A Syrian Lament

This just came in from a senior Christian Syrian, a member of the Next Century Foundation. We publish it without comment:

“The rise in fundamentalism in the area is real. It started with the Iranian revolution in the Shiite world and the onset of the Wahabism in the Sunni world. Who would have thought it would have had such a dramatic result. And now the Christians, together with other unfortunate minorities, are being squeezed by the Sunni – Shia war. I have been watching a lot of Lebanese TV pro and against our Syrian government. You can feel the tension between the two sides. In a debate on TV, an Egyptian was reading from a university of Al Azhar book, some paragraphs of which reflected ISIS ideology … and so another Egyptian who said he felt the same…..the teaching in the area needs to be changed… I was listening to mufti of Syria, Mr Hassoun. He said they are trying to issue what they call ‘Fiqh Al Azama’ which is a guideline to imams in mosques and universities deleting Jihad from the menu. What is very much on the menu for many is the division of Syria; though in the opinion of most it will not solve the problem. The new regions will fight for space and a new and still more brutal civil war will break out if Assad is gone. The Islamic groups are the only contenders for the job of breaking up Syria if the Libyan example is expected to be followed. Many of the people here have listened to commentators that believe that the USA would not want Assad to leave…but just want to weaken him. The situation of the refugees streaming across the Mediterranean from Libya acts as a reminder to Europe that if the Syrian situation worsens, as it could, they too will pay a high price. The Turkish election has just fueled the situation. Turkish opposition newspapers and TV are showing the deep involvement to Erdogan in sending arms and moving jihadists to Syria. And now the 13 Kurdish regions in the east of Turkey have won the election and have 80 MPs, increasing the possibility of the establishment of a Kurdish breakaway region in Northern Syria and Southern Turkey. We all feel that this region will have a turbulent time for years to come….”

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