Bahai News - 'Moderate' Syria
Friday, October 12, 2001; Page A32
In his Oct. 4 letter Robert Ratcliffe claimed that Syria is a moderate
Syrian President Bashar Assad is an anti-Semite of great repute throughout
the Islamic world (witness his vicious and unsubstantiated statement to the
visiting pope that the Jews were responsible for murdering the Prophet
Muhammad as well as Jesus). Adherents of Judaism and the Baha'i religion
have suffered greatly at the hands of the Syrian government, which uses
torture and confiscation of property as part of its "secular" approach to
dealing with ethnic and religious minorities.
Syria is a longtime supporter of a variety of terrorist groups including
Hezbollah (with additional support from Iran), radical Palestinian groups
such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic
Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the radical Kurdish terrorist
group, PKK. In addition, Syria has taken over Lebanon.
Mr. Ratcliffe perpetuates ignorance himself, something of which he falsely
accuses the West in his letter, by serving as a mouthpiece, essentially, of
the Syrian government. Yet perhaps his greatest error is the notion that
anyone in the Western world who dares to criticize an Arab or Islamic
country is somehow ignorant of Islamic culture in the broadest context.
©Copyright 2001, The Washington Post Company
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