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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘shia’

Obama Picks up too Late on the Threat from Syrian Rebels

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

While far too late, the Obama administration may be adopting a sensible policy on Syria. The strategy, however, is unlikely to succeed. Oh, and there is also a very important clue—I think the key to the puzzle—about what really happened in Benghazi.

Let’s begin with Syria. As U.S. officials became increasingly worried about the visible Islamist domination of the Syrian opposition—which their own policies had helped promote—they have realized the horrible situation of creating still another radical Islamist regime. (Note: This column has been warning of this very point for years.)

So the response is to try to do two things. The first is to train, with Jordanian cooperation, a more moderate force of Free Syrian Army (FSA) units. The idea is to help the non-Islamists compete more effectively with the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist, and especially al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra group) affiliated units.

The second is supposedly to create a buffer zone along Syria’s borders with Jordan and perhaps later Israel and even Iraq in order to avoid the conflict spilling over—i.e., cross-border jihad terror attacks—to those countries. According to the Washington Post:

The last thing anyone wants to see is al-Qaeda gaining a foothold in southern Syria next to Israel. That is a doomsday scenario,” said a U.S. diplomat in Jordan who was not authorized to speak publicly on the subject.

Someone has also figured out that it isn’t a great idea to have a border with Iraq controlled by Syrian Sunni Muslim terrorist Islamists allied with the Sunni terrorists in Iraq who killed so many Americans. Well, might someone not have thought about that a year or two ago? Because, while nothing could have been more obvious there was no step taken to prevent this situation happening.

I should point out an important distinction. The problem is not merely al-Qaeda gaining a foothold but also other Salafists or the Muslim Brotherhood doing so. That, however, is not how the Obama administration thinks. For it, al-Qaeda is evil; the other Salafists somewhat bad; and the Muslim Brotherhood good.

What are the problems here? As so often happens with Western-formulated clever ideas to deal with the Middle East, there are lots of them:

–The United States has stood aside or even helped arm the Islamists through Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. So now the Islamist forces are far stronger than the non-Islamists. That cannot be reversed at this point.

–Might this buffer zone plan be laying the basis for a second Syrian civil war in which the Islamists band together against the FSA? In other words, here is this buffer zone that is backed by the West (imperialism!) to “protect” Israel (the Zionists!), Jordan (traitorous Muslims!), and Iraq (Shia heretics!)

–The training is limited and the FSA is badly divided among different commanders, defected Syrian army officers, and local warlords. The Brotherhood militia is united and disciplined. The result will be worse than Afghanistan because the Islamists would have both the government and the stronger military forces.

–A situation is being set up in which a future Muslim Brotherhood regime in Syria can blackmail the United States. Either it will force Washington to accept whatever it does (including potential massacres) by threatening to unleash Salafist forces on its borders or it will actually create confrontations.

–Why isn’t the United States working full-time to stop the arms flows to the Islamists by pressuring the Saudis and Qataris (perhaps the point of Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip but hardly effective) and to rein in Turkey’s enthusiasm for a Syrian Islamist regime?

Speaking of Turkey, now we see the reason for the attempted Israel-Turkey rapprochement, because on top of everything else there will be a Kurdish-ruled zone not run by moderates but by the Syrian affiliate of the radical PKK, which is at war with Turkey.

–These proposed buffer zones would not receive Western air support or international forces. Israel has the experience of maintaining a buffer zone in southern Lebanon for years by supporting a militia group. It succeeded for a long time by sending in Israeli troops covertly and taking casualties. In the end, rightly or wrongly, the effort was given up. Now Hizballah—the equivalent though not the friend of the Syrian Salafists—is sitting on the border and already one war has been fought. It should be noted that Israel has by far the most defensible border with Syria.

What is Really ‘Broken’ In Syria?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Among the many noteworthy aspects of President Barack Obama’s recent tour of the Middle East was a comment on March 22, during a press conference with Jordanian King Abdullah II. Obama said, “Something has been broken in Syria, and it’s not going to be put back together perfectly, immediately, anytime soon – even after Assad leaves.”

Although the characterization of Syria’s condition was accurate, Syria has been “broken” for a longer time than most Weste­rners seem to think. A religious fissure in Syrian society – a tear that has now widened into a civil war and filled up with blood, bodies, and ruins – dates at least to 1970. That was the year Hafez Al-Assad (1930-2000), father of the current dictator, Bashar Al-Assad, who are both members of the Alawite religious minority, seized power within the Syrian wing of the Ba’ath party, which had ruled the country since a coup in 1963.

Supporting both Al-Assads, and serving as their main subordinates and followers, were – and are – other members of the Alawite denomination, which some consider Muslim and others do not. The world was slow to recognize in the Syrian civil conflict, commencing in 2011, a sectarian confrontation. The Syrian war pits the Alawites, who are typically counted as about 11% of the country’s population of 22.5 million, against the Sunni Muslims, who total around 75%. There is also a small Alawite presence in Lebanon, which is vulnerable to involvement in the Syrian contest.

When Hafez Al-Assad became dictator of Syria, Alawites had already infiltrated the Syrian army on a wide scale, a pattern that began under the French mandate controlling Syria from 1920 to 1946. Hafez Al-Assad installed still more Alawites as Ba’athist leaders, at the summits of military elite and state administration in Syria – an Alawite ascendancy maintained by Bashar Al-Assad. Between the Alawites and the Sunni Arabs stand small communities of Sunni Kurds and Turkmens, Christians, Druze (an esoteric faith derived from Shia Islam), other variants of traditional Shi’ism, and even a microscopic Jewish contingent. While favoring the Alawite minority, the Al-Assad regime pursued, under both father and son, a policy of public secularism. This included protection of the marginal creeds, as a bulwark against the overwhelming Sunni multitude.

Even though the Alawites are typically described as an “offshoot of Shia Islam,” from their emergence in the 9th century until the 20th century, their identification with an Islam of any kind has been denied by Muslim rulers and theologians.

Rejection of their claim as Muslims was, and is, based above all on their worship, as God, of Ali Ibn Abi Talib – the fourth caliph who succeeded Muhammad (and three others from among Muhammad’s companions). Ali, assassinated in 661 CE, was a cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, and is considered by Shias to have possessed divine knowledge – one of the core differences between Shias and Sunnis, who refuse any such an assumption about Ali.

All Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, accept Ali as a righteous leader of the Muslims. The Alawites, however, have taken their devotion to Ali so far as to believe that Ali was the creator of the world, of humanity, of Muhammad of a third member of the “Alawite trinity,” Salman Al-Farsi, a companion of Muhammad and the first translator of the Koran out of Arabic, into his native Persian. Ali, as the Alawites conceive him, was the final manifestation of God.

The notion that Ali was God and created Muhammad, has been treated by Sunnis and, until the late 20th century, conventional Shia Muslims, as a departure from Islam, if not a tradition with which Islam was never directly involved. The Alawite sect has been said by foreign scholars to have roots in, and reflections of, ancient Phoenician practices, Persian religious movements derived from Zoroastrianism, and even Christianity.

Through the centuries, several important Sunni fatwas [Islamic clerical judgments] proclaimed that the Alawites were not Muslim. These fatwas include three issued by Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), an ultra-fundamentalist Sunni, considered the leading forerunner of Wahhabism, the state religion in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda frequently praises Ibn Taymiyya a a source of inspiration. Ibn Taymiyya’s knowledge of the Alawites, however, was imperfect, according to Yvette Talhamy of the University of Haifa, who summarized 650 years of fatwas made against Alawaites in a 2010 article in Middle East Studies, “The Fatwas and the Nusayri/Alawits of Syria.” In 1516 and in the 1820s, high Ottoman Sunni clerics issued even more fatwas against the Alawites which justified repression of the minority.

Jordan Warns Obama on Islamists

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

“Don’t scare anyone. But once you gain ground then move ahead. You must utilize as many people as possible who may be of use to us.”
–Joseph Stalin to future Communist dictator of Hungary Mattyas Rakosi, December 5, 1944.

It really isn’t too hard to understand what is happening in the Middle East if you watch the facts.

Jordan’s King Abdallah, who President Barack Obama just visited, is clearly telling us what’s going wrong. The Muslim Brotherhood is dangerous and so why is the United States supporting it? Presumably, this is what Abdullah told Obama.

U.S. policy is now escalating support for a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Syria and the Syrian rebels increasingly have open Brotherhood leadership.

Repression is gradually escalating in Egypt with arrests of moderates, Islamists being sent to the military academy, and many more measures.

Regarding Jordan, Jeffrey Goldberg’s has done an extremely valuable profile of Abdullah. The Jordanian monarch is telling Western visitors that their countries are making a big mistake by supporting the Islamists. He complains that the U.S. State Department is ignoring his complaints and that U.S. officials are telling him, “The only way you can have democracy is through the Muslim Brotherhood.”

He responds that the Brotherhood wants to impose anti-American reactionary governments and that his “major fight” is to stop them. No margin may be left for relative moderate and pro-American states between a Sunni Islamist alliance led by Egypt and including Turkey versus a Shia-Islamist alliance led by Iran says Abdullah and he’s right. The only difference, Abdullah explains, between the Turkish and Egyptian regimes are their timetables for installing dictatorships. Egypt’s new president, says the king, is obsessed with a hostile view of Israel.

Here’s the delicious irony: Last August the Jordanian Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh launched a ferocious personal attack on me. Why? Because I said that the Sunni-Shia battle was going to replace the Arab-Israeli conflict. Well, that’s what his king just said.

Meanwhile, as President Barack Obama was love-bombing Israel during his visit, U.S. policy was helping to install a Muslim Brotherhood supporter as the putative next leader of Syria. Obama’s strategy is, with appropriate adjustments to the national scene, the same as his disastrous policy in Egypt.

The new leader of the opposition coalition is Ghassan Hitto, an obscure figure who has been long-resident in the United States. His actual election contained two hints: He only received 35 votes from 63 members of the Syrian National Coalition. That show of support matches the number of Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters there. Secondly, only 48 out of the 63 even cast a ballot at all, showing lack of enthusiasm and possible U.S. pressure on groups to abstain rather than oppose Hitto.

During the Cold War, American policy toward Third World countries frequently looked for a “third way” democratic alternative, leaders who were neither Communists nor right-wing authoritarians. Today, however, the Obama administration doesn’t do the equivalent at all, despite pretenses to the contrary. Rather it seeks leadership from the most seemingly moderate people who represent Islamist groups. Of course, this moderation is largely deceptive.

That was the pattern in Egypt; now it is the same failed strategy in Syria. Hitto is a typical example of such a person. He has lived in the United States and went to university there, so presumably knows America and has become more moderate by living there. He is involved in hi-tech enterprises so supposedly he is a modern type of guy. Remember how now-dictator of Syria Bashar al-Assad was lavishly praised because he studied and lived in London and was supposedly interested in the internet?

In addition, nobody has (yet) come up with an outrageous Hitto statement. His ties to the Brotherhood are not so blatant—even though they are obvious—that the Obama Administration and the mass media cannot deny and ignore them.

Yet the connections between Hitto and the Muslim Brotherhood—and those are only the ones documented quickly following his election—are extensive.

He is the founder of the Muslim Legal Fund of America, largely directed by Muslim Brotherhood people. He was a secretary-treasurer of the American Middle Eastern League for Palestine (AMELP), which is closely linked to the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), which supports Hamas and terrorism against Israel. He was vice president of the CAIR Dallas/Fort Worth chapter and director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Youth Center of Dallas which was a Muslim Brotherhood front group.

The Obama Visit: A Parable

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

After some years, marked by tensions between them, a baron decided to pay an unexpected visit to the village. The people were very excited and turned out to give him a warm welcome. The mayor and the baron spoke of the eternal friendship between the castle and the village.

Everyone cheered, especially when the baron promised his help in defending the village from dangers prowling around its borders. The baron urged the village to make peace with those forces but said he understood if it couldn’t do so and confirmed his support for the village’s right of self-defense.

The people were pleased but the mayor remarked to the town clerk: “Funny he didn’t mention his ongoing role in creating the problem.”

Still, the visit of Baron Viktor Frankenstein could be considered a big success.

Of course, President Barack Obama did not fully create the new monstrous threats facing Israel as much as Frankenstein did his monster. But the president has done a lot to nurture these problems to life or made them much worse by coddling Iran for most of his first term, taking a soft stance toward Syria, praising the Turkish regime despite its anti-Israel and even antisemitic activities, and encouraging or even supporting Islamists who took over Egypt and are seeking to take over Syria.

Make no mistake. Obama’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority did mark an important shift but only on part of his policy. He has given up on promoting the “peace process” as a high priority.

While publicly his administration blames Israel more, it also acknowledges that it cannot press Israel into taking high risks and making big concessions. The White House clearly knows that the P.A. is a large part of the problem, though it publicly remains silent on this point and doesn’t comprehend that the P.A. is almost all of the problem.

In practical terms, that means he understands that pushing on the peace process won’t work and trying to bully Israel will damage him in several ways. American public opinion and Congress, including most of the Democrats, are supportive of Israel. He has no interest in throwing away political capital that he needs for other things in order to pursue a goal that he knows cannot be attained.

The main international problem he needs to deal with is the Middle East itself, especially the two issues he focused on for his visit: Iran and Syria. Obama intends to spend 2013 negotiating—futilely—with Iran. While the strong sanctions against Tehran have damaged the economy they are unlikely to force it to stop the nuclear weapons’ drive.

As Iran gets closer to obtaining nuclear weapons, Israel’s government will increasingly consider an attack on Tehran’s facilities. Obama has spoken of all options being on the table and Israel’s right of self-defense. But assuming, which seems accurate, that Obama does not want to back an Israeli attack how is he going to restrain Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government? Obama needs Netanyahu’s cooperation in making a very tough decision and for that the president must have Israel feeling more secure and rewarded by the United States.

On the second issue, Syria, another country neighboring Israel is on the verge of a revolution that will bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power and even more extremist Salafists into having a powerful armed presence. While Obama still claims Syria will produce a democratic and moderate regime, that outcome seems increasingly unlikely.

What appears quite possible is that the weapons and training supplied with U.S. support will be turned against Israel. So how will Obama get Israel’s cooperation in trying to keep things quiet despite that new threat? This, too, requires him to be friendlier to Israel on bilateral issues.

There is also a third issue that parallels Syria and that is Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is already in control and armed Salafist groups roam the Sinai Peninsula. If Egypt breaks the peace treaty, Israel will call on the United States to put pressure on Cairo, a demand that Obama wants to avoid. Here, too, he wants Israel to exercise restraint and once again this requires an Israel that feels the United States is defending its back.

The New Strategic Environment

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

The way it looks now, it seems that the regime of al-Assad will not last more than a number of days or weeks. A coalition of Sunni jihad organizations will succeed in toppling the government of an Arab state despite the state having used every weapon in its arsenal – including scud missiles – in order to survive.

During the past two years all of the red lines have been crossed in Syria , and both sides are sunk deep in this dirty, ugly struggle, which is fought with no moral or legal constraints.  Tens of thousands of citizens, women, children and elderly, have been brutally murdered , hundreds of thousands of houses and apartments have been rendered uninhabitable; infrastructures of the country are collapsing; the economy is paralyzed and the organizational framework of the state is falling apart.

The success of the Sunni coalition (Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan) in eliminating the heretical Alawite regime, which is supported by a Shi’ite coalition (Iran, Iraq and Hizb’Allah) might trigger a wave of terror in Arab countries, especially in Iraq and Turkey, because oppressed groups in these countries – such as Sunnis in Iraq and the Kurds in Turkey – will be encouraged by the success of the jihad organizations that are fighting in Syria and by the methods that they used in their battle against the regime.

This filthy war taking place in Syria is not a battle of good versus evil, because the regime and the rebels have both used inhumane, illegal and immoral practices. Both sides have committed crimes against humanity by eliminating groups of citizens indiscriminately and both sides have resorted to repressive measures and degrading treatment of helpless citizens.

As soon as the violence began, for example, the rebels understood that every time they show up in an open area, the forces of the regime could easily destroy them with merciless determination, so they transferred their activity to the crowded urban and settled areas. As a result, they turned citizens into human shields, without their having any say in the matter, dragging the cities and the settled neighborhoods into a rebellion that they were not at all interested in.

THE MOST SIGNIFICANT feature of the rebellion in Syria is that it has become a magnet for jihadists from all over the Arab and Muslim world who poured into Syria to take part in the jihad against the heretical ‘Alawites and their tyrannical regime. As of today there are hundreds of combat groups in Syria, and a few tens of them speak non-Syrian Arabic dialects such as Iraqi, Saudi and Moroccan. The linguistic diversity is even more complex because some of the jihadists speak non-Arabic Muslim languages – Turkish, Bosnian, Chechen, Pashtu (Afghanistan), Urdu (Pakistan) and languages from the Caucasus. The problem with having to deal with a multitude of dialects and languages is that the intelligence organizations get a significant amount of information by listening to various means of communication, but their work may have no value, because it is especially the most dangerous groups that speak dialects and languages not understood by the listeners of other countries that exist in the area.

Conventional forces too will have a great problem in dealing with jihadi communication methods. The jihadist organizations – contrary to a regular army- use the internet as a means of passing messages, reports and commands, and it is not easy to detect the communications channels they are using in the civilian network. There are organizations that pass coded messages via the internet, and it is difficult to identify, locate and decode them. Also the way the jihadist organizations use other civilian networks such as cellular telephones, makes it difficult to locate their communications and to keep track of their operatives.

The intelligence problem becomes even more complicated regarding visual intelligence, where the information is collected from observation points on the ground and in the air. Military intelligence gatherers undergo training on the various types of tanks, cannon, and the rest tools of destruction that a regular army has. But how are they supposed to identify jihadists? According to the type of jeans or T-shirt he’s wearing? According to the type of hiarcut or beard? The problem of identification becomes more difficult regarding vehicles in the service of jihadists, which are ordinary vehicles,indistinguishable from many others. How is a drone or someone who sees the material photographed by the drone supposed to identify the vehicle of a jihadist?

Only a Strong, United and Consolidated Israel Will Survive the Coming War against the Sunnis

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Every Israeli would say that the alliance between Hamas and Iranis strong and firm, based on the shared world-view between Palestinian Islamic zealots who are Sunni, and Iranian Islamist zealots, who are Shi’ite. Iran has even stronger affiliations with other organizations like Islamic Jihad and the Committees of Popular Resistance, than with Hamas. The anti-Israeli, anti-American and anti-West interest, that Iran shares with these organizations has allowed the world and Israeli politicians to place Iran, Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations into a single framework of Islamic terror.

But matters are not so simple. The conflict between the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, which began approximately 1350 years ago, continues in full strength and severity, and is expressed gruesomely today in the civil war that is currently grinding Syria into dust. The Shi’ite coalition of Iran, Iraq, Hizb’Allah and the Syrian regime is conducting an all-out war against the Sunni coalition of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, which supports the rebels against Asad, most of whom are Sunni, with all of its strength and means. The number of fatalities in the massacre, which has reached almost 50,000 men, women and children, as well as the Iranian involvement in the genocide in Syria, raises a question regarding the Islamic legality of collaboration between Shi’ite Iran and Palestinian organizations, which are Sunni.

A short historical background: The Muslim Arabs conquered Persia in the middle of the seventh century CE and imposed Islam on the Persian nation. In 1501, sociological and political turmoil brought a group of descendants of a sheikh by the name of Safi al-Din to power over the Persian population, and they forced Persia to adopt Shi’ite Islam. Even today, the Sunnis are angry that the Persians adopted Shi’a, because many Sunni Muslims, mainly the Saudi Hanbalis, see Shi’a as a type of heresy.

From the moment the Hamas movement began to depend on the money, weapons and political support of Iran, the question arose as to whether it is permissible for a Sunni to accept help from a Shi’ite, specifically from those who were Sunni until 500 years ago, and have switched affiliation.

Muhammad Asaad Bayud al-Tamimi, an Islamist from a family that is identified with radical Islam inSamaria, published an article this month on the subject, which was “adopted” by hundreds of internet sites. The title of the article: “A Covenant with the Safavid Shi’ites (Iran) is forbidden by Islam, and if someone engages in such a pact, he forfeits his status as a Muslim.” The title makes clear his position that collaborating withIran excludes a Muslim from Islam as if he had become a heretic and converted to another religion.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that many do not agree with al-Tamimi’s approach. They take the logical approach that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and thus Sunnis may join hands with Shi’ite Iran in order to fight their common enemies.

It is also important to note that currently there are trends to bring Sunnis and Shi’ites closer together. The most eloquent spokesman for political Sunni Islam, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has called in the past for finding ways to bridge the differences between Sunna and Shi’a which were expressed in al-Tamimi’s article.

Ultimately, each organization decides for itself regarding this matter, and this decision may change over time: when Syria was an orderly state, there was no important reason for the leaders of Hamas to give up the support of Iran, but since the civil war broke out and the slaughter of Sunni citizens began as a result of demonstrations that began in March 2011, collaboration with Iran has become fairly problematic for Hamas. In his article, Tamimi calls on the last Palestinians who are still collaborating with Iran to leave it, and we must wait to see if this call falls on listening ears or will remain a solitary call in the desert. It depends on the desire of other states like Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Egypt or Turkey to support Palestinian organizations with weapons, money and political support.

Is this an impossible scenario? If the Marmara was possible then the possibility of similar developments in the future cannot be discounted. In the Middle East, several scenarios that seemed totally delusional two years ago are being played out today in front of our eyes. Slogans that politicians disseminate might become actual reality: if the Damascus regime falls, the image of Iran will become that of a loser; from under the carpet will come all of those sectarian anti-Shi’ite snakes that al-Tamimi fosters, the Sunni bloc will be encouraged and Israel – as we know – is not the favorite of Mursi, Erdogan and Sheikh Hamed of Qatar.

Since Israel announced that it plans to build in the area of E-1 between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, a chorus of protest has arisen, led by Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who announced that “Israel is playing with fire.” Without getting too deeply into the Turkish announcement, nothing good can come from this, because this is Turkey’s way of encouraging Hamas, the ideological ally of the Islamic party that rules in Turkey, to do in Judea and Samaria what it has already done in the Gaza Strip since July of 2007: establish armed and aggressive Islamic emirates. Anyone who thinks or speaks about an Israeli withdrawal in Judea and Samaria must take into account that any area that Israel vacates might turn into a terror swamp, like Gaza. Can anyone promise it will not happen?

In facing a cohesive Sunni front, Israel must appear strong, united and consolidated behind its leadership which knows well that only those who are strong and invincible enjoy peace and stability in the Middle East.  In the arid, forsaken and violent area that we live in, if you beg for peace you get a kick in the behind and thrown out of the arena. Here, only he who is ready for war wins peace, and that peace will survive only as long as he presents a credible threat to anyone who dares to conspire to attack him. The Middle East is no place for bleeding hearts, rather it is for those of strong spirit, imbued with a sense of security and faith in the justice of their cause.

Al-Tamimi is an enemy who is not willing to give up his ideology for interests, no matter how important. The question for us is how much we stick to our ideology, and how ready we are to surrender it for other interests.

Originally published at Middle East and Terrorism

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Iran’s Culture of Deception Marks its Policies

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Since the dawn of Islamic history, the conflict between the Shi’a and the Sunna has been the axis around which public and political conduct in both sides has turned . The Shi’a challenged the legitimacy of the rule of the Sunni Caliphs, and in places under Shi’a control the Sunnis challenged their right to rule. The struggle was for “the whole jackpot” and when the government seized a person and suspected that he belonged to the other side, his fate was usually death.

Over the years the Sunna and the Shi’a developed different religious systems: the Shi’ite Qur’an includes two chapters which establish the Shi’ite claim to rule, while the Sunnis claim that these chapters are a forgery. The Hadith (the oral tradition that describes the words of Muhammad and how he related to various matters) of the Shi’a side glorifies and elevates Ali bin Abi Talib, the founder of Shi’a, and his right as well as that of his descendants to rule, while the Sunni Hadith represents the Shi’a in a totally negative light. The Shi’a and the Sunna differ from each other in theology, religious law, in the names of men and women, in the calendar, in traditions and customs, etc. The differences are so marked that there are many Sunnis who see Shi’a as a sort of heresy, and the Shi’ites see the Sunnis in a similar light.

Due to the political conflict and religious differences, it was very dangerous for a Shi’ite to live in a Sunni environment, and therefore in order to survive, Shi’a permitted its faithful to engage in taqiyya- concealment in order to survive – one of whose components is khud’a - deception. According to the principles of taqiyya, a Shi’a is permitted to pretend to be a Sunni, to pray like a Sunni, and to act in accordance with the Sunni calendar, as long as in his heart he continues wilaya - fidelity to Shi’a and its leaders.

Thus the Shi’ites became accustomed over the generations to pretense, deception, lying, and among many of them this phenomenon has become almost innate. They learn it from their parents, from the environment and from their social tradition. Lying does not affect the physiology among many Shi’ites and as a result, police departments in many parts of the world know that it is very difficult to detect a lie among Shi’ites by using a polygraph.

Political Ramifications

The culture of Shi’ite deception has been evident in recent years in a concrete way. The first Iranian emissaries who came to Lebanon in 1980, approximately one year after the Iranian Revolution, were represented as educators, teachers and counselors whose mission was cultural and religious only, and therefore the government of Lebanon agreed to their presence and their activities.

Today, looking back, it is clear that this was when the Revolutionary Guard – an actual army – began penetrating into Lebanon, taking control of the Bekaa Valley and establishing training bases where the military strength of Hizb’Allah, a party that has a militia with tens of thousands of missiles, was consolidated. Today there are many in Lebanon who regret that they fell into the trap of Iranian deception.

The most obvious political consequence of the Shi’ite culture of deception is the convoluted and devious manner in which Iran has been conducting contacts with the West regarding the nuclear plan for almost twenty years. The Iranians have violated every commitment that they have undertaken, including their commitment to the I.A.E.A.

They removed all signs of illegal activity, lately they cleared away the remnants of experiments that they conducted in military bases in Parchin, and they still do not permit the U.N. inspectors to visit these bases. The long and complicated negotiations that the Iranians have been conducting with the West have one specific goal – to gain time in order to progress in their military nuclear program. Today this is clear, and Europeans and Americans who have pinned their hopes on negotiations with the Iranians now admit that they have fallen victims to the ongoing Iranian deception.

The Lie Will be Exposed in the End

Recently the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement was held in Teheran. This gathering in Iran of leaders from dozens of states was intended to portray Iran as a well-liked and accepted state and an inseparable part of a large and important group of states, contrary to the image of the “pariah state” that it has in the West. Photographs of the embraces, kisses and handshakes of Ahmadinejad with the leaders of states who came in pilgrimage to him are intended to portray him as an accepted and popular leader, both to the Iranian public and to the Western observer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/dr-mordechai-kedar-irans-culture-of-deception-marks-its-policies/2012/09/12/

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