Syrian Sins by the Regime escalate this Ramadan
Ramadan time and Syrians are calling for the blood of their leader- as the regime’s bloody campaign has reached fever pitch. Peace, calm, patience and forgiveness typically associated with the month, would have to be in a different planet. Calls for freedom and an end to oppression have been met with crushing and bombing by the military forces or security apparatus and government thugs- gunmen known as "shabiha".
Targeting mosques, schools and hospitals are all part of a systematic crackdown on anti-government demonstrators calling for an end to President al-Assad's reign- doctors and imams, children and infant babies, not excepted.
Reports of behavior that go against the spirit of humanity let alone the ‘mood’ of Ramdan include Syrians rationing food to get by during the holy month of Ramadan, when many Muslims fast from dawn to dusk then eat large, festive meals after sunset.
And tank warfare:"I saw with my own eyes one young boy on a motorcycle who was carrying vegetables being run over by a tank."
Hospitals and mosques are coming under attack in a curious mingling of religious worship and place of healing - both symbols of humanity. The wounded were treated by field clinics set up inside mosques. Ironically, one is being used as another.
With an escalation of violence in the holy month of Ramadan, Al Bawaba wants to shed light on these grave crimes on a people protesting, by and large peacefully and, even it is reported, jubilantly: Assad's brutal campaign is symbolised most in the unashamed destruction religious bastions and symbols of the people through Islam. In effect, the Regime is celebrating Ramadan with thuggery and ugly reprisals for protesting.
Footage and reports are hard to come by given that the media is barred from entering this closed society and severely strict regime who have outlawed most from gaining entry. Those filing reports do so at their own risk, and are largely amateur reporters or bold activists with phones.
Amongst the transgressons against a majority Islamic population cited, are the banning of evening prayers (Taraweeh) and regular calls for prayer (addan), closures of mosques, and targetting of the mosque's preacher who calls-to-prayer (muezzin). The grand Mufti of Syria has denied reports that Bashar al-Assad has banned the prayer in his clamp down on protests. So these reports while officially not always verified are coming from a country known for its censure and denial a la Gaddafi-style.
Since Gaddafi's effective defeat and disappearence, the Syrian population have taken to chanting "Bye bye Gaddafi, Bashar is next!”
This Syrian 5-month old uprising - which originally sought only minor reforms but now brays for the leader's blood - strikes a chord with Libya's experience. The Assad dynasty has ruled for 41 years, similarly to Gaddafi's 42 year-length tyanny.
Rather than a Ramadan record of charity from the regime, we have a series of mass graves and a pile-up of bodies in hot-points of protests as Hama, Homs, Latakia across Syria.
This week reports surfaced of gunmen kidnapping and assaulting- to the tune of broken fingers and battered face- an anti-government cartoonist Ali Frazat in Damascus, 24th August.
President Bashar al-Assad is now a falling man who has lost the legitimacy to lead by the West, as announced by Clinton and Obama, but more significantly by the Muslim and Arab peoples of the East. For his own people, he has lost the respect to lead after committing anathema and breaching Ramadan and Islam's holiest diktat of not sinning in the holy month.
Over 2,000 have been killed since the regime offensive began and nearly 500 alone in the holy month of Ramadan when the offensive intensified, thus proving that was not the 'kingdom of silence' that Al Jazeera had once nicknamed it.
Some of the items in this showcase of crimes, cannot be verified, and some alleged attacks were committed before the Ramadan period as well as during.
Al Bawaba casts some light on the plain criminality of the atrocities being committed by this Arab tottering leader during the holy month of Ramadan. Rather than break his fast as tradition on dates and water he seems to be breaking his fast on Syrian flesh and blood, to use a crude image.
26th August saw Ramadan’s last Friday - "Friday of Patience and Steadfastness" – hopefully also Ramadan's last Friday of sins. In the meantime, this is a story about sacrilege at Ramadan.