Many in the Syrian Christian community have been supportive of the Assad regime for over four decades. When you ask them for the reasons why their peaceful community has not abandoned Assad, you get a myriad of answers; but the most common one is: We are afraid of the alternative Islamist regime.
Let me ask my Christian friends this question then: Would a moderate Muslim joining al-QaedaÂ to protect himself from Assad who is ethnically cleansing Sunni Muslims be an acceptable scenario for you?
Because that is exactly a mirror of what the majority of Christians inÂ Syria are doing when they support a regime killing violently its own people the way al-Qaeda would kill the minorities.
Syrian Muslims condemned the acts of violence against your peaceful religion in Iraq and Egypt, so why are you not returning the favor today when Syrian Muslims need you? Especially that you know those high officers defecting from the Syrian Army are not Islamists because they all have been very well vetted by Assad. What’s your excuse? I am really eager to hear your arguments on this valid point.
Is it any wonder why we are losing this battle againstÂ fanaticism?
Is it any wonder why the Christian Syrian community, turning a blind eye to the Assad terror being exacted withÂ vengeanceÂ on the Sunnis,Â feels insecure?
That’s not exactly the best strategy to help us both co-exist.Â Antoun Saade invented nationalism to keep religion off the radar but the experiment has failed and the Christians in Syria better re-calibrate their policies and re-tool their strategies on the basis of today’s realities instead of just blindly follow Assad to an abyss.
We moderate Muslims are fighting for all Syrians for an inclusive country but many Christians are fighting with Assad. Give me one good reason then to stop young Syrians from fighting with the Salafis streaming into Syria (Because of Assad I might add and his Genocidal tendencies). One good argument of why your position is less harmful than that of Syrians fighting to kill Syrian minorities.
A Syrian cannot concoct weak arguments to justify his/her support for an extremist regime and then turn to the moderates fighting for freedom, democracy, and human rights and ask them not to join one terrorist group or another. Either we fight together for a better Syria where we can all co-exist peacefully or we go down together, both victims of extremism.
Syrian Christians need to look to Lebanon where the Christians have prospered in spite of many attempts by extremists, nationalists, and ideologues to dislodge them. Lebanese Christians, in the most part, have remained faithful to freedom and human rights. Without them, Lebanon would be governed by turbans and beards.
Moderate Muslims cannot fight all byÂ themselves in defense of human rights and freedom. All alone, we are not winning this battle. We are thankful to the Lebanese Christians fighting by our side but that’s not enough. Therefore, I urge all of Syria’s Christians to abandon Assad and denounce his regime publicly and firmly the way many Sunni Muslims have denounced al-Qaeda or any other Muslim-inspired terrorist group.
Short of that, the Christians will face the same difficulties their peaceful brothers in Iraq faced because they have taken the side of a violent ruler killing with absolute savagery. We are weak today without you and we will be even weaker tomorrow when the extremists persecute you for keeping silent or taking Assad’s side. That, my friends, would be the absolute worst thing to happen to Syria. Even more tragic than today’s deaths. Syria without its minorities is like a sailboat without its sails.
Assad will not survive this war and no country can save him. A simple 3rd grade arithmetic is all you need to come to this conclusion; with additional readings about the Iranian economy and the difficulties facing the RussianÂ society. Time is on the side of the people and you must turn it to your advantage.