According to press reports, a suicide terrorist blew himself up in the al-Eman Mosque in Damascus today, killing at least 15 members of a pro-government congregation. Among the dead was the elderly Dr. Mohammed al-Bouti, president of the Association of Islamic Scholars of Syria and a supporter of the Syrian president. He had been known for his sermons opposing the armed insurgents in Syria, which were broadcast weekly across the country. Clearly he was on the target list, as have been other prominent Syrians associated with pro-government positions.
The US government’s various reports on religious freedom are largely politicized affairs designed to demonize practices in countries out of favor and skip over abuses among its allies. One could hardly imagine a more direct attack on religious liberty than to set off a bomb in a building of religious worship. But this attack has been perpetrated by US allies in Syria, who have benefited recently from 3,000 tons of sophisticated weapons shipped in by the US government and paid for by paragons of religious tolerance such as Saudi Arabia.
It is still possible that the US condemns this act as a way of underscoring a non-existing line of demarcation between the “good” rebels and the “bad” extremist rebels. Anyone paying attention to the reality beyond the paid-for corporate media would see that is a distinction without a difference. One might ask this gentleman how he felt about the “moderates” in the Free Syrian Army…
UPDATE: It now appears more than 40 have been killed in the attack, including al-Bouti’s grandson. Here are some photos of the carnage, but warning they are disturbing.
On Twitter @DanielLMcAdams1:54 pm on March 21, 2013 Email Daniel McAdams