[The following is the text of an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org since she is scheduled to speak at their church, St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral. Please copy, paste, adjust it for your own needs, and send!]
You should know the following about Mother Agnès-Mariam:
- She claimed that the Syrian opposition faked films of the Syrian government’s August 21, 2013 sarin-gas attack on Ghouta in the suburbs of Damascus. In her 50-page dossier on the horrible events of that fateful morning, she wrote that the dead, gassed children documented in those videos “seem mostly sleeping” and “under anaesthesia.” This ludicrous claim was flatly dismissed by Human Rights Watch: “there’s just no basis for the claims advanced by Mother Agnes. … [W]e have found no evidence to indicate any of the videos were fabricated.”
- Syrian Christians for Peace denounced Mother Agnès for claiming that there had never been a single peaceful demonstration in Syria. They accused her of failing to disburse any of the money she raised in the name of their beleaguered community and even asked “that she be excommunicated and prevented from speaking in the name of the Order of Carmelites.”
- According to Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, a Jesuit priest exiled by the Syrian government for speaking out against its suppression of peaceful protests and kidnapped by al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, ISIS, Mother Agnes “has been consistent in assuming and spreading the lies of the regime, and promoting it through the power of her religious persona. She knows how to cover up the brutality of the regime” and her reconciliation movement Mussalaha Initiative “does not exist on the ground.” This makes her not only a fraud but a partisan in the Syrian civil war; her allegiance is to the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad.
- Her November 11 appearance at the Unitarian Church in Vancouver was cancelled for the above reasons. Almost 1,000 people have signed a petition against allowing her to speak from public platforms for the purpose of misleading people about what is going on in Syria. When independent journalists Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones learned that they were scheduled to speak at the same anti-war conference as her in London, they refused to attend, forcing her to cancel her engagement there in order to avoid scandalizing and undermining the event.
To host her on December 6 at your church would be to allow her to bear false witness against the Syrian people in the house of God.
I urge you to reconsider this course of action and to think of the over 120,000 Syrians who have been killed and the 7 million who have been forced to flee their homes by the very government Mother Agnès-Mariam vigorously defends.