Saddam's Death, 38
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 37: april-may 2014
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

"Zionism [..] has transformed into an imperialistic claw used against the Arab nation. Zionism has partnered wit imperialism and participated in its economic and political plans. Moreover, it relies on its unfounded, historical belief for the purpose of destroying the Arab nation... This means maintaining the weak state of the Arab nation...
Zionism regards unity of Arabs as contradictory to its existence. Therefore, Zionism's line of defense is based on the principle that the Arab nation must be broken....
It is necessary for Zionism to revive all the old historical frictions that took place in the path of nationhood, so it can use them [..] to break up the fabric of Arab nations." (The Saddam's tapes, 1978-2001, page 67)
"Nasser, as the activist leader of Pan-Arabism, became an idealized model for Saddam Hussein. At age 20, inspired by Nasser, Saddam joined the Arab Ba'th socialist Party in Iraq and quickly impressed party officials with his dedication. Two years later, in 1956, apparently emulating Nasser, Iraqi Army General Qassem led a coup which ousted the monarchy. But unlike Nasser, Qassem did not pursue the path of socialism and turned against the Ba'th party. ... Saddam went to Egypt to study law, rising to leadership ranks in the Egyptian Ba'th Party. He returned to Iraq after 1963 when Qassem was ousted by the Ba'ths and was elected to the National Command.
Michel Aflaq, the ideological father of the Ba'th party, admired young Hussein, declaring the Iraqi Ba'th party the finest in the world.... (Dr. Jerrold M. Post)

"Gamal Abdel-Nasser continues to inhabit Egypt because, like Bonaparte, he is the representative of an age of certain national glory, despite the mistakes and the military debacle. But there is more to it than this. Above all, he symbolises for Egyptians the expression of their independent national will. It is this that remains. It is in this that we must seek our project for the future" (Liberating Nasser's legacy, Al-Ahram Weekly 2000)


Neo-Baathism

The ethnic cleansing of Arab Sunnis, Christians and minorities has created a new breed of Iraqis – the Neo-Baathists or Neo-Saddamists.
Although we may have disagreed with it previously, we defend Baathism because under Baathism we were protected – Baathism is secular, left-wing and socialist which is how Iraqi society should be.
Under Baathism there was no ethnic cleansing or targeting of Arab Sunnis, we lived side-by-side in peace with our Shiite, Christian, Sabaean, Yazidi, Kurdish brothers and sisters.
Anbar has become a symbol for Neo-Baathism with many Anbaris still holding the previous Iraqi flag with the 3 stars and the Kufi font.... The 3 stars on the previous Iraqi flag represent: Baathism: Unity, Freedom and Socialism. (Sarah Chronicle 5-5-2013)

“I call on you not to hate because hate does not leave space for a person to be fair
and it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking.”
Saddam Hussein, farewell letter 2006


About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare. In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.

At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)


"We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community." Haile Selassie

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned.., until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation..., until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes.., until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race...., until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained..." Haile Selassie 6-10-1963


"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people …
The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.
No one can doubt that cooperation in the pursuit of knowledge must lead to freedom of the mind and of the soul...." John F.Kennedy, 23-3-1962

Bashar al-Assad: What is happening in Syria
is the complete opposite to the concept of jihad
By The Syrian Observer, 5-7-2013

President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview o the local newspaper al-Thawra, in which he claimed that his opponents have “used up all their tools” and failed to overthrow his regime.

Interviewer: Mr President. You first stated that what is happening in Syria is not a revolution... What made you say that it was not a revolution from the inception?

President Assad: From a historical perspective, any genuine revolution is purely internal and cannot be linked externally by any means, as manifested by the Russian, French and even the Iranian revolutions. Real revolutions are intrinsic, spontaneous, and are led by intellectual and ideological elites. What occurred in Syria since the outset of the crisis was flagrant external interference. There were attempts to hide this, but it has become absolutely clear.
Secondly, the real revolution of 1963 was a revolution that empowered the country, society and human values. It promoted science and knowledge by building thousands of schools, it brought light to the Urban and rural areas of Syria by building electricity lines and networks, it strengthened the economy by providing job opportunities according to competencies. It supported the wider foundations of society including farmers, labourers and skilled-workers. ...
Revolutions are about building countries and societies, not about destroying them; so how can we call what is happening in Syria a revolution? Attempts to package the events on the ground as a part of a revolution have been futile from the beginning. ....

The Rule Of Law
Referendum on new draft constitution
ChamPress, 15-2-2012

DAMASCUS- President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday issued Decree No. 85 for 2012 stipulating for setting Sunday / 26/2/2012 / as a date for referendum on the draft Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic.
The following are some of the main issues included in the constitution's text:

- The Syrian Arab Republic is a democratic state of absolute sovereignty that cannot be divided and no part of its land can be abandoned. Syria is a part of the Arab world.
- The political system of the state is based on political pluralism and power is practiced democratically through voting.
- Society in the Syrian Arab Republic is based on solidarity and respecting the principles of social justice, freedom and equality, in addition to preserving the humanitarian dignity of every individual.
- Freedom is a sacred right. The State guarantees the citizens' personal freedom and preserves their dignity and security.
- Citizens have equal rights and duties. Discrimination due to gender, origin, language, religion or belief is prohibited.
- The State guarantees the equality of opportunity principle among the citizens and every citizen has the right to contribute to the political, economic, social and cultural life in accordance with the regulating law.
- Citizens should respect the constitution and the rules.
- Private life is respected and protected by the law.
- Freedom of belief is secured by the law.
- Every citizen has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
- The rule of the law is the basis of power in the State.
- The president is to be elected directly by the people.
- The judicial authority is independent and the Higher Judicial Council guarantees the independence of the judiciary.

With a voter turnout of 57.4% and 89.4% voting in favour, the new constitution was adopted. President Al-Assad signed the new constitution into force on 27 February 2012. (Wikipedia)

Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic 2012

Homeland is the basis
who has no home, has no dignity or values
Syrian Arab News Agency, Apr 29, 2014

Damascus, SANA, in appreciation for the sanctity of their sacrifices, President Bashar al-Assad and Mrs. Asma al-Assad received Tuesday parents of the only-son martyrs who passed away while defending Homeland although they are pardoned from carrying out any military duty according to Syrian laws.
During the meeting, President al-Assad affirmed what the Syrian people have been subjected to during this war showed states of patriotism at the Syrian citizen which is impossible to be seen in any other place.
"The citizens' willingness to offer the most precious issue they own to defend Syria and not allowing to sabotage it was one of the most important reasons behind steadfastness of the country in the face of most powerful powers which utilized, during this war, the dirtiest tools, starting from money to reach terrorism in order to achieve their targets in Syria," President al-Assad said.
President al-Assad affirmed that the martyrs and families' sacrifices are an object of appreciation by the whole Syrian people, adding "unless these sacrifices, Syria wouldn't remain."
For her part, Mrs. Asma al-Assad said the giving of the martyr's family is not less than the sacrifice of the martyr who passed away while the family remains to live the loss of their sons, adding the minimum thing that we should do is to support these families by all possible means.

Families of the martyrs underlined that Homeland is the basis and who has no home, has no dignity or values.

Assad to face two candidates in Syria presidential vote
Daily News Egypt, May 4, 2014

President Bashar Al-Assad is to face two challengers in Syria’s 3 June presidential election, the constitutional court said Sunday.
“The supreme constitutional court announces… the acceptance of candidacy bids registered by… Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan Abdallah al-Nuri and Bashar Hafez al-Assad,” a court official said.
Twenty-three candidates had initially registered to run against Assad, but most did not meet election criteria to run for office. Both Hajjar and Nuri are largely unknown to the Syrian public.
Candidates whose bids were rejected have until 7 May to appeal the court’s decision, said Majed al-Khadra of the constitutional court, whose statement was carried by state television.

Bashar Hafez al-Assad, born Sept. 11, 1965, in Damascus, Syria. Leader of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. Stepped into the role of heir apparent to the presidency after his older brother, Basil al-Assad, died in a car crash in 1994.
Trained as an ophthamologist in Damascus and London. Met Asma Akhras, a London-born Syrian who worked in investment banking, in the UK. Her parents are Sunni Muslims and of Syrian origin, hailing from the city of Homs. He married her just months after becoming president. They have three children. He is an Alawite, a mystic branch of Shia Islam.

Hajjar was born in Aleppo in 1968. He comes from a family well-known in religious teaching.
Hajjar obtained a diploma in Linguistic Studies from Aleppo University before he joined the Syrian Communist Party in 1984. He seceded from the party in 2000 and formed a temporary leadership for Aleppo’s communists.
In 2003, he formed, along with many communist leaders, the “National Committee for the Unity of Syrian Communists” and was one of its leaders until it changed its name to the “Popular Will Party”, when he became the Secretary of the Party’s Council.
He ran and failed in the 2007 People’s Assembly’ elections and officially opposed the results. During the crisis he ran again for the parliamentary elections in 2012 for Aleppo city within the list of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation and won and came second in the number of votes for independent candidates. (Syrian Observer)

Hassan al-Nouri was born in Damascus on February 9, 1960. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economy and Trade (Business Administration) from the University of Damascus in 1982. He got a PhD in General Management (Human Resources Development) from John F. Kennedy University in California.
Al-Nouri worked as Secretary of Damascus Chamber of Industry between 1997-2000. He was an MP from 1998-2003 and Minister of State for Administrative Development Affairs from 2000-2002. Nouri worked as Secretary of Damascus Chamber of Industry between 1997-2000. Nouri is the head of the National Initiative for Administration and Change in Syria. (SANA, 24-4-2014)


"We preach the best doctrine ever known, the equality of man"
Speech of Senator John F. Kennedy,
Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA, October 10, 1960

A party of progress
 
What would we stand for in this country? Do we stand for a better chance for all our people? Do we practice what we preach? And I agree what we preach is difficult to practice, but we do preach it and we must practice it.
 
We preach the best doctrine ever known, the equality of man, the Government gets consent from the governed, and that everyone is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and we will maintain that position.
We are the heirs of Jefferson. We could not conserve and look backward if we tried. We must look forward. The Democratic Party is the party of progress...
 
The Syria Mosque was torn down on August 27, 1991 and the site is now a parking lot for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Bashar al-Assad's speech, 10-1-2012
The strength of Arabism lies in its diversity

The social structure of the Arab world, with its large diversity, is based on two strong and integrated pillars: Arabism and Islam. Both of them are great, rich and vital. Consequently, we cannot blame them for the wrong human practices. Furthermore, the Muslim and Christian diversity in our country is a major pillar of our Arabism and a foundation of our strength. ...
We should always know that Arabism is an identity not a membership. Arabism is an identity given by history not a certificate given by an organization. Arabism is an honor that characterizes Arab peoples not a stigma carried by some pseudo-Arabs on the Arab or world political stage. ...
The last thing in Arabism is race. Arabism is a question of civilization, a question of common interests, common will and common religions. It is about the things which bring about all the different nationalities which live in this place.
The strength of this Arabism lies in its diversity not in its isolation and not in its one colordness. Arabism hasn’t been built by the Arabs. Arabism has been built by all those non-Arabs who contributed to building it and those who belong to this rich society in which we live.
Its strength lies in its diversity. ... The strength of our Arabism lies in openness, diversity and in showing this diversity not integrating it to look like one component.
Arabism has been accused for decades of chauvinism. This is not true. If there are chauvinistic individuals, this doesn’t mean that Arabism is chauvinistic. It is a condition of civilization.

The Philosophy of the Revolution
Pragmatic and logical approach

Gamal Abdel Nasser was a giant of the twentieth century who curiously is not well-remembered today. He was ahead of his times. The world powers that constantly opposed his attempts to mainstream Egypt into the world while he was alive may long for his forward-looking pragmatic and logical approach compared to the backward-looking Islamist extremism rife in the region today. ...
Nasser wrote a short personal book titled “Egypt’s Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution” about his ideas and dreams. It reveals a sweeping yet deeply analytical mind and acute observer of human behavior whose periods of disillusionment and exhilaration were intense. First published in 1955, his book was all but ignored by the world. (Rompedas 23-7-2009)

DOROTHY THOMPSON: Abdul Nasser was looking for constructive ideas, for men ready to subject their personal ambitions, interests, and hatreds to a concentrated and consecrated effort for the renaissance of the nation.

"We needed order but we found nothing behind us but chaos. We needed unity . . . we found dissension. We needed work . . . we found indolence and sloth. . . . Every man we questioned had nothing to recommend except to kill someone else. Every idea we listened to was nothing but an attack on some other idea. If we had gone along with everything we heard we would have killed off all the people and torn down every idea, and there would have been nothing to do but sit down among the corpses and ruins. ...
"We were deluged with petitions and complaints . . . but most of these cases were no more or less than demands for revenge, as though a revolution had taken place in order to become a weapon in the hand of hatred and vindictiveness."

The Legal System – Revenge or Compassion?
Osho: The Last Testament, Vol.5, Talk #22

"As I see it, first the whole legal system is based on social revenge, not on social compassion.

…"Your whole legal system is a revenge system. The society punishes a person because he was disobedient, because he did not follow the crowd, because he was not part of the mob. He tried to be an individual on his own. He was playing his game according to his own rules. Revenge is not going to help, because you are doing the same crime that the criminal has committed. Of course, you have the support of the whole society; so nobody calls your punishment a crime. But any unprejudiced mind can see what you are doing.

"…The whole legal system needs to drop revengefulness. It has to become compassionate; it has to treat human beings with respect.

"Actions don't count. What counts is the whole personality, which is a vast thing.
"An action is a small thing. Don't make it too big. And we are making it too big. Somebody does something wrong – and remember it is human to err; everybody commits mistakes. But the mistakes should not be taken as equivalent to his life. It is only a small fragment in a long series. Don't give it too much importance. Don't make it the focus of light. Don't throw that man into a jail, undignified, dishonored, all his humanity taken away. Don't behave with that man as if he is an animal.

"Society needs to be more compassionate. Law needs to be more compassionate.

"Remember, man is not for law; law is for man. And if law is not helping man, then it has to be changed.
"It has not helped. There is no doubt about it. And I am not saying that "Withdraw all laws, and dissolve all courts." I am saying that your courts and your laws and your legal experts should make the whole phenomenon based on compassion, not on revenge.
"And compassion is the essence of all religions. And if we cannot create our legal system based on the essential, fundamental religious experience of the ages, then future will condemn us; then future will think about us as barbarous, then future is not going to accept us as civilized people, cultured.

Sharia-fighters or a constitutional referendum?
Tarek Al-Abed, As-Safir, 8-5-2014

Yesterday [May 7], Syria’s Daraa province witnessed three events.
* 1: First, battles broke out in the western countryside and militants started advancing toward the province.
* 2: Second, a march was staged in support of the regime, near the location where armed confrontations were underway.
* 3: Third, tension between Jabhat al-Nusra and other armed groups escalated in the south..

1: Militants announced their control of the hills of Matouq al-Kabir and Matouq al-Saghir and the town of Kharbat Fadi, in addition to a military checkpoint in the vicinity of the village of Ankhel, south of Daraa.
The sources added, “The battle was fought with the participation of al-Mathna Islamic Movement and the Islamic Front — Ahrar al-Sham in particular — in addition to many brigades affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), such as the Hamza Battalion, the 69 Special Forces group, the Yarmouk group, the Ghuraba Houran Brigade, al-Muhajireen Brigade, al-Ansar Brigade and the al-Madfaiya First Regiment.”

Carrying out any political activity or forming any political parties or groupings on the basis of religious, sectarian, tribal, regional, class-based, professional, or on discrimination based on gender, origin, race or color may not be undertaken (Syria Constitution 2012, article 8)
2: People took to the streets in support of the army and armed forces in the city of Azraa in the countryside of Daraa, 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the location of the battle.
SANA news agency reported, “The residents of the city took to the streets in support of national principles and a constitutional referendum.” The participation of state officials in the march for the first time in this region, such as Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, was worth noting.

3: In Deir el-Zour, clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) on one hand, and Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic Front and FSA-affiliated factions on the other, continued...
The fighting zones witnessed a heavy displacement of residents, especially after all parties carried out field executions upon entering the region. This has instilled fear among residents and led them to flee their homes to more secure regions, if there are any.

Although most of the Daraa governorate is under the control of various armed groups, the army controls around 60 percent of the city of Daraa. Out of 135 cities, villages, and towns in the governorate, the army controls 30 directly and 10 indirectly, meaning that the army can stop militants from seizing them.
The rest is under the control of al-Nusra Front and factions affiliated to the Islamic Front, and what is left of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as well as a new group called the Army of Mohammad, which has started to operate in the western areas of the governorate and the eastern countryside of the adjacent Quneitra governorate. Security sources here told us that more than two-thirds of the militants are radical Islamists, with a significant number of non-Syrians in their ranks - 80 percent are from Jordan and Palestine, and the rest are from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and other countries. The remaining third are non-radicals, mostly locals from Daraa. (Al-Akhbar, 3-4-2014)

Al-Ansar (”The supporters’ brigade”), a Salafi faction, is the single largest group in Homs city. The group was formed in Homs in March 2012, and quickly distinguished itself from the rebel mainstream for the stridently religious tone of its propaganda material. The group also stands out among the rebel factions in Homs for its high percentage of university students, many of whom had been activists and leaders in the early protest movement in Homs. (2013)

24-9-2013 Aleppo: Statement by 11 brigades, read by Abdel Aziz Salamah, commander of the al-Tawheed brigade, providing a brief explanation of their views on unity and the external opposition.

1. All Signatories call for all civilian and armed groups to unite under a clear Islamic framework, established on shariah, the sole source of legislation;
2. All signatories are not represented by, and do not recognize, Syrian exile groups, specifically the SNC and the proposed government;

Signatories to the statement are: ◦Jabhat al-Nusra - Islamic Ahrar al-Sham Movement -al-Tawheed Brigade - al-Islam Brigade - Suqour al-Sham Brigades - al-Fajr al-Islamiyah Movement - al-Nur al-Islamiyah Movement - Noureddin al-Zenki Battalions - Fastaqim Kama Ummirat Gathering - 19th Division - al-Ansar Brigade.

Dearborn-USA: Local imams warn against "jihad" in Syria
By Ali Harb, The Arab American, Friday, 9-5-2014

DETROIT — Amid growing security concerns about violent Western jihadists in Syria, several local imams said American Muslims should not join the war overseas.
The war in Syria has drawn thousands of foreign fighters who joined al-Qaeda-linked rebel factions... Western and Arab governments are struggling to stop people from going to fight in Syria. Saudi Arabia has banned fighting in the wartorn country, and the British government has created social programs and is working with parents to prevent their children from going to Syria.

Imam Mohammad Mardini, of the American Muslim Center in Dearborn, said there are two kinds of “jihad,” which literally translates as “struggle” from Arabic. He explained that the grand jihad is self-constraint from sins, and the minor jihad is the fight for righteousness and helping the subjects of injustice, but the political international conflict in Syria does not qualify as “jihad.”
Mardini said he advises the Muslim community's young people to focus on local issues and respect Syria's borders. "The emotional response to the events in Syria does not benefit the Syrian people. Trying to join the fight there is futile," said Mardini. "States have their particularities, and their own people are better equipped to handle them."

Grand Ayatollah Abdul Latif Berry, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge in Dearborn, defined jihad as "self-defense." "When an enemy attacks your land and your country, you have a right to defend yourself. It is a right granted by human nature and international law," he said. "But what's happening in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya today is not jihad. It is terrorism and killing of civilians. We object it and condemn it. I have warned young people in my sermons not to pay attention or be enthused about this false jihad."
Berry added that he objects setting up "naive and foolish" young people by intelligence agencies in order to charge them with terrorism.
"If we follow this policy, thousands of people would end up in jail," he said. "They should set up cunning criminals, not take advantage of the youths' simplicity."

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, the spiritual leader of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, described the U.S. policy in Syria as "political hypocrisy."
"The U.S. government is worried about al-Qaeda in Syria, but at the same time it adds fuel to the fire there, and gives weapons to the opposition. Nobody knows where these weapons end up. The situation is very chaotic there," he said.
Elahi said al-Qaeda's fight in Syria is a "crime, not jihad." "We are concerned about these so-called jihadist foreigners who go to another country to bring destruction and death to it. This has nothing to do with the Islamic concept of jihad," said Elahi.
He added that an international conspiracy has brought al-Qaeda to Syria.
"It is a tragic time for Syria," he stated. "The West has supported the opposition until realizing that it is getting too far, and the extremists are going to be a big threat to the Middle East and the entire world."

Elahi said the war in Syria is not one between Sunnis and Shi'a because the Syrian regime is not Shi'a and most of the Syrian army is Sunni. He added that Hizbullah and Iraqi Shi'a militants have joined the war for political, not sectarian reasons. He said the conflict is used to cause division among Muslims.
However, Elahi said people who are passionate about the situation in Syria should not engage in activities that would break the law. "Whoever lives in this country should follow the rules and regulations of this country," he said.

The Arab American News is unlike any other newspaper. Headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, The Arab American News has a thirty-year history of award winning journalism. Private ownership and advertising revenue have allowed the newspaper to maintain an unwavering level of independence. The Arab American News represents the diverse Arab American community. We showcase news and features from all over the Arab World, including social, political, cultural and religious themes. The Arab American News is the largest, oldest and most respected Arab American newspaper in the United States.

Shaaban: The constructive opposition
works for the sake of its country
Syran Arab News Agency, May 20, 2014

Damascus, (SANA) Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban stressed that national reconciliation in Syria is the basic and sound solution for Syrians as it reflects the view of the Syrian people and revives the sensation of relief and confidence.
In an interview with al-Manar TV channel broadcast Monday, Shaaban said that Syrians want to look forward not backward, asserting that the presidential elections process is an ordinary application of the constitution and a continuity and strength of the state's institutions and role.

She pointed out that presidential elections have nothing to do with the political process in Geneva because the political solution the USA wants of Geneva is to bring its agents to office and change its political identity, whereas the political solution Syria wants is getting rid of terrorism and preserving country's sovereignty ruled by resistant people.


Aleppo 2012

Shaaban clarified that those who came to Geneva to negotiate Syrian delegation were paid persons and they told to perform this part, pointing out the Syrian delegation did not negotiate them but rather it negotiated their masters, who were present in Geneva to instruct them.
She said that the constructive opposition works for the sake of its country, whereas those who claim to be an opposition abroad were created in the USA intelligence circles, wondering whether there is an opposition in the world that urges another state to launch an attack against its country and people, and whether there is "an armed opposition" in the universe.


Presidential Candidate Hassan al-Nouri:
There is no way to end the crisis without the victory of the Syrian army
Syria Times, 21 May 2014

Speaking to the Syriatimes e-newspaper, presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri made it clear that the final phase of the crisis is dangerous because there will be irrational and unethical actions by those who have been involved in the crisis to minimize their losses.
The recent decision of France and Germany to prevent the Syrians living in their countries from voting in the first multi-candidate election, set on May 28th for the Syrians abroad, is among the irrational actions...
"I think that the French President Francois Hollande made a stupid and naïve mistake... I can understand the naivety of Hollande as he is the worst president ever in France's history, but I do not understand why the German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to join France in its naïve decision".

As for the regional countries that have been involved in the ongoing crisis in Syria, al-Nouri underscored that the Turkish government has burnt all ships behind it and it is getting confused, while Saudi Arabia is going backwards.
"The recent reshuffle in Saudi Arabia and the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement are indications of a shift. The new moderate comers to the leadership in Saudi Arabia - Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Miteb bin Abdulaziz and Abdulaziz bin Abdullah - are not against Syria and they are not Syrians' enemies. The current Foreign Minister in Saudi Arabia, Saud al-Faisal, has destroyed his diplomatic and political carriers as he intervened in the crisis in Syria in a wrong way."
Mr. al-Nouri stressed that Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad has started to send signals for openness with Syria.

As for the US Administration's role in the crisis, Mr. al-Nouri said that the Americans supported the terrorist groups operating in Syria to a certain extent in order to force President Bashar al-Assad to step down but al-Assad won the war against terrorism...
He confirmed that there is no way to end the crisis without the victory of the Syrian army. "There is no difference over national principles and the strategy of fighting terrorism."

Mr. al-Nouri added that the coalition opposition, which is linked to different international and regional intelligence agencies, is not qualified to participate in reaching a solution to the crisis. "The members of the coalition are living abroad and they have not visited Syria to know the needs of people."
"I highly respect the internal opposition and the people who formed new parties in Syria, but I disagree with their opinion about presidential election because they said that the election should not be conducted before the end of the crisis. What if the crisis did not finish soon?!"

Mr. al-Nouri , who has received the support of 35 members of parliament to make his run official, is an independent candidate and has no party to support his campaign. He described himself as a strong businessman and he added that he is seeking to convince the silent majority group that doesn't care about the presidential election and cares only about food, security, shelter, health and job, to elect the new leader of Syria.
He sees that it is possible to apply free market economy in Syria despite the EU sanctions being imposed on it...
"Free market economy is a mechanism. It is an organizational structure and culture that everyone has the right to apply. It means free techniques, free rules, free mechanism when you deal with business," he said.
"If you ask me whether I will win this election, probably no because one of the candidates is very very strong, but I am doing very well. Actually, the most important thing for me is my respect to myself, my love and respect to my country and how my country reacts with me."

The platform of the presidential candidate, Mr. Al-Nouri, strongly supports the reconciliation process that helps misled gunmen to return to the bosom of the homeland and considers the stop of violence and rebuilding Syria's infrastructure as priorities.
Mr. al-Nouri concluded by saying: "I will make a big shock at the end and you will hear my name a lot after the election."

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour & Ibrahim Zaaboub

The other side of Syria's war:
a booming coastal economy
Your Middle East, 22-5-2014

A massive influx of displaced families, mainly from Aleppo, to Syria's coast has boosted Latakia, a city whose economy heavily relied on its port and summertime tourism before the war.
"People here on the coast are more relaxed," said Haytham Ahmad, who heads Latakia governorate's media office. "We like to get up late, sip our coffee and smoke our nargileh (water-pipes) before we go to work. But people from Aleppo can't live if they aren't working from morning till night," he said.
Latakia's population has doubled with the arrival of a million people fleeing violence in the northern city of Aleppo, Homs in central Syria and Idlib in the northwest.
"There is a real economic boom. (The displaced) have got things moving, and the jobless have found work," said Sami Sufi, who heads the province's chamber of commerce and industry. "People from Aleppo have a knack for business, and they've headed out to the nearby countryside to set up detergent, cosmetics and even food packaging factories," Sufi added.
Sitting on the beach with his two wives and eight children, 35-year-old Mohammad Sankar says he left Aleppo nearly two years ago.
"We love to work and do business. Look at me, I left my city because of the security situation, and 10 days after I arrived I reopened my sweet factory here," Sankar said. "Business is good, but of course.., should the army retake Aleppo, I will return. I love Syria but my heart is still in my city."


Golan Heights Druze want to vote for Assad: 'We're Syrians'
Hassan Shaalan, YNet News, 05.22.2014

Druze residents living in the [occupied] Golan Heights filed a request Wednesday to the commander of the UN base near the Quneitra Crossing demanding that they be permitted to exercise their right to vote in the Syrian presidential elections. They specified in their appeal their wish that polling stations be set up in their villages in the Golan Heights so that they would be able to take part in choosing the next president of Syria, in elections that will be held on June 3.
"It's our right to participate in the Syrian presidential elections, as it is the right of any Syrian citizen," said Druze resident Ata Farhat. "We speak on behalf of the majority of the Golan Heights residents, more than 80 percent want to take part in the elections.
Farhat believes that the elections are a significant component in the democratic system his community is trying to construct. "All we want is to maintain a strong and unified Syria. I hope that our request is accepted and we will continue to try until our voices are heard. I believe that the request is harmless, and is part of the democracy we are striving to achieve; if our call is not answered, there's nothing we can do."

According to estimates, no surprises are expected should the Druze in the Golan Heights vote, as the majority intends to vote for Assad.

The Syrian Golan is a region in southwest Syria which was occupied on June 5, 1967 by Israeli forces. Before this Israeli occupation, the Golan was home to over 140,000 Syrians, most of whom were driven out of their homeland and into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) status. Most of the Syrian cities, towns and villages in the Golan were destroyed by Israeli occupation forces, who in turn have built over 40 illegal settlements despite all international condemnation. (Permanent Mission Syria to the UN)

The Druze of the Golan Heights have been under Israeli control since the area was occupied in 1967 but have never accepted their new rulers. Almost all have opposed Israel’s 1981 decision to annex the Golan Heights, and more than 90 percent have refused to accept Israeli citizenship.
While there are larger Druze communities in Israel proper, as well as in Lebanon and the rest of Syria, the Druze of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights number some 20,000 people. They live concentrated in four main villages: Majdal Shams, Masada, Buqata, and Ein Qiniyye.
Until 2011, the inhabitants of these villages were able to remain in touch with Syria to a limited extent, despite the official state of war between Israel and Syria. For example, the Golan Druze were allowed to export their yearly apple harvest to Syria for a price higher than the actual market price in Israel, and Druze students from the Golan were allowed to attend Syrian universities.
Since the outbreak of the revolution in Syria in March 2011, it has become increasingly difficult for the Syrian Druze living in the Golan Heights to maintain these links to the motherland. (Carnegieendowment.org)

Saudi arrests professors for links to Brotherhood
Middle East Online, 26-5-2014

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia has arrested nine university professors for their alleged links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement...
Investigators found the professors, two Saudis and the rest from neighbouring countries, had been involved with "foreign organisations" based on "voice recordings and emails" linked to them, Okaz daily reported. It identified the organisation as the Muslim Brotherhood, designated by the interior ministry in March as a "terror" group.

Saudi Arabia and its neighbour the United Arab Emirates have cracked down on Islamists accused of links to the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.
Riyadh had hailed the Egyptian military's ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist president who hails from the Brotherhood. It has also pledged billions of dollars to the army-installed government in Cairo.
The kingdom, along with other absolute monarchies of the Gulf, fears the Brotherhood brand of grass-roots activism and political Islam could undermine its own authority. But in the past Saudi Arabia gave refuge to many Brotherhood members who suffered repression in the 1960s under the regime of Egypt's first modern military ruler, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Traditionally, members of the group were active in academic institutions in the kingdom. On Sunday, Saudi Education Minister Khaled al-Faisal was quoted by media as saying that this was the reason behind the "spread of extremist ideology" in the kingdom.

Flashback 2011: ChamPress, 30-11-2011
Muslim Brotherhood promoted
as the alternative to President Bashar Al-Assad

The mainstream media, such as the BBC and Al Jazeera, in the NATO countries and Arab monarchies are willing to print, publish, or broadcast anything that will degrade Syria and support regime change through sectarian, unprofessional, false, and inflammatory reporting. They are not to be trusted in regards to the facts on the ground in Syria...
Protests demanding reforms and democratization have taken place in Syria. Other protests against corruption and linked subsidy price changes also have taken place, but not on the scale and magnitude that NATO and the GCC portray. Initially there was a forceful crackdown that coincided with attacks by armed groups that had taken advantage of the protests. The problem was compounded by unidentified attackers who attacked both Syrian civilians and Syrian security forces that ignited instability.
As tensions built, this all became further complicated by internal fighting amongst the elite families that form the oligarchies in Damascus. The Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood has also tried to capitalize and armed wings of it, with help from foreigners, have tried to stroke the flames of violence to topple President Bashar Al-Assad.


While the opposition figureheads wear a democratic face on the steps of the Elysée Palace in Paris, none of the armed groups inside Syria aspire to democracy. On the contrary, all, without exception, profess to to embrace Sunni Islamism. Three weeks ago, 80% of the armed groups had attempted to form a command center near the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria. All participants had recognized Sheikh Adnan al-Arour as their spiritual leader and were given a sermon by him. (Voltaire network 21-11-2012)

The situation in Syria is complicated, because there are several competing trends of opposition. This includes the opposition forces in Syria, which range from government lackeys to individuals that genuinely want reform.
Aside from the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, what most of the internal opposition has in common is that they are against violence, any form of foreign intervention, and want reform instead of regime change. It is this opposition that forms the Syrian National Coordination Committee (SNCC), which critics calls a regime appendage.
Outside of Syria, Washington and its allies have done everything to co-opt the SNCC or silence the voices of the SNCC and other internal opposition forces that are against foreign intervention and the use of violence.
When a delegation of the SNCC arrived in Cairo to hold talks with the Arab League, it was immediately attacked and beaten by a mixed crowd of "SNC" supporters that were waiting for them.
The Arab League too has opted to recognize the "SNC", which is not popular internally in Syria. In reality, the "SNC" is controlled by the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and several Salafist groups.
Some of the people listed as "SNC" members were also not consulted before they were added and play no real role in the organization. In this regard, the Muslim Brotherhood is being promoted as the alternative to President Bashar Al-Assad by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the GCC.

Saudi Arabia's Syrian jihad
By Joshua Jacobs, 6-4-2012

When the Syrian uprising began last March, Saudi Arabia was in a state of panic.... However as the Saudi domestic and geopolitical situation began to stabilize, they began to look hungrily at the potential opportunity in Syria.
The shift onto the offensive began in early August when King Abdullah tested the waters by staking out a position as the first Arab leader to castigate the Assad regime.
While the Saudis escalated their rhetoric and began lobbying in Arab diplomatic circles, they also began to unchain their clerical soft power. A steady stream of firebrand clerics and senior religious officials began to take to the airwaves with official Saudi sanction to excoriate the Assad regime and encourage pious Muslims to strive against it. Clerics like Sheikh Adnan al-Arour, a Syrian-born Salafist preacher who has called for a jihad against the Assad regime have been given prime time coverage.
Al-Arour, previously a muslim brotherhood member and sergeant in the Syrian Army, became an Imam in Saudi Arabia, which also provided him with ample TV time on Saudi based Islamist channels.

How Jihad was declared in Syria
Al-Akhbar, 5-1-2013

Egyptian Clerics 1-3-2012
"It Is an Obligation to Kill Bashar Al-Assad"

At the beginning of 2012 70 sheikhs from the Syrian Council of Clerics issued a fatwa, or religious edict, that declared jihad in Syria the duty of all Muslims. The Salafi sheikhs understood that the call for jihad had to be introduced in phases in order for many Syrians to accept it. They had noticed that the early protests were limited to social and economic demands, and when Islamist activists would raise slogans calling for the downfall of the regime, many participants would quickly leave. But soon this began to change and the Islamists were able to call for the execution of the president without alienating the protesters.

Two sheikhs in particular helped lay the groundwork for the rapid growth of Salafism in Syria: Sheikh Mohammed Srour and Sheikh Adnan al-Arour. Both men were once members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood who fled to Saudi Arabia, where they were embraced by the ruling family and the Wahhabi clerical establishment.

Virgin Mary Statue repositioned
in monastery in terrorism-battered Maaloula
Syrian Arab News Agency, May 26, 2014

Damascus Countryside, (SANA) Amid popular and civil participation, the army repositioned Monday a terrorism-battered statue of Virgin Mary in Saints Sergius and Bacchus Monastery in Maaloula town in Damascus Countryside.
The statue sustained significant damage by terrorists when they had ran over the town before being expelled out by the army in mid-April.
The ceremony of the repositioning of the statue, which has been restored, took place in the presence of a number of army officers...

The Motherhood of God

At the very core of Islamic philosophy there is evidence of what can be called a vision of the Motherhood of God.
In the first Sura of the Koran, the Fatiha that is recited by millions of Muslims in their daily devotions, God is called Al Rahmin, the merciful and compassionate one. “Ramin” is derived from the Arabic for “womb” or “matrix”, mercy is also a feminine attribute, and so Muslims are reminded that God can be either woman or man. Every day God is compared to a mother and woman.
While the Muslim vision is often perceived to be authoritarian and punitive the Koran, on close inspection, is filled with descriptions and vision of God’s more feminine attributes such as gentleness, providence, love, universal compassion and tender-heartedness.

Muhammad was himself a living example of the Divine’s infinite capacity for forgiveness: many times he forgave enemies who had committed unspeakable atrocities against him and his brethren.
The religious intolerance that characterises the behaviour of many Muslim communities today is inconsistent with the heritage of tolerance that is professed by the Islamic tradition. For example, the Koran clearly states in several passages that any person who lives a life of holy reverence is welcomed into paradise regardless of their religion...
Muhammad (and also in later Islamic theological scriptures) regarded Mary as the most marvellous of all women, a high adept and living example of the pure and holy life.
Later Koranic commentaries describe Mary as an intervening force between God (Allah) and humanity. This intervening force is characterised by Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, sweetness and humility- the embodiment of Allah’s love for creation. (Fatimah, Mary and the Divine Feminine in Islam)


Adonis 12-2-2012: Better lost than to be
confronted with radical religious dictatorships

Ali Ahmad Said Asbar (known by his pseudonym Adonis) is a famous Syrian poet. Adunis is described as one of the most famous living poets of the Arab world... He gave an interview about the situation in Syria and his answers sure surprise some Western citizens a lot.

In this interview about the chaos and situation in Syria, the Syrian poet made it quite clear that he doesn`t support the so-called Syrian opposition. Adonis (Adunis) gave a description why he is no supporter of the Syrian opposition and in the end very skeptical considering the so-called “Arab Spring”. ...
The rebellion of the youth throughout the Arab world was truly something extraordinary for the Syrian poet Adonis. As the youth has organized everything and how the youth has articulated, impressed him the most... But the Syrian poet also sees the shadow side of this story. Adonis said in this interview, that unfortunately, the Arab youth doesn`t determine the reality. There are the fundamentalists, the very intensive religious people, who lead the current situation with the help of foreign powers...

Considering the takeover of the “Arab spring” by radical Islamists, religious fanatics and fundamentalists, the Syrian poet said that the Arab youth has one voice, one anger and one will, but that this youth is clearly divided. The Arab youth has no ideology and is weak. In the Arab world, so Adonis, are only the fundamentalists seriously organized..

[He] also said that if you don`t separate between religion and state and if you do not give women full and equal rights and if you still rely on the laws of Sharia, you only replace one tyranny with another. The military dictatorship, so Adonis, controls the mind, but the religious dictatorship controls the mind, the body language and the everyday life. ...

We should never forget, so Adonis, that there is already a country based on religion in this region: Israel. We don`t need another religious regime in this region. ...

If the West needs a moderate Islam, the West should begin in Saudi Arabia. He is, so Adunis, against the American policy and also against the West policy towards the Arab world. He is not able to follow their logic...
The Syrian poet Adonis has just one final answer: Better lost than to be confronted with radical religious dictatorships.

Qatar cleric urges boycott of Egypt presidential poll
"It is not permissible for you to vote for he who has disobeyed God"
Al-Alam, 25-5-2014

Influential Qatar-based Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi has called on Egyptians to boycott presidential elections and shun front-runner Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, saying the ex-military strongman had "disobeyed God".
The Egyptian-born cleric, who has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood, has been critical of Egypt's military-installed government, accusing Sisi of betrayal for ousting the country's first freely-elected President Mohamed Morsi last year...
"People of Egypt in the capital and the provinces, cities and villages, sit in your houses and do not burden yourselves with a great sin...," Qaradawi said in an emailed statement. "It is not permissible for you to vote for he who has disobeyed God," he added.
"The duty of the nation is to resist the oppressors, restrain their hands and silence their tongues," said Qaradawi. He further insisted that Sisi's victory in the poll would please the "Zionists," referring to Israel, and "enemies of the nation."
Sisi is expected to easily win the May 26-27 presidential election. His only challenger is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came in third in the 2012 vote won by Morsi.

Persian Gulf Arab states have been unhappy with Doha for sheltering Qaradawi, a major critic of Saudi and UAE authorities, and for giving him air time on its pan-Arab satellite and state television channels.


Youssef El-Qaradawi: "Shoot him"

Egyptian sheikh Youssef El-Qaradawi said that the revolution is "a gift from God" in his Friday sermon from Al-Azhar Mosque on the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution. El-Qaradawi, head of the International Union for Islamic Scholars, said that "whoever doubts that [the revolution] is God's gift, doubts certainty." (Ahram online 25-1-2013)

Yusuf al-Qaradawi (born 9 September 1926) is a controversial Egyptian Islamic theologian. He is best known for his programme, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat ("Shariah and Life"), broadcast on Al Jazeera. Some of al-Qaradawi's views have been controversial in the West: he was refused an entry visa to the United Kingdom in 2008, and barred from entering France in 2012.
Al-Qaradawi has described Shi'ites as heretics ("mubtadi'oun"). Fellow member of International union of Muslim Scholars, Mohammad Salim Al-Awa criticized Qaradawi for promoting divisions among Muslims.

On 21 February 2011, he talked about the protests in Libya and issued a fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi:
“...To the officers and the soldiers who are able to kill Muammar Gaddafi, to whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free the country and [God’s] servants from him, I issue this fatwa (uftî): Do it! That man wants to exterminate the people (sha‘b).
As for me, I protect the people (sha‘b) and I issue this fatwa: Whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free us from his evil, to free Libya and its great people from the evil of this man and from the danger of him, let him do so!'



Muslim Brotherhood Statement: No Mass Murderer Will Rule Egypt
IkhwanWeb, Monday, May 26,2014

To honorable, patriotic Egyptians:
Only you can grant or void legitimacy. You have already given legitimacy to the civilian President, Mohamed Morsi, now held hostage by the putschists. You should not participate in the illegitimate blood ballots.
Fraud and forgery will not lend legitimacy to the criminal putschists. No fraudulent poll results will discourage or dishearten Egypt's revolutionaries, nor will testimonies from Western powers that support the coup with money and weapons, notwithstanding the occasional hypocritical statements they issue to condemn human rights violations.
We will rely on God, the Lord of the Worlds, and we will continue our Revolution..., until this murderous, treasonous coup is completely defeated – which will come to pass soon, God willing. Indeed… "God has full control of all affairs, but most people do not know." The unjust oppressors will soon see what destiny they will ultimately meet.


Terrorist groups “like Ansar Al-Sharia” threaten Libya: EU special envoy
By Callum Paton, Libya Herald, 26-5-2014

The EU High Representative’s Special Envoy for Libya, Bernardino Leon, has said fighting terrorism, “particularly groups like Ansar Al-Sharia” is crucial to the creation of a free and democratic Libya.
Speaking at a press conference in Tripoli yesterday, following a series of meetings with top officials, Leon said “terrorist groups particularly in the east” were “a serious threat to this country and neighbouring countries”. He added that these groups also threatened the safety of the international community.
“This county has been facing increasing problems with state officials killed in Benghazi in Derna,” Leon said. “No democracy can be built in Libya if this situation continues.” He added that groups diametrically opposed to the state had to be removed...

Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic law - Sharia) is a Salafist -jihadist militia. Ansar al-Sharia initially manifested as a revolutionary brigade during the 2011 Libyan revolution and gained prominence following the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi. Whilst the security situation continued to worsen in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL) took advantage of the lack of state control by building local communal ties, which strengthened its ability to operate in more locations than Benghazi...
Ansar al-Sharia believes that only God has the authority to make law, rendering Libya’s current democracy invalid. Ansar al-Sharia views Sharia as the only form of justice and uses tactics such as such as bombings, suicide bombings, kidnappings, attacks on security forces associated with the Libyan Government and assassinations. ASL is associated with activities such as assisting regional jihadists in using Libyan territory as a safe haven for militant training and the smuggling of weapons and fighters. With Libya serving as a conduit for North African individuals seeking to reach the Syrian jihad, ASL is regarded as centrifugal in providing logistical assistance to would-be fighters with mobile training camps established around Benghazi and elsewhere in eastern Libyan (al-Arabiya, November 23, 2013).

The Special Envoy said it was of crucial importance that elections to the House of Representatives go ahead on the proposed date of 25 June and that “all Libyan political actors and stakeholders work democratically and inclusively”.
Responding to a question about retired general Khalifa Hafter, Leon said he had not spoken with the leader of the Dignity Operation. He said, however, that “what is important to take into account is not Hafter but what he represents”, referring to Libyans’ desire for the removal of armed groups.

Libyan Muslim Brotherhood condemns Haftar “coup”
Khalid Mahmoud, Al-Awsat, Friday, 23 May, 2014

The Muslim Brotherhood has strongly condemned statements made by the former army chief in a wide-ranging interview with Asharq Al-Awsat published earlier this week. During the interview, Haftar pledged to “purge” Libya of Muslim Brotherhood members, describing the group as a “malignant disease that is seeking to spread throughout the bones of the Arab world.”
The secretary-general of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, Bashir Al-Kabti, rejected Haftar’s accusations, characterizing his forces’ attack on Benghazi as part of a “military coup” and stressing that the Brotherhood in Libya have always worked within the framework of the law.
Responding to Haftar’s threat to “purge” Libya of the Muslim Brotherhood, Kabti told Asharq Al-Awsat: “I said previously that it is impossible for this to happen in Libya, because all Libyan people are armed. There is a pistol or machine gun or rocket-propelled grenade in every household. All types of weapons are available on the street—we are talking about 22 to 25 kinds of weapon currently on the streets.”

Thousands rally in support of Libyan general Khalifa Haftar
By Agence France-Presse, Friday, May 23, 2014

Ex-general Khalifa Haftar has garnered growing support amid frustration at the lawlessness in Libya three years after the overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi.
“Yes to dignity”, read banners carried by demonstrators at Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli.
Thousands more pro-Haftar demonstrators gathered outside Tibesti Hotel in the eastern city of Benghazi, a stronghold of the Islamists, and in Baida, further east.
“Yes to the army, yes to the police”, their banners read. “No to militias, Libya will not become another Afghanistan.”

Ansar Al-Sharia denounces Operation Dignity as a crusade against Islam
Libya Herald, Tripoli, 28 May 2014

The Commander of Ansar Al-Sharia in Benghazi has denounced the military operation by forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, calling it a “crusade” against Islam.
Speaking at a press conference held at a secret location last night in Benghazi, Mohammed Al-Zahawi claimed that the leader of Operation Dignity was backed the US and allies in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. He said the same fate awaited Haftar as had befallen Qaddafi.
Zahawi warned the US against intervention. He said that any military incursion by the western power would result in defeats worse than those he said it had faced in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia.
Describing recent fighting in Benghazi as a victory for Ansar Al-Sharia, Zahawi said: “We thank God that we were able to defeat Haftar and we challenge him to attempt entering Benghazi again. We warn him that if he continues this war against us, Muslims from across the world will come to fight, as is the case in Syria right now.” He added that the war would continue and that Ansar Al-Sharia would decide when it ended.

Members of Ansar Al-Sharia have been implicated by America in the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, during which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Muammar Al Gaddafi:
The Escape to Hell


How cruel people can be when they flare up together! What a crushing flood that has no mercy for anyone in its way!
It does not heed one's cry or lend one a hand when one is in dire need of help. On the contrary, it flings one about heedlessly.
The individual's tyranny is the easiest kind of tyranny. He is only one among many, who can get rid of him when they wish. He could even be liquidated somehow by somebody unimportant. But the tyranny of the masses is the cruellest kind of tyranny. Who can stand against the crushing current and the blind engulfing power?!.

How loving the masses can be when they are happily excited! They carry their favourite sons high on their shoulders. They carried Hannibal, Barclay, Savonarola, Danton, Ropespierre, Mussolini and Nixon!
But how cruel they can be when they are angrily excited! They plotted against Hannibal by poisoning him. They burnt Savonarola at the stake; they brought their hero, Danton, to the guillotine; they smashed the jaws of Robespierre, the beloved fiance, they dragged Mussolini's carcass along the streets of Milan, and they spat at Nixon's face as he was forced to leave the White House, where they had ushered him in ceremoniously before.

What terror! Who can talk the unfeeling entity into consciousness?! Who can argue with a mass mind not embodied in one individual? Who can hold the hand of the millions?! Who can comprehend a million words pouring out of million mouths at the same time ?! Who can talk sensibly to whom in this terrifying excitement ?!


Ali Akbar Velayati: Syria vote firm response to enemies
Press TV, Fri May 30, 2014

Beirut, (SANA) With high turnout, the Syrian citizens continued Thursday to head to the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon for casting ballots for the second consecutive day to elect a president for their country.
The first day of voting witnessed high turnout in Lebanon which constituted a surprise for all followers on the Lebanese area as no one would expect these huge numbers of voters. The wide turnout also reflects the Syrians' commitment to their constitutional rights and sovereignty of their country. (SANA, 29-5-2014)
The forthcoming presidential election in Syria will be a firm response to enemies of the Syrian government and nation, says an Iranian official.
“The Syrian government and nation have managed to restore relative security to Syria despite the Western countries and regional reactionaries’ all-out offensive, as well as the financial and military support offered by different states to Takfiri terrorists fighting in Syria who come from more than 70 countries,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Syria will hold a presidential election within the next few days in light of the relative security established as a result of the efficient management of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and enormous sacrifices made by the Syrian people, said Velayati.
Through this long crisis imposed upon the country, the Syrian people have come to the conclusion that Assad has managed to defend his nation and country, and prevent the disintegration of Syria or its occupation by foreigners and Takfiri forces,” Velayati, also president of Iran's Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council, pointed out.
He also dismissed Western countries’ opposition to Syria’s next month presidential vote, underlining that only Syrians have the right to determine their country’s destiny and future, and that they will resolve the Syrian conflict through democratic means.
“These days it has become evident that Westerners are not seeking to establish justice and democracy in the region, but rather trying to install a reactionary and pro-Zionist puppet-government in countries like Syria..."

Syria has announced that it will hold the presidential election on June 3. On Wednesday, Syrian citizens living abroad began voting at the Syrian embassies in a number of countries including Iran.
According to Syrian media, several countries including France, Germany, Belgium, and the United Arab Emirates have prevented Syrians from casting their ballots.

Velayati is a conservative pragmatist who helped to move Iran out of its revolutionary isolation and temper its adventurist foreign policies of the early 1980s. He helped Iran to join international organizations and favored developing ties with Europe and developing countries. Internally, his tenure in the foreign ministry has been criticized for putting more emphasis on loyalty than on professional qualifications. (www.answers.com)


Flashback 2012: President Bashar al-Assad :
"Those who have promoted a new age of freedom and prosperity,
have embraced chaos

The political process is moving forward, but terrorism is growing and hasn't subsided. The laws which have been passed since the beginning of the crisis haven't made an impact on terrorism and made it subside.
At the beginning they said that the problem is that there are no political parties - The political parties law was passed - or said that the problem lied in article 8 of the constitution: the whole constitution was changed. There were other pretexts and justifications, but reality has never changed as far as terrorist acts are concerned. We are neither analysing nor inventing something new. Reality itself is providing the clear answer.

Terrorists are concerned neither with reform nor with dialogue. They are criminals who have set themselves a task; and they are not concerned with condemnation or denunciation. They do not care about the tears of wives who have lost their husbands and mothers who have lost their children. They will never stop until they complete their task regardless of anything. They will never stop unless we stop them.
Not distinguishing between terrorism and the political process is a great error made by some people. It lends legitimacy to terrorism sought by terrorists and their masters from the first day of the events. Making this distinction between terrorism and the political process is essential in order to understand and know how to move towards improving the conditions we live under. ...

"We are not facing a political problem"

First of all, we should know that we are not facing a political problem, because had it been a political problem, there should be one party proposing a political or economic program and then we face this party with our own political or economic program. What we are facing is a project of internal sedition aiming at the destruction of the homeland. The instrument of this sedition is terrorism. ....

Chaos is the natural environment for terrorism and those who have promoted a new age of freedom and prosperity, without knowing what they are talking about, have embraced chaos, and chaos embraced terrorism...
Today we see, as a result of short-sightedness, that the freedom they have chanted slogans for is about the blood and the dead bodies of our children and that the democracy they talked about is soaked with our blood. We have paid a high price, but I expect that the price we are going to pay after the end of the crisis might be higher, not in terms of security, but in terms of moral values. (ChamPress, 4-6-2012)

What did we accomplish?
"Everything we touch turns to lead. "
by Justin Raimondo, 1-2-2012

Midas Touch When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn’t just militarily defeat Iraq’s armed forces – we dismantled their army, and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together.
The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was pulverized, and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – roads, bridges, electrical plants, water facilities, museums, schools – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair. Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was dissolved, leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all.

Oh, but our intentions were good – weren’t they? In retrospect, one has to wonder. Of course, anyone can proclaim their intentions to be anything they like, but the trick is to peel away the rhetoric and observe what is actually going on – and what actually did go on was and is a horror show. What we are witnessing in post-Saddam Iraq is the erasure of an entire country. We can say, with confidence: We came, we saw, we atomized.

We came, we saw, we atomized.

And we are repeating the pattern elsewhere in the region: in Libya, for example, the result is very similar to what we witness in Iraq. Western relief agencies are fleeing, human rights groups are pointing to widespread torture and repression, and Gadhafi loyalists are making a comeback. In Egypt, too, our support for the “Arab Spring” has ushered in a military dictatorship and the promise of more chaos to come. In Syria, we are supporting rebels who are conducting a terrorist campaign against the regime, and the future of the country is looking very … Iraqi.
In short, the effects of US actions in the region amount to a reverse Midas touch: everything we touch turns to lead. (antiwar.com 2012)


Flashback 2012: "Dilly-dallying with dogmatic zealots"

The killing, allegedly by suffocation, of United States Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in the Cyrenaican port city of Benghazi in eastern Libya has prompted much talk about the possible implications of growing anti-American sentiment in the countries of the Arab Spring.
The incident marked an important ideological shift in the powers-that-be in Libya. Washington obviously had no notion of the consequences, and the admonition of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi comes to mind.
Washington flirted with militant Islamists and did not heed the words of her erstwhile secularist collaborator, who was derided as a mindless dictator and condemned to die the death of a dog.
Does not Washington stand for democracy and freedom of expression? He had long warned of the consequences of dilly-dallying with dogmatic zealots. But Washington, alas, did not heed his words of wisdom. (Ahram online 12-9-2012)

Gaddafi: The Green Book
"Ignorance will come to an end
when everything is presented as it actually is"


Education, or learning, is not necessarily that methodized curriculum and those classified subjects in text books which youth are forced to learn during specified hours while sitting on rows of desks. This type of education, nowprevailing all over the world, is against human freedom.
Compulsory education is one of the methods which suppresses freedom. It is a compulsory obliteration of a human being's talents as well as a forcible direction of a human being's choices. It is an act of dictatorship damaging to freedom because it deprives man of free choice,creativity and brilliance.
To force a human being to learn according to a set curriculum is a dictatorial act. To impose certain subjects upon people is a dictatorial act.
All methods of education prevailing in the world should be done away with through a worldwide cultural revolution to emancipate man's mind from curricula of fanaticism and from the process of deliberate adaptation of man's taste, his ability to form concepts and his mentality.

This does not mean that schools are to be closed and that people should turn their backs on education, as it may seem to superficial readers. On the contrary, it means that society should provide all types of education, giving people the chance to choose freely any subjects they wish to learn. This requires a sufficient number of schools for all types of education.
Insufficient schools restrict man's freedom of choice forcing him to learn the subjects available, while depriving him of natural right of choice because of the lack of availability of other subjects. ...

Knowledge is a natural right of every human being which nobody has the right to deprive him of under any pretext except in a case where a person himself does something which deprives him of that right.
Ignorance will come to an end when everything is presented as it actually is and when knowledge about everything is available to each person in the manner that suits him.


Fed up with the bloodshed and the Jihadist organizations
By Avi Issacharoff, Israel Times, May 31, 2014

Forecasting the Middle East is a risky business. Everyone who has tried to do so since December 2010 has discovered, again and again, that it’s an impossible task. Still, at the risk of reality proving me wrong, there seem to be indications this week that the unofficial end of the Arab Spring is approaching.
It is too early to eulogize the Middle East’s revolutions and revolutionaries, and in many countries in the region, the political situation is far from stable (see Libya, for example).
But the elections this week in Egypt, and next week in Syria, suggest that the outcome is starting to become clear. The military and the old regime will return to power in Egypt through Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi; and in Syria, though the civil war is far from over, Bashar al-Assad will continue to be president.
Egyptians have grown weary of the chaos, and are asking for quiet and stability above all, which el-Sissi has promised them. Many Syrians, too, are fed up with the bloodshed and the Jihadist organizations, who have destroyed their war for liberation and plenty more besides.

On Wednesday, the main roads of Beirut were clogged with cars because of elections in another country — Syria. Tens of thousands of Syrians living in Lebanon streamed toward the one polling station in Beirut at the Syrian Embassy in Yarzeh, a suburb of the capital, for early voting in Syria’s presidential poll (the actual elections are next Tuesday).
As time went by, the traffic ground to a halt on more and more streets. Syrian citizens, with no other option, walked to the embassy, holding Syrian flags and pictures of Assad, singing songs praising their president....

More than one million Syrian civilians live in Lebanon today. According to some estimates, the number has reached one-and-a-half million...


Detached from reality
Obama’s Collapsing Syria Policy
Consortium News, May 31, 2014

Syria has long been on the neocons’ “regime change” list, so they eagerly supported a violent insurgency to topple the Assad regime even as it veered into extremism. Now, that policy is collapsing but President Obama won’t admit the failure, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

For over three years, the United States has sought to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by supporting an Al Qaeda-infused opposition that Washington either knew or should have known would fail. Yet, in his commencement address at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama promised the American people and the rest of the world more of the same.
Obama’s vague pledge to “ramp up” support for selected oppositionists is a craven sop to those claiming that Assad could be removed if only America would do more. This claim should be decisively rejected as a basis for policy-making, rather than disingenuously humored, for it is dangerously detached from reality.
From the start of the conflict, it has been clear that the constituencies supporting Assad and his government—including not just Christians and non-Sunni Muslims but also non-Islamist Sunnis — add up to well over half of Syrian society.

Since the start of the conflict in March 2011, polling data, participation in the February 2012 referendum on a new constitution, participation in May 2012 parliamentary elections, and other evidence have consistently shown a majority of Syrians continuing to back Assad.
Conversely, there is no polling or other evidence suggesting that anywhere close to a majority of Syrians wants Assad replaced by some part of the opposition. Indeed, the opposition’s popularity appears to be declining as oppositionists become ever more deeply divided and ever more dominated inside Syria by Al Qaeda-like jihadis. Just last year, NATO estimated that popular support for the opposition may have shrunk to as low as 10 percent of the Syrian public.

These readily observable realities notwithstanding, the Obama administration, most of America’s political class, and the mainstream media all jumped on, and have stayed with, a fantastical narrative about cadres of Syrian democrats ready, if just given the tools, to take down a brutal dictator lacking any vestige of legitimacy....


Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wins Egypt's presidential elections
Al-Shorfa, 29-5-2014

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is Egypt's new president after securing more than 96% of the valid votes, Egypt's Ahram Online reported Thursday (May 29th).
Official results will be announced June 1st or 2nd, according to the Presidential Elections Commission, the judicial body overseeing the poll.
Rival candidate Hamdeen Sabahi conceded defeat Thursday after the preliminary results were announced, saying "I accept my defeat and respect the people's choice."
More than 23 million voters cast their ballots for al-Sisi, with Sabahi garnering around 800,000 votes, according to Ahram Online. More than a million votes were invalidated. Election turnout stood at around 47%.

An EU team that observed the election said Thursday the vote was conducted "in line with the law", although it regretted the lack of participation of some "stakeholders"..., in a likely reference to Morsi’s banned Muslim Brotherhood and youth dissident groups.

The Muslim Brotherhood hailed what it sees as a successful boycott.
“The great Egyptian people have given a new slap to the military coup’s roadmap and... written the death certificate of the military coup,” said its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.
Prominent activists behind the uprising which ousted Mubarak three years ago had also called for a boycott, charging that Sisi is an even worse autocrat in the making. (Jordan Times, 29-5-2014)

Flashback 2012: Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi has been named Egypt's fifth president after narrowly defeating his rival, Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq, in the hotly-contested presidential elections' runoffs....
According to the final tally, Mursi won 13,280,131 votes against 12,347,380 (a bit over 48 per cent) for Shafiq, according to the SPEC's official vote count.... (25-6-2012)

Historic vote, deafening blow to the Muslim Brotherhood
Gamal Essam El-Din , Ahram online, 31 May 2014

The winner of this week's presidential election, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, is expected to take the oath of office before the High Constitutional Court to become the ninth president of Egypt next weekend.
Article 144 of the new constitution stipulates that "if there is no parliament sitting during the presidential elections, the new president must be sworn in before the High Constitutional Court."

Officials from El-Sisi's campaign also stressed that his historic victory was highly welcomed by a number of world leaders. They refer with particular interest to a phone call from Russia's president Vladimir Putin. A public statement by the Russian presidency on 30 May expressed Putin's congratulations to El-Sisi for his "convincing" victory in last week's presidential election, and said that the two state leaders "agreed to maintain active contacts and exchange visits at the top level."

Mohamed Salmawy, head of the Egyptian Writers Union and spokesman for the committee which drafted Egypt's recently-passed constitution, believes that "Putin's very early phone call with El-Sisi is very significant because it sends a very important message to America and the West that Russia is about to regain its former strong relations with Egypt during El-Sisi's presidency."
Salmawy describes the reaction of the USA, and the West in general, to Egypt's post-Morsi political roadmap through the election of El-Sisi as very negative. "Not only did you have a Western media highly biased and hostile to the post-Morsi Egypt and new president-elect El-Sisi, but also Western officials who always put pre-conditions for admitting the new status quo in Egypt," said Salmawy.

Salmawy argues that El-Sisi's victory is historic. "He got ten million votes more than Morsi got in 2012 (13 million) and this puts his new legitimacy on strong foundations and gives him a blank cheque to draw the next political map of Egypt, and he was clear when he said that those who will vote for him will vote against any future role for Muslim Brotherhood," said Salmaway, concluding that "as a result, the historic vote he got deals a deafening blow to this group and to the allegations of its officials that it holds political legitimacy to rule in Egypt."

Emad Gad, political analyst of the Al-Ahram research centre, argues that while El-Sisi was clear that Muslim Brotherhood has no future in Egypt's politics, he was also keen to refrain from issuing provocative statements against the USA and the West's pre-conditions.
"He even emphasised that Egypt needs the help of the US in its war against militant Islamists and that America will not be replaced by Russia as a new strategic partner," said Gad, adding that: "at the same time I think that El-Sisi will face strong internal popular pressure to allow Russia to be a counterweight force against America in Egypt."
"There is a strong popular will that Egypt's El-Sisi forge closer relations with other world powers like Russia and China and that this strongly goes in favour of the country's national security and helps nullify the West's pre-conditions for reconciliation with the Brotherhood," said Gad, who expects there to be stronger cooperation between Egypt, Algeria and the military leaders in Libya in fighting any future role for the Muslim Brotherhood in north Africa.


Muslim Brotherhood: "The Revolution is moving forth"
Freedom & Justice Party, June 1,2014

The Anti-Coup Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance issued the following statement:
The Revolution is advancing towards complete victory bolstered by overwhelming public triumph in the empty ballot-box battle. Another nail has been hammered in the coffin of the illegitimate coup, to accelerate its overthrow, to pave the way for a bright future for this homeland, whose poor are groaning from hunger while its thieves and corrupt officials sing and dance to a foreign tune....
To all the people committed to the principles of the Revolution...
We are ready, with you, for the future, to fulfill the dream of the Revolution together. Revolutionary action continues from strength to strength in the "Push forward; we will triumph" week....
The boycott of pro-coup companies and establishments should include coup supporters' companies and products at home and abroad, in anticipation of mass civil disobedience.

Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, along with his fellow traitors, should realize that the Revolution is moving forth like a massive snow ball. Soon, the day will come when it topples all of them, all those who conspired against the Revolution. Then, the haters and the undecided will regret their doubts and hesitation. No-one will listen to them then...

Libya power struggle: Rival interim governments are disputing power
Middle East Online, 31-5-2014

TRIPOLI - Rival interim governments are disputing power in Tripoli less than four weeks before a general election, claiming control of Libya's huge currency reserves from oil and gas.
Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani had announced his intention to step down earlier this year after an armed attack on his family but he is insisting that his successor should be chosen by a new parliament rather than its contested predecessor.
Prime Minister Ahmed Miitig insists his election by the outgoing Islamist-led parliament, largely boycotted by liberals for months, was valid and he has formed a rival administration which met Thursday in a Tripoli luxury hotel.

"We have got ourselves in a real bind," said analyst Salem al-Zarrouk. "Which of the two governments is the central bank going to deal with, who is going to hold the chequebook and who is going to sign the deals with foreign and domestic firms?" he asked.
"To vote in a government to run the country for less than a month and to put in its hands billions of dollars is virtual madness and looks like a deliberate ploy to complicate the situation," said fellow analyst Moataz al-Majbari. "Ahmed Miitig must withdraw from politics immediately. His insistence on his claim to the premiership will only deepen the crisis," he said.
Zarrouk accused the Muslim Brotherhood and its more radical Islamist allies of seeking to install the nominally independent Miitig as part of "a last-ditch bid to hang on to power."

Miitig's supporters in the outgoing interim parliament have been defiant. Speaker Nuri Abu Sahmein has warned Thani that he could face criminal prosecution for his refusal to hand over the premiership in accordance with the vote in the General National Congress.
The GNC's legitimacy was thrown into question when it unilaterally prolonged its mandate, due to expire this February, until December, only agreeing to a June 25 election for a successor body in the face of mass protests on the streets.

And as the rival prime ministers square off in Tripoli, waiting in the wings outside Benghazi is a former general and longtime US exile whose forces have launched two armed assaults, backed by air power, on jihadists in the main eastern city.
Khalifa Haftar claims his forces represent the legitimate national army, and although he has repeatedly denied any political ambitions, his Islamist opponents accuse him of plotting a coup in Tripoli with the backing of liberals and their militia allies.

"Now we have two governments and pretty much two parliaments and two armies," said Suleiman Dogha, a former political leader... "I fear that we will end up with two or three states."

Ahmed Maetig seizes Prime Ministry building
By Moutaz Ali, Libya Herald, 2-6-2014

Prime Minister-designate Ahmed Maetig this afternoon took over the Prime Ministry building with the help of Libya Shield forces and Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room. Although force was used there was no violence or shooting.
A number of ministers of Maetig government headed by the Minister of Labor Mohamed Sualim, supported by armed forces, have occupied the building,” Congressman Abdullah Gmati from Gemenis told the Libya Herald.
“I was out of the building when they came,” Ahmed Lamin, the spokesman for the caretaker government of Abdullah Al-Thinni, explained to this newspaper. “They showed the guards a letter from the General National Congress ordering them to hand over the building.”
Seizing the building is a symbolic victory for Maetig but it is unlikely to give him the reins of power, which rest in Thinni’s hands for the moment.

Libyan court: election of Maiteeq as PM was illegal
Daily Star, June 05, 2014

TRIPOLI: Libya's Supreme Court said on Thursday the election of Ahmed Maiteeq as prime minister was illegal, court officials said. Maiteeq's lawyers immediately filed an appeal against the ruling which was broadcast on television.
Last month, parliament elected Maiteeq as new prime minister in a chaotic vote which has been disputed by some lawmakers and officials who said the quorum had been missed.

Maetig accepts Supreme Court ruling and resigns
By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab, Libya Herald 9-6-2014

In a very short press conference today, Ahmed Maetig accepted the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that his election as prime minister by Congress on 4 May was unconstitutional. He has resigned the appointment.
A spokesman for caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has said that the acting government also accepted the decision and would continue in office. That will almost certainly now be until the new House of Representatives, which will replace Congress, meets and appoints a new government, probably sometime in September.
The court ruling is seen as major blow to the Muslim Brotherhood which had supported Maetig’s appointment, and to the many Congress members who wanted to get rid of Thinni and his government.

Rohani under fire for saying heaven can’t be forced
"One cannot take people to heaven through force and a whip"
Arash Karami, Al-Monitor May 27, 2014

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been criticized for suggesting that force should not be used to promote cultural values in the country. “Do not interfere in people’s lives so much, even if it is out of compassion,” Rouhani said at a health insurance conference on May 24 arranged by the administration. “Let people pick their own path to heaven. One cannot take people to heaven through force and a whip. The Prophet [Mohammad] did not have a whip in his hand.”

Today, May 27, influential conservative Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami responded, “We have to protect our Islamic system”. “We do not want to send anyone to heaven by force, but with your statements, do not straighten the path to hell for anyone.”
Ahmad Khatami compared the criticism against himself and other culturally conservative figures by more reform-minded officials in the administration with that of the early tumultuous years of the Reformist era under former President Mohammad Khatami.
As a member of the Assembly of Experts and a temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader, an important position that is assigned by a body which operates under the supreme leader’s office, Ahmad Khatami’s words typically receive a great deal of attention....

During his speech, Rouhani also recommended that authorities act in a way “so that there is calm in society.” His comments came after two high-profile incidents in Iran that became international news.
On May 21, the director and performers of a video posted to YouTube featuring Pharrell William’s song “Happy” were arrested for making an “obscene” film. Rouhani’s team tweeted in support of their release by quoting an old statement on happiness: "Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy."


Osho: I am all for jokes, I am all for laughter

“I have to tell jokes because you are all religious people, you tend to be serious. I have to tickle you so sometimes you forget your religiousness, you forget all your philosophies, theories, systems,and you fall down to earth. I have to bring you back to the earth again and again, otherwise you will tend to become serious, more and more serious. And seriousness is a canceric growth.
“Laughter relaxes. And relaxation is spiritual. Laughter brings you to the earth, brings you down from your stupid ideas of being holier-than-thou. Laughter brings you to reality as it is.
The world is a play of God, a cosmic joke. And unless you understand it as a cosmic joke you will never be able to understand the ultimate mystery. I am all for jokes, I am all for laughter.”

OSHO JOKE:: A schoolteacher in London had a mixed class containing children of all religions, of all nationalities. One day she asked her class who was the greatest man who ever lived, and said that the child who gave the correct answer would receive a shilling.
The first child was American and answered, George Washington.” Patrick O’Kelly was next and he said that St. Patrick was the greatest man who ever lived. Then there was an Indian child who said Gautam Buddha, and a Chinese who said Lao Tzu. Then little Abe was next in line and without hesitation he answered, “Jesus.”
The teacher promptly gave him the shilling and said, “Now tell me how it is that you, being a little Jew, and not believing in Jesus as the Christ, mention his name as the greatest man who ever lived?”
“Well,” replied Abe, “deep in my heart I know it was Moses, but business is business.” (source: oshobeats)


Syrians from France & Belgium:
We came to Syria to participate
in presidential elections
after depriving us from vote there
Syrian Arab News Agency, 2-6-2014

Damascus Countryside, (SANA) A delegation representing the Syrian communities in France and Belgium arrived Monday in Jdaidet Yabous crossing, Damascus Countryside to participate in the presidential elections scheduled on Tuesday.
Members of the delegation told SANA that they came to Syria after the French and Belgian governments have deprived them from practicing their democratic rights in the elections to make the presidential elections in Syria a success. They expressed support to their homeland and army in countering terrorism.

They touched upon the obstacles they faced at the airports, like cancelling the booking and flights without mentioning the reasons.
Chairman of the Expatriates Gathering for Syria Omran al-Khatib said that the French government prevented them from practicing their right to vote therefore they challenged its decision and came to Syria to elect among our people.


Flashback 2013: "Go back to the principles of the French Revolution"
President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to the French daily Le Figaro
Syrian Arab News Agency, 3-9-2013


Daryl Cagle: The incredible shrinking president

Malbrunot: French Parliamentarians will meet on Wednesday. There is a big debate in France now, with some believing that Hollande has gone too far on this issue. What is your message to the French Parliamentarians before they convene and vote on the strike?

President al-Assad: The question really is: will the meeting of the French parliamentarians return the independence of France’s decisions back to the French? We hope that this would be the case. Since they will be working in the interests of France, will the representatives of the French people take the side of extremism and terrorism? Will they support those who perpetrated the September 11 attacks in New York, or those who bombed the Metro in Spain? Will the representatives of the French people support those who killed the innocents in France?
How can France fight terrorism in Mali and support it in Syria? Will France adopt the American model of double standards? How can the parliamentarians convince the French public that their country is secular, yet at the same time it supports extremism and sectarianism in other parts of the world? How can France advocate for democracy but yet one of its closest allies – Saudi Arabia – is still living in medieval times?
My message to the French Parliamentarians is: go back to the principles of the French Revolution that the whole world is proud of: Liberty, Justice, Equality. ...


The modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. French society itself underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic, and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from various left-wing political groups, the masses on the streets, and peasants in the countryside. Old ideas about tradition and hierarchy regarding monarchs, aristocrats, and the Catholic Church were abruptly overthrown under the mantra of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité." Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of republics and democracies, the spread of liberalism and secularism... (Wikipedia info)

Malbrunot: When your father passed away, you visited France and were received by President Chirac. Everyone viewed you as a youthful and promising president and a successful ophthalmologist. Today, since the crisis, this image has changed. To what extent have you as a person changed?

President al-Assad: The more imperative question is: has the nature of this person changed? The media can manipulate a person’s image at a whim, yet my reality remains the same. I belong to the Syrian people; I defend their interests and independence and will not succumb to external pressure. I cooperate with others in a way that promotes my country’s interests. This is what was never properly understood; they assumed that they could easily influence a young president, that if I had studied in the West I would lose my original culture. This is such a naïve and shallow attitude. I have not changed; they are the ones who wished to identify me differently at the beginning. They need to accept the image of a Syrian president who embraces his country’s independence.


Syria electing president
ITAR-Tass, 3-6-2014

Syria is electing its president on Tuesday. Among the candidates are two opposition representatives and incumbent head of state Bashar Assad, who experts said would be a clear winner. According to sociologists, more than 70% of Syria's electorate (some 11 million people) are ready to support him. Voting stations operate in all regions of the country except the northern province of Raqqah which is controlled by radical militants.
Editor-in-chief of Syria's leading newspaper al-Watan Waddah Abed Rabbo said in an interview with ITAR-TASS that the outcome of the voting was clear as Syrians would certainly choose Assad, because no other politician can bring back peace and stability to the country. "People choose security and stability. They will vote for the person who will bring them peace and prospects for the future. People lived under President Assad, they know him and they will elect him," the expert said, noting that his forecast remained the same, i.e. 70% of voters would back Assad.

It is Syria's first election on an alternative basis, in accordance with the country's new Constitution of 2012. Assad is competing against two little-known rival politicians: a Communist deputy from Aleppo Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, and businessman, former minister Hasan Abdel Illahi an-Nuri. The winner needs 50% plus one vote, otherwise a runoff election is held.
Half of all voters now live in Damascus, which has accommodated some 8 million refugees. They have the right to vote on the strength of their IDs at any voting station in the country.

The international community is equivocal about the election in the country where a civil war is raging. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon believes that the polls do not conform to the letter and spirit of the Geneva communique, adopted at the Geneva I conference on June 30, 2012...
The final document agreed with the need to form an interim government in Damascus to secure an election. Russia, however, believes that the election is yet another step towards stabilizing the situation in the country.

Syrian official: 'West will deal with us as a fait accompli'
Jean Aziz, Al-Monitor, June 2, 2014

DAMASCUS, Syria — Traveling to the office of a government official required circumventing multiple blocked roads. The taxi driver took the initiative to explain: "The old presidential palace, known as Muhajireen Palace, is located here. It lies in the center of Damascus, in a neighborhood carrying the same name, Muhajireen. The president now spends much of his time here."

In the office of the Syrian government official, who requested anonymity, the air conditioner was running slowly. However, he was smiling and seemed relaxed, even delighted. He presented all of the developments occurring in his country with clear optimism. These developments ranged from the balance of military forces, international stances, public and secret diplomatic contacts, all the way to preparations for the presidential elections scheduled for June 3. Al-Monitor asked him: If President Bashar al-Assad is re-elected, and if this occurs with a large voter turnout, according to what you will announce, how will other countries deal with that?
The official smiled before answering: "I can also choose not to recognize the president in any other country in the world. But what difference will my position make? None. What is important is who has authority on the ground and who practices it. This is what we have in Syria, and we are practicing it with the support of a clear majority of Syrians. The West will deal with us as a fait accompli. This equation has been known by us for a long time."

The official paused momentarily, as if giving exceptional importance to what he was going to say, continuing: "Do you know that this is what actually happened on the sidelines of the Geneva II meetings? They initially tried to set up the conference — in form and content — in order to delegitimize us. They exerted all their efforts to achieve this. But from the very beginning of the conference, they knew that they had failed. The scene of the so-called Syrian opposition delegation was enough to break down their attempts to distort the legitimacy of our authority and our representation of the Syrian state....
"After these attempts failed, it seemed that they went back and resorted to a counterplan.... Brahimi relayed a personal proposal for a meeting between Minister Moallem and Kerry's assistant, [Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs] Wendy Sherman. Jaafari said that this could not occur, but asked for clarification regarding the goal of these attempts. They said to him frankly: 'They want to convey to you a political message that they could turn a blind eye on Assad remaining in office, but without holding new presidential elections.' The Syrian constitution allows for the holding of these elections, and states that the president can continue in his position at the end of his term if a successor is not elected, and stay until one is elected. Thus, they had no problem with applying this text, but [they didn't] want us to conduct elections to re-elect Assad!"


Syria Presidential vote underway despite militancy
by Jim W. Dean, Veterans Now, 3-6-2014

The rebels have already been voting, early and often…with hot steel ballots. Shelling has continued on the outside of the city all day, mostly the morning wakeup call kind to remind people that they are still there, and then again at twilight… commonly done in past wars. We have the window open in the business office as the Dama Rose Hotel so we can hear the man made thunder.
I am with a group of ten Western observers who have come to not only to watch the Syrian people vote, but to record their feelings about the Western powers who are inflicting such destruction upon the country...
The destruction of Syria is already in the range of $140 billion. A generation of wealth has been destroyed and the war train rolls on....

The deployment of the terrorist brigades, first in the north and then filtering throughout the country, showed that we in the West had lost our moral compass… completely.
State sponsored terrorism is now the unwritten official foreign policy in the pursuit of ‘our interests’, the term that Obama mentioned early in his recent West Point graduation speech...

The US plans to have the Army topple Assad failed early so the Plan B with the terror brigades was deployed. The Army has rock solid support from the Syria people, and they have paid dearly for it having suffered the most casualties.


Bashar Hafez al-Assad wins post of President of Syria
Syrian Arab News Agency, June 04, 2014

Damascus, SANA, Speaker of the People's Assembly, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham announced Wednesday that Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad won the post of the Syrian Arab Republic's President for a new constitutional term, having the majority of participants' votes with 10.319.723 votes and 88.7% of the correct votes. 73.42% of the 15.8 million eligible voters had taken part in the election.

Al-Laham added at a press conference that the Higher Constitutional court reached to the final result of the elections for the President of Syria for 2014 as follows: He added that the number of votes each candidate has gained in a proper sequence was: Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad is 10.319.723 votes with 88.7% out of the correct votes, Dr. Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri, got 500,279 votes with a percentage of 4.3% of the valid votes, while Mr. Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar got 372,301 with a percentage of 3.2% of the valid votes.

The Syrian Elections: Syrian's Say No to Intervention
by Ajamu Baraka, CounterPunch 4-6-2014

After three years of unimaginable atrocities..., the Syrian people demonstrated, by their participation, that they had not surrendered their national sovereignty to the geo-strategic interests of the U.S. and its colonial allies in Europe and Israel.

The dominant narrative on Syria, carefully cultivated by Western state propagandists and dutifully disseminated by their auxiliaries in the corporate media, is that the conflict in Syria is a courageous fight on the part of the majority of the Syrian people against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. As the story goes, the al-Assad “regime,” (it is never referred to as a government), can only maintain its power through the use of force. By attacking “its own citizens,” the regime, representing the minority Alawite community, can only maintain its dominance over the rest of the country through sheer terror.
However, events in Syria, with the election being a dramatic example, continue to reveal fissures in that story.
First, it became clear that substantial numbers of non-Alawite people and communities support the government. And even those elements of Syrian society that were not enthusiastic supporters of the government grew to understand that the legitimate indigenous opposition had been displaced by powerful non-Syrian forces from the U.S. and the Gulf States who provided material, political and diplomatic support to an opposition that not only had tenuous ties to the country but seemed only committed to waging war. This convinced many that the only politically consistent option was to support the government, as an expression of support for Syria’s sovereignty and its’ national project.
As a result, not only did popular support for the government hold over the last three years of carnage, it expanded to include those in the opposition who were against the destruction of the country and the slimy Syrian ex-pats who traveled from one European capital to another begging for the U.S. and NATO to do what it did in Libya – destroy the infrastructure of the country through the use of NATO air power and flood the country with weapons.

The U.S. position is a position of continued war in Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry declared that Syria’s presidential election was a “farce,” and that the U.S. and its partners are prepared to quickly redouble efforts to support opposition forces in the county. The meaning of this position is that it does not matter what kind of public display of support is given to al Assad or anyone who might emerge as the head of state in Syria, the U.S. objective is more death, more war and more chaos.
This is the essence of the “new” global strategy unveiled by President Obama during his foreign policy speech at West Point last week. The U.S. declaration that it will “change the dynamics on the ground in Syria” came out of a meeting of the so-called “Friends of Syria,” a motley collection of 11 Western colonial nations and their Arab creations.

Questions of democratic legitimacy have never determined U.S. relationships with any state where the U.S. had strategic and economic interests.
If a commitment to democracy and democratic governance was the determining factor for U.S. support, the Obama Administration would not be in alliance with the dictatorship of the royalists in the Gulf states, it would have condemned the coups in Honduras and Egypt, not given diplomatic or economic support to the coup in Ukraine, and would not be supporting right-wing elements in Venezuela attempting to destabilize the democratically-elected government in that country.

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C.

King Abdullah: Harming Egypt like harming us
Saudi Gazette, 3-6-2014

"When he was young, Saladin used to play this game. His mother chose for him a sport that was suitable for Jihad. She did not choose a game like backgammon or billiards, or any other soft and laid-back game. No. She chose a sport that would teach him Jihad and fighting..." Safwat Higazi (In 2012, Safwat launched MB candidate Mohamed Morsi's campaign)

RIYADH – King Abdullah on Tuesday hailed the election of Egypt’s ex-army chief Abdel Fatah El-Sisi to the presidency as a “historic day,” calling for a donors conference to help Egypt through its economic troubles.
Sisi’s sweeping win with 96.9 percent of the vote represents a “historic day and a new phase for Egypt,” the King said in a cable of congratulations carried by the Saudi Press Agency. “On a historic day and a new phase for the march of the Islamic and Arab Egypt, we are pleased to congratulate you with the trust reposed in you by the people of Egypt with their hopes, aspirations and dreams for a better future.”
The King noted that the people of Egypt has suffered chaos in the past created by some short-sighted people who called it a bright future but it was really chaos and mysterious fate that targeted the people and their security and stability.

Harming Islam and Arabism

“To the brothers and friends of Egypt ... I invite all to a donors conference ... to help it overcome its economic crisis,” King Abdullah said.
He said any country that did not contribute to Egypt’s future despite having the ability to do so would “have no future place among us.”
The King also urged “brothers and friends to avoid meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs,” warning that harming Egypt would amount to “harming Islam, Arabism and Saudi Arabia.”
He also urged Sisi to open up to the opposition, encouraging him to “accept the other opinion through a national dialogue with all parties whose hands have not been stained by the blood of the innocent.”
Riyadh has pledged billions of dollars in aid to Egypt’s new authorities. It pledged $5 billion in aid to Cairo, with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates offering a combined $7 billion.

Bashar al-Assad's speech
The strength of Arabism lies in its diversity


The social structure of the Arab world, with its large diversity, is based on two strong and integrated pillars: Arabism and Islam. Both of them are great, rich and vital. Consequently, we cannot blame them for the wrong human practices. Furthermore, the Muslim and Christian diversity in our country is a major pillar of our Arabism and a foundation of our strength....
We should always know that Arabism is an identity not a membership. Arabism is an identity given by history not a certificate given by an organization. Arabism is an honor that characterizes Arab peoples not a stigma carried by some pseudo-Arabs on the Arab or world political stage. ...

The last thing in Arabism is race. Arabism is a question of civilization, a question of common interests, common will and common religions. It is about the things which bring about all the different nationalities which live in this place. The strength of this Arabism lies in its diversity not in its isolation and not in its one colordness.
Arabism hasn’t been built by the Arabs. Arabism has been built by all those non-Arabs who contributed to building it and those who belong to this rich society in which we live. Its strength lies in its diversity. ... The strength of our Arabism lies in openness, diversity and in showing this diversity not integrating it to look like one component. Arabism has been accused for decades of chauvinism. This is not true. If there are chauvinistic individuals, this doesn’t mean that Arabism is chauvinistic. It is a condition of civilization. (Uruknet, 10-1-2012)

Syria's Election Shows Depth of Support for Assad
Without Sunni support Assad's rule would have collapsed long ago
By Diaa Hadid, AP|ABC News, June 4, 2014

"I am Sunni in practice, Shiite in allegiance. My roots are Salafi, and my purity is Sufi."

Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr-Eddin Hassoun (Sunni) said that the world should realize while seeing the presidential elections that Syria is "a country of one people and one leader"...
He addressed the leaders of the Arab world by saying "If you would let your peoples vote today, they would have voted for Bashar al-Assad, because he is no longer an icon of Syria only, but of the entire Arab nation in its steadfastness against your fake Spring." (SANA, 3-6-2014)
For all the serious flaws in Syria's election, it underscored the considerable support that President Bashar Assad still enjoys from the population, including many in the majority Sunni Muslim community.
Syria's conflict is often portrayed through one of its many prisms — that of a sectarian struggle, in which overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim rebels seek to topple Assad, who belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The country's rich tapestry of Christian and Muslim minorities, meanwhile, help keep Assad in power, fearing their fate if he were to fall.
Without Sunni support, however, Assad's rule would have collapsed long ago... That support was on display as Syrians voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to give Assad another seven-year term. He won 88.7 percent of the vote, the speaker of parliament announced Wednesday night...

While the balloting and much of the pro-Assad spectacle seen on the streets of Damascus was stage-managed, even the president's staunchest enemies concede that the man who has led Syria since 2000 retains substantial backing.
"If only minorities were loyal to Assad, they (rebels) would have taken the country," said Wida Saleh, a 35-year-old lawyer and Assad supporter who reluctantly identified herself as a Sunni Muslim.
"But because the majority (Sunnis) are standing behind him, they have kept Syria standing," she said at a voting booth set up in Damascus' ornate, century-old Hijaz train station.
Saleh's comments were echoed by others interviewed by The Associated Press in a Sunni-dominated, middle-class neighborhood of central Damascus, as well as by Syrians across the political spectrum — including some of the tens of thousands who have fled their country for neighboring Lebanon.


Muslim Brotherhood to Al-Sisi: Election Wholly Null and Void
Brotherhood renews refusal to recognize the murderous military coup in Egypt
Ikhwanweb, June 5, 2014

The Muslim Brotherhood issued the following statement regarding the recent illegitimate presidential elections:
- First: This result will not change any coup realities on the ground. Needless to say, what is built on falsehood is false itself.
- Second: Our great people [..] know that the real ruler of Egypt since the coup is that same murderer, and that he is responsible for all the tragic events that hit the country, including political, economic and social destruction. He is also primarily responsible for the genocide executed ruthlessly by his security forces, the army, the police and the judiciary.
- Third: The end of the presidential blood ballot is the beginning of the last round of the conflict between our great people – of whom more than 90% boycotted that farce – and the coup.

Very soon, the people will celebrate the end to the coup and reclaim their freedom and independence of will.

Saudi Arabia has banned controversial Mufti Muhammad Al-Araifi from travelling to Qatar due to his support of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Araifi, who is famous for his controversial fatwas (decrees), voiced his support for people demanding the return of the Egyptian overthrown president Mohamed Morsi to power. The Mufti is under pressure by Saudi officials for his support of Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood. (PressTV 20-7-2013)

EU ready to work 'closely'
with new Egyptian president El-Sisi
Ahram online|AFP, 5 June 2014

The European Union said Thursday it was ready to work "closely" with newly elected Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi but urged him to ensure his government respected human rights and the rule of law.
In a statement the EU expressed its "willingness to work closely with the new authorities in Egypt in a constructive partnership with a view to strengthening our bilateral relations".
It outlined the "serious challenges" facing the country -- a "dire economic situation, the deep divisions within society, the security situation, and the respect of the human rights of all Egyptian citizens".
The EU said Egypt's new constitution enshrined a wide series of fundamental rights, but these were not always respected. This must be remedied for a true democracy to take root, it said...
Expressing the hope that President Sisi would meet these obligations, the EU said it was ready to support his efforts to stabilise the economy and improve good governance.

Egypt: Presidential decree forbids
unauthorized preachers from preaching
Egypt Independent, Fri, 06/06/2014

Presidential spokesperson Ihab Badawi said President Adly Mansour issued a decree on speeches and religious lessons in mosques and public squares, forbidding preachers who are not authorized by Al-Azhar or the Endowments Ministry to give sermons or speeches.
The decree obliges authorized preachers to wear the Al-Azhar uniform, and grants Endowments Ministry personnel judicial arrest powers against unauthorized preachers.
It stipulates imprisonment for not less than three months and not more than one year, and a fine of not less than LE20,000 and not more than LE50,000, or either penalty, for those violating. The penalty is doubled in case the violation is repeated.
It also stipulates imprisonment for not less than one months and not more than one year, and a fine of not less than LE10,000 and not more than LE30,000, or either penalty, for unauthorized preachers wearing the Al-Azhar uniform or demeaning it in any way.

According to a 2011 report issued by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Al Azhar is strongly Sufi in character:

"Adherence to a Sufi order has long been standard for both professors and students in the al-Azhar mosque and university system. Although al-Azhar is not monolithic, its identity has been strongly associated with Sufism.
The current Shaykh al-Azhar (rector of the school), Ahmed el-Tayeb, is a hereditary Sufi shaykh from Upper Egypt who has recently expressed his support for the formation of a world Sufi league. The former Grand Mufti of Egypt and senior al-Azhar scholar Ali Gomaa is also a highly respected Sufi master."
The nineteenth and current Grand Mufti of Egypt and Al Azhar scholar, Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam is also a Sufi. (Wikipedia info)

The path of a Sufi is through the heart

Al-Azhar: What is Islam?

The name of this religion is Islam, which is the root of "Silm" and "Salam" which means peace. Salam may also mean greeting one another with peace.
One of the beautiful names of Allah is that He is the "Peace". It means more than that: submission to the One Allah, and to live in peace with the Creator, within one's self, with other people and with the environment. (Al-Azhar Website)


Turkey finally lists al-Nusra Front as terrorist group
Alalam, 5-6-2014

Turkey listed the al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon, as a terrorist organization in a sign that it is growing more concerned about the rise of radical militants across its border. The Turkish government's decision also includes freezing the assets of individuals and organizations listed by the United Nations Security Council as being affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Turkey has long championed robust support for Syria's fragmented militant groups, but the growing influence of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in the war-torn country has left it open to accusations that it is backing terrorist groups.
Lale Kemal, a security expert from Ankara, said that Turkey has provided at least tacit support to terrorist groups like al-Nusra by treating their wounded and providing logistic support, as well as by allowing their forces to use Turkish territory to regroup. But these groups have now started posing threats to Turkey itself and Turkey has already suffered from their activities, she added. She said the government's decision shows its awareness of al-Nusra's growing presence in its territory and its determination to stem the flow of radical terrorists.
"Turkey has also realized that other radical groups are also posing a threat to Turkey's security," said Kemal, adding that Turkey is now concerned with stopping the massive influx of foreign militants via Turkish territory.

Gokhan Bacik, an analyst and associate professor of international relations at Ankara's Ipek University, said the decision is in line with the policies of the United States and other Western countries, which have listed al-Nusra as a terrorist organization....: "In my understanding, Turkish government is under very big pressure from international community because of its foreign policy. So the government is trying to change its image by giving this kind of symbol," said Bacik.

Play ‘An Interview with Qaddafi’ opens in London
Libya Herald, 8 June 2014

A new play now showing at a London theatre sets out to tell a different story of the 2011 revolution, claiming Muammar Qaddafi was a benign figure and the NATO intervention as a capitalist conspiracy revolving around the World Bank.
In An Interview with Qaddafi, playwright Reggie Adams takes an antagonistic approach to the revolution... In his tale, struggling journalist Bellamy Johan heads out to cover the revolution at the suggestion of a ex-patriate Libyan neighbour... Johan pleads with his editor back in London to “get the truth out” about the revolution but she retorts that he is an idealist and a dinosaur for believing Qaddafi’s words.
In the final interview and penultimate scene of the play, the character of Qaddafi says: “Forces have conspired against my country…for 40 years I fought for my people. I liberated the country from imperialists. I have failed in this regard, I have failed the people.”
As he is dragged away by his female bodyguard, Qaddafi shouts out: “Capitalism will triumph over democracy...”

An Interview with Qaddafi runs until 29 June at London’s Waterloo East Theatre.
It is unlikely to be seen in Libya.

Questions everything we thought we knew about democracy

This is a dramatisation of real events from the fall of Gadaffi's Libyan regime in 2011, told through the eyes of weary, veteran journalist Bellamy Johan.
In a series of encounters in Libya as well as Skype calls to his three teenage children back in London, the fictitious John gives us a behind the scenes insight into the inner workings of the mainstream media covering a global conflict of which their viewers know little.
The result is a heartfelt and emotional ride that questions everything we thought we knew about democracy, global finance, political spin and, of course, Colonel Gadaffi.
Through a series of film-enhanced visuals and with a talented multi-character cast of four a very dramatic personal experience is achieved but we also emerge from the play with greater powers of political awareness. It's one part drama, one part political message and two parts pure entertainment.
The playwright, Reggie Adams, himself is a political journalist and campaigner. He's the author of Now Utopia, a work on political philosophy and macro-economics, which has become the manifesto for the UK's Humanist Party. (Broadwayword, 4-6-2014)

Can we believe all that we are told?

Can we believe all that we are told? Is telling the truth about a situation people should be aware of considered a hinderance? How far are we prepared to go to PROVE ones self? These are a few of the questions you ask yourself throughout and after this thought provoking piece of theatre.

The story follows political journalist Bellamy Johan who risks everything, including his life, in attempts to expose the truth behind the change in the 2011 Libyan regime. He unveils the goings on behind the scenes of the inner workings of the mainstream media, making us question what we thought we knew.
Though a two act play, the show is split into six sections. The plot thickens and intensifies mildly with each one looking at Conspiracy, Capitalism, Democracy, Money, Execution and the Epilogue.
An interview with Gaddafi is playing at: The Waterloo East Theatre until 29 June 2014. (West End Wilma, 7-6-2014)