The Rise and Fall of ISIS صعود وسقوط داعش

August 10, 2019

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

A year or two ago, I would have never imagined that I would be writing an article with this title, at least not this soon; but things change.

If anything, my previous articles about ISIS which I wrote back between 2014 and 2017 were very alarming and predicted the worst, but again, things change, and back then there were many reasons to feel alarmed.

I have reiterated in that era of the past that the ISIS ideology had deep roots in fundamentalist Islam, and I still have this view. I have professed many times that this fundamentalist doctrine had been in place long before Christopher Columbus set a foot on American soil and that we cannot blame the CIA, Israel, the UK, or the West in general for the creation of this ideology, and I am not retracting. I have also said that those fundamentalist views do not represent real Islam, and there is no change in heart on this aspect either. So what has changed?

In this context, we are talking about the ideological rise and fall of ISIS. We are not talking about the political aspects and the horde of players who helped create, manipulate and employ ISIS for different reasons and agendas. With all of those players however, ISIS needed the support base, and that support base was the Muslim youth who are disenchanted by world events and the manner the world views Islam. Furthermore, they are disgruntled by the governments of the Muslims World and their links to the West: links they consider as treasonous and shameful. It was this mindset that was the recruitment base for ISIS; not the Pentagon.

So for the benefit of clarification, I must herein emphasize that there has always been a perverted version of Islam that founded itself on violence; in total contradiction to the Quranic teachings that clearly forbid coercion and oppression. This version was finally committed to a written doctrine, written by Ibn Taymiyyah; the founding doctrine of the Wahhabi Saudi sect.

When the West “discovered” this doctrine, it tried to employ it to its advantage, and this was how Al-Qaeda and ISIS were created, with Al-Qaeda’s role to hurt the USSR in Afghanistan, and ISIS to topple the legitimate and secular Syrian Government.

The not so funny thing about ISIS was that when the proclamation of creating the Islamist state back in mid-2014, the Caliphate passion became something easy to grow and self-nurture in the hearts and minds of many Sunni Muslims across the globe; including moderate ones.

Harking back at what happened back then; one honestly cannot blame them much. After all, many of the then Iraqi ISIS commanders and fighters were former Saddam-era Iraqi Army personnel. Many of them have even actually walked away from the “dictator” in the hope that the “regime change” was going to be for the better, only to soon realize the state of mess and mayhem that the American invasion created.

Before ISIS “had the chance” to show its ugly face, may moderate Muslims thought that this new force emerging out of Mesopotamia, one that does not recognize the border lines that Western colonialists have drawn between Sham (Syria) and Iraq, one that wants to unite Muslims, is perhaps “the one” to go for and support.

Ironically, most of those Muslims today look back at those days and either forget or wish to forget that at one stage, at some level, deep down in their hearts they supported ISIS, albeit not fully knowing what it stood for.

It was this subtle and covert support for ISIS by some elements of the global Sunni rank-and-file that gave ISIS a fertile ground for luring in recruits and that was the major cause for concern.

If anyone looks for evidence that supports this statement, then he/she need not go further than looking at the recent history of terror attacks in the EU (especially France) and the UK.

After the horrendous Bastille Day attack in Nice in the summer of 2016, a new direction for terror was established, and the perpetrator proved that one does not need a weapon to kill. His weapon was a truck, and he didn’t even need to buy it. He rented it.

After this infamous attack and what followed it, I among many others, predicted more of such events, and they continued for a while, and then suddenly they stopped. Why? This is the question.

For ISIS to be have been able to keep its momentum and growing support base, it needed to gain the hearts and minds of Muslims. But to do so, it needed to score victories and be able to revive Muslim nostalgia. Both are equally important.

In the beginning, it boasted its victories and the biggest of which was the takeover of Mosul; Iraq’s second largest city. This was how the ears of many Muslims worldwide pricked up and poised themselves to hear more. Some jumped on the band wagon straight away, but the majority braced and waited for more evidence that ISIS in general, and Baghdadi in specific, are the right ones to trust and follow.

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What followed the capture of Mosul by ISIS however was nothing short of disgrace for ISIS; one that exposed its true inner ugliness. And instead of being able to capitalize on its initial momentum and promising to achieve more of it by adopting at least some of the virtues of Islam, ISIS turned its inability to achieve further military victories into a blood bath, looting and a sex slave market.

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Before too long, even some of the most ardent Muslim supporters of ISIS turned away from it, and then against it, to the degree that they now even forget or deny that they once supported its baby steps.

What is interesting to note is that the move from secularism to Islam has not changed in the Muslim world. An increasing number of Muslim girls are wearing the Hijab with or without ISIS, but ISIS itself has lost its sway with the general Sunni Muslim populace.

What is interesting to see is that the definition of what is a “real Muslim” is changing, and changing quickly. And whilst the move towards Hijab and all what comes with it is still going full steam ahead, there seems to be a growing trend in the Muslim World towards moderation.

The ISIS fundamentals of black and white doctrine seem to be becoming increasingly tolerant of certain shades of grey. Even some personal Facebook friends and friends of friends who have brandished their photos performing Pilgrimage at Mecca don’t seem to be at dis-ease posting other photos brandishing a Heineken. To someone outside the Muslim Faith this may not sound like a big deal, but in reality, it is.

This all sounds good, but what has happened here really?

ISIS has definitely lost the plot. Fortunately for the world, irrespective of who are/were the people “behind” ISIS, its recruitment base had to come from Muslims; especially the youth. Having lost the ability to draw more recruits and enthusiasts who pledge their actions and lives to Baghdadi without even having to be formal ISIS members, ISIS as an organization and a name is now a spent force, and dare I say a figment of the past.

This however does not mean that the Muslim community has “immunized” itself against potential new ISIS-like organizations and agendas.

The initial rise of ISIS could have well been the result of a nostalgic remnant of a certain belief system that many Muslims did not even want to investigate and study properly to see if it really and truly conforms with the Teachings of Islam and all other religions. The fall of ISIS however heralds a new unprecedented era in the Muslim mind, and this calls for great optimism.

Perhaps for the first time in the history of Islam ever since its inception, Muslims are now beginning to examine some teachings they inherited. Even Saudi Arabia and its infamous Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) seem to be sick and tired of the old rules and dogmas that allow this and prohibit that; based on no foundation at all. I have never been a fan of MBS, but having lived in Saudi Arabia for a while, I had always thought that this country would never allow women to drive, never ever. The fact that he changed this is a great step in the right direction. This does not take away from MBS’s genocidal activities in Yemen of course, but on the dogmatic side of things, this is a huge step towards reform. In Saudi Arabia there is also a call to have a second take on the Hadith (the spoken word of Prophet Mohamed) in an attempt to identify certain teachings that promote violence and that are incompatible with Islam. The rationale behind this is that they were never the words of the Prophet to begin with and that they might have been injected into the huge discourse by others with political agendas. Such an initiative was totally unfathomable only up till a few years ago.

Does this mean that we are seeing the end of Muslim fundamentalist-based violence? Hopefully we are, but the real answer to this question is for the whole Muslim community to answer.

The truth is that ISIS may be done and dusted, but the ideology behind lives on.

It is hoped for that the actions of ISIS will be remembered for eternity. It is hoped that Muslims realize that if they truly want to pursue the fundamentalist dreams of conquest and world dominion, then they cannot distance themselves from the legacy of ISIS. It is hoped that they look forward to a new world that is open to all religions and doctrines.

I am a firm believer that God created man in His own image, and part of this image is goodness and love of goodness; and Muslims are part of this creation. After all, Muslims, all Muslims believe in the Hadith that says: “The best people are those who most benefit to other people”. Russia and Syria might have won the military war on ISIS, but it is Muslims who have won the spiritual fight. Muslims: 1, ISIS: 0.

ِArabic Translation 

By UP

صعود وسقوط داعش

غسان كادي

 ، لم أكن أتخيل منذ عام أو عامين أبداً أنني سأكتب مقالًا بهذا العنوان؛

في ذلك الوقت كانت هناك أسباب كثيرة للشعور بالقلق، لكن الأمور تتغير.

في مقالاتي السابقة حول داعش التي كتبت في الفترة ما بين 2014 و 2017 كانت مقلقة للغاية وتوقعت الأسوأ ،  لكن الأمور تغيرت .

في تلك الحقبة الماضية كررت أن أيديولوجية داعش لها جذور عميقة في الإسلام الأصولي ،وقلت أيضًا أن تلك الآراء الأصولية لا تمثل الإسلام الحقيقي ولا يزال لدي هذا الرأي. فالعقيدة الأصولية كانت موجودة قبل فترة طويلة من اكتشاف الأرض الأمريكية وعليه لا يمكننا اتهام وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية أو إسرائيل أو المملكة المتحدة أو الغرب عمومًا بإنشاء هذه الأيديولوجية، وأنا هنا لا أتراجع. إذن ما الذي تغير؟

 في هذا السياق، نتحدث عن الصعود ولسقوط الأيديولوجي لداعش، ولا نتحدث عن الجوانب السياسية واللاعبين الذين ساعدوا في إنشاء وتوظيفها لأسباب وجداول أعمال مختلفة. لأنه مع توفر كل هؤلاء اللاعبين، كانت داعش بحاجه إلى بيئة حاضنة وقاعدة الدعم، وكانت البيئة الحاضنة وقاعدة الدعم هي الشباب المسلم المحبط بالأحداث العالمية والطريقة التي ينظر بها العالم إلى الإسلام والاستياء من حكومات العالم الإسلامي وروابطهم الخائنة والمخزية بالغرب. هذا الاحباط والاستياء مكن البنتاغون من التوظيف السياسي لداعش.

لذلك لا بد أن أشدد هنا على الوجود الدائمً لنسخة منحرفة من الإسلام تأسست على العنف ؛ في تناقض تام مع التعاليم القرآنية التي تمنع بوضوح الإكراه والقمع. نسخة كتبها ابن تيمية ؛ العقيدة المؤسسة للطائفة الوهابية السعودية.

عندما “اكتشف” الغرب هذه العقيدة المنحرفة، حاول أن يوظفها لصالحه ، وهكذا تم إنشاء القاعدة وداعش، القاعدة لإلحاق الأذى بالاتحاد السوفيتي في أفغانستان، وداعش لإسقاط الشرعية والعلمانية الحكومة السورية.

 لا شك ان إعلان داعش عن إنشاء الدولة الإسلامية في منتصف عام 2014 ، أيقظ الحنين والأمل بعودة الخلافة في  قلوب وعقول العديد من المسلمين السنة في جميع أنحاء العالم ؛ بما في ذلك المعتدلين. وبصراحة لا يمكن إلقاء اللوم عليهم كثيرا. بعد كل شيء ، فإن العديد من قادة ومقاتلي داعش العراقيين كانوا في السابق من أفراد الجيش العراقي في عهد صدام. لقد ابتعد كثير منهم عن “الديكتاتور” على أمل أن يتم “تغيير النظام” للأفضل ، لكنهم انضموا لداعش يسبب حالة الفوضى التي أحدثها الغزو الأمريكي.

قبل أن تظهر داعش وجهها القبيح ، ربما اعتقد المسلمون المعتدلون أن هذه القوة الجديدة الخارجة من بلاد ما بين النهرين ، والتي لا تعترف بالحدود التي رسمها المستعمرون الغربيون بين الشام (سوريا) والعراق ، هي القوة التي تستطيع توحيد المسلمين، والتي يجب دعمها .

ومن المفارقات، أن معظم هؤلاء المسلمين عندما ينظرون اليوم إلى الوراء، إما ينسون أو يودون أن ينسوا أنهم في مرحلة ما، في أعماق قلوبهم، أيدوا داعش ، وإن كانوا لا يعرفون تمامًا معنى ذلك.

هذا الدعم الخفي والسري لداعش من قبل بعض التيار السني العالمي هو الذي أعطى داعش أرضية خصبة لجذب المجندين وكان ذلك هو السبب الرئيسي للقلق.

إذا كان أي شخص يبحث عن أدلة تدعم هذه المقولة، فلن يحتاج الا إلى أبعد النظر في الهجمات الإرهابية في الاتحاد الأوروبي (وخاصة فرنسا) والمملكة المتحدة.

في الهجوم المروع الذي وقع يوم الباستيل في نيس في صيف عام 2016 ، أثبت مرتكب الجريمة أنه لا يحتاج إلى سلاح ليقتل. كان سلاحه شاحنة ، ولم يكن بحاجة لشرائها. فقد استأجرها.

وبعد هذا الهجوم المشين وما تلاه ، توقعت من بين أشياء كثيرة أخرى حدوث المزيد من هذه الأحداث ، التي استمرت لفترة، ثم توقفت فجأة.

لماذا ا؟ هذا هو السؤال.

لتتمكن داعش من الحفاظ على دعم بيئتها الحاضنة المتنامية ، كانت تحتاج إلى كسب قلوب وعقول المسلمين. وللقيام بذلك ، كان من الضروري تسجيل الانتصارات لإحياء حنين المسلمين للخلافة.

في البداية ، تفاخرت داعش بانتصاراتها وكان أكبرها الاستيلاء على الموصل. ثاني أكبر مدن العراق. وهكذا أصبحت آذان العديد من المسلمين في جميع أنحاء العالم تستعد وتهيئ نفسها لسماع المزيد. قفز البعض على عربة داعش مباشرة ، لكن الغالبية استعدت وانتظرت للحصول على مزيد من الأدلة على أن داعش بشكل عام ، والبغدادي على وجه الخصوص ، هما الشخصان المناسبان للثقة والمتابعة.

لكن ما أعقب استيلاء داعش على الموصل لم يكن أقل من وصمة عار كشفت عن قبحها الداخلي الحقيقي. وبدلاً من أن تتمكن داعش من الاستفادة من زخم انتصارها الأول ووعدها بتحقيق المزيد من ذلك من خلال ابراز من فضائل الإسلام على الأقل ، حوّلت داعش عجزها عن تحقيق المزيد من الانتصارات العسكرية إلى حمام دم ونهب وسوق للاسعباد الجنسي.

قبل مضي وقت طويل ، حتى ابتعد بعض أكثر المؤيدين الإسلاميين المتحمسين لداعش عنها ، ثم تحولوا  ضدها ، لدرجة أنهم الآن نسوا أو أنكروا أنهم أيدوا ذات مرة خطواتها الاولى .

 ما يثير الاهتمام هو ان فقدان داعش سيطرتها على عامة المسلمين السنة لم ينعكس على عملية الانتقال من  العلمانية إلى الإسلام لم يتغير في العالم الإسلامي. فعدد يرتدي عدد الفتيات المسلمات المحجبات يزداد

وما يثير الاهتمام هو أن تعريف “المسلم الحقيقي” يتغير ويتغير بسرعة. وبينما لا يزال ارتداء الحجاب وكل ما يأتي معه في تزايد ، يبدو أن هناك اتجاهًا متزايدًا في العالم الإسلامي نحو الاعتدال.

يبدو أن أساسيات مذهب داعش الأسود والأبيض أصبحت أكثر تسامحًا مع بعض ظلال الرمادي. حتى بعض الأصدقاء الشخصيين على وأصدقاء الأصدقاء قاموا بتلوين صورهم وهم يؤدون رحلة الحج في مكة المكرمة ،و لا يبدو أنهم لا يرغبون في نشر صور أخرى تحمل علامة هاينكن. بالنسبة لشخص من خارج الديانة الإسلامية ، قد لا يبدو هذا أمرًا كبيرًا ، لكنه في الواقع كذلك.

كل هذا يبدو جيدا ، ولكن ما حدث هنا حقا؟

بالتأكيد فقد فشلت مؤامرة داعش لحسن الحظ بالنسبة للعالم ، وبغض النظر عمن يكون / كان “وراء” تنظيم “داعش” ، كان المسلمين خاصة الشباب قاعدة التجنيد؛ فقدت داعش القدرة على جذب المزيد من المجندين والمتحمسين الذين نذروا أفعالهم وحياتهم للبغدادي دون الحاجة حتى إلى أن يكونوا أعضاء رسميين ، وأصبحت  داعش كمنظمة واسم الآن قوة مستهلكة ، وأتجرأ على القول، صورة من الماضي

لكن هذا لا يعني أن المجتمع المسلم “قام بتحصين” نفسه ضد المنظمات وجداول الأعمال المحتملة الجديدة المشابهة لداعش.

كان من الممكن أن يكون الصعود الأول لداعش هو  بقايا حنين لنظام معتقد معين لم يرغب الكثير من المسلمين حتى في دراسته بشكل صحيح لمعرفة ما إذا كان يتوافق حقًا مع تعاليم الإسلام وجميع الأديان الأخرى. لكن سقوط داعش يبشر بعهد جديد لم يسبق له مثيل في العقل الإسلامي ، وهذا يستدعي تفاؤلًا كبيرًا.

ربما لأول مرة في تاريخ الإسلام منذ نشأته ، بدأ المسلمون الآن في دراسة بعض التعاليم التي ورثوها. حتى في المملكة العربية السعودية وولي العهد السعودي الأمير محمد بن سلمان  يبدو أنهما سئموا من القواعد والعقائد القديمة التي تسمح بهذا وتحظر ذلك ؛ بدون أي أساس على الإطلاق.

لم أكن من عشاق محمد بن سلمان، ولكني كنت أعيش في المملكة العربية السعودية لفترة من الوقت ، وكنت أظن دائمًا أن هذا البلد لن يسمح أبدًا للنساء بقيادة السيارات، لكن هذا حدث وهو خطوة كبيرة في الاتجاه الصحيح و خطوة كبيرة نحو الإصلاح يجب ان لا تنسينا الإبادة الجماعية التي تقوم بها السعودية في اليمن بالطبع.

في المملكة العربية السعودية ، هناك أيضًا دعوة لإعادة النظر في الحديث (الكلمة المنطوقة للنبي محمد) في محاولة لتحديد التعاليم المنسوبة للنبي التي تروج للعنف والتي تتعارض مع االقرآن واعتبارها احاديث منحولة تم حقنها من قبل الآخرين لتبرير اجندات سياسية. مثل هذه المبادرة لم تكن ممكنة على الإطلاق قبل بضع سنوات.

هل هذا يعني أننا نشهد نهاية للعنف الإسلامي القائم على الأصولية؟ نأمل أن نكون ، لكن الإجابة الحقيقية على هذا السؤال هي برسم المجتمع المسلم بأسره.

والحقيقة هي أن داعش يقد هزمت ولكن الأيديولوجية الكامنة ورائها ما زالت مستمرة.

من المأمول أن يتذكر  المسلمون أفعال داعش إلى الأبد وأن يلفظوا إرث تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية وأحلامها الأصولية المتمثلة في الفتح والسيطرة على العالم ، من المأمول أن يتطلعوا إلى عالم جديد مفتوح لجميع الأديان والمذاهب.

أنا من أشد المؤمنين أن الله خلق الإنسان على صورته ، وجزء من هذه الصورة هو الخير ومحبة الخير ؛ والمسلمون جزء من هذا الخلق. بعد كل شيء ، المسلمون ، جميع المسلمين يؤمنون بالحديث الذي يقول:  “خير ا النَّاس انفعهم ” للنَّاس

ربما تكون روسيا وسوريا قد ربحت الحرب العسكرية على داعش ، ولكن المسلمين هم الذين فازوا في المعركة الروحية. المسلمون: 1 ، داعش: 0.

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From Khashoggi to Nicki Minaj: the immoral misadventures of MBS

Source

July 13, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog cross posted by permission with PressTV

(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 “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China”.)

Last month I was in Tehran for the end of Ramazan, and the night before Eid e-Fitr my family and I went to a public street food festival downtown.

It might surprise many non-Iranians, but the array of live music included electric guitars and rock and roll. The rockers did not draw a bigger crowd than an excellent, traditionally-dressed Sufi singer playing the daf (a Middle Eastern hand drum).

It will likely not surprise non-Iranians, however, that there was not any performer who resembled Nicki Minaj.

Saudi Arabia provoked indignation across the Muslim world by inviting Minaj, an American rapper known for her nearly-naked live performances and profanity, to perform in public at a cultural festival in Jeddah.

Saudi women fairly complained: How can the government (and probably also their grandmothers) compel them to wear modest clothing in public, but then give a stage to Minaj?

Saudi women who support their dress code – and credible polls show that Saudi women overwhelmingly support both the code as well as the most modest forms of female Muslim dress – fairly screamed that Mohammad Bin Salman is helping Minaj break a rule which they truly treasure.

Minaj’s concert would have come just ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, adding another layer of democratic disapproval at home and shock across the Muslim world. The Minaj invitation provided yet another reason why Muslims are openly boycotting Hajj like never before: The Saudi monarchy clearly does not respect the values of Islam, and they are committing horrific crimes against Muslims.

Minaj has just pulled out of the concert, saying that she did not want to perform in a country where “women have no rights”, adding that her decision was not intended to “disrespect” the Saudi government. Minaj shows her lack of political modernity by declaring her respect for the reactionary and outdated form of government of monarchism, but MBS is sure to be very sad-faced about her decision – this puts him at odds with the average Saudi person’s morality, yet again.

Our headline does not equate the death of (psuedo-dissident) Jamal Khashoggi with the now-cancelled performance of a stripteasing rapper – it points out how both are cases of the Saudi monarchy evincing no respect for humanity nor for the democratic will of Saudi Arabians.

Minaj and her values are embraced and encouraged in the US, and that is their decision – it is not for Saudi Arabia to impose their choices on the US, any more than the average Saudi wants the US to decide how they should live. However, it seems rather obvious that the average Saudi woman and man absolutely disagrees with Minaj’s values, and it is the obligation of rulers (we cannot use the phrase “civil servants” in the Saudi context) to respect their own people (subjects, in the Saudi context).

Yet we should never be surprised that MBS – or any Arab monarch – so blatantly defies public opinion, because these Western-propped governments lack anything resembling modern democratic structures. Who knows what whim possesses them to do anything? What is certain is that they act with zero accountability, zero democracy, zero notions of post-aristocratic ideals, and in a manner which is totally unbecoming of the custodians of Islam’s most important sites.

The goal of the Minaj invitation seemed obvious, and we see Israel do the same thing: it was an attempt to whitewash the regime’s crimes within the Western public: By slavishly showing the West that they embrace Western pop culture, they are trying to “normalise” reactionary, murderous and apartheid-like conditions.

This is why the Saudis promised fast-tracked electronic visas for international visitors: they want the West’s 1% taste-makers to visit, and then return home saying,

“Saudi Arabia is just like us – our Western government is right to support them.”

Their governments are not right.

The show would have been broadcast by MTV, which would have furthered the reach of this attempt to normalise an abnormal government. MTV would have surely billed Minaj’s performance as a “step forward for female empowerment in Saudi Arabia”, which is preposterous.

If Minaj truly wanted to empower the average Saudi Arabian woman she could have considered performing in local clothing – that would say, “Saudi women have a culture worthy of admiration, emulation and respect.” Minaj performing in an abaya could show young, impressionable MTV viewers that Islamophobia is wrong, and that the anti-hijab laws across Europe are racist, anti-democratic and produce violent attacks on Muslim women. But fighting Muslims – not fighting Islamophobia – is the goal of the West’s leadership, from their political leaders to their cultural elite.

The Saudi monarchy is also not right in supporting Minaj’s brand of rap. I reviewed some of her lyrics, as I am unfamiliar with her music: her lyrics openly glorify her pride in exchanging her beauty for money and luxury; they glorify criminality and drug-dealing; they are ragingly capitalist and obsessed with asserting her self-importance and your inferiority.

When I read Minaj’s lyrics I don’t see an artist, but I do occasionally see an attempt at art: Minaj deserves credit for also talking about how her African-American community has been absolutely devastated by the incredibly racist policies of the United States at all levels of their government.

It is no wonder that the vast majority of Minaj’s lyrics are so debased – she is from a community which has been degraded for 400+ years simply because of their color. The recognition of this degradation is why during the occupation of the US embassy in 1979 the modern Iranian leadership freed not just the embassy’s women but also the African-Americans.

But, excepting their slave era, it is now worse than ever for African-Americans: Since 1980 their imprisonment rates have skyrocketed by well over 300%, a community-crushing experience which may only be paralleled by Palestinians. This has devastated African-American families, and thus gutted their culture and music of peace, hope, harmony and love.

Compounding this sadness is the fear and violence they live with – guns and gang warfare are permitted to flourish in the African-American part of town, whatever town that is, and this is expressly by American cultural design. The US government, at all levels, has no interest in providing African-American citizens and taxpayers with safety or law and order. Even Europe’s Roma don’t live with such violence, at least.

Adding to all that: The economic and political power redistribution efforts finally begun in the 1960s were killed by the Democrat Bill Clinton, and thus endemic poverty in the African-American community adds yet another level of hardship and tremendous suffering to their daily lives.

Therefore, considering how often she has seen her fellow African-Americans die young, and spend their lives in prison, and spend their lives in poverty, then I can understand why Minaj’s lyrics are so unconcerned with consequences and so concerned with immediate, greedy acquisition. After all, acceptance of these degraded concepts have been been violently forced upon the African-American community, just like drugs, guns, poverty and familial dissolution.

Minaj is thus just another raging American capitalist – with all the depravity that implies – because African-Americans are given no other way out. She sells her body just as violently as a Black American football player from the ghetto does in the hope of acquiring a university education.

Given this reality, when Washington’s officials and NGOs try to lecture Iran about human rights, I wonder if they have ever even set foot inside the entire African-American-majority cities of Gary, Indiana, or Flint, Michigan, or most of the west side of Chicago, or any of the thousands of “American Apartheid” towns and neighbourhoods. The systematic oppression of African-Americans may be ignored by them, but it is not going unnoticed by the rest of the world. When Iranian officials say that the values of Washington make diplomacy impossible – and this was heard long before the JCPOA – this is certainly one of the situations they are referring to.

All these things cannot be admitted in the United States. The oppression, delusion and total hypocrisy in the US regarding this abomination is so extreme that I find it hard to conceive that African-Americans could acquire justice before Palestinians do.

Minaj has certainly not been elevated by their mainstream media for her prideful lyrical defences of her besieged community, although I can imagine that does explain part of her popularity among the African-American community. No, Minaj is elevated as a “liberator” and “model example” by the Western 1% expressly because of her vulgarity, both romantic and ideological.

Minaj actually serves an important function: she injects this culture of desperation, violence and self-centeredness – which is required to survive in a US ghetto – into the culture of the middle and upper classes, which have no need to resort to such desperate tactics, and this helps perpetuate US neo-imperialist culture at home and abroad. US capitalism-imperialism first requires, of course, domestic indoctrination of their own people.

But the problems of the African-American community are not the responsibilities of MBS and the Saudi monarchy – reflecting the moral standards and public opinion of the Saudi people is.

Minaj victimises everyone with her lyrics, probably because she doesn’t realise that she has been victimised herself by US culture. While it technically could depend on the song she chooses to rap and the manner in which she would have appeared on stage to rap it, barring some sort of immediate and drastic conversion she would have certainly victimised impressionable Saudi Arabians as well.

I personally respect Nicki Minaj a great deal – she is a human being and a woman, and she deserves much better than being paid to gratify a leering, murderous sheik.

I also personally respect the people of Saudi Arabia and their wishes for democratic empowerment – I hope they finally realise that their reactionary monarchy do not, and never will.

‘Israeli’ Journalist Quits TV Debate to Protest against the ‘Saudi King’s Abuse’

By Staff, Agencies

Advisor to Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and ‘Israeli’ political analyst Eddie Cohen withdrew from a television debate in protest against the ‘blasphemy of Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud.’

This incident happened during a daily debate on the Zionist “i24news” screen, with the guest Hassan Merhej, a Middle East expert who insulted the Saudi monarch, saying that the king cursed the Saudi red line prompting Cohen to withdraw.

Cohen also claimed that the positions of the King of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the rulers of the UAE represent true Islam, and that they do not practice a policy against the interests of their country.

The debate also dealt with the imposition of sanctions by the United States against Hezbollah Members of the Lebanese Parliament.

Former Qatari PM: Most of ISIL Fighters Are Saudi

June 8, 2019

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The former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jasem denied all the Saudi accusations about his country’s involvement in supporting terror, stressing that most of ISIL fighters are from Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with the British newspaper, The Telegraph, bin Jasem said that all the Saudi allegations are unproven, adding that neither the United States nor the European countries have supported them.

Bin Jasem also said that Saudi supports the terrorist groups for its own interests, reminding that 15 out of the 19 terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks are Saudi.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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ISIL’s Baghdadi Refers to Syria Defeat in First Video in Five Years

AlManar

April 30, 2019

ISIL Leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The ISIL Takfiri group’s elusive supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first purported appearance in five years in a propaganda video released Monday, acknowledging ISIL’s defeat in the Syrian town of Baghouz while threatening “revenge” attacks.

The world’s most wanted man was last seen in Mosul in 2014, announcing the birth of ISIL’s “caliphate” across swathes of Iraq and Syria, and appears to have outlived the proto-state.

In the video released by ISIL’s Al-Furqan media arm, the man said to be Baghdadi referred to the months-long fight for ISIL’s final redoubt Baghouz, which ended in March.

“The battle for Baghouz is over,” he said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been blurred.

He referred to a string of ISIL defeats, including its onetime Iraqi capital Mosul and Sirte in Libya, but insisted the Takfiri terrorists had not “surrendered” territory.

“God ordered us to wage ‘jihad.’ He did not order us to win,” he said.

In a segment in which the man is not on camera, his voice described the April 21 Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed 253 people and wounded nearly 500, as “vengeance for their brothers in Baghouz.”

The man insisted ISIL’s operations against the West were part of a “long battle,” and that the Takfiri group would continue to “take revenge” for members who had been killed.

“There will be more to come after this battle,” he said.

On Monday ISIL terrorists claimed their first attack in Bangladesh in more than two years, saying they had “detonated an explosive device” on a group of police in Dhaka, wounding three officers, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

Source: AFP

Soros color revolution in Syria?

October 07, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

As the observers and analysts of events in the Middle East were busy looking at the aftermath of the downing of the IL-20 and the deployment of the S-300 in Syria, a great new danger is now looming.

President Assad issued a legislative decree (Decree No 16) and which is intended to reform the ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments). The “Awqaf” is a Sunni Muslim tradition that has been around for centuries, and its role is to manage the funds of family trusts. After the dismembering of the Ottoman Empire, the new states separated their own “Awqaf” and established their own religious bodies to manage these affairs and funds.

Much has been said in the Arab World about Presidential Decree No. 16, but in reality, nothing has been said about its actual contents and context. When I began reading criticisms of it, they gave the impression that the Decree is handing over the executive authority of Syria to the Sunni Clergy. Videos made and posted by Syrian activists expressed grave concern about Syria following the footsteps of Saudi Arabia in imposing Shariah law on the streets of Syria. There are countless posts reiterating that they are against the imposition of Shariah dress on Syrian women and other similar concerns and linking this to the Decree. There was also confusion about the origin of the Decree and a great deal of criticism of the Minister of Awqaf as the man allegedly being behind it all.

This soon developed into a wave of paranoia and fury that dragged in many normally sombre and serious analysts and activists into supporting the outrage and expressing deep concern and even anger against the government.

I observed all these developments with great concern, not knowing if they were based on any reasonable foundations because I did not really see the actual wording of the Decree in question. The confusion relating to the origin of the Decree, among other things, made it difficult to Google, however I finally managed to find it.

To begin with, and contrary to the statements of many its critics, it is a Presidential Decree and not one originating from the Minister as these critics claimed. It is a 37 page document comprised of 7 sections and each section is divided into chapters. As I sat down to read it, I began to doubt if it was the actual document that the whole uproar was about. I therefore decided to write an Arabic extract of the main and relevant points it mentioned. The extract was quote-unquote based so that I do not use my own words. The emphasis was on matters of political power and religious power, whilst matters relating to financial management and the like were skimmed through very briefly. The link provided herein is for the Arabic post I made. https://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2018/10/3-october-2018.html I am not going to translate this to English and I apologize for that. Those who are interested in an English translation can use online translators and whilst these services have their limitations, they are nonetheless good enough to relay the main underlying context.

In brief, the Decree does not separate the State from the Sunni Muslim institution, this is true. However, it puts the religious institution under the hand and authority of the Civil Government. This, in my humble view, is a bold Presidential step towards full secularism.

The Decree imposes regulations on religious activities, teaching, preaching and other related matters, to ensure that extremism namely Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood are kept out and that Muslims are taught that they can be good Muslims and good Syrian citizens at the same time.

Sadly, experience has taught us that if Sunni religious institutions are left alone, they can be infiltrated by prejudiced fanatic zealots who can in the future, potentially reignite the fire. If anything, Decree no. 16 takes precautionary measures to ensure this doesn’t happen.

I did not see in the Decree any allusion to the imposition of Shariah code dress on women, and quite frankly, I did not see anything in it that justifies the outrage.

As I was in the beginning wondering if I was reading the actual document that had caused the outrage, I ended up wondering if the ones doing the outrage have read it at all or even bothered to try to Google it and find it.

The War on Syria has not finished and, over the years I have written many articles about directions that the enemies of Syria took it in order to morph the war and reshape it in their favour. What Syria now needs is rationality and education. It’s a good start to have faith and confidence in the leadership and Decrees of the President, but this trust can be further bolstered by actually looking at facts and discussing the Decree for what it says and not by attributing it to the words of some extremist clerics and making judgements made on totally irrelevant criteria.

However, the current voices of dissent in Syria are led by supporters of the Syrian Government in its war, they are led by alleged “reformers” and scholars, who are twisting facts and feeding the public with disinformation alleging that the said decree is a sell out to the Islamists. With the great help of Intibah (my wife) I have caught them out, and was able to demonstrate that they are either lying deliberately, or that they have issued statements about the decree without reading it.

Those stirrers are trying hard, and very hard, to give the educated secular youth the impression that the government is intent to allow their sacrifices to go in vain. The campaign is spearheaded by some scholars and a member of the Popular Assembly (Parliament) by the name of Nabil Saleh. Saleh is an independent MP who has placed himself against the war on Syria, but not in support of the politics of the Government. He identifies himself as a reformer, a fighter for justice and rationality. However, the campaign of disinformation he is leading does not seem to be based on any rationality at all, but rather on deliberate twists and misinterpretations of Decree No 16. All the while the Grand Mufti Hassoun seems to be keeping silent.

The campaign is splitting the victors of the war on a very basic issue. Even the grass-root constituencies that have supported the Assad legacy for decades are getting inflamed and angry. What is really dangerous here is that as this campaign is giving the false impression that fundamentalist Sunni Islam is winning the battle of government legislation, confused members of other religions are now asking what is in it for them and why did they make all those sacrifices?

My fear is that if this wave of disinformation grows, it will (God forbid) produce the real civil war that Syria did not have. In my Arabic writings, I have been urging readers to develop informed views and asking for calm, but my voice does not travel as far and as loud as the voices of the stirrers.

Now, Syrians have been “asked” to wear red at 4 pm on Tuesday (the 9th of October) in protest to the Decree. Sounds familiar?

Everything about this current hysteria, beginning with disinformation, fearmongering and ending with “Red Tuesday”, are all hallmarks of a Soros-sponsored colour revolution. Did the Western infiltrators who penetrated Syria’s security defences (and whom I and others have warned about repeatedly) establish sleeper cells that have been now activated? Incidentally, the colour red is considered by fundamentalist Muslims as lustful and provocative for women to wear. The choice of the colour perhaps underlies a subtle statement to this effect.

This is spiralling out of control, and the way I see it, President Assad has a few options:

  1. Charge the provocateurs with maliciously spreading disinformation and causing civil strife. This option will however turn Saleh and others in living martyrs and may intensify the situation further.
  2. Ignore the public anger in the hope that it will recede and go away, but such an action may anger the protestors even more and push them to escalate their action.
  3. Or simply to withdraw Decree No 16 even though it is a very good piece of legislation. Such a withdrawal will hopefully absorb the current hysteria and provides the Government with time to deal with whom and what was behind it.

The S-300 may now be giving Syria security in the skies, but those who are stirring the mud are creating a new grave danger on the streets.

Saudi Arabia Rejects Human-Rights Criticism, Then Crucifies Someone

Krishnadev Calamur

Even as it excoriated Canada for scolding it over human rights, Saudi Arabia beheaded a man Wednesday in Mecca, then put his body on public display, for allegedly stabbing a woman to death. The method of punishment is known in Saudi Arabia as a crucifixion, which the government says is sanctioned by Islamic law, and is reserved for only the most severe crimes in the kingdom.

The suspect in this case was a man from Myanmar who was accused of breaking into the home of a Burmese woman and repeatedly stabbing her until she died, according to Bloomberg. He was also charged with weapons theft, the attempted murder of another man, and the attempted rape of another woman. King Salman endorsed the execution. The crucifixion practice is a gruesome one and is employed sparingly; most capital crimes in Saudi Arabia are punished through beheadings alone.

But as recently as 2013, Amnesty International reported that Saudi authorities executed and crucified five Yemenis in the city of Jizan after they were found guilty of armed robbery and the murder of a Saudi man.

“Pictures emerged on social media appearing to show five decapitated bodies hanging from a horizontal pole with their heads wrapped in bags,” Amnesty International said in a statement at the time. “In Saudi Arabia, the practice of ‘crucifixion’ refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if beheaded. It takes place in a public square to allegedly act as a deterrent.”

Saudi Arabia, which became a country in the 1930s, has employed beheading as a means of execution for decades—though the practice itself is centuries old and was once widely employed throughout the Muslim world and beyond…

Saudi Arabia executes more people than any country except China and Iran—and it does so for a variety of crimes.

News of the latest execution came amid a bitter diplomatic dispute between Saudi Arabia and Canada over a Canadian government statement that called on Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil-society and women’s-rights activists detained in recent days and weeks. As my colleague Sigal Samuel wrote in response, Saudi Arabia declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata and recalled its envoy to Ottawa. It froze all trade and investment deals, canceled educational-exchange programs, and suspended flights to and from Canada.

The flare-up occurred at a pivotal time for Saudi Arabia. Its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS, has cast himself as a reformer who is seeking to wean the Saudi economy away from its long overreliance on cheap oil and foreign labor. There have been other developments as well, which may look normal for the rest of the world but are potentially transformative for the kingdom—most significant among them, the government granting women the right to drive last September; the origins of the ban, as I noted at the time of the announcement, were murky, but the restriction appeared to be more cultural and religious than legal. But, as Samuel noted, “that win has been bookended by losses.” Women’s activists and human-rights campaigners continue to be detained. Torture remains rife in Saudi prisons, and executions continue apace.

The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, a human-rights group, said 146 people were executed in 2017, slightly less than the 154 executed in 2016. “Such a level of executions has not been witnessed since the mid 1990s,” the group said in a report released this week. The group said that as of April 2018, Saudi authorities had executed 47 people and were on pace to meet last year’s figure. Dozens more, it said, continue to face the death penalty, including some under the age of 18.

Jeffrey Goldberg, now The Atlantic’s editor in chief, wrote about one of these people, Ali al-Nimr, in 2015. Al-Nimr, the nephew of a prominent Shia leader in Sunni Saudi Arabia (who himself was executed), was sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion, and, despite international appeals, is still awaiting execution for alleged crimes committed when he was a minor during the Arab Spring protests that rocked the region.

Saudi Arabia employs the death penalty, which sometimes is carried out by gunfire, and usually in public, in response to a wide variety of transgressions, including murder, adultery, atheism, and sorcery and witchcraft. Despite this, it has in recent years found itself on various UN panels that oversee human rights and women’s rights around the world. (The country is hardly alone in its punitive practices—or its membership on elite UN panels… The United States is among the few Western nations that conducts executions, though it is mostly carried out by lethal injection.)

Saudi Arabia’s practices have been widely condemned by the international community and human-rights groups, but given its angry response to Canada’s alleged “interference” in its internal affairs, the kingdom looks unlikely to change the way it metes out its punishments. Saad al-Beshi, a Saudi executioner, said in a 2003 interview that he was “very proud to do God’s work.”

“It doesn’t matter to me: two, four, 10—as long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute,” he said, according to the BBC. He added: “No one is afraid of me. I have a lot of relatives, and many friends at the mosque, and I live a normal life like everyone else. There are no drawbacks for my social life.”

Source: The Atlantic, Edited by website team

 

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