Fear of Islam and Muslims has been a visible trend since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. In Europe, this trend was given fictional respectability in the name of freedom of speech. However, the same alleged commitment to freedom of expression was not applied to those who denied the Holocaust. The point here is not that anyone should deny the Holocaust. Rather, the point of emphasis here is the hypocritical application of the selective use of that practice and the related double standard. The same hypocrisy was applied in various cartoons disrespecting the Prophet of Islam. For those who only read how capable the Europeans can be about insulting or even hating other religions need no proof other than the frequent nefarious acts of insulting the Prophet and Islam through the drawing of these offensive cartoons. Continue reading “Islamophobia in the West: Playing into the Hands of ISIS”
Category: Arab Awakening
La Marseillaise Versus the Quranic Verse 5:32
The ISIS-sponsored terrorist attacks of Paris of November 13, 2015 popularized two phenomena. The first one was the public singing of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, which embodies the free human spirit, even under an environment pregnant with fear, blood, tyranny and their related gore. The French soccer fans were singing it while exiting the soccer stadium, where the Islamist terrorists had let loose a torrent of bloody attacks on innocent human beings. They were murdered as revenge for the French government’s air campaign in the ISIS-controlled areas of Syria. The demented soldiers of ISIS were killing them because they were Christians. The unnoticed aspect of those murderous attacks was that all human beings in that stadium and elsewhere in Paris—Christians as well as Muslims—were their targets, since they had no clue about the religious identity of any of their victims. Continue reading “La Marseillaise Versus the Quranic Verse 5:32”
Is the ‘Dead’ Arab World Really Waiting to be Led by Iran?
Reading Boualem Sansal’s recent interview in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, was a stimulating experience. In that interview, Sansal, after depicting the Arab world “in terms of history,” as “dead,” thinks that Iran “is well armed intellectually, scientifically and economically, and could one day lead Islam globally.” He is also of the view that “…soon the Sunni Arabs will accept the domination of Shi’ite Iran, because only Iran enjoys recognition from the West, and even instills fear in it.” He regards Iran’s nuclear program as “proof” of Iranian “capabilities.” He also regards “Western Islam” as a “serious rival” of Iran. Western Islam, in Sansal’s estimation, “too could one day compete for the right to lead the Muslim world.” Continue reading “Is the ‘Dead’ Arab World Really Waiting to be Led by Iran?”
Bin Laden’s Avatar: Get Real ODNI!
The US government’s intelligence services are either getting too imaginative or simply too paranoid about the “revival” of Usama Bin Laden, who, they know, is dead. Now they are imagining him coming back to life as a “virtual” Bin Laden or as a new “avatar” of Jihadism. In this ostensible flight of imagination, the American intelligence “experts on Islam appear eager to show their sheer ignorance and stupidity about the religion itself. Consider the following statement from the study that was commission by no less than the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the highest intelligence agency of the United States. It states:
Imagine that jihadist supporters create a detailed avatar of
Usama bin Laden and use his many voice recordings to
animate the avatar for up-close virtual reality experiences
that could be used to preach, convert, recruit, and propagate
dogma to the media. The Bin Laden avatar could preach
and issue new fatwas for hundreds of years to come, as
the fidelity of his likeness would be entirely believable
and animated in new ways to keep him current and fresh.
One cannot blame the intelligence agencies for being imaginative and proactive; however, those activities should be driven on the basis of their knowledge of Islam itself, since al-Qaida’s interpretation of that religion plays a crucial role in what they have been doing and what they will continue to aspire to.
There is no doubt that Bin Laden is held in high esteem among the self-styled Jihadists, and they would use his speeches and statements to make their points for the in-crowd. However, assigning the status of an avatar (a secular version of a saint) has no room in the Wahhabi ideology that drives all self-styled Jihadist organizations.
In order to fully grasp the entire background of this outlandish scenario one should realize that there are large numbers of people in the DOD, other intelligence agencies, and various defense contracting companies (which have mushroomed in and around Washington, Tampa, and other places with large military facilities inside the United States) who do nothing but develop such scenarios. However, almost all of those scenario developers have very-little-to-no knowledge of Islam, and a lot of them are unadulterated Islamophobes. When you pay enormous amounts of money to individuals
to develop imaginative (aka moronic) scenarios, one can expect nothing but those of low quality like the avatar scenario, which are substantially divorced from the realities of the streets of countries where the self-styled Jihadists are active.
After denigrating such scenarios, let me offer my own thinking on the subject of Bin Laden’s legacy. As much as he has been lionized by the United States’ national security community, even after his death, his real claim to fame was that he endorsed an audacious action plan of the magnitude of carrying out terrorist attacks on the United States’ homeland. Then, after dismantling the Taliban regime and cornering Bin Laden and his cohorts in Tora Bora in November 2001, he managed to escape into the chaotic area of Pakistan only as a result of the sheer Keystone-Cop-like thinking (and actions) of US officials like Donald Rumsfeld (George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense) and General Tommy Franks (Commander of the US forces that invaded Afghanistan). More than ten years after that incident, the United States failed to locate Bin Laden, even after spending billions of dollars and focusing the brunt of its electronic intelligences’ attention on Pak-Afghan borders, where he was expected to be hiding. He seemed to have disappeared into thin air. Those ten years were more crucial in making a legend out of Bin Laden by the US intelligence community.
After the assassination of Bin Laden in May 2011, a decision was made not to bury him anywhere. The Americans were fearful that his grave would become a gathering place of most, if not all, self-styled Jihadist groups. However, even if that were the case, how that potential would have become a constant source of the regeneration of Jihad is beyond me. Even without Bin Laden’s grave or without the benefit of his “fatwas,” which the aforementioned study gives great significance, the self-styled Jihadists are having a field day in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, etc., in their resolve to destabilize the existing regimes with the objective of eventually capturing power. However, they also know that the United States would not allow them to take control of the government anywhere. Syria seems to be an exception to that US rule, but the Obama administration has not taken any military action against them for two reasons. First, the self-styled Jihadists have the blessing and active support of the Saudis and the Qataris. The United States is not opposed to their objective of regime change in Syria, knowing full well that once the Assad regime is ousted, it (US) will swoop in to play an active role in the negotiations aimed at establishing a new regime in Syria, which is not hostile to the US and Israel.
By developing the “virtual Bin Laden” scenario, the US intelligence community is demonstrating a panicky state of mind. In the aftermath of the Arab Awakening, Washington appears to be less and less in charge of managing events in such countries as Libya, Egypt, and even Syria. That might be one reason why a new practice of “outsourcing” of US foreign policy to Riyadh and Doha has become a hallmark of the Obama administration. Now, we will have to wait and see what type of policies will emerge from the virtual Bin Laden scenario in the coming months. My best guess is that they are likely to be equally bizarre as the virtual Bin Laden scenario.
- Avatar is a Sanskrit word. One source provides the following definition: “a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.” https://www.google.com/#q=Avatar+meaning
So Long, 2013; Welcome 2014â€¦I Think!
Happy new year to all my global friends and contacts!
2013 has been an okay year for the United States, in terms of its foreign policy in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific. Continue reading “So Long, 2013; Welcome 2014â€¦I Think!”
Egypt or Syria: Which is More Troubling?
Here is the link of my latest interview on the Hawaiian TV.
Who is Ready for the Coming Anarchy in the Arab World? â€¦ Not the US!
No matter who becomes the next president of the United States, the post-Arab Awakening Middle East is in the process of creating new rules affecting the lone superpower and other great powers. From the US perspective, the changing political order in Egypt has seriously eroded its power and influence in the region. The most important concern affecting Egypt–its continued commitment to the Camp David peace agreement–faces a questionable future. Tunisia–though it did not figure prominently in the past political maneuvers of the United States–has become an important place. Washington is very much hoping that Islamic moderation still prevails in that country. The post-Qaddafi Libya gave a lot of hope to the US policymakers as a country where they could reestablish America’s presence and influence. However, the murder of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans, not only shocked the administration of Barack Obama, but also became a forceful point of contention between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Governor Mitt Romney, in the presidential debates. Indeed, the specifics of that tragedy promise to haunt the next administration long after the election is over.
Continue reading “Who is Ready for the Coming Anarchy in the Arab World? â€¦ Not the US!”
The Third Presidential Debate and the Changing World of Islam
Presidential debates are a chore for a sitting president. He has to share the podium with an opponent who has little-to-no experience in foreign policy. That places the incumbent president incessantly on the defensive. For President Barack Obama, that specific aspect of the challenge was particularly onerous, because of his poor performance in the first presidential debate. Thus, he was under enormous pressure to be aggressive in criticizing the ever-changing policy positions of his Republican opponent, former Governor Mitt Romney. At the same time, Obama had to be careful not to sound angry or petty. Romney’s challenge was of a significantly different nature. Since he performed admirably during the first debate, he was expected to continue the same performance in the following debate. However, he knew full well that Obama was not going to be docile during the second round. In the second debate, Obama managed to get under Romney’s skin quite often in his attempt to underscore policy differences between the two. Consequently, Romney clearly looked like he was losing his cool. Obama evidently won the second round. However, the controversy related to the first two debates continued to create a momentum of their own as the third and final presidential debate approached.
Continue reading “The Third Presidential Debate and the Changing World of Islam”
The Unintended Deleterious Consequences of Populism
The growing chatter about America’s impending desire to remain a world hegemon has its roots in the growing confusion inside the country about its foreign policy–more precisely, about its foreign policy toward the Arab world and, to a lesser extent, toward the world of Islam. Continue reading “The Unintended Deleterious Consequences of Populism”
The Deadly Anti-Democratic Games of Egypt’s Army
Watching the daily and weekly developments in Egypt, one wonders how optimistic one has to remain about the prospects of genuine democracy in that country. The Egyptian military had a good start when it ousted Hosni Mubarak. Even when his goons were allegedly sent to beat up the civilian demonstrators in Tahrir Square, either by Mubarak or by someone close to him, the Army showed its neutrality by not participating in that violent episode. That fact also gave ample reason to think that the Army understood the real mood of its citizens regarding regime change. Continue reading “The Deadly Anti-Democratic Games of Egypt’s Army”