people who come to Friday prayers and then go out to demonstrate, do not know how to pray.”
Syria forces kill eight in Kanaker raid – rights groups – BBCSyrian security forces have killed at least eight people in a raid on the town of Kanaker near the capital, Damascus, rights groups say…. The head of the opposition National Organisation for Human Rights (NOHR), Ammar Qurabi, said the dawn operation had also resulted in some 250 arrests.
International journalists have been denied access to Syria, so the BBC is unable to verify reports. Government forces are said to be intensifying their campaign ahead of Ramadan, when the opposition says it will launch daily demonstrations against the government. The BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones in neighbouring Lebanon says events such as those in Kanaker are no longer unusual…
This is video of a few tanks and soldiers entering the town of Kanaker according to activists. On the tape they call the soldiers dogs and state, “They are liberating the Golan.”
Analysis: Syria faces slide into sectarian mayhem
By Samia Nakhoul | Reuter
LONDON (Reuters) – The popular upheaval in Syria is growing bolder and the cracks in the establishment are getting deeper — yet there is a long and bloody road ahead if protesters are to unseat President Bashar al-Assad and end his family’s 40 years in power.
The price of stalemate is rising daily: sectarian mayhem, a growing protest movement and a faltering economy, with no sign that Bashar and his minority Alawite clan are considering an exit strategy after four decades in power.
Yet so far, there is no sign of a tipping point that would assure success for protesters, as in Tunisia and Egypt, where millions took to the streets to topple autocratic leaders.
“The situation has not reached a critical mass,” said Patrick Seale, biographer of Bashar’s father, Hafez al-Assad.
“Damascus hasn’t risen, the security services haven’t split yet, the economy hasn’t collapsed. The regime looks weak and the opposition looks weaker,” he said…..
Syria in the throes of religious war,
By Hassan Hanizadeh 26 July 2011
The barbaric massacre of three Syrian families from the Alawi tribe in the city of Homs, 165 kilometers to the north of Damascus, shows that the demonstrations against the Assad government has been derailed from its legal and legitimate course.
These three Alawi families, who had no political affiliation whatsoever to the Syrian government, were killed in the most callous manner by the Salafis of the city of Homs.
Following the incident, some of the Alawis outraged by the murder attacked the Sunni mosques of the city, causing clashes with the Salafis.
The slaying of the three families also triggered a wave of resentment and enmity among the Shiites and Alawis against the inhumane acts of the Syrian Salafis so much so that it is feared that a religious civil war might engulf Syria.
Syria’s Alawis, which constitute 15 percent of the country’s 25-million population, never had any role in the country’s power structure prior to the 1970 coup de tat, staged by Hafez Assad.
This community, subsumed under the Shiite faith, has always been subjected to the Salafis’ harassment and abuse. A great number of them fearing Salafis’ night raids were forced to migrate to the heights of Jabal Horan in Southern Syria during the Ottoman rule.
The coup mounted by Hafez Assad, Syria’s former Prime Minister, introduced the Alawis into the power structure; they, however, never sought revenge against the Salafis.
Syria’s cabinet endorses general election bill – China News
DAMASCUS, July 26 (Xinhua) — The Syrian cabinet endorsed late Tuesday the general elections bill as part of the government’s reform program to tamp down more than four months of unrest that swept the country since mid-March.
The endorsement came during a session chaired by Syrian Prime Minister Adel Safar.
The bill aims to regulate the election of parliament and local council members and to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. It also stipulates the formation of the Supreme Commission for Elections to manage the election process.
The move, announced by the official SANA news agency, came two days after the government endorsed a multi-party bill that would allow a political pluralism in the country under the rule of the Baath party for 40 years.
The bill still needs endorsing by the parliament which is scheduled to convene on Aug. 7, before being enacted as a law in a presidential decree, the report said.
The Supreme Commission for Elections is made up of five judges and enjoys full independence. Judicial sub-committees will be formed in each province, which will be affiliated to the Higher Committee and work under its supervision….
Minister of Local Administration Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji said the law included 71 articles and the most important amendment stipulates for transferring the supervision of elections from the administrative authority to the juridical authority.He indicated that the elections in Syria were always monitored by the Interior Ministry while the Ministry of Local Administration was responsible for supervising the local council elections.
The Minister added that the draft law provides for forming the Higher Committee for Elections, in addition to forming juridical sub-committees in the provinces and each sub-committee includes three judges to supervise the eprocess at the electoral centers.
Minister Ghalawanji said the draft law stipulates for establishing electoral centers in the provinces and cities whose population exceed 100,000, in addition to allowing those who got the Syrian citizenship by the Legislative Decree No. 49 to vote and run for the local council membership.
The draft law allows all the will-be-formed parties according to the new political parties law to present their candidates individually or in collective lists, the Minister added.
He said the elections will be conducted publicly, honestly and neutrally in secret rooms and there will be electoral committees to monitor the elections and candidacy committees to receive and examine the candidates’ applications.
Minister of Justice Judge Tayseer Qala Awwad said the law included new articles on prosecuting manipulation of the electoral process.
The new law requires taht the ministries of Justice, Interior and Local Administration to work on automating the elections.
Minister Qala Awwad added that the new law follows the open-list electoral system,
Israeli President: Syrian leader Assad Must Step Down, July 26, 2011
JERUSALEM – Syrian leader Bashar Assad must step down, Israel’s president declared Tuesday, sending his message to Israel’s neighbor at an unprecedented news conference with Arab media.
Israel’s government has largely kept quiet as anti-government protests swept the Arab world in recent months. While some Israeli officials have predicted the Assad regime will fall, President Shimon Peres’ comments marked the first time an Israeli leader has openly called for the end of the Syrian regime.
Meaningful Political Dialogue Can Only Take Place with an Accounting of the Deaths and Disappearances
Raja AbdulKarim, 25 July 2011
For Syria Comment
Unless the Government Carries Serious Inquiries into the Hundreds of Deaths, Arrest and Cases of Torture, no Meaningful Political Dialogue Can Take Place in Syria
The Syrian Government cannot expect to see its political reform steps taken seriously – supposing it genuinely wishes to reform – when it fails to carry any serious and independent inquiry into the hundreds of deaths, arrests and cases of torture reported by political activists in the last four and a half months.
One of these recent cases is that of Shadi Abou Fakhr, a young cinema producer, who “disappeared” last week while walking in the central area of Shaalan in Damascus and whose case is widely reported and circulation on Facebook and other social media websites.
The author of these lines knows well Shadi. He is probably one of the most brilliant Syrians of his generation. In a recent discussion with him, this young man in his early thirties talked extensively of how he and many men and women of his generations saw the future of their country. Shadi talked of citizenship, of a secular state, of the rule of law. He also talked of his hope that when Syria would get over its revolution it would set an example for neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq that remain plagued by sectarianism.
Of course this sounds very idealistic; but can revolutions be carried without such idealism?
Shadi is no Salafist – he is a Druze; he is not pursing the agenda of any foreign country – he never lived abroad and speaks no foreign language; and he is a pacifist.
In spite of all this he has been arrested, as thousands of his countrymen, in a country whose Government prides itself in the security it supposedly provides to its population; a Government that obviously does not consider in any way that it is its responsibility to carry an independent and serious inquiry in all these cases.
For weeks the Syrian Government and many of his supporters have been putting blame on the opposition for refusing a dialogue; “those who put conditions for dialogue refuse dialogue,” the Government says.
Of course no one must be fooled. Even if some segments of the Syrian opposition refuses dialogue, large segments of it do want it but at a certain number of conditions: the withdrawal of the security services from the street and the end of the shootings on demonstrators; the liberation of the thousands of political prisoners; and the enabling of peaceful demonstrations to take place.
As a matter of principle, putting conditions for dialogue is not in itself a refusal of a dialogue per se, and the Syrian Government knows that better than anyone else. Doesn’t it put a condition of its own for negotiating with the Israeli Government, i.e. the recognition of Syria’s sovereignty on the whole of the Golan Heights? The vast majority of the Syrian population does, actually, support its Government in that stand.
It is necessary to understand at this stage that as long as no serious efforts are made to force the Syrian authorities to carry independent and serious inquiries into all the deaths and arrests that have occurred in the last few months, the Government’s reform claims cannot be taken for serious and no meaningful political dialogue can take place.
Syrians on all sides of the political spectrum need to know what happened to the 1,500 people that the opposition claims have died since the beginning of the unrest; they need to know where are and what happened to the 15,000 or so, including Shadi Abou Fakhr, that have disappeared; why no independent media is allowed into the country; and, in case we get no answer for that, why doesn’t Syrian state TV provide live broadcast of the hundreds of demonstrations that take place every week across the country in the same way that it covers the pro-Government demonstrations.
Many continue to believe the Government’s story of armed gangs and Salafists disrupting the efforts for political reforms and killing civilians across the country. These people, as much as the opposition, have an interest in the Government carrying, with the help of the families of the victims, a transparent and serious inquiry on the arrest, disappearances and deaths of every single one of the country’s sons and daughters.
TEHRAN—Iran’s Islamist government may be public enemy No. 1 at the White House. But in the halls of the International Monetary Fund a few blocks away, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is being hailed as an economic reformer. In the face of mounting international sanctions, his government has embraced over the past seven months what the IMF calls one of the boldest economic makeovers ever attempted in the oil-rich Middle East.
Tehran has cut price subsidies on most energy and food products since December in a bid to shave about $60 billion or more off the government’s expenses annually. The move has …
Please be more scrupulous in what you are presenting and how it is being read.