Syrian Expert House Engages with Syrian Islamic Political Leaders to Support Syria Transition Roadmap

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Washington, DC – On December 11 and 12, 2013, Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies Executive Director Dr. Radwan Ziadeh and Syrian Expert House members met with a number of Syrian Islamic political leaders to discuss the recommendations of Syria Transition Roadmap, a document recently published by SCPSS and the Syrian Expert House detailing the Syrian opposition’s vision of the post-Assad democratic transition in Syria.

Dr. Ziadeh and Abu El-Khayr Shoukri, a member of the Syrian Expert House and the National Coalition, met with Mohamed Riad Shaqfeh, supreme guide of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and Osama Rifai, head of the Syrian Scholars Association, to discuss the role of political Islam in Syria’s post-conflict democratic future. Mr. Riad Shaqfeh was elected to a four year term as head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in 2010. The Syrian Brothers support the establishment of a modern, democratic, and pluralistic civil state in Syria. Sheikh Osama Rifai has supported peaceful protests against the Syrian government since as early as March 2011. Rifai was in fact hospitalized after Syrian security forces violently assaulted an anti-regime demonstration held in his mosque in Damascus.

 

The following day, Dr. Ziadeh and Dr. Mohamed Dughaim, Director of the Syrian Expert House’s Reyhanli office, met with Ahmed Abu Issa El-Sheikh, commander of Suqour al-Sham and the head of the Shura Council of the recently-formed Islamic Front, and members of the Islamic Front’s political bureau. The Islamic Front is an alliance of Syrian opposition Salafi militias. In the meeting, Ziadeh, Dughaim, El-Sheikh, and the political bureau discussed means for implementing the Syrian Expert House’s recommendations on post-conflict security sector reform, transitional justice, and the role of the Syrian opposition in the upcoming Geneva II conference.