Summary of Salafist Websites, Sept 08

Salafist websites this week launched a barrage of stinging attacks on Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Predominantly these attacks came from sites linked with Saudi Arabia.

Comment
At the same time that these web sites are attacking these movements, large financial resources are being channeled to the Salafists from Saudi Arabia.

Commentators on the internet suggest that the motivation for this campaign, possibly encouraged by western agencies, is the attempt to divert Sunni Arab anger away from Israel – and to re-direct it to an alternative "enemy", Iran and its "allies". "Moderate" Arab leaders are concerned that the growing hostility to Israel undermines their domestic situation by exposing their support for President Abbas as tantamount to collaboration with Israel in oppressing Palestinians living in Gaza. As popular Arab hostility towards Israeli actions directed towards Gaza grows, so street anger towards these regimes rises – and the popularity of Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah increases: This makes "moderate" leaders feel vulnerable.

Commentators on Islamist sites also see this web campaign as an angry reaction to the recent political achievements of Iran, Syria and Islamist movements that have sidelined Saudi Arabia and Egypt and damaged their prestige as traditional regional leaders. President Mubarak has repeatedly warned of growing Iranian influence within the Arab sphere. The denigration campaign is perceived as part of a wider "moderate" programme to contain Iran and all those who are outside the "moderate" camp.

Comment
After the First Gulf War, Saudi Arabia spent heavily on expanding Wahabbi-oriented Madrassas throughout the Sunni world in an earlier (failed) attempt to contain Iranian Shi'i influence. The attacks of the Shi'i and Sunni movements with links to Iran reflects also a concerted attempt to rally Sunni forces in places such as Lebanon where Saudi Arabia is particularly concerned at the repercussions at the defeat of the March 14th forces, and the possibility of fragmentation of the Sunni coalition there – with its possible electoral consequences in the 2009 elections. In Lebanon and elsewhere they are attempting to forge a Sunni "revival" forged from this inspired hostility to the Iranian–Syrian "axis".

Ibrahim Alturki on Al-Mokhtasar site wrote, for example: "Well Done Hezbollah!". In this piece, focused on the events of May in Beirut when Hezbollah took over a part of the city, Alturki argues that Hezbollah had revealed the true face of its hostility towards Sunnis after long years of deceit and hypocrisy. He concludes that Hezbollah had demonstrated that its objective was never to fight Israel, but to establish a proxy state in Lebanon belonging to Iran, to remove Sunni control, and to subordinate Sunnis. The author has congratulated Hezbollah in his title, because after the events of May, he seems to think that he needs no further proof to show that Hezbollah is working against the Sunni sect in Lebanon. It has incriminated itself, he asserts.

He invites Sunnis to take basic steps to protect themselves from Hezbollah:

  • Sunnis to unite around the Sunni sect, to commit to the principle of Shura (governing council) to provide a unified leadership.
  • Pursue military preparedness, and to establish Jihadist armed fighting units – as the army had failed to protect them.

He concludes his article by demanding that Arab states act and not hesitate to support the Sunnis in Lebanon militarily, politically and financially - before Iran acts to eliminate them via its Hezbollah proxy.

In a second article by Ibrahim Alturki, entitled "Facts about the Iranian-American Conflict", he lists twenty two "facts" to show what Iran and America have in common is greater than what separates them. The media accounts of American hostility towards Iran are just a disinformation ploy, he claims, that conceals the truth of a strong alliance between the West, America and Israel to undermine Sunnis, who represent the true target of this coalition. He hints that of the three, Iran poses the greatest danger to Sunnis.

Ahmad Ajaj on Al-Rased attacks Hezbollah over its accord with thirteen Salafi movements. He argues that it was exposed as nothing more than an attempt by Hezbollah to penetrate and weaken the Sunnis. It failed – no thanks to Hariri's Future movement that demonstrated its weakness – but through the resolve of some Salafists who showed a greater control of the Sunni community than that of its nominal 'leader', Sa'ad Hariri.

Al-Hisbah a site close to al-Qae'da, is focused on the confrontation with Hamas. The site contains a series of articles criticising Hamas' "abandonment" of resistance in favour of participation in the Palestinian Authority. These essays give "facts" about this "deviation" by Hamas. It points to Hamas attacks on Salafists in Gaza and on its confrontation with Islamic Jihad in Gaza, as well as reminding its readers of what signing on the Oslo Accords requires from Palestinians.

Comment
There is significant new targeting of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah by the Salafist websites (the jihadist Salafist websites and the pro-Saudi Salafist websites), but the pro-Saudi websites focus more on Iran and Hezbollah. In addition, there are numerous studies, books, essays and analyses available over the internet – a number hosted from Jordan as well as Saudi Arabia - warning against Iran, Hezbollah and the Shi'i generally, and exhorting Sunnis to confront these "dangerous projects" everywhere.



4 Comments

  1. Leyla benKirane wrote:

    Shame on the Saudis who should be Leading the Muslim ummah to Unity . they should be spending that kind of money to invest in poor muslim countries and create Jobs that would benefit Muslim youth , who are dying trying to reach Spanish and Italian shores . the Saudis should be spending that money (and the one on the US arms ) to create jobs for the thousands of jobless Saudis and the palestinians and egyptians who are desperate instead of offering it to the Indians and bengladeshis . surely Arab sunnis from the Arab world are a priority when it comes to jobs .
    the saudis should be helping Muslims to unite , shias and sunnis to unite against the Main enemi , America and Israel . Iran is a muslim country and it is israel which is my enemy not israel . Unfortunately , saudis have lost their dignity , their conscience , their faith and follow blindly the zionists . shame . shame
    (disgusted by what the wahabis are doing the Islamic ummah )

  2. revjobarker wrote:

    This is unbelievable, but, how can anyone who cares for Palestine/Hamas/Hezbollah….I fear the M.E Leaders are going to ignite rebellion…it’s bad enough that last night, Joe Biden, V.P. candidate stated that “terrorists Hamas, Hezbollah, cannot be tolerated, they are a threat to Israel….REALLY????????Israel us the butt-kicker here…guess self defense is anti US/Israel/criminal…the poor Israeli’s?? NOT!!

  3. […] Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah increases: This makes “moderate” leaders feel vulnerable. (“Summary of Salafist web sites” Conflict Forum – September 16, […]

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