Media in the UAE are reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Syrian opposition will begin establishing what is described as a “moderate form of Islamic law” in all areas of the country under their control. According to report in the The National:
Apr 18, 2013 ISTANBUL // The main opposition to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad will begin establishing what it calls a moderate form of Islamic law in all rebel-held areas of the country, as part of an effort to prevent chaos and stop hardline interpretations of Islam from becoming entrenched.
The legal code was drawn up by Muslim scholars, judges and top anti-Assad politicians in advance of meetings this week in Istanbul convened by the Syrian National Council (SNC), where transitional justice arrangements are being discussed.
The opposition hopes that an interim government, as yet unformed, will apply a version of the new legal system nationwide, after it goes into effect in areas currently controlled by the insurgents.
Different systems of Sharia now govern pockets of Syrian territory controlled by the rebels. Some are enforced by Jabhat Al Nusra, a militant group affiliated with Al Qaeda, prompting fears that its interpretation of Islamic law is filling the legal vacuum.
Launching the initiative on Monday, Moaz Al Khatib, president of the SNC and himself a widely respected Islamic cleric, appealed for a moderate, fair legal system, which would meet demands for justice and head off the growing influence of extremists.
‘I want to talk frankly. When there is injustice, there is a revolution against that injustice. In the same way there should be a revolution in religious thought,’ he said. ‘The goal of religion is to liberate human beings, all of the prophets came to liberate the people.’ Extremists, including groups such as Al Nusra, one of the most powerful rebel factions, should not be allowed to spread their ideas, Mr Al Khatib said.
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The Syrian National Coalition was created in November 2012 and included members from the Syrian National Council (SNC), an earlier group that was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. (Note; there may be some confusion in the above report between the two groups). The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report had also identified three SNC leaders that were tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood as well as pointing out that Ghassan Hito, recently chosen by the Syrian National Coalition as its interim Prime Minister, was also part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi enjoyed close relations and Moaz Khatib, identified above as the SNC President, is also close to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
In March, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to confirm that the U.S. was training Syrian rebels while in February Kerry pledged an additional $60 million in aid to Syrian opposition forces. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. government was meeting with and actually funding the Syrian opposition that included the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood:
The U.S. has traditionally avoided contact with the Brotherhood across the Middle East. But now the State Department and National Security Council have begun to hold regular strategy sessions on Syria policy with the NSF and is funding an organization linked to it. Senior officials from the State Department and the National Security Council confirm the meetings. The U.S. has also discussed with the NSF and linked groups ways to monitor elections and promote civil society in Syria.
For additional background, see “How the Muslim Brotherhood Hijacked Syria’s Revolution” written by Hassan Hassan, an editorial writer for The National.