Chandigarh: Pointing to Kashmir and its fabled sufi culture that has not been visible for thirty years now, historian Rajiv Lochan draws an analogy with the present situation in Syria by underscoring that Syria was a secular country before the outside terrorists stepped in to create havoc in that country.
To draw home his point, Rajiv cites extensively from the interview of Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78), who has witnessed the civil war and lives in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. The interview was published under the title ‘The Media Coverage on Syria is the Biggest Media Lie of our Time’ by Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
Excerpts from Father Daniël’s interview:
“The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.
Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.”
“When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: “This country belongs to us now.” Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.”