There are some sectarian slogans being chanted by SOME (not all) protesters in Syria (they refer to the need for “Sunnis who fear God”). It is an opportunity to make this point: if one supports protests and revolutions against all Arab regimes (and Iran), it does not follow that one should endorse all strands of the opposition.
As I tried to make clear in my article on Syria in Al-Akhbar last Saturday, there are good and great elements in the opposition movements and there are some bad and horrific elements. I oppose the Qadhdhafi regime but oppose the Saudi and NATO stooge Mustafa Abdul-Jalil. I support the Syrian opposition but vehemently oppose the Muslim Brotherhood — in Syria and in every Arab country.
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is in fact one of the worst branches of the Brotherhood, and is more strictly subservient to Saudi Arabia, and had in the past collaborated with the Phalanges and with the Jordanian mukhabarat.
In fact, those of us who support change and revolutions in the Arab world (and Iran) are obligated to speak out against the reactionary and kooky elements in the opposition movements.
As’ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. The note above was first published in his blog The Angry Arab News Service on 11 April 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes. Cf. “El-Quds el-Arabi [Aug 2] reported that the new GI, Mohammed Riad Shaqfa is backed by a hawkish faction of ‘war veterans’, centered around his deputy, one Farouq Teifour from Hama. Everyone they name in the new leadership is from Hama” (Aron Lund, “The Syria Muslim Brotherhood: Leadership Transition from Bayanouni to Shaqfa,” Syria Comment, 21 August 2010).