This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The World Has Changed but Islamism Has Not

"The world has changed since the Arab Spring. Neither Iran nor Hamas is as it was before. But Hamas and Iran have the desire for a strong uprising in Palestine and confrontation against Israeli aggression. It is imperative to create a new basis for our relations. Over the past few years, many mistakes were made, some on the part of Hamas and some on Iran’s part. Nevertheless, we both know that the resistance is in danger, and we know that the only country that can support Palestinian resistance is Iran."
"There are people who claim that we support Palestine because of our own interests. That has not been true since the beginning of the revolution, and it’s not true now. We are not willing to negotiate or reach understandings with the United States or its allies on anything relating to the Palestinian issue… [T]ell your brothers that our support for Palestine is continuing. In Iran, everybody loves Palestine, Palestine is also a key issue in our internal affairs."
"[When financial support to Hamas dropped] it was because of our own conditions and economic situation, not because we had changed our political position on Palestine."
"Our position was staunch prior to the nuclear deal and it has remained so in its wake. It will not change. We will continue to support Palestine. Negotiations with the West centered on the nuclear agreement, and nothing else… despite American efforts. We did not give in on the Palestinian issue."
Qasem Soleimani, commander, al-Quds force, Iranian Republican Guards Corps

Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Photo: Wikipedia.
Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani

Two competing sectarian leaders in the Middle East, each convinced it has the full authority of fundamentalist Islamism, to represent the interests of Islam and the nations in the region that comprise the Islamic community, in a position of primary command. The Aryan, non-Arab Islamic Republic of Iran, as the major Shiite component, and the Arab Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the Sunni source of authority, custodians of the two most sacred sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina. Between them there is a bitter antagonistic tribal-sectarian hatred.

Each claims to speak for Islamic honour and security in the Middle East, and each supports a Salafist version of Islam that takes its inspiration from the inception of the 7th-Century monotheistic religion that began with Judaism, gave form to Christianity, and finally as Muslim scholars and clerics have it, reached its god-inspired perfection, negating its previous versions, in Islam. From its initial stirrings in the mind of middle-aged Meccan merchant now reverenced as the Prophet Mohammad who boldly grasped what he wanted from Judaic sacred writings for his new religion, Islam's trajectory as a world religion was inspired by violent conquest.

And from the period following Mohammed's death when a dispute arose and a schism occurred over Islam's succession of leadership, with one split insisting it must be from Mohammed's familial line of inheritance, and the other that any leader of competence in whom followers expressed confidence could take the reins, each consider the other apostates to be warred against in the name of Islam. Militias that the West speaks of as terrorists are simply honoured-in-Islam as non-state militias, Islamic mujahadeen, Islamic warriors engaged in jihad, as proxies to those who support them.

For Saudi Arabia, support has been forthcoming for the Sunni jihadis such as al-Qaeda, and for Iran, the Shiite jihadis like Hezbollah. Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which official Egypt has named a terrorist group and which has groomed its own terrorist groups, has been courted by Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. When Iran began supporting Syria's Bashar al-Assad in his bloody civil war that slaughtered Sunni Syrians who protested against their unequal treatment as Syrian citizens, Palestinian refugees living in Syria, also Sunni, were victims as well of Assad's rage, alienating Hamas from Iran.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar stepped into the breech, to help finance the dwindling economy of Hamas in Gaza. Hamas actively expresses its determination to destroy Israel, spelled out clearly enough in its charter, though the Fatah charter expresses the same intention, and the Palestinian Authority is led by Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas. Iran is jealous of its reputation through which its hatred of Israel is geared toward its destruction, along with its Shiite influence in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, Arab countries that the majority Sunni Arab countries decry for their allegiance to Iran.

Now that Iran's financial footing has been restored through the lifting of sanctions soon to be fully implemented and the release of hundreds of millions of its assets, it has been busy allocating funding to its various proxy terrorist groups, intending to fully restore relations with Hamas. In the interim, however, Saudi Arabia took up the slack and assured Hamas that it would finance its activities, so it seems unlikely that Hamas is prepared to move away from Saudi Arabia and resume its former alliance with Iran.

What links all of them is the one issue aside from Islamism they hold in common; their virulent, violent detestation for the presence of a Jewish state in the midst of an Islamic region and their dedication to destroying that presence.  Just as Judaism predated Islam by thousands of years, so too did a Jewish heritage and presence give that Jewish state the right of existence in a land that was theirs long before Arab migrants from Egypt and Saudi Arabia drifted onto historical territory that Jewish Palestinians populated.

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