September 27, 2013

The Spiritual Mobilization of Young Sunni Men Against Assad: Has It Succeeded?

"Bin Laden's media behavior mirrors Nur-al-Din's and, as Issam Darraz suggested nearly a decade ago, the Saudi had learned the lesson that in addition to "intensive military training [for Islamic youths] . . . there is a need for the psychological and spiritual mobilization of young individuals who are joining the Muslim struggle." To date, bin Laden has beaten the West hands down in the contest for the hearts and minds of young Muslims. This does not mean all Muslims agree with and support bin Laden, but it is to say that his views are gaining ground in the Islamic world, and America’s efforts to defame him are either falling on deaf ears or counterproductive. If U.S. policy makers want to understand bin Laden’s heroic stature in the Muslim world, says Professor Eshan Ahari of the U.S. Joint Forces Staff College, they need only take a "stroll through the bazaars in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar, where bin Laden’s picture is prominently displayed as the ‘great mujahid’ (religious fighter)." - CIA veteran Michael Scheuer, "Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, Revised Edition." 2007. Originally published in 2002. Potomac Books. Pg. 302.

"The Shiite youth are represented by Iran and Hezbollah, but who represents the interests of the Sunni Arab youth? No one. The Al-Qaeda agitators are Western intelligence agents, not real leaders to be followed. An independent anti-imperialist Sunni Arab leader has not emerged on the Middle Eastern political landscape since the false flag events on 9/11.

Some people thought Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood would be a strong Sunni leader, but he sided with the United States and Israel in Syria, so he obviously isn't interested in opposing Western imperialism and Israeli aggression against Muslims. 

In this leadership vacuum, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have stepped in and taken advantage of Sunni resentments towards the status quo. They have misdirected their righteous rage against dictators like Gaddafi and Assad, and indoctrinated them to hate Iran and Hezbollah.

The Sunni fighters who make up the so-called Free Syrian Army are fierce and savage, but they are not led by visionary leaders who take into consideration their long-term interests so their fighting potential is being wasted. They are cannon fodder who are used in NATO interventions, and the ones who survive are then successfully re-branded as fanatical anti-American enemies." - The Western Roots of Islamic Fanaticism And The Betrayal of Sunni Muslim Youth, September 14, 2012.  
The constant stream of young Sunni fighters pouring into Syria from across the Muslim world is a reflection of a very deep spiritual and political crisis in the Sunni world that won't be resolved in the absence of Assad. The void of Sunni leadership is a real problem for that part of the world.

No Sunni state has taken up the cause of the Palestinians. Modern Sunni heroes such as bin Laden and Saddam Hossein have been overthrown and assassinated by the Americans, so where and who do these youth look to for guidance and leadership?

Turkey is a NATO ally and a junior partner to Israel and the United States in their war against Assad's regime so it cares little about the fate of Palestine. Egypt has self-identity issues, major economic problems, and an army that is incapable of putting up a fight, so it's also out of the picture.

This situation has forced Sunnis to look towards non-state terrorist groups to aid the cause of Palestine and defend the honour of Muslims. But, as we know, most of these groups are also funded and backed by the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, in other words, the enemies of Palestine and Islam.

Sunni clerics who preach Jihad in Syria all day but are too afraid to raise a murmur when Gaza is under attack are betraying the fighters that they are sending into battle against Assad. Their job right now is easy. Stirring up hatred against Assad among young, dispossessed, passionate, and alienated Sunnis is not challenging at all. The gung-ho fighters who are waging "Jihad" in Syria don't need any convincing to hate Assad.

The weakness of the Assad regime is that it is allied with the leading Shiite state in Iran, so even if Assad's aims and actions are pure when it comes to the cause of Palestine, his purity has not erased the resentment in the hearts of young Sunnis who feel embarrassed and ashamed that a Shiite and non-Arab country has come to the aid of Palestine more forcefully than any Sunni or Arab power.

The mentality of misled young Sunni fighters is flawed, and their hearts are poisoned with hate, which is why they murder civilians and enemy soldiers in Syria so mercilessly, cruelly, and inhumanely. They are not fighting from a position of love, knowledge, and genuine faith, but anger, hate, and resentment. When these feelings are used to mobilize men for war the outcome is never good. But, they are still God's children so we must realize that they have a role to play in this unfolding drama.