Mussalaha, which translates as Reconciliation, is a community-based non-violent popular initiative stemming from within Syrian civil society. Founded at the community level, it includes members of all Syria’s ethnic and religious communities who are tired of the war. It stands as a demonstration of hope that a third way option to armed conflict remains possible and provides an alternative to military intervention from abroad.
Mussalaha fills a void created by the noise of weapons: it does not side with any of the warring parties. Rather it embraces all. The movement says No to the continued loss of life which is bleeding the nation white.
The initiative says No to civil war and rejects all forms of sectarian violence and denominational strife. Its founding session was held on 25 January 2012 in the Sahara complex on the Syrian coast. Thanks to the prominent religious and national figures present there, this event has had a historic impact since it showed that a third way remains possible over and beyond the regime-opposition conflict: the way of civil society. These meetings have already had a very positive outcome, resulting in a public commitment to building a reconciled and peaceful Syria in the name of mutual respect, through the endorsement of joint declarations, and solemn commitments to reconciliation between groups, families and between the main protagonists in the current conflict. Despite the continuing conflict in Syria, the initiative continues to gain traction. It is imperative at this critical time that the Mussalaha reconciliation initiative be recognised, nurtured and supported by all who believe in peace through dialogue.
What Are Mussalaha’s Ten Points Towards Reconciliation and Peace?
· Support conflict resolution through negotiation and implementation of a democratic process.
· Stop the flow of weapons to Syria.
· Stigmatize the war methods that are against the Geneva Convention.
· Restrain interference from abroad in the Syrian conflict.
· Furnish honest information about the Syrian conflict.
· Support new political parties that are proliferating and giving new shape to the Syrian political landscape.
· Stop the sanctions, which are harming only the civilian population.
· Fairly distribute humanitarian aid.
· Appeal for impartiality among the diverse NGOs working in the Syrian conflict.
· Support a new state that will guarantee equality of citizenship and religious freedom to any religious and ethnic group.