Grand Mufti of Syria

I was very moved by Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria when I met him last summer in Damascus.   Like Bashar Assad, the Mufti has been misrepresented and demonized in the Western press.   Though a very different personality than the Syrian President, the Mufti, like the President, represents what is good and strong in Syrian society.

The Grand Mufti of any country is the highest Sunni official who is endowed to interpret Islamic law for his people. Many Muslim countries have a Grand Mufti. So, like most other Sunni majority countries, Syria has a Grand Mufti.   According to my research, the  Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun studied in a relatively conservative tradition of Islamic Law, but my sense of him was that he is a man who is open to the spirit as well as the letter of the law, whose faith and understanding have grown through the experiences of life,   If Mr. Assad is the head of a Syrian state fighting for survival, Grand Mufti Hassoun is the heart of a great people who will not be divided by terrorism and threats, by isolation from an arrogant Western led global economy, or the by lure false prophets who offer an Allah limited to the imaginations of impoverished humanity.

 

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Trump in Context

I find my self focusing (obsessively at times) on the fact that much of what Trump has promised has already been enacted by Obama and the Clintons.

Even Thom Hartman was saying the other night that Trump now says he’s just going to build a fence on the Mexican border and since there is already a fence on the Mexican border, it will just be filling in extensions.   So, he’ll just be (in Hartman’s words) adding a few more stretches of barbed wire.   Hartman framed this is a bad thing on Trump’s part because he backed down from a campaign promise.  But it seems to me that he, like pretty much every President faces realities when he comes to office that didn’t affect campaign rhetoric, and he is openly acknowledging the status quo which is an open invitation to us who want to reject it.

Same thing about not allowing Syrian immigrants into the country without special vetting.   That bill passed with nearly unanimous Democratic support more than a year ago.   I remember I was mad that my supposedly very liberal Democratic Congresswoman supported it unequivocally.  Only a couple thousand Syrian refugees have been allowed to migrate to the US over the entire course of the horrific war the US and allies are fueling, funding and even fighting in their country.

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After Aleppo

Since the liberation of Aleppo, there have been a broad swathe of terrorist attacks across Syria.   A truck bomb was detonated at a checkpoint in Latakia killing numerous women and children.   The water supply to Damascus has been shut down by Al Nusra Front militants since around Christmas.   There was a massive attack against the SAA in West Hama which […]

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