Muslim slogans criticised in Syria

2012-05-18 08:46

Beirut - The use of Islamist slogans by protesters during weekly Friday demonstrations against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has triggered criticism among an already-fractured opposition.

Activists have been organising online polls on "The Syrian Revolution 2011" Facebook page since the beginning of the uprisings in March 2011 to pick slogans for demonstrations that usually take place after Friday prayers.

But slogans like "Victory from God", "God's Victory is near" and "Armies of Islam, set us free", have provoked criticism from many in the fragmented opposition, which includes the Muslim Brotherhood, nationalists, liberals and independents.

Syrian activist and journalist Kinan Ali said the use of religious slogans "shows that the opposition is bankrupt of political ideas".

Abdul Karim Karman, a Hama-based activist, agreed.


"I am a committed Muslim but Islamist slogans do not benefit [the revolt] and do not represent everyone," said Abdul Karim Karman, a Hama-based activist.

"We need slogans that have political content for the Syrian public and for the international community."

Activist Yusef al-Shami, from Syria's Druze city of Sweida, complained of the negative impact of these slogans on demonstrations.

"They have weakened the protests in some areas of Syria," he said.

"The largest demonstrations took place when the focus was the slogan 'revolt for all Syrians'."

The activists have also questioned the authenticity of the polls on Facebook, saying they are not scientific.

Under pressure, Syria's main opposition alliance, the Syrian National Council (SNC), has decided to create a new application on Facebook, ensuring "transparent" voting, by imposing new rules such as banning internet users from voting more than once.

SNC chief Burhan Ghalioun announced on Thursday that he is resigning.

His announcement came shortly after the Local Coordination Committees, a network of activists on the ground in Syria, threatened to pull out of the SNC over its "monopolisation" of power.

The SNC, which was founded in October 2011, was particularly criticised for not sufficiently co-ordinating with activists inside the country, and for the strong influence wielded by representatives of Syria's Muslim Brotherhood.

More than 12 000 people, the majority of them civilians, have died since the Syrian uprising began, according to monitors.

  • Fidel - 2012-05-18 14:50

    Syrian activist and journalist Kinan Ali said the use of religious slogans "shows that the opposition is bankrupt of political ideas". It is bankrupt indeed because it is being engineered from foreign capitals.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-18 18:38

      Beliefs like this are separating you from the liberation of the Middle East, from centuries of oppression, at the hands of murderous, unelected despots. And you're weakening, delaying this liberation. It's sad that you'd be so willfully ignorant.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-18 20:32

    "shows that the opposition is bankrupt of political ideas". It actually shows the complete opposite. An opposition made up of many factions of the Syrian soceity, with only common goal; An end to the corrupt , evil and ever so violent assad dynasty!!! Kinan Ali is either a paid assad criminal scumbag, infiltrated into the opposition, or it is the first signs of democracy at work.......... !! It is actually incredible, how vibrant this opposition is. FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, EVERY SINGLE DAY, there are protest marches in many cities and towns all over Syria. There is hardly, if any, opposition, anywhere in the world, which is THAT determent, to get what they want; They want THEIR country back (that this assad'd daddy STOLE from them.) And they WILL get it back, for sure. Today, this Friday, some of the largest demonstrations up to now, in Aleppo, with thousands of students taking to the streets, demanding an end of this war criminal ruling THEIR country. This is besides large demonstrations today in Damascus, Homs and Idlib. It is only the ones with their silly, childish anti Western agenda, or the ones who are ignorant, who will say that it is foreign intervention, and not the brave Syrian people who are determining their own future.!!!

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