DARING OPINION

Welcome to Daringopinion.com
The Website of Elie Elhadj
Print this pageAdd to Favorite
z
 
 
Syria’s Mission: Religious Reform
April 2009
 
Religious moderation is Syria’s distinctive characteristic. The cultural heritage of the Syrians reflects the evolved cultures of the East and the West over the long sweep of history. Of particular significance is the tolerant attitude of the average Syrian towards other religions and ethnicities. In a Middle East afflicted by religious dogma, extremism, bigotry, discrimination, and violence in the name of God the Syrian society is a refreshing model of tolerance and moderation. To read more...
 
 
Stop Wahhabi Indoctrination of Syrian Youth
July 2010
   
The Website ALL4SYRIA reported (in Arabic) on July 17, 2010 that private Islamist elementary schools have been proliferating in Syria. The title of the article: Secrets and Background Behind the Decision to Ban the Wearing of the Niqab in Syria’s Schools and Universities Taken by the Office of National Security. To read more...

 
Abolish Syria’s Ministry of Irrigation
October 2010

 

On October 3, 2010 the President of Syria appointed a new Minister of Irrigation. I would like to take this opportunity to advocate that Syria’s Ministry of Irrigation should be abolished and its functions transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture. As long as irrigation politics is accorded a ministerial voice, investment in irrigation schemes will continue to waste Syria’s modest scarce resources. To read more...


A Question of Oil Accounting
October 2010
 
Reporting by Syria’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) of the country’s oil revenues in the national budget and balance of payments is confusing, inconsistent, and ambiguous. The IMF Country Report on Syria, No. 10/86, dated March 2010 states on page 30: “Government finance statistics (GFS) suffer from major deficiencies with respect to definitions, coverage, classification, methodology, accuracy, reliability, and timeliness that generate severe inconsistencies with monetary and balance of payments statistics”. 
 
In the interest of clarity and transparency in connection with Syria’s crude oil accounting this article poses seven questions. To read more...

Syria’s Economic Growth Requires Fundamental Reforms 

November 2010
 
Translating from Arabic, the following headlines appeared in the electronic media during the second half of October 2010. To read more...

 

Syria's Challenge: A Modern Secular Family Law

November 2010
 
Equality between women and men before the law is an inalienable human right--a natural justice. Gender equality is crucial for economic growth and human development. To read more... 
 
 
Syria's Water Management = Voodoo Style Politics
December 2010
 
ALL4SYRIA Website reported on December 5, 2010 that the Syrian president called for a day of prayer for rain fall:
الرئيس الأسد يدعو لصلاة الاستسقاء

بدعوة من الرئيس بشار الأسد تقيم وزارة الأوقاف صلاة الاستسقاء يوم الجمعة المقبل الموافق للعاشر من الشهر الجاري.
وأهابت الوزارة بأئمة وخطباء المساجد، إقامة الصلاة عقب صلاة الجمعة في جميع المحافظات السورية.
 

Translation
President Assad calls for salat al-ististqaa (rain prayer)
The Ministry of Religious Endowments, at the request of President Bashar Asad, will perform the istisqaa prayer on Friday December 10th. 2010.
The Ministry asked imams and preachers in all Syrian mosques to perform this prayer following next Friday's prayer. To read more...
 
 
Syria Should Not Pursue Nuclear Electricity Generation
Updated: June 2011 
 
 
The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) reported on February 16, 2011 that Syria has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency it is weighing the possible construction of an initial atomic energy facility by 2020.
 
Such a development is disconcerting. It disregards the lessons from the disasters at Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979 and at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986, as well as the scores of radiation incidents since the 1940s, let alone the challenge of safe disposal of spent reactor fuel. To read more...

 
Why Syria’s Regime is Likely to Survive, Temporarily

Updated: August 2011

 

Examining the differences between the uprising in Syria and those in Tunisia and Egypt offers important clues as to why Syria's regime is likely to survive. The Tunisian and Egyptian armies refused to kill demonstrators and even supported the revolution. Syria’s Alawi-led forces, on the other hand, do not hesitate to kill, as the Tadmur and Hama massacres show. The Syrian regime has been skillful at exploiting the conflict with Israel and the patience of Western powers with the dictatorship. The Syrian government has shown a strong ability to manipulate Islam for its benefit as well. While these tools do not work as effectively as they used to, they still give the Syrian government many advantages over its deposed counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt. To read more...

 
Syria’s Islamic Textbooks: Politics, Intolerance, and Dogma 
May 2011

 

Syria’s Islamic curriculum is discriminatory, divisive, and intolerant of non-Muslims. To prolong the Asad Alawite minority’s hold on power, the Islamic textbooks are loaded with political indoctrination, intolerance of the other, and dogma. This article argues that Syria’s Islamic education is designed to fortify the Asad regime’s strategies of exploiting Sunni Islam and maintaining a technical state of war with Israel. To read more...
 

Why Syria’s Christians Should Not Support the Asad Regime
May 2011
 
At the Dormition of Our Lady Greek Catholic cathedral in Old Damascus, Father Elias Debii raises his hands to heaven and prays for divine protection for embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[i] Bishop Philoxenos Mattias, a spokesman for the Syriac Orthodox Church said: “We are with the government and against these movements that oppose it”.[ii]
 
Those among Syria's Christian clerics and civic leaders who publicly support the Asad regime are short sighted. They are courting long-term disaster for themselves and their congregations. Why? Because, the Asad regime will not remain in power forever; it is immoral to support non-representative unjust rule; the Asad clan’s exploitation of Sunni Islam has emboldened Islamism and thwarted the development of secularism in Syria; and because scaremongering for blackmail legitimacy will not work forever. The following explains each reason. To read more...


 

Is Bashar Asad a nice person surrounded by a wicked family clique?
February 2012
 
Bashar Asad’s record shows that he is the boss of a wicked family clique and that he is personally responsible for the long suffering of the great majority of Syrians. To read more...