Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: Nāṣir Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Brigades’ (Liwā’ al-Tawḥīd): “Warning Muslims From Participating in Holidays of the Disbelievers”
To inquire about a translation for this release for a fee email: [email protected]
NOTE: For prior parts in the Hizballah Cavalcade series you can view an archive of it all here.
Deck the Halls with a Minority Alliance: Shia Militia Social Media Messages to Christians
By Phillip Smyth
Figure 1: This photo, purporting to show a Shia banner on a church (possibly in Iraq) has been circulated around as a symbol of Shia-Christian unity and coexistence. The photo has been present on a multitude of Iranian-backed Shia Islamist group Facebook pages.
Minority alliances in the Middle East are hardly a new trend. During the Syrian Civil War there has been deliberate engagement by some minority elements to build more effective political alliances and fighting groups based on minority identification. This has particularly been the case with the mainly Alawite support base for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and his system’s relationship with Druze and Christian elements within Syria. The trend of marketing the Syrian leader as both a secularist and as one who will take care of other minority groups has been a major theme in pro-Assad open source media circles.
Nevertheless, Bashar al-Assad’s power bloc is not the only group touting their minority alliance credentials in the face of a mainly Sunni Islamist rebel enemy. In fact, Shia Islamist militias backed by Iran, which are also engaged in fighting these rebels, have also actively attempted to court Christians. These groups have tried to build a minority alliance sentiment with a number of strategically placed photos on their hive-like social media accounts. While this is but one of many different trends found on Shia Islamist militia social media pages, it does play to grander narratives.
Figure 2: A photo showing a man covered in blood from what can be assumed was his own practice of zanjeer zani (Shia self-flagellation using a sword or knife). Note how a crucifix around his neck is circled. Some pro-Shia-militia-in-Syria social media pages have suggested the man is a Christian showing his devotion to historical Shia leader, Husayn. Other pages have used the photo as a symbol of Shia respect for Christians (and vice versa).
Lebanese Hizballah has actively engaged Lebanon’s Christian (primarily Maronite Catholic) community. In 2006 the group became a senior partner with Michel Aoun’s mainly-Christian Free Patriotic Movement in the March 8th Alliance. Lebanese Hizballah has also attempted to court Lebanon’s Christian community in recent years. In 2012 around Christmas, pro-Hizballah writers published pieces touting the group’s outreach to Christians. The group also issued a 2013 Christmas greetings to Christians and held meetings with the community.
Since Shia militia groups in Syria have branded their enemies as al-Qa’ida style extremist “Takfiris”, it allows for continued marketing of Shia group activities as a hard power counter. Many Christians in Syria arrived in the country due to attacks they suffered in Iraq. Other Syrian Christians worry about their presence in the country with ascendant Sunni Islamist extremist groups in the country.
The goal of these photos appears to be less of an attempt to recruit Christian fighters for Shia militia ranks. Instead, they are used to create the image of cross-sectarian unity. This form also pushes a narrative that Christians can not only find protection with Shia Islamist militias, but that these organizations will both respect them and act as viable long term allies. This messaging structure also plays off of earlier themes adopted by many regional Christian groups, namely the fear of being drowned in a “Sunni Sea”.
Figure 3: A photo supposedly showing Christians in Iraq engaging in a Shia pilgrimage. This photo also received many different captions. The main theme behind the captions promoted Christian-Shia brotherhood.
Figure 4: A photograph claiming to show an Iraqi church which had hung Shia banners to help usher in the New Year. This picture started to appear on Shia Islamist militia pages in December 2013. The photo was unclear, but implied it was taken in November during Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah (the Islamic New Year). Rebel activists seized upon the photograph, claiming it showed a church being desecrated with Shia flags in Syria.
Figure 5: A picture promoting ‘Syrian unity’ between Shia and Christians. This picture has appeared on a small number of Iraqi Shia-manned militia group Facebook pages.
Figure 6: In April, Shia militia pages claimed this fighter was a “Christian martyred defending the Shrine of Sayyida Sukayna bint Husayn [the Sayyida Ruqayya Mosque]”. Some Shia militia pages referred to him as the “Son of the Virgin Mary”.
Figure 7: A photo showing a Syrian fighters accoutrements. Included are small medallion-like pictures of Lebanese Hizballah leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah and a crucifix. It noted in the caption that these items belonged to a Christian soldier named George Elias and that he wore them around his neck.
NOTE: ‘Umar Bakrī Muḥammad also recently wrote an article on Halloween. Muḥammad was the founder and leader of al-Muhājirūn in Britain prior to it disbanding in 2004. Since then, there have been a variety of al-Muhājirūn successor groups in Britain as well as the United States (e.g. Islam4UK, Savior Sect, al-Ghurabā’, Islamic Thinkers Society, Revolution Muslim, Iẓhārudīn, Muslims against Crusades, and others). Following the 7/7 attack Bakrī Muḥammad moved to Lebanon after living in London for more than 20 years. He is still currently associated with the British jihadist scene through over the internet communication and live speeches online. al-Muhājirūn and its successor groups have been involved or linked to a variety of terrorist attacks or plots. Some of the larger ones include: Mohammed Bilal Suicide Bombing (India) in 2000, Mike’s Bar Bombing, Tel Aviv in 2003, Operation Crevice in 2004, 7/7 and 7/21 in 2005, Operation Praline in 2005, Toronto 18 in 2006, and 9/11 Anniversary Plot in 2009. He was recently arrested and then released from jail this past November in Lebanon.
In the world today many Muslims, especially those residing in Western countries are exposed to the evil celebration, Christmas. Many take part in the festive celebrations by exchanging cards, gifts, decorating homes, having Christmas turkey dinners & congratulating one another for the coming of season etc. For many the practice is viewed as harmless amusement & pleasure for young & old.
The build up to Christmas is aggressively promoted; businesses deploy every possible tactic to captivate the masses in every spectrum of society, in shopping centres, high streets, television, radio, magazine & newspapers.
Even though Christmas has been taken hostage by Capitalist to increase business revenues, many still practice this corrupt celebration as a remembrance of the birth of Jesus, who is considered as ‘the incarnation of God’ second third of the trinity, hence it is a celebration of the birth of divinity.
Though the date 25th December is taken by Christians as the birth of Jesus, the origins of this date can be linked to the birthday of the Hindu god Khrishna, & the Greek god of light, Mithra. This evil celebration is from many angles of origin is a deeply rooted practice of Shirk (worshipping along with the Creator [i.e. Allah], a crime which Allah will never forgive.
“Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, & whoever sets up partners with Allâh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin” [4:48]
How can a Muslim possibly approve or participate in such a practice that bases itself on the notion that Allah has an offspring?
Allah (swt) said,
“Such was Jesus, the son of Mary; it is a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute. It is not befitting to the majesty of God, that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be’ & it is” [19:34-35]
If the prophet of Allah, Jesus (Isa the son of Maryum, peace be upon him) was to return now, he would never tolerate such accusations being levied against him. Rather when he was born his first proclamation was clarifying his status as slave & messenger of Allah & nothing more.
He (Jesus) said: ‘Verily! I am a slave of God; He has given me the Scripture & made me a Prophet; “[19:29-30]
The very concept of Christmas contradicts & conflicts with the foundation of Islam, & that is the testimony of faith, “La Ilaha Ila Allah – None has the right to be worshipped but Allah”. Any person with basic knowledge of Islam could never accept or tolerate such a false accusation against Allah. Allah is free from having any offspring or being an offspring, for He (swt) said,
“Say: “God is Unique! God, the Source [of everything]. He has not fathered anyone nor was He fathered, & there is nothing comparable to Him!” [112:1-4]
Even though this practice is heavily glamorised & practiced by the majority, it is paramount for every worshipper of Allah to avoid following the masses in this evil celebration, Allah (swt) said,
“If you obey most of those upon the earth, they will lead you away from the way of Allaah.” [6:116]
It is the ruling of Allah & His Messenger, that those who imitate anyone in dress, manner, behaviour, speech or even celebration becomes part of that community, for the messenger of Allah (swt) said,
“Whoever imamates a group of people he is one of them”. [Reported in Abu Dawood]
Every Muslim has a responsibility to protect his family from the misguidance of Christmas, because its observance will lead to hellfire (a punishment which is seventy times hotter than the fires of this world).
“O you who believe! save yourselves & your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men & stones..” [66:6]
Know dear Muslim, to offer Christmas cards, attend any Christmas events, to congratulate others (i.e. by saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year” etc), Decorating the house, purchasing Christmas trees, or having Christmas turkey meals are completely prohibited by Allah. Protect your Paradise from being taken away from you & your family; protect yourself & your family from Christmas.