Monday, June 20, 2005

Imams Hussainy and Habash on Democracy in Syria

The following remarks made by Imam Muhammad Habash, the principal "reformist Imam" of Damascus and member of Parliament, and Imam Mahmoud Abolhuda al-Hussainy, the principal reformist Imam of Aleppo, were sent to me by Karim Moudarres, a businessman and friend who lives in Aleppo. Karim attended a meeting of European parliamentarians and Syrian religious figures, recently convened at the monastery Mar-Moussa. Dayr Mar-Moussa is run by an Italian priest who promotes inter-faith dialogue. Karim also includes the sermon that al-Hussainy gave at his mosque in Aleppo, after returning from Dayr Mar-Moussa.

This is worth reading, particularly for the words of Imam Mahmoud Abolhuda al-Hussainy, because he addresses the question of democracy and Islam quite forthrightly. Not only does he explain to the European statesmen that most Syrians view their approach to democracy as hypocritical because they insist on strict separation of church and state and seek to exclude Muslim parties, but he also criticizes Syria for excluding Muslim parties. The questions he asks are important to the West and Syria in their present predicament.

Here is Karim Moudarres' letter:

Dear Josh,

I was present at Mar-Moussa Monastery when the European Parliamentarians met with Syrian Religious Figures to carry a discussion on Democracy from the Syrian religious point of view. Among many Christian and Muslim figures, Mr. Mohamad Habash and Mr. Mahmoud Abolhuda Elhussainy, M.D. were present. One side would ask the other side a question; they would answer and then ask a question in return.

The Europeans stressed that the European experience is specific to Europe and should not be exported as a model to other regions of the world. Syria should make use of its experience to develop its own system of democracy. Some European members were concerned whether Islam allowed such practices and if separation of church and state, as the foundation of a democratic system, is possible in Syria.

Mr. Mohamad Habash was asked the following: "We don’t understand the Christian / Muslim relationship which has worked very well in Syria, and we don’t understand the Jewish / Muslim relationship.

Answer: (Spoken in English): "Welcome to Syria the blessed land. Muslims call Syria 'al-sham al-sharif' meaning 'noble land'. Christians consider Syria the 'Holy Land'. Welcome to Syria.

According to the clash of civilizations, it is important to note that the Prophet called for cooperation among the people of scriptures. He introduced himself as a prophet who came after Jesus, Moses and Abraham. You read in the holy book 14 times: 'Oh Mohamad we sent you to confirm what came before'. I agree that there are some radical directions in the Islamic World, but we can also find radicals in Europe and America. The description of the clash of civilizations did not come from the Islamic world but from Mr. Huntington in the United States. He called for the clash of civilizations and the end of history. We in the Islamic World refuse this idea and call for the dialogue of civilizations. Mr. Khatemi as the president of Iran and OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) proposed to the UN in 2001 to call it the Year of Dialogue of Civilizations on behalf of 55 Muslim countries. I personally go further and call for the unity of civilizations in accordance with the profit who said: 'the profits before me are like a beautiful house and I am the last brick in the house. I am the seal of prophets.'

You can not consider yourself a Muslim without having faith that Jesus was the prophet of God, the messenger of God, the word of God and the spirit of God. We believe that Jesus is still alive until now and will return to the White minaret in Damascus where you can see it today built with no mosque waiting for his return. The Grand Mufti of Syria was asked once by the Canadian Ambassador about the number of Christians in Syria and he replied as 17 Millions since all Muslims have to have faith in Jesus.

We believe the number of radicals in Syria and the Middle East is on the rise for two reasons. First is the presence of some radical culture and second is injustice. I believe the way to arrive at Democracy is by supporting the peace process win the Middle East and getting some balance between Arabs and Israel. If we can find such balance then we will arrive at more tolerance, more cooperation, more brotherhood and more fraternity."

Mr. Habash did not ask a question.

Mr. M. Abolhuda El-Hussainy, M.D. was asked the following: "Is there hope? And how can we make hope our incentive forward?"

Answer (translated to English): "I believe nations without hope will die because desperation is the first step to extinction. As a practicing physician, I know from my clinic that people with advanced degrees of depression have suicidal tendencies. At the same time I don’t want this hope to be expressed here as mere exchange of good wishes among the members of this respected congress. I only heard some words of compliments from my brothers on the Syrian. I don’t think you are here to hear compliments but rather help get to the bottom of the problem.

First: Syrian society fully respects European societies and considers it a promising hope in the unipolar world we all know so well.

Second: Civil society must be heard in our country. You should not listen only to points of views representing the official word of the State. For the sake of being honest I say civil society is not about secular parties only but is also composed of an important majority with an Islamic focus - not to be ignored. I strongly stress that Syrian society is religiously moderate. Mr. Patrick Louis (European MP on the panel) described our society as one conforming submissively to religious law. In order to reach a better understanding of each other, I would like to emphasize the following: in separating the church from the state, Europeans have developed a secular system for regulating their governments, politics and economies. On the other hand, the church continues to preach Christian values to society.

I was happy to hear from Mrs. Patrie (European MP) how the European Society has its own individuality and uniqueness. We too are unique. In order for you to have a better understanding of the Syrian society with its Muslim majority, you have to learn that Islam is divided into two important parts:
1- A legal part focusing on government, economy, politics, and human relations.
2- Another part focusing ethics, ideology, and metaphysics.

In other word, with our part of Islamic law dealing with government, economics and politics we are capable of debating current European laws freely on the table because this part of Islamic law is very resilient and highly discussable.

As for means of worshipping God, we go to Churches to hear directives to God and you go to Mosques to hear directives to God.

This is not our problem for I would like to get to the bottom of the problem and say: hearing people like Mr. Patrick Louis calling for strong separation of church and state without knowing the nature of Islam is the main problem between the two Islamic and European societies.

It is very true to say the Islamic World is split two ways:
1- One way made the fatal mistake by calling for the implementation of Islamic laws on the rest of the world using forceful means. Such a mistake could not be farther from the heart of Islam.
2- The other way represents the majority of Muslims in calling for moderation, democracy and debate. It could not be farther away from extremism and violence. This represents the majority of Muslims around the world and in Syria.

Therefore we should not focus on the eccentric part misrepresenting the heart of Islam and generalize about the entire Muslim society without making the distinction between the eccentrics and the majority believing in "No subjugation in religion" as stated in the Qoran. Our title from the Qoran is "We honored the children of Adam" goes in line with the call to embrace the "culture of honoring humanity" as called for by the lady from Italy who spoke before me.

Now the question I would like to put forward to the European MP's: "Why do we talk about democracy while we breach democracy?" Let us be honest. The veto in the Security Council breaches democracy. Some practices against veiled women in Europe go against the heart of democracy. The European support of oppressive governments is undemocratic by itself. Banning those who would like to discuss Islamic laws from political forums is undemocratic. This is my question for I would appreciate an honest answer since we do very much believe in democracy with no exceptions of any kind.

Then on Friday, June 17, M. AbolHoda Elhussainy gave his Friday sermon from the historic Adliya mosque with a strong connection to the debate in Mar Moussa with the European MP's. Some of his sermon is interesting: It can be read here.

"Today we hear all over our Muslim World and in our country repeatedly the word democracy and promises of democracy (with an exception I should add)." "The exception says: democracy is for the seculars who declare publicly that their minds are pure from the word of God! I say from here: as long as the doors of democracy are opening we are obliged to express the spirit of Islam. It is true that there are those who misunderstand Islam and misunderstand the course of Islam for our Islam teaches us to recognize the other. Those who deviated and want to force Islamic culture on the world are no different from the enforcers of globalization, although with a different agenda. Haven't these deviators ever heard of the message of the profit to the Christian Emperor of Byzantium stating: 'Oh people of the book let us come to a word of agreement between us!' This is the culture of Islam which teaches us to be kind to those who oppose our religion and opposed our culture. God is ordering us to be kind to the opposite when he chooses not to fight us."

"Why should the followers of this culture be banned from expressing their views through official democratic means?" "We are hearing nowadays that parties will be licensed and muti-partism will start. Why did they exclude from this plan those who have their minds affected with Islamic culture? Are they a menace to be avoided? What should they do to purify themselves from this menace? Is this the cross road to future democracy? Truthfully Islam is the Imam of democracy if they only knew. We are ready to stand hand in hand with them against the extremists who do not represent Islam because we believe the extremists are distorting our image and the image of Islam."

"We don’t know if the secularists' offer is restricting us because of their ignorance of Islam or trying to irrationally intimidate our youth." "If you would like to ban those who are in favor of embracing Islamic culture from establishing Islamic parties, why don’t you at least permit the establishment of civil society committees?" "Let there be some publicly elected committees of dialogue with only an advisory role without any executive or legislative powers" "Let us discuss with each others freely, amicably, and peacefully while we try to build our new society together. Don’t perceive us as enemies but rather as partners trying to build our country together. "

"Another idea: why not establish an Islamic advisory committee to be elected by Islamic scholars for the sole purpose of discussing and advising with no members appointed by the government so it does not loose its legitimacy and independence?"

"One more idea: if those who subscribe to Islamic culture are banned altogether from forming licensed parties, why not open the door for the establishment of social reform committees: civil society committees to include scholars, scientists, and the educated elite. These social reform committees in a civil society will be kept away from power yet in touch with the people and we can expect good results. Our society needs reforming since current laws are not reforming bribery, corruption and dishonesty. Reform can be achieved by the people of reform. There are many good members of society currently working on reform using individual means yet are banned from congregating to maximize and unite their efforts. They are told: you can not gather; you can not form parties; you can not form committees. What is next?"

"Our enemy is not overseas but our enemy is ourselves, for, unfortunately, we don’t know how to build a civilization and how to initiate our renaissance."


At 6/20/2005 01:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot my friend. Hope to see you soon.

At 6/20/2005 01:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Habash and other puppets are guided by the security apparatus and not free to say what they really think. Habash inwardly know the origin of the hand who killed Dr al Khaznawi but is forced to justify reluctantly the official version.
Each friday in their schizophrenic sermons they are forced to follow drastic texts imposed by the state , such weak personalities are the typical servants of totalitarian states.
The europeans are no so stupids...

At 6/20/2005 02:06:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

May I say "The Prophet is not-for-profit" since this text made the mistake several times?

At 6/20/2005 02:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the second part with Sheikh Hussainy it's more convincing despite some diplomatic ambiguities related to the known situation in Syria.
Thanks to M Joshua and M Karim Moudaress,It's from your site that i had knowledge about Sheikh Hussainy ,he has more credibility than Habash.

At 6/20/2005 03:04:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Here we go again, the Petro-Israeli plan at work. Out the thousands of serious issues that Syrian faced daily and aught to be discussing, here comes more crap from couple of crappy Immams pushed by this$%#t platform for CIA Agenda of driving religious issue to the front of discussion. They never give up, why should they, it is working very well in Lebanon, Iraq and must work in Syria.

At 6/20/2005 03:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Syrian,plz stop your political takfirism or go to SSNP forum.

At 6/20/2005 03:23:00 PM, Anonymous Metaz K.M. Aldendeshe said...

17 Million Christians in Syria the unholy Imam says. Because to be a Moslem you……. Please make that 16.999999 Million to be accurate. When I see a single secular historic evidence for the existence of Moses or Jesus, the Imam can count me as the 17th. Million. So far the Moses story have been found to be one that is borrowed from at least 3 Ancient Eastern regions, and predated the possible Moses time by Thousands of years. Have the Moses story been true and accurate, Jews will never loose sight of Moses grave ever.

As to the Jesus Myth, the only non-Christian reference was believed to be that of Josephus. Not until two earlier versions of the manuscripts were found and to the amazement of scholars, the only verses missing in the newly found earlier manuscripts is the one verse that relate to Jesus. Scholars later found out that this single verse was a forgery perpetrated by a Syrian Christian who advocated lying and cheating to advance the cause of Christianity. There is no Jesus grave so here come the resurrection story.

At 6/20/2005 03:26:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Fu&^%&^%you, why should we let you get a way with this crap. Can't handle the truth.

At 6/20/2005 04:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i disagree partially with anonym 1:36. while we all know about habash, this new guy seems interesting and not beating around the bush. he does not sound like a weak personality. His site does not suggest he is a puppit either. maybe he is not bad. just to give the benefit of the doubt.

At 6/20/2005 05:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the SRP:
just because you are faithless, there is no need to be prejudiced against those with faith. Islam is political and not just spiritual. knowing something about what it stands for politically is no a bad thing since we tend to pre-judge it based on what we hear from binladen. isn't it arragont of you to assume that a political system 5 times older than the American republic (the oldest continuous democracy) with its ups and downs through history is no even worth studying as a political system? How can you promote this pary of yours which no one even heard of by rediculing the one religionn which 90% of syrian prescribe to? is this the official stand of your party in dealing with the other? excuse me, but i think Hussaini's stand on hearing the other is much more moderate than yours. Please look carefully at the nature of syrians and how much islam means to them before shutting the idea down. That is if you are trying to promote a party. If trying to know the political Islam is serving Israel, then I think you have mental problem.

At 6/20/2005 05:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in reply to Metaz, even though I agree with you about the kind of crap we heard from habash, Islam as a faith is based on faith in the Koran and in the Koran the story of Jesus and Mosus is there so if there is no grave known we still still have to have faith in these two. (maybe people knew where is the grave of mosus but lost knowledge when the babylonians took the jews as slaves and the christians know where they put jesus after he died and came back in two day not to find his body).
religion afterall is about faith and not proof. if it were about proof then they would not have called religion but would have called it science

At 6/20/2005 05:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former extremist Israeli settler thanks Allah at new West Bank home

HEBRON, West Bank (AFP) - With his tattoo of the Star of David hidden from view, Mohammed al-Mahadi prays to Allah in his new West Bank home near the radical Jewish settlement where he spent much of the last decade.
His recent arrival in the Shaab neighbourhood of the flashpoint town of Hebron is the latest twist in the extraordinary life story of Mahadi, who was born to Jewish parents 37 years ago in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.
The man then known as Mikhail Shirovsky moved to Israel soon after the Soviet authorities allowed Jews to emigrate in the 1980s.

After serving in the army as a fitness instructor, he was drawn to Jewish extremism and decided to move to the hardline settlement of Kiryat Arba in 1995 soon after one of its residents, Baruch Goldstein, shot dead 29 Muslim worshippers in Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs.

But an unlikely friendship with a Palestinian garage owner led him to first question his values, then to convert to Islam before marrying a Muslim wife from his native land.

Mahadi said he has been touched by the warmth of the welcome that he has received from his new neighbours in spite of his background.

"I was a radical settler and an enemy to them," he told AFP in an interview at his new home. "They have treated me like a brother and have offered me all the help that I need."

After his conversion to Islam and marriage to Sabena, Mahadi's life among the Jews of Kiryat Arba became increasingly fraught.

He says that his wife and four children, were ostracised and harassed by his one-time friends.

"I was attacked in the settlers in Kiryat Arba many times. They stoned my house and wrote graffiti against me, saying I'm a Muslim and had to leave.

"Every time I travelled anywhere, we were harassed because my wife was wearing a veil.

"I was also often interrogated by the Israel security services, but all that I care about is that my children continue on the same religious path as me."

Maadi admits that the man responsible for attracting him to Islam was garage owner Waleed Zaloum, whose business is located just outside Kiryat Arba.

Two strong-headed men, they used to argue for hours about the merits of their respective faiths as Zaloum recalls.

"From the start I felt there was good inside this man, even though I was not expecting it from a settler from Kiryat Arba," he said.

"The issue became a challenge to me and I told him: 'Either you convert me to Judaism or I convert you to Islam', but after six months of discussions and meetings it was him who ended up being converted."

Mahadi said that he had been persuaded to renounce Judaism for intellectual reasons.

"I discovered that there were too many contradictions in Judaism and at the same time I realised that Islam is the religion of truth and wisdom," he said.

"I converted because I am seeking truth because of religious reasons and not for any other motive."

He is unable to shake off all his Jewish heritage. Tattoos of the Star of David and of a Menorah (a seven-branched Jewish candelabrum) are etched indelibly on his hands.

But Mahadi harbours no doubts and his new faith, saying that he is not interested in the formation of a secular Palestinian state.

"What I want is an Islamic caliphate in Palestine and God willing, Jerusalem will be the capital of this state," he said.

At 6/20/2005 05:59:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

SRP does not argue faith matters.
We don’t care if you pile up a mount of dried up cat poop and bend over 20 times a day in front or toward it. Pray and slaughter hundreds of sheep as offering to it. We will still respect you
and your faith and support you.

Just don’t say religion can be a basis for political system to run a modern country.

At 6/20/2005 06:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6/20/2005 06:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to SRP:
And why not? What do you know about political Islam.
PS: You have afunny way to show respect

At 6/20/2005 06:29:00 PM, Anonymous Agha said...

We live in a mental asylum called earth. Where Billions of mentally challenged humans believes that a man (whatever his name is, depend on the faith)who supposedly died thousands of years ago and there is not a shred of evidence for his past existence,is going to reborn and appear in the future to save
mankind from an impending doom. Yeah sure, Jesus Mehdi, Messiah and ten other Indo-Asian saviors.

I say Amen to that. Get it, AMEN as in AMEN-RA, AMEN-Marduk, Amin, Aiman, Ammoun, Amman, and his son NABU, Nablus, Nabi. Get it…Stella, Minaret, Washington monument, the Eye of Horus, the Dollar bill and Aawar Al- Dajall (the one eyed
deceiver of Islam’s Hadith) The name of the Mystery written on the Pope hat (the fish god) Yeah I said
fish god, Christian knows what I mean.

Use your Fuck^%#^$ing head try Google search.

That is the scary part about eligion, it is based on Faith and not facts. That is I can contrive a forgery and rely on mankind ignorance and short memory to brainwash them in mass and sermons and they will die for me just on
faith alone.

Can we ever convince the western agents To talk reforms and progress rather than religion and
Ethnicity. Try to call a person by his religion or ethnicity in USA and see how much you will be paying in cash For that comment.

Aint got time to teach you sh@#$t. So don’t post Comments regarding this subject please.

Hehehehe. What a Fu^%$#^%ing morans.

At 6/20/2005 07:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Agha,
You have every right not have faith. In fact people with faith consider themselves blessed to have their faith. On the other hand they feel sorry for those who dont and actually pray for them. Now the majority from both sides tend to repect each others (or at least the civilized ones) and they refrain from beating or at least bad mouthing each others. You should judge a person based on their merits and not faith. If you choose to be amoung the minority in Syria then it is your right but don't assume you are the smart one and they are the stupid. This is not a very smart thing to do, is it? Now if I choose to believe in a certain political system (which you don't even care to know), then I have the right to have a party to advocate my ideology in a democratic way just like you have this right alongside your atheist party. It is up to the polls to decide.
Bin Laden believes that the majority are stupid and they don't know what is best for them and his views should be imposed on others. Now where do you disagree with you.
Try to balance your language since it would work better when you try to build an argument. Using foul language in this forum represent lack of respect for the other's view. Imagine me in front of you as a human being and address me as one. I beleive you should know how to address me being a human being yourself.
Why should I not have the same rights as you do just because I have faith in something you still dont have?
Are you just like that Lebanese polititian (pierre Djumayyel Jr.) who believes in the qulaity of voters and not the number of voters.

At 6/20/2005 07:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agha sh&^%$ you are writing without reading the article or what. the subject is reform. not your cup of tea type of people talking reform.
you like facts. no facts in what you said and only pure bigotry.

At 6/20/2005 07:55:00 PM, Anonymous Agha said...

To all anno's
Your highness, thought just gave you an argument and a whole bunch of clues and sent you to do some Google search. I did not ask you to have faith in me and what I said like religious scamster do, go ahead spend the next 18 years of you life studying origin of religion and then come and give
me your question or opinion.
Respectfully yours. I am humbled by your presence. Is that better?

At 6/20/2005 08:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not muslem but i think Islam has alot to offer ,islam spread around the wourld because it is religion of a merseifull God protected the people of the book christians and jews the chalenge to muslems in arab countries to find a way to implement Islam teaching as the prophet and kalifs did with equality to non muslems and respect to their customs,ecourage people to practic their religous beleif without imposing anything by force,sometimes the descripany between the intrepitation of women rights is mind bggilin

At 6/20/2005 09:56:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

To Anno@ 6:04 PM, He asks SRP what do we know about Political Islam. Enough to see the failures. For a starter this Crappy system was not tried by a sewage rat named Kaddafi? Islamic Green Revolution. Where a Moslem Dictator rules and piss the entire wealth of his Islamic nation on women, casinos, junky worthless weapon systems and green books. Only to shake and rattle like a tiny mouse and open his country up and his dirty ass for all mankind to check it out. Cowardly piss 3 Billion Dollar of Moslem money to pay for a mistake he made.

Common, what the f&%#$ck is wrong with your head. You still want Political Islam? Why don’t you and Binshitass try it in Islam’s birth place Saudi Arabia first. Where 6000+ Four legged Prince and Princes piss Trillions of Dollars in Europe and America. Money that should be spent on developing the Moslem World and not Chase and Citibank Banks.

Why Syria, Egypt or Lebanon, those dumb HizbuAli party. You must think that you will get a succession of leaders(Khaklifa’s) like Khalifa Omar. No, they will be
Like Khalifa Kafertarro, Khalifa Kaddaffi, Khalifa Habash, Khalifa Eidy Amin, and the worst of all Khalifa Saud. Would you like to have any of these characters leading your Political Islam?

SRP, respect the value many Syrians places on the "Romantic Notion" of Political Islam
and it’s grandeur depicted by the Muawya and Umayyad Dynasty. Under SRP Nationalist Coalition there is an organization that people like you can lead, Muawya Islamic Organization.

At 6/20/2005 10:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Public Statement

AI Index: MDE 24/040/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 167
20 June 2005

Syria: Seventeen-year old sentenced after unfair trial
Amnesty International strongly criticized the prison term imposed on a 17-year-old youth yesterday by Syria's Supreme State Security Court (SSSC). Mus'ab al-Hariri was sentenced to six years imprisonment on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), an organisation which is banned in Syria.

Mus'ab al-Hariri was arrested by Syrian security forces on 24 July 2002 shortly after he returned home to Syria with his mother, from exile in Saudi Arabia. The Syrian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, to where Mus'ab al-Hariri's parents had moved in 1981, had reportedly assured his mother that he could return safely. However, Mus'ab al-Hariri was arrested and detained incommunicado without access to his lawyer or visits from his family. He is reported to have been tortured soon after his arrest and again later during his interrogation by Syrian Military Intelligence officials.

Trials before the SSSC, created under Syrian emergency laws in 1968, are notorious for falling far short of international standards for fair trial. Over the years, Amnesty International has documented evidence showing how SSSC trials are grossly unfair. Verdicts are not subject to appeal, defendants have restricted access to lawyers, judges are granted wide discretionary powers, and confessions allegedly extracted under torture are accepted as evidence. The UN Human Rights Committee has stated that SSSC procedures are incompatible with the provisions of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Syria is a state party; even so, the SSSC continues to sit and to hand out heavy sentences.

The case of Mus'ab al-Hariri, who is held in Sednaya prison, follows the same pattern of arbitrary detention and unfair trial as the case of his brothers, 'Ubadah, and Yusuf, who were arrested in 1998 after returning from Saudi Arabia to continue their schooling in Syria. They were 18 and 15 years old when arrested. All three brothers were reportedly tortured, including by the dulab ("the tyre", whereby the victim is forced into a tyre, which is suspended, and beaten with sticks and cables) and al-kursi al-almani ("the German chair", whereby the victim is put into a chair with moving parts which bend the spine backwards). Torture is prohibited by the Syrian Constitution (Article 28) and punishable by imprisonment under the Penal Code (Articles 319 and 391). Since April 1969 Syria has also been a state party to the ICCPR, which prohibits torture (Article 7). On 19 August 2004 Syria acceded to the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT). Despite these positive measures, repeated and consistent allegations of torture in Syria continue.

'Ubadah and Yusuf were both sentenced by a Field Military Court (FMC) respectively to three and one year of imprisonment, again in connection with affiliation to the MB and were released from Sednaya prison in 2004 and 2000. Amnesty International considers the detention of the three brothers and their trials to be a gross violation of human rights in breach of Syria's obligations under the ICCPR to which it is a state party, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child which it ratified in 1993.

Scores of Syrian returnees over the last few months, including several juveniles, have been arrested, or remain detained incommunicado and without charge or pending unfair trials, and are at risk of torture. In the past three years, at least ten returnees appear to have "disappeared" and several have died, apparently as a result of torture and ill-treatment. Particularly at risk appear to be those with present, past or familial connections with the unauthorised MB. The violations are taking place despite assurances of safe return being given to former political exiles (see AI Public Statement: Syria: Ongoing risks for returnees (AI index MDE24/025/2005, 13 May 2005).

The recent 10th Ba'ath Party Congress, which closed on 9 June, indicated a willingness on the part of the Syrian authorities to allow the establishment of political parties, but not those said to be based on religious, ethnic or sectarian interests such as the MB.

At 6/20/2005 11:59:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

The U.N. should be concerned with the rights of the People of Syria. The United Nation will be held moraly and l;egally liable for the damages incurred by the people of Syria for negligence in protecting their rights that are enshrined in the United nation Charter and the Human Right Declerations. The Syrian Republican Party shall demand immediate withdrawal of Syria from thi criminal organization and all it's affiliates.

At 6/21/2005 03:46:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

Georges Hawi, former Communist party leader and heavy critic of Syrian interference in Lebanon has been assassinated this morning in a car bomb.

At 6/21/2005 04:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The call is not for an islamic state if you are interested in reading the article. It is a call to establish an islamic party in a state guaranteeing all rights to everyone. The Islamic party of Turkey was elected when the Turkish people decided to change 500 members of their 550 member parliament. This party reached a majority never acheived previously before in democractic secular Turkey. The party ended years of inflation and years of economic stagnation. The country is experiencing growth like never before. The members of this party are good people ruling with good ethics within the boudaries of the constitution. Please understand the difference between an Islamic political party and and Islamic state. Ghaddafi, Saudis, Talibans, Numairi, ...etc, are a bunch of disctators using Islam to further their grip on power. What the article of states is the need for an islamic party within the democratic spectrum of other parties. It is just that we should not take away the right of the people to choose a party which might be more to their minds than your party. Is this SRP party of yours interested in limiting the choices for the people. You are sounding like the Neo-Cons who do not mind what party the people choose as long as all the selection is pro bush. One minute they say we have to have elections in Lebanon on time without delays and the Syrian should leave on prior to that (I agree with that). The other minute they say since Hamas and Jihad are going to win the elections in Gaza we will postpone the elections indefinately. The same goes for the elections in the late 80's in Algeria. Is democracy a principle or just a mean to serve interests? So is your SRP interested in only the parties agreeing with its ideology (whatever it is) so when SRP is can lead syria with other similar party making the National Progressive Front of the 21st century? What is your problem with establishing an islamic party to join in the political process even if you don't agree with them? Isn't the grandson of Hassem Beik part of your party? When the National party was leading Syria in the 40's and the 50's they allowed the existance of Islamic parties. What is your problem?

At 6/21/2005 08:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Georges Hawi, former Communist party leader and heavy critic of Syrian interference in Lebanon has been assassinated this morning in a car bomb.

May Allah rest his soul in peace

He was brave,it's a big loss for syrian and lebanese democrats.

At 6/21/2005 08:28:00 AM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

SRP is not the Baath party and not a part of the American Neo-con’s. You can say That SRP is a Syrian Neo-con party but we respect and demand all Syrian people to have
the right to be represented in Syria. “SPRS” stands for the Senate and People of the Republic of Syria. Within the party structure, you will find under National Coalition section various religious or self interest centered organization. This should give you evidence to how much we value people right to choose and be represented.

There are nothing wrong of forming a party that is based on Islam if you can guarantee that each successive leader will be like Khalifa Omar and not Khaddafi. The problem is that people are not perfect and in a country such as Syria, this issue takes another dimension in that it will perpetuate the awful subjugation of Syrian National Interest to those of Islamic interest. Syrians spent half a century on trying to be Arabs, defending Arab interests, all while Arabs themselves are sending all the cash and oil to those we are struggling with to defend the bastard Arabs and their interests. The results are catastrophic to Syria, it’s people, it’s economy and it’s children future. Syria now is the most impoverished country in the region and one with the lowest per capita income, similar to those in 4th. World countries. In fact Syria using GDP has slipped way down on the list of those fourth world countries.

So why form an Islamic Political Party, which in this case, will be eternally the ruling majority in Syria just like the Baath party was for half a century. If you care about Syria, the people of Syria and Syrian National Interest why you need Islam as the basis for the Party. SRP is Syrian Republican Party and it’s based on Democratic and full representation by a Senate, just like it was before those Moslem hordes of Bedouins invaded Syria.

Put in another way. Would you find it acceptable and normal that we call our Party The American Party of Syria? You right away object to it because you understand that we really are peddling an American Agenda or wants Syria to be an American like country. It is the same for substituting Arabs, Islam or other connotation to a party agenda that all it cares about is Syria and Syrians.

You feel safe and secure in your Islam (the religion) blanket and you want to be politically active at the same time. Start building the Muawya Islamic Movement in the Syrian Republican Party Coalition. Otherwise to us, you are nothing more than a traitor and subversive operative working under cover of Arabism and Islam to destroy Syria and Syrian for the interest of others. That is why Arabs, westerners and Jews supports the Baath party, they do the subversion work to keep Syria Politically, economically, socially and militarily weak and impotent.

Think and work for your people the poor Syrians, if you are Syrian.

At 6/21/2005 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your party is the neo cons, then I can assure you that my proposal for an Ismalic party will be far moderate that being a neo-Con.
As far as making aguarantee that there will be a khalifa Omar on the top of this party or having a Ghaddafi, then I can not make such guarantees. What I can guarantee is that voters will have the say in what party they want in power. If the people want to choose a bad charachter like Ghaddafi leading a party then I can only respect the will of the people as long as I will be able to vote them out in a few years after seeing some bad performance. You have to understand that I am calling for a democratic system of government. I am not calling for an Islamic style government simply because we do not have in our Islamic history an example of limited terms. This is not to say that the political system of the early Khalifa was the most liberal at that time. If we see tradition as being liberal (saving the principles), then it is a good tradtion which many people in syria can perscribe to. If we are salafis and want to replicate a 1400 year old system, the we are not. There is nothing in Islam that contradicts democracy. An Islamic party will be voted out of office just like any other party. You have to remember that Christian Democrates in Germany is more in line of what I am calling for. The Noe cons in the States are too extreme christians for me.
Youcan call your party whatever you want and still. I would not vote you in unless I appraise your agenda and beliefs.
Democracy locally is not something people know and it would be very hard for them to accept it if not presented in an Islamic context. Obviouly you are the one living outside Syria and greatly out of touch with the Syrian people. I on the other hand do live in Syria and care so much about the Syrian people in leading their country by choice without excluding anyone. They can congregate anyway they want, present themselves in any form they wish and make up their minds on which ideologies they want to follow. Just let them decide with unlimited options what they want as long as each option recognizes the other's right of existance and speech. We'll see who would score higher at the polls: Your Seniors or the muslims?

At 6/21/2005 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian republican Party said...

If you mean my seniors as of George W. Bush, insinuating that
SRP is some front, my answer to you is; We would be honored to
have W as our leader than any of the looser Moslem Scums that
you are a puppet of and front for.

SRP is an independent organization as our website clearly shows.
We campaign for Syria and Syrian and raise a Syrian banner not
that of some Bedouin in Arabia that is too illiterate to care about you.

Since you are a Moslem and wants a Moslem Party why the F#$#%$k don’t you take your unholy ass and start one where Islam belong, in that sewage plant that is called Saudi Arabia. They needed Your moral Islamic reform party man. They got more oil and cash (if the American will ever see it again) than your
little peanut sized brain knows what to do with it.

These masses you are bragging about that they will vote your Islamic Party into office
by shear numbers are only a figment of your imagination. They will do it once at the start and kick you out of office, probably before you complete your term.

You forgetting that Sunni Moslems who invented and brought the Baath party to power not Alwites or Christians. It was not the Alwites only who overthrown the Democratically elected Syrian government. The bath party boast more than 2 million members and most of them are Sunni Moslem.

Get a reality check will you.

At 6/21/2005 02:35:00 PM, Anonymous Hani said...

To SRP Man, a few comments:

1. You need to clean up that manhole of yours and respond to others with respect. If you're trying to advance a political agenda, you need to start learning the basics of respecting people and tolerance of others' ideas.

2. I happen to be a Syrian who does not believe in Arabism and who does not even consider himself an Arab. I speak Arabic but am Syrian. I am about as "Arab" as a Chilean is Spanish. And, I, too, share the same disdain and contempt for Saudi Arabia and the other sheikdoms, as many others. Further, I am agnostic and do not subscribe to any specific religion. I also might agree that political islam is the biggest failure and will cause even more catastrophic problems for Syria than the current Arab ideology.

My point is that even though your party might have some good points, you are the wrong person to be "evangelizing" your ideas. Your arrogant, aggressive, ignorant and stupid attitude, coupled with your profane, foul mouth does your cause a lot of harm, even among people like me, who would otherwise be natural sympathizers.

At 6/21/2005 05:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Hani,
Thank you for giving SRP the needed reply. I could not have said it a better way. With respect to your opninion, I happen to beleive that an Islamic party in Syria is necessary to complete the political spectrum in a country where religion is an important part of many people's life. Again, I am not calling for an Islamic state nor am I for a totalitarian regime under an Islamic unmbrella. I thought I made myself clear. I am saying that a Syrian Democracy will not be complete without an Islamic party. I would hate to change the ideology from Nationalism to Islamism without actually changing anything. This is bull.
I am one of these people who consider himself a muslim but I do not know anything about the political Islam which accepts other parties competing with it on the political arena. Even if such a party would remain in opposition, I still think we will have things to learn from it since everyone have something to offer and no one can have the right formula for all times.
The article is dealing with the official position of the government allowing the establishement of new parties but not on religious ideologies. I think if we want democracy we should not put limits on it. There is the Nationalist party in France, the Padania cessesionist party in Italy, the Communist party in the USA and all of them are not popular in their country and represent only the minority yet they are allowed to exist. Why should Syria be any different?

At 6/21/2005 05:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Hani,
Thank you for giving SRP the needed reply. I could not have said it a better way. With respect to your opninion, I happen to beleive that an Islamic party in Syria is necessary to complete the political spectrum in a country where religion is an important part of many people's life. Again, I am not calling for an Islamic state nor am I for a totalitarian regime under an Islamic unmbrella. I thought I made myself clear. I am saying that a Syrian Democracy will not be complete without an Islamic party. I would hate to change the ideology from Nationalism to Islamism without actually changing anything. This is bull.
I am one of these people who consider himself a muslim but I do not know anything about the political Islam which accepts other parties competing with it on the political arena. Even if such a party would remain in opposition, I still think we will have things to learn from it since everyone have something to offer and no one can have the right formula for all times.
The article is dealing with the official position of the government allowing the establishement of new parties but not on religious ideologies. I think if we want democracy we should not put limits on it. There is the Nationalist party in France, the Padania cessesionist party in Italy, the Communist party in the USA and all of them are not popular in their country and represent only the minority yet they are allowed to exist. Why should Syria be any different?

At 6/21/2005 06:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your party is calling to teach aramaic language at schools and will not pass students before getting test on ARAMAIC.
SH*****t, you guys are totally out of your minds. Are you sure you are not calling for a ghaddafi style of government.
The SSNP at its haydays was too wierd for a majority to adopt and now you people with this American Neo-SSNP is no better. You people are out of touch with this NAZI bull since nationalism is too out of fashion and too radical

At 6/21/2005 11:36:00 PM, Anonymous Syrian Republican Party said...

Long live the Baath party, 40 more years for Bashar Assad and less than four for Bush. Stay out of this weird party please.

At 6/22/2005 03:02:00 PM, Anonymous Metaz K.M.Aldendeshe said...

Anyone that think the Baath regime in Syria will collapse in a year or so. Is ignorant, and have no real experience of the workings of such structured environment. Bush and his administration bought the scummy and deceptive French President analysis about the regime inability to survive for another year. That was a scam the Euro-Peon French contrived to hold off Bush from action and block a complete entry and control to the Levant (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel) by America.

They understood the importance of Syria to block this total control and sold Bush and his guppy administration that line about collapse.

The guppy’s in Washington, was so worried by this scam, they panicked into pushing Rifaat and Reform Party on the scene by Politically, under the table, nudging Riffat to go public and financially providing RPS with the funding needed to push into Syria, while it held support to other nationalist and Moslem groups for fear that they will not act as puppets for Washington and Tel Aviv.

The fact is, and French President know it well, a withdrawal from Lebanon will only strengthen Syrian government and help consolidate it’s grip on power as it was demonstrated by the latest arrests made and the Baath Congress announcement. The French in a bid to stall the American, contrived this contradictory analysis all a while secretly, directly and through the European Parliament, were working on securing France good will in Damascus.

The U.S. main interest in Syria, is not removing Assad or his regime. They lived and supported it in worse periods. The main goal of U.S. policy is to secure the oil rich region of Syria along the Iraqi boarder where Kurds inhabits the region, hence the support for SRP and Riffat to block Nationalist and Islamist who will pose a threat to the success of this goal.

The ultimate perfect plan that the U.S. is pushing hard for, is merging the Vice President’s American Petro plan with the Pentagon’s Zionist/Jewish plan. This unified plan will requires the division of Syria’s territory into manageable chunks whereby, an Eastern oil rich strip of Syria alongside the Iraqi boarder will be ruled by the Kurds. A Sunni in the region of Aleppo-Homs access, a strong Alwites region on the coast and a very weak Pseudo- government of Assad or a puppet government will rule under orders from Washington and Tel Aviv in the same way Baghdad is now ruled. Hence this push to the front of sectarianism, Alawism, Kurds uprisings, No fly zone…etc.

Would it work? SSPRS strategists has concluded, it AINT GOT A CHANCE. An eventual union of Islamist, Nationalist and Baathist will bring it to a screeching halt in Syria and probably spill over to Iraq.

The U.S. can secure it’s interest in Syria, and Israel can secure a lasting peace but someone, a dummy, has taken the dumbest strategy.

At 10/20/2005 03:14:00 AM, Blogger Purgetroy said...

you claim to respect other people's rights of opinon and respect all minorities and all the other fancy wancy talk, and yet you don't complete a sentence without swearing and insulting Islam and the Muslims and anyone and everyone who disagree with you. Horray for your democracy, sounds more like the democracy of of Bashar. Are you guys too going to win with 99.99% of the "vote of the people"?

As for Islam, I am a proud member of Hizb ut Tahrir al Islami. You only need to look into our history to realise that NEVER before have we ever lived as a proud people with emensly great scientific, military and social advancment than under Islamic rule. I do accept that even the Khilafah had its dark times, but unlike Papist rule in Europe, the Khilafah rule was generally a great and amazing time for the people of North Africa, Middle East and South Western Asia. Never have a conquered people ever held to the ideology of the conquerors than the Islamic force that erupted from Medinah. Never have a conquered people ever called back to be ruled again by past conquerors than those who lived under Islam. The prophet Muhammad said in a hadith that "I will stay with you until Allah wishes and then he will take me away, and then there will be a Khilafah on the method of the prophethood until Allah wishes and then he will take it away, and then there will be a rule by lineage until Allah wishes and then he will take it away and then there will be tyrants and dictators until Allah wishes and then he will take it away, and then there will be a Khilafah on the method of the prophethood." And then the prophet was silent.
As far as Islam, we KNOW it is coming. Another hadith says that it will come from Khurasan, which is central Asia. Alhamdullilah, make a search on google and you will realise that Hizb ut-Tahrir is one of the largest parties in central Asia. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are almost completely Hizb ut-Tahrir.
You want to defend Syrianism? Why? What is Syria? A land within a border line which was drawn by European powers after the first world war whose flag was also designed by the British. What is this Syria that you want to nationalise yourself to? No, there is no brotherhood except the ideological brotherhood. The concept, the mind and the thought, this is the only think that can link people, not a line drawn on a map by a man you claim to be his enemy. Political Islam is only ideology that proved itself to be worthy. Communism and Socialism only lead to dictatorships and Democracy only leads to war for money and immoral unethical disgraceful life for profit and greed. Islam is the only political movement that has brought science, not to be marketed (like Capitalism (or what you like to call Democracy)), but to benefit man, no matter the finincial cost. Political Islam puts down as a basic and minimal need for every son of Adam, no matter the religion he or she follows, "a roof over their heads, food on their plates and clothes on their backs". The Islamic state only has one tax on its people, Zakaat from the Muslims, and Jiziah from the non-Muslims and both are a percentage of wealth, the Jiziah being lower than the Zakaat and there is minimum income to be considered before you are forced to pay. If you cannot pay it then you will not be asked. You can read about the social and economic laws of Islam and realise that it is the only hope for a decent living for all people of all faiths.


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