BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:50 A.M.) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has described both his French and Turkish counterparts as opportunistic politicians trying to manipulate religion.
Speaking about the differences between anger and confronting insulting beliefs, the Syrian President referred to his French and Turkish counterparts, Emmanuel Macron, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his speech during the extended periodic meeting held by the Ministry of Endowments at the Al-Othman Mosque in Damascus.
Speaking about the Muslim reactions to what happened in France recently, Assad said that between “the attack, the condemnation and the anger, religion turns into a ball that opportunists throw at the politicians. The first in France has elections next year and he wants to attract people with Islamophobia, and the second has elections in 2023 in Turkey.”
Assad said that Erdogan “no longer had any lies that would convince his people and began to lose his popularity, so he decided to position himself as the protector of Islam.”
Assad asked why nothing has changed after all the condemnations and anger and do these abuses continue?
He replied: “Because we only get angry, but we do not confront and there is a big difference between anger and confrontation, and everything that revolves around our feelings does not revolve around our interests, and when we talk about our interests, they are not separated from our beliefs.”
Assad explained that “anger is a natural reaction, but when the mind is not controlled, it turns into a mere vent, and thus the enemies know that these communities cannot do anything except with anger and that anger as a response did not turn into a thought or action plan.”
Assad said that religion triumphs not with anger but with application, and when religion is properly applied in society, then society will be healthy and sound, and then religion will triumph.
He said he believed that the distorted understanding of religion, wrong terminology, practice, random behavior, and fleeting emotions and feelings despite the continued abuse and the persistence of the cause is what leads to “encouraging others to attack us and offend our feelings.”
Assad asked: “How do we fight? Where does the response begin? To answer that confronting first with the knowledge of the real enemy and where it is, and he said that the first enemy of any belief that does not come from outside and throughout history has not happened that any doctrine collapsed with an external attack.”
He would add: “Fear of religion from outside is unjustified, and there is no place for it, the danger comes from within, and the danger is from the people of religion, followers of religions and followers of the faith, and it begins with backwardness, extremism and intolerance, and the inability of the children of that belief to think properly.”