April 1, 2013
Over the weekend, the Free Syrian Army blew the lid on what members of the National Coalition and other opposition groups have been discussing privately for weeks: The grip the Muslim Brotherhood maintains over the Coalition due to holding a majority of seats (combined with its allies).
“I can assure you that Mr. Hito’s government will not succeed even if it was made of angels,” the FSA statement reads. “Everyone knows how he was selected and imposed by you in a naïve power play. The people will topple this government even if it is backed by the whole world.”
The Brotherhood says they only control 10 percent of the seats, and says the statement does not reflect the opinion of the FSA.
Both statements are translated below:
An open letter to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood:
Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army
Central Information Department – March 30, 2013
Read the original Arabic here.
We hold you responsible for slowing down the victory of the revolution and dividing the opposition.
First, there is a deep conflict between you and the sum of the national revolutionary civil, military and political forces. We are making this final statement after the people in Syrian cities, mainly Damascus and Outer Damascus, have had enough with the group’s behavior since the beginning of the revolution.
We mean the attempts to take over humanitarian aid and military issues, after dominating the Syrian National Council and the National Coalition. We have had enough and these behaviors will have dire consequences on the revolution, Syria and the future of the relationship between the group [MB] and the people. You don’t have the right to usurp the revolution or try to control it. Now we are now at a turning point on which many things will depend.
Second, you have tension with most civil and political revolutionary forces on the ground and abroad due to your tactics of systematically excluding them. The revolution is not yours and you are not the ones who started it. People who pay with blood and sacrifice their lives and safety are the ones who made the revolution.
Everyone knows how the National Council was formed and how its members were selected. You characterized some figures as patriots and selected them, and got them elected. That is not acceptable because you are not entitled to determine who is a patriot and who is not. We are all in this together and we are all equal.
Three, the diversity of the Syrian population does not and will not allow your group to dominate the revolution now or during the transitional phase and the democratic phase afterwards. You can only count a political program based on integrity and devotion to guarantee a future in the new Syria.
Four, an accumulative unrest has resulted from your policies in the United States and the deals you made at the expense of the rest of the national groups.
Five, many groups hold you responsible for delaying the victory of the revolution. You think you will lead Syria in the future, after you have managed to do so in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. You should learn from the group’s failure in Egypt, despite the fact that they were actively operating inside the country for decades.
Six, everyone knows the stance you took towards the regime before the uprising and the fact that you froze your opposition activities until a few days before the revolution began. Those who once submitted to the regime are not entitled to determine who is a patriot and who is not.
Seven, everyone knows how you took over the civil councils and dozens of the coordinators and committees using all means. We know how millions of dollars and donations from some individuals and countries have not been fairly distributed. You have used these amounts to promote some groups and exclude others.
Eight, everyone recognizes your domain as a group opposing the regime and a partner who should respect its limits in the political process. The national project that must include all Syrians without discrimination or exclusion. We are open to cooperate with you if you participate in teamwork and national partnership.
Considering the tension among people, I can assure you that Mr. Hito’s government will not succeed even if it was made of angels. Everyone knows how he was selected and imposed by you in a naïve power play. The people will topple this government even if it is backed by the whole world. No one can impose their agenda on the Syrian people, who make their own choices. If you want to keep Mr. Hito and proceed with your policies, you should ask the mother of Hamza al-Khatib and other mothers for permission. Dominating some military groups does not mean you won all the military. There will be surprises in the future as many Islamists in Saudi Arabia express their refusal of your domination.
In conclusion I would like to assure you that the people of Syria stand as one against you, due to your behavior and the big mistakes you have made since the beginning of the revolution. You now have the chance to show good will by unconditionally expanding the National Coalition in complete transparency without interference from your group.
Long live a free and dignified Syria
Fahed al-Masri – the Spokesman of the central information department of the Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army and the revolutionary forces.
Muslim Brotherhood’s response on statement by FSA joint command
March 30, 2013
Read the original Arabic here.
Omar Mashowih, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s media office, stressed that the statement made by the FSA Joint Command, which contained accusations against the Muslim Brotherhood, does not reflect the opinions of the FSA leadership. He indicated that the Muslim Brotherhood is in constant touch with them.
Mashowih said that there is no evidence of the accusations made by Fahed al-Masri against the Muslim Brotherhood. These offenses are part of a series of offenses against the group, led by the Assad regime and some regional and Arab states.
Mashowih said these people have a clear and systematic plan to tarnish the group and its reputation. “I advise these people to keep their independent decisions away from the group, its project and figures. We represent a large portion of the people and your attempts to harm us will do you no good.” He added: “Al-Masri and others attempt to target the group and offend it, but they don’t represent anything and their statements have no value.”
Mashowih said his group had nothing to do with Moaz’s al-Khatib resignation or the conflicts inside the National Coalition. He said al-Khatib has already said he resigned because the world did not keep the promises they made to assist the Syrian people.
As for selecting Hito to head the transitional government, Mashowih denied that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind it. He said the selection was based on the agreement within the Coalition.
Regarding the accusations related to the Muslim Brotherhood’s domination, he said that they do not take more than 10% of the National Council or the Coalition. He said: “If other groups had a smaller share of votes, it’s because they’re weak, not because we’re greedy.”
In response to the accusations of the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to topple the state, Mashowih said the Muslim Brotherhood has been concerned with protecting the Syrian people and the country’s institutions since the beginning of the revolution. They only want to topple the regime without targeting the institutions. He said they work on protecting them.
He said all attempts to target the group will fail. They aim to slow down the revolution. There is a shadow over anyone in the Coalition participating in these attempts.
Syrian Brotherhood Press