You are very critical of the media coverage on
Syria. What is bothering you?
"The idea that a popular uprising took place
against President Assad is completely false. I've been in Qara
since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from
outside Syria organized protests against the government and
recruited young people.
That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera
to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place.
Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni
and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and
ethnic discord among the Syrian people.
While in my experience,
the Syrian people were actually very united.
Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state
in which different religious communities lived side by side
There was hardly any
poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was
only not possible to freely express your political views.
But most people did
not care about that."
Mother Agnès-Mariam, of your Mar Yakub ("Saint
Jacob") monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has
friends at the highest level.
"Mother Agnès-Mariam helps the population:
has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals
are prepared five times a week.
Look, it is miraculous that we
are still alive.
We owe that to the army of
and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the
rebels threatened to take power.
When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid
for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia,
Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens.
They formed a
foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other
Armed to the teeth
by the West and their allies with
the intention to act against us, they literally said:
country belongs to us now."
Often, they were
drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired
randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a
When the Syrian army
chased them away, everybody was happy:
citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we
because peace had returned."
You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians,
yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by
Assad's forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.
"Do you not know that
the media coverage on Syria is
the biggest media lie of our time?
They have sold pure
nonsense about Assad. It was actually the rebels who plundered
It is the Americans
who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural
resources in this region and to thwart Putin.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria,
without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know,
when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo,
Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed.
Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those
radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to
massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS.
There are not any
moderate fighters anymore."
You once mentioned
Hillary Clinton to be a "devil
in holy water," because as Secretary of State she deliberately
worsened the conflict.
"I am happy with
He sees what every normal
That the United States should stop
undermining countries which possess natural resources.
Americans' attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest
Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat
What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants? If
Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so,
then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to
And hopefully then,
there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return."
You understand that your analysis is
controversial and will encounter much criticism?
"I speak from
personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right?
But I know one thing:
The media can
either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or
help the Syrian people, with their media coverage.
are too many followers and cowards among