Media Advisor of INHR to Syria met Mufti Hassoun

In his meeting with Father David Smith from the Church of the Holy Trinity in Dulwich Hill, Australia, the supreme Mufti of Syria, Ahmed Bader Al Din Hassoun, was critical of America and the West, questioning the integrity of their democracy. He told Father David, “We worship one God, Muslims and Christians, and nations should not be divided on the basis of religion”. It is a big misconception because we are brothers and sisters in humanity – one people, one God – and nothing has a genuine value more than humankind.” In his turn, Father Dave thanked the Mufti for his honest words and said “there is a lot still to be done” – recognising the necessity of building bridges and cementing relationships between the nations. The Mufti reiterated that “we build Syria by love and peace” and praised Father Dave for his sincere intentions towards the Syrian people. Hassoun said, “when people were keeping their distance from Syria, Father David came here and voiced support for those who had been lost in this dreadful war, and their families.” The Mufti spoke highly of President Bashar Al Assad, saying that he still drives his own car without escort, and he visits soldiers on the front one. Earlier I spoke to Father David about the necessity of lifting the sanctions imposed by the US on Syria. He said, “unfortunately, the Australian government follows the dictates of the US administration”. Even so, he is doing his best to convey the predicament of the Syrian people and is working with various communities in Australia to break down prejudice and misconception through simple activities like sport and sharing meals together.” Father Dave, who is a renowned boxer in his country, will make donations to the Syrian people as a token of comradery and benevolence on behalf of the Australian people. Prior to his meeting with the Mufti, Father Dave met with Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister, Ayman Soussan. The high-ranking Syrian official said that, “Syria is conscious of its own security”, and he hopes for the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Canberra. Father Dave said that to his knowledge there were currently around 120 Australian Jihadists in ISIS and other terror groups still active in Syria and Iraq. He believes the root of the problem in his country is the Wahabi chaplaincies in Australian prisons and Universities being funded by Saudi Arabia. The greater Muslim community in Australia is less than half a million but growing. Father Dave said he hoped that Syria would prove to be the Stalingrad of the American Empire – the place at which US expansionism was stopped and turned back. He suggested that America was being corroded from within, and said he believed that any US attack upon Iran would be suicidal. Father Dave agreed with ‘Veterans Today’ that the only way to have sustainable relations with Syria is to open up links to all religious sects of the society and to promote dialogue among various communities through sport, intellectual and social activities.

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