As in most Muslim countries, other religions are barely tolerated, sometimes not tolerated at all. In Syria, the relationship between Christians and the Asaad government is one of fear, capitulation and looking the other way. Asma al-Assad is First Lady of ‘all that.’ Of all this:
The Syrian people say they are protesting against the repressive measures of Assad’s regime, including a tightening of Internet censorship, expanded use of travel bans, and the arrest of political prisoners.
Two hundred Web sites are inaccessible in Syria and a law was put into place in 2007 that forces Internet cafes to record all the comments users post on chat forums, Reporters Without Borders reported.
Assad has permitted the existence of radio stations playing Western pop music, but Web sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, were banned, the Economist reported in 2008. In February 2010, Syria lifted the ban on Facebook and YouTube but convicted a teenage girl of espionage and sentenced her to five years in prison for political poetry she wrote on her blog, AFP reported.
The regime has also expanded the use of travel bans against dissidents to prevent them going abroad, a practice illegal under international law,according to the Economist in September 2010. Source: Washington Post March 15, 2011
The Arab League denounced Assad for brutality and told him to step down. Assad denounced the Arab League for suspending Syria from the 22 member League. The Arab League includes some of the most oppressive countries on the face of the planet: Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq among them.
It is significant that Saudi Arabia has abandoned Syrian leadership. In the end, it is likely a tribal situation of taking advantage of the violence-laden opportunity Assad has yielded up for all the world to see: Sunni Saudia Arabia, no longer tolerating Asaad’s minority Alawite tribe denying power to Syria’s majority Sunni population. In August 2011, The Telegraph declared without Saudi support for the House of al-Asaad, the fall will come, and it will not be pretty.
Just this week, Asma Assad joked that she is the “real dictator in the family.” Unlike Egypt’s First Lady, Suzanne Mubarak, who left the country during the so-called Arab Spring, Asma is standing by her man, and apparently has not left for safer harbor.
A Syrian dissident from Aleppo, who lives nearby and asked to be identified only by his nickname, Zayed, said most Syrians in Britain despised Asma now.Zayed, angrily comparing Asma to Marie Antoinette or the wife of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, called on the Syrian leader’s wife to “make a stand for your own sake, for your own people … She never did.” Source: Huffington Post
Dubbed by Vogue ‘A Rose in the Desert,’ Asma’s bloom is off. Read about other Dictator’s Wives here.