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Reasons for Intervention in Syria by Mayor Mohamed Khairullah


Mohamed Taher Khairullah serves as mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey in addition to being  a full-time teacher. He was born in Syria, raised in Saudi Arabia, and cultured in the United States. Khairullah tweets as MayorKhairullah.

A few days ago, a fellow activist from Twitter contacted me to discuss an online campaign for Syria. The campaign called for NATO to intervene in Syria. This was a topic that I hadn’t made up my mind about at that point, but I wasn’t completely against due to the brutal nature of the Syrian regime toward the people of Syria. I had to question whether or not I was going support that call. My final decision was to go for it for the following reasons:

1. When it comes to bloodshed, the regime is more willing to spill the blood of its people than anyone else. When things escalate, and I believe they will, the regime will have no problem killing hundreds or thousands of Syrians on a daily basis as it did in Hama. Any targeted strikes on Shabeeha forces will reduce the number of civilians killed because the regime will be more focused on protecting itself.

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2. Financially, Syria stands to gain a lot from its new-found freedom. The world has become one big trading village. The Syrian people are known to be great business people. Unfortunately they have been robbed from the opportunity to prosper as they are treated as servants of the Assad family. Any business person, especially those with large businesses, knows that they must share part of their wealth with a family member or close friend of the Assad clan. There have even been incidents where businesses were taken away from their owners by members of the Assad family with no court system to protect them.

When someone looks at the conditions of living in Syria, he or she can see that it will be nothing but better in the absence of the regime. Protesters know that stopping now is suicidal. The current circumstances all point to a continuous increase in bloodshed. Any economic restrictions that helping countries might impose on Syria will not mount to anything nearly as bad as the daylight robbery of the Syrian economy done by the Assad family on a regular basis. In addition to the previously mentioned points, I am sure that the Syrian people don’t mind living the rest of their lives in a dignified manner.

The call for intervention is not limited to a specific organization, country, or method. I do believe that the most acceptable intervention is an intervention by Turkey and Arab countries. On the other hand, the most acceptable type of intervention is the establishment of a neutral zone that is protected.

Regardless of who or how, one thing is clear. The Syrian regime is not going to be toppled by street protests. It’s willing to kill thousands and that is exactly what it will do if protests stop. Protection of civilians in Syria has become an international obligation.

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  1. Hassan

    October 9, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    But how can anyone trust NATO or west?

    In Libya NATO when revolution started, they could have gotten rid of Qadafi in matter of a week, yet they started very late and its been months and the rebels have not won completely yet. Why?

    It is simple, NATO/USA/West does not like rebels either. They play cat and mouse game. They do not like rebels, they like to eventually have pro-west puppet. So they need to make sure to let Qaddafi kill as many as rebels before letting them to victory. By that time they would be weak and dependent on west. They would introduce a “statesman” to lead Libya (and Syria if they follow same methodology).

    • ymr

      October 9, 2011 at 9:06 AM

      Western puppets are not that bad as it seems look at Libya. They overthrew a western puppet and got gaddafi as their reward.

      • Tom

        October 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Are you joking? The rebels have been commiting atrocities daily, and Libyan society has been totally levelled by NATO bombs. Would you say the same about Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Chechnya, etc?

        • ymr

          October 9, 2011 at 10:36 PM

          No I wouldn”t but however western puppets only are there to serve western interests . Their goal is not to oppress but to get what they want. Also if U.S. hadn’t intervened we would still have Soviet Union.

  2. Greg Abdul

    October 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    as salaam alaikum

    al hamdulillah, brother Mohamed. My only comment is that we have schizophrenia when it comes to the West. I love ISNA. They seem to have it about right. Dr. Badawi teaches that we should not be calling people kafir and when he says it, he almost stops me from doing it. My only use of the word, however, is when you are a Muslim who has been exposed to the teaching that it is haram to kill women and children and you kill women and children anyway, I will never call such a person my brother in this life. That is the only “kafir” I know. I can’t go around and measure which Western Christians have been properly exposed to Islam who then reject. It’s ridiculous for me to even try. Islam says I have to give people the benefit of the doubt. Brother Mohamed is saying that it’s a good idea for the West to intervene and depose a dictator in the Muslim world. This really points to how we take their good morals for granted, just as we take the bad morals of Muslims like the Assad family for granted. I love Islam. I am a convert. I believe Christianity is pagan man worship. But when any person does good, we should give them credit. We Muslims should not live in a place, take advantage of all the good they offer and then call them names and think of them as inferior. We should partner with the good where ever we find it and we should NEVER stick with someone just because they look like us, speak like us or profess the same religion as we do. Our real unity is that we unify on what is good. This is the Unity of Islam. In Syria, which is the home of my sheik, Muslims are divided. My sheik was the most gentle man I ever met and I avoid him because the sight of him now makes me cry for all that he taught me. I worry over him like he was my father and I miss him. I pray for freedom for him and his people. May Allah bless his land and give his people freedom. Insha Allah, America and Europe aids in the freeing of Syria. They are a great people and they deserve better than to live under brutal dictators. And I for one trust the US government much more than I trust the Asads.

    • Mohamed T. Khairullah

      October 9, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      Brother Greg,

      Jazaka Allah khair. I agree with you on many fronts. I agree with you for one in condemning those who live in the west, reaping its benefits, then criticizing its policy and ways. As Muslims, we need to be thankful to those who hosted us when our own mother lands was not big enough for us. He who does not thank the people does not thank Allah.

      Agreeing with the West on a way to save Syria from this ruthless dictator based on agreements of mutual benefits is what I am asking for.

  3. Yasmin

    October 9, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this very important post! From the limited information I have about the Syrian situation I think that the mayor is correct in arguing that intervention is necessary!

    • Mohamed T. Khairullah

      October 9, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      Thank you sister. Hdeeth of Prophet Mohamed PBUH said that spelling the blood of a Muslim is more sacred for Allah than the destruction of the kabba

  4. Mohamed T. Khairullah

    October 9, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Dear Hassan & ymr,

    It is difficult to imagine that there is any government in the world that is not influenced bya neighboring countries or a superpower. The Syrian National Council, which I consider to be the official representative of the Syrian revolution, was the result of the Syrian revolution producing its finest to represent its interest. That council must be able to negotiate with governments and international organizations to achieve its purpose of liberating the Syrian people. If they have to negotiate things based on mutual benefits to both sides, so be it. That is not selling out or being a puppet. What they have to do is give and take without giving away the store for free.

  5. Umm Sulaim

    October 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Syria needs intervention, but by whom. That’s the headache.

    Yemen went the same path for a while. Back came the wounded president and an illegal assassination.

    NATO makes me shudder, but do we have a choice? It honors invitations not farewell wishes.

    And oh yes, where is Qatar? The last time I heard it was in Libya.

    Umm Sulaim

    • Mohamed T. Khairullah

      October 9, 2011 at 11:15 PM

      Sister I agree with you. I think ideally we all would like Arab and/or Muslim neighboring countries to help. Unfortunately there are many reason why they can’t and/or won’t do it. If people see the reports and videos and reports of atrocities committed by this regime they wouldn’t oppose intervention. When their children are mutilated, men sniped, and women gang raped in front of their own family members and other prisoners by their own so called countrymen we have no choice but to ask anyone to help us stop the carnage. This blood thirsty regime is not going to stop because of peaceful protests.

  6. Abu Yusuf

    October 10, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    Why? Haven’t you figured out yet Tom?

  7. Mansoor Ansari

    October 10, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    By calling for an intervention, are we are not calling for Syrians to pick up arms against it’s government?

  8. Carlos

    October 13, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    My thoughts go out to the people of Syria. The brave stand of the opponents of the Assad regime is commendable. The international community should do what it can to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to those striving for a better government. The international community should provide humanitarian assistance, including food, medicine, shelter and asylum. As to any sort of military intervention, that is almost always a bad idea that backfires. The best of intentions are almost always shot down by the realities of the world. If there is going to be political change in Syria, it will have to come from within. Civil disobedience works better than it is given credit for. It will not work overnight, but it will work over time if the cause is right. No government can stand if it people do not support it. It takes more than guns to rule a people.

    And, as for the US, I think we have done enough, thank you. It is time for us to focus on the issues we have here at home. We do not have the means or the will to be the World’s police officer. Yes, we should defend our security when necessary, including overseas, but I definitely think that stretching ourselves thin does not improve our security; quite the opposite.

  9. Syed Raheel

    October 19, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    If everyone in Syria would obey Assad in the good he commands and disobeys him in the evil he commands, then no one would be killed. Assad would remain in power like he wants, except he can’t do anything bad without the support of his people. That would force him to make reforms. I’m wondering what is motivating the Syrian armed forces to kill their own people, its like they are killing themselves. I’m sure that Assad hasn’t personally killed anyone.

  10. Believer

    October 25, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Amazing so now we rely on a known usurper to carry out the mission for us in NATO – where is your belief in Allah whose stick is silent but severe

  11. Abu Mohammed Mahdi

    November 11, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I’m very very shocked and upset when I watch the brutal youtube videos of syrian people get beat, sniped, and killed by the syrian regime. Lets get to the point.. What’s happening in Syria are crimes against all humanity that is planned and committed by the allawite regime. They force regular soldiers to shoot to kill protesters and if the soldier does not shoot then the overlooking allawite shabaha will shoot them in the head to set a fearful example, and that’s why so many non-allawite soldiers are defecting (because they don’t want blood on their hands). Go see the youtube videos on what the defecting soldiers are witnessing & saying. The truth is that the cowardly savage allawites kill women, children and innocent unarmed men without remorse. Shame on them and they should know in their wicked heart that one day they will eventually die and face the punishment from Allah for their war crimes! Remember what Allah planned for Kaddafi, his family and his brainwashed followers.. Allah is the best planner! May Basher, his regime, his worshippers go to hellfire with his pharoah dad insha’Allah. Isn’t it bad enough how many innocent civilians the allawate regime killed in Hama and now this….They are the lowest form of savages on earth. Allahu’Akbar alehum!

    PS. Go youtube the fatwa by Yousof Qaradawi on Kaddifi… In a nutshell, if a tyrant start killing his people then the Ummah should unite & execute him to stop the bloodshed of the innocent unarmed peaceful people. The same fatwa applies to Syria & Yemen… in addition to enforcing this fatwa, I believe the whole world should unite and pass a resolution calling it “Humans vs. Allawite savages” to stop the further bloodshed of innocent civilians… also, excuse me for being human and losing my temper when I see allawite savages kill unarmed children, women and men on youtube!!!

    • Carlos

      November 13, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      There is no doubt the Assad regime is committing terrible crimes against the Syrian people, and that the rest of the world should provide humanitarian and political support to the Syrian people. Having said that, your referring to Allawites as savages does not help the situation. It is just more of the same. Allawites are people too. Allawites are Syrians too. Dehumanizing the enemy is hypocritcal and is the first step into a retarded cycle of violence. Don’t shed crocodile tears. Perhaps some Allawites are supporting the government because they fear the violent retaliation people like you might try to wage upon their children, women and innocent unarmed men. Why not try to work with the Allawite people, rather than calling them savages, and urging worldly and divine punishment upon them?

      • Abu Mohammed Mahdi

        November 14, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        Carlos sorry if you misunderstood my post… I should have been more clear and state the resolution: Humans VS. allawite regime and the allawite armed savages that support the regime by killing innocent non-allawite civilians. I hope that clarification is politically correct for you. Keep in mind that no civilian is allowed to bear arms except the allawites in Syria. It’s the worse genocide when your armed allawite neighbor has the authority to drag you out of your house and kill you for being a non-allawite and wanting change. You have to call it as the truth. I think it would be easier if you research the facts on Syria, you probably don’t have any family or relatives in Syria. As you know The syrian ALLAWITE Regime did not keep their word when they met with the Arab league and kept brutally killing civilians (so your argument of lets work with the allawite govt. is weak). Only international use of force will get the savages’ attention. They proved they rather suppress the people’s freedom by killing more innocent civilians. It’s a good start for someone like you with limited knowledge of Syria’s brutally towards non allawites to go to youtube and see Syria Undercover, FRONTLINE, PBS Video. It’s real footage & It will give you better insight of the ongoing struggle for humans to stay alive in Syria and also want freedom from the over 40 yr. brutal allawite regime. Don’t forget to Youtube Hama, Syria where the savage Allawite regime (and that’s the truth because they were all gov’t allawites calling the shots to kill all, yes ALL civilians in HAMA, Syria). If the world was to follow your logic, kaddifi and his hired foreign mercenaries will have been going house to house, alley by alley and killed most of the libyan population like kaddifi promised in his speech, he also said he was going to set the whole country of Libya on fire and end it since he claimed that he created libya. Almost identical to Assad’s threats of an earthquake if the world intervenes to protect civilians. Now that I made my clarification I must admit that I agree with your following statement “There is no doubt the Assad regime is committing terrible crimes against the Syrian people, and that the rest of the world should provide humanitarian and political support to the Syrian people”. Thanks for taking the time to read my feedback.

  12. Umm Amin

    February 28, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    a reply to this article on February 2013 (nearing 2nd anniversary of syrian crisis)
    1) False. Targeted strikes can also produce a retaliation and reaction in the form of releasing chemical weapons on civilians or killing using ground forces or tanks (as saddam did in norther and sourthern iraq despite no-fly zones and targeted airstrikes in centre-west iraq). Right now the government forces are mostly defending their bases and the insurgents are mostly attacking the airbases, but air-strikes and no-fly zones can produce a retaliatory ground offensive by the government, even one possibly supported by russia (since it wont be supported by UN security council).
    2) Financially syria has been bankrupt since this crisis started – embargoes, sanctions, and looting/destruction by both sides have caused losses of the Syrian economy over the last 22 months at about $48.4 billion
    (Read more at Businesses that were giving a share to the assad clan in aleppo, were doing so to protect their business and eliminate any competitors in the region/area. Now the rebels/insurgents have killed or chased away the owners, taken over or stolen their assets and business and looted their goods (which are transported to neighbouring turkey from their ‘liberated’ free zone in the north, all the while the factories and businesses are being bombed by the government forces (as counter-attack against insurgents) and mortared by insurgents, which destroys the infrastructure of the business and prevents the businessmen/technocrats from returning [preferring to flee to a country with better economic opportunities or to syria when (or if) its ever rebuilt]. This country is quickly being turned into afghanistan and with its new-found freedom will be at loss and be more of a burden (akin to a tumor to the world), than an asset to the world. If there is one thing learned from history, its that a good and efficient autocracy or dictatorship (doesnt have to be assad) is better than a democracy that is weak and poverty-stricken (and that is most likely option for syria given its state of economy, government, and infrastructure).
    3) Not necessarily. Christians have had better freedoms in this arab country of syria than all other arab countries in the world (except for lebanon, although its unstable). they were able to build churches and worship freely and equally as much as muslims, even egypt with its large christian population placed restrictions on building chruches – and other arab countries are worse. Granted, syria’s constitution states that the president must be muslim – however when assad tried to remove that clause there were outrage and uproad all over central syria and major syrian cities so he had to put it back, in order to keep the stability amongst the muslims who were against a non-muslim president. Furthermore, assad was similar to saddam – keeping the peace between the different muslim sects to prevent the violence appearing among them. finally, the syrian state is providing the salaries of government employees and is maintaining the government structure (i.e. military, civilian, economic, judicial), whereas in the Free ‘liberated zones’ the military and civilian infrastructure is being destroyed by the insurgents and terrorists, the infrastructure is being looted and destroyed, civilian and judicial structure is minimal but mostly absent, replaced by a emirs, sheikhs and a few sharia courts (with sharia judes of limited islamic education), and even food is scarce since the insurgents looted and destroyed the factories and farms, owned by the government people, producing these foods (like breads), thus the civilians complain about them and are in large bread lines. When someone looks Syria, he or she can see that in the absence of the regime, nothing relating to social harmony or state structure will be better. The daylight robbery being done by the world (by which I mean western and gulf-arab countries) through sanctions and embargoes and arming of local/foreign insurgents and terrorists, exceeded long time ago the total robbery done by the assad government of 40+years. Finally, if dignified manner means being bombed/mortared and killed daily, harrased by both insurgents/terrorists and government fighters, and having their property/livelihoods and loved-ones destroyed, then they would rather live in submission. Even according to recent reports by foreign western journalists, most civilians have responded to them that they mostly want the fighting to end and that they want a peace process and transition that ends the bloodshed, not an armed revolution/jihad against the government akin to algeria that kills many and destroys the country’s social fabric.

    P.S. Most of the protestors who said that it was suicidal to stop, have either fled the country (those less religious and middle/upper class) or joined the armed insurgents and terrorists (mostly working/lower class of a religiously conservative/salafist type). So either they have become cowards, or they have become suicidal as they know they are going to die.

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