"Peace and stability are the right way to combat terrorism."

 DAMASCUS, (ST)_Under the auspices of H. E. President Bashar Al-Assad, the 'International Media Conference against Terrorism' is to be held in Dar al-Assad for Culture and Arts, Damascus Opera House, tomorrow July 24th through 25.

More than 130 media figures from Syria, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Cyprus, Britain, Germany, and Kuwait will take part in the two-day event, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi declared.

He added that the conference, which is organized by Information Ministry, will release a document that will be a reference for future work in fighting the Takfiri terrorism.

"The conference is being held five years after the terror war on Syria and it will be very important due to the international and regional changes, if to say," the minister said.    

The participants will focus on the need for forming regional and international alliance to confront terrorism, the role of media in current wars and on the importance of media in military and field works.

The Syria Times Online seizes the opportunity as to publish some of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad discourse regarding the scorpion of terrorism and its risks and threats against the entire village of today's globe:

 '' … terrorism today is much stronger than the period before September 11th….The Arab world has become more vulnerable to such attacks than ever, and if we are more vulnerable the west are also like us."

From H.E's Interview with ' Hurriyet' and the 'Bild' Dailies, (December 19, 2010)

 

 ''…Wars create only more terrorism and no war can protect the west …What could protect the west truly is the balanced policy, economic growth and helping others in the development, education and culture…In this way we can defeat terrorism, and also through exchanging intelligence information, but definitely not through wars.''

From H.E's Interview with ' Hurriyet' and the 'Bild' Dailies, (December 19, 2010)

 ''Therefore, resistance is not terrorism. Terrorism for us is the Israeli practices, policies and intentions toward the Arab people and the peace process.''

 From H.E.'s address to the Syrian Expatriates in Venezuela  (June 27, 2010)

 ''It’s known that Syria was the first country, maybe in the world, before all the Arab and Middle Eastern countries and before Europe definitely and before the United States that started fighting with the terrorists and the extremists in the ‘70’s.  Actually that started before, in the ‘50’s, but it wasn’t, I mean, the main conflict and when we defeated them was in the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s.  And so we’re not that stupid to go and support terrorists anywhere in the world because terrorists work like the Internet.  You cannot control them.  They don’t recognize borders.  If you have terrorists in Iraq, it’s like having them in Syria.  If you have them in Lebanon or in Turkey or in Jordan, it’s like having them in Syria.  So it cannot.  This is not realistic.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 ''But monitoring the border needs two sides, need the Syrians and the Iraqi side.  And the prime minister of Iraq came to Syria, and he asked me for this cooperation.  Said we are ready to start, try to do it –Syria and Iraq, including the United States.  But if you go to the border, and if you look at the Iraqi side, you won’t see any soldier, any police, anybody.  It’s empty.  So if they want to control the border, they have to do their job with the Americans or Iraqis.''

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 "Peace and stability are the right way to combat terrorism." We condemned all terrorist operations recently carried out against the friendly Russian people, who seek peace. We stand by this people in confronting any action that may harm their safety and interest."

From His Excellency's Press Conference with Russian President Medvedev, (May11, 2010)

 ''Further, we talked about the crimes of Israel, its terrorism, and how to face this terrorism.''

From His Excellency's Press Conference with Iran's President Ahmadinejad, (February 25, 2010)

   “Terrorism is not a state of security; it is rather a state of mind that has its political, security and even cultural manifestations.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “But the fact that terrorism has today become a dangerous global phenomenon which requires joint efforts in order to fight it does not mean that we should allow for manipulating it and making it an open arena for mixing cards and replacing it with a worse terrorism through exaggeration, terrorization, launching aggressions against peoples or occupying countries.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “But maintain the present situation will only lead to the creation of a fertile ground for tension and extremism which breeds terrorism, which is the major source of inspiration for security theorists who used it as an enemy through which to justify their policies under the theme of “security in confrontation with terrorism.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “In fact, terrorism is not a state of security; it is rather a state of mind that has its political, security and even cultural manifestations. Therefore, it is not to be fought by suppressing the manifestations, but by addressing the essence and root causes of the issue; and that cannot succeed by chasing or hunting a terrorist who can be replaced by tens of terrorists in another place. This can only be achieved by purging the mental state which leads to terrorism.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “In other words, the security that most countries talk about, in the practical sense of the word, is nothing but securing the mind and the intellect against any infection or deviation. It is cultural security which is achieved by instilling true faith and sound moral values and by promoting the culture of openness. We achieve political security when we solve pending political issues that cause frustration then give rise to extremism which then leads to terrorism. Security is also achieved when our political stands reflect the real positions of our peoples, because internal factors are much more influential than external ones, whether positive or negative.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “But the fact that terrorism has today become a dangerous global phenomenon which requires joint efforts in order to fight it does not mean that we should allow for manipulating it and making it an open arena for mixing cards and replacing it with a worse terrorism through exaggeration, terrorization, launching aggressions against peoples or occupying countries. “

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

  “We naturally reject labeling any religion or culture with terrorism, as the situation now is for Islam and Muslims.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “Priority should rather be given to the reality of things. This accusation will not change the essence of Islam as a religion of tolerance. Nor will accusing the Muslims of backwardness obscure the truth about their civilization and what it offered to humanity in terms of thought, values, and respect of humans.”

From His Excellency’s Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, (May 23, 2009)

 “As far as we are concerned, every occupation of the land is terrorism, the expelling of the people from their land is terrorism; and the killing of innocent people is terrorism.”

From His Excellency’s Statements to the Turkish Press, (May 18, 2009)

 “We have to carry out our responsibilities for our causes, instead of waiting for endowments submitted to us from others, who in principle do not have the right. We have to call a spade a spade; war against terrorism is the war against us in the interest of terrorism, and the diffusion of democracy by others is but that of confusion spreading.”

 From His Excellency 21st Arab Summit of Doha Speech, (March 30, 2009)

 “How can you accuse Hamas of terrorism without defining Israel's actions as terror? During the most recent six-month ceasefire, Israel targeted and killed more than a dozen Palestinians, but no Israeli died. And yet Europe remained silent. More than 1,000 people have already died as a result of the Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. Just this morning, I saw the picture of a three-year-old girl who was killed. Where is the West's outcry?”

From His Excellency Der Spiegel Interview, (January 19, 2009) 

 “Personally, I do not support the concept of suicide bombings. This is not part of our culture.”

From His Excellency Der Spiegel Interview, (January 19, 2009)

 “Of no less importance should be our political, as well as moral support for Gaza, through the assertion of its right to self-defense with all means, and its unalienable right to respond to aggression; with all of what this entails of the necessity for a clear-cut support for the Palestinian Resistance, rejecting whatever might doubt the Resistance legitimacy and patriotism, or whatever might weaken the Resistance. In reply to labeling the Resistance, by whoever, as terrorism, I propose to this Summit to adopt officially the description of the Zionist Entity as the terrorist entity, especially in light of the latest aggression. When somebody intends to or carries out a terrorist action, we do not hesitate to accuse him with terrorism; how could it then be with an entity which has been, time and then, carrying this out for decades, and elect as its leaders only the terrorists!”

From His Excellency Speech at the Arab Summit of Kuwait, (January 19, 2009)

 “The Israelis have a real peace-phobia; hence those who perpetrate crimes can never be good at the making of peace. Just like thieves who steal something are not used to return willingly what they have stolen; that is they do not return the rights, but only if they are compelled to do so. This is the essence of resistance, which the resistance men very well have understood; their resistance has become the way for peace, which restores the rights from the enemy, which understands but the language of force. Here lies the difference between the resistance and terrorism, the first is Arabic while the second- terrorism- is an Israeli one.  The first wants peace, the second wants war; the first was obliged to fight in defense of his rights, the second has been built on killing and aggressions against others,”

 From His Excellency Speech at Gaza Summit of Doha, (January 16, 2009)

 "This- the Israeli aggression against Gaza- is like sowing the seeds of extremism around the region, in the Arab and Muslim Worlds,"

 From His Excellency BBC Interview, (January 14, 2009)

 "Desperation breeds extremism. Extremism will produce terrorism,"

 From His Excellency BBC Interview, (January 14, 2009)

 "This - the situation in Gaza- is a political crisis combined with a humanitarian crisis. You have to solve them, otherwise you will sow the seeds of extremism."

 From His Excellency BBC Interview, (January 14, 2009)

  "The effect of war is more dangerous than war... sowing seeds of extremism and terror around the region,"

 From His Excellency BBC Interview, (January 14, 2009)

 “How did Hamas come to its position in the government? By election. And this election was supervised by Europeans and by Americans, including ex-President Jimmy Carter. And they said, this is a democratic election. So the question, how could you have a terrorist organization elected democratically? They have to revise this contradiction. This means the whole people are terrorists and it doesn't work. You cannot accuse the whole people as terrorist people.”

 From His Excellency CNN Interview, (January 6, 2009)

 “I have always warned against terrorism and affirmed over the past few years that mistaken policies towards our region ensured fertile soil for terrorism. But that doesn’t discourage us. We shall continue to pursue our internal and external policies opposed to occupation, violence and terrorism. This attack impels us, once again, to join our efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism and ensure the conditions of a peaceful life for all citizens.”

 From His Excellency Monday Morning Interview, (September 30, 2008)

 “I have always warned against terrorism, asserting that the wrong policies regarding our region do create the fertile soil for terrorism,”

From His Excellency Al-Hawadeth Magazine Interview (September 30, 2008)

 “After 9/11, we started the first cooperation between Syria and the USA in the security field. One of their messages was about a terrorist called Maher Arar who was coming to Syria, and they wanted Syria to catch him because he is al-Qaeda member. We caught him according to American information, and we trusted the information at that time. So, we put him in prison. After the investigation, we arrived at the conclusion that he is not an al-Qaeda member, so we freed him. He accused Syria, and Canada accused Syria, while they must accuse the USA. This is the price of cooperating with the USA! So, we don't have anything to do with him.” 

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

 “The operations carried out by the PKK in Turkey are not acceptable, rejected; killing operations against soldiers and civilians, the most grave against the civilians. Every country pertains its right for self-defence.  The Turkish have given time to the political process to this effect; once the operations persisted, it was normal for them to carry out operations as to protect their land and people.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

 “Terrorism is on of the present challenges facing us. While we condemn the terrorist acts targeting the innocent and assert our decisive stance against terrorism; we reiterate that resistance against occupation is but the legitimate right for all people guaranteed by international conventions and human norms. We, further, reiterate that the Israeli state terrorism against our Arab people represents  the ugliest form of terrorism in the modern age.”

 From His Excellency Opening  Speech of  20th Arab Summit  (March29th 2008)

   "We condemn every action carried out by the PKK against the Turkish Civilians or against the Turkish soldiers who are defending the borders of the country. AS we think, any peaceful and political solution for any problem is the best. I believe the Turkish Government itself is with the same line . I do not think that the Turkish Government is seeking war."

From H. E. Press Statements in Turkey  ( October 17, 2007)

     “Actually, first of all I took the initiative after Sept.11th to help the Americans. Why? Because we have the notion for decades that this terrorism, if it attacks, let us say, in your country in the United States, in East Asia, in Africa, some day it will attack Syria. So terrorism is like the internet, has no borders.”

From HE’s PBS TV Interview , (March 30, 2006)

 “What happened in New York may happen in Syria. So that is why we said we have to move now because we tried in the eighties to convince some European countries that we have to make coalition against terrorism. At that time nobody cared about what we said. Because now after the eleventh of September most of the world is convinced about this idea, we said let us move. So we started this cooperation and we told them. I told one of the CIA officials, you have the information, but we have the knowledge because as you said we defeated those.”

From HE’s PBS TV Interview , (March 30, 2006)

 “But it is not a matter of organization as you call it or person or group. It is a state of mind. We have to know the culture to know how to fight the state of mind, because those terrorists use any cause and assume it as a mantle to make terrorist acts. So we know what mantle they assume and we know how to fight this and how to deal with it. They committed many mistakes in the United States regarding the security issue. But this was not the main reason. The main reason is that you cannot have the good, normal and sophisticated kind of cooperation between the intelligence and at the same time you have animosity in the political field. So we either have normal relations across the board as a package or let us stop this cooperation.”

From HE’s PBS TV Interview , (March 30, 2006)

 “In addition to the exploitation of this phenomena, namely terrorism, as a tool in the hands of some powers which claim fighting terrorism in order to intimidate and terrorize the others and attack their cultures, identities and intervene in their internal affairs .”

From HE’s Arab Lawyers Speech, (January 21, 2006)

 "And this terrorism has names that change with the circumstances and interests. We call this real fashion. We used to hear for decades about Palestinian terrorism; then they began to talk about Lebanese terrorism during the civil war in Lebanon. Today they are talking about Islamic terrorism. Do not be astonished if they put soon a new idiom called sovereign terrorism which is now actually being applied to countries which seek to establish its sovereignty. In fact it is being applied, and it is only a matter to time to find out the suitable idiom. This is not an exaggeration as there are now dialogues in the United Nations and the Security Council corridors by some known international powers to discuss the principle of the national sovereignty to cancel this principle under different pretexts, human rights, corrupt regimes, corruption and other excuses they are searching for now."

From HE’s Arab Lawyers Speech, (January 21, 2006)

   “To be a secular state and a Muslim country is natural. There is no contradiction, as some people might believe, because secularism does not mean opposing religions, it rather means the freedom of religions and dissociating the state from the religion of individuals.”

From HE’s Russian TV Interview , (December 12, 2005)

 “As to the Muslim Brotherhood, some of them believe in violence, and some of them are extremists. We have suffered from the acts of these groups in Syria in different periods, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, when they carried out violent and terrorist acts which killed thousands of Syrians and injured tens of thousands in addition to obstructing economic development and other aspects in Syrian life. þ So, the question is not the Muslim Brotherhood, it is rather the part which believes in violence. There are other similar currents which believe in violence and terrorism, may be because they believe that this serves Islam. Of course, there is no Islamic terrorism, because terrorism is separate from Islam. It is only terrorism. But now the term "Islamic terrorism" has become common. This is a dangerous type of terrorism. When it targeted us we conducted a campaign at the level of some Western European countries in order to persuade those countries that hosting some of the leaders of extremism and terrorism in Europe will rebound against them one day. We did indeed suffer from these groups in the 1970s and 1980s, and they started to hit at some Arab countries towards the end of the 1980s and during the 1990s. We saw the dangerous consequences in New York, London, and Madrid. You too are suffering from terrorist acts in Russia now. This means that terrorism does not acknowledge borders. If you have terrorism in your country, it might carry out operations against us one day, because you cannot control it. Terrorism cannot be confined by borders. Many countries in the world have started to understand this and to understand that fighting terrorism should be done on the international level.”

From HE’s Russian TV Interview , (December 12, 2005)

 "It is true that we have experience in this regard because we suffered from this before others and because we live in a Muslim region. We understood that fighting terrorism cannot be done by waging wars. Wars, particularly when they are unfair, actually activate terrorism, and this is what we see after the war on Iraq now. "

From HE’s Russian TV Interview , (December 12, 2005)

 "Fighting terrorism is in the first place an intellectual activity, because terrorism is a mentality before it is organizations. Ignorance should be fought with dialogue, with fair political positions, because many of these terrorists make a pretext either of a religious cause or a political one. You have to deal with this issue politically. This is the way we deal with terrorism, not by condemnation. Condemnation does not obliterate terrorism. We and the rest of the world condemned the Sep. 11th attacks, but terrorism continued after Sep. 11th. So we have to build a network of international cooperation, and as I said Syria has the expertise and has the desire for this kind of cooperation. "

From HE’s Russian TV Interview , (December 12, 2005)

     “Fighting terrorism armies must not be used because terrorism is not an army. Terrorism is an ideology and a thought in the first place and individuals in the second place.  A person may be ignorant and extremism is caused by ignorance. Other elements of terrorism can be poverty. Hence, combating terrorism lies in maintaining consciousness , dialogue and knowledge. When we prevent a person to get knowledge, he will turn into an ignorant and may change into an extremist. When we combat poverty and maintain development, we can reach true battling of terrorism. The last solution is based on security cooperation and not on military actions. Many terrorist events take place as a result of mistaken political stances. The political mistake leads to a terrorist act, and when just and correct political stances are taken, terrorism can be battled. The political combating is far more better than a military solution which only breeds terrorism and cannot combat it. "

From HE’s Chinese People Daily Interview , (June 21, 2004)

 “Terrorism should be directly linked with Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine, indicating that the war in Afghanistan and then in Iraq "has aroused hatred"

From HE’s the Spanish El Pais Daily, (May 13, 2004)

  "There is a contradiction in the US proposal. There was terrorism in Afghanistan and the Americans were not there. They came under the pretext of combating terrorism but so far they have combated nothing. They later attacked Iraq before combating terrorism and when they were inside Iraq, they say that some terrorists crossed Iraq may there is terrorism. Moreover, the battlefield of terrorism needs a society which is fertile ground for terrorism. The Iraqi society is not prepared for terrorism and was never known as terrorist. The saying be correct as terrorists exist in all world states. The US and Europe are full of terrorists, but does this mean that the two regions are venues of terrorism."

From HE’s Al-Hayat Daily Interview, (November 7, 2003)

  "Terrorism has no identity and such vision has been ours since the 1980s. This vision has been firm for any one who talks bout terrorism combating. Now in Iraq, there is neither a state nor an authority and hence with whom do we have to cooperate.”

 From HE’s Al-Hayat Daily Interview, (November 7, 2003)

  “The Syrian role in combating terrorism is well-known for decades and not for years. As a State, Syria rejects terrorism and has the experience, which is at the disposition of whoever wants truly combat terrorism in the world.”

 From H. E. ‘ s Joint Press Conference with British Premier, London,  (December 17, 2002)

 “On the issue of terrorism, President Assad renewed condemnation of terrorism saying that all Arab countries condemned what happened on September 11, out of many motivations " the moral one, we as Arabs, with all our religions, reject terrorism'', secondly for '' human motivations, '' we are the largest people in the world who can feel what it means when a certain people are exposed to terrorism, '' We have been exposed to terrorism with the form presented now, and to the Israeli form of terrorism, '' and to terrorism through its meaning of occupation, oppression and killing throughout history. "Arabs have always been against terrorism, and are the first to combat terrorism,''

From HE’s Beirut Summit Speech , (March 27, 2002)

 “For example, the first lesson that we had learned from dealing with terrorism in the 1980s is that terrorism has no borders, and that terrorists are not related to any religion or nationality. In 1985 President Hafez al-Assad sent a delegation to visit Europe to ask them to define terrorism and to combat terrorism through convening an international conference on terrorism. But they did not pay attention to this at that time. Now, the entire world is asking for combating terrorism. As precisely you have said we do have an experience in this. But now in the west they are talking about Islamic extremism, and I think the picture is not clear in the minds of people. They are confusing three things: Islam, Islamic extremism and what they call in the West Islamic terrorism. Islam is like Christianity, like Judaism, it is a monolithic religion. All religion are moderate religions in the texts, and speak about love, tolerance and forgiveness. As for religious extremism, it is done by people who like to exaggerate their adherence to religion in their practices. And therefore they are locked in their mentality and their practices. Usually, an extremist person is far removed from rationale and closer to passions and emotions, while the moderate person is someone who enjoys more reason and wisdom.”

From HE’s Corriere Della Sera Interview, (February 14, 2002)

 “The terrorist person is someone who always wants a cover to take as a pretext for his acts. And therefore the terrorist would always choose the extremist rather than the moderate because it is easier to deceive the extremist than to deceive the moderate. So, the moderate person will be able to uncover this terrorist person and not fall as his prey. This is the most important factor that enabled Syria to control and end terrorism in the 1980s. The way we were able to overcome terrorism in our country is by giving support and increasing the moderate voices that are traditionally present in the country. Therefore, to be precise, to be an extremist does not mean to be terrorist as some people believe. But we do not encourage extremism because we think it is far removed from the moderate and real text of Islam. Therefore, the conclusion we can arrive at it is that moderation is the enemy of terrorism. Now, can we consider what is taking place as a combating of terrorism? No. Until now the operation of combating terrorism has not started. Now, there is only a military war against a supposed enemy whom we do not know. I think the Americans do not know who this enemy is! And the proof for that is that all the detainees, whom they call detainees, who had been interrogated did not give any evidence or clear information. But the other question is: Is this war going to help moderation or extremism? I tell you, it is going to help extremism. And therefore, this war is providing a more fertile ground for terrorism. We expressed our opinion that we support combating terrorism but we did not say we support the war. The war against terrorism is an ideological war but not a military one. And therefore, I have always emphasized the importance of supporting moderation because it is the moderate voices that can combat terrorism. We also say we have an experience in combating terrorism, and therefore we would like to contribute to combating terrorism through our experience rather than through the experience of others who had just begun to combat terrorism. I don't think we can allow them to lead us in a battle we are more experienced than them in it.”

From HE’s Corriere Della Sera Interview , (February 14, 2002)

 “The problem is not whether Bin Laden is dead or alive. The problem is that there is a certain reality that is aggravating hatred and tension among peoples. It is this reality and its causes that should be addressed instead of looking for certain persons.”

From HE’s Corriere Della Sera Interview , (February 14, 2002)

 “The advent of the 21st century came while the world was astonished at the criminal act of 11th September last year in the United States, which we immediately denounced and condemned, specially that Syria suffered from terrorism and has experience in combating it.”

 From HE’s Speech Welcoming the Greece President  , (February 2, 2002)

 “In order that the fight against terrorism achieve its purpose, there should be a clear definition of terrorism and discrimination between it and legitimate struggle against aggression and occupation.”

 From HE’s Speech Welcoming the Greece President  , (February 2, 2002)

  “You are aware that Syria called for this several years ago, and you recall that the late President Hafez al-Assad called during his visit to Athens in 1986 for an international forum to define terrorism so that the peoples of the world may be fully aware of what they combat.”

 From HE’s Speech Welcoming the Greece President  , (February 2, 2002)

  “However, to our surprise there was a reversal of conceptions and theories, and there appeared that in the war against terrorism some conceived this war as a war against people, who strive to restore their rights.”

 From HE’s Speech Welcoming the Greece President  , (February 2, 2002)

   “There are terrorist operations in Iraq that claim the lives of innocent people; those we reject categorically. But there is also a resistance movement, and that's a different issue altogether -- a completely normal issue.”

From HE’s Spiegel Interview , (July 9, 2001)

 “It also accused Saddam of having weapons of mass destruction. But seriously, if you ask Americans whether they've been successful at sealing the border with Mexico, they'll tell you that it's a very difficult proposition. We've made it very clear to the Americans that it's impossible to completely control our border with Iraq. But we also tell them that the war itself is what's causing the chaos. It's not exactly fair to make a mistake yourself and then start blaming others for it.”

From HE’s Spiegel Interview , (July 9, 2001)

   "This new enemy that emerged in the nineties is our Islamic religion, the religion of justice, love and ethics, which was deformed in the media and education to look as a religion for killing, extremism and terrorism. Whenever there is unrest in any region in the world, fingers of accusation are pointed at Islam, even though there are no Moslems in that region. And every act of destruction or terrorism is considered done by a Moslem until the opposite is proven and most often the opposite is proven. But the accusation remains."

From HE’s OIC 9th Summit Speech, (November 13, 2000)

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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