Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why the war against ISIL will last at least ten years, and why Turkish leaders are choosing ISIL over Assad?



by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*
One of ISIL's forms of punishment
For three years, ISIL and other Syrian fighters have beheaded Syrian troops, security forces, and Sunni, Alawi, Shia, Druze, Christian civilians and in some instances chewed on their internal organs. All in all, nearly 115,000 Syrian were killed on the hands of opposition forces out of the a total of nearly 200,000 casualties. Yet, Turkey and the so-called “Friends of Syria” continue to supply these genocidal fighters with money and weapons. When ISIL killed three Western journalists and an aid worker, Western countries decided to build an international coalition to fight it—in Iraq. This foolish double standard is what enables ISIL and other al-Qaeda off-shoots to recruit more fighters from all over the world, including 100’s of Turkish citizens. Despite the severity of the threat, the anti-ISIL coalition, built out of the “Friends of Syria,” is divided and faces legal and political challenges.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Combating ISIL should not be America’s business, it is Saudi Arabi's



The link: Like ISIL, Saudi Arabia sanctions public beheading

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*


ISIL is a global threat but it is a bigger threat to the Middle East than to U.S. homeland. It is a bigger threat to Muslims than to Americans because, until now, the absolute majority of victims are Muslims. The U.S. could be part of a coalition that should combat ISIL but it should not take the lead. Saudi Arabia should take the lead in fighting ISIL because Saudi Arabia helped create it in the first place. The ideology and practices of ISIL are derived from the brand of a religious tradition called Salafi Wahhabism that was founded in Saudi Arabia and promoted by Saudi preachers under the patronage of the Saudi ruling family. Therefore, the fight against ISIL is Saudi Arabia’s and the rulers of Saudi Arabia must be forced to take the lead in this war.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

US, NATO and the destruction of Libya: The Western front of a widening war

by Horace G. Campbell *

General Khalifah Hifter and his men
NATO claimed that its intervention in Libya was a historic success. But three years later, Libya is in complete chaos. Some 1700 militias have a combined total of 250,000 men under arms. Another external intervention seems necessary to stabilize the country. But the US and NATO must never be involved.

INTRODUCTION

Most western embassies evacuated their personnel from Tripoli over the past few weeks as the fighting between rival armed militias creates a nightmare of violence, insecurity and death for millions of Libyans. The United States used its military presence in the Mediterranean to escort its embassy personnel and Marine guards to travel by road over the last weekend to Tunisia. The evacuation of western diplomats leaving the millions of Libyans to an uncertain fate has brought to the fore the Libyan dimensions of a wider theater of warfare from Tripoli through Benghazi to Cairo, Alexandria and Gaza and from Aleppo in Syria to Mosul in Iraq. The former allies of NATO such as Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now connected to differing factions of the Libyan civil war. In Libya, the war and bloodletting between the US supported General Khalifah Hifter (sometimes spelt Haftar) and the militias supported by Qatar is one indication of former allies falling out. Citizens of the West have little understanding of the depth of the sufferings unleashed on the peoples of North Africa, Palestine, Syria and Iraq since the United States and NATO launched wars against the peoples of this region. The battles in Libya are merging with the criminal war against the people of Palestine, especially the peoples of Gaza.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I know why I’m obsessed with Jews, but why are you?

by David Palumbo-Liu*

Knowing how public I’ve been in support of the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the state of Israel, a Jewish colleague came up to me on campus one day to talk. “I know why Im obsessed with Jews,” he said, “But why are you?”  I could hear both puzzlement and pain in his voice. 

It was clear at that moment that there were two kinds of “obsession” at work in his imagination.  For him, a Jew should properly - perhaps obsessively - care about their fellow Jews.  But my friend couldn’t help but wonder why I, as a non-Jew, would also “obsess so much” about his people, especially from a critical perspective. 

My reply was pretty automatic: “I’m not obsessed with Jews,” I said, “I’m concerned about the Palestinians.”

I know and like this person a lot. In essence I don’t think his political position is much different to mine, except in terms of tactics. I think he trusts me too.  But his statement revealed an important and discouraging assumption:  one is naturally drawn to care about one’s own people, and it is unexpected - even odd - that someone from outside one’s group should care as much. 

Friday, August 08, 2014

The paradoxical nature of religious and ethnic states and the genocidal (im)pulses


by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*
 
The Arab Spring that freed some of the peoples of the Middle East from state imposed fear produced an existential challenge for increasingly heterogeneous communities, forcing people to define the nature of the state and the character of the country where they live. It is true that self-rule and self-determination require a sense of self. However, building sable countries in the new Middle East is tied to the peoples’ level of awareness of the genocidal impulse espoused by certain social groups amongst them. 

The old Middle East was built on an artificial foundation imposed by Western colonial and protective powers in the form of superficial liberal thought, imported Marxist ideas, petty ethnic identities, niggling tribal structures, and a variety of downwardly managed and imposed ideas. The regimes and political forces of the pre- and post-colonial periods exerted virtual monopoly on governing institutions in most Arab countries. During the second half of the twentieth century, Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates, began to challenge nationalist, monarchical, and clannish regimes arguing that Islamism provides a more inclusive political ideology for the peoples of the Middle East than alien ideas or narrow Arabism. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Contextualizing David Ignatius' claim about "John Kerry’s big blunder in seeking an Israel-Gaza cease-fire"?



Contextualizing David Ignatius' claim about "John Kerry’s big blunder in seeking an Israel-Gaza cease-fire"?

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*


David Ignatius, a journalist with extraordinary access to the halls of power but apparently limited sound reasoning argued that John Kerry has committed a “big blunder in seeking an Israel-Gaza cease-fire.” He explained that “Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey.” Mr. Ignatius went on to provide a solution: “A wiser course […] would have been to negotiate the cease-fire through the Palestinian Authority, as part of its future role as the government of Gaza. Hamas agreed last April to bring the authority back to Gaza as part of a unity agreement with Fatah that was brokered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.”

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Chaos and anarchy in the Middle East: How did it happen?



Takfīris' path to their "caliphate" is soaked with the blood of Muslims

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*



The most important event of the summer might end up being ISIL’s (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) declaration that it has restored the caliphate. For the second time in the past two decades, Salafi Islamists have gained territory and resources to establish a communal entity reflecting their idea of an Islamic state. In the mid-1990s, the Taliban, aided by Saudi and Arab fighters led by Bin Laden, routed fellow Mujahidin to establish the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan. The Emirate ended when U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Two weeks ago, ISIL, aided by frustrated Sunni Arabs and former Baathists, led an armed assault on the northern provinces of Iraq, linking them to territories in Syria under its control.

Archived articles (All; by month/year)

Articles by topic

academic freedom academic integrity Activism Afghanistan Africa Ahmed E. Souaiaia Algeria Anti-Islam film Arab Awakening Arab Spring Arab World Armenia Arms control Australia Bahrain Bawono Kumoro Brazil BRICS Britain Bulgaria Canada Capitalism China Civil Society Conflict Conflicts Constitutions Democracy Democracy in the Arab World Dignity Diplomacy Dissent economic sanctions Economy education Egypt Egyptian Constitution elections Elections in the Middle East and North Africa Ennahda Erdoğan Europe France Gaza GCC Geneva 1 Geneva 2 Genevieve Theodorakis Germany Ghannouchi global security Global South Greed Heiko Wimmen Henelito A. Sevilla Henelito A. Sevilla Jr. Houla Human Rights India Indonesia International Affairs International Law International Relations Iowa Iran Iran-US relations Iraq ISIL Islam and Democracy Islam and Europe Islam and the West Islam in the Public Sphere Islamic art Islamic cultures Islamic Societies Islamic World Islamism Italy Jabhat al-Nusra Jacob Havel Japan Jared Ethan Krauss John B. Quigley Jordan Kurdistan Kuwait Labor law law and order Lebanon Legitimacy Libya Malaysia Mali Marco Di Lauro media Middle East migration Military military affairs Mohamed Morsi Mohammed al-Qaisi Morocco Morsi Music Muslim Brethren Muslim Brotherhood Nahda NAM National Coalition Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces North Africa Noureddine Jebnoun Nowrūz Nuclear nuclear technology Obama Occupy Wall Street Organization of the Islamic Cooperation OWS Pakistan Palestine peoples' diplomacy Philosophy Politics proliferation Putin Qatar Raas al-Ayn Rana Jawad rebellion Religion and social policy Religious Freedom Rooh-ul-Amin Rouhani Russia Salafism Sarah El-Richani Saudi Arabia Science Shia Soccer social change Souaiaia South Africa Spain Sumeyye Pakdil Syria Takfiris terrorism the Netherlands the United States The West Tunisia Turkey U.N. U.S. Elections U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Middle East Policy U.S. Politics UAE United Nations University of Iowa US Foreign Policy USA Wahhabism Wall Street Protestors War and Peace war crimes Western Sahara Yemen

Copyright © Islamic Societies Review. All rights reserved.