Al-Sayasna: I Am Mistaken… I Realized Too Late That There Is Conspiracy

May 27, 2011
DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Imam of al-Omari Mosque in Daraa, Sheikh Ahmad al-Sayasna, said that he was mistaken and realized too late that there are a conspiracy and calls for bloodshed in Syria.

Interviewed by the Syrian Satellite channel on Thursday, al-Sayasna, who turned himself in to the competent authorities, added that his statements to foreign satellite channels came before he knew of the existence of weapons and armed members.

“When I investigated into the matter, my stance was changed,” said al-Sayasna, adding, “Those who continued demonstration are vandals who want to take the country to the unknown. They are connected with a foreign agenda aimed at destroying the country.”

He stressed that he condemns calls for sowing sedition and terrifying the safe people.

The Imam talked about how he received a phone call from London from a man called Mohammad Sourour Zein-Elabdin who expressed his sorrow for the people of Daraa and the desire of many who are in London to come to Syria to support them.

“The second call I received was from Riyadh who asked me to adhere to demonstrations. When I replied that we already lost many martyrs and we can’t endure losing more, he said it is not a big deal if we lose even 40 or 50 thousands more and that they will rally support from other Syrian provinces to stand by Daraa…I told him that we don’t want what happened in Egypt to happen in Syria. To which he answered that they were keeping contact with the satellite channels which are supporting them,” added al-Sayasna.

In his comment on his calls or Jihad, al-Sayasna denied the issue completely, saying that Jihad could only be directed against the Israeli enemy and never against an Arab as this is religiously unacceptable.

In terms of him holding the state responsible for the sedition which emerged in Daraa in his speech to some channels, al-Sayasna said that at the beginning he thought that the security forces were trying to stir up the situation and he did not know what was going on in the street.

“Later, I knew everything and this is why I apologize for my speech. Although I was late to know about the weapons and the armed groups, but mistakes happen,” al-Omari Mosque Imam added.

Commenting on him being accused of betrayal by some who were surprised when he called on people for calm following his visit to President al-Assad among a delegation from Daraa, al-Sayasna said “I didn’t surprise anybody because I had been calling for calm for two or three weeks before meeting the President, otherwise I wouldn’t go to meet the officials and try to stop sedition.”

The Imam voiced conviction that those who perpetrated riot acts are vandals who do not listen to the voice of reason and want to achieve specific sabotage goals aimed at taking the country to the unknown, stressing they are definitely connected with foreign agenda, otherwise the issue would have remained peaceful.

Al-Sayasna expressed condemnation of the armed groups members who committed heinous acts in Tafas, al-Sanamin and Said areas in Daraa including killing the security members and mutilating their bodies and attacking military housing compounds to kidnap the army members’ women and terrorize their children, in addition to firing at demonstrators to aggravate violence in the city.

Asked about his statement to Radio Monte Carlo in which he said that freedom needs blood to be gained, al-Sayasna said It was not his intention to instigate for bloodshed, but he was irritated and passionate, adding he was mistaken to say what he said and that fighting should be only against the Israeli enemy and not among the sons of the homeland.

In his comment on the eyewitnesses who appeared on some satellite channels, al-Sayasna said that the testimonies of those eyewitnesses were exaggerated, stressing that Daraa was not under siege or shelling, but there was an exchange of fire between the armed members and the army and security forces.

R. Raslan/ H. Said/al-Ibrahim

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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