Friday, June 26, 2009

Islamist Crazies Alive and Well on the Internet

I found this video via Views From The Occident. The video is a type of eulogy for Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, a militant Salafi terrorist who was killed by a US airstrike in 2006 and demonstrates the fact that Salafi terrorists are still around and have added tacky video editing as a part of their training. Iraq's recent resurgence of violence has been alarming as well as disheartening to see that Iraq's sovereignty looks lengths away from the foreseeable future.

The militant Salafist movements of Iraq are still strong despite a reduction in violence from 2006 and 2007. Reasons for this include the vast numbers of Sunni Iraqi's disenfranchised by the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the unlimited supply of radical Sunni extremists living everywhere from Kashhmir to London. This not so efficient network of radical Salifis provides moral and/or financial support to similar groups in conflict zones (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc).

The US military's current strategy is building alliances with Sunni tribes to combat Salafi terrorist groups from the community level and cutting off their recruitment base. However effective these efforts may be in the short run, a long term solution can only be provided by the global Muslim community itself. Salafi strategies of financing Islamic mosques and dawa with the condition that it be headed with Salafi ideology creates an incredible base of Muslims who are complacent to Salafi violence around the world. Not until the dangers of militant Salafism/Wahabism becomes a major discourse in the global Muslim community will there be a significant reduction in the global networks of Islamist terrorists.

Related Reading
Is Iraq Sliding Back Into Chaos?
Frontline Analaysis of Wahabism
The Decline of Knowledge and the Rise of Ideology in the Modern Islamic World

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There's No Going Back

The controversy surrounding the Iranian presidential election has not only done damage to Iran but has also polarized the Shia community abroad on the issue. Iranian nationals within the Muslim community have either recognized the election results as legitimate, sided with the Supreme Leader's decision to end any probing into election fraud, or have voiced discontent with the regime's unwillingness to investigate the election results.

As demonstrations in Los Angeles have attracted majorly those who would not identify with the values of the Islamic Republic (most protesters don't even use the current flag of Iran when demonstrating), those identifying with those values have debated the outcome of the election fiercely.

Those defending the legitimacy of the election have sited the disconnection of the liberal "elite" from the masses of Iranians outside of Tehran as the cause of mass protests and an overall attitude of being sore losers in the election. In addition, Iranian voices of opposition have been dismissed by this group as supporting foreign enemies (Mossad, MKO, CIA, etc) bent on the collapse of the Islamic Republic. For some this may be a class conflict but when it comes down to it, is a question of transparency.

Iranians voicing their criticism of the elections have been harshly criticized by even non-Iranians who admire the institution of the IRI and intend on doing their part in what they feel is upholding the Islamic Republic and/or their loyalty to a Marja Taqlid.

Iranians who have aligned themselves with their government in the past and are now questioning its methods have seen this election as the breaking point for their trust in their leaders. The widespread media censorship, communication lockdown, police/ Basij/ military brutality against civilians has eroded the trust of Iranian nationals for their government.

At this point, I believe that some Mousavi supporters would have preferred Ahmadinejad to have won the election fairly and transparently rather than the current situation which has spiraled out of control on both sides. However, we find ourselves at the point of no return and there is no easy solution to all of this, so let's stop acting like the answer is going to come from out of the sky.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where is the order?

At present Iran is in unrest. The mass reactions of the elections are that of dismay and those who feel they have been disfranchised and stripped of their voice have taken to the street. I have not been relying on one source of news media for my information about the election aftermath, rather a network of personal contacts in Iran, blogs, Twitter, and media coming directly from the streets.

Some have claimed this unrest is at its heart a struggle between Rafsanjani and Iran's Supreme Leader, Seyed Ali Khamenei, while many have been saying that the final numbers were a blatant robbery of the election because a Mousavi victory would skew the vision of the current regime.

Whatever be the case, the type of violence and unrest seen in Iran at the moment has the potential to be a huge step backward for establishing a legitimacy for the Islamic Republic and may eventually be a death sentence for the nation. The blocking of SMS messaging, limiting Internet access, filtering social media and the charade of state broadcast media has given Iranians and the rest of the world the image that Iran is insecure and willing to go great unethical lengths to keep their population quiet. Enemies of Iran will (and I'm sure already have) use this unrest for their own agendas, however, if allegations of voter fraud are false, then there is no harm in seeing the ballots and having an observed recount.

Related Reading:
Polls Before Elections
New Unrest is a Coup
Rejecting Charges of the Northern Tehran Fallacy
Stealing the Election
Report Purporting to Show Rigged Elections Flawed

Friday, June 12, 2009

Election Day is Here

I write you as I walk out of the door to vote in the 1388 elections in Los Angeles. A lot of the young Iranians I know have been excited to participate this year and have been active in viewing the presidential debates as well as reading about the candidates and their policies. It's unfortunate that there seems to be anti Islamic Republic demonstrators at the polling places in Los Angeles. Of all days and places, they choose to protest at polling places. Very counter productive if you ask me.

After a few phone calls with family in Tehran, it seems Iran is the right climate for massive participation. The current economic downturn, inflation, and sentiments of those who have felt imposed on by harsh morality enforcement, all have combined factors in this years increased participation in the presidential elections.

I'll refrain from posting speculative reports of which of the candidates is ahead in the polls. We'll have to see what happens tomorrow.