"Solving the problems facing the Arab nation and restoring brightness to national thinking necessitates hard work as to explain some concepts through which our nation was targeted, including attempts to hit the relation between Arabism and Islam and to put Arab nationalism in a situation of confrontation with other nationalities."

H.E. President Assad's Speech to the Damascus-held Arab Forum, November 14, 2017.

"There is no contradiction between belongingness to Arabism and belongingness to Islam as they enhance one another, noting the importance of refuting the ethnic orientation which opposes the national one, particularly in the light of the incessant attempts to divide the region's countries on ethnic basis. This can be done, the president said, through stressing the idea."

H.E. President Assad's Speech to the Damascus-held Arab Forum, November 14, 2017.

"The first major problem facing pan-Arab work is undermining the relationship between Islam and Arabism, as some have accused Arabism of being secular or atheist, tying these three concepts together and telling the simple citizens that they have to choose between faith and atheism, and naturally they chose faith, and therefore they would stand against any affiliation other than faith and Islam, so Arabism is part of the affiliation they moved away from due to this way of thinking or this incorrect marketing of the relation between Arabism and Islam."

H.E. President Assad's Speech to the Damascus-held Arab Forum, November 14, 2017.

"There’s an organic connection between Arabism and Islam, and there is certainly no contradiction between them, stressing that it is wrong to believe that one can either be an Arab or a Muslim."

H.E. President Assad's Speech to the Damascus-held Arab Forum, November 14, 2017.

“So, undermining this relation through Islamic extremism undermines Arabism. They diverted Islam and pushed it towards extremism. It separated itself from Arabism, and Islam and Arabism became weaker. Someone might ask why I’m talking about Arabism and Islam and not Arabism and Christianity. I would say that of course this is the same relationship; the relationship between nationalism and religion, but colonialism and enemies of pan-Arabism didn’t work in this direction, rather they focused on Arabism and Islam,”

H.E. President Assad's Speech to the Damascus-held Arab Forum, November 14, 2017.

“First, we have to address the group which is convinced about the contradiction between Islam and Arabism, we have to tell them that there is no contradiction between these two concepts, both flow into the other, both reinforce the other,” he said, stressing they cannot separate the Arabism of Prophet Mohammad from his religion, nor can they separate the religious context of the Quran from the Arabic language, so how can they separate Arabism from Islam?"

H.E. President Assad's Speech to the Damascus-held Arab Forum, November 14, 2017.

  

"The war we are waging is that of reason, which, in turn, necessitates dialogue means possession by the Team members and the logic of analysis and deduction reasoning as to consecrate a balanced speech away from superficiality in tackling religious causes."

From President Assad's Statements upon receiving the Youth Religious Team, comprising preachers from all Syria's governorates, February 15, 2017.

" the most important task of the Team- men of religion- is to reformulate and correct clichés and wrong concepts as to correctly spread true religion in the face of extremism."

From President Assad's Statements upon receiving the Youth Religious Team, comprising preachers from all Syria's governorates, February 15, 2017.

"Reasoning and awareness are a must as to comprehend the philosophy of life and comprehend the true meaning of the Holy Quran."

From President Assad's Statements upon receiving the Youth Religious Team, comprising preachers from all Syria's governorates, February 15, 2017.

"No, actually, no. It’s not a religious war. It’s between people who deviated from the real religion, mainly of course, Islam, towards extremism, which we don’t consider as part of our religion. It’s a war between the real Muslims and the other extremists. This is the core of the war today. Of course, they give it different titles; war against Christians, war about other sects. This is only headlines the extremists use to promote their war, but the real issue is the war between them and the rest of the Muslims, the majority who are mainly moderate."

From H. E. President Bashar Al-Assad's interview with Italian TV channel RAI UNO, November 18, 2015.

 

 "Exactly, that’s how they can promote their war. That’s why they use these holy words or phrase, in order to convince the other simple people in this region that they are fighting for Allah, for God, which is not true. And some of them, they use it with knowing that this is not true, and some of them are ignorant and they believe that this is a war for God. That’s the deviation, that’s why I said it’s a deviation; they are people who deviated from real Islam with knowing or without knowing."

From H. E. President Bashar Al-Assad's interview with Italian TV channel RAI UNO, November 18, 2015.

''Terrorism has nothing to do with religion. Whether we call it Islamic terrorism or give it any other name, it has nothing to do with religion. Terrorism is terrorism wherever it is; and Islam is a peaceful religion like any other heavenly religion. But unfortunately, we see many cases in Syria where some children or young people shift very quickly from a state of moderation to a state of extremism and terrorism. The reason is that moderate religion hasn’t been enshrined in the families and the communities in which these young people live. That’s why I believe this work is essential anywhere there is a Muslim community because they are targeted by Wahhabism and Wahhabi institutions.''

From H.E. President Al-Assad's Russian Media Interview, March 27, 2015.

 

"This radical Islam, from our perspective as moderate Muslims, is not Islam. There is no extremism in any religion, whether it is Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. All religions are moderate; and when there is extremism, it is a deviation from religion. If we want to use the term “radical Islam” as you said, I think it is true, because radical Islam has been instilled in the minds of the people of the region for more than four decades with the influence of Saudi money and the Wahabi interpretation of Islam, which is a very extreme interpretation, a deviation from true Islam, and constitutes the base of terrorism in this region. So, as long as money continued to flow in the same direction and for the same reasons, through religious schools and religious TV channels, and similar things, it will become more widespread, not only in our region, but in Europe too. What happened in France yesterday is a strong indication of that. I mean that this terrorist incident which happened in Paris did not happen in vacuum. It did not happen because some people wanted to avenge that publication of some cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. In fact, this is the normal and natural result of the extremist, closed-mined, and Dark Ages ideology which originates from Saudi Arabia. So, there is no reason to say that this ideology will recede in the near future unless the world puts an end to the flow of money in the wrong direction and in support of this extremist ideology which leads to this kind of terrorism."

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad  interview with the Czech Literarni Noviny, January 15, 2015.

 

 

"The first question: how can people who believe or say they are defending God and Islam kill and murder? This is a case which is not easy to explain, and children ask whether these people know that they are wrong. And the answer here is that there are those who know but make use of religion for private purposes, and there are ignorant people who do not know that religion is good. They think, instead, that religion means killing."

From H.E. President Al-Assad's interview with the French 'Paris Match Magazine, December 4, 2014.

 

"Syria is a melting pot. It existed like this, like it is today because it is a melting pot with multifarious cultures for centuries, before Christianity and after Christianity, before Islam and after Islam."

From H.E. President AL-Assad’s Rai News Interview, September 29,2013.

"It started partly as a sectarian war in some areas, but now it’s not, because when you talk about sectarian war or religious war, you should have a very clear line between the sects and religions in Syria according to the geography and the demography in Syria, something we don’t have.  So, it’s not religious war, but Al-Qaeda always use religions, Islam - actually, as a pretext and as a cover and as a mantle for their war and for their terrorism and for their killing and beheading and so on."

From President Al-Assad's Interview with American CBS News, September 9, 2013.

''political Islam" which, like Moslem Brotherhood, exploits religions for narrow interests, while appreciating those parties, based on true religion, which use religion in defense of the legitimate and just causes, citing the role of intellectuals and national parties in boosting the youth who are committed to their moderate Islam and national identity.

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad ‘s Interview with Al-Ba’ath Newspaper ,July 11,2013.

 

" The rifts we have witnessed in modern history have come with the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood and the negative role they have played after the independence of many Arab countries like Syria. They created the first split between Pan-Arabism and Islam, working hard to form a country for Islamists and another for nationalists. These attempts continued when colonist powers in Lebanon attempted to create a country for Muslims and another for Christians. The implications of the Muslim Brotherhood have transpired, the most dangerous of which is the presence of Al Qaeda which was generously supported by the West on the back of the Islamic revolution in Iran. After this revolution, Iran emerged as a firm supporter of the Palestinian cause, the essence of Arab identity. They attempted to incite sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shiites and to damage the relationship between Arabs and Persians. After the 9/11 events and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, these rifts were extended between the takfiris and all other Muslim sects."

From H.E. President Al-Assad's Interview with al-Thawra Newspaper, July 4,2013.

"The solution is to seek guidance from the Quran where the clear words of God resonate. Islam is a religion of mercy and forgiveness; the word “mercy” is cited tens of times in the Quran. Islam came to promote human values, enshrine mercy and love, and prevent killing. Did the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not say in the Hadith al-Sharif: “The demise of the universe is easier for God to condone than the wrongful killing of a believer?” The Quran and the Hadith are both clear in promoting love, forgiveness, justice and humanity. Those who claim to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should remember his behaviour as a human being before and after he became a prophet, they will find that his message was primarily based on human morals and principals."

From H.E. President Al-Assad's Interview with al-Thawra Newspaper, July 4,2013.

 

"In Syria our notion of Islam is very moderate, we do not have any extremist Wahhabi orientations or Wahhabi schools of thought. We reject and resist these extremist ideologies that they are trying to instill into Syrian society. We do this by fighting it politically and through the teaching of proper religion, of the moderate Islam that is Syria is well known for."

From H.E. President Al-Assad's Interview with Argentina's Clarin Newspaper and Telam News Agency, May 18, 2013.

"What is more dangerous however, is that the Wahhabi states in the region are looking to spread extremist ideologies to the broader public and not just at a government level. "

From H.E. President Al-Assad's Interview with Argentina's Clarin Newspaper and Telam News Agency, May 18, 2013.

 

"We were the first in the region to deal with such terrorists who have been assuming the mantle of Islam."

From H.E. President Al-Assad's Interview with The Sunday Times, March 4, 2013.

 

"The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam."

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's RT TV Interview , November 9 , 2012.

 

"The sectarian proposition is a departure from religion and deviation from religion, because religions, and Islam in particular, cannot be sectarian and separatist. There are many tools for confronting sectarianism, but the most important tool for this is proper religion, and no-one can play this role like religious figures or scholars. Truth is, for history, the role of religious figures in this crisis was very important and vital, and many people don't know that a number of respectable religious figures were tortured and imprisoned in basements and some were assassinated and paid with their lives not for standing by the state, but for saying a word of truth or for speaking of the true principles of religion. The essence of the crisis was primarily creating sectarian strife and religious figures had a primary role in combating it. Here we also talk about the media as we said before; if the role of the media in Syria wasn't important then journalists wouldn't have paid the price with their lives."

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's Addounia TV Interview , August 29 , 2012.

"This region is based on a number of pillars, the biggest among them are pan-Arabism and Islam. Without both of them as two big bases, the region can never exist in its present form. Without believing in these two main pillars, we show that we do not believe in something which exists in reality whether we like it or not. This is a fact. If you don’t believe in it, you need to change it. Can we cancel away pan-Arabism? This is a different issue."

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's Addounia TV Interview , August 29 , 2012.

 

"the plotting against the resistance started as well as the pressures…the September 11 event happened in New York, and along with it started the accusation of Islam, the Muslims and the Arabs of course…then came the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq…and the conspiracy against Syria…Syria consequently had to pay the price for its standing against the US occupation of Iraq…you also know what happened in Lebanon in 2005 and later in the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon and its consequences."

From President Bashar Al-Assad's a Speech at the People's Assembly March 30, 2011.

 

"They always use religions to assume — to assume the mantle of religions or Islam, whatever, in order to have followers.  They only assume it.  I don’t think they are convinced about what they are doing.  Some of them, they are ignorant.  They believe it.  They think they are helping the religion this way.  But at the end, it’s not about those, about — it’s about the others.  How can they influence because, I mean, you always have extremists in everything.  In politics, in religions, in Christianity, in Islam, in Judaism, in every religion, you have extremism.  But it’s about how much can they influence the society.  As long as we have open-minded people, you don’t worry about them, they are going to be isolated.  So I’m not worried about what meant to be the few to convince the other, only about how much the other can protect himself from them."

From H.E. President Al-Assad PBS Interview, May 28, 2010.

 

 ''Faith, belief and religion are in your head. Real Islam is inside of you not in your cloths. The base for religions is good relations among people.''

From His Excellency's Interview with the Turkish 'Hurriyet' Daily, (November 8, 2009)

 

“Islam is the religion of openness and cultural interaction; and it has gained its strength and continuity from its openness to all, in every sense and implication of openness and interaction.”

 From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “Islam has always lived side by side with other religions in one geographical and human space and has been able to engage all the nations and ethnicities which assimilated it without undermining their cultures or peculiarities.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 

“That is why, when we talk about an Islamic world, we do not mean only Muslims but also all the components of this rich diversity which, through its existence, expresses the truth of openness which characterizes Islam and our Organization-OIC- which defends the interests of all those who live in this vast region regardless of their faith or ethnicity.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “All those who live in this area are brothers and sisters and have commitments towards each other; and unity among them is a duty within the same religion and ethnicity in as much as it is a duty among different religions and ethnicities.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “That is why any call for closure is contradictory to the essence of religion and destructive to its noble goals, and any attempt at instigating division inside this world and among its components is a violation of the essence of its human mission. In this context, we must face the attempts aiming at creating conflicts and hostility among our peoples and cultures.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

  “The illusory difference, which exists neither in our culture no among our cultures, is turned into a real war, with our blood as a necessary fuel for external intervention in our affairs and for weakening our countries.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “Hence the importance of coordinating our cultural and media policies in order to face this worrying situation by expanding the circle of dialogue among ourselves for consolidating the natural bridges among our peoples and filling in the artificial gaps so that we can walk together towards the future as a force molded by cooperation and solidarity.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “We must also understand the logic and implications of the media and cultural war, the war of terminology and concepts which are exported to us, and which are then transformed into a cultural and political reality that has nothing to do with our reality. In this fake reality a friend is turned into an enemy and a brother into an adversary. The illusory difference, which exists neither in our culture no among our cultures, is turned into a real war, with our blood as a necessary fuel for external intervention in our affairs and for weakening our countries. Such massive wars start with a short-sighted political term and a faulty concept which express isolation and intellectual closure. These wars could result from a shortsighted political performance.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

  “Education complements media and culture in protecting the next generations through designing educational policies which open their eyes to the truth of Islam and the essence of its message of good, construction, and the use of the mind for achieving progress, rejecting laziness and dependence, and fostering the values of right, justice and human dignity.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

“The role of Syria is linked to her historic and civilizational position, and to her rich heritage, which proves that Syria has ever been, and across all times, the ideal example to be followed. The power of Syria lies in her civilization depth, in her Islamic and Christian components, as well as in the power of the Syrian Man with his/her continuity across history phases,”

 From His Excellency Christmas Address, (December 25, 2008)

 “Damascus is proud in being the Capital of the Islamic State in the peak of its glory, at the time when features of Greek culture began to interact with Arab Islamic culture, thus giving the best fruits of civilization. " In the framework of the same dialogue, we look forward to communication between the two cities through exchanges of visits and through meetings and agreements."

Speech at the Municipality of Athens, Greece,  ( December 11, 2003)“Our bilateral relations date back to the days of the Syrian Phoenicians , whose civilization linked the Mediterranean states together, and made of the Mediterranean a bridge of communication among its people, allowing the movement and transfer  of trade architecture,  open-minded and tolerant thought between our two countries. Damascus, for thousands of years, has been the most ancient city of history, the cradle of Christianity, from where  Apostle Paul started to spread the preaching of Jesus and of His principles of amity and tolerance. Damascus is further the capital of the Umayyad State, the first Islamic State, stretching from China to Spain spreading the preaching of Islam, based on the principles of tolerance,  justice, fraternity and equity. Thus,  Damascus has witnessed the construction of the first churches in history; in Damascus stands the Umayyad Mosque, the most ancient as far as its size and its architecture. Thousands of Damascus scholars from have transferred their education and knowledge to the world contributing to the human development; when the hospitals of Damascus used to treat the sick from all the Umayyad State. Further, Damascus has presented the world her Damascene Sword, the symbol for excellent work, her Damascene textile, the symbol for art and excellence, her Damascene Flower, the symbol for amity.”

From H. E. ‘ s Speech at the Municipality of Paris, France, (June 25, 2001) 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim