'They' came to kill Syrian people
Author : Dina Y. Sulaiman
With a help from a friend of mine, I could interview a senior Syrian journalist. The following is my interview with the journalist. However, to protect his personal security, I could not reveal his true identity. I blurred his face in photo on purpose to, again, hide his identity. We could call him Mr. As-Souri. Actually, the questions I asked him were merely a confirmation of what I have already known so far. But this conversation has a significance because it is a scientific research with qualitative methods-my conversation with him could be called 'primary data'.
Dina [D]: Which city do you live in?
As-Souri [S]: in the city *****
D: O I see .. I heard that city. It was the origin of a Muslim scholar who has aggressively undertaken such a form of rebellion against the government. His name is ******* What do you think about him?
S: Do you want the real answer?
D: Of course.
S: He's a bad guy, and was involved in a sex scandal. Then he went abroad and is now living there.
D: But I saw on the internet, there have been people's demonstrations cheering his name?
S: Yes, indeed he has supporters but not many, probably 5-10%
D: So, what exactly is going on in Syria?
S: Well, I'll explain both fairly and honestly. I'm ** years of age. Throughout my life, I have not even known what religion embraced by my neighbors. I do not care what school of thought of the person sitting next to me. That's our life. The important thing for us is their heart and behavior. Syria is for all, Christians, Sunnis, Shi'ites, Druzes, Alawis, Jews
D: But there is a rebel group, al-jabhah nusrah declaring the caliphate.
S: They are not the people of Syria. Their troops come from 40 foreign countries. They came to kill the people of Syria.
D: If Assad was not involved in an allegedly problem, of course there would be no opposition of the people?
S: Bashar Assad is a very intelligent president. As soon as there was a demonstration, he invited them to sit together, discussing what they want. Assad even approved the amendment of Law on demand of the protesters. Then, a referendum was conducted to seek the people's approval on the new law. And now we have already had the new law. But they have not stopped (demonstrating) yet. Here's the proof, they want Syria to be destroyed, instead of creating democracy or freedom.
The proofs were, they killed doctors, engineers, pilots who were on their way to the airport. For what? Was that taught in Islam? They kidnapped people and asked for ransom. Is this Islam?
You know, every morning my wife is crying after the dawn prayer. She cries while praying for Syria. For us, Bashar is not important. The important thing is Syria. They were destroying Syria. Syria was completely alone. Whereas Syria has so far supported the Arab nationalism. Syria has been loyal to the Arab countries. All people of Arab countries could free entry into Syria without a visa.
D: Some news mentioned Shabiha [pro-Assad militia] had killed civilians?
S: [shaking his head] no .. no .. they [rebels] killed the civilians and accused Assad's army of killing them.
D: Some people consider that the uprising in Syria is jihad. What do you think?
S: I already told you. During my ** years of age, I have even not not known what religion embraced by my neighbors. We have so far lived in peace, regardless of our religion. Then all of a sudden they came from overseas and killed us. Is this jihad? The Prophet (PBUH) said [he cited the hadith] killing one believer was much worse than destroying the Kaaba. Killing one man is the same as killing one ummah. They bombed schools, universities, was all this jihad?
You know how the Prophet used to live? The Prophet had a Jewish neighbor who every morning put dirt on his doorstep. But the Prophet did not say anything, did not do anything against the Jew. One morning, the Prophet found, there was no dirt on his doorstep. Immediately the Prophet went to the Jew and asked, "Are you fine?". Then the Jews answered, "Yes, I'm fine, why are you asking how I was?" The Prophet replied, "Usually you put dirt on my doorstep, but this morning you did not. I was worried you were sick." The Jew who was impressed by the Pophet's noble character converted to Islam by pronouncing shahadah.[[[There is a very well-known Muslim scholar in Syria, Sheikh Al Buthy. All his life, he has never held a weapon. He has written some 21 very good books about Islam. But they killed him. Was this jihad?]]]
[[[[Their goal was to destroy Syria, for the sake of Israel. We are not a rich country, but also not poor. Unlike other Arab countries having a lot of debt to the West, we have no debt. Syria is pioneering the construction of a gas pipeline from Iran to Iraq to be flowed through Syria to the Mediterranean. If this could be materialized. Syria will be very rich and stronger. Israel is reaaly worried if it could come true.]]]]
D: Then, why were there Muslims who wanted to come to Syria to fight?
S: Some of them were not well-educated so that they did not realize what they were doing. Most of them were poor and wanted to fight for being promised money from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They were also given the drug. Once a rebel was arrested when was was dancing. He was locked in a cell. The next morning, he was found wailing, "Why am I here? What am I doing here? "Syrian army found smuggled pills of hallucination. The pills were widely circulated in Syria and consumed by the rebels.
D: There are some Indonesian Muslim activists calling for Indonesian Muslims to conduct jihad in Syria. What do you think?
S: [shaking his head with sad face] I'm sorry to hear that. I love the people of Indonesia. Why do they want to kill us? They say jihad in Syria will make them go to heaven. Though there are many ways to get into heaven. Why are we killed? Why don't they go for jihad to Palestine? One day there was a seriously wounded rebel helped by a doctor. After recovering, he was angry at the doctor. He said, "Why did you save me?! If I'm dead, now I must be having dinner with the Messenger of Allah! "
[We then talked about many things related to the culture of Syria, among others, habits of getting together to share food during Ramadan. Mr Souri and his wife every day used to cook the food and then distributed to their neighbors-regardless of their religion and school of thoughts and vice versa, they used to receive a distribution of food from their neighbors. The dining table was always filled with food given by many people. In the mosque, iftar was provided freely. Mr. Souri also told a story that in Syria, there have been many Christians with their own sects and they could freely have their own church.]
D: [Saying goodbye]S: Come to Syria. Write a book about the beauty of Syria. Syria is a beautiful country. We are the ones who are cheerful. Every weekend we used to bring the food and then go to an open field and spread the mat. We were sitting around and talking, the children ran excitedly to and fro.
D: and now ...?S: [shaking his head with a sad look on his face]