Syria's Choice: Murderous Secular Regime or Islamic Fundamentalists
As Syrian dictator Bashar Assad continues to slaughter his people, there are growing indications that the Islamists are increasing their efforts to replace his regime.
What started as a secular Facebook revolution against the Assad regime is now beginning to look more like a jihad [holy war] led by Muslim fundamentalists.
The Muslim Brotherhood is clearly seeking to hijack the anti-Assad protests, in both the political and military fields.
In the past few months, there have been many signs of a "return to Islam" in Syrian society. Large banners urging women to wear the hijab have appeared in Damascus and other main cities and many restaurants and hotels have stopped serving alcohol in keeping with Islamic law. This is in addition to the fact that many of the daily anti-Assad demonstrations are being launched from mosques, especially after Friday prayers.
The Muslim Brotherhood is by no means a "moderate" organization. Its motto leaves no room for questions about its true intentions: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad [holy war] is our way. Dying for the sake of Allah is our highest hope." Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, has come out in favor of suicide bombings, which he cslled "evidence of God's justice;" the death penalty for homosexuals; the beating of women; a genocidal a hatred of Jews: "O Allah, do not spare a single one of them….kill them down to the very last one," as he put on al-Jazeera on January 9, 2009 [www.MEMRI.org]; and, as he said on April 14, 2004, boycotts of America and Israel: "Our duty is to make them as weak as we can."
According to reports in the Arab media, Islamic fundamentalist groups have been smuggling weapons into Syria from Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
Most of these weapons have fallen into the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, who are now waging a guerrilla warfare against Assad's security forces, the reports say.
Syria's fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood organization, which was banned by the Syrian dictator's father, Hafez Assad, decades ago, has come back to life thanks to the uprising that was initially launched by secular forces.
"We have a desire to coordinate the position of the opposition," declared Zuhair Salim, a spokesman for Syria's Muslim Brotherhood. "We are supporters and not creators."
As has been the case in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya, Syria's Islamists did not show their faces in public at the beginning of the anti-Assad uprising. Instead, they preferred to wait in the shadows to see where the uprising was headed.
Muslim Brotherhood officials have already found their place in the main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, which was formed in Istanbul last September with support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the US State Department.
Although the Muslim Brotherhood has not joined the council officially, it has many representatives there.
Out of the 19 members of the council's general secretariat, four belong to the Muslim Brotherhood and six are "independent" Islamists.
The participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Syrian National Council is seen in the context of the Islamists' hitherto successful bid to hijack the Arab Spring.
What is disturbing is that while the US and many European governments have endorsed the Islamist-dominated opposition council, they have also turned their backs on secular groups that are opposed to the creation of a Sharia state in Damascus.
Last week Assad hinted at the possibility that his country could fall into the hands of Islamists when he warned that Syria would become "another Afghanistan" if the West intervened in favor of his enemies.
For many Syrians, the only choice today is between a murderous secular regime led by Assad and Muslim fundamentalists seeking to turn their country into an Islamic state. Assad's brutal crackdown on his opponents, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 3,000 Syrians, as well as his failure to implement major political reforms, is driving more people into the open arms of the Islamists.
The recent victory of the Islamists in the Tunisian elections is serving as a catalyst for the Muslim Brotherhood to double its efforts to replace the Assad regime.
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by Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.