By Murad Makhmudov, Jibril Khoury and Lee Jay Walker
Source: Modern Tokyo Times
The American led invasion of Iraq led to the demise of all non-Muslim minorities because the brutal reality of Sunni Islamic terrorism meant that they were easy targets. Similarly, Muslims also fled their homes and homeland in vast numbers in order to escape radical Sunni Islamic terrorist movements. Many of these refugees fled to different parts of Iraq and to other nations. Syria figured prominently for many refugees fleeing the “political vacuum” in Iraq which led to sectarianism, terrorism, chaos, and a complete breakdown of society.
In Syria the dual forces of important conservative Sunni Islamic dominated nations and leading Western powers, are conspiring together in order to further their respective agendas. Therefore, both forces have unleashed terrorism and sectarianism against the central government of Syria once a “political vacuum” emerged throughout the region. This combined Western and Sunni Islamic force is manipulating events in order to further their respective geopolitical objectives.
For Saudi Arabia and Qatar both nations are still smarting over the rise of powerful Shia political forces in Iraq. They both fear that Iran could utilize the religious angle in order to influence the Levant under a different branch of Islam. This means that Saudi Arabian is viewing itself to be the guardian of its version of Sunni Islam and this can be seen by its political power projections in Bahrain and Yemen respectively, whereby the Shia are viewed with contempt. Turkey, on the other hand which persecutes Alevi Muslims, is playing a more opportunist role because in the past this nation had favorable relations with Iran and Syria. However, the crisis in Syria which was encouraged and then militarily supported by outside powers, showed the real “hand of Turkey” which is angered about the current political situation in Iraq.
The weakening of Syria and creating another unstable and weak nation in the Middle East sounds like a golden opportunity for Israel. In the past secular forces in Egypt and Syria had threatened the existence of Israel. However, the Gulf nations have remained rather placid and clearly Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any intentions on spreading radical Salafi Islam and terrorism against Israel internally. In saying that, Saudi Arabia’s influence is growing in Gaza but the strong bonds between America and Saudi Arabia remains firm despite areas of negativity.
America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, all want to decrease the influence of Iran in Bahrain, Lebanon, and Syria respectively. The major “jewel in the crown” is Syria because this nation is the last independent secular nation in the Arabic speaking world which had powerful central functioning bodies. Therefore, if the Bashar al-Assad government collapses a new Sunni Muslim sharia state will emerge and alter the political and religious landscape.
The situation of Christians, Shabaks, Mandaeans, Yazidis, and the role of women, have all suffered badly in Iraq since the American led invasion. Similarly, this once powerful nation is but “a pale shadow of its past.” In truth, since outside meddling began it is clear that you don’t have a central state which is powerful throughout Iraq. Instead, you have a nation which is divided on religious and ethnic grounds, and other factors. The ongoing chaos in Egypt means that this powerful nation is also in a weakened state and the same applies to Libya and Tunisia. Indeed, currently the Middle East resembles a region which is weak and fragmenting quickly because of the continuing manipulation of events by outside forces.
Coptic Christians in Egypt face an uncertain future because of the power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, and the return of the “old regime.” Ironically, the return of the “old regime” may happen after the presidential election concludes with a winner. Either way, it is clear that tensions will continue to erupt in major cities like Cairo and Alexandria. Therefore, the functioning central state and the army face an uphill struggle to regain the trust of many segments within Egyptian society. In the meantime, secularists, socialists, Coptic Christians, and other areas within Egyptian society, are worried about the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists – with Salafi Islamists being the main concern.
Recent events in Syria continue to highlight the precarious situation for Christian and Muslim minorities in this part of the Middle East. All fear the Iraq scenario because many different Sunni Islamic terrorist networks are spreading their hatred towards different religious minority communities. The plight of Middle Eastern Christianity and minority faiths outside of Islam and within Islam, all face a bleak future if the central government of Syria is defeated by the combined forces of leading Western and Sunni Islamic nations. Also, mainstream Sunni Islam faces the genuine threat of radical Sunni Islamic forces which have turned on moderate Sunni Muslim forces in northern Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, and in other nations.
Russia Today (RT) commented that “The Christian minority in Syria is facing a growing threat and thousands are being forced to flee their homes as they face harassment and discrimination from radical Islamist factions of the opposition.”
“At least 9,000 Christians from the western Syrian city of Qusayr were forced to seek refuge after an ultimatum from a local military chief of the armed opposition, Abdel Salam Harba, Fides News Agency,reports.”
Catholic priests in Qusayr have openly stated that they heard the threats against the Christian community from Sunni Islamic minarets who are ordering their flock to oppress and persecute Christians. A further 10,000 Christians reside near Qusayr in surrounding villages and clearly you may have a further exodus of Christians in this part of Syria.
Another interesting aspect of this is that it is reported that Christians are fleeing various different Sunni Islamic armed groups. This in turn may lead to future tensions between the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a patchwork of different Sunni Islamic terrorist networks. The FSA is being supported by outside nations in order to overthrow the government of Syria and in the past this movement was also implicated in cleansing Christians and other minorities. However, just like in Bosnia, whereby one Muslim force was loyal to the Bosnian Serbs, this may be pointing to even more fragmentation. Therefore, if the central government is defeated then chaos will be the most likely outcome along with enormous sectarian bloodletting.
Nations that have instigated this chaos should be held accountable for the crimes they have unleashed against the people of Syria. Now, many different outside nations are fostering different terrorist groups and at the same time Saudi Arabia and Qatar are exporting their version of militant Sunni Islam. The Sunni Islamic terrorist networks in Iraq also loathe all minorities and moderate versions of Sunni Islam. For Christians and all minorities another Iraq is on the cards, whereby rich cultures and religious groups will be decimated because of the folly of outside nations.
It is noticeable that Christians are fleeing to Syrian government controlled areas in order to be protected by the Syrian armed forces. Of course, this fact will not mean anything to leaders in America, the United Kingdom, and France. The same applies to the mass media, shameful human rights so-called organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and international political leaders; which are fueling sectarianism and encouraging a bombing campaign against the government of Syria.
All leading major religious figures in Syria have spoken out against outside meddling but their voices are being ignored. Instead, the flow of money from the proxies of America, keep on supporting all “the dark forces” in Syria. The Russian Federation is doing everything in its power to reach a peaceful solution and to reduce the bloodshed. However, given past history, then the future looks bleak for Syria unless friendly nations really support this nation politically, economically, and militarily.
President Bashar al-Assad introduced political and constitutional reforms during the crisis, which is very rare given the seriousness of the situation. Bashar al-Assad also welcomed observers from the United Nations and clearly he is open to changes which will benefit Syria. Despite this, outside nations have done everything in their power by manipulating the media, spreading poverty by enforcing an economic blockade, funding terrorist organizations, sending covert operatives, and using foreign nations to build up the FSA and other sinister forces. The upshot of all this is more violence and carnage and now just like in Iraq different minorities are fleeing radical Sunni Islamists and criminal elements within the opposition.