Egypt’s revolution, however noble and good, has been fraught with propaganda, manipulation, and conspiracy. Deciphering truth from falsehood is a near impossible task; distinguishing the ‘good guys’ from the ‘bad guys’ is a landscape of shifting sand.
At least Egypt is not Syria. There as well these complications exist, but with new reports of killing every day. If I were there I’d be pulling my hair out. On the other hand, if I were there it might be easier to identify ‘bad guys’, at the least.
I will not attempt to sort through Syria’s issues here, but I discovered an interesting document issued by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. As they compose a substantial part of the opposition to the Assad regime, it is useful to see their vision for a free Syria, here translated into English by the group on Facebook.
Whether it is true or simply further propaganda is anyone’s guess, however worthy of analysis. If I ever have clarity I’ll be sure to share.
In the name of God the Merciful
Covenant and charter
For a free country, free life for every citizen. In this crucial stage of the history of Syria, where the dawn is born from the womb of suffering and pain, on the hands of the Syrian heroes, men and women, children, youth and old men, in a national overwhelming revolution, with the participation of all components of the Syrian people, for all the Syrians.
We, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria – from Islam’s religion true principles, based on freedom, justice, tolerance and openness – we present this covenant and charter, to all of our people, committed to it in the letter and spirit, a covenant which safeguards rights, and a charter which dispels fears as a source of reassurance and satisfaction.
This covenant and charter represents a national vision, common denominators, adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, and introduced as a new social contract, establishing a modern and safe national relationship, among the Syrian society components, with its all religious and ethnic factions, and all current intellectual and political currents.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria is committed to Syria in the future to be:
1- A civil modern state with a civil constitution, coming from the will of the Syrian people, based on national harmony, written by a freely and impartially elected constituent assembly, protecting the fundamental rights of individuals and groups from any abuse or override, ensuring an equitable representation to all components of society.
2- A democratic pluralistic deliberative country according to the finest modern thoughts of humanity; a representative republic, in which people choose those who govern and represent through the ballot box, in an impartial free transparent election.
3- A state of citizenship and equality, in which all people are equal, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, ideology, or orientation, going by citizenship principles which are the basis of rights and duties, in which all citizens are allowed to reach the highest positions, based on the rule of elections and efficiency.
4- A country that respects human rights – as approved by God’s laws and international charters – of dignity and equality, freedom of thought and expression, of belief and worship, of media, political participation, equality of opportunities, social justice and providing the basis needed for a decent living. In which no citizen is oppressed in his belief or worship, or restricted in a private or general matter. A country that refuses discrimination, prevents torture, and criminalizes it.
5- A country based on dialogue and participation, not on exclusivity, exclusion, or transcendence, all its people participate equally, in building and protecting it, enjoying its wealth and goods, committing to respecting all its ethnic, religious, and sectarian component, and the privacy of those components, with all their civilizational, cultural, and social dimensions, and the expression of these components, considering this diversity an enriching factor, an extension to a long history of co-existence, in a generous frame of human tolerance.
6- A state in which people govern themselves, choose their way, determine their future, with no guardianship of any autocratic ruler or one party system, and be their own decision makers.
7- A country with respect for institutions, based on the separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial powers, where the officials are in the service of people, and their permissions and following mechanisms are specified in the constitution, and the military and security departments responsibility is protecting homeland and people not protecting authority and regime, and do not interfere in the political competition between parties and national groups.
8- A country that renounces terrorism and fights it, and respects international covenants, charters, treaties and conventions, as a factor of security and stability in its regional and international perimeter. Establishes the best equal relations with its friends, in the forefront its neighbor Lebanon, for its people suffered – as the Syrian people – from the scourge of the system of corruption and tyranny, and works on achieving its people’s strategic interest and restoring its occupied land in all legal means, and supporting the legal demands of the Palestinian brotherly people.
9- A state of justice and law, where there is no room for hatred, revenge, or retaliation. Even those whose hands are contaminated with people’s blood, of any part, it is their right to have a fair trial, before an impartial and independent tribunal.
10- A country of intimacy and love, between the sons of the big Syrian family, in the light of a massive reconciliation, [forsaking] all false pretexts adopted by the system of corruption and tyranny, to intimidate the citizens of one nation of each, to prolong his rule and to sustain its control on everyone.
This is our vision and aspiration for our desired future, our covenant in front of God, and our people, and in front of all people. A vision that we assure today, after a history full of national working for decades, since the founding of the brotherhood, by the hands of Dr. Mustafa Assiba’ey, God’s mercy be upon him, in 1945.
We presented its features clearly and ambiguously, in the National Honor Charter in 2001, and in our political project in 2004, and in the official papers approved by the Brotherhood, on various social and national issues. And these are our hearts opened, our hands outstretched to all our brothers and partners in our beloved homeland, for it to take its decent position between the civilized human societies.
“Help one another in virtue, righteousness and piety, and do not sin or commit aggression.”
Muslim Brotherhood Movement in Syria
(I edited here and there for clarity, but left the structure of the document as is.)
- Who are We and What do We Want: The Muslim Brotherhood – November 15, 2011
- Making Sense of Syria – July 9, 2012