Dr. Othman Shibly: Interfaith Response, Letters to Assad

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Mideast Reports talks with Dr. Othman Sibly, the chairman of the Inter-religious Concern Committee of Western New York and a Syrian-American. He discusses the interfaith response to events in Syria, and his own opinion in addition to providing us with a copy of letters he sent to Bashar Assad.

Inter-religious Concern Committee Statement:
As people of faith we feel called to speak about against the continuing actions of the Syrian regime, which have resulted in the deaths and large scale arrests of nonviolent protesters.  We are in total agreement with Amnesty International that serious action is needed to halt the killing and suppression of the right to peaceful expression and protest.  We also believe very strongly that the reported withholding of food and water from whole communities is cruel and unjust.

We, therefore, urgently request all members of our community to act to prevent further violence.  Please contact your elected representatives in Congress, the State Department and the President appealing for them to take immediate action, including:

• holding members of the Syrian government accountable for their actions in the International Criminal Court

• freezing the foreign assets of the Syrian President and his senior associates

We also encourage messages to President al-Assad of Syria calling for an immediate end to the human rights violations and abuses taking place in his country, including the unlawful killings, use of excessive force, arbitrary detention and withholding of food and water from Syrian citizens.  For further information click “Help stop the bloodshed in Syria” on Amnesty International’s homepage. Their petition campaign deadline is May 18.

Second Letter Dated April 18th (in Arabic)

First Letter, sent April 6th:
Dear your excellency Mr. Imad Mustafa, the ambassador of the Syrian Arab Public.
Please covey our concerns to the President of Syria Bashar Assad

Dear President Dr. Assad
I met you a few years ago in your house with delegation from Syrian expatriates from the US.  I was impressed with your sincerity to make major reform in Syria.  I also sensed your sincerity in your latest speech.

However. I am really disturbed and hurt with the death of innocent people in Syria. I found your speech although acknowledged the aspiration of the Syrian people for freedom and democracy but fail short of making history by taking immediate courageous decisions that will address people aspiration.  During your speech the parliament acted in a very embarrassing way.  It was like a circus.  I felt that they represent you not the people.  They echoed your thoughts not the people who elected them.  It was a huge disappointment in them.

Please president Assad show real leadership at this difficult time.  Your power does not come from the West and the East neither from security police.  Your power is in the heart of your people.

Please, please, please instruct the police to avoid any use of power or weapons against the Syrian people. President Kennedy said in the past that those governments who prevent peaceful revolution ought to face bloody revolution.  I hope this never happen in Syria. There is no justification what so ever for any human life to be lost.  I trust that you will rise up to this moment of truth and respond positively to the people needs.

The Syrian people aspiration for freedom and reform in Syria are legitimate.  I concur with their needs to:

– Immediate removal of emergency laws in Syria

– Release of all political prisoners.  Allow free press.

– Hold the police and security forces to accountability in cases of aggression against Syrian people.

I pray for peace and tranquility for the Syrian people and that you lead real not cosmetic reform and freedom for them.  Syrian people are smart not stupid they will understand real reform from cosmetic ones and you should be proud of leading people who are smart and not afraid to ask for freedom.

God bless You, Syria and freedom

Sincerely yours

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2 Responses to Dr. Othman Shibly: Interfaith Response, Letters to Assad

  1. i am pained by any of peace when they are disappointed in many ways, and i merely JOIN OTHERS who would make for real progress, specifically, for example, with the timely sharing of what sometimes are to be well-considered “open letters” to leaders, and i encourage the sharing of the ways and means (such as necessary addresses) that might encourage more literate expressions to complement other civil acgtions in the interests of parties to legitimate disputes or certain alternatives yet to be thus treated.

  2. Pingback: Syria: Gruesome Video, Final Declaration from Opposition, Dr. Shibly Removes Assad Photo | Mideast Reports

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