The Facade Of Sectarianism

‘Sectarian’ clashes in the second-most holiest site in Islam can only serve to achieve one forbidding outcome. The sight of bloodshed and hostilities in the near vicinities of this sacred site is tantamount to sacrilege in the hearts and minds of Muslims all across the globe. News of four deaths and several more critically injured in the aftermath of the recent clashes in Medina will have no doubt turned memories back to the 1987 massacre in the holy city of Makka during the annual Hajj. Despite the seemingly subsiding intensity of these clashes however, it is paramount to underline the lingering nature of its outcomes just as was the case following the massacre – which will remain to influence and shape policies vis-à-vis segments of Saudi society, and wider regional relations.

hajj-people

In order to come to terms with the motives for the recent clashes in Medina, it is crucial to highlight the ongoing geopolitical shifts in the wider region. The Middle East today stands at a unique crossroads; its peoples are witnessing the displacement of age-old power structures that have been the symbol of this region for decades. Naturally, the ‘old-guard’ is pitted against the forces of change, with dear life stuck between their teeth. As loyal and attentive students of history will no doubt attest to, power holds an incredible capacity to corrupt. An even more real but no less frightening concomitant of power lies in its longing for eternalness.

The distressing events in Medina over the last few days are not sectarian clashes, yet the principle motive of its agitators is to utilize these events to heighten regional sectarian tensions. Faced with a climate of growing Islamic solidarity and imperialist rejection, these provocateurs are placing their last hopes in heightened sectarianism to secure their loosening-grip on power. The process of awakening amongst the Arab masses throughout the Middle East is alarming the oil-sheikhdoms, and at their helm the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh and Cairo once stood tall as the nerve centres of the Middle East from where regional agendas, carefully calibrated in line with US imperialist interests, were set. Times have changed. Today, the simmering revolution in Egypt is being restrained thanks only to the firing guns of an ailing Mubarak. Saudi Arabia, which proudly lauded itself as the counter-balance to Iran can no longer maintain a steady footing, and finds itself replaced by a far more pragmatic and conciliatory, Qatar. Arguably, the final nails in the coffins of these historical ‘powerhouses’ have also been hammered down by the growing role that is being played out by a Turkey that is increasingly turning Eastwards.

The House of Saud today faces a distinctive predicament. Over recent decades, the Saudi kingdom has single-handedly pumped millions upon millions of US Dollars to fund the Wahhabi sect of Islam around the world. The Saudi monarchy which came into power on the crest of Wahhabi fanaticism, resolved to export Wahhabi ideology from 1979 with the particular aim of countering the Shia following the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Today, the godfathers of the Wahhabi and Salafist groups are haunted by the products of their very own making. Faced on the one hand with the return of their now matured brood, and on the other by a resolutely passionate political agenda on the Arab street strongly against US imperialism in the region, the Saudi monarchy has chosen to kill both birds with the fire of sectarianism.

The impression of a wounded fox with no other weapon in hand except for its most primordial ability to fan the fires of sectarianism is thus the proper context against which these coordinated attacks by the Saudi army aided by the fanatical ‘moral police’ (the Mutawwa’ah) ought to be seen. From Nigeria to Pakistan, Saudi policy is operating with the single goal of obfuscating the ‘awakening’ of the Arab and Muslim populous through providing regional developments with sectarian overtones. Invented terminologies like the ‘Shia tide’ and the ‘Shia crescent’ are used in line with this agenda: an agenda to polarize the unifying Muslim ranks that stand against US imperialism in the Middle East into ‘Sunni’ and ‘Shia’ bastions.

Muslims around the world, especially those who are situated in the Middle East, should be cognizant of these underlying currents. They should not allow themselves to be utilized as instruments through which the waning power of client-states in the heart of the Arab and Muslim world is consolidated. In this regard, the primary onus falls upon Muslim leaders to refrain from pitching these clashes as ‘sectarian wars’.

Ali Jawad is a political activist and a member of the AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) – http://www.aimislam.com

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Ahmadinejad emphasizes the need of Islamic countries to be independent

The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the prince of Qatar discussed the important issues of the region.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran met with Shaykh Hamadi bin Khalifa ath-Thani, the prince of Qatar, in Tehran. He emphasized the need for Islamic countries to protect their honor and independence. He also stated that it is necessary that Islamic countries cooperate with each other to actualize their nations’ benefits.

The Iranian president clearly stated in regards to the international economical drought and the defeat of international armies that the west is trying to solve its problems by forming new systems and transferring them to other countries. Independent countries must create systems that are in their own benefit and prevent the moves of the western countries.

Qatar’s prince praised Iran for their progress in various fields and said that the Islamic world has strengths like Iran and that the progress that is made in this country is to the benefit of the Islamic world.

Qatar’s prince, in regards to the situation in Gaza, added that the Zionist regime, with the green light given by some countries, intended to occupy Gaza. But, the Doha conference and the support of the region prevented them from doing so.

Islam Times

The Shocking Story of Ali al-Marri

Ali al-Marri

Ali al-Marri

In brighter times, before a fog of fear descended on the United States, and the discourse of decent men and women was coarsened by an acceptance of the use of torture as a “no-brainer,” it would have been inconceivable that an American could have been held for seven years without charge or trial on the US mainland, in a state of solitary confinement so debilitating that he is said to be suffering from “severe damage to his mental and emotional well-being, including hypersensitivity to external stimuli, manic behavior, difficulty concentrating and thinking, obsessional thinking, difficulties with impulse control, difficulty sleeping, difficulty keeping track of time, and agitation.”

And yet, this is exactly what has happened in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. A Qatari national — and legal US resident — al-Marri had studied computer science in Peoria, Illinois in the 1980s, had graduated in 1991, and had legally returned to the United States on September 10, 2001 to pursue post-graduate studies, bringing his family — his wife and five children — with him. Three months later, on December 12, 2001, he was arrested at his home by the FBI, and taken to the maximum security Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, where he was held in solitary confinement as a material witness in the investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2003, al-Marri was charged with credit card fraud, identity theft, making false statements to the FBI, and making a false statement on a bank application, and was moved back to a federal jail in Peoria, but on June 23, 2003, a month before he was due to stand trial, the charges were suddenly dropped when President Bush declared that he was an “enemy combatant,” who was “closely associated” with al-Qaeda, and had “engaged in conduct that constituted hostile and war-like acts, including conduct in preparation for acts of international terrorism.” Also asserting that he possessed “intelligence,” which “would aid US efforts to prevent attacks by al-Qaeda,” the President ordered al-Marri to be surrendered to the custody of the Defense Department, and transported to the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina.

full article: www.insight-info.com

Sayyed Nasrallah: Qintar, Brothers to Return Very Soon

Hezbollah commemorated the eighth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day in a huge central festival in Beirut’s southern suburb.
 

lebanese protest


Hundreds of thousands of people flocked from across Lebanon into the Raya playground in the Sfeir region. Representatives of President Michel Suleiman and House Speaker Nabih Berri attended the festival alongside diplomatic, political, religious and Hezbollah figures also took part in the annual event.
 
Waiving yellow Hezbollah flags, people chanted Lebanese and Hezbollah anthems and challenged US-sponsored allegations that Hezbollah’s popular base has diminished.
 
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah appeared on a huge screen amid cheers and pledges of allegiance. 
 
Sayyed Nasrallah began his speech with praising the martyrs, particularly former Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Mussawi, Shekh Ragheb Harb and Hajj Imad Moghniyyeh.
 
“Our eighth anniversary coincides with the 60th anniversary of usurping Palestine and the establishment of the oppressive entity. It also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Israeli invasion to south Lebanon. Hence this is a time to contemplate and draw lessons whether in Lebanon or in the Arab and Israeli worlds.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resistance has served as an example and a strategy in two areas: “There is a strategy for liberation and removing the occupation, and a strategy of defending the homeland and people in the face of aggressiveness, threats and an invasion…This is our message today to Lebanon and the Arab and Islamic worlds; it’s a joint message by the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq to the whole nation. When Israel invaded south Lebanon in 1978, UNSC resolution 425 was issued, we waited for its implementation and we bargained on the international community. In Lebanon, there were suggestions that a united Arab strategy be formed to confront the aggression. None of this happened, neither by the international community nor by Arab governments that had abandoned the choice of confrontation.
Imam Mussa Sadr here in Lebanon had established the choice of resistance with the help of southerners and of course trust in Almighty Allah.”
 
The Hezbollah chief elaborated saying that the consequences of the wrong choices saw Israel deeming Lebanon a weak state and invaded it in 1982, “thus creating a second Arab Nakba (Catastrophe).
“The Lebanese were divided into: a neutral group, a second unconcerned group, a third group of cheap collaborators, a fourth group that had intersecting interests with the Israelis, a fifth already defeated group that was looking forward to cooperate with the occupation on any level in the framework of cutting losses, a sixth group that, politically and through the media, rejects occupation and a seventh group that believes that its national, religious and moral obligation is to take up arms and liberate the country regardless of the price; this is the group of the resistance.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed such division resulted in a lack of consensus on the resistance.
“I tell anyone whose country is under occupation: Don’t wait for consensus…take up your arms and head to liberation. This is what happened in Lebanon. The resistance that constituted a part of the Lebanese people depended on its will and the strength of its fighters in the battlefield. The Arab and Islamic worlds should have helped them, but many of these governments lagged behind, however Syria and Iran spearheaded the countries that assisted the resistance and consequently the historic victory in 2000; a clear victory for Lebanon, the resistance, the Arabs and the Umma. It was also a clear defeat to Israel and its “from-Euphrates-to-Nile- Rivers” scheme in the region. The strategy of liberation adopted by the resistance was successful while the strategy of negotiations failed to gain back an inch of Lebanese land and the strategy of wait-and-see was making the enemy stronger.”  
 
The Secretary General set other examples.
“In 1948, the Palestinians were waiting in vain for their Arab brethren to form a unified Arab strategy or for the international community to act. The Palestinian resistance was the reason why the world woke up to the fact that there is a Palestinian cause. Every achievement was the achievement of the resistance. The big achievement was in blockaded Gaza where the resistance managed to defeat the occupation and forced it to withdraw unconditionally. “The Gaza Strip is fighting Israel just as we did. The strategy of resistance succeeded in Lebanon and will succeed in Gaza too.
In occupied Iraq, there are those who believe in resistance and others in politics…Today, you must take the decisive position. The resistance has been dealing severe blows to the US occupation army. Iraq is called to follow the strategy of the resistance.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah added that Hezbollah has also presented a defensive pattern. “Israeli judge Winograd wondered in his report how a few thousand men defeated Israel and withstood week of fighting. Your steadfastness, the blood of your martyrs and the resistance have decreased the possibility of war in the region between Israel and Iran or Israel and Syria. I tell whoever is bargaining on a US or Israeli strike on Lebanon, we fought in 2006 and we will fight in any coming war…I tell (US President George W.) Bush and (US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of Hezbollah’s defeat, that as long as Hezbollah relies on Allah and his people, you are the ones who will be defeated,” he stated.
 
His eminence called on this occasion all Arab people to reconsider the resistance’s strategy of defense and liberation. “In Lebanon, we talk about defense. What we need now is a liberation strategy for the Shebaa Farms, Kafarshouba Farms and the detainees in Israeli jails. The prisoners are our commitment and Samir Kuntar  and his brothers will soon return to Lebanon.”
 
“On the 25th of May 2000, I stood in Bint Jbeil and declared this a victory for all the Lebanese, the Palestinians and the whole Umma. I said that what we did was our duty and we don’t ask for anything in return. We called upon the authorities to take their responsibilities in all of the country. We did not prosecute the collaborators and we had no armed appearance. We asked them to take care of south Lebanon and the deprived regions like Baalbek and Hermel. We did not ask for reshaping the regime or the Taef Accord. We did not ask for anything. They argue that the resistance in France laid down its arms after liberation. I tell them that throughout history, every victorious resistance in every country took the reins of power, but we did not ask for that. I renew my position today: we do not want to share power in Lebanon and we don’t want to rule the country or impose our thoughts on the people,” his eminence stressed.
“They speak of a coup and bringing back Syria into Lebanon. They also said that Hezbollah is fighting for the sake of Iran’s nuclear program. When the “government” revoked its two black decisions the opposition proved in Doha that it does not want to monopolize power and did not raise the ceiling of demands. We went there to save Lebanon from sedition and (David) Welch’s) hot summer. We did not employ what happened recently in politicas and we did not ask for political gains. Isn’t this enough for those who accuse us of dreaming of power and authority? From the pride Dahiyeh, I renew my call for a national partnership where there is no victor and no vanquished…Hezbollah does not want power over Lebanon, nor does it want to control Lebanon or govern the country for we believe that Lebanon is a special, pluralistic country. The existence of this country only comes about through coexistence, and this is what we are demanding,” he said.
 
“I am in front of two options: Either I explain what happened before the two black decision were taken, and I don’t wish to do that, or I delay discussing the matter, and this is not fair. But I choose to delay the discussion, however I say that there are deep wounds on both sides, so either we irritate the wounds or we swathe them. I suggest the second option. We should draw lessons. Let us postpone this until the wounds are healed and a new phase in the country begins,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
 
His eminence thanked Arabs, especially Qatar, the Arab Ministerial Committee, Syria and Iran, and everyone who contributed in making the Doha Agreement that ended the Lebanese crisis a concrete reality.
 
On the arms of the resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah said:  “I today reaffirm the Doha agreement clause that precludes the use of arms to attain political goals. When we go to discussion, we will discuss this. The resistance’s arms are to fight the enemy, liberate lands and prisoners, and defend Lebanon – and for nothing else. The government’s arms, or the army and armed forces, is also to defend the nation, the people and their rights, the government, and to maintain security. The government’s arms cannot be used to settle accounts with a political opposition team. The government’s arms cannot be used for foreign projects that prevent Lebanon from facing Israel. The government’s arms cannot be used to nail the resistance and its arms. All arms must remain at the service of the goal they were created for.”
 
The Hezbollah chief stressed the electoral law that has been reached gives better representation that previous ones, and particularly the 2000 law.
“We do not claim that this is the ideal law. This is a law that we all agreed on to bring Lebanon out of the crisis. We hope that a time would come when the Lebanese discuss an up-to-date electoral law to build a state. Those who do not want to build a state are unveiled when they approach the issue of the electoral law,” his eminence said.
 
Sayyed Nasrallah also said that the election of General Michel Suleiman as President renews hope among the Lebanese for a new stage. The presidential oath we heard Sunday reflects the spirit of agreement President Suleiman had promised. What Lebanon needs is agreement, participation and cooperation.
“When I addressed you in the Riyad el-Soloh Square and promise you victory again, I did not mean the victory of one group on the other, I meant the formation of a national unity government; the  victory of May 25, 2000, as well as the victory of July 2006, and the accomplishment in Doha. I promise that the opposition’s representation in the government will not be limited to Hezbollah, Amal and the Change and Reform bloc. We will give other opposition parties shares – and unfortunately we must speak of shares – even if it is at the expense of Hezbollah’s shares.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah called on “party of former Prime Minister Martyr Rafiq Hariri” to benefit from “the experience of this great man (Rafiq Hariri). ” Whoever is loyal to the martyred Premier must preserve his loyalty. We do not want monopoly or alliance; what we want is cooperation and participation as widely as possible.
 
“There are many names to be thanked today and I apologize for not naming them. It’s a long list, and I thank them for their courageous stances. We thank the Sunni leaderships in Lebanon and the Islamic world because they thwarted the US project which sought to portray any struggle as a sectarian struggle. We thank the Druze leadership for their courageous, wise stances … for their refused to define the struggle as a Shiite-Druze struggle. We thank the Christian leadership that stressed the struggle was political, not confessional. We have lost 14 martyrs whom we are proud of, and there are martyrs from the Lebanese Brigades to Resist the Occupation, the Amal Movement , the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Democratic Party and other opposition loyalists from all religions. We are proud of all these martyrs. We feel the pain of the victims of the other team as well. The comfort to the families of both sides is that the blood of their children saved Lebanon from the dark tunnel. We the martyrs, for they have put Lebanon before a new summer and a new phase. From our beloved Beirut to the Mount Lebanon, from the South to every area in Lebanon, you have the love and appreciation of the resistance on the anniversary of the liberation of Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

Source

 

Crossing the limits

. 26 years have passed since June 1982 were the names Dahiyah and Khaldeh passed through American and European telegrams. The youth of Dahiyah, a small village in the Southern Lebanese area of Khaldeh was able to hold the classical, prepared Israeli army for forty days with Molotov cocktails and light weapons that they already had with them.  An AP reporter went to them on the 6th of September 1982 and asked them to introduce themselves. They responded: “We are the followers of Imam Khomeini. We consider death martyrdom and are not scared of any power.” The AP continued its report in September of 1982 by saying: “The spirits of the youth of Dahiyah can be seen all over South Lebanon. Tyre, Sayda, and Balbak are no less than Dahiyah either.”

hizbollah

 Hizbollah was born with the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon and showed itself in the summer of that energetic year – 1982. It was a power which only a few people could imagine would have the power that it has today.

 2. About one month ago, on the 24th of April, 2008, George Bush who prepared himself to visit the Middle East and take part in the occupied territory’s 60th anniversary gave news of America’s strong desire to topple Hizbollah. Some American and European news outlets called this a gift to Israel before his trip to occupied Palestine. A few days afterwards, Siniora’s government in an unexpected move fired the head of Beirut’s airport’s security who was a supporter of Hizbollah. It also called Hizbollah’s telephone system illegal. This move by the 14th of March political party which illegally held Lebanon’s government was faced with a serious warning by Hizbollah’s leader, Sayyid Hassan Nasrullah. At the same time, America emphasized that it will completely support the government and the American warship Cole entered Lebanon’s shores. Then, as always, Sayyid Hassan Nasrullah disgregarded America’s threats and gave Siniora a few days to retake his statements about the head of Beirut’s airport’s security and Hizbollah’s telephone system. When the government’s insistence and America’s support was seen, in a quick, accounted for move all of the centers under the control of the 14th of March political party were taken over along with their leaders. The continuance of this quick move in which America and the 14th of March PP did not expect showed the deep influence that Hizbollah has on the Lebanese people. Once again after the 33-Day-War a Lebanese struggle ended in the favor of Hizbollah. Hizbollah’s move was so unexpected from the view of America and Israel that Israel gave the order for all of its troops to be completely prepared. Some leaders of the 14th of March PP ran away from Beirut. The Siniora government, who thought itself to be strong with the backing of America only a few hours before, was forced to give in to the resistance’s orders. They retreated from what they said a few days before. According to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar a number of CIA and Mosad officials who came to Lebanon to command this move and who stayed in the American embassy made a bridge between Beirut and Qabars escaping the situation.

 

It is worth mentioning that Walid Jumblatt, the head of one of the 14th of March PP’s groups who is undeniably attached to America and the Zionist regime and who escaped Beirut after the resistance’s lighting move, made fun of America’s promise of help in an interview and said: “Apparently the American Cole was sent to save us from Lebanon – not to help us in Lebanon.”

 

3. After the Hizbollah victory, which according to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar was a slap in face to America before it was a blow on the 14th of March PP, the demands of Hizbollah that were made after their victory in the 33-Day-War were once again put uat the forefront. The reason for this is that after Hizbollah’s victories the resistance in Lebanon is not seen as a mere political power, rather as the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv wrote: “Hizbollah showed that it is a popular movement and has took the power of the country who trusts and believes in them.”

 

The Doha Talks with the presence of Arabic foreign ministers, representatives of the resistance, and the 14th of March PP lead by Qatar was formed in this situation. From the beginning the Doha Talks could do nothing except give in to some of Hizbollah’s demands. It is clearly expected that Hizbollah will gain strength and the 14th of March PP will loose power, although most of the Arabs who took part in the talks wanted to protect the power of the 14th of March PP more than make Hizbollah loose power. Therefore, Hizbollah’s victory in the Doha Talks proves their strength – not that the things given to them makes them strong. Because of Hizbollah’s moves in the past two years the 14th of March PP did not have any other choice but to accept what the decisions in the Doha Talks were.

 

4. Hizbollah’s demands were: the establishment of the national-unified government, Mishel Sulayman becoming president, and 11 seats of the parliament (one-third reserved for the resistance) which gives them the power of veto. This plan was called the Mishel ‘Aun plan and was accepted in Doha. It should be noted that when these talks were announced Lebanese people in Beirut and other places protested saying that the Lebanese political heads have rigged these talks. They said: “This helped speed up the process.

 

5. The most important result of the Doha Talks was Hizbollah crossing the limits. Hizbollah created a nation in the past few years by their faith, bravery, sincerity, popularity, and their lives while protecting Lebanon and its entire population regardless of their religion or tribe. They brought a country who has been at discord and internal war since the Ottoman empire to a unified position showing that Lebanon’s peace will only be in unity.

 

6. After the results of the Doha Talks were mentioned American figures such as Khalilzad, Afghanistan’s representative in the United Nations said that they were going to make a United Nations Security Council resolution regarding Hizbollah. They said that since Hizbollah has turned national so the resolution number 1701 is illegal and nobody has the right to interfere in internal politics – making Siniora’s American backed movement illegal.

source