As I have written previously, the Free Syrian Army was created by defecting Syrian soldiers and anti-Assad protesters who took up arms against the Assad regime after Assad’s regime shot and killed demonstrators. In it’s early days the FSA was a mixture of Syrians both secular and Islamist, both Muslim and non-Muslim, all united behind the goal of toppling the Assad regime. All of them claimed to want democratic elections after the fall of Assad. The Syrian National Council and later the The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces supported the Free Syrian Army as the only legitimate anti-Assad fighting force in Syria.
Unfortunately the FSA has always been dominated by Sunni Muslims, as should be expected when about 70% of Syrians are themselves Sunnis, and this has led to Islamists out numbering secularists and the ranks of secularists in FSA have shrunk. Many FSA troops are independent and do not follow orders from central authorities, which has led to separate secular and Islamist FSA troops, as well as different types of FSA Islamist troops, those who favor “political” Islamism ala Muslim Brotherhood and those who favor joining forces with the likes of al Nusra and even ISIS.
To give some examples of the chaos, recently three FSA brigades formally joined forces with ISIS, while another FSA brigade forced ISIS out of several border towns. The Obama Administration is asking the US Congress for $500 million dollars to train new specially “vetted” “moderate” FSA troops in Jordan to fight against Islamists and Assad in Syria in the hopes of weakening the ISIS in Iraq and Syria while forcing Assad to the bargaining table.
I recently came across a pro-al Qaeda Free Syrian Army Facebook page:
I decided to address them in a private message:
Chat Conversation Start
Abel Ashes: The real Syrian revolution is secular and will topple Assad and replace him with a liberal secular democracy that will guarantee equal rights with separation of religion and state. You do not represent the Syrian revolution which always included atheists, feminists, liberals, democrats, secularists, Sunni, but also Shia, Christian, Druze, and even some brave Alawites.
Abel Ashes: You’re immoral and evil and unethical and cruel and insane.
Syrian Mujahideen You don’t know what happened here. You just sit in front of your computer , and don’t know nothing about Syria !!! Then you talk shit about my people. I’m stay at here !!! I know it !!! You damn bastard. You just stay at your home and hug a baby doll , you coward , then you talk a shit about my other brother. Come here , I will show you the situation here.
Abel Ashes: You have every right to fight Assad as he is a dictator and killed nonviolent protesters, who were Muslim and non-Muslim alike, but if you persecute people based upon their religion or lack of religion you are even worse than Assad. You have no right to impose sharia. Everyone in Syria and everyone on Earth deserves the same rights. Everyone deserves the right to accept or reject any religion if they choose. Everyone deserves the right to freely speak their mind. Everyone deserves the right to marry who they love. Everyone deserves the right to be equal to others in their society regardless of ethnicity, religion, sect, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, class, or race. Religion must be a personal choice and kept out of government.
If you fight to persecute atheists and Christians and Shia and Alawites and Druze and liberal/moderate Sunnis, a secularists, and feminists than you are as bad or even worse than the dictator and murderer Assad. Do you support the equal rights of all Syrians to live under equal protection under secular law or do you support an Islamic state where non-Muslims will be second class citizens or worse? I didn’t “talk shit” about “your people”. First of all your page says you are from Pakistan, so you are no more Syrian than I am and secondly I am the one who supports the right of all Syrians while you support enslaving the women and non-Muslims under Sharia and killing the apostates and liberals, am I wrong?