What was once called as a revolution amongst Syrians who struggled to topple Assad, ended up in a sectarian conflict.
The hideous act of Lavderim Muhaxheri when he stabbed with a knife a defenseless Syrian boy, is nothing but a small piece of a larger picture fraught of wanton cruelty which is taking place in upper areas of Euphrates and Tiger rivers. Beneath of this welter of violence lies the infamous heritage of western colonialism. A seemingly righteous struggle against despotic theocracies has badly deviated on endless skirmishes inciting one against another.
What was once called as a revolution amongst Syrians who struggled to topple Assad, ended up in a sectarian conflict. Actually, this war surfaces apparently bigger problems than one is inclined to believe. The withdrawal of U.S. from Iraq, and then the curtailment of military troops in Afghanistan, left a vast empty space and many Theo-fascist groups are endeavoring to fill it.
The traditional fears from Iran, being a powerful state in Near East, brought to the fore certain radical organizations, whose inspiring ideologies are embedded on a strict interpretation of Islam. With minor differences, all these Theo-fascist groups are embodying with Wahhabis, a backward movement known for its intolerance and hatred against other religions.
Wahhabis, in its pristine form stretch back its origin in early 18th century when Saudi Arabs challenged Ottoman Empire’s rule. After Iranian Revolution (1979), resurrected once again because many Arab states felt themselves jeopardized by the ever-growing influence of Iran. Though the paradigm of Samuel Huntington for ‘civilization clashes’ might not be applicable in this case, it is increasingly clear that Near East countries are long entailed in a latent war, whose ultimate goal is to arose a hegemonic state imposing its will to Islamic world.
This struggle, whose epilogue can hardly be envisaged, stirred up sectarian clashes, which are fueled by the poor countries whose economy and education system leaves much to be desired.
Saudi Arabia, which covers most of Arabic Peninsula, has institutionalized as its official religion, Wahhabis, whose main characteristic is conservatism. As Syed Kamran Mirza remarked in his meaningful exegesis, Saudi Arabia ever since 1990-s managed to spread Wahhabis through venomous propaganda even beyond Near East frontiers. Abdul Wahhabi is widely held as the initiator of a widespread movement, which sought to ‘purify’ Islam from innovations. This reform coincides with the new emerged struggle of Arabs against Ottoman Empire. Ever since 1888, the Ottoman officer Ajub Sabri Pasha pored doubt for a plot made by British intelligence. In so doing, they indented to undermine the authority of Ottoman Empire in Arabic Peninsula. While the personality of British agent, Hempher is still cloaked in mystery, the then leader of Egypt, Mohammet Ali Pasha, an Albanian of sanguine character, led a successful campaign against Wahhabis who in turn were utterly routed.
There is a proliferation of certain movements, who maintain an ideology intertwining both fascism and Wahhabis. The so-called ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a militant group that claims to revive an ‘Islamic Caliphate’, has overshadowed similar organizations because of its harsh and hostile methods used to attain its objectives. From a group of minor importance, ISIS cast its fearful shadow upon certain areas of Iraq and Syria. The leaders of this Theo-fascist organization justify their ungodly deeds as a kind of “rightful vengeance” to the brutalities committed by the Shiite militias upon Sunni communities. The reverse side of coin reveals a completely different story.
ISIS unleashes its militants mainly against Muslim Sunnis of both Syria and Iraq. Entire villages are burned to the ground while thousands of blameless civilians (either Sunnis, Shiites or Christians) are compelled to leave their homes.
While this process has worryingly reached biblical proportions, a number of Kurds and Sunnis are forming armed units to defend their villages from atrocities of ISIS. Moreover, a number of Islamist fighters from ‘Free Syrian Army’ who initially dissented Assad’s regime, are struggling against ferocious ISIS militants whose main strongholds are in the northeast sections of Syria. It must be remarked that ISIS reared its head in the same time when the ‘Détente’ between USA and Russia is wavering as never before. ISIS appearance coincides roughly with Russia’s incursions not only towards Ukraine but also all over Europe. Hence we may justly draw a similar parallel when Americans used to collaborate with Taliban against Soviet presence on Afghanistan.
There is some room to doubt that behind these Theo-fascist organizations are certain Western states. It has been rumored (not unjustly though) that ISIS’s leaders have been instructed by western secret services. Though the statement of Snowden must be taken with a pinch of salt, the recent history of Near East is replete with similar situations, which preclude any coincidence. Similarly, even HAMAS, which currently holds Gaza Strip, might have been created by Israel who faced with the necessity to counter Palestinian left-nationalists.
Unfortunately, these developments are impacting unwittingly our country. Since the Syrian Civil War broke off, there were certain volunteers who went to fight alongside Islamist groups. The term ‘volunteer’ is not accurate at all given that certain individuals for their own profits recruited a number of poor citizens. It is very significant that most of recruitment has been carried by individuals who maintain close contacts with Turkish secret services.
The authorities of Kosovo were well aware of this fact but they never gathered up courage to stop Turkey from interfering in Kosovo. The same reluctance was shown even in the case of ferocious terrorist, Lavderim Muhaxheri, who has worked for some time in Bondsteel, a military camp of US army (located in southern Kosovo in nearby of Ferizaj).
While the image of Kosovo is blacken by Lavderim Muhaxheri, Kosovo’s authorities did little to nothing to hold accountable Americans for individuals like Lavderim Muhaxheri, who left Bondsteel camp and went to fight alongside Islamic radicals. The government of Kosovo must cease its reluctance and hold Americans accountable for sowing terrorism. Moreover, there were some indications that ‘BONDSTEEL’ camp has within secret prisons similar with that of Guantanamo.
Salih Mehmeti, is an independent radio journalist. Currently he is pursuing degree in journalism at the Public University “Hasan Prishtina”, Faculty of Philology. S. Mehmet, inter alia deals with autodidact studies in the field of history and politics.