The Muslim Brotherhood Issues a New Covenant that Gives Hope

The Muslim Brotherhood has issued new Covenant. It is being praised widely on the Gulf TV stations by Christians such as Michel Kilo and others. They say that the Muslim Brotherhood has now embraced the notion that political authority emanates from the people and not from God. Human law should be the arbiter of human affairs and not divine law. Sharia is finished for the Muslim Brothers, who state that they embrace equality of all citizens without distinction between religions or gender. Although they neglect to state it outright, they leave open the possibility that a Christian, Alawi, or Druze could have the constitutional right to be president of Syria.

A dirty “Google translation” of the most important paragraphs of the new charter give this:

This iCovenant and Charter has a national vision, and common denominators, adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, and provides the basis for a new social contract, establishes the relationship between national contemporary and safe, among the components of the Syrian society, with all its religious, sectarian, ethnic, and intellectual trends and political rights. Adhere to the Muslim Brotherhood to work to be Syria’s future:

1 – A modern civil state, based on a civil constitution, emanating from the will of the people of the Syrian people, based on national consensus, established by a constituent assembly which must be freely and fairly elected, and protect the fundamental rights of individuals and groups from any abuse or excesses, and to ensure equitable representation of all components of society.

2 – State of deliberative democracy, pluralism, according to the highest conclusion reached by the modern human thought, with a republican parliamentary system of government, which the people choose their representatives and governed, through the ballot box, in the elections free, fair and transparent.

3 – State of citizenship and equality, where all citizens are equal, with different ethnic backgrounds and religions, sects and attitudes, based on the principle which shall be the basis of citizenship rights and duties, any citizen access to the highest positions, based on the bases of the election or efficiency. As even where men and women, human dignity and to be eligible, and enjoy the full women’s rights. …

7. A state that respects the institutions, based on the separation of powers, legislative, judicial and executive branches, the officials in the service of the people. ….

9. State of justice and the rule of law, no place for hatred, where there is no room for revenge or retaliation .. Even those who contaminated their hands with the blood of the people, of any class they are, it is entitled to fair trials before impartial judiciary free and independent. …

There are only a few phrases that raise some concern. One is the statement, that the new state will be “committed to human rights – as endorsed by heavenly religions and international conventions – of dignity, equality, and freedom of thought and expression…. equal opportunities, social justice, and to provide basic needs to live decently. …”

Here the covenant defines human rights to be “as endorsed by ‘heavenly religions”  — كما أقرتها الشرائع السماوية والمواثيق الدولية – – The definition of human rights provided by the “heavenly religions” is a bit problematic. The “heavenly” religions are the Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Their divine books were revealed from the heavens by God. The other religions of the world are defined by Islam to be “non-heavenly.” See my article:

“Islamic Education in Syria: Undoing Secularism,” by Joshua Landis in Eleanor Doumato and Gregory Starrett, Eds., Teaching Islam: Textbooks and Religion in the Middle East, London & Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007, pp. 177–196.

Here is a quote from the section of my article that deals with the “non-heavenly” religions of the world as they are defined in Syria’s school texts that are used to instruct all Syrian Muslims in the principles of religion.

Atheists and Pagans

At the very bottom of the hierarchy beneath the revealed religions of the “people of the book,” are the belief systems of the rest of humanity, who are categorized as “Atheists and Pagans.” Only one paragraph is devoted to them in the twelve years of Syrian schooling and it is tucked away in the ninth grade religion text under the subtitle, “Islam Fights Paganism and Atheism.” It explains that “pagans are those who worship something other than God, and atheists are those who deny the existence of God.” Islam must fight these two belief systems because they “are an assault to both instinct and truth.” We are told that these belief systems “contradict the principle of freedom of belief.” This is because “Islam gives freedom of belief only within the limits of the divine path,” which “means a religion descended from heaven.” Because pagan religions were not revealed by God, they are considered an “inferior” form of belief that reflects an “animal consciousness.” How should Muslims deal with these peoples who comprise half of humanity? Students are instructed that “Islam accepts only two choices for Pagans: that they convert to Islam or be killed (9:128).” The Islam of Syrian texts does not have a happy formula for dealing with non-believers. Perhaps in recognition of this failing, the ministry of education has buried a mere six sentences on the subject into the middle of its ninth grade text.

But the new Muslim Brotherhood covenant does not define human rights only by reference to the revealed religions, it also references “international conventions.” If the MB is serious about accepting humans to be the source of national government and laws and not God or Sharia law, this is very important. The Syrian opposition is struggling to come up with a “national” agenda that all Syrians can sign on to. The weakness of Syria’s sense of national political community has been its greatest shortcoming. Maybe Syria is becoming a nation?

Only a few months ago on December 4, 2011 Zuhayr Salim, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood denounced Syria’s borders and argued that no such state should as it is a “colonial” creation that defies the reality of the Islamic Umma. Here is the interview

“To hell with Syrian [identity]! We do not recognize Syria”
Interview: Zuhayr Salim, Speaker of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria:

KURDWATCH, December 4, 2011—Zuhayr Salim (b. 1947) ….

Zuhayr Salim: We are seeking a state under the rule of law. Every person who lives in Syria or was born there must enjoy the same rights, regardless of whether he is an Arab, Kurd, Muslim, Christian, Sunni or Alawi. This stance will not change. Everyone must be convinced that he is equal. So, for example, an Alawi cannot think that he has more rights than a Sunni. And an Arab cannot think that he has more rights than a Kurd. And vice versa. That is a patriotic approach. ……

Zuhayr Salim: To be Arab is not an expression of citizenship, but rather an expression of identity.

KurdWatch: Why don’t we forgo the label »Arab« and speak only of Syrian identity?

Zuhayr Salim: No, no. To hell with Syrian [identity]! We do not recognize Syria. Who created Syria? Sykes-Picot. Is that true or not?

KurdWatch: Yes, that’s true.

Zuhayr Salim: You and I do not recognize Sykes-Picot. You [Kurds] feel that you have been treated unjustly by Sykes-Picot. We also feel that we have been treated unjustly by Sykes-Picot. Syria is a temporary phenomenon, a state that exists only temporarily. Our goal is the creation of a state for the entire umma. A Kurd will be ruler in this state, for he will be supported by a people that numbers anywhere from thirty-five to forty million.

KurdWatch: Are you talking now about an independent Kurdish state?

Zuhayr Salim: No, about an Islamic state for everyone. Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Circassians, and all others will live there……

The Muslim Brotherhood’s new covenant is an important document that should help make past statements by the Brotherhood about the Umma, Sharia Law, and God’s rule on earth outmoded.

Comments (64)

mjabali said:

The only solution for Syria out of this mess and into the modern times is through a constitution that equals all Syrians and leaves religion at home. Modern law should rule Syria and Syrians.

March 26th, 2012, 1:01 pm


ann said:

Can you trust the blood thirsty terrorist killers just because they issued a piece of paper saying they are not who they really are?!!!

Remember, actions speaks louder than words 8)

March 26th, 2012, 1:03 pm


ann said:

The chief of Al-qaeda “ayman al zawahere” is a card carrying member of the islamist brotherhood.

Al-qaeda attacked us on 9/11

March 26th, 2012, 1:08 pm


ann said:

When are they going to drop the word “muslim” from the name of their so called party?!

How can they be all inclusive with a name like “muslim brother hood”?!

March 26th, 2012, 1:12 pm


ann said:

ANGELS creating jobs for the hard working Syrian people

More than 85,000 workers laid off during Syria’s yearlong crisis: report – 2012-03-26

DAMASCUS, March 26 (Xinhua) — More than 85,000 workers lost their jobs in Syria’s turbulent year of 2011, private newspaper al- Watan daily reported on Monday, citing statistics from the General Organization for Social Insurance.

Data show that a total of 85,552 workers have been laid off allover Syria since March, 2011 when the anti-government movement started. However, the research did not cover the central provinces of Homs, Hama and northern Idlib province due to the security situation there, al-Watan said.


March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm


SC Moderation said:

Apologies for technical issues that are preventing new comments from listing here. Joshua Landis has called the server folks.

While we wait, some images and video links.

Thanks to a commentator for the black and white collection (click images for full size).

bag shop



maabatli road 18 2011-02-25

Kharaeb Al-Jabal 2010-12-03 c03

wadi nasara 2010-11-26_13-48-02 canon
dead cities

najem castle road 21-01-2011 11-40-55

A private swimming pool and a dining room in the river In Beit Jabri restaurantPraying by the CitadelOld Hama streetDoor of an old damascus houseStones cut out of mountain 900 years ago to build Salladin’s CastleThe Blue Beach in Lattakia

If you are quick and the server is slow, send me a favourite picture link at

By request Video : Windows of the Soul – The Story of Syria

March 26th, 2012, 9:33 pm


Norman said:

We need deeds not words from the MB, they can start by calling for the cancellation of article 3 and expressing their intention not to have a political party but an association that support conservative candidates of various parties, that is the only way to show that they do not want Islam to be the driving force for the new Syria secular Syria with religious candidate is a yes .

By the way the pictures are great and the one in old Hama, seems to be next to my grandfather house in SOUK AL Shajra,

March 27th, 2012, 7:53 am


Joshua said:

comment by landis

March 27th, 2012, 7:54 am


Norman said:

Syria said , yes to K Annan plan,

March 27th, 2012, 7:55 am


Joshua said:

Comments are working again. Problem solved.

March 27th, 2012, 7:59 am


abbas said:

LOL the pro and anti Bashar broke the site, I hope they don’t break the Internet

March 27th, 2012, 8:03 am


Afram said:

how come M.Brothers LOGO consist of two large swords&book of Quraan,why NOT The Dove with the Olive Branch as a Symbol of Peace?

covenant of the Muslim Brotherhood> Lying (Taqiyya and Kitman)

Are Muslim Brotherhood permitted to lie?

Summary Answer:
YES AND YES…Lying is permitted when the end justifies the means

typical of them to practice(Taqiyya and Kitman)to advance their cause&agenda
in some cases by gaining the trust of naive&simple minded people in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.

MB are “smooth operators & pop corn eaters”

MB spiritual leader al-Qaradawi

*The French government will deny entry to an influential Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood preacher if he accepts an invitation from an Islamic organisation to visit France next month, a close aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy

**Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a radical Muslim Brotherhood ideologue& Demagogue… In February 2008, Qaradawi was denied a visa to enter Britain for medical treatment…I WOnder why?!

2. ann said:

“Remember, actions speaks louder than words”
C’mon ann, give Riad Shafaka The benefit of the doubt,he is testing plan to Hold MB Convention in sin city/Vegas,and hug a feminist queer..allah knows best,NOT!

March 27th, 2012, 8:11 am


majedkhaldoun said:

You said all syrian are equal, this is very good
to say leave religion at home ,this is very vague and needs explanation

March 27th, 2012, 8:11 am


zoo said:

I agree fully with this analysis

Why Syria’s Splintered Opposition Is Assad’s Real Ace In The Hole
Analysis: Bashar al-Assad has benefited from Russian and Chinese support to stay in power. But from neighboring Turkey, where many top Syrian exiles are based, one observer says the splintering of the opposition may be the real force to ensure Assad’s survival.

By Fehim Tastekin

ISTANBUL – Hafez al-Assad massacred the city of Hama in 1982. Yet this atrocity did not make Assad a ‘butcher’ in the eyes of many Syrians. In fact, after the massacre, hundreds of thousands poured into the streets of Damascus to cheer the Syrian leader for his tough response to what was perceived as an Islamist challenge to public order.

Bashar al-Assad is now on the same path as his father, but with one important exception: while Bashar has no qualms about stepping into his father’s combat boots, he is still attempting to walk a reformist line.

With the defeat of rebel forces in Homs last week, crowds came out to celebrate Bashar’s victory and show support for the regime. And though these demonstrations may look like a throwback to his father’s era, the iron fist no longer guarantees regime survival.

Still, Bashar has two important dynamics working in his favor: first, even if the opposition refuses to admit it, reforms have shored up the basic pillars of his regime. Second, infighting amongst opposition leaders has cast doubts on their ability to present a unified front against Assad.

Syrian opposition leaders established the Syrian National Council last January in Istanbul. The SNC’s ostensible goal was to implement a strategy similar to the one that eventually toppled Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. But now the SNC is in crisis, faced with internal divisions and inching ever closer to irrelevance. On February 26th, a group of 20 members broke-off from the SNC, citing dissatisfaction with the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. This group has since formed its own opposition movement, the Syrian Patriotic Group. Then on March 13th, three key players – Kamal al-Labwani, Haitham al-Maleh, and Catherine al-Talli – announced their opposition to the SNC, criticizing it for not doing enough to support the Free Syrian Army. Al-Labwani came out with scathing criticisms of the SNC, saying that, “Some are in it for personal gain and the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to monopolize aid and weapons to gain popular influence on the ground. We don’t want to replace the current dictator with a new one.”

By March 17th, five different groups had broken from the SNC and organized under a new umbrella, advocating for a humanitarian corridor for refugees and weapons for the Free Syrian Army. Kurdish parties are similarly wary of the SNC, viewing it as a stooge of the Turkish government. Another important organization, the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, views the SNC as little more than a body of armchair oppositionists.

Falling in a trap

March 27th, 2012, 8:26 am


zoo said:

KADRİ GÜRSEL > Jump into Syria to commit suicide–.aspx?pageID=449&nID=16931&NewsCatID=413

Turkey should categorically avoid sending its army into Syria whatever the goal or justification there may be unless there is a direct and open military attack from the country.

There is no existing reason that obliges Turkey to stage a military intervention against its southern neighbor or for it to join such an intervention; however, it is possible to list at least 10 realistic reasons to keep Turkey out of Syria.

One: At this stage, it is not possible for Ankara or any other capital in the world to construct a strategy for exiting Syria let alone entering it. At this moment in the world, there is no capital that has a realistic and reasonable plan regarding Syria. The only word that sums up the situation is “uncertainty.” The reason for this is that in Syria, a consistent opposition that the world can rely on, in other words an alternative, has not yet emerged.

Two: Without an exit strategy, deploying troops to Syria to form a buffer zone just to protect the Sunnis from the massacres of the regime will only result in the de facto segmentation of the country on the axis of religion, sect and ethnicity, in other words, its “Lebanonization.” Moreover, it is a puzzle on its own on where the boundaries of the buffer zone would be drawn.

Three: The arms and equipment in the Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory do not have the required quantity and features to enable the staging of this kind of asymmetric intervention with minimum civilian casualties. An immediate supply of these kinds of arms and equipment from Western allies in an environment of intervention will create some moral problems open to abuse.

Four: Turkey is dependent on Russia and Iran, Syria’s strategic allies, for energy. Nobody can guarantee that the flow of natural gas will not be used as a weapon against Turkey in the event of an intervention against Syria.

Five: The Kurdish issue is Turkey’s “Achilles’ heel;” it’s its open wound. There are reports coming, which are unconfirmed but surely true, that the Baath regime has started covertly supporting the PKK as a result of Turkey’s support for the opposition in Syria. If there is an intervention in question, it would be attributed to its very nature that not only Baathist elements but also Iran will poke Turkey’s open wound.

Six: Sending troops into Syria also carries the strong risk for Ankara that the Kurdish issue will become internationalized.


March 27th, 2012, 8:37 am


zoo said:

A smart Syrian move ahead of the FOS: Will the opposition take the risk of rejecting a plan supported by the big powers?

Syria accepts Annan peace plan: spokesman

The government in Damascus has agreed to accept UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan on ending the bloodshed in Syria, the former UN chief’s spokesman said today.

“The Syrian government has written to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council,” spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statemen

March 27th, 2012, 8:42 am


mjabali said:


Leaving religion at home = Separation between religion and state.

March 27th, 2012, 8:46 am


zoo said:

Will the FOS eat the turkish carrot or else?

Turkey pushes Syria dissidents for unity

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Ankara holds out the carrot of exclusive recognition for Syria’s opposition in pushing dissidents to unite ahead of a key meeting today

March 27th, 2012, 8:47 am


zoo said:

Dear Moderator

Sorry, but the EDIT function does not work

March 27th, 2012, 8:49 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Do we really know Annan plan,before we say we agree or not?The oppoaition must welcome Anan effort,but the devil in the detail.

Turkey is accelerating efforts to prepare for a decisive move, Turkey is worried about the influx of Syrian refugee to Turkey.
Away from rhetoric,Turkeys intention and plan is not known yet,with indications are pointing to different directions.

March 27th, 2012, 8:54 am


zoo said:

U-turn for the SNC?

A Paris-based member of the opposition Syrian National Council said it welcomes the Syrian government’s decision.

“We hope that we can move toward a peace process,” Bassma Kodmani said by telephone.

Annan is proposing a six-point plan that includes a cease-fire by the Syrian government, a daily two-hour halt to fighting to evacuate the injured, and Syrian-led political talks to address the concerns of the Syrian people.


March 27th, 2012, 9:06 am


majedkhaldoun said:

More explanations are needed,
Do we ban religion teachings in school?.
do we control religion leaders, and tell them what to say?
Do we ban political parties BASED ON RELIGION?
is attacking one religion and denouncing it is permissable?
do we ban newspaper that support one religion or other.?
Do we ban stating religion name in the ID cards?
So many questions need to be answered.

Saying that, I believe respecting freedom is the most important,No one is banning christians from forming a Christian party, In Europe many parties are named Christian parties.
In schools teaching of science math and Social studies should be allowed, why do we allow teaching philosophy and history and not allow teaching ethics, and religions are Ethics .

In the USA the worst thing was done is disallowing religion teaching in schools, this caused a much increase in drugs use and immoral behviors.
I stated my suggestions before I hope everyone ponder them.

March 27th, 2012, 9:13 am


Afram said:

Head and Shoulders…the turks put the poo in shampoo

A TURKISH shampoo commercial featuring > Adolf Hitler < has drawn outrage from Jewish groups worldwide and calls for it to be withdrawn immediately

March 27th, 2012, 9:22 am


Tara said:

SNC acceptance of Annan’s plan is a smart strategic move. Bashar can’t possibly end the violence. The stake would be too high as once the international observers arrive, hundreds of thousands of people will take to the street demanding his excecution. He is stuck this time… He can’t manipulate the situation any further.

March 27th, 2012, 9:45 am


Afram said:


“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. ”

A case in point Afghani Taliban narco-terrorists who sell tons of heroin and cocaine is ethically *halal & no punishment required!!!

but to drink beer or wine is *haram/In Islam the punishment for alcoholic drinking is whipping or lashing in 80 times?!.

March 27th, 2012, 9:53 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Would the international observers be like general Dabi?Where did they get Dabi from? was he a pick by Nabil Al Arabi?

Syria under pressure from Russia has to accept Kofi Annan plan, Bashar is in difficult position, He gave hard time to AL plan almost a month, before he accepted it, here he has to accept in one week, He must be scared as he sees Russian support is dwindling.May be Ann would intercede for him,

The tide is receding toward the syrian people, now, Assad is loosing even the yemeni option, Economy is worsening,he is printing fake currency, the assad troops moral is deterioraing,as he prevent young men from leaving, and the international support is drying up,Farooq Al Shar3 is running out of advise, and Muallem is shutting up,very gloomy situation for Assad,

God bless FSA
Long live Ryad Al Asaad
Down with Bashar.

March 27th, 2012, 10:32 am


Juergen said:

I apologize for posting an longer article which i translated, but there is no other article in this topic in English yet.

I oppose such extrajudical killings, there is no justification for that whatsoever.

The executioner of Bab Amr

By Ulrike Putz in Beirut

In the Syrian protest stronghold Homs the rebels make their own law. There is a state court – and a brigade of executioners. One of them is Hussein, he cuts through the throat of captured soldiers of the regime.Story of a rebellion that has lost its innocence.

On his first time, Hussein can hardly remember. At the cemetery, it was probably, in the evening or at night, he can not remember exactly. Anyway, it was mid-October last year, and the man was a Shiite, for sure. He had confessed to killing women.Decent women, women whose husbands and sons protested against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. So the soldier of the regular Syrian army had to die.

Whether the confession had been coerced through beatings, Hussein didnt care, just that his victim was absolutely terrified, stammering prayers. Its unfortunate that the rebels had caught him. Hussein took the army knife and cut the kneeling man by the throat. His comrades of the so-called funeral Brigade buried the bloody body parts in the sand of the cemetery which was at that time of the rebel-controlled district of Bab Amr in Homs.
With the execution of Hussein’s soldiers he had passed his baptism of fire: from now on he was part of the “funeral-brigade” of Homs. The men, only a handful who kill in the name of the Syrian revolution. The torture they leave it to others: “There are, the interrogation Brigade, which makes the ugly part of the work,” says Hussein, who is being treated at a hospital in Lebanon’s Tripoli: With the ground invasion of the army in Bab Amr he has shrapnel wounds on his back.

In the safe neighboring country of Syria, he is cured until he returns to Syria, and “to my work” which he considers to be relatively clean. “Most men can torture, but not to kill close up. ” he says. “I do not know why, but I do not mind. Thats why they have given me the job as an executioner. That’s for crazy people like me.”

Before he joined the Farouk Brigade in August last year,the 24 year old had a job as a salesman, “I can sell everything from porcelain to yogurt.”

Since a year now last this bloody uprising against the Assad regime. And Hussein’s history shows that the rebels have lost their innocence at this time.

There are certainly many reasons for this. Hussein can rattle off several reasons for this:

“There is no law in Syria. Soldiers or criminal gangs on behalf of the regime’s men kill, choop children or rape our women. If we dont hold them responsible, no one woul hold the perpetrators accountable,” he says.


“I was arrested twice. I was tortured for 72 hours. They had me strung up by my hands, they dislocated my shoulders by that. They have burned myself with hot irons. Of course I want revenge.”


“I’ve lost three uncles, they were killed by the regime. One died with his five children. His murderers deserve no mercy.”

And finally:

“When children grow up in France, they are great in French, speak it perfectly. We Syrians are raised using the language of violence , we are talking about nothing else.”

But despite all his self-justifications for the rebel Justice: Hussein’s activities in Homs fall under what the human rights organization Human Rights Watch on Tuesday denounced as a “serious human rights abuses by the Syrian rebels.” The fact that they kill just as the troops of the regime and abuse, Hussein and his comrades who are also injured in the hallways of the Municipal Health House Tripoli claim it openly. The criticism of human rights watch though they find unfair: “.. We try to rebel, to defend the people we are fighting against butchers where we catch them, we must strike hard,” said a fighter with the code name Abu Rami.

Homs had developed during the uprise as the secret capital of the revolution. Until a few weeks, the rebels controlled,entire neighborhoods, especially the district of Bab Amr, which was then overrun by government troops in early March. Meanwhile, the rebels fighting against state power in the neighboring borough of Chalidija shifted.

According to Abu Rami and Hussein is the alternative justice system, which the rebels installed last fall in Homs, still intact. “If we catch regime supporters, they are brought before a martial court . The commander of the rebels in Homs, Abu Mohammed, is its chairmen. Abu Hussein, the head of the Coordinating Committee makes the assessor.” Sometimes even more men act as a jury, ” says Hussein. The “interrogation Brigade” reportes then on the confessions of the accused. Often the accused have stored their crimes in videos on their cell phones. “The debt is then fixed quickly.” Are the prisoners convicted, they will be handed over to Hussein’s “funeral Brigade”, which leads them in gardens or on the cemetery. And then Hussein comes with his knife.

Hussein has cut four times men’s throats. In the group of executioners of Homs, he is the least experienced – what seems to be almost unpleasant for him. “I was wounded four times in the last seven months. I was long out of action,” he apologizes. In addition, he had other commitments. “I serve our heavy machine gun, a Russian BKC. So of course I have a lot more men killed. But with the blade only four.” He says that this will change soon: “I hope that I will be released next week from the hospital and can return to Homs. Then i will finish them off those dogs..”

With the regular executions, the rebels in Homs started in August last year, shortly after the conflict began to escalate in the country, says Hussein’s companion Abu Rami. In his Adidas tracksuit, he looks like an ordinary convalescent in the hospital. But Abu Rami is a senior member of the militia of Homs. The other Syrians greet him at the station and listen respectfully to his words.
“Since last summer we have almost executed 150 men, representing about 20 percent of our prisoners,” said Abu Rami. Those who were not convicted and sentenced to death would be exchanged for rebel prisoners or detained protesters. More work than the prisoners of war made the executioners of Homs, however, the rebels from their own ranks. “If we catch a spy, or a Sunni betrays the revolution, we make it a short work,” says the fighter. 200-250 traitors were put to death by Husseins funeral brigade.

Doubts whether these people were really all guilty, whether they had a fair process , he wiped away. “We strive to thoroughly investigate. Sometimes we find out that someone is not guilty.” Moreover, every revolution is bloody, which is natural. “Syria is not a country for sensitives,” said Abu Rami.,1518,823382,00.html

March 27th, 2012, 10:34 am


zoo said:

Tara #24

To support your point:

….Embracing the Annan plan poses a massive problem for Assad, because it means accepting the right of citizens to protest peacefully — which might, indeed, create a Tahrir Square type situation in more than one city. But Russian and Chinese support for the plan may leave him no choice. More likely, perhaps, is that each side declares support for the plan, but focuses on those aspects they deem most favorable, and hope the adversary is blamed when things break down. (These two sides are not likely ever to establish a consensus on a democratic transition — Assad’s actions over the past year suggest he has no intention of ceding power.)

Read more:

March 27th, 2012, 10:36 am


zoo said:

Syria’s Assad tours flashpoint Homs neighbourhood: TV

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday toured the flashpoint Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs, site of a fierce battle between regime forces and rebel troops that left hundreds dead, state television reported.

“The president has toured Baba Amr in Homs,” the television said.

It added that Assad had inspected the troops stationed in the neighbourhood.

Baba Amr was overrun by regime forces on March 1 following a month-long relentless assault to root out rebels.

March 27th, 2012, 10:39 am


Juergen said:

Assad is the biggest traitor, just came the news that he accepted the Annan plan, then we hear that the syrian army has moved into lebanese territory to hunt opposition fighters. Is Syria not enough for this man?

March 27th, 2012, 10:39 am


Juergen said:

I quote an “credible” source for that:

March 27th, 2012, 10:51 am


bronco said:

#27 Juergen

I am surprised you post such article.
It is clear that the rebels of Bab Amr were ruthless criminals hiding under the umbrella of the ‘revolution’ contrary to the romantic and angelic description of Edith Bouvier and other “supporters.”

The most horrible is that they are boast them selves and are proud of their sinister actions.

They deserve well what will happen to them.

March 27th, 2012, 10:53 am


Uzair8 said:

Economics is for donkeys

The previous main post mentioned how Fawaz Akhras advised the regime to allow the pound to drop in value citing the success of this method in UK.

To my main point. Is Iran carrying the economic burden of two countries? Whatever the case, the more eggs Iran and Hezbollah put in the regime basket the more they have to lose. The same goes for Russia and its investments. Those of us angry at this support for the Assad regime can at least take some satisfaction from this.

March 27th, 2012, 10:56 am


irritated said:

#30 Juergen

If the hunted rebels are the same ones described in the Der Spiegel article you posted, they should be hunted anywhere they’ll escape.

March 27th, 2012, 10:56 am


Juergen said:

Irritated, Bronco

I posted that not only because i believe that crimes against humanity committed by whomsoever must be brought to justice. On the other hand i wanted to show that DER SPIEGEL will publish not only romantic rebel stories.

March 27th, 2012, 11:00 am


Uzair8 said:

Btw how does the editing function work? It looks different.

Anyway. I would have edited the previous post and mentioned that the title wasn’t referring to Fawaz Akhras. The main point was the Iranian role and the Fawaz Akhras mention was just a late addition/mention.

March 27th, 2012, 11:00 am


irritated said:

#26 Majedalkhaldoon

Contrary to the AL plan, the Annan plan DOES NOT ask Assad to step down and asks the OPPOSITION to stop violence and accept the dialog with Bashar. Syria has accepted the plan that suits its own view of the situation. The SNC has rejected it.

The SNC is now under heavy pressure from the international community to yield and accept the dialog with the regime.
The troops moral is excellent after the successive falls of Bab Anmr and Edlib
The FSA is in total confusion as the SNC is trying to control them and they hate them.
The SNC , after 2 days of discussion in Turkey with desperate Davutoglu, have not united and will probably be dismantled.
The FOS will just confirm Annan plan and oblige the opposition to accept it.
The situation has never been better for the regime since 12 months.

March 27th, 2012, 11:08 am


bronco said:

#35 Juergen

Why didn’t Der Spiegel published this article when the Bab Amr rebels were described as ‘victims’? It was also published after the HR reports indicated that the rebels were also subject to humans rights abuses. The timing is significant.

It sems that the international media is slowly switching in condamning abuses by the rebels so as to gradually flip the public opinion. They will need to justify that Bashar Al Assad may stay in power contrary to what they have been claiming for months.

In addition the opposition is openly and increasingly criticized for their failure in uniting.

March 27th, 2012, 11:21 am


zoo said:

Syrian Rebels Caught Embellishing on Tape
Mar 27, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

A new documentary provides an intimate look at Syria’s video activists—and reveals how they staged a report to appear more dramatic. Mike Giglio gets an exclusive preview.

It’s through people like Omar Tellawi that scenes of the bloodshed in Syria have reached the rest of the world.

Tellawi is part of a small, tightly knit group of Syrian video activists who have embedded themselves inside Homs, the center of a brutal crackdown by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Foreign journalists are barred from the city—and if they manage to sneak in, they can become targets, as happened when photographer Rémi Ochlik and legendary war correspondent Marie Colvin were killed recently.

Tellawi and his fellow activists document the regime’s atrocities with low-tech video dispatches, often reporting via Anderson Cooper–like stand-up reports. They post their work on YouTube, and it spreads globally via social media and the international press. Some of the so-called vee-jays—such as 23-year-old Danny Abdul Dayem, whom the Western press has dubbed the “voice of Homs”— feature regularly on networks such as Al-Jazeera and CNN and have become unlikely media stars in the course of the conflict.

A new report, airing tonight on Britain’s Channel 4 News, shows the video activists in a new and intimate light. In it, Tellawi and his colleagues scramble to confirm death tolls, brave bomb blasts, and duck sniper fire.

They also, it turns out, embellish.

Channel 4 News gave The Daily Beast an exclusive look at the upcoming documentary, shot by an up-and-coming photojournalist named Mani, who goes by only one name, in order to avoid compromising future trips to Syria.

March 27th, 2012, 11:30 am


Juergen said:


I honestly dont know how they work, but it seems that the journalist who wrote it is their Lebanon bureau represantive. She visited the rebels in the hospitals, and made this article. Well I suppose she got a call from hamburg asking for proof of what HRW stated.

March 27th, 2012, 11:31 am


Uzair8 said:

A couple of things.

We all know how important the oxygen of publicity (media coverage) is for revolutions. Syria has been in the news now non-stop for a good part of a year (close to). I regularly listen to the BBC world service at 1 AM in recent days there were 2 days in which Syria didn’t feature at all which I found worrying. The following day they did briefly cover Kofi Annan’s visit to Russia.

It would be a bit worrying if the crisis did drop from the headlines. I’m sure this is something the regime has desired for sometime.

Another thing.

In UK we are seeing well known muslim charities beginning to fund raise for the suffering of Syria.

The other night a muslim channel was raising funds for Syrian refugees. They have launched a campaign and will also dedicate 3 nights (this coming Fri, Sat and Sun 7.30pm till midnight).

SKT welfare (Sacred Knowledge Trust associated with Syrian Sheikh Yaqoubi) is aiminig to set up food stalls in every city in UK to raise funds for Syria.

Yesterday afternoon I was watching a phone-in discussion on a muslim channel highlighting the plight of Syrians particularly the children. It seems finally the scholars are speaking up about such issue. Yes there were some callers who asked why Bahrain was being ignored and others blamed the situation on the West. The presenters replied to them adequately.

Btw JAD, my parents came from Pakistan. I was born and bred in UK. 🙂

March 27th, 2012, 11:38 am


zoo said:

The SNC reluctantly accept the plan… but reiterate its ‘old’ request for Bashar Al Assad to resign

Syrian Opposition Backs Annan, Wants Assad (Out)
Tuesday, 27 March 2012

ISTANBUL – The main Syrian opposition block voiced support on Tuesday for a peace and ceasefire plan drawn up by UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan so long as it led to the removal of President Bashar Assad.

“A peaceful transition means that the regime needs to be changed. And that starts with the removal of the head of the state,” Basma Kodmani, a spokeswoman for the Syrian National Council, an umbrella grouping various strands of the opposition, told Reuters Television.

“Mr. Annan’s initiative for us should lead to developments of clear terms of reference for negotiation on the modalities of change. Not on whether the change should happen or not,” she said on the sidelines of a meeting aimed at forging greater unity among opposition groups.

March 27th, 2012, 11:42 am


zoo said:

Still disunited after 2 days of talk….?

Syrian opposition struggles to overcome disunity
(Reuters) 27 March 2012

ISTANBUL – A well-known Syrian dissident walked out of reconciliation talks in Istanbul on Tuesday aimed at demonstrating that Syrian opposition groups can provide an effective alternative to President Bashar al-Assad.

The opposition groups were invited by Turkey and Qatar, which holds the rotating chair of the Arab League, to the talks to try to form a common front in the one-year uprising against Assad.

More than 300 dissidents listened to an opening address by Turkish Foreign Ministry official Halit Celik at the seaside hotel in Pendik, a suburb on the Asian side of the city.

“Turkey will not leave the Syrian people to their fate,” Celik said. He said there was no alternative except for Assad’s regime to go, and extended support to the Syrian National Council (SNC) umbrella group, as a platform for different strands of the opposition.

Opening proceedings were interrupted by Haitham al Maleh, a liberal Islamist and grand old man of the opposition, walking out of the hall after SNC president Burhan Ghalioun set out an action plan that called for greater unity.

Maleh, a former judge now in his 80s who has been jailed by both Assad and his father, said he was quitting the meeting because the SNC had assumed too much dominance and failed to let other activists have their say.

His walkout heralded expected fierce debates over the strategy to overthrow Assad, as well as on calls for reform of the SNC, delegates said.

March 27th, 2012, 11:48 am


Uzair8 said:

Googling (News) for Fawas Gerges I found an article from which I will share some extracts. I havent read it all but glanced thru it. May do so later:

The Syrian People’s Revolution, One Year On: Torture, Disappearances And Exile – OpEd

Written by: Andy Worthington

March 25, 2012

[Selected quotes]

Other analysts told USA Today that “the violence unleashed against opponents that has stiffened their resolve.” Fawaz Gerges, the director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, said, “Despite everything that has happened, the killing, the torture, the incarceration, Syrians are still on the street every day. A psychological rupture has taken place in Syria whereby people are willing to die and they will continue to die in order to achieve freedom and dignity.”


Speaking about how she {Suhair Atassi} was she was taken before a general in military intelligence after her arrest on March 16 last year, Atassi said, “He told me the repression we were seeing in Libya was nothing compared to what would happen to us in Syria. The regime knew back then that it would wage war on the population.”


Echoing the comments made by Fawaz Gerges, she added that Syrian society “has been so radically transformed that it could never return to a state of submission,” as the FT put it.. “The regime was always trying to separate people,” she said. “What it didn’t expect is this amazing solidarity between them and between regions of the country.”

Read more:

Note: In #41 it should be ‘2 consecutive days’ in which there was no mention of Syria on world service 1AM.

March 27th, 2012, 12:03 pm


Mina said:

I can imagine Jürgen explaining the Algerian mothers that their babies have been killed within Solomonian type “extrajudicial killings” as he have it about Baba Amro…

March 27th, 2012, 12:26 pm


jna said:

Is this a formal acceptance of the Annan Plan by the SNC, or is it just unofficial comments by a SNC member?

Syrian opposition backs Annan plan, wants Assad to halt attacks

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The main Syrian opposition block voiced support on Tuesday for a peace and ceasefire plan drawn up by U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan so long as it led to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.

“A peaceful transition means that the regime needs to be changed. And that starts with the removal of the head of the state,” Basma Kodmani, a spokeswoman for the Syrian National Council, an umbrella grouping various strands of the opposition, told Reuters Television.

“Mr. Annan’s initiative for us should lead to developments of clear terms of reference for negotiation on the modalities of change. Not on whether the change should happen or not,” she said on the sidelines of a meeting aimed at forging greater unity among opposition groups.

Assad’s government said on Tuesday that it had accepted Annan’s plan …

“What we would like to see is the stopping of the killings,” she said. “We would like to see protection of civilians if there is a possibility even of a two hours of truce to begin with, I think we welcome that and we will certainly work to make that succeed.”

March 27th, 2012, 12:26 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

What is wrong with you, SNC accepted and supported Annan plan, yet you say SNC did not accepted Annan plan, go back and verify.

March 27th, 2012, 12:32 pm


jna said:

‘Turkey will do everything possible for Annan’s Syrian mission to fail’: Camille Otrakji

March 27th, 2012, 12:42 pm


irritated said:

#47 Majeddalkhaldoon

Please post the link that says that the SNC has officialy accepted the Annan 6 points plan.
The last I read was Ghalioun criticizing it and Basma Qodmani unofficially saying that the SNC supports the plan with the condition that Bashar al Assad resigns ( which is NOT in plan)

March 27th, 2012, 12:56 pm


Juergen said:


charming as always, my pleasure

March 27th, 2012, 1:02 pm


irritated said:

#46 JNA

Accepting officially the UN Annan plan is a humiliating defeat for the SNC and for Turkey.
That’s probably why they are adding their own “Seventh” point: the resignation of Bashar Al Assad.
Unfortunately for them, Annan has declared that this is an issue the Syrian must decide, not the UN or the AL.

March 27th, 2012, 1:03 pm


Juergen said:

Bashar was a brave man today, he went to Bab Amr, or at least it look like Bab Amr. Could also be that he just was in an army camp nearby.

I wonder does he have lookalikes like Saddam had?

March 27th, 2012, 1:07 pm


Juergen said:

i found that there are still folks out there who claim that Iskanderun belongs to Syria, how about parts of Jordan, and Lebanon. Isnt all Syria just an Syces Picot fiction?

March 27th, 2012, 1:10 pm


Amnesia said:

It is interesting that no one cared to comment on the actual post above, except for the criticism of their “two swords and Quran”.

The Muslim Brotherhood is made up of a lot of decent, honest, hardworking people, even when they are misguided. Members and sympathizers from Syria have had to endure decades of being unable to return home, or returned to find themselves forced to cut deals or perish, or forced to remain quiet. It has been many years since the organization publicly renounced violence, but despite this mere membership is a capital offense in Syria to this day. In a pluralistic society of laws, human rights, and equality, it is time to accept them. They have suffered more than any other group, and they have a lot to offer Syria in the future.

Regardless of whether you like the above, I have only stated the truth.

The MB can be trusted to help tackle corruption. If their policies and election platforms please voters, they can be voted in. If not, they can also be voted out!

Thank you Dr. Landis for the commentary. I agree that the textbooks need to be reworked, and we both know there are many good Syrian Islamic scholars that can help.

March 30th, 2012, 6:53 am


Amnesia said:

I speak from personal experience. Personal experience does not dictate that “pigs can fly”.

The only governments in the world that labeled them “terrorists” were those of dictatorships, or in support of dictatorships. The MB renounced violence, and waited very patiently for any signs of the regime doing the same.

If voted into power, they can be trusted to follow through with ruling by law. If they are voted out, they can be trusted to step down.

March 30th, 2012, 7:10 am


chris said:

amnesia alert please see a doctor u r brainwashed. a group that demands sharia law is hardly democratic.

THEIR symbol says it all follow the quran or we will use the sword

yes we can trust a group who want sharia

know islam, know violence
no islam, no violence

March 30th, 2012, 7:25 am


Amnesia said:

Chris, you refer others to Wikipedia without even reading its content. From Wikipedia:

“In November 1979, a [Syrian] Brotherhood leaflet stated: We reject all forms of despotism, out of respect for the very principles of Islam, and we don’t demand the fall of Pharaoh so that another one can take his place. Religion is not imposed by force….[8]”

The MB was originally an anti-colonialist organization, which used arms to achieve their objectives. After colonization ended, they eventually reformed. Even while fighting Hafez, they did so mainly because he was a dictator.

Your last statement is very offensive, and shows that you probably are not capable of coexisting anywhere on Earth. Take your hate elsewhere.

March 30th, 2012, 7:36 am


chris said:

i coexisted in syria for 25years quite peacefully! but there was always a fear something would errupt again. our fear was that bashar would go. this rings in fear. i and my muslim, some sunni, alawi and christian friends loved the fact we could drive go to uni dress how we saw fit even if exposing some flesh. in the last few years my kids were able to cuddle n snuggle up in public without being jailed.

well thats all gone now! like i said we knew we had it good n now its going to end up like the rest of the mid east

March 30th, 2012, 7:43 am


Amnesia said:

You said:
“know islam, know violence
no islam, no violence”

The above is offensive and shows a lacking of tolerance for the majority of Syrians. Am I clear?

March 30th, 2012, 8:02 am


chris said:

yes loud n clear but its my belief and i have a right to it when my great grandparents were told to embrace islam or die, they beheaded my dads grandfather, sorry is that offensive?

its also my personal experience. we want freedom right well freedom comes at a price. its funny how people can dish out but cant take the feedback!
‘Ethnic Cleansing of Christians’ in Syria; 50,000 flee

March 30th, 2012, 8:14 am


Amnesia said:

I can apologize about your great-grandfather, though that must have been decades ago, at least. When did it happen? Who is “they”? You should be more specific when speaking of such things.

Freedom cannot be expected from brutal dictatorships. You are correct that the price is high, but incorrect as to what price is required.

March 30th, 2012, 8:25 am


chris said:

i am talking about people who yelled allah u akbar. my family dont talk about it much but i know it was around when i was born in the 70s and they were in lebanon at the time. i really dont talk about it much but i went back with my family to live in syria for many years and only left this year. i am upset i cat take everyone who doesn’t want anything with this war to a safe place no matter who they pray to. i truly am not biased on religion i am just trul upset this can happen in syria and if the rest of the world want syria to change, just like libya and iraq, they should be allowing people to peacefully exit and those who want to fight can do so. this would be cheaper for the us and other west countries than the billions they have spent the last ten years supporting ruining these countries.
but we all know its not about how much they spend but about how much weapons they can sell

March 30th, 2012, 8:51 am


Mina said:

From the Angry Arab

Syrian regime: secret police threats

It is clear. Syrian regime mukhabarat (secret police) has infiltrated all ranks of the Syrian opposition. They have aired footage of pictures and videos of the secret covert camera men of Aljazeera in Syria. It then ominously said: you are all being watched. This is the most unreported story of the Syrian uprising: the extent to which Syrian regime infiltrated the ranks of their enemies.

(Ya Jad, any link?)

March 30th, 2012, 9:08 am


Amnesia said:

“i am talking about people who yelled allah u akbar.” That’s who killed him, huh?

So, people that yell that God is great are the same as those that killed your great grandfather? One and a half billion Muslims in the world are the same as those that killed your great grandfather? Every Muslim says that God is great, everyone who believes in God for that matter.

“i truly am not biased on religion”

You truly are. Stop telling others to get their head checked.

“they should be allowing people to peacefully exit”

Bashar and his gang are allowed to peacefully exit.

March 30th, 2012, 9:36 am


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