MOSCOW, July 31 (Itar-Tass) — The revolution in Syria that was launched as a secular movement for democracy is turning gradually in a religious war, the Kommersant daily reported. Islamic groups, not only Al Qaeda militants, but also Syrian Islamists are playing a more active role in the opposition. The financial reason is one of the reasons for a rapid Islamisation. To receive the aid from the Sunni Muslim monarchies in the Gulf, the fighters against Assad’s rule demonstrate the adherence to Wahhabism, Salafism and other religious movements, which had never been spread in Syria, which was distinguished with its religious tolerance.
During the fights for the Syrian economic capital Aleppo Syrian “jihadists” do not forget about the propaganda of their ideology, the newspaper noted. A video, which was posted in the Internet, shows the storming of a police station to the accompaniment of the song, “With the Koran in hands we are attacking the enemy and are shedding our blood for our faith.” On another front of the Syrian war in the Idlib province, which is bordering Turkey, local Islamists urged to hold anti-governmental demonstrations not under the secular flag of the opposition, but under the black banner of Prophet Mohammed.
Two Islamist groups – Ahrar al-Sham and Sukur al-Sham enjoy the highest influence in Syria. The ideologist of the first Islamist group, Sheikh Adnan al-Arur appeals in his sermons to fight not only with “the rule of the Alawites” in Damascus, but also with “a malign influence” of the West. “We are receiving the weapons thanks to the assistance of the Wahhabites, rather than the United States as Iraqi Shiites,” the sheikh recalled to his advocates.
Sukur al-Sham also does not have moderate views. “The Al Qaeda’s ideology has already existed in Syria, but the incumbent authorities were suppressing it. Now after the launch of the uprising this ideology has found its breeding ground. Moreover, financial sources appeared,” a representative of the Islamist group Abu Zain said with satisfaction.
The experts take the financial factors as one of the most vital factors, explaining the growth of Islamist sentiments in the Syrian opposition. Major financial flows are coming from the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The supporters of radical Sunni Muslim movements are ruling in these countries. The Saudi rule is one of the most conservative regimes in the world that outstrips even the Shiite Ayatollahs in Iran in this aspect. To gain the support of Saudi and Qatari sponsors, a correct ideological niche should be taken, what Syrian revolutionaries are seeking to do.
All this undermines the positions of moderate, secular and relatively liberal opposition groups, which the US and the EU are seeking to put a stake on, the newspaper reported.