Middle East: When real terrorists find scapegoats

Sheikh Abdullah Makwinja Correspondent

These terror Saudi sponsored groups has massacred thousands, beheading boys as young as 15, and amputations and lashings in public squares, widespread use of child soldiers, stoning women to death for suspected adultery and holding women as sexual slaves and forcing them to bear children for the fighters.

On March 2, 2016 the world woke up to some startling revelations by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — represented by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar which labelled Hezbollah a terrorist organisation. Leading the GCC was Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister who called “Lebanese Hezbollah” the “No. 1” terrorist group in the world.

The declaration by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council comes two weeks after Saudi Arabia cancelled a $4 billion aid package for Lebanon’s security forces and a week after five members of the bloc warned their citizens against traveling to the heavily tourism-dependent Mediterranean country.

Saudi Arabia, which is leading a vigorous anti-Hezbollah drive is but a country whose main exports include religious fanatics such as Al-Qaida, ISIS variety along with crude oil; labelling the Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation takes their hypocrisy to a whole new celestial level.

The term terrorist would perfectly describe the nature of the Saudis and her allies. As said that every tree shall be known by its fruits, Saudi regime since its forced inception, has given birth to ISIL, the Taliban, the al-Nusrah Front, Al-Shabab in East Africa and Boka Haram in West Africa are the fruits of the Saudi dynasty’s Wahhabi ideology outfits which has been working to the detriment of humanity.

These terror Saudi-sponsored groups has massacred thousands, beheading boys as young as 15, and amputations and lashings in public squares, widespread use of child soldiers, stoning women to death for suspected adultery and holding women as sexual slaves and forcing them to bear children for the fighters.

Based on more than 300 interviews with people who have fled areas controlled by ISIS, the UN panel on human rights said civilians were subjected to a “rule of terror” under the group, including massacres, beheadings, sexual enslavement and forced pregnancy. “The commanders of ISIS have acted wilfully, perpetrating these war crimes and crimes against humanity with clear intent of attacking persons with awareness of their civilian or ‘hors de combat’ (non-combat) status,” the report said.

Yesterday, it was the Saudi troops, which murdered in cold blood the oppressed people of Bahrain and today actively they are in Yemen doing the same business of terrorising innocent people. In Yemen, human rights organisations have revealed that, the Saudi-led coalition destroyed schools, mosques and historical sites during its 10-month long aggression against Yemen. In September 2015, Saudi aircraft killed 135 wedding celebrants in Yemen.

It is also reported that the Saudis are using US-supplied, banned cluster bombs to kill and maim impoverished Yemenis. The Saudi-led coalition, which has been uninterruptedly bombing the poorest nation in the Middle East for almost 10 months, includes Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. The non-signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions include all 10 countries. The US is also a non-signatory. The blood on their hands is visible because the civilian death toll makes for grim reading. Their intimate connection to cluster bombs and murder and terror by fragmentation will never be erased from memoir.

Surprisingly, Saudi for more than 60 years of the occupation of Palestine has not labelled Israel a terrorist state, or neither meaningfully supported the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation.

Palestinians are helplessly armed with stones to defend themselves against a nuclear powered regime of Israel.

One of the worst things to happen in the region today is that the Arab nations are turning a blind eye to what is happening in Palestine. For a month now, the Zionist entity authorities, occupying Israeli force, continue to escalate its aggression on humans and properties in the Gaza Strip, with daily excessive brutal crimes against unarmed civilians, committing war crimes and crimes of aggression against humanity, and a kind of genocide.

This caused so far in the killing of more than 1 900 civilians (and this figure is expected to increase), including 470 children and 250 women, the displacement of more than 500 000 Palestinians from their homes, the destruction of thousands of civilian property, including residential homes, schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, targeting maintenance workers and technicians of water and electricity, and bombing water treatment and electricity plants, and wounded about 10 000 civilians, mostly children, women, and the elderly, who are from the categories protected under international humanitarian law, not to mention the environmental and humanitarian disaster. The GCC should instead be ashamed for their weak official Arab solidarity, which constitutes complicity with this brutal aggression, and is a factor encouraging the continuation of the hideous Israeli crimes on the Palestinian people.

Like all genuine resistance movements, the Lebanese resistance, led by Hezbollah, was born as a reaction to two occupations: those of Palestine and Lebanon. And like all successful resistance movements, it draws its strength from the backing of the overwhelming majority of the occupied people. Hezbollah’s leadership made strong links with the people in the occupied villages and towns and, it also built a broad front that gradually encompassed all Lebanon’s religions and sects. Though the resistance in Lebanon is often described as Shia, the coalition of forces led by Hezbollah commands the support of major secular, Christian and Sunni leaders and groups. For the first time in the history of the Arabs since 1967, a military force emerged that could not be defeated by US-backed Israeli forces. This is one of the main reasons why Hezbollah has developed into such a formidable force.

Today it is seen by most people in Lebanon not only as the force that ended Israeli occupation of most of the invaded Lebanese territories, but as the shield that defends Lebanon from future Israeli invasion and occupation. Hezbollah evolved to join mainstream politics and has elected representatives in the Lebanese parliament under the leadership of by the young cleric Seyyid HassanNasrallah. Today, he has become a major political figure in the Middle East, enjoying the support of millions across the region and the world.

Michel Aoun, founder of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) has claimed that nowadays Lebanon needs Hezbollah’s support to protect its borders, praising at the same time the participation of the militants in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The politician added that nowadays Lebanon is facing war in its own territory and it is absolutely necessary to defend the borders of the country, and since the Lebanese army is not as big as required and also is not well equipped, Hezbollah seems to be the best option to carry out that task.

Hezbollah recently got involved in the war against the Syrian armed opposition <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/05/syria-army-seizes-qusair?INTCMP=SRCH> near Lebanon’s borders. Nasrallah declared that Hezbollah forces were fighting to defend their “strategic depth” and were part of the broad resistance to Israeli occupation and US-backed forces in Syria and the region.

Instead of bowing to Israeli and US pressure, GCC countries should uphold legality and justice by recognising that resistance movements will not go away unless the reason for their emergence and strength disappears: namely, the Israeli occupation of Arab peoples and lands.

But one has to wonder; what criteria were used to lump the Lebanese party in the same crowd with Al-Qaeda and its ilk? What constitutes “terrorism” and what does not?

Attempts to brand Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation are not only futile, but fly in the face of the facts of Gulf Co-operation Council and its history.

The writer, Sheikh Abdullah Makwinja is the resident Imam at Fatima Zahra (A.S) Centre in Hatfield, Harare.

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  • http://masimbamusodza.co.uk Masimba Musodza

    Can someone explain to the Sheikh that Israel does NOT occupy Gaza, but it is in the hands of an organisation called Hamas? Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2007. His narrative is also marred by his partiality to Shia Islam (led by Iran and Syria). In fact, the reason the Gulf States would rather turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s excesses is not because of pressure from the US or Israel, but because Saudi Arabia leads the Sunni Islam bloc. Just as many wars on the African continent were really proxies for the Cold War, Yemen is just a proxy for the Shia and Sunni struggle for dominance. Given that the members of the AU which are also Islamic in character are Sunni, African states need to be strategic in how they advocate for the different groups in the emerging conflict.