FIGHT BACK ! – Syrian Oppositionist: Recruit Arabs, Muslims Living In Russia Against Putin

August 20, 2012 – MEMRI SPECIAL DISPATCH No. 4899

In an article published on the Syrian oppositionist website on July 26, 2012, Syrian oppositionist Osama Al-Mallouhi wrote that, in order to assist the revolution in Syria, opposition members must stop pandering to the Russian regime. Instead, they should encourage opposition within Russia itself that would pressure the regime to change its position on Syria. To this end, Al-Mallouhi called to recruit and activate Russia’s Arab and Muslim diasporas (including Syrians), and also to expose the corruption of Putin and his associates in order to strengthen the internal opposition in Russia.

The following are excerpts from the article:[1]

“Put Pressure On Russia From Within”

“As long as there is no measured political initiative, no vigorous action, and no concentrated pressing effort, those who monopolize the Syrian opposition, its political activity, and its donations and aid money will continue to monopolize [the opposition] without doing what is required of them… Yes, there is something you must do in addition to the things that you [are already doing] and regard as your utmost efforts. It is not an ‘utmost effort’ when you visit Russia time after time and submissively pander to its regime, which, in its essence, is a collaborator with the murderous Syrian regime.

“[You] flatteringly describe the privilege-grabbing Russian officials as friends, while they greet you at the lowest level that protocol allows. You do not protest [this treatment], and you do not even feel humiliated [by it], since you apparently do not remember the might of the Syrian people, which gave you your power. Those who have been authorized by the rebelling Syrian people [to act on their behalf] should feel only great power and prestige, and act accordingly – not for themselves, but for those they represent: the mighty, brave, heroic Syrian people.

“Those who have monopolized the opposition, had they realized the magnitude of the revolution and the might and [demographic] dispersal of their people, would have acted from the start to pressure Russia from within. Yes, they should have, and still should, put pressure on Russia from within…

“More than 20% [sic] of the people in Russia are Muslims, who form a majority in over 14 republics of the Russian Federation, which constitute more than half of Russia’s territory. [These] regions [where Muslim Russians live] are full of vitality and rich in resources. [The Muslims] are not frightened and paralyzed as they were in the days of the Soviets – now they yearn for freedom, bravely present their demands, and want to maintain relations with their Arab Muslim brothers. In fact, they want to help their rebelling brothers in Syria.

“They have sent us many messages and good wishes, expressing their hope that we will triumph over Bashar. Many have apologized for the Kremlin’s position, wishing they were with us on the ground [fighting] against the murderous Bashar. Some have firmly demanded, and continue to demand, to be told what to do [for the revolution].

“We reminded some of [these Russian Muslims] that they have relatives in Syria, and we [also] remembered that there are entire clans [of Russian origin] throughout Syria: Circassians, Chechens, and clans of Dagestani origin. One of the [Russian Muslims] surprised me [by telling me] that there are [also] Syrian families who came from Ingushetia, Bashkiria, Tatarstan, and Chuvashia, which are all Muslim republics within the Russian Federation.

“Had those who have monopolized the opposition prepared work groups,… infiltrated the Muslim peoples in Russia, and used every means to spark enthusiasm for truth and aid, we would have heard these people protesting with demands to assist us. Their pressure would increase as our efforts to recruit them doubled, and the Kremlin would feel great pressure.

“We have tens of thousands of Syrians in Russia. We have Arab and Muslim diasporas [whose members] number in the hundreds of thousands. Moreover, we have Russian sympathizers, and their numbers will grow if we act to inform them [of the situation].

“There are [also] many who oppose Putin, and their number will double if we expose the many indications of shameful and pervasive corruption in the ties that Putin and his associates maintain with the Syrian regime, through which they have earned  millions of dollars in bribes, mediating [fees] and profiteering.

“We have many [who can help us], and we will undoubtedly succeed if we remember the name of Allah the Almighty, who is exalted by the Syrian rebels, and the power of the mighty people we represent – and if we realize the extent of our mighty revolution, unmatched for hundreds of years…”

Endnote: [1], July 26, 2012.