The group, which included representatives of Syrian minorities, was
formed on Sept. 17 during a convention in Paris. The platform of the
coalition called for a separation of religion and state as well as
Opposition sources have acknowledged that the Syrian opposition was
dominated by the Brotherhood, which helped establish the Syrian National
Council, based in Istanbul, Turkey. They said the Brotherhood has been
working with Muslim allies in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey for funding
and weapons to attack the Assad regime.
"Islamist rule is a real danger," Ms. Qassis said. "As a result,
religious minorities have been wary of taking part in the revolution."
The Paris convention included representatives of Christians, Kurds and
Sunni Muslims. Opposition sources said several European Union governments,
particularly France, have encouraged secular activists to form an
to the Brotherhood in any post-Assad Syria.
"If we want Syria to enjoy a prosperous future, there must be a
separation between religion and state," Mashouq Khaznawi, a Sunni cleric,
The Reform Party of Syria has estimated that the Brotherhood represents
no more than five percent of Syrians. RPS, based in Washington, said up to
29 percent of the leadership of the Turkish-based Syrian National Council,
formed in September 2011, consisted of Brotherhood members.
"Given that the other political groups are fragmented and represent
political ideologies, the Muslim Brotherhood, therefore, has secured control
of the future of Syria using what looks like the absolute majority," RPS