Tag Archive | Saudi Arabia

Iran Arrests 4 Saudis on a Vessel inside Its Territorial Waters*

Iran Arrests 4 Saudis on a Vessel inside Its Territorial Waters*

By Tyler Durden

On June 19, just around the time it emerged that Israel had been secretly funding Syrian rebel groups and was explicitly aligned with Saudi Arabia in the Syrian conflict, Saudi media reported that the kingdom had captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps from a boat as it approached the kingdom’s offshore Marjan oilfield. The Saudi Centre for International Communications added that the boat carried explosives, and the Iranians aboard “intended to carry out terrorist act in Saudi territorial waters” with the Marjan Saudi offshore oilfield allegedly targeted.  In other words, Saudi paraded that it had caught what appeared to be three Iranian terrorists belonging to IRGC, suggesting this was an operation ordered from the very top.

Of course, Iran’s take on things was different: Iran’s Tasnim news agency said that Saudi border guards had opened fire on an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf on Friday, killing a fisherman. It said the boat was one of two Iranian boats fishing in the Gulf that had been pushed off course by waves. So on one side terrorists, on the other fishermen: about par.

Three weeks later, there has been no resolution to this alleged hostage crisis, however in a new development, on Friday Iran’s Fars news agency reported that Iran has returned the favour.

According to the Iranian news agency, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards – this time on the offensive – intercepted a Saudis boat for violating Iran’s territorial waters, and arrested the four passengers on board.

According to the Fars report, the boat came from the Saudi port of Darien and violated Iranian naval water borders where it was stopped by the Revolutionary Guards in the waters of the Bushehr province in southern Iran.

The Iran source told Fars that the IRGC had started an investigation regarding the four passengers on board the boat.

So far there has been no official statement on any Saudi news agency either confirming or denying the report, which likely means that a “behind the scenes” transfer of hostages on both sides is already in place.

Source*

Related Topics:

Iran Seizes Arab Vessels Entering its Territorial Waters*

Terror Attacks in Iran Were Joint Saudi-Israel-U.S. Project*

Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties with Qatar for Not Wanting War with Iran*

Hacked Emails Show Top UAE Diplomat Coordinating With Pro-Israel Think Tank Against Iran*

Russia and Iran Escape the Petro-dollar*

Russia, Iran, Turkey Reach Consensus on De-escalation Zones in Syria*

Iran Sticks to Nuclear Deal in Spite of Threats from Warmongers*

Aged U.S. Hawks Planning for Iran at Adelson Backed Conference*

U.S. Fires Captain Detained by Iran in January*

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Violence Erupts Following Saudi Demolition of Historic Shia Homes*

Violence Erupts Following Saudi Demolition of Historic Shia Homes*

By Ian Greenhalgh

Clashes have erupted between Saudi security forces and Shia gunmen after the demolition of centuries-old homes in the Shia town of al-Awamiya.

Al-Awamiya is home to Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr who was executed by Saudi Arabia

 

[Editor’s note: This civil unrest in the Shia dominated eastern region of Saudi Arabia is not only due to the attempts by the House of Saud to demonise Shias, it is a symptom of the growing unrest inside the Saudi kingdom caused by the people’s dissatisfaction with the cruel and barbarous totalitarian and religious extremist regime they are forced to suffer under.

The demonisation of Saudi Shias is part of the ongoing Saudi efforts to demonise and antagonise Iran, a Shia nation. The Sauds are Sunnis and they have been perhaps the primary driving force behind the Shia-Sunni split that has arisen in the Middle East in recent decades. Ian]

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Saudi Arabia is demolishing centuries-old homes in a Shia town, leveling a historic district that officials allege has become a hideout for local militants.

The destruction has sparked shoot-outs in the streets between Saudi security forces and Shia gunmen and stoked sectarian tensions that resonate around the region.

The violence in the Shia town of al-Awamiya, which is centered in the Sunni kingdom’s oil-rich east coast, adds a new source of instability at a time of increasing confrontation in the Gulf.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and its Shia-led rival Iran have spiked in recent weeks, with the kingdom and its allies severing ties with neighbouring Qatar, demanding among other things that it cut ties with Iran.

Bulldozers began demolishing al-Awamiya’s historic district on 10 May, with plans to tear down several hundred homes.

At least six security officers, six alleged militants and a number of civilians have been killed in al-Awamiya’s skirmishes, shootings and bombings this year.

Violence flared as government contractors began tearing down the town’s historical center.

The old district is known as al-Mosawara, Arabic for the “walled fortress”, named for its 400-year-old walls that protected the area from raiders.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told AP that “terrorists in al-Awamiya… have increased their armed violence” since the start of the “development project in al-Mosawara”.

Security forces patrol the town’s streets in armoured vehicles, frequently coming under fire from militants. Police say a South Asian construction worker was killed by an improvised explosive device targeting the demolition team.

Activists say security forces frequently open fire in the streets. A two-year-old boy died when shots were fired at his parents’ car, a shooting that activists blamed on police.

The sensitive security operation in al-Awamiya now rests with newly appointed Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud. The 33-year-old was installed earlier this month at the same time that King Salman declared his own 31-year-old son, Mohammed, as next in line to the throne.

The new interior minister’s father, Prince Saud bin Nayef, is the governor of the Eastern Province, where al-Awamiya is located and where most Saudi Shias live.

‘Collective punishment’

Though the Eastern Province sits atop most of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, al-Awamiya lacks basic services like a functioning hospital. It has no major ports. Garbage sits uncollected for weeks on the streets. Youth complain of rampant unemployment. The town is surrounded by checkpoints. Power has been cut to certain quarters.

“It’s collective punishment,” Ameen al-Nimr said of the situation in al-Awamiya. He left the town in late 2011 at the height of protests there and now resides in the U.K.

The demolition is “erasing the identity of the area and its history”, he said.

Three United Nations experts on cultural rights have also criticised the demolition, saying the “destruction erases the traces of this historic and lived cultural heritage”.

They said in a statement that the Saudi government has “ignored our concerns” and its only response “has been these violent actions”.

Riyadh says the district’s roughly 500 houses are being demolished because they do not comply with safety standards. It also accuses Shia militants of using al-Mosawara’s narrow alleys as “a safe haven” to “plan and carry out their terrorist operations”.

Al-Awamiya, a town of 25,000-30,000 residents, has long been a flashpoint of tensions with the kingdom’s Shias, who complain of discrimination at the hands of Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative Sunni clerics.

Prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr rallied thousands in al-Awamiya during Arab Spring protests in 2011, linking their movement for social justice and greater rights with the Shia-led sit-ins in nearby Bahrain.

Nimr was executed last year for his role in the protests. His execution sparked backlash in Iran that led to the ransacking of the Saudi Embassy and a complete severing of ties between the two countries.

The immediate response in his hometown of al-Awamiya, however, was more muted – the result of years of police crackdowns and arrests.

At least 51 people – 30 of them from al-Awamiya – have been killed in related violence in the Eastern Province between March 2011 and 1 June of this year.

The interior ministry says militants there fired a rocket-propelled grenade at police in May, killing an officer.

Local activists say the gunmen are armed locals defending themselves. Activists on the ground deny RPGs were used, according to activist Malik al-Saeed, who fled al-Awamiya in late 2015 over fears of arrest.

Al-Saeed says the demolition of al-Mosawara is intended to deepen rifts between Sunnis and Shias in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s meant to keep us (Shias) hated and sow fear among the public against Iran.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Israeli Fighter Jets in Saudi Arabia to Prevent Coup?*

Terror Attacks in Iran Were Joint Saudi-Israel-U.S. Project*

Israel Backs Saudi Arabia in Confrontation with Qatar*

Saudi Arabia Abandons Islamic Calendar as Part of Cost-Cutting Measures*

Saudi Forces Violated Regulations against Iraqi Hajj Pilgrims*

Saudi Arabia Uses Israeli Firm G4S to Make E-Bracelets for Hajj*

Qaradawi Responds to Violations of al-Sheikh and the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars with al-Azhar, Cairo*

Wahhabism, Saudis and the Divided Ummah*

U.S., Saudi, Turkey, Discuss Delivering Weapons to Terrorists against Assad*

How Saudi Arabia is Sponsoring Religious Eugenics*

Sunni Volunteers to ‘protect’ Shia Mourners in N. Pakistan*

Saudi Arabia Facing Flack from both Sunni and Shia Leaders*

Loneliness and “Sunni-Shia Hatred: Diseases We Must Fight”*

Sunnis ,Shi’as Pray for Unity Week after Bombing*

Lebanese Shia, Sunnis Unite Against Sectarian Strife*

Rouhani urges Muslims to Unite against ‘great plot’*

Queen Elizabeth Warns Of ‘Holy War To End All Wars’ *

Israeli Fighter Jets in Saudi Arabia to Prevent Coup?*

Israeli Fighter Jets in Saudi Arabia to Prevent Coup?*

By Jim W. Dean

[ Editor’s Note: This story was a big surprise. I cannot think of an act that would put a party involved in a Saudi coup in a more worse case position than to have Israelis intervene militarily on one side. It would boomerang by creating more support for the coup.

And if Israeli planes started bombing and strafing, say ministries taken over initially in a coup, what would those not involved do when they saw Saudis being killed by the IDF?

Such a scenario would more likely have the planes dressed up with Saudi markings to create confusion as to who was who, but that in itself would be a tricky piece of business.

Much safer would be, for someone like Israel, to supply detailed into of a planned coup so it could be nipped in the bud. But that itself could be a setup, as the Israelis are very pragmatic as to who they support and why.

Needless to say there are some hurt feelings in the Royal family, but to have an outgoing Prince go up against the succession committee which puts their stamp of approval on such changes, would hardly help said rebel Prince gain support where he would need it.

Whose neck is really on the line here? Was this a planted story to stir up dissension inside the Royal family?

 

FARS may have been fed this story, as VT always has from time to time, to sandbag up on a story that blows up in our faces. But we are quiet familiar with the signs and smells of such attempts. But there is always an outside chance that such a story was leaked to tip off the new Crown Prince to watch his backside to ward off such a coup going forward.

We shall see if the story gains any legs tomorrow, but it was newsworthy to report tonight. VT has no independent input at all on the story. We are in the bleachers at this point like everybody else … Jim W. Dean ]

On Thursday, 18 Israeli fighter jets and two C130 planes arrived in Saudi Arabia in order to prevent a possible coup attempt in the country, the Iranian Fars News Agency reported on June 22.

“18 Israeli fighter jets along with two Gulfstream aircraft landed in Saudi Arabia on Thursday to prevent any hostile or military moves by former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz who was replaced with Saudi King Salman’s son.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced on Wednesday his decision to replace Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz with his own son, Mohammed bin Salman.

After the decision was announced, the Israeli air force sent 18 of its fighter jets, including F16I, F15CD and F16CD, along with two Gulfstream aircraft, two tanker airplanes and two C130 planes, special for electronic warfare, to Saudi Arabia at the demand of the new crown prince bin Salman to block his cousin (bin Nayef)’s possible measures.

According to a royal decree, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and shall maintain his post as defense minister, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

Saudi media announced that King Salman has called for a public pledge of allegiance to the new crown prince in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday night. The SPA also confirmed that 31 out of 34 members of Saudi Arabia’s succession committee chose Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince.

Just days ago, the Saudi king stripped Nayef of his powers overseeing criminal investigations and designated a new public prosecution office to function directly under the king’s authority.

In a similar move back in 2015, the Saudi king had appointed his nephew, then deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the heir to the throne after removing his own half-brother Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from the position.

Under the new decree, King Salman further relieved Mohammed bin Nayef of his duties as the interior minister. He appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef as the new interior minister and Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Salem as deputy interior minister.” Fars News’ article reads.

Source*

Related Topics:

Saudi Arabia and Israel to Establish Economic Ties*

Terror Attacks in Iran Were Joint Saudi-Israel-U.S. Project*

Israel Backs Saudi Arabia in Confrontation with Qatar*

Saudi Arabia Uses Israeli Firm G4S to Make E-Bracelets for Hajj*

Saudi Prince Joins the Opposition

Saudi Arabia Facing Flack from both Sunni and Shia Leaders*

Qaradawi Responds to Violations of al-Sheikh and the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars with al-Azhar, Cairo*

Saudi King to Abdicate in Favour of Son*

Russia and Islam*

Russia and Islam*

Putin with Chechyna leader Ramzan Kadyrov in 2015

 

Russia has often been in the news over the past years, mostly as the demonized “Empire of Mordor” responsible for all the bad things on the planet, especially Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, the Russian intervention in Syria and, of course, the “imminent” Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland or even all of Western Europe. I won’t even dignify all this puerile nonsense with any attention, but instead I will focus on what I think are important developments which are either misunderstood or completely ignored in the West.

First, a few key dots:

1) The Russian intervention in Syria

There are so many aspects of the Russian military intervention in Syria which ought to be carefully studied that I am confident that many PhD theses will be written on this topic in the future. While I have mostly focused my work on the purely military aspects of this campaign, it is important to look at the bigger picture. To do that, I will make the admittedly risky assumption that the civil war in Syria is pretty much over. That is not my conclusion only, but also an opinion voiced by an increasing number of analysts including a Russian general during an official briefing. With the fall of Aleppo and now the latest Syrian-Hezbollah-Russian move to cut off the US controlled forces from their planned move to the Iraqi border, things do indeed looks pretty bleak for the terrorists, both the “good ones” and the “bad ones”. In the Syrian-Russian-Hezbollah controlled areas, normal life is gradually returning and the Russians are pouring huge amounts of aid (food, medical supplies, de-mining, engineering, etc.) into the liberated areas. When Aleppo was under Takfiri control it was the centre of attention of the western media, now that this city has been liberated, nobody wants to hear about it lest anybody become aware of what is a huge Russian success.

Even more impressive is the nature of the Russian forces in Tartus and, especially, in Khmeinim. The Russian military TV Channel “Red Star” has recently aired two long documentaries about the Russian facilities in Syria and two things are clear: first, the Russians are going to stay for a very long time and, second, they have now completed an advanced resupply and augmentation infrastructure which can accommodate not only small and mid-size aircraft and ships, but even the immense An-124. The Russian have dug in, very, very deep, and they will fight very hard if attacked. Most importantly, they now have the means of bringing in more forces, including heavy equipment, in a very short time.

Again, this might be a premature conclusion, but barring any (always possible) surprises, the Russians are in, Assad stays in power, the Takfiris are out and the civil war is over.

Conversely this means that: the U.S. lost the war, as did the KSA, Qatar, Israel, France, the U.K. and all the other so-called “friends of Syria”. The Iranians, Hezbollah and the Russians have won.

So what does all this really mean?

The most radical consequence of this process is that Russia is back in the Middle-East. But even that is not the full story. Not only is Russia back, but she is back in force. Even though Iran has actually made a bigger effort to save Syria, the Russian intervention, which was much smaller than the Iranian one, was far more visible and it sure looked like “Russia saved Assad”. In reality, “Russia saved Assad” is a gross over-simplification, it should be “the Syrian people, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia saved Syria”, but that is how most people will see it, for better or for worse. Of course, there is more than a kernel of truth in that view as without the Russian intervention Damascus would have probably fallen to the Daesh crazies and all the other Christian or Muslim denominations would have been more or less wiped out. Still, the perception is that Russia single-handedly changed what appeared as an inevitable outcome.

The Russian success was especially amazing when compared to the apparently endless series of defeats for the United States: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and now the latest mess with the Saudi blockade against Qatar – the Americans just don’t see to be able to get anything done. Just the contrast between the way the U.S. betrayed Hosni Mubarak with how the Russians stood by Assad is a powerful message to all the regional leaders: better to have the Russians on your side than the Americans.

2) How Russia transformed Turkey from an enemy to a potential ally

To say that Turkey is a crucial ally of the U.S. and a vital member of NATO is an understatement. For one thing, Turkey has the 2nd largest army in NATO (the U.S. being the biggest one, of course). Turkey also holds the keys to the Mediterranean, NATO’s southern flank and the northern Middle-East. Turkey has a common border with Iran and a maritime boundary with Russia (over the Black Sea). When Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber (with U.S. complicity) the situation became so tense that many observers feared that a full-scale war would break out between the two countries and, possibly, the NATO alliance. Initially, nothing happened, the Turks took a hard stance, but following the coup against Erdogan (also with U.S. complicity), the Turks suddenly did an amazing 180 and turned to Russia for help. The Russians were only glad too help, of course.

We will never really know what role the Russians really played in saving Erdogan, but it is pretty clear, even by his own words, that Putin did something absolutely crucial. What is indisputable is that Erdogan suddenly moved away from the U.S., NATO and the E.U. and turned to the Russians who immediately used Turkey’s ties with the Takfiris to get them out of Aleppo. Then they invited Turkey and Iran to negotiate a three way deal to end the civil war. As for the Americans, were not even consulted.

The example of Turkey is the perfect illustration of how the Russians turn “enemies into neutrals, neutrals into friends and friends into allies”. Oh sure, Erdogan is an unpredictable and, frankly, unstable character, the Americans and NATO are still in Turkey, and the Russians will never forget the Turkish support for the Takfiris in Chechnia, Crimea and Syria or, for that matter, the Turkish treacherous attack on their SU-24. But neither will they show any external signs of that. Just like with Israel, there is no love fest between Russia and Turkey, but all the parties are supremely pragmatic and so everybody is all smiles.

Why does this matter?

Because it shows how sophisticated the Russians are, how instead of using military force to avenge their SU-24, which is what the Americans would have done, they quietly but with great resolve and effort did what had to be done to “de-fuse” Turkey and “turn” it. The day following the Turkish attack Putin warned that Turkey would not “get away with just some tomatoes” (referring to the Russians sanctions against Turkish imports). Less than a year later, the Turkish military and security services got almost completely de-fanged in the purges following the coup against Erdogan and Erdogan himself flew to Moscow to ask to be accepted by the Kremlin as a friend and ally. Pretty darn impressive, if you ask me.

3) Russia and the “Chechen model” as a unique case in the Muslim world

Many observers have commented in awe at the miracle Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov pulled-off in Chechnia: after the region was absolutely devastated by two vicious and brutal wars and after being a “black hole” for assorted terrorists and common thugs, Chechnya turned into one of the most peaceful and safe parts of Russia (even while neighboring Dagestan is still suffering from violence and corruption). I won’t revisit it all and describe all the dramatic changes in Chechnya, but I will focus on a often ignored aspect of the “Chechen model”: Chechnya has become an extremely strict and traditional Sunni Muslim region. Not only that, but it is also one which has basically comprehensively defeated not only the Wahabis themselves but also their Wahabi ideology. In other words, Chechnya today is unique in that this is a Sunni Muslim culture which is strictly Islamic but with no risk whatsoever of being re-infected by the Wahabi virus. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this unique feature.

In the 1990s most of the Muslim world supported the Wahabi insurgency in Chechnya in a completely knee-jerk reaction I call “wrong or right – my Ummah”. This is largely the result of the very sophisticated AngloZionist propaganda aimed at the Muslim world which completely distorted the truth about the conflict taking place there (the same happened in Bosnia, by the way). Nowadays, however, the “Chechen example” is attracting a great deal of attention in the Muslim world and the personality of Ramzan Kadyrov is slowly becoming somewhat of a hero. Even the Saudis who financed a great deal of the Chechen insurgency and who threatened Russia with terrorist attack during the Sochi Olympics, now have to be very courteous and “brotherly” with Ramzan Kadyrov. The truth is that the Saudis are directly threatened by the “Chechen model” because it proves something the Saudis want to categorically deny: the traditional and strict Islam does NOT have to be Wahabi or, even less so, Takfiri.

Think of it: the biggest threat to the Saudis is, of course, Iran because it is a powerful, successful and dynamic Islamic Republic. But at least Iran is Shia and that, in the minds of some Sunnis, is a grievous heresy and almost a form of apostasy. But the Chechens are potentially much more dangerous to the Saudi ideology – they are anti-Wahabi (they call them “shaitans” or, literally, “devils”) and they are willing to fight anywhere in the Muslim world to counter the “good terrorists” supported by the CIA and the House of Saud. Time and time again, Ramzan Kadyrov, and many other Chechen leaders and commanders, have repeated that they are willing to fight for Russia “anywhere on the planet”. They have already been deployed in Georgia, Lebanon, Novorussia and now they are fighting in Syria. Each time with devastating effectiveness. They are true Muslim heroes, recognized as such even by the non-Muslim Russians, and they want absolutely nothing to do with the Wahabis whom they hate with a passion. As a result, more and more people in the Muslim world are expressing their admiration for the Chechen model.

The Chechen model also is noticed and hotly debated inside Russia. Russian liberals absolutely hate it and, just like their western curators, they accuse Kadyrov all sorts of unspeakable crimes. Their latest invention is that homosexuals are jailed and tortured by Chechen security service. This kind of stories might be taken seriously in San Francisco or Key West, but they get zero traction with the Russian public.

Chechnia is ideally located to influence not only the Caucasus but also other Muslim regions of Russia and even Central Asia. The large number of Chechens in the Russian special operation forces also makes them very visible in the Russian media. All this contributes to the high-visibility and popularity of a viable traditional Sunni model which is the exact opposite of what is happening the E.U. Let’s compare the image of Muslims in the E.U. with Russia.

A couple of important caveats first. First, the picture was not always quite as rosy, especially not in the 1990s when Chechens were seen as thugs, brutes, crooks and vicious terrorists. Some Russians have neither forgotten nor forgiven (and, of course, some Chechens still hate Russians for what they did to Chechnya during the two wars). Second, this table compares what I call “ethnic Muslims” in Europe, meaning people coming from Muslim countries or families but who are not necessarily true, pious, Muslims at all. In fact, most of them are not. This is why I put “Muslims” in quotation marks. When I speak of Chechens, I refer to those conservative Chechens who support Kadyrov and his strict adherence to Islamic values. So, in a way, I will be comparing apples and oranges, but I do so because I want to show the greatest contrast possible and I believe that these apples and oranges play a crucial role in the development of the societies they live in now.

Muslims” in the EU Kadyrov Chechens” in Russia
Seen as alien/immigrants/”others” Seen as neighbors/locals
Seen as disruptive of the local culture Seen as representing a conservative/traditionalist strand in the Russian society
Seen as potential terrorists Seen as the prime victims of, and allies against, terrorism
Seen has disloyal to the native people Seen as the most loyal defenders of the Motherland
Seen as criminals and hooligans Seen as “law and order” types
Seen as lazy welfare leeches Seen as hard-working and skilled businessmen

 

Again, these are not scientific findings, they are not backed by careful opinion polling and they do compare apples and oranges. So take them with a big bag of salt. And yet, I think that what this table shows what are deep and contrasting trends inside the EU and Russian societies: the EU is on a collision course with the Islamic world while Russia is not. In fact, Russia represents a model of how a (nominally) Christian society can coexist with a large Muslim minority to the benefit of both communities. Russia also represents a unique example of how two very different religions can contribute to the development of a joint civilizational model.

Now an attempt at discerning the future

So let’s connect the dots above: First, Russia is arguably the single most important actor in the Middle-East, far eclipsing the United States. Second, Russia has successfully built an informal, but crucial, alliance with Iran and Turkey and these three countries will decide of the outcome of the war in Syria. Third, Russia is the only country on earth where Sunni Islam is truly safe from the Wahabi virus and where a traditionalist Sunni society exists without any Saudi interference. Combine these three and I see an immense potential for Russia to become the force which will most effectively oppose the power and influence of the Saudis in the Muslim world. This also means that Russia is now the undisputed leader in the struggle to defeat international Takfiri terrorism (what Trump – mistakenly – calls “Islamic fundamentalism”).

The AngloZionist rulers of the Empire have been very clever, if also very short-sighted: First they created al-Qaeda, then unleashed it against their enemies, then they used al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to wreak havoc on a number of secular regimes just to “re-shape” a “new Middle-East” and now they are finally using al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to set the West on a direct collision course with the entire Muslim world (1.8 billion people!) which will prevent their imperial slaves, that is all of us, the common folks living the E.U. and U.S., from ever looking at the real cause of our problems or, even less so, overthrow our rulers.

Thus we see the disgraceful and, frankly, stupid propaganda against Muslims and Islam as if somehow there was a real Muslim or Islamic threat. The reality, of course, is that all those Muslims who do represent a real threat for the people in the West are invariably associated with western security services and that since 9/11 the vast majority of terror attacks have been false flags. True, there were some apparently “real” (that is: undirected by western special services) attacks, but the number of victims in such, frankly, amateurish attack was minuscule and blown out of proportion.

Just like the “thug life” musical propaganda in the U.S. resulted in large numbers of U.S. Blacks being killed, mostly by shooting each other, so the “Islamic terrorist” hysteria in the media will result in a few genuine terrorist attacks. But if you add up all the numbers you quickly realize that this paranoid hysteria is completely out of proportion with the real danger.

Somebody wants us all the be afraid, really afraid.

Sadly, this hysteria has affected many, not only in the official Ziomedia, but also in the so-called ‘alternative’ media. The result? Just as the rulers of the Empire need it, the West and the Islamic world are now on a collision course. Who is your money on in this clash? Just take a look at the clowns we have for leaders and tell me that the West will win this one!

The West will, of course, lose this war too, but the consequences of this defeat are not the topic of this article. What I am trying to illustrate here is that the West and Russia have taken two radically different approaches to the challenges of an increasingly more influential Islamic world. I would compare Russia and the West to two swimmers caught in a powerful riptide: the West is determined to swim directly against it while Russia uses this riptide to get where she wants. Again, who do you think will fare better?

But this is not just about the West anymore, this is about the multi-polar world which will replace the current AngloZionist hegemony. In this context, one of the most interesting processes taking place is that Russia is becoming a major player in the Muslim world.

Only 10 to 15% of Russians are Muslim, that amounts to about 10 million people. Most Muslim countries are way bigger. And since 85 to 90% of Russians are not Muslims, the influence of Russia in the Muslim world cannot be measured by such relatively modest numbers. However, when we consider the central role Russian Muslims play in the Russian policies towards the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle-East, when we take into account that Russian Muslims are mostly Sunni and very well protected against the virus of Wahabism and when we recall that traditional Sunni Islam has the full backing of the Russian state we can truly get a sense of the unique combination of factors which will give the Russian Muslims an influence far in excess of their relatively modest numbers.

Furthermore, the Russians are now closely collaborating with Shia Iran and with (mostly) Hanafi Turkey. Most Chechens belong to the Sha’afi Sunni tradition and about half are adherents to Sufism. It might be because Russia is not a majority Muslim country that she is the ideal place to re-create a non-denominational form of Islam, an Islam which would be content to be Islam and with no need to subdivide itself into competing, sometimes even hostile, subgroups.

Russia only has an observer status in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) due to the fact that she is not a majority Muslim country. Russia is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which brings together China, Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Russia , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , India and Pakistan. Let’s look at the approximate number of Muslims in the SCO countries: China 40,000,000 , Kazakhstan 9,000,000, Kyrgyzstan 5,000,000, Russia 10,000,000, Tajikistan 6,000,000 , Uzbekistan 26,000,000, India 180,000,000, Pakistan 195,000,000. That’s a grand total of 471 million Muslims. Add to this figure the 75’000’000 Iranians which will join the SCO in the near future (bringing the grand total to 546’000’000) and you will see this stunning contrast: while the West has more or less declared war in 1.8 billion Muslims, Russia has quietly forged an alliance with just over half a billion Muslims!

Russian nationalists (as opposed to Russian patriots) did try their best to infect Russia with her own brand of Islamophobia, but that movement was defeated by an absolutely uncompromising stance by Vladimir Putin himself who went as far as stating that:

“I need to say that, as I have repeated many times before, from its beginning Russia had formed as a multi-confessional and multi-ethnic state. You are aware that we practice Eastern Christianity called Orthodoxy. And some theorists of religion say that Orthodoxy is in many ways closer to Islam than to Catholicism. I don’t want to evaluate how true this statement is, but in general the coexistence of these main religions was carried out in Russia for many centuries. Over the centuries we have developed a specific culture of interaction, that might be somewhat forgotten in the last few decades. We should now recall those our national roots.”

Clearly, as long as Putin and those who support him remain in power, Islamophobia will have no future whatsoever in Russia.

[Sidebar: while this is never mentioned anywhere in the western literature, there are real political prisoners in Russia and there is one group of people which the Kremlin has truly persecuted on political grounds: the Russian nationalists. This topic would deserve an article on its own, but here I will just say that since Russia is a state where the rule of law is official policy, the Kremlin has to resort to some creative tricks to jail these nationalists including accusing them of “attempting to overthrow the state by using crossbows” (I kid you not!). Nationalists are often persecuted on charges of violating laws against hate speech, for distributing extremist literature, etc. Basically the authorities harass them and try to disrupt their activities. Again, the western champions of civil rights and various Putin-haters never speak about these very real political persecutions in Russia. Apparently western human rights organizations live by the motto of the “Angel of Death” of the French Revolution’s infamous “terror” period, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, who famously declared “pas de liberté pour les ennemis de la liberté” (no freedom for the enemies of freedom). It is clear that as soon as Putin came to power he immediately realized the potential danger to the Russian society posed by these nationalists and he decided to clamp down on them every bit as hard as he did on the Wahabi recruiters and neo-Nazis propagandists in Russia.]

Furthermore, Russia has now become the most influential member of the SCO which represents the strategic interests of over half a billion Muslims worldwide. In the Middle-East, Russia has made an amazing comeback – from a quasi-total departure in the 1990s to becoming the single most influential player in the region. Russia has successfully convinced two very powerful potential competitors (Iran and Turkey) to work together and now this informal alliance is in a very strong position to influence the events in the Caucasus and Central Asia. At this point it is already clear that what we are seeing is a long term process and long term strategic goal of Russia: to become directly involved in the struggle for the future of Islam.

The struggle for the future of Islam

The Islamic world is facing an immense challenge which is threatening its very identity and future: the Wahabi-Takfiri ideology. That ideology, by its very nature, represents a mortal threat to any other form of Islam and a moral threat, literally, to every non-Takfiri Muslim living on the planet. The Takfiri ideology also represents a real existential threat to all of mankind, very much including Russia and Russia cannot simply sit back and wait to see whether the AngloZionist West or the wannabe Caliphate of Daesh will prevail, especially since the two are also locked in a weird symbiotic relationship between the western deep state and special services and the Takfiri leaders. Furthermore, assuming the West is willing to seriously fight terrorism ( and so far there is no sign of that whatsoever) it is also obvious that Europe is useless in this struggle (due to an acute lack of brain, spine and other body parts) and that the U.S., being protected by large oceans, are not facing the same threat as the states of the Eurasian landmass. Russia therefore has to act on her own, and very forcibly.

This is not a struggle which will be determined by military means. Yes, being willing and capable of killing Takfiris is important, and Russia can do that, but at the end of the day it is the Takfiri ideology which must be defeated and this is where the Russian Muslims will play an absolutely crucial role in the struggle for the future of Islam. Their status as a minority in Russia actually serves to protect Russian Muslims simply because there is absolutely no possibility whatsoever for any type of Wahabi Islam to gain enough traction in Russia to threaten the state. If anything, the two wars in Chechnia are the best proof that even in the worst possible conditions Russians will always hit back and very hard at any attempt to create a Wahabi state inside, or next to, Russia. President Putin often says that Russia has to sent her forces to fight in Syria not only to save Syria, but also to kill the many thousands of Russian citizens who are currently in the ranks of Daesh before they come back home: better to fight them there than to fight them here. True. But that also means that Russia will have to take the ideological fight to the rest of the Islamic world and use her influence to support the anti-Takfiri forces currently struggling against Daesh & Co worldwide.

The future of Russia and the Muslim world are now deeply intertwined which, considering the current disastrous dynamic between the West and the Muslim world, this is a good thing for everybody. While the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire are using both Russia and the Muslim world as bogeymen to scare their subjects into submission to the international plutocracy, Russia will have to become the place where the Islamophobic myths will debunked and a different, truly multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic civilizational model offered as an alternative to the monolithic Hegemony dominating the world today.

Modern secularist ideologies have given mankind nothing except violence, oppression, wars and even genocides. It is high time to kick them into the trash heaps of history where they belong and return to a truly tolerant, sustainable and humane civilizational model centered around spiritual, not materialistic, values. Yes, I know, for the media-brainwashed zombies out there religion is not exactly associated with the ideas of tolerance and compassion, but that is just the inevitable consequence of being exposed to particularly nasty and hypocritical forms of religion. That, and a basic lack of education. These things can be remedied, not so much by debating them ad nauseam, but simply by creating a different civilizational model. But for that Russia and the Islamic world will need to look inside themselves and focus on healing their own (still numerous) pathologies and dysfunctions (especially spiritual ones) in order to create such a spirituality-centred alternative to the Almighty Dollar. In the words of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, “acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved”. I think that this is a future worthy of fighting for.

Source*

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Saudi Arabia and Israel to Establish Economic Ties*

Saudi Arabia and Israel to Establish Economic Ties*

By Carol Adl

Saudi Arabia and Israel are in talks to establish official economic ties for the first time since Israel was created on the Palestinian territories almost 70 years ago.

The move will put the Jewish state on a path to normal relations with the bastion of Sunni Islam and guardian of the two sacred Muslim cities.

The first steps toward ties between two of Iran’s staunchest enemies would start small and will include Israeli businesses to operate in the Gulf and allowing Israel’s El Al airline to fly over Saudi airspace.

Press TV reports

The Times, citing unnamed Arab and American sources, said in a report on Saturday that forming economic connections between to two, which would be gradual and step by step, could begin by allowing Israeli companies to open shops in the Arab kingdom, or granting El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. permission to fly over Saudi airspace.

“However, any such progress would bolster the alliance between Iran’s two most implacable enemies and change the dynamics of the many conflicts destabilizing the Middle East,” the report speculated.

So far Saudi officials have had some open meetings with senior officials in Israel, trying to gradually pave the way for establishing ties with the occupying regime.

Back in May last year, Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva reported that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies, namely Jordan and Egypt, had been sending messages to Israel through various emissaries, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. They had asked Tel Aviv to resume Middle East negotiations under new terms, which included changes to the Saudi initiative.

In July last year, Anwar Eshki, a well-connected retired general in the Saudi military paid a visit to Israel, meeting with Israel’s Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold and Yoav Mordechai. He also met with a number of Knesset members.

Israeli daily Ha’aretz at the time described the visit “a highly unusual one,” as Eshki could not have traveled to Israel without approval from the Saudi government.

Source*

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Iran Seizes Arab Vessels Entering its Territorial Waters*

Iran Seizes Arab Vessels Entering its Territorial Waters*

U.S. vessels captured by Iran show on Iran’s state T.V. January 12 2016

 

Iran has seized three vessels belonging to one of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf after they entered Iranian territorial waters.

According to Fars news agency, the vessels were seized while in Iran’s territorial waters by 12 kilometres.

“Twenty-one crew members were also arrested,” it added.

This is not the first time foreign naval forces have entered Iran’s water.

On January 12, 2016, two U.S. Navy riverine command boats were seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy after they entered Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. military initially claimed that the sailors have entered Iranian waters due to technical failure, but it was later reported that the incident happened because of navigational errors.

Following an exchange of phone calls between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, the sailors were released, unharmed, 15 hours later.

Kerry later thanked Iranian authorities for their cooperation, adding that “we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago.”

Obama administration hailed the release as an “unintended benefit” of the new diplomatic relationship with Iran established by the nuclear accord, while some of his Republican rivals, including presidential hopefuls such as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump criticized the U.S. response as being “too weak”.

Source*

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Eyes Wide Shut as Yemen Descends into Total Collapse*

Eyes Wide Shut as Yemen Descends into Total Collapse*

 

Yemen is descending into total collapse, its people facing war, famine and a deadly outbreak of cholera, as the world watches, the U.N. aid chief said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the U.N. Security Council, Stephen O’Brien said “the time is now” to end the world’s largest food emergency and put Yemen back on the path to survival.

“Crisis is not coming, it is not looming, it is here today – on our watch and ordinary people are paying the price,” said O’Brien, the U.N. undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs.

“The people of Yemen are being subjected to deprivation, disease and death as the world watches.”

The crisis is spiralling towards “total social, economic and institutional collapse” in the poor Arab country, O’Brien added.

His remarks reflected frustration with the Security Council’s failure to pressure the warring sides in Yemen to pull back from the brink and engage in serious negotiations on ending the two-year war.

 

More than 8,000 people have been killed since a Saudi-led coalition launched a military campaign in March 2015 against Iran-allied Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa.

The conflict has left 17 million people facing dire food shortages including nearly seven million who are one step away from famine in the country, which is heavily dependent on food imports.

Cholera is spreading in Yemen

Since late April, a cholera outbreak has killed 500 people while 55,206 Yemenis – one third of them children – are ill, according to U.N. figures.

Another 150,000 cases of cholera are expected in the next six months.

After the Saudi-backed government moved the central bank from Sanaa to Aden, more than one million civil servants stopped receiving their salaries, pushing more families toward starvation, said O’Brien.

He singled out the Saudi-led coalition for criticism, saying its threat of attacks on the rebel-held port of Hodeida – a “lifeline” for Yemen’s imports – coupled with clearance delays for ships had sapped traders’ confidence.

“Giving rising costs, major shipping companies are now simply avoiding the Red Sea ports, thereby depriving the Yemeni people of desperately needed food and fuel,” said the U.N. aid chief.

Returning from talks in the region, U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed reported no progress in his efforts to broker a return to negotiations and to clinch a deal on allowing vital deliveries to Hodeida.

“I will not hide from this council that we are not close to a comprehensive agreement,” he told the council.

Last week, 22 international and Yemeni humanitarian and human rights groups including Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee and Oxfam raised alarm over Yemen.

They called on the council, in particular Britain which has the lead for addressing the conflict at the top UN body, to “end its year-long inaction on Yemen, and move decisively to end what is now the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”

Meanwhile, it emerged late on Tuesday that Oman is mediating between Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and its Houthi opponents over a U.N. plan to resume peace talks in the war-torn country, according to a Yemeni government official.

The official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi was in Muscat at Oman’s invitation to discuss ways to bridge differences with the Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa with their allies, over plans presented by the U.N. special envoy to Yemen last week.

The plans, presented by U.N. Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed during a regional tour last week, included confidence building measures such as turning over the Red Sea port of Hodeidah to a neutral party, opening Sanaa airport for civilian traffic and paying civil servants’ salaries.

The Omani side has conveyed to Mekhlafi the Houthis’ willingness to accept this plan, but also its insistence that civil servants’ salaries be paid first.

“The differences regarding Hodeidah now centre on the identity of the neutral party which will manage the port,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Oman maintains good ties with the Houthis, who seized Sanaa in 2014 in a campaign that eventually forced Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia in 2015 with his government. The Gulf Arab state had long mediated in international affairs, including facilitating talks between Iran and the United States.

Hadi’s government, which had recently made some small gains at the battlefront after months after a long stalemate, has threatened to attack Hodeidah, where most of Yemen’s food and humanitarian supplies enter, unless the Houthis agreed to turn the facility over to neutral observers.

The Houthis have in turn demanded that the Saudi-led coalition that controls Yemen’s airspace allow Sanaa airport to reopen and that the Yemen central bank, which Hadi had moved last year from Sanaa to Aden, pay salaries that had been withheld from civil servants for several months.

The Yemeni official said the Omani side have informed Mekhlafi in talks on Monday that the Houthis were ready to agree to Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s plan in full.

“The differences are not confined to the neutral party that will administer Hodeidah port,” the official said.

 Source*

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