Syria's Sins at Ramadan: Assad's Atrocities

Published August 27th, 2011 - 14:22 GMT

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Bombing mosques, as this one at Deir El-Zor, in the first week of Ramadan- the Regime sends out the stark message that 
even the House of God is not off limits- and there is no sanctuary for a people who challenge the Syrian rule.
The mosque, as cornerstone of the people's cultural identity, is frequented more than usual during Ramadan.
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Image 1 of 13: Bombing mosques, as this one at Deir El-Zor, in the first week of Ramadan- the Regime sends out the stark message that even the House of God is not off limits- and there is no sanctuary for a people who challenge the Syrian rule. The mosque, as cornerstone of the people's cultural identity, is frequented more than usual during Ramadan.

Early Ramadan Regime infractions: Assad is rumored to ban the 'Addan', or call for prayer in Hama. He is clamping
down on anything that might incite religious enthusiasm & collective rebellion. While touching any of Islam's pillars,
Ramadan and prayer included, alone is taboo, Mosque closures, never mind bombings, make the struggle more charged.
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Image 1 of 13: Early Ramadan Regime infractions: Assad is rumored to ban the 'Addan', or call for prayer in Hama. He is clamping down on anything that might incite religious enthusiasm & collective rebellion. While touching any of Islam's pillars, Ramadan and prayer included, alone is taboo, Mosque closures, never mind bombings, make the struggle more charged.

Muslim figure-head torture: A report complete with YouTube footage emerges of an elderly Imam- or 'Muezzin'- who pronounces prayer time in the characteristic sing-song call for prayer- alleging that he was slapped and bruised in the head by Assad 's Police. 
Muhammad Mustafa is an Imam from the mosque, Abd Al Kader Al Jalani, in Homs.
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Image 1 of 13: Muslim figure-head torture: A report complete with YouTube footage emerges of an elderly Imam- or 'Muezzin'- who pronounces prayer time in the characteristic sing-song call for prayer- alleging that he was slapped and bruised in the head by Assad 's Police. Muhammad Mustafa is an Imam from the mosque, Abd Al Kader Al Jalani, in Homs.

A Quran School is bombed, again suggesting that the regime is applying a no-holds-barred policy of brutality and destruction
across the board.  Even the symbolically taboo stalwarts of Islamic society such as schools of Islamic teaching to not gain 
exemption.
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Image 1 of 13: A Quran School is bombed, again suggesting that the regime is applying a no-holds-barred policy of brutality and destruction across the board. Even the symbolically taboo stalwarts of Islamic society such as schools of Islamic teaching to not gain exemption.

Just like a prayer: Unverified reports emerge of the banning of the 'Taraweeh'- the special evening prayer for Ramadan, 
widely attended, post-Iftar time. During 
Iftar, the army shells the town and targets mosques before worshipers finish praying, to prevent prayer turning into 
protests, tell eye-witnesses and rare reports.
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Image 1 of 13: Just like a prayer: Unverified reports emerge of the banning of the 'Taraweeh'- the special evening prayer for Ramadan, widely attended, post-Iftar time. During Iftar, the army shells the town and targets mosques before worshipers finish praying, to prevent prayer turning into protests, tell eye-witnesses and rare reports.

Regime tanks pound Latakia & Homs operating a shoot-to-kill policy: Syrian Khaled al-Hamed is shot & run over 
by a tank. Rolling out his murderous agenda for 'dealing' with his uprising- or flattening it- Al-Assad reminds us of Israeli nearly-indicted war Criminal Ariel Sharon, 'Bulldozer', for his predilection for clearing Palestinians off land.
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Image 1 of 13: Regime tanks pound Latakia & Homs operating a shoot-to-kill policy: Syrian Khaled al-Hamed is shot & run over by a tank. Rolling out his murderous agenda for 'dealing' with his uprising- or flattening it- Al-Assad reminds us of Israeli nearly-indicted war Criminal Ariel Sharon, 'Bulldozer', for his predilection for clearing Palestinians off land.

Crimes against the weak: Assad's forces deploy ambulances to ambush protesters with. Eight premature infants dependent on 
incubators reportedly died because power was cut from hospitals by authorities, in the embattled city of Hama.
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Image 1 of 13: Crimes against the weak: Assad's forces deploy ambulances to ambush protesters with. Eight premature infants dependent on incubators reportedly died because power was cut from hospitals by authorities, in the embattled city of Hama.

Bombing hospitals: Assad security forces have attacked hospitals & ambulances. Doctors have been arrested by police who
have broken into hospitals to arrest and reportedly kill patients. Three young men were running to the 
Horany hospital to give blood when18-year-old Talha Khamees was shot and killed, his left eye taken out.
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Image 1 of 13: Bombing hospitals: Assad security forces have attacked hospitals & ambulances. Doctors have been arrested by police who have broken into hospitals to arrest and reportedly kill patients. Three young men were running to the Horany hospital to give blood when18-year-old Talha Khamees was shot and killed, his left eye taken out.

Refugee camps struck: Palestinian refugee camps are not left out in this campaign against the vulnerable. All the more
disturbing, as Syria is considered a Palestinian-friendly nation and has a reputation for treating them better than neighbor, 
Lebanon. Over half of the 10,000 Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia, Raml, fled after being fired at.
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Image 1 of 13: Refugee camps struck: Palestinian refugee camps are not left out in this campaign against the vulnerable. All the more disturbing, as Syria is considered a Palestinian-friendly nation and has a reputation for treating them better than neighbor, Lebanon. Over half of the 10,000 Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia, Raml, fled after being fired at.

More Mosque Massacres: Reports are rife of worshipers under attack as they 
left their mosques. One witness, Hamawi, said buses packed with soldiers and police surrounded every mosque in Hama. Crowds chanted, 'We will not kneel.'- implying their supplication was to God alone, and that Syria's regime could no longer rule them by force.
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Image 1 of 13: More Mosque Massacres: Reports are rife of worshipers under attack as they left their mosques. One witness, Hamawi, said buses packed with soldiers and police surrounded every mosque in Hama. Crowds chanted, "We will not kneel."- implying their supplication was to God alone, and that Syria's regime could no longer rule them by force.

Assad's thugs or 'shabiha' are targeting doctors, imams and infants as part of a crackdown on anti-government
demonstrators calling for an end to President al-Assad's reign.  To date, the death toll for Ramadan alone has topped 500, 
after a 5-month uprising against the Syrian regime that has taken an estimate of  2,200 lives.
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Image 1 of 13: Assad's thugs or 'shabiha' are targeting doctors, imams and infants as part of a crackdown on anti-government demonstrators calling for an end to President al-Assad's reign. To date, the death toll for Ramadan alone has topped 500, after a 5-month uprising against the Syrian regime that has taken an estimate of 2,200 lives.

Ramadan transgressions: To add fuel to religious fire, the faces of the regime flout Ramadan openly: Ahmad al-Hajj Ali, a strong political advocate for the Syrian regime, is aired in a live show by Al Arabiya, drinking water in the hours of fasting, showing a lack of respect for the 
sanctity of the Muslim holy month, in a conservative country.
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Image 1 of 13: Ramadan transgressions: To add fuel to religious fire, the faces of the regime flout Ramadan openly: Ahmad al-Hajj Ali, a strong political advocate for the Syrian regime, is aired in a live show by Al Arabiya, drinking water in the hours of fasting, showing a lack of respect for the sanctity of the Muslim holy month, in a conservative country.

Murder in the dark: A blackout in Hama with
no light for residents under siege & slaughter. Food supplies are short, while phones, electricity & Internet is cut-off. Since the 
start of Ramadan, protests have shifted into the night, when families break fast and come alive; and in turn the
regime's murderous raids take on the Ramadan schedule.
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Image 1 of 13: Murder in the dark: A blackout in Hama with no light for residents under siege & slaughter. Food supplies are short, while phones, electricity & Internet is cut-off. Since the start of Ramadan, protests have shifted into the night, when families break fast and come alive; and in turn the regime's murderous raids take on the Ramadan schedule.

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.

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