From Balkh to Konya: Discovering Rumi’s spiritual geopolitics

July 30 2022

By Pepe Escobar

Source

While Jalal al-Din Rumi is synonymous with Islamic mysticism, a deeper dig brings to light the West Asian political changes and upheaval that shaped his world and other-worldly view.

KONYA – Mystic poet, Sufi, theosophist, and thinker, Jalal al-Din Rumi remains one of the most beloved historical personalities in history, east and west. A wanderer in search of the light, he famously characterized himself thus: “I am nothing more than a humble lover of God.”

The era of Rumi’s father – Sultan Bahaeddin Veled (1152-1231) and son (1207-1273) – was an extraordinary socio-political rollercoaster. It’s absolutely impossible for us today to understand the ideas, allusions and parables that trespass Rumi’s magnum opus, the six-volume Masnevi , in 25,620 couplets, without delving into some serious time travel.

In the Masnevi , written in Persian – the prime literary language in West and Central Asia in those times – Rumi used poetry essentially as a tool for teaching divine secrets, explaining them via parables. The Rumi Project is to show Man the path to Divine Love, leading him from a low stage to the highest. Squeezed and subdued by the techno-feudalism juggernaut, we may now need to heed these lessons more than ever in history.

The Masnevi became hugely popular across Eurasia immediately after Rumi’s death in 1273 – from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan to Central Asia, Iran and Turkey. Then, slowly but surely, the man and the opus ended up reaching even the collective west (Goethe was mesmerized) and inspiring a wealth of learned commentaries, in Persian, Ottoman Turkish, Urdu and English.

“The master from Anatolia”

Let’s start our time travel in the 11th century, when some Turkish tribes, after crossing Transoxiana, began to settle in northern Persia. These new Turkish tribes – from the Ghaznavids to the Seljuks (actually the branch of a Turkoman tribe) – constituted fabulous dynasties that played a key role in the inter-mixing of Turkic and Persian culture (what the Chinese today, applying it to the New Silk Roads, call “people to people contacts”).

Islam spread very fast in Persia under the rule of the religiously tolerant Samanids. That was the foundation stone for Mahmud of Ghazna (998-1030) to form a great Turkish empire, from northeastern Persia to very remote parts of India. Mahmud made a great impression on Rumi.

While the Ghaznavids remained powerful in eastern Persia, the Seljuks established a powerful empire not only in parts of Iran but also in the remote lands of Anatolia (called Arz-I Rum). That’s the reason why Rumi is called Mavlana-yi Rum (“the master from Anatolia”).

Rumi as a kid lived in legendary Balkh (part of Khorasan in northern Afghanistan), capital of the Khwarazm empire. When he and his father were still there, the king was Ala al-Din, who came from a dynasty established by a Turkish slave.

After a series of incredibly messy kingdom clashes, Ala al-Din saw himself pitted in battle against the king of Samarkand, Osman Khan. That ended up in a massacre in 1212, in which Ala al-Din’s soldiers killed 10,000 people in Samarkand. The young Rumi was shocked.

Ala al-Din wanted to be no less than the absolute ruler of the Muslim world. He refused to obey the Caliph in Baghdad. He even started entertaining designs on China – where Genghis Khan had already conquered Pekin.

Ala al-Din sent an envoy to China who was very well treated by Genghis, who had an eye on – what else – good business between the two empires (the Silk Road bug, again). Genghis sent his ambassadors back, full of gifts. Ala al-Din received them in Transoxiana in 1218.

But then the governor of one of his provinces, a close relative, robbed and killed some of the Mongols. Genghis demanded punishment. The Sultan refused. Well, you don’t want to pick up a fight with Genghis Khan. He duly started a series of massacres in Persia, and inevitably the Khwarazm empire – along with its great cities, Samarkand, Bukhara, Balkh, Merv – collapsed. By then, Rumi and his father had already left.

Like Baghdad, each of these fabulous cities was a center of learning. Rumi’s Balkh had a mixed culture of Arabs, Sassanians, Turks, Buddhists and Christians. After Alexander The Great, Balkh became the hub of Greco-Bactria. Just before the coming of Islam, it was a Buddhist hub and a center of Zoroastrian teaching. All along, one of the great centers of the Ancient Silk Roads.

On the road with 300 camels

The hero of Rumi’s Masnevi, Ibrahim Adham, like the Buddha, had relinquished his throne for the love of God, setting the example for the Sufism that later came to flourish across these latitudes, known as the Khorasani school.

As Prof Dr Erkan Turkmen, who was born in Peshawar and today is a top scholar at Karatay University in Konya, and author, among others, of a lovely volume, ‘Roses from Rumi’s Rose Garden’ says, there are two top reliable sources for the extraordinary pilgrimage of Rumi’s father Bahaeddin and his family from Balkh to Konya, with books, food and house ware loaded on the back of 300 camels, accompanied by 40 religious people. The sources, inevitably, are father and son (Rumi’s account is written in verse).

The first major stop was Baghdad. At the entrance gates, the guards asked who they were. Rumi’s father said, “We are coming from God and shall go back to Him. We have come from the non-existent world and shall go there again.”

Caliph al-Nasir summoned his top scholar Suhreverdi, who immediately gave the green light to the newcomers. But Rumi’s father did not want to stay under the protection of the Caliph, who was noted for his cruelness. So after a few years he left for Mecca on a Hajj and then to Damascus – which was an extremely well organized city at the time of the Abbasids and the Seljuks, crammed with 660 mosques, more than 40 madrassas, 100 baths and plenty of famous scholars.

The final steps on the family journey were Erjinzan in Anatolia – already a center of trade and culture – and then Larende (now Karaman), 100km south of Konya. Today, Karaman is only a small Turkish province, but in those times extended as far as Antalya to the south. It housed a lot of Christian Turks, who wrote Turkish using the Greek alphabet.

That’s where Rumi got married. Afterwards, his father was invited by Sultan Ala al-Din Kayqubad I (1220-1237) to Konya, finally establishing himself and the family until his death in 1231.

The Seljuks in Anatolia erupted into history in the year 1075, when Alp Arslan defeated the Byzantines in the legendary battle of Manzikert. A century later, in 1107, Qilich Arslan defeated the Crusaders, and the Seljuk empire began to spread very fast. It took a few decades before Christians started to accept the inevitable: the presence of Turks in Anatolia. Later, they even started to intermix.

The golden era of the Seljuks was under Sultan Ala al-Din Kayqubad I (the one who invited Rumi’s family to Konya), who built citadels around Konya and Kayseri to protect them from the coming Mongol invasion, and spent his winters at the beautiful Mediterranean coast in Antalya.

In Konya, Rumi did not get into politics, and does not seem to have had close relations with the royal family. He was widely known either as Mevlana (our master) or Rumi (the Anatolian). In Turkey today he is simply known as Mevlana, and in the west as Rumi. In his lyrical poetry, he uses the pseudonym Khamush (Silent). Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP – a highly materialistic enterprise wallowing in dodgy businesses – is not exactly fond of Rumi’s Sufism.

Under the Green Dome

As we’ve seen, Rumi spent most of his childhood on the road – so he never attended regular school. His early education was provided by his father and other scholars who followed the family to Karaman. Rumi also met many other famous scholars along the way, especially in Baghdad and Damascus, where he studied Islamic history, the Quran, and Arabic.

When Rumi was about to finish the 6th volume of the Masnevi, he fell ill, under constant fever. He passed away on 17 December, 1273. A fund of 130,000 dirhams was organized to build his tomb, which includes the world-famous Green Dome (Qubbat ul-Khazra), originally finished in 1274 and currently under renovation.

The tomb today is a museum (Konya holds astonishing relics especially in the Ethnography and Archeology museums). But for most pilgrims from all lands of Islam and beyond who come to pay their spiritual tributes, it is actually regarded as a lover’s shrine (Kaaba-yi Ushaq).

These lines, inscribed in his splendid wooden sarcophagus, may be a summary of all that Rumi attempted to teach during his lifetime:

“If wheat is grown on the clay of my grave, and if you bake bread of it, your intoxication will increase, the dough and the baker will go mad and the oven will also begin to recite verses out of madness. When you pay a visit to my tomb, it will seem to be dancing for God has created me out of the wine of love and I am still the same love even if death may crush me.”

A Sufi is by definition a lover of God. Islamic mysticism considers three stages of knowledge: the knowledge of certainty, the eye of certainty, and the truth of certainty.

In the first stage, one tries to find God by intellectual proof (failure is inevitable). In the second stage, one may be tuned in to divine secrets. In the third stage, one is able to see Reality and understand It spiritually. That’s a path not dissimilar to reaching enlightenment in Buddhism.

In addition to these three stages, there are paths to follow toward God. Choosing a path – Tarikat – is a very complicated business. It can be any Sufi order – such as Mavleviya, Kadriya, Nakshbandiya – under the guidance of a sheikh of that particular Tarikat.

In these absurdist times of grain diplomacy barely able to remedy the toxic effects of imperial sanctions, part of a proxy war of civilizations, a Rumi verse – “The celestial mill gives nothing if you have no wheat” – may open unexpected vistas.

Rumi is essentially saying that if one goes to a flour mill without wheat, what shall we gain? Nothing but the whiteness of one’s beard and hair (because of the flour). In the same vein: “If we have no good deeds to take with us to the other world, we will gain nothing but pain in the heart, while if we have developed our spiritual being, we will gain honor and Divine Love.”

Now try to explain that to a crusading collective west.

As Ramadan Ends, Israeli Provocations Seem Aimed at a Religious War

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Jessica Buxbaum

“Israel uses this month [of Ramadan] to humiliate Palestinians, as much as they can. Especially at the doors of al-Aqsa Mosque, knowing how much this situation is sensitive for Palestinians.” – Younes Arar, PLO Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM, PALESTINE — On the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at least 42 Palestinians were injured when Israeli police raided al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said. With nearly 300 Palestininians injured in the last two weeks at al-Aqsa compound, this year’s Ramadan in Palestine has been marked by bloodshed once again.

Since the start of Ramadan on April 2, human rights organizations have monitored a significant increase in violence against Palestinians. Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq has documented a worrying trend “in killings, excessive use of force, settler colonial violence, attacks on holy sites and worshippers, and collective punishment measures against Palestinians, including widespread raids, arbitrary arrests, and movement restrictions.”

According to Al-Haq’s information, the Israeli army has killed 17 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in April. Since Al-Haq’s publication, Israeli forces fatally shot 18-year-old Ahmad Fathi Masad in the head during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp this week.

Uptick in religious violations

Israeli police raids on al-Aqsa compound have become routine this month, with the PRCS noting the majority of injuries were to the upper areas of the body. Israeli forces have used rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, pepper spray and stun grenades against Palestinian worshippers at al-Aqsa.

In recent weeks, Israeli forces have also broken the iconic stained-glass windows of al-Qibli Mosque, the main mosque in the compound, and have attacked Palestinian journalists, children, women and the elderly at the holy site.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister for Religious Endowments Sheikh Hatem al-Bakri told MintPress News that Israel’s actions at al-Aqsa compound are in violation of international regulations, UNESCO resolutions and religious traditions.

In 2016, UNESCO, the UN’s world heritage organization, adopted a resolution decrying Israeli violations at al-Aqsa including restricting access to Muslim worship and storming of the compound by Israeli forces and extremists.

“Israel is not respecting religious treaties at all, instead using their privilege of power to enact these policies,” al-Bakri said, emphasizing how the Jordanian Ministry of Waqf has full jurisdiction over the holy site. “And because of our weaknesses, we cannot run any military confrontation with Israel. We have to just witness what’s happening.”

Israeli police are not the only ones violating the sanctity of al-Aqsa. This month, the Jewish festival of Passover coincided with Ramadan. Jewish extremists used the holiday season to storm the compound and pray at the site more frequently. On April 17, Israeli forces shut Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron to Muslim worshippers for two days. That following Tuesday, hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed the mosque to perform Talmudic rituals in celebration of Passover. The Israeli army also erected military barricades surrounding the area of the mosque to facilitate the settlers’ movement. The director of the mosque, Ghassan Al-Rajabi, said the closure was a continuation of “Zionist authorities’ attempts to dominate and occupy the mosque.”

In 1994, Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Muslim worshippers at Ibrahimi Mosque during Ramadan. Following the massacre, Israel divided the holy site into Muslim and Jewish sections, with Muslim access cut to 40%.

Last year, Israel authorities initiated excavation works at the mosque in order to install an elevator there. A Palestinian petition against the settler project was rejected by Israel’s Supreme Court on the grounds the elevator’s purpose is to ensure greater disability access. However, Palestinans stress the plan isn’t humanitarian in its purpose, instead giving cover for an attempt to confiscate land and further Judaize the mosque.

Sheikh al-Bakri, who is also a preacher at Ibrahimi Mosque, said Israel’s tightened security measures around the religious site suggest a more sinister intention. “Israel has been trying to control that site through converting it from a place for worshipers to a military zone,” al-Bakri said. “All of the events that have been happening around that site make us believe that Israel is trying to turn the Muslim praying side into a synagogue.”

April saw an escalation against Palestinian Muslim and Christian worship as well. According to documentation from the Jerusalem Governorate, on April 23 Israeli forces prevented hundreds of Palestinian Christians from reaching the Church of Holy Sepulcher to celebrate the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

Minister al-Bakri said Israeli violations against some mosques in Jerusalem have occurred this Ramadan, but emphasized the main offenses against Islam have been at the al-Aqsa and Ibrahimi mosques.

“If Israel is violating these two big sites, then they can violate every site in the country,” al-Bakri said. “And we keep saying that if Israel is violating al-Aqsa, it’s violating every single Palestinian.”

Israel seeking a religious war

As the end of Ramadan nears, Israeli police have banned non-Muslims from entering al-Aqsa compound for the last ten days of Ramadan. According to Jerusalem Governorate statistics, about 3,670 Jewish settlers invaded al-Aqsa Compound during the Passover holiday.

Amid the spike in Jews praying at the site, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid asserted Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo at al-Aqsa Compound.

“Muslims pray on the Temple Mount [what Israel calls al-Aqsa Compound], non-Muslims only visit. There is no change, there will be no change,” Lapid said during a press conference.

Yet Jordan, which has custodianship over the site, disagreed. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry warned in a statement that Israel is taking “targeted steps to change the historical and legal situation in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” specifically condemning Israeli forces for raiding the area and allowing Jews to pray at al-Aqsa Compound.

Jewish extremists often argue that denying Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa Compound is an obstruction of freedom of worship, given the area is deemed the holiest site in Judaism.

“Al-Aqsa is only for Muslims,” PA Deputy Governor of Jerusalem Abdullah Siam told MintPress News, in response to accusations of religious discrimination. He suggested the current status quo has pushed Israel to take the site through force.

Al-Bakri also agreed that al-Aqsa is strictly for Muslim worship.

But Jewish extremists who spout claims of religious discrimination ignore the stark political element at play, Israeli journalist and activist Haggai Matar said. “[T]here are no equals in Israel-Palestine,” Matar wrote in +972 Magazine. “[I]t is Israel that has created a system of apartheid wherein … Jewish supremacy over Palestinians is guaranteed, maintained, and entrenched by law and by force.”

Just before the start of Ramadan, Israeli parliament member and leader of the far-right Jewish Power Party Itamar Ben-Gvir toured al-Aqsa Compound, escorted by police. This wasn’t his first incursion, and Minister al-Bakri said such provocative, politically-charged tours are how the Israeli government attempts to stabilize its fragile coalition. “Through these practices, [the government is] trying to get political acquisitions,” al-Bakri said. “The government of [Prime Minister] Naftali Bennett is weak, and in order for them to keep going, they have to encourage settlers to do more raids so as to win from that situation.”

Yet ultimately, Israel’s ongoing violations against Muslim worship, al-Bakri said, are “leading the area to a religious war between Islam and Judaism.” “We always say that our main problem is not with Judaism as a religion, but with the occupation,” al-Bakri said. “Although Israel has been using Judaism to shape its occupation.”

Ramadan violence on repeat

As they were last year, tensions in Palestine have been at a maximum high during Ramadan.

In May 2021, violence erupted into a war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic faction governing Gaza. Israel’s 10-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip left 256 Palestinians dead, including 66 children. Media pundits and experts have feared this Ramadan may reach last year’s deadly levels.

For Minister al-Bakri, the atmosphere in Palestine is always volatile during Ramadan because Israel encourages a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. “Three months ago, Israel started talking in the media about a potential escalation, while the Palestinians hoped for a quiet month,” al-Bakri said, highlighting the number of Palestinians killed recently as meeting Israeli predictions. “Israel has been preparing the area for a potential problem by repeating these crisis slogans.”

Younes Arar, director of international and public relations and media for the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, suggested the large number of Palestinians flocking to Jerusalem during Ramadan is part of why the holy month is a tense time — emphasizing how the restrictions on freedom of movement add to the provocations. “Israel uses this month to humiliate Palestinians, as much as they can,” Arar said. “Especially at the doors of al-Aqsa Mosque, knowing how much this situation is sensitive for Palestinians.”

Jihad of Clarification: Muslims’ Religious Duty in the Past, Present, and Future

April 18 2022

By Mohammad Youssef

Jihad of clarification in early Islam

One of the forms of jihad that Islam advocated is the Jihad of the word. That is to explain and clarify the true meaning of Islam; its preaching and teachings. The new religion, though, has been targeted heavily with a whole set of fabrications, lies, and distortion.

Quraysh at the time has dedicated its efforts to this end. The Prophet has assigned a selected group of the talented Muslims to take the responsibility of clarifying Islam to non-Muslims, and this was one of the greatest missions at the time.

Part of this jihad has been linked to remarkable events and it was practiced by the greatest figures of Islam like the imams and leaders of the Muslim community.

Among the pioneers of this Jihad was Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] himself, and his son-in-law Imam Ali [AS]. They struggled hard to defend Islam and its teachings and to refute the allegations and distortion by presenting the true image of the religion.

Similarly, Sayyeda Zeinab [AS] performed a parallel role during the battle of Karbala. She clarified to the public the atrocities and horrible injustices perpetrated by Yazid Ibn Muawiya and the Umayyads as well.

Jihad of clarification in today’s Islam

Muslims since later times till recent days have practiced Jihad of clarification to present the genuine fact about their religion and to rebut the false and misleading arguments presented by the enemies of Islam.

Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] himself continued to be the target of Western propaganda; the unethical caricatures against him represent one example, another example was the book [Satanic Verses] written by Salman Rushdi which represented utterly a fierce campaign of lies and false stories against our great Prophet to undermine his status; however, no one has ever done a real systematic effort to bring this into a planned work, and no real coordination has taken place among Muslims in this regard.

Jihad of clarification as conceptualized by Imam Khamenei

Imam Sayyed Ali Husseini Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic republic of Iran, is a forerunner and a leading figure in this perspective. He was the first one to bring this kind of Jihad into real light. Imam Khamenei highlighted the necessity for all Muslims to practice clarification as a Jihadi process in their life.

No one before has been that successful in crystallizing the concept into a whole theory. More importantly, Imam Khamenei was able to transform the theory into a practical plan where all people from all walks of life could join and perform their share in this duty accordingly.

This reveals clearly the sensitivity of the issue and which vital role it could play in the life of the Ummah [Muslim nation].

A related book has been compiled from the different speeches of Imam Khamenei and is in the process of publication to hopefully be reachable soon.

Imam Khamenei has dedicated much of his speeches and sizable amount of his meetings with students, medical doctors, nurses, Ashura mourning reciters and even the air-force officers to talk about clarification. He considered it a very important and instant task to be practiced on spot. He gave a special attention to the social media workers and activists and invited them to vigorously engage in this front to present the truth about the ongoing developments for the people everywhere. Imam Khamenei further considered this as a religious duty that every capable Muslim should be requested to do and will be responsible for.

The True Islam: A Religion of Peace and Tolerance despite the West’s Distortion Attempts

Jan 15 2021

By Mohammad Youssef

Islam has been and continues to be the target of a systematic and continuous programmed campaign of distortion. This is due to many reasons; political economic, social and most importantly ideological.

No other religion has suffered this surge of flooding different materials to demoralize, demonize, and destroy it.

Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union or Warsaw Pact in the nineties of last century as an equivalent of the NATO pact, the West attempted to create a threat of any kind to pour and orient its propaganda against it. Islam was the West’s choice, calling it the green menace.

They wanted to propagate this fear of Islam all over to unify what they call the free world behind their flag.

As such Islam and the Islamic world have been depicted as terrorists, perpetrators and conspirators.

Since then, thousands of tons of books, films, newspapers, magazines, documentaries, TV series, cinema productions, lectures, and many other different media outlets have been extensively used to brainwash the audience in the West and all over the world, and twist their understanding of this religion.

A misleading propaganda is always on the run. This campaign is designed by study and research centers and government circles in many different Western capitals, with one single aim: ruin Islam and portray it as a religion of bloodshed, slaughter, warfare and savagery.

Many reasons have prompted me to choose this topic:

First, Islam is a divine religion, a religion that was revealed by Allah to people, it is a religion of peace, tolerance, mercy and brotherhood. The kind of propaganda that is spread against it goes beyond any logic or reason. It reflects mere hatred and it serves one definite agenda which is not only to keep people away from it, but also to justify the wars against it. It has been estimated by many in the West that Islam adherents and followers are on the rise, and many called for swift action to stop the Islamization of Europe because of many factors.

Of course, this is unfair and unjust and should be addressed properly.

Second, the fierce war against Islam has conclusively included all of its essentials, beliefs, practices and many other aspects and manifestations.

Atop of who were attacked, was Prophet Muhamad [PBUH]. Our prophet, who embodies the pure soul and sublime source of Islam, the messenger of Allah who came with the book of Allah, the Holy Quran, to reveal Allah’s will to people. He has been under relentless war to degrade him and his mission and to make mockery of his preaching and teachings. Volumes of books were authored, and cartoons and caricatures were circulated to destroy the prophet’s image and displace it from its sacredness and sanctity. The ferocity of the war against our prophet reflects how genuine and authentic his success was in moving Arabia from one place into a completely different place. The ethical content of his call has been widely spread, no single man has been able to make such a giant leap in a community like the one he did to the Arabs in a relatively short time.

Third is the Holy Quran. No other book has been fought like the eternal, immortal, and revealed book of Islam. Though it is Allah’s words, preaching and teachings, many attempted to undermine its sacredness and to depict it as a literary work, or that in the best cases it was written by the Prophet himself. The main effort was to instill in people the idea that this is not a heavenly revelation, so people would not be attached to it.

Another equally sinister effort was also made, which is to present the Quran as a book that calls for wars and ruins peace. Some tried to interpret some verses out of their space in time and place, they even decontextualized some verses to distort them from their proper contexts that are not meant by Allah the Almighty.

Fourth, commitment to Islam.

Islam is a religion of piety and devotions, it involves beliefs and practices, Muslims, men or women have to be committed to Islamic teachings and preaching to be true Muslims. Muslim women have to wear hijab, and men have to observe many duties of halal [allowed] and haram [forbidden] issues as well.

A series of measures are being executed by many governments especially in the West which put hindrances and obstacles for Muslims there. Decisions and legislations have been adopted to make Muslims life very difficult, so they would detach themselves from their religion.

Hijab is banned in France, for example, and women are not allowed to work while wearing it because as the authorities suggest, it reflects a religious identity in a secular society! Calling for the prayers [adhan] is sanctioned in other places, as it causes noise and might be a source of annoyance. Any sign showing attachment to Islam is against the law in a third place.

As such, the regulations go in order to put more restrictions and constraints on the followers of Islam.

Fifth: The Jihad concept in Islam.

Orientalists, researchers, and many writers backed by colonial governments worked hard to spread lies about Islam and Muslims. They depicted it as a religion of warfare and converting people to Islam by the sword’s threat.

Reading through historical texts reveals a lot and clearly shows that this is part of the tools to tarnish the image and fool the people about the true spirit of Islam.

Most of the wars Islam waged were defensive ones and Islam was outspread with its ethical and moral content more than anything else. Muslim merchants, with their loyalty, honesty, and faithfulness made tens of thousands and a whole population convert to Islam in many parts of Asia.

The issue with all of the above is not only the mere campaign against Islam, as much as it is a violation of human rights and basic freedoms.

When the authorities purposefully do that in a systematic way then the whole trust and respect is shattered away.

The issue here is about the truth, telling the truth, respecting the truth, and preserving the truth. In this equation, truth is the first victim; more dangerously, it is being victimized by the governments and authorities that are supposedly there to protect them. Here we can easily and clearly see how integrity is being compromised.

Why do they do this against Islam?

They know for sure that Islam and the Islamic world is outstretched all over the planet and this holds a huge potential on many levels: economic, political, social, and military. It occupies strategic space and is very rich with all the natural resources that render it to be a leading superpower.

This is not something that the West would accept or welcome in anyway. Rather, it would consider it a strategic threat to confront, and this explains this stern and tough stance in approaching our world with strategies of occupation and subjugation.

Away from all this, Islam could offer full-fledged solutions to host of world problems.

The kind of legislations and solutions it could offer is unique and thus can solve a lot of issues, however, the kind of ideological animosity and misleading propaganda has built thick and tall walls.

Islam’s message is very unique in its approach to mankind as it considers humans, regardless of their color, race, nationality, or religion as one creation by Allah, the only and one creator.

Islam advocates justice and equality among all and for all. This message of brotherhood, justice and equality gave Islam the capacity to spread and be acceptable by the largest segments of societies and communities.

Islam, in fact, holds a room for diversity and pluralistic society more than any other religion. No other ideology or religion has this inherent tolerance and flexibility from within. The first community state during the prophet’s time was diverse and pluralistic as it included non-Muslims that lived peacefully and in a safe prosperous way under the supervision of the first state in Islam.

The West and the Westerners, especially the decision-makers have to come back little to their senses and be convinced that this is making us all lose golden opportunities to lead a better life and build a shining future for the next generations. This ideological schism that feeds on islamophobia cannot continue forever, and it will definitely not.

The Reconquest: In 2022 elections, an Algerian Islamophobe wants to purge France from ‘the Muslim peril’

December 09 2021

French Islamophobe and presidential candidate Eric Zemmour is electrifying the far-right with his racist polemics. Himself a Berber Jew from Algeria, Zemmour means “noisy horn” in Arabic. Photo Credit: The Cradle

An Algerian Jewish ‘demonizer’ of Arabs and Islam is the new political protagonist electrifying France’s 2022 presidential elections

By Pepe Escobar

In sharp contrast with the morose political environment across Europe, the French presidential election – against all odds – is now set to become the most enthralling polls to watch in 2022.

Just when everyone from Normandy to the Cote d’Azur seemed all but resigned to suffer a second bout of Macronism, polemicist-turned-politician Eric Zemmour came up with a lurid plot twist.

It took him less than a week. On Monday, 29 November, Zemmour officially announced he would run in the elections. He played full De Gaulle, reading his own speech to the sound of Beethoven, and in front of an old-school microphone surrounded by books.

Then Zemmour announced the name of his new political party: ‘Reconquete’ – named after the seven century-long Christian battle to expel the Moors from Iberia, finally achieved in 1492.

For Zemmour and his eager acolytes, it’s all about reconquering France once again from the Muslim enemy.

Then, on Sunday, 5 December, he held his first rally as a candidate in front of over 10,000 people. No current French politician is able to draw such a crowd.

The next day’s headlines were all about uninvited protestors, one of whom lunged at Zemmour and held him in a headlock on his way to the podium, and scuffles between his supporters. But in Zemmour’s book, this was a triumph: stepping beyond his trademark, well-known incendiary proposals, he managed to transition from pundit to presidential hopeful overnight.

Now all bets are off. The Zemmour saga, of course, offers parallels with the rise of Trump in 2016, who also shifted from media to politics. It is rabidly anti-immigration, and pits fervent nationalism against what is described by conservatives across the west as ‘Islamo-leftism’.

That talk show pulpit

Even in France, most people don’t know that the Zemmour presidential run started at a somewhat secret dinner in Paris last June.

The crème de la crème of the French establishment were there, including Count Henri de Castries, 66, a former luminary of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), the alma mater of virtually everyone that counts in Parisian circles of power.

De Castries is a former CEO of insurance giant AXA, at the board of directors of Nestlé; president of the Bilderberg Club; and head of the corporate-financed think tank Institut Montaigne – which virtually ‘invented’ a certain Emmanuel Macron in 2017 after Francois Fillon, favorite to win the nomination for the Right, was destroyed by a leak over his wife’s dodgy employment duties.

If Fillon had won the presidential election in 2017, de Castries would have been Defense Minister.

At the dinner, Zemmour unleashed two political grenades:

The first: “We must prohibit non-French first names.”

The second:  “The central issue before us, for the next presidential election and the next 30 years, is Muslim immigration.”

It may have taken six months, but since last summer Zemmour’s irresistible ascension carried an aura of inevitability, even drawing attention from an anxious Elysée Palace, where functionaries duly noted that, on an ideological and cultural level, Zemmour was dictating the whole agenda of the French Right.

Zemmour’s regular pulpit at CNews – the French answer to Fox News – was reaching at least one million viewers every night. He had become the darling of mega-magnate Vincent Bolloré, who owns a Murdoch-style media empire. Bolloré’s Vivendi conglomerate owns Canal+ group, which includes Cnews; 27 percent of Lagardere, which owns Europe 1, Paris Match and Le Journal du Dimanche; and Hachette Livre, which owns publishing houses, Grasset and Fayard.

Bolloré, who is not a snotty Parisian but a ‘provincial’ from Britanny, was fascinated from the start by Zemmour’s social ascension – of the kind only found in sports or music. A similar journey in the intellectual sphere is virtually non-existent in hyper-coded France.

The Arabophobe

Zemmour comes from a Jewish Algerian family of modest means which settled in St Denis, a ‘hot’ Paris suburb. He built his persona – and his impact on the Paris beau monde – with Cartesian rationalism. Underneath it all lies an unmistakable class complex: he craves approbation from intelligentsia notables.

Zemmour is a complex character, but he is also usually reduced to his monothematic obsession: The ‘Muslim Peril.’ At the same time, he favors assimilation, and has nothing against Muslims who become full republicans.

Zemmour took some time to find his political niche. Les Republicans party – of former President Nicolas Sarkozy – is too soft and amorphous. Far-right superstar Marine Le Pen always collects 20 percent of votes in the first presidential round just to fail breaking the glass ceiling in the second (that’s one of the worst kept secrets in France; because of her fascist father, and because she’s not part of the elite).

Now, the financial elite has identified a golden path straight out of Lampedusa’s The Leopard (“everything must change so everything remains the same”). Macron remains their boy. Zemmour is being used – by ‘invisible’ banking donors – to outflank Marine Le Pen from the Right and allow Macron an easy re-election.

And even if Zemmour does not win in 2022, what matters is that Marine Le Pen will definitely be buried and the path will be open for a unified conservative movement closer to its cherished ‘values,’ led of course by Zemmour.

Zemmour, however, faces a very serious problem: how to enlarge his electorate beyond Trumpian angry white males. Trump was a billionaire and a communication beast, so that was easier. Zemmour is an awkward class defector who blossomed in the very small, incestuous Parisian media-literary milieu.

Inside the Zemmour family, identity was always a crucial theme of debate. General De Gaulle was the supreme entity – including his admiration of Jews, “sure of themselves and dominating.” Zemmour’s father, Roger, used to speak Arabic and play cards in the bars of the Goutte D’Or neighborhood.

Zemmour, a Berber family name, means ‘noisy horn’ in Arabic, while its derivative, Ezmour, is the name of the male olive tree in the Berber (Amazigh) language, mainly in Algeria. Zemmour always refers to himself as a Berber Jew. He refuses to be called an Arab, emphasizing that “the Berbers were colonized, massacred and persecuted by the Arabs, Islamized by force.”

And here we approach the heart of the enigma: Zemmour is essentially an Arabophobe, and very specifically against Arabs from the Maghreb. He never refers to Persian Gulf Arabs, and especially Wahhabis and Salafi-jihadis – denoting scarce knowledge of historical Islam and its perversions by western empires. He seems to be illiterate on Shia Islam in the arc of resistance, the Islam of Sufism in Central Asia, and the soft, tropical Islam of Indonesia.

In France, it’s taboo to openly discriminate against Arabs. That’s why Zemmour promoted ‘Islam’ as his portmanteau term to essentially demonize Arabs from the Maghreb.

A hero in a Balzac remix

To understand Zemmour, one must read Balzac. To his credit, Zemmour is a dying breed: a product of literary culture. He grew up buried in Alexandre Dumas and Balzac – the latter’s Lost Illusions is his ultimate reference.

Since he was 11, Zemmour pictured himself as Lucien de Rubempré, the hero of Lost Illusions: that’s when he decided he would become a journalist and author. The Balzacian masterpiece concentrates all his passions: history, journalism and literature. Rubempré is a poet who becomes a journalist and dreams of writing historical novels.

Of all of Balzac’s memorable heroes, Zemmour chose a seducer that overcompensates his modest, provincial origins by a tremendous panache. His critics, though sharply identify him with another Balzac character, Rastignac, the ultra-ambitious one who is obsessed with becoming wealthy and a government minister. That’s not exactly correct: Zemmour would rather linger in a perpetual blaze of glory instead of becoming just a cog in the bourgeois machine.

Seven years ago, way before Trump, there were already rumblings of a Generation Zemmour popping up in France: those who were feeling the heat when faced with the combined blitzkrieg of the European Union, immigration, and globalization.

This is the bulk of Zemmour’s electorate: bourgeois conservatives, victims of globalization, and the declassified popular classes, those who really lost with the globalist open borders. They offered Zemmour the chance to become the spokesperson of the shattered Right.

Not even Marine Le Pen could play that role, because she’s considered too “populist” by the bourgeois, and on top of that, she invested too heavily in her de-demonization process to be accepted by the establishment.

As for Sarkozy, he was too ‘bling bling’ for the families of old France. Zemmour, with his ‘son of the periphery swagger’ and the classic cultural baggage of a very good student, was clever enough to identify the opening.

Dynamiting himself?

Zemmour may not be a Virgin Mary groupie. But when he published his book French Destiny, in 2018, he had to admit, in front of a fervent Catholic audience, that “he is convinced that one cannot be French without being deeply impregnated by Catholicism, its cult of images, the pomp, the order installed by the Church, this subtle mélange of Jewish morals, Greek reason and Roman law, but also the humility of servants.”

This is as close as one gets to the Zemmour creed.

What makes the Zemmour story eyebrow-raising across all the lands of Islam – from Northern Africa to West, Central and South Asia – is that he defines the “enemy not as political Islam, Islamism, jihadism or Islamic radicalism: the enemy is Islam” (my italics).

He charges, without proof, that ‘hatred of France’ is consubstantial to this religion. Islam is incompatible with secularism, democracy, a secular Republic. Islam is incompatible with France.”

That’s exactly what he repeated this past Sunday during his first speech as a presidential candidate: a clash of civilizations redux.

His catalogue of propositions includes no Muslim first names to be adopted in France; “social measures of national solidarity” only for the French; the expulsion of all foreigners who have committed crimes (at least 15,000, as it stands); to close French borders if necessary; and to stop the migration inflow – as many as 400,000 a year, including legal asylum seekers. He explicitly wants students from Africa and the Maghreb to have no access to student grants.

Zemmour wants to limit legal immigration to a minimum. He maintains that Islam is a “civilization very far apart from ours.” He mercilessly blasts Macron, accused of wanting to “dissolve France into Europe and Africa.” Macron explains that a woman may also be a father, but Zemmour says: “I don’t agree. I want children to have a father and a mother.”

That’s where Zemmour’s Islamophobia morphs with his critique of ‘Islamo-Leftism’ and the woke-ism nebulae encompassing race theory, gender studies, post-colonialism, intersectionality, identity politics and cancel culture. That’s the privileged terrain where he could get further traction with the France of traditional values.

CNews have extolled Zemmour as The Dynamiter. Yet he runs the risk of dynamiting himself, self-cornered in an Islamophobia trap of his own making as he aims to re-found the French radical right and ‘reconquer’ the Republic.

It may be too early, but he did not get the electoral bump he expected after entering the ring. As it stands, he’s out of the second round, neck to neck with the perennial Marine Le Pen and largely overtaken by another woman, Valerie Pecresse, a Sarkozy disciple with a dominatrix streak who’s selling the union of the ‘respectable’ Right and her capability of getting rid of Macron for good.

Yet never underestimate the immensely ambitious, self-described Berber Jew who aims to ‘reconquer’ a Republic fighting an Islamophobic jihad.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Nov 19, 2021

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tackling a range of political developments on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and his grandson Imam Jaafar Sadiq [AS], and the Muslim Unity Week. 

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

In the coming days, God willing, we will welcome a very dear, precious, and great occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the Greatest Messenger of God, the Seal of the Prophets, and the Master of Messengers, Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH]. I congratulate all Muslims in the world and all Lebanese on this great and solemn occasion in advance. God willing, on this occasion, we will hold a proper and appropriate celebration in a few days, and therefore, I will leave talking about the celebrant  and the occasion itself until then.

With regard to the topics, I divided them into two part. One part I will talk about today, and the second I will talk about it, God willing,  during that celebration.

I will begin with tonight’s topics. I will speak about the first topic as briefly as possible, appropriate, and unobtrusive.

1- The elections:

The country today is busy preparing for the electoral law, the dates of the elections, the administrative procedures related to the elections, and the natural prelude to entering the stage of the electoral atmosphere as well as having the elections on time.

Regarding the elections, I want to emphasize several points:

i- Holding the elections on time

We have already talked about this and emphasized it on more than one occasion. In any case, there still remain those who try to spread confusion by blaming a certain party, including us sometimes, of planning to extend and postpone the elections, etc. This is all baseless talk. We affirm, insist, and call for the elections to be held on time within the constitutional deadline. To be fair and according to our follow-up with all the parliamentary blocs, parties, and political forces, we believe that no one – so as not to make baseless accusations like some opponents do – whether implicitly or openly is planning or preparing to push matters towards the postponement of the parliamentary elections and the extension of the current Parliament. Therefore, let us put this issue behind us and let everyone engage in holding the parliamentary elections on time, and we are certainly one of those.

ii- The expatriate vote

We agreed to the current law, which was voted on in 2018 and followed in the 2018 elections, as a result of the discussions, and in all sincerity, taking our allies into account. We agreed to a number of things in that law. In the joint parliamentary committees, whether formally or informally, a discussion took place some time ago, and some parliamentary blocs asked to reconsider or demanded a reconsideration. Some of our deputies expressed a position based on an existing reality. This same discussion existed in 2018 and became more intense at the time than it was in the past. This issue was the expatriate vote.

Today, when we want to prepare electoral campaigns or for people who want to run for office or be elected, there is no equal opportunity, whether in conducting electoral campaigns, in candidacy, or even by going to the polls to exercise free elections, specifically with Hezbollah. There will be other political forces whose situation may be less sensitive, but Hezbollah’s situation abroad, in some European countries, in North America, in the Gulf, and some other Arab countries is known. There is no possibility for preparing an electoral campaign, candidacy, or elections. In fact, this is a point of appeal, and we had mentioned to our allies that with regard to Hezbollah, we would not submit an appeal.

But someone can file an appeal regarding the elections in terms of unequal opportunities. The brothers raised the issue from this angle, and an atmosphere emerged in the country that there were those who wanted to prevent the expatriates from voting. Extensive debates were held over this and there was no problem. We discussed the issue once again and came up with the following conclusion. It was expressed by our deputies at the last meeting of the joint committees. But I’d like to mention it here to close discussions on it.

We, once again, discussed and evaluated it. This is what we had to say. Regardless of how many countries in which expatriates or residents will take part in the parliamentary elections – they usually participate in presidential elections – and if there are countries that participate in parliamentary elections, this may be present and perhaps their number may be few, but in any case, as long as the injustice befalls specifically us, we do not have a problem. 

This means that we, Hezbollah specifically, will be oppressed. We will not be allowed abroad or have the right to campaign, announce candidacy, or the freedom to vote. This even applies to our supporters. But as long as the injustice pertains to us and there is a national interest and it allows the Lebanese residing outside Lebanese to feel that they are partners and bear responsibility, we have no problem with that. We will overlook this observation, and that is why our brothers amended and said that we support the principle of expatriate voting, in principle. We divided the issue.

Now, there is a detail that whether the expatriates or those residing outside the Lebanese territories will vote according to the constituencies in Lebanon or elect the six representatives that are said to be allocated for the elections abroad. If they are going to vote according to the constituencies in Lebanese, we have no problem with that. And if voting on the six representatives will be confirmed, we are open to discussions when it’ll be discussed in Parliament. However, if the topic is not discussed, there is a law. So, work according to the law. Hence, we consider this matter closed.

And we hope, God willing, from our brothers, our expatriates and people residing outside the Lebanese territories to register and take part in the elections. They are welcome, and we hope that they will have the real opportunity to frankly express their opinion.

iii- Voting at the age of 18

With regard to the issue of [voting at] the age of 18, I honestly tell all the Lebanese people and young people between the age of 18 and 21 that this matter is only raised to be used locally. It is always raised at a time close to deadlines, and time does not help. Although it was brought up at a time way ahead of deadlines, something strange happened. Since 1992 when we first took part in the parliamentary elections, we’ve been known to have strongly supported giving young people at the age of 18 the right to vote.

Whenever you talk with political forces, you find that everyone is in favor. Yet, you go to the Parliament and it gets dropped. There is something strange in this country. We not only raised this in our speeches, slogans, and political and electoral programs, but we also seriously worked and fought hard for it. In March 2009, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc proposed a constitutional amendment law to reduce the voting age to 18 since this needs a constitutional amendment. In March 2009, it was voted unanimously. This was before the 2009 elections. The constitutional amendment needs two-thirds of the members of the parliament. The government also voted unanimously on this proposal. It was returned to the parliament after the parliamentary elections in the February 2010 session. The session was attended by more than 100 deputies, out of which only 34 deputies voted on the project, mainly the Amal Movement, Hezbollah, and some other blocs. The rest of the blocs abstained, and it fell through. There is really something strange about this country.

If you now make an opinion poll for the parliamentary blocs and the political forces, they all tell you: yes, this is their natural right, and they must elect, etc. Of course, I heard a strange two days ago saying that young people need to be prepared and educated. What is this talk!

In Lebanese, children as young as five or six years old talk politics! You are talking about 18-year-olds. These need educating, preparation, school programs!!! What is this nonsense?!

Anyway, we once again call, the expatriates have the right to vote. All people should demand this right and respect it. If they are wronged somewhere like us, let us go beyond this oppression. With regard to the issue of voting at the age of 18, there is no injustice to anyone. If this right is not given, this is injustice to all Lebanese youth who are being deprived of the right to participate in the parliamentary elections only for purely partisan and personal reasons, not for national or real reasons..

iv- The MegaCenter

Also, related to the elections is the MegaCenter. We have no problem so that no one later says that Hezbollah is preventing this from happening. From now, we do not have a problem. You want to adopt the megacenter, go ahead. You don’t want the megacenter, also go ahead. You want to adopt the magnetic card, we don’t mind. Whether the Ministry of the Interior wants to adopt it or not, let it go ahead. What do you want us to vote with? The identification card? We’ll use it to vote. An excerpt of the civil registry? We’ll use it to vote. We’ll use whatever you want. We do not have a problem. Just hold the elections on time and don’t come up with excuses for not holding the elections on their constitutional dates. The rest of the matters related to the elections, nominations, alliances, the electoral program, and reading the electoral scene will be discussed at their right time, God willing.

2- The electricity file:

In fact, I should have started talking about this file, but I deliberately did not start with it because this file contains some annoyance. Hence, I opted  to start with the elections.

In the past few days, they told the Lebanese that fuel has run out, the factories will stop working, and the country will go into complete darkness. Save us. What should we do? Now, they’ve found a temporary solution. They found some with the Lebanese army, and the army instructed to take advantage of what it has to overcome this stage. Of course, We thank the leadership of the Lebanese army for this kind humanitarian step.

But the question remains: Today, this issue should be an absolute priority for the current government. Basically, when the cry came out, it was necessary – this is our personal suggestion – that the government hold an extraordinary session, not a two- or three-hour session, but one that remains from dawn to dusk to find a solution. What does it mean that the country has entered complete darkness? This does not only mean that the country is in complete darkness because of power outage, the country is in a state of clinical death because here we are talking about hospitals, cooperatives, everything having no electricity. Despite this, what has been happening in the country? Instead of calling for a serious, radical, and real treatment, as usual, the Lebanese blamed each other for being responsible, insulted and cursed each other, and insulted one another. All of this does not bring electricity.

Eventually, responsibilities must be determined. But usually in the prevailing Lebanese way, people enter the labyrinth, with more grudges, insults, and swearing emerge. And you’ve seen social media in the past two days.

Since the government holds its session every Wednesday, the priority on the table must be the issue of electricity. What I want to call for tonight is for you to see what you want to do regarding electricity. Find a solution or put the country on the path to a solution, not that pump it with painkillers, i.e., take an advance from the central bank and buy fuel with it for power plants to generate electricity for a few hours. Does this solve the problem? How many days and weeks will this last? The issue needs a radical solution. There are contracts that exist. Make up your mind, say yes or no, but address the issue in any way.

Today, a sum of money was sent to the Lebanese government – the Lebanese state. One billion and one hundred million dollars is in the hands of the Lebanese government. If we want to speak as a matter of absolute priority, take advantage of this amount or part of it and primarily and radically address the issue of electricity – building new power plants, addressing the problem of existing plants. The matter is in your hands. There are many offers from various countries in the world, from the East and the West. You do not want from the East, from the West, then, unless there is an American veto.

If the Americans are forbidding you, tell the Lebanese people frankly: O Lebanese people, we are terrified and unable to bring in European companies because the Americans will be angry with us and have forbidden us from doing so.

In this way the people will express their opinions – whether or not they’d like to live in darkness and in humiliation with no electricity, as the Lebanese used to live in humiliation with the lack of gasoline and diesel. We’ll act depending on the outcome. I know, for example, in Iraq – this is a common and well-known thing there – that the Iraqis have an electricity problem. When they tried to reach an understanding with some European countries, the Americans intervened forcefully and prevented them. So, is there a veto here in Lebanon, an American veto preventing that?

As for the Iranians, there was an old offer. Today, there is a new offer. Two days ago, when His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran was in Beirut, he reconfirmed that we are ready to build two plants and provide a certain, large, and respectable quantity. Respond to him.

Ask for an exception since America is your friend. To us, they are our enemy, and we expect anything from our enemies. But they are your friends and allies. You trust them and consider them moral and humanitarian who possess human values and law. Ask them for an exception.

Iraq got an exception. Afghanistan under the rule of the Ghani government had an exception – it used to import many things from Iran. Other neighboring countries have exceptions. You ask for an exception. I learned a rather funny thing that was in fact published in the media – when one Lebanese official was by told by the Iranian foreign minister to ask for an exception as the other countries, the official replied to him, saying: I hope you will ask for the exception. It’s a very funny thing. Imagine a Lebanese official telling the Iranians who have enmity with the Americans to do so. There is an ongoing war between them and the Americans, and I him: you ask the Americans for an exception so that you can build us, for example, power plants, or so you  can sell us fuel for the power plants, or so you can sell us gasoline or diesel. What a way of taking responsibility? 

Anyway, regarding this issue along with all the people, we will raise the voice. The government, the President of the Republic, and the Prime Minister must determine the agenda. But we are among the people who have the right to demand that electricity be at the top of the agenda, or they should allocate an emergency and urgent special session and work for a real radical treatment for this issue. If the issue remains a matter of throwing accusations and scoring points and who disrupted, we will get nowhere.

Hezbollah or others may have raised this suspicion in the past. For the first time, I would like to raise a suspicion. I’m one of those people who has a feeling that somewhere there might be a certain game. Let me say how. It’s the same with what happened gasoline, diesel, and food stuff. The state knows that at some point it will have to lift the subsidies. Everyone tells you that there is no solution except the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF will ask for the subsidies to be lifted, and no one dares to take the responsibility of lifting the subsidy. 

They’ll let the people fight, race to cooperatives, and queue at gas stations for petrol, diesel, etc. After a month, two, or three, they’ll start shooting each other, cursing one another, and wielding knives at each other. Then, they will call for the subsidies to be lifted just to be saved and accept the fact that the price of gasoline is 500,000LBP. 

If the subsidies are lifted, the problem of the humiliating queues will be solved. Therefore, if you notice and you can go back to the media when we saw the humiliating queues, the voices called for the subsidies to be lifted. This action was serving this. Whether this was intentional and planned or not needs to be verified.

When talking about the subject of electricity, privatization and selling some state assets and some public sectors, including the electricity sector, are always mentioned. The electricity sector is always being eyed for privatization.

There is a fear I would like to raise today. I do not want to accuse anyone. It is very unclear to me, to be honest, that somewhere – within the government or outside it or whether they belong to the opposition or not – they want the electricity sector in Lebanon to collapse. Then, the state would be helpless and unable to solve the problem. Hence, there would be no solution except through privatization. Then, the Lebanese people would not want to live in darkness, so they’d demand to solve this problem with privatization. This is the real fear. We must pay attention to this subject. 

From this subject, I will delve into the third point which is related to diesel, gasoline, and the like. I once again make appeal to the various political forces and leaders in Lebanon – brothers, go and check with your allies and friends. I repeat and say that whatever we are capable of doing with our allies and friends, we will do. What can Iran do more than this? They are already telling you that they are prepared to sell you gasoline, diesel, and fuel and build power plants and metro stations. They want to cooperate with you and offer you facilities. This is a solution. 

The Syrians told you they do not have a problem. Bring Egyptian gas and electricity from Jordan. I will offer you the facilities you want. If there is anything else, I am at your service as well. These are our allies. 

As for your allies, we have not seen them do anything. You have not done anything. Talk to someone to make you an exception. Talk to someone to help the Lebanese. If your allies told you that Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese people, then exclude Hezbollah and bring help for the rest of the Lebanese areas. Act responsibly, not maliciously.

Until now, we still hear that, for example, they brought diesel from Iran. They brought it across the border into Syria, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We hear it every other Sunday, etc. Here is another example of the level of responsibility in the country. A politician reached a conclusion that the power cut stated happening when diesel was brought in from Iran as the power plants broke down. You all know. It is all known. He did not know that the state’s electricity plants run on fuel, and what was brought from Iran was diesel. There is no relation between diesel, fuel, and electricity plants. In any case, this is the level that exists in the country.

This is a call for the last time. Budge a little. Move a little, and don’t be malicious. What is your main role other than criticizing, insulting, and accusing? Do something positive for your people and your country.

3- Gasoline and diesel:

I moved to the third topic, in which I will talk about what happened with us and what will happen concerning diesel and gasoline.

So far, we consider ourselves still in the first phase. Of course, a number of ships have arrived so far, and we are gradually moving them to Lebanon. We consider that the first phase will continue until the end of October. During the first phase, we did two things, and we will continue with them.

The first thing we said is that there is a group that we will gift them diesel for a month and a group that we will sell diesel to. We did not put the diesel at the stations and said, “People, please. Who wants to buy can come.” Meaning that we are doing more than the goal. We said that the goal is to secure this material for these pressing and urgent cases, and we do not want to compete or block the way for companies and stations that sell diesel. In the end, we will give to a group and the rest can buy from the stations. By doing so, we are not cutting off people’s livelihood. We adopted this approach, and we will indeed continue until the end of October as a first phase.

Within this first phase, there are two points I would like to add. 

1- We had announced a gift or donation for a group for a period of one month. That period has ended. There is a quantity that has arrived and another that is on the way, and it will reach them, God willing. What I would like to announce today is that we will renew this gift. This gift is for the same group and will be for an additional month, for a second month.

I will again mention the institutions belonging to this group: government hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, centers for people with special needs, official water institutions, water wells belonging to municipalities, provided they are a poor municipalities, and fire brigades in the Civil Defense and the Lebanese Red Cross. After the end of the first month, I announce today that we will provide the quantity they need from this material as a gift and assistance, God willing, for a second month.

2- Regarding the groups, I would like to announce that this material would also be sold to the fishermen. This addition comes following many revisions that have been made. We’ve already started and not just starting. This happened in the last period. The fishermen has been added to the segments to which this material can be sold to. The same institutions that we talked about before will remain – private hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories, mills, bakeries, etc. We will complete the first phase by working with the same [entities] we worked with last month.

When we reach the second phase, which starts from the beginning of November, we will add heating for families. We and our brothers are studying the standards because the most important thing is to abide by the standards. During the past month, there were cases that included people not belonging to the group that this material can be sold to contacted us. These people are very dear to us and we love to be of service to them. However, we had a serious commitment to the standards and the groups. If we did not abide, it will be chaotic, and, therefore, we would not be able to serve the groups that we considered a priority.

Today, we have the issue of heating that needs to be studied, and it is a very big topic. For example, among the entities that it will be sold to are private hospitals, bakeries, mills, laboratories, etc. We considered that establishments and companies operating generators are the largest segment, and they, in fact, are the ones that need the largest amount. But when we bring in the issue of heating, there is no comparison because here you are talking about Lebanese families in areas where there is cold and frost.

This requires different controls, standards, and a distribution mechanism that we are studying. God willing, before the beginning of November, we will talk about this issue, I or one of my brothers, and it will be announced in detail. Also because of winter, we may add new entities. This, too, is being evaluated and studied – first of all because of the high demand that happened. The volume of requests in all Lebanese regions was very large. I’d say it was greater than expected, yes, greater than expected. It is very large in all areas. This is on the one hand.

On the other hand, winter season is coming, and of course, the demand for diesel will increase exponentially – we had made diesel a priority. This means that we have decided to continue with diesel being the priority. We postponed bringing gasoline. Even if we get gasoline, we will exchange it for diesel with the merchants because the priority now is to provide the fuel oil in the way that it is secure. Thank God, now, in one way or another, the queues of humiliation are over. Gasoline is available at the stations, albeit at a high price. Our main concern was to get rid of the queues of humiliation. Now, these queues are over. Gasoline is available. We do not believe now, as a result of the large file, that we should work on all the entities. We have to focus our priority on diesel, especially since we are a few weeks away from winter season.

I will conclude this whole file. We heard people say, leave the Lebanese state buy its own gasoline and diesel from Iran. We support this talk. This is our demand. Let the Lebanese government ask the Americans for an exception, while the Lebanese companies buy. We guarantee that they will get facilities from Iran to buy diesel, gasoline, and fuel from Iran, etc. At that point, we will withdraw from this file. We will leave the file completely. We will not buy, nor bring ships, nor transport to Baniyas, nor bring from Baniyas to Baalbek. We will leave the matter completely. Go ahead, take responsibility. Open this door. This only needs some courage and boldness. Many countries neighboring Iran have exceptions – exceptions in buying gasoline, diesel, oil derivatives, and many other materials. Go ahead, work on this matter. This is one of the doors – you consider that we are violating sovereignty. Good, then help us so that we do not violate sovereignty. Go ahead, ask for an exception and open this door.

4- The Beirut Port [blast] investigation:

I would like to recall what I used to say since the beginning – we want and support the investigation. I honestly say and tell you that even if the families of the martyrs and the wounded abandoned the investigation, we, Hezbollah, will not abandon the investigation. We consider ourselves among those who were affected not only in terms of martyrs, wounded, and homes, but we were also affected morally, politically, and media wise.
Taking humanitarian considerations towards the families of the martyrs, we want the truth and accountability. Politically and morally, we, as Hezbollah, want the truth and we want accountability. There is no discussion regarding this topic. It is not cutting of the road in front of the investigation nor is it to end or cancel the file. Never. Whoever says this is unfair. We want to reach a result. What is really required is justice. What the former judge did is clear. He was biased and politicized. We spoke loudly about this and gave advise. The man rose and asked with legitimate suspicion and left. The man made a legitimate request and left. However, instead of benefiting from all the mistakes and the observations made to the previous judge, the current judge continued with the same mistakes. He ignored these remarks and did worse. The current judge’s work is politically motivated and biased. His work is being politicized and has nothing to do with the truth and justice.

Before I conclude, I would like to address the families of the martyrs – if you expect to uncover the truth with this judge, you will not. If you expect that this judge will bring you justice, even at the level of an indictment, you will not get it. The work of this judge is politically motivated. He is exploiting the blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the tragedy, and the calamity to serve political goals and political targeting.

1- We previously talked about the evidence, but now I would like to highlight the issue more because we have reached a point that can no longer be tolerated.

Let us simply talk logically. Is this interference in the affairs of the judiciary? But first off, tell me this is a judiciary so that I can agree with you whether this is interference or not. This is not a judiciary. This is a politically-motivated job. As long as it is a politically-motivated job, allow me to say a couple of words. What do science and justice say? They say there was an explosion. Hence, look for the responsibilities. This is a problem that I will return to shortly.

I would like to ask the current judge – disregard the previous judge. Since the arrival of the ammonium nitrate ship to Lebanon’s Beirut Port to Lebanon, there have been two presidents: President Michel Suleiman and His Excellency President Michel Aoun. His Excellency, President Michel Aoun has said on more than one occasion – a transparent man – “I knew on this day and I followed up this way. I am ready for the judge to come and listen to me.” 

Did you listen to him? You are a judge who works as the judiciary, did you listen to His Excellency the President and took his statement? He is the one telling to go to him. What are you afraid of?

Did you ask President Michel Suleiman? Did you listen to him? did you ask him – you were the president of the republic when this ship came and entered, did you know? What did you do? Regardless of whether he was responsible or not. You did not ask him, and you did not listen to His Excellency the President even though he invited you. 

Since the day the ship entered Lebanon in November 2013, there have been multiple prime ministers. You, the judge, quickly belittled Prime Minister Hassan Diab and thought you can accuse him, summon him, etc.

One question. Did you ask former heads of government? Did you listen to them? I’m not telling you to summon them. Did you go to them? Did you sit with them? Did you ask them even a question about their knowledge of the subject? What did they do if they had knowledge? Were they responsible or not? You did not do any of this. You quickly went to Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Can you tell me that the explosion took place during the premiership of PM Hassan Diab? Why did you go after the former ministers and not the current ministers? I am not defending people who are our friends only. Among them are our friends and those who are not our friends. The people I’m telling you to investigate include some of our friends. Why did you not ask the ministers in the current government who were in office when the explosion occurred? Instead, you went to the former ministers. Why not all the former ministers? Did you ask all the finance ministers? Did you summon them all and investigated with them? Did you investigate and ask the ministers of works who were in office in November 2013? The current Minister of Works is also our friend. The ministers of interior who were in office in November 2013 until today is also our friend. The ministers of defense as well as the ministers of finance and works are also the ministers of guardianship. Did you investigate with the ministers of defense? Non, you didn’t. Did you ask the ministers of justice? No, you didn’t. Did you ask all the heads of the security and military services? No, you did not. I tell you no because they really did not ask them. he asked some of them, but not all of them. What do they call this? You are going after specific agencies, specific ministers, and a specific prime minister is clearly [political] targeting. Does the issue need a little understanding in order to see that there is clearly targeting? There is political targeting. This is the first point. We’ve spoken about this in the past. We also warned you. Do not be biased and politicized. Or else, we will demand you leave. Then he continues working as if nothing happened. On the contrary, he rose even more and behaved as if he was the ruler with regard to this file. This is the first point.

2- The main subject in the explosion: 

The whole thing is incomprehensible. Yet, you skipped it. Basically, it is like what many Lebanese say. I am not saying anything new. The basic principle, O honorable judicial investigator, is that you go and tell the families of the martyrs before you incite them against the politicians. You have to tell these families that you sit with every other day who brought the ship, who let the ship dock, who gave permission, who left the materials in hangar 12, and who gave approval. You are not doing any of these. You are tackling another matter which comes in second place which is negligence. You are making a big deal out of this for settling political scores. O brother, tell the Lebanese people. If you don’t want to tell the Lebanese people, at least tell the families of the martyrs. And you, our people and our loved ones, the families of the martyrs, go and demand. This is your right to demand. Ask him how your children were killed? You, an investigative judge, do not want to tell them because this does not serve the politicization that you are working on. So, what did you turn to? To negligence. You are making a bigger deal out of negligence – the one who is charged with negligence should receive the most severe penalties.

I’m not asking for anything. I am only asking why he is disregarding and neglecting the first part of the issue. Why is the truth not told to the Lebanese? The judicial secrecy is the issue. It is not about someone killing another person. This is a catastrophe that has befell the country, and the country is heading towards a catastrophe if this judge continues working in this way. Therefore, the matter needs a different approach.

3- Bias:

The judges, who were involved and whose responsibility wss greater than that of the presidents of the republic, are responsible. I do not know. I am not a judge to rule on this matter. The responsibility of judges is greater than that of heads of government, ministers, and heads of the security services because the judges are the ones who allowed this material to enter and to be stored. The rest are all procedural. The two judges or the judges are the first to be responsible. O families of the martyrs, ask this judge. Ask him about those judges whose responsibility is unquestionable.

There might be a discussion about the responsibility of the prime minister, a specific minister, and the security apparatus. But there is no discussion that these judges are responsible. What did you do to them? You did nothing. You filed a lawsuit against them in court, the High Judicial Council and the Discriminatory Public Prosecution, and to appoint a special court. Great! You do not want to summon the judge, issue an arrest warrant for him, or imprison him because he is a judge. The judiciary wants to protect itself. However, you want to summon a respectable prime minister like Hassan Diab, subpoena him, issue an arrest warrant against him, and throw him in prison. Is this a state of law? Is this a state institution? Does this country have morals? The law says that judges go to court. The constitution says that presidents and ministers go to the presidents’ court. In the case of the presidents and ministers, why don’t you accept. You consider this your right and transcend all constitutional principles and attack people? However, in the case of the judges, the law says that they go to the High Judicial Council. Answer us so that we know whether what is happening is right, just, and fair or is political targeting?

4- The last part in this file:

When presidents, ministers, and representatives feel that they have been wronged, who do they turn to? They tell you – this specific judge is biased. He is attacking us and is unfair with us. He want to arrest us unjustly. He is impatient with formal matters as in talking with us and our lawyers. We are being wronged. Who do we turn to? In a state of law and institutions, the law must answer. They turned to a judicial body, and we see that this judicial body did not take its time to study the case, did not discuss, nor summon, nor investigate. It returned the request saying it’s outside of their jurisdiction. Whose jurisdiction is it? So, guide us. You say the law and the state of institutions, O Higher Judicial Council, answer. Bring the prime minister who will be summoned for arrest, the ministers, and others who may be caught up in lawsuits. Where are they being wronged? If there is no jurisdiction for so and so and so, who has jurisdiction then? This needs a solution and an answer. In any case, we have big problems. We consider that what is happening is a very bad situation. It will not lead to the truth and justice, but it will lead to injustice and to concealment of the truth. This does not mean that we are demanding that the investigation be closed. Not at all. We want an honest and a transparent judge, who works on a clear and transparent investigation based on rules, an investigation in which there is no bias. He must continue the investigation and this matter should not stop at all. 

First, we want an answer. Where would an oppressed person and a person with suspicions seek refuge in this country?

Another thing, the issue is no longer a personal matter, the issue has repercussions at the national level and on the country. Today, I am appealing to the High Judicial Council. What is happening has nothing to do with the judiciary, nor with justice, with fairness, nor with the truth. You must find a solution to the matter. The Supreme Court does not want to resolve the issue. The Council of Ministers is required to resolve this issue. It referred this issue. It will be raised in the Council of Ministers. We will speak and others too. This matter cannot continue this way. There is no possibility for it to continue this way, especially in the next few days. Therefore, among the institutions, the High Judicial Council should meet and see how to address this issue. We are talking to you and on behalf of many people in this country. We are a large segment in this country, and we have the right to be heard. We have the right to be given an answer. We have the right to demand in the Council of Ministers. It is our right that the Council of Ministers discuss this issue and take a stance. In all honesty, I tell you this matter must not continue this way.

As for the rest of the points of discussion, I wanted to talk about the demarcation of the maritime borders, the disputed area, the new negotiations, the Israeli steps, and other files. We will talk about all this, God willing, during the occasion in a few days.

I just want to conclude with two points. I must, morally and ethically, talk about them.

The first point is the bombing that took place in Kunduz, a few days ago, in Afghanistan, in a mosque during Friday prayers, which led to dozens of martyrs and wounded. Of course, this is a painful matter. Any person, Muslim or not, will ache when he sees elderly people and children being killed, just because they were praying in a mosque. This is very sad and very painful.

Despite the distance, we also share with our family and loved ones and these oppressed families their grief and pain. We express our sorrow for what happened and condemn it. But what’s most important is that Daesh committed this crime and claimed responsibility. I say the Wahabi terrorist organization Daesh. 

I hope from all our friends, companions, and the media in our axis, if they accept from me, to call it the Wahhabi terrorist organization. Because what Daesh is doing is the result of this school of thought that accuses the other of being an infidel. One can accuse the other of being an infidel, but he does not spill one’s blood and take his money and honor. A doctrinal disagreement, a certain person says that so-and-so is an infidel and does not believe in a specific cause. But what is more dangerous than takfir [accusing another Muslim to be an apostate] is spilling blood and taking someone else’s money, honor, and social public safety. It is this school of thought that led to these results throughout the world, especially in our Arab and Islamic world. 

The one who also bears the responsibility is America. Before the Americans left Afghanistan and on more than one occasion, I mentioned to you in the media and in speeches that we and others have information that the Americans are moving Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and from the Al-Hol camp. They even transferred some from Iraq to Afghanistan. At that time, many were wondering what the Americans wanted from Daesh in Afghanistan? Of course, at the time, even when they transferred them to Afghanistan, Daesh did not carry out a single operation against the American forces there. Rather, they fought those who were fighting the Americans, including the Taliban. But today, the goal has appeared more, to be sure.

I am an enemy of the Americans and I am accusing them. A few days ago, Turkey’s foreign minister, who is an ally of the Americans but has a problem with them, also said that the Americans had moved Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and eastern Syria to Afghanistan. That’s the Turkish foreign minister, a country that is not a small one in the region. He is a friend of the Americans. This is well known. Why did the Americans take Daesh to Afghanistan during the year they were negotiating with the Taliban in Doha to withdraw?

They were preparing for a post-withdrawal phase. What is the post-withdrawal phase? It is preparing for a civil war in Afghanistan. They had two tools. The first tool was the Afghan state and the Afghan army, which they spent hundreds of billions of dollars on. This collapsed, but the alternative was ready, which was Daesh. Today, Daesh’s work in Afghanistan is to drag the country into a civil war. They carried out operations against non-Shiites in Jalalabad and Kabul. But targeting the mosque in Kunduz, where Shiite Muslims pray, is also to create a state of internal tension that will lead to a civil war in Afghanistan.

The Americans are responsible. The American policies, the American administration, the American army, the CIA, and all those who are working on the issue of Daesh and Afghanistan, we also hold them responsible for the innocent blood that was shed in Afghanistan. The responsibility of the current authorities – whether the world recognizes them or not – now that it is an authority that exists in Afghanistan, is to protect these citizens regardless of their affiliation to any religion or sect.

There is another matter that I must talk about from a moral standpoint, even though it has been a while since it transpired. An incident took place a while back in Palestine where a group of security services affiliated to the Palestinian Authority arrested, beat, and tortured martyr Nizar Banat, a Palestinian brother, a resistance fighter, and a thinker who had brave and courageous positions, which led to his martyrdom.

Of course, one may ask why are you talking about this now and that this story is old? At that time, although we saw that all the Palestinian factions took a position, we preferred to wait because the issue was not very clear, and we considered that it could be an internal affair. But today, it is my duty to pay tribute, even for a few minutes, to this resistant martyr, mujahid, thinker, and bold, brave, and oppressed martyr Nizar Banat. I am one of the people who during the previous period – I mean during his life and not after his martyrdom – I usually and for security reasons do not have internet, but every once in a while, the young men give me recorded summaries, I listen and watch what this person said, how he spoke, and how he expressed a position?

At various times, I listened and gave time to Brother Nizar. I was very impressed by his clarity, his pure thought on the issue of resistance, the issue of “Israel”, the issue of the situation in the region, the position on the axis of resistance, the conflicts in the region, and targeting the axis of resistance. I was amazed by his courage – he lives in the West Bank and it is possible that he might be attacked, arrested, or killed at any moment. Of course, I had in mind that the “Israelis” would kill him and not anyone from the PA. In fact, I would like to say a couple of words first to shed light on this bold, courageous, clear, authentic, and strong figure as well as his position on the issue of resistance, the Palestinian cause. He had courage until his martyrdom. Secondly, as this is the first time I am talking about the subject, we share with honorable family, all his family members, his loved ones, his friends, and his companions the pain and the unending grief. I know that to them this matter has not ended. 

The third point is to demand justice and truth from the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian judiciary, and all the Palestinian people for martyr Nizar must. Time will not stop this, and this blood must not be wasted just because those who have wronged him or committed crimes against him belong to a certain security apparatus. This is regarding martyr Nizar. I wanted to talk about him. 

I said at the beginning of the speech that in a few days we will have a great and very dear occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the greatest Messenger of God. Of course, celebrations and commemorations take place in different regions of the Islamic world.
But in the past years, what must also be noted with admiration and pride is how the dear and oppressed Yemeni people are commemorating this occasion. We are talking about the areas under the control of what they call the Sana’a government, meaning in the areas where Ansarullah is present. Huge crowds gather in all governorates and cities at the same time.

The whole world saw how they’ve been commemorating the birth of the Messenger of God Muhammad during the past two years despite the war, destruction, difficult economic conditions, difficult living conditions, rampant diseases, great dangers, and siege. But it is really amazing the way they commemorate this occasion, and as a Muslim, I tell you that I feel ashamed. Despite the circumstances and situation, these people mark the occasion in such a way, while we, the rest of the Muslims in different parts of the world, how do we commemorate this anniversary even though our circumstances are much better than theirs, even if there are some difficulties. 

First, salutations to the dear and oppressed Yemeni people, who love and adore the Messenger of God, for what they will do during the next few days.

I consider the way the Yemenis mark [this occasion] as an argument for all of us as Muslims in the Islamic world.

In the past few years, we used to hold celebrations. It is possible that during the last two years, we’ve eased down on celebrations a little because of the coronavirus. This year, we want to hold a decent and respectful celebration. That is why starting from now I invite the lovers of the Messenger of God to make the marking and celebration of this year’s occasion appropriate and to the level of their love, adoration, and loyalty to the Messenger of God.

May God give you wellness. We’ll talk about the rest later, God willing, if God keeps us alive. May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.

Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

November 09, 2021

Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

Foreword: almost exactly two years ago I wrote a column entitled “Deconstructing Islamophobia“.  Yesterday, I posted an article about immigration which, alas, generated a few truly idiotic comments about “The Muslims they… bla bla bla” which I initially planned to reply to, but which I simply deleted in utter disgust.  Here I need to clarify, I was not disgusted by anybody’s dislike (or even hatred) for Islam or Muslims, not at all, I was disgusted by the utter stupidity of the “arguments” invoked.  So I decided that before writing my next column about issues of immigration, I would repost my “Deconstructing Islamophobia” as a reply to all those who believe that ignorant hatred is a form of piety.  On a more personal note, I am particularly ashamed when I see some (not all, thank God!) of my fellow Orthodox Christians parrot exactly the lines which the National-Zionists want to inject into our collective minds.  These are the type of folks which can’t even understand the truisms I listed yesterday, including these two truly basic ones:

  • Being FROM a Christian/Muslim country and actually BEING Christian/Muslim are two totally different propositions and the former does not in any way imply the latter.
  • To be considered as an adherent of religion X requires, at the minimum,  a) being aware of its main teachings and b) living your daily life in according to at least the main precepts of this religion.

So, especially for (some of) my fellow Orthodox Christians, I will add this: how would you like it if some Muslim, Buddhist or Judaic blamed the Orthodox Church for the Papacy’s Inquisition or Crusades, or blamed Orthodoxy for the actions of Cromwell in Ireland?  And if you began protesting the ludicrous nature of such accusations, your accuser would reply “the Christians they… bla bla bla“!  You would be pretty disgusted, wouldn’t you?  So you want the non-Orthodox to understand how different our faith is from the Papacy or Cromwell’s Puritanism and their innumerable crimes, yet you steadfastly refuse to even admit that the Muslim world is at least as diverse as the Christian one, and has been so during its entire history!

But hey – Who needs education and knowledge when hatred and bigotry are seen as acceptable, even pious, substitutes, right?!

Well, I want to you know that I am personally ashamed of this bigotry masquerading a piety and while in the current prevailing political doxa most people will side with you, I shall never, no matter what labels (crypto-Muslim being the kindest I saw) you place upon me.  And please remember that: I reject your theses not because I defend Islam or Muslim, but because you are ignorant bigots.

With that out of the way, I invite the rest of my readers to (re-)discover my two year old analysis.

Andrei

***

Introduction: a short survey of the cuckoo’s nest

My initial idea was to begin with a definition of “Islamophobia” but after looking around for various definitions, I decided to use my own, very primitive definition. I will define Islamophobia as the belief that Islam (the religion) and/or Muslims (the adherents to this religion) represent some kind of more or less coherent whole which is a threat to the West. These are two distinct arguments rolled up into one: the first part claims that Islam (the religion) represents some kind of threat to the West while the second part claims that the people who embrace Islam (Muslims) also represent some kind of threat to the West. Furthermore, this argument makes two crucial assumptions:

  1. there is such thing out there as a (conceptually sufficient) unitary Islam
  2. there are such people with (conceptually sufficient) common characteristics due to their adherence to Islam

Next, let’s summarize the “evidence” typically presented in support of this thesis:

  1. The god of Islam is not the same god as the God of Christianity
  2. The Muslim world was created by the sword
  3. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was an evil person
  4. Islam is incompatible with western democracy and represents a threat to what are referred to as “values” in the modern day West
  5. Muslims have treated Christians horribly in many different historical instances
  6. Muslims often turn to terrorism and commit atrocities
  7. Islam is socially regressive and seeks to impose medieval values on a modern world

There are more such as these, but these, I believe, are the main ones.

What is crucial here is to point out that this evidence relies both on theological arguments (#1 #4 #7), and historical arguments (#2 #3 #5 #6).

Finally, there is a most interesting phenomenon which, for the time being, we shall note, but only discuss later: the legacy corporate Ziomedia on one hand denounces Islamophobia as a form of “racism” but yet, at the same time, the very same circles which denounce Islamophobia are also the ones which oppose all manifestations of real traditional Islam. This strongly suggests that the study of this apparent paradox can, if carefully analyzed, yield some most interesting results, but more about that later.

Of course, all of the above is sort of a “bird’s eye” view of Islamophobia in the West. Once we go down to the average Joe Sixpack level, all of the above is fused into one “forceful” slogan as this one:

This kind of crude fearmongering is targeted at the folks who don’t realize that the USA is not “America” and who, therefore, probably don’t have the foggiest notion of what Sharia law is or how it is adjudicated by Islamic courts.

[I have lived in the USA for a total of 22 years and have observed something very interesting: there is a unique mix of ignorance and fear which, in the USA, is perceived as “patriotic”. A good example of this kind of “patriotism through ignorance” is in the famous song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson which includes the following words: “I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God“. Truth be told, the same song also asked in reference to 9/11 “Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue?“. Why exactly the massacre of 9/11 should elicit patriotic pride is explained as follows “And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?“. Thus when the “United American Committee” declares that Sharia law is a threat to “America” the folks raised in this culture of fear and patriotism immediately “get it”. David Rovics hilariously described this mindset in his song “Evening News” where he says: “Evil men are plotting, to blow up Washington, DC, ’cause they don’t like freedom and democracy, they’re fans of the Dark Ages, they are all around, they’re marching from the desert sands, and coming to your town“. I have had the fortune of visiting all the continents of our planet (except Oceania) and I can vouch that this blend of fear+patriotic fervor is something uniquely, well, not “American” but “USAnian”.]

Having quickly surveyed the Islamophobic mental scenery, we can now turn to a logical analysis of the so-called arguments of the Islamophobes.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: a unitary Islam

Let’s take the arguments one by one beginning with the argument of a unitary Islam.

Most of us are at least vaguely aware that there are different Islamic movements/schools/traditions in different countries. We have heard of Shias and Sunni, some have also heard about Alawites or Sufism. Some will even go so far as remembering that Muslim countries can be at war with each other, and that some Muslims (the Takfiris) only dream about killing as many other Muslims (who, obviously, don’t share the exact same beliefs) and that, in fact, movements like al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc have murdered other Muslims in huge numbers. So the empirical evidence strongly suggest that this notion of a Muslim or Islamic unity is factually simply wrong.

Furthermore, we need to ask the obvious question: what *is* Islam?

Now, contrary to the hallucinations of some especially dull individuals, I am not a Muslim. So what follows is my own, possibly mistaken, understanding of what “core Islam” is. It is the acceptance of the following formula “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God” or “lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llā“. Note that “Allah” is not a name, it is the word “God” and “rasul” can be translated as “prophet”. There are also the so-called Five Pillars of Islam:

  • The Shahada or profession of faith “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God
  • The Salat or a specific set of daily prayers
  • The Zakat or alms giving
  • The Sawm or fasting
  • The Hadjj or pilgrimage to Mecca

That’s it! A person who fully embraces these five pillars is considered a Muslim. Or at least, so it would appear. The reality is, of course, much more complex. For the time being, I will just note that in this “core Islam” there is absolutely nothing, nothing at all, which could serve as evidence for any of the Islamophobic theories. Yes, yes, I know, I can already hear the Islamophobes’ objections: you are ignoring all the bad stuff in the Quran, you are ignoring all the bad stuff about spreading Islam by the sword, you are ignoring all the bad things Muhammad did in his life, you are ignoring the many local traditions and all the normative examples of the tradition (Sunnah and it’s Hadiths). Yeah, except you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say:

  1. Islam is inherently evil/dangerous AND
  2. use local/idiosyncratic beliefs and actions to prove your point!

If Islam by itself is dangerous, then it has to be dangerous everywhere it shows up, irrespective of the region, people, time in history or anything else.

If we say that sometimes Islam is dangerous and sometimes it is not, then what we need to look into is not the core elements of the Islamic faith, but instead we need to identify those circumstances in which Islam was not a threat to anybody and those circumstances when Islam was a threat to others.

Furthermore, if your argument is really based on the thesis that Islam is evil always and everywhere, then to prove it wrong all I need to do is find one, just ONE, example where Muslims and non-Muslims have lived in peace together for some period of time.

[Sidebar: while I was working on my Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies I had the fortune of having the possibility to take a couple of courses outside my field of specialization and I decided to take the most “exotic” course I could find in SAIS‘ curriculum and I chose a course on Sharia law. This was an excellent decision which I never regretted. Not only was the course fascinating, I had the chance of writing a term paper on the topic “The comparative status of Orthodox Christians in history under Muslim and Latin rule“. My first, and extremely predictable, finding was that treatment of Orthodox Christians by Muslim rulers ranged from absolutely horrible and even genocidal to very peaceful and kind. Considering the long time period considered (14 centuries) and the immense geographical realm covered (our entire planet from Morocco to Indonesia and from Russia to South Africa), this is hardly surprising. The core beliefs of Islam might be simple, but humans are immensely complicated beings who always end up either adding a local tradition or, at least, defending one specific interpretation of Islam. My second finding was much more shocking: on average the status of Orthodox Christians under the Papacy was much worse than under Muslim rule. Again, I am not comparing the status of Orthodox Serbs under Ottoman rule with the status of Orthodox Christians in modern Italy. These are extreme examples. But I do claim that there is sort of a conceptual linear regression which strongly suggests to us that there is a predictive (linear) model which can be used to make predictions and that the most obvious lesson of history is that the absolute worst thing which can happen to Orthodox Christians is to fall under their so-called “Christian brothers” of the West. A few exceptions here and there do not significantly affect this model. I encourage everybody to take the time to really study the different types of Muslim rulers in history, if only to appreciate how much diversity you will find].

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the “Muslim god” vs the “Christian God”

This is just about the silliest anti-Muslim argument I have ever heard and it come from folks inhabiting the far left side of a Bell Curve. It goes something like this:

We, Christians, have our true God as God, whereas the Muslims have Allah, which is not the God of the Christians. Thus, we worship different gods.

Of course, the existence of various gods or one, single, God does not depend on who believes in Him or who worships Him. If we can agree on the notion that God is He Who created all of Creation, and if we agree that both Christians (all denominations) and Muslims (all schools) believe that they are worshiping that God then, since there is only one real/existing God, we do worship the same God simply because there are not “other” gods.

I wonder what those who say that “Muslims worship another god” think when they read the following words of Saint Paul to the Athenian pagans: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). What Saint Paul told them is that they ignorantly worship a god whom, in spite of that ignorant worship, Saint Paul declared to them. I submit that “ignorant worship” is not an insult, but a diagnosis of heterodoxy, and that such an “ignorant worship” can nonetheless be sincere.

The issue is not WHOM we worship, but HOW we worship (in terms of both praxis and doxa).

And yes, here the differences between Christians and Muslims are huge indeed.

In my 2013 article “Russia and Islam, part eight: working together, a basic “how-to”” I discussed the immense importance of these differences and how we ought to deal with them. I wrote:

The highest most sacred dogmatic formulation of Christianity is the so-called “Credo” or “Symbol of Faith” (full text here; more info here). Literally every letter down to the smallest ‘i of this text is, from the Christian point of view, the most sacred and perfect dogmatic formulation, backed by the full authority of the two Ecumenical Councils which proclaimed it and all the subsequent Councils which upheld it. In simple terms – the Symbol of Faith is absolutely non-negotiable, non-re-definable, non-re-interpretable, you cannot take anything away from it, and you cannot add anything to it. You can either accept it as is, in toto, or reject it.

The fact is that Muslims would have many problems with this text, but one part in particular is absolutely unacceptable to any Muslim:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made

This part clearly and unambiguously affirms that Jesus-Christ was not only the Son of God but actually God Himself. This is expressed by the English formulation “of one essence with the Father” (ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί in Greek with the key term homousios meaning “consubstantial”). This is *THE* core belief of Christianity: that Jesus was the the anthropos, the God-Man or God incarnate. This belief is categorically unacceptable to Islam which says that Christ was a prophet and by essence a ‘normal’ human being.

For Islam, the very definition of what it is to be a Muslim is found in the so-called “Shahada” or testimony/witness. This is the famous statement by which a Muslim attests and proclaims that “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God”. One can often also hear this phrased as “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is His prophet”.

Now without even going into the issue of whether Christians can agree or not that “Allah” is the appropriate name for God (some do, some don’t – this is really irrelevant here), it’s the second part which is crucial here: Christianity does not recognize Muhammad as a prophet at all. In fact, technically speaking, Christianity would most likely classify Muhammad as a heretic (if only because of his rejection of the “Symbol of Faith”). Saint John of Damascus even called him a ‘false prophet’. Simply put: there is no way a Christian can accept the “Shahada” without giving up his Christianity just as there is no way for a Muslim to accept the “Symbol of Faith” without giving up his Islam.

So why bother?

Would it not make much more sense to accept that there are fundamental and irreconcilable differences between Christianity and Islam and simply give up all that useless quest for points of theological agreement? Who cares if we agree on the secondary if we categorically disagree on the primary? I am all in favor of Christians studying Islam and for Muslims studying Christianity (in fact, I urge them both to do so!), and I think that it is important that the faithful of these religions talk to each other and explain their points of view as long as this is not presented as some kind of quest for a common theological stanceDifferences should be studied and explained, not obfuscated, minimized or overlooked.

Bottom line is this: it is PRECISELY because Islam and Christianity are completely incompatible theologically (and even mutually exclusive!) that there is no natural enmity between these two religions unless, of course, some Christian or Muslim decides that he has to use force to promote this religion. And let’s be honest, taken as a whole Christianity’s record on forced conversions and assorted atrocities is at least as bad as Islam’s, or even worse. Of course, if we remove the Papacy from the overall Christian record, things looks better. If then we also remove the kind of imperialism Reformed countries engaged in, it looks even better. But even Orthodox rulers have, on occasion, resorted to forceful conversions and mass murder of others.

And here, just as in Islam, we notice that Christians also did not always spread their faith by love and compassion, especially once Christian rulers came to power in powerful empires or nations.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam was spread by the sword

In reality the “Islam spread by the sword” is a total canard, at least when we hear it from folks who defend “democracy” but who stubbornly refuse to concede that 1) most democracies came to power by means of violent revolutions and that 2) just a look at a newspaper today (at least a non-western newspaper) will tell you that democracy is STILL spread by the sword. As for the USA as country, it was built on by far the biggest bloodbath in history. If anything, Sharia law and Islam could teach a great deal to the country which:

  1. spends more on aggression than the rest of the world combined
  2. has the highest percentage of people incarcerated (and most of these for non-violent crimes)
  3. whose entire economy is based on the military-industrial complex
  4. and who is engaged in more simultaneous wars of choice than any other country in history

So “Sharia Law Threatens America” is a lie. And this is the truth:

Was Islam really spread by the sword?

Maybe. But anybody making that claim better make darn sure that his/her religion, country or ideology has a much better record. If not, then this is pure hypocrisy!

Finally, I will also note that Christ said “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). In contrast, the Prophet of Islam established the first Islamic state in Medina. So when we compare Muhammad’s actions to Christ, a better comparison should be with the various Christian rulers (including Byzantine ones) and we will soon find out that the Christian Roman Empire also used the sword on many occasions.

Next:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the Prophet of Islam was a bad man

You must have all sorts of stories about how the Prophet Muhammad did things we would disapprove of. I won’t list them here simply because the list of grievances is a little different in each case. I actually researched some of these accusations (about marrying young girls, or sentencing people to death for example) and in each case, there is a very solid Muslim defense of these incidents which is almost always ignored and which provides a crucial context to, at least, the better understanding of the incident discussed.

Since I am not a historian or a biographer of the Prophet Muhammad I don’t have any personal opinion on these accusations other than stating the obvious: I am not a Muslim and I don’t have to decide whether Muhammad was a sinful man or a infallible person (that is a purely theological argument). I will simply say that this ad hominem is only relevant to the degree that some Muslims would consider each action of their prophet as normative and not historical. Furthermore, even if they would consider each action of their prophet as normative, we need to recall here that we are dealing with a prophet, not a God-Man, and that therefore the comparison ought not to be made with Christ, whom Christians believe to be 100% sinless, but with a Christian prophet, say Moses, whom no real Christian will ever declare sinless or infallible. As for the Quran, let’s not compare it to just the New Testament but to all the books of the Bible taken together, including those who were eventually re-interpreted by the new religion of (some) Jews after the fall of Jerusalem: rabbinical/Phariseic Talmudism which found plenty of passages in its (deliberately falsified) “Masoretic” text of the Old Testament “Tanakh” (please see here if you don’t know what falsification I am referring to).

Finally, NO religious text worth anything is self-explanatory or “explains itself” by means of comparing passages. This is also why all major religions have a large corpus of texts which explain, interpret, expand upon and otherwise give the (deceptively simple looking) text its real, profound, meaning. Furthermore, most major religions also have a rich oral tradition which also sheds light on written religious documents. Whatever may be the case, simply declaring that “Islam is a threat” because we don’t approve of the actions of the founder of Islam is simply silly. The next accusation is much more material:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions:Islam is incompatible with democracy

That is by far the most interesting argument and one which many Muslims would agree with! Of course, it all depends on what you mean by “democracy”. Let me immediately concede that if by “democracy” you mean this:

Then, indeed, Islam is incompatible with modern western democracy. But so is (real) Christianity!

So the so-called “West” has to decide what its core values are. If Conchita Wurst is an embodiment of “democracy” then Islam and Christianity are both equally incompatible with it. Orthodox Christianity, for sure, has not caved in to the homo-lobby in the same way most western Christian denominations have.

But if by “democracy” we don’t mean “gay pride” parades but rather true pluralism, true people-power, and the real sovereignty of the people, then what I call “core Islam” is not threat to democracy at all. None. However, there is also no doubt about two truisms:

  1. Some Muslim states are profoundly reactionary and freedom crushing
  2. Traditional Islam is incompatible with many modern “western values”

Still, it is also very easy to counter these truism with the following replies

  1. Some Muslim states are pluralistic, progressive and defend the oppressed (Muslim or not)
  2. Traditional Christianity is incompatible with modern “western values”

Again, Iran is, in my opinion, the perfect illustration of a pluralistic (truly diverse!), progressive and freedom defending Muslim state. I simply don’t have the time and place to go into a detailed discussion of the polity of Iran (I might have to do that in a future article), and for the time being I will point you to the hyper-pro-Zionist Wikipedia article (which nobody will suspect of being pro-Muslim or pro-Iranian) about the “Politics of Iran” which will show you two things: Iran is an “Islamic Republic” meaning that it is a republic, yes, but one which has Islam as its supreme law. There is absolutely nothing inherently less democratic about a Islamic republic which has a religion as its supreme law than a atheistic/secular republic which has a constitution as its supreme law. In fact, some countries don’t even have a constitution (the UK and Israel come to mind). As for the Iranian polity, it has a very interesting system of checks and balances which a lot of countries would do well to emulate (Russia for starters).

As for modern “western values”, they are completely incompatible with Christianity (the real, original, unadulterated thing) even if they are very compatible with modern western (pseudo-) Christian denominations.

So, now the question becomes: is there something profoundly incompatible between the real, traditional, Islam and the real, traditional, Christianity? I am not talking about purely theological differences here, but social and political consequences which flow from theological differences. Two immediately come to my mind (but there are more, of course):

  • The death penalty, especially for apostasy
  • Specific customs (dress code, ban on alcohol, separation of genders in various settings, etc.)

The first one, this is really a non-issue because while traditional, Patristic, Christianity has a general, shall we say, “inclination” against the death penalty, this has not always been the case in all Orthodox countries. So while we can say that by and large Orthodox Christians are typically not supporters of the death penalty, this is not a theological imperative or any kind of dogma. In fact, modern Russia has implemented a moratorium on the death penalty (to join the Council of Europe – hardly a moral or ethical reason) but most of the Russian population favor its re-introduction. Note that Muslims in Russia are apparently living their lives in freedom and overall happiness and when they voice grievances (often legitimate ones), they don’t have “reintroduce the death penalty” as a top priority demand.

The simple truth is that each country has to decide for itself whether it was the use the death penalty or not. Once a majority of voters have made that decision, members of each religion will have to accept that decision as a fact of law which can be criticized, but not one which can be overturned by any minority.

As for religious tribunals, they can be easily converted by the local legislature into a “mediation firm” which can settle conflicts, but only if both sides agree to recognize it’s authority. So if two Muslims want their dispute to be settled by an Islamic Court, the latter can simply act as a mediator as long as its decision does not violate any local or national laws. Hardly something non-Muslims (who could always refuse to recognize the Islamic Court) need to consider a “threat” to their rights or lifestyles.

An “Islamic Matrioshka”?!

As for the social customs, here it is really a no-brainer: apply Islamic rules to those who chose to be Muslims and let the other people live their lives as they chose to. You know, “live and let live”. Besides, in terms of dress code and gender differentiation, traditional Islam and traditional Christianity are very close.

Check out this typical Russian doll, and look at what she is wearing: this was the traditional Russian dress for women for centuries and this is still what Orthodox women (at least those who still follow ancient Christian customs) wear in Church.

Furthermore, if you go into a Latin parish in southern Europe or Latin America, you will often find women covering their heads, not only in church, but also during the day. The simple truth is that these clothes are not only modest and beautiful, they are also very comfortable and practical.

The thing which Islamophobes always miss is that they take examples of laws and rules passed by some Muslim states and assume that this is how all Muslim states will always act. But this is simply false. Let’s take the example of Hezbollah (that name means “party of God”, by the way) in Lebanon which has clearly stated on many occasions that it has no intention of transforming Lebanon into a Shia-only state. Not only did Hezbollah say that many times, but they acted on it and they always have had a policy of collaboration with truly patriotic Christians (of any denomination). Even in today’s resistance (moqawama) there are Christians who are not members of Hezbollah as a party (and why would they when this is clearly and officially a Muslim party and not a Christian one?!), but they are part of the military resistance.

[Sidebar: by the way, the first female suicide bomber in Lebanon was not a Muslim. She was a 18 year old from an Orthodox family who joined Syrian Social Nationalist Party and blew herself up in her car on an Israeli checkpoint (inside Lebanon, thus a legitimate target under international law!), killing two Israeli invaders and injuring another twelve. Her name was Sana’a Mehaidli]

A Hezbollah fighter respectfully picks up an image of the Mother of God from the ruins of a church destroyed by US-backed Takfiris

Recent events in Syria were also very telling: when the AngloZionist Empire unleashed its aggression against Syria and the “good terrorists” of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/ISIS/etc. embarked in a wholesale program of massacres and atrocities, everybody ran for their lives, including all the non-Takfiri Muslims. Then, when the plans of the Axis of Kindness (USA, KSA, Israel) were foiled by the combined actions of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, something interesting happened: the Latin Christians left, whereas the Orthodox Christians stayed (source). Keep in mind that Syria is *not* an Islamic state, yet the prospects of a Muslim majority was frightening enough for the Latins to flee even though the Orthodox felt comfortable staying. What do these Orthodox Christians know?

Could it be that elite traditionalist Shia soldiers represent no threat to Orthodox Christians?

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam generates terrorism

In fact, there is some truth to that too. But I would re-phrase it as: the AngloZionists in their hatred for anything Russian, including Soviet Russian, identified a rather small and previously obscure branch of Islam in Saudi Arabia which they decided to unleash against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. From the first day, these Takfiris were federated by the USA and financed by the House of Saud. The latter, in its fear of being overthrown by the Takfiris, decided to appease them by internationally supporting their terrorism (that is all Takfiris have to offer, their leaders are not respected scholars, to put it mildly). Since that time, the Takfiris have been the “boots on the ground” used by the West against all its enemies: Serbia, Russia first, but then also secular (Syria) or anti-Takfiri Muslim states (Iran).

So it is not “Islam” which generates terrorism: it is western (AngloZionist) imperialism.

The US and Israel are, by a wide margin, the biggest sponsors of terrorism (just as the West was always by far the biggest source of imperialism in history) and while they want to blame “Islam” for most terrorist attacks, the truth is that behind every such “Muslim” attack we find a western “deep state” agents acting, from the GIA in Algeria, to al-Qaeda in Iraq to al-Nusra in Syria to, most crucially, 9/11 in New York. These were all events created and executed by semi-literate Takfiri patsies who were run by agents of the western deep states.

As far as I know, all modern terrorist groups are, in reality, “operated by remote control” by state actors who alone can provide the training, know-how, finances, logistical support, etc needed by the terrorists.

And here is an interesting fact: the two countries which have done the most to crush Takfiri terrorism are Russia and Iran. But the collective West is still categorically refusing to work with these countries to crush the terrorism these western states claim to be fighting.

So, do you really believe that the West is fighting terrorism?

If yes, I got a few bridges to sell all over the planet.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “liberals”

There are many more demonstratively false assumptions which are made by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. I have only listed a few. Now we can look to the apparent paradox in which we see the western “liberals” both denouncing Islamophobia and, at the same time, repeating all the worst cliches about Islam. In this category, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton are the most egregious examples of this hypocrisy because while pretending to be friends of Muslims, they got more Muslims killed than anybody else. For western liberals, Islam is a perfect pretext to, on one hand, cater to minorities (ethnic or religious) while pretending to be extremely tolerant of others. Western liberals use Islam in the West, as a way to force the locals to give up their traditions and values. You could say that western liberals “love” Islam just like they “love” LGBTQIAPK+ “pride” parades: simply and only as a tool to crush the (still resisting) majority of the people in the West who have not been terminally brainwashed by the AngloZionist legacy corporate propaganda machine.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “conservatives”

Western conservatism is dead. It died killed by two main causes: the abject failure of National-Socialism (which was an Anglo plan to defeat the USSR) and by its total lack of steadfastness of the western conservatives who abandoned pretty much any and all principles they were supposed to stand for. Before the 1990s, the conservative movements of the West were close to fizzling out into nothingness, but then the Neocons (for their own, separate, reasons) began pushing the “Islamic threat” canard and most conservatives jumped on it in the hope of using it to regain some relevance. Some of these conservatives even jumped on the “Christian revival in Russia” theory (which is not quite a canard, but which is also nothing like what the Alt-Righters imagine it to be) to try to revive their own, long dead, version of “Christianity”. These are desperate attempts to find a source of power and relevance outside a conservative movement which is basically dead. Sadly, what took the place of the real conservative movement in the West is the abomination known as “National Zionism” (which I discussed here) and whose ideological cornerstone is a rabid, hysterical, Islamophobia.

Conclusion: cui bono? the US deep state

That one is easy and obvious: the US deep state needs the “Islamic threat” canard for two reasons: to unleash against its enemies and to terrify the people of the USA so that they accept the wholesale destruction of previously sacred civil rights. This is so obvious that there is nothing to add here. I will only add that I am convinced that the US deep state is also supporting both the Alt-Right phenomenon and the various “stings” against so-called “domestic terrorists” (only only Muslims, by the way). What the Neocons and their deep-state need above all is chaos and crises which they used to shape the US political landscape.

Finally, the real conclusion: rate the source! always rate the source…

Whom did we identify as the prime sources of Islamophobia? The liberals who want to seize power on behalf of a coalition of minorities, conservatives who have long ditched truly conservative values and deep state agents who want to terrify US Americans and kill the enemies of the AngloZionist Empire.

I submit to you that these folks are most definitely not your friends. In fact, they are your real enemy and, unlike various terrorists abroad who are thousands of miles away from the USA, these real enemies are not only here, they are already in power and rule over you! And they are using Islam just like a matador uses a red cape: to distract you from the real threat: National Zionism. This is true in the US as it is true in the EU.

Chechens in Novorussia

Most westerners are now conditioned to react with fear and horror when they hear “Allahu Akbar”. This is very predictable since most of what is shown in the western media is Takfiris screaming “Allahu Akbar” before cutting the throats of their victims (or rejoicing at the suffering/death of “infidels”).

Yet in the Donbass, the local Orthodox Christians knew that wherever that slogan (which simply means “God is greater” or “God is the greatest”) was heard the Ukronazis are on the run. And now we see Russia sending mostly Muslim units to Syria to protect not only Muslims, but everybody who needs protection.

Having a sizable Muslim minority in Russia, far from being any kind of threat, as turned to be a huge advantage for Russia in her competition against the AngloZionist Empire.

There are, by the way, also Chechens fighting on the other side in this conflict: the very same Takfiris who were crushed and expelled from Chechnia by the joint efforts of the Chechen people and the Russian armed forces. So, again, we have Muslims on both sides, the Takfiris now happily united with the Nazis and the traditionalist Muslims of Kadyrov protecting the people of Novorussia.

That is one, amongst many more, nuances which the Islamophobic propaganda always carefully chooses to ignore.

Should you?

The Saker

Immigration, ethnicity and religion (in ain’t as simple as it seems!)

NOVEMBER 08, 2021

Immigration, ethnicity and religion (in ain’t as simple as it seems!)

Foreword: Today I am starting what might well turn out into a series of articles about the interaction between immigration, ethnicity and religion.  I happen to believe that this is a topic I know pretty well for the following reasons:

  • I myself was born in a family of immigrants who went from Russia, to Serbia, to Germany, to Argentina, to Holland and then to Switzerland were I was born.  I then immigrated to the USA twice, first to get two college degrees 1986-1991 and a second time in 2002.  I know about immigration from the inside.
  • Furthermore, I also worked as an interpreter for the Swiss Federal authorities interviewing refugees.
  • As a member of the Swiss General Staff I also participated in analyses and command staff exercises dealing with the issue of how the national authorities would deal with a major immigration crisis.
  • While already in the USA, I also worked as an over-the-phone consecutive interpreter often involving cases of asylum seekers and other immigrants being interviewed by authorities (courts, police, etc.).
  • In Geneva I witnessed how a big mosque was built literally on my street and all the fears and changes this mosque elicited amongst the locals and I also witnessed what then actually happened over time.
  • I have a graduate degree in Orthodox theology which I combine with a personal interest for Islam in all its different versions and I have the privilege to speak, at length, with many Muslims, including very well educated ones.
  • I speak six languages and I have been extensively exposed to plenty of different cultures on our planet in many years of travel in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
  • My own culture, the Russian one, has always multi-ethnic, multi-religious and has been influenced by many waves of immigrants from all over the Eurasian continent.

I also wrote a series of articles entitled Russia and Islam which I can refer any interested reader to:

http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-one-introduction-and-definitions/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-two-russian-orthodoxy/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-three-internal-russian-politics/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-four-islam-as-a-threat/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-five-islam-as-an-ally/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-six-the-kremlin/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-seven-the-weathermans-cop-out/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-eight-working-together-a-basic-how-to/
http://thesaker.is/russias-civilizational-choice/
http://thesaker.is/the-fighting-imam-of-donbass-must-see/
http://thesaker.is/ramzan-kadyrov-offers-putin-his-own-personal-volunteer-chechen-special-force/
http://thesaker.is/a-muslim-police-officer-dies-a-heros-death-and-receives-russias-highest-honorary-title-hero-of-russia/

Normally, I would not begin with such an immodest “I am the expert, trust me on authority” kind of nonsense, but in this case this is important, because a lot of what I will write below comes out of my personal and direct experience.

I should also mention that I posted a (English subtitled) video about a recent incident in Moscow (see here) which got some folks very offended at me.  I wish they had waited for this series of articles before exploding in anger, but such is human nature…

Having said that, now let’s turn to the topic at hand.

***

Section one: basic truisms

Here I will begin by some basic assumptions which should be uncontroversial (at least I hope so!)

  • People chose to emigrate for very different reasons, including poverty, violence, fleeing the law (criminals) etc.
  • Internal immigration and external immigration have common features but should not be conflated.
  • Being FROM a Christian/Muslim country and actually BEING Christian/Muslim are two totally different propositions and the former does not in any way imply the latter.
  • To be considered as an adherent of religion X requires, at the minimum,  a) being aware of its main teachings and b) living your daily life in according to at least the main precepts of this religion.
  • Immigrating to country X does not mean that you approve/like/are inspired by country X or its native people, this is especially true when country X is the one which destroyed your own country of origin.
  • Immigration is an extremely stressful exercise, even when done in very comfortable conditions, and even more so when done under adverse ones.  Most immigrants are suffering stress/anxiety/PTSD/etc.
  • In many cases, the locals/natives are hostile to immigrants, some even use them as “cheap labor” (slaves) in often terrible conditions (even in supposedly civilized societies, there were cases of such slavery even in prosperous Switzerland).
  • When immigrants come not for neighboring countries, but from farther away a “clash of cultures” often happens.
  • In most cases, large waves of immigrants include a percentage of true criminals which “hide in the crowd” and who then commit crimes they would not dare to commit in their country of origin.

Next, a few elements which might not be widely known

Most countries do not have the capability to enforce their laws on large groups of immigrants.  Here are a few examples:

  • Regular cops: they often do not speak the language of the immigrants, and they know little about the cultural/tribal customs and organization of immigrants.  It is very hard for them to get confidential informers amongst immigrants.  Furthermore, when cops use legal, legitimate. violence against criminals from country X, these criminals always appeal to their fellow immigrants who, alas, often side with them which, in turn, results in a knee-jerk “circling of wagons” along ethnic lines on both sides which just makes things even worse.
  • Special services (intelligence, counter-intelligence, anti-terrorist, etc.):  These services typically have some experts (cultural, linguistic, religions, etc.) but NEVER in sufficient numbers.  Furthermore, in many countries it is illegal for these services to operate internally.  Finally, to somebody with a hammer everything looks like a nail: the same way for a typical counter-intelligence officer or counter-terrorist officer, every immigrant looks like at least a potential spy or a potential terrorist.  That is, of course, utter nonsense, but for the advancement of their own careers these folks will seek out “the enemy” in the most ridiculous places.  The immigrants, by the way, become very attuned to these suspicions.
  • The military: while they typically have the numbers, their mission and training is to engage an enemy and defeat him.  When the military does intervene against immigrants, it often results in a PR disaster which a lot of seemingly innocent immigrants being abused, mistreated or even killed by seemingly “hell bent on violence” military forces.

Which leaves only one group which *might* be effective in operations with/against immigrants: specialized internal security forces such as, say, the Russian National Guard or ICE in the USA.  That’s in theory.  In reality, for that type of force to be effective it needs all of the following:

  • An unambiguous legal status and mandate.
  • A smooth collaboration with police forces, special forces and the military.
  • Lots and lots of money for training, facilities, operations, etc.
  • The support of the general public (natives/locals).
  • The legal and material means to deal with the criminal elements hiding inside a wave of refugees.

That is very rarely the case, to put it mildly.

Next, the role of governments

I think I have already mentioned it several times on the blog that there is no such thing as a “non-government supported terrorist organization” out there, at least to my knowledge.  Okay, there might be local gangs which we could call “terrorist” which are local and more or less spontaneous, but they rarely last very long and a infiltrated sooner rather than later.  The late Colonel Gaddafi warned the EU that if he was removed, the gates of African immigration would open (and they did).  Erdogan uses refugees on a regular basis to put pressure on the EU and it appears that Lukashenko might be emulating Erdogan’s model.  The point is that if Turkey, for example, really wanted to stop the flow of immigrants cross its territory it could do so – the Turkish military is in bad shape, but that they sure could do.  Ditto for Lukashenko.  Yet, they (apparently) don’t.

In the countries which the immigrants want to reach, the local politicians make entire careers by being either pro-immigration or anti-immigration.  They are in a tacit alliance NOT to solve anything, but to simply profit from it!

How about corporations and businesses?

Yeah, for all their typical pseudo patriotism, the truth is that immigration is a big, HUGE, business for folks ranging from the country of origin of these immigrants to corporations and businesses in the countries of asylum.  And I am not only talking about drug dealers (though they play a major role too).  As others have observed, corporations act in a psychopathic way and their only true goal is to make as much money as possible.  They don’t give a damn about anything else, including crime, poverty, religion, etc.

Lastly, religious authorities

Well, they are typically in a pickle in many ways.  You would think that if you are a cleric of religion X and there is a wave of immigrants coming from a country nominally pertaining to that religion, that only means that your flock will get bigger and better.  Alas, this is almost rarely the case and, in fact, the opposite typically happens.  The fact that the locals/natives do not know enough about religion X is not much of a consolation, because now you, as the religious leader of religion X in this country will be blamed for the actions of criminals, as will your fellow coreligionists and even your religion as such.  Add to that the undeniable reality that some of these (pseudo-)religious immigrants use that religion to justify their actions make things even worse!

In theory, there is an easy solution for the local religious authorities: offer your services to the local law enforcement authorities.  That is SUCH a naive statement, it always makes me wonder if those who believe that understand the implications of this “simple” solution!  So let me spell out a few things about this:

  • First, unlike the “regular” members of the religious community X, the recently immigrants might view any such collaboration as a betrayal and even the evidence that the clergymen “sold out”, which might put the religious leaders in very real risk of violence (including murder) or, at best, replacement by another person, possibly an immigrant himself.
  • Second, unlike what the locals/natives seem to assume, most immigrants from country A with religion X are not at all interested in religion X or what its clerics might teach.  Again, this is especially true for criminals.
  • Third, being a religious leader and an effective confidential informer or agent are totally different roles and psychological mindset.  Hence, religious leaders are often quite incompetent in a role which is deeply alien to them.

Conclusion (for today): it ain’t as simply as some (simpletons) think it is!

What I outlined above are just elements of a very complex “immigration matrix” in which very complex and different phenomena all interact with each other.  To put it differently: there is a very good reason why immigration is such a complex and frustrating problem, and to make it appear all quick, easy and simple is just adding to the problem.  Yet, what do I see in the comment section under any article discussing immigration?  Mostly this:

  • Sweeping slogans, sometimes several slogans in a row masquerading as a comment.
  • A total conflation of religions, countries, historical situations, etc.
  • A quasi total ignorance of the realities of immigration I tried to outline above.
  • A systematic “right or wrong – my country” attitude from both some local/natives and the some immigrants.
  • Sweeping and unsubstantiated accusations against the perceived “other” and his/her supposed views or intentions.

The sad reality is that immigration is a topic which makes a lot of people instantly infantile and stupid (along with stuff like abortion, gun laws, sexuality and historiography, just to name a few).  The maxim that knowing a little about something is even worse than not nothing anything also fully applies.  People compare incidents in, say, Moscow, with other incidents in, say, California and Spain.  At best, these are at least real personal anecdotes, at worst just a paraphrasing of something read somewhere. And yet on the basis of such utterly inapplicable assumptions, they make sweeping generalizations!

And when religion gets involved, the following groups feel like now is the chance to get on a soapbox and preach:

  • Assorted atheists and religion-bashers.
  • Opponents of “organized religion”.
  • Opponents of religion X (whichever is involved).
  • Bigots from religion X who think that hating religion Y is a sign of deep piety (aka “virtue signalling”).
  • Native/local politicians who can make a career on this topic.
  • Assorted flag-waverers, racists and xenophobes who cannot deal with (real) diversity (but love the fake version).
  • Folks how never traveled outside their country of origin and who don’t know a single foreign language.
  • Pseudo-experts at everything which, in reality, lack even the basic understanding of the issues involved.

I don’t expect any members of the groups above to recognize themselves as members of these groups.  And no matter how hard the moderators try, some of that will inevitable seep through and make it to the comments section.

And yet.

This IS a really important topic, which MUST be discussed openly and honestly.  To just wish it away won’t do the trick.

So in the next installment, I would try to look a little deeper at the issues mentioned above.

Until then, cheers!

Andrei

The geopolitical aims & revolutionary gains of Iran’s annual Islamic Unity Week

The geopolitical aims & revolutionary gains of Iran’s annual Islamic Unity Week

November 03, 2021

by Ramin Mazaheri posted with permission and both parts cross-posted with PressTV

As a numerical minority – of course Shia are the Muslim group most interested in Muslim unity: It means survival. It has meant this since the very death of Prophet Mohammad, and both “Muslim unity” and “the survival of Shi’ism” have been inseparable ever since.

The logic of that concept – that “Muslim unity” is the best protector of the largest minority in the Muslim world – should be self-evident. Minorities need peace to thrive – they are outnumbered in conflicts/votes.

Picture 1

It is only divisive imperialists, and their puppets in some Muslim countries, who reject this logical idea and propagate the opposite – that, instead, Shia are trying to divide the Muslim community; that the minority Shia are bent on war with Sunnis. Of course, that is a war which is already prohibited by Islam – faith can never be forced on someone – so such persons (and I refer to isolated extremists who hold no democratic political power anywhere in the Muslim world) are always rejected as being un-Muslim.

No thinking Muslim needs a conference to restate this millennia-old conversation and settled law. Iran’s annual International Islamic Unity Conference, which just concluded its 35th meeting, is light years beyond these phony non-issues.

What the Conference does is to provide a forum to create an Islamic-geopolitical path to resolve insecurity in the Muslim world. Such insecurity is allowed to occur, in our modern area of imperialism, because there is disunity on fundamental topics of political modernity among Muslims.

Islamic Unity Week was initiated in 1987 and is held on the week of the birthday of Prophet Mohammad. The conference is not held to proselytize in favor of Shi’ism (again, proselytizing in Islam is forbidden, which is why there are no Muslim missionaries) but to strengthen unity among Muslims in a practical sense.

Yes, the event is held under the auspices of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, which paves the way for Islamic scholars to get to know and understand one another. Creating theological empathy and respectful intellectual understanding among Islam’s many sects is indeed an integral part of the conference. But the presence of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the heads of Iran’s Foreign Minister and Minister of Culture, major Iranian political leaders, political scientists, communication specialists, and others attest to the very practical, very real-world results which the conference is expected to produce.

A fundamental tenet of the conference is that Muslims cannot be united as long as foreign powers take away the sovereignty of Muslims in their own countries. Thus, the practical basis of the conference is anti-imperialism, a struggle so bloody and necessary that correct unity of any type must be utilized.

We should always remember that unity among any broad masses has always been called “divisive” by the powers of imperialism – whether such powers were feudal kings who rejected even meager parliaments, or the stockholders of the East India Tea Company, or the “200 families” of France whom Leon Blum had to negotiate with, in 1936, for an 8-hour day because “Who else was there for me to negotiate with?”, or today’s 1% and the media they own all of – because the united power of any masses against the elite will effect a modern revolution in any society.

Political unity should be easier than religious unity, but the Muslim world has more of the latter than the former

When there is Muslim unity on a merely national level the result takes the form of an “Islamic republic”. It must be a republic because monarchy – the preservation of privileges which are based on blood, elitism, and favoritism, and thus the necessary rejection of economic and political equity – is always cruel and unusual punishment of the nation’s masses and their resources.

That idea did not come along in the history of the Eastern hemisphere until the advent of the 19th century, and places like Europe fought the Napoleonic Wars, smothered the democratic wave of 1848, spread the false glory of their monarchs around the globe in violent and arrogant colonialism and embarked on the horror known as World War One simply because monarchs (in alliance with their aristocracy, both old and nouveau riche) wanted to preserve their privileges. It is truly as simple as that, and to say otherwise is a lie.

Monarchy – i.e. autocracy, authoritarianism, inequality before the law, unearned privilege, and arrogance – still has enormous support and backers among most of Western Europe, and these countries have propped up their royal brethren in the Muslim world.

It is incorrect to expect global unity on a religious plane, but are we expected to still wait for unity regarding the truly horrific demands of kings and queens?

“Republican imperialism” – of which France and the United States are shining examples – is not a true republic but one which merely mouths the words of equality before the law, yet whose policies preserve the nouveau riche and keep imperialism firmly in place. In such places, patriotism is the most exalted virtue, and because it places the nation higher than even God it degrades positive patriotism into fanatical jingoism.

Following World War One the idea that a nation of people has superior characteristics, deserve special privileges, and are destined to rule over others was then changed into “fascism”. The differences between monarchy and fascism are slight as there was no fundamental overturning of property relations as in, for example, the Iranian Islamic Revolution – the banking system, medium and heavy industry, and foreign trade remained in the hands of a tiny cabal instead of the people’s hands for the people’s benefit.

Because Western nations are either former or current colonizers and/or strongholds of monarchism (either overt or latent), they suffer themselves from a vicious sectarianism. Their callous, entrenched, self-serving elite tries to foist that same sectarianism onto the Muslim World. The policy of “divide and conquer” is not something they fail to use domestically as well, of course.

This is properly called “sectarianism” outside of the West but inside the West it is given a more innocuous-sounding name – “identity politics”. Both are the politics of battles for elite privileges, of “us versus them”, of anti-unity, of an individualism which strives to know no legal bounds.

“Identity politics” is anti-republican because it is sectarian. One hears this constantly in France – they do have a revolution-from-the-masses history to draw from, after all. In the US, identity politics is cynically viewed as a necessary evil in a world with only heartless societies.

The elite who profit seek divisiveness both in California and Nebraska, just as they want divisiveness in Lebanon and Iraq, just as they now want divisiveness within Afghanistan with a flaming urgency.

It is Afghanistan that this year’s conference was focused upon, as it’s currently ground zero in the struggle for unity in the Muslim world regarding the global war against a sense of arrogant privilege which some persons call “reactionary”, which other persons call “fascism” and which other persons call “evil”.

In Part One the geopolitical foundations of Islamic Unity Week have now been described, which allows us to see the accuracy of the title of Part 2, “Iran’s Islamic Unity Week: A place free from fascist/reactionary/anti-Muslim influences”. In 2021 the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan makes just such a haven incredibly necessary for Islamic Unity as well as global harmony.

Iran’s Islamic Unity Week: A place free from fascist/reactionary/anti-Muslim influences ( Part 2)

The intellectual unity of the Muslim World has long been established. They are similar to the Buddhists in this – they similarly have had very few epochs of “fitna” (civil war) – and dissimilar from their Christian Abrahamic brothers, who seemingly have embraced the idea that Christian unity is neither achievable nor even desirable but fundamentally antagonistic and overly-intrusive.

Indeed, it is not surprising that the Western media did not cover Iran’s 35th annual International Islamic Unity Conference, which just concluded, as it does not appear to see divisions among Christianity as a subject worth covering either?

Part One discussed the geopolitical foundations of the Conference: The struggle for unity in the Muslim world regarding the global war against a sense of arrogant privilege which some persons call “reactionary”, which other persons call “fascism” and which other persons call “evil”. Certainly, “imperialism” can be used interchangeably with all three.

The anti-imperialist victory of the Taliban over the United States-led Western coalition may wind up not being anti-imperialist at all – this was the underlying concern of this year’s conference.

The Taliban themselves were indeed this year’s target audience: it should be easily understandable that the primary aim was to show the Taliban that they are being monitored, and that there are demands by 52 Muslim countries that Shia and other groups be protected in the name of both Afghan unity and Muslim unity.

The expulsion of the Western coalition may prove to be a failure in the anti-imperialism fight if Daesh and other terrorists – who foment Muslim disunity via attacks on Shia – are not totally rejected and subdued by the new Taliban leadership. Without an inclusive government and zero tolerance for “sectarianism/identity politics”, then certainly Daesh will continue to terrorize and thus provide grounds for yet another western invasion. That would mean more decades of disunity in Afghanistan, in a victory for imperialism.

However, a Taliban which is inclusive and which expels Islamic fundamentalists would be a victory for both anti-imperialism as well as Muslim unity. It should be easy to see why for Muslims the two are the same in 2021 It should be easy to see why to the colonialist project of Israel and the individualist-worshipping Western 1% Muslim unity is as threatening to their profit lines as anti-imperialism is; as any broad unity of the masses is.

The Taliban say they have changed from decades of fighting – the conference is a reminder that 52 Muslim nations are studying them closely for proofs.

Daesh and other groups – which are known to be funded by Western imperialist nations even though they find democratic approval in no Muslim region – keep getting Western guns and money precisely because they allow the West to station Western troops in Muslim countries. It is a fundamental tenet of the International Islamic Unity Conference that Muslim nations must provide for their own security, as Iran does. The West repeatedly insists that only they are capable of providing security in the Muslim world, but the double-dealing and murderous hypocrisy of Western history in the modern Muslim world is well-known to all.

Indeed, the Muslim world is so thwarted and denied chances of self-empowerment that they are now relying on the Taliban – originally a terrorist group supported by the United States to topple a democratic government – to break the cycle of Western-backed terrorism within Muslim countries.

It seems like a very weak leg upon which to rest the Conference’s politically-modern version of Muslim unity, no?

But there is no worldwide revolution coming to save the Muslim world: The nation of Afghanistan has proven exceptional in its ability to overcome foreign invasion, and now they must prove that their exceptional ability was based on the modern political ideas of grassroots demands for sovereignty, social equity, and religious harmony.

In a real way, Iran’s Conference is an open invitation, and a plea, and a humble request for communication in order to show the Muslim world that there is another version of what is acceptable in Islam other than what is offered by the house of Saud and the obscenely-monied (which is also to say “obscenely privileged”) Persian Gulf countries. The differences are not cultural values – because Islam is the essence of all these cultures – but the most fundamentally modern political values, i.e. the rejection of feudalism, monarchy, unequal privilege, Muslim disunity, and the violence always required to uphold any of these outdated concepts.

The Conference shows that the petrodollar’s true printers and the Arab League do not have a monopoly on the political direction of the Muslim world, and – in my opinion – their actions and comprador complicity in recent decades show that they do not deserve one.

Iranians believe that due to their Islamic and modern revolution they are not some sort of shining example for the Muslim world but simply a guaranteed safe space – a place that can host open dialogue and which excludes undoubtedly reactionary/fascistic/evil intentions.

Such dialogues must be held in the name of Muslim unity, which should be about as controversial as motherhood but which are controversial because Muslim unity would upend two centuries of Western dominance, colonization and forced regression/stagnation. In 2021 the Muslim world looks to Afghanistan as a place of newfound military sovereignty – grassroots, republican and Muslim unity must immediately follow.


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Imam Khamenei: Palestine Index of Muslim Unity

25.10.2021

Imam Khamenei: Palestine Index of Muslim Unity

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei described the issue of Palestine as the main index of unity among the Islamic nations, saying if Muslim unity is realized, then the Palestinian issue will be resolved in the best way.

Imam Khamenei received the participants in the 35th International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran on Sunday.

The meeting, also attended by the heads of the three branches of the Iranian government – judiciary, executive, and legislative – and a group of government officials, was held on the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversaries of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and Imam Sadiq [AS] at Imam Khomeini Hussainiyyah on Sunday morning.

“An indicator of Muslim unity is the issue of Palestine. If Muslim unity is realized, the issue of Palestine will be solved in the best way. Some Islamic governments committed a grave sin by normalizing relations with the usurping, despotic Zionist regime. They must repent and compensate,” Imam Khamenei emphasized at the meeting.

“On the auspicious birth anniversaries of the Great Prophet Muhammad and Imam Sadiq [PBUT], I congratulate the Islamic nation and the world’s free-thinking people and I send my greetings to the pure spirits of those who were martyred on the path of Islam,” His Eminence noted.

“The birth of the Prophet of Islam is in fact the beginning of a new era in humankind’s life. It’s an announcement that a new era of the divine will and divine favors for humankind have commenced,” Imam Khamenei stated.

“In any period of time, it is the believers’ duty to look at what situation they are in, what the religion expects of them, and what mission has been assigned to them. In this era, acting duly based on Islam’s comprehensiveness and the issue of Islamic unity appear to be very important,” His Eminence said.

“Islam is an all-inclusive religion. One must act according to this all-inclusiveness. Worldly political powers insistently try to limit Islam to individuals’ deeds and beliefs. The Quran rejects this in 100s of verses. Islam is active in all social, political, international areas,” Imam Khamenei underlined.

“The Islamic Unity is definitely a Quranic obligation. The unity of Muslims is not a tactical matter that some people assume we should be united in certain situations. No, it is a principle. Cooperation between Muslims is necessary. If Muslims are united, they will all be strong,” Imam Khamenei noted.

Nasrallah on obedience to God & how it guides Shia political action

October 10, 2021

Visual search query image

Description:

Speaking at a mourning ceremony to mark the yearly religious occasion of Ashura, Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah touched on the Islamic conception of worship and obedience to God, and the implications of this conception on the world of political decision-making and action within contemporary Shia Islam.

The following transcript helps to reveal the intersection of the religious, the spiritual, and the socio-political for Nasrallah and many Shia political movements today.

The Hezbollah leader’s comments were made at a time when Lebanon faces one of the worst political and economic crises in the history of the Mediterranean country.

Source: Al-Manar Tv

Date: August 13, 2021

(Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations by contributing a small monthly amount here )

Transcript:

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary General:

True worship of Allah means complete obedience to Almighty Allah. ‘Uboodiyah (worship) is not (simply) defined by the number of prayers and fasts one carries out, even while keeping in mind that Salat (prayers) and Sawm (fasting) are part of worship.

‘Uboodiyah in its true essence means obedience to Almighty Allah, in all aspects – whether small or great – and refraining from disobeying Allah Almighty, no matter how small or big (that matter is). This is the school of the Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt, peace and blessings be upon them.

And this is the message of Karabala for us. It is the message of worship of Allah, and obedience to Allah Almighty. And even if this obedience to Allah Almighty entails that we reach a point in which we are besieged, become hungry, and thirsty, and are forced to fight, and be killed, and our women are taken captive. This is the true (deeper) message (of Karabla), before talking about politics and the political circumstances and goals (of that time), in 61 A.H. This is the meaning of al-Husayn’s movement, peace be upon him.

For this reason, in all of al-Husayn’s speeches and statements he would say ‘God wills (this)’ (shaa’a Allah), but not in the sense of (having no choice but to accept) an unchangeable fate. ‘God wills’ in the sense that ‘this is God’s judgment’, ‘this is what God has chosen for me’, ‘this is what God is pleased with for me, and I am pleased with what God is pleased with, and I act in accordance with what God Almighty is pleased with’.

……….

When we obey Almighty Allah, indeed we act in the interest of our own selves, (in the interest of) our own aakhirah (life in hereafter), for (the sake of) our own dunya (worldly life), (in the interest of) of the dunya and aakhirah of the people (at large). Allah is needless of our obedience, and our disobedience does not harm him (in any way). Hence, the motive (that we must have) always, is carrying out our takleef (responsibility before God). To discover our takleef, and to carry it out.

Here I move on to a detailed discussion of this matter. To discover one’s takleef, is a very important issue, O’ brothers and sisters. Meaning that, when I am before a particular incident or development or issue, what is my takleef? What is my Islamic responsibility? What must I say, such that through my words I would be in obedience of Almighty Allah? How must I act, such that via my actions I would be in obedience of Allah Almighty? Discovering one’s takleef is a great and highly important matter.

In some of the meetings with his eminence, the leader, Imam (Sayyed Ali) Khamenei, may his life be prolonged, he use to say to us: ‘always supplicate and ask Allah Almighty with tawassul (intercession) and extreme humbleness and utter humility, to reveal to you your takleef (responsibility)’. One of the greatest blessings (of God) upon man, is that He reveals to him and guides him towards his takleef, and that He supports and aids him in discovering his (own) takleef. Why? Because aakhirah (is at stake)! Before we talk about dunya and the worldly ramifications (of knowing or not knowing one’s takleef).

We must humbly and consistently ask Allah Almighty to 1) (guide) us towards discovering our takleef, and 2) to carry out this takleef. Because sometimes we may discover our takleef but realize that it is difficult (to carry out). Difficult. Painful. Costly. So we refrain from (trying to carry it out). Discovering (one’s) takleef requires Divine attention (i.e. Grace and support), and carrying out the takleef and remaining patient in its implementation requires Divine attention. We must attain this Divine attention through supplication with humility and persistent turning to God Almighty.

In our own lives, (discovering our) takleef (religious responsibility) in many cases is clear and easy. For instance, (in relation to) the rules (ahkaam) of Salat, Taharah, Sawm, Zakat, Khums, Hajj, Umrah, trade, buying, selling, marriage, divorce etc. Mashallah (impressively), in the jurisprudential (fiqhi) books of all Muslims of all the various sects, you will find many editions and volumes on even the smallest of matters. This includes all the various sects and their various jurisprudential opinions (ijtihad) etc. Thus, depending on one’s sect, man is able to find out his takleef when it comes to many aspects and details of life.

However, the difficulty lies where? In the (new) issues that arise in the life of man. Here, we are not talking about the taharah (Islamic cleanliness) of this water or the najasah (Islamic uncleanliness) of this product, or the permissibility of selling (this thing or that). Rather, (the difficulty lies) with regards to new issues and developments in our lives relating to politics, security, military, society, economy, and culture. What do we do?

(These matters) affect us, our families, our children, our grandchildren, the people around us, and the generations to come. The stance that we take regarding this or that great and serious matter, will not only decide the fate of ourselves only, but rather, the fate of generations to come. Here, man must search for his takleef so that he may know it. And this has its particular mechanisms – and you know about (these mechanisms) – I will suffice myself with this much (on this issue for now) and (conclude) with this: this is where asking about one’s takleef becomes of (utmost) importance. That is, not just (solely focusing on questions like) the taharah of this water or the permissibility of selling this product, which are questions of a personal nature. These are personal issues. As for broader issues, or as Imam (Mahdi) says in a narration, ‘as for the hawaadith al-waaqi’ah (new events/developments that occur)’. The events and developments that arise in the life of man, (events) that affect the fate of all people.

(For instance), whether we fight, or don’t fight. Whether we resist, or don’t resist. For example, if there wasn’t a resistance in Lebanon in 1982, then Israel would still be occupying Lebanon in 2021, setting up settlements in Lebanon, controlling political decision-making in Lebanon, arresting the young men and women of Lebanon and forcing them into its prisons, as it done with thousands of Palestinian prisoners etc etc etc. Therefore, what the (Lebanese) generation of 1982, 1983, and 1984 carried out didn’t just affect them, but rather all the generations that will follow.

When the Ameer (i.e. Imam Ali) speaks about the one who enjoys foresight, he mentions that from among his qualities is (his tendency to carry out) deep thinking, analysis, contemplation, and that he avoids hastiness. For this reason, this is our responsibility today.


Subscribe to our mailing list!

Related Posts:

International Order, World Order, Order of the World, and Things to Come

International Order, World Order, Order of the World, and Things to Come

September 29, 2021

By Amir NOUR for the Saker Blog [1]

This is a chapter from Amir’s forthcoming book, titled : “L’Islam et l’ordre du monde: le testament de Malek BENNABI” (Islam and the Order of the World: Malek BENNABI’s Testament).  First available in French with translations to Arabic and English planned.

“Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers”

(Hadith of Prophet Mohammed)

In the beginning was Westphalia

In order to properly set the scene for the subject which concerns us here, that is the “Order of the World” in contrast to “World Order”, as it was perceived by the late Malek Bennabi[2], it is convenient to proceed to a necessary clarification of the key concepts in this matter.

In fact, in the abundant literature on international relations, particularly in the French language, the qualifier “international”, “global” or “planetary” is rarely explained satisfactorily. As Gilles Bertrand[3] points out, the undifferentiated use of one or the other of these adjectives suggests that they are interchangeable, therefore without real meaning for political science. This is not the case, since for many authors like him, this usage reflects belonging to a particular school of thought in international relations, a particular perception of the world, and a different analysis of the concept of “order” in world politics.

The French Academy dictionary defines order as “an arrangement, a regular layout of things in relation to one another; a necessary relationship which regulates the organization of a whole into its parts”. In reality, the notions of order and disorder are part of practical, ethical, political, even mythical and religious discourse. From a philosophical point of view, according to Professor Bertrand Piettre[4], these two notions seem to be more normative than descriptive and have more value than reality. Thus, the term “order” is understood at least in two contradictory senses: either the order is thought of as finalized, as carrying out a purpose, pursuing a direction and thus making sense; disorder is then defined by the absence of an intelligent design. Or the order is thought of as a stable or recurring structure and, thereby, recognizable and locatable, as a constant and necessary arrangement; but as such, it can appear totally devoid of finality and purpose. Disorder, then, is not thought of as what is devoid of a finality, but as what appears to be devoid of necessity.

These two meanings, Piettre explains, refer to two philosophically different visions of the world: finalist or mechanist. Also, recent developments in contemporary science reveal a third possible meaning of the word order, a so-called “contingent” order which is constituted, not against or in spite of disorder, but by and with it; not by triumphing over disorder, but by using it. The author concludes that the notions of order and disorder are therefore intimately entwined and complementary to each other. Their combination, in a play of contingency and necessity, produces the diversity of the material and living world that we know.

In the context of international relations, order is commonly understood to mean the set of rules and institutions that govern relations between the key players in the international environment. Such an order is distinguished from chaos, or random relationships, by a certain degree of stability in terms of structure and organization.

Perhaps, one of the best studies ever done on this topic is the one sponsored by the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute in 2016 under the title “Understanding the Current International Order[5]. The main aim of this study, was to understand the workings of the existing international order, assess current challenges and threats to the order, and accordingly, recommend future policies deemed sound to U.S. decisionmakers.

The report says that in the modern era, the foundation of the international order was built on the bedrock principles of the Westphalian system, which reflected fairly conservative conceptions of order while relying on pure balance-of-power politics in order to uphold the sovereign equality and territorial inviolability of States.

This Westphalian system led to the development of the territorial integrity norm, considered to this day as a cardinal norm against outright aggression towards neighbors with the aim of seizing their lands, resources or citizens, which was once a common practice in world politics. Thus defined in its main elements, this system has continued to prevail, especially since the Concert of Europe, also known as the Vienna Congress system, which from 1815 to 1914 established a whole series of principles, rules and practices having greatly contributed, after the Napoleonic wars, to maintaining a balance between European powers and shielding the Old Continent from a new all-out conflict. It stood fast until the outbreak of World War I, resumed with the creation of the League of Nations, and then, again, after World War II.

In sum, even if it took different forms in practice, the Westphalian order continued to be a permanent feature of the relations between the great world powers during all the aforementioned periods, thus allowing, to the greatest possible extent, the prevalence of structured relations designed to forswear territorial conquest and curtail any global disorder susceptible of generating wars or large-scale violence in their midst.

The RAND Corporation report indicates that since 1945, the United States, which was the greatest beneficiary of the restored peace, has pursued its global interests through the creation and maintenance of international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations, and liberal political norms and standards. These ordering mechanisms are often collectively referred to as the “international order”.

However, in recent years, rising powers have begun to challenge the sustainability and legitimacy of some aspects of this order, which is clearly seen by the U.S. as a major challenge to its global leadership and vital strategic interests. Three broad categories of potential risks and threats likely to jeopardize this order have thus been identified by the writers of the report:

– some leading states consider that many components of the existing order are designed to restrict their power and perpetuate American hegemony;

– volatility due to failed states or economic crises;

– shifting domestic politics at a time of slow growth and growing inequality.

Kissinger and Realpolitik

Two years before the publication of this study, Henry Kissinger, the veteran of American diplomacy credited with having officially introduced “Realpolitik” (realistic foreign policy based on the calculation of forces and the national interest) in the White House while serving as Secretary of State under Richard Nixon’s administration, had further explored the theme of world order in a landmark book.[6]

From the outset, Mr. Kissinger asserts that no truly global “world order” has ever existed. The order as defined by our times was devised in Western Europe four centuries ago, on the occasion of a peace conference held in Westphalia, a region of Germany, “without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilizations”. This conference, it should be remembered, followed a century of sectarian conflict and political upheavals across Central Europe which ended up provoking the “Thirty Years’ War” (1618-1648), an appalling and unnecessary “total war” where a quarter of the population of Central Europe died from combat, disease or starvation.

However, the negotiators of this peace of Westphalia did not think of laying the foundations of a system applicable to the whole world. How could they have thought so when then, as always before, every other civilization or geographic region, seeing itself as the center of the world and viewing its principles and values ​​as universally relevant, defined its own conception of order? In the absence of possibilities for prolonged interaction and of any framework for measuring the respective power of the different regions, Henry Kissinger believes, each of these regions viewed its own order as unique and defined the others as “barbarians” wich were “governed in a manner incomprehensible to the established system, and irrelevant to its designs except as a threat”.

Subsequently, thanks to Western colonial expansion, the Westphalian system spread around the world and imposed the structure of a state-based international order, while failing, of course, to apply the concepts of sovereignty to colonies and colonized peoples. It is these same principles and other Westphalian ideas that were put forward when the colonized peoples began to demand their independence. Sovereign state, national independence, national interest, noninterference in domestic affairs and respect for international law and human rights have thus asserted themselves as effective arguments against the colonizers themselves during armed or political struggles, both to regain independence and, afterwards, to protect the newly formed states in the 1950s and 1960s in particular.

At the end of his reflection combining historical analysis and geopolitical prospective, Mr. Kissinger draws important conclusions about the current international order and asks essential questions about its future. The universal relevance of the Westphalian system, he said, derived from its procedural nature, that is value-neutral, which made its rules accessible to any country. Its weakness had been the flip side of its strength: designed by states exhausted from the bloodletting they inflicted on each other, it offered no sense of direction; it proposed methods of allocating and preserving power, without indicating how to generate legitimacy.

More fundamentally, Mr. Kissinger argues that in building a world order, a key question inevitably concerns the substance of its unifying principles, which represents a cardinal distinction between Western and non-Western approaches to order. Quite aptly, he observes that since the Renaissance, the West has widely adopted the idea that the real world is external to the observer, that knowledge consists in recording and classifying data with the greatest possible precision, and that the success of a foreign policy depends on the assessment of existing realities and trends. Therefore, the Peace of Westphalia embodied a judgment of reality and more particularly of realities of power and territory – in the form of a concept of secular order supplanting the demands of religion.

In contrast, the other great contemporary civilizations conceived of reality as internal to the observer and defined by psychological, philosophical or religious convictions. As a result, Kinssinger is of the opinion that sooner or later, any international order must face the consequences of two trends that compromise its cohesion: either a redefinition of legitimacy or a significant shift in the balance of power. In such surcumstances, upheavals could emerge, the essence of wich being that while they are usually underpinned by force, their overriding thrust is psychological. Those under assault are challenged to defend not only their territory, but the basic assumptions of their way of life, their moral right to exist and to act in a manner that until the challenge, had been treated as beyond question”.

Like many other thinkers, political scientists and strategists, especially Westerners, Mr. Kissinger considers that the multifaceted developments underway in the world are fraught with threats and risks that could lead to a sharp rise in tensions. And chaos threatens “side by side with unprecedented interdependence: in the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the disintegration of states, the impact of environmental depredations, the persistence of genocidal practices, and the spread of new technologies threatening to drive conflict beyond human control or comprehension”.

This is the reason why Mr. Kissinger thinks that our age is insistently engaged in an obstinate search, sometimes almost desperatly, of a concept of world order, not without expressing his concern which takes on the appearance of a warning: in our time, a reconstruction of the international system “is the ultimate challenge to government. And in the event of failure, the penalty will be not so much a major war between States (though in some regions this is not foreclosed) as an evolution into spheres of influence identified with particular domestic structures and forms of governance, for example the Westphalian model as against the radical Islamist version” with the risk, according to him, that at its edges each sphere would be tempted to test its strength against other entities of order deemed illegitimate.

The major conclusion of this scholarly book which concerns us particularly in the context of our theme of the “Order of the World”, as opposed to “international” or “World” order, is this: “The mystery to be overcome is one all peoples share: how divergent historical experiences and values can be shaped into a common order”.

Mr. Kissinger’s allusion to the “radical Islamist version” as a possible alternative to the Westphalian model of world order is far from trivial; and the fact of having singled it out from other eventualities speaks volumes about its own strategic reading of the evolutions underway and the possible contours of the world to come.

Afghanistan, yet again a slayer and graveyard of empires

With a few years of delay, the “establishment” of his country seems to have been convinced of the same views. Indeed, in the space of just four days, two clarifications in this sense have been made, shaking violently the foundations of policies and “truths” hitherto considered incontrovertible.

Firstly, through an editorial[7] published in the columns of the highly influential New York business and financial daily “The Wall Street Journal”. Under the evocative headline “The Unconquable Islamic World”, the newspaper owned by Australian–American billionaire and media mogul Rupert Murdoch claims that historians, troopers and politicians will debate for many years the particulars of what went unsuitable throughout America’s intervention in Afghanistan. This adventure had its epilogue, on August 31, 2021, in the form of a hasty and messy evacuation of American troops through Kabul airport, under the triumphant gaze of the Taliban, the new masters of Afghanistan, a country which once again proved to be a slayer and graveyard of invading empires, old and new. Such a rout, broadcast live by international media, left everyone bewildered and certainly eclipsed similar scenes of panic that marked the fall of Saigon, Vietnam, on April 30, 1973, which sealed the first military defeat in the recent history of the United States.

Considering that the US-led coalition has been guilty of blindness by failing to understand that politics lies downstream of tradition, and tradition downstream of faith, the newspaper recognizes that Islamic societies belong to a particular civilization, which resists the imposition of foreign values by way of energy. This blindness is caused by the fact that, becoming apostles of common civilization, Westerners think that “human beings all over the place would make the identical primary choices we made in constructing political group”, and also by a “noble want” to see people as equal, interchangeable beings for whom religion and tradition are “accidents of delivery”. Whereas in fact, these accidents are “non-negotiable truths for tons of hundreds of thousands of people that would moderately die than concede them”.

Failure to understand this, the daily concludes, can be a symptom of “religious vacancy”. In other words, “alienated from America’s Christian origins, hundreds of thousands can’t fathom how religion may play a significant position in binding people collectively”.

Secondly, through an equally scathing assessment by President Joe Biden himself during a speech to the nation[8] delivered in the wake of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and only eleven days before the 20th anniversary of the September 11, terrorists attacks, which had precisely precipitated this military intervention. On this occasion, President Biden gave a full-throated defense of his decision to end the United States’ longest war abroad by declaring that the era of large American military deployments to remake other nations is over. He further emphasized: “After more than $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan a cost that researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for two decades in Afghanistan yes the American people should hear this: $300 million a day for 20 years in Afghanistan”. Will this important declaration help turn a new page in Washington’s foreign policy, especially towards the Muslim world, a policy characterized by so many setbacks that have claimed the lives of millions of innocent people and caused heavy material damage and unspeakable sufferings? Only time will tell.

Islam and the New World Order

In the meantime, as Ali A. Allawi asserts in his mesmerizing book[9], there is little doubt that for at least two centuries the civilization of Islam has been going through a profound crisis. Islam, as a religion and a method of worship, embraced by almost two billion people in the world[10], has kept its vitality intact, and is gaining more and more followers outside its original geographical sphere, notably since the events of September 11, paradoxical though it may seem to some. Indeed, we are seeing more and more telling signs in this regard such as: the increase in the number of conversions to Islam, in particular among educated women; the significant surge in the number of mosques, Islamic centers and other places of worship in the West and elsewhere (including through the conversion of abandoned Christian places of worship); the election of Muslims to high positions of political and representative responsibility (including mayors and parliamentarians of major capitals and Western cities); the interest in studying Islam in general and the Qur’an in particular, including in schools and universities in many countries around the world; the remarkable growth of banks and other Islamic financial institutions, as well as that of the Halal industry in the world.

It remains true, however, that the situation is quite different for the world and the civilization that Islam has built over the centuries. These have been seriously undermined. What does this mean exactly? To try to answer this question, it is important to recall the following key considerations:

All civilizations try to balance themselves between the individual and the collective (or the group), between the temporal and the spiritual, and between this-worldliness and otherworldliness. Shifts between the relative importance given to the former at the expense of the latter is what gives the different civilizations their distinctive identity and coloring; and critical disjunctions in human history occur when the individual paradigm is overturned or tilted towards the collective, or vice versa.

In modern Western societies, especially English–speaking ones, it is an indisputable fact that since the Renaissance which was at the origin of the Enlightenment movement and thought, there has been a gradual and probably decisive and irreversible shift away from the collective and the sacred towards the individual and the secular.

This being the case, in the self–image of Western or Westernized societies, the individual is ennobled and endowed with the power and tools to determine, alone, the course of his personal development and fulfillment as well as those of society, through the idiom – which is then erected into absolute dogma – of rights and the practice of a democracy based on laws and rules. The primacy of the individual over collective rights thus gradually paved the way for the dismantling of the post-war welfare state, making the dividing line between the public and private domains increasingly blurred, and providing wide–open avenues to an unbridled individualism.

The Muslim World was not spared either by the onslaught of these stormy developments, and all the countries composing it ended up joining, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and intensity, the irresistible ultraliberal globalization movement churned out and forcefully promoted by the Reagan-Thatcher couple in the 1980s. Nevertheless, to this day, Islam, this invisible glue that binds Muslims to a different set of values, loyalties and identities beyond the nation, seem to be resisting and still has not recognized the inevitability of a world civilization stamped with the sole seal of the West and its typical and willfully domineering political, cultural, and socio-economic model.

Being a religion which does not separate the spiritual from the temporal and puts the rights, interests and well-being of the community ahead of those of individuals, Islam today constitutes a major brake on and obstacle to the standardization of humanity according to the globalist mold aiming to impose the rules of a single economic model and mindset. The supporters of this vision of the world work tirelessly to break open this bolt which still holds, unlike Catholicism, the other monotheistic religion with a universal vocation, in particular since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which has totally abdicated by giving in to the “demands” of an increasingly desecrated modern world.[11] This Council, let us remember, had, under the impetus of the brand new Pope John XXIII, assigned three main goals, the repercussions of which are still being felt today: to renew the Church itself (to make its aggiornamento), to re-establish the unity of all Christians, and to engage in the dialogue of the Church with the contemporary world.

Pierre Hillard understood this very well when he said that Islam is now the “last bulwark against the New World Order”. To the question that Laurent Fendt put to him on Radio “Ici et Maintenant”, on January 11, 2010, of “what would be in the case of a world government the enemy who would be put forward to continue to rule the world?”, Pierre Hillard replied: “Within the framework of the New World Order, the enemy currently is Islam (…) because Islam is still the only religion which brings hope for the hereafter (…) It is for the globalist spirit a competition that it cannot accept, because the Muslim will not – in any case much less – focus on material pleasures, on the consumer society; so it is necessary at all costs to destroy this Islam which does not extol the American way of life”. And while referring to an article by Ralph Peters in an American military journal[12] pleading in favor of a “Vatican of Islam”, he recalls the encyclical Pacem in Terris of John XXIII before concluding: “they succeeded with Catholicism and there is nothing left but Islam which tries to resist”.

On closer inspection, we may argue that throughout the Western colonial period, the Cold War and until after the “Thirty Glorious” the West was somewhat indifferent if not condescending to Islam as a religion. The fear of Islam has followed the demise of social democracy in the West, especially since the events of “May 68”, and the decay of progressive and socially centered movements in the Third World. The Iranian revolution of 1979, itself begotten by this historical development, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, radically changed the geostrategic situation in the eyes of Western countries. Islam is increasingly at the center of their concerns today and a rampant Islamophobia has naturally, and dangerously, ensued. As Mr. Allawi so rightly put it, Islam’s religion, cultures, civilization, nations and peoples have become the subject of meticulous scrutiny by a wide array of analysts, “from the most thoughtful to the most incendiary, from the most illustrious to the most obscure, from the most sympathetic to the most bigoted”.

Make no mistake about it. Much like Egyptian thinker Mustafa Mahmoud, we are aware that when some influential figures, both Western and indigenous, declare that they are not hostile to Islam as a religion, they are honest in some way. To be sure, they have no objection to Muslims praying, fasting, making the pilgrimage to Mecca, spending days and nights worshiping God, glorifiying Him and seeking His grace in individual meditation and invocation or in collective prayers in mosques. They are in no way hostile to ritual Islam, an Islam of gestures, genuflection and asceticism. Nor do they object to Muslims being bestowed with the rewards of the hereafter. It’s a question they don’t necessarily care or think about. On the contrary, these personalities and their mentors have very often encouraged, supported and defended the leaders and other sounding boards of this type of Islam: peaceful, pacifist, docile and exploitable at will. Their hostility and enmity are rather directed against the other Islam, the one that challenges their claim to the exclusive authority to rule the world, and build it on other ideals, values ​​and interests than theirs; progressive Islam which enjoins what is right and forbids what is wrong in the world; Islam which wants to open an alternative cultural path and eestablish other models and values ​​in the fields of economy, trade, art and thought; Islam that wants to advance science, technology and inventions, but for purposes other than the conquest of the territories of others and the control of their resources; Islam that goes beyond individual reform to social reform, that helps cure the ailments of the current pervasive and materialestic civilization to effect a much-needed salutary global change. In all such arenas, there is no room for negotiation, bargaining, or compromise. There is bitter warfare, either overt or covert, sometimes even with the help of supposedly co-religionists local clients.

In reaction, an awareness characterized mainly by rearguard actions and resistance to the claims of secular modernity is emerging across the Muslim world. This dynamic encompasses all of the attributes of a struggle for the survival of Islam, henceforth the sole standard bearer of Abrahamic monotheism.

The future of Islam: between reformation, deformation and rebirth

Uneasiness and uncertainty as to the direction in which Islamic civilization is moving, or is being intentionally pushed, have been providing the foundation for a flow of projects and plans aimed at “reforming” or “revitalizing” Islam since the beginning of the 19th century and up to the present day. These continued attempts are all based on schemes of “reinvention” of Islam through secularization, liberalization, historicization, or radicalization of Muslims’ understanding of their religion.

As we pointed out earlier, there is no crisis of religious belief in Islam comparable to that which has affected Christianity in the West generally. But this is a far cry from the assertion that the seeds of a rebirth of Islamic civilization are there simply because most Muslims continue to show extraordinary commitment to their religion. Mr. Allawi is right in thinking that the main threat to Islamic civilization will not come from the massive abandonment of religious faith. Rather, the future of this civilization is more linked to the success or disappearance of political Islam as it has manifested itself during the last forty years.

Indeed, the extreme politicization, both internal and external, of Islam and its transformation into an ideology for legitimizing access to and/or retention of power is undoubtedly a crucial change that has influenced the life course of Muslim states and peoples, and also their relation to the whole world. According to Allawi, the success of political Islam may, paradoxically, turn out to be the “coup de grace”, the final blow to the Islamic civilization. For it will eliminate, once and for all, the possibility that the political path could ever be the basis for rejuvenating or reshaping the elements of a new form of Islamic civilization. In many ways, the use of violence and terrorism in the name of Islam confirms the disappearance of this civilization from the consciousness of terrorists and their local and foreign supporters. Despite its predominance in the calculations of policy and decision-makers and in the public imagination, political Islam is only one aspect of the overall problem of Islam in the modern World. Similarly, its ups and downs are only one symptom among others of the disease affecting this civilization. And the fact that Islamism has received the lion’s share of attention does not automatically make its leaders and ideologues the arbiter of Islam itself.

Therefore, what needs to be addressed as a matter of high priority and urgency is to identify the root causes of the crisis and to remedy them. In particular, it is crucial to find out whether Islam’s apparent mismatch with the modern world is intrinsic to the religion itself or is due to other factors, including the gradual breakdown of its vital forces. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Muhammad, who has contributed significantly to the development of his country, has suggested what could well be a particularly interesting “road map” in this regard. Addressing the participants of the 3rd International Conference on Islamic Thought, held in Kuala Lumpur in May 1984, he said: “If Muslims really want an Islamic social order, then they must examine every aspect of modern life from the perspective of Islam and make the necessary corrections (…) Then they should integrate the new knowledge into the corpus of the Islamic legacy by eliminating, amending, reinterpreting and adapting its components according to the world view of Islam”.

The debate on this topic is endless, and the opinions expressed by Muslims themselves are often diametrically opposed. This is the case with two recent contributions. If for the Tunisian researcher Hela Ouardi[13] “Islam is a totally anachronistic religion, stuck in a temporal trap and unable to cut the thread of the mythology that would allow it to enter modernity”, it is quite otherwise for the Swiss researcher of Moroccan origin Réda Benkirane[14] who considers that “paradoxically, what we perceive as a return of religion is in reality an exit from Islam. This “outing” essentializes the accessory (appearance, clothing, standards) and accessorizes the essential (the articulation of reason and faith). Everything that has been going on for half a century now has contributed to a turbulent secularization of Islam (…) The instrumentalization of religion for political ends has been the work of secular Western states and Arab petromonarchies”.

In truth, what reformers and critics of Islam alike have not sufficiently understood or admitted is that “the spiritual dimension of Islam has permeated the entirety of its civilization”. Accordingly, regaining knowlege of the sacred is an essential requierement. This is the most important characteristic of this particular religion, one that Muslims hold to be perfect and definitive, especially in terms of the transcendent reality which lies at the heart of its message. In interpreting the world view of Islam, the aim of all knowledge must be to “seek, find and affirm the divine basis of all righteous thinking and actions”, as referred to in the Qur’an.[15] Furthermore, the clear dichotomy between the sacred and the secular contained in the biblical affirmation “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” finds no place in Islam if it “despiritualizes the foundations of individual and collective action”.

The aforementioned considerations are the most essential features which made the specificity of Islam, its Alpha and its Omega, which allowed the birth and then the greatness of its civilization, and which will be crucial for the success of any “rebirth” enterprise aimed at the individual and societal regeneration of Islam in the modern world. Otherwise, what Mr. Allawi calls “the last crisis” of the civilization of Islam may induce a secularization of Islam, which would therefore reduce its domain to the private sphere, as an individual faith or, at best, a community faith. Such an evolution would obviously add Islam to the other non-established religions in the modern world and, with time, its singularity will disappear, and with it any possibility that its outward expression will have a serious impact on the world in general. On that account, it would permanently lose any claim it might have to be “the incubator of a unique form of a future civilization”. As for the Muslims taken individually, they would then be part of a world which would bear no imprint of their religion “while the model of Promethean man, heroically defying the gods and tolerating no limit to his desires and their fulfillment”, would take a further step towards its own inescapable perdition. All in all, the Islamic “awakening” so much announced lately would not be a prelude to the rebirth of an Islamic civilization but “a new episode of its decline”, and the final act of the end of a once resplendent civilization that would have thus, God forbid, also made its swan song.

This fundamental conclusion reached by Ali Allawi, and which we endorse entirely, is the same as that formulated fifty years before him by Malek Bennabi in the original Arabic version of his fascinating scholarly book published in 1971 in Cairo under the title “The Problem of Ideas in the Muslim world”. The Muslim world, he wrote, has emerged from the post-Almohadian era in the last century without, however, yet finding its base; like a rider who has lost the stirrup and has not yet managed to get it back, it is looking for its new equilibrium. Its secular decadence, which had condemned it to inertia, apathy, impotence, colonizability, nevertheless retained its more or less fossilized values. It emerges in this state in a twentieth century at the height of its material power, but where all moral forces began to fail soon after World War I.

After examining the ins and outs of this long process of decadence, Bennabi warns that the Muslim world, and more particularly a large part of its “elites”, is carried away by contradictory ideas, those very which bring it face to face with the problems of technological civilization without putting it in contact with its roots, and those which link it to its own cultural universe without putting it completely in contact with its archetypes, despite the meritorious efforts of its Reformers. It therefore risks, “by infatuation or by slipping on slides set in its footsteps, to be drawn into modern ‘ideologies’ just as they consummate their bankruptcy in the West where they were born”. We do not make history, he affirms assertively, by following in the footsteps of others in all the beaten paths, but by opening up new paths; this is only possible with “genuine ideas that answer all the growth problems of a society which must be rebuilt”.

Surely, for centuries, the civilization of Islam has often been shaken by powerful opposing currents. The crusades, the Mongol invasion, Western colonization and imperialism and, today, the intense movement of globalization were the most striking ones. It has just as often bent under their blows, but has never broken. Far from it, its contribution to universal civilization and to the construction of the Old and New worlds is undeniable. The chronicle of this role, especially during the period of the Ottoman Empire, has recently been the subject of a remarkable book written by Professor of history and Chair of the Department of History at American Yale University, Alan Mikhail[16], under the title “The Shadow of God: The Ottoman Sultan Who Shaped the Modern World”. In the introduction to this narrative presenting a new and holistic picture of the last five centuries and demonstrating Islam’s constituent role in the forming of some of the most fundamental aspects of the history of Europe, the Americas, and the United States, he states that: “If we do not place Islam at the center of our grasp of world history, we will never understand why the Moor-slayers (Matamoros)17 are memorialized on the Texas-Mexico border or, more generally, why we have blindly, and repeatedly, narrated histories that miss major features of our shared past. As we chronicle Selim and his age, a bold new world history emerges, one that overturns shibboleths that have held sway for a millennium”, before concluding: “Whether politicians, pundits, and traditional historians like it or not, the world we inhabit is very much an Ottoman one”.

*

  1. Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the book “L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot” (The Orient and the Occident in Time of a New Sykes-Picot) Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2014. 
  2. Malek Bennabi (1905-1973) was an Algerian thinker and writer who devoted most of his life to observe and analyze History to understand the general laws behind the rise and fall of civilizations. He is also known for having coined the concept of “colonizability” (the inner aptitude to be colonized) and even the notion of “globalism” (mondialisme, in French). 
  3. Gilles Bertrand, Ordre international, ordre mondial, ordre global”, in Revue internationale et stratégique 2004/2 (N°54). 
  4. Bertrand Piettre, “Ordre et désordre : Le point de vue philosophique”, 1995. 
  5. RAND Corportation, “Understanding the Current International Order”, 2016. 
  6. Henry Kissinger, “World Order”, Penguin Press, New York, 2014. 
  7. The Wall Street Journal, The Unconquerable Islamic World”, August 19, 2021. 
  8. See: “Remarks by President Joe Biden on the End of war in afghanistan, The white House, WH.GOV, August 31, 2021. 
  9. Ali A. Allawi, “The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation”, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2010. 
  10. According to a study conducted by The Pew Research Center entitled “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050”: “Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31%) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23% of the global population. By 2050 there will be near parity between Muslims (2.8 billion, or 30% of the population) and Christians (2.9 billion, or 31%), possibly for the first time in history. If the main projection model is extended beyond 2050, the Muslim share of the world’s population would equal the Christian share, at roughly 32% each, around 2070. After that, the number of Muslims would exceed the number of Christians. By the year 2100, about 1% more of the world’s population would be Muslim (35%) than Christian (34%)”. 
  11. See : Jean Pierre Proulx “Il y a 50 ans : Vatican II. Le Concile qui a bouleversé l’Eglise”, Le Devoir, December 22, 2012, and the interview with historian Guillaume Cuchet, in “Aleteia”, “Le catholicisme aura l’avenir qu’on voudra bien lui donner”, September 18, 2021. 
  12. Ralph Peters, “Blood Borders: How a Better Middle East Would look”, in Armed Forces Journal, juin 2006. 
  13. See : Hela Ouardi, L’Islam n’arrive pas à trancher le fil de la mythologie qui lui permettrait d’entrer dans la modernité”, Le Monde des religions, September 19, 2021. 
  14. See : Réda Benkirane, “Tout ce qui se joue depuis un demi-siècle concourt à une sécularisation turbulente de l’islam”, le Monde des religions, September 5, 2021. 
  15. “We will show them Our signs in the horizon and within themselves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?” (Chapter Fussilat, Verse 53). 
  16. Alan Mikhail, “God’s Shadow: The Ottoman Sultan who shaped the modern world”, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2020.
  17. Matamoros” is the name of a city located in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas across the border from Brownsville, Texas in the United States. It was coined by Catholic Spaniards for whom it was the duty of every Christian soldier to be a Moor-slayer. 

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

September 11, 2021

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

An 8 part tweet stream by Pepe Escobar and posted with his permission

Pepe has two requests as follows:

  • Please retweet as much as possible
  • Please alert the Saker community – because at least parts of this thread may be “disappeared”, post-Allende-style, in no time. These are the parts that totally destroy the official narrative.

9/11: A U.S. DEEP STATE INSIDER SPEAKS Old school. Top clearance. Extremely discreet. Attended secret Deep State meetings on 9-11. Tired of all the lies. The following is what’s fit to print without being redacted.

Part 1 THE PHONE CALL. Up next.

“An emergency phone conference was held in the early afternoon of 9/11 based on the fact that WTC Building Number Seven was still standing. Demolitions were engineered to cause the building, as well as the others, to fall into its own footprint. I attended this call.”

Part 2 On WTC7: “No plane hit Building Number Seven.” “The CIA was brought to cover it up. The CIA set up failed asset bin Laden to blame as misdirection, then pulled the plug on Building Number Seven.” “The CIA doctored boarding tapes to show Arabs entering the planes.”

Part 3 On Mullah Omar: “Our CIA Arabists knew that if we blamed Osama, who was innocent of 9-11, Mullah Omar would not give him up in violation of the laws of Islamic hospitality. Mullah Omar requested evidence: then he would turn Osama over. Of course, we did not want that.”

Part 4 On heroin: “The Afghanistan heroin war was justified by 9-11. No one in Afghanistan was involved in 9/11. No member of Islam was involved. We invaded Afghanistan for only one purpose, which was to restart heroin production shut down by a righteous act of Mullah Omar.”

Part 5 On CIA and heroin: “CIA heroin plantations in Afghanistan funded external, clandestine operations and lined some important people’s pockets. That was common practice when the CIA ran the heroin operation in the Golden Triangle.”

Part 6 On MOTIVE: “It was never in the U.S. strategic interest to lay a curse on Islam in the West.” “9-11 was a kind of Gulf of Tonkin false flag operation justifying a war on Islam and the invasion of Iraq, followed by other invasions of Islamic nations.”

Part 7 Afghanistan-Iraq: “The Taliban loved us as they did not know that we lured Russia into Afghanistan. It was idiotic to think that they wanted to hurt their ally on 9-11.” “With Iraq invaded over a new falsity, the neocons created a war of hatred against Islam.”

Part 8 Who’s in charge: “The apex of the U.S. command structure is not the presidency. It’s the Deep State. I use that term even though we did not as it is commonly used.”

Islamophobic or Blindly Malicious? US Seizes Quranic Tiles from Iran for Virginia Mosque

August 10, 2021

Islamophobic or Blindly Malicious? US Seizes Quranic Tiles from Iran for Virginia Mosque

By Staff, Agencies

Among the weirdest news a person might hear is that an enemy combats a religion’s culture and civilization.

It is either an aspect of Islamophobia, which is highly unlikely, or a blind maliciousness that the US custom authorities confiscated a set of Iranian tiles to be used in construction of a new mosque in Virginia, demanding they “must be shipped backed to Iran or destroyed.”

The tiles, which are adorned with Quranic verses, were shipped in June from the Iranian city of Qom, to be used in construction of the Manassas Mosque in northern Virginia.

However, they were confiscated at Dulles International Airport after they were deemed to violate sanctions on Iran, the mosque’s imam Abolfazl Nahidian said on Tuesday.

The tiles were a gift and he paid no money for them, but custom authorities at the airport blocked him from claiming them citing the sanctions, he told a news conference at the mosque.

A letter from Customs and Border Protection informed the mosque that the tiles must be either shipped back to Iran or destroyed, the Associated Press cited him as saying.

Destroying the tiles, which are adorned with Quranic verses, “is the same as destroying verses of the Quran, or the whole Quran itself”, Nahidian said.

The mosque is now asking the Biden administration to release the custom-made tiles.

Nahidian said he has received other tile shipments throughout the years without incident, including one shipment that arrived eight months ago. He has led the mosque for nearly three decades.

The Biden administration is locked in a standoff over the US return to a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, showing an aversion to remove the most draconian sanctions which its predecessor imposed on the Islamic Republic.

Biden has admitted that Washington was wrong to abandon the nuclear agreement, but he is showing an urge to retain some aspects of the sanctions as leverage to pressure Iran.

Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are purportedly exempt from the sanctions that Washington imposed on Tehran after former president Donald Trump walked away from the international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred any dealing with Iranians – including humanitarian activities.

The Indo-European, Ashkenazi Jew is not a Cousin of any Arab-Semitic Muslim

Visual search query image

22 Jul, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Susana Khalil

We are in the 21st century of secular values; the colossal Zionist propaganda distorts religion with ethnicity, to hide the colonial anachronism.

Visual search query image

Part I. 

Seen the successful fraud of falsifying history, the theft of history by the Euro-Zionist colonial movement, where European converts to the Jewish religion instrumentalized the Semitic religious heritage to impose a colonial regime in Historic Palestine in 1948. A warm and aesthetic scaffolding, brimming with numerous epics not only from the religious and media cloister, but also from an academic and intellectual secularism. A whole illustrated pen of bohemia, refined acrobatics, intellectual and academic pirouettes, they got muddy in the aromatic and romantic mantle of: “The return of the Jews after 2000 years to the ancestral land, the land that God promised to the Jews”. A skillful claim of false historical rights that follows Indo-Europeans stripping the original Semitic people, under a fascinating and hallucinatory historical scam. 

Today, the peoples of the Arab-Persian Levant, colonially called the Middle East, are caught between a classic and anachronistic colonialism called “Israel”, a neo-colonialism that is the Saudi Monarchy, and almost entirely dictatorial Arab regimes. 

In summary, the Middle East today is composed of colonialism, neo-colonialism and dictatorships.

Saudi Arabia, more than an Islamic theocratic monarchy is a tyranny, and more than a monarchy and a tyranny, it is a neo-colonial entity. With time, the colonizer discovers that the colonial praxis is a very heavy, complex and complicated logistic method, and it is there where he solves, discovers another method – neocolonialism – which consists of hiring natives, creating an elite among them, granting them privileges and power that serve their interests. Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the world; oil is the resource of contemporary civilization. And while Saudi neocolonial tyranny is the most useful piece of the imperial west, “Israel’s” colonial anachronism came to endorse neocolonialism  and “Israel” seemed to be the most beloved and admired ally. 

Part II.

Visual search query image

The betrayal of the corporatocratic Arab-Islamic elite in the service of Zionist colonial expansionism

As early as the 1960s, Egyptian pan-Arabist leader Jamal Abdel Nasser warned of the treacherous threat from Saudi Arabia. Today behind the betrayal of the United Arab Emirates which announced allying itself with the colonial regime of “Israel”, Saudi Arabia and all the imperial and colonial Zionist machinery are unveiled too.

These monarchical corporate petro-dictatorships, very attractive as a stock exchange axis of glamour, splendor, luxury, elegance, opulence, their cities, the “Pompeii” of our times; to stay in power they must sacrifice their own Palestinian Arab brother people, otherwise, the imperial forces must replace these dictatorships.

Some of us argue that the end of “Israel’s” colonial regime would bring about the end of the Arab dictatorships per se. 

It is logical that many monarchical Arab corporate tyrannies in the Gulf betray to perpetuate themselves in power, and the blood of the Palestinian people is their salvation… Let us not confuse logic with morality…

The tyrannical corporation of the Arab-Islamic petro-dollar of the Gulf not only contributes to the disappearance of the Palestinian people, but also that of the rest of the Arab-Persian-Kurdish peoples and cultures, in the face of the expansionist Zionist project of “Greater Israel”. 

Part III.

The falsification of Islam for treason

To justify the betrayal, before the Arab multitude they must do it with manipulation and falsification of the sensitive, sublime sacro-cultural bastions, from the sacred feelings and symbols of the Arab identity, Islam. As an example, the Jews and Muslims are cousins. 

Above all, we must remember and almost claim that the monotheistic Jewish-Christian-Muslim trilogy is a Semitic heritage, that is, what the Arab world is today.    

The monotheistic Judaeo-Christian-Muslim triad is not only a legacy and inheritance of the same ethno-civilization, the Semite, but also as doctrines they have the same root, trunk, and tissue. Judaism is religion and mother religion of Christianity and Islam. For many, Christianity is a Jewish sect. Islam is a Judaeo-Christian religious doctrine, and is a continuity and complement of the legacy of Semitic monotheism. But Zionist propaganda portrayed Islam as the enemy of Judaeo-Christianity.

The prophet of Islam, Mohammad is descended from Ismail, and Ismail is the firstborn son of the Jewish prophet, Abraham (Mesopotamia/ Iraq). Later, the prophet of Judaism had his second son, Isaac, and Issac had Jacob. If this is history or myth, it is of the Semitic people and not of Europe. This is an archive of the Arab ancestor.  

According to the sacred scriptures of the monotheistic Judaeo-Christian-Muslim triad, Jews and Muslims are cousins, that is, Semitic Jews and Semitic Muslims. A Jew of Indo-European roots is not a cousin of a Muslim of Semitic roots, since those who expanded in the world were not Jews, nor Christians, nor were Muslims, what expanded in the world the respective religious doctrines of Semitic peoples. Marking the differences, the Marxists did not expand in the world, what was spread, with less success, was Marxism. 

A German Aryan converted to the Jewish religion is not a cousin of a Hungarian Aryan converted to the Muslim religion; the fact of being Jewish or Muslim does not make these circumcised Indo-Europeans Semites.

Someone Chinese who converts to the Jewish religion is not a cousin to an African person converted to the Muslim religion, although one is Jewish and the other is Muslim, they are not ethno-Semites.

Quechua people, native to modern-day Peru with 15 000 years of history had polytheistic religious expression and then, the fires of the infernal European Inquisition converted them to Christianity, and today some converted to Judaism and live in the colonial regime of “Israel”. These Quechua Jews are not the cousins of any Semitic Muslim and are not the cousins of any Aryan, Chinese, African, Latin etc. Muslim. 

A Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese Jew, that is a Semite, is a cousin of a Semitic Muslim.

…None of these religions are peoples… 

We are in the 21st century of secular values; the colossal Zionist propaganda distorts religion with ethnicity, to hide the colonial anachronism. 

Europe weaves and founds its civilization, glory and misery, splendor and horror from its polytheistic Cosmo vision. Europe does not possess monotheism of its own; monotheism is rather a legacy of the Semitic peoples, today’s Arab world. Let us imagine Europeans converted to the Christian religion claiming historic rights to Palestine, or Chinese Muslims claiming historic rights to the Arabian Peninsula, the cradle of Islam. 

Now that Indo-Europeans, Caucasians, Slavs, Scandinavians, in short Aryans, that is, non-Semitic, have converted to a religion that comes from the Levant, from the Semitic civilization, that does not make these Indo-European Semites. Sure they are Jews, but they are Jews, not Semites.

…The Israeli is not an Israelite…

The Saudi tyranny, the emirates, and other Arab traitors are investing colossal money to accelerate the counterfeiting of Islam for the sake of Euro-Zionist colonialism.

The corporate neo-colonial tyrannies of the Gulf have been carrying out a distorted schooling or dismembering of Islam, doing a kind of evangelization as in the case of the Protestants: “If you don’t defend Israel you will burn in the flames of hell. The Gulf theocracies will impose the farce, the Jews are our cousins and we must defend the ‘State of Israel’, otherwise Allah will punish you.”

The Palestinian people were not only robbed of their land but also their history. In classic colonialism the colonizer occupies the land and destroys, abhors the histories of the original peoples. “Israel” is the only colonialism recorded in world history in which the colonizer not only takes the land but also steals the history of the original people. This particularity is due to the fact that this colonizer does not come from a people as in classical colonialism but from a European political movement (Zionism) that seeks to transform itself into a people. Jews are not a people, just as Christians and Muslims are not peoples. In this way, Zionism usurps the history of the original people to justify this classic and anachronistic colonialism today in our 21st century.  

Zionism seeks to snatch away, to expel from History the heritage and contribution of the Arab-Persian people, these are methods of extermination. Already in 1948 under the falsification of history, they managed to impose colonialism in Palestine, but it is a colonialism that is not limited to Palestine, the project is “Greater Israel”. 

Israeli colonialism and Saudi neo-colonialism skillfully agree to use Islam as a slow but sure card to wipe out the Palestinian Semitic people by using the leitmotiv “Israel has the right to exist, the Jews are our cousins”.  Now there are figures who suggest to create Fatwas (Islamic laws), to penalize those who oppose this.  

 The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Zionist Academics Take The Side Of State Power

About me

11 June 2021

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Tensions in Academia

The growing divide in the United States between Zionists and supporters of Palestinian rights has led to pronounced tensions in academia. Much has been said about increasing pro-Palestinian student protests as well as the activities of pro-Israel boards of governors, presidents, deans, etc. The latter try to guard their campuses from pro-Palestinian faculty, student clubs, invited speakers and the like.

These tensions have found yet another academic front on which to contest. There are two historical associations in the U.S. for scholars of Middle East studies reflecting opposing attitudes toward Israel and its behavior toward the Palestinians. And this divide presents us with a dichotomy of values at the professional academic level.

The oldest of these is the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). It was founded in 1966 and currently has a membership of more than 2700. It also serves as a “constituent society of thirty-six affiliated organizations.” It puts out a quarterly journal and has an active Committee on Academic Freedom. MESA is a very successful learned society. Its scholars cover all of the Middle East and North Africa. It is dedicated to high standards of scholarship and diversity of interpretation.

By the 2000s the debate within academia over the expansionist nature of Israel and its treatment of conquered Palestinians was heating up. Because most of MESA members have a broad knowledge of the area, a sense of local perspectives, and also know the history of the Arab Israeli conflict, their positions tend to be critical of Israeli behavior and American support for it. And that led to an organizational split.

In 2007 two scholars, Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, decided to start a rival organization, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). They did so because, according to them, MESA was “dominated by academics who have been critical of Israel and America’s role in the Middle East.”

One might wonder why the position taken by many MESA members upset Lewis and Ajami. After all, debating issues from an historical perspective is, in part, what academics are supposed to do. If MESA was allegedly “dominated” by those critical of Israeli behavior, Lewis and Ajami’s answer was to establish a “politicized” organization “dominated” by Zionists. It made little sense in terms of dialog, but tactically it fit right in with how Zionists—those who uphold the legitimacy of a Jewish state in Palestine—react to criticism.

Over the last quarter century, a common tactic of Zionists has been to withdraw from public debate and, where they can, bring about enforced silence of anyone who is critical of Israel. That, of course, is what those pro-Israeli academic administrators and boards were and are doing. Part of this effort entails labelling those critical of Israel as anti-Semites. This stratagem is generally used to shut down negative assessments in the West. Seeking to expand the scope of this effort, ASMEA’s much lauded founder, Bernard Lewis, who died in May of 2018, sought to defame Islam with the same charge. That approach is carried on by ASMEA. The organization awards a Bernard Lewis Prize, a description of which quotes Lewis, “to an astonishing degree, the ideas, the literature, even the crudest inventions of the Nazis and their predecessors have been internalized and Islamized.” In competition for this award, young Middle East scholars are encouraged by ASMEA to identify Muslim Arab opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism.

Part II—Expressing Values

The two organizations have recently shown where this tension has taken them in terms of human rights. This was occasioned by the recent outbreak Palestinian resistance caused by threats of evictions (ethnic cleansing) of Arab families in Jerusalem, and aggressive Israeli actions at the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The latter actions, in particular, triggered rocket attacks from Gaza.

Here is part of a long and detailed MESA statement. The shorter ASMEA statement is given in full:

MESA (21 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Board of Directors.

“The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America condemns the ongoing and intensified Israeli government assault on the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip and those who are Israeli citizens. During May 7–20, 2021, Israeli military attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip damaged at least 51 educational facilities, including 2 kindergartens, 46 schools, 1 university, 1 vocational training center, and 1 Ministry of Education facility—among other vital infrastructure. Israeli air strikes and tank shells directly hit a number of these buildings. The deadly conditions created by the Israeli military attacks in Gaza forced all schools to remain closed for at least five days after the end of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, affecting the lives and access to education of 591,685 students. In addition, Israeli military strikes internally displaced at least 66,000 Palestinians who then sought refuge in 58 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), causing further disruptions to the population’s education–indeed, to their lives. …

“There is little doubt that successive Israeli governments across the political spectrum have carried out a decades-long attack on Palestinian students, teachers, and educational facilities. Indeed, this attack is part of a broader political, administrative, and legal system of racial discrimination and domination—regularly enforced through violence—that has defined the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinian people. And, as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch have found, the Israeli government’s purposeful and systematic privileging of Jewish Israelis while dominating and oppressing the Palestinian people amounts to apartheid.”

ASMEA (25 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Chairman, Professor Norman Stillman

“The recent wave of violence in the ongoing struggle between Israel and Hamas has left many members of our community of scholars deeply concerned. While we hope and pray no harm befalls any of our members, anywhere, and their loved ones, ASMEA remains committed to our founding principles as an academic association.

“As scholars, we believe in the pursuit of objective truth when studying and teaching the issues and topics affecting the regions of our academic concern. We recognize that these principles can create division and disagreement, but so long as scholarship contributes to the body of knowledge, we welcome and encourage vigorous debate.

“We stand behind and support our members in Israel and deride those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship than restoring balance to the Academy and protecting academic freedom in Middle East and African studies, and related disciplines.”

There are a couple of things to note about these two statements: (1) The MESA statement is issued in support of the Palestinians, and specifically their collective human right to education. It contains assertions about the Israeli violations of that right—assertions that can be fact checked. The statement also references the reports of international organizations concerned with civil and human rights. (2) The ASMEA statement claims objectivity and a willingness to debate, but then proceeds to defame and trivialize those who disagree with their position—“those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship.” Actually, one can characterize this charge as a psychological projection of the statement’s author who, being a Zionist stalwart must be, by definition, both politicized and partisan. The statement also makes no reference to the Palestinian situation under Israeli rule and reduces the struggle to one between Hamas and Israeli—an objectively incorrect and thus untrue assertion. This reductionist gambit is used by almost all contemporary supporters of Israel.

Part III—Crossing the Rubicon

There is a Rubicon (a fundamental crossing point) that all Jewish intellectuals are now confronting. Whether or not one crosses this line reveals the nature of their values. To cross it is to take the side of human rights and the rule of law. To refuse to cross is to take the side of state power—in this case, to align with the power of a proven apartheid state.

To add context to this choice, consider the case of Eva Illouz, a professor of sociology at Hebrew University. On 14 April 2014, she wrote an essay for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz entitled, “Is It Possible to be a Jewish Intellectual?” In this piece she sets forth two opposing positions: one is the Zionist/Israeli demand for the primacy of “ahavat Israel,” or the “love of the Jewish nation and people”–-the claim that all Jews have a “duty of the heart” to be loyal to the “Jewish nation.” The other position is that of the lone intellectual (here her model is the philosopher Hannah Arendt), whose obligation is to maintain the “disinterested intelligence” necessary to “speak truth to power.”
 
Illouz explains that Zionists have a “suspicion of critique” and use “the memorialization of the Shoah” (the Holocaust) and “ahavat Israel” to mute it. “The imperative of solidarity brings with it the injunction to not oppose or express publicly disagreement with official Jewish bodies.” It is within this context that she can ask if it is still possible to be a Jewish intellectual. Illouz’s conclusion is that it has become exceedingly difficult to be so because the demands for Jewish solidarity are particularly “brutal.” And then she makes her choice and, if you will, crosses the Rubicon. “In the face of the ongoing, unrelenting injustices toward Palestinians and Arabs living in Israel, his/her moral duty is to let go, achingly, of that solidarity.”

It is not difficult to recognize that ASMEA stands at the bank of this Rubicon and refuses to cross. The organization’s values do not reflect any devotion to universal principles such as human rights and the rule of law, much less “objective truth.” Their leadership, at least, has no interest in critiquing the use of power but rather is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the interests of a specific power. The values exalted here are the parochial codes those intellectuals (among others) use to rationalize service to a state even when it turns criminal. The independent-minded, outspoken intellectuals, such as Eva Illouz, demanding broader moral integrity and responsibility from their contemporaries, are rarities.

Part IV—Conclusion

Any speculation about which side of the Rubicon line “History” favors is really silly. Historical prediction, like the weather, is a short-range affair. However, one might sense a present shift in sentiment in the U.S. and the Western world generally. It is an apparent shift in favor of the Palestinians and against apartheid Israel. One might even hazard a guess that the shift will continue to grow. Why so? The reason is straightforward and quite simple. It should continue to grow just as long as Israel does not stop. That is, as long as it continues to evolve as a racist state—simultaneously destroying human rights and international law.

بين الديبلوماسيّة والميدان من طهران حتى صنعاء…

 محمد صادق الحسيني

يقول الفيلسوف والمفكر العسكري الألماني، الجنرال كارل فون كلاوسيڤيتس: «إنّ الحرب هي استمرار للسياسة بوسائل أخرى».

ويضيف: «أن الحرب هي استخدام للقوة لإجبار العدو على الخضوع لإرادتنا».

إنّ هذا يعني أنه عندما يفشل السياسيون في تسوية اي ملف او قضية يلجأ اصحاب القضية الى الحرب، اي الى الميدان لفرض الحلول المناسبة التي عجزت عنها السياسة وبالتالي فرض موازين للقوى ميدانياً تجبر الخصم للرضوخ لمطالب السياسيين.

بمعنى آخر وفي تطبيق لهذه المقولة على ما يجري اليوم من حروب في منطقتنا نستطيع القول بانّ فشل السياسة والسياسيين في جبهة الخصم من فرض إرادتهم علينا دفعهم الى إعلان الحرب علينا.

في المقابل لم يكن أمامنا ونحن الذين تعرّضنا لحروب العدو المفروضة علينا سوى أن نذهب الى قتال العدو في الميدان حتى نعدّل في ميزان القوى بيننا وبينه لنجبره على الخضوع لإرادتنا.

المتتبّع لخط سير تطورات بلداننا في غرب آسيا يستطيع القول إنه وعلى مدى ٤ عقود مضت كحد أدنى قمنا بتطبيق هذه القاعدة الذهبية للمفكر الاشهر في علم الحرب على عديد من الساحات، وفي مقدمها إيران، وقد نجحنا فيها.

وقد حصل ذلك بالفعل بالإجمال والتلخيص على مراحل ثلاث:

 في الأولى وهي الأشهر كانت العملية في مواجهة الحرب الكونية التي اعلنت ضد إيران فور نجاح ثورتها الإسلامية بقيادة الامام روح الله الموسوي الخميني.

الثانية الاخطر في مواجهة الحرب الكونية الثانية ضد سورية الاسد العربية بعدما رفضت الخضوع لشروط الخريف العربي المدمّر.

الثالثة الأقرب والتي لا تزال جارية على قدم وساق ضد يمن أنصار الله الحرة المستقلة التي رفضت التبعية والتقسيم وسحق الهوية بهدف تسوية الطريق لتسليم ما تبقى من مقدرات عربية للعدو الصهيوني والسيد الأميركي.

وهكذا تبلورت عملياً أسطورة المقاومة التي يعيّرنا البعض بها اليوم، او يلصق بنا شتى التهم بسببها او يرمينا باللمز والهمز «الأكاديمي» مرة والنيوليبرالي مرة أخرى بوصفنا مرة بالمتزمتين وأخرى بالمتشدّدين وثالثة بالمتطرفين ورابعة بأننا من أتباع المهدي الذي يريد اجتياح العالم العربي!

وإنما نعيد استذكار هذا في هذه اللحظات المصيرية، لكوننا أمام امتحان واختبار داخلي وخارجي في كل أقطارنا العربية والاسلامية اليوم، وبشكل خاص في دول محور المقاومة، مطلوب فيها أن نجتاز بنجاح «فتنة» استقطابين كاذبين… الاستقطاب الكاذب الاول بين ميل شعوبنا للسلام والعيش بأمان وبين عشقهم لإنجازات أبطالهم التاريخيين في الميادين أي بين السلام ايّ الحلّ السياسي كما يقولون وبين الحسم في الميدان.

وحتى نضع النقاط على الحروف لا بدّ من تذكير أصحاب الفتنة الجدد، بأنهم هم من أشعلوا الحروب ضدنا ودفعوا بنا الى دخول ميادين القتال للدفاع عن ديننا وأوطاننا واستقلالنا وحرياتنا، ولم نكن نحن من أشعل الحروب.

والاستقطاب الثاني بين العروبة والإسلام.

وإذا نسي البعض فنحن لن ننسى ونذكّر لمن ألقى السمع وهو شهيد بأن حلف اليسار القديم مع النيوليبراليين الجدد الذين يتهموننا اليوم بأننا إسلاميون متطرفون او خمينيون او متحالفون مع إيران الخامنئي، انما نهدّد الأمن القومي العربي بسلوكنا هذا، هم أنفسهم من كانوا قد وقفوا طوال النصف الثاني من القرن الماضي ضد الزعيم الراحل جمال عبد الناصر وقاتلوه ونعتوا «القومية العربية» التي آمن بها ودافع عنها، بالجاهليّة رافعين بوجهها راية الاسلام كذباً وزوراً…

 ولما برز الإمام الخميني مجدّداً النهضة الإسلامية ورافعاً راية فلسطين والدفاع عن العروبة التي رموها هم على قارعة الطريق، تذكروا فجأة انهم عرب وان القادم الجديد بثورته وجمهوريته الحرة والمستقلة وحلفائها انما يشكلون تهديداً للأمن القومي العربي لا بد من مواجهته ومنع تمدده…!

إن أي مؤرخ منصف لا بد أنه مع قراءته الموضوعية لما حصل طوال العقود الأربعة الماضية سيكتشف ان طلاب الحروب ومروّجيها من بين أبناء جلدتنا والمدعومين والمندسين بجحافل الغرب لم يعملوا ذلك الا لإدراكهم خطر مقولة المقاومة التي رفعت بوجه سياساتهم الظالمة ومطامعهم الخطيرة، التي تبلورت مرة ناصرية عربية وأخرى خمينية إسلامية.

انّ اسطورة المقاومة التي صدّت موجاتهم الثلاث في الهضبة الإيرانية الإسلامية، ومن ثم على بوابات الشام العربية الفلسطينية واليوم على تخوم الهضبة اليمنية الحرة والمستقلة وأمّ العرب وأصلهم، انما مذهبها ودينها وقوميتها وانتماؤها هو لله الواحد القهار الذي صنف البشر على قاعدة:

«الناس صنفان إما اخ لك في الدين أو نظير لك في الخلق» وإنها هي هي مَن كانت تقف عائقاً وسداً منيعاً امام الاستعمار والصهيونية والرجعية العربية.

وهذه الأسطورة هي من افرزت القادة العظام الحاج قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس وعصام زهر الدين وصالح الصماد والحاج عماد مغنية، وأمثالهم المئات والآلاف من أمة أشرف الناس، الذين بفضلهم إنما يحقق السياسيون اليوم إنجازاتهم، وبمدادهم يخط الكتاب رواياتهم، وبدمائهم يحيا سائر من بقي على قيد الحياة من بقية السيف ناجياً من وحشية جيوش إرهاب العدو الذي ما انفكّ يوظف راية الإسلام مرة وراية العروبة مرة اخرى، لخداع الرأي العام والرأي العام منه براء.

وها هم آخرون جدد مرجفون بدأوا يضافون الى اولئك أخذوا برداء الفتنة وراحوا يروّجون لمقولة: «إنّ الميدان عسكرة لقضايا الامة لا لزوم له وانه كان بالإمكان تفاديه لو أننا أحسنّا فن الحوار مع العدو وعاملناه بالتي هي أحسن بدلاً من الدخول في مستنقعات الحروب.

لقد نسي هؤلاء او تناسوا او يتغافلون لغاية في نفس يعقوب بان من يدعوننا اليوم للحوار والجلوس الى طاولة المفاوضات هم من ظلوا حتى الأمس القريب يهددوننا بنقل الحرب الى داخل مدننا وشوارعنا وازقتنا وبيوتنا، بل إنهم اقسموا بأنهم لن يوقفوا الحرب علينا الا فاتحين مصلين في جوامعنا الكبرى.

 وأنهم ما نزلوا اليوم عند اجندة الحوار الا بعدما ذاقوا مرارة الميدان الباليستية الدقيقة والشاردة.

هذا إن كانوا فعلاً يريدونه حواراً وليس التفافاً وخدعةً او مراوغةً، واستراحة محارب تمهيداً لاستمرار الحرب بوسائل أخرى (اقلب نظرية المفكر الألماني) الذي بدأنا المقالة معه أيّ أن يأخذوا منا في السياسة ما لم يتمكنوا من أخذه منا في الميدان…!

 والحرب خدعة، فإياكم والخدع وأمهات الفتن الكبرى التي تتنقل اليوم من ميدان لميدان ومن ساحة لساحة لمنعنا من القيام بالفصل الأخير من هجومنا الاستراتيجي نحو أم المعارك أي تحرير فلسطين وبيت المقدس.

وما ذلك على الله بعزيز.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Naqqash’s solution for Middle East: A Levantine Confederation (Pt. 4)

March 10, 2021

Naqqash's solution for Middle East: The Levantine Confederation (Pt. 1) |  Middle East Observer

Description:

In a 2020 conference held on Zoom and published on YouTube, the late senior Middle East political analyst Anees Naqqash spoke about his 2014 book titled The Levantine Confederation: The Battle of Identities and Policies.

The book proposes that the solution to the chronic problems of the war-ravaged and tumultuous Middle East region lies in the establishment of a confederation that unites the states of the Levant, or what Naqqash often calls the ‘West Asian region’.

Middle East Observer is gradually publishing English translations of the author’s online talk over several posts. The following is Part Four.

To read Part One see here.
To read Part Two see here.
To read Part Three see here.

Source:  Kalam Siyasi YouTube Channel

Date:  Aug 26, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Transcript :

It is no longer a secret; no one can say anymore that we are (falsely) accusing a (particular) state of being an ally of America and an ally of Zionism, now that all the masks have fallen off. They (some Arab states) themselves admitted that they had served America for 70 years (by implementing) its regional and international strategies. Today, they are openly expressing their convictions and publically (sharing) their relations with Zionism and the US. For them, Arabism and Islam have become a type of folklore with no ideological, political or cultural importance, (and they feel no need to) respect the will of their people and the people of the region. They have lost all these titles (Arabism and Islam). However, they have a strong grip on the Arab media because 80% of it is financed by Arab oil (monarchies). Therefore, we are facing a major offensive locally and internationally.

I believe that no country alone, no matter how powerful it is, can face such an offensive; and no party can claim that it alone can confront it. Even Turkey, with its current capabilities, cannot defend the region on its own and run things alone no matter how great its economic and military capabilities. The reason is that if Turkey took action individually, without joining the socio-political and security pact and the dialogue we are calling for, other powers (in the region) will be troubled by the Turkish forces and will begin a resistance under the title of rejecting a (potentially) new Ottoman (Empire). Some people in Turkey may have the idea of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire with the same old ultranationalism, but this is impossible these days.

Iran, which today leads the Axis of Resistance in confronting Israel and the US presence in the region, meaning that it leads the armed national liberation movement against the Western presence, also (has not yet been able to achieve) a broader regional dialogue (that is necessary) to clarify its goals and cooperate with other powers. However, there is an advantage that I must point out, which is that the bilateral Turkish-Iranian cooperation is almost impeccable. However, there are many regional issues that (both countries) do not agree on, the most important of which are the conflict in Syria; Iraq; in addition to some other matters. Even regarding Palestine (there are differences between the two). The Iranian involvement has now become an engagement that challenges the US and Israel with (its provision of) weapons and equipment aimed at unconditionally supporting the Palestinian resistance with all means (possible). Turkey, on the other hand, supports the Palestinian people, but without disturbing Zionism. It refuses to withdraw its recognition of (Israel as a state), it does not bother the US, nor does it support the (Palestinian) resistance with arms. There must be a dialogue to settle these issues.

I think that the dialogue aiming to build a Levantine Confederation that moves away from Ibn Khaldun’s concept of one ‘asabiyyah (socially cohesive group) having control over the region, will (in fact) bring ideological peace to the region, because the Turkish bloc represents a major Sunni bloc and the Iranian bloc represents the largest Shia bloc in the Islamic nation. Therefore, (more cooperation between the two countries) would offer a respite to this sectarian conflict that the Zionists, the US, and all enemies of our nation – and even the Takfiris from within our nation – seek to ignite in order to weaken our nation. In other words, this is a positive thing that we must support through (the establishment) of an intellectual system that explains to public opinion what we (who call for a Levantine Confederation) do and why are we doing this. Our movement should not be secret or private, and our tactics should be clear, so that no party is accused of wanting to dominate.

The most important thing (necessary here) is that the idea of ​​the hegemony of one sect with its individual capabilities must be completely precluded. We must push parties, powers, movements, thinkers, writers and journalists towards a region-level social, security and political union through dialogue and conferences, and not through hegemony. This (approach) will facilitate the consolidation of financial, economic, military and security capabilities. It would also dispel the worrisome ideas prevailing in the region as everyone fears for their doctrine, nationalism, and even their clan. In order for everyone to feel that there is a great fusion in the region (between our countries), just as big as a nuclear fusion, such that there would be a win-win situation for all, with no losers.

This is what I wrote about in my book after (conducting) a historical study of the way geographical maps were drawn up, by highlighting the ways in which client regimes were implanted (in our region), and by speaking about (the importance of) natural resources, a very important issue when it comes to questions of strategic awareness. Geography is a dominant (factor) that we often forget about. (Geography) is not only related to borders, but also to natural resources and the interconnectedness of natural geography, relating to plains, mountains and valleys. It refers to oil and gas reservoirs. It refers to transit lines, energy transit routes, and the networking/integration of potentials in relation to economic-related transport and the transit of passengers.

Therefore geography is a dominant/undeniable (factor) that must not be forgotten. In the past we lived in an open geography (i.e. without rigid national borders), and what is utterly disgraceful today is that the Hejaz Railway line, that was built just before World War One, had passed through all of these countries, from Istanbul to Hejaz, passing through Palestine and Baghdad, while we are unable today to implement even a portion of this project which would tie these areas together.

(To be continued…)


Subscribe to our mailing list!

Related Posts:

As Macron Courts the Far-Right, France Launches Crackdown on “Islamo-Leftism”

France Protest Feature photo

By Alan Macleod

Source

Islamo-leftism is a label coined by the far-right, with many pointing out the distinct similarities between it and “Judeo-Bolshevism,” a term created by German Nazis linking religion with a set of political beliefs. Yet it has quickly been taken up by many in France’s political center.

PARIS — France’s Minister for Higher Education, Frederique Vidal, has sparked a nationwide controversy with her announcement that the government is attempting to stop the spread of what she called “Islamo-leftism” in universities. Part of the process, she said, would be for the state to decide “what is academic research and what is activism and opinion,” implying that academics would need government permission to research and write on topics deemed too politically sensitive.

Vidal singled out post-colonial studies as a particularly problematic area. “I think that Islamo-leftism is eating away at our society as a whole, and universities are not immune and are part of our society,” she said, warning that France was importing American “woke culture.”

Her comments provoked serious pushback from academics labeling the government’s move a massive blow against freedom of speech, with the subject trending on French Twitter.

Islamo-leftism is a label coined by the far-right, with many pointing out its distinct similarities with “Judeo-Bolshevism,” a term created by German Nazis linking religion to a set of political beliefs. Yet it has quickly been taken up by many in the political center. Le Figaro, France’s best-selling newspaper, ran a frontpage headline last week titled “How Islamo-leftism is infecting universities.” Like the U.S., France is currently grappling with its own legacy of colonialism and racism.

Le Pen lite (or heavy)?

Embattled president Emmanuel Macron has faced widespread opposition to his rule since his election, notably to his austerity policies, which provoked the largest strike since those of May 1968; a fuel tax that sparked the Yellow Vest movement; and his government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, which has led to the deaths of nearly 83,000 people.

Macron was comfortably elected in 2017 after fascist candidate Marine Le Pen made it into the final runoff against him. However, the election was marred by widespread abstention and he has struggled with low approval ratings ever since. And while many breathed a sigh of relief that France had been saved from a racist president, Macron has constantly leaned towards xenophobia and the scapegoating of the country’s 5.7 million Muslims in particular. He has used the country’s secular tradition as an excuse to ban Muslim headwear, including burqas, leading to police arresting Muslim women or even forcibly removing their face coverings in public. Macron also introduced new “Islamist separatism” legislation that would curtail civil liberties, playing into the far-right’s conception of a Muslim threat.

In a televised debate last week, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin even attacked Le Pen from the right, claiming that she was “too soft” on Muslims. A visibly surprised Le Pen was put in the position of defending civil liberties and Islam from the government. “I am strongly attached to our French values; I want to conserve total freedom of religion. That’s my opinion,” she said. With one year to go before the next presidential election, polls show Macron and Le Pen neck-and-neck.

A politically useful racist tradition

France has long carried out questionable policies regarding race. In 2010, the government expelled over 1,000 Romanian and Bulgarian Roma gypsies precisely because of their heritage. In doing so, it broke European Union law, which states that citizens of all member states have the right to live and settle wherever they like in the EU. A French court also banned the use of non-standard letters (such as ñ) in baby names, meaning that a number of celebrated names of Basque and Breton origin (two groups historically persecuted by the central government) were made illegal overnight.

It is not just in France where the government is attempting to interfere in education to stifle unwanted debate. As of 2020, schools in England are prohibited from using material from writers who have expressed anti-capitalist opinions. Meanwhile, Viktor Orban’s Hungarian government chose to outright ban the teaching of gender studies at universities.

Macron’s En Marche party appears to be attempting to undermine Le Pen’s support base among France’s white working class. Committed to neoliberal austerity politics, it is incapable of providing them with material gains. However, it can fall back on an appeal to the nation’s reactionary side by offering a harsh crackdown against the country’s Muslim population. Stoking fears of a supposed Islamist takeover of universities could be one way to do it.

Ayatollah Khamenei opened door of dialogue via his letters to Western youth: Lebanese analyst

By Reza Moshfegh

January 20, 2021 – 10:50

TEHRAN – A senior Lebanese political analyst says that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opened a door for dialogue between the Islamic and Western world via his letters to the youth in Europe and North America.

In a letter dated January 21, 2015, and another on November 29, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on the truth of Islam and malicious attempts by certain Western leaders to distort the image of Islam. 

“The door to dialogue that was opened by Ayatollah Khamenei is a constructive step and we always say the door to dialogue, even if it is half open, is much better than closing it completely,” Amin Hoteit tells the Tehran Times.

“Ayatollah Khamenei knows that the Western media is hiding the facts, and this media is in the hands of the malicious colonial groups that besieges the youth and their minds,” according to the Lebanese university instructor and researcher.

The following is the text of the interview: 

Q:    What are the implications of Ayatollah Khamenei’s letters to young people in the West when he urged them to examine Islam first hand rather than believe prejudiced views?

A: The two letters that the Leader of the Islamic Republic wrote to the youth in Europe and North America were a move in consistence with a sound Islamic principle, which is to show the truth and the Islamic call through dialogue. 

Ayatollah Khamenei knows that the Western media is hiding the facts, and this media is in the hands of the malicious colonial groups that besiege the youth and their minds. 

For this reason, he decided to address the youth, showing them the clear and shining truth, and not leaving them prey to a shameless, lecherous, malicious and unjust media.

Q: Do you think that the circumstances are proper for dialogue with Western youth and coming generations?

A: There is no doubt that when the youth receive this message, they will be in a position of tension between two currents: the false path led by the media and politicians, and the path of truth that these messages represent it.

I think that a large number of Western youths will follow what was mentioned in the message of Imam Khamenei if they use logic and common sense.

Since Ayatollah Khamenei is telling the truth, this message will have a good and effective impact on the hearts of young people, and it will make them more prepared to receive other messages and then confront suppressive governments.

Q:    How would you assess the dominance of the Western media over the thought of the youth and the average citizen in the West?

A: I think that the reason that encouraged Imam Khamenei to write these letters was the fabrication and forgery that we find in the paid media that claim freedom of opinion while in fact, they are confiscating free opinion.

Western outlets claim freedom of expression but they are misrepresenting the truth. Therefore, this move was correct and timely which will lead to important results.

The door to dialogue that was opened by Ayatollah Khamenei is a constructive step and we always say the door to dialogue, even if it is half open, is much better than closing it completely.

That is why I think that although the platform for peaceful dialogue is not available in light of this Western regime’s crimes, restricted dialogue in the existing circumstances is better than a break and turning our back.

Q:    How do you see the position of the resistance in the world in the light of Western media propaganda?

A: Unfortunately, Western thought is mostly a prisoner of the media, so you find those who are not biased for injustice heading towards neutrality and a rare few who openly adhere to the truth, contrary to what the media propagates. 

Today, when you find someone who lights a candle in this dark tunnel in which the West moves, the truth-seekers will receive this light, no matter how weak it is. 

Therefore, I believe that the direct speech from the Leader of the Islamic Republic to the youth can push their thought and logic to search the truth, meanwhile addressing their minds is a very important matter and should be followed up.

The resistance plays a prominent and important role in various fields, but we should be aware that the resistance, with its media, its fields of action, and its scope of works under siege by regional dictatorships and their media.

Therefore, we should not lose any opportunity to gain access to the hearts and minds of the youth in a smooth way despite the obstacles. By dictatorships and their flags.

Q: What is the message of the Islamic Revolution to young generations in the region and the globe?

A: The message of the Islamic revolution to the world and the youth, in particular, is a clear message based on four pillars: first, building a secure society, secondly building a society of cooperation and brotherhood among human beings, thirdly preventing maliciousness and confronting arrogance, injustice, colonialism and domination, and fourthly building our homelands and our countries with cooperation, benevolence and peace, and live a safer world full of peace and prosperity. 

Consequently, the message of the Islamic Revolution is completely opposite to the message of colonialism, which wants hegemony and domination to possess and usurp wealth.
 

RELATED NEWS

%d bloggers like this: