Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Islamism in Syria" by Ibrahim Hamidi

Ibrahim Hamidi has the best articles on the spread of Islamism in Syria. See these articles from the January 4 issue of al-Hayat

4/01/2006 London-based paper argues Syria moving towards "Islamism"
Syrian society is moving increasingly towards Islamism, Ibrahim Hamidi has argued in an article published by London-based Arabic paper Al-Hayat. He said that there had been doubts about reported operations against militant cells by Syrian forces, noting that the timing often coincided with international pressure on Syria. But he went on to argue that these incidents and others point to a developing trend in which Syria is departing from a secular socialist past and witnessing increasing signs of an Islamist future. The following is the text of part one of a two-part report headlined: "Islamist streams on the march in Syria. The authorities launch 'pre-emptive strikes' against takfiri dens", published by London-based newspaper Al-Hayat website on 4 January; subheadings inserted editorially unless otherwise indicated:

The Syrian government's announcement that it recently uncovered and broke up several "takfiri cells" [Muslim trend that considers other Muslims as apostates] raises numerous questions. The first question pertains to the level of the Islamist threat to this country, whose "secular" political system has relied on a pan-Arab socialist-leftist ideology for many years. The ultimate question is how successfully the Syrian authorities can keep the Islamist genie in the bottle.

For the first time since the end of the violent clashes between the authorities and the Islamists in the mid-1980s the government announced at the end of April 2004 that it had foiled a "saboteur group's" attempt to attack a building formerly used as a UN office in Al-Mazzah neighbourhood in south Damascus. A few days later Syrian state television broadcast interviews with two of the culprits, during which they said that their motive was to "lift the injustice imposed on the Muslims". Official sources declared that three of the group's four members had gone to Iraq to fight after Saddam Husayn's regime collapsed in the spring of 2003. Among the group members was a man called Ayman Shlash who had run as a ruling Ba'th party candidate in the parliamentary elections in the spring of 2003.

The Al-Mazzah incident was a warning bell about the potential danger of the "Iraqi Arabs" like the "Afghan Arabs" before them, who had returned to their various Arab countries after their "jihad" experiment against the Soviets.

"Locally manufactured"
Several Western governments and some diplomats in Damascus cast doubt on the possibility that Syria was really in danger of "an Islamist terrorist threat". One US spokesman said that the operation had been "locally manufactured" to enable the Syrian government to claim that, rather than being a sponsor of terrorism as according to US terminology, it stood in the same trench as the rest of the world in combating terrorism.

These questions continued to occupy journalists and diplomats whenever an armed clash occurred between extremist groups and the Syrian "anti-terrorist squads" in the second half of 2005. There were reasons for these questions, namely, that all of the terrorist attacks were forestalled and foiled by the security forces and because the names of the "terrorists" who were captured or killed were generally the names of obscure individuals. Political timing was another factor for doubting the official Syrian accounts, for the announcements about these terrorist operations frequently coincided with mounting foreign political pressure on the country.

Jund al-Sham
The first operation, which was attributed to the "Jund al-Sham Organization for Unity and Jihad" occurred in mid-2005 when the security forces besieged a "terrorist cell" in Damascus' Daff al-Shawk neighbourhood. It was the first time that this group's name appeared in the official Syrian media.

In mid-June 2005 the state-owned newspaper Al-Thawrah and Syrian state television transmitted confessions by persons who were said to be members of the "cell". What was striking, however, was that the television station for the first time showed "Jund al-Sham" pamphlets that indicated that the organization embraces an ideological, political and military "project" against Greater Syria's political regimes and man-made laws. They also said that the group advocated violent means to establish an "Islamic emirate" or "caliphate" in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Land of the Two Rivers [Iraq], currently under "Crusader" occupation. This was the substance of the pamphlets that Syrian government sources spoke of.

Ever since then Syrian official media has begun to make periodic announcements about "storming operations" to "break up" takfiri cells in Damascus, then Hamah, then Aleppo, and finally in Idlib at the beginning of December 2005. These were the cities that were the scenes of the most violent clashes between government forces and the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Reporting operations
The common denominator among all these operations is that the authorities have confined themselves to a terse official announcement broadcast by the Syrian News Agency, SANA, while television showed a few pictures of stores containing weapons, ammunition and explosive belts. Because it was difficult or impossible to "verify" these reports and exactly when each operation occurred, other media had to rely on the accounts given by official sources especially as eyewitnesses hesitated to tell their stories.

A striking point is that the official announcements altered their description of the extremist groups from "saboteur groups" to "terrorist cells" belonging to "Jund al-Sham". After the most recent incidents, official reports started calling them "takfiri cells" that had been planning to carry out "terrorist operations". The background behind this official change of terminology from "sabotage" to "takfiri" and "terrorism" remained obscure.

Arab experts who specialize in studying extremist Islamist groups believe that the "Jund al-Sham" organization was founded by Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian individuals in Afghanistan in the 1990s and that it is linked to Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's "Al-Qa'idah of Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers".

It is hard to know whether there is any connection between "Jund al-Sham" and other organizations that carry similar names. A group carrying the name "Jund al-Sham" claimed responsibility for a suicide operation in a British school in Doha in March 2005.

In 2004 a statement was released in Ayn al-Hulwah camp in Lebanon by a group carrying the name "Jund al-Sham". In April 2005 a group calling itself the "Group of Succour and Jihad in Greater Syria" claimed responsibility for Prime Minister Al-Hariri's assassination. It was not taken seriously by Lebanese, Arab and international circles.

A "takfiri" farm and the philosopher of doubt [subheading as published]
According to official sources, a recent operation occurred on a farm in Al-Hamidiyah village, close to the city of Ma'arrat al-Nu'man, hometown of the famous Arab sceptic philosopher Abu-al-Ala al-Ma'arri in Idlib Governorate. It was very violent because it involved a "major headquarters of the fundamentalist groups". Eight died, three of whom blew themselves up with explosive belts in the same way used by Iraqi terrorists and the terrorists who carried out the simultaneous bombings in three Jordanian hotels in November 2005.

Informed sources said that the Syrian security forces arrived at dawn at the farm located on the side of the Damascus-Aleppo highway. The forces surrounded the place and asked all those who were inside the location to surrender. They refused. The security forces requested reinforcements and a helicopter arrived to show the fundamentalists that the government forces were serious. They were asked a second time to surrender but again they refused and indeed began to loudly denounce the security forces and call them infidels.

"Positive message" on Iraq
It is widely believed that the storming of this hideout came in the context of the official Syrian efforts to "combat the jihadists" who wish to go and fight the Americans in Iraq. Damascus, it is said, wished to send a positive message to the Americans and the British that it was "breaking up" networks that wished to back the insurgency in Iraq. This happened at a time when it was coming under international pressure regarding the investigation into Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri's assassination.

A Western diplomat said that he believes that "this hideout was used to smuggle weapons to Iraq". Official sources, however, said that the discovery of this hideout, "which belonged to an Arab fundamentalist organization," came as a result of confessions made by two persons who sustained serious wounds during a security raid that occurred in Aleppo's Al-Naqqarin neighbourhood two days before this operation. That raid, the official sources said, led to the discovery of an explosives factory in that region, which links northern Syria to central Iraq. SANA declared that the Aleppo group had been planning attacks on Syrian officials and government offices.

Al-Khaznawi assassination
In addition to these announced operations, it is believed that other operations occurred about which no announcements were made for security reasons. These operations undoubtedly indicate that Islamist communities in secular-pan-Arab Syria have started to breed certain fanatical groups. One should note at this point that in June 2005 an enlightened cleric, Shaykh Ma'shuq al-Khaznawi, was assassinated two weeks after he was abducted from a Damascus street.

Islamist parliament member Muhammad Habash attributed Al-Khaznawi's assassination to the wish of Salafi Muslims and extremists to dictate their own agenda both to their narrow conservative Islamist circles and also to the wider non-conservative Muslim community. Habash added that he received a death threat on his cellular telephone a few days prior to Al-Khaznawi's kidnapping because of the "enlightened and anti-fanatical ideas" that he embraces and advocates in his writings, the pamphlets published by the Islamic Studies Centres that he directs, and the Friday sermons that he delivers at Al-Zahra Mosque in Al-Mazzah neighbourhood.

Habash said that the uncovering of the "Jund al-Sham" organization and Al-Khaznawi's assassination come under the same heading of "religious fanaticism".

Meanwhile in June 2005 some Western newspapers including the Christian Science Monitor accused certain security circles in Syria of kidnapping and assassinating Al-Khaznawi because he held a meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood's leader in Brussels in February 2005. The brotherhood is a banned group in Syria in accordance with Law 49 of 1980.

Western diplomatic sources have explained the killing of Al-Khaznawi as the "meeting point" of three factors: the growing Islamism in the country, a political "opposition" that lacks broad popularity, and the Syrian Kurds who are organized in around 13 unlicensed political parties, which now enjoy regional status as a result of their political gains in Iraq and the international popular support they get in Europe. The Syrian government has denied this and asserted that Al-Khaznawi's kidnapping from Damascus followed by his torture and murder was merely a criminal action according to the confessions made by the abductors even before his body was found buried in a grave in Dayr al-Zur in northeastern Syria.

Towards Islamism
Parliamentary deputy Habash, who founded the Islamic Studies Centre, is one of the people who are following the movement of Syrian society towards Islamism in a country that has long been regarded as secular and that has long struggled to maintain a pan-Arab, progressive, and secularist character.

Habash formerly told Al-Hayat that he believes that around 80 per cent of the Syrian people are conservative and 20 per cent are reformist and that only one per cent of them are fanatical. He warned, however, that the "80 per cent have no political project and whenever they think of politics, they search for a leader or a cleric who might either be a reformist or a hardliner."

One official expert said: "Not all the conservatives are searching for a leader or a shaykh because the stream that is demanding pluralism and democracy is widespread among conservatives and reformists alike."

Others believe that the Syrians are conservative by nature and that pan-Arab ideology arose in the country at the end of the 19th century when "the sick man of Europe, that is, Ottoman Turkey" grew feeble and the Ottoman Empire, which Islamist ideologues now regard as a 400-year extension of the Islamic Caliphate, began to collapse.

Symbolic signs [subheading as published]
An observation of the apparent changes in the country and its population makes it seem probable that the secular-pan-Arab Syria is becoming increasingly Islamist. This can be seen through symbolic signs like wearing the veil and the proliferation in bookshops of Islamic books instead of communist writings and "Soviet novels". Indeed the large bookshop that lies opposite the Russian Cultural Centre in Damascus's 29 May Street has become one of the largest distributors of religious books and an advanced centre of disseminating religious culture. Formerly the bookshops on this street were full of Marxist books and were frequented by customers who had freed themselves of many local social restrictions.

Coinciding with the increasingly familiar scene of bearded young Syrian men wearing short jallabah as a sign of "Islamic Salafism" most of the restaurants on the Barada River and the Ayn al-Khadra and Al-Fayja neighbourhood on the outskirts of Damascus have stopped offering alcoholic beverages on their menus and have set aside separate sections for families in compliance with conservative social traditions. Indeed these restaurants are now vying with each other to hang the portraits of famous clerics on the walls.

During this year's month of Ramadan Damascus inhabitants in rich neighbourhood started to hang pictures with Islamic themes from their balconies. During last year's Ramadan one citizen in the township of Jurmana, which has a Christian community, was jailed because he "behaved in a way contrary to public morality" by smoking in public while others were fasting.

These Islamist signs become increasingly clear the further we get away from Damascus and into rural Syria. It is precisely such rural areas that were in the past scenes of violent clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and the authorities.

Al-Hayat previously noted that the red colours of the slogan "We will crush the Muslim Brotherhood gang, the puppet of imperialism and Zionism," which had been daubed on a wall, had started to fade. New slogans written in bright green are starting to appear on the highway between the capital and Ma'arrat al-Nu'man. They state: "Do not forget to mention God," and "Pray for the prophet." These slogans have replaced earlier mottos that spoke of secularism, communism and Arab nationalism, for example "No life in this country except for progressiveness and socialism."

In addition to these new slogans green domes are increasing in number in several Syrian villages and towns, with the best specimens rising alongside the highways.

Furthermore, Akram al-Jundi, an inhabitant of Ma'arrat al-Nu'man and the first Syrian citizen to obtain a licence to operate a private television station, which he did in the early 1960s, insists on broadcasting religious programmes on his channel, which has a capital of 12m dollars which he gathered during his work in the Gulf.

When you visit villages and rural neighbourhood, you can hear stories that explain what is happening. In the village of Urum al-Jawz, located in rough mountainous terrain that had once been a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold and a scene of armed clashes, the young man Muhammad al-Nuri could in the past declare openly that he was a communist, for example, or defy local social traditions in the way he dressed and behaved. Fasting was not compulsory in those days and young women rarely wore the Islamic veil. Today, however, the rebellious young man has become a shaykh or at least a conservative man who clings to social traditions. He believes that "Islam is the alternative solution" to communist ideology, which he learnt in a Soviet university and from paperbacks that were given as gifts to Syrian young men.

Story of a generation
The story of Muhammad, who is now in his fifties, tells the story of an entire Syrian generation. Muhammad studied in Moscow in the 1980s and returned as a learned and rebellious man to educate the villagers in "secularism". Two decades later he had surrendered to the power of society and traditions. Indeed Muhammad is now more religiously committed than Ahmad Yusuf, who calls himself the young men's friend, who returned to the village after 10 years in Saudi Arabia, bringing with him conservative Islamist slogans mixed with some Salafi ideas and many Gulf customs in dress and daily behaviour.

In the past the competition between the two "rebellious" young men focused on digging away at the foundations of the strong wall of traditions and social customs because their enthusiasm was strong and their dreams of change were bigger than the village's few scattered houses. Today the competition is focused in reverse and tends to bolster the wall of traditions and attain a greater level of stringent religious commitment. To the local society today, a "virtuous" young man is someone who spends a greater part of his time at the large mosque that was built a few years ago next to the highway so that travellers between Aleppo and the coastal city of Latakia could see it. It replaced the old mosque that was located in a remote corner of the village. In this way the mosque would tell the millions passing along the road in their cars: Look and see how committed we are to our religion.

Hajj Ahmad, as he came to be called after returning from his expatriate years in the Gulf, was at the forefront of the effort to collect donations to build the "Al-Iman" [faith] Mosque on a hill in Urum al-Jawz. Shaykh Muhammad now sends his four children to this mosque to study religion. Formerly he dreamed of building a cultural centre or a large clinic on one of the village hills. His two boys fast in Ramadan and the two girls started wearing the veil before reaching the age of 10. Just as a reminder, this "shaykh" planned in his youth to marry a Soviet woman and have unveiled liberal daughters, just as several thousand other Syrians who studied in the Eastern Bloc used to dream.

Simply put, the experiences of these two men in the past two decades are a specimen of the transformation in the ranks of a generation whose government made ardent efforts to turn society into a modern civil society. The efforts failed and brought about contrary results.

Source: Al-Hayat website, London, in Arabic 4 Jan 06


At 1/25/2006 01:23:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Hey Josh

You've posted the same thing twice.


At 1/25/2006 01:33:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Kevin Sites is in Syria all this week reporting and blogging for Yahoo News.


At 1/25/2006 03:43:00 AM, Blogger Abou Fehmi said...

I think the islamist threat in Syria is real. Forget about the Damascene Sunnis. They are doing well economically. It is the lower middle class poors who are turning more and more to religion as an escape first but then they are indoctornated by the extremists.

"Helas", we are cought between the rock and the hard place.

Brrrr. Miaooo.
Abou Fehmi

At 1/25/2006 04:38:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


Wow, I think this could be the start of the undoing of the regime: Internet Forums are burning with Syrians who are REALLY angry about the increase in gas and cement prices, as this will definitely lead to inflation across the board.

I have NEVER in my short life-time seen the Syrian people so angry and so critical of the government. I guess this is the hair that broke the camel's back?

you can check the record number of posts on Syria-news.com and others. This is really encouraging, the regime has finally managed to piss off the people beyond repair, I hope...

At 1/25/2006 05:23:00 AM, Blogger patriot2sy said...

Here is my point of view about the previous discussion between IDAF and IHSANI..
(Excuse me if I am not very articulate)
I would like to take Iraq as an example: as stated by IDAF, today’s Iraq my indeed be worse than Saddam’s Iraq. Just watch the news…. So what is the difference?
Actually, there is a very important difference, that we should recognize. In Saddam’s days, there was no hope for change. Saddam’s rule would have continued for years and years and years. Today’s Iraq may be WORSE than what it was under Saddam, but the important thing that we should recognize is that NOW there is hope for CHANGE. Today’s Iraq is a dynamic state, and a lot of options are available.

I really hope that we all can work to rebuild our castle in Syria, as IDAF stated. But day after day, listening to the president, speech after speech, I came to the fact that Syria is not our castle, Syria is his private farm, and apparently, we will never be allowed to do anything, because we are no more than animals in this farm.

Does this mean that I would like the Americans to invade my country? Not at all, in fact, this invasion might be used by other parties(as IDAF stated) such as Israel, to push their own agenda. Syria may be indeed destroyed, but at least there will be a hope for change. With the current state going on, Syria is marching towards a slow peaceful death.

Final thoughts:
Freedom has a price, unfortunately, with every day passing this price gets higher.
A patient with gangrene should have the affected limb amputated, that’s painful, but ignoring that may spread the disease, and eventually kill the patient…

At 1/25/2006 06:11:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Odd statement by a new Islamist (or "Islamist") group claiming to represent al-Qa'ida in Lebanon: "We will strike with car bombs all the offices of the UN inside and outside Sabra and Shatila and we will hit many foreign embassies".

They also threaten Palestinian officials, ulemmas and Walid ben Talal.

To make the confusion complete, they call themselves the Black Tigers (which happens to be the name used by the suicide squads of the LTTE in Sri Lanka).

At 1/25/2006 09:06:00 AM, Blogger ugarit said...

All democracy loving expat Syrians should go back to syria, publish, broadcast, employ syrians, push for a just legal system, for an improved constitution. If that's not done there is no alternative but for the Islamists to take control of the country.

At 1/25/2006 09:33:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 09:39:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Syria on the Brink

Posted by Kevin Sites
on Tue, Jan 24 2006

Visit the site

Some dance, some watch, and most wonder: can Syria shake its "rogue state" reputation?

DAMASCUS -- This is probably not what the Bush administration had in mind when it branded Syria a "rogue state": young couples sipping cocktails in a crowded bar, watching others bump and grind on the dance floor to techno, house and funk music.

Damascus bills itself as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, with people living here as long ago as 5,000 B.C. And there's no doubt, it's still very much alive today.

In the old city section of the capital, ancient Arab walls ring a maze of twisting passageways so narrow that pedestrians sometimes have to push their backs up against the cold stone to avoid being kneecapped by cars.

And if car bumpers don't pin you, the sound systems will. A black Mazda weaves through the alley, pushing back people with its mass, the heavy bass thump of American rapper 50 Cent popping from its sound system.

In a club called Mar Mar, 22-year-old Johnny Kharouf and 21-year-old Rand Sabbagh let loose on the dance floor. They're trying to forget their university studies for a few hours. They're also, they say, trying to forget some of the problems their country is facing right now.

Syria, most agree, is in a world of trouble at the moment -- both inside and out.

Politically, the government of President Bashar Assad has been shaken by allegations that Syrian officials were involved in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and possibly other Lebanese politicians and journalists. There is also a serious confrontation with the United States over accusations that foreign fighters are crossing into Iraq from Syria. And on the economic front, Syria's economy has been staggered by international uncertainty and double-digit unemployment.

Kharouf and Sabbagh know Syria has a serious image problem, but for now they need to dance.

"I'm like anyone else who cares about Syria," says Sabbagh. "They don't understand us in the West. They think we're all terrorists or we all wear the hijab [modest dress]."

In another room at Mar Mar, two women, Nibas and Zeina, drink mugs of beer rimmed with salt. They say they used to go out all the time, even though they're both married with children. But tonight is their first evening out in nearly a month.

"It's because of the political situation," says Zeina. "We just don't feel very comfortable coming out. We feel a little guilty having fun when everything is so bad right now."

Syria's problems have had a psychological and an economic impact. At the Souk al-Hamediyeh bazaar in the old city, many of the shopkeepers say business has dropped off by as much as 15-20 percent.

"The Lebanese use to come here all the time," says a furniture shop owner named Abdul. "Now they're staying away because of the Hariri incident."

Syrian boosters are doing their best to draw them back, placing several large banners in the souk, claiming solidarity with the Lebanese people and support for the Syrian President. And as with most of their problems they also blame the Israelis -- in this case, for the murder of Hariri.

The United Nations investigation into the Hariri assassination last year says the evidence shows a link to both Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officials. Syria denies any involvement. The UN investigation is even calling for Syrian President Assad to be interviewed.

In response to all of the political pressure the Syrian government seems to be pursuing a dual strategy of both defiance and compliance, saying it will cooperate with the UN investigation but not allowing an interview with Assad.

Syrian officials also say they've beefed up their border security, putting as many as 7,000 soldiers along the 650 km border with Iraq in response to U.S. and Iraqi complaints about the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq from Syria. [Note - be sure to check back later in the week for Kevin's report from the Syrian border with Iraq.]

The government also recently released five key political prisoners in a gesture it says shows it's moving toward democratic reform.

"It's an example of the enlightened policy of openness," says Fayez al-Sayegh, a spokesman from the Syrian Ministry of Information. "From time to time people will be released."

Sayegh also says these former prisoners will also be able to form opposition parties, as some have vowed to do, once new guidelines are written.

But that openness has it limits. While videotaping in the Souk al-Hamediyeh, I am tailed by the Mukbarrat, the Syrian secret police. When I talk with a group of students in a local tea house, another man, also probably working for the Mukbarrat, cranes his neck in a painfully obvious attempt to listen to every word of our hour-long conversation about all of the issues Syria is facing.

Despite all of the current instability and uncertainty in Syria, some Western businesses still see it as a good long-term investment.

The Four Seasons Corporation recently opened a 300-room hotel in Damascus and says it will begin an aggressive program of attracting not just business travelers, but European and American tourists as well.

And there is even American fast food. The local management of a recently opened Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in the new city say that business is good -- but they still want to keep a low profile. They don't advertise, and they declined to be interviewed.

Back in the old city, some young Syrians will dance and drink until daybreak, losing themselves on the dance floor or in the shadows of the passageways that have existed for thousands of years.

In a quieter place, high above the city on the road up Qasiyun Mountain, people park their cars, walk to the edge and look out over Damascus. The lights of the city, both old and new, sparkle over a huge expanse below.

It is, in some ways, similar to looking at the night sky, knowing the starlight you see has traveled so far a distance that you are actually looking into the past.

For Damascus and the country as a whole that past and present seem to exist together, lingering clearly, but still not providing any clear idea what the future holds.

At 1/25/2006 01:18:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

JAM, give us a break!

Why are you now cutting and pasting and flooding the comment section with superficial stuff like the above, which belongs in the travel pages.

EngineeringChange had already mentioned this writer was in Syria and given us the link. If Sites gets to write any interesting and original observations, then let's be reminded of the link again - but in the meantime the above could have been wrtten from the airport (and Dubai airport at that).

Readers of this comment section are looking for thoughtful quality posts like that of patriot2sy above. Please let us have a chance to see and read them.

At 1/25/2006 01:45:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Pride said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 01:46:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Pride said...


At 1/25/2006 01:49:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 02:06:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

JAM lacked attention when he was a kid and was probably severely bullied. The best policy is to completely ignore him.

As for patriot2sy’s comment, I agree they were thoughtful and his points are well noted, but I am sure he will agree that it’s a lot easier said than done. And I doubt that he personally would be willing to be destroyed along with his country in the process for a better future. All Syrians want a lot of things but when given a limited choice the simple man/woman will want to just eat and survive. Only when their survival is threatened then you will get their attention.

I believe this is cutting issue at the moment. The Syrians, rightly or wrongly, are being given two choices by their leadership at the moment. Live & eat or risk chaos & violence if we are ousted by force. So it comes as no surprise they are opting for apathy by biting their time and hoping that one day, even though they feel it’s unlikely, that the so called “gangrene” well cure its self on its own. So as long as there is no clear third choice I don’t see any change in the current situation.


At 1/25/2006 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

You too, "activelistener" are becoming trash.

What patriot2sy said above is exactly what I was saying for long, and you along others were against.

I said for a long time that freedom has a price, and if civil war is the price, then no matter when we will seek freedom, we will have to pay for it, and so let it be. I also maintained saying for a long time that the situation of the Iraqis after the liberation of their dictator is better than before. That was precisely for the point Patriot2sy has said now. I said earlier, much earlier than any one that the change from the "sheep" status to "human beings" is what this situation may be described at, and that there is now hope for the Iraqis because they have regained their humanity.

So, what is new here? you just want to speak. I realize that the copy/paste) above, the one of the very very very few I have ever made here is bothering you, and it is not that long for you to come to my attack, but since it is bothering you, you are making me exxcited about it, and would do so more often.

So, you may stay an active listener, and send us more bull shits of funny praises to Idaf, and his friends.


Consistency is lacking between you ..all...]

At 1/25/2006 02:35:00 PM, Blogger ghassan said...

With all due respect to both Prof. Landis and Ibrahim Hamidi the said article in the Hayat does not rise to the level of presenting anything that approaches a serious analysis about "Islamism in Syria".

I have enjoyed reading the article but to my mind the effort does not go beyond presenting an assortment of various incidents reported by the official press. What is conspicuous by its absence is the total and utter lack of invetigative journalism in most its basic form. Prof. Landis is again hanging on straws to deliver a justification about the need to compromise with the current regime and to prolong its reign of terror.

Thanks but no thanks. I am convinced that Prof. Landis will one more time find out that there aren't enough gullible readers around to swallow this anecdotal mishmash as a proof that Bashar Assad is the saviour of secularism. Events have demonstrated clearly and convincingly ; with the possible exception of Prof. Landis; that the current regime is made up of thugs who will do anything to stay in power. People power; Islamist and non Islamist; will eventually have its say and the longer this artificial system is allowed to exist then the harder will be its fall

At 1/25/2006 02:35:00 PM, Blogger O.D.M said...

Guys if you have beef with the Syrian regime, send it to :


No Joke..this is taken from the Official website of the People's Council



At 1/25/2006 02:38:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 02:38:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...


Putting Beef in a plural form, "beefs", must have been made by some one who knows English better than the rest of the Syrians, was it BloodyDamascene? or perhaps, bashar Assad hime self since he studied for few months in Britain?


At 1/25/2006 02:45:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

Check this link to...

Can you believe it!! Syria had this man as the “head of the Syrian Army". The Minster of Defense for many many years..
This kind of stories can destroy what ever credibly of us SYRIAN PEOPLE still have..


At 1/25/2006 02:48:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...


Yes, and we have read you, and we have read you and we have read you.

You have in fact written many things that were worth reading, and I have said so (and sometimes distribute and file some of your comments). I have also been very unimpressed by the way Alterion and others have crudely baited and insulted you on the Alawite matter and felt some sympathy at your reaction.

That said, I come to this DISCUSSION group to learn and be intellectually stimulated by others' viewpoints, including yours. But for whatever reason lately you just keep shoving everyone out of the way, shouting personal insults at the top of your voice, hellbent on quantity not quality.

You are capable of much, much better. Let's have it.

At 1/25/2006 04:44:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Almost on the one-year anniversary, Mr. Tlas picks the CD from his drawer and voila, here is the guilty party that everyone is looking for:

It is Israel.

Our own forces saw their planes do it eleven months ago. I am sure the digital imagery of the attack is all ready to be shown to the world.


The masses will love it of course. Proof is not important. It is Israel. They are the only capable party. They are the only party to gain. Case shut. The world owes us a massive apology. All Lebanese politicians, in particular, need to go down on their knees in the middle of Damascus.

At 1/25/2006 04:55:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

UN 'has enough evidence to pin Hariri's assassins': source

BEIRUT: UN Chief Investigator Serge Brammertz "has enough evidence to pin Hariri's assassins," according to judicial sources, as Lebanon's top officials prepare to discuss the nature of the court that will try those accused of assassinating former Premier Rafik Hariri.

The judicial sources said that Brammertz, who succeeded Detlev Mehlis in leading the UN probe investigating Hariri's murder, "has told a Lebanese officials whom he met since his arrival in Beirut last Thursday, that he has enough evidence and information from the files he received from Mehlis to determine and pin those involved in Hariri's assassination."

The spokesperson of the commission stated that "the commissioner has made no comment of this nature to anyone, owing to the confidential nature of all investigation activities."

UN Undersecretary General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel will arrive in Beirut Thursday to confer with Lebanese officials on the nature of the court that will try Hariri's murderers. Lebanon had officially requested a court of an international nature. The Security Council passed a resolution (1644) to this effect, but added that more discussions with Lebanese officials were required.
Daily Star

L'Orient-Le Jour had already reported that "des sources diplomatiques, citées par notre collègue Khalil Fleyhane, ont indiqué que le juge Brammertz, qui a rigoureusement étudié le dossier hérité de son prédécesseur allemand, dispose de données sérieuses appuyées de preuves qui lui permettront d’accélérer le rythme de l’enquête" ("Brammertz pourrait clore l’enquête d’ici à six mois, affirment des sources diplomatiques", 23 jan 2006).

I hope that he has solid evidence, not just new Saddiks and Hussams and Jarjouras.

At 1/25/2006 06:33:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"They also threaten Palestinian officials, ulemmas and Walid ben Talal."

Why Ben Talal? I don't get it.

I think that my mentality is becoming more and more Western because I find it increasingly difficult to understand the Islamist's logic.

At 1/25/2006 06:38:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"UN 'has enough evidence to pin Hariri's assassins': source"

T_desco, Mehlis said a couple of weeks ago that the inquiry could be considerably shorter than he expected at first. A few months agot, he expected the investigation to last for years.

The guy doesn't have a reputation of making empty statements, there may have been a breakthrough that have not been made public yet.

Note that this happened just after Khaddam's defection. If Hariri's assassination was a Syrian operation, Khaddam probably knows everything about it, maybe through Ghazi Kanaan.

This crisis may end sooner than most people expect.

At 1/25/2006 08:16:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


LOL, I didn't believe it until I checked it, really amusing.

As for the moron who's making fun of my language, I'll have him know that I scored in the 85th percentile on the GMAT, and 90th percentile on the SAT, in the English sections (math was even better). If he knows what the hell I'm talking about.

so I suggest that he STFU and get lost.

At 1/25/2006 08:23:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


Don't dismiss the Syrian people too quickly. It's true that they've been dormant for a very long time now, but I can almost feel the heat, beneath all this hypocrisy and lies, the Syrian Street is a compressed gas tank, waiting to explode by a small spark. You can see from the comments to the above-mentioned story that no one is buying Tlas' BS.

I think the spark will be a few more blunders by Bashar & Co. on the economic front, something they're really good at doing consistently. One can only wait and hope.

At 1/25/2006 08:39:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 08:41:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

I just admire the Syrian mentality of bending with the direction of the wind. I may also despise it, and I do so profoundly!

Now, those same people who were defending Bashar with all they got are tilting toward the other direction of the wind which is showing an imminent change in power in syria. Usually Syrians shout "in blood, in our souls we sacrifice for you" to who ever is in power!

Anyway, some one ranked 90% in a test. hahahah, may be he is in the last 10% and he misundertsood the results. Email me your results. Listen: scan them, and email them to my " dictator4you " email address if you like me to believe you.

Have a wonderful change of the guard!


At 1/25/2006 08:42:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 08:42:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 08:45:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...


I actually do not fault the people. It is easy for us to blame them from our comfortable and safe computer desks. I pity them though. I pity the ones who are stuck there. I pity the ones who have to bear the consequences of these insane Baath economic policies. I pity them for having to hold multiple jobs and to beg for bribes to make ends meet. I pity them when I have a meal with my wife that is equivalent to their monthly salaries. I pity them they are powerless, helpless and being used and abused. I am not referring to the handful that are in those busy nightclubs. I am referring to the vast millions that we do not see, talk to, touch or feel. They come to planet earth once and this is what they get? What a waste!

Combustible situation or not, the road ahead is a very arduous indeed. The ship is still heading in the wrong direction. The seas are very turbulent. The captain is just not up to the task. He is not even capable of captaining a rowboat; leave alone a ship with 20 million poor “subjects” on board. .

At 1/25/2006 08:53:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 08:53:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

fix it

At 1/25/2006 08:53:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/25/2006 09:13:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

A brief follow up DB:

As the insane economic policies of the Baath get corrected, the country wil ironically start to realize the severity of the situation. The cement and Benzene are just the tip of the iceberg. The Government has finally realized that subsidies cannot continue forever. As they lift them to correct for the abuse, cheating and massive drain on the national treasury, the people at the bottom are going to suffer the most. Socialism does precisely that. It ends up hurting the very people that it was supposed to protect in the first place. As I have been writing for the 5 months since I joined this forum, people are going to slowly but steadily realize that their so-called castle is no longer that. They will find out that the termites had moved in 40 years ago, and with so much time on their hand, they were able to destroy it from the inside out.

At 1/25/2006 10:00:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

To Mr. Idiot,

"dictator4you" is not a valid email address. Apparently, you have your dog posting for you here, since your IQ is clearly around 20, 30 max. Congratulations, at least you, Bashar, and Bush share something in common.

When was I ever a supporter of Bashar? please bring the relevant quotes, if any. If you're too stupid to understand what people say and try to mold everyone into your preconceived notions then that's your problem, and you do have a deep problem.

At 1/25/2006 10:11:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


Yes, sad but true. How many generations will pass by, barely living, before things change? Palestinians of '48 are now old and dying. I guess if you wait long enough, people will just forget. In 50 years from now, no one will remember what Palestine was, and if we keep things as they are now, no one will remember what dignity was.

Last year I went and spent most of the year in Syria trying to start a business there. Long story short, after facing every possible obstacle and breaking 20 laws just for opening my business, I packed my bags and returned to the US, and I come from an upper-middle-class family. That was the first time I felt that I was an expatriate not by choice, but by the need for survival.

To close, I agree, the "Doctor" turned "Captain" is not working out very well, maybe it's his British training; they drive on the wrong side you know. Hopefully our sad story will have a non-Titanic ending.

At 1/25/2006 10:17:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Hey Bloody Criminal-Innocent damascene:

"dictator4you" is not an email...lol

yes, I am so stupid, I didn't know.


if you are above the 70 IQ mark, you would have known my email as others did who wrote me, just by clicking at my name, and knowing that my email is not exactly "dictator4you", but this word represnts my email that if you had the intelligence you would have known what is meant by that.

So, you are now denying your previous support tothe dictator?

Fine. Then what are we arguing about? we have been always in agreement.

Have a great and wonderful IQ test.


At 1/25/2006 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"Yes, sad but true. How many generations will pass by, barely living, before things change? Palestinians of '48 are now old and dying. I guess if you wait long enough, people will just forget. In 50 years from now, no one will remember what Palestine was, and if we keep things as they are now, no one will remember what dignity was."

Don't worry, because of people like you people in 2148 will still behave like if it was 1948. After all, we live in a region where people talk about the fight between Ali in Muawiya as if it took place yesterday.

Hopefully, by 2148, the technology will allow the Lebanese to build an invisible magnetic wall around Lebanon, or more simply, to teleport our country in Antartica.

But some things will change by the time we reach 2148. Damascus will still look the same of course, but will sing bil rou7, bil dam, nafdika ya Bashar Assad the VIth. Because you see, Bashar el Assad the VIth will be the new savior and will start reforming the country at last (as soon as he'll get rid of the old guard, of course).

At 1/25/2006 11:05:00 PM, Blogger ThePolemicist said...

The beefs@parliament.gov.sy complaint address is new...the old one was: die@castratedparliament.dictatorship.sy

Btw, did anyone else look at that Kevin Sites thing on Syria? What was the point of showing him dance with a fat girl for 5 minutes? Shitty journalism. Next video he's going to be dancing in DC w/ Imad Moustapha.

At 1/26/2006 12:08:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


Aside from your uncalled-for attack, you managed to say something funny for once.

Actually, in 2148, Lebanon will not only be filled with fake boobs, but everything else will be fake: you'll have fake democracy, fake independence, fake culture, and of course, fake and shallow people. Come to think of it, you guys are already there... Congratulations!

At 1/26/2006 01:17:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Maybe one day you'll understand that fake and real are exactly the same thing.

That is, except fake boobs of course.

At 1/26/2006 01:54:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Yeah, that's the problem, you guys always confuse the two, and end up in some crazy civil war before Syria/France/US come and bring your ass back to reality. You want to tell me that the political 'discussion' going on in Lebanon now is evidence of civility or depth? didn't think so.

At 1/26/2006 05:33:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

While the new WMD claims by General Sada are not to be taken seriously, this information cerainly is:

The State Department recently granted visas for self-proclaimed opponents of Mr. Assad to attend a "Syrian National Council" meeting in Washington scheduled for this weekend, even though the attendees include communists, Baathists, and members of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group to the exclusion of other, more mainstream groups.
NY Sun

Perhaps related:

We would share power, says exiled leader of Syrian Islamist group

The exiled leader of Syria's large, outlawed Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, has said his group is ready to share power in a future government with other opposition figures.
Ali Bayanouni, who has political asylum in Britain and lives in north London, said the Muslim Brotherhood wants a peaceful change of government in Damascus and the establishment of a "civil, democratic state", not an Islamic republic.

At 1/26/2006 08:53:00 AM, Blogger Pascal said...

Thank you very much, Dr. Baynouni for sharing power, but please do not share it with any Baathy, what ever branch of Bath they might belong to. Except after being cleared in a court of law.

At 1/26/2006 08:54:00 AM, Blogger Pascal said...

and please stay away from opportunists like DB.

At 1/26/2006 10:39:00 AM, Blogger O.D.M said...

I hate consipracy theories. I think they were created by the Jews to keep us busy from their Zionistic Imperialistic New World Order.


What is this now? As the pressures on Syria are mounting, the file of Iraqi WMD has popped up all of a sudden as Iraq's number 2 man in the airforce has decided to meet with the Senate Armed Committee to testify about Iraq sending all of its WMD and CW to Syria via Civilian Airplanes disguised as aid to the Damn catastrophe in the north late 2002.

This may be a coincidence, that is for sure.


If I hear Condi with Rice saying that Abu Musaab Al Zarqawi "qarqa3" matti with Asef Shawkat in August, 2004 I will formally join the What Really Happened Conspiracy group and go on Naked publicity stunts in Times Square.

ODM in no shape or form is defending the regime..but what he sensed is no trend..it is a fact:

America abuses each opportunity and tries to beef it up to reach its own agenda.

Think about the results of that bloody september 11 day... Caspian Sea Oil, Iraq oil, Arab dominance, EU partnerships, and overall influence.

Wish we had a president who followed the "God Bless Us, f*** everybody else!"

Joine the Disobedience Movement

At 1/26/2006 12:52:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...


The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) also needs to be cleared in a court of law before permitted to share power. They behaved in no better way than the regime.

Most people posting on the blog would be better off living under the Baath than the MB. With all its faults the Baath remains more secular and thus more rational. I for one would be considered a zandiq and would not survive in an MB controlled syria.

At 1/26/2006 01:22:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Strange that the MBs have reached such power, and that people like Ugrait are afraid of>

Syria before the Baath took power was not scary, was it?

I call for all knowledgeable people, and especially those who had known Syria before 1963 to testify how Syria was. What power did the MBs have back then among a very peaceful and evolved people. People who in their 1920 constitution inscibed in it the equal right for all religions including, by name, the Jews. A constitution back then, in 1920 that gave full rights to women in voting, and leaderships. Syria was never before the gang of Assad in particular, a country where minorities were treated any differently from the majority.

As an Alawi, I would vote the MBs in right now. I understand that some Sunnis may wish to take revenge from all Alawis, whether they supported the Assad regime, were against it, benefitted from it, or were hurt by it, but I will understand why, and will work with them to have the rights of all Syrians be respected. I think, that no matter when this regime will fall, whether today, or in a 100 years, if we have reached the kind of hatred between the Syrian people constituens, that this hatred will explode whether today or in few years, or in a 100 years. Let us resolve the problem right now.


At 1/26/2006 01:32:00 PM, Blogger O.D.M said...

I'm a sunni, I don't want no Muslim Brothers in the hood.

Many sunnis share that.

At 1/26/2006 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

The Muslim Brotherhood homeboyz are trying to play the democratic political game for the time being. They are portraying themselves as a reborn tolerant party. But that will never be the case because their inherent and most basic philosophy is flawed in its core, and that can never be cured. This does not mean they cannot succeed in becoming a powerful political party. Religious parties do it all the time in west. But my worry is that most western parties accept that fact that they cannot change people’s behavior by cheer force and that has not changed in the psyche of the MB. They just take their fanaticism to another level. And that’s when I fiercely disagree with people who say I am ready to take anyone other than the Assad regime. Because I truly believe there is a lot worse out there.


At 1/26/2006 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

I am Sunni too, and I don't want MB to be the sole power.but. I don't mind if MB's share the power with the Baath party, and other national movements as along as NO one group or party has a dominant role until a true democracy is on place in Syria, All should participate in a program of transition to a democratic and free society to facilitate a free and fair election for all syrian.

At 1/26/2006 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

on other note, I think Mr. Sief the newly released opposition figure will be used by Mr. Assad & Company as a tool for a pressure release and will say to the world and national oppositions , I am implementing Democratic changes now, Mr. Sief will fall in this trap, They will set him up to run for the Syrian presidency in 2007 against Assad. and Assad will win somehow.
I am sure this what Housni Mubark advised Assad to do for a
( pressure release )

Can you elaborate on this subject, We need a feedback form other please

At 1/26/2006 02:37:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/26/2006 02:40:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Well, well!!!

The above replies should Logically give you the truth about this fear propaganda about the "danger' of seeing this "secular" regime get booted out of power!

As an Alawi, I welcomed the MBs. As Sunnis above (may be they claim to be Sunnis), refused the MBs.

What a wonderful thing then!!! There is no danger from the eventual defeat of this regime to syria and Syrians.

If the Majority of Sunnis on this blog (hopefuly it is as they think: they represent most syrians as they claimed before) are not for the MBs to be in power, and -- the only declared Alawi on this blog says that he welcomes the MBs, then please, ask those fear mongering propagandists such as Joshua Landis to shut up, for their fear campaign about what will happen to Syria once this regime is ousted, is uncovered...Finally, and once and for all.


At 1/26/2006 02:45:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

I am Sunni too, and I don't want MB to be the sole power.but. I don't mind if MB's share the power..
I did not say NO MB's GOT it.
Dude..you are killing me

At 1/26/2006 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...


What difference it makes?

I am saying that you and others as Sunnis do not want the MBs to be the power. (or sole power). There is no difference to the conclusion I have stated.

There is no danger for Syria and Syrians if the regime is booted out.


At 1/26/2006 04:28:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


don't mind what JAM the Alawi (Joseph Haddad? WTF?) aka Pascal says, he is clearly, as someone already said, an Ikhwanji disuguised as an Alawi, and he will twist whatever you say to make it fit his own little mind.

At 1/26/2006 05:09:00 PM, Blogger shamee27 said...

I am sunni, and all what I want is an Islamic state in Syria no matter who establish it be it MB or anyone else ....

At 1/26/2006 06:57:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

The brotherhood is an old political entity in Syria and were represented in Democratically Elected Parliaments during the pre-baath era,at this time, Syria was dominated by the liberal parties,the same parliement that nominated a christian prime minister of Syria and speaker of the parliement.No major incidents were reported that implicated the brotherhood in political violence.This political moderation is not new.They forged political alliances with christian notables in Hama and Aleppo(Al Antaki) and secular parties in the 50's and the beginning ofthe 60's.

At 1/26/2006 07:33:00 PM, Blogger adonis syria said...

The brotherhood is an old political entity in Syria and were represented in Democratically Elected Parliaments during the pre-baath era,at this time, Syria was dominated by the liberal parties,the same parliement that nominated a christian prime minister of Syria and speaker of the parliement.No major incidents were reported that implicated the brotherhood in political violence.This political moderation is not new.They forged political alliances with christian notables in Hama and Aleppo(Al Antaki) and secular parties in the 50's and the beginning ofthe 60's.

At 1/26/2006 08:50:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Islam is part of our thinking, I do not think that MB will control Syria,at any time in the near future,to be proud of arabism is infact, because Koran was sent to us by the great prophet Muhammad,in Arabic, Arabic person means Moslem person, it means nothing that imply one person is better than other , as other nationality implies, we all are equal,white or black ,kurd or druze or one from Damascus,and other from Aleppo, we are honored that Koran was sent to us in Arabic, the great Language,and that what arabism means,it has nothing to do with ethnicity

At 1/26/2006 10:19:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Brother Majed:

Thank you for your words. I prefer to spell Quran with a Q though.

At 1/26/2006 10:47:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

if you know english, you noticed both are correct,obviously, you are mulhed,and lack education

At 1/26/2006 11:28:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Ya Majed ya Majed;

Do you like to insult others always?

What prompted you to do that with me?

Some one calls me an MB, and the other says I am kafer.

What kind of people are you here?

Quran is the right spelling. Kuran also means the same book, but do your research and find that those who spell Quran with a k are Kufar, and hate islam. Seriously. You need to be re-educated in islam. I can teach you some if you are sincere. let me know.

I am very happy I speak arabic also for I will be able toconverse with you in paradise, where arabic is the language there. Yes, i am so proud that Allah chose arabic among all other languages to be his prefered language. You should be kind to people you don't know if you care about the victory of Islam, but you can't make me your enemy for I am secretly, a Muslim MB.

At 1/26/2006 11:58:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

And I am secretly Innocent_Criminal, Tarek, Josh, and your father. Also, I'm an Assadist, Mukhabarat, and a Neo-con, all while being Chinese...

At 1/27/2006 12:49:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Ohhhhh, now I know more. DB=Majed.

Of course!

At 1/27/2006 01:12:00 AM, Blogger ahnad said...


At 1/27/2006 01:44:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

LOOOOOL, it turns out there are only two people here on SC: DB and his 2000 personalities, and JAM. Moron. I love your paranoia, in a few weeks, everyone here is gonna hate you because you'll think they are me and you'll find a way to diss them.

At 1/27/2006 06:19:00 AM, Blogger ugarit said...

Yes the MB is an old movement and was peaceful and it was certainly heavily abused by the Baath. However, if the MB takes over peacefully or not, they will be a different entity now. Saudi Arabia is exporting its Wahhabism through its great wealth and hence the MB will not be like its once peaceful self. Times are different now. When the MB was sharing power secularism was relatively blooming in the newly independent Arab states. Those days are gone. They had no choice but to share power. Nevertheless, they must be allowed to participate in elections as other parties should. That's what democracy is about. I simply won't vote for them.

At 2/04/2006 11:17:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...


At 5/30/2008 11:37:00 PM, Blogger NEIL said...

This post has been removed by the author.


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