letter to protest venues hosting Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix

Posted: 10/22/2013 by editormary in Education, Grassroots Activism, Internet and Communication, Middle East, Opinions and Letters, Syria, War

suora    This is a letter that can be sent to every venue that is hosting Mother Agnes-Mariam De La Croix as a speaker. It can be personalized and altered as required. As activists and responsible human beings, we cannot stand by while an apologist for genocide is given a platform in spaces that claim to promote peace, justice, and human rights:

Dear Sir/Madam,

In reference to the visit of Mother Agnes-Mariam De La Croix, the Superior of the Monastery of Deir Mar Yacoub, (and any other persons participating at DATE/ADDRESS), we would like to draw your attention to the following:
Large scale massacres against civilian populations have been committed by government military forces and pro-regime militias in Syria. Those invited to speak about this immense tragedy should be examined carefully as to their position in support of the forces behind the massacres. It is unethical to give a platform to persons who support these massacres or facilitate them by spreading information that has been proven again and again to be misleading, false, and in many cases pure propaganda of the regime perpetrating the crimes. It would be completely unconscionable for a religious or spiritual organization to put their facilities at the disposal of such persons.

We fully respect the principle of debate and freedom of expression, but in this case the person you have invited expresses blind support for a dictator who has massacred and is still massacring his own population, including over 11,000 children. The only reason for this violence is the regime’s intention to crush any and all people who stand up for their human rights and who they deem to be a threat to their tyrannical rule. The regime has killed countless numbers of people for trying to exercise their right to free expression. It is clearly evident that the uprising in Syria started peacefully, and was not militarized. Nor was it based on religious intolerance or sectarianism. It began with non-violent protests demanding reforms and basic freedoms that they had been denied for far too long. These protests were met with extreme violence and repression, and in order to justify that, a machine of propaganda was put in place, disseminating lies, passing off hoaxes as fact, and claiming that minorities in Syria were under threat of harm from religious extremists. The speaker you have invited is one of the key players in this propaganda machine, many of her claims have been debunked by experts and witnesses, while the voices of those murdered by the regime have been silenced once and for all.

The peaceful nature of the protests that your guest attempts to depict as a violent insurgency against Syria’s minorities has been recognised by the European Union, the United States and the United Nations. The crimes against humanity committed by Assad have also been recognised by these entities, as well as by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. People in Syria only took up arms against the regime when the killing had reached such a scale that they were forced to defend themselves and their families militarily.

We are astonished that you have made your venue available to supporters of a murderous dictatorship. What is happening in Syria is in the public domain and cannot be ignored. Support for this project may amount to complicity in crimes against humanity. This is not just a legal issue but also a moral one.

It is extremely ironic that the photo used by the organisation promoting the event depicts damage in Syria caused by airstrikes. It is common knowledge that ONLY the regime possesses air power and the capacity to bomb cities and residential areas in this way. The use of the image in this way is further evidence of the bad faith of the organisers of this event. 

We request that you cancel this event immediately and we would like to suggest that you organise a new event that will present what is happening in Syria in a truthful and objective way. We thank you for your solidarity with the people of Syria.

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Comments
  1. CM Esteve says:

    The Mother of Hell and the Immaculate Deception.

  2. Lysandros says:

    What about the massacres perpetrated by the rebels and Islamic forces, particularly against Christians?

  3. editor says:

    grossly exaggerated. Yet, the opposition denounces any crimes that may be committed by people against Assad, which is NOT something that supporters of the regime have done EVEN ONCE.

  4. Not George Sabra says:

    Since it appears we may not be able to get together a protest action for her appearance in Tucson, Arizona I suggest either:
    1) a campaign for people to email this letter to the organizers of the Tear Down the Wall conference or
    2) Try to get some ‘notables’ together to sign this as an Open Letter posted on a prominent website like Socialist Worker.org. Andrew Pollack may have a better sense of which is better.

  5. Not George Sabra says:

    I would also suggest drafting a form letter or an open letter addressed to Pope Francis to try to get Agnes formally dismissed since the Pope is dismissing officials for not walking the walk:
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/pope-francis-suspends-bishop-bling/story?id=20655188

    Hard to see how someone can perform their religious duties when they continually deny the suffering of the Syrian people. Agnes has not only claimed that the Ghouta gassacre was a hoax but she said the same of the Houla massacre.

  6. I have found the contact details for Our Lady of Grace Catholic Chufch, Castro Valley, CA. The email address is parish@olgcv.org and the pastor is Fr. Gregory Heidenblut, OSA.

    Can anyone help find any other email addresses for the organisers?

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