Jabhat Ansar al-Din: Analysis and Interview

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

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Logo of Jabhat Ansar al-Din

Jabhat Ansar al-Din [Supporters/Partisans of the Religion Front] is a coalition of four groups originally set up in July of this year, comprising Harakat Sham al-Islam, Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar, The Green Battalion and Harakat Fajr al-Sham al-Islamiya. Of these groups, Harakat Sham al-Islam was set up by Moroccan ex-Gitmo detainee Ibrahim bin Shakaran, who died in the Latakia offensive this spring. Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar (JMWA)- under Omar al-Shishani- was once part of what was then the Islamic State State in Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), but following Shishani and his followers’ break-off to join ISIS in November 2013, the group has effectively become the Caucasus Emirate’s wing in Syria. The Green Battalion was an independent group set up in the summer of last year by Saudi fighters who wanted to stay out of the Jabhat al-Nusra-ISIS dispute but has since pledged allegiance to JMWA, while an amir, Shari’a official and some fighters have joined ISIS’ successor the Islamic State [IS]. Finally, one should note Harakat Fajr al-Sham al-Islamiya is a native Syrian, primarily Aleppo-based faction.

As per the ‘manifesto’ of Jabhat Ansar al-Din, the coalition defines itself as ‘independent’ and striving to implement a state-building project with the rule of Shari’a [Islamic law] in its totality, illustrating a broader trend of jihadi groups forming their own state enterprises as IS and the regime increasingly take up territory. As I have mentioned before, one may ask why the members of this coalition have not simply join Jabhat al-Nusra (which strives for the same goal) in line with the precedent of the one-time Saudi-led independent jihadi group Suqur al-Izz: I submit that this is due to power-politics tension in the sense of not wanting to lose autonomy and be subsumed under Jabhat al-Nusra. The case of Harakat Sham al-Islam in particular seems to be one of an al-Qa’ida front project under Ibrahim bin Shakaran’s leadership but a change in direction after his death.

In keeping with the general ‘anti-fitna’ stance of jihadi groups (including al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM] and al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP]) when it comes to perceived non-Muslim/’apostate’ forces fighting a jihadi group (regardless of the power-struggles), Jabhat Ansar al-Din issued a statement denouncing the U.S.-led coalition against IS as part of a war on Islam and Muslims. The statement cites common grievances such as the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the prisons of Begram and Guantánamo with torture therein, “America’s support and aid for the Jews in Palestine…the Jews’ occupation of the al-Aqsa mosque,” crimes committed against Muslims in Burma and the Central African Republic, and supposed U.S. siding with “Arab tyrants” in Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Tunisia.

From these complaints, the statement affirmed that “the target of the Zionist-Crusader-Safavid alliance is Islam and Muslims in general and their mujahideen vanguard in particular.” Denouncing anyone who should enter into the alliance as guilty of apostasy, Jabhat Ansar al-Din concluded with a call for Muslim unity against “this oppressive intervention,” and asked God to “give victory to the mujahideen in Iraq, ash-Sham and every place.”

However, it is notable that unlike AQIM and AQAP (which admittedly tried to avoid the issue of whether al-Qa’ida groups regard IS as a state by simply referring to it as ‘the Islamic State’ rather than ‘the group of the state’ [jamaat ad-dawla]), Jabhat Ansar al-Din does not even refer to IS by name in the statement, which fits a wider pattern of non-al-Qa’ida-affiliated jihadi groups in Syria aiming to stay out of the al-Qa’ida-IS dispute as far as possible.

Indeed, to date, with the exception of Jamaat Ansar al-Islam (which has fought IS in Iraq anyway), none of the global jihadi groups outside of Jabhat al-Nusra- including the few remaining stand-alone ones such as Jaysh Muhammad in Bilad al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa- is known to have participated in actual fighting against IS. In the case of Jaysh Muhammad in Bilad al-Sham, the refusal to fight against IS sparked tensions with Northern Storm in Azaz and ultimately led to the group’s departure from Azaz. Corroborating the anti-fitna record is the fact that some of the components of Jabhat Ansar al-Din prior to the coalition’s announcement worked with what was then ISIS in early 2014 in besieging Kweiris airbase in Aleppo province under the initiative ‘And Don’t Separate’ (along with Jaysh Muhammad in Bilad al-Sham).

Whether Jabhat Ansar al-Din can truly maintain this ostensibly ‘trouble free’ policy of relations with other jihadis in Syria- particularly IS and Jabhat al-Nusra- remains an open question.

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Reflecting Jabhat Ansar al-Din’s state-building ambitions, video of a Shari’a institute run by Harakat Sham al-Islam.

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Jabhat Ansar al-Din’s JMWA purportedly conducting anti-aircraft operations in Handarat, Aleppo province.

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Harakat Sham al-Islam da’wah efforts reportedly in Latakia countryside.

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JMWA da’wah efforts (Qur’an memorization classes) for children reportedly in north Aleppo countryside.

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Friday sermon reportedly given by a Green Battalion member in Idlib countryside.

Below is an interview I conducted with a Jabhat Ansar al-Din media activist based in the Aleppo area [Update 30 January 2015: name removed to protect identity], corroborating the points I made above.

Interview

Q: Does Jabhat Ansar al-Din want a Caliphate?

A: Yes. [Among] our goals are the project of an Islamic Caliphate and the rule of God’s law in the land.

Q: But why is Jabhat Ansar al-Din independent and does not join Jabhat al-Nusra which also wants a Caliphate?

A: The problem is with them, not with us: we are prepared to work with all upright factions whose goals are like ours. It is not hidden from anyone that the goals of the majority of factions are like our goals.

Q: In your opinion has Jabhat al-Nusra made mistakes on the ground?

A: In my personal opinion indeed we all make mistakes…and perhaps in Jabhat al-Nusra’s point of view it is not necessary to establish a Caliphate while the gangs of Assad exist in Syria.

Q: In which areas does Jabhat Ansar al-Din operate?

A: We operate in Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Homs and Latakia. In Aleppo: al-Ramousa, Sheikh Said, Aziza, Air Intelligence, Handarat, Sayfat, and in the southern countryside: the area of Jabal ‘Azzan, al-Wadihi, Mu’amal ad-Difa’. In Idlib: the village of Wadi al-Deif, al-Qarmeed military camp. In Hama: the countryside to the north of the city of Hama. In Homs: the countryside to the north of the city of Homs. In Latakia: Jabal al-Akrad, Jabal al-Turkoman and Kassab.

Q: How are your relations with IS?

A: We have no relation with IS (original: ad-dawla). We don’t fight them and they don’t fight us. But anyone who says that Jabhat Ansar al-Din is affiliated with IS is lying.

Comments (40)


1. Hopeful said:

More than 3 years ago, someone named “An Attasi” wrote the following post on this blog (http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=11622). To date, I believe this remains the best comment ever written on this blog.

“We continuously deny the horrible facts in our history and we continuously pretend that other sects and religions coexisted peacefully in Syria. Baloney. Not true! And our history is written by Sunni historians or historians that were enriched by the Sunnis.

I am a Muslim Sunni and I know; I am ashamed of my sect and my people and my religion for not coming in full force to repent and pay back for the severe injustices they were perpetrated on other sects – all in the name of we are Muslim and we Muslims are good.

The only time I will trust Syrians with democracy is when I see heads of families treating their families with respect. When adult children are free to make choices away from family and tribal pressures. When families tell their children about the value of the Syrian mosaic and how to respect and treasure diversity in Syria. When they tell their children that we have abused minorities and it’s time to talk about it.

I will trust my fellow Syrians when I see them revolt and getting disgusted when a brother slaughters his sister because he thought she harmed the family honor.

I trust Syrians when they start trusting one another because they all belong to the same institutions of law and order.

Until we start a national dialogue, and until the MBs apologize for the killings they committed, and the regime erects monuments for the people they killed, and the Sunni admits their unmistakable prejudices, and until the people break the taboo of not talking about sectarian hatred and cynicism, and until the people are genuinely free as individual people, and until relations between religious sects becomes a national topic that is taught in classrooms, and until the constitution is clearly written to protect the minorities from the oppression of the majority, and to protect the Syrians from their own government, I’m doomed to not trust any outcome.

It’s amusing to me when i hear people talking about Article 8, and how to remove it and by when, at the time when the whole country is boiling with sectarian hatred and terrible class relations. Talk about misaligned priorities.”

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October 23rd, 2014, 1:19 pm

 

2. ALAN said:

Jerusalem front became hot and the third intifada can push Israel to local, regional and international confrontations.Inevitable truth will be soon…

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October 23rd, 2014, 1:31 pm

 

3. Sami said:

Syrialover,

“on the contrary, it’s become too tolerant of “hate talk” and actions.”

As a Syrian-Canadian I take offence to this comment. The values of Canadiana that I have come to experience and love is evident in most Canadians I have come to interact with. In the handful of times that I came to experience hate and racism in Canada mostly came from Arabs that are so occupied by your sect than your character.

The sick ideology of ISIS and other hateful groups might have reached the Canadian shores but it is in no way accepted or supported by the fringe of a minority of Canadians let alone by a majority.

Also, and this is why I love calling Canada my adopted home, Canadian news is not questioning Islam, nor are they attacking it. Hell, the cowards that committed these callous acts are not the ones they are concentrating on. Instead the soldiers that gave up their lives for their country are being remembered, and the heroes that did their job protecting their fellow Canadians are being celebrated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N89BAADF1bE

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October 23rd, 2014, 7:12 pm

 

4. Ghufran said:

The comment that was reposted by hopeful is an excellent display of courage that one must expect from educated Syrians instead of directing criticism at people with opposing views. The truth is that the war in Syria and the disaster it caused was not the work of one man or one sect, Syrians have failed as a group to show love for their country and many chose to hate others more than they love the motherland. Syrians who celebrate killings are allowing negative emotions to dominate the dislogue, the fact that we do not have a clear victor after 3 years and 7 months of war should tell you something. I see no chance of finding an exit until Syrians accept the principle of abandoning violence as a tool to achieve political goals.

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October 23rd, 2014, 8:29 pm

 

5. ALAN said:

The Power of Averil

http://youtu.be/upcpKQg3nak?t=1s

It clear that statehood is a right of the Palestinian people. It is not an Israeli bargaining chip for them to play in their sham negotiations.”
The occupation in Palestine isn’t just an Israeli occupation – it’s a Western occupation; a European, American and Russian occupation, and more. As such, the Palestinian argument must be directed to the entire Western world: Stop trying to sell us empty lip service.
http://mycatbirdseat.com/2014/10/u-s-leaders-listen-to-this-irish-senator/

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October 24th, 2014, 3:18 am

 

6. Sami said:

Samir Atala on the events in Ottawa

في سلسلة «مدن الصيف» كتبت عن تلك العلاقة الحميمة بين كندا وبيني. علاقة نقية مثل ثلوجها، وبسيطة مثل أهلها. وتحدثت عن حلم رومانسي مرحلة الشباب، وهو أن يكون لي بيت على نهر «الأوتاواي» تشذب رؤيته نفسي ويمنحني مسراه الهادئ الشعور بالسكينة.
كانت أوتاوا قرية كبيرة بين العشب والأشجار. لكنها أيضا عاصمة لثاني أكبر بلدان الأرض مساحة. من هذه «القرية» تدار شؤون المقاطعات التي تضم بلاد الإسكيمو. وكان أحد سكان تلك البلاد رجلا من جنوب لبنان يدعى محمد خباز، سمته الدولة عضوا في مجلس الشيوخ تكريما له. وبعده فاز اللبناني محمد حرب بالنيابة، ثم أصبح عضوا في مجلس الشيوخ.
من محمد خباز إلى محمد حرب والإسكيمو بينهما، تدرك كم هي هذه البلاد هائلة المساحة، فسيحة القلب. وخلال حرب لبنان كان يقف عند الطائرات في مطارات البلاد موظف من الهجرة ينادي بأعلى صوته: هل من طالبي لجوء؟ ثم فتت الصوماليون بلادهم، فأصبح الموظف نفسه يسأل بصوت عال: هل من صومالي طالب لجوء؟
لا الدين ولا العرق ولا اللون. بلاد تشبه الأحلام التي لا تُرى إلا في الحلم. في منصب الحاكم العام سيدة من أصول صينية، بَهِجَة الحضور، فاخرت أمام مراسل الـ«بي بي سي» الشهير أنطوني سامبسون، بأن الفستان الذي ترتديه، أهداها إياه زوجها قبل 30 عاما. وهذه السيدة صاحبة السعادة كانت تتناول طعام الغداء في مطعم شقيقي منير، تقريبا كل يوم. عبثا حاول أن تقبل دعوته مرة واحدة. كانت تضحك دائما وتقول له ضاحكة: أنتم اللبنانيون تحاولون رشوة الحاكم العام! وكان ثمن الغداء عادة نحو 5 دولارات. ومن ثم أعطي منصب الحاكم العام لتلك السيدة من هايتي.
تقوم مباني الدولة في بقعة صغيرة على هضبة، يزينها مبنى البرلمان ذو السطوح الفستقية اللون. ولا يمر شهر إلا ويقر البرلمان قانونا في تحسين أوضاع العاديين من الناس. ولكثرة ما أقرت البرلمانات من قوانين، لم تعد هناك من مطالب يتخيلها الإنسان، حتى في السويد، التي نسخت كندا نظامها.
يتحدث النواب بصوت هادئ. ويرد الوزراء بصوت أكثر هدوءا. مثله مثل هدوء أوتاوا التي ربما يسمع صوتها – ربما – في مباريات الهوكي، كرة الجليد. ذعرت أوتاوا أول من أمس للمرة الأولى في تاريخها. دق الكابوس الرهيب أبواب قلعة الحلم. حمل القتلة إلى محلة البرلمان بشاعة لم تكن تخطر لأحد: العنصرية والموت والقتل. هكذا كوفئت البلاد التي يذهب مندوب الهجرة إلى المطار ليسأل: هل من طالب لجوء

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October 24th, 2014, 11:30 am

 

7. ALAN said:

سامي انت سوري؟ انا لست أصلعا ، لن أتباهى بشعر جارتي!

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October 24th, 2014, 6:31 pm

 

8. Sami said:

Here we go again Assadists wanting to deny my Syrianhood…

Shami min al salhiyeh. Do you want my khaneh number as well?

Too bad your bold! I have long hair that girls adore…

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October 24th, 2014, 7:09 pm

 

9. ALAN said:

Ooops, sorry for introducing a fact here – a bad habit. The West created these murderous madmen decades ago when the US funded, armed and advised the nascent Mujahedeen to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan. They are now a permanent feature of the Middle East and beyond, an evolving monster the US Defence Department and CIA lost control of a long time ago. Yet politicians like Obama and Harper think we can correct it with bombs. Ironically after decades of treating their citizens like children, our governments are reduced to behaving like them.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/21/from-israel-to-isis/
read ! read and analyze! it is just a law of physics

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October 24th, 2014, 7:14 pm

 

10. ALAN said:

انا لست أسديا ولا حزبيا! أنت من الصالحية و أنا حلبي من شارع النيل، سئمت ديماغوجيتكم ! الى اين أوصلتم الأمور؟ بالملآن طز بكل الغرب الذي احتضنكم؟ و لا تنس ايصال الطز بهاربر الذنب .

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October 24th, 2014, 7:27 pm

 

11. Sami said:

I’ll take Canada over Russia any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Toz bi roussiya wa Akbar toz la Putin.

I don’t care if your halabi or deyri or idilbi, your politics if one can call it that is rife with assumptions and scrapes from the bottom of the wacko conspiracy barrel.

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October 24th, 2014, 7:38 pm

 

12. ALAN said:

THE UNITED States is destabilising the global world order by trying to enforce its will, Russian President Vladimir Putin says, warning that the world will face new wars if Washington fails to respect the interests of other countries.
In a speech on Friday to political experts in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, Mr Putin pointed to wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria as examples of botched US policies that have led to chaos.
http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/russian-president-vladimir-putin-has-accused-the-us-of-destabilising-world-order/story-fnh81p7g-1227101773164
LONG LIVE SYRIAN RUSSIAN FRIENDSHIP – GLORY FOR OUR LOVLY SONS WHO SERVE IN BRAVE SYRYAN ARAB ARMY!

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October 24th, 2014, 7:45 pm

 
 

14. Alan said:

Specially for those who wish lamenting
Canada and the War on Terror: What Happened in Ottawa on October 22, 2014?
http://www.globalresearch.ca/ottawa-attack-isi/5409706

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October 25th, 2014, 8:41 am

 

15. SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

As long as Assadistan-Putinstan so called friendships lasts the future of Syria is a fxxxxing terrible one.

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October 25th, 2014, 3:39 pm

 

16. ALAN said:

Sandro!
If you’re in a comfortable place there, enjoy and get rid of the disease of hatred! Americans today are seriously asking the Russians to help get rid of terrorism, which they made with their own hands
http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/23137
http://youtu.be/1JY5w_qotok?t=1s

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October 25th, 2014, 4:00 pm

 

17. SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

It was clear that AMERICA does not want the revolution to succeed from Day 1.

So this is all a teathre where Iran, Russia and US play together. They will not fool us anymore.

Your AMERICANS and RUSSIANS who are bombing the extremist remains of a repressed and violated revolution should shut up your motuhs, since you are the criminals who sponsored the criminal Assad and his chemical massacres.

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October 26th, 2014, 9:18 am

 

18. ghufran said:

From Lebanon to Egypt, from Iraq to Yemen, and from Libya to Tunisia the same story can be told:
Oppressive and / or corrupt governments and Islamist terrorists killing people in the name of Islam and attacking national armies calling soldiers “traitors and infidels”. In Lebanon, in particular, the picture is very dark after many Lebanese politicians associated with Hariri clan provided political cover for terrorists for years because those terrorists were attacking Hizbullah and fighting Syrian troops. Those politicians and their followers are too rich or pampered to carry guns but they are using terrorists(almost universally from poor Sunni towns)to achieve political gains. In any country other than Lebanon, a thug like Khaled Al-Daher would be in jail after getting caught communicating with a Nusra terrorist and being on record encouraging Lebanese soldiers to defect, the same criminal was inciting violence against Syria and his own citizens because he is mad at those who stopped his employer, Saad al-Hariri, from swallowing whatever is left of Lebanon.
The truth is that political Islam and militarized Islamist groups are a major threat to world peace and the countries they operate in, and until those movements are defeated nobody will be interested in targeting existing regimes including the one in Syria. What the West and Russia should do beside taking military measures against Islamists is push for a deal with Iran and withdraw support for regimes that fail to be inclusive. The main obstacle to the war on ISIS will be, and has been, Turkey which is,cynically enough, a NATO member !!

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October 26th, 2014, 11:22 am

 

19. ghufran said:

error: Oppressive and / or corrupt governments and Islamist terrorists killing people in the name of Islam
correction: Oppressive and / or corrupt governments fighting Islamist terrorists that are killing people in the name of Islam

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October 26th, 2014, 11:29 am

 

20. Syrialover said:

Dear SAMI #3

I apologise for what you thought I was saying – but I fear you completely misread me. (Which is no good, because I always appreciate and endorse your comments here.)

My point was that Canadians – and other western countries – have become too tolerant of the intolerance that is characteristic of certain Arabs and others who have come to live in their society.

This is an issue now confronting a number of western societies. Some are now saying their benign embrace of multiculturalism and open immigration has allowed tribalism and sectarianism to flourish and fester within certain enclaves in their midst.

Those marginal groups enjoy the lifestyle benefits and opportunities of the west where they live. But they manage to remain indifferent, ignorant and even hostile to the majority mainstream values and beliefs like that of Canada which you celebrate in your comment. And it’s now multi-generational.

The British for example, have received some strong wake-up jolts and are soul-searching big time over what has been going on in sections of their Pakistani immigrant communities.

The 2005 London underground bombings brought outpourings on this, but the strong success of ISIS recruitment in that sector of UK society along with a number of other recent issues and incidents show that the problem is deeply entrenched.

The debate in the west on what to do is unfortunately often naïve and idealistic – “we must reach out to these communities and better understand and respect their beliefs and customs”. When in fact it needs to be the other way round!!

That’s what I meant by tolerance of intolerance (ie hate talk and actions).

Several paragraph from that brilliant post quoted by HOPEFUL in #1 sadly still fit snugly on certain sectors of some immigrant communities in the west.

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October 26th, 2014, 7:12 pm

 

21. Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN # 4 says:

“Syrians have failed as a group to show love for their country and many chose to hate others more than they love the motherland.”

He forgot to say the rest of what was in his head: “…and love and respect and be grateful to the Assads”.

As usual, dribbling out of both sides of the mouth, pretending to endorse what HOPEFUL posted in #1 while seizing and distorting it into an opportunity to smear those who do not support Bashar Assad.

NOBODY, ever, in any country in history, has shown as much hatred and disloyalty to Syrians and the Syrian motherland as the Assadists.

That’s a fact that springs straight out of the centre of the mouth, not avoided by side dribbling like GHUFRAN.

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October 26th, 2014, 7:31 pm

 

22. Syrialover said:

ALAN loves to excitedly predict a new world war. Where? Are puny little Putin and the idiotic Ayatollahs with their weak resources going to take on the rest?

I hope so. It would be all over for them in 24 hours – no, 12, or more likely 3 hours.

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October 26th, 2014, 7:36 pm

 

23. ALAN said:

Syria lover! Are you Arbitor in a football game? why do you interfere in what is going on between the players? Can you tell what is your area of ​​specialization? Actually looks like someone looking for himself in any place.

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October 27th, 2014, 6:29 am

 

24. Hopeful said:

#20 SyriaLover

I agree. You see these problems clearly in Europe, and to a lesser extent in Canada, but not as much in the US. Any thoughts as to why?

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October 27th, 2014, 4:09 pm

 

25. Hopeful said:

Congratulations to Tunisia for a great step forward. First time I ever hear a “conceding” speech by an election looser in the Arab world! Bravo!

The challenges of the path to democracy in the Arab countries are proportional to the brutality of the dictatorships ruling them, with Tunisia on one end of the spectrum followed by Egypt, and Iraq and Syria on the other end of the spectrum.

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October 27th, 2014, 5:12 pm

 

26. Ghufran said:

In a clear shift of public opinion in Lebanon about how to overcome Islamist militias threat , most Lebanese Christians are not buying the argument of Hariri and some Christian politicians:

Two-thirds of Lebanon’s Christians believe Hezbollah is protecting Lebanon from the threat of takfiris (extremist groups), a recent survey by the Beirut Center for Research and Information revealed.
The survey asked people about Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria, replacing Hezbollah fighters with UN peacekeepers on Lebanon’s eastern borders with Syria, Hezbollah’s efficacy in foiling infiltration attempts by the extremist groups, and the goals of the US-led airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.
The center surveyed Christians in particular due to the fact that Christians in Syria and Iraq were among the groups recently targeted by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The data, which was gathered via phone from October 15th to the 17th, also took into consideration demographic distribution, age and gender.
The survey revealed that 66 percent of Christians support Hezbollah’s military intervention in Syria, in comparison to only 39 percent in June 2013 and 53 percent in February 2014.

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October 27th, 2014, 8:51 pm

 

27. Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL (#24),

Good question. You’ll find various analysis and commentaries on why Europe and places like Canada and Australia have a far worse Muslim radicalization problem (generally and per capita) than the USA.

Some of it seems to be linked to those countries having immigration and welfare systems which are more generous and offer less need for integration.

But the interesting verdict from commentators from Muslim backgrounds themselves is that the root cause of the problem lies both in 1. the parents of the terrorist generation (some of what’s listed in #1 above is exported and thriving in Belgium, the UK and Denmark etc) and 2. the version of Islam being served up in the mosques.

They say young second generation immigrants flocking to al Qaeda and ISIS are usually rebelling against both 1. and 2.

And they couple this with the fact that the upbringing of that generation has left them alienated and poorly equipped to feel at home and succeed in the western society where they live, even though they were born there and may have graduated from university and scored other achievements.

That’s what some frank and courageous western-based Muslims themselves say. While Western commentators until now often tried to blame western society itself for not “reaching out” to those communities (what I referred to above as “tolerance of intolerance”).

But that now seems to be changing in many western countries, where it’s alarming and depressing to see growing criticism and suspicion of Muslim immigrant communities. Plus unprecedented harsh policies now being put in place against anyone even suspected of wanting to play holy warrior.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get like the immediate post-9/11 atmosphere in the USA, which anyone will tell you was a very uneasy experience for Arabs and Muslims there.

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October 28th, 2014, 4:49 am

 

28. Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL #25

Good point.

Another of the post-dictatorship differences in Tunisia is that there was some effort by both the Islamists and secular political groups to reach out and work together.

If only that had happened in Egypt!

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October 28th, 2014, 5:04 am

 

29. Hopeful said:

#28 SL

Yes, but again this phenomenon (flexibility on the part of the Islamists and the moderates) is a function of the “depth of the dictatorships” before the revolution. Ben Ali did not suppress the Islamists as much as Mubarak did and did not empower the army to dominate the politics (so they can protect him) as much as Mubarak did. The result is that the Islamists are not as suspicious of the army in Tunisia and the moderate political parties are not dominated by the army – a good opening for a healthy dialogue.

In Egypt, the Islamists were deeply suspicious of the army and the security so they tried to purge the government of anyone who is not on their side. The result was that the moderates revolted and asked the army to step in. Still, there is some hope as the nation in general is learning and maturing politically.

On the dark side of the spectrum you have Syria and Iraq. The dictatorships are/were so deep that suspicion, hatred and revenge are the norms between various parties.

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October 28th, 2014, 11:57 am

 

30. ALAN said:

Here are Obama, McCain mother f****rs
Bernard Levy: Are you happy? Do you dream of greater achievements? For example, a Kurdish state by American? your gateway to more? son a b**ch
– Enjoy the American democratic values.

http://youtu.be/NTz8Ed-djhg?t=1s

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October 28th, 2014, 2:45 pm

 

31. ALAN said:

U.S. State Department Tweets Incite People To Join Terrorist Groups
The U.S. State Department is running some odd (dis-)information campaign under the name “Think Again Turn Away”. It is using so called “social media” to, supposedly, deter people from joining extreme international groups. It has a Facebook page with 8,450 likes and a Twitter account with some 12,700 followers.

But the whole program seem to be run by some bumbling intern. How please is this tweet supposed to deter young, easily impressed people from joining the Islamic State or any other extremist group fighting against the Syrian government?

https://www.facebook.com/ThinkAgainTurnAway
https://twitter.com/ThinkAgain_DOS
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/10/us-state-department-still-incites-people-to-join-anti-syrian-terrorists.html

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October 28th, 2014, 5:06 pm

 

32. Ghufran said:

Muslims and Arabs in the West have paid, are paying and will continue to pay a discrimination tax because some Arabs and Muslims have engaged in terrorism acts. One would expect that this situation can strengthen unity in their communities but the opposite has happened. I can fill this forum with stories about how divided and fractured immigrant communities in the West have become. Most Muslims are bringing their social diseases to the West and the results are not pretty. The pathetic attitude of many American Muslims has become an infection affecting second generation Muslims in the West, some young Muslims have even decided to stab their adopted countries in the back and join militant groups that are openly calling for inflicting harm on western citizens.
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

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October 28th, 2014, 9:29 pm

 

33. Ghufran said:

Brian Whitaker :

Compulsion in religion is the ideological foundation stone of Isis and Islamist movements in general. Believing they have superior knowledge of God’s wishes for mankind, such groups feel entitled – even required – to act on his behalf and punish those who fail to comply with the divine will. In doing so, of course, they do not claim to be seeking power for themselves but merely trying to make the world more holy.
Bombing Isis and banning Islamist movements may suppress such movements for a while but it does nothing to address the ideological problem. Unless the question of compulsion in religion is tackled head-on, and in a serious way, they will resurface later or similar groups will emerge to replace them.
Although freedom of belief is a widely accepted principle internationally, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it is still far from becoming established in the Arab countries. This is true of both governments and society.

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October 28th, 2014, 11:05 pm

 

34. ALAN said:

Sami favorites : More Madness ?
Stephen Harper is the most deeply reviled Prime Minister in Canada’s history. On the world stage, he is the servant of Big Oil boiling oil out of tar-sands to destroy major river systems and pollute the planet with dirty oil, while his attack dog John Baird leads the warmongering and bullying of nations like Iran and Syria targeted by the US-Israeli axis
He is the most despotic and toxic first minister in the life of our country. His administration defunds every social program and life protective system it can. It strips the country of its public information infrastructures at every level – including now the gagging of non-profit NGO’s by eliminating their charitable status if they question any policy of his regime….
..
With most people not yet suspecting it, Harper rule is an Americanada mirror image of the jihad-fascism he uses to multiply his and his corporate allies’ rights and powers. Behind him lies the transnational money-sequence cancer he embodies in every policy line.

Prof. John McMurtry is the author of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40085.htm
Intercontinental foul smell emanating from Canada !

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October 29th, 2014, 4:25 pm

 

35. Sami said:

Actually I never voted for Harper or any MP from the Conservative Party. Many of the reasons are listed eloquently above.

I have voted mainly for the Liberal Party in the past but chose NDP last election. If elections would be called today I would most likely vote for LP lead by Justin Trudeau.

You see Allan, here in Canada we have a real choice in who we elect. Justin Trudeau has a very good chance next election to be Canada’s next Prime Minister matching his late father’s footprints, but unlike Bashar he did not inherit the merits to even have a chance to lead Canada, he earned it.

Now, is that too much to ask for in Syria as well? Or do you want to continue with the dreaded idiot that has lead Syria into ruins?

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October 29th, 2014, 11:02 pm

 

36. Sami said:

Dear Syrialover,

No need to apologize, we’re all allowed different opinions.

There is no law in Canada in having hateful thoughts, plenty of law’s for hateful actions.

Free Speech allows you to be the biggest idiot around, but that won’t stop you getting punched in the face:

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October 29th, 2014, 11:10 pm

 

37. ALAN said:

SAMI !
In Syria there are about 150 terrorists under the name of “Jihad” from all over Canada (incubator), the majority are from Calgary, the capital of conservative radicals.
What do you think Mr. Sami, when you have in Canada about 150 Syrian terrorist, modeled of ISIS walking around with their weapons in your cities?
Is not Harper and his cohorts are guilty of it?
Why talk about Canada like a paradise? The flaunt about Canada,provided by you is shameful.

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October 30th, 2014, 3:49 pm

 
 
 

40. abu riba bin riba bint riba said:

Al Wahn…hypocrites go to kufr country to be rich. They need to just enjoy their riba from yahudi and stop pretending to represent Islam while they make war with Allah and his messenger pweh!

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December 23rd, 2014, 3:55 pm

 

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