March 08, 2012

Syrian Christian Group Declares Opposition to Assad

Pajamas Media:

On a rainy Friday in Washington, I gathered with passionate members of a Syrian opposition group representing a minority whose voices must be heard in the revolution and in the new Syria.

What, I asked the Syrian Christians for Democracy assembled around tables pushed together in the lounge of the Hotel George, is the one thing that Americans need to know about Bashar al-Assad?

“He’s killing kids,” Maroneh native and Boston diaspora leader Essam Francis answered succinctly.

....“Many of the Christians in the Middle East were terrified of the results, seeing what happened in countries such as Iraq and Libya and Egypt,” Stifo said. “It began to scare them of what could happen also in Syria. So we saw a lot of the Christians staying out of this completely.”

He said that it’s not true that the majority of Christians in Syria back the regime, but remained a “silent majority” out of uncertainty about the present and future.

“Our organization looked at this and said, well, it’s taking so long for Christians to make a move,” Stifo said. “We are with the revolution, and the regime was using this claim that Christians were backing them, that the minorities are all with the regime, and using this as leverage for them to stay in power.”

“So we decided to show that, no, the majority of Christians are not with the regime.”

...Francis noted that the support publicly shown for the opposition by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri actually looks like a ploy to aid Assad.

“The Syrian regime helped al-Qaeda kill Americans in Iraq,” he said. “For al-Zawahiri to say something against the Syrian regime is not right. He did a favor for the regime to do that. He gave them reason to kill a lot more people.”

The Zawahiri statement referenced is the one released by al-Qaeda in Pakistan (well that's where he is) that was not translated from English or any other dialect for that matter.

By Howie at 07:03 PM | Comments |