Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Moazzam Begg: Back Islamists of Al Nusra and from Al-Qaeda to Defeat Daesh.

with 22 comments

 

Al-Nusra: Stopping Daesh Narrative, Says Moazzam Begg.

David Cameron will not engage the only people able to stop the IS narrative writes Moazzam Begg on the Middle East Eye (Tuesday 30 June 2015).

Hat-tip: David T.

In this article these are the sentences that matter:

Ahrar al-Sham – part of the Islamic Front coalition – and Al-Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front are the largest, most effective opposition forces in Syria. They have been at the forefront in the fight against IS. Thousands of their members have been killed in battle, tortured, beheaded and crucified. Despite Al Nusra’s confirmation that Syria would not be used as a launchpad for attacks on the West both groups have been bombed by coalition forces.

Arguably the most credible voices against IS have been Islamic clerics traditionally associated with Al-Qaeda. These include Jordanian scholars Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada. Cameron’s government fought very hard to deport the latter from Britain where he had been imprisoned on the basis of secret evidence, without charge, for over a decade.

In the end, Abu Qatada opted to return to Jordan, of his own accord, where he was acquitted of terrorism charges against him. During and after his imprisonment in the UK and Jordan Abu Qatada made repeated calls for the release of British aid workers and journalists held by militant groups – including IS. He declared their consequent murders unlawful and subsequently issued scathing fatwa [religious edicts] denouncing IS:

“This group [IS] does not have the authority to rule all Muslims and their declaration [the caliphate] applies to no-one but themselves. Its threats to kill opponents, sidelining of other groups and violent way of fighting opponents constitute a great sin, reflecting the reality of the group.”

Cameron must be wondering how many young Britons would have joined IS if Abu Qatada made these statements from the UK instead of Jordan?

Many people will consider Begg’s intervention as part of the effort to “re-brand” Al-Nusra (The rebranding of the Nusra Front.Mehdi Hasan).

But in this case it appears to be part of an attempt to extend this to elements within Al-Qaeda.

It’s not as if there is a lot to white-wash.

I am at present about half-way through this important book: Al Qaeda’s Global Crisis. The Islamic State, Takfir and the Genocide of Muslims. V. G. Julie Rajan 2015.

This book focuses on the crises facing Al Qaeda and how the mass killing of Muslims is challenging its credibility as a leader among Islamist jihadist organizations.

The book argues that these crises are directly related to Al Qaeda’s affiliation with the extreme violence employed against Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the decade since 9/11. Al Qaeda’s public and private responses to this violence differ greatly. While in public Al Qaeda has justified those attacks declaring that, for the establishment of a state of ‘true believers’, they are a necessary evil, in private Al Qaeda has been advising its local affiliates to refrain from killing Muslims.

To better understand the crises facing Al Qaeda, the book explores the development of Central Al Qaeda’s complex relationship with radical (mis)appropriations and manifestations of takfir, which allows one Muslim to declare another an unbeliever, and its unique relationship with each of its affiliates in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The author then goes on to consider how the prominence of takfir is contributing to the deteriorating security in those countries and how this is affecting Al Qaeda’s credibility as an Islamist terror organization. The book concludes by considering the long-term viability of Al Qaeda and how its demise could allow the rise of the even more radical, violent Islamic State and the implications this has for the future security of the Middle East, North Africa and Central/South Asia.

It would be very complex to go into the various alliances and conflcists between the different groups in Syria and Iraq – though there have no doubt been convergences between the so-called “opponents” of Daesh – Al-Nusra and the Islamic Front.

Perhaps a simpler way of dealing with Begg’s lies about Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front is to cite Patrick Cockburn in yesterday’s Independent.

 Because Isis publicises and boasts of its atrocities in order to spread fear, it masks the fact that official al-Qaeda affiliates, such as Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria or AQAP in Yemen, are just as dangerous.

Their basic agenda is very similar to that of the self-declared caliphate, with al-Nusra carrying out the enforced conversion of Druze and the massacre of those who resist. This attempted rebranding of extreme but non-Isis Sunni jihadis is opportunistic and often directed at making them more palatable as proxies for Sunni states such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

 There is more in Begg’s ideology: the reference to the importance  of the ‘Caliphate’.

He ends his piece with this distasteful observation:

…why did Seifeddine Rezguie kill 38 innocent tourists? Warped as his ideas must have been, he saw the tourists as representatives of Britain. Britain that had wanted to destroy the caliphate past, and, the caliphate present. The only ones who can successfully challenge the IS narrative, however, are the only ones the government will not engage with.

‘Caliphate John’ would doubtless agree.

Elderly working class tourists are indeed ‘targets’ for vengeance against the destruction of the ‘Caliphate past’, the “dismembered and occupied” Ottoman Empire.

But what exactly was this past?

The Caliphate – if we can condense so many different forms together,  as Begg does was marked by the treatment of   non-Muslims  as second class citizens and women as second class citizens. The caliphates were for most of their history based on slavery and landowner  exploitation. The Caliphate empires were grounded on the oppression of peoples, from Eastern Europe to North Africa. They regularly engaged in massacres of minorities, the torture and the murder of political opponents.

The clue perhaps lies in the word “empire“, not the word “Ottoman”.

Most people who are acquainted with the real – not fairy-story – history of the Caliphate, will feel sick in the stomach at  the thought that the Caliphate should be revived.

Whether it’s by Daesh or the forces Begg appears to favour, it is a potent symbol of tyranny, of class, sexual and religious oppression.

It is to hoped that this is the last time we will hear anybody on the left defending Moazzam Begg

22 Responses

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  1. Re your last line – doubt it.

    Only a few weeks ago teachers from NUT and UCU held a meeting with CAGE to oppose PREVENT. I don’t for a minute believe that the membership of these unions (inc my own union) support this but for the moment they (swp and similar) hold the power to dictate the narrative. Begg’s support for Al Qaeda is nothing new, so nobody really has any excuse.

    Rachel

    June 30, 2015 at 5:28 pm

  2. Just a hope that they would stop giving a platform for reactionary supporters of Islamists who oppress and murder, including our leftist Middle Eastern comrades, our Kurdish sisters and brothers …..

    Just a hope……

    Andrew Coates

    June 30, 2015 at 5:35 pm

  3. Yes.

    Rachel

    June 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm

  4. Andrew, as you do not “identitfy” as an Islamic Fascist, oops sorry, an oppressed member of a minority who because of the long history of oppression and ignorance might hold views which Western Imperialists (like you) have no right to judge, we on the Principled Left will, quite rightly, continue to support CAGE.

    However, as uni’s out at the mo, our Principled Solidarity will have to wait until after the Reading Festival.

    Power to the Oppressed!

    John R

    June 30, 2015 at 6:23 pm

  5. this blog is like a left wing daily mail. sensationalist islamophobic pseudo leftist pseudo trotskyist third campist zionist pro liberal imperialist position.

    you do not understand the contradictions of imperialism. you lack a knowledge of dialectical thinking and thus take a one sided view on things. you lack a proper materialist grasp on reality.

    Redkorat, i call you Red Borat, a kind of marxist parody. you have much to learn about marxism.

    Paul Canning – I still buy my Dolce and Gabbana, and i refuse to recognise or call bruce jenner as a ‘she’. he has mental health issues.

    i grant that you are probably sincerely convinced, possible because of the baleful influence of the AWL and Sean Matgamna.

    farewell. i have said all.

    giles

    June 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm

  6. my parting song:

    giles

    June 30, 2015 at 9:00 pm

  7. Beloved martyr Heval Bagok Australi

  8. Begg says:

    “Cameron must be wondering how many young Britons would have joined IS if Abu Qatada made these statements from the UK instead of Jordan?”

    Well it appears that Tunisia killer Seifeddine Rezgui was indoctrinated by a group led by Saifallah Ben Hassine, who founded the “Tunisian Fighting Group” about 15 years ago while based in London.

    And when Saifallah Ben Hassine first arrived in the UK, i.e. prior to setting up his terror group, guess which London-based preacher he became a disciple of?

    That’s right: Abu Qatada.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/tunisia-gunman-seifeddine-rezgui-inspired-by-fanatic-who-led-terror-cell-in-london-10354299.html

    Begg is full of crap. ISIS and Al Nusra are close-by branches of the same tree – with a lot of interlinking twigs.

    Lamia

    July 1, 2015 at 2:43 am

  9. […] Source: Moazzam Begg: Back Islamists of Al Nusra and from Al-Qaeda to Defeat Daesh. […]

  10. I like this blog, but “sensationalist islamophobic pseudo leftist pseudo trotskyist third campist zionist pro liberal imperialist” is perhaps offering up too much praise. It’s not quite that good. Shiraz Socialist, on the other hand, fully warrants such praise.

    Jim Denham

    July 1, 2015 at 8:35 am

  11. The maker of the CNN-promoted ‘#DildoISIS ‘flag has explained himself here http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/30/isis-dildo-flag-london-pride-cnn

    “The decision to make the flag was a simple one: a sense of outrage at Isis’s brutal advance across North Africa, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Medieval ideologies and barbarism were being spread and recorded through that most modern of expressions, social media, with that flag ever-present. It has become a potent symbol of brutality, fear and sexual oppression. If I wanted to try and stimulate a dialogue about the ridiculousness of this ideology, the flag was key.

    It was important that I didn’t try to replicate the writing on the flag, because the words and their subject – Islam – are not the target. But if I showed as little respect to this flag as Isis shows to the religion and people they claim to represent so that when people saw it they would think, “dildos”? Would that be a crazy idea?”

    Absolute legend.

  12. “The decision to make the flag was a simple one: a sense of outrage at Isis’s brutal advance across North Africa, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Medieval ideologies and barbarism were being spread and recorded through that most modern of expressions, social media, with that flag ever-present. It has become a potent symbol of brutality, fear and sexual oppression. If I wanted to try and stimulate a dialogue about the ridiculousness of this ideology, the flag was key.

    It was important that I didn’t try to replicate the writing on the flag, because the words and their subject – Islam – are not the target. But if I showed as little respect to this flag as Isis shows to the religion and people they claim to represent so that when people saw it they would think, “dildos”? Would that be a crazy idea?”

    The maker of the CNN-promoted ‘#DildoISIS ‘flag explaining himself here http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/30/isis-dildo-flag-london-pride-cnn

    Absolute legend.

    http://www.paulcoombs.co.uk/Gallery.htm

    Paul Canning

    July 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

  13. We shall miss you Giles, no doubt another member of the SWP Central Committee will be posted to take your place.

    Andrew Coates

    July 1, 2015 at 11:08 am

  14. Someone on the Guardian CiF commented that the DildoIsis flag reminded them of the “Bert Bin Laden” poster.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1594600.stm

    John R

    July 1, 2015 at 12:11 pm

  15. The creator of the original Bert is Evil site, the Californian-based artist Dino Ignacio, said he had nothing to do with the images.

    “Reality is imitating the Web!,” he said in a statement. “I am honestly freaked out!”

    Andrew Coates

    July 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm

  16. The laughter never ends. There are people in whom being a victim is so engrained that they are complaining that #DildoISIS shows a sacred text in “dildo font”.

  17. I liked the comment,

    “ISIS – they don’t like it up ’em!”

    John R

    July 1, 2015 at 2:08 pm

  18. Andrew Coates

    July 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm

  19. The utter vileness of Moazzam Begg, the jihadi fascist, positioning al-Qaeda jihadi fascists as in some way ‘moderate’ compared to ISIS speaks of his understanding of the idiocy of some parts of the UK relativist Left. Its like asking to support slightly less violent Nazis against out and out beheading Nazis. We must be vigilant to expose on the Left any of the ethical and moral cretins that pander to this evil. They are many, but isolated. The bulk of the British people, including the working class, is repulsed by this vile ideologue and his apologists.

    Billo Qasira

    July 1, 2015 at 9:47 pm

  20. I hope Amnesty are pondering their partnership with Begg and Cage, and saying, WTF were we thinking?

    kb72

    July 1, 2015 at 10:17 pm

  21. I wouldn’t bet on this!

    Andrew Coates

    July 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm

  22. ‘Perhaps a simpler way of dealing with Begg’s lies about Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front is to cite Patrick Cockburn in yesterday’s Independent.’
    If you like advocates of the War on Terror, Assad-style.
    [http://notris.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/in-middle-east-our-enemys-enemy-must-be.html]
    On Jabhat al-Nusra.
    [http://notris.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/two-female-italian-aid-workers-who.html]

    Dick Gregory

    July 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm


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