Helping Islamists Take Syria

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Meanwhile, genuinely secular forces seeking to topple the Assad dictatorship are not embraced. European governments have urged these forces to unite in order to compete with the Islamists. On September 17, the Coalition of Secular and Democratic Syrians formed in Paris. “We are all against totalitarianism in any form, and that includes Islamist rule,” spokeswoman Randa Qassis declared.

Abdulhamid told FrontPage that real secular alternatives to the Syrian National Council exist and its influence is being exaggerated. “Opposition councils are now two dime a dozen, they have failed to bring unity or to form a working group worthy of the name. They have contributed to increasing schisms within the ranks of protest leaders inside the country,” he said.

The Reform Party of Syria, a U.S.-based secular opposition group, insists that the U.S. must reach out to the secularists to prevent the Islamists from taking control of the opposition. RPS estimates that only 20 percent of the Syrian population is Islamist. Dr. Barry Rubin, an opponent of democracy promotion, agrees, putting his estimate even lower at 15 percent. He feels the Islamists are unlikely to replace Assad. This is partially due to demographics. In Egypt, 90 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim. In Syria, it is 60 percent (the CIA Factbook puts it higher at 74 percent), with the rest being minorities who greatly fear Islamist rule. Many of the Syrian Sunnis are secular. For example, a Sunni cleric that supports the Coalition of Secular and Democratic Syrians insists that there must be separation of mosque and state.

The Assad regime has worked diligently to convince the West that it is the only alternative to Islamist rule in Syria. In 2006, the regime orchestrated riots in response to the Mohammed cartoons to make this point. It claims that the current uprising is an Islamist revolution led by terrorists. Protesters have rejected this accusation, chanting, “We want freedom, not Salafism.” Hanin Ghaddar of NOW Lebanon writes, “If that is accurate, why are they arresting liberal intellectuals and political activists, such as Suhair Atassi and Fayez Sarah? These two have nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalist groups.”

In this case, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is a ferocious enemy of the West with a huge amount of American blood on his hands. He is no friend, but neither are the Islamist elements who want to replace him with a Sharia state. If the U.S. fails to accurately distinguish ally from adversary, then the future of Syria belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.


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  • Bowmanave

    A series of attacks by extremists on security forces in Syria has triggered fears of an Islamist insurgency against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Thats the headlines on Sundaytimes , i can't get access to the full article, but apparently the regime claims of Islamists armed gangs are true and the reporters of Sundaytimes was an eyewitness to one of their operations.

  • Chezwick_mac

    Well, the 25 to 40% of Syrians who are NOT Sunni will disappear into oblivion once the MB comes to power….just as the Palestinian Christians were forced into exile once Islamists came to power there after Oslo.

    While the West grows more diverse, Islam becomes more of a monoculture.

  • StephenD

    They'll tell us whatever we want to hear so long as we keep the money flowing to them. Once our usefulness to them is minimal they'll "come out" and the world will see them for what they are. The M.B. will rule the M.E. with Europe and America to thank for it.

  • maturin20

    An umbrella is stronger than a splinter.

  • msmii

    al-Assad and Ahmedinijad are laughing themselves sick over Obama.

    Obama has chosen to allow Assad to continue slaughtering its own citizens, just like Iran did two years ago. Why? Because Iran is there and Obama has neither the spine to stand up nor the guts to see tough decisions through.

  • Flipside

    Coalition of Secular and Democratic Syrians looks like an astroturf group. Two dollar website:

    The Reform Party of Syria is a US based Jewish think tank:

    Thanks for the wooden nickels, Ryan.

    • James C, L'Angelle

      The Coalition of Secular and Democratic Syrians website is not intended to look like a Nintendo video game; the overthrow of a dictator is not a video game one can play on the web. It's usually a bloody campaign that can last many months, even years. The site will certainly reflect the seriousness of the effort in the months to come. The site belongs to me.
      I thank the author of the article for posting a link.

      • Flipside

        OK. Great. I look forward to (any) informational content.

        • Flipside

          I am concerned, because it appears that you are merely an impresario from California who writes screenplays, and a number of your Internet business personas no longer exist. To pose as an organization of Syrians trying to change their government when you are just a guy who comments a lot on the Internet, had a collapsed blog and floated some screenplays seems a really disingenuous hustle.

  • mlcblog

    Our State dept has always been leaning left, since its inception, or at least a large handful of them at the top. Always.

  • Jim

    we need some light on the internal workings of the state department

  • Mark

    this has been going on since the Assad family took power.

    I also ask what is it in Syria that keeps Obama quiet? I think it is the presence of IRan that Obama is afraid of.

    If you go to my blog and search Syria you will find a list of articles which I have researched, written, and posted. Thank you!!!