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The Syrian Struggle… An Ignored Epoch

As the barbarous Alawite regime grabs at the forelock of defeat, it chooses to carry out a relentless spree of massacres against the Syrian civilian population. In what seems an attempt to obliterate every remnant of innocent life, particularly in the west coastal regions of Syria, government backed forces murder more than 150 men, women and children, some mutilated at knife point and others killed through burning.[1] This was just a day after at least 72 were killed in nearby al-Bayda as part of the concurrent series of crimes inflicted by Al Assad’s homicidal regime while unconfirmed reports claim that those killed number in their hundreds. The massive influx of Lebanese and Iraqi militias; ‘Hezbollah’, ‘Basij’, ‘the Mahdi Army’, Iran’s ‘Qods Force’ and Asaib al-Haq[2] has aimed to quell the uprising, ethnically eliminating neighbourhoods of Ahlus-Sunnah. Yet many remain oblivious to the sheer scale of the Syrian struggle. Through observation of the Muslim community in its general perception of what is happening in Syria, a huge contrast between two perceptions is evident. There are those who have understood the depth of the issue, realising its severity beyond any of the preceding uprisings and its significance that cannot be overemphasised. Conversely there are those who have painted the situation as a circular predicament instigated by foreign backed ‘outsiders’, assuming sympathy with the Alawite regime through gullibility or ‘hamiyah’ (fanatical following due to pride).

“Thus he befooled his People, and they obeyed Him…”[3]

The Shia inspired support of the Syrian Alawite regime was heedless of its severe oppression, murder, rape, enslavement and above all the subjugation of the Syrian people to prostration to Bashar and to the utterance of blasphemy against Allah. Such unbounded backing is also embraced by the leftist national coalitions and international governments, not least China and Russia. The support of the latter, being based on maintaining the dwindling communist presence in the middle-east as well as commerce and relations.

These events follow a time when supposed common-ground embraced the political cause of Muslims and certain socialist movements. This political cohesion was based on mutual opposition to foreign wars and invasions, in particular the common opposition to the cruelty against the Palestinian people. The Syrian struggle was to subject these political lines to ‘Tamhees’ (purification), bringing out those who prioritised the confrontation of repression, the establishment of justice for the people of Syria and the maintenance of their creed before everything else. The leftists on the other hand took an uncertain position, largely inconsistent with their pre-claimed ‘anti-war’ tenet, encouraged by a number of motives. Of these motives is the alleged, outward right-wing support of the revolution in addition to the perceived stance of the Assad regime in the face of Israel and in support of the Palestinian resistance. This ‘Tamhees’ was not to spare the very ranks of the Muslims who split into two or more groups: in unconditional support and in unconditional enmity to the uprising in Syria, for again, the same reasons. Combining this with the international media’s apparent disability when it came to the objective coverage of the events of Syria, particularly non-Arabic outlets, left and right, the division was amplified further. On the one hand was the right-wing outlets’ dilemma-stricken coverage, fearful of excessive backing of the revolution and the possibility of an Islamic future in Syria yet confronted by their supposed backing of ‘democracy’. After all, the West does not think twice before waging war on foes or actively and militarily supporting friends. On the other hand, one encounters the left-wing outlets’ interest to counter the bias of the former viewpoint. These have fallen into a stalemate of almost complete disregard of Syria, yet remain unable to find justifications to the actions of the Assad regime.

A Muslim is never Befooled

So what does this leave for the Muslim masses? It is inconceivable to expect that the Muslim community will respond appropriately to the oppression in Syria when the vast majority have a distorted understanding of what is happening in the first place. For the mainstream, it becomes incumbent that logic is applied sparingly to the swarm of events that appear on the outset contradictory to one another to extract the truth of the situation.

The Palestinian cause has long been utilised to serve the interests of the East and West. The delicateness of the cause and its just nature attracts the sympathy of the masses. The Syrian regimes anti-imperialist claims and conditional support of the Palestinian resistance paints one such obscurity to the intentions of the revolution. The recent Israeli airstrike against targets in Damascus, destroying swathes of the regimes ammunition paints another.

Through basic scrutinyof the past and the present, one finds that the history of the Assad regime is littered with attempts to crush the Palestinian resistance. The Tal Al Za’tar massacre of 1976 is witness to them, as well and its suppression of resistance to the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982. The regime’s furthermore alleged stance as a contester of imperialism is disputed by its unconditional support of the US invasion of Iraq in 1991[4]. The cold front of the ‘Golan Heights’ further emphasises this argument. Not a single attempt at liberating this land has been put into effect despite the accumulated crushing force of the Syrian army, now more apparent against its civilians than ever. It nevertheless found the audacity to open its southern borders to the Palestinians living in Syria on the 15th of May, 2011 in order for them to single-handedly ‘liberate’ the Golan Heights only to face their doom at the hands of Israeli border control[5].

Such a bloodthirsty regime is now detested by the very leaders of the Palestinian resistance who have relocated from Damascus to Qatar for better refuge and to avoid its oft-requested cooperation as well as leaders of other Islamic movements. In their foremost is Sheikh Raed Salah who until today rebukes the perpetrations of the Syrian regime, equating their actions to those of the Zionist state[6]. How not when one considers the regime’s obsession in targeting Palestinian camps, most notably in Al Yarmouk?[7] [8] Yet for argument’s sake, sidelining the surrender of the Golan Heights and assuming the Syrian regime’s unabated stance beside the Palestinian cause and its aspiration to liberate Palestine the most fundamental question remains. Would an individual with sound Islamic creed and correct prioritisation of purpose allow the final objective to be obscured? To clarify this point, what is the benefit of being ‘liberated’ by a ‘liberator’ who speaks your tongue and proclaims your cause when such a ‘liberator’ advocates erroneous Aqeedah and subjugates the people of truth, fighting their religion and violating their honour as does the Assad regime? Do we really desire to substitute one enemy for another that we are less familiar with and more despised by? The other question is, does not the Assad regime assume all of those characteristics and demonstrate all of those evils that have caused individuals to oppose Israel and even more?

Despite Israel’s barbarism in its wars, the Israeli army seldom translates its hatred into first-hand slaughtering of children as what continues to emerge at the hands of the pro-Assad militia. The use of the ‘Palestinian card’ as a political currency is something that necessitates scrutiny and referral to the correct Aqeedah. Beyond the zeal to establish the correct Aqeedah and the truth in the land, people will strive for other corrupt ends. Eventually the factions who once alleged the same cause will clash. Those who prioritise cult-driven interests and weapon supply routes will fall victim to their intentions and join the onslaught against the Syrian people, still using the ‘Palestinian card’ to justify their actions, states and tail-gate gangs alike. Israel’s recent intervention does not add legitimacy to the claims of the Assad regime. Indeed Syria was attacked by Israel prior to the uprising but retaliated with cowardly silence. With the present Islamic struggle, protecting the regime is in the interests of Israel who fear the repercussions of an ‘Islamic State’ in Syria. Observers assert that 5th of May attack was to prevent the ‘Free Syrian Army’ who is surrounding vast areas in the suburbs of Damascus from seizing ballistic capabilities.

The Syrian Struggle after Two Decades of Oppression

Who would have imagined that in a country where citizens would avoid staring at the idol of ‘Hafez Al Assad’[9] fearing arrest would rise in the 21st century against the odds to demand their freedom and dignity? In a land where the leader is a successor of a mass slaughterer who murdered at least 20,000 civilians in Hama in 1982 to crush a much smaller uprising[10], manufacturing his own of far more than 70,000 and counting[11]. The unprecedented methods of brutality, documented and disseminated across the internet in order to instil terror into the hearts of those who demand freedom and dignity have only increased our brothers and sisters in their relentlessness, strength and a yearning for martyrdom. A time when we perceived that all remnants of good had been overcome by the tidal force of evil. With such background, it is only possible for a Muslim to judge the affairs of the community objectively, in a way that pleases Allah despite the obscurity of the end of time. When matters become too murky for simple rationale, one must return to the consensus of the scholars who are renowned for their knowledge, trusting their deeper insight and understanding of concurrent events due to their appreciation of the laws (the Sunan) of Allah.

“That has been the Way of Allah already with those who passed away before. And you will not find any change in the Way of Allah .”[12]

By the grace of Allah, the stance of the reputable scholars in support of the uprising against the tyrannical leadership is in utter agreement.[13] In turn, a use of all the available resources in identifying the truth on the ground should be utilised. Not only mainstream media but Arabic as well as non-Arabic outlets for a more holistic understanding of the events, including civilian news coordination groups on social networks. You will find the dissimilarity in coverage substantial.

To describe the 20th century Syrian struggle as an ‘epoch’ is an understatement. By every scale what is happening in Syria is an unsurpassed episode in history, the magnitude of which recent history has not seen the likes of and the implication of which our community is yet to appreciate. The people of Syria or Ash-Shaam are rising against the dark, sinister age of the Alawite, Nusayri, physical and ideological invasion, re-hoisting the banner of Tawheed in its every corner. Their struggle should be at the centre of our concerns if we are truly jealous for the wellbeing of our community, as the outcome of their effort is correlative of the state of our nation. The Prophet Sala Allah ‘alayhi wasalam informs us:

“If the people of Ash-Shaam become corrupt then there is no good left in you. A group of my nation will continue to be given victory, not harmed by those who let them down until the hour arrives.”[14]

The battle that the Syrian people are engaging in is at the least a stepping stone to the reestablishment of an all-encompassing, flourishing Syria and the possible preface to the major events at the end of time including the return of Prophet Jesus ‘alayhisalam who will descend in Damascus, near the white minaret.[15] Muslims are encouraged to do all what they can to stand beside our families in Syria. Supplication in your prostration and in the night is a must, as well as charity, physical and intellectual support, publicity, lobbying and active political participation to answer the cries of our brothers and sisters and the wounds of our children and to uphold the sanctity of this blessed land. We will all be asked about our response in the court of Allah, and if this is to our privilege or otherwise, it occurs that the great matters are happening in our short lives.

Notes:

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[1]http://www.aljazeera.net/light/f6451603-4dff-4ca1-9c10-122741d17432/5ef064a1-0008-4c9f-906e-192f816de6be

[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/10/us-syria-crisis-iraq-idUSBRE9390OB20130410

[3] al-Quran 89:54

[4] http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=11939 Accessed 1st January 2013.

[5] http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/05/15/149183.html

[6] http://www.assabeel.net/arab-and-international/ Accessed 1st January 2013. Such recurrent events find minimal mention in non-Arabic media despite the size of the audiences that are addressed in occupied Palestine.

[7] http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/08/03/230127.html Accessed 1st January 2013.

[8]http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gVPj0VAx30NkDGrIHZs8m1bLV6aQ Accessed 1st January 2013.

[9] Syrian citizens before the revolution would avoid looking at the idol of Hafez Al Assad fearing arrest and interrogation according to Syrian locals.

[10]http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/from-the-archive-blog/2011/aug/01/hama-syria-massacre-1982-archive

[11] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/12/us-syria-crisis-un-idUSBRE91B19C20130212

[12] al-Quran 48:23

[13] https://www.islam21c.com/fataawa/2407-fatwa-on-syria-by-107-scholars Accessed 2nd January 2013

[14] Tirmidhi on the Authority of Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyaan

[15] Saheeh “Fada’il Al Shaam wa Dimashq” – The virtues of Al Shaam and Dimashq (Imam al-Albani) on the authority of Kaysaan ibn Abdillah

About Ahmed Hammuda

Ahmed Hammuda is the Middle East Editor at Islam21c and one of our regular contributors. His interests lie mainly in the field of Middle East Affairs and how they reflect on Muslims living in the West. He is an accomplished Electrical engineer by trade and has been involved in various Dawah activities over the course of his education and working life. He has transferred the same analytical approach required in engineering into a careful and measured approach in his views on politics.

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