Press Release Source:
The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in Syria Leads to the Arrest of Intellectual
Monday November 1, 8:23 am ET
DAMASCUS, Syria, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Nabil Fayyad, one of the most courageous and outspoken intellectuals in Syria, has been under arrest since September 30, 2004.
Fayyad, a chemist by trade and owner of a pharmacy in Damascus, is a Sunni Muslim scholar and linguist who studied theology in Beirut. He has authored a number of books and written extensively about the growing power of Islamic fundamentalism in Syria. He is also an advocate for liberalism, tolerance and individual rights and freedoms. Many of his writings can be found on the Arabic site
Under pressure of the Islamic fundamentalists, the Syrian military intelligence took Fayyad into custody, and has since been holding him without any charges. Bogus charges will likely be brought against him soon, and as in any totalitarian government without a real justice system, he will likely have no chance at freedom. Suffering from heart disease and other medical problems, his health is likely to deteriorate if he is not released soon. His supporters in Syria and around the world are desperately asking human rights organizations to intervene and secure his release.
Fayyad was planning to visit the United States in September to give lectures about the growing influence of Islamic fundamentalism in Syria but ironically his request for a visa was denied by the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. The reason for the denial of a visa is unknown, but it may have unfortunately emboldened the Syrian government in arresting him without fear of a significant outcry.
***A new site in his name, is currently under construction.
*** ("The Critic"), created in 1999, is a unique website dealing with political, religious and social issues in the Middle East. has a large domestic and international audience and includes sections in both Arabic and English. A variety of writers contribute to this website, which is edited by its founder Bassam Darwich.
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