Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Defending Terror | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Seven years ago, many writers and journalists in our region defended and condoned the destructive attacks launched by Al-Qaeda, and in the process considered any criticism of the terrorist network to be in support of US foreign policy, without distinguishing between rational defense and political exploitation. These writers were unaware of the fact that the Al-Qaeda organization was a greater threat to them then to any foreign entity. Shortly afterwards, the Jihadist group showed its true colors in Riyadh, Dammam, Mecca, Medina, Sana’a and Amman.

History repeated itself in wake of the US invasion of Iraq, when our writers confused the rejection of occupation- a logical and justified political stance- with the praising of suicide attacks. They celebrated these attacks, describing them as acts of martyrdom. As a result, thousands of Saudis and other Arabs took up arms and traveled to As-Samawah, Al-Anbar and Baghdad. However, many of them on their way there fell into the hands of hostile Arab intelligence units, who ended up using them to serve their own interests.

Again, the same confusion took place during Israel’s war against Hezbollah, and more recently, in its offensive against Hamas. Mosques, newspaper columns and discussion forums, all mobilized in an effort to Sharpen and revive the Islamic Jihad spirit, in what could be described as a recurring mix-up between the natural rejection of the Israeli onslaught and the involvement in a political camp run by Iran, which uses the Palestinian and Arab Cause to achieve its goals.

These goals have nothing to do with confronting Israel at all. They rather target countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan amongst others. Iran employs media propaganda to counter Israel and to spread the call for Jihad. Yet, deep down, it aims to destabilize the existing political reality in the Arab countries it targets.

This week, a new list of wanted terrorists was released by Saudi authorities with names and photos attached of young Gullible Saudi men who have moved to Al-Qaeda’s new haven, the mountains of Yemen to pursue Jihad, while some traveled to Pakistan and others recruited and transferred to Iran, the driving force behind the mounting chaos in the region. Those new runaways and terrorists are, in fact, victims of the calls for Jihad under the cloak of facing Israel. The lie of liberating Jerusalem through Riyadh and Cairo.

Sadly, these intellectuals were confused by the situation, unable to differentiate between rejecting Israeli aggression and supporting groups loyal to Iran who operates a political and media operation with a clear agenda.

There is a world of difference between liberating Palestine and destroying it; between establishing a Palestine state and dividing it. Moreover, there is an unmistakable difference between backing the resistance and dividing it into organizations and governments.

What Iran did in collaboration with Israel is what has led us to the disgraceful situation we see today. A situation defended by journalists and media officials who can’t distinguish between supporting the aggrieved and supporting the Iranian plot.

We don’t need additional proof, because we have been witness to a number of repeated situations over a span of eight years and the destructive consequences is know to all.

We saw how calls for defending Al-Qaeda have led to the strengthening the network through funds, arms and men power. And after its defeat in Iraq the same mistake was made leading to the region’s security forces to be an alert after realizing that Iraq was a training ground for Arab youth who are then shipped back to their countries to carry out operations there.

Which leads us to today, where we see a new list of young men involved in terrorist activities, as the complete their training in the mountains of Yemen, Pakistan and Iran. All those were lured by fanatical calls for jihad in Palestine and Lebanon. There is a saying that goes: “The road to heaven is paved with good intentions.”