Activist’s Facebook Status Reveals Friction Among Syrian Opposition
|August 14, 2012|
Syrian dissident and feminist Rima Dali stirred up controversy within the Syrian opposition community after she posted a comment on Facebook that many deemed blasphemous.
On August 2, Dali updated her Facebook status that said “Oh God, we want to change you,” mocking the common slogan adopted by Syrian protesters, “Oh God, we only have you.” To many Syrians, her status was an expression of despair against the ever increasing degree of repression and violence in Syria. Her intended meaning was that even God is not listening to the people’s appeals.
Prior to the incident, Dali was arrested on April 10, 2012, after protesting in front of the Syrian Parliament while holding a banner that read “Stop the killing.” After her release, she participated in a campaign alongside a group of prominent dissidents in Damascus called “We want a country for all Syrians.”
Some dissidents considered Rima's recent Facebook status an insult to God. They attacked her on Facebook and Twitter, while refusing to acknowledge that she was recently arrested and played an important role in the uprising in Damascus. Some extreme online critics went as far as to call for her death. Most comments did not go this far, but criticized Rima for overstepping the bounds of respectful speech.
��" ابو اسامة (@zahzaha) August 8, 2012
"I don’t know how someone like Rima, who ran the campaign, “We want a country to be for all #Syrians” could insult so many Syrians during Ramadan. It’s very disappointing from Rima."
��" zen phoenician (@zenphoenician) August 8, 2012
Another supporter sought to shame critics of Rima, reminding them of her past bravery:
ريما دالي يكفيها فخرا أنها امتلكت الجرأة لترفع لافتة "أوقفوا القتل" في قلب الشام..ماذا فعلت أنت لأجل سورية؟
��" CitizenGeo (@CitizenGeo) August 8, 2012
"Rima Dali can take pride that she held a banner saying "Stop the killing" in the heart of Damascus... what have YOU done for Syria?"