A large meeting of British Muslims in London threw its weight behind the Syrian revolution last night (Wednesday). Over 400 mainly local people turned out for the meeting, which was hosted by London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, east London.
The meeting was called by the World Muslim Solidarity Committee and British Solidarity for Syria. It pledged to support the revolution and condemned the massacres in Homs and elsewhere by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
The gathering showed the depth of anger among ordinary people at Syria's rulers. On the platform were Anas Altikriti of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), an imam from Idlib in northern Syria, a human rights lawyer and members of the Syrian opposition, including a representative of Syria’s Christian communities.
Speakers from the Muslim Council of Britain, the Islamic Forum of Europe, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies and the Muslim Association of Britain also addressed the meeting.
Anti-war veteran Anas Altikriti condemned the hypocrisy of Western powers. He pointed out that they had remaining silent in 1982 when Syrian regime massacred some 38,000 people in the city of Hama.
He added that the Syrian uprising was part of a wave of revolutions encompassing Egypt, Tunisia and the rest of the Arab world.
Anas Altikriti argued for support of the movement in its demands for peaceful protest. But he added that we should also support those who have decided to take up arms against the regime in the face of vicious repression.
“Let us remember that the Syrian revolution is part of the Arab uprisings demanding freedom, dignity and justice,” he said. “All these are denied by the regime.”
He criticised Iran for supporting the slaughter in Syria, but pledged to defend it against any attack by Israel and the West.
The meeting was shown the scale of ferocity of the repression. Among the latest crimes was a massacre of civilians attempting to flee the beleaguered neighbourhood of Baba Amr in Homs.