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Hizballah Cavalcade: The Shia Militant Response to Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr’s Death Sentence

NOTE: For prior parts in the Hizballah Cavalcade series you can view an archive of it all here.

 

The Shia Militant Response to Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr’s Death Sentence

By Phillip Smyth

Nimr al-Nimr

Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, an outspoken radical Saudi Arabian Shia cleric, has been the center of controversy and brewing conflict between Shia protesters, militant Shia groups of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and their respective Sunni governments. According to a 2012 article by Toby Matthiesen, al-Nimr was, “long a peripheral figure in the local Shia power struggle but now seems to have become the most popular Saudi Shia cleric among local youth.”1 His cause and image is spreading across the Middle East as the latest example of Sunni oppression of Shia in the region and his recent death sentence has become a potent rallying cry for regional Shia militant organizations, particularly those with links to Iran.

Arrested in 2012, Nimr was accused by the Saudi government’s Special Criminal Court of making sectarian statements to cause strife, inviting foreign intervention (shorthand for Iranian influence), and disobeying the king. Following his 2012 arrest, thousands took to the streets and Saudi police shot and killed two protesters.2 In mid-October 2014, Nimr was sentenced to be “crucified”, a process where the sheikh will be beheaded and his body displayed.3

Protests in Saudi began in early 2011 and in part addressed anti-Shia discrimination suffered by the group in the Shia majority area in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province; primarily zones around the Shia-majority towns and villages near the city of Qatif.4 Following the 2011 Saudi intervention in Bahrain, protests against the Saudi government increased in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia among Shia protesters.5 Following the 2011-2012 protests, links between Bahrain’s and Saudi Arabia’s protest movement spilled over into the more militant circles which actively promoted Nimr’s defiant stance and a hope to combine their fronts against common foes.

Of further interest are Nimr’s own ideological leanings and how they may relate to Shia militant responses. In Frederic Wehrey’s Sectarian Politics in the Gulf, the sheikh is described as a follower of the late Ayatollah Muhammad al-Shirazi.6 Shirazi was one of the founders of a radical Shia political school of thought referred to as the “Shiraziyya.” Shiraziyya clerics have been some of the most influential in the Arab Shia world. Initially al-Shirazi agreed with the Islamic revolutionary ideology of Ayatollah Khomeini, only to split from Khomeini over issues regarding how the new Islamic state (in Iran post 1979 revolution) should be led.7 In one BBC Arabic report, Nimr had been accused by Riyadh of attempting to spread Wilayat al-Faqih.8 Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih is the Khomeinist concept that serves as the basis for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nevertheless, it was not clarified whether this was the type of Wilayat al-Faqih Nimr was accused of propagating.

Despite the history of strife between Shirazi’s school of thought and that of Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei, al-Nimr appeared to increase public support for Tehran and send other more mixed messages. In 2008, he had also reportedly stated he supported Iran’s nuclear program by saying any attack against it should be met by a response from the Islamic world. That same year, he also said that Saudi Shia may need to call on foreign support (implying Iran) to help press their issues in Saudi Arabia.9 Later in 2009, Nimr reportedly called for secession, stating during a sermon, “Our dignity is more precious than the unity of this land.”10 His statement came as a response to discrimination against Shia in the kingdom and reflected possible repercussions if certain demands made by Shia protesters were not addressed.

Since 2013, in a piecemeal fashion, social media accounts associated with Iranian proxy groups in Iraq have promoted the images and other supportive statements for Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr.11 While this does not necessitate that Nimr is a true ally or proxy of Tehran, his message and influence is likely seen by Iran as a cause to be promoted in that country’s wider struggle for the leadership of Shia Islam and as a counter to Saudi Arabia.

Nimr’s deep links and strong voice within the Saudi Shia community, particularly among youthful radicals and other more non-violent protestors, has led to Shia militant groups championing his cause from Bahrain and Iraq. Even in Yemen, Shia supporters of Ansar Allah, more commonly known as the Houthis, even launched demonstrations for the jailed cleric.12 Some Bahraini militant groups, which view the struggle of their coreligionists in a geographically close region of Saudi Arabia, as part and parcel to their conflict with the Khalifa monarchy and their Saudi government supporters. Additionally, powerful Iranian proxy groups based in Iraq—which have also maintained anti-Saudi and anti-Bahraini government narratives—have taken to issuing stern threats against Riyadh for his sentence.

The Violent Replies From Saudi Arabia’s and Bahrain’s Militants

Bahraini militant groups demonstrated the most concerted effort in terms of orchestrating violent retorts to Nimr’s jailing and sentence. While other threats and attacks were conducted since the start of 2014, this piece will focus on more recent threats and attacks beginning in the summer of 2014.

Bahrain’s Saraya al-Mukhtar (SaM), a group which once said the Saudi Shia of the Qatif and the Shia of Bahrain constituted one people with common foes, launched the most attacks over the longest period specifically addressing Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr’s arrest, trial, and death sentence.

Starting in August, SaM attacked an electricity tower in Ar-Rifā near a Bahraini military base. The group filmed the attack and stated it had been a warning related to the imprisonment and trial of Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr. Around the same time, SaM also began an online countdown for the Nimr verdict and increased their threats against Saudi Arabia. The group also ratcheted up it’s pro-Nimr messaging with the release of numerous images.

This messaging coincided with Saraya al-Mukhtar making its first direct threat against U.S. military personnel in Bahrain on August 11. Through an image posted to Facebook, SaM stated that, “The American cover on al-Saud and Al_Khalifa crimes,,Marines in bahrain will pay the price. [sic]” The message essentially claimed that the U.S. was the real backer for the Khalifa and Saud monarchies. As a result, they bore equal responsibility and could be targeted.

Nimr al-Nimr2

Figure 1: Saraya al-Mukhtar’s anti-American message posted on August 11, 2014.

Nimr al-Nimr3

Figure 2: A Saraya al-Mukhtar photo for Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr posted on August 8, 2014. The poster reads: “Sheikh Nimr[‘s trial and poor treatment] will make us put all options on the table.”

Nimr al-Nimr4

 

Figure 3: A Saraya al-Mukhtar photo posted on August 10, 2014. This poster reads: [in the red box] “A warning from Saraya al-Mukhtar to the mafia of the Sauds [in white text] Harming Sheikh Nimr will make us put all options [on the table]. Harming the Faqih Nimr means every single Saudi national will enter our country in a coffin.”

Nimr al-Nimr5

 

Figure 4: A Saraya al-Mukhtar photo for Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr posted on August 11, 2014. The poster reads: “Do not hesitate, Do not underestimate, No red lines.. after [the] discrimination [against] the Faqih al-Nimr.”

On September 16, SaM announced it had planted 6 explosive devices in retaliation for al-Nimr’s incarceration. Albeit, these bombs did not target U.S. interests and there was little confirmation as to whether any devices were actually planted.

Nimr al-Nimr6

Figure 5: Saraya al-Mukhtar’s September 16 claim to have planted 6 bombs.

Nimr al-Nimr7

Figure 6: Saraya al-Mukhtar’s claim of 2 attacks on October 18, 2014.

Then on October 9, SaM claimed to conduct an attack in the town of Karana, Bahrain utilizing an improvised firearm. SaM’s claim of responsibility stated they attacked, “herds of mercenaries” (shorthand for Bahraini police and other security entities). On October 15, SaM claimed to have launched attacks in Sanabis and Aker, Bahrain targeting “mercenaries”. In another statement from that day, the group threatened, “The occupying mafia of al-Saud and al-Khalifa [would face]…consequences for the death sentence.” Later, on October 18, SaM claimed two attacks, referring to them as “Revenge of the Faqih [an expert in Islamic jurisprudence] Nimr.” SaM’s statement declared that it had injured “ranks of the enemy occupier.”

Nimr al-Nimr8

Figure 7: SMS’s claim of attack in honor of Sheikh Nimr.

Bahraini militant group, Saraya al-Muqawama al-Sha’biya (SMS), also claimed an attack against targets in honor of al-Nimr. On October 16 (albeit, the official statement says October 17), SMS referred to an attack as the, “Nimr 1 Operations .” During the “Nimr 1” attacks, SMS stated they had targeted communications towers and an ATM.

In Saudi Arabia, resistance to the verdict and Nimr’s imprisonment took on an approach of sporadic attacks against police checkpoints. While claims of responsibility for the attacks were rarely issued, they were often launched after demonstrators protesting Nimr’s imprisonment were subject to Saudi crackdowns (some violent). In fact, one late September attack occurred in Nimr’s hometown of al-Awamiyah.13

It would appear that attacks in Bahrain and possibly in Saudi Arabia’s Shia populated areas will increase. While often small scale and non-deadly in nature, there is the potential any upsurge in attacks could cause further unrest. Bahraini militants have already committed to “responding” to Nimr’s imprisonment and sentence.

Iraqi Shia Militias Issue Threats

Nimr al-Nimr9

Figure 8: A photo circulated on some Iraqi Shia militia accounts. The picture combines the photos of Ayatollah al-Nimr (left), the logo for Kata’ib Hizballah (center), and Saudi rulers, including King Abdullah (bottom right).

Two of Iran’s many active Shia militia proxies in Iraq, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) and Kata’ib Hizballah, released anti-Saudi threats in response to Nimr’s sentence on October 15, 2014 and October 17, 2014, respectively. Kata’ib Hizballah, a U.S. State Department foreign terrorist organization, has had a long history of issuing threats against Sunni Gulf states and even launched a series of attacks against occupying U.S. forces in Iraq to show solidarity with Bahraini protesters. KSS’s social media had also praised Saraya al-Mukhtar’s attacks in Bahrain.14 One of Iran’s other main Iraqi Shia proxies, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, utilized their political branch, the Sadiqoun Bloc (Kutla al-Sadiqoun) to express their own threats against Riyadh. MP Hasan Salem of the Sadiqoun Bloc said there would be “consequences” for Saudi Arabia after the verdict.15

Intriguingly, SaM’s claims that America bore responsibility for the actions of the Saudi and Bahraini governments were also echoed in Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada’s released statement. KSS claimed that it was the U.S. which was behind terrorist attacks in Iraq and that along with Sheikh Nimr’s sentence, was the culmination of a wider conspiracy to pressure the Shia.

Another less well-known organization, Kata’ib Hizballah-Al-Mujahidoun, (not to be confused with Kata’ib Hizballah), offered other direct threats. Iraq’s Al-Masalah News claimed that Kata’ib Hizballah-Al-Mujahidoun was holding three Saudi hostages which the group threatened to execute if the Saudis executed al-Nimr.16 The Secretary General of Kata’ib Hizballah-Al-Mujahidoun, Sheikh Abbas al-Muhamidawi, also threatened his group would kill any Saudi the group detains or captures and also promised that “the Kata’ib Hizballah in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen will have a response which they will not expect.”17 It is important to remember that al-Muhamidawi has offered other incendiary comments in the past. In December 2012, he announced that Kurds should be removed from southern Iraq.18 In July 2014, Muhamidawi also threatened Saudi Arabia with rocket attacks and that the Iraqi government should close the U.S. and Turkish embassies in Iraq.19

With threats coming from main and lesser known Shia jihadist elements, there is the potential for increased violence against Saudi and/or Bahraini interests in Iraq.

Translation of Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada’s October 15, 2014 Statement20:

Nimr al-Nimr10

 

Figure 9: The original KSS statement about the group’s reaction to the execution ruling for Ayatollah al-Nimr.

At a time [when] the forces of evil are pouring [down] on our country, [and] in the time of international conspiracies which are being led by the world’s imperialist powers, primarily al-Shaytan al-Akbar (The Great Satan) America, which want to destroy the land of holy shrines, at this time comes the verdict against Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in one of the Saudi courts. This verdict comes in line with the thinking of this sectarian kingdom called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Resistance of Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada condemns this unfair verdict, which proves how deep the sectarian crisis [is and] that the al-Saud regime is filled with hatred against Ahlul al-Bayt (People of the House of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad). Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada calls on the Iraqi government to take responsibility and sever all ties with the Wahhabist Kingdom of Evil [Saudi Arabia].

Also on this occasion, if these [Saudi] authorities do not reconsider this appalling execution verdict, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada announces that they will be targeting every single Saudi establishment (infrastructure and human), and they will not spare any effort in burning and destroying everything that is related to this oppressive tyranny. Also Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada will also mention that the people of Ahlul al-Bayt are in a state of being besieged and are under pressure. The last of this pressure were the attacks of terrorists and the role of the Shaytan al-Akbar in it. Additionally, the media fear mongering about the size of ISIS gangs and the [media] attempts to make it look as if the dear capital Baghdad is about to fall [added to this pressure].

Translation of Kata’ib Hizballah’s October 17, 2014 Statement21:

Nimr al-Nimr11

 

Figure 10: Kata’ib Hizballah’s original statement following Ayatollah al-Nimr’s sentence of execution.

[This is] another time the rulers of al-Saud are expressing their lack of care for all of the legitimate and humanitarian values by issuing an unfair verdict to execute the Mujahid Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. [This verdict] aims to silence the mouths and terrorize the ones who exposed their unfair practices as well as the ones who demand basic rights for the people of Nejd and al-Hijaz.

At [this] time we denounce the silence of Western governments that pretend to be defending human rights and guarantee the freedom of expression, yet do not exercise pressure on any of its agents “the oil sheikhs” to have them stop the annihilation campaigns against persecuted people. We also warn the governing family in Nejd and Hijaz that harming Sheikh Nimr will mean the launch of revenge and punishment operations [by Kata’ib Hizballah] and these operations will target members of the ruling family. They will get their punishment when they least expect it and their palaces and fortified walls will not protect them. Let them ask their masters [the West] and slaves [regional proxies] about how truthful we are as we are the sons of Ali and Husayn and that is pride enough.

NOTES:
_____________

1 See: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jan/23/saudi-arabia-shia-protesters.

2 See: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/11/saudi-funeral-al-felfel-idINDEE86A06020120711.

3 See: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29627766 and http://www.voanews.com/content/death-sentence-for-saudi-cleric-sparks-protests/2487771.html.

4 See: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/23/175051345/in-saudi-arabia-shiite-muslims-challenge-ban-on-protests.

5 See: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-16/saudi-arabia-demonstrators-hold-rallies-in-al-qatif-awwamiya.html.

6 Frederic M. Wehrey, Sectarian Politics in the Gulf From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), P. 118.

7 Khomeini supported a concept of rule that created the position of an absolutist Supreme Leader whereas Shirazi supported a council of clerics to rule. See: Toby Jones, “Saudi Arabia,” in Assaf Moghadam (ed.), Militancy and Political Violence in Shiism: Trends and Patterns, (New York: Routledge, 2012), Pp. 139-144.

8See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/interactivity/2014/10/141016_comments_saudi_nimer.

9 Frederic M. Wehrey, Sectarian Politics in the Gulf From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013) P. 118.

10 See: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/1/saudi-government-cracks-down-on-shiite-dissiden-1/.

11 Personal observations. This is particularly the case on accounts linked to Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, and Kata’ib Hizballah. Though, accounts promoting Lebanese Hizballah have rarely featured Nimr’s image.

12 See: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/18/uk-yemen-crisis-saudi-idUKKCN0I706H20141018.

13 See: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-1295961083.

14 See: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1486659381565338&id=1425347187696558.

15 See: http://alghadpress.com/ar/news/21989/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%82%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%AD%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%AE.

16 See: http://almasalah.com/ar/NewsDetails.aspx?NewsID=39853.

17 See: http://www.alsumaria.tv/news/113521/%D8%AD%D8%B2%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%AF%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%A5%D8%B9%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7/ar.

18 See: http://www.dw.de/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B7%D9%87%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D9%82%D9%8A-%D8%AC%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%B6%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9/a-15875782.

19 See: http://www.alnahar-news.com/index.php?news=3530.

20 Note: Translation has been slightly cleaned-up so it can be more easily read by English speakers.

21 Note: Translation has been slightly cleaned-up so it can be more easily read by English speakers.

The Clear Banner: Update on the Finnish Foreign Fighter Contingent

NOTE: For prior parts in the Clear Banner series you can view an archive of it all here.

 

Update on the Finnish Foreign Fighter Contingent

By Juha Saarinen

In early September, the Finnish Interior Ministry released its newest situation overview on violent extremism in Finland. The report included the most recent official estimates of the number of Finnish volunteers in Syria and Iraq. The contingent currently consists of:

 

  • 31 individuals with Finnish citizenship
  • 17 different ethnic backgrounds
  • individuals mainly from the larger cities in Western [e.g. Turku and Tampere] and Southern Finland Provinces [e.g. Greater Helsinki Region]

Elsewhere, it has also been revealed that…

 

The estimation is based on individuals who have been identified by the FSIS. However, the overall number is likely higher, as not all individuals who have travelled from Finland to Syria and Iraq have come to the authorities’ attention. According to Helsingin Sanomat (HS), a Finnish newspaper, there may be as many as 55 individuals in the conflict zone, and some – particularly those of the jihadist persuasion – have taken their families with them. According to the Foreign Ministry, there are several Finnish children in IS-controlled areas. Additionally, at least one Finnish female jihadist has given birth in Syria, while another one is currently pregnant.

It is not clear how many of the 44-55+ individuals qualify as foreign fighters – i.e. individuals without pre-existing links to the conflict zone who are seeking to take part in an armed insurgency. The estimation includes an unknown number of humanitarian aid workers, possibly mercenaries, and members of the Syrian or Iraqi diaspora based in Finland, who may have travelled back to take part in the civil war or alleviate its impact in some capacity. However, the FSIS estimates that majority of these individuals are seeking to participate in armed conflict.

Equally, it is not clear how many volunteers or foreign fighters have either joined or support the Islamic State (or why), but according MTV3 News the FSIS believes those who have joined IS are “extremely radical”. It is likely that the majority of Finnish foreign fighters have joined IS – particularly among those who have travelled to Syria after summer 2013. Other groups that Finnish foreign fighters have joined are Jabhat al-Nusra and Kataib al-Muhajireen (before they became Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar).

Some Finland-originated individuals who do not qualify as foreign fighters, e.g. women who either have accompanied their husbands or travelled to the conflict zone in an individual capacity, clearly support the IS. Out of the four women I have identified (out of eight), all identify strongly with the IS, although their connection to and any possible role within IS remain unclear.

The FSIS has recently estimated that there are around 20 individuals who have returned, although they offered no information regarding their role or affiliation in the conflict zone. The recent FSIS revelation came in the aftermath of Finnish authorities arresting and detaining four returnees (one in absentia) in early October under Chapter 34a (Terrorist offences) of the Finnish Criminal Code. They had allegedly joined and fought with the Islamic State.

Initially the four individuals were suspected by the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation for murder with terrorist intent in addition to other terrorism-related crimes. According to NBI chief investigator Mika Airaksinen, these charges were not connected to a specific homicide but rather connected to participating in the armed operations of a terrorist organization. However, the three individuals are currently detained only on suspicion of preparation of an offence to be committed with terrorist intent and provision of training for the commission of a terrorist offence, recruitment for the commission of a terrorist offence, and preparation of an offence to be committed with terrorist intent, respectively. The fourth individual, who was detained in absentia, is still suspected of committing murder with terrorist intent.

In terms of casualties, at least three Finnish casualties have been reported. These are “Marwan” (died June 2013), “Abu Anas al-Finlandi” (died February 2014) and “Muhammad” (died June 2014). However, according to HS, there may be as many as many as five or six Finnish fatalities.  

This leaves around 20-30 Finnish individuals in the conflict zone, majority of whom are likely foreign fighters affiliated with the Islamic State. It is highly likely that these individuals mainly reside and operate in Syria, although two Islamic State-affiliated Finnish jihadist foreign fighters claim to have travelled to Iraq. This information, however, cannot be independently verified at this point.

Check out my new ‘Policy Watch’ for the Washington Institute: “The Islamic State’s First Colony in Libya”

As the Islamic State/ISIS continues its offensives in Iraq and Syria, it is steadily gaining support from individuals and groups around the world. Most significantly, a relatively new global jihadist group in Libya — Majlis Shura Shabab al-Islam (the Islamic Youth Shura Council), or MSSI — announced last weekend that its claimed territory in the city of Darnah was now part of the ISIS “caliphate.” Although ISIS leaders have not commented on this proclamation or formally “annexed” this land into the Islamic State, MSSI’s move suggests a potential future approach to expansion that differs from al-Qaeda’s franchising model. It could also illustrate how national borders and contiguous landmass may be irrelevant to how ISIS will grow its caliphate beyond the Levant and Mesopotamia.

Click here to read the rest.

 

Check out my new article for Ha’aretz: “Will Gaza Be the Global Jihadists’ Next Ground Zero?”

HaaretzLogo

In almost all of the conflict arenas of the Middle East, global jihadists had a strong summer. We saw the resurgence of the Islamic State in the Iraqi and Syrian arenas; Ansar al-Sharia Libya confronted and pushed back Libya’s rogue general Khalifa Hiftar’s offensive; and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is once again highly active in southern Yemen. But the jihadists made a poor military showing in the war that broke out in one crucial geographic area: The Gaza-Sinai peninsula nexus, which rates as the most symbolically important in the Muslim world and, as a result, a key location for various global jihadis to prove their bona fides.

Click here to read the rest.

New article from Dr. Iyād Qunaybī: “Is Islām a Religion Of Sorrow Actually?”

إخوتي الكرام من الناس من يظن أن الدين يرتبط بالحزن، وأنه إن أراد أن يفرح فلا بد له أن يتناسى دينه قليلا!

وهذا أحد المفاهيم الخاطئة التي ساهم بعض الوعاظ في نشرها. ويستدلون بكلام لا يثبت عن قدواتنا، كما نُسب إلى الحسن البصري أنه قال: (المؤمن يصبح حزينا ويمسي حزينا ولا يسعه غير ذلك)

وما نسب إلى ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أنه قال: (كيف نفرح والموت من ورائنا والقبر أمامنا والقيامة موعدنا وعلى جهنم طريقنا وبين يدي الله موقفنا)

وما نسب إلى صلاح الدين أنه قال: (كيف أبتسم والمسجد الأقصى أسير؟).

روايات لا تثبت، ولو ثبتت فالحجة ليست فيها وإنما في قال الله وقال رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم.

لذا، فكلمتنا هذه هي لبيان أن الحزن بحد ذاته ليس أمرا محمودا ولا مطلوبا شرعا.

كما أن الفرح بحد ذاته ليس مذموما ولا دليلا على غفلتنا عن الآخرة وعدم اهتمامنا بهموم المسلمين.

سيقول قائل: كيف لا تريدنا أن نحزن؟ ألا ترى أوضاع المسلمين؟

الجواب: إخواننا المسلمون في أنحاء الأرض ليسوا بحاجة إلى حزننا السلبي، بل قد أصبحنا نخدر أنفسنا ونقنعها بأن اجترار الألم والهم يعفينا من شيء من واجبنا تجاه إخوتنا، مع أننا لا نترجم حزننا هذا إلى عمل! ننظر إلى الصور والمقاطع المؤلمة ثم نطلق التنهيدات ونكتئب، ثم تتعكر حياتنا ونحس بالمهانة والفشل لأوضاع أمتنا، وتنكسر همتنا لممارسة مهماتنا في مهننا ودراستنا وعلاقاتنا الأسرية والاجتماعية ونحس فيها باللاجدوى، ثم تتبلد أحاسيسنا. فإذا ما تاقت أنفسنا للفرح أحسسنا أنه لا بد من التغافل عن هموم أمتنا بل وعن ضوابط شريعتنا ونقول: (كفى كآبةً، كفى نكداً) –عبارات أصبحت تعني عند البعض: (كفى دينا وكفى إحساسا بالانتساب لأمة الإسلام)! فلا يفرحون بعدها إلا بمعصية الله، لأن الطاعة مقترنة في حسهم بالكآبة والحزن. وهكذا، في انتظار نكبة جديدة لنجتر عندها حزنا سلبيا مرة أخرى، نقنع به أنفسنا أننا لا زلنا منتسبين إلى ديننا وأمتنا.

وحقيقة الأمر أننا لا بحزننا السلبي هذا أطعنا الله ولا بفرحنا المتفلت من ضوابط الشريعة أطعناه، وعلى الحالين لم ننفع أمتنا.

إخوتي، علينا أن ننظر إلى الحزن والهم بإيجابية على أنها مشاعر مؤقتة، تعدل المسار وتتحول إلى قوة دافعة لننطلق في الحياة بنشاط وشعور بالمسؤولية وترفُّع عن السفاسف. كلما مِلنا إلى حياة الغفلة نتذكر آلام أمتنا فنترفع عن الدون ونتلمس طريق المعالي. حتى إذا قطعنا شوطا أحسسنا بالابتهاج وفرحنا فرحا حقيقيا في محله، فرحا بالطاعة، وليس الضحكات الهستيرية التي يطلقها الغافلون ليقنعوا أنفسهم ومن حولهم أنهم فرحون بينما قلوبهم خاوية.

الحزن محمود إذا تحول إلى وقود يسير في مساربه المناسبة فيدفعك إلى الأمام، فإذا لم تُسَيِّره في هذه المسارب والأعمال المنتجة فإنه يحرقك!

الحزن محمود بمقدار ما يوجد لديك اليقظة ويؤلمك عند التقصير ويعكر عليك لذة المعصية. إذا عصيت أحسست بالذنب والتقصير في حق أمتك وجراحاتها، فتحزن، فيدفعك هذا إلى الطاعة فتفرح بطاعتك. وبهذا تقترن الطاعة بالفرح والمعصية بالحزن، وليس العكس كما هو حالنا الذي ذكرناه!

علينا أن نتذكر أن الذي يحصل للمسلمين هو كله بقدر الله (ولو شاء ربك ما فعلوه)…قدره الله على الأمة إذ قصرت في القيام بأمره تعالى..وقد قدَّره لحكمة:

(ذلك ولو يشاء الله لانتصر منهم ولكن ليبلو بعضكم ببعض)…فعلينا أن نتلمس الطريق لننجح في الابتلاء، لا أن نجتر الأحزان.

ليس الحزن أمرا مطلوبا شرعا، ولا ينبغي أن يقترن في حسنا بالدين، وحديث أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان “متواصل الأحزان” ليس صحيحا، وقد قال عنه ابن القيم في مدارج السالكين: (إنه حديث لا يثبت وفي إسناده من لا يعرف، وكيف يكون (صلى الله عليه وسلم) متواصل الأحزان؟ وقد صانه الله عن الحزن على الدنيا وأسبابها، ونهاه عن الحزن على الكفار، وغفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه وما تأخر، فمن أين يأتيه الحزن؟ بل كان دائم البشر ضحوك السن) انتهى كلامه رحمه الله.

ولابن تيمية رحمه الله كلام جميل في الجزء العاشر من الفتاوى قال فيه:

(وأما الحزن فلم يأمر الله به ولا رسوله، بل قد نهى عنه في مواضع وإن تعلق بأمر الدين)

يعني لا تبرر لنفسك بأن حزنك ليس من أجل نفسك بل لأوضاع المسلمين. حتى هذا لا يبرر لك غلبة الكآبة عليك باستمرار- لاحظ قوله تعالى: {ولا تهنوا ولا تحزنوا وأنتم الأعلون إن كنتم مؤمنين}

هذا بعد معركة أحد وما تعرض له المسلمون فيها من مصائب، ومع ذلك يقول الله لهم: (ولا تحزنوا)،

وقوله تعالى: {ولا تحزن عليهم ولا تك في ضيق مما يمكرون} وقوله: {ولا يحزنك قولهم}

يعز على النبي أن يكفر الناس ويرفضوا دعوته فيأتيه الأمر من الله: (ولا تحزن عليهم)

وقوله تعالى: { إذ يقول لصاحبه لا تحزن إن الله معنا }…وغيرها من الآيات.

قال ابن تيمية: (وذلك لأنه –أي: الحزن- لا يجلب منفعة ولا يدفع مضرة، فلا فائدة فيه، وما لا فائدة فيه لا يأمر الله به).

ثم بين رحمه الله أن الحزن المحدود على مصائب الدنيا لا إثم فيه ما لم يقترن بإثم أو تسخط، كمن يحزن على فقد ولده، وأن الذي يحزن على مصائب المسلمين فإنه لا يثاب على الحزن نفسه، وإنما على خيرية قلبه وحبه لإخوانه المسلمين. فهناك أعمال قلوب يثاب المسلم عليها، كحب الله وخشيته وحب المسلمين. أما الحزن فليس من أعمال القلوب التي يثاب المرء عليها. فلا ينبغي لمسم أن يستزيد من الحزن ويلازمه ويظن أنه بذلك مأجور عليه.

ثم ختم ابن تيمية كلامه بقوله: (ولكن الحزن على ذلك –يعني مصائب المسلمين- إذا أفضى إلى ترك مأمور من الصبر والجهاد وجلب منفعة ودفع مضرة نهي عنه).

نعم، هذا هو الحزن السلبي الذي نتكلم عنه. الحزن الذي يحطم المعنويات ويقعد عن العمل المنتج، هذا هو الحزن الذي يريده أعداؤنا لنا!

لذا، فإن من مقاصد الشيطان إدخالَ الحزن على المؤمنين. ومن مقاصد الشريعة إدخالُ الفرح والسرور على المؤمنين. قال تعالى:

(إنما النجوى من الشيطان ليحزن الذين آمنوا وليس بضارهم شيئا إلا بإذن الله وعلى الله فليتوكل المؤمنون)

من مقاصد أولياء الشيطان أن يوقعوك في الحزن والمشقة. قال تعالى فيهم: ((ودوا ما عنتم))، أي يتمنون لكم العنت والمشقة.

في الإعلام العالمي، أعداؤنا يحجبون خسائرهم لأنهم لا يريدون للمسلمين أن يفرحوا وترتفع معنوياتهم.

بينما لا حد ولا قيد على تناقل ما يكرس الهم والغم والحزن من صور ومقاطع. ينشرون صورا لتعذيب المسلمين وإهانتهم في السجون. هذه ليست تسريبات، بل عمل ممنهج لتحطيم معنوياتك أيها المسلم وجعلك تعيش حزنا سلبيا مستمرا.

بينما لا يسمح إعلامهم بعرض صورٍ فظيعة لقتلاهم، ويقتصرون على صور الجنائز وكفكفة الدموع بالمقدار الذي يشحن الناس ويشعرهم بالرغبة في الانتقام دون تحطيم معنوياتهم.

في المقابل، إدخال السرور على المسلم من مقاصد الشريعة. في الحديث الذي حسنه الألباني جعل النبي أول عمل في أحب الأعمال إلى الله: (سرور تدخله على مسلم).

هل تجد آية واحدة أو حديثا واحدا يأمر بالحزن أو يمدحه؟ بل على العكس تجد آيات كثيرة تنهى عنه.

ونبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يستعيذ بالله من الهم والحزن: (اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الهم والحزن)، ويعلمنا أدعية تذهب بالحزن.

لن تقوم قائمة الإسلام على أكتاف أناس حزينين مكتئبين بؤساء! وعندما نستعرض ما فعله أسلافنا الذين يُنسب إليهم الحزن الدائم على لسان بعض الوعاظ…عندما نستعرض إنجازاتهم العظيمة في فترات وجيزة، فتحوا البلاد وجذبوا الناس إلى دين الله وتفوقوا في مجالات الحياة كلها…نخلُص إلى نتيجة أنه من المستحيل قطعا أن من قام بهذا كله أصحاب نفوس تسيطر عليها الكآبة!

(يسروا ولا تعسروا، بشروا ولا تنفروا)…عامة الناس لا يجذبهم شيء إلى دين الله مثل أن يروا بسمات الطمأنينة والرضا على وجوهنا، ولا ينفرهم عن دين الله شيء مثل أن يروا وجوهنا كئيبة كأنها تروي للناس قصة صفقة “خاسرة” دخلناها مع الدين حاش لله!

الفرح هو الذي يجب أن يقترن بالطاعة والتدين، لا الحزن المستمر. قال تعالى: ((من عمل صالحا من ذكر أو أنثى وهو مؤمن فلنحيينه حياة طيبة)).

الاستبشار هو الذي يجب أن يقترن بالطاعة. قال تعالى: ((ألا إن أولياء الله لا خوف عليهم ولا هم يحزنون (62) الذين آمنوا وكانوا يتقون (63) لهم البشرى في الحياة الدنيا وفي الآخرة )).

نعيم الروح هو الذي يجب أن يقترن بالطاعة. قال تعالى: (( إن الأبرار لفي نعيم (13) وإن الفجار لفي جحيم (14) )).

قال ابن القيم:

(قال: هذا في دورهم الثلاث ليس مختصا بالدار الآخرة وإن كان تمامه وكماله وظهوره إنما هو في الدار الآخرة وفي البرزخ دون ذلك…فالأبرار في نعيم في الدنيا وفي البرزخ وفي الآخرة.

والفجار والكفار في جحيم في الدنيا وفي البرزخ وفي الآخرة).

نعم، الفرح هو الذي يجب أن يقترن بالطاعة والتدين. فالله تعالى أمر بالفرح ونهى عن الحزن. أمر بالفرح فقال: ((قل بفضل الله وبرحمته فبذلك فليفرحوا)).

أما قول قوم قارون له: (لا تفرح إن الله لا يحب الفرحين).

فلا يعني ذم الفرح عموما، بل فرح الكبر والغطرسة والاستعلاء. قال تعالى:

((ذلكم بما كنتم تفرحون في الأرض بغير الحق وبما كنتم تمرحون))

أي: بفرحكم الذي كنتم تفرحونه في الدنيا، بغير ما أذن لكم به من الباطل والمعاصي.

خلاصة القول إخواني، الإسلام دين الفرح، ليس الفرح الأهوج الفارغ المصطنع، بل الفرح بالطاعة والمباح. وليس الحزن مطلوبا منا، ولا نؤجر عليه، ولا يسقط عنا شيئا من واجباتنا تجاه ديننا وأمتنا. فلا يحسن بنا أن نشحن أنفسنا بمزيد من الحزن، بل أن ننطلق لخدمة ديننا بهمم عالية وأرواح مشرقة ونفوس مستبشرة.

والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله.

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Source: https://justpaste.it/h586

To inquire about a translation for this article for a fee email: azelin@jihadology.net

 

The Clairvoyant: Turks Or Uyghurs Arrested In Indonesia?

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that four Turks had been arrested in Poso, Indonesia related to links with the Islamic State. It was later revealed though that in fact they were Uyghurs from Xinjiang, China. Why the confusion? There is actually a relatively simple answer to this, which was recently provided by a jihadi online that also helps us better understand some of the processes for how individuals are making their way toward Syria.

According to an individual that uses the name Abdullah Abu Bakr, Uyghurs have a difficult time obtaining Chinese passports to travel abroad. I personally cannot attest or know the veracity of this claim since I do not follow Chinese policies on this issue closely. That said, if one takes it as stated, because of this, these wannabe Uyghur foreign fighters then create fake passports, specifically from Turkey. He then claims they venture to Malaysia or Thailand where they might spend some time in prison, but afterwards because they were caught with these fake Turkish passports they are then deported to Turkey. Once in Turkey, according to him, Turkish officials view the Uyghurs as Turkic peoples and therefore allow them to safely stay in Turkey, which then allows the Uyghurs to safely get into Syria. This again raises questions about Turkish potential in enabling of the foreign fighter flow into Syria. He then warns that if any of this process gets snuffed out then the individuals attempting to fight jihad in Syria (and/or Iraq) will get sent back to China and face prison there. In part, this is likely why Indonesia at first believed the individuals arrested were from Turkey.

Of course, he does not mention Indonesia, but I do not see why this process couldn’t have played out there as well, whereby individuals from Xinjiang using fake Turkish passports traversed to Indonesia. Once there, the hope being to be deported then to Turkey so they can make easy entrance into Syria. This illustrates not only the efforts that go into trying to get to Syria, but also highlights that there is a network of individuals that has created a system to try and get individuals over there even if the process might take some time, arduous, and risky. It also likely shows that there are more interlinked connections between the different jihadi facilitation networks in south/southeast Asia as well as how they then connect back to the facilitation networks based in Turkey and/or the Arab world.

What the Syrian conflict has done is regenerate old networks, connect separate past networks that now overlap, and the creation of new ones that are now part of the broader echo system related to global jihadism. These connections created for going to join up to fight in Syria/Iraq will also be important for any potential returnees and/or the use of external operations if it is in the cards either for the Islamic State or al-Qaeda’s branch Jabhat al-Nusra. All of this just highlights that there is a very sophisticated methodology for ways in which individuals not so close to Syria get there that helps not only those that want to get there, but cements key relations that could be relevant to future jihad in south/southeast Asian countries.

As-Saḥāb Media presents a new statement from al-Qā’idah in the Indian Subcontinent: “Operation Of the Mujāhidīn Against the American Naval Forces: Causes and Objectives”

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Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: al-Qā’idah in the Indian Subcontinent — “Operation Of the Mujāhidīn Against the American Naval Forces- Causes and Objectives”

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Source: https://twitter.com/usamamahmood34/status/512197166647898112

To inquire about a translation for this statement for a fee email: azelin@jihadology.net

 

Jihadology is a personal project of Aaron Y. Zelin and is not associated with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Translations

To inquire about translations for a fee email: azelin@jihadology.net

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