Hassan Nasrallah: Israel is in despair after the defeats of Daesh

Source

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on 28 August 2017 on the occasion of the Second Liberation, following the complete surrender of the terrorists of Daech and Al-Nosra in Lebanon

Transcript:

[…] We are truly facing a great victory (against Daesh in Lebanon). From there, consider that on May 25, 2000, we expelled the Zionist Occupying (Lebanon) and today we all (the Syrian and Lebanese armies and Islamic Resistance) have expelled the occupying terrorist takfiri. This is one of the fundamental similarities.

On the border, vast and sensitive areas (mountains, hills, strategic positions) were in the hands of the Zionists, and here also, vast expanses, mountains, heights, hills, strategic positions were in the hands of the takfiris. At the border, accross the international border, the Israelis were a permanent threat and that is always the case, and takfiris were a threat at every moment against all of Lebanon, especially against all the Bekaa, not only against Baalbeck-Hermel and border villages.

Lately, everyone knows that they planned there, in the Jurd of Ersal, Daesh was preparing suicide operations and attacks in Zahle and in the surrounding villages, but the intelligence services of the Lebanese army discovered them before the operations were conducted.

Today we face this reality. And maybe it would come to the mind of some to say “ô Sayed [Nasrallah], as regards Israel, it is something very different (from what happens today).” But no, it is a continuation. Day after day, it is shown that these Daesh and takfiri groups have been created by American power and fought to realize the Israeli project. They fought (in the interest of the) Israeli project. And what these takfiri terrorist groups have offered Israel, Israel could never get for decades.

And more dangerously… I do not want to classify these two dangers, because I believe that these terrorist groups are fighting within the American-Israeli project, whether they know it or not. Their leaders know for sure. The fools are the fighters who got fooled by false and superficial slogans. Israel is an occupation and hegemony project. Israel is an occupying project. The United States are a project of hegemony. Daesh and other takfiri groups are an extermination project. The extermination of all that is different (from them): Muslim, Christian, Sabean, Yazdi, everything. That is an extermination project. The extermination of man, of History, of civilization, of society, of all things. And then when our region is destroyed, its armies, its plans, its states, its institutions, its social structure, it will be offered (on a silver platter), primed, cooked to perfection, roasted and stuffed to America and Israel, so that they seize it and impose their conditions on everyone.

And that’s why today, who is shedding tears over the fate of Daesh in Syria, in Qalamoun and in Iraq? Netanyahu and Israeli officials! It is they who mourn (bitterly) and yell sorrowful lamentations! Currently, their problem with the Trump administration is that it committed itself to the eradication of Daesh as a priority, the same administration that recognizes that this is the Obama (and Clinton) administration who created Daesh. This is why no one should come and say that there is a big difference between the Liberation of South(-Lebanon in 2000 against Israel) and this battle (against Daesh) and that the liberation of South ranks first (in importance), and that (the Liberation of our borders) is in 10th place (for example) in any way! (Liberation of southern Lebanon against Israel) is first, (the Liberation of our borders against Daech) comes right away in second place! For it is a continuation of the battle against Israel.

Read Israeli (statements and press). (Unfortunately), the Lebanese and the Arabs do not read much. Read what they say, what they write, especially these days, with the ongoing eradication of Daesh in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, so that you realize clearly that Daesh is a true Israeli project.

We are indeed facing the Second Liberation (of Lebanon). The date of the First Liberation is May 25, 2000. The date of the Second Liberation, for history, is today (28 August 2017). I do not mean the day (to be selected for an annual commemoration of this event). Today we wrote… Last time, today’s date, August 28, 2017, was empty (of any commemoration) in the calendar. But not for 2018. By the will of God, this day and this month are written by the Lebanese Army, the Syrian army and fighters of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon. This was written today (in the annals of History): August 28, 2017 is the Day of the Second Liberation, which will be recorded as a glorious day in the history of Lebanon and the history of the region.

Now whether the Lebanese government (led by the pro-Saudi Saad Hariri and his March 14 coalition, facing the movement of March 8, with Hezbollah and its allies) recognizes it or not, that’s their problem, just like what happened on May 25, 2000. The situation was somewhat different at the time, that date was declared a national holiday, then was removed from the calendar at the time of a previous Prime Minister. But then, thanks to God, a head of government redid the occasion of May 25 a day of remembrance.

We now have an opportunity to commemorate: August 28, 2017. I speak only of the historical event that took place on August 28, I do not write the history (and national holidays) myself. But today there is no longer any daeshiste, takfiri, (member of) Al-Nusra Front or (any other terrorist) on the least grain of sand, any mountain or any Lebanese hill. It was on that date (this event occurred). After that, if the government wants to keep that date, or choose August 27, August 25, August 31 or September 3 (for the commemoration), I have no problem. I do not precede anyone, I speak only of the historical event.

On this basis, I wish to conclude with this call (to celebrate this event this Thursday 31st, the day of Arafat, on the eve of Eid-al-Adha): you remember that on May 25, 2000, it is all Lebanon who won, and Lebanon was happy with the victory (against Israel), with the exception of those who had placed their hopes in the Israeli occupation, and there were (a number) in the country, and those who had placed their hopes in the army of Antoine Lahd. So on that day, there was a majority (of Lebanese) happy, and (a minority) of people whose faces were darkened (with bitterness) because their plans had collapsed.

Today… But (in 2000), the happiest people, despite the fact that it was a national day, celebration and victory, were southerners, residents of southern Lebanon and Jabal Amel who were the happiest of all with this victory and this Liberation. The reason is simple: it is because the occupation took place on their mountains, their hills, their cities, it is their sons and daughters who were imprisoned, their peasants and farmer were fired at, and a daily threat was hanging over them. We remember the bombing against Sidon and Nabatiye and children and schoolchildren’s heads torn in the streets. It is quite normal that the people of the South, who are those who have suffered most and have the most sacrificed,were (more) happy on May 25, 2000.

Today, all of Lebanon won, and logically, the vast majority (of the population) is pleased, with the exception of those who have placed their hopes on the Al-Nusra Front, on Daesh and the regional states and world powers that stand behind them. It is understandable that they are angry, saddened and dismayed, and they offer their condolences, it is normal. And a few days ago, 2 or 3 weeks, they have insulted, reviled and slandered us, but let them act as they please. We understand their sadness and pain.

But with certainty, the vast majority of Lebanese are happy because without these (victorious) confrontations for several years to date, Daesh, the Al-Nusra Front and their like could have seized the Bekaa, the North and reached other places in Lebanon and we would have experienced a disaster. See what happened in the country and the societies around us (Syria, Iraq, Libya).

But it is also natural that the happiest people in the Second Liberation are our noble people of the Bekaa. They are the ones whose mountains, Jurds and fields, were attacked with car bombs and suicide bombers, against Hermel, Bekaa and Ras Baalbek, and the whole area was threatened upto all Zahle and the Bekaa, and now that this nightmare disappeared from their mountains, their hills, their Jurds, their homes and their lands, they sure are going to be the happiest of all. For they have suffered more than all, and in this battle, it is among them that there was the most sacrificed (martyrs).

It is true that our brothers, our families and the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese Army came from all regions of Lebanon and fought on this front, but there is no doubt that today in the Bekaa, there are no villages, especially in Baalbek-Hermel, in which are not found one, two or three martyrs, and one, two or three wounded. The Bekaa residents have also shaped this victory by the blood of their loved ones and their children, the apple of their eyes, the best elements among their young men. Not to mention the wounded who are still in the homes and in hospitals. Therefore it is normal that they are happy, congratulate themselves and take pride in this victory which is a national victory in general,but especially a victory for the Bekaa. […]

Translation: http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr

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“O’ Master of Resistance, all of us are with you.”

Maliki Denounces Campaign against Sayyed Nasrallah: ISIL Evacuation Deal Right Decision

August 31, 2017

Iraqi Vice President Nouri Maliki

Iraqi Vice President and leader of the State of Law coalition Nouri al-Maliki denounced  on Wednesday “the hostile campaign of ignorance” against Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, as he commented on the deal to evacuate ISIL militants from Lebanese-Syrian border.

Maliki welcomed the recent Hezbollah-negotiated deal with ISIL as the right decision, and “part of the strategic battle against terrorism,” stressing that the issue is a Syrian and not Iraqi since it is implemented in a Syrian territory.

He denounced the “systematic campaign of ignorance and hatred against Sayyed Nasrallah.”

Some Iraqi officials slammed the deal, saying the terrorists are to be transferred to Deir Ezzor’s Al-Bukamal, an area adjacent to the Iraqi borders.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sayyed Nasarllah issued a statement stressing that the terrorists were transferred to a Syrian territory. The resistance leader meanwhile, hailed the Iraqi’s for confronting terrorism, assuring that Fraternity between Hezbollah and the Iraqi cannot be shaken up and that the joint victory against terrorism is historical.

Source: Agencies

Deputy Chief of Iraq’s Popular Forces to Sayyed Nasrallah: O’ Master of Resistance, All of Us Are with You

Deputy Chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes on Thursday sent a letter to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in which he stressed that the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces join the same front against the revetments of terrorism, extremism and Zionism.

Al-Mohandes hailed the role of Sayyed Nasrallah, describing him as the master and the spirit of the resistance which loses its value without his eminence, according to the letter.

The Deputy Chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces added, “We learnt from you how follow this path and from Hezbollah martyrs which was mixed with that of the Iraqis.”

Over three decades ago was the spark, and now Hezbollah leads a freedom project, according to Al-Mohandes.

Al-Mohandes also stressed that the followers and supporters of Sayyed Nasrallah will not be prevented from following your path despite all the borders and threats.

Finally, Al-Mohandes stressed that Sayyed Nasrallah will keep the title of glory and the conscious rejection project.

“We have been part of your project which extends from heaven to earth.”

“O’ Master of Resistance, all of us are with you.”

Source: Al-Manar Website

Resistance Finds in Qalmoun Dangerous Video Revealing ISIL Intention to Attack Lebanese Towns

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Saudi Crackdown: Riyadh Court Sentences Shia Cleric to 13 Years in Prison

Local Editor

Amid the continuous crackdown against its Shia minority, the Saudi kingdom sentenced top Shia cleric Sheikh Hussein al-Radhi to 13 years in prison.

 

Saudi Crackdown: Riyadh Court Sentences Shia Cleric to 13 Years in Prison


Sheikh al-Radhi has been arrested on the hands of Saudi regime forces on March 21, 2016, from the Rmaile village in Ahsaa in Saudi Qatif eastern province.

The Saudi authorities banned Sheikh al-Radhi from leading prayers, which pushed him to raise his voice against the regime oppression.

Before the arrest, Saudi authorities banned Sheikh al-Radhi from leading prayers, due to his stances against oppressive policies of the Al Saud regime.

Earlier in February of 2016, the Saudi authorities shut down Rasoul al-Azam Mosque in al-Ahsaa, after preventing Sheikh Radhi from performing Friday prayers there.

The move came after Sheikh al-Radhi slammed the Saudi authorities for their crackdown on opposition activists. Before the closure of the mosque, Sheikh Radhi was summoned for questioning following his critical statements.

Sheikh al-Radhi has openly slammed the Saudi regime over the execution of prominent Islamic scholar Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, the war on Yemen as well as the Takfiri ideology which is widespread in the Saudi Kingdom.

Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass pro-democracy protests against Riyadh, which erupted in Eastern Province in 2011.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

09-08-2017 | 12:06

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Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?

Zeinab Daher

As if is not enough for the people of Awamia to be under continuous heavy bombings, that the Saudi regime started forcing them out of their homes. But what if a person has nowhere to go to?

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


Some three months earlier, the restive town enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere. However, once upon a thought, the Saudi regime decided to raze the historical neighborhood of Awamia, in the Qatif eastern province. Under the alleged pretext of ‘developing’ the area, which is indeed to chase wanted activists, the regime is starving the Shia population there, blocking their access to phone and electricity services, and lately displacing them to nowhere.

It was before three months that the government summoned the neighborhood’s residents to pay them undue compensations so they would leave their houses. The majority of people neither accepted the measure, nor did they go to take their money. Their rejection was because the government warned them that in case anybody was killed in the area, the regime won’t be responsible!

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


Facing a popular resistance to give up on residential areas, the Saudi government started tightening its grip on Awami people. Its escalatory measures ranged between blocking electricity service, phone and internet services, besieging the town and blocking entrances and exits with cement blocks, and most lately bombing houses over their residents.

As part of the worst tragedies in modern history, the Saudi regime troops forced locals to leave Awamia and raise white flags on their way out, then proceed to harass them and loot their homes.

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


However, those same people are not only being attacked by their own government, but by their nationals as well. Many of property owners are trying to abuse the situation and are refusing to offer them a paid shelter unless they pay for three months in advance.

Although many others are offering them houses for free, the previous behavior makes any person feel as if he/she is a stranger in their homeland. Until Friday, Awamia citizens were calling for necessary aid such as bread, milk and diapers for their babies.

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


By sacrificing several lives of its youth, Awamia has become one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the oil-rich dictatorship. Awamia however is never seen, never heard and never felt by the entire world! We still haven’t heard the voices of those kindhearted ‘people of good will’ who always express their concerns and solidarity with the smallest of human rights violations all over the globe.

As if Awamia, and the entire eastern province are not part of this planet to grab the attention of the free people to stand up for its support…

Al-Ahed

29-07-2017 | 13:49

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Mosul Liberated, What Next?

Mosul Liberated, What Next?

PETER KORZUN | 11.07.2017 | WORLD

Mosul Liberated, What Next?

On July 9, Mosul was declared liberated from the Islamic State (IS). Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in the city to announce the mission’s success. After nine months of fierce and grueling fighting and human suffering, the terrorists lost the city, which has been their stronghold for the last three years. Around 915,000 residents have fled Mosul since the start of the battle for the city last October.

Every piece of terrain recaptured from the extremist group is a step forward. The liberation of Mosul is an important victory but it is also the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end. Those who routed the IS – the Iraqi Security Forces, Sunni militias, Kurdish Peshmerga, Shia-dominated Popular Mobilization Units and Christian militias – all of them pursue different interests and belong to different sectarian fractions.

Animosity exists between Shia and Sunni Muslims. There is discord between the Kurds and Arabs. Without a single military or political leader over the battle, the chances of discord or fratricide are substantial. With IS no longer a common threat, pent up animosities among current allies might be released. An enormous effort will be required to prevent them from coming to blows with each other.

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and is predominately Sunni Arab but also consists of Kurds, Shi’as, Turkmens, Yezidis, Christians and other ethnic groups. Who exactly will control the city with Sunni-dominated population? Is the possibility of clashes between Shiite and Sunni militias excluded? Will the forces controlling the city be under a central command? And if Mosul is not administered well after liberation it will become the birthplace of another terrorist group. Securing peace may be harder than winning the war.

The Shia Popular Mobilization Forces answer to their individual militia commanders – or directly to Teheran. The Kurdish Peshmerga reports exclusively to President Masood Barzani, the head of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The Sunni National Mobilization Forces answer to militia commanders. The US Central Command has no authority over the Iraqi elements. Unlike the coalition, the IS forces are a single entity under a single commander.

The same questions will inevitably be raised after the IS is squeezed from Raqqa, Syria. Nobody knows what comes next after Raqqa is retaken. Who and under what authority will govern? Like in Iraq, the actors involved in the Syrian conflict also have opposing visions of the country’s future and pursue different goals.

The battle against the IS in Iraq itself is far from being over. The jihadis still control large swathes of land in Nineveh and Anbar provinces, as well as the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. As the so-called caliphate crumbles, the surviving IS fighters not captured by Iraqi army will head for Syria.

In Syria, the terrorist group still controls large chunks of territory. When finally driven out of their two main bastions: the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, the IS will still control large areas of the Euphrates River Valley, southeast of Raqqa stretching into western Iraq and has a few other strongholds in both Iraq and Syria that will need to be cleared as well.

The territory under the militants’ control in Syria includes large parts of Hama and Homs provinces. The Deir ez Zor province is largely under the group’s control. The town of al-Mayadeen in Deir ez Zor has been announced to become the caliphate’s new capital where the group’s leaders have moved.

And even if the group is driven form those positions, the desert in the eastern part of Syria and the adjacent Iraqi province of Anbar may remain under the IS control for a long time. The desert warfare is waged in the environment unhospitable to regular army forces.

Even if the caliphate did not control land, the group’s leadership and hardcore fighters would likely remain in Iraq and Syria, forming an underground resistance. Many militants will move to North Africa, especially Libya, while some of them will join the fighting in the Asia-Pacific while others will go to Europe and join terrorist cells there.

When the international force launched the operation in Afghanistan, many Al Qaeda jihadis vanished in the hays waiting for another chance to take up arms. The same way the IS will fade into the woodwork to lay low to the ground, waiting for an opportunity to re-emerge. The group has developed networks skilled at raising money, obtaining weapons and clandestine organizations in the Middle East and other parts of the world. They wait till the moment is right for them to come back and retake the cities in the countries where internal instability creates proper conditions for invasion.

The IS may lose territory and be retreating but its ideology lives. It’s not so much a fight on the battlefield to seize land but rather a struggle for domination of people’s minds – that’s the gist of the problem.

The US-led coalition is scheduled to meet in Washington this week to discuss stabilization in liberated areas of Iraq and Syria. Stabilization is important but there appears no significant discussion on what comes next.

An international threat can be effectively countered only by an international effort. That’s what made this problem be included into the agenda of US and Russian presidents’ meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. There is a long way to go and only joint efforts will bear fruit.

Russia can mediate between Iran and the US, Iran and the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states. The actors divided on other issues should coordinate efforts to prevent the IS from finding safe havens. It should always be hiding and on the run to be finally defeated. International efforts should go much farther than just Iraq and Syria. They should not be limited to statements of condemnation made by the Security Council or the General Assembly. An effective international mechanism should be created to counter the evil. It cannot be achieved without Russia and the US joining together. So, that’s what they should do, while setting aside other issues the parties disagree on.

Russia Says Latest US Threat Against Syria is ‘Warning Sign of Intervention’

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is calling it a “warning sign” of a possible US troop buildup and all-out military intervention in Syria. She is referring to Washington’s claim earlier this week that it believes Syria is planning a chemical attack.

The announcement was made Monday night by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who insisted the US has seen indications that the “Assad regime” is planning a chemical attack that would “likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”

Zakharova described the public comments as an “information attack” that may be a precursor to an actual war

“The current information attack is very likely a warning sign of an intervention. The story will be the same: an incident happens on the territory controlled by the terrorists, civilian casualties follow. The so-called opposition – de facto the same jihadists, not very different from IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL] and Al-Qaeda, but who are still getting help from the US and allies – announce yet another ‘crime by the regime,’” Zakharova said.

A particularly ominous aspect to all of this is that the US has threatened to make Syria pay a “heavy price” should such an attack take place–and Zakharova sees this as a threat aimed not only at Syria, but also at Russia:

“The situation seems to be a massive provocation, both military and information-wise, a provocation which targets not only the Syrian leadership, but also Russia,” she said.

What has happened to the anti-war movement in America?

When the US invaded Iraq in 1991, there were huge protests in a number of American cities. And in 2003, when the US again sent forces into Iraq, protests were widespread and in some places quite large. Why are we not seeing similar protests now against US troops being sent to Syria?

The pretexts are just as flimsy as they were in 2003, but the anti-war movement is either out to lunch or in permanent retirement.

The only protests we see on American streets these days are protests focusing narrowly on such things as race, sexual orientation, gender identity–i.e. identity politics. The country has been divided along these lines. And as a result, there are no genuine anti-war protests taking place. How did it get to this point?

American society has been overtaken by a mass collective psychosis. This psychosis has a breath and life of its own.

Instead of seeing Russia, a Christian country, as our friends in the fight against terrorism, we see Russians as our enemies; instead of recognizing Bashar Assad as what he is–a benevolent, enlightened leader who has allowed freedom of worship and protected Middle East Christians–we have become convinced he is a dictator intent on killing his own people. These are a few of the characteristics of the psychosis which has overtaken us.

There are others. Accusations are also flying over personalities. This person’s a racist. That person’s a bigot. Politicians are corrupt. So are the media. And not all the anger is based upon illusions or misconceptions. Some of it is genuine. America is in a permanent state of road rage. The psychosis was spawned by the media, but as I say, it has taken on a life of its own, and the media are even now becoming its victims.

Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here. Maybe this is what happens when a nation loses touch with its roots and discards its spiritual faith. When America was solidly Christian, the country was unified. But gradually, the country moved away from religion. Prayer was outlawed in schools. And the culture began to be debased with film, music and TV shows promoting decadence and degeneracy. The result is what we see now. And it is not pretty.

As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.  “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

(Luke 8:23-25)

The solution is a return to our Christian faith. It is the antidote to the psychosis. And it will lead to the downfall of the psychopaths in Washington.

The Real Reasons the West Cannot Topple Bashar Assad

The Real Reasons the West Cannot Topple Bashar Assad

Posted on June 13, 2017

Sarah Abed has posted a fascinating article at her blog, The Rabbit Hole, providing an analysis of how, and why, Syrian President Bashar Assad–despite nearly eight years of sweat poured by scheming Western regime changers into the goal of toppling his government–has managed to hang on.

What the heck is it about this guy? How has he piloted his way through every single Zionist effort to rip his country apart and install a puppet government favorable to the West? What’s his secret? For after all, hordes of Western-trained terrorist head-choppers have been poured into Syria equipped with shiny fleets of Toyotas and advanced-grade military weaponry, yet Assad, almost miraculously, has remained at the head of the government, and for the most part has kept the country together. How has he been able to do this? Abed supplies four main reasons.

Reason # 1 she gives is the president’s strong spiritual faith, and in discussing that faith she furnishes some interesting information about the Alawite religion. Here is an excerpt from her article:

First and foremost there is Bashar al-Assad’s unwavering dedication to his family’s spiritual traditions and religious faith.  Being an ardent practitioner of the Alawite religion like his father and forefathers before him, Assad has drawn great strength from this mystical and tolerant branch of Shia Islam. He went into the medical profession and trained as an ophthalmologist because of his desire to serve the Syrian people.

Also known as Alawis, Alawites “are a prominent religious group, centered in Syria, who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam but with syncretistic elements.“[1]  Because his religious community had suffered religious persecution and many other indignities over generations prior to his father’s presidency, he is quite sensitive to the need for religious tolerance.  Particularly within the context of Syria’s historical religious diversity, did the Alawites rise to provide the cohesive leadership necessary to maintain the peace and mutual acceptance?  This remarkable achievement occurred over decades when many neighboring nations suffered the fate of one failed government after another.

For those who are cognizant of the well-known Hindu religious tolerance in India, Alawites are quite similar.  They not only believe in reincarnation as in the East, they have also absorbed many other aspects of the predominant religions in Syria especially those found in Islam and Christianity.  Because of their syncretic approach in both philosophy and practice, Alawis have evolved into a genuinely tolerant spiritual community who actively cultivate a climate of mutual respect.  However, it is the mystical aspects of their spiritual practice which has earned them the respect of the Syrian people.  Because they are known to walk their talk, they have been trusted to lead as they have done for almost 5 decades.

Alawites consider themselves to be Muslims, although some Sunnis dispute that they are. Alawite doctrine incorporates Gnostic, neo-Platonic, Islamic, Christian and other elements and has, therefore, been described as syncretistic.

Alawite beliefs have never been confirmed by their modern religious authorities. Alawites tend to conceal their beliefs (taqiyya) due to historical persecution. Some tenets of the faith are secret, known only to a select few; therefore, they have been described as a mystical sect.

All religions, of course, are syncretic to one degree or another, so perhaps the Alawites are not unique in that regard. But they certainly are a religious minority in Syria, representing just 11 percent of the population. For the Syrian people to support Assad to the extent that they do (he won the 2014 election with 88.7 percent of the vote) would suggest not only a remarkable degree of trust in the man, but also respect for his religious faith.

As I said, Abed gives a total of four reasons, in the main, why Assad remains standing despite everything the West has thrown at him. Reason # 2?  The strength of his wife, Asma. As Abed puts it, “the Assad marriage reveals how a strong woman often exists behind every great leader.” Reason # 3–the guidance and training he received from his father, Hafez Assad. Reason #4 — no surprise — the alliance with Russia.

All in all, as I say, it’s a fascinating article. Click here to access it in full.

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