Muslim Al-Muhsin: Another Innocent Victim Beheaded in the Saudi Kingdom of Blood

October 5, 2021

Muslim Al-Muhsin: Another Innocent Victim Beheaded in the Saudi Kingdom of Blood

By Staff

Rushing to fill this year’s bloody record of beheading its own nationals, Saudi Arabia executed a citizen from the al-Awamia Neighborhood in the Shia-populated Eastern Province of Qatif on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior identified the Saudi national as Muslim Mohammad al-Muhsin.

Al-Muhsin was brutally arrested from his workplace at al-Araf Commercial Center in the Saudi town of Awamia in the eastern province of Qatif on Monday, November 23rd, 2015.

The Saudi regime claimed that al-Muhsin “was behind the killing of Dhaifulla al-Qarashi, attempted to confront the security forces, and opened fire towards them.” During the arrest, the Saudi regime forces opened fire, shot him in his leg and arrested him, while unlike their narrative, no security personnel was harmed, even in the reports circulating by the regime’s media outlets.

Locals, however, who were present at the time of the arrest, indicated that more than 15 security personnel stormed the commercial center, moved towards al-Muhsin immediately and started beating him using batons and the bottoms of their machine guns. They even forced customers who were at the place to lie on the ground.

Without providing any evidence on the fabricated claims, the Saudi authorities neither identified were the incident took place, nor the weapon that was used by the alleged perpetrator.

Al-Muhsin was brutally tortured during his arrest, not to mention the pain he had been through as the regime arrested him without removing the bullet he sustained in his left leg during the raid. He was also deprived from the right to assign a lawyer in a grave violation of human rights, as well as local and international laws.

After several delays of the show trial sessions, the Appellate Court of the Specialized Criminal Court decided to sentence al-Muhsin to death, in yet another brutal measure of many similar Saudi regime measures consistently targeting the people of the kingdom’s Shia-populated region.

The sentence was executed after the non-proved guilty citizen had spent almost six years behind bars, where only God knows what kind of treatment he had been through.

Bahrain’s “Jaw” and Saudi’s “Haer” Prisons: Coronavirus Threatens Detainees

8/4/2021

Bahrain’s “Jaw” and Saudi’s “Haer” Prisons: Coronavirus Threatens Detainees

By Staff

What is happening inside Saudi prisons is the same scenario Bahraini detainees are suffering from inside their county’s notorious “Jaw” Prisone due to the authorities’ negligence and denial of medical treatment while the Coronavirus spreads behind bars.

Political prisoners in Saudi Arabia’s “Haer” Prison, in the capital Riyadh, are suffering from Coronavirus symptoms while the prison’s administration denies them medical care.

In this regard, ‘al-Qist’ rights group pointed to reports about the Coronavirus outbreak in the section of political prisoners in “Haer” Prison, relating the reason behind the outbreak in the political section to denying vaccination to the detainees.

The group called on the Saudi regime authorities to guarantee the basic rights of political prisoners and providing them with healthcare, in addition to releasing them.

Earlier in August, a Twitter account belonging to “Political Prisoners” had reported the spread on the virus also inside the Dammam Political Prison.

In parallel, another rights campaign was launched on social media to release political prisoners inside the kingdom amid the outbreak, including the hashtag #BeforeTheCatastrophe, in an effort to rescue them and save their lives.

The campaign also aimed at pressuring for releasing all those who were arbitrarily detained before it is too late when the virus spreads inside cells.

Relatively, rights groups campaigned under another hashtag #DetaineesUnderCoronaDanger to demand the release of all political prisoners.

Sayyed Nasrallah To the Saudis: Don’t Waste Your Time, Yemen is Victorious …The US is Declining

Sayyed Nasrallah To the Saudis: Don’t Waste Your Time, Yemen is Victorious …The US is Declining
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Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassasn Nasrallah delivered on Wednesday a speech on the memorial ceremony held by the Association of Muslim Scholars to honor its late Chairman of the Board of Trustees, judge Sheikh Ahmad Zein.

As His Eminence renewed Hezbollah’s condolences on the demise of the great Sheikh, dear resistance fighter, father and teacher Sheikh Ahmad Zein, His Eminence hailed “Sheikh Zein as a sublime model of faith, religiosity, knowledge and sincerity.”

“Sheikh Ahmad Zein resembles a model of ethics, humility, transparency, tenderness, friendliness, love and kindness,” Sayyed Nasrallah added, noting that “Sheikh Ahmad Zein is a model of the revolutionary resistant who was clear in his stances, vision, and bravery.”

In parallel, the resistance leader underscored that “Sheikh Ahmad Zein was stable and solid in the path of [Muslim] unity and resistance.”

“Unlike Sheikh Ahmad Zein, other people’s stances changed due to personal desperation, Petrodollars and authority,” he confirmed, praising “Sheikh Ahmad Zein, who walked a path of an intellectual, juristic, and religious basis on which he remained firm.”

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “Sheikh Ahmed placed before him the constants of Palestine, its people, Al-Quds and the occupied land from the sea to the river. He took upon himself the cause of confronting the ‘Israeli’-American scheme to dominate the region.”

“Sheikh Ahmed, from the beginning to the end, was with Palestine and against the liquidation of its cause and with everyone who stood with it,” His Eminence highlighted, recalling that “Sheikh Ahmad Zein stood from the beginning with the revolution in Iran, because it supported Palestine.”

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “Sheikh Zein backed and supported all resistance fighters and scholars. He offered all what he could for the sake of resistance.”

He further said that “The most difficult situation for Sheikh Ahmed Zein was in Syria, and he endured a lot for that stance.”

“The most important reason behind targeting Syria was because of Palestine and the resistance, which Sheikh Zein had been aware of,” His Eminence mentioned, reminding that “Sheikh Zein rejected the regime’s practices in Bahrain and the war on Yemen despite all the pressures, and he was one of the scholars who uncovered the fabrications and misleading regarding the talk of the so-called sectarian war in Yemen.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also hinted that “The most difficult level of Sheikh Zein’s and the resistance scholars’ political life was in this decade. Recently, stances made by Sheikh Zein and other scholars were of great importance.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “In the last stage, the position of Sheikh Zein and other scholars had great significance. One of the most dangerous and difficult problems was those who tried to turn the battles into a sectarian war.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the historic role of many scholars who buried the sectarian division long sought by conspiring states, noting that what happened in many countries was intended to be turned into a Sunni-Shia strife as in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, etc…

“Those who broke the strife in this war are the wonderful and distinguished Sunni elite,” he elaborated.

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “There is a new political and media war against the oppressed Yemeni people through showing that Saudi Arabia wants to end the war while Ansarullah refuses this.”

“What is proposed to the Yemenis is not an end to the war. It is just a ceasefire while all other forms of war continue such as blocking the airport, seaports, and borders,” he emphasized, noting that “What is proposed to Yemenis is a major deceit that neither Sayyed Abdul Malik Al-Houthi nor the Ansarullah movement or the Yemeni scholars will be deceived with, not even the Yemeni children will accept this.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed “The Yemeni people who are as great in politics as in resistance.”

He further advised the Saudis and the Americans not to waste time after they have touched the Yemenis could not be deceived. “Ceasing the fire without lifting the siege is misleading and reflects the desire to achieve what they were unable to score in the military field.”

To the Saudis, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a sounding message: “Don’t waste time as your game won’t deceive the Yemenis. Just stop the war and end the blockade.”

On the Palestinian front, His Eminence viewed that “Palestinian steadfastness is the reason behind ‘the deal of the century’s’ failure, particularly disappearance from circulation.”

“The axis of resistance passed and crossed the worst and most dangerous stage in its history, and it continues to meet threats with hard work and the accumulation of capabilities,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed, underlining that “Iran will not give today what it didn’t give during the harshest stage of sanctions and the daily threat with war.”

Moreover, he underlined that “Iran is on the threshold of overcoming the blockade and sanctions, and it has proven its strength and abilities.”

“Biden’s admin is seeking not to let Iran be part of an alliance that includes Russia and China. However, what Iran did not offer amid the harshest sanctions and daily threats of war it won’t offer now. It’s on its way to overcome the blockade and sanctions. It [Iran] proved strength.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah predicted that “The US is moving in decline, while the axis of resistance is moving in an upward progression.”

To the Lebanese, His Eminence sent the following advise:“Let us not wait for America, the world, and developments. Let us set internal and regional dialogues to solve our problems.”

“America’s allies should know that the current US administration’s priorities are not in our region anymore, and that the US is sinking,” he said, warning that “Everybody should learn that Lebanon has exhausted its time. And it is now that we must reach a solution.”

A Decade on Bahraini Uprising, Protesters Rally against Al Khalifah Regime

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A decade ago today, as pro-democracy uprisings raged across the Middle East, tens of thousands of protesters in Bahrain began their own rallies.

10 Years on Revolution: Bahrainis Continue to Protest Al-Khalifa Brutality

Bahrainis have taken to the streets across the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom to mark the tenth anniversary of a popular uprising against the ruling monarchy. Demonstrators carried pictures of the uprising’s leaders and martyrs as well as placards vowing resistance until victory.

Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, posted the pictures of the rallies on its Twitter account.

The protesters chanted slogans against the Al Khalifah regime and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah and held handwritten posters with messages of solidarity with the families of the martyrs and condemnation of the regime’s repression.

Additionally, the Coalition Youth of 14 Feb Revolution in a statement called on all Bahraini groups and masses to close ranks in order to change the ruling political regime in Manama.

Demonstrations in Bahrain have been held on a regular basis ever since the popular uprising began on February 14, 2011.

The protesters demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

They have also been complaining about widespread discrimination against the country’s Shia majority.

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Al-Saud Retreat! Death Sentences for 3 Minors Commuted to 10 Years in Jail

Al-Saud Retreat! Death Sentences for 3 Minors Commuted to 10 Years in Jail

By Staff, Agencies

In the kingdom of death, death penalties given to three young protesters in Saudi Arabia when they were minors were commuted to ten years in Jail.

One of the prisoners, Ali al-Nimr, was sentenced to death in the country’s Eastern Province in February 2012 when he was 17 years old. He is the nephew of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the famous Saudi cleric who had called for reforms and was executed by the Riyadh regime in January 2016.

The Specialized Criminal Court had sentenced to death Nimr along with Dawood al-Marhoun and Abdullah al-Zaher, 17 and 15, after they were arrested.

Saudi Arabia’s state-backed Human Rights Commission said on Sunday that Nimr’s sentence, who has served more than nine years in jail since his arrest, has been commuted, adding that the two others’ were commuted in November 2020.

In all three cases, it added, time served would apply and they are set to be freed in 2022.

“Freedom soon, God willing,” Nimr’s mother said in a Facebook post celebrating the news.

The death sentences of Nimr, Marhoun, Zaher and two other juvenile offenders have not been revoked yet.

Rights groups who follow the cases closely told Reuters in January that one of the five has appealed. Eight others originally detained as minors still face charges that could lead to their execution.

Anti-death penalty charity Reprieve says Riyadh should ensure the decree is applied to all juvenile offenders.

“True change isn’t about a few high-profile cases; it means making sure no-one is ever sentenced to death for a childhood ‘crime’ again in Saudi Arabia,” said Reprieve director Maya Foa.

According to a Saudi Human Rights Commission [HRC] report in January, Saudi Arabia executed a record 185 people in 2019; the regime reduced the number by 85% in 2020.

In a statement in October, Human Rights Watch called on Saudi Arabia to stop the imminent execution of eight men charged with activities related to a wave of anti-government protests while they were under the age of 18.

The role of Musa al-Sadr in shaping national identity of Lebanese Shias الصدر ودوره في تأصيل الهوية الوطنية للشيعة في لبنان

The role of Musa al-Sadr in shaping national identity of Lebanese Shias

February 01, 2021

The role of Musa al-Sadr in shaping national identity of Lebanese Shias

Description: 

Lebanese university lecturer in history, Talih Kamal Hamdan, explores the role of the late Imam Musa al-Sadr in shaping a sense of national belonging and identity within the Shia sect in Lebanon, specifically during the 1960s and 1970s.

Understanding the historical formation of the national and political identity of the Shia of Lebanon is particularly relevant today, as contemporary Lebanese Shia Muslims are highly influential actors not only within Lebanon, but on the regional level as well. This is especially the case when viewed from the lens of Hezbollah, a group which considers itself an extension of the general political paradigm shaped by al-Sadr.

Source:  Al Akhbar Newspaper

Date:  September 8, 2015

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


Transcript:

Imam al-Sadr and his role in instilling a sense of national identity in Lebanese Shia

Talih Kamal Hamdan

This year marks the 37th anniversary of the disappearance of Imam Musa al-Sadr and his two companions, (an anniversary that) comes at the height of internal, regional and international conflicts; takfirism; and discrimination against sectarian and ethnic minorities in the Arab world, where Shias are the main target of Takfiri groups. The role of Shias in the Lebanese political reality is also being increasingly targeted by way of distorting their nationalist struggles, for which Imam al-Sadr laid solid foundations, and for which thousands of martyrs (of Shia origin) sacrificed their lives. (Many Shias) gave their lives (within these nationalist struggles) in order to free (their) land (from Israeli occupation), fighting (the occupation) as members of national and Islamic resistance groups successively (established) between 1975 and 2006.

The government’s neglect of the villages in the South (of Lebanon), the Beqaa, and Beirut suburbs; together with the deplorable conditions that farmers and their families lived under; and the overwhelming dominance of feudal families who had great political, economic and social influence in these areas, all these were starting points for (the establishment of) left-wing and progressive parties beginning in the mid-50s. These parties sought to fight deprivation, unilateralism of southern political representation, and the blatant denial of the rights of workers and farmers. However, these parties failed to establish social justice. Due to their fragmentation, differing frameworks and (political/ideological) poles, and their ordering of priorities that favored politics over other issues, these parties were not able transform their social standing into influence in the government, thus preventing them from turning the family structure into a national institutional structure. They chose cosmetic changes over (real) change, and social struggles with political and power-based objectives over a comprehensive social revolution. Then came the civil war in 1975 and toppled the social and national, non-sectarian movements, thus giving the upper hand to the 1943 (sectarian) formula only with new faces.

Since the mid-1960s, there had been growing social demand (for the rights of) marginalized groups, especially the Shia community who was suffering from the lack of institutions, jobs and services, and the scattering of its skilled individuals between left-wing parties and Palestinian organizations on the one hand, and opportunistic feudal leaderships on the other. As a result, unlike other Lebanese social groups, (the Shia community) lacked a specific identity.  Therefore, the objective conditions made room for another kind of leadership, (a leadership) that seeks change, and mobilizes its resources to lift (people) from fragmentation to unity, and from a feeling of deprivation to a feeling of power; (a leadership that grants) the right to participate in the government and its administrative and functional departments, (the right to) social development, and (the right to) participate in local, regional and international political decision-making of the Lebanese state. All this on the basis of both a religious identity and a unified national vision. Thereafter, Imam Musa al-Sadr’s movement emerged to call for social and political reform as a priority, on the basis of the “Lebanization” of Shia decision-making, and (the Shia sect’s) integration into the Lebanese state, whom Shias had always felt abandoned by.

Initially, the influential feudal and religious families did not have a negative reaction to the emergence of Imam al-Sadr. However, (with time) his reform movement against traditional feudalism gained strength as he gained large public support. His work was culminated in the adherence of young secular individuals to his project thanks to his undermining of the religious legitimacy granted to the feudal leaderships. (He) took advantage of the political and social situation in the South, the Beqaa and the Beirut suburbs, to begin the process of comprehensive change of the role of Shias in Lebanon.

Imam al-Sadr took the social dimension as a priority, and fought for “ending the deprivation (of basic rights) in the Beqaa and the South”. He started by confronting his opponents from the traditional feudal leaderships, notably Kamel al-Assaad, and left-wing parties, especially the Communist Party, in order to prevent them from “manipulating the Shia youth ideologically and on the basis of party-loyalties.” (1)

Even though (Imam al-Sadr) held firm to his religious foundations, yet he used religion to sharpen the sense of belonging to a national identity, and worked on establishing a social identity that – similar to other sects – combined both patriotism and the exaltation of the (Shia) sect. He replaced family loyalty with religious sectarian loyalty, thus attracting various segments (of society) who had previously adhered to the (powerful) feudal families, or adhered to the left-wing parties with their (various) slogans.  (Imam al-Sadr) also brought back the idea of ​​institutionalizing religious identity by reviving the “Al Ber wal Ehsan” Charity (جمعية البر والإحسان) founded in 1948 by Sayyed Abd al-Hussein Charafeddine in (the city of) Tyre, making it a starting point for his social service activities, and a project similar to the Amel Association (الجمعية الخيرية العاملية) in Beirut. He then established the Supreme Islamic Shia Council in Lebanon in 1969, which was a major turning point (that struck at) the core of the traditional authoritarian leadership (of Lebanese Shias). He was also able to establish educational, professional and social institutions, after they were absent for many decades because of the (Lebanese) state’s failure (to provide) services and (build) institutions in the South and the Beqaa. By raising the awareness of Shias regarding their sectarian and national identity, (Imam Musa) wanted to stress that they are citizens who have the right to consistent development, to be relieved from deprivation, and protected against Israeli attacks (2).

He built multiple relations with many national and southern actors, and showed an outstanding leadership and a strong ability to influence Lebanese elites and the Lebanese people. Therefore, Sayyed (Musa) was granted Lebanese nationality in 1963 by President Fouad Shehab, and became a permanent guest at the Lebanese symposium, which was composed of Lebanese political and intellectual elites. Therefore, Sayyed Musa was described by Michel Asmar as a “man of the coming time”. He also established relations with famous media figures, especially Ghassan Tueni. However, despite his wide network of internal and external political relations (that he established) on the basis of supporting his reform project, he tried to make sure that his political line stays as independent as possible.

(Imam al-Sadr) was known for his boldness in objecting to the excesses of the (Lebanese) state against southern citizens who were suffering daily from Israeli attacks. As such, he declared a general strike to support the people of the South, and consequently, he established the Southern Council, then the Commission for Southern Support in cooperation with Cardinal Anthony Khreish and a large group of Muslim and Christian scholars and clerics. He also confronted the Palestinian resistance, despite his alliance with it, after its multiple excesses against the southerners. He addressed Abu Ammar (i.e. Yasser Arafat, Former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization) saying: “Abu Ammar, I (am ready to) protect the Palestinian resistance (even) with my turban, but I will not be silent about its transgressions against people in the South” (3).

Accordingly, Imam al-Sadr is indeed the true father of “Lebanese political Shiism”, which considers the national dimension a priority in its internal movement, and which believes that Lebanon is the permanent home for all its sons and various other social groups, and (a country) that must be defended by all means and at all costs, not on the basis of hegemony and partisanship, but rather partnership and national belonging. This explains the (contemporary) Shia urgency and seriousness to protect Lebanon from both Israeli aggression and the Takfiri threat.

References

1- Abd Al-Raouf Sunno: “The Lebanese War 1975-1990: The Dismemberment of the State and the Rift within the Society”, Volume One, ibid, pg. 145.

2- Talal Atrissi: “The conditions of the Shiites of Lebanon have changed,” in: “The Shiites in Lebanon from marginalization to active participation,” ibid., pg. 245

3- “The Supreme Islamic Shiite Council and the Rights of the Sect,” a special booklet issued by the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council, January 1974, pg. 10.

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الصدر ودوره في تأصيل الهوية الوطنية للشيعة في لبنان

The role of Musa al-Sadr in shaping national identity of Lebanese Shias

الأخبار

طليع كمال حمدان الثلاثاء 8 أيلول 2015

تأتي الذكرى السابعة والثلاثون لتغييب الإمام موسى الصدر، ورفيقيه، هذا العام، في ذروة التناقضات الداخلية والإقليمية والدولية، وفي ظلّ تصاعد موجات التكفير، والعنصرية الدينية، تجاه الأقليات المذهبية والعرقية في المنطقة العربية، حيث يقع الشيعة العرب على رأس الاستهداف التكفيريّ، وتعاظم استهداف دور الشيعة في الواقع السياسي اللبنانيّ، من خلال تشويه نضالهم الوطني، الذي أرسى أسسه المتينة الإمام الصدر، وعمّدته دماء الشهداء، الذين سقطوا بالآلاف على طريق تحرير الأرض، بعد تعاقب مجموعات المقاومة الوطنية والإسلامية بين 1975- 2006.


شكّل الإهمال الرسمي لقرى الجنوب، والبقاع، والضواحي البيروتية، والأوضاع المزرية للمزارعين وعوائلهم، واستحكام قبضة العائلات التقليدية النافذة سياسياً، واقتصادياً، واجتماعياً على تلك المناطق، منطلقاً للأحزاب اليسارية والتقدمية، منذ منتصف الخمسينيات، لمحاربة الحرمان، وأحادية التمثيل السياسيّ الجنوبيّ، والإجحاف اللاحق بحقوق العمّال والمزارعين، لكنّها أخفقت في إرساء العدالة المجتمعية، بحيث لم تستطع تجيير مكاسبها على الصعيد الاجتماعي نفوذاً في السلطة الرسمية، نتيجة تشرذمها، وتعدّد أطرها وأقطابها، وتقدّم الجانب السياسيّ على ما عداه من قضايا، ما منعها من قطف التحوّلات الاجتماعية في البنية العائلية، وتحويلها إلى بنية مؤسساتية وطنية، فآثرت التجميل على التغيير، والنضالات الاجتماعية ذات المغزى السياسي، والسلطوي، على الثورة الاجتماعية الشاملة، فجاءت الحرب الأهلية، عام 1975، لتطيح الحراك الاجتماعي والحركة الوطنية اللاطائفية، لصالح تركيبة 1943 بوجوهها الجديدة.

فمنذ منتصف الستينيات، أخذت المطالب الاجتماعية تتصدّر واقع الفئات المهمّشة، وعلى رأسها الطائفة الشيعية، التي كانت تعاني من الحرمان على مستوى المؤسسات، والوظائف والخدمات، ومن توزّع طاقاتها بين أحزاب اليسار، والمنظمات الفلسطينية من جهة، وبين الزعامة التقليدية الانتهازية من جهة أخرى، ما جعلها تفتقر إلى هوية محددة، على غرار بقية المكوّنات الاجتماعية في لبنان، فأضحت الظروف الموضوعية أكثر اتساعاً لقيادة من نوع آخر، تحمل سمات التغيير، وتسخّر الإمكانات للارتقاء من التشرذم إلى الوحدة، ومن الشعور بالحرمان إلى الشعور بالقوّة، والحق بالمشاركة في السلطة، وتقسيماتها الإدارية والوظيفية، والتنمية الاجتماعية، والمشاركة في الخيارات السياسية للدولة اللبنانية المحلية والإقليمية والدولية، على أساس مركّب بين هوية دينية، وبعد وطني واحد. فجاءت حركة الإمام موسى الصدر لتحمل عناوين التغيير الاجتماعي، والسياسيّ، كأولوية على أساس «لبننة» الخيار الشيعي، وإدماجه في الدولة اللبنانية، التي لطالما شعروا بأنها تخلّت عنهم لعبث التهميش والإهمال.

أظهر مقدرة كبيرة
على القيادة والتأثير بالنخب اللبنانية والجماهير

لم يشكل ظهور الإمام الصدر، في البداية، صدمة سلبية بين العائلات التقليدية والدينية النافذة، لكنه مع تصاعد حركته التغييرية في وجه الإقطاع التقليدي، واتساع تأييده الجماهيري، ما سهّل إطلاق حركته التغييرية، فتوّج نشاطه بصهر العناصر العلمانية الشابة في مشروعه، من خلال تقويض الشرعية الدينية الممنوحة للزعامة التقليدية، مستفيداً من الواقع السياسي والاجتماعي، في الجنوب والبقاع والضواحي البيروتية، لتبدأ مسيرة التغيير الشامل لدور الشيعة في لبنان.

اتخذ الإمام الصدر من القضية الاجتماعية أولوية، وحمل شعار «رفع الحرمان عن الجنوب والبقاع» مرتكزاً لمواجهة خصومه من الزعامات الإقطاعية التقليدية، وعلى رأسهم كامل الأسعد، ثمّ الأحزاب اليسارية، وعلى رأسها الحزب الشيوعي، لمنعها من «التهام الشباب الشيعيّ أيديولوجياً وحزبياً (1).»

فهو على الرغم من تمسّكه بالثابت الديني، فقد سخّره لخدمة الانتماء إلى الهوية الوطنية، وعمل على تأسيس هوية اجتماعية تجمع ما بين إعلاء شأن الطائفة والتمسك بالوطن، على غرار بقية الطوائف. وبذلك استبدل العصب العائلي بالعصب المذهبي الديني، واستطاع من خلاله أن يستقطب شرائح متعددة، كانت مشرذمة الولاءات بين العائلة التقليدية وخياراتها المتعددة، والأحزاب اليسارية وشعاراتها، فضلاً عن إعادة إحيائه فكرة مأسسة الانتماء والهوية الدينية، فأعاد إحياء «جمعية البرّ والإحسان» التي أسسها السيد عبد الحسين شرف الدين عام 1948 في صور، لتكون منطلقاً لنشاطه الاجتماعيّ والخدماتي، وفي ذلك إعادة لتجربة الجمعية الخيرية العاملية في بيروت، ثمّ جاء تأسيسه للمجلس الإسلامي الشيعي الأعلى في لبنان، عام 1969، ليشكّل نقطة تحول رئيسة، في جوهر الزعامة التقليدية المطلقة. كما استطاع بناء مؤسسات تعليمية ومهنية واجتماعية، بعدما غابت لعقود طويلة، في ظل تقصير الدولة مؤسساتياً، وخدماتياً في الجنوب والبقاع، فأراد من تثبيت وعي الشيعة بهويتهم الطائفية والوطنية التأكيد على كونهم مواطنين لهم الحق في التنمية المتوازنة، ورفع الحرمان، والدفاع عنهم أمام الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية (2).

وقام بنسج علاقات متعددة مع جميع الأطراف الفاعلة وطنياً وجنوبياً، وأظهر مقدرة كبيرة على القيادة والتأثير بالنخب اللبنانية والجماهير، فقد منحه الرئيس فؤاد شهاب الجنسية اللبنانية عام 1963، وأضحى ضيفاً دائماً على الندوة اللبنانية، التي ضمّت في صفوفها النخب السياسية والفكرية اللبنانية، فوصفه ميشال أسمر بـ»رجل الزمن الآتي»، وربطته علاقات مع رجالات الصحافة الكبار، وعلى رأسهم غسّان تويني، وحاول قدر الإمكان الاستقلالية في خطّه السياسيّ، رغم تشبيكه مروحة من العلاقات السياسية الداخلية والخارجية على قاعدة دعم مشروعه التغييريّ.

اتّصف بالجرأة على الاعتراض على تجاوزات السلطة بحقّ مواطنيها الجنوبيين، الذين كانوا يتعرّضون يومياً للاعتداءات الإسرائيلية، فأعلن الإضراب العام لدعم أهل الجنوب، ونشأ نتيجة ذلك «مجلس الجنوب، وشكّل هيئة نصرة الجنوب مع الكاردينال أنطونيوس خريش، ومجموعة كبيرة من علماء ورجال دين مسلمين ومسيحيين، كما أنه اعترض على المقاومة الفلسطينية، رغم تحالفه معها، بعدما زادت تجاوزاتها ضدّ الجنوبيين، فخاطب أبا عمّار قائلاً: «يا أبا عمّار، بعمامتي أحمي المقاومة الفلسطينية، لكن لن أسكت عن تجاوزاتها ضدّ الناس في الجنوب (3).»

وعليه، فالإمام الصدر هو الباعث الحقيقي «للشيعية السياسية اللبنانية»، التي تجعل من البعد الوطني أولوية في حركتها الداخلية، وتجعل من لبنان وطناً نهائياً لجميع أبنائه ومكوناته المختلفة، يجب الدفاع عنه بكل الوسائل حتى لو غلت التضحيات، على قاعدة الشراكة لا الهيمنة، والمشروعية الوطنية لا الفئوية، وهذا ما يفسر الاندفاعة الشيعية في حماية لبنان من الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية، والخطر التكفيري.

هوامش

1ـ عبد الرؤوف سنّو: «حرب لبنان 1975-1990، تفكّك الدولة وتصدّع المجتمع»، المجلد الأول، مرجع سابق، ص: 145.
2 ـ طلال عتريسي: «تغيّر أحوال شيعة لبنان»، في: «الشيعة في لبنان من التهميش إلى المشاركة الفاعلة»، مرجع سابق، ص: 245
3 ـ انظر: «المجلس الإسلامي الشيعي الأعلى وحقوق الطائفة»، كتيّب خاص صادر عن المجلس الإسلامي الشيعي الأعلى، كانون الثاني 1974، ص: 10.
* أستاذ جامعي

Under the Pretext of Coronavirus, Saudi Authorities Remove Ashura Flags in Qatif

Under the Pretext of Coronavirus, Saudi Authorities Remove Ashura Flags in Qatif

By Staff

As part of the continued security pressures practiced by the Saudi authorities against the people of Qatif while commemorating the Ashura mourning ceremonies, security forces removed all black Ashura flags raised in the Tarout Island graveyard.

The action represented a blatant provocation for the Ashura mourning organizers who, according to Qatif local sources speaking to al-Ahed, are subjected to unprecedented tightening under the pretext of the Coronavirus.

According to information obtained by al-Ahed, intelligence officers were granted ultimate authorities to intervene and impose their restrictions as part of the personal behavior and intervening in the details of the mourning ceremonies.

Donations made for supporting the ceremonies were totally banned. Additionally, names, contacts and civil records of the Ashura lecturers were collected by the authorities.

Local sources told al-Ahed that the authorities also prevented Ashura mourning organizers from raising the voice of mourning inside Husseiniyas and family gatherings.

The same sources added that the imposed measures were very strict and aimed at controlling all Ashura ceremonies.

Shia Muslims across the world commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of third Shia Imam Hussein bin Ali [AS] and his family members and companions who stood up to injustice and fought in the battle of Karbala in the year 61 Hijri. The ten-day commemoration begins on the first of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year.

The will of people is like a fire smoldering under ashes: ex-Bahraini parliamentarian

Source

July 7, 2020 – 11:34

TEHRAN – Pro-democracy protests in Bahrain have entered their ninth year. The rights of protesters are gravely violated, especially as authorities are continuing to enforce repressive policies in conjunction with an imposed censorship supported by Persian Gulf monarchies.

Ironically, authorities have a monopoly on television, radio, and newspapers. There are no independent media that can work freely inside Bahrain.

In light of this fact, the Tehran Times interviewed Ali AlAshiri, a former member of the Bahraini Parliament.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: Bahraini courts continue to uphold death sentences against political detainees, despite being tortured. Please explain?

A: Yes. These courts continue to uphold the death sentence against the political convicts, while the constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain states that any confession under torture is unacceptable.

If we look closely at most of the cases in which the death sentence was pronounced, we see no real evidence or material fact but confessions of the convicts who stress that they have been subjected to torture and physical and psychological coercion.

Q: Why are Arab regimes silent on repression in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia but accusing countries like Syria of dictatorship?

A: We can see these kinds of double standards in most of these countries. They support movements and protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, but they talk about Bahrain as if there is no protest or describe it as a riot provoked by foreign countries. The reasons are clear: They may endanger their interests if talk about the demonstrations because of sectarian reasons; most of the protestors are from the Shiite community in Bahrain.

Q: Do you think that repression will continue in Arab countries? And, can we bet on the awakening of Arab nations?

A: Despite decades of continuous repression, the will of the peoples remains like a fire smoldering under the ashes, and they will come back to the streets as soon as they find an opportunity again.

Q: Regarding what is happening in Yemen, Bahrain, and Palestine, how do you see the UN performance?

A: The positions of the United Nations are based on politicized reports rather than real evidence.

Regarding Bahrain, Palestine, and Syria, the UN says nothing more than expressing concern and issuing statements, but in other regions, they impose their resolutions on the pretext of human rights violations.

Q: What is your comment on the release of Bahraini political activist Nabil Rajab, who is still not allowed to move around or speak out on human rights abuses?

A: The step to release human rights activist Nabil Rajab came late, and the remaining period was replaced in accordance with Law No. 18 of 2017.

 It may be in response to many calls from human rights organizations, given his medical care, after a critical situation imposed by the Coronavirus outbreak that necessitated his release from prison.

Executions Double In Saudi Arabia under King Salman

Executions Double In Saudi Arabia under King Salman

By Staff, Agencies

Saudi Arabia carried out its 800th execution last week, marking an almost two-fold increase in the use of the medieval practice since King Salman assumed power in 2015, a rights group warned.

Reprieve, a UK-based non-profit organization, alarmed in a report on Tuesday that the Riyadh regime last week beheaded Abdulmohsin Humood Abdullah al-Ghamdi, a national accused of committing murder, marking the 800th execution in the Arab country since Salman assumed power in January 2015, following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

The report said that executions had almost doubled in just five years in comparison with the 423 executions conducted in Saudi Arabia from 2009 through 2014.

Reprieve added that the Saudi regime had executed 186 people in 2019 alone, 37 of whom were killed in one mass execution on April 23 last year. It said six of the men beheaded during the mass execution had been juveniles at the time of their purported offenses.

Of those who had been executed in 2019, at least 58 people were foreign nationals targeted for preaching Shia Islam, which the Saudi regime considers a crime, the report said, adding that others were executed last year for allegedly participating in or inciting political demonstrations.

Reprieve also criticized Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is regarded as the de facto ruler of the kingdom, for not keeping his word to limit the number of executions as part of what he initially claimed would be “reforms” in the highly-conservative kingdom. “The reality is far from that statement,” Reprieve said.

According to the report, the increase in the number of executions during the past five years is partly due to the number of people accused of politically-motivated crimes under Salman.

“For all the rhetoric of reform and modernization, Saudi Arabia is still a country where speaking out against the king can get you killed,” said director of Reprieve, Maya Foa.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the Riyadh regime, along with 46 other men on “terrorism” charges.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up the politically-motivated arrest, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners, particularly in the country’s Shia-populated Eastern Province.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.

العراق ميدان الحروب المقبلة!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

تتلاحق القرارات الأميركية بخصوص وضع قواتهم العسكرية في العراق، بشكل لا يخشون فيه من أي اتهام لهم باحتلاله.

فهم بالفعل محتلّون يُصدرون قرارات حاسمة معتمدين بتفتيته الى وجود مكوّنات ثلاثة متصارعة وشبه منقسمة بأبعاد عرقية وطائفية وجغرافية.

وهذا ينسحب على الرئاسات العراقية الثلاث الجمهورية «الكردية» والحكومية «الشيعية» والنواب «السنية» التي توالي سياسات مذاهبها، وبالتالي مناطقها بما ينتج ضياعاً للقرار الوطني الموحّد والتصاقاً بالسياسات الدولية والإقليمية.

هذه هي الوضعية التي يستفيد منها الأميركيون منذ احتلالهم للعراق في 2003، مرغمين سلطاته الدستورية في مراحل لاحقة بالاعتراف بهم في معاهدات الجديدة بأنهم قوى مساندة للدولة العراقية من أجل مكافحة الارهاب من جهة، ولتدريب القوات العراقية من جهة ثانية.

لكن هذه المهام لم تنته وكان يتوجب على الأميركيين الرحيل في 2013، ولم يفعلوا، بذريعة ان الارهاب لا يزال منتشراً حتى أنهم زادوا من قواتهم وقواعدهم في العراق وخصوصاً تلك المنتشرة على حدوده مع سورية.

بأي حال ليس هناك انتشار عسكري أميركي في بلاد غريبة من دون وظائف سياسية. وهذا يسري على العراق ايضاً.

بما يفرض الربط بين الحركتين الأميركيتين العسكرية والسياسية في بلاد الرافدين والجوار السوري.

فهل يمكن تجاهل زيارة الرئيس الأميركي ترامب لقاعدة أميركية في العراق من دون التقائه بالرؤساء العراقيين؟ صحيح أن هذا السلوك استخفافيّ بأصحاب الارض، لكن هناك ما هو أخطر ولم يكترث له السياسيون والعراقيون ولم يتجرأوا على انتقاده وهو تصريح لترامب اثناء «تسلله» الى العراق، يقول فيه إن بلاده باقية في العراق لادارة شؤون المنطقة وتبعه وزيرا الخارجية والدفاع الأميركيان بزيارات مماثلة أكملت ممارسة السياسة الاستخفافية الأميركية بالحكومات العراقية.

أما الخطوة الثالثة فترجمها الأميركيون على شكل تحصين عالي المستوى والمناعة لمقارهم الدبلوماسية في بغداد وكردستان وتزويد قواعدهم بأسلحة نوعية مع عديد ملائم.

وواكبوها بتعطيل متعمد وواضح لتشكيل أي حكومة عراقية جديدة إلا بمعادلة «مدبرة» تستطيع تعطيل أي مشروع لإخراج القوات الأميركية من العراق.

هناك أيضاً ما هو اخطر… وهو الاعلان الأميركي الصريح عن المباشرة بتزويد قواعدهم العسكرية بشبكة صواريخ متنوعة شديدة التطور للدفاع الجوي والقصف البري، هذا الى جانب إحداث ربط شديد ومحكم بين قواعدهم عند الحدود العراقية مع مناطق شرق الفرات السورية عبر دير الزور الى الحسكة والقامشلي والحدود السورية العراقية لناحية الشرق.

وتشير معلومات دولية أكيدة ان هذا الخط الأميركي له اهداف جيوبوليتيكية وسياسية واقتصادية.

لجهة الجيوبوليتيك فإن الاستمرار باحتلال هذه البقعة السورية العراقية تجعل الأميركيين على تماس مباشر مع تركيا والدولة السورية والعراق الرسمي في بغداد والجنوب، والسعودية لناحية الإنبار العراقية، وفي مواجهة إيران في كل مكان تقريباً وحيث توجد قواعدها في كردستان العراقية الى الكويت والبحرين والإمارات وعمان والسعودية وقطر، بما يمنع انهيار النفوذ الأميركي من منطقة الشرق الأوسط بكامله مع مواصلة خنق إيران ومنع روسيا من التمدد «السوفياتي الطابع». والحد من التوغل الصيني، يكفي ان هذا المشروع يجهض سياسياً تأسيس دولة عراقية قوية ذات دور إقليمي ويمنع استكمال الدولة السورية لسيادتها على كامل أراضيها، اي مشروع للتمديد للازمتين العراقية والسورية والاستيلاء على مساحات واسعة جداً هي الأكثر استراتيجية للمشروع الأميركي الجديد.

اقتصادياً يسيطر الأميركيون عبر هذه المساحة العراقية – السورية التي يمسكون بها على آبار النفط الاساسية في كردستان وشرق سورية وشمالها.

أليس هذا ما استشعره الرئيس التركي اردوغان، فحاول إشراك بلده في اللعبة الاستعمارية الأميركية، عبر تحاصص ثلاثي بين القوى الأكثر فاعلية في تلك المنطقة وهي الأميركية والروسية والتركية؟

يكفي هنا عرضه للأسباب التي دفعته الى هذا الاقتراع، وهي على حد زعمه ضرورة بناء مساكن للنازحين السوريين في الشمال والشرق بما يكشف عن استيعابه للمخطط الأميركي مع محاولة بناء منطقة حاجزة داخل الحدود السورية بعمق ثلاثين كيلومتراً يوطن فيها نازحين من جنسيات مختلفة، في مسعى لتغيير ديموغرافي بإبعاد الأكراد السوريين الى الداخل، فتصبح لأردوغان اهداف عدة: تفتيت سورية وطرد الأكراد والهيمنة على النفط مقابل طموح أميركي للسيطرة الجيوبوليتيكية بالاحتلال والسطو على النفط وتركيب أنظمة ومحاولة منع التراجع الأميركي.

بأي حال هذا ما يريده الأميركيون والأتراك.

فما هو الرد العراقي – السوري وبالطبع الإيراني. ومن خلفهم الردود الروسية – الصينية؟

إن كل هذه القوى المعنية تدرك ان الأميركيين يقطعون التواصل السياسي والاقتصادي بين العراق وسورية وإيران وروسيا بشكل مقصود.

لكنها تعي أيضاً ان معركة ادلب هي واحدة من الوسائل السورية – الروسية لمنع تحقيق المشروع الأميركي التركي في الشرق.

بما يوضح أسباب الإصرار الأميركي على منع استكمال عملية تحرير إدلب، مفسراً دواعي هذا الصراخ التركي المستمر.

لكن ما يتسبب بقلق فعلي، هو الوضع العراقي المطلوب منه مؤازرة السوريين إنما داخل العراق وليس خارجه، وذلك لأن الضغط على الأميركيين على طول المساحة المصرين على الإمساك بها يؤدي الى خسارتهم لمشروعهم، وتخفيف وقع عقوباتهم على إيران، بما يمنح الروس ظروفاً مناسبة للدخول في مجابهة فعلية في سورية وغيرها.

هذا إذا وثقوا بوجود وحدة وطنية عراقية تمهّد الشرعية السياسية لدورهم في العراق.

العراق إذاً هو النقطة الاستراتيجية التي يريد منها الأميركيون رعاية الخليج وخنق إيران وتفتيت سورية ومراقبة تركيا، والبدء بمشروع تأسيس دويلات كردية من إيران والعراق وسورية وربما تركيا.

لذلك فإن الميدان العراقي مرشح لصراعات قوية عراقية وإيرانية وأميركية وكردية وتركية وروسية، وربما اشتركت فيها قوى أوروبية.

فيبقى أن وحدة العراقيين هي وحدها الكفيلة بلجم هذه الحروب أو الانتصار عليها. وهذا يتطلّب الخروج من العرقية والطائفية والإيمان بأن الأميركيين لا يعملون الا في خدمة مصالحهم ويستعملون الآخرين حطباً لإضرامها.

Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTV’s Serena Shim: A 4-part series

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

November 11, 2018

In October of 1965, 2014 and 2018 three journalists were prominently assassinated: Mehdi Ben Barka, Serena Shim and Jamal Khashoggi. Most readers likely don’t know the first two, while the entire world seems to know about the last one.

This is a 4-part series which explains what Jamal Khashoggi represented ideologically, the relevance of his ideology in the modern Islamic World, the perhaps-unexpected similarity of his ideology with the Western World, and why – even more unexpectedly – the world is still talking about Khashoggi six weeks after his death.

Why do so few remember Mehdi Ben Barka or care about Serena Shim even though they did far more for the People than Khashoggi ever did?

There is a quick answer to this question: Khashoggi remains in the spotlight because the House of Saud killed a Western journalist.

The location and details, or Khashoggi’s birthplace and background, are totally subservient to the fact that he worked for a top Western media and that he was blindly and foolishly loyal to their ideology. A Western journalist cannot be killed without media campaigns and even serious bilateral repercussions, but Khashoggi was no regular freelancer – he was a prominent editorialist at the United States’ 2nd-most important newspaper, the neoconservative The Washington Post.

Anyone familiar with American media knows that The New York Times and The Washington Post essentially set the agenda of discussion in the country. All of America’s other media – with such dwindled newsrooms and so much free, terrible content – have their low-wage 20-somethings essentially re-report what these two media put on their front pages. Television news, even at the very top channels, often starts with “The Washington Post reported that….”

So, forget everything else: kill a member of The Washington Post and it is certain to be huge news for a long time…because they will ensure that it stays in the national headlines.

Given that the US runs the Anglophone world, and add in that other Western nations (such as France) are constantly paying more attention to the US than their own backyards, and this all explains why the world is still talking about Khashoggi – if you think that the US isn’t the primary decider of what’s on the average screen, think again.

Why not Shim and Ben Barka? They believed in and reported from the ‘wrong’ view – class

However, kill a journalist who doesn’t work for the US and their interests and the Western media says,

“Who cares?”

That was the case with PressTV’s Serena Shim in 2014. She was born and raised in the US, half-Lebanese, a mother of two, and was doing ground-breaking, extremely brave reporting about Turkey’s collusion with Western NGOs to get terrorists across their border to Syria. She reported on PressTV about being threatened with assassination by the Turkish secret service two days before her suspicious death, and the West said…essentially nothing. Not their media, nor even the US government, even though Shim was a lifelong American citizen.

Or what about Morocco’s Mehdi Ben Barka? It’s no exaggeration to say that he was the most widely influential Muslim thinker and activist of the 1950s and 1960s. Ben Barka was the organiser of the Tricontinental Conference in Havana, an update of the famed Bandung Conference, and the last great gathering of international leftism. We are in desperate need of another anti-imperialist conference, and another Ben Barka: he was the man who truly did bridge the gap between African, Asian and Latin American leftists, but he also could have done the same for the Muslim and European worlds. Just as East Asia had China, and then Korea, and then Vietnam, Ben Barka would have taken what happened in Algeria to Morocco – one of the few fundamentally key Muslim nations, historically – but he was abducted off Paris streets just before the start of the Tricontinental. Who killed him, why won’t France open up their archives, what is his legacy, why doesn’t Western media do more reports on the annual October demonstrations in Paris (and who is wiping my annual reports from Google and YouTube?!) to keep his flame alive in the public mind? To all that the West says…nothing.

Both Shim and Ben Barka combine to disprove many unstated claims of the West: that they care about all journalists equally, that they care about Western journalists regardless of their political persuasion, that their presses are free, and that their leadership respects a free press more than in other nations.

Ben Barka was the son of the policeman and a math teacher before he got involved in politics. Serena Shim had chosen a career in journalism, but hardly a ladder-climbing one – working for Iranian government media would only land you a job in a top Western media if you then turned around and denounced Iran.

Khashoggi came from a totally different background: his grandfather made his family billionaires via the connections provided by his job – doctor to the king. Those billions helped future family members become prominent artists, journalists and intellectuals by purchasing gallery space, column space and bookshelf space. Jamal truly grew up among the political and cultural elite of Saudi life.

Khashoggi graduated from (the hardly prestigious, given his wealth and connections) Indiana State University, and did not even get trained as a journalist but got a degree in business administration. It is being widely misreported, even by places like Al-Jazeera, that he studied journalism, but Indiana State doesn’t even have a journalism program (top-notch work there, guys – score one for PressTV). “Business administration” says a lot about his intellectual orientation and his plans as a young man (to manage his millions).

But Khashoggi was so elite that he just had to ask to become king of the Saudi journalism sphere – he procured not one but two appointments to the newspaper Al Watan. After all, he had access to all the Saudis movers and shakers, was extremely close with Osama Bin Laden and was a high-level official at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington for two years.

All this explains why reading Khashoggi is to read a guy who essentially says, “What I’m writing here is going to be made into public policy” – and he means it and is right! For a journalist – who could ask for more? Contrarily, Ben Barka was hounded out of Morocco and nobody picked up on Shim’s reporting that UN World Food Organisation trucks headed for Syria were filled with people who looked and dressed like Takfiri terrorists.

Despite his influence and responsibility, Khashoggi’s journalism did not attempt to voice the needs of the People of Saudi Arabia. In his journalism he admitted his social station divorced him from their common experience. What is far worse is that after such admissions he simply dropped the subject – he never questioned his privilege nor the system that maintained it.

Even more so than a guy like The New York Times’ unbearable Thomas L. Friedman, who married into billions and is similarly influential in shaping policy discussions in the US, Khashoggi’s writing combines an aristocrat’s air of unquestionable authority with the certainty that the sun could never and should never set on his totally unmerited entitlements.

Khashoggi is being portrayed as some sort of dissident, but it’s absolutely not the case: he spilled tankers of ink showing that he was 100% supportive of the Saudi (monarchical, and thus anti-democratic) system – the only question was “which monarch”? He ran afoul of the wrong one, but his proffered solution was only another monarch, and one who could have just as easily vivisected him in a Turkish embassy.

Just ask his kids – his sons recently told CNN“Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy that it is the thing that is keeping the country together.”

Like all far-right proponents – not just monarchists – Khashoggi’s proffered solutions only suggested looking backward and deeper into his own tiny tribe – the 1% of Saudi Arabia. But Arabia is not all Saudi…and that is what Khashoggi’s journalism explicitly fought against – reflecting the democratic will of the Arabian Peninsula.

The outrage in the West should be over their support for such an elitist, out-of-touch, anti-democratic reactionary…and yet HE is now the poster child for freedom of the press?

No. We have Serena Shim – too many Serena Shims – for that. We will have more Serena Shims.

I regret that even this series talks about Khashoggi and not Shim and Ben Barka from this point forward, because they certainly deserve it, and because the Mainstream Media never does that. They were the dissidents, the real reformers, the true martyrs.

Jamal Khashoggi was not a victim but a willing, favoured participant in a system of exploitation and repression which he desperately wanted to uphold – read some Khashoggi and that will be clear. So why does the West support such a person?

Khashoggi: Cultural colonist extraordinaire, but the Muslim World doesn’t want more Westernization

Khashoggi obviously represented something which The Post wanted to promote. That is hardly an epiphany, but Khashoggi gives us a chance to examine exactly what that was on an ideological level. Such understanding will grant us better understanding of Western policy and political culture; it also allows us to fully compare “Khashoggi-Thought” with the ideologies of previous decades and centuries, and also with other ideologies available and being promoted in 2018.

Certainly, these intellectual currents are what are the most important to grasp when discussing Khashoggi. The media prefers to focus on that which is not relevant to our daily lives and struggles – the sensational and gruesome details of the killing, and the soap opera of the House of Saud’s latest, never-ending, internecine power struggles.

It is very telling that there has been essentially no discussion of Khashoggi’s actual ideas, writings and morals. The unsaid implication in the West, then, is that he was “one of us” – i.e. he thought like a Westerner and supported Westernization.

And he certainly bent over backwards to show them how much he wanted Saudi Arabia to exactly emulate the West. Khashoggi only wrote about 20 columns for The Washington Post and three of them were literally titled, “What Saudi Arabia could learn from…”, concluded by “Queen Elizabeth II”, “South Korea”, and even the Hollywood movie the “Black Panther”. A fourth carried the same message: “Why Saudi Arabia’s crown prince should visit Detroit”. Not only is that lazy and unoriginal headline writing, but it’s basically advertising (for Westernization) instead of journalism.

In his work at Al-Arabiya (the Saudi answer to Al-Jazeera) which published his columns from 2012-16, the publication most often cited by Khashoggi seems to be The Economist, capitalist newsmagazine nonpareil.

The West is mourning Khashoggi because they knew what they had: a Westerner in sheik’s clothing.

But what did Jamal Khashoggi really believe, this journalist for whom we are spending so much time, energy and consideration, for whom column inches are devoted to instead of Shim and Ben Barka? Illuminating these great unsaids is the goal of this series, which analyzes and quotes from Khashoggi’s writings at The Washington Post and Al-Arabiya.

And here is the quick upshot: Khashoggi ticked the three main ideological boxes a Saudi Arabian (or any Muslim) needs in order to win a prominent place in Western media:

Firstly, he despised Iran, by far the Muslim country which has most successfully rebelled against the West’s dictates, and was also an anti-Shia sectarian of the highest and most disgusting order.

Secondly, he was the foremost promoter of what I accurately term “Liberal Democratic Salafism”. That’s an incredibly stupid ideology which combines 1%-focused West European/bourgeois democracy with (Islamic) monarchism, but that’s exactly what he promoted. For this he was hailed as a “reformer” because…the West is full of monarchy-loving, backwards-looking Liberal Democratic Salafists whose only difference is that their Salafism is of the Christian variety.

Thirdly and lastly, “Liberal Democratic Salafism” combined with neoliberal capitalism is what made Khashoggi the prototypical fake-leftist of the monarchical Muslim World. Western 1%ers adored Khashoggi because the extremely limited and bourgeois changes he advocated would inevitably lead to mass privatization, thus giving Western high finance control over the single most powerful economic tool in the world today – Saudi oil. Handing over your country to such interests in the name of “reform” is obviously catastrophic, anti-socialist, unpatriotic, and fake-leftism.

Why care about Khashoggi at all? It’s no revelation to find out that he was a reactionary tool of the West, but how many people appreciate that “reactionary” in the Western and Islamic Worlds are not worlds apart, but fundamentally identical?

Clarifying what Khashoggi truly represented allows us to identify, call attention to, and fight against these reactionary forces, and also to appreciate the truly modern, cooperative, socialist-inspired world that Mehdi Ben Barka, Serena Shim and countless unheralded others have worked and died for.

***********************************

This is the 1st article in a 4-part series which examines Jamal Khashoggi’s ideology and how it relates to the Islamic World, Westernization and Socialism. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTV’s Serena Shim: A 4-part series

Khashoggi Part 2: A ‘reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran warmonger?

Khashoggi Part 3: ‘Liberal Democratic Salafism’ is a sham, ‘Islamic Socialism’ isn’t

Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV 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. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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