Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, pro-Assad media outlets and activists have presented a particular narrative which has been championed as “anti-Western” and “anti-Israel”, writes Ibtihal Bsis.
5Pillars published an article earlier this week entitled, “What if everything you believe about Syria isn’t true?” that read more like a fantasy based on a fundamental irony that insults sane Muslims’ intelligence who, the writer contends, rely on a false narrative churned out by Western media. The author, Mulla Jawad, fails to understand that it is he who is relying on a dangerous narrative also churned out by particular State media outlets with a sinister political agenda.
Amongst all the churning, lies the third position: the truth!
The author regurgitates Assad’s arguments to justify his crimes: The Syrian Revolution is a “proxy war” on behalf of NATO and the US. Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, are fighting the moral war and standing up to cretins from all sides: terrorists that pronounce takfeer, imperialists, Israel and the “Sunni” states, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The most inactive border that Israel has experienced is with Syria. Military service in Syria was encouraged, and army personnel recruited on the basis that they will be utilised to liberate Palestine. The Assads lied, father and son.
On 15th May 2011 Assad sent Palestinian individuals, living in Syria, to the Israeli border as a means of “resistance and strength.” The questions are obvious; why didn’t Assad send his army that was coming out in full force against unarmed citizens, and why wait until people called for a revolution to stand up to Israel?
Rami Makhlouf, cousin to Bashar Al Assad, and unsurprisingly, an extremely powerful, affluent and influential figure in Syria, in an interview with the New York Times on 10th May 2011, said “if there is no stability in Syria, there is no stability in Israel.”
More recently, Al Jazeera reported that Israel told the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit in November 2016, that Assad was considered to be the better option for it than “other alternatives.”
Syria’s ally Hezbollah seems to be in the somewhat confusing position of actually assisting the Zionist entity. If Israel is really an enemy to Hasan Nasrallah, this is strategically the best time to attack; all of Hezbollah’s forces are in Syria.
If NATO wanted to destroy Assad and Iran, all it required was a few anti-aircraft missiles given to the Syrian Revolutionaries, and the job would have been done. Or a no-fly zone, as imposed in Libya, would have done the trick. As it stands, Syrian skies have been left to the Syrian and Russian air forces to drop their indiscriminate bombs while the Syrians watch, defenceless.
Assad and the US
To state that Assad and his murderous allies are standing up to the US is laughable. When Assad was instructed by America to hand over his chemical weapons after he used them in Ghouta in 2013, he wilfully complied.
If anything, the US is siding with Bashar Assad for the same reasons as Israel, that any other alternative chosen by the people would not be acceptable. The former Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, told reporters at the Pentagon in October 2014 that “Yes Assad is deriving some benefit” from the US led airstrikes.
Former American Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, on 19th November 2014, told the House of Representatives, “in fact, what we did is we played the role of the Assad air force.”
Then there’s the war on terror card. Is it mere coincidence that the US and all other Western States, Russia, Iran and Assad all sing the same tune, “we are trying to destroy the terrorists.”
Evidence on the ground proves otherwise. The US in its first strikes, hit in an Idlib suburb, Kafar Daryan. When pointed out that ISIS does not exist in the area, the US stated that they were striking the mysterious terror group of “Khorsan”.
Robert Ford in his article in the New York Times in October 2014, noted “nobody in Syria ever heard of Khorsan.”
America’s first casualties were the family of Jahjah. Russia struck the suburbs of Hama, with no ISIS on the ground, they killed the family of Al Za’eem.
The “dangerous naivety” that the Mullah Jawad mentions is suffered by him as he falls into the sectarian trap of Sunni vs Shiite. ISIS have proclaimed takfeer on everyone, not just the Shiites. Many Muslims have had their heads chopped by them, Assad has chopped countless more by various reprehensible means.
The Syrian Alawite Sect that Assad and the ruling class belong to is considered non-Muslims by the consensus of Shiite scholars. Assad has stated that Syria is a secular State. We are in the curious situation of Iran hijacking the Shiites to protect a Syrian secular state, and to fulfil the US agenda; let us not forget that Iran was rewarded a nuclear deal with the US in January 2016 and crippling economic sanctions were lifted.
In turn, Saudi Arabia hijacked the Sunnis (currently also happening in Yeman), also to achieve the Western agenda. Western media has fuelled the Sunni vs Shiite divide, and the Jawad has also participated in this.
History has told us time and again that rulers in the Muslim majority world, with no exception, are puppets and protectors of the US and Western colonial agenda. Handing over resources and military air bases to the US is no secret. Their efforts to divide the Muslim Ummah are an undeniable truth.
No differentiation should be made between the rulers of Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and so on. All are oppressors that are involved in a proxy war on behalf of their Western paymasters.
The people of Syria deplore Iran, not because they are Shiite, but for the same reasons that they deplore the US, they are siding with Assad and trying to control a revolution that started off with good and honourable intentions.
But for a moment, let us pretend that the Jawad is right; does that justify the killing, mutilation, torture and violation of children? Killing half a million, displacing 13 million, some of whom drowned at sea, millions with mutilated bodies, and this has not come from any Western media, these images I saw for myself whilst in Syria.
Jawad superficially quotes “Islam” in his article, what about the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
Abdulla bin Umar (ra) said: I saw the Prophet (pbuh) doing tawwaf around the Ka’aba saying “How sweet are you and how sweet is your scent. How great are you and how great is your sanctity. By the One who the soul of Mohammad is in His Hand the sanctity of a believer is greater with Allah than your sanctity.” (Sunnan Ibn Maja)
Ibtihal Bsis is Libyan by origin and is married to a Syrian activist. She has travelled to Syria regularly since 2004, and her last visit was in 2014. Ibtihal has produced two documentaries on the Syrian revolution and written articles and given interviews on The Syrian Revolution. She studied the Quran under the scholars in Aleppo before the revolution. You can follow her on Twitter @UmmHarith
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of 5Pillars.