“Syrian Regime Loses Last Credible Ally among the Sunni Ulama,” by Thomas Pierret

Syrian regime loses last credible ally among the Sunni ulama
By Thomas Pierret (Lecturer in Contemporary Islam, University of Edinburgh)
For Syria Comment, March 22, 2013

With the assassination of Sheikh Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti (b. 1929), who was killed in Thursday’s bomb attack at the al-Iman mosque in Damascus, the Syrian regime lost its last credible ally among the Sunni religious elite. A Muslim scholar of world standing, al-Buti had conferred religious legitimacy on the Asad dynasty for more than three decades, with far more influence than discredited state creatures like Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassun.

The son of a Kurdish cleric who fled Kemalist repression and sought refuge in Damascus in the early 1930s, al-Buti earned a doctorate at al-Azhar before joining the staff of the faculty of sharia at the University of Damascus, of which he was dean from 1977 to 1983. In the meantime, he also became famous for polemical essays that were enormously popular among the religious-minded youth of the 1970s.

A staunch traditionalist, al-Buti was struggling on two fronts: on the one hand, he refuted western ideologies such as Marxism, nationalism and of course secularism; on the other hand, he relentlessly attacked the proponents of Islamic reform, from modernist Muhammad ‘Abduh to Salafi literalist Nasir al-Din al-Albani.

Al-Buti always remained a bitter enemy of non-traditionalist brands of Islam: a decade ago, he branded Islamic MP Muhammad Habash a “heretic” because he had claimed that the gates of paradise were open to Christians and Jews; a few years ago, al-Buti encouraged the regime to “cleanse” the country of Salafi zealots. His profound hostility to the central tenets of Baathist ideology did not prevent him from concluding an unlikely alliance with the Asad family.

Al-Buti made his first gestures of support for the regime during the 1979-82 insurgency: whereas most of his senior colleagues were either silent or supportive of the opposition, he vocally condemned the attacks carried out by Islamic militants. This stance was in line with his long-standing opposition to both military and political activism in the name of Islam, which had resulted in poor relations with the Muslim Brothers. Al-Buti’s quietist approach, which he fully expounded in 1993 in a book entitled Jihad in Islam, was in no way related to some secularist principles, but to the belief that Islam should be ‘the common element that unites’ all political forces rather than the preserve of one of them.

In exchange for helping the regime to defeat its Islamic opponents, al-Buti was endowed with informal leadership over Syrian Islam: although he did not occupy any prestigious position within the Ministry of Religious Endowments (awqaf) until his 2008 appointment as the preacher of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, he enjoyed a close relationship with Hafiz al-Asad, who used to grant him long personal meetings. Contrary to many pro-regime sheikhs, al-Buti did not use his political connections for personal enrichment. What he obtained in exchange for his loyalty was visibility through a weekly program on state television, as well the possibility to intercede in favour of some of his exiled colleagues who were willing to come back to the homeland. Therefore, criticisms of al-Buti’s pro-regime stance often went along with recognition that he had helped improve the situation of the religious elite after the fierce repression of the early 1980s.

Under Bashar al-Asad, al-Buti remained loyal to the regime in exchange for some concessions to the religious sector. In 2005, he branded the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri as a US-Zionist conspiracy aimed at destroying Syria and Islam. Likewise, he described the execution of Saddam Hussein in 2007 as part of a US plan aimed at dividing Sunni and Shia Muslims, whom he called to unite, thereby repelling the opposition’s denunciation of the regime’s alliance with Iran. ‘Compensation’ for these declarations included a crackdown on women rights activism, more freedom for religious activities, a faculty of sharia in Aleppo, and the establishment of a short-lived League of the Ulama.

Following his appointment as the preacher of the Umayyad Mosque in 2008, al-Buti became increasingly influential within the Ministry of Religious Endowments by being entrusted with the supervision of an ambitious reform of higher Islamic education. On the eve of the 2011 revolution, however, relations with the authorities turned sour as a result of secularist measures such as a ban on face-veil (niqab) in schools and universities, as well as because of the broadcasting of a Ramadan series he deemed offensive to Islam.

In August 2010, al-Buti suggested that attacks on religion would entail painful retribution on the part of the Almighty: in a ‘vision’ he had in a dream, he said, he had seen a ‘devastating divine wrath filling the horizon’. A few months later, the Kurdish scholar first thought that this retribution had come under the form of the winter drought which for the third year, was hitting the country’s agriculture hard.

When demonstrations started in March 2011, al-Buti declared that this was the actual fulfillment of the godly vision he had had a few months earlier. Once again, the cleric gave credence to the regime’s narrative by speaking of a ‘Zionist conspiracy’. Although during the first weeks of the uprising al-Buti obtained further concessions like the closure of Damascus’ casino, the creation of a state-run Islamic satellite channel and his appointment as the head of a newly-created Union of the Ulama of Bilad al-Sham, his support for the regime gradually became unconditional and, above all, unlimited. A few days before his assassination, that is, two years into a conflict that had witnessed mass killing and destruction at the hands of the regime’s military, al-Buti was still encouraging the faithful to wage jihad in the ranks of the ‘heroic’ Syrian Arab Army, which he once compared to the Companions of the Prophet, in order to defeat the ‘global conspiracy’ against Syria.

Al-Buti, was the only respected scholar to express such vocal support for the regime after March 2011, the other religious sycophants being obscure, third-rank clerics, like Ahmad Sadiq, who was shot dead in Damascus a year ago. Therefore, regardless of who actually committed Thursday’s bomb attack (those who accuse the regime stress the fact that the attack took place in a heavily guarded neighbourhood, the al-Iman mosque being located a few meters away from the headquarters of the Ba‘th party; they also insist on the fact that bombing a Sunni mosque is an unprecedented pattern of operation on the part of Syrian insurgents (but it has been witnessed in Iraq), the tragic demise of al-Buti means that the regime has now ceased to enjoy any meaningful source of religious legitimacy among the Sunni clergy.


From Foreign Policy

President Bashar al-Assad issued a statement of condolences to the country promising to destroy “extremism” and cleanse the country. The main opposition armed group, the Free Syrian Army, denied responsibility for the attack, stressing its forces would never have targeted a mosque. Moaz al-Khatib, the head of the main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, condemned the assassination. Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon authorized an investigation on Thursday into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Aleppo province. The government and opposition forces have traded blame over a missile attack in Khan al-Assal, which they say contained chemical weapons.

Comments (240)

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201. Uzair8 said:


Are you going to apologise to HasanSari for calling him a ‘bald lying clown’ (paraphrase) when he tweeted a couple of weeks ago the news about the Alawite meeting in Cairo (23 Mar)?

To be fair I wasn’t sure of it myself. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and be disappointed.

This is great news.

HasanSari was right. His reliability has gone up a little.

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March 23rd, 2013, 5:35 pm


202. Sami said:

“How hypocritical, ungrateful and coward is Father Dall’oglio”

This person you call a coward has done more for Syria than you will ever dream of accomplishing, and your so-called “religious tolerance” and respect for any moderate opposition to Besho is self evident in the statement above.

Just come out and say it and stop hiding behind this cheap facade, be more like you pal Revenire. You oppose anyone and anything that opposes Bashar, and if they do oppose him then they deserve to die.

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March 23rd, 2013, 5:58 pm


203. Tara said:


Do you understand that attacking father Paolo degrades one to nothing but a mere worshiper of Bashar? Why are you doing this? You are so disappointing me. There is no enough reason in the world for this.

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March 23rd, 2013, 6:10 pm


204. zoo said:


I always thought that Father dell’Oglio was a saint man, but when he makes this kind of declaration blaming the Church for condoning the regime in Syria when he is an integral part of the Church, or when he dares qualify with condescendance the Syrian Christians as cowards, I do not accept that. No respectable man of God will make such a judgement.

If he was really honest and humble, he would have blamed himself to have remained silent if he truly witnessed the oppression he is now describing. His silence makes him a double coward.

I think he turned out to be a hypocrite that does not deserve neither any respect or even to be a priest.

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March 23rd, 2013, 6:37 pm


205. zoo said:

After two years of probation, Egyptians want Morsi out and the army in

Apparently, we knew how to bring down a dictator but not how to build a democracy. Rather than focusing on drafting a constitution as a first step, we rushed into parliamentary and then presidential elections. Only later did we realise our error: we had been grooming a new dictator without setting up a system that would enable us to question him.

It is time now to correct this mistake before the economy deteriorates further and political instability turns into chaos. The removal of the Morsi regime is one step, but finding an alternative will be more difficult.

The fear of political chaos and economic failure under Mr Morsi, and the need for security and stability, are encouraging Egyptians to re-evaluate the role of the military. To many, the armed forces seem like the last bulwark to save Egypt and guide the country towards the liberal democracy we have always longed to have.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/as-turmoil-grows-in-egypt-army-rule-finds-new-support#ixzz2OPDqQqSG
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

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March 23rd, 2013, 6:48 pm


206. Tara said:


Had he said anything before the beginning of the revolution, he would be considered an agitator inciting violence. The revolution started 2 years ago, should he lie or attest to the truth that he witnessed ?

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March 23rd, 2013, 6:54 pm


207. zoo said:

After the rejection by the EU of the arms delivery to rebels, the SNC is getting another significant blow: The Free Syrian Army does not endorse Hitto.

Syrian Free Army says it wants majority consensus on premier

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Free Syrian Army said it would only recognize an opposition prime minister who is accepted by all members of the Syrian National Coalition, following the controversial appointment of Ghassan Hitto to serve as Syria’s first opposition premier.

“The Free Syrian Army requires for its cooperation [with the opposition coalition] the achievement of a political consensus on the name of the prime minister,” FSA chief of staff General Saleem Idris said in a statement aired by Al Arabiya television

Opposition leader Soheir Atassi who had frozen her membership said on Thursday she was rejoining the body.

There was no indication that the other opposition figures who had suspended their Coalition memberships were reconsidering. They included several members who walked out of the Istanbul Coalition gathering in protest at Hitto’s election.

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March 23rd, 2013, 6:56 pm


208. annie said:

Sheikh Saeed Ramadan al Bouti might have been a supporter of the Assad regime, but his murder is as tragic to the Syrians in the opposition, though many might not realise it yet. One might ask whether the death of this one man is any different to the tens of thousands of Syrians that have been murdered over the past two years, and it is a fair question to ask. The answer is both no and yes, as clear as everything else in the Middle East. No insofar as he is just the latest victim of Assad’s quixotic crusade to hold an entire country to ransom, and yes, because the death of a man of his theological and intellectual calibre will be a great blow to Islam, and not just any Islam, but Levantine Islam.


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March 23rd, 2013, 6:58 pm


209. AIG said:

Right, an article by one person means that all Egyptians want the army. You know that the Muslim Brotherhood won 50% of the Egyptian Parliament? Even if their power is down to 30%, you still have them and the Salafis that do not want the army back. Together that is probably at least 50% of Egyptians. Morsi may not be the answer, but the army isn’t one also.

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March 23rd, 2013, 6:59 pm


210. annie said:

Deal with the Devil

There is no political solution with this regime. There were no reforms coming in March 2011, and there was never going to be any hope of Assad leaving power without turning the country into rubble. A regime which is interested in a “political solution” and “dialogue” does not lock up and torture intellectuals and activists, such as Omar Aziz. Nor would it torture activists like Ghiath Mattar to death in its prisons after he gave flowers and water to soldiers during the initial peaceful protests in Syria.


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March 23rd, 2013, 7:00 pm


211. AIG said:

“After the rejection by the EU of the arms delivery to rebels, the SNC is getting another significant blow: The Free Syrian Army does not endorse Hitto.”

Again, you are wrong on both counts. France and the UK will provide weapons without EU permission. They are just going through the process to show they tried their best to make it a EU action. As for the FSA action, it is not a blow to anybody, it is just healthy dialog between different organizations in the opposition. Since you do not understand how democratic institutions work, you see any disagreement as a “blow” to somebody when in fact disagreement and compromise are the norm in healthy organizations.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:06 pm


212. AIG said:


Is it true or not that the regime killed Omar Aziz and Ghiath Mattar? What is your opinion on this?

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:07 pm


213. zoo said:


He has witnessed the ‘repression’ for 30 years in silence?
If he was courageous he should have been outspoken a long time ago. That’s exactly why I say it is shameful that he dares express criticism toward the Church and toward the Syrian Christians when he should have instead apologized humbly for his own cowardice.
I understand fear and cowardice but I have no respect for people who do not take responsibility for their own flaws, especially a priest.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:14 pm


214. zoo said:

The interim government of “Hitto and the Cowboys” was rushed by Big Bird and the Ottoman Sul.tan with three ambitions:

1) Get the EU to allow arms delivery to the rebels
2) Get the FSA on its side
3) Get Syria’s seat at the Arab League

1) The EU says NO again to UK and France on exempting the Syrian rebels form the arms embargo.
2) The FSA said NO to Hitto.
3) The AL will probably say NO for Syria’s seat as that they prefer to wait that there is a recognized ‘government’. To compensate for the humiliation, Hitto will be allowed to address the AL.

Finally Big Bird and the Ottoman Sul.tan got three humiliating slaps and one tap in the back. “Unite, unite unite and come back later”.
So let’s see now if Hitto and his Cowboys will fulfill their promise to move to the ‘70% liberated areas’ of Syria.
I can’t wait to see that. It is a historic moment, I hope it won’t be delayed to 2014.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:26 pm


215. Akbar Palace said:

acts of economic success in Israel are not attributable to Zionism they are attributed to Democracy and the rule of Law and free economy.


I appreciated your post where you mentioned this to AIG.

In fact, Zionist promotes Democracy, Rule of Law, AND a Free Economy. Zionism provides for a homeland for the Jewish People and also provides freedom for those that don’t consider themselves part of the Jewish People. Whereas the official religion in Great Britain is the Church of England, Israel has no official religion.

The point is, those who are not Christian in Great Britain are not discriminated against, and similarly, non-Jews are not discriminated against in Israel.

I agree with you that the ME could be the next “Silicon Vally”, but we aren’t there yet. We need strong-minded moderates like you to hold power in these ME countries. That’s just MHO.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:30 pm


216. AIG said:


Again you demonstrate that you have no idea how democracy works. When the “Supreme Leader” does not dictate policy there is always disagreements and a give and take. Whenever that happens in the context of the opposition, or the EU, or Turkish politics etc. you see that as an “humiliation”. But in fact, a society where these things do not happen, like your beloved Baath one, is backward and leads to the failures we see in Syria.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:46 pm


217. zoo said:


I told you, I don’t understand barking.. save your energy to support the Palestinians.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:50 pm


218. AIG said:


Let me repeat, you do not understand many things. And you are a conceited fool if you think I care one iota if you read what I write or not. You are a convenient tool that I use to show the hypocrisy, cruelty, internal contradictions and lack of democratic understanding of regime supporters and their ideas. I couldn’t have wished for a better tool, so I guess I should thank you.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:55 pm


219. Tara said:

Why did Mikati resign?  Why did Nasrallah let him go easily?  Did Iran want more involvement of HA in Syria?   

 decision to step down came after disagreements on two domestic issues — an elections supervisory commission and extending a security chief’s mandate.

The 57-year-old was involved in a contentious bid to extend the term of the Sunni head of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, General Ashraf Rifi, which was opposed by a majority of the government.

“In a few days a major security institution risks falling into the void when its director general retires. I felt that during this sensitive period that he should stay in office… but I found that the council of ministers does not share my opinion on this,” he said in announcing his resignation.

Rifi, a Sunni and opponent of Syria, was a thorn in Hezbollah’s side.

His officers were involved in the investigation that led to the indictment by the International Criminal Court of four Hezbollah members for their alleged role in the murder of former premier Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

Two pro-Syrian newspapers, Al-Akhbar and As-Safir, reported on Saturday that Mikati had sent a message to Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah, warning that he would resign if his movement did not accept Rifi staying on.

Nasrallah reportedly replied: “Do what you think is best.”

Another bone of contention was Mikati’s insistence on holding an election in June but before a move by Christian parties to change an electoral law that they feel is detrimental to their community.

The daily Al-Nahar, close to the opposition that is hostile to Damascus, expected a “protracted crisis,” while Al-Akhbar on the opposite of the political divide said Mikati’s resignation “means the end of the policy of disassociation.”

“This resignation plan can expect to have security repercussions not only on the border with Syria, but also within Lebanon. The political chaos will last a long time,” it said.

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March 23rd, 2013, 7:57 pm


220. Visitor said:

Can anyone read invisible ink?

Neither Obama nor John Kerry visited Iraq on their first Middle East tours!!

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:06 pm


221. zoo said:


Father Dell’Oglio was expelled only because he published in July 2011 a document on the Dar Musa website advising the Syrian Government on how to change Syria’s political system.
It is clearly none of the business of a christian priest, a foreign guest, to give his advices to a government on political matters when he was not asked to.
He went far beyond his religious role and he needed to go.

The declarations he made later are due to his frustration of having been kicked out after 30 years.


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March 23rd, 2013, 8:07 pm


222. AIG said:

“It is clearly none of the business of a christian priest, a foreign guest, to give his advices to a government on political matters when he was not asked to.”


Thanks again for showing us that you completely lack understanding of what democracy and freedom of speech mean. You actually support exiling someone for speaking his mind and asking for political change! You must have a small dictator in you, you are certainly a good fit for Assad.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:10 pm


223. zoo said:

I suggest you make a tour to Raqqah just to say thanks to the Islamists that you support and encourage them to attack Damascus the soonest possible.

How Islamist Rebels in Syria Are Ruling a Fallen Provincial Capital


That Islamists now run this city is unmistakable. On Thursday, a massive black flag bearing the Islamic Shahada (“There is No God but God and Mohammad is his Messenger”) was hoisted atop a flagpole in the square in front of the elegant multi-arched Governorate building, near a fallen bronze statue of Hafez Assad in tribal garb. “Tomorrow will be better” is spray-painted along the statue’s back, but not all of Raqqa’s residents think so. Even those who want an Islamic state–which appears to be a clear majority–are wary of what seems to be Jabhat’s version of it.

The Islamists have maintained order, protected property and set up a Hayaa Shariyaa (Shari’a Association) to hear court cases and establish religious classes among other duties. They are working to get civil institutions up and running. In one letter dated March 17, Jabhat al-Nusra said it “invites” former civil servants to return to work. It was signed by the group’s emir in Raqqa, “Your brother in Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Saad al-Hadrame.” The groups are also looking at how to secure salaries.

But the Jabhat has distributed other pamphlets too, including one a few days ago that called for replacing the tri-starred revolutionary flag with the Islamist black one. “Yes to choosing that the [black] banner ….. be the flag of the Syrian revolution and Syria.” It upset a fair number of people, some of whom simply want a civil state. Others feared that it would serve as an excuse for the regime to brand the city’s residents as extremists, or place Raqqa on a list the U.S. is allegedly putting together of Islamist targets in Syria for potential drone strikes.

At least a few hundred publicly protested against the raising of the black flag in the square outside the governorate, while others complained inside the privacy of their homes. “We all pray, we all say ‘There is no God but God,’ but I will not raise this flag,” an older man said. “Are they trying to breakaway from Syria? From the country of Syria? That [black] flag doesn’t represent me,” said another. “This is an insult to people who died for the revolutionary flag,” one young man said.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:18 pm


224. apple_mini said:

Yeah, the opposition, the rebels and their supporters did it again. The rebels/Islamists overran 38th division air defense base. They are all cheerleadering their new “victory”

Yet, when Israel air raided Syria, they humiliated the regime for failing to provide protection. They showed everyone that was another proof the regime is corrupted to build useless Russian air defense system.

An air defense base is part of national defense system. It is part of crucial national infrastructures.

People working at an air defense include military guards, officers and most importantly many technicians operating radar, commanding, communication and launching procedure. It takes great deal of background training and onsite training to establish a team of qualified technicians to work on the base. They are not field combatants.

Of course, those rebels will never miss a chance to attack those air defense bases. Does it give any military advantage for the rebels? Not really, unless they work for Israel. And are we expecting those uneducated and ignorant rebel fighters capable of run an air defense base in the future? Well, you know the answer.

And of course, anything hurts the regime even though it means hurting Syria as a state is enough to trigger happiness from the opposition and its supporters. Simply disgusting!

Well, one more thing, they are getting quite desperate for foreign intervention. So no matter where their “help” comes from Jihadists in Africa or in China, or foreign intelligences like CIA, MI5, Mossad, Turkey spies and Saudi dirty cops.

I hope those Zionists can skip my posts all together. After all, 1000 posts from those Zionists are not worth one minute of speech from Noam Chomsky. Jewish people will be damned if they keep expelling those wise voices within themselves.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:26 pm


225. Visitor said:

It is now clear that there is no such thing as ‘secularists’ in the Arab world. The reason is very simple, and I did explain in a previous post that such ‘secularism’ has been transplanted by few Arab elites from foreign cultures whose evolutions bear no resemblance whasoever to Arab and Muslim experiences in general. The result of such bastardized form of so-called secularism was the plunging of the region into the rule by despotic dictators who cost the region and its people dearly in terms of lack of progress, material and human losses and economic regression. After a century of unaccountable rule and crushing of every opposition movement, those who benefited from such despotic environment have grown accustomed to consider it their birth right and no one else’s to be in power. This is what is happening in Egypt right now, where so-called liberals and ‘secularists’ are resorting to acts of violence and terror after losing in the polls,


I say, put them in jail for a century or so as an eye for an eye pay back. May be they would start to learn how to be down to earth and become more democrats.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:26 pm


226. AIG said:


So let me understand, you are against people asking for political change and you complain about Islamists? How exactly are people like Tara, who are liberal and hate violence going to get change from a regime that thinks like you and does not allow any dissent? Please explain to us how this works. If Assad would have allowed free discourse and a true open dialog, Syria would not be where it is. The rise of the Islamists is the fault of Assad who quashed any secular, liberal and non-violent dissenters.

You put people like Tara in jail or exiled them. Now you complain about the Islamists. Typical vile hypocrisy.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:28 pm


227. AIG said:

“An air defense base is part of national defense system. It is part of crucial national infrastructures.”

So why doesn’t Assad defend them? Wait, I thought Assad was “winning”. What a bunch of whiners.

Since the system did not work anyway when Israel attacked, your argument is moot. The air defense system is useless and the rebels did the right thing over running the base.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:34 pm


228. zoo said:


There is not point in stalking me and barking , hoping for my attention. I systematically skip Israelis posts.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:45 pm


229. AIG said:


You are a conceited fool after all. Who cares if you read my posts or not? You are just a convenient tool to show how bankrupt regime supporters are. Even if you did read my posts, you would not understand them.

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March 23rd, 2013, 8:51 pm


230. Ghufran said:

سقط الشيخ محمد سعيد رمضان البوطي شهيدا، مع 48 من طلبة العلم الشرعي، وجرح قرابة 85 بمسجد “الإيمان”، يوم الخميس 21 مارس/آذار 2013، بدمشق المبروكة، حيث اعتاد على إلقاء دروسه، يومي الاثنين والخميس، قتل وعمره يناهز 84 عاما، بأيدي مجرمين قتلة، لا يرقبون حرمة مسجد، ولا قداسة دم، ولا مراعاة لشيخوخة، قتل مثلما قتل من قبل أسيادنا عمر وعثمان وعلي عليه الرضوان، في بيت من بيوت الله، من طرف فتانين ومفتونين، يحسنون زرع الموت، ولا يحسنون صناعة الحياة.
قد يختلف الملاحظون على تعيين المنفذين للجريمة، بين النظام السوري، أو الجيش السوري الحر، أو جبهة النصرة، أو جهات خارجية تريد زرع الفتنة، وزيادة الضبابية للمشهد السوري، أعرف أن غالبية ستقول أن النظام السوري هو الذي نفذ الاغتيال، وسيختلقون السيناريوهات، وأن المنطقة جد محروسة، وأنه لا يمكن لانتحاري أن يلج المنطقة دون أن يقبض عليه، وما إلى ذلك من الأراجيف التي قد تنطلي على السذج، لما قتل أركان النظام السوري، بمنطقة أكثر حراسة، لم تتردد المعارضة على تبنيها، فما المانع على تكرارها؟ إلا أنني على يقين، لا يساوره شك، أن الفاعلين هم المنتسبون لجماعة النصرة، القريبة من تنظيم القاعدة، ولتيار السلفية الجهادية، وقد ساهم على بلورة يقيني، معرفتي الجيدة بهم وبأفكارهم وسلوكياتهم، يقين يرقى إلى التأكيد على أن الشيخ البوطي رحمه الله ليس إلا واحدا من قائمة طويلة تضم قيادات نظامية ومن المعارضة على حد سواء، بصمة جبهة النصرة واضحة، هم الوحيدون الذين يستطيعون أن يصنعوا انتحاريا، يستطيع أن يفجر نفسه بين أبرياء، دون تردد، بل رجاء الأجر، الطريقة نفسها مستعملة في العراق من طرف تنظيم دولة العراق الإسلامية.
أقول ذلك، ليس دفاعا عن نظام ارتكب مظالم ضد شعبه، أقول ذلك إحقاقا للحق، فلو تستمر الأمور على هذا الشكل، سيحلم السوريون يوما، بأيام بشار الأسد، هؤلاء سيقتلون كل المخالفين، وإذا تورعوا اليوم، فسياسة، تذكرت الحديث النبوي الشريف الذي فحواه أن أعظم الجهاد هو قولة الحق عند سلطان جائر، ما هو الآن أعظم الجهاد؟ أن تقول لحاكم عربي أنت ظالم؟ صار هذا أسهل شيء، ولعبة صبيان، أو تقول لجماعة مبنية على الإقصائية والإجرام باسم الله تعالى، أنتم ظلمة؟ هؤلاء الحكام قد يقتلون البعض، ويسجنون أكثرهم أو ينفونهم أو يضايقوهم، أما هؤلاء المنصبون أنفسهم الناطقون الرسميون باسم السماء، فلن يدعوا لهم مخرجا سوى فصل الرقبة.
ونحن عايشنا بالجزائر السيناريو المشابه، حيث بعد احتجاجات سلمية للجبهة الإسلامية للإنقاذ، انزلق المحتجون للعمل المسلح، وقد كانت غالبية الشعب الجزائري، تبدي تعاطفا في البداية معهم وتأييدا لأهدافهم، إلا أن بروز الجماعة الإسلامية المسلحة، ودخولها إلى المعترك، كانت بمثابة بداية الفناء لتواجدهم، واضمحلال قوتهم، وانقلاب الشعب عليهم، الاختيار كان واضحا عند عموم الشعب، فهو اختيار بين الحياة والموت، بين الهناء والفتنة، بين النور والظلام، فبعد أن كان العمل المسلح موجها ضد القوات المسلحة، بدأ رويدا رويدا يحصد، قطاعات أخرى من المجتمع، باسم تكفيرهم أو وقوفهم مع النظام، كالصحفيين، والعاملين في الإدارات العامة للدولة، ووصل إلى حد استحلال دم المدرسين، والذين يخالفونهم في نمط حياتهم، في صغيرة أو كبيرة، وقتل الأئمة والعلماء والمفكرين، حتى وصل بهم الحد إلى أن يقتلوا أفراد الجماعات المسلحة الأخرى، التي اتهمت بالمهادنة والتميع، وعلى هذا المنوال تسير جبهة النصرة، ماذا تضنون أن هؤلاء يعتقدون في سهير الآتاسي أو برهان غليون أو حتى أحمد معاذ الخطيب؟
أتذكر كأنه اليوم، ذلك اليوم الذي وقف الشيخ البوطي، بكل شجاعة وأنفة وبسالة، ضد أولئك الذين استحلوا دماء الكثير من الشعب الجزائري باسم الإسلام، وحذر الشعب من السير ورائهم، بينما كان علماء آخرون معروفون يؤيدون الإرهابيين بطريقة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة، ويدعون لهم، ثم تراجعوا في ذلك، بعدما سالت وديان من الدماء، وقالوا كنا مخطئين، هل كان الشيخ البوطي عميلا أيضا للنظام الجزائري حتى يقف هكذا؟ أم أن حسه العالي في الحفاظ على دماء وأعراض المسلمين والناس أجمعين، هو المحرك الوحيد؟ لو أراد جاها، سعت دول عديدة على النيل به، وما قبل، كما أغرته بلدان غنية جدا ليكون واجهتها الدينية، وما فتن، فضل عز البقاء مرابطا في أرض الشام المباركة، على كل عز.
المعارضة السورية الآن في مفترق طرق، فإما أن تعي أن هؤلاء المجرمين، خطرا استراتيجيا لسوريا وشعبها، وتعمل على تحييدهم أو حتى على إزالتهم، أو ليهيئوا أنفسهم على المقصلة، وكتابة شهادة وفاتهم أفرادا وكيانات ومشاريع.

عبد الكريم رضا بن يخلف
كاتب صحفي

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March 23rd, 2013, 9:02 pm


231. Ghufran said:

Half of what is in this testimony is pure garbage, the type of garbage that the EU likes to hear:
قال سفير “الائتلاف الوطني” المعارض في لندن وليد سفور ، إن “جبهة النصرة”  ليست جماعة إسلامية سورية، بل هي تنظيم “أعضاؤه أجانب” سيرحلون بعد سقوط النظام.
وقال سفور خلال ندوة في مجلس العموم البريطاني، يوم الخميس، بحضور نواب ودبلوماسيين وأمنيين بريطانيين وأجانب ان “المعارضين يسيطرون الآن على ما لا يقل عن 60 % من أراضي سوريا وعيّنوا للتو رئيساً لحكومتهم هو غسان هيتو، ما يعني أن الطريق باتت سالكة لتقديم الدعم الضروري للثوار من دول العالم”.
وأضاف سفور إن “المعارضة وافقت على خطة كوفي عنان لحل الأزمة قبل إعلان فشله وتنحيه، ثم تابعت باهتمام الأفكار التي طرحها خليفته الأخضر الإبراهيمي والتي لم تثمر حلاًّ بدورها، و نحن الآن من المستبعد جداً أن نقبل بحوار مع الأسد”.
ونفى المعارض سفور أن “تكون الأقليات في سوريا تؤيد النظام”، موضحاً  إن “الذي يحصل هو أن النظام يحاول إخافتهم من الأكثرية السنيّة”، على حد تعبيره.
ورداً على سؤال عن اعتبار الولايات المتحدة “جبهة النصرة” منظمة إرهابية مرتبطة بـ “القاعدة”، قال سفور إنه ” إذا قبلنا التصنيف الأميركي أنهم إرهابيون فهذا يعني أننا ننقل الصراع إلى داخل صفوف الثوار السوريين”، مضيفا ان “جبهة النصرة ليست سورية،  أعضاؤها ليسوا سوريين، كما أن أعدادهم مضخمة جداً، فهم لا يمثلون سوى ما بين 5 و10 في المئة من مجموع المقاتلين، و سيغادرون سوريا بعد انتهاء الأزمة وسقوط النظام”.
وعن الاتهامات التي يرددها المعارضون في شأن دعم إيران و “حزب الله” للنظام السوري  قال سفور إن “دعم حزب الله يظهر جلياً في مناطق القصير وحمص لأن عناصره يقاتلون إلى جانب النظام”، مشيراً إلى أن “هجوماً كبيراً تشنه عناصر حزب الله حالياً غرب مدينة حمص”.

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March 23rd, 2013, 9:10 pm


232. Uzair8 said:

New Post up.

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March 23rd, 2013, 9:22 pm


233. majedkhaldoun said:

Mini apple
The importance of taking over the air defence base is that it is close to the city of Deraa,and control the road to Damascus,it will help bolster arm supplies to the rebels in Darayya, Horan and Ghouta provide more than half the food supply to the people in Damascus.
Isolating Assad thugs in Damascus will weaken them.
I doubt Assad will launch missles at areas around Deraa,unless he is very carefull not to fall in Israel

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March 23rd, 2013, 9:22 pm


234. revenire said:

Tara how many times am I going to have to hear you’re disappointed with Zoo? It seems like you say this nearly as many times as you say you want Assad dead.

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March 23rd, 2013, 9:55 pm


235. sheikh premji azeem said:

الشيطان هو الليل، وأفضل طريقة هزيمة الوحدة الشيطانية هو محاربتهم في ليلة، وتذكر كيف تحب عمر صلي الله عليه وسلم قاتلوا مع
الاخوة الشيطان، آل بشار، الرئيس هو الشيطان

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March 23rd, 2013, 10:02 pm


236. Murder of a Cleric: Order, Chaos, and Justice in a Violent World | What Would Muhammad Do? said:

[…] up to Marxists and nationalists on one hand, and to Salafi Muslims on the other.     There is a good biography of Shaykh al-Bouti, including coverage of his […]

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March 24th, 2013, 12:34 am


237. Qui a tué Al Bouti, qui est responsable et pourquoi est-il mort ? | Un oeil sur la Syrie said:

[…] une figure incontournable de la scène religieuse syrienne, grâce à un habile mélange de rigidité doctrinale et de servilité politique, il avait perdu en […]

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March 26th, 2013, 6:41 pm


238. Syria Media Roundup (March 28) | YALLA SOURIYA said:

[…] Syrian Regime Loses Last Credible Ally Among the Sunni Ulema Thomas Pierret provides an overview of al Bouti’s political and religious stances. […]

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March 29th, 2013, 10:01 am


239. Siria, Chi ha ucciso lo shaykh al Buti? - SiriaLibano said:

[…] une figure incontournable de la scène religieuse syrienne, grâce à un habile mélange de rigidité doctrinale et de servilité politique, il avait perdu en […]

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March 30th, 2013, 3:19 pm


240. Speaking of the Dead - 1st Ethical Charitable Trust | 1st Ethical Charitable Trust said:

[…] reflections have played largely on my mind since the killing of Sheikh al-Bouti in Syria last month. While the Syrian regime – for which he had long been in vocal support – […]

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April 10th, 2013, 7:59 am


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