This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Interest in Hizb ut-Tahrir grows after Marathon bomber visited Dagestan
- Israel’s army to begin using live fire on West Bank Palestinian protesters
- Qatar competes with Russia and Iran for influence in the Mideast
Interest in Hizb ut-Tahrir grows after Marathon bomber visited Dagestan
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left (dead), and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, right (captured) – the Boston Marathon bombers (AP)
Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (Hut – the Party of Islamic Liberation) is apan-Islamic political party, founded in Jerusalem in 1953, whichpromotes the Islamic way of life in countries around the world, andspeaks out against U.S. policies across the Muslim world. However,unlike al-Qaeda and some other international pro-Islamic groups, HuTpublicly renounces violence, and has not been associated withterrorist acts. It views itself as an educational and cultural partythat encourages mass conversions to Islam by showing that Islamreflects their real concerns, and by exposing the plans andconspiracies of others. The oppose “Islamists” like the MuslimBrotherhood who “[come] in to power with no Islam but to promote theidea of secular/civil state in line with America’s wishes.” Instead,their main purpose is to unite all the Islamic nations into a singleIslamic state or caliphate by creating a Community of Hizb ut-Tahrir,whose members will work together like the companions of the ProphetMuhammad.
HuT has been designated as a terrorist organization by Russia and somecentral Asian countries, but not by the United States nor by mostEuropean countries. In addition, the last major HuT World Congresswas held in the United States.
Interest in HuT has grown since it was learned that the BostonMarathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev met with his third cousin, MagomedKartashov, the leader of an HuT offshoot, the Union of the Just, inKizlyar, Dagestan, during his six-month visit to Russia. According toa Time magazine report:
“On May 5, three agents from Russia’s Federal SecurityService (FSB) … interrogated Kartashov for the first time aboutthe Boston bombings…. The FSB agents were interested in whetherKartashov and Tsarnaev had ever discussed Islamic radicalism. …
Kartashov told them that they had, but claimed that Tsarnaev wasthe one trying to “pull him in to extremism.” According to hislawyer…, “Kartashov tried to talk [Tsarnaev] out of his interestin extremism.”
[The story] matches the accounts of five other men in Dagestan whoknow Kartashov and spent time with Tsarnaev. All of them dismissthe notion that Tsarnaev was radicalized in Dagestan. Instead, thepicture that emerges from their accounts is of a young man whoalready carried a deep interest in Islamic radicalism when he wentto Russia from his home in Massachusetts. But that curiosityevolved during his visit. The members of Kartashov’s circle saythey tried to disabuse Tsarnaev of his sympathies for localmilitants. By the end of his time in Dagestan, Tsarnaev’sinterests seem to have shifted from the local insurgency to a moreglobal notion of Islamic struggle — closer to the one espoused byKartashov’s organization.”
The issue of when Tsarnaev “became radicalized” has become amuch-discussed question. I discussed this question at length in “20-Apr-13 World View — Generational analysis of Boston Marathon bombings”, where I wrote that hemost likely developed radical attitudes towards the U.S. while he wasgrowing up Kyrgyzstan, near the Fergana Valley. Later, as an adultliving in Boston, he found a way to translate those attitudes intoaction. Jamestown and Vesti (Kyrgyzstan – translated) and Time and Hizb ut-Tahrir web site
Israel’s army to begin using live fire on West Bank Palestinian protesters
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are changing policies and areincreasingly willing to use live fire “if necessary” onWest Bank Palestinian protesters that threaten Jewish settlements.According to the IDF, there has been an escalation in Arabattacks on Israeli civilians:
“Their brazenness has crossed the line — they aredoing what they didn’t do for years, like reaching the fence of anIsraeli community and throwing rocks into the community, causinginjuries. …
There is a change in the decisiveness, in the determination to endthis phenomenon… I hope the other side realizes that the ‘silkglove treatment’ is over.”
In 2003 I wrote that there would be a huge new Mideast war betweenJews and Arabs, refighting the genocidal 1948 war that followed thepartitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.(See “Mideast Roadmap – Will it bring peace?” from 2003.) There have been three wars since then –the war between Israelis and Hizbollah, fought largely on Lebanon’ssoil in 2006; the war between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah inGaza in 2008, that led to Hamas control of Gaza; Operation Cast Lead,the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza early in 2009; and Israel’smilitary action in Gaza in November 2012. The increased use ofrock-throwing by Palestinian protesters in the West Bank, triggeringthe use of live fire by the IDF, are part of the continuing spiralinto full-scale war. Israel National News
Qatar competes with Russia and Iran for influence in the Mideast
On one side in Syria, the United States, the European Union, Turkey,Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are backing the opposition — thoughthere are different factions with ideologies ranging from Syriannationalist to Islamic jihadist. On the other side, Russia issupporting the Bashar al-Assad regime in order to retain its influencein the Mideast, while Iran and Hezbollah are support the al-Assadregime as part of the overall conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims.Qatar and Russia, in particularly, are supplying arms to opposingsides, fueling the sectarian proxy war. The last great Sunni-Shiabattle in the Middle East involved near-constant war between the SunniOttoman Empire and Iran’s Shia Safavid Empire during the 16th and 17thcenturies, which the Ottomans won by a small margin, ultimatelysecuring control over Iraq.
However, Qatar’s ambitions for regional hegemony go beyond Syria.Russia and Iran would like to gain greater influence in Egypt, butQatar is using its oil wealth to provide billions of dollars in aidand loans to Egypt’s government, led by the Muslim Brotherhood.Furthermore, Qatar is supporting Hamas, which recently broke with itslong-time ally al-Assad and moved its headquarters from Syria’scapital, Damascus, to Qatar’s capital, Doha. However, critics inEgypt allege that Qatar is less interested in supporting Egypt thanthey are in supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, providing Russia andIran their own opportunities to gain influence. Globe and Mail (Toronto) and Gulf News