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The Muslim Link
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DC Event Canceled After Syrian Americans Expose Syrian Mufti’s Threats Against US PDF Print E-mail
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Community News - Community News
Written by Yaman Shalabi Muslim Link Staff Reporter   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:30

 



When the Syrian American community learned that the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) extended an invitation to Syria’s highest grand cleric, a staunch supporter and ally to President Bashar Al-Assad, to participate in a discussion on peace in Syria, they were quick to mobilize and express their desires for the invitation to be rescinded.


Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun was set to speak in Washington D.C. Thursday, June 28, at an FMEP event titled “Coexistence and Dialogue in Syria” along with Bishop Luka El Khoury, Syrian Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and Chairman of the Syrian American Forum, Dr. Nasser Ani, - both Assad supporters as well. 

However, what enraged the Syrian American community was not based solely on the fact that Hassoun is an Assad loyalist and has since the beginning of the revolution blamed “terrorists” and “outside forces” for the bloodshed, but that he openly threatened the U.S. and propagated terrorism on a YouTube video should America decide to intervene in national affairs and attack Syria.

Hassoun was quoted as saying: “The moment the first missile hits Syria, all the sons and daughters of Lebanon and Syria will set out to become martyrdom-seekers in Europe and on Palestinian soil. I say to all of Europe and to the U.S.: We will prepare martyrdom-seekers who are already among you, if you bomb Syria or Lebanon. From now on, it will be ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and he who dealt the first blow is more unjust,’ and you are the ones who have done us an injustice.”

In a phone interview with the Muslim Link, FMEP President Philip Wilcox said that he was advised by people- whom he refused to name- to invite Mufti Hassoun thinking it would be a step in helping to resolve the conflict in Syria.

“When we learned he gave a sermon in which he threatened to send suicide bombers to the U.S., we were shocked and found it incompatible with the theme of the event…and that it would undermine our organization,” he said, “and so we decided to cancel the program.”

When asked about FMEP’s customary screening process of guests and speakers, Wilcox refused to give details however admitted to the right to be criticized. He also mentioned that no direct communication was conducted between FMEP and Hassoun.

In a press release condemning FMEP’s decision, the Syrian Expatriate Organization wrote that it “believes such inflammatory rhetoric is contrary to the fundamental principles of coexistence and dialogue…and to have Hassoun speak at such an event in the U.S. capital is a slap in the face to the principles of freedom, democracy, and tolerance.”
In another press release, the American Syrian Coalition thanked FMEP for canceling the event.

Comments (3)
  • Safiyah Noor Tilley Page  - How Can A Muslim be an Assad Loyalist?
    May Allah guide the Grand Mufti of Syria! He is definitely in need of it as his actions are very far outside of the prescription of the behaviors of a pious Muslim. Notwithstanding this I am; however, troubled that our Brothers and Sisters have fallen into the trap of denoucing Muslim because he had leveled a threat against the U.S. No Muslm should be denouncing another. Criticism should be against the sinful actions only and they need not be done before the kufr at all. The Mufti's problem and reason why no invitation should have been extended to himshould have rested on his support of the Assad regime. To put it bluntly, Mr. Assad, who is a kufr, is a murderer of and an oppressor of the Muslimin. Inviting a supporter of this monster to a peace conference would be like inviting a vampire to a meeting of the Red Crescent. Did information that this person had leveled threats against the kufr really come as a surprise? Should anyone have been surprised that the nasseeah/advice from a Brother who has justified the killing of Muslimin would also endorse any killing that he felt would support this regime's continuance?
  • Muslim_Man  - Suspect
    Does anyone think for a minute that "Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassou" would be at the head of the massive, retaliatory, martyrdom operations he proposes? EMPTY. RHETORIC. FAIL.
  • Syria
    The issue is not whether the Syrian community was surprised or that his words were empty...We understand that there is no substance behind what he is preaching. The issue is that America, who has supposedly, denounced Assad and his cronies was going to allow a mad man onto its soil....that alone is hypocritical and stupid. We know that Hassoun does not have the power or the desire to instigate anything with America. Everyone is overlooking the bigger picture that an Assad sympathizer who has accepted and stood behind the mass killings, rapes, and torture is not only a disgrace to Syrians but to ISLAM! He calls himself the Mufti and yet turns a blind eye to the atrocities happening in Syria and people instead criticize Syrians for denouncing him...?
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