Al-Bayanouni: More Influential Opponents In Syrian Regime
Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood group in Syria said that there are opponents inside the Syrian regime and that these opponents are even more influential than Abdel Halim Khaddam when he was in power.
Al-Bayanouni said, in a statement to Ikhwanweb, that:” Last May”s legislative elections and the presidential referendum that followed it confirmed that the Syrian regime, led by Bashar Al-Asad, insists on maintaining its tyrannical methods which were adopted during the era of his father, Hafez Asad, and that all promises given by Bashar Al-Asad when he was sworn-in and in other occasions were unaddressed. Corruption is still eroding all state institutions and martial laws and emergency law have been and are still applied for more than 43 years. Exceptional laws, including law 49 of the year 1980 that sentences to death any one suspected to belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood group, is still applied. Human rights files are still unhandled, including files of the political detainees, the missing persons and the displaced persons.
Al-Bayanouni added that 2007 has witnessed huge escalations in repressions and arbitrary detentions against any opponent across the political spectrum. This proves that the Syrian citizen”s aspirations for reform are dashed under the current regime. This was clear in the legislative elections which were boycotted bay all political powers. People”s hopes are currently pinned on the peaceful democratic national change process which is called by all national opposition powers.
The head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhoods confirmed the regime is currently haunted by worries specially after the UN Security Council approved the International Court in Lebanon, to confirm the fingers of accusation directed against it regarding the assassinations committed in the Lebanese arena. The regime tries to obstruct the work of the court by all means, including attempting to explode the security situation in Lebanon. What raises eyebrows is that the regime justifies not addressing reform commitments that it promised by blaming foreign pressures although these pressures require seeking the domestic support and reinforcing the domestic front to confront these pressures and challenges.
Al-Bayanouni pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood group and other opposition powers that joined the Declaration of Damascus, and the National Salvation Front, will press ahead with mobilization to reach the required change. They will hold more dialogues and coordination among various national powers to agree on a unified work program towards this.
Asked whether opposition in exile is serious under the deadlocked political life in the domestic lefel, Al-Bayanouni said:
There is no difference between domestic opposition and opposition in exile. The opposition in exile is an extension of the opposition inside the country, but there are open work fields outside while they aren’t allowed for the opposition inside the country.
On the domestic level, the security services use emergency laws and martial laws to continue repressions and tortures. Therefore, many opposition activities inside the country are postponed. There are continuous contacts and may propel express their readiness to join opposition line even from inside the regime.
Ikhwanweb: from inside the regime?
Al-Bayanouni: Yes from the regime. There people inside the regime who want to do what Abdel Halim Khaddam did because the current policies of the regime put the country as a whole at the stakes.
Ikhwanweb: Can you give specific names or is it still classified
Al-Bayanouni: definitely, their can”t be made public for the time being because these persons have a weight in like that enjoyed by Abdel Halim Khaddam when he was inside the regime. One of the most important justifications for our coalition with Khaddam was to encourage others like him to follow his example. This is because the Syrian regime can only be changed through a cooperation from inside it, a fact acknowledged by every one familiar with the nature of this dictatorial regime.
Regarding the relation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the European and US governments, Al-Bayanouni said:
There is no relation between the Muslim Brotherhood and any European government or the US administration. However, there are contacts and dialogues with a number of these countries aiming at reassuring them and explaining the group”s real attitudes towards all issues. This is because the regime is still frightening these countries of change and of the coming substitute by telling them that the coming substitute will be the Muslim Brotherhood or a civil war or state like the one in Iraq. We confirm that we aren”t the only substitute, and that no civil war will erupt in Syria because the structure of the Syrian people is totally different from that of the Iraqi people. And that the substitute is a democratic national multiple system that accepts all sects and powers.
Asked about opening a number of offices for the National Salvation Front in some countries, if there, how many offices and what are their roles, Al-Bayanouni said:
The mission of these offices is to contact official authorities, civil society organizations and parliaments, in order to explain the Syrian issue, and attitudes of the national opposition powers. There are offices for the front in Washington and London, and we are working for establishing an office in Brussels.
As for the Arab countries, they do not allow such offices on their soil. Therefore we just make contacts and visits to explain attitudes. Some of these countries understand the Syrian situation, and show their support and sympathy. Others still fear the coming substitute and even fear the idea of a democratic change.
Ikhwanweb: Does this mean that the coming substitute in any political form will include the Muslim Brotherhood?
Yes, all powers recognize the group and the Islamic movement as a key opposition power which cant be sidelined or ignored.
There is a consensus that any coming substitute will include participants from all powers. The wording of the Declaration of Damascus and also the wording of the National Salvation Front are a model for any possible substitute. The group is considered a main component in both coalitions.