The Death of Zahran Alloush

by Aron Lund, editor of Syria in Crisis

Zahran Alloush

Rebel sources report that a missile hit a gathering of Islam Army leaders in the Eastern Ghouta region today, killing several of them, including Mohammed Zahran Alloush. Some reports also say that an allied rebel faction, Feilaq al-Rahman, had much of its leadership wiped out, and that the strike was carried out by Russia. (The Syrian government claims that its own airforce was behind the attack.)

This is big news and it has the potential to shift the balance of power in the Ghouta, a region of suburbs and agricultural towns into that rings the Syrian capital. It could also impact the Syrian peace process—such as it is—that is slated to begin this January.

First of All, Is It True?

Abu Humam Bouidani, reportedly the new Islam Army leader.

Abu Humam Bouidani, reportedly the new Islam Army leader.

Seems like it. Pro-opposition media is awash with stories about Zahran Alloush’s death and there have been no signs of life, no denials, and no comments from his associates. Major rebel leaders and allies of Zahran Alloush and the Islam Army, including leaders of such major factions like the Mujahedin Army and Ahrar al-Sham, have posted their personal condoleances on social media. The Islam Army’s own media channels are still posting reports on military actions, but they have so far distributed nothing on the alleged attack. The fact that several top-ranking Islam Army figures have been silent since earlier today could mean that some of them, too, may have been killed or wounded in the strike.

About half an hour ago, at 21.40 Syrian time, the online news agency Sada al-Tawhid, which is aligned with the Islam Army, stated on Twitter that Zahran Alloush is dead and has been succeeded by Sheikh Abu Humam Bouidani. In other words, it would seem that Zahran Alloush is in fact dead.

Who Was Zahran Alloush?

Mohammed Zahran Alloush (1971-2015), also known as Abu Abdullah, was a salafi activist from Douma, a town east of Damascus in the Ghouta region. His father, Abdullah Alloush, is a salafi theologian resident in Saudi Arabia.

Alloush was arrested several times before the uprising for his religious and political activism and sent to the  ”Islamist wing” of the Seidnaia prison north of Damascus. There, he formed close connections to many other Syrian Islamists, including people who now run large rebel factions like Ahrar al-Sham. He was released from jail in June 2011 and quickly joined the armed uprising, eventually emerging as the strongman of his home region in the Eastern Ghouta and one of the most powerful rebel leaders in all of Syria.

He was also one of the most controversial ones. His supporters were taken in by his forceful personality and his personal bravery, as a commander who lived with his men in the warzone and visited the frontline. They admired his knack for organization and politics and credited him with the semi-stability that reigned inside the besieged Eastern Ghouta enclave—a bombed out and starved suburban region that resembles nothing so much as a giant version of the Gaza Strip in Palestine. The Ghouta has been under constant pressure since the marginalized Sunni suburbs of Damascus, where hatred against Bashar al-Assad and his government ran strong, began to throw out the police and security servies in 2011 and 2012. Since then, the region has been under siege and functioned as a world of its own. Holding the frontline in Damascus, where Assad has concentrated so much of his army, was no small feat and it was much thanks to Alloush’s men. Coordinating the rebels there and limiting their infighting was no less of an achievement, especially considering the all-out chaos that reigned in other areas of Syria, where conditions were much better. For many supporters of the opposition, defending and stabilizing the Eastern Ghouta despite unceasing war and artillery bombardment, including with nerve gas, was enough to make Zahran Alloush a hero of the Syrian revolution.

Zahran Alloush watches a military parade of Islam Army fighters from a podium in the Eastern Ghouta, in a propaganda tape released by the group.

Zahran Alloush watches a military parade of Islam Army fighters from a podium in the Eastern Ghouta, in a propaganda tape released by the group.

But the methods that Alloush used to bring stability to the Eastern Ghouta were not pretty. He has been accused of stuffing the local administration with cronies and family members to assure that no one could threaten his grip on power, of monopolizing access to the outside world through a system of tunnels, of selling aid and food at inflated prices, and of suppressing dissent with brutal means, including torture and assassination. To his rivals, he was no hero, but power-hungry opportunist or worse: a warlord, a dictator-in-the-making, hell-bent on seizing the presidential palace for himself. Some even acidly compared his methods of governance to those of Bashar al-Assad.

One aspect of this intolerance for dissent was a ferocious manhunt for supporters of the extremist Islamic State. It was long warily tolerated, the way the Islam Army still works with the Nusra Front despite latent tension between the groups. But when the Islamic State began to seriously challenge the system Alloush had constructed in the Eastern Ghouta, in 2014, all hell broke lose. Zahran Alloush’s men drove the Islamic State out of several neighborhoods, in a violent crackdown that made Syrian human rights activists and Alloush’s other Islamist rivals go pale with fright. The purge was mostly successful and it won discrete international applause, though it seems to have been a turf war just as much as it was an ideological conflict and a political conflict.

Non-extremists were also in danger. The 2013 kidnapping of four well-known secular human rights activists in Douma, an area under strong Islam Army influence, was blamed on Zahran Alloush by their families, who noted that men under his command had previously threatened the activists. Alloush denied responsibility, albeit rather unconvincingly, and he seemed genuinely perplexed that so much attention could be attached to the fate of four individuals, when people were being killed in the Ghouta by their thousands every year. But the affair made him a bête noire of much of the secular opposition, with its powerful networks abroad, and made Western governments shy away from direct dealings with his group even as it sought to moderate its politics and connect to the UN-backed political process.

While Alloush was an unabashedly sectarian Islamist, inspired by Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi establishment, he was also pragmatic enough to maneuver his way through Syrian rebel politics and its shifting alliances. In the past, he threatened non-Sunni Muslim religious groups, referring to Alawites and Shia Muslims as ”filth” that would be cleansed from Syria. He condemned democracy and pronounced himself in favor of a Sunni Islamic theocracy, where sharia law would be applied in the fullest. But in the past year, perhaps under pressure from his foreign supporters, Alloush began to try to polish his image and gain acceptance in the West. His last interview, with a female Christian Syrian reporter working for the U.S. online journal The Daily Beast, was a good example of this. Alloush folded back his fangs and tried to come off as a constructive, responsible centrist, an anti-terrorist ally, and an all-around gentleman. You know, the kind you’d like to see in a coalition government.

What Is the Islam Army?

When Alloush was released from jail in summer 2011, he contacted friends and family in Douma to create an armed rebel faction in Douma, which he dubbed the Islam Brigade (Katibat al-Islam). The group later grew and added more men and more powerful weapons, rebranding itself as the Islam Brigade (Liwa al-Islam). It shot to fame or infamy—depending on which side of the conflict you’re on—in July 2012, when it issued a statement claiming responsibility for killing several top commanders in Assad’s army and intelligence services. The incident, reportedly a bombing of the National Security Office in Damascus, has never been fully explained. To me, it seems likely that foreign intelligence services were involved, perhaps allowing the Islam Brigade to claim credit to boost the group’s credentials. (But this is speculation!)

Whatever happened, the Islam Brigade quickly grew into one of the most powerful factions of the Eastern Ghouta, which gradually freed itself of government control. After initially being one among several groups, the Islam Brigade started elbowing its way to the top, striking deals with other factions or muscling them out of its way, as the situation required. It appears that generous foreign support, reportedly from Saudi Arabia, contributed to the rise of the Islam Brigade. In September 2013, the group renamed itself the Islam Army (Jaish al-Islam). Holdout groups continued to try to challenge Alloush’s growing dominance in the Eastern Ghouta enclave over the following months. Most were eventually forced to negotiate for their share of power in a system thoroughly dominated by Alloush.

In August 2014, the Islam Army spearheaded the creation of the Unified Command in the Eastern Ghouta, which also included the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union, Feilaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham, and other groups. Alloush was appointed its leader. However, other rebels guarded their influence and it was not a mere puppet body. For example, control of the Sharia court system in the Eastern Ghouta in fact fell to Khaled Tafour, an Ajnad al-Sham ally, rather than to Samir Kaakeh, who ran religious affairs in the Islam Army. (At the time of writing, it remains uncertain whether Kaakeh survived today’s airstrike.) Conflicts continued to occur, with Ajnad al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham occasionally at odds with the Islam Army, sometimes trading harsh accusations with Alloush. Some factions remained outside the scope of the alliance entirely—most notably the jihadis of the Nusra Front (al-Qaeda) and the Islamic State.

According to some reports, leaders of Feilaq al-Rahman were also present at the meeting targeted today and killed in the strike, and the Syrian state press has also said local Ahrar al-Sham leaders were among those killed.

What Happens to the Group Now?

The death of Zahran Alloush does not necessarily mean that the Islam Army will fall apart. Another strong leader could emerge, perhaps backed by foreign supporters like Saudi Arabia, or by other rebels in the area, all of whom are presumably anxious to preserve basic stability in the Eastern Ghouta at a difficult moment.

Islam Army logotype

Islam Army logotype

Some rebel factions in Syria collapse quickly when a central leader or founder is lost. Others fade away gradually. For example, the Tawhid Brigade in Aleppo was weakened and split after the death of Abdulqader Saleh in November 2013, and it has now folded into another faction—but it took a while. And Ahrar al-Sham somehow survived the killing of nearly all its leaders in September 2014, relying on strong institutions and foreign support.

But in the case of the Islam Army, it has virtually been synonymous with Zahran Alloush throughout its existence, going back to the days when it was known as the Islam Battalion. Many of the most prominent leaders and representatives of the Islam Army were close friends or relatives of Zahran Alloush himself, such as Mohammed Alloush, who served as the group’s lead negotiator and political chief; he is a cousin of the Islam Army leader. If Zahran Alloush has now been killed, possibly alongside other top leaders, it could amount to a decapitation strike.

Add to that the fact that the Islam Army’s dominance has created so much resentment among other factions over the years, and the situation seems very unstable. It looks likely that the Eastern Ghouta is in for major change in the coming months.

How Does It Affect the Syrian Peace Process?

A Syrian peace process was recently launched in Vienna by the International Syria Support Group, a coalition including the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other governments. In early December, a meeting in Riyadh created an opposition body to participate in negotiations with Bashar al-Assad’s government. According to the United Nations, which will convene the talks, they are currently planned for Geneva in late January 2016.

Though Zahran Alloush couldn’t attend in person, the Islam Army was the most powerful and the most hardline faction to sign on to the Riyadh talks (after Ahrar al-Sham backed out), despite fierce opposition from al-Qaeda aligned jihadi groups. If the Islam Army has trouble getting its house in order after Zahran Alloush’s death, or is caught up in rivalries with factions seeking to increase their share in the Eastern Ghouta’s war economy, or is weakened, this could have a negative effect on the opposition’s ability to conduct talks in Geneva.

On the other hand, the peace process has plenty of other problems to stumble over—whether or not the Islam Army is on board just adds to a long list of reasons it looks likely to fail.

What Happens in Damascus?

A lot of things are happening in Damascus. Less than two weeks ago, the Syrian Arab Army and its Shia Islamist allies attacked and retook the Marj al-Sultan air base in the southern part of the Eastern Ghouta, threatening the enclave.

Also, just before the news about the airstrike that killed Zahran Alloush, it was revealed that a UN-brokered arrangement will evacuate insurgents from several neighborhoods in southern Damascus, including the Yarmouk refugee camp. These areas have been mercilessly starved by the government over the past few years, and bombed, and bitterly contested both between Palestinian factions, the Syrian government, various Sunni rebel factions, and the rival Islamic State. Now, some 4000 Sunni fighters will be escorted to their respective strongholds in northern Syria and the neighborhoods will revert to some form of government control under a ceasefire arrangement. If the deal is followed through, this marks a major advance for Bashar al-Assad’s government.

With so much up in the air, and rebels threatened on multiple fronts, Zahran Alloush’s death is important. If it leads to instability and infighting among the rebels, or weakens command and control in the Ghouta, we could start to see a shift in the balance of power in the Syrian capital over the coming months.

— Aron Lund is the editor of Syria in Crisis

Comments (87)

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Some1 on Twitter said, and rightly so: “Merry Christmas. Russia just killed head of the militia that was almost singularly keeping ISIS out of Damascus”.

Any way, good riddance..

December 25th, 2015, 4:28 pm


elian said:

Good riddance is right, next in line tomorrow.
Russia proven again to be a leader in the middle east, not like the american administration being wishy-washy.
it seems what Putin has said previously is very true and many americans started to understand that they are not being told the truth about Syria.
Many sources report that the Obama administration is infested with Islamist and muslim brotherhood who are playing the game against the minorities in Syria and elsewhere.
not clear how many 9/11 need to happen before people understand that are being lied to.
merry christams and tomorrow brings more anhaliation of the islamists in syria and else where.

December 25th, 2015, 8:09 pm


Observer said:

Not much will change; it will get worse for all of Syria once more.

is this the retaliation for Kuntar?

December 25th, 2015, 8:21 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


[From previous thread]
“…and then all hell breaks loose”. In Arabia maybe, Not in Israel.

Here, this behavior and ideology is not accepted by almost all Israelis.
The criminal Jewish Jihadists, who torched the Arab family in Douma, are being as we speak literally *tortured* by the Shin Beit, with the approval of almost all of the political parties, and with the consent of the Supreme-court.

Torture is prohibited in Israel, so this incident is highly rare. The state with all it’s branches are doing more and beyond to find and punish those responsible.

December 25th, 2015, 8:42 pm


Ghufran said:

The death of Alloush came after thousands of islamist terrorists and their families agreed to leave areas south of Damascus. The next few days or weeks can help us guess if the successful raid was helped by an inside job. Alloush army is too big to collapse just because the chief terrorist was killed unless people around Alloush wanted him dead in anticipation of an agreement with the regime. Before you call Alloush a martyr you need to remember what he did to civilians in Damascus and those in Douma itself. The mood now is shifting in favor of a settlement which may include imposing a political compromise that would not have sitten well with the likes of Alloush.
Alloush looked at Damascenes who did not help him and revolt against the regime as traitors and that in his mind justified shelling civilian areas in Damascus which killed scores of women and children. The fact that Alloush was released from prison in 2011 and was able to travel outside Syria multiple times after that should raise questions among regime supporters and opponents alike.

December 26th, 2015, 12:54 am


Tara said:


“Here, this behavior and ideology is not accepted by almost all Israelis.”

Not true! The behavior and ideology of the israeli settler is part and parcel of the Israeli society!

Any society or country calling its self by its “religion name” is complacent in such behaviors

Your response in Arabic is called مزاودة. I do not now its equivalent word in English. Look it up if interested.

December 26th, 2015, 7:11 am


Observer said:

It is clear that allowing IS fighters to leave is not actually trying to defeat it but an attempt to help it. If this regime is so powerful why would it negotiate with IS and give it legitimacy.

Daily Mail reports that it may be that Putin ordered the downing of the Russian jet to manipulate the public back home just as the mysterious bombs that ripped through Moscow just before he raised Grozny to the ground. Not far fetched at all.

Today the Daily Star reports the death of 16 HA fighters in the north.

It is not going to end any time soon. A lot more destruction is on the way. The regime is now relying on young women as recruits as he does not have troops and only Foreign troops are fighting in some parts of Syria without any regime troops in place.

December 26th, 2015, 7:58 am


Poul said:


That is some strange reasoning on your part.

Getting rid of some of the best rebel troops in Southern Syria gives the government a real chance of crushing the rest of the rebels.

Sending them north only means that Russian and Western air power can begin to kill them off in the fighting in Northern Syria & Iraq.

Check this out. al-Nusra is leaving the south.

“In a separate development, a British-based monitoring group said the last of some 200 Nusra Front fighters operating in Deraa province in the south had been given safe passage by the Syrian authorities to leave for rebel-controlled Idlib.

Damascus agreed to the move in return for the release of Iranian officers captured by Nusra while fighting alongside the Syrian army, said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “

December 26th, 2015, 8:13 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


As a Sunni Arab person, you should probably be the last one to preach me about religion, politics and behavior.

I wasn’t talking about “settler’s ideology”. Killing in the name of religion, which is widely popular in your societies, is being rejected by our.

December 26th, 2015, 8:50 am


Tara said:


You are a bigot!!!!! Your reply is nothing other than a textbook bigotry. Your response is all about guilt by association . A typical bigotry!! Defining Tara as a sunni, not as individual, a typical bigotry! Defending settlers behavior because they are israelis , a typical bigotry!

And yes I can teach you a lot and lecture you a lot !

And you badly need it

December 26th, 2015, 10:07 am


habib said:

1. Amir in Tel Aviv

Oh, Salafists making way for other Salafists. No one, except other Salafists and their sympathisers, should give a damn.

So it is telling that an Israelis is complaining…

December 26th, 2015, 10:14 am


Tara said:


I am not with negotuation with ISIS . They should be eliminated. In my opinion, no one is willing to “negotiate” with them unless he is an accomplice .

December 26th, 2015, 10:19 am


Observer said:

There is no proof that they are being killed in Raqqa as a matter of fact the Russians are not bombing IS at all. They are eliminating the rebels that are not associated with IS to leave only the regime and IS as the two alternatives.

The regime buys oil and electricity from IS and has collaborated with them from day one.

Juan Cole had a nice piece today about the modest gains by the regime. The reality is that the regime did not use its troops it was all Iranian and Iraqi militia that fought in its place.

These gains keep being temporary and are meant to make the negotiating position better.

The attempt by Russia and Iran to turn the clock back is not going to succeed. The regime is calling for the formation of a unity government that will all be under the control of the security services and it is a non starter.

11 more months and we will have another POTUS and things may change then. I suspect it will be Trump in which case he will actually do something. That something is still a mystery to me and I think a mystery to Trump himself.

As for negotiations it seems to me that UN has become like the Arab League: muscles of the pelvic floor that meet to produce a Bowel Movement and nothing more.

It is mind boggling the incredible total lack of world leadership today while the issues and problems keep mounting at a staggering speed and in ever increasing urgency.

On the ground the regime lost in Latakia today and Jobar as well. The deal is off in Yarmouk.

IS declares that they are going on the offensive again.

No end in sight is the ultimate conclusion.


Tara no issues with you and as Dieudonne said in Paris the origin of all racism started with the idea of a “chosen people” the original concept that dehumanizes the other and allows for its slaughter. Read how Joshua massacred infants and women and burned Jericho to the ground in that famous Bible.

December 26th, 2015, 12:40 pm


Tara said:

Observer ,

Cc: Amir

I know about Joshua , yet I never told Amir being an Israeli Jewish, he is the last one to preach about religion, politics, and behavior just because he is a bigot and I am not. I did not simply associate him with one of his prophet who killed women and children .

This is your first lesson Amir from Tara. I hope you are a quick Learner as I lack patience 🙂

December 26th, 2015, 12:48 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

You both are commenting in a blog owned by Joshua … LOL, so apparently he wasn’t such a despicable historical figure, if modern parents call their sons after.

Any way,

In every Sunni man or woman, no matter how enlightened, educated or Americanized she/he is, there’s a part which believes that sunnies deserve more than they have. That history treated them unfairly, that the miserable present situation feels painful in contrast with the glorious past.

This results in feelings of frustration, anger and shame. Feelings like these could have triggered positive actions, like rethinking, reorganizing and rebuilding, in order to improve and achieve. Instead, Sunnies channel their anger and envy in less productive ways: constantly blaming others for their failures, angry religious violence and feelings of revenge. If they can’t build, invent, achieve, prosper, then they will take / steal from others.
The world today is badly influenced by those feelings of inferiority and underachievement, felt by Sunnies.

Fine, call me a bigot. The truth can be painful.

December 26th, 2015, 5:53 pm


Tara said:


Ok . Let me admit it . I am surrounded by slow learners at home and on SC. I think It is my destiny. Isn’t it…

I always wonder how many, in your “chosen” persona , how many Palestinians have you have terrorized ?

December 26th, 2015, 7:23 pm


mad said:

alloush is dead, so what’s next?

December 26th, 2015, 7:48 pm


Ghufran said:

Alloush army withdrew from the committee that Riyadh conference gave birth to after Zahran’s death, Alloush is known as The Butcher of Damascus (a title commonly given to assad by the opposition) for killing scores of civilians in areas bordering Ghouta.
To avenge Alloush death his fellow thugs shelled Damascus main electric grid (as if Damascus did not have enough problems). More terrorist attacks on Damascus are likely based on the history of Alloush army and the nature of his fighters.
أعلن جيش الإسلام السبت، إنسحابه من “الهيئة العليا للمفاوضات”وليدة مؤتمر الرياض
ورفض التنظيم الدخول في أي مفاوضات مع الحكومة السورية، وتعهد برد عنيف داخل دمشق
The deceased war lord labelled as moderate by many had openly called for “cleansing” Bilad Al-Sham (greater Syria) from Rafida and Majous (Shia and alawites) and declared that the only acceptable government is one that uses Islam as the “only source of legislation”. Alloush family made tens of millions of dollars from controlling vast areas in Ghouta and imposing taxes on goods and services and having a total monopoly on imports of necessities, a friend claimed that Alloush paid corrupt syrian officers, and there are many, to allow trucks loaded with basic supplies to enter
“Besieged Ghouta” areas and be received by Alloush family which then takes the supplies to storage places ( Alloush thugs opened fire on citizens of Douma who once revolted and tried to open those stores). Any effort to portray Alloush as a good man is a disgusting manipulation of the facts. Hamas and a number of opposition figures who called him a “martyr” are bloody liars who put their conscious for sale by endorsing a thief and a war criminal.

December 26th, 2015, 8:51 pm


elian said:

Dog and went rotten, what’s the big deal.
I am sure the bomb cleansed many more with him which is a good thing.
he shelled most of Damascus killing only innocent.
It is obvious from all the articles posted here and or approved by the professor that most of the people who are fighting in Syria are either Al-Qaida or radical foreigners mercenaries from 75 other countries.
The west is still in bed with Terrorists in Syria.
There is no one objective for the west in war in Syria but to keep the fight ongoing for decades to come.
If Saudi Arabia and other GCC is financing the war that’s a plus for the western economy.
the weapons in the hands of the terrorists come from mostly western countries therefore, it is clear that someone is benefitting from continuing the conflict.

December 26th, 2015, 11:00 pm


Poul said:

14. Observer

The government forces are fighting Islamic State around Kweris air base where they are pushing towards Lake Assad, and last I checked the US and other Western air forces were bombing IS troops. How is that not reducing the manpower of IS?

Unless you want some strange behaviour on the part of the Russians they will concentrate most of their bombings against al-Nusra & affiliated groups in Idlib/Aleppo. It is where most of the fighting goes on involving the Syrian government and allies. The people the Russians are there to support.

It’s no different than the US air force supporting the Kurds and Iraqi security forces.

December 27th, 2015, 5:08 am


ALAN said:

Killed ISIS Commander’s Cell Phone Shows Direct Ties to Turkish Intelligence
(TFC) Baghdad, Iraq – An Islamic State commander was killed in Salahuddin province and his body was searched. A cell phone retrieved from the corpse revealed messages from Turkish intelligence services proving the NATO country was providing security for ISIS militants when they traveled between Turkey and Iraq. This is the second NATO country implicated in assisting the Islamic State’s troops. The first was Canada.
The IS commander was killed by Hashd al-Shaabi, a loyalist volunteer force. Jabbar al-Ma’mouri, a leader within the force made the announcement. He said, “The mobile phone also contains other important information which cannot be disclosed now, and it has been delivered to the specialized security groups for further scrutiny.”

Turkey and the Islamic State share two enemies: President Assad of Syria and the Kurdish people. This incident comes on the heels of the Turkish Air Force shooting down a Russian plane engaged in operations against the Islamic State. Ten days ago, Turkey invaded Iraq briefly. It sent its troops to within a few hundred miles of where the phone was recovered. Turkish artillery has also rained shells down on the Kurdish community of Kobane………………

December 27th, 2015, 7:01 am


Tara said:


This is the most brilliant article I have ever read:

The world’s failed war on terrorismThe global community is united in its condemnation of terrorism, but strategic cooperation and critical analysis is needed to win the battle against violent extremism
Nervana Mahmoud , Friday 27 Nov 2015
Print Send

Sinai, Beirut, Paris, Bamako, and Tunis: the latest terror attacks across three continents are a rude reminder to our global community that vicious anti-modernity bullies continue to foment hatred and violence.

By slaughtering innocents, regressive radicals attempt to force brutal barbarism onto the world as a new norm. Are we ready to fight such ruthless evil? Judging by the array of responses to the recent terror attacks, the answer is undoubtedly ‘no.’

The global community is not united against terrorism. While we may be united in condemnation, we differ on everything else.

Whenever there is a major terrorist attack in a Western city, an updated version of Godwin’s law (as a discussion gets longer, inevitably someone will compare the situation to Hitler or Nazism) usually applies, in which the subject is Islam instead of Nazism.

In contemporary terror events, after the initial shock, a futile and mushrooming dialogue emerges, comprised of clashes, conflicting opinions, bitterness, victimhood, and finger pointing that eventually leads to Islam.

Two camps typically emerge. One defends Islam and is composed mainly of Muslims and leftist, liberal Westerners. A second cluster ruthlessly bashes and demonizes Muslims.

The overall result is a pointless zero-sum outcome that does not effectively confront terrorism or minimize the growing Islamophobia in various Western societies.

Our collective failure to fight terror effectively stems from our own inability to focus on the task. Instead, we engage in nonsensical bickering over semantics. Is it Islam or not? Is it politics or religion?

The futile judging of “Islam”

Unlike what many Muslims and the liberal western elite emphasize, contemporary terrorism undoubtedly has a religious element to it. It is frankly disingenuous to deny this reality. It is also futile, however, to judge Islam. Islam is not an entity, a specific institution, or a state.

Like other religions, Islam is not what is written in texts, but what people opt to apply in their life.

Radicals have simply resurrected older interpretations of Islamic texts and twisted such concepts in cynical farcical ways to validate their gruesome actions. Their behavior is actually a reflection of the broader cultural suicide of the Muslim world, and not on the Muslim faith per se.

It is about time to admit that we have failed to establish a modern Islamic culture that engages our youth and prevents them from drifting toward radicalism. Our Islam struggles to survive because various actors politicize Islam and become agents of death who sell the afterlife as the ultimate alternative.

Our current cultural bankruptcy has led even mainstream religious institutions to glamorize the past. Our text books have whitewashed the past–Andalucía, the Ottoman Empire, the Abbasid Caliphate, Salahdin, and many more–of all negative aspects.

Instead they offer fairytales to our youth. This results in a rise of escapism as an antidote to modern challenges. Our Islamic past has become an opiate for many Muslims aspiring to a better life. It is no wonder that ISIS and Co. attract many disenchanted youth, including losers like Salah Abdesalam, the mastermind of the Paris attacks, and his gang.

Some argue rightly, that Islamic teaching needs reform with more liberal interpretations. This is indeed true. Nonetheless, radicalism is not just about what is written in text, but also about one’s susceptibility toward accepting religious regression.

Without confronting our escapism to the past and glamorization of past figures, some youth will dismiss liberal interpretations and only dig deeper in search for past heroes.

Our Muslim communities urgently need a dose of realism about Islamic history. None of our Islamic heroes was an angel.

Islam teaches us that no human is perfect, so why do our scholars insist that our past leaders were perfect? Our youth need a clear mirror that highlights how our past included colonialism and imperialism that were neither fair nor just.

Our past wars were as savage as the current war in Syria—and even worse. Our ancestors were not perfect. Only with a clearer historical periscope can our youth reject the backwardness and medievalism promoted by the Islamic State and other radicals.

Abusing the war against terrorism for political reasons

With respect, I doubt that the right and left in the political sphere are giving the current terror attacks the seriousness they deserve. Decades after WWII, it seems we have lost our ability to appreciate global threats and instead constantly frame them within our narrow political interests.

In America for example, Obama is now more concerned about his own legacy than the impact of his timid foreign polices. In comparison, Republicans are demonizing Syrian refugees to look tough on terrorism.

The situation in Europe is not better. It was painful to read in July how Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, argued that the Iran agreement is a disaster for ISIS.

Events this November have proven how this opinion was merely wishful thinking. Many in the West are falling into the Islamists’ narrative that Muslims are one nation.

Sadly, we are not. A deal with Shia Iran only helped Sunni, Jihadi groups like ISIS. Such groups consider Shia as apostates and flourish among disfranchised Sunnis. These conflicting views have accelerated the on-going cold war in the Middle East between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Another argument links political oppression against Islamists with the rise of radical Jihadists. Advocates of this argument conveniently ignore the repeated terror attacks in Tunisia, and claim that Islamist youth turn violent only because democratic channels are closed in their faces.

This argument may sound logical as the oppression of any group is counter-productive, but this perspective is problematic. It essentializes political Islam as an ideology that considers violence as its reflexive plan B to any conflict, and indirectly sanctions uncontrollable anger as the normal reaction to injustices. Both are wrong in Islam.

Islamic teaching asks Muslims to be patient and resist anger. Saber “patience” is a basic Islamic tenant. After his mistreatment in Mecca, the Prophet did not embark in a campaign of beheadings of his opponents and killing of innocents in Mecca. In fact, the prophet never adopted anger as his prime reaction. Ironically, Islamists and their Western supporters conveniently ignore this simple fact.

Moreover, some liberal and leftist pundits, and human rights advocates on both sides of the Atlantic, ignore the main task of how to fight ISIS and instead focus on judging how their political opponents will fight ISIS.

Our intellectual elite are comfortable to play the arbiters of the war on terror but are not willing to step down from their idealism to confront and handle the practicalities of a painful reality.

The Arab and Muslim world continue to send the West mixed signals. Syria is a glaring example. We denounce the West for not solving the mess (which is fundamentally ours, by the way), and then we curse foreign interventions citing the doomed Iraq war against Saddam Hussein. What, exactly, do we want? “The Perfect Intervention” may be an ideal computer game, but that is not real life.

Meanwhile, our quest for the perfect solution is paralyzing our thinking process even as we watch as our lives and freedom are hijacked by terrorists.

It’s about time to update our strategic software and start to triage a clear approach to the complex challenge of terrorism. Both the Muslim world and the Western world have to unite to face the challenge of terrorism. Currently, we are not fighting the terrorists; we are only fighting each other.

The writer is a doctor, commentator and writer on Middle East issues.

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CommentAhram Online welcomes readers’ comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 50 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code Submit

Ghulam Mohiyuddin
03-12-2015 10:56pm
Dislike Like Report Abuse A war on Jehad
Military action is just a part of the war on terrorism. Our war should be against extremism, against the very concepts of “Jehad” (holy war), supremacism, exclusivism, intolerance and violence. If we want divine sanction for our peace efforts, we should hold up the Meccan verses of the Quran. Submit

04-12-2015 07:48pm
0-2+Dislike Like Report Abuse check about abbrogation…
which is surely known to you

29-11-2015 10:19am
Dislike Like Report Abuse Good article
Dictatorships, cronyism, corruption and radicalism emerged from excessiveness in social values. Kowtowing ,mistaken for respect, to tribal elders, managers, people in power. Excessive religious conservatism mistaken for piety. Greed via various methods, mistaken for clever/hard work in an environment of failed management. Apparently going over the top and lack of conscience are common social problems. That is not to say western countries are not taking advantage of these flaws to further their interests. Submit

Ahmed M Ibrahim
29-11-2015 09:59am
Dislike Like Report Abuse Terrorism
Terrorism is a world wide phenomenon. It is not confined to one place or one religion. As a matter of fact terrorism is based in ultra nationalistic and jingoistic attitudes adopted by many governments across the world. These tendencies mixed with poverty, ignorance and unemployment created an explosive situation that resulted in the emergence of terrorist combines all over the world. Why blame Islam or any religion for that matter, while the problem is purely socio-economic and political in nature. Nevertheless senseless religious maniacs have tried to make use of this situation to grind their blunt axes and create anarchy by their stupid actions which are unacceptable in any civilized society. Submit

29-11-2015 12:27am
Dislike Like Report Abuse Liberty
Liberty is the only way forward. This includes religious liberty, which is the liberty to condemn homosexuality and even interracial marriage if need be. Liberalism has transgressed its limits. Freedom and its protection is the basic tenet of the state. Liberalism is now censoring speech, which will not end racism. Viewing humans as free agents is the only way the state can achieve stability. Submit

28-11-2015 07:04pm
Dislike Like Report Abuse Self evelauation
“Like other religions, Islam is not what is written in texts, but what people opt to apply in their life. Radicals have simply resurrected older interpretations of Islamic texts and twisted such concepts in cynical farcical ways to validate their gruesome actions.” No, Islam has a simple problem, it can’t distinguish between archaic law and practice. Neither Christianity or Judaism accepts the ancient codes as viable – no more crusades, no more inquisitions, no more stoning to death. Both Christianity and Judaism have gone thru painful periods of self evaluation and created a more moderate tone, rejecting extreme violence, Islam must do the same now or ISIS will become the norm instead of the extreme. Submit

29-11-2015 07:09pm
3367-256+Dislike Like Report Abuse Good Samaritans
Tell that to the “Christian Terrorists” who shoot and bomb women clinics in the US, killing innocent Americans under the false religious banners. If this is not religious terrorism what it is? Good Samaritans saving unborn babies!

Sam Enslow
28-11-2015 07:17am
Dislike Like Report Abuse Excellent
While I do not agree with everything in this essay, it is an excellent attempt at analysis. It is not the usual ‘find someone to blame’ tripe one generally reads. One could mention Cavfry’s ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ to show that to many autocrats Dash is ‘a kind of solution,’ a terrible external enemy to justify all manner of abuses of power and to justify all failures. One would hope the fight against Dash will show the world the horrible results of sectarian hatreds and prejudices. No religion’s founder preached hate although hate can be found in most holy books. It is true Islam provides a flag for Dash, but much of its appeal is the ‘Live hard and die young’ philosophy of those who feel rejected by societies they love, e.g. Mexican street gangs. They find no other way out. Many wish suicide. Dash turns the act from a sin into martyrdom. In Dash too many believe they have found a home from which they can exact revenge on those who rejected them and killed their dreams. Submit

Sam Enslow
30-11-2015 09:49pm
0-5+Dislike Like Report Abuse Two recommended books
They just released new population figures for Egypt. I would recommend two books which are related to this discussion, Desmond Morris, The Human Zoo, and Aubry’s The Territorial Imperative.

Nervana Mahmoud
29-11-2015 09:28pm
27-277+Dislike Like Report Abuse Thanks
Many thanks for your kind feedback. truly appreciate it. Abnd, yes, you do not have to agree with everything, but the idea is to challenge some of the common concepts and try to think outside the box.

27-11-2015 11:51pm
Dislike Like Report Abuse Arab failure to blame
Whatever label terrorism is given its predominately Arab-caused. To attempt resolving or defeating it one needs to ask 2 questions: Why most terrorists today are Arabs, and what causes Arab youth to be radicalized? Arab countries today are the world least democratic, educated, developed, free, fair, civilized, and cultured. World tallest buildings funded by oil barrels are no substitute for freedom of expression, religion, and choice. Youth growing up in this region are angry with their dictators, frustrated with their backward traditions, and delusional about their religion. The ones who moved to Europe and failed to integrated for clinging to their backward traditions find it easier to slide into radicalism than adopting a more modern lifestyle. Arab Terrorism will not subside till Arab youth wipe out corrupt governments and medieval traditions. Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Iran have their fair share of problems but terrorism is not one of them; they are Muslims but not Arabs. Submit

December 27th, 2015, 7:15 am


Tara said:

Did not mean to paste the comments too. I did not even read them.

December 27th, 2015, 7:17 am


sam the sham said:

So many species of Alloushbags. This one happened to be made in error. We should learn from mistakes. In 1982 a cult of 40,000 muslim brotherhood (gang) kept killing authority of developed imperfect civilization. No amount of reasoning stopped them from their mayhem to fellow man. Warning after warning, and the slaughter continued. Assad senior asked his fellow citizens to defend themselves. The legitimate citizens of Syria had enough and killed over 20 thousand of this gang of brotherhood. Not one brick in their village was left in one piece. The other 20 thousand escaped to Gaza, along with their will to keep killing. They came back after Sesi and the citizens of Egypt had enough of this shariaism. Sesi only killed 3000, because of cars vs. camels in today’s transportation. Why did they come back to Syria in the lifeform of an Alloush? There are over 10 million citizens in Syria that stayed to fight for their country. Over 90,000 have been slaughtered, raped, women’s privates mutilated, children kidnapped and tortured into wearing suicide vests. The healthier kids had organs removed while alive, to be implanted for the terrorists. Syrian soldier family’s put in cages on to of rooftops and in roadways, used as human sheilds. Their pilot husbands bombed them as mercy killings. This is Alloushbags legacy. How proud his salafist wahabbi fathed and three wives must be. They need prayer 5 times a day for forgivness, or joyful lust killings. Take a minute and think about what other humans kill others over a difference of religious beliefs. Have you no shame. I have seen enough. I believe George Bush should be in the Hague for violently killing way over 200,000 innocent Iraqis (sunni or shiite). I could understand revenge against America and other stupid nations for torturing Muslim men. America won a battle, and the war was way from over. But, Syria and innocent other Muslims shouldn’t be punished for what George Bush did. Obama gave him a pardon, and the mideast countries seem to come together on oil (OPEC). Why are you still beheading, stoning, and killing over religion. Muslims are just as educated as anyone. Use the modern day court systems. 911 was caused by a band of terrorists and a gang of al qaeda and taliban. Not Iraq, or Syria. Get it together and go after the war profiteers, oil and land grabbers. Please don’t don’t come to other countries and call yourself “Muslim American”. I don’t hear anyone saying they are Facist Ukrainians, nazi Germans, Lutheran Britts, etc.

December 27th, 2015, 9:02 am


Sami said:

Well Amir, if Sunnis are all that and then some. The only solution left is to exterminate them?

Who was that guy that said very similar things about Jews last century on his way to murdering millions?

December 27th, 2015, 9:08 am


Observer said:

Lavrov says that the Syrian people should decide their fate and their leadership; can we please ask him to take his troops out and let us find out first if the Syrian people want the Russians in Syria?
If he claims it is the so called legitimate regime then why is he legitimizing the opposition and voting with the UNSC to have peace talks and a ceasefire: in principle you do not negotiate with illegitimate forces.

There has been no Russian attacks on Nusra or Isis so far of any consequence as they claim

December 27th, 2015, 9:29 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Sami, where was I suggesting such a solution?

December 27th, 2015, 9:09 pm


ALAN said:

In a very well researched article, lays out the condemning case against Israel as the main financial supporter of ISIS through purchasing their oil. Oh, they’ve tried to hide it, but all road lead to the truth eventually.

Originally, the Financial Times came out and said that Isreal got 2/3 of it’s oil from the Kurds between May-July 2015. The Haaretz picked up on this and confirmed it and expounded how the Kurds made a deal with the Iraqi govt to sell the oil, but then the Kurds stated they export the oil to a port in Turkey, and they didn’t know who bought the oil after that.

Recent events have shown that ISIS has been stealing the Kurds oil and using the same pipelines to sell it. Here’s the article. it’s a great read.

The route to Israel

After paying drivers, middlemen and bribes, IS’ profit is $15 to $18 a barrel. The group currently makes $19 million on average each month, according to the intelligence officer.

Uncle Farid owns a licensed import-export business that he uses to broker deals between the smuggling mafias that buy IS oil and the three oil companies that export the oil to Israel.

Al-Araby has the names of these companies and details of their illegal trades. One of these companies is also supported by a very high-profile Western official.

The companies compete to buy the smuggled oil and then transfer it to Israel through the Turkish ports of Mersin, Dortyol and Ceyhan, according to the colonel. –

See more at:

Now, this makes the huge oil discovery in the Golan Heights even more important, and the company Genie Oil & Gas (GOG) who is owned by Dick Cheney, Rothschilds, Murdoch, Woolsey and others, is right smack dab in the middle of it all

In February, Israel granted oil rights over 396.5 square kilometres in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Afek Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Genie Oil and Gas.

While 92 per cent of GOG is owned by US-listed company Genie Energy, in November 2010 Genie announced that Lord Jacob Rothschild and Murdoch had bought at least 5.5 per cent of GOG for $US11 million.

GOG is also developing shale oil prospects in Israel and the US. Murdoch has been vocal on Twitter on why bombing Syria is a really bad idea and why Israel needs support.

He has also tweeted that “shale gas [is a] huge breakthrough for US”; railed against “useless renewable energy investments”; that the “world is growing greener with increased carbon”; and “LNG halves carbon emissions. Stop wasting billions on windmills now!”

GOG is also looking for shale oil in Mongolia. Murdoch hasn’t tweeted his views about Mongolian local government. But apparently they’re a terrific bunch of people.


In February, Israel granted oil rights over 396.5 square kilometres in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Afek Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Genie Oil and Gas.

While 92 per cent of GOG is owned by US-listed company Genie Energy, in November 2010 Genie announced that Lord Jacob Rothschild and Murdoch had bought at least 5.5 per cent of GOG for $US11 million.

GOG is also developing shale oil prospects in Israel and the US. Murdoch has been vocal on Twitter on why bombing Syria is a really bad idea and why Israel needs support………………..

December 28th, 2015, 1:12 am


SimoHurtta said:

Amir do you know what was in 2014 the most popular name for a baby in Israel? Well it is Mohammed, not Noam. Amir are Israeli Jews preparing for the new realities in the future Palestine, former Israel, and beginning to name their baby boys as Mohammed?

December 28th, 2015, 4:43 am


Observer said:

It is long due to call terrorists by their true nature: IS terror should also be equalled with regime terror and Iranian terror and HA terror and Russian terror. The copybook of Grozny is not going to work in Syria for the Chechens were alone and the Syrian people are not alone.

So we have a terrorist attack in Homs today in retaliation for a terrorist multiple attacks on civilians all over Syria.

Jerusalem Post reports attacks by Israeli forces on HA bases in Qalamoun and Syrian regime media are reporting it. However HA denies that there has been any attacks. Perhaps they do not wish to retaliate for Kuntar right now.

December 28th, 2015, 8:20 am


Hopeful said:

#29 Alan

Do you know that the market cap of Genie Energy is a dismal $270M? Facebook is worth 1000 times that little company. Shale oil and gas companies are in serious trouble – mainly because of the drop of energy prices.

While you, like many conspiracy theorists, keep obsessing about oil and energy, countries like the US and Israel keep pulling ahead of everyone else in technology. Did you know that in 2013, Google bought a little unknown mapping software company called Waze for over $1B, almost 4 times the price of Genie Energy (with all its big names supporters and owners?) and did you know that Waze was only a few years old at the time of the acquisition?

December 28th, 2015, 11:08 am


Ghufran said:

Erdogan sold the refugees and finally made it official and imposed a visa on syrians entering Turkey. Erdogan was paid to do this and Turks will be given certain entry privileged into the EU as a reward for reducing the influx of refugees into the EU. Not exactly what many erdogan fans wanted but the writing was on the wall for those who can see and let their brain and not their primitive emotions shape their thinking but ” you cannot fix stupid”.
Another suicide bombing and car explosion in Homs, aksalser, the 2.0 ikhwanji media outlet favored by many of you, made sure to add that the area where civilians were slaughtered was ” pro regime” thus indirectly justifying the terror act. Another lie is sticking it to isis every time a terror act is committed and giving ” moderate rebels” the political cover they need. Isis will be more than happy to take credit, they always did.
ثوره غير شكل و ثوار اخر موضه
هيك ثوره بدا هيك نظام ما شاطرين الا بالعلاك

December 28th, 2015, 2:00 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The article that Tara posted #22 is indeed profound in it’s quality of soul-searching.

Islam’s Holy Book promises Muslims, glory, conquest and grandeur. It tells them that they are entitled to rule the world and man kind, and that others should submit (the verbal meaning of the word “Islam”), and even pay them protection / extortion money – Jizya.

But then, young Muslims, especially in MENA, look around, and they find it difficult to reconcile this promise of greatness with their 3rd world existence. How come, they ask themselves, is that written promise so far away from our daily reality.

Disappointed people from broken promises are easy pray for dreams-sellers. And this is the story of radical Islamists.

December 28th, 2015, 10:10 pm


Observer said:

From an atheist: Islam is not submission it is surrender total willful and free choice to surrender to God. This is how I understand it.

The rulers through their paid sheikhs and ulemas and mullahs preach submission including submission to a dictator lest there be dissension in the community an oxymoron if there ever was one.
Muslims have not defined liberty, individual rights, the limitations of Sharia, the organization of political order, and many other modernist ideas and ideals. Yet all across the lands they are yearning for freedom and liberty and for dignity and hope. All we have is continued insults and belittling of the common decent and hard working people of Syria. The bombings in Homs, however despicable they may be pale in comparison to the 60 years of utter terror and dictatorship and torture and indiscriminate killings. Where is the outrage at the starvation of whole communities deliberately.

I do not know who were the parents of such despicable and sectarian people as they failed miserably in their upbringing.

December 28th, 2015, 10:33 pm


Observer said:

I am sorry that I do not have Arabic script easily on my computer. But I think this
” poor in upbringing, and poor in Adab ” should once and for all refrain from insulting the people of Syria. Shame on him/her and his/her upbringing.

Tara was right, some are still vulgar and backward no matter how much a veneer of education has been applied.

December 28th, 2015, 10:43 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

So many oxymorons, I stopped counting. The submission, or worse, the surrender, should be “willful free choice”. Just wondering about the fate of those who refuse to “freely” surrender. And this is from a 100%, absolute, total and utter atheist (myself).

Then, how come at the same time it is possible to yearn for freedom and liberty, AND surrender “freely and willfully to God”.

Anyway, many here can testify that I was very much pro revolution, before it had happened, and during the first months of it. These days, it is the choice between great evil but with some crumbs of hope, and a total darkness for generations to come. Any sane Syrian who is not joining hands with Bashar (the ugly butcher) to defeat darkness, betrays the hope for a free and modern Syria in the future.

The Syria you know from childhood was a myth. A pink colored myth that was built on tons of dark matter. Dark matter that you didn’t realize lay there in such quantity and magnitude. Assad’s dictatorship can only explain some of it. Most of it is deeper and older.

Only now, when we can see and witness what Syrians are capable of doing to one another while free, we can doubt the need for an immediate freedom.

Syrians have to define what Freedom is to them. Does Freedom mean freely and willfully surrender to God? Because this is the way Syria is heading right now.

December 29th, 2015, 9:05 am


omen said:

remember Tara once expounded on apathy? surprise surprise, phenom found in Russia too.

not that the US is any better.

December 29th, 2015, 9:16 am


omen said:

the way the Hard Right, Putin trolls and Zionists actively poison the well & fearmonger refugees as the “Muslim Hoarde,” A EU tilt towards fascism will drive new emigres back to Israel. perhaps by design.

December 29th, 2015, 9:30 am


omen said:


don’t rule out some of this criminality being ginned up with state sponsorship. Russia & Iran known to buy Isis oil. God knows how much logistical help daesh is afforded from rogue states.

December 29th, 2015, 9:40 am


omen said:


You blame Islam but studies show most ppl join isis because of money, not ideology, making such ppl mercs, not jihadists.

studies also show the more orthodox and religiously observant you are, the LESS likely you are to join isis.

so you are barking up the wrong scapegoat.

December 29th, 2015, 9:48 am


omen said:

p.s. thank you for fixing the bug that was making the feedburner whig out, whoever that was.

December 29th, 2015, 10:06 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

OMEN #42,

I wasn’t specifically talking about IS. Also, I don’t “blame Islam”.

Can you deny the fact that there is zero – nationalist / secular / non sectarian / non Islamist opposition right now in Syria?
Only the Kurds, but their interest is local and Kurdish.

All who fight right now, from “moderate” to extreme, are die hard Sunni Islamists.

December 29th, 2015, 10:56 am


Observer said:

That is the main problem with Islam today
The very essence of the religion even though I do not believe is to free man from prejudice superstition blind obedience and to bring harmony
For that to happen Muslims need to read and decide each individually what they believe and how to live their lives
Before taking it to the public domain as Wahhabis and Mullahs do keep it personal devotion
This means that praying fasting etc would become personal free choices only then can people be truly free and willfully surrender not as sheep but as free humans
Ali said those who worship for gain are merchants and those who worship out of fear are slaves and those who worship for love are the free

December 29th, 2015, 11:01 am


omen said:

from above:

monopolizing access to the outside world through a system of tunnels, of selling aid and food at inflated prices

are rumors true? did Alloush horde food while ppl starved?!

December 29th, 2015, 11:49 am


omen said:


none of your business what the future make up will be. It’s their country. If they want to establish Muslim based governance, that’s what they will have. Syrians have a right to self determination. Who are you to deny them?

West including Netanyahu had a chance to support moderate opposition but nooooo, they betrayed them instead.

Priority right now is to stop the genocide. Instead, apologists invent thinly disguised ideological hurdles as a barrier for victims to overcome – when in reality this hurdle acts as an excuse that justifies inaction in refusing to topple Assad who to this day continues to gas children with impunity. He is allowed to do so bc the kids are poor and Muslim.

Imagine US Army lecturing holocaust victims they mustn’t adhere to a certainly ideology before agreeing to liberate Buchenwald.

December 29th, 2015, 12:05 pm


omen said:


stopping Assad slaughter of half a million mostly civilian trumps any concern mongering about “sectarianism” whose real purpose is to blame the victim.

“You are part of us and we are part of you” – Assassinated Islamist rebel leader Zahran Alloush to Christian activist

December 29th, 2015, 12:17 pm


Observer said:النظام-يقر-موازنةً-هي-الأقل-منذ-سنوات-والأعلى-وهمياً

This is the Syrian budget for 2016 a mere 6.3 billion dollars in real terms but wait the regime is winning and has shown responsibility and given stability.

Oxymorons to the n’th degree

December 29th, 2015, 12:51 pm


Hopeful said:

Here are the leaders of the “Syrian institutions” which everyone now wants to make sure are protected in a political solution. What a joke!

December 29th, 2015, 1:59 pm


Tara said:

Hopeful ,


من وين هالنمرة؟

December 29th, 2015, 7:25 pm


Ghufran said:

Without a doubt a lot of what had been said about the regime is true but rebels supporters conveniently ignore the fact that there is no viable and credible body Rebels have created or provided , what we see is a deformed and manufactured opposition financed by the GCC snd directed by turkey and Islamists. Rebels either collaborated with terrorists or provided coverage for them, there is no running from the fact that Rebels are a sectarian force that committed war crimes and is equal to nusra and Isis in its view of minorities.
If the regime wins or is winning it is mostly due to the sacrifices of poor alawsites who were not given any other choice and the action of Rebels who made the wrong choices.

December 30th, 2015, 2:47 am


Observer said:

The regime is non viable either. It is not a choice that people can make for it is non reformable
It is intrinsically evil hateful sectarian exploitative modern slavery version of IS

December 30th, 2015, 7:36 am


Hopeful said:

#51 Ghufran

You know as well as anyone less that ANY viable visible alternative to the regime was either brutally murdered or put in prison. Viable alternatives, who are not affiliated with the terrorists, will not emerge so long as the regime continues to behave the same was it has behaved. And frankly, we should wish for them to stay hidden. When/if the conditions change, they will emerge and we can hope for a better future.

December 30th, 2015, 12:03 pm


Mina said:

From Jisr al Shughur

Happy new year. Let’s hope for peace at last

December 30th, 2015, 12:06 pm


Jasmine said:

Congratulations to the Syrian army on their recent achievement,they have proved once again that they are trustworthy ,chapeau to every soldier who is fighting for Syria’s existence,they may not be eloquent on TV but they proved that they loved their country better than our virtual soldier who is making fun of them.

December 30th, 2015, 12:20 pm


Ghufran said:

There are 40,000 civilians and few hundred rebels in Madaya near Damascus who have little or no access to daily necessities and can not get out of town because regime forces and hizbullah could not reach an agreement with rebels and Nusra to lift the siege on Fu’aa and K’farya in return of Madaya. A number of people who were caught trying to leave the two towns were beheaded and videotaped. Again and again syrians are being used and abused by fighting forces on the ground with little regard to human rights and basic islamic values. The atrocities committed in Syria by muslims leave no doubt that much of the evil Syria has seen is not imported from the West and is now part an islamic history that will stain the reputation of Muslims for generations to come.

December 30th, 2015, 1:02 pm


Mina said:

well spotted by MoA on “the so-called Human Rights Watch” schizophrenic position regardind djihadists

December 30th, 2015, 3:29 pm


ALAN said:

Syria, once its territory will be freed from the Islamist terrorists and other radical clerics, will pose a serious threat to the regional ambitions of neighbors….
Given this, the U.S. strategy to force a Russian military “exodus” from Syria seems to have drastically failed. While the intention was to drastically reduce, if not remove altogether, Russia’s military presence in Syria to ultimately exclude it from any future political settlement, the opposite might happen in near future. With Russia all set to intensify its campaign with or without any coalition, the U.S. and its allies seem to have unwittingly fallen a poor prey to what can better be called their folly of judgement.
Foreign planes dropping military aid for Islamic State in Kirkuk

December 30th, 2015, 4:05 pm


ALAN said:

بالنسبة لكبار ضباط الولايات المتحدة :

أولا، يجب دعم الرئيس بشار الأسد لكي ينتصر، ويبقى في السلطة.

ثانيا، يجب العمل مع روسيا ضد داعش.

ثالثا، يجب معاقبة تركيا التي لاتتصرف كحليف، بل كعدو.

رابعا، يجب الكف عن تخيل وجود “متمردين سوريين معتدلين”، والاختباء وراء هذا الوهم، للسماح لوكالة الاستخبارات المركزية (سي.آي.ايه) بدعم الإرهابيين.

December 30th, 2015, 4:26 pm


ghufran said:

Lavrov clear statement that Russia considers Ashrar alsham and jaish alloush as terrorist organizations will put pressure on the US to respond. The US had previously designated one as a terrorist organization but did not do the same with the other.
KSA wants Alloush thugs to be part of
a solution to the Syrian war and Turkey and Qatar do not want ashrar Alsham to be on the terrorist list.

December 30th, 2015, 4:27 pm


omen said:

You know you are in trouble when you have to rely on a gangster like Lavrov to legitimize your position. That’s because ghufran can’t point to anything redeeming about Assad.

December 30th, 2015, 7:12 pm


Jasmine said:

Russia has gained its leader role in the political arena and has to persevere to keep it in the future,China will be in the lead with it ,it is about time that the East will claim some overdue respect from the west,shame has to happen in the Syrian territory and payed by Syrian blood.

As long as Islam is not willing to reform its ideology,the world will continue to suffer.
Here is some excerpt from the Infidel Bloggers Alliance.


1. Is a mind-control and information-control cult founded by an assassin, torturer, pirate, rapist and pedophile called Mohammed. The mind-control and information-control aspects require that all criticism of Islam be silenced and cult members follow its leaders blindly (called “taqlid”). Without taqlid (blind following), the cult would swiftly be exposed and the franchise would come to an end. One million mullahs would lose their monopoly on “the Truth” and their thought-control jobs. Hence, most of what mullahs do is to control and suppress bad news about Islam.

2. Is Mohammed’s personality cult. It has no foundations other than Mohammed’s murderous rantings (in the Koran and Hadiths). The Koran consists of two conflicting parts – Meccan and Medinan (peaceful and violent respectively). The Medinan material supersedes (or ‘abrogates’) the Meccan stuff. Muslims act Medinan, but they quote gentler Meccan verses to the gullible infidels. Muslims say that Allaah has no partners, yet they have made Mohammed into a golden idol they worship as though he were a god, even to the point of saying he is present everywhere on earth through his “noor” (light).. Everything about Mohammed is beyond criticism under threat of decapitation, torture or fire-bombing.

3. Claims to worship the same God as Christians and Jews, but in fact worships Allah – a demonic channelling of the pagan Arabian moon-god through Mohammed’s toxic narcissistic personality disorder. The Death Cult mixes garbled versions of Christian and Jewish scriptures with pagan practices such as moon and meteorite-worship, and cut-throat blood sacrifice of animals and non-believers. Islam is the only religion that institutionalizes beheading, crucifixion, torture, and genocide.

4. Has no rational, philosophical or theological basis, and the whole belief-system is contradicted by science, philosophy, common sense, human decency, and astonishing internal inconsistency.

5. Cannot withstand rational criticism, scientific examination or forensic inquiry. Islam can only spread and maintain itself by ignorance, illiteracy, war, terrorism, and intimidation. Islam has bloody borders and cannot co-exist peacefully with other belief systems. Winston Churchill said that Islam in a man is as dangerous as hydrophobia (rabies) in a dog. Islam demands obedience and blind following, and forbids itself to be tested.

6. Has a superstitious dread of images of pigs, crosses, Buddhas, Saint George (and his flag), teddy bears, and of course Mo-toons.

7. Regards Islamic women as semihuman. Wife-beating, incest and child abuse (including mufa’khathat or ‘thighing’ – the ritual abuse of infants) are encouraged and almost never punished.

8. Regards all unbelievers (Kaffirs, Kuffar, Kufrs, Kafirs) as ritually unclean subhumans to be killed, subjugated, enslaved, exploited, or parasitized. Kafirs are described by the Arabic word ‘najis’ – literally ‘filth’. That’s why Muslim hatred of Kafirs is intrinsic to their religion. A Kafir doesn’t need to do anything to offend a Muslim; his very existence is already enough of an affront. Every Muslim believes a kafir should know his place.

9. Possesses an ethical system that applies only to Muslims. Allah endorses rape, pillage, extortion, torture and enslavement of non-Muslims. Morality does not extend beyond the global gang (ummah). There is no Golden Rule anywhere in Islam. Muslim ethics are, thus, similar to the ethics of the Mafia. (Murdering a non-Moslem is not a capital offence, but only a misdemeanour.) Because of Sharia law, rape is almost impossible to prove. And an infidel cannot testify against a Muslim.

10. Has followers who are motivated by hatred, greed and lust. There is no love, mercy or compassion. Allah is vindictive, unpredictable, capricious and devious – Allah is The Best of Schemers.

11. Is the only religion NOT founded upon The Golden Rule. Morality is based on Mohammed’s example. If Mohammed did it, then it is approved for all Muslims. Hence the encouragement of rape, pillage, enslavement, subjugation and murder of non-believers and the institutionalised pedophilia (child marriage at any age) prevalent throughout Muslim society- justified by Mohammed’s activities with Ayesha, his child sex-slave.

12. Defines all human relations by paradigm of dominance vs. submission. Muslims have schizoid inferiority/superiority complexes. (A well-balanced Muslim is one with a chip on each shoulder). They respect strength but despise compromise as weakness. Appeasement invites more aggression. The only political system which has been strong enough to subjugate Islam is Stalinism.

13. Establishes and legitimizes polygamy, which ensures alpha-males get extra women, leading to a shortage of women for the betas. For sexual relief, beta-males must either masturbate (a sin that puts a Muslim in hell), or form dog-packs and rape or capture kafir women as booty in a razzia, or else self-immolate in the presence of infidels so they may collect 72 mythical virgins in Allah’s playboy-mansion-in-the-sky. (Islam’s harebrained paradise is sophomoric, absurd and ludicrous. It appeals to youthful warriors under the age of 25!) Young Muslim beta-males are often encouraged by their relatives to become suicide bombers because of their belief that such murdering ‘martyrs’ will be able to intercede with Allah and take 70 of their relatives to paradise with them! Family benefits from suicide-murders!

14. Encourages lying and the deception of infidels (taqiyya). This may take many forms, including outright lies, feigned moderation, and condemnation of terrorist attacks to the Kaffir while rejoicing over the same with fellow Muslims. Muslims often tend to regard themselves as victims of some group of Kafirs so they can harbor grudges against them and against Kafirs in general. Allah is The Best of Schemers.

Individual Muslims may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and must be considered potential killers blindly obeying their leaders who can flip in an instant (SJS -’Sudden Jihad Syndrome’).

15. Forbids befriending kafirs except for purposes of deceit or where conversion of the kafir may be possible.

16. Purports to have a ‘holy book’, the Koran, that is Allah’s final word, and cannot be changed or challenged. To do so is punishable by death. Consequently, the Death Cult can never change or be reformed. The instructions to murder and rape infidels are just as valid now as the day they were written. Rape was traditionally used as a means of ethnic cleansing.

Since Islam cannot be modernised, the Muslims are attempting to Islamise modernity. This requires spreading Islam in the West and simultaneously preventing any criticism of the cult by intimidation and PC legislation to curtail freedom of expression.

17. Regards treaties and agreements with Kaffirs as meaningless, and are made to be broken (Hudna). The word of a Muslim to a Kafir counts for nothing in the eyes of Allah. “Allah leads astray whom he pleases”.

18. Divides the world between Dar-al-Islam (the Islamic Realm) and Dar-al-Harb (the domain of war, the Kufr lands). Muslims living in Dar-al-Harb must work to disrupt their host nations until these can be brought into Dar-al-Islam.

19. Encourages Muslims to parasitize their host nations. In fact, Muslims have no obligation to their host nations. Any free nation is considered “the Enemy” (The Great Satan is USA). Welfare fraud, identity theft, forgery etc. are endemic in Western Muslim populations, and serious crime against Kaffirs is regarded as normal and justified. Extortion rackets against Kafirs are mandated by the Koran (’jizya’ is the Arabic term for ‘protection money’ payable by Jews and Christians to Muslims under threat of death).

20. Is a complete system, including a culture, which Muslims regard as superior to other cultures (despite all evidence to the contrary…where are the operas, the ballets, the oratorios, the inspiring novels and films?) Jihadist attacks on their host nations aren’t just against its religion and economy, but are aimed at its very cultural identity. Muslims are therefore required to destroy the symbols of non-Muslim culture…’Jahiliya’ (sometimes spelled ‘Jahiliyya’)-. In the East, this has included destruction of Hindu temples and Christian churches and replacement with mosques, and destruction of Buddhist artwork, temples, and universities and replacement with heaps of rubble. This process of cultural replacement is now beginning in the West. In addition, the rape of kafir women by Muslim men is a way of proving to host nations that their women are all whores and don’t deserve to be respected. The old “blaming the victim” ploy. The Muslim headscarf is a means of segregating girls from the culture of the host country. 

December 30th, 2015, 10:36 pm


Hopeful said:

Alan, it is incredible to me that you are celebrating Russia’s military intervention in Syria. All this talk from you and your president about sovereignty, etc., was just for public consumption. Your president could only survive without asking a superpower to intervene militarily on his behalf to bomb and kill his domestic enemies. When some opposition figures early on asked for American military support to fight Assad, they were all labeled “traitors of the nation.” The hypocracy is astounding!

Jasmine, logic tells me that the Infidel Blogger Alliance is completely wrong. No bad religion would be able to attract 2B followers. No bad religion would be able to build a ruling empire for hundreds of years. No bad religion would be able to contribute to science and civilization what Islamic scholars contributed. No bad religion leader (or cult leader for that matter) would be able to inspire and motivate his followers, against all odds, to a better place. This is complete nonsense.

Now, does Islam today need major reforms, absolutely! Christianity, as practiced today, is very different from how it was practiced in the dark ages, but it took a revolution and a lot of blood to get here. People do not slam Jesus just because of the horrific practices of the church and priests, or even for the horrific passages in the bible. Mind you though, Christianity practices were easier to reform because the authority was centralized, and all you needed to do is revolt against that authority. Islam is a more complicated story.

December 31st, 2015, 12:40 am


Observer said:

Well done Jasmine; let us include the cult of Ali that you failed to mention and the theocracy that was founded in 79. That country is a good example of your description of this horrendous religion. 🙂

Now propose your solution: there are 1.2 billion who call themselves Muslim. What are you going to do about them?

Remember that dehumanizing the other is the first step to persecution and nothing helps a religion or a cult better than a persecution.

One more thing: it is cleat that if the regime and its allies were winning we would not have had Jasmine ranting about this cultist religion of evil.

December 31st, 2015, 7:27 am


Jasmine said:

Islam can be reformed easily,once is not politicised and abused for expansion and ego inflating.
The theocracy which was founded in 79 should be reformed too,it is part of Islam.
I thought you were atheist,why you are so upset?
You are so obsessed with regime change like the rest,even if this is going to have Syria disintegrated into unknown shape.
Happy New year.

December 31st, 2015, 8:57 am


Sami said:

Whatever your leaning or thoughts about Ahrar and Jaish Islam, to declare them as terrorists and exclude them from the talks will only prolong the war.

The more people you need to fight, the longer this war will go on. It’s as simple as that.

It seems the Russians and Iranians want a continuation of this war. Or at least until they think they have the upper hand.

Lastly, Russians categorizing Jaish Islam as terrorists because they bomb Damascus as hypocritical at best. Their bombing campaigns have levelled more of Syria than the opposition, not to mention the Assadist Army hand in the destruction of Syria. Will Russia ban itself and the Assad regime from talks if we use the same logic?

December 31st, 2015, 10:45 am


ALAN said:

Why the Pope lied about “Last Christmas”?
Francis announced to the crowd in Rome that this Christmas could be the last for mankind. Who really controls the Vatican today?
In his gloomy speech Pope said that the current chaotic state of the world marks the beginning of the “end times”, and that this time next year, the world will be unrecognizable.
Pontiff developed his views this weekend telling the crowd, “while the world is starving, burning, and descends into chaos, we must understand that this year’s Christmas celebration for those who have decided to celebrate it may be their last Christmas.”
In fact, the Pope not only once again proclaimed the beginning of a global war, but Catholics have – not to celebrate Christmas.
Thus, the former Cardinal Bergoglio misleading Catholics – as it did in the past, co-sponsored the rabbis issuing joint opus titled “Above the Sky.” Apart from the fact that the Christmas of the Lord can not be the “last” Orthodox is not worth listening to “heretic of the first rank” and Jesuit – which effectively rewrote the Gospel, removing Judaic guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, thus justifying sodomitskie “marriages” and kissing with perverts .
In addition, please note that a heretic Judaic Francis replaced the previous Pope Benedict XVI – as a result of the operation developed netrotskistom Cass Sunstein – ideological curated by Obama ZOGa.
As a result, “Institute for the Works of Religion” (better known as the “Vatican Bank”) chaired by the Financial Intelligence Department of the US Treasury Juan Zarate. Earlier it Zarate said that “as soon as an alternative to the dollar as soon as changing the rules of the game.”
To believe the words of the head of the Vatican heretics can not – because “where your treasure is, there your heart. There’s a host you, to you and to serve. ”
Global Judeo-Satanists really prepare and carry out provocations and mass slaughter, but Christians know that the “kingdom of the Antichrist” is coming kingdom of God.

December 31st, 2015, 11:35 am


Tara said:


I did not understand a thing from 68 4 paragraph and on

But have you noticed that most Christians of Syria are so hateful to the rest of the population . I thought they should be grateful as they always lived better and more prosperous . But no, lots of them are so full of hate.

Those who hate do not deserve celebrating Christmas . It is not for them . I do not know why they deceive themselves?! May be it makes them feel better ?!

December 31st, 2015, 1:30 pm


Observer said:

I am not upset one bit Jasmine I actually think that you have pointed out many elements of the discourse of fanatics use to justify their position
It applies equally to Zionists Shia Burmese Budhhists White Supremacists and the list goes on including the previous centuries of colonial vivisection of most of the world ( just read what the Dutch did in Indonesia )
The problem is that 20 point rant will lead to dehumanizing and persecution and a blow back
How about discussing the fact that Western foreign policy in the Muslim world is directly responsible for this blowback and that the attacks suffered lately are but a prelude to a war of civilization that the extremists desperately want for they think that the Muskim world can survive the loss of 500 million people but the West cannot survive the loss of 200 thousand
Also it does help to point out that the Islam you describe in my opinion is Zionized for it assumes a superiority that also dehumanizes the other and excludes non believers like me fit for the slaughterhouse
Also the Wahhabis agree with you that Mohammad had become an idol and would like to destroy it whereas we should discuss him as a hitorical figure with good and bad success and failure
The issue is that early Islam faced hostility and armed struggle was accepted to defend the early faith now that it is established these measures are not needed and the greatest threat is actually politicized Islam like the Mullahs do to their ends
Every time Islam is perceived to be threatened these verses are used to violent ends
If we attack the doctrine we fall into the Jihadi trap of pitting the world against the religion and it leads to a spiral of violence
So what would you do with those 1.2-2 Billion
Michael Scheuer wrote two books on our folly of falling into the Juhadist trap read them

December 31st, 2015, 4:40 pm


Passerby said:

Yeah, it’s no just what to do about Alawite rule and Assad in particular, it’s who is a terrorist and who isn’t.

Seems ISIS and Nusra are automatically terrorists and who else is up for grabs.

For trying to pin it down, how about the definition that terrorists are those that deliberately hunt down women and children, (first, you can’t expect it to be one sided forever).

December 31st, 2015, 5:31 pm


Jasmine said:

You asked me twice what would you do with 1.2-2 billion?
The answer is the so called mullahs have to revise and reform the book again,no one is asking them to become atheist,they can worship their man as long as no one else is hurt and pushed out.
Christianity went through messy period,why haven’t they learned from the church past experience.

I wouldn’t blame the west for our status now,if we knew how to reform our religion we would never give them the chance to be manipulated ,and let them use our resources and ignite religious war.

Some religious wars in the history of Europe lasted 100 years,if we read a bit of history,may be we would have learned from them not to fall in the same trap again.

Those 20 points have a lot of truth in them,reform is needed urgently.

December 31st, 2015, 6:01 pm


ALAN said:

Three cheers for President Putin, now, I’m sure that the Syrians will be very grateful
Thanks Mr. Putin for a job well done. May He who oversees Humanity reward you accordingly.
A grateful Westerner.
Please, under no circumstances overlook the machinations the US has in store for you now and your fellow country men.
Happy New Year and Best Wishes to you, Russia and Syria.

December 31st, 2015, 9:32 pm


ALAN said:

Having said that NATO is a threat to the security of the Russian Federation , Putin then stated without any equivocation that the US is a direct threat to Russia’s national security. The gravity and import of this statement is underlined by the fact that unlike Obama, Kerry and their gang, Putin does not make hasty statements that he later contradicts or attempts to massage into an allegedly different interpretations.
Putin names United States among threats in new Russian security strategy
A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia’s national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years.
The document, “About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation”, was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year’s Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then- President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO.
It says Russia has managed to heighten its role in solving global problems and international conflicts. That heightened role has caused a reaction by the West, it says.
“The strengthening of Russia happens against the background of new threats to the national security, which has complex and interrelated nature,” the document says.
Conducting an independent policy, “both international and domestic” has caused “counteraction from the USA and its allies, which are striving to retain their dominance in global affairs.”

January 2nd, 2016, 9:53 am


ALAN said:

Could China Deploy Troops to Syria?
On Thursday, commenting on China’s new counterterrorism law, and specifically its provision allowing the People’s Liberation Army to participate in anti-terrorism operations overseas, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujin emphasized that China has a “proactive” attitude when it comes to international cooperation against terrorism.
Chinese forces were ever deployed abroad for the purposes of fighting terrorism, it would be in full respect of international norms, including countries’ sovereignty.
“Going forward, whether or not to send the military and People’s Armed Police overseas to fight terrorism, will be arranged in accordance with a unified national plan,”
After the law was passed, speculation quickly emerged suggesting that China could deploy its armed forces to Syria to combat jihadist militants, including radicals from the al-Qaeda-backed East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which operates in the western Chinese province Xinjiang. It was earlier reported that militants from this organization had gone to Syria to fight alongside jihadists there, and that some have returned home to carry out attacks in western China.

January 2nd, 2016, 5:30 pm


Tara said:

“”Iran’s regime has no shame as it rants on human rights matters, even after it executed hundreds of Iranians last year without a clear legal basis,” said Saudi statement

And I most definitely agree.

Iran: hands off the Arab middle east . Iranian people : enough with the mullah’s theocracy . Revolt against the fat turbin in chief . He is lying to you you know . He is not divine. He goes to the toilet you know. And so was Ali And Zainab and the twelvers the hidden ones who was last seen in Harasta

and prophet Muhammad too for that matter

January 2nd, 2016, 7:22 pm


Passerby said:

Christianity wasn’t reformed the thugs running it were overpowered by businessmen. It wasn’t the scientists, it was the businessmen.

Islam at the time of Muhammad and through the Crusades, was certainly more tolerant and enlightened than the Christians.

So, why is it so intolerant and unenlightened now? What happened? Why is it frozen in place?

A possible answer is that Muhammad was a lot more violent than Jesus. Jesus never mentions cutting throats of captives for instance. Granted Muhammad was preaching against torturing them, like the Christians for instance, not saying it was a swell idea.

No, I think it’s the Ottoman Empire. The Sick Old Man of Europe. It froze everything in place. Much of the Middle East didn’t rule themselves for centuries. (Probably explains the endemic conspiracy theories about anyone in power.) That has to be debilitating. Who else was ruled by others for centuries in that time frame? And of course, after WWI, all of a sudden the Ottomans weren’t there anymore. When self-rule happened, to the extent it did, it was the worst of the worst, because they hadn’t done it for centuries. Assads and Hussein’s, and the Bigoted Beverly Hillbillies of the Gulf, etc.

All these little religions, that survived all these centuries, being wiped out. Even the Sabian-Mandaeans, also given special exemption like the Christians and Jews. And Saddam Hussein decimated them, and the few that remain, are still severely persecuted. Even in Iran, they are persecuted. The few that survive now are in foreign countries away from the running water that is the foundation of their religion. Not just the Ottoman Empire freezing everything in place for centuries, the shock of removing it and people that hadn’t governed themselves for centuries.

How do you reform it? Well for starters, using radicals in Cold War like games should come to a screeching halt. Step one is to get the US and Russia on the same page. A unified US/Russia is a formidable thing across the board. Makes solving the problem a lot easier, and it doesn’t require action on the part of Muslims.

Step two is for the US and Russia, etc. to have a little talk with the Gulf States and Iran. Especially the Gulf States, because the radicals they support are far more obnoxious and pure evil. Yeah, we have to eliminate ISIS immediately, remove their money and use orders of magnitude more force. But it’s a long term problem, it was a problem before ISIS and it will be a problem after we wipe them from the face of the earth, hopefully when mercy is still an option.

January 2nd, 2016, 8:19 pm


Ghufran said:

Isis is showing in Al-Tal near Damascus
where a truce has survived for a long time. Money and Wahhabi religious conviction are helping Isis recruit new people even in areas that are not directly involved in violence. Support for isis is not likely to go away any time soon. Look for Saudi Arabia, it is the capital of jihadi ideology and is ready
(or not) to face a new wave of protest and security problems. No country requires a regime change more than Saudi Arabia, a trusted ally of Israel
and the mother of evil in the region.
Syria and Egypt not Iran and Saudi Arabia are the flag holders of moderate Islam but the two countries need peace and stability to stand up to Saudi money and iran’s ambitions.
Iran is now recruiting alawites in religious schools that require
girls to wear hijab.

January 2nd, 2016, 11:31 pm


Observer said:

This is the regime that we are told is reformable
He took off the skin of his behind and put it on his face

January 3rd, 2016, 12:24 am


ALAN said:

Jaysh al-Islam is a stalwart ally of US State Department-listed terrorist organization al-Nusra, though one would never suspect as much reading weepy Western eulogies over the terrorist organization leader’s death. The commander of terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate Jaysh al-Islam (the Army of Islam), “Sheikh” Zahran Alloush, was killed in a Syrian airstrike this week in the suburbs of Damascus.

In a surreal, coordinated propaganda campaign, the Western media sidestepped Alloush’s praise of and coordination with US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra, previously known as Al Qaeda in Iraq – and indeed, the very terrorist organization that the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) itself sprung up from.
Ironically, despite knowing the various affiliations “rebel groups” in Syria have with Al Qaeda, O’Bagy herself, along with the so-called Institute for the Study of War – an arms industry-funded think tank – have attempted to perpetuate Western support of these “rebel groups,” which in turn have perpetuated the deadly conflict raging in Syria. The profitable war, and the US dominated MENA region that would form as a result of its successful execution, helps explain why the West is so interested in portraying terrorists as “moderates,” and going as far as mourning the death of a terrorist leader who openly worked with and praised Al Qaeda.

It is clear that regime change in Syria will not help end terrorism or undermine terrorist organizations like the Islamic State or Jaysh al-Islam, but only help them. Damascus and its allies in Moscow and Tehran, demonstrably prove they are the only forces consistently fighting and defeating terrorism in Syria. The only other conceivable way to interpret the West’s continued insistence that only through regime change will terrorism end in Syria is to understand the West itself is sponsoring this very terrorism as a pretext for regime change. Such sponsorship, and thus the terrorism resulting, will only “end” once the West achieves its goals.

January 3rd, 2016, 7:16 am


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