December 28, 2013
Dear Friends of Justice and Peace in Syria,
Until Mother Agnes arrived in the U.S. on October 30, 2013, under the sponsorship of the Syria Solidarity Movement, the people of North America had heard almost exclusively the viewpoint of the U.S. and Canadian governments and their supportive media, as well as expatriate Syrian groups living in exile and encouraged by those same governments, in some cases with U.S. government grants.
Mother Agnes’ message against outside intervention, of refusing to support any Syrian group over another, and in favor of reconciliation and forgiveness among all Syrians was therefore a breath of fresh air to all who heard it, which included more than twenty speaking engagements and at least as many media interviews. In addition, she met with eight members of Congress and other government officials in Washington, DC.
Opponents worked hard to sabotage the tour. Although few in number at the events, dozens from all across North America called many of the speaking venues and tried to get them to cancel the event, sometimes successfully. This involved the use of false information, typically that Mother Agnes is an “apologist” for the Assad government.
The result was not all bad, however. The controversy often attracted the press, which gave an opportunity for Mother Agnes to state her position in her own words, except in the few instances of the opposition press itself. The tour was interrupted by ten days of similar events in the UK, which had an additive effect and which increased the interest in the remainder of her tour in North America.
The tour was therefore effective in introducing a very different point of view to the people of North America, who are increasingly demonstrating their reluctance for military intervention and a willingness to instruct their governments to spend their money at home, not abroad.
The Syria Solidarity Movement wishes to thank the many local host committees and volunteers at every location that made this tour a success, and of course Mother Agnes herself, and her colleague Sister Carmel, who put so much tireless energy into an exhausting schedule. With your support, we pledge to carry on our efforts to pursue justice for Syria in North America and to assure that Syrian voices opposed to outside interference continue to be heard here.