Mr. Mouaz al-Khatib was elected leader of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, a new alliance of Syrian opposition fractions that was formed at a meeting in Doha, Qatar on 11 November 2012. The following is the English translation of the speech Mr. al-Khatib gave after his election:
“In the name of God; The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Thanks God, the Lord of the worlds
Peace be upon you all. Peace be upon you all.
The Syrian people are the essence of ten thousand years of civilization The great people of Syria are going through systematic genocide and barbaric destruction and we can say that there isn’t a single person who has not suffered at the hands of this regime Many sides have tried to get it out of its primitive, savage and wrath state but they were all faced with arrogance and revulsion The regime has spoiled all means of life and condemned Syria to destruction.
Through 50 years it worked on confiscating people’s will, by playing on contradictions which were reflected in the tearing up of our people and their lack of confidence in any decision. After prolonged suffering many national entities reached a united coalition to repel the raid on our people who are slain everyday under the eyes and ears of the world. The coalition has set its main priorities the urgent relief operations and putting an end to the bloodshed carried out day and night and uniting all the forces for the sake of toppling this despotic regime with all its symbols to build a good society based on justice and dignity of humans whom God Has honored. I would like to note a couple of matters even if I deviate slightly from diplomatic norms.
The first matter is that our revolution is a peaceful revolution from its beginning to its end and only the regime bears legal and religious responsibility because it pushed our people to defend their lives, their honor, their money and their religion. Tens of cities have held up roses and tens of young men and women have carried roses and cold water to the security personnel while demanding their simple right to express themselves but the barbaric regime responded by jailing, torturing and detaining them and systematically destroying the social and the economic infrastructure of Syria after destroying its ethical and educational and knowledge infrastructure throughout 50 years. We salute our great people’s sacrifices men women and children and we salute their legendary resistance stand in the face of an oppressive and destructive machine. In addition we stand up with full honor in respect to the souls of our martyrs and we salute with gratitude the fighters of the Free Army who are the shield of this revolution in face of disposition.
This regime has destroyed our people our country and our army which we are proud of and we are painfully sorrowed by every coffin of its members because the Syrian people built this army with the their blood sweat and tears to repel any raid against the country but the regime used the army to destroy the people and to turn it into rubbles with its wrath and recklessness.
Dear brothers, our people’s demands were very simple they just wanted anyone to be able to sleep without any fear. This was the simple demand of our people but the regime didn’t respond to it. Today there is no stopping until this regime is gone and its brutal nature is dismantled entirely.
The next matter is in regard to the revolution’s Islamism and fundamentalism and what they keep referring to day and night about the cruelty of the Syrian people and their fighters Dear brothers, I’m responsible for every word I say our fighters are seeking freedom and they might be pulled to some behaviors as a result of the regime’s brutality. But I swear many religious organizations are working day and night to pull them back and to control their behaviors within the religious boundaries even when dealing with enemies.This revolution embeds the call “God is the Greatest” in all of its aspects not as a way to ostracize anyone, but in fact all Syrian people participate with us In the mosques there used to be some of our Christian brothers and we would all come out to protest while we all chanted “God is the Greatest” [Allah Akbar]. in the face of such horrible tyranny.
The Islam we believe in is the Islam that builds a civilization and dignifies humans an Islam whose enlightenment and civility has shined throughout the world The Islam that goes hand in hand with Christianity in the holiest of lands The Islam that brings people together not apart The Islam that considers diversity, not autocracy, a strength From day one, at the funeral of the first group of martyrs in Douma it was mentioned clearly that we are demanding freedom for every Sunni, Alawite, Christian, Durze, Ismaili and Syriac and we feel the pain of every and each one of them and we feel the injustice against our Arab identity and the great Kurdish people and by every single component of our people who have been living together in love and harmony for ages.
What we have in our country is not mere tolerance; it is deep love and compassion.
Secondly, to my brothers and sisters especially the beloved Syrians inside the country all our work here ends after conducting free elections. All constitutional and legal matters are postponed till toppling the regime. Our people will then decide their own constitution in the first free election after toppling the regime in a free and just environment.
Thirdly, All the revolutionary entities should distance themselves from any though of revenge against anybody. There will be judicial committees to hold everyone who was involved in spilling the pure Syrian blood accountable. I believe that many members and officers in the Army and the Security Forces are honest people who are forced to stay in their jobs by an iron fist just like how we were at some point. I call on them all to get ready to dissent from this decaying corrupt body of the regime and to cooperate with us to build Syria of the future. The majority have suffered and the minorities have suffered and the regime placed our people up against each other but it is time for us to unite with love to push this long dark night away.
Fourthly, We as a group and as individuals did not and will not pledge with any entity on any matter that contradicts with the interests of our people and their unity and the unity of their land That we pledge with our blood in front of our people We will protect the sovereignty of our country and land and protect its religions, ethics, freedom and all its components and the rule of the law.
The future Syria is going to be built by all of its sons and daughters I personally pledge in front my brothers that I will be the servant of all Syrians and I will work on uniting them and I will only make decisions that will serve their own interests, to win back our dignity.
Fifthly, we call on the international community and the world governments to keep their promises to support our people. Our nation is not a primitive and marginal nation. All nations owe respect but our nation is one of the biggest builders of civilization and we do not accept this treatment. As a people we need to be recognised and given our right to stand up on our feet to recommence building a great civilization after toppling the regime we ask for all kinds of support: humanitarian, political and economical.
On behalf of all members of the Syrian National Coalition I sincerely thank the government of Qatar and its people, our brothers I sincerely thank the honorable brothers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates and all the states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. I thank our partners in civilization and history, our brothers in Turkey. I thank our lovely brothers in Libya, Egypt and Jordan. We want to cooperate together to lift the suffering and pain off our people, in particular I also want to acknowledge those friendly nations nations that are thoughtful of us and our people. Thanks for all those who were patient through the long nights to see through the formation of this coalition. I want to especially thank our brothers in the Syrian National Council with all of its components, for dealing with us just like
brothers, because we are brothers.
Finally, to the great people of Syria, I salute you with fullest respect I kiss the hand of every Syrian father and mother I salute the perseverance of all the young guys and girls. I particularly salute the Syria woman, for being one of the Greatest if not the Greatest woman on this Earth she is the maker of the human who has overcome the iron and blood. I send all my sincere love to the children of my country and I want to tell them that we will sacrifice our blood so that you will go to sleep in your beds happily with a smile on your face and your dreams will be joyous and peaceful. I want to tell all Syrians: if you find me on the right path help me if you find me otherwise correct me.
I love you all I ask God for success and my closing prayer is to thank God, the Lord of the worlds.”