A combination of activist coordination, grass roots mobilization, media outreach and a few friends in key places resulted in the cancellation of an Assad PR event in DC, regime propagandist Mufti Hassoun rejected, and two additional Assad representatives exposed!
Assad’s Mufti Hassoun had been invited to speak at an event on 6/28 Thursday in DC (hosted by Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP)) along with two other pro-regime stooges (Bishop El Khoury, Dr. Nasser Ani) in an event about “Dialogue and Coexistence in Syria”.
This event was also seen as part of ongoing efforts by the Assad propaganda machine to influence the narrative of the revolution and influence policy in the US. As mentioned in a key press release exposing the event, “Bishop El Khoury, similar to Mufti Hassoun, is part of the regime’s loyal clergy and is regularly quoted by Syrian State news outlets discussing conspiracies to unseat Assad. Dr. Nasser Ani, chairman of the Syrian American Forum, helps coordinate between the Assad regime and loyalists in the US.”
The FMEP President Philip Wilcox, denies knowledge about Hassoun’s fiery rhetoric and the Mufti’s role in the regime, however the foundation’s Research Director, Geoffrey Aronson, wrote an Op-ed in April articulating that US policy should be grounded in dialogue through Assad – one can presume, that the event (featuring an Assad regime lineup) was an attempt to implement the approach ‘to reestablish an effective, direct channel to the regime’ advocated for in the Op-ed.
This, despite calls from all elements of the Syrian resistance (civil and military) that there can be no ‘dialogue’ with mass murderers – That there is no ‘coexistence’ with a mafia regime that slaughters, rapes and has devastated the nation.
A coordinated effort among key activists from the National Alliance for Syria, Syrian Expatriates Organization, National Consensus Movement, United for a Free Syria and Syrian Americans for Democracy helped connect resources and mobilize their constituencies to contact the FMEP, connect with other Syrian-American groups and allies in the broader Arab-American/ American Muslim community, raise awareness through media outreach and highlight the issue to key political relationships. As the general public learned more about the event, masses of outraged individuals helped share and spread the news/ call-to-actions across networks to create the atmosphere which lead to Hassoun being barred from entry into the US, the Assad representatives exposed and ensuring the FMEP had to cancel the event .
One tiny victory for the Syrian-American community…Yella Irhal Ya Bashar! Free Syria!