On September 24, the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations helped put together an event featuring an SNC representative. CAIR is another Brotherhood front tied to Hamas. Shockingly, Frederic C. Hof from the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy for the Middle East participated.
The most popular opposition group in Syria, by far, is the Free Syria Army. It consists of defectors from the Syrian military who are carrying out attacks to defend the people. On the plus side, it is staying away from endorsing any opposition political body, including the SNC. Its members are mostly secular who are Muslim but do not characterize their fight as a jihad. However, it is based in Turkey and out of necessity, is beholden to the Erdogan government.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry required the New York Times to go to it first for media access to the group. The interview took place in a government office in the presence of Turkish soldiers. The Turkish government even bought the suit for the leader of the Free Syria Army to wear. Like Qatar, Turkey is in a position to strengthen the hand of its ideological allies within the Syrian opposition. The leader of a Kurdish party says, “Turkey supports the Islamists in Syria and puts them out front.”
The growth of Islamist power within the Syrian opposition is particularly disappointing because the country is much less suited for an Islamist takeover than Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The demographics of the country are not as favorable to the Islamists and there are strong secular trends.
Farid Ghadry of the Reform Party of Syria told FrontPage that Syrian secularists are frustrated with the perception in the West that it must choose between the Assad regime and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Millions of Syrians don’t understand why the West believes their country has to be ruled by a secular terrorist or an Islamist extremist,” Ghadry said in an interview with FrontPage.
The Obama Administration is keen on letting allies (or in this case, so-called “allies”) take the lead in handling such problems. However, if Turkey and Qatar spearhead an effort to support the Syrian opposition, then the Islamists will be given an upper hand over the secularists and the future of the country will belong to the Muslim Brotherhood.
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