Hands Off Syria

With Elle (L) and Mimi (R) at the "Hands Off Syria" rally (Sydney Town Hall, June 15, 2013)

With Elle (L) and Mimi (R) at the “Hands Off Syria” rally (Sydney Town Hall, June 15, 2013)

Our hearts bleed for the people of Syria.

Our hearts bleed for the people of Syria – for the real people of Syria, and not just for the images of Syria that are handed to us by the media.

What we see on the TV are images of Syria as a battle zone, where courageous rebels try to liberate their country from the despotic rule of Bashar Al-Assad while government lackeys hammer them in return. This is not the real Syria, and these people are not the heart of Syria. So many of these people are not even Syrian!

I had the privilege of spending time in Damascus over the last month, and I had the privilege of meeting real Syrians – ordinary people trying to get on with their lives, go to work, earn their daily bread, raise their families, and get on with life, while round about them international forces vie for control of their homeland!

The people of Syria are beautiful people. They are a proud and noble people, and they are a people who believe that they are capable of sorting out their own issue through dialogue rather than through violence, and they deserve better than what they are getting from the international community!

In the name of humanitarian intervention, foreign powers are murdering thousands upon thousands of Syrians, and it has to stop. In the name of God, it has to stop!

I know that in America there seems to be a deep-seated belief that the way to solve violence is to introduce more violence! That seems to be fundamental to their gun culture – a belief that the way to reduce gun-deaths is to increase the number of guns available – and maybe that’s a large part of what is going on here? Personally, I suspect more sinister forces are at work but, either way, we in this country are a bit smarter than that, I think. We recognise that the way to reduce violence is not to add more weapons and soldiers to the conflagration. It is nonsensical and it is evil.

There has been enough fighting in Syria. There are already way too many weapons in Syria, and we need to pray and to lift up our voices and plead with our governments to stop sending ‘lethal aid’ into Syria. The people of Syria are a proud people and a noble people and they are capable of working their issues through by means of dialogue if the foreign powers will get their grubby hands off their country!

The people of Syria are a beautiful people and they deserve better than what they are getting from us! They deserve our respect, and they deserve our support and they deserve a chance to work out their issues for themselves in peace without our ‘humanitarian intervention’.

Our hearts bleed for the people of Syria, and the people of Syria will continue to bleed until we give them the respect and the support that they need. Enshallah!

This was the speech  given by Father Dave at the “Hands Off Syria” rally, held at the Sydney Town Hall on June 15, 2013.

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