The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Nasrallah on Bin Ladin: They live in the Dark Ages

This is an important essay from 2005 on Hizbullah, AQ etc…. with Nasrallah, Osama Hamdan, Fadlallah etc quoted extensively.

Here is an excerpt:

It is noteworthy that “pagans” and “infidels” are not only Christians, Jews, and Muslim-born apostates such as nationalists and socialists, but also Shi`a Muslims. “They hate us even more than they hate the Jews,” Shi`a cleric Shaykh Hani Fahs observed.30 Indeed, while the five groups belonging to the World Islamic Front are geographically dispersed, all are adherents of the Wahhabi interpretation of the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence, whose aggressive animosity against Shi`a Islam is deeply rooted and well documented. A significant part of the armed activity of al-Qa`ida and its affiliates in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere has targeted Shi`a communities and institutions. At the time of the World Islamic Front statement, one Saudi Islamist remarked that Hamas would be a welcome addition to the worldwide jihad if it were prepared to “reject cooperation with those engaged in kufr”—meaning all its secular and nationalist partners in the Palestinian national movement, plus Syria, Iran, and Hizballah.31 Such expressions and actions are emblematic of the insularity of neo–third worldism.

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in early 2003, this wholesale rejection of cooperation with pagans and infidels was modified, but only for clearly delineated tactical purposes.32 Shi`a Muslims, however, remained beyond the pale and continued to be seen as fair game for attack. After the al-Qa`ida affiliated Jihad wa Tawhid (“Holy War and Unity”) had carried out coordinated suicide attacks in Karbala and Baghdad in March 2004, killing close to 300 Shi`a pilgrims and wounding almost 400,33 Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hizballah, railed against the “fanatic, radical, and tyrannical groups that still live in the Middle Ages, lacking brain, mind, religion, morals, but that are Muslims or claim their affiliation to Islam.” Arguing that focus on sectarianism rather than national liberation was divisive and destructive, he added that “if we can surmount, isolate, and besiege this [intra-Muslim] sedition, we will bring down the gravest weapon possessed by America and Israel.”34 Restating his point, he later remarked, with reference to the targeting of Iraqis, that,

I cannot say that this is ignorance; it is treason. . . . Those who kill and target the occupiers can be classified as Islamic fighters and loyal patriots. On the other hand, those who target the Iraqis are assassins belonging to the American caravan. They are accomplices in the American crime.35

Nasrallah’s lambasting of al-Qa`ida’s so-called religious purity clearly demonstrates the essential “nationalism” of the third worldist perspective, be it secular or Islamist. The explanation by `Ali Fayyad, Hizballah’s leading intellectual, of the theological and philosophical foundation of his party’s condemnation of neo–third worldist activism emphasizes the contrast between the cultural “insularity” of the Bin Laden approach and the inclusiveness and sense of pluralism of Hizballah, as well as the Palestinian Islamist resistance groups:

We practice the idea of umma [“nation”], taken from the root amma, which means “to go,” “to move forward,” “to have some place as your destination.” The idea is that a group has a common objective, a common goal to struggle for. This means that the umma must be a flexible and not rigidly conceived. . . . There may be many roads towards reaching this goal, not just one. This differs from the conception of the umma as a group, which is held by the Wahhabis. Their conception of the umma does not imply plurality, they believe in one solid entity. Our conception involves plurality. Taking this from the theoretical to the practical level, it enables us to say that the umma includes a variety of parties, currents and sects. All these are Muslims, those concerned with the faith and those who are not. Even secular Muslims are a part of this umma. This is completely different from the thought of the Wahhabi movements. . . . By extension, this implies that the conception of the umma may also include non-Muslims, Christians and Jews. . . . If we apply this notion of the umma, we can never endorse the notion of takfir [declaring Muslims to be apostates].36

Osama Hamdan, Hamas’s representative in Beirut, similarly suggested that Wahhabi militancy as embodied by al-Qa`ida and Jihad wa Tawhid “are efforts to create a fitna [‘brotherly strife’] or crises within this umma, which would naturally benefit U.S. interests and contradict the interests of the resistance in the region.”37 Since the early 1990s, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have pursued a strategy of infitah (“opening”) aimed at establishing and maintaining a Palestinian national dialogue across sectarian and factional divides, thereby creating momentum for a territorially based national liberation struggle.38 As Islamists, they have adopted, and incorporated themselves into, a national project, consistent with the “outreach” approach of third worldism…”

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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