Origins of Savagery in the Middle East: Non-Islamic Origins of Terrorist Jihadi Groups

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There is an attempt underway to make the case that Islam, the religion, inspired or spawned the creation of various jihadist groups. The fact that the US itself was a major catalyst for the creation of such groups, as that was its plot against communism during the Cold War, often goes unmentioned. But to understand the horrific savagery of terrorist groups in the Middle East you have to go to the origins of militias in the Middle East.

Zionist gangs were the first modern militias in the Middle East. This runs contrary to the silly (and racist and bigoted) thesis of Thomas Friedman’s silly book, “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” wherein he posits that Israel was contaminated by its Arab and Muslim surrounding, and that the Jews, unlike backward Muslims, were genetically incapable of producing acts of violence, but were forced to change their ways to survive in this new savage neighborhood. Zionist gangs in pre-1948 Palestine were the real pioneers of terrorism in the Middle East. They were the first to perpetrate acts of terrorism that are often assumed to have been introduced by Hamas in the 1990s. It was Zionist terrorist groups who first 1) tossed grenades into cafes, market places, and public squares; 2) shelled villages and towns indiscriminately; 3) threw grenades on busses; 4) sent letter bombs; 5) used booby-trapped ambulances against Palestinians; 6) used car bombs; 7) used barrel bombs; 8) and bombed hotels. And all those pioneering acts of terrorism occurred as far back as the 1930s and 1940s. Later, when the Israeli state was founded atop an already existing Palestinian state, the new state pioneered other acts of terrorism including hijacking of planes and the use of planes in indiscriminate bombings.

Yet, modern-style Arab militias did not really form until the Lebanese civil war of 1975 when the right-wing Maronite militias of Lebanon started to engage in unprecedented savagery (there were militias in Oman, south Sudan, and Kurdistan, as well, but the Lebanese Phalanges and the Sham`unis had been operating since 1958). Unsurprisingly, the Lebanese right-wing Maronite (Christian) militias received Israeli training since their inception, and their association with the Israeli military and intelligence only grew over time. The Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982 was not the first collaboration between those two terrorist factions.

The Phalanges militia (and its other Maronite-oriented militias) started the Lebanese civil war and they were responsible for its prolongment. The other side was not prepared; it took time for the PLO to — begrudgingly — set up Lebanese militias. But the savagery that characterized the Lebanese civil war was clearly the pioneering work of Bashir Gemayyel and his gangs. They were the first groups to kidnap and kill on the basis of sectarian identity. They were the first to cut off limbs and other body parts (barrels of Muslim penises were found, the work of Phalanges and Tigers militias, who in 1975-76 pulled passengers out of cars and checked if they were circumcised. They were the first to mutilate corpses (there are accounts of their horrific deeds in books written by Beirut-based correspondents at the time, like Jonathan Randal and Helena Cobban and others). The right-wing non-Muslim militias also burned people alive in various refugee camps and in poor, Shia-dominated shantytowns in East Beirut. They were the first militia to shackle men to the back of cars and drag them through the streets until they die. They were the first to slice people up while alive, and to dump bodies into the ocean while placing their legs in cement. The account of one of the henchmen of the Phalanges, Joseph Saadeh, has not been translated into English, but it reveals the extent to which the right-wing non-Muslim militias introduced a level of savagery and brutality neither Lebanon nor the region had known before in internal fighting (See SAADE, Joseph, BRUNQUELL, Frédéric et COUDERC, Frédéric, 1989, Victime et bourreau, Paris: Calmann-Lévy.)

This is not to say that Lebanese civil wars of the 19th century were not brutal, they were. But never at the level that Lebanon witnessed in 1975-76, and its aftermath, at the hands of those right-wing Maronite-oriented groups (which received the largesse of the terrorist state of Israel and also of the US government, at the highest level after 1980).

Yet, when those Christian militias — who used the cross in their emblems and had Christian motifs in their mottos and rhetoric — engaged in these horrific war crimes, the Western press didn’t attribute that to their religion. Yet, if a Muslim commits one act of murder or terrorism, the blame falls on the Islamic religion and all Muslims of the world. Neither Judaism nor Christianity should be blamed for the crimes of Jewish or Christian terror groups. But those who are interested in studying the phenomenon of ISIS and its savagery should go back to the Lebanese civil war and study the contributions of the death squads on the Maronite right. They will see some similarities that fly in the face of conventional wisdom in Washington, DC..

Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil is a Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus, a lecturer and the author of The Angry Arab News Service. He tweets @asadabukhalil

Comments

There is really not much difference ideologically between the terrorists and states the support and sponsor them. In the war that Russia fought in Afghanistan, America and Saudi Arabia armed and supported terrorists from Wahhabi cult overwhelmingly from Saudi Arabia which Saudi monarchs try to sell them to the world as if they were Muslims, where in fact they belong to a British-created cult pushed through a guy called Abdul Wahhab or some such name. This is one modern terrorist group that the author did not mention. They still exist under various names such as al-Qaeda, ISIL, ISIS, IS, and other, said to be created and supported by America and its closest allies--the Persian Gulf monarchs.

The Sicarii (dagger-wielders): ancient Jewish terrorists
"The Sicarii, however, were a different type of bandit, as Josephus says. They were not a rural phenomenon, but urban. They operated in the heart of the holy city of Jerusalem, even in the Temple. They did not commit armed robbery at all, but murder, assassination. In contrast to bandits, who made attacks and then fled to their hideaways because their identity was already known only too well, the Sicarii, although operating in broad daylight and in public places, assassinated their victims surreptitiously. Because of this clandestine manner of operation, no one knew who the assassins were, and they could continue to lead normal public lives in the city." "In contrast, the appropriate term for the deliberate and organized assassinations, primarily in the city, by the Sicarii is "terrorism." "
Richard A. Horsley. The Journal of Religion, Vol. 59, No. 4, Oct., 1979. Page 438.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1202887

I read the Friedman book twenty years ago and one point alerted me to its possible falseness. He describes a bombing of an apartment house in Lebanon and says that a Palestinian bombed the whole building because he had a dispute with a tenant, and that such an over-reaction was culturally acceptable to him as a Palestinian.
The question of who introduces a new tactic is important, and when, since it must be responded to somehow. I suddenly recall Mao saying about nuclear weapons, "Let them kill as many of us as they--the West--wants, we shall not submit," or words to that effect: though he did push through rapid development of nuclear weapons.
The introduction of industrial-scale aerial strategic bombing by the US and UK seem to be the greatest historical advance in war operations in the direction of terrorism: military means of achieving political changes by directly changing the public's mind: terrorizing it into changing its views.
I wonder if terrorism in that sense has ever succeeded. And the Eighth Air Force, responsible for US strategic bombing of Germany, suffered 88,000 deaths out of the 400,000 total borne by the US in the whole of WWII: was it worth it?

Thomas Friedman failed to refer to the terrorism and awful violence Bolshevik Jews perpetrated on Russians and Ukrainians during the Russian Revolution. Those Jews, who were "genetically incapable of producing acts of violence" according to Friedman, must have lost their way. And those Jews in Palestine who were committing acts of violence against the British as far back as the 1930s, learnt their violence from the British?

"Zionist gangs were the first modern militias in the Middle East. This runs contrary to the silly (and racist and bigoted) thesis of Thomas Friedman’s silly book, “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” wherein he posits that Israel was contaminated by its Arab and Muslim surrounding, and that the Jews, unlike backward Muslims, were genetically incapable of producing acts of violence, but were forced to change their ways to survive in this new savage neighborhood. Zionist gangs in pre-1948 Palestine were the real pioneers of terrorism in the Middle East."
Did Thomas Friedman even look at the acts of violence Jewish Bolsheviks perpetrated during the Russian Revolution? Those Jews who were "genetically incapable of producing acts of violence" until taught by Arabs? What a load of nonsense he wrote, to justify Irgun, Stern et al in their acts of violence against both Arabs and the British. (Did the British teach them how to perpetrate acts of violence too?)

I'm not a scholar of the Middle East or of terrorism and militias so I can't comment on the historical veracity of this account. But I can plainly see that the argument, such as it is, makes no sense. We are meant to infer, perhaps, that the various terrorist groups and militias now operating in the Middle East were somehow brought into being by the Jewish militias of the 1930s and 1940s and/or the Phalangist militias of the 1970s, which is obviously not the case. There is simply no cause and effect here. If everything the author says is true then at best you can say that there were other kinds of militias and terrorists prior to the Muslim or Arab ones. This is a barely interesting claim. This is not to gloss over the savagery of these groups--I am really disgusted by the accounts given by the author of the extreme violence of these groups. Today's Muslim and Arab militias and terrorists hardly get a pass because they organized themselves later--they are doing quite a good job killing people by the thousands. Moreover, since many of them--ISIS, AQ come to mind--do what they do in the name of Islam, I can't see why one would fail to identify their religious ideology as a motivating factor: they are indeed terrorizing "because of" Islam, as well as other motives, presumably, such as a desire for power, perhaps wealth, and certainly psychological reasons at the level of the individual. This doesn't mean that these people represent Islam any more than the Phalangists represented Christianity--but the latter, if the account is accurate, were certainly motivated by their religion as well so it would be disingenuous to discount this fact. Mainstream politicians in the West like Obama and even Bush go out of their way to emphasize that the terror groups claiming operate in the name of Islam are perverting the religion. Fair enough. But given how much support these groups seem to have, and how many Muslims are joining ISIS or supporting it from their home countries, it's really not reasonable to claim that this phenomenon has nothing to do with Islam. That would be rather "silly."

Writer of this column totally ignored evolution of arising of Wahhabi and Deobandi ( A school of thought from Indian Subcontinent from where we saw arising of Taliban Movement and anti Shiiet and Sufi Sunni terrorism by Sipah Sahabah ) takfiri fascism in Muslim world.
Actually first we saw Ibn Tamiyyah who was first teacher of all modern Takfiris who started so called Jihad against Muslims , Christians , Jews and others and gave fatwa and formed militia. After six hundred years this was Muhammad bin Abduwahhab from Najd who formed army of takfiris based on excommunicative ideology and revived ideas of Ibn Tamyyiah in more extremist form and established first Wahhabi state in Hijaz .You can say that Biritish Imperialism provided help Ibn Saud to form that state but reality is that Wahhabi movement was there before Imperialist intervention.
Geo politics , strategies of imperialist and regional powers have role in shaping current extremist militant wahhabism and deobandism but they are not just biproduct of imperialism . It is reality that Wahhabism and Deobandism are basic ideological resources for current Wahhabi and deobandi brands of terrorism.

Was it the plot to combat communism in fact ?
It could have a "several pronged approach" to the gates of success all round.
Only because whiteman & his Zionist master have all the answers - man !

The Banks Are Broke - Globally
It is finally out in the open & accepted.
Now we play the waiting game....

There are people who believed that Mario Draghi's concerns & efforts were/are about making the system work & helping people
IMAGINE HOW NAIVE THEY ARE - naive means you don't think much....like the wheel in the head do not turn often.
Mario Draghi is about his own survival in a style to which he is accustomed.
I say this because poor old Mario is in big trouble right about now - aha !

One Must Applaud!

The above article is an impressive outlook at the subject-matter that differentiates the work of Dr. Abu Khalil’s from the leftover and bankrupt leftists of Lebanon. While rewinding his accounts of contemporary events one must applaud the fine research applied by the writer. The only intoxication As’ad has is his inability to doubt the authenticity of his Hezbollah aims and ultimate design against Arabs across their mainland, thus closing his eyes on the misery and inhumane plight of the Syrian population and their torture at the hands of Hezbollah and Bachar Al_Assad.

Douri of the South,
Bint Jbail, Southern Lebanon.

I won't refute Individual examples mentioned by the author. He has his sources and I have different ones.
But why start with the Lebanon civil war?Why not start at 1800?Ikhwan and Karbala.( some 400.000 Shiites dead. Al Djezzar (the butcher).1810-18, Jihad In Mali.1834-5, the massacre of Jews In Hebron(al Khalil,the name Is familiar..) and Safed.Massacres of the Assyrians,1840-60.Hamidian massacres,1894-96, which was the opening show to the Armenian genocide. A small list ,and I didn't even Google to list more.All committed by Muslims to Muslims and others. These are facts and there are plenty written descriptions of the atrocities with "colorful"horrific details . Try someone who needs your truth.
All said, though the above examples were done by Muslims, I never said or say, that Islam or Muslims as a whole, are bad or evil or misguided.Every religion, every culture, every society, has Its psychopaths .It Is more productive to stand up to fanatics than try to explain "we didn't start It, they did" childish attitude.

Of course Yigal the Zionist ie colonizer of Palestine cannot refute the facts. But he could try a bit of hasbara. As'ad is telling about militias in the ME - its origins could not be seen in the beginning of 19th. And Turkey's state crimes had nothing to do with militias either. But if Yigal the Zionist ie colonizer of Palestine wants to start from the very beginning of times, he could start with the bands of anti-Roma Jewish fighters - they were against Roma's colonization and I am sure Roman colonizers called them terrorists and barbarians -just like Zionist colonizers, who usually see themselves as "European civilzators" of the ME land, and in this are proud heirs of European colonizers (civilization is a word with Latin root)
And, of course, any colonizers are criminals, so Zionists (all of them) are criminals and supporters of criminal militias (including even the most fanatical Islamists in Syria, for ex)

This article is completely false. The Christians didn't start the war at all. Kamal Junblatt in his book "I Speak for Lebanon" said that France is no longer protecting the Christians and that now was the time to strike and get rid of the Christians. But the Christians resisted and fought a brave war of self-defense. When the war started, the Christians were fighting with bird hunting rifles. Of course they took weapons from Israel. Nothing wrong with that.
The massacres against the Christian civilians in Beit Mellet, Deir Ashash, Tall Abbas, convent of Naameh, Damour all happened within the first few months. The PLO had a superb disinformation operation that spread many lies repeated in the above article. The Sabra and Chatilla massacres of 1982 (not to be confused with the massacres there committed by the Shiites in the mid-1980s) were committed by Elie Hobeiqa, a Syrian agent. He was kicked out of the Christian areas and then he joined his real allies: Syria and Hezbollah. He was on Hezbollah's parliamentary list in Baabda.
The Christians were subject to an earlier holocaust in WWI, when the turks starved Mount Lebanon, killing a third of the Christians. There were also the massacres of 1860 (not "civil wars", as the author called them) in Lebanon and Syria. Thousand of Christians were massacred because they are seen as infidels.

Right wing christian militias with a regressive racist patriarchy -all very much arab- that had pitted itself against enlightened multifaith secular leftist pan-arabism that accepted much ethnic diversity (think panhellenism) rife with much religious and racist bigotry. This is what the Phalangists were. Racist thugs underpinned by facist seperatist nationalism based on religious bigotry and fanaticism in collusion with the brutish colonial powers set on the region.
We all remember their massacres in lebanon, massacres only outdone by their associates (beterr yet, their handlers), the terrorist band of Zionists. Its your rhetoric that is misinformative propoganda and forging revisionism.

The Christian militias were pure thugs backed by Zionists, as were other militias. Stop making excuses for the terror and savagery they displayed.

"This article is completely false."

Your information is completely false, actually.

"The Christians didn't start the war at all. Kamal Junblatt in his book "I Speak for Lebanon" said that France is no longer protecting the Christians and that now was the time to strike and get rid of the Christians."

No one is hiding Jumblatt's sectarianism - nevertheless, show me a statement (before the massacres of Karantina and the bus) of Kamal saying he 'wanted to massacre Christians'.

"But the Christians resisted and fought a brave war of self-defense."

What?! The Bus massacre, Tel Al Zaatar massacre, Karantina massacre, Sabra and Shatila massacre...? DEFENSE? Disgusting. Phalangists don't represent Christians; the Left had many non-sectarian groups; Phalangists were right-wing lunatics.

"When the war started, the Christians were fighting with bird hunting rifles."

Phalangists* were fighting with Israeli and Bulgarian weapons.

"Of course they took weapons from Israel. Nothing wrong with that."

Yes, there's something wrong with that - Israel occupied Lebanese land, the Shebaa Farms, since 1967. They collaborated with an enemy most of the Lebanese people didn't recognize.

"The massacres against the Christian civilians in Beit Mellet, Deir Ashash, Tall Abbas, convent of Naameh, Damour all happened within the first few months."

There were no recorded massacres against Christians (other than the LF-displayed propaganda) before the bus massacre; the Lebanese army made a deal with the PLO in the early 70s and the Phalangists decided to break the deal by killing a Palestinian bus driver.

"The PLO had a superb disinformation operation that spread many lies repeated in the above article."

Everything that goes against racist far-right phalangists are what? PLO propaganda? You're the one justifying the extremist sectarianism and racism spread by Bachir Gemayel's vampires.

"The Sabra and Chatilla massacres of 1982 (not to be confused with the massacres there committed by the Shiites in the mid-1980s)" were committed by Elie Hobeiqa, a Syrian agent."

LOL? He was put in power in the Lebanese Front by Samir Geagea - he wasn't a Syrian ally when he perpetrated the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

"He was kicked out of the Christian areas and then he joined his real allies: Syria and Hezbollah."

That was in the 90s; you really are delusional.

"The Christians were subject to an earlier holocaust in WWI, when the turks starved Mount Lebanon, killing a third of the Christians. There were also the massacres of 1860 (not "civil wars", as the author called them) in Lebanon and Syria. Thousand of Christians were massacred because they are seen as infidels."

Massacres were made by both sectarian sides - you're such a one-sided idiot.

Thanks for your response, I’ll try to make a few points with the time I have

“No one is hiding Jumblatt's sectarianism”

Great. And Jumblatt was the leader of the left-wing. Hence the left-wing was a sectarian movement. LOGIC.

“ - nevertheless, show me a statement (before the massacres of Karantina and the bus) of Kamal saying he 'wanted to massacre Christians'.”

I don’t have a tape recording but when Jumblatt was killed that’s what happened. So the incitement was clearly being made in secret. Plus when it became clear that it was the Syrians that killed him, the PSP stuck with their alliance with the Syrians. Doesn’t that prove that the top priority was to target the Christians? Would you ally with the one who killed your father? Come on man.

“What?! The Bus massacre, Tel Al Zaatar massacre, Karantina massacre, Sabra and Shatila massacre...? DEFENSE?”

Yes defense. Remember that at first the Christians welcomed the Palestinians. Other they wouldn’t have been able to establish themselves in Tel Zaatar or karantina in the first place. But in the end, the Christians were stabbed in the back by the people they tried to help. Tel Zaatar, karantina were in Christian areas and the terrorists inside were killing the people nearby. So we wanted to evacuate the camps. It could have been done peacefully, but the PLO refused. So it was done militarily. It took many weeks with a great losses on both sides, including the leader of the Kataeb military wing. But afterward the Christian areas were left more secure.

“Yes, there's something wrong with that - Israel occupied Lebanese land, the Shebaa Farms, since 1967. They collaborated with an enemy most of the Lebanese people didn't recognize.”

Hehe. The Shiites greeted Israel when it entered. The Druze coordinated with them in then mountain. (have you heard of Amal nasreddine?) The Sunnis were glad the PLO was evacuated Beirut and didn’t let the PLO return. Everybody was happy on inside. But everyone was playing “taqiyya” In 1967 Israel took the farms from Syrian forces there, not lebanon. It is Syria which stole shebaa from Lebano in the 50s, not israel. that's the real history. the rest is propaganda.

" were no recorded massacres against Christians (other than the LF-displayed propaganda) before the bus massacre;”

Oh yes there was!!!! A few hours before the bus, the plo opened fire on a churchgoers in Ein el Remmaneh, killing Abu Assi. on April 13 1975. The PLO started the war, enough fabrications!

“Everything that goes against racist far-right phalangists are what? PLO propaganda? You're the one justifying the extremist sectarianism and racism spread by Bachir Gemayel's vampires.”

Look, isn’t Arabism racism? Isn’t that Arab supremacism, like white supremacism? Why were the kurds killed in Iraq and Syria? Because of the racist “Arabist” ideology. why were teh kurds stripped of citizenship in Syria? Arabist racism. Bashir Gemayel was fighting racism.

“LOL? He was put in power in the Lebanese Front by Samir Geagea - he wasn't a Syrian ally when he perpetrated the Sabra and Shatila massacre.”

Maybe yes maybe no. but he was kicked out to the Syrian areas. The Syrians welcomed him. anyway, Sabra and Shatila was a black mark on the Resistance's otherwise proud history.

“That was in the 90s; you really are delusional.”

No he was kicked out in 1986 then allied with Hezbollah in the 1990s. Anyway, the Shiites killed a lot more Palestinians in the mid 80s and Syria killed many in the Yarmouk camp today. Just look at the butcheries around you man, the Christians were saints relatively speaking. Everything Bashir Gemayel said turned out to be true. Today everybody recognizes that Syria is a terrorist state. Everybody recognizes that the PLO was wrong. Some pLO members even apologized. But Bashir Gemayel saw it all ahead of time. give credit where it's due.

“Massacres were made by both sectarian sides”

Not true, the pogroms in Syria and Lebanon killed thousands of Christians, who were attacked. And the turks killed a million Armenians and a third of mount Lebanon by starvation. The Christians didn’t try to exterminate anyone. But let’s put the war behind us. And don't listen to Asad bu khalil. he doens't say the truth.

ciao

Wow, the story of the penises found in the barrel was horrible.

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