Saturday, March 31, 2012

"An opposition under the cloak of fanatics hiding behind a veneer of stupid liberals"

"... Some dissidents among the rebels are also denouncing the Syrian National Council (SNC) - the umbrella group recognised by leading Arab and Western nations as a "legitimate interlocutor" - as a front for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood bankrolled by Gulf states such as Qatar.
Kamal al-Labwani, a physician and prominent opposition leader who resigned from the SNC this month, called it "an opposition under the cloak of fanatics hiding behind a veneer of stupid liberals".
According to Labwani, the ostensibly secular and multi-party SNC is no more than a fa├žade for the Muslim Brotherhood, ... "The Brotherhood are the dominant force in the Council," Labwani said. "There is the Hama faction, the Damascus faction and the Aleppo faction of the Brotherhood, the Hama faction is backed and funded by Qatar and Turkey."
As the rebellion has increasingly resorted to arms in the face of relentless repression by Assad's forces, "they are setting conditions for who they arm. And those who are not Islamists or religious, they are not being supplied with guns", he said.........
Haitham al-Maleh, a veteran opposition figure and human rights lawyer who was jailed by both Assad and his father, bitterly denounces the autocratic habits of Burhan Ghalioun, the liberal Sorbonne professor who is the figurehead of the Council.
"I want to see the council act democratically. Until now, they are acting like the (ruling) Baath Party," Maleh, who withdrew from the SNC along with Labwani, told Reuters.
"Ghalioun wrote his last speech in Istanbul and did not show it to us. They went to meet Kofi Annan [the former UN secretary general now acting as special envoy for Syria] in Ankara and did not inform us. This is a disaster. I cannot be in a place where I am treated as a nonentity", Maleh said. "There is a monopoly in the leadership and no transparency"...."

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