First Published: 2011-05-16

 

The Dawn of Democracy Arrives in Syria

 

The cause of freedom and democracy in Syria will prevail, we should all be confident as the actions of the Syrian democratic movement flow in the direction of historical progress, says Louay Safi.

 

Middle East Online

Once again the news coming from Syria is full of pains, disappointments, and hopes. The people of Syria continue their protests against widespread corruption and the lack of freedom and democracy, and they do that at great risk. “Give me freedom or give me death” once proclaimed by Patrick Henry in a speech at the Virginia Convention is repeated daily by Syrian protesters in action rather than in words. The United Nations reported that as many as 850 may have been shot dead while thousands have been arrested by government security.

Anyone who follows the peaceful nature of the popular protests must applaud the courage of the protesters who are calling for democracy in Syria. Despite the use of excessive force, life ammunition, and arbitrary arrests, tens of thousands of Syrians have demonstrated against a regime that found it fitting to bring military units using tanks and heavy machine guns to disperse protesters. The killing of peaceful citizens by the very military which is supposed to protect them constitutes a crime against humanity and must be condemned by the whole world. The world must condemn the use of violence by the Syrian security forces and call for the immediate stop of shootings and arbitrary arrests. Political freedom and democratic government are long overdue and all people of conscience should stand by the free people of Syria who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of the population live under a system that respect the equal rights and freedoms of all people.

There is a significant community of Syrian Americans who decided not to sit idle watching the killing of peaceful protesters and the suppression of freedom. They are demonstrating in various cities, writing letters to their political representatives, and plan to meet in Washington DC to draft a plan of action to help intensify the pressure on those who resort to violence to stay in power and support the corrupt system that bring them personal benefit at the expense of everybody else. The Syrian American Council is organizing the Freedom for Syria Day on May 24 and has urged all Syrian Americans who care about the democratic future of Syria to take the day off and join hands with fellow citizens to advance the cause of freedom.

The cause of freedom and democracy in Syria will prevail, we should all be confident as the actions of the Syrian democratic movement flow in the direction of historical progress. While the last decade of the twentieth century witnessed the democratic transformation of Eastern Europe, the second decade of the twenty first century is now witnessing the democratic transformation of the Middle East. The hope though is that this will be done without escalating the current confrontation to a greater level of pain, and that the regime will realize that it cannot stop the march of freedom to a people determined to stand free and tall.

Dr. Louay Safi writes and lectures on issues relating to Islam and the West, democracy, human rights, leadership, and world peace. He is the Chairman of the Syrian American Council and a strong advocate of human rights. His commentaries are available at http://louaysafi.com.

 

Arab leaders reject 'foreign interference' in their affairs

UN chief in Baghdad to review aid efforts

Lebanese PM Hariri visits Saudi Arabia

Turkey says military operation in northern Syria over

Palestinian pints divide Israeli pub

Rush hour on Mosul's 'displacement highway'

Palestinians commemorate ‘Land Day’

Qatar Airways to offer free laptops on US flights

American-Israeli teen arrested for US bomb threats 'has tumour'

Netanyahu vows to move ahead on new settlement plan

Tillerson says Assad’s fate up to Syrian people

Number of Syrian refugees tops five million says UN

Deal struck in Israeli row over public broadcaster

Palestinian NGOs urge Hamas to reopen border

Austria issues Turkey travel warning

US Secretary of State Tillerson in Ankara for talks

Jailed leader of pro-Kurd party to start hunger strike in Turkey

IS truck bomb kills at least 14 at Baghdad checkpoint

Iran says Arabs should focus on Zionist, not Iranian, meddling

Israel cuts $2-million contribution to UN

Israeli police shoot dead Palestinian woman armed with scissors

Bahrain sentences two to death for police bombing

Boat from Libya capsizes in Med, 146 migrants feared missing

Saudi police kill 2 gunmen during raid in Shiite-majority town

Over 60,000 S.Sudanese flee to Sudan in last three months

Bus bombing hits Syria's Homs, five dead

CAF chief Ahmad backs Morocco 2026 World Cup bid

US arrests Turkish banker for helping Iran violate sanctions

Turkey voices opposition to Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

Engineers to carry out urgent maintenance on IS-held Syria dam

Palestinian president meets Trump envoy at Arab summit

4 besieged Syria towns to be evacuated under deal

Arab leaders meet in Sweimeh on conflicts, 'terror'

No unanimity on Syria ahead of Arab Summit

UN says over 300 civilians killed since start of west Mosul offensive

Disputed Iraqi province votes to fly Kurdish flag

Germany laments Turkey's 'unacceptable' spying

Syria opposition says no peace deal without US role

Turkey sends delegation to UK over electronics ban

UN chief urges Arab leaders to confront Syria war

Carlos the Jackal sentenced to life for Paris bombing

Arab League set to oppose Trump Israel embassy shift

Tributes flood in for anti-apartheid hero Ahmed Kathrada

US vows to never allow 'Israel-bashing' at UN

Netanyahu ban on MP visits to flashpoint holy site challenged