While the mainstream corporate press continues to paint the Syrian crisis as a civil war between religious denominations (since it works right along with the idiotic narrative painted of the Middle East peddled in the West for decades), Syrians have proven MSM outlets wrong every day for the last six years. That is, if anyone bothers to speak to them about what is happening in their country and their own views on the situation.
Many Americans would particularly be interested to learn how Syria was a multi-ethnic multi-religious state without civil war and religious warfare prior to America's rebels. Indeed, while America's religious leaders are consistently focused on promoting a military mindset and war across the world, Syria's religious leaders are doing the opposite, focusing on inter-faith dialogue, peace, and unity.
In fact, a man who has been leading the efforts for peace in Syria, the Grand Mufti himself, has been repeatedly maligned in the Western press as someone who is complicit in war crimes and even being personally involved in the handpicking torture victims. These narratives have repeatedly fallen apart, since they are nothing more than propaganda. The Grand Mufti has often angered Western journalists and Western politicians by refusing to play along with their idiotic narratives that Assad is murdering his own people and engaging in wanton atrocities and refusing to engage in primitive religious nitpicking and division.
However, despite the negative press Sheikh Ahmad Bahreddin Hassoun has received in the West, he continues to remain stalwart in the face of Western media pressure. He also continues to push for understanding and dialogue between the various faiths as well as the denominations within his own.
Many journalists and activists have traveled to Syria and have had the opportunity to meet with the Grand Mufti. In my own personal interviews and discussions with these individuals, I have consistently been told of the kindness and compassion of Sheikh Hassoun as well as his extraordinary wisdom when it comes to issue of spirituality, religion, and humanity in general.
Recently, speaking to journalist Vanessa Beeley in Damascus, Sheikh Hassoun had this to say about religion and human identity.
In the UK Theresa May made dangerous statement, when asked if she regrets the Balfour Treaty. If she had just said no, it would have been better. But she said, that the Balfour treaty is a religious promise, we are very proud of it. That she said that, is very dangerous. She put herself in the place of God, making such promises..and that is not true. God is in our heart, He does not have a particular place, not in Saudi Arabia, not in Palestine..just in our hearts.
As a human being in any land on earth, the land is my mother, my hand is from the sand, my soul from God, from heaven, our souls have the same source, our bodies are from the same source so why would God force us to leave one land because one land is of God and another is not?
I criticise Saudi Arabia because they forbid Jews and Christians to go to Saudi Arabia. It is Abraham's land not Saudi land, Abraham built the Kaaba, we all believe in Abraham. Saudi Arabia is only a political authority disguised as a religious authority.
When I am asked if I am the Mufti for all Muslims, I say, no, I am just the Mufti of Syria, I have responsibility for the Jews, the Christians, for all the people in Syria. That is why its important to think globally.
All people grow old, but love never grows old. As love grows older, it grows stronger. Love is the soul of belief, I dont love those I cannot believe in. Thank God, that God is not Jewish, Christian or Muslim..God is for all people. That is why I should not be for one particular faith, you will not find me in the mosque or in the church.
God is in the hearts of children. The heart, when it beats has energy, this energy is God.
A lot of people have a lot of medicine, a lot of food..but their hearts will still stop because God decided to let it go. A person can replace his heart, but it will still die,
because God says "stop". It is God who started the heart in the beginning. A lot of young people ask me how the heart stops. I ask them how the first beat happened. Only the one who started the first beat can stop it in the end.
The true Christian, Jew and Muslim are those who live in our hearts...
Hassoun's philosophy is thus markedly different from the philosophy Western media outlets accuse Syrian religious leaders of espousing. It is also markedly different from the warlike rage machines of religions being peddled in places like Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel. If the United States and its own religious contingents truly wanted to see an end to conflict, they would allow the peaceful to live in peace and take Sheikh Hassoun's words to heart.