Tuesday, 23 July 2013


"The visiting journalists, particularly on the regime side, don’t get the full story. The New York Times wrote that mortars, which had been “peppering” Damascus, have stopped. They haven’t. That’s not true. Mortars have been falling into Damascus intermittently now for a year, and they’re still falling...

The religious [extremism] of the rebels that you read about in Damascus is overshadowing the reality of what’s happening in Syria. It’s clearly happening, but it’s people from outside of Syria. Syria has always been a moderate relaxed country when it comes to religion. Places like Dubai are far more restrictive.
Right from the beginning there were so many images of rebels with beards and Kalashnikovs and chanting Allahu Akbar, as if this was all there is in Syria. And then people outside don’t want to help in any way, because they think it’s just terrorists fighting a dictator. But the majority of people, they’re more culturally Muslim than religious. In no way do they aspire to a Saudi or Salafi thing."

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