The Syrian people have risen up to replace a culture of conflict, violence, corruption, religious strife and disregard of human rights with a culture of peace.
- The Syrian uprising is not an ordinary one: it does not defend social, local, or even ethnic interests but represents a leap of consciousness against a regime that is set in its violent ways, inside as well as outside of its borders;
- This is why the movement for the Syrian people first favoured non-violence – it is with bare chests that they faced the bullets and tanks of the regime as well as the systematic torture that did not even spare their children; they have also constantly and ardently aspired to the unity of the people (wahed! wahed! wahed!) rather than the confessional divisions that the regime has always tried to exploit;
- The Syrian people have been terribly isolated in this struggle which, almost eighteen months later, has cost them tens of thousands of lives; all governments have the duty to help them, just as civil societies must show their solidarity;
- Let us not be insensitive to so much suffering, nor allow them to think that such a sacrifice could be in vain. Furthermore, should the Syrian dictatorship prevail, the entire region would be destabilized, and the Syrians themselves would have to turn to violence as the ultimate means of protest by a people which has always adhered to peaceful means of struggle;
- Outraged by the barbaric acts committed on children such as Hamza al-Kahatib, women, and entire populations killed in cold blood, as in Houla, many Syrians ended up taking up arms and joining the Free Syrian Army;
- However, the combats led by the Free Syrian Army must not obscure the fact that, like Ghiyath Matar – who exhorted his fellow countrymen to non-violent struggle and was tortured and killed for it – the majority of Syrians carry on opposing and falling victim to the regime without resorting to violence;
- Dark days await the Syrian people. To award them the Nobel prize for peace as an expression of admiration for their courage and determination in the pursuit of freedom would also incite them to reassert their choice of non-violence when the day of reconstruction comes;
- Awarding the Nobel Prize to a people is perhaps unprecedented; military medals are certainly awarded to cities; it must be possible to distinguish the peaceful determination of a people standing up for their freedom;
This is the role of the Nobel Prize Committee. And, in this historic moment, we ask the Committee to use all of its influence in favour of the cause of the Syrian people.