Category Archives: Radical Islam

Islamic Feminism

Here.

An excellent article, and she makes an excellent case that fiqh rulings that justify zina and huddud laws are irrational and are not valid interpretations of the Quran. The fiqh rulings were made by Islamic scholars down through the centuries. They interpreted various passages in the Quran as meaning this or that.

For instance, the idea that women are supposed to cover up their whole bodies comes from an interpretation of the Quranic statement that women must cover up their “jewels” when out in public. In the Quranic context, it seems that the jewels refer to a woman’s private parts – her breasts, ass and pubic area. Somehow “jewels” was interpreted by partriarchal male scholars to mean that a woman had to cover up the near entirety of her body. Make sense? Of course not.

Zina and huddud laws are those that regulate sexual behavior. In practice, they have regulated the sexual behavior of women but not men. Women are imprisoned under these laws for adultery and fornication. Even women who are raped are imprisoned, incredibly enough, for adultery and fornication as in Pakistan’s huddud laws.

Zina laws are also the basis for the honor killings that are so prevalent in the Muslim World. Various excuses for honor killings that say that people other than Muslims also do this do not hold water as the practice is largely confined to the Muslim world.

Clearly though, honor killings are an Arab practice that spread to Arabized cultures such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Caucasus, Turkey and Berber North Africa. On the other hand, there seem to be Muslim nations where this does not occur especially where Islam was a recent foreign import and local religious traditions have not yet been usurped. Honor killings are rare to absent in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Albania and Bosnia.

The author shows that passages criminalizing sexual behavior actually refer to people having sex in public or where others can see them. So fucking in public and probably strip shows and pornography are covered but private sexual behavior is not.

In addition, the Quran grants divorce rights to women, yet fiqh rulings have always forbidden divorce by females and instead codified divorce initiated far too easily by males.

In Mohammad’s time, female Muslims were relatively free. They have only become more restricted with time. For instance, Ayesha was known to frequently preach in the mosque after Mohammad died. When was the last time you heard of a woman preaching in the mosque?

I have read a few of these feminist and progressive interpretations of Islam. While they make sense, they unfortunately seem irrelevant to our times.

This is because the Muslim world is going backwards and not forwards. All across the Muslim world, Muslims are getting more fundamentalist and less progressive and liberal. The spread of ISIS and Al Qaeda and their various offshoots, along with Islamists winning various elections in Egypt, Palestine, Yemen, Turkey and Iraq are indicative of this trend. Even where seculars won elections such as in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lebanon and Tunisia, strong, often armed fundamentalist groups continue to operate. Each of these countries deal with armed Islamists stirring up trouble, in Pakistan’s cases, a world of trouble.

Show men one area where Muslims are liberalizing.

The Muslim World is evidence that clocks do indeed run backwards at times.

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Filed under Arabs, Asia, Culture, Feminism, Gender Studies, Islam, Law, Pakistan, Race/Ethnicity, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Sex, South Asia, Women

Obama Decides to Double Down on the Crazy

From the Cuba List, my comments follow:

Deranged Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Carl Levin (D-MI) have already jumped to support this. Rubio: “This is long overdue and the US must lead…and take the fight directly to Bashar al-Assad.” Levin: “In light of recent events in Iraq and Syria, this is appropriate spending,” Where does your Rep stand on this vote? Ask them! Obama seeks 500M dollars to train, equip Syrian rebels Agence France-Presse, June 27, 2014

WASHINGTON – The White House asked lawmakers Thursday for $500 million to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels, in what would be a significant escalation of US involvement in a conflict that has spilled into Iraq.

Following several signals in recent weeks by President Barack Obama’s administration — and months of pressure from lawmakers like Senator John McCain — the White House said it intends to “ramp up US support to the moderate Syrian opposition.”

The request is part of a $1.5 billion Regional Stabilization Initiative to bolster stability in Syrian neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and to support communities hosting refugees.

The proposed funding would serve “vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services, counter terrorist threats and promote conditions for a negotiated settlement,” the White House said in a statement.

The proposal was part of the $65.8 billion overseas contingency operations request to Congress for fiscal year 2015, which begins October 1.

While US officials normally publicly refuse to comment on details of training for opposition groups, Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice acknowledged early this month that the Pentagon was providing “lethal and non-lethal support” to Syrian rebels.

About $287 million in mainly non-lethal support has been cleared for the rebels since March 2011, and the CIA has participated in a secret military training program in neighboring Jordan for the moderate opposition.

The Syria initiative received tepid support from at least one Republican lawmaker, Senator Marco Rubio, who has been a fierce critic of what the Obama administration&# 39;s “rudderless foreign policy.”

“This is long overdue and the US must lead, with European and regional partners, in helping to develop a cadre of fighters who will alienate ISIL and Al-Nusra Islamic extremists, and take the fight directly to Bashar al-Assad,” Rubio said.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, said a similar funding request in the defense authorization bill received broad bipartisan support in his committee.

“In light of recent events in Iraq and Syria, this is appropriate spending,” Levin said

This shows the sheer insanity of US foreign policy. If something doesn’t work, double down on it!

Since ISIS rampaged through Northern Iraq in the past few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about exactly how this happened. The US has been accused of aiding and training ISIS. Actually, this is sort of a false accusation.

The truth is that the US probably did little in the way of training and aiding ISIS. However, US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been shoveling money at them and Turkey has been giving them a home base inside Turkey. When ISIS attacked an Armenian town in northwest Turkey, Turkish artillery helped cover their assault on the town.

US and NATO advisors are present all over this part of Turkey where those shells come from, where ISIS is aided and trained and where their rearguard bases are. So while Washington is not directly aiding ISIS (except for a small group of them in Jordan) it is more correct to say that the US has been holding our nose and looking the other way while our allies have been aiding and training ISIS, Al-Nusra and the rest of the Islamists.

The US brainwash media Lie Machine is making it look like Obama is just now asking Congress to aid the Syrian rebels, whereas before we gave them nothing but nonlethal aid. It is indeed correct that officially the US has been giving the Syrian rebels nothing but nonlethal aid. However, all this time the CIA has been running a Black Budget campaign designed to arm and train the Syrian rebels. A lot of the training is taking place in Jordan.

It was often said that the CIA money was mostly going to the moderate Free Syrian Army rebels. This is probably true, but the FSA is now much diminished. 2/3 of the rebels are Islamists, and the FSA only makes up 1/3 of the armed opposition.

Many Left writers say that the FSA does not even exist anymore, but that does not seem to be the case. A lot of the arms given to the FSA somehow seem to have gotten into the hands of the Islamists, however. And the general mass aid flow to the Syrian rebels, either to the FSA or the Islamists, seems to have somehow in some way or other empowered the Islamists. So in some roundabout way all that aid pouring in to the Syrian rebels is in large part responsible for the growth of ISIS, Al-Nusra and the Islamic Front.

What is really happening here is Obama is taking the arming of the Syrian rebels out of the hands of the CIA and giving it to the State Department. It is going from an off-budget Black Budget secret CIA program to an official US government above board project.

But it won’t work any better this time than it did last time. Last time all it did was create and empower ISIS and the other radical Islamists, and this time it will do exactly the same thing.

So US foreign policy is truly insane.

  1. Syria: In effect, support ISIS and other Islamists to attack and destroy Syria and hopefully oust Assad. If Assad cannot be ousted, the destruction of Syria (an enemy state) will suffice.
  2. Iraq: Attack and destroy the very same ISIS and Islamists that are being created in Syria when they logically overrun much of Iraq.
  3. Support for ISIS in Syria will strengthen ISIS in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where they will do nothing but cause problems for these countries.

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Filed under Democrats, Europe, Government, Iraq, Islam, Jordan, Middle East, Military Doctrine, Obama, Politics, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Republicans, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, US Politics, USA, War

US Foreign Policy: Nation State Destruction

Under folks like “Democrat” Anne-Marie “Humanitarian Bomber” Slaughter and “Republican” George “Mission Accomplished” Bush, US foreign policy really boils down to the removal of nation-states either by invasion, mercenary insurgency or armed coup. What’s left over is a failed state with little authority in most of its territory which is then ruled by various US proxy forces such as Nazis, fascists, warlords, tribal chiefs and Islamist fundamentalist idiots.

In Libya, we destroyed a brutal yet stable nation-state and replaced it with anarchy, a failed state apparatus and rule by tribes, warlords and radical Al Qaeda types with a continuous low level of violence.

In Syria, we destroyed a brutal yet stable nation-state and replaced with utter chaos, a mad civil war that left 180,000 dead and 9 million refugees and most of the nation in utter ruins outside of the state’s rule. Radical Islamists control vast swathes of land and atrocities occur continuously. The truth is that Syria has been destroyed.

In Iraq, the US removed a very brutal yet stable nation-state and replaced it with utter chaos, and a continuous insurgency followed by a savage civil war that has left 1.4 million Iraqis dead. Al Qaeda types control vast swathes of land, and Ayatollah types hold sway in the south. Iraq lies in ruins.

In Afghanistan, the US removed an evil yet fairly stable state under the Taliban and replaced it with military occupation and a failed state which barely has jurisdiction or control outside of Kabul city limits. Most of the land lies in ruins and a vast number of died for no particularly good reason. Afghanistan basically lies in ruins.

In Ukraine, the US replaced a stable but corrupt leader who refused to bow to IMF debt slavery and be a nation-seller. A man who got cold feet when it came down to the nitty-gritty of selling out his people bailed on the devastating deal being shoved down his throat. The US then funded some of its pet Nazis to riot in the streets, kill cops and put snipers on buildings shooting dozens in false flag operations.

An insane Nazi regime soon took over and immediately declared war on every minority in the country, especially the Russians. They also for all intents and purposes declared war on Russia. The Russians in the East, naturally alarmed at the rise of this new Nazi power in Europe, logically decided they wanted no part of this mess and voted to secede. A huge military operation was then launched on the people of the East resulting in hundreds dead and entire cities in ruins while America cheered on the slaughter and called for more killing and destruction. Much of Eastern Ukraine now lies in ruins.

In Yemen, a weak government has lost control of much of the countryside where tribal militias and Al Qaeda type Islamists control giant swathes of territory. I am not sure what it was like before 9-11, but I do not think it was this bad.

Tunisia, previously a very stable state, is now destabilized by invading Al Qaeda types from Libya flooded with weapons from the overthrown Libyan government.

Mubarak was removed in Egypt, and in the resulting protests, many died. Elections were held, and Muslim Brotherhood Islamists won. Quite a bit of protest and some violence then ensued. The MB started enacting a lot of anti-democratic laws, and al-Sisi, a Nasserite style general in the Egyptian Army, seized power along with other officers. The MB protested, and many MB protesters were massacred in cold blood. Death sentences were levied against 600 protestors for a protest in which one cop was killed. Attacks against Egyptian Coptic Christians increased dramatically. The result is a chaotic Egypt that was much more stable under Mubarak.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Asia, Christianity, Democrats, Egypt, Eurasia, Europe, Fascism, Iraq, Iraq War, Islam, Libya, Middle East, Military Doctrine, Nazism, North Africa, Political Science, Politics, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Republicans, Russia, South Asia, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine, US Politics, US War in Afghanistan, USA, War, Yemen

The US Has Been Backing Islamic Fundamentalists (Al Qaeda/ISIS/Ayatollahs) for 50 Years

As a counterweight to secular nationalists who were anti-Empire, anti-Israel, opposed the colonization of their land by the West, including the US, and wanted first and foremost to help their people first. In other words, they were patriots, not country-sellers. There is nothing the US hates more than a true patriotic nationalist regime. Patriotic nationalist regimes will always oppose US imperialism and will not allow their countries to be colonized by the US. They will always put their people first and the exploiting multinational corporations second. The CIA has been overthrowing these regimes as “bad for business” since the early 1950′s in Iran and Guatemala.

The Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS were all more or less created by the US and its allies. Inadvertently? Perhaps. Ever since their birth, it’s been nothing but blowback. And now the ISIS Blowback is happening in Iraq.

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Filed under Cold War, Geopolitics, History, Imperialism, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Nationalism, Political Science, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, USA

Our Allies Are Supporting ISIS

I have known about this for a long time. Most of the money is coming out of Kuwaiti banks, but Saudis are also heavily involved. The money mostly comes from private citizens in those countries, but there are reports that Saudi government officials are also involved.

Of course, the United States has been supporting ISIS all along too if you ask me. We supposedly are only flooding Syria with aid and guns to the Free Syrian Army, but I have heard that a great deal of that money was going to ISIS. Further, the radical Islamists’ home base for entering Syria has been Jordan and Turkey. The US military and CIA, NATO, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have a mass presence in Turkey and (all except NATO) in Jordan. So if you are looking for someone to blame for ISIS, blame:

  1. Saudi Arabia
  2. Kuwait.
  3. Qatar
  4. Turkey
  5. Jordan
  6. The US government, military and CIA
  7. NATO

All of these groups have been supporting ISIS and other Islamist nuts all this time. The purpose? To use them as shock troops for overthrowing President Assad in Syria. Why must Assad be overthrown? He is anti-US, pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iran. Why is Assad anti-US? Because he is anti-Israel. Why do we hate Iran and Hezbollah? They are anti-US. Why are they anti-US? Because they hate Israel.

As with so many things in the Middle East, it all comes back around to Israel.

The truth is that Islamist/Al Qaeda/takfiri radical Islamists are one of the proxy armies that the US uses from time to time.

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Filed under Europe, Islam, Israel, Jordan, Middle East, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, USA

America’s Proxy Forces Around the World

The truth is that Islamist/Al Qaeda/takfiri radical Islamists are one of the proxy armies that the US uses from time to time. We have used them in Libya, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. Anywhere there is a government we do not like with a large Muslim population, the US starts up its little Al Qaedas to start a takfiri revolution against the government.

Other forces used around the world as US proxies are:

Rightwing death squads. The CIA and its South American allies operate their pet rightwing death squads in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and Haiti. In the past, the CIA has used them in many other parts of the world, including Greece, Indonesia, South Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia.

Rightwing terrorist insurgent armies. The US has used these pet terrorists in: Cuba, Nicaragua, Angola and Mozambique.

Nazis: The US also pulls out its pet Nazis to sick them on regimes it doesn’t like or to install them as coup regimes to take over countries the CIA wants to take over. The US has used its pet Nazis in Europe after World War 2, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Argentina, Bolivia, and now in the Ukraine.

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Filed under Fascism, Geopolitics, Islam, Latin American Right, National Socialism, Nazism, Political Science, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Terrorism, USA

Map of ISIS Controlled Territory

Territory controlled by ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria)

Territory controlled by ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria)

Very nice map showing the territory controlled by ISIS at the moment. This is one of the best maps that I have seen.

That looks pretty bad.

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Filed under Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Syria, War

ISIS Sweeps Across Iraq

Further information reveals that ISIS has overrun Hawija and Riyadh near Kirkuk. They also took a couple of towns in Diyala Province. Tuz Khurmatu, a mostly Kurdish city northeast of Baghdad about halfway between Baghdad and the Iranian border, fell the other day. It remains to be seen how well these Sunni Islamists will be welcomed in this Sunni city. Nearby Sulaiman Bek also fell. Way over near the Iranian border, Saadiyah and Jalula fell. Although these areas are close to Iran, Sunni rebels have long had a presence here.

Ramadi has not yet fallen to the rebels.

Large numbers of Shia volunteers rushed to Samarra to protect the two famous Shia shrines there. The Iraqi Army has stopped the rebels at the northern edge of the city.

The Kurds took control over Kirkuk, but a rebel force called Ansar Al Islam has also been there for a long time, periodically setting up checkpoints.

Iran has sent 500 Revolutionary Guards to the battlefield to help the Iraqi government.

Earlier this year, the ISIS took numerous towns in the West along the Euphrates such as Abu Kamal, Qaim, Rawa, Anah, Hit, Haditha, Saqlawiyah, Habbaniyah, Falluja, Karma, and Abu Gharaib on the outskirts of Baghdad. Sunni rebels have had a long presence in these towns on the Syrian border and along the river. Speaking of the border, the ISIS has now erased the Syria-Iraq border, long parts of which they now control. They also took control of Jufr As Shakr in the Triangle of Death, a heavily Sunni area southwest of Baghdad.

In addition, Sharqat and Siniyah near Baiji were also taken just the other day. These areas have been a safe haven for the rebels since the early days of the insurgency a decade ago.

A stunning video of the ISIS overrunning Tikrit from yesterday. This video is little seen.

This Iraqi offensive was helped very much by the Syrian Civil War. The ISIS grew much larger during this war, and the US either deliberately or accidentally ended up supplying them with a great deals of weapons and supplies which are now being used against the Iraqi Army. So this is yet another case of US Blowback. Our support for Al Qaeda Islamists in Syria has backfired as it grew Al Qaeda and allowed them to conquer large areas of Iraq.

ISIS is indeed Al Qaeda, although they have been thrown out of the main grouping which is run by Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan and Pakistan due to their leaders’ refusal to follow orders from the parent organization and ISIS’ constant warring with rival Islamist groups. Nevertheless, ISIS is the same as Al Qaeda theologically – ultra-extremist Sunni fundamentalists intent on reviving the Caliphate and putting in Sharia Law.

500,000 people have fled Mosul. Many of them are Sunnis who are worried that if the Iraqi Army retakes the city, they will be targeted by the army as ISIS sympathizers.

Photo posted on jihadi forum shows civilians coming out to greet the ISIS.

Photo posted on jihadi forum shows civilians coming out to greet the ISIS.

ISIS has issued a call over the area it controls telling everyone who fought for or cooperated with the Iraqi government to repent or die. They will soon be setting up Repentance Centers. It does not look like they want to engage in mass retaliatory killings.

ISIS forced hand out sweets to welcoming civilians in a photo found on a jihadi forum.

ISIS forced hand out sweets to welcoming civilians in a photo found on a jihadi forum.

The ISIS also laid down the basis of Sharia Law, ordering women to be covered and to only go outside if necessary, banning cigarettes and alcohol and ordering residents to pray five times a day. Those who do not follow these dictates risk execution or having a hand chopped off.

Found on a jihadi forum, this photo shows civilians coming out to greet the ISIS forces.

Found on a jihadi forum, this photo shows civilians coming out to greet the ISIS forces.

Some of the Iran-backed Shia groups who were fighting in Syria, including Hezbollah, have moved into Iraq recently to help the central government.

I believe that the mostly-Shia Iraqi Army simply was not willing to lay down their lives to protect these Sunni cities in the north. However, it will probably be a much different story in the south in the Shia cities and in Baghdad.

The ISIS leader issued a number of chilling communiques about the Shia of Iraq, calling them polytheists and vowing revenge on them. This and other radical Sunni groups have been slaughtering huge numbers of Iraqi Shia for a long time now.

An aide to the religious leader of the Iraqi Shia, Sistani, ordered all Iraqis to take up arms to fight the “terrorists” and defend the country.

The ISIS has now acquired a large amount of supplies, cash, vehicles including armored vehicles and tanks (many from the US Army), helicopters and even aircraft. They control a number of military bases, an airport and an air base. They also confiscated a lot of foodstuffs, uniforms and other auxiliary supplies.

Here is a video of ISIS forces looking at supplies they have seized, which includes a lot of chicken and other food.

When they attacked Tikrit, they fooled the defenders by arriving in Iraqi Army vehicles wearing the uniforms of the Iraqi Army and Police. The surprise attack shattered the defenders, who then quickly melted away.

Photo from a jihadi forum shows ISIS forces parading through a city.

Photo from a jihadi forum shows ISIS forces parading through a city.

The ISIS has taken Baiji and has surrounded the large oil refinery in the city. It is from this city that Baghdad gets its electricity.

In Raqaa, a large Syrian city controlled by ISIS, the city’s Christians were turned into dhimmis and ordered to pay the jizya. There are prevented from building new churches and renovating old ones, they may not ring church bells or pray too loudy, and they must not wear crosses in public.  They have a choice of either converting to Islam, becoming dhimmis or refusing to follow the dhimmi rules.

If they refuse to follow the dhimmi rules, they will be declared enemies of the Muslims and they can and will be targeted for death. It’s more or less the usual Muslim “convert or die” strategy that has been used by Muslims since the early days of Islam. The convert or die strategy was actually used a number of times during the Muslim conquests, and many non-Muslims were killed for refusing to convert. Islam indeed was spread by the sword. It’s not a myth. More typically, they were placed under dhimmitude. Dhimmitude was so unpleasant that many non-Muslims, particularly Christians, converted over the next few hundred years, to get out from under the taxes and restrictions of dhimmitude.

The Iraqi Army is certainly not lacking for armored vehicles or ammunition and they have a lot of men under arms. Despite years of training by US trainers, they are still not a very good army for some reason, and ISIS probably has better fighters. The Iraqi Army does have a number of helicopters and they also have 36 F-16′s.

They regularly use these aircraft to bomb rebel-held areas, so it seems dubious why they would need US airstrikes to help them out. The Iraqi Army also uses the same barrel bombs that Assad has been using against the Syrian rebels next door. The US has stated that using these barrel bombs is a war crime and has threatened to take Assad to the Hague over these bombings. Of course our allies are using the very same weapons.

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Filed under Christianity, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Shiism, Sunnism, Syria, USA, War

Hezbollah Fighting in Homs

Video here.

Fascinating video shows Hezbollah fighting in Homs. At first I thought it was Al Qusayr, but I think it is Homs instead. The video was all in Arabic, so it was hard to figure out what they were talking about. Here you see the high spirits of the Hezbollah fighters as they move into the bombed out, ruined city.

Take note of the horrific footage where the fighters find a room full of men, bound and executed. Who executed them? Who knows? My guess would be rebels, but it’s hard to say for sure.

At one point, they meet a Christian, still living in the ruins of his home, who complains that the rebels were vicious to the Christians.

Towards the end of the video, Hezbollah takes a couple of prisoners and seems to treat them fairly.

Hezbollah has pumped a large force into Syria, and I think that was the right thing to do. Hezbollah’s army is so good that they are quickly turning the tide in favor of the Syrian regime. Their victory at Al Qusayr was a huge defeat for the rebels. Now Hezbollah will move onto Homs and then onto Aleppo and Irbil Province. If the rebels are defeated in the north, the war will for all intents and purposes be over.

The Arab Sunni world is outraged that Hezbollah has gotten involved in the Syrian Civil War. Some Gulf countries have recently started throwing out Lebanese Shia who are residing there in revenge for Hezbollah’s role in Syria. This war is increasingly turning into a Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict.

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Filed under Arabs, Christianity, Islam, Lebanese, Middle East, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Shiism, Sunnism, Syria, War

PFLP-GC Battling Syrian Rebels in a Syrian Palestinian Refugee Camp

Video here.

This is a great video showing fighting between the PFLP-GC and the Syrian rebels in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. The rebels entered the camp where the PFLP-GC has a huge presence, and the PFLP-GC, a very well-armed and well-trained force, fought the rebels. The Syrian Army unfortunately would not enter the camp to help the PFLP-GC fight the rebels. Quite a few of the Palestinians in the camp, including PFLP-GC members, joined the rebels to fight against their Palestinian brethren. However, over time, the PFLP-GC defeated the rebels and rousted them from the camp. In the meantime, much of the camp was destroyed.

The Palestinians are getting dragged into this conflict despite their best efforts to stay out of it.

The PFLP-GC is a pro-Syrian split from the PFLP group. The group is an old-line secular group that used to include quite a few Christian members. They strongly oppose the new radical Islamist turn that the Islamic world has been moving towards. They consider these new Islamists to be intolerant and fanatical.

The PFLP-GC has high praise for the Syrian regime. It is true that Syria has treated Palestinians better than most Arab regimes. Palestinians are allowed to work in Syria, whereas they often cannot work in other places. In addition, the PFLP-GC says that Syria still stands with the Palestinians while the rest of the world has abandoned them. There is certainly quite a bit of truth to that statement.

In terms of its relationship with Israel, the PFLP-GC is a pretty hardline group. Recently in the West Bank, there was a gathering of Palestinians at which both Hamas and the PFLP-GC spoke. Both groups praised each other although the PFLP-GC is about as secular as Hamas is Islamist. The reason both groups praised each other is because both of them take a very hard line against Israel.

The fighting in Syria has split the Palestinian movement badly. In particular, the PFLP proper has called for the PFLP-GC to be thrown out of the PLO (the PFLP-GC, along with a number of other organizations, is part of the larger PLO) for needlessly endangering the lives of Palestinians by getting involved in the Syrian Civil War. One might argue that as the rebels entered the camp, the PFLP-GC had little choice but to fight. Some say that the PFLP-GC is fighting alongside the Syrian army in other places in Syria, but this is dubious. The PFLP-GC also has training camps and a presence in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, in particular in the south of Lebanon.

This group is rather unpopular among Palestinian groups, but after reading an interview with some of their elder members who edit and write the party’s newspaper, I rather like them. Old-time secular Arab nationalists, just like the Palestinians used to be.

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Filed under Arab Nationalism, Arabs, Islam, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Nationalism, Palestine, Palestinians, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Syria, War