In the wake of the the October 31, 2015 downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai and the November 13, 2015 Paris terror attacks, Fawaz Tello, a Syrian oppositionist residing in Berlin, wrote an article reiterating his condemnation of terrorism afflicting the West and other places, but at the same time criticizing the West for its lack of solidarity with the victims of terrorism in Syria. The article was posted on the Syrian oppositionist website All4syria.info.
Tello wrote that Westerners accuse Syrians of terrorism merely because they support the revolution against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and also because they are Arab and Muslim. They do not realize, he said, that like Westerners, the Syrians are victims of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorism - and that they are also victims of the Assad regime's terrorism. The West should realize this, he said, and develop a sense of solidarity with the Syrians.
Fawaz Tello (Image: Scn-sy.com)
The following are excerpts from Tello's article:
"These days, when anyone, particularly a Westerner, converses [with a Syrian] on the issue of Syria, he starts from the position of implicitly accusing his pro-revolution Syrian interlocutor of supporting terrorism - based on the assumption that the revolution has been ISIS-ized [i.e. that supporters of the revolution are supporters of ISIS as well], or even [just] because his interlocutor is a Muslim.
"This implied accusation that the Syrian revolution has been ISIS-ized, and the accusations of terrorism against Islam in general and putting [Islam] perpetually on the defendant's bench... until proven innocent, is [the product of] twisted logic that these days is emerging frequently; prior to this, it was latent.
"But the Westerner who makes such an accusation is disregarding clear facts vis-├á-vis himself, [facts] that according to this logic incriminate him [as well] - because his governments, history, and church are rife with crimes that meet the precise definition of 'terrorism.' Despite this, however, we do not accuse him of supporting terrorism as a 'Western Christian.'
"We must remember that throughout history, 80% of church leaders have committed murder, violated human liberty and dignity, and fought against knowledge, scientists, philosophers, and liberty, and supported tyranny in the West. It is they who mobilized or supported the crusades against the East, which killed millions of innocents, and [it is they] who gave their blessing to the courts of the Inquisition to harm Muslims and Jews in Spain. It is the modern [Western] governments that are killing millions from among the peoples they conquered so savagely, and it is they who killed millions of Westerners in two world wars... But all this has never led us to accuse an entire faith [meaning Christianity] and its believers of terrorism...
"Yes, I, as a Muslim and Syrian, and as a private person, have sincerely felt solidarity [with terror victims] - and not out of political hypocrisy. As a Muslim, as a Syrian, as an Arab, and as a Kurd, I sympathized with the innocent victims of the terrorism in France, with the victims of the [downed] Russian airliner [in the Sinai], with the innocent victims in New York [in 9/11], and with the victims of all terrorist [attacks] around the world... I felt solidarity with the Yazidis, with the Kurds, with the [residents] of 'Ayn Al-Arab/Kobani, with the Kurds banished from their Syrian lands, with the Christians, with the Assyrians persecuted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, with the victims among ISIS's Western hostages everywhere, and, finally, with the Paris victims...
"This is the position of the vast majority of pro-revolution Syrians, including nearly all of Syria's Sunni Muslims; it is a position that they have tried to express on many occasions. But this has not been sufficient [to prompt] others to feel genuine solidarity with us, not even once, with regard to events taking place in our noble and wounded country of Syria that are being inflicted by a minority sectarian government that has sold [the country] to its even more sectarian Iranian ally and to its Russian ally that has recently joined in perpetrating the massacre.
"Moreover, some of those with whom we have shown solidarity in the past are now engaging in killing us and distributing sweets [to celebrate] every massacre of us. As for the West and international community - their solidarity boiled down to insistence on besieging us to prevent us from toppling the [Assad] regime - so that we victims can someday sit at the same table as the terrorist murderers and grant them the legitimacy that they never for had for one single day of the past 50 years, and so that we can approve their occupation of Syria and its subsequent sale to the Iranians and Russians, who have been the West's partners in its false war on terror.
"Yes, ISIS is our enemy, as Muslims and particularly as Syrians, as it is the enemy of the entire world. We as [members of] the Syrian revolution have always said so, and our war against ISIS is the noblest of [wars against ISIS]. We always fight ISIS singlehandedly - and we do not kill civilians on the pretext of bombing it. We have had hundreds of times more victims of ISIS than the French or Americans or Westerners have had - but the number of our victims of Assad's, Iran's, and Russia's terrorism is hundreds of times greater than the number of our victims of ISIS terrorism, and thousands of times greater than the number of Western victims of ISIS terrorism.
"Therefore, I don't think that I need to reiterate my solidarity with terror victims [throughout] the world in order to absolve myself of the preconceived notions that as a Syrian and a Muslim, [I support] terrorism - because we Syrians are the greatest victims of terrorism in the 20th century, perhaps in all of history... [The West supports this terrorism] by supporting, or being silent in light of, the crimes committed against us in Syria by the Assad regime, the Iranian [regime], and the Russian [regime] - which are the flip side of ISIS - and through the historically unprecedented terrorism [it is perpetrating] by defending Assad's sectarian minority. This is 'selective humaneness'...
"I will absolutely not defend myself or answer to the preconceived notions about me as a Muslim, a Syrian, and an Arab supporting terrorism - while [in practice] I stand against it and pay the greatest price for it. This price comes in the form of 50 years of killing, expulsion, destruction, arrests, torture, and suffering inflicted by terrorism.
"In light of all this, and until the Syrian tragedy ends, I will sense solidarity with the victims of global terrorism in the most genuine way, the only sincere way - by repeatedly declaring 'Je Suis Syria,' with the expectation that the other, especially the Westerner, will respond in kind and show solidarity with me."
 All4syria.info, November 19, 2015.