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The Crisis in Syria: Dallas Peace Center Position Statement

The Dallas Peace Center condemns in the strongest terms atrocities being committed by the Syrian government against its civilian population. According to media reports more than 5,000 civilians have been killed so far and 14,000 have been detained. Such actions might constitute war crimes and indeed crimes against humanity. We demand the Syrian government immediately cease killing civilians and shelling of residential areas in Homs, Dara'a, Hama, Baniyas and suburbs of Damascus.

The Dallas Peace Center unequivocally denounces calls by American political leaders to further militarize an already dire situation. The United States and its allies must refrain from injecting heavy arms and ammunition into the country. We wholeheartedly support the courage and respect the wishes of many Syrians who are mounting nonviolent protests. When nonviolent protest turns violent because of "outside forces" it dishonors those who have gone before.

The danger of Syria erupting into an all out civil war, similar to what a horrified world witnessed in Iraq just a few years ago, is too painful to imagine. As in Iraq, many ethnic, sectarian and religious fault lines exist in Syrian society whose collapse could de-stabilize the country and possibly the entire region, especially Lebanon, where skirmishes between pro and anti Syrian supporters have already broken out. The Syrian population is a mosaic of Kurds, Christians, Druze, Alawites, Shias and Sunnis. Civil and human rights of all Syrians must be respected.
We hope that the Arab League and regional powers such as Turkey, the United States and the European Union, will actively seek a negotiated rather than a military solution to the crisis.We are hopeful that violence will cease in Syria and the noble aspirations of its people will usher in an era of peace and prosperity. 

Rev Dr Bill McEkvaney     Professor Emeritus Perkins School of Theology
Aftab Siddiqui                  Chair-Middle east Peace Committee - Dallas 
                                      Peace Center
Mavis Belisle                   Member of the Board, Dallas Peace Center
Trish Major                      Activist, Dallas
Hadi Jawad                     Activist, Dallas
Valley Reed                    Activist, Dallas
Leslie Harris                   Code Pink DFW

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