[Against the views propagated in the mass media by various “authorities” and “experts” and “politicians” that the turn to violence by “islamists” is yet another case of “senseless” and “mindless” acts that “normal” poeople cannot understand, Gary Leupp argues that the appeal and practices of Al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL can and must be understood. — Frontlines ed.]
Does ISIL Have Significant Support from People Who Consider Themselves Muslims?
by Gary Leupp, Counterpunch, February 25, 2015
One would like to say that the cruelty of ISIL (ISIS) shocks the entire world. In fact, however, it doesn’t shock everyone. Sad though it may seem to you or me, some people actually observe events in the emergent “Islamic State” with approval and admiration. Thousands of young men and even young women from many countries—even some from Europe and North America—are flocking to ISIL’s black banner. There are various estimates of ISIL strength available, ranging from 30,000 to 100,000. European intelligence agencies estimate that 3,000 young people have joined from the continent.
One should not assume these are all uncivilized thugs, just because they inflict horrible suffering on fellow human beings. They are far from alone in doing that, or in viewing their actions as the administration of some god’s punishment.
We should not presuppose, as Barack Obama suggested in his February 17 speech, that its members join ISIL simply due to such factors as unemployment, alienation and the nebulous phenomenon of “radicalization” to which some minds are strangely vulnerable.
To me they appear as people with a set of serious religious beliefs, including the belief in the existence of a Supreme Being; belief in a holy book of divine authorship; and belief in a set of laws authored by this one-and-only God that—for society to function properly, and the problems posed by modernity fixed—must be rigorously implemented.
US, UK and French imperialist powers raised, fed and armed the reactionary groups such as Al Nusra Front and ISIS in order that they would fight the Assad regime on their behalf. Only when they realised that these groups are not capable of overthrowing the Assad regime, they began to distance themselves from them until their interests in Iraq were threatened. Now they wish to be seen as standing against ISIS.
US imperialism created al-Qaeda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, but then when al-Qaeda started contradicting with US interests, they turned on them. Following the capture of Mosul by ISIS, having realised that their imperialist dominance is threatened by ISIS they have now, through NATO, started an international coalition against ISIS.
The only reason why the Turkish state did not want to be part of the international coalition is because of its close relations with ISIS. The whole world should know that the resolution passed on October 2, 2014 by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, is not against ISIS. This official resolution that allows Turkish soldiers to be sent to Syria and Iraq is in fact directed against the Kurdish people in Kobani and Rojava (section of Kurdish homeland in Syria) who declared autonomy in the region. This official resolution allows Turkish state to set up a buffer zone on the border of Syria and declare a no-fly zone. The resolution further emphasises that in Syria, the PKK poses a serious threat, clearly revealing the main purpose of the resolution and the intentions of the Turkish state. Continue reading →
[Revolutionary Maoists in India have released an important statement which declares that the crimes of US imperialism against the people of the world–including against the people of the US–overshadows everything that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda has done. We urge all people–oppressed peoples, workers, radical democrats, anti-imperialists, revolutionaries and communists, to study this statement. — Frontlines ed.]
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)
CENTRAL COMMITTEE Press Release
4 May, 2011 War-monger, butcher and blood-thirsty Obama and not Osama is the No.1 global terrorist threatening world peace! US imperialism and not Al Qaeda is the gravest global threat not only to the entire oppressed nations and people of the world but also to the US citizens! Condemn the brutal murder of Osama Bin Laden in a covert operation by the global gendarme CIA!
On May 2, the US imperialists murdered Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda by attacking with helicopters the building where he was staying in Abbottabad in Pakistan. US overstepped the sovereignty of Pakistan by directly conducting this operation without even informing the Pakistan government about it. They jammed the radars of Pakistan, entered its skies with four helicopters and attacked the building and finished the operation ‘with surgical precision’. One woman and two men in the building were also killed and it is said that Osama’s wife was also injured in the attack. Their child seems to have escaped death only by chance in this forty minute operation. The Obama administration was callous beyond words even towards the dead body of Osama. They did not hand over the body to his family members but threw it into the Arabian Sea! This was done to rub salt into the wounds as they very well know how insulting and outraging it would be to the muslims all over the world. Continue reading →
[The eruption of popular revolts across in the Arab world in recent months not only threw the imperialist alignments and arrangements with reactionary regimes into serious crisis and into frenetic scrambles to reassert reactionary power. But the revolts also threw “traditional” opposition parties and movements (both secular and religious) into question as well. And in this interview, Robert Fisk (Middle East correspondent of UK’s The Independent) recounts that these movements also politically defeated groups like al Qaeda off the map, as they proved irrelevant–and opposed–to the people’s revolutionary and democratic aspirations. — Frontlines ed.]
AlJazeeraEnglish on May 2, 2011
Robert Fisk, British author and journalist for the Independent, speaks on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death during a US raid on his mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Fisk has interviewed Bin Laden three times in person.
[This was a remarkable speech, very revealing of desperate appeals and strategies, as the arrogance of a long-term power flails about in a world of relations now deeply shaken by crisis and rebellion. — Frontlines ed.]
Brega, March 02, 2011
Leader Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday threatened that Libya will replace western banks, oil firms and companies by others from China, India, Russia and Brazil.
Speaking on Wednesday on state television, Gaddafi claimed that Libya’s oil fields and ports are “safe” and “under control.”
He spoke in the capital Tripoli as his forces were launching a counteroffensive on Wednesday against the rebel held eastern half of the country.
His forces battled government opponents for control of a key oil installation and airstrip on the Mediterranean coast.
Digging in his heels, a defiant Muammar Gaddafi refused to give up power and claimed that the anti regime protests were part of a conspiracy to grab the oil resources of Libya.
Gaddafi again blamed Al Qaeda for the challenge to his 41 year iron fisted rule, saying the objective was to control Libya’s land and oil, and promised to fight to the last man and woman. Continue reading →
Not unexpectedly, the 86 years jail sentence against Dr. Afia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist once dubbed by the US media as Al-Qaeda Lady, triggered outrage across the country [Pakistan] with protesters taking to the streets in many places. It was 10 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 23) in Pakistan when US District Court in Manhattan by Judge Richard M. Berman announced the judgment but protesters were up in arms in several cities of the country.
There were demonstrations, mainly from students in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar burning US flags and effigies of US leaders. They chanted anti-American slogans. In Lahore, a young demonstrator was shown on a Pakistani TV network saying that “we will burn the US consulate.” In Karachi, a large number of people gathered at the residence of Dr. Afia’s sister Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui. She said “This decision proves that the system of justice that the US believes is its pride is no longer effective.”
Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of the Punjab Province with largest population, described it a verdict against humanity. Mufti Munibur Rehman, a prominent religious leader said that the verdict will foment extremism in Pakistan. Maulana Fazalur Rehman, Chairman of parliament’s Kashmir Committee, announced that he will cancel his forthcoming visit to the US in protest against the US verdict. Continue reading →