CAIRO - Outraged by the ongoing bloodshed in Syria, thousands of American Muslims protested outside the White House Saturday, March 17, to demand an international action to stop the killing of civilians in the pivotal Arab country, The Washington Post reported.People are dying, and nobody in America seems to know about it, said Raya Nashef, 13, who drove from Detroit with her parents for the protest.
I used to go to Syria every summer. It's beautiful, and it's my country. I want to be able to go back.
I want my relatives to be safe. We want to ask the White House and the world, please get President Assad to step down.
Wearing T-shirts declaring "I have a dream of a free Syria" and "No longer afraid," doctors, business owners, teenagers and veiled women from different American states gathered in front of the White House to call for action to stop bloodshed in Syria.
Waving home-made posters and huge white, green and black national flags from the pre-Assad era, the protesters repeated at length "Bashar has to go" and "SOS, SOS."They also clapped and shouted rhythmic chants in Arabic, repeating slogans as Syria is for us, not for the Assads, and I ask my tears to flow; we've paid too much for freedom.
More than 8,000 Syrians have been killed in a deadly crackdown by President Bashar Al-Assad's security forces on protests demanding an end to Assad's 11-year rule.
Anti-regime activists have spoken of daily massacres being committed by Asssad's forces in different cities.
Syrian authorities say they are fighting terrorists, who have killed 2,000 soldiers and police.
While rejecting a Libya-style military intervention in Syria, protesters called on Washington to put more pressure on the Assad's regime to stop civilian killings and allow safe zones where emergency aid can be delivered.
The level of killing has exceeded the war in Bosnia. We are asking the United States and the free world to act seriously to save lives, said Hisham Naji, 65, a doctor from Northern Virginia who is the regional president of the Syrian American Council, a national advocacy group that organized the rally.
If they don't want military intervention, at least do something to allow humanitarian aid to get to people, he said.
Among attendants was Hamad al-Dabagh, 50, a doctor from Flint, Mich., who carried a sign that says he had lost 10 relatives in Syria.Al-Dabagh's tragedy started 30 years ago back to 1982 during the reign of Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad.
While being away at college, Assad soldiers slaughtered his father, mother and eight younger brothers and sisters at their home in Damascus.
Dabagh has waited 30 years for justice.
America has both a moral and strategic reason to help us, he said.
Today, Assad is doing the same things his father did.
If the United States comes to the aid of our revolution, it will win the hearts of the Syrian people, and it will repair much of the damage that was done in Iraq and Afghanistan. The whole Middle East will give them credit.
The US and the West have ruled a Libya-style military intervention in Syria to stop the daily killings of civilians by Assad's regime.
This position has angered many Syrians in the US.Abu Ramy, a protester from New Orleans, pointed to a poster with Obama's photograph that read "Syrian lives are in your hands."
"Every time Obama talks (about Syria), he's giving Assad a green light to continue the killings," Abu Ramy told Agence France-Presse (AFP).