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Statement of Syrian, Iraqi and Lebanese Intellectuals Against Religious Tyranny

Writers, journalists, academics, artists and intellectuals warn of the depth of the gap which these religious and political movements drive our societies and peoples to
Statement of Syrian, Iraqi and Lebanese Intellectuals Against Religious Tyranny

The expansion of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq raises big questions about the future of the Levant, and risks becoming a global exhibition for the failure of states and societies kin the reigon.


The advancement of the forces, clans and tribes bearing the banner of "Islamic State" backed by "travelling jihadists" came from all over the world. It does not only threaten to dismantle national entities, which were formed after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, but undermines all civilization, and faith itself, in our country.

Whatever has been said about the regional and international beneficiaries of this movement in Iraq and Syria, and regardless of the attempts to exploit this phenomenon to serve a strategy to build a new West – Iranian consensus at the expense of the peoples of the region, we see in the growing numbers of jihad supporters efforts to build an authority based on religious legitimacy  – under a very narrow vision of religion itself – and a serious threat to the peoples of the Levant and their right to freedom, justice and peace.


This religious provision is in essence a mill for humans; an enslavement machine separated from the world of work and production. It establishes an ultra-elitist racist rule, fascist in its treatment to the public, that will soon accumulate power and wealth in the hands of a handful of leaders protected by the sacred.


This entity is explicit in its initial hostility towards the freedom of women, beauty, modern education, it is a parasite economically, and aggressive at home and abroad. It is an establishment of a system of enslavement that owns the population, the land and wealth.  It will impose by force an example foreign to the local population, and it will kill them if they don’t support it.


The wide areas of Iraq and Syria wouldn’t have formed an area for ​​the spread of this slavery system if these two countries had not been exposed to a long-term social and cultural leveling. Their Baathist regimes have created a political and power vacuum that transformed them in the worst way possible. They practiced extreme forms of discrimination and aggression towards their citizens. Syria, in particular, has an enslavement regime that owns the country and the population, a regime that inherited power and then continued killing and destroying the rebels for 40 months, before the eyes of the whole world. In Iraq, the regime tries to follow the exclusive and possessive instinct of the Syrian regime.


This is more than a major setback to civilization. What we are facing today is a continuation of the aggression against populations in our countries and a denial of their freedom and justice. Those who spread their power now on the areas stretching from Anbar to Aleppo countryside, through Mosul and Badiat ash-Sham, and threaten to invade more areas to raise their black banner, are a renewal of the tyrannical regimes, and they participate with these regimes in crushing all forces of renaissance, renewal and freedom in our societies.


In addition to ISIS, the Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda and their sisters, come the hordes of the League of the Righteous, the brigades of Abu al Fadl al Abbas, the battalions of Hezbollah and others to participate in the massacre and to give a historical and mythological depth to it, which makes it our companion for generations to come. In this way, they complete the scene of pouncing on the popular revolutions demanding freedom, justice and equality, as well as on the smaller groups that lack protection, on the principle of the state and the public interest, in an endless and normless war of clans, sects and ethnicities.


ISIS, in this sense, is a shining victory for the so-called "Resistence Countries", for their implied sense that these communities do not deserve neither liberty, justice, equality nor even pity. Furthermore, they provide excuses for the Iranian regime to expand in the region and rivet its walls of protection beyond the borders of Iran, working to launch a sectarian war that may destroy this region and kill all the promises of the Arab revolutions.


They then provide an additional legitimacy to Israel (more than what the Baathist enslavement regimes provided) and put the Palestinian struggle in the most isolated locations and the lowest level of legitimacy.


This dangerous play with religion and employing it in a project to establish an authority of enslavement that has no horizon but for nothingness and darkness, where there is no economy nor education nor culture nor art nor society nor happiness nor dignity of human being nor respect among people, not to mention the lack of public and individual freedom. This play is a serious threat to everything some enlightened Arabs tried to build in the last century and a half, in their quest for advancement in freedom and participation in the making of today's world.


We, the writers, journalists, academics, artists and intellectuals, as we hold all the human values ​​approved by the modern human conscience, we warn of the depth of the gap which these religious and political movements drive our societies and peoples to. We first call on our citizens, and the believers in human freedom and equality among people everywhere, to join us to fight against the old and new killers, and to work for freedom and justice in our countries, in our region, and in the whole world.




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