Islamic Front leadership in Aleppo. File photo
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ARA News – Exclusive
Aleppo, Syria – Mohammad al-Bashir, leading member of the political assembly of the Islamic Front (extended umbrella to Islamic rebel factions in Syria), renounced any “close relations” between the Front and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabht al-Nusra, saying: “We just coordinate with them on the military and field levels against our mutual foes and pro-Assad militias.”
“Our vision is clarified in our charter, and we do not intend to build relations with al-Qaeda or any other group which does not correspond to our Syrian revolutionary vision and method,” al-Bashir said in an exclusive interview with ARA News.
According to al-Bashir, the Islamic Front is military entity with a political vision about the ongoing war in Syria.
“Our main goal is to free the Syrian territory from the Assad regime and its allied militias, and to fight against any group violating the rights of the Syrian people. We recognize the rights of minorities as well as that of the majority because we believe in a unified Syria, a country for all Syrians alike,” al-Bashir told ARA News.
The leading member of the Islamic Front emphasized the Front’s commitment to the aspirations of the Syrians in freedom and equality.
“We have never imposed the Islamic rules on any group in the areas where our forces are in control. We always stress that the rights of non-Muslim minorities are mentioned in our tolerant Islamic Sharia, which guarantees religious and spiritual independence of these groups,” al-Bashir stated. We do not intend to force anyone to profess our religion as the Quran verse says ‘No coercion in religion’.”
Talking about the Syrian political opposition’s demand to establish a democracy in Syria, al-Bashir said: “Although we have some concerns about possible manipulation of our people by the claims of democracy, we accept holding elections on condition of keeping the sovereignty of Sharia next to any new constitution in Syria.”
Kurds’ National Rights Preserved
Al-Bashir also talked about the Front’s attitude towards the Kurds in Syria, saying: “We are brothers with the grandsons of Selah al-Dein and Ibn Taymyah (historical Islamic leaders).” He also talked about the former unjust nationalistic governments of secular Arabs, Turks and Persians.
Predicting a prosperous future for the Kurds, al-Bashir said: “Kurds will hopefully have good future in Syria, a future hoped by their siblings in Iraqi Kurdistan, when they live under governments protected by the Islamic Front. We maintain all the nationalistic rights of the Kurdish people as well as equality with Arabs. We call for achieving social, administrative and political justice that will fulfill the hopes of Kurds after long decades of repression and injustice.” Adding: “The just Islam is the sole guarantee for these extorted rights.”
Assad Regime Manipulates the PYD
Regarding the Islamic Front’s attitude towards the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) and the Assayish, al-Bashir told ARA News: “I invite them to refer back to the glorious history of their ancestors and leave the criminal sectarian regime of Assad which manipulates them.”
“They should be inspired by the revolution of Shekh Saeed Biran (prominent Kurdish figure) in Turkey. He was a Muslim hero who wanted to revive Islam to achieve justice for people and ended his life defending his people.”
ISIL Implements the Regime’s Agenda
According to al-Bashir, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) conducts its military operations in Syria with a full coordination with the Assad regime.
“ISIL group is infiltrated by Iran and the Asad regime and its militants are carrying out their agendas in Syria,” al-Bashir stated to ARA News. “ISIL has never shown respect to the Syrian revolution and since its emergence in Syria the group started fighting against the rebel forces. ISIL militants never attack the pro-Assad forces, and the pro-Assad military never target ISIL headquarters. All of that is sufficient evidence about the reality of this group.”
Al-Bashir stressed that the ISIL has an extremist understanding of Islam, that’s why it fights and suppresses Muslims.
Assad Destroyed Syria
The leading member of the Islamic Front argued that the pro-Assad forces “systematically” destroyed Syrian areas which opposed the regime and demanded freedom. He also said that the Syrian regime could manipulate the population and the international community about the reality on the ground in Syria.
“The criminal sectarian regime of Assad has destroyed Syria in cooperation with its terrorist allies such as Hezbollah, Abu al-Fadel al-Abbas and Ahl al-Haq gangs (Shiite militias), and the Iranian revolutionary guards,” he said. “Syrian revolutionary forces and Islamic movements are trying to defend the Syrian people against the pro-Assad militants.”
Al-Bashir concluded his interview with ARA News saying: “The Islamic Front still has the popular setting because we did not come from Mars; we are Syrians and 99% of our militants are Syrians, and this is a sufficient proof that we represent our people. We will continue the fight until victory over this tyrannical regime.”
Interviewed by ARA News