The Charter of the Syrian Islamic Front

Sam Heller // Abu al-Jamajem // أبو الجماجم

Below is a translation of the charter of the Syrian Islamic Front, a coalition of Islamist brigades working to topple the Assad regime. (Original document here, posted January 21.)

Most immediately evident is that the Front is essentially fighting a two-front war: it’s looking to topple the Assad regime, but it’s also aiming for the establishment and reform of Islamic morals in Syria. In that sense, the Front is fighting with one eye on what will follow the collapse of regime authority.

Among (many) other noteworthy points is the Front’s envisioned place for religious minorities. Non-Muslims are nominally accorded equal rights, but those rights are strictly circumscribed by Islamic shari’a. By my reading, the status of Shi’ites and Alawites is ambiguous. The document makes clear (largely through omission) that the scope of acceptable diversity in Islamic thought and practice is limited to variations on Sunnism. As non-Sunnis perceived…

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