Syria's political opposition has struggled to prove its relevance
amid the civil war under a leadership largely made up of academics and
exiled politicians. With its relaunch as a new organization, it has
taken a different tack: choosing as its head a popular Muslim cleric who
preaches sectarian unity and can fire up a crowd.
The selection of a moderate religious figure, Mouaz al-Khatib, to
head the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary
Forces is also an attempt to counter the growing influence of Islamic
extremists in the rebellion against President Bashar Assad.
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