Syrian Refugees Collectivizing in Jordan Becomes a Security Issue — by Katy Montoya

Katy Montoya, an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, has undertaken some ambitious research on the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan. Following previous work on refugees in Jordan posted on Syria Comment (here, here, and here), some excerpts of Katy’s work are re-posted below; read her entire research article at the Institut de recherches et d’études sur le monde arabe et musulman. Follow Katy: @K4TYMONTOYA

Katy Montoya refugees Jordan IREMAM

 

… Jordanian policies toward entering and residing Syrians have evolved simultaneously with the three-and-a-half year conflict. Jordanian border security has, from the beginning, played a generous role in facilitating border crossings, ending the long, often dangerous journeys of fleeing Syrians. Various Jordanian officials in my interviews emphasized the extent of humanitarian care that Jordan provides for entering Syrians, in partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), from the border in. Unlike nearby Lebanon, the Jordanian government has worked with the UNHCR to open the al-Za’tari and al-Azraq refugee camps. Other camps include Cyber City, a holding facility for “illegal” Palestinian refugees from Syria (often referred to as PRS) and the Emirati (UAE-funded) camp.

Keeping a close count of registered Syrian refugees is difficult. Many Syrians enter Jordan illegally by bypassing official checkpoints. Increasingly, this is due to intensifying battles over border crossings between Jabhat an-Nusra, the Free Syrian Army, and al-Asad’s forces, and Jordan’s subsequent closing of bordering crossings.[5] Meanwhile, about a hundred thousand Syrians who once resided in Jordan’s refugee camps have voluntarily returned to Syria. Many have also escaped the camps for Jordan’s cities and rural areas in order to seek better conditions and work opportunities.[6] Thus, roughly twenty percent of Syrians in Jordan face poor camp conditions.[7] Overcrowding and poor sanitation prevail, especially in the al-Za’tari and Cyber City camps, despite the efforts of camp officials.

Meanwhile, eighty percent of Syrians now live outside Jordan’s refugee camps and struggle to obtain necessary goods and services. With the help of UN subsidies, Jordan has kept its public hospitals open to Syrian refugees for over three years, allowing refugees to access free healthcare. State officials abruptly announced the termination of these services in late November 2014, citing the heavy debts Jordan has accrued through extending free Health-care to Syrian refugees.[8]

… During the summer of 2014, rumors began to circulate in the international media concerning Jordan’s repatriation of illegal Syrian workers and the strict cap imposed on Syrian refugees awaiting entry at the border. Syrian social workers reported cases of Jordanian authorities forcefully relocating unregistered urban refugees to live in refugee camps. The interviews I conducted this summer with Syrian social workers upheld such claims. Meanwhile, the official Jordanian press denied Jordan’s involvement in deporting refugees back to Syria.[9] Months later, however, international organizations and researchers have indeed been able to substantiate the claims.

A November 2014 report released by Boston University (BU) compiles interviews with international organizations and the testimonials of impacted Syrians, providing conclusive evidence of Jordan’s practice of forced repatriation. In fact, escalating concerns over refugee control and domestic security have created a charged political climate surrounding these matters. It is becoming clear that new security priorities have prompted Jordanian authorities to deport threatening and nonthreatening Syrian refugees alike. As the BU report states, “Syrian nationals are being deported in some instances for violating laws, such as working illegally. Others are deported for posing security problems, usually as a result of political action, regardless of specific affiliation.”[10] Through this practice, Jordan may damage its international image, even though it is true that the kingdom is not a signee of the 1951 Refugee Convention. As my initial research problematic hypothesized, security concerns have come to dominate the Jordanian government’s approach to hosting Syrian refugees.

A Survey of Syrian Social Networks in Jordan

In his study of Islamist organizations in Jordan, Quintan Wiktorowicz concludes that the Jordanian state exercises authoritarian control over civil society formation and practices.[12] Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate, the Mukhabarat, are a major force in regulating the contents and activities of political parties, charities, and cultural organizations. While this holds true for Jordanian organizations, I discovered through my survey of civil society formation in Syrian refugee communities, that among this population, Jordan is only selectively regulatory. In other words, the state allows some organizations and groups to operate freely while others are closely monitored or banned altogether. An exploration of what is permitted, and under what conditions, should contribute to reveal the logic which is currently steering Jordan’s refugee policy, and by extension, what its political position towards the Syrian war may be. …

… In Irbid, the only surviving Syrian family support center (as of July 2014) has gone to a lot of trouble to abide by strict regulation requirements. The founder (a former activist from Dera’a) not only has sought the assistance of a European NGO partner, but also created two salaried positions for Jordanian workers, a heavy burden for a struggling non-profit, in order to justify its right to operate in Jordan. “If I didn’t do this, the authorities would close me down immediately,” she explained, referring to Jordan’s Ministry of Social Development. …

… Another member of the Syrian community in Irbid has established a sort of civil registry office in his living room, reprinting legal documents for Syrians who left their papers behind or whose documents have expired. Syrians come to his home office from various communities in North Jordan, seeking his services. For over a year, he has also assembled teams of Syrian activists to document human rights violations and civilian deaths wherever they have occurred in Syria. Volunteers in his office use testimonies and different methods of verification to create reports with titles like, “Violence Against Girls and Women in Dera’a” and “Attacks on Field Hospitals in Aleppo.”

The founder claims that when his documents first began surfacing, their factsWere at variance with the information published by the Syrian National Coalition (SNC). He relates this to the Jordanian Mukhabarat’s attempts to shut down his center—that is, until the Jordanian authorities had assessed the quality of his work. He provides legal documents in the hope they will be recognized by the Jordanian government and by international organizations. Meanwhile, his human rights work ties his center to political leaders, various armed opposition groups, journalists, activists, arms-traffickers, and local coordinating committees in Syria and neighboring countries. The capacity to obtain quantifiable evidence on events in Syria from Jordan is a testament to the organization and coherence of the transnational networks which bind the larger Syrian community together.

Extending Support to Non-Civilians

The informal networks that include non-civilians, particularly those that connect Syrian refugee communities to armed opposition groups in Syria, work in fairly similar ways. As Syrians collectivize to address civilian needs, it is not uncommon for them to engage with Syrians who have political and military affiliations. In my own experiences of visiting ostensibly civilian Syrian community centers, I encountered individuals who play more direct roles in the Syrian opposition on a regular basis: field doctors from battle sites in Dera’a, leaders of different divisions of South Syria’s FSA, prominent political activists and dissidents, and arms collectors. They often share family or hometown ties to Syrian community leaders in Jordan and use the resources made available by community networks to collect funds and supplies, relocate their families to Jordan, spread news, and discuss opposition strategies. As more Syrians flee to Jordan, the dynamics of civilian versus non-civilian have become increasingly complex. …

… The relative ease with which Syrians in Jordan connect with and support members of Syria’s opposition occurs in the context of implicitly partisan (non-neutral) practices. It is relatively well-known that the Syrian-Jordanian borders are spaces of cooperation between the Jordanian military and the FSA. My interviews with leaders of South Syria’s Military Council (i.e. the FSA), as well as with various media sources, confirm that implicit agreements between these military groups enable the free movement of FSA leaders across the border. Moreover, at one of the last border crossings to remain open at Ruwaishid, Jordanian intelligence and military actively facilitate the transport of arms, food, and medical supplies across the border into Syria, as well as the entry of refugees into Jordan.[14]

… The same standard applies to Jordan, as the kingdom has exercised diplomatic caution since early on in the conflict and claims to be a neutral bystander in the ongoing war.[16] In this context, the overlaps and contradictions between caring for Syrian civilians and managing the interests of the Syrian opposition are constant and ongoing. Keeping non-civilians out of Jordan becomes more complicated when dealing with Syrians who haven’t deliberately left their homes for Jordan (and are not actively seeking refugee status) but rather have been rushed to the borders by the FSA. As war casualties, they come from both civilian neighborhoods and from the battlefield, and their injuries largely exceed the capacities of Syrian field hospitals.

Although the Jordanian military and intelligence employ strict identification screening methods throughout the registration process for refugees, they generally apply much looser policies to Syrian casualties seeking medical treatment. The procedures set up to manage this influx supposedly privilege civilian victims and Syria’s moderate opposition (the FSA), yet Jordan’s open-door policy inadvertently extends to wounded fighters from al-Qaida’s affiliate, Jabhat an-Nusra, and possibly other groups active in Syria’s southern region.

Jordanian security, intelligence, and medical personnel are undoubtedly aware of this. Officials actively control the movement of Syrian trauma patients in Jordan in order to counterbalance their humanitarian open-door policies. Such practices were common when Palestinian refugees from Iraq living in Jordan’s Ruwaishid camp use to seek medical treatment in Jordan’s cities after the US invasion in 2003.[17] Today, members of Jordan’s Civilian Defense escort wounded Syrians to their first stop at the public Ramtha Government Hospital. From there, police officers supervise each patient’s stay, whether unaccompanied male or patient plus family, at one of the country’s several private, specialized hospitals. This route officially terminates at the Joint Registration Center at Ruba’a al-Sarhan, close to the Syrian border in the al-Mafraq governorate. There, individuals are registered and officials assess whether they should be sent to al-Za’tari camp (to be escorted by police to further medical appointments at a later date) or back to the dangerous zones in Syria from where they came.

The movement of Syrians through informal social networks is much harder for Jordan to regulate. Loopholes exist in the surveillance procedures that the state increasingly imposes on Syrian refugees. While Jordanian officials claim it is not possible for recovering Syrian trauma patients to evade the regulated system that leads them to al-Za’atari or back to Syria, certain intermediaries intervene on the behalf of these vulnerable individuals. One such Jordanian, bearing the pseudonym Abu Ahmad, a man from Zarqa City, works full-time in the service of the Syrian community. Since retiring from decades of membership in Jordanian Security, he has used his wasta, a cultural term denoting extensive social connections and a certain privilege and status, to pull young Syrian men out of this often merciless system. He frequently visits al-Za’tari Camp and private hospitals to follow up on special cases that come to his attention through his ties to the greater Syrian community. By mobilizing funds from wealthy Syrian donors abroad, he has established housing units for disabled ex-FSA fighters that provide ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation as well as living necessities. Even as a well-established East-Bank Jordanian, he is subject to monitoring by the Jordanian authorities. Abu Ahmad explains that the authorities’ primary concern is ensuring that only moderate Syrian nationals—not extremist fighters, Palestinian refugees from Syria, or foreign fighters—find refuge in Jordan.

Jordan has, perhaps, overcompensated to dispel rumors suggesting that it is providing refuge to non-moderate armed oppositions groups. At the same time, the evolution of its policies toward Syrian refugees reflects the increasing security concerns at its borders. An article from the Forced Migration Review notes that since 2013, “Jordan has imposed bans on unaccompanied men from entering the country.”[18] The rising threat of Islamic State fighters entering the country compounds existing fears of Syrian regime agents penetrating the closely monitored borders, as Jordanian border security officials explained to me. The same article describes a common occurrence in conflict-ridden countries, where a separate political logic often applies to male refugees of fighting age (as opposed to families, women, and children).[19] Specifically, host country policies toward adult males overemphasize their potential for taking up arms, and thus discriminate against them as assumed non-civilians. Scoping out possible threats to Jordan’s internal harmony and curbing extremism is increasingly being imposed at the expense of offering refuge to some of Syria’s most vulnerable displaced individuals. …

Syrian airstrike victim in Jordanian hospital

Victim of airstrike treated in ICU in Amman – Photo: IREMAM

 

Circles of Syrian Doctors Working in Jordan

… For over a year, it seemed that as long as Syrian doctors continued filling in for the lack of doctors treating incoming wounded Syrians, and as long as they steered clear of politics, the Jordanian government would continue to turn something of an acquiescent blind eye to these predominantly wageless doctors. However, an article by Human Rights Watch announced the recent deportation of Syrian medical workers “caught” treating Syrian patients at Ramtha Public Hospital as well as at private hospitals around Jordan.[21] It is safe to conclude that Jordanian authorities have already closed, or may soon close, rehabilitation centers and Syrian hospital wards which have provided the materials for a part of this present study.

Monitoring a Situation in Flux

Jordan’s steady deviation from humanitarian obligation reveals the Kingdom’s apprehensions about hosting another refugee population, on a long-term basis. It is indeed relevant to wonder whether Jordan’s growing impatience stems in fact from the utter lack of any solution to Syria’s persistent war. In the light of the escalating security concerns that cooperation with the FSA raises, perhaps the costs of quietly supporting Syria’s moderate opposition are too high. Through its recent political moves, Jordan may be seen to be sending an implicit message to the refugees and to the international community—that is, a desire to reduce involvement in Syrian affairs. However, could it also be that after three and a half years of conflict, the Jordanian government, like a significant number of Syrian refugees, is considering reconciliation with the al-Asad regime?[22]

Most importantly for this research, it is crucial to raise the question of just how far Jordan’s evolving political agenda will affect its treatment of Syrian refugees and the resulting wellbeing of these communities. Can their informal networks withstand repressive host country policies? How will underhand practices like repatriation undermine the resilience and cohesiveness of the larger Syrian community?

Life has come to a halt for Syrians in Jordan, who have little access to higher education, healthcare, and work. For many, Jordan is just a temporary stopover before the refugees move on to Turkey or undertake the dangerous trip to Europe. As European Union member countries and Australia are offering thousands of resettlement and asylum opportunities to Syrians, the common perception is that better treatment and possibilities are awaiting them there.[23] While Jordan is becoming an increasingly undesirable place for Syrians to live and be, most have no option but to stay put and wait it out.

Read the entire research article

Comments (89)


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51. omen said:

alan any documents corroborate wes clark’s hearsay?

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March 3rd, 2015, 1:29 am

 

52. omen said:

via @notgeorgesabra

this blew my mind…

In view of the fact that the city people, and in particular the members of the professions and the commercial and industrial middle and lower middle classes in Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Hamah and Hims, form a very significant element in terms not only of numbers but also of skills, education, administrative competence and economic savoir faire, the neglect of their interests by the Ba’th leaders in the 1960s, through the application of insufficiently considered socialist measures, and the fierce hostility that this aroused, exposed the Ba’th regime to great perils. It is the realization by Asad of the necessity of moderating the urban-rural conflict that formed a principal point of strength of his government in the 1970s. By propitiating the urban middle classes, through the adoption of a limited “open door” economic policy, Asad added to the durability of his regime. This policy explains to no little degree why the Damascenes, its main beneficiaries, did not join, in any serious manner, in the violent urban risings of 1979-1981 against Asad’s government.

had elites been less comfortable, the revolt that culminated in hama 1982 might have succeeded in overthrowing assad regime. history would have changed, we would have had a different syria and we wouldn’t be seeing the catastrophe and ruin we are seeing today.

going along to get along has consequences. you pay more in the end if you put off the inevitable.

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March 3rd, 2015, 1:48 am

 

53. Observer said:

Still MJALABLI what is the position of the illustrious community on where to stand in this mess? They are ” dying by the thousands protecting his rule ” as you correctly point out, but then the question remains: did he take the community hostage? or did the community willingly joined forces with his ” rule “? If the former, it is time to declare a position and vote with their feet, if it is the later then let us know that it is so. I do agree with you that the clan did everything and allied with whomever and used any willing servant and allied itself with the devil even and posited itself as protector of minorities and majorities and Israel and resistance all to stay in power. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Today there is a clan in power over a garbage dump stinking with death and chlorine gas.

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March 3rd, 2015, 7:34 am

 

54. SANDRO LOEWE said:

49. MJABALI,

It seems there is nothing to discuss with you. Your way of thinking is absolutely sectarian from the first day you appeared here. You analize all in terms of sunni majority versus minorities, there is nothing out of it. You just intervene when someone mentions the alawite regime. You act for sectarian reasons. This is exactly what Assads have been doing for the last 45 years so they can keep power in their hands stopping any representative aspiration.

Your denfense of other minorities is false, you just care for them as long as they protect the rule of alawites.

My brother, I am a Christian and I do not give you my support for being an alawite and I do not hate sunna at all. The self fulfilling prophecy of Assad about Sunna killing all minorities does not work. It is all false, it just worked in Raqqa and Mosul because Iran and Assad created them for this purpose.

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March 3rd, 2015, 8:01 am

 

55. mjabali said:

Observaaar:

You should know where the “illustrious community” of the Alawites stand these days. If you do not صح النوم

Your choice of adjective to describe the Alawite Community reflects an envy from them, and/or the Ibn Taymiyah syndrome where you speak to anyone who is not a Sunni from a specific school as less ….

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March 3rd, 2015, 9:17 am

 

56. mjabali said:

“brother” Sandro Low:

No one expects you to be with the Alawites. You hate them. You stated that clearly in many of your posts. You curse at them. You call them names. You have a bad experience with them. No problem. You have your own stance.

But: say the truth about them. That is all. You are a fair game when you insult them across the board.

Those who are with or against Assad gonna come after you.

When you insult the Alawites over and over have some thick skin when they come after you. Do not cry ….

The Alawites do not have that many independent voices. Also the non Alawites want to talk to Alawies and do not know how. people like you mr. Sandro attack the first Alawite they see. Please know where I stand before you fabricate things about me You are behaving like a child or like an angry drunk.

You claim to be a Christian, but you talk like Jihadis….I personally do not care what you are. Why should I care.
where you stand is what matters to me personally.

There are Christians against Assad and more Christians with al-Assad.

As for the Minorities and where you stand from the Sunnis that is also your choice, if you do not see them as a threat that is your choice. Put that against what happened to the minorities in the middle east and let us see how deep you are sticking your head under the sand.

Minorities in the Middle East are getting wiped out by the hands of …?

Dear Syrian brother Sandro Lowe: What happened to the minorities in Syria and Iraq is atrocious and astonishing and if you wanna keep getting drunk singing Jihadi songs with the Sunni Jihadis that is your choice.

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March 3rd, 2015, 9:27 am

 

57. SANDRO LOEWE said:

55. Brother MJARALI

I do not insult alawites, sunna or christians. You did.

I am just against the sectarian dictatorship that play with the fears and blood of the minorities and with huge amounts of lifes in the oppositon.

Dear brother MJABALI what happend in Raqqa and Mosul is happening because all of Assad, Iran and Obama wants it to happen. As long as you begin to accept facts and reality it will be much easier for you to understand what is coming next

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March 3rd, 2015, 10:41 am

 

58. ALAN said:

50. OMEN
Please clarify the question

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March 3rd, 2015, 3:28 pm

 

59. Observer said:

I am at a loss of where you find insult or injury? If someone is so thin skinned that every word is interpreted in a prism of pre conceived ideas then there is really no debate. The question is where can I find data on where the community stands? Just point out to me the documents and sites where it is clearly stated. Again 100% neutral not trying to bait or provoke, simply ignorant of the data and where to find it. Another unanswered question: since the community has “their kids dying in the thousands for the regime” were they coerced or participated willingly and if the later was it out of fear and lack of any alternative.
As for Ibn Taymmiah I have heard of him but never read his writings, I know that he is a source of some of the latest mumbo jumbo coming out of some of the Sunni fanatics and his mentioning remains irrelevant to the questions I asked.

Really now, simple neutral questions.

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March 3rd, 2015, 3:32 pm

 

60. omen said:

enjoy your afternoon tea.

how many syrians will apologists continue to sacrifice??

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March 3rd, 2015, 7:08 pm

 

61. Uzair8 said:

Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi @Shaykhabulhuda · Mar 2
On Nov. 26th, Al-Jazeera America interviewed me in their NY studio on ISIS, but the interview has not been aired; I challenge them to air it

https://twitter.com/Shaykhabulhuda/status/572569501578993664

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March 4th, 2015, 1:28 am

 

62. Uzair8 said:

Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi @Shaykhabulhuda · Mar 2
Al-Jazeera Arabic, refers to ISIS in the news as “the Islamic State”. They should say, “the so-called IS”; do they think it is legitimate?

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March 4th, 2015, 1:29 am

 

63. Mina said:

When the spiritual leaders of the minorities sell them instead of calling for resistance, you really wonder in what kind of world we live
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/agreement-between-walid-jumblatt-and-al-nusra-front

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March 4th, 2015, 10:56 am

 

64. mjabali said:

Observaaar:

If you want to know why the Alawites stick to defend al-Assad, read Ibn Taymiyah.

To make things easy for you:

All, I say all, Sunnis in Syria are affected one way or another by and from the teachings/Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyah. Also, All none Sunnis in Syria were affected directly because of the teachings/Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyah.

So, instead of reading mumbo jumbo from your hero Renan, read a little about Ibn Taymiyah the man who shaped modern Islam like no other….

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March 4th, 2015, 1:18 pm

 

65. Sami said:

“All, I say all, Sunnis in Syria are affected one way or another by and from the teachings/Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyah. “

If that is not visceral hatred of sunnis, I don’t know what is.

You call out people of being sectarian when they mention anything about Alawites, yet feel so inclined to literally spout sectarian venom again ALL Sunnis.

You espouse a primitive thinking that is just as backwards as the idiotic sunni fanatics that are spewing hatred based on primitive interpretation.

No Mjabali, not ALL sunnis follow Ibn Tamiyah or give a big ol’pile of sh!t about him. Not all sunnis are out to kill Alawites, enslave them, and rape their daughters. Sunnis are not the boogey man haunting your dreams either.

Most Alawites dying today are soldiers, while most Sunnis dying are unfortunately civilian… Justifying their massacre by invoking history as an excuse because Ibn Tamiya made a fatwa that you believe has encompassed every sunni from thereafter in its guilt is just callously ignorant of reality.

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March 4th, 2015, 2:29 pm

 

66. omen said:

58. ALAN said: Please clarify the question

alan, any evidence for what wes clark is saying?

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March 4th, 2015, 4:36 pm

 

67. Alan said:

سني ، علوي ، علوي ، سني ، مسيحي ، درزي ، كردي تركماني ، فالج و لا تعالج ، توقفوا عن التكلم بهذه اللغة يبدوا كانكم تخدمون لدى برنارد هنري ليفي .

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March 4th, 2015, 4:40 pm

 

68. omen said:

jihadi john used to be shia!

Emwazi said to have converted from Shiism after meeting Mohsin al-Fadhli

someone else notes fadhli trained in iran.

filed under “stuff cnn wont tell you.”

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March 4th, 2015, 4:42 pm

 

69. Alan said:

Omen:
The Q is of your competent. I am living here in Russia. You can ask me po russki

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March 4th, 2015, 4:47 pm

 

70. omen said:

69. alan

in other words, you lack evidence at the moment.

*smile*

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March 4th, 2015, 5:26 pm

 

71. Mina said:

Thanks to whom has posted this on the SC twitter thread. Amazing reading.

“Before joining the jihad in Libya, and while he was still in Iran, ‘Urwah sent Rahman an email saying that “some of the Libyan brothers in England had talked to him about” an alleged offer.

According to Rahman’s summary of the email, which he relayed to bin Laden, the British wanted to cut a deal. “British Intelligence spoke to them (these Libyan brothers in England), and asked them to try to contact the people they knew in al Qaeda to inform them of and find out what they think about the following idea: England is ready to leave Afghanistan [if] al Qaeda would explicitly commit to not moving against England or her interests.”

Read more: http://uk.businessinsider.com/thomas-joscelyn-al-qaeda-was-planning-to-hijack-the-arab-spring-2015-3?r=US#ixzz3TSFfOUIK

Sounds familiar?

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March 4th, 2015, 5:28 pm

 

72. Observer said:

Still MJABALI where do I find any documents or data on the position of the Alawi community towards the regime. If as you say the kids of the community have died in the thousands defending the regime, were they coerced or were they willing participants. You said to leave the community out of the discussion about the regime, so all I am asking is that you tell me or show me where to find the data. Please do not respond a cote de la question by mentioning Ibn this or Ibn that and by single mindedly painting all Sunnis with one single brush stroke of being this or that. In reality it is equivalent to the Sunnis applying a single brush stroke to paint the Alawis to justify their oppression or the Nazis painting the Jews so as to exterminate them.

Just answer the question please as where I can find information about the position of the Alawi community on the regime.

As for reading I am re reading ” In the First Circle ” Solzjhenistin about the Kafkaesque system of the Gulag in the former Soviet Union, I recommend it, another book that I recommend you read is
Why Nations Fail; MIT press if I am not mistaken.

Cheers.

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March 4th, 2015, 5:39 pm

 

73. mjabali said:

Sami:

It is really great that not all Syrian Sunnis follow Ibn Taymiyah.

But, that does not mean that the teachings of Ibn Taymiyah did not affect everyone in the Syrian society, one way or another.

The line of rulers who followed the Fatwas of Ibn Taymiyah did not stop from the 14th C. till the 20th C. On top of all of that, his influence is getting stronger by the day especially with all of this sectarian ideas flying around.

The Sunnis has to stand up to the hardline Islam Ibn Taymiyah presented through out history.

I never saw a Sunni cleric standing up to Ibn Taymiyah to tell minorities like the one I came from, that you may have a chance to live.

Where is the Syrian Sunni cleric who did this? Who is the Syrian Sunni cleric that ever challenged the Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyah against the Alawites?

As for the dead, there are civilians on both sides. There is bombing against many Alawite and Shia villages and towns daily. People die there, but not on the same scale amongst Sunni civilians. This needs to stop at all costs.

al-Assad kills more Sunnis, that is true because he has more weapons, but, the Sunnis would kill many Alawites if they could. There was never an indication that things are going to be another way. Who comforted the Alawites about their future? Do you know anyone mr. Sami?

This is what we came up to. If we can not see this truth there is no way to stop this mad slaughter of Syrians from all parties.

All the insults you threw at me are forgiven because I know that you are the type of a Syrian who loves all and hate to be labelled that he hates others. Please look around you at where we are.

I hate no one, but, I tell things how they are.

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March 4th, 2015, 8:47 pm

 

74. mjabali said:

Observaaar:

First instead of wasting your time with these books read something that would teach you something about the place where you were born: that is Syria.

I recommend a very important book to you to start:

Fatawa Ibn Taymiyah مجموعة فتاوى شيخ الإسلام إبن تيمية

It is online and you could read it for free. The Jihadis and Saudia Arabia made sure to have this multi volume book available. The Saudi educational system is based on it. Wahabisim is based on it too. Reading this book would help you mr. Observaar understand where the Alawites stand today.

As for the data regarding where the Alawite stand today, come on, who is the champ who can make a survey amongst the Alawites?

Who is the brave Alawite who would talk to strangers about where he stand in this especially for those who live in Syria.

There is no free will in Syria, so how come you gonna have a survey? Where do you live mr. Observacions…apparently you can not observe the real situation of the Alawites…

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March 4th, 2015, 9:15 pm

 

75. Sami said:

Moaz Al-Khatib, Jawdat Said, and Yacoubi are to name a few. They have never called for anything harmful against people of other faiths. The exact opposite actually is what they preach.

And if an atheist that cares nothing about religion can attest to that why can’t you?

Also Mr. mjabali, I have lost dear and close people to Assads barbarism. One was even tortured to death calling for Syrian unity and the respect of international law and the rejection of violence. Your excuse that maybe because he was Sunni he deserves to be tortured into the skeleton corpse his body was delivered to his wife is utterly disgusting and is an incitement for horror.

So spare me your condescending tirade, not just Alawites know the meaning of loss.

If there was sectarianism from the revolution in its infancy it was far and few in between. The vast majority were calling for peaceful change while Alawite Generals were ordering their death, detention and torture. When Daraya rose up following the heroics of Gaith Matar it was barrel bombed and “cleansed”, and this sad story is true all over the map in Syria. The rate of soldiers killed to that of peaceful protestors is staggareing and anyone wanting to argue otherwise needs their moral compass checked.

Nothing, absolutely nothing justified their murder, detention and torture en masse.

If Sunnis need to reject the evilly within their community so do the Alawites. If reconciliation can ever be archived in our country every community in Syria needs to come to terms with the ugly truth about their own communities deeds.

I might be an atheist but the truth is I was as a Sunni and with that I was brought up with a certain set in beliefs and traditions, none of which ever was remotely close to the venom Ibn Tamiyah and his ilk spew. So, No, I was never influenced by him and I know this because I know how I was raised and what influenced me better than anyone else would like to think otherwise.

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March 4th, 2015, 9:43 pm

 

76. Uzair8 said:

Mohamed Al-Yaqoubi, Shaykh in Exile

21st Feb 2015

[…]

As soon as the first demonstrations began, he sent a letter, through a mutual friend, to President Bashar al-Assad, whom he had previously met. In the letter, he asked, amongst other things, for the release of several political prisoners, as well as insisting on the removal of officials who were involved in the repression, from their posts. During our interview he told me, “I wanted to preserve national unity before it was too late.”

[…]

From abroad he began issuing statements, some of which rocked Syrian public opinion. Such as when he suggested that the killing of the popular Shaykh Al-Buti, who was known to be close to the regime in Syria and was killed in a bombing in 2013, might have been an operation conducted by Syria’s security services. Shaykh Al-Yaqoubi tells me about Shaykh al-Buti that, “He whispered that he was preparing for his defection,” without masking his hostility towards Shaykh Al-Buti, nor his sadness upon learning of his passing.

[…]

“I put mercy and the preservation of life at the centre of my actions,” he stresses, and pontificates that his role in a liberated Syria will be, above all, “To absorb all this accumulated anger, and let it diffuse within him.” In a closing, more muted tone, he offers, enigmatically, smiling, with a whisper, “The heart can sometimes do things that politics is unable to…”

http://sacredknowledge.co.uk/index.php/entry/45-mohamed-al-yaqoubi%2C-shaykh-in-exile

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March 4th, 2015, 11:17 pm

 

77. Mjabali said:

Sami:

Actions speak louder than words. Mo’az al-Khatib, Ya’cubi and Jawdat Said did nothing practical to reach out to the Alawites. Nothing…nada…few words here and there do not cut it.

These days, if you did not notice, Mo’az al-Khatib defends Zahran Allouch the known sectarian who sends rockets into Alawaite areas in Latakia almost on daily basis these days.

What happened to your friend in the prisons of al-Assad is a crime and those who did it should face justice.

Every Syrian had lost dear ones in this mess, if not by al-Assad, it happened by the others.

Only rationality could solve the Syrian bloody mess.

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March 4th, 2015, 11:48 pm

 

78. Sami said:

Mjabali

I don’t espouse hatred, never have. I don’t for a second believe that you should pay for Assad’s and his generals crimes because they happen to be Alawite.

I know the actions these idiots took is not only to the detriment of Syria but is especially so to the Alawite community, it is being held hostage by the clan that will kill its own mother in order to stay in power. They do not “protect” nor do they care for the Alawites. Just themselves and their own survival.

Just as you don’t want Alawites to be held responsible for Assad why should Sunnis be held responsible for Daesh and Ibn Tamiyah?

If I use the same logic you’re using then all Alawites have been affected by Assad and therefore they all want to kill Sunnis. Doesn’t this statement boggle your mind and anger you for its generalization and deception that it is? Why can’t you see how your statements have the same effect otherwise?

You’re a very logical person from what I have read here Mjabali, proud of your community and your origin. I agree with most of what you say, but that was abhorrent and I am sorry to say so. FYI I will never identify you as an Alawite, not because there is anything wrong with that there isn’t but because I know you want what’s best for Syria as a whole and not just your community.

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March 5th, 2015, 12:08 am

 

79. Observer said:

To echo Sami’s comments, let me just note the following:
1. MJABALI states that the Alawite community should be “left out” and not associated with the regime.
2. The community is suffering as their kids are fighting to preserve the regime.
3. The community is sticking with the regime because what they see in front of them is a Sunni community in its totality following Ibn T’s teachings and thought process.
4. There is no way to find out what the community thinks as we cannot do a survey in such conditions (as if a survey was possible in peacetime before) and as if I asked for a survey results anyway.
5. There has never been a Fatwa denouncing Ibn T by Sunni clerics, yet there has never been an equal Fatwa denouncing the clan by Alawi clerics either.
All I am asking is for him to quote for me the declarations of any of the great Alawi community leaders, knowing very well that Khaier is in prison, but what about others does he know where they stand, officially or otherwise?

I am sorry to say that in his hatred and in his pigeon holing me into a Sunni fanatic no matter what I say he does not seem to read correctly what I am writing. I agree with him that the community suffered at the hands of the clan and that it will face a terrible fate when the regime falls and that this fear is driving them to fight to the death.

What I can note is the following: the regime is not capable of regaining the initiative, it is now buying time with the idea that the longer it lasts the more exhausted the population is and then it can negotiate a settlement; its offensives here and there are bogging down and taking this “strategic hill” or that “strategic village” is just hogwash. From what I gather, it is forcing young people to join its forces and sending them untrained to battle. It is being propped up at an ever increasing cost to its allies.

What I also note from the conversation is that MJABALI has now admitted that the regime is sectarian, is community based especially after the 82 fight with the stupid MB that wanted it sectarian to the hilt as well. Having said that the regime actually built institutions under the father only to have the son and his clan destroy that. As a matter of fact, if one is to enumerate the accomplishments of the son in an objective way one is hard to find any. As for building an Arab Syrian national identity it failed miserably and in this it is only equal to the so called “outside opposition” that sits in Paris and London cafes and pontificates.

Last but not least, it seems to me that Ibn T’s fatwas have actually become fully internalized not only among ” All Sunnis” but in a perverse way amongst ALL MINORITIES for they cannot look another in the eye without wondering how much of Ibn T’s fatwas are in his mind 🙂
Cheers

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March 5th, 2015, 7:47 am

 

80. ALAN said:

U.S., Qatar Plan To Rebrand AlQaeda Into “Moderate” Rebels

The CIA supported and equipped “moderate” rebels in Syria are losing out against al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. The last “moderate” group active in north Syria, Harakat Hazzm, had to give up its headquarter -including a warehouse full of U.S. weapons- to Jabhat al Nusra and dissolved. Many of its members then joined Nusra.

The U.S. military plans to recruit, pay and train new “moderate” rebels but the effort is starting veeerrry slow. Just 100 have been vetted so far to be “moderate” enough for the program. There are simply too few non-Jihadi rebels and warlords available who are willing to die for U.S. dollars.

A solution to the lack of qualified “moderate” personal is the rebranding of non-moderate groups into “moderates”. James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, recently moved into that direction:……

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41138.htm

Dempsey!
Are you Generale, or thimble player?
Obama!
Why are you spin and rotate? Be a man and do not hide behind your shadow if you want total war you have to announce it frankly, without a lie and hypocrisy. stop lying to your people. You will not be able to enter the big war because your mother will imprecate you, O deviant.

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March 5th, 2015, 4:55 pm

 

81. ghufran said:

A painful blow to Nusra terrorist group in Syria one day after it tried to take AFI compound in Aleppo. Qatar and Turkey are feverishly trying to rehabilitate the terrorist group or establish a new entity that evades the “terrorist” label but still fight hizbullah and the Syrian army.

“Al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing, the Nusra Front, announced on Thursday the death of its top military commander, whom insurgent sources said died in an air strike that targeted senior militant leaders.
General Military Commander Abu Humam al-Shami, a veteran of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, was the most senior member of the group to die in the Syria war, according to to an insurgent source.
The jihadist group used social media to announce that three other leaders were also killed.
But there was no word on the group’s overall leader, Abu Mohammed al-Jolani, who was also reportedly at the meeting in the northwestern province of Idlib.
Insurgent sources said a US-led coalition air strike hit the gathering in Salqin, near the border with Turkey, but a coalition spokesman said it had not conducted air strikes in the province during the past 24 hours”
(The Telegraph)

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March 5th, 2015, 8:06 pm

 

82. omen said:

how many of you know this forest? assad burned it down.

you might not care about fellow human beings but surely a true patriot would object to iran steamrolling in to decimate the glory that is syria.

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March 6th, 2015, 9:03 pm

 

83. Alan said:

Israel threatens Press TV Syria reporter over Golan photos
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1ca_1425702552#5DyjcgOGIuUP1YM6.99

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March 7th, 2015, 9:27 am

 
 

85. ALAN said:

Is Obama Pursuing Regime Change in Israel?

A rally seeking change in Israel’s leadership attracted tens of thousands to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night. According to the event’s organizers, more than 35 thousand people attended.

Former GOC Northern Command and deputy Mossad chief Amiram Levin is among the speakers at the “Israel Wants Change” event, and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan announced last week that he will also speak.

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March 7th, 2015, 3:47 pm

 

86. Observer said:

It is interesting to note the symbiotic relationship between the “resistance regime” and IS as the news of their selling and buying oil has made it to the sanctions of the “dealer” in charge of these transactions: Once again the situation is opaque but please oh please do not tell me that there is anything else but power worship to stay on top even it it is a garbage dump

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Mar-08/290015-eu-targets-syrian-middleman-it-says-bought-oil-from-isis.ashx

On a different note the silence is quite deafening but then again I guess that there is nothing to say except that Ibn T’s thought process is 100% prevalent in every living creature in the ME.

🙂 Cheers

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March 8th, 2015, 9:06 am

 

87. ghufran said:

It does not look like the recent advances of the army in northern Latakia are similar to the old back and forth business. The army is now trying to Take Selma after taking Doureen despite the influx of “mujahideen” from Turkey. You know that something big is happening when the Othmani Khoja of the Istanbul coalition issues a “warning” about impending “massacres” by the Syrian army in villages currently occupied by foreign jihadists and Turkmen thugs. Also, the head of a Turkmen group has asked the UNSC to stop the army from “occupying” Turkmen villages in Syria(!!).
Nusra and ISIS (and the garbage in between)are now in control of 90% or more of rebels-held areas in Syria.
طز فيكن و بالثورة تبعكن

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March 8th, 2015, 1:13 pm

 

88. ALAN said:

Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL?
ISIS in the Court of Miracles
http://journal-neo.org/2015/03/08/isis-in-the-court-of-miracles/

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March 8th, 2015, 3:57 pm

 

89. ALAN said:

Washington and ISIS: The Evidence
‘The creative destruction?’
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41168.htm

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March 8th, 2015, 6:53 pm

 

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