Jabhat Fath Shaam and the balance between harms

A comprehensive evaluation and analysis of events
 Everyone has read or heard about the conflict between Jabhat Fath Shaam and Jaysh Al-Mujahideen primarily, in addition to several other factions. We will try to explore this issue in some detail while referring to the statement published by Jabhat Fath Shaam concerning these events. Looking at the statement published by Jabhat Fath Shaam we can conclude that the overall message, whether we agree or not, is their desire to protect the course of the Syrian revolution. They clearly are not after power or authority and they are not seeking to annihilate other factions. They mainly address the political negations which seek the surrender of the Syrian opposition, and point towards the fall of Aleppo, a scenario which must not repeat. After the fall of Aleppo all eyes were set on Idlib, so it is actually not strange that Jabhat Fath Shaam took preventive measures to strengthen the weak spots that could be penetrated. 

Let us look at the statement of Jabhat Fath Shaam concerning the conflict. The statement starts with: “The blessed Syrian revolution is passing through a dangerous slope which threatens its path that wants to reach its goals of toppling the Nusayri regime and its allies. The projects of reconciliations and peace agreements today are plain and obvious, the conferences and negotiations are trying to deviate the course of the revolution towards reconciliations with the criminal regime and surrendering the country after all that is sacrificed in the past six years. On the other hand we have the lesson of Aleppo, a harsh lesson from which we must take heed, we must not let this repeat again. As some factions refrained their support to Aleppo for years, their participation was weak, it did not match the proportion of these factions and their numbers on paper, and their defense lines were empty.”      

One thing which was obvious about the campaign, is that Jabhat Fath Shaam was very controlled and balanced, looking at the amount of casualties. It is obvious that they did not launch their campaign for power, they did not force Jaysh Al-Mujahideen to join Jabhat Fath Shaam, and they stated that they did not have the intention to fight, kill or annihilating Jaysh Al-Mujahideen. This explains why they did not launch an all out assault against them with heavy weaponry and martyrdom operations, unlike the assault of ISIS against the factions who even used acid to burn their faces in Deir Zor and chemical shells in Marea, in addition to the reckless suicide bombings and bloody beheadings. This assault is in no way comparable.   

When you decide to confront corruption one must outweigh the benefits and harms of this confrontation, as the confrontation must not lead to a larger corruption than the one you are trying to confront. And there must be a balance of wisdom between softness and harshness. We have seen how ISIS failed in this respect, but other factions failed as well. Jabhat Fath Shaam is actually the one group that has been and is successful in outweighing between harms and benefits, and balancing between softness and harshness when confronting corruption.  

Jabhat Fath Shaam could have been a lot harsher in their assault if they wanted, they clearly did not pull everyone out of their arsenal against their opponents. It was a balanced neutralization campaign similar to the campaigns against the Hazm Movement, Syria Revolutionaries Front, Division 30, Army of Revolutionaries, and the New Syrian Forces. Jabhat Fath Shaam balances between softness and harshness and knows very well when to use the appropriate amount of softness and the appropriate amount of harshness. This is because they realize and clarify that they are dealing with multiform people, they are Muslims mixed with corrupt people and hypocrites, while some of them are apostates. They can not treat them as one entity, that is why they have to stay careful and balanced when dealing with them. 

Thinking about the timing of the campaign it becomes clear that the campaign is coordinated with the ongoing Astana negations. It is because of these negotiations in addition to the inactive fronts against the regime that the soldiers of Jaysh Al-Mujahideen were not willing to defend their bases with their lives, they largely surrendered as they lost their trust in their faction and its leadership. Jabhat Fath Shaam neutralized several bases in Western Aleppo and Northern Idlib without a drop of blood. We witnessed several defections in Jaysh Al-Mujahideen and the deputy even dissolved the faction; when the general leader Abu Bakr denied this, his deputy replied that he should not deny anything while he was staying in Turkey and in Saudi Arabia. This embarrassing exposure showed that the leader of this faction is more occupied with foreign powers and their interest instead of the Syrian revolution and his own soldiers.   

Another thing we notice is that several major factions stayed neutral in the conflict, they did not choose any side. This tells us something very important, this tells we are not dealing with a clear cut assault of oppression by Jabhat Fath Shaam, unlike the deceiving picture portrayed in the media. If Jabhat Fath Shaam was the obvious oppressor and Jaysh Al-Mujahideen the obvious oppressed party then the factions would not announce their neutral position. No, they would side with the oppressed against the oppressor, like they did in the case of ISIS. It has even been reported that several elements within other factions supported the campaign. This would not be the first time that the factions supported a campaign of Jabhat Fath Shaam to clear the arena of corruption, as they supported previous similar campaigns by Jabhat Nusra. Many factions were on board when Jabhat Nusra countered the corrupt factions in the past, and nearly everyone was on board when Jabhat Nusra countered the deviant corruption of the Khawarij. So why would the current campaign be any different this time one might ask? 

The second point in the statement addresses the issue of the failed merger. When someone accuses Jabhat Fath Shaam of creating division he must not forget that they were prepared to merge with all of these factions only a couple of weeks ago. Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani was even prepared to give up his leadership to Abu Amar Al-Umar, the general leader of Ahraar Shaam. Jabhat Fath Shaam even cut its organizational ties with Al-Qaedah for the sake of unity in Syria, and Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani showed his face for the sake of unity, to gain trust, while exposing himself to the threat of US drone airstrikes in doing so. Yet the factions refused to merge, it was not Jabhat Fath Shaam who refused to unite. So the outcome of what we are witnessing now of conflicts and division is due to the refusal of the factions to merge. We can al agree that the refusal to merge is the root cause for the division we are witnessing now, and that a merger could have prevented the current division and turmoil. 

Jabhat Fath Shaam continued the statement with the following remark: “We strived because of this destructive reality, and to prevent the scenario of Aleppo from repeating, and the scenario of the Southern Front, and to advance our situation to a political and military entity worthy or representing the blessed revolution, and honors its sacrifices and its struggle, and a unification of decrees which strengthen its rod, we strived from this perspective to a merger with welcoming truthful hearts. We leaned towards our brothers from other factions, we removed all the obstacles we were capable of, and we surrendered some of our personal rights which we deserve based on capability and merit, so we walked the path towards Fath Shaam and we stepped back from authority, desired by the gathering, to others from the factions, while we called towards an overall merger which does not exclude anyone. Except that some were not on the level of the situation and the danger of the phase which were are passing through, so the pens and verdicts were let loose which forbade the merger with us and said that it was suicide. And their motives were their keenness to preserve the channels of aid and their obedience to the threats and pressure of the backers, some went even further and requested from us to dissolve our group and leave our members and bases.”  

The same scholarly verdicts which spoiled the unity and merger are the same verdicts which exaggerated the conflict between Jabhat Fath Shaam and Jaysh A-Mujahideen. These verdicts and the leaders of the factions who called for a general mobilization is what caused the conflict to escalate. There were no verdicts and no calls for a general mobilization for the people of Aleppo or for the besieged city of Wadi Barada. More than 80.000 civilians, 65% of them women, are trapped in besieged Wadi Barada as they are bombed for more than 30 days despite the so-called ceasefire, they ran out of food and denied any aid, medicine and food, even their water resources are bombed and destroyed. They are without medical treatment since their medical center is bombed by the Assad militias. Yet there are no active noteworthy fronts by the factions to pressure the regime, rather they continue to uphold a fake ceasefire and they are attending negotiations in Astana while the regime is bombing and starving the Syrian civilians in especially Wadi Barada. Where are the general mobilizations for them? 

A ceasefire and negotiations with the regime while calling for a general mobilization against Jabhat Fath Shaam? The leader of Ahraar Shaam Abu Amar Al-Umar and the leader of Suqor Shaam Abu Isa for example called for a general mobilization, but we did not see such heated calls when the people in Aleppo were bombed, besieged, starved and slaughtered for months. It is clear that there are leaders and scholars who want to capitalize on the conflict as they used this opportunity to ventilate their hidden grudges. Jabhat Fath Shaam did not have the intention of fighting against Jaysh Al-Mujahideen, rather they succeeded in convincing them of the treachery of their leaders thought debates and negotiations as most of them surrendered, they did not fire a shot and no blood was spilled. Rather it was actually Jabhat Fath Shaam who got attacked as several of their men got killed in a treacherous twist of events.   

Despite the exaggerations in the media, not even one casualty was reported from Jaysh Al-Mujahideen or from Jabhat Shamiyah and the operations room of Rashideen, as Jabhat Fath Shaam neutralized and dissolved their factions in Western Aleppo and Northern Idlib. The members of the dissolved factions will be gathered and they will choose a leader themselves. The only casualties that were reported caused by Jabhat Fath Shaam were from Suqor Shaam because they attacked them, killing and imprisoning several members from Jabhat Fath Shaam. And Jaysh Al-Islam even opened fire on Jabhat Fath Shaam with heavy weaponry. 

Jabhat Fath Shaam stated in an additional statement: “An important clarification: During the dispute between us and Jaysh al-Mujahideen on Monday 23-1-2017 we were surprised by the statements of the leader of Suqor Shaam Abu Isa Al-Shaykh who described us as Khawarij and called to eradicate us unjustly and he mobilized his convoys and attacked some of our bases which caused the death of six of our men, knowing that we did not approach them and we did not start anything with Suqor Shaam whatsoever. And in Ras al-Hasn Jaysh Al-Islam approached the village and moved its tanks and soldiers towards it, knowing that we did not attack them, and there were no fights or clashes in the region to begin with.” 

We can not ignore the baffling speed with which Islamic verdicts were published criticizing Jabhat Fath Shaam before the facts and details were actually known. A total of at least six verdicts were published by various scholarly counsels; including the verdict concerning Jund Al-Aqsa. Two verdicts from the Islamic Syrian Counsel were published in one day, and two from the Shura Counsel of the People of Knowledge in Shaam, one verdict signed by thirty-three scholars including Abu Baseer Tartoosi, and another signed by four scholars including Abdullah Al-Muhaysini. Nearly all of them were published in one morning. This raises legitimate questions. How can they be so fast with verdicts when it concerns the matters of Jabhat Fath Shaam, while we are still waiting for weeks on just one verdict that explains the legal position of participating in the Euphrates Shield Operation in Al-Baab now that Turkey has openly declared that they are cooperating with Russia? As the scholars clearly set the strict condition that rebels are only allowed to participate if Turkey does not coordinate and cooperate its strikes with the US, let alone the occupying murderous Russians in Syria.  

The Islamic Syrian Counsel based in Turkey, the same counsel that published a verdict forbidding any merger with Jabhat Fath Shaam, even passed the reasonable boundaries of condemnation and criticism as they called the leadership of Jabhat Fath Shaam renegade Khawarij, and that it is forbidden to join them or stay in their ranks, that their members should defect, and that those who are killed under their banner will enter Hellfire, and that the factions should unite in one entity against them, and that the Syrian people should go out on the streets and demonstrate against them and besiege their bases, etc. They called them Khawarij even after Jabhat Fath Shaam declared their innocence from extremism and proofed this numerous times, as they distanced themselves from both ISIS and Jund Al-Aqsa. The counsel was able to find excuses for those who participate in the Euphrates Shield Operation and those who participate in the Astana negations, they excused their opinions, but they were not able to find one excuse for the decision and opinion of Jabhat Fath Shaam. No, the judgment of Khawarij was already ready on the table before the facts and details were even known.

Jabhat Fath Shaam published a very balanced and sharp response to the Syrian Islamic Counsel which shows the level of noble manners and respect they have for scholars, even if they incite against them and call them Khawarij, let alone if they merely disagree with them. Jabhat Fath Shaam called on them to listen to their side of the story, as they must know the details of the situation and they can not understand these details from the outside of Syria. They said: “With your influence you were suppose to come down to the arena in a quest to research and investigate before you publish verdicts, and we have called you –and our invitation is still open– to sit down with us to listen to us as we explain and evaluate the situation of the arena and its weakness and the dangers that are threatening it. Especially since we have discovered from more than one perspective that the counsel has some very mistaken understandings about us and our wishes and legal directives, and the most prominent evidence which indicates this is the published statement in which we are compared with the Khawarij of ISIS. This is a claim which denies history, it is an unjust comparison and judgment. As it is known to everyone that we broke with these people methodologically and organizationally.”     

How can Jabhat Fath Shaam all of a sudden become Khawarij within a couple of hours because of one conflict, of which the facts and details were not even clear at the time of the verdict? Furthermore, this counsel is not even based in Syria so how would they know the facts and details of this incident with such speed even before the rest of the Syrians knew them? This verdict reeks of prejudice. One of the main characteristics of the Khawarij is their unjust Takfir, and nowhere did Jabhat Fath Shaam make Takfir on Jaysh Al-Mujahideen, not their soldiers nor their leaders. One of the many accusations is that Jabhat Fath Shaam is influenced by foreign Salafi-Jihadist scholars and theorist while all the jurists of Jabhat Fath Shaam are based in Syria itself, not in Turkey or any other foreign country. So those who depend on such counsels are actually the ones who are influenced by foreign authorities. In addition to the fact that the overall members of these scholarly counsels are anonymous.        

When Jaysh Al-Islam transgressed against Jaysh Al-Fustaat and Faylaq Rahmaan we did not see this condemnation, with such speed, let alone the label of Khawarij being uttered, while over more than 350 Mujahideen were killed in the infighting in a plain and obvious act of transgression for power and authority by Jaysh Al-Islam in Al-Ghoutah. We did not see these verdicts and we did not hear the leaders calling for a general mobilization to eradicate them like we did when it concerned Jund Al-Aqsa or the during the limited campaign of Jabhat Fath Shaam. When the Free Syrian Army clashed with the Levant Front in which many youths were killed in Northern Syria we likewise did not see these verdicts and these calls. So these dubious positions actually only proof the conspiracy against Jabhat Fath Shaam.  

The verdict of the Islamic Syrian Counsel that Jabhat Fath Shaam are Khawarij is clearly setting the precedent for the factions to cooperate with Turkey or even Russia and the US to fight against Jabhat Fath Shaam like they did and still do against ISIS in Northern Syria. This is the same counsel that did not yet explain the position regarding the Turkish-Russian cooperation in Al-Baab and the legal ruling for the factions on participating in such an alliance. They did not yet explain this position like several other scholars and jurists didn’t because they are caught between two fires; the fire of reliance on aid and pressure from the foreign backers, and the fire of exposure and embarrassment in front of everyone.   

There is of course no problem if the scholars disagree with the decision of Jabhat Fath Shaam, there is no problem if they said that this campaign is wrong and that they are committing a sin which deserves punishment in hellfire; such a disagreement is valid. But it is truly amazing that this decision of Jabhat Fath Shaam to neutralize the corruption of Jaysh Al-Mujahideen, with minimum casualties and minimum bloodshed, is compared to the bloody onslaught against the factions and infighting caused by ISIS after they declared their fictional State in Shaam. How can these two be compared? The defaming campaign against Jabhat Fath Shaam, –whether they were right or not, whether they made a mistake or not– by everyone who seeks to destroy the Syrian revolution, is obvious. Because they and other Islamic fundamentalist factions are the remaining backbone of the armed opposition against the Assad regime.       

Like the independent media activist Musa Al-Umar said: “You demonize Jabhat Fath Shaam and say that they are ISIS, brother shame on you for calling them ISIS, shame on you. Did you see Jabhat Fath Shaam dress someone in orange overalls and behead him and slaughter him like a sheep in a video publication? Did you see someone defect from Jabhat Fath Shaam as they chased him and killed and slaughter him? Did you see anyone get killed or slaughter by Jabhat Fath Shaam in this way? Jabhat Fath Shaam has mistakes, but people must know, and those who treat the people like donkeys, that the backbone that remained from the armed opposition forces of the Syrian revolution consists of fundamentalist, they are the backbone of the armed forces. And the one who does not know that is truly struck with foolishness.”       

This generally known fact is also something Jabhat Fath Shaam highlights in their statement: “It is not hidden for any truthful Mujahid in the domestic or those who follow the Syrian arena in the foreign –and we do not say this to outshine anyone rather we are being realistic– what Jabhat Fath Shaam represents on every level; military, judicially and in serviceability. As Fath Shaam represent nearly two thirds of the military offense and defense force, and they hold the topmost active defensive posts against the Nusayri regime and the Rawafid militias.”    

We have witnessed a series of local and international exposures since the revolution in Syria, just like the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) said about The End Times –a war in Shaam is one of these signs. He said “When the Signs start to come, they will come fast, like a string of beads falling one after the other.” We can not deny that the fall of Aleppo, the failed merger, the Astana peace talks, the increased US air strikes and the Turkish-Russian alliance has exposed many facts, and the recent developments after the conflict between Jaysh Al-Mujahideen and Jabhat Fath Shaam is another episode in long series of exposures.  

As Jabhat Fath Shaam clearly stated: “With the foiled attempts to merge came the coalition airstrikes. Fath Shaam was hit in more than one position and gathering, and they targeting several active leaders, in a clear message to isolate and then fight us, at a time when some factions maintain solid relations with America; the guardian of crime. And during these events the Astana meetings appeared, the conference to which its guardian called, the occupier Russia. And they forced the factions to attend under a humiliating ceiling over the revolution and Jihaad. From overthrowing the criminal regime; to negotiations and agreements to a ceasefire and entering humanitarian aid. And the factions participated in the course of this conference which states that its wants to implement a democratic state and an agreement to fight and isolate Jabhat Fath Shaam. The matter was overtaking the arena and the opinions concerning it, beginning with the conference of political gambles, then bargaining over us, and agreeing on fighting us, in addition to exposing our backs to the international coalition.”  

Instead of calling for the eradication of factions, or a general mobilization against them, or making Takfir on them, and so on. We have rather seen a very balanced position and reasonable tone from Jabhat Fath shaam towards the factions, and a strong message towards the foreign powers who sought to sabotage the Syrian revolution from the very beginning. And because this campaign was targeted against the foreign powers, more than anyone, we have seen an uncontrolled media defamation and a massive spread of misinformation and lies.      

As stated: “Because of all of the aforementioned it was necessary for us to foil the conspiracy and confront this before it is ignited, to stitch the arena and prevent its collapse; military with the stitches of fronts and politically by cutting of the imported projects and foiling them and pulling them down and preventing them from passing. Knowing that we do not make Takfir on these factions, not the leaders nor the soldiers, and we have ordered our soldiers to be careful as not to spill any sacred blood. Rather the aim was cutting off the project not to fight or kill, and not to make Takfir and legalize blood. So that everyone who tries to bargain over that which he does not own known that he can expect this as a natural result for what his political offices are seeking in the abroad. And we say to the abroad: those from which you are trying to buy the sacrifices of the revolution of the people of Syria, do not own them.” 

It is not fair to let those who represent the factions, to first profit from the years of sacrifices made by Jabhat Fath Shaam on the ground, only to back-stab them in conferences and negotiations as they bargain over them. This campaign against Jaysh Al-Mujahideen is a clear message to everyone who wants to use Jabhat Fath Shaam as a political bargaining chip. The poor Syrians who sacrifice their lives and wage Jihaad are likewise used as numbers on paper who increase the aid and fill their pockets. This aid and these resources which they gained on the backs of the Syrian people are the property of the Syrians, and not their own personal property. They became known for their corruption among the local people, and Jabhat Fath Shaam chose to delay a confrontation with them because this could lead towards serious harms for the Jihaad, but they could not delay this confrontation any longer as the threats and dangers for the Syrian Jihaad and revolution grew bigger than these possible harms.  

Even the remaining factions agree on this but they refuse to confront them because this will anger the foreign backers, while a general mobilization against Jabhat Fath Shaam on the other hand will please the foreign backers. Jabhat Fath Shaam however succeeded in neutralizing these factions with minimum casualties and losses, and everyone who claims otherwise can not bring any proof for his exaggerated claims. Changing an evil with such wisdom and with such care and delicacy is a true talent, very little people are able to do this.     

If we were to look at the attempt of Ahraar Shaam to eradicate Jund Al-Aqsa before they joined Jabhat Fath Shaam –until they left recently. Then we would discover that it cost Ahraar Shaam hundreds of their men between those who were killed, wounded and imprisoned, while many of them left the Jihaad all together due to the infighting. In addition to much of rural Hamaa falling to the regime. Furthermore, breaking the siege on Aleppo got delayed by twenty days because of their reckless attempt to eradicate and annihilate Jund Al-Aqsa, until it was eventually impossible to break the siege on Aleppo as the regime got enough the time and opportunity to fortify the siege on the city. Compare this failed attempt of Ahraar Shaam with so many losses with the attempt of Jabhat Fath Shaam to dissolve Jaysh Al-Mujahideen. Ahraar Shaam did not seem to care about the lives of their own men and those of Jund Al-Aqsa. Moreover, they and other factions did not learn from this bitter experience as they still call for eradications and general mobilizations against Jund Al-Aqsa and Jabhat Fath Shaam.  

The attempt of Ahraar Shaam to eradicate Jund Al-Aqsa despite the many harms it caused for the Jihaad and revolution was not seen as a mistake, rather they were supported in this by scholars and factions. Yet we do not see the same support now that Jabhat Fath Shaam has tried and succeeded in dissolving factions known for their corruption, with minimum casualties and harms from both parties. Until they got rid of these corrupt factions who exploit the suffering of the Syrian people; factions which are unable and unwilling to hold the lines against the regime, putting in dangers the lives of millions of Syrian Muslims.     

One of the major problems in Syria is that factions are able to commit injustice and crimes while getting away with it without any accountability. The Levant Front left 150 defensive positions in Aleppo, their soldiers watched as Aleppo fell, without any accountability. This has to stop. This is why Jabhat Fath Shaam decided to confront these factions, and if they did not do so this could have cost the lives of millions of Syrian Muslims. And they achieved in a couple of hours what others could not achieve in years, and without major losses and harms to the revolution and Jihaad. Jabhat Fath Shaam made a decision based on strategic insight and sincere concerns, while knowing that this would place them at the center of a witch hunt and a defamation campaign, but this is not the first sacrifice they made for the Syrian revolution.   

Jabhat Fath Shaam concludes their statement with a message to the soldiers and leaders of the factions, again very balanced, between softness and harshness, as they call for unity and warn against deviation: “We say to our brothers, the soldiers from the factions who shared our Jihaad and trenches, what is being discussed of decrees in Astana and others to fight and isolate us is not only empty talk, rather it is the beginning of a dangerous phase which will have negative consequences on the arena. And be careful that you become tools, without realizing it, for a project desired by the enemies of the revolution and Jihaad. As for the leaders of the factions: We know that some of you are led by deviant verdicts and ideological terrorism carried out by them –perhaps with good intentions– to pass decrees which you will regret in the end, but regret will not be of any benefit at that point. Be patient for your religion and return to Jihaad and fight, and push away from you the devils of politics and their whispers, and you will not find us except to be brothers to you who support you and defend you like we have promised.  Finally: We call upon all the factions to take active and honest measures which are translated in positions and deeds, removed far away from the language of official statements, crowned by a statement of deeds which will benefit the arena. And in which its people agree on the establishment of one Sunni entity united politically and military, based on the Sharia, which posses the decree of peace and war, which protects our people and safeguards their religion and sanctuaries. We stress the importance of hasting to cooperate and participate to achieve this goal. And we are completely prepared to implement and abide by it.”    

Taken from  Al-Maqalaat

Open letter by Spokesman of Islamic Emirate to the American President Donald Trump

​Open letter by Spokesman of Islamic Emirate to the American President Donald Trump

 

To Donald Trump, President of the United States of America!

Availing this opportunity of understanding arisen due to the presidential change of your country, I wish to share with you a few realities about the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

The war launched on Afghanistan by your troops has completed its fifteenth year, is the longest war in your history (still prolonging) and has caused human and material losses to both sides.

You, being chosen as the elected President of the United States and having to carry the burden of responsibility for all aspects of this war, must ask what is the end goal of this war? Everyone understands that wars are not waged for the sake of war but as a means to an end.

If your goal is the permanent occupation of Afghanistan, oppressing this nation, forcing a rule upon them then using the land, air space and other resources of this country for your own interests; then you must learn from past experiments and understand that such dreams can never materialize because to do so you must first guarantee stability for your soldiers and the servile regime before using the air and land for your vested interests. However historical experiences, the nature of this land and its people and most importantly, the past 15 years have proven that it is impossible to provide safety for foreign forces or quell the armed religious and national resistance against it.

Come let us unwaveringly accept that our nation has waged a historically successful struggle against a foreign invasion over the past 15 years. Our people did not have the material, military, logistical or even the official moral support of any nation.

Tens of countries allied in this occupation used military, political, propaganda and every other means available to breakdown our lawful resistance but as our Jihad and struggle was legitimate religiously, intellectually, nationally and conforming to all other lawful standards and because our nation believes in it to the extent of sacrosanctity, therefore the invaders failed to pacify this resistance despite having a lopsided military advantage. In the end, many officials of the countries allying with the occupation recognized that they are not fighting some rebellious group, rather they are at war with an entire nation. Hence they embraced this reality, opened channels of dialogue and understanding with the Islamic Emirate and slowly began pulling their troops out of this illegal, ineffective and aimless war.
Elected President of the United States!

The Afghans, as a nation ravaged by war for thirty eight long years, sincerely want to bring this war to an end however they know – despite whatever reasons for previous wars – that the principle cause for the ongoing conflict is the presence of foreign occupying forces in our independent country. To bring an end to this war feeding on the blood of your and our people, you must further understand the geography and nature of this war through the following clarifications. 

First: As a nation of the Asian continent, Afghanistan boasts of regionally having the longest history of independence and freedom. That this nation has been invaded the most and has somehow emerged sound from these disasters while the dangers of occupation and disintegration have not harmed it, one of the reasons is because the independence of this nation, its territorial integrity and defense of national interests is dependent upon its people and not on individuals, groups and governments. This nation holds its sovereignty dear above any estimations and considers itself the true and undisputed owner of this geography.

Second: The Afghan nation considers the independence of their country as their lawful right and firmly believes it can safeguard and manage its own homeland. History does not recall a time when the security and interests of others were threatened from the land and airspace of this country. Our country remained neutral in both the First and Second World Wars and did not aid or ally with any side. Our country also remained a member of non-aligned nations during the Cold War.

This fear of people viewing our country being used as a potential strategic theater by rivals or being involved in a great game is unfounded. We want to take a breath of serenity in our country after long wars and heal the wounds of our nation. Our nation will not accept the military presence of western colonialists just as it refused the military presence of eastern colonialists.

Third: Just as our people do not hold the intention of harming others, they reciprocally will not accept harm by others. You understand that our country is the poorest from amongst the so-called third world countries. The only asset that our persecuted nation holds is a free and independent country retained through the ages with a lot of blood and sacrifice. Our nation is ready for every sacrifice in defense of this asset and values its preservation above every estimation. We fought against the English for more than half a century from the end of the 19th century and beginning of 20th century for this exact aim (acquiring independence). In defense of our country, we offered over 1.5 million martyrs against the Soviet invasion.

Looking at the above, it would be naive for someone to think that they can force our nation to accept their invasion and rule or that they can exhaust our nation by prolonging this war. Our nation considers fighting for its rights as a great honor and the pinnacle of heroism and they do not see dying in this path as death, but as eternal life.

Fourth: Your previous administrations have tried to portray the armed resistance against occupation in Afghanistan as mere rebellion, being led by a few supposed ‘terrorists’ who do not have the backing of the people. However after witnessing fifteen years of realities and the ever expanding resistance, there should be no doubts left that this war is the unified uprising of all ethnicities across Afghanistan and not the work of a small group or a few individuals. The leadership of this uprising, as a governing system, is in the hands of the Islamic Emirate. The Islamic Emirate is not some unsupported terror spreading fighting group, rather it is an orderly and well-grounded movement of the people which carries with itself a rational and understandable agenda for its warfare, politics and lawful cause.

The Islamic Emirate has justification and rationale for its every action and reaction. That is why it is gaining international political legitimacy every day and on top of regional countries, maintains relations with various countries around the world including with the United Nations and various other bodies. The Islamic Emirate – as a governing body – is the only movement among the current political sides of Afghanistan to have popular and countrywide support of the people. It has deep roots in all the ethnic communities of Afghanistan, currently rules over fifty percent of Afghanistan, influences a further thirty percent and can threaten the enemy rule established by your troops and Kabul regime in the remaining twenty percent at any given moment.

It is due to this reason that many countries regionally and globally have arrived at a conclusion that it is this nationally supported political-military power (Islamic Emirate) which they should interact and come to an understanding with as a responsible future entity of this country because the other groups and individuals have risen only through foreign support and do not have any foundations among the people.

Fifth: The people serving in the current regime under your support calling themselves the government of Afghanistan, can never represent this nation and neither do the people have any trust in them. These people, who earn the dishonor of most corrupt regime in the world annually, are not loyal to anything except their own material interests.

An illustration of their disloyalty towards their country and people is the saga of Kabul Bank where the savings of the poor workers, teachers, laborers and working class were siphoned off by the high-ranking officials of this very regime that built their accounts and businesses with it overseas.

On top of embezzling international aid, these corrupt officials have also looted the wealth of their own people, having usurped thousands of hectares of land, and are embroiled in theft, banditry, administrative corruption, immorality and organized crimes. Therefore they are not trusted by the people and neither can you impose them upon the nation any longer through threat of force and violence.

Sixth: There is a consensus in the country, regionally and even internationally that the war in Afghanistan is not in the interest of anyone. We, as a party of the conflict on whom this war has been imposed and whose country has come under direct military invasion, consider it our responsibility to deliver our persecuted and oppressed nation from the flames of war. It is on these basis that we send you our message to control this war of occupation launched by your military. Do not exert any further efforts into turning Afghans and the children of America into sacrificial animals for an unwinnable war.

In recent times all international research and analysis institutes agree that the American military mission in Afghanistan has reached a slowly deteriorating stalemate. If the American forces insist on continuing the occupation of our country and preventing us from living an honorable and free life then obviously, war is our necessity and at the same time our lawful right. But perhaps this futile war is not your necessity. In such a state it is the responsibility of American officials, as the initiators of war, to bring an end to this tragedy. We call it a tragedy because it is due to your soldiers and your sponsored militias that our sinless children, women and innocent youth are killed daily throughout the country and they continue to lose their homes, businesses, hospitals and farms. It is due to the barbaric airstrikes of your army that whole villages are turned into graveyards like in the case of Kunduz and the Afghan people endure their lives in a climate of fear and terror due to your night raids and bombings. Just as this war has proven fruitless for you both militarily and politically, it has also morphed into a mark of shame for you morally and ethically where it is either your own soldiers or armed gangs under your patronage that are regularly implicated in war crimes.

President of America! 

Perhaps some contents of this letter will prove bitter for your taste. But since they are realities and tangible facts, they must be accepted and treated as bitter medicine that is taken by patients out of fear of seeing their condition deteriorate.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

 2017/1/25

The Myth of Euphrates Shield 

​Shaikh Abu Muhammed al Maqdisi  explains Euphrates Shield 

Euphrates Shield has become a Russian and Bashar Shield. 

Today Russia has announced publicly that it has launched joint air raids with Turkey against the group ISIS in the city of Al Bab, and that it was coordinated with Bashar’s regime! 

So the alliance is between the Khalifa of those who water down the religious principles, and with Putin and Bashar! 

At present it is against the group ISIS, and soon it will be against JFS and the others.

Therefore, those who issued Fatwas permitting the participation in the Euphrates Shield should revise their Fatwa and absolve themselves from it.

Their Fatwa permitting it (Euphrates Shield) has become the Sheild for Bashar and Putin! So they must not be arrogant and bury their heads in the sand.

Retreating back to the truth is better than persisting in falsehood. 

“O ye who believe! Guard your duty to Allah, and speak words straight to the point” (Surah Ahzaab) 

Oh I wish my people know, and Understand message by Shaikh Abu Muhammed Al Maqdisi

​“I wish my people knew”

It is clear apostasy if one plots against the Islamic project which the Mujahideen are striving for, by handing over maps which show their locations to the secularist Kuffar or to the apostates or to Russia or to America, to destroy their Jihad and their Islamic project in order to facilitate the funders’ projects that establish the Taghut. And it is a betrayal towards Allah, His messenger   (PBHM) , and to the believers, and to the sacrifice of the Mujahideen and the martyrs.
The Muwahhid who knows his Tawheed will never doubt that.
Going to negotiations under the supervision of the Kuffar infidels who are at war with us and with our religion, and being pleased with their outcomes that are Kufr like a democratic state, as well as conspiring against the Mujahideen who are not pleased with them, is a clear act of Kufr even if it is made to appear pleasing by those who water down the religious principles, or justified by the religious clerics of the Murjia claiming to have made “Ijtihad” (an attempt to understand the Islamic verdict on a matter)..!
 There is no “Ijtihad” that can invalidate the textual evidence of Tawheed that makes it necessary to reject the Tawagheet and to dissociate oneself from their Kaafir systems, in addition to not supporting them against the Muslims.

 We have repeatedly warned the people against the plots of those who water down the religious principles and their religious clerics, and against the filth of Murjia and their scholars, and we said that they are striving to implement the funders’ projects that establish the Taghut. We have also warned against the consequences of aid and the harm caused by the funders and by those funded, because the Tawagheet and their regimes are not charity organizations! So those who water down the religious principles, the ignorant, and the fools, turned against us. But now some of those who turned against us and became angry for what we said, are crying and saying like what we previously stated!

It is not Fiqh or wisdom to recognize a Fitnah when it occurs or when it ends. But rather Fiqh is to warn against it and to have the insight to foresee it while it is approaching (before it reaches). So looking at the outcomes, and having insight into the people’s condition, and recognizing them (by their hidden trait) from the tone of their speech is necessary for the one seeking the truth, let alone the scholar whose Fatwas are followed by the people.

 Oh I wish my people know, and understand.

Secularism under attack in Pakistan

​[The following article written by a secular writer Umair Javed: show frightening among secularists. I am as a Blogger don’t agree with him, only show fear of Secular society in Pakistan]


AT the time of writing, liberal activists Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed, Ahmed Naseer, and Samar Abbas were still missing. There is little to suggest that they will be recovered by the time this piece goes into print. No organisation has claimed their abduction, while whatever limited investigation that has taken place so far has yielded nothing conclusive.

One can only look at the past and make historically informed conjectures about who is capable of picking up people from different parts of the country with great precision. However, one may think twice about airing such (highly plausible) suspicions for fear of being picked up as well.

The incident has revealed something supremely rotten in Pakistan’s state and society. Instead of provoking unequivocal condemnation, the abduction of several activists has spawned mass indifference, or much worse, victim-blaming. Some days ago, I was informed by a gentleman in Lahore that those missing were prominent ‘anti-state’ and ‘anti-Islam’ agents thus implying they deserved their fate.

For those unaware, the abducted individuals allegedly ran a rationalist Facebook page, which carried jokes and memes challenging dominant Islamist and statist narratives in Pakistan. No other allegation against them has surfaced yet. Let’s just take stock of this assertion: we now live and breathe in an intellectual cesspool where Facebook posts are widely considered a serious threat to both the ‘fastest-growing religion in the world’ and a country designated as the ‘fortress of Islam’.

In the aftermath of these disappearances, one conservative ideologue stated that ‘liberal extremists’, such as the four in question, were actually worse than militants. The rationale underpinning this assertion was that the hurt caused by words lasts for far longer than the physical violence of actual terrorists. This is not an isolated viewpoint. It is one shared by many others populating our airwaves and writing in mainstream media outlets.

The actual goal of such viewpoints is to show that somehow the average Pakistani is caught between two extremes. On the one hand, you have those who wish to turn Pakistan into a theocratic state, and are willing to deploy gruesome violence to achieve those ends. On the other, you have foreign-funded liberals, who want to turn Pakistan, its law books, and all who reside within its boundaries into a godless, amoral mass.

Caught between the two extremes, we are told, are moderate, centrist Pakistanis who wish to live moderate lives. All that this middle Pakistan wants to do is follow their traditional practices in peace without the imposition of violence or foreign-funded secularism.

In the past decade, there has been no bigger myth than the one of two equal extremes. In reality, we don’t live in a bipolar country. We live in a country with thousands of Islamist militants, many far-right fascists, a large swathe of very conservative people, and a small (though growing) mass of people who are increasingly okay with the idea that religious minorities may have equal rights.

What actually lies on the other end of the social spectrum is a minuscule liberal population numbering no more than a few thousand households spread across the country. This population is politically fragmented, internally incoherent, and limited in its outreach. In short, as far as political or social movements go, it is largely non-existent outside of the internet.

To date, the number of people killed by these designated liberal extremists who run rationalist web pages and protest against religious discrimination and persecution is zero. The number of people abducted or threatened by what is pejoratively called the candlestick mafia is also zero. However, the number of men, women, and children killed by Islamist extremists in just the last decade is estimated at more than 40,000.

No political party in Pakistan is running on a platform of vocal secularism. Only a couple of leaders have ever been willing to speak out against the blasphemy law, and one of them was killed. Instead of mass shame and condemnation, his killing resulted in an unceasing wave of whataboutery and victim-blaming from university educated, white-collar middle-class people. His killer, on the other hand, will have his first annual commemoration at Liaquat Bagh on March 1; and like his funeral last year, it will be attended by thousands.

The myth of liberal extremism is a useful intellectual prop for those who share a great deal of moral and political affinity with far-right conservatives and organised Islamists, but are now wary of associating directly with their violent ways. In essence, by blaming people like Salmaan Taseer for his own murder, or by jumping through hoops to defend the abduction of liberal activists on grounds of national security and religious sensitivities, they create fertile ground for more obscurantism and extremism.

By now, it is clear that Pakistan is not a particularly democratic state. Individuals go missing and the first thing that comes to mind is that the state is somehow complicit in this. In essence, we reside in a security state with some superficial democratic pretensions. Nevertheless, as big a problem as this seems, it is one progressives have been familiar with for a very long time.

What is far more disconcerting now, and what will certainly pose a far bigger challenge in the long run, is the mainstream societal support offered to ideas from a fascist playbook. The belief that voicing support for religious minorities and their equal treatment is worthy of punishment is scary. Similarly, the belief that certain state institutions are in their right to pick up liberal activists merely for running a webpage is not the start of a slippery slope, it is quite some way down it. Worryingly, it is now apparent that we have no clear way of preventing our slide.

Article published in Dawn Newspaper 16 January 2017

When Syria Used water as a weapon against Iraq


(The Baathist Amen Corner is distinguished by its faith in the anti-imperialist credentials of the family dynasty in Damascus, most recently reflected in its blind acceptance of Bashar al-Assad’s accusation that the rebels in Wadi Barada sabotaged the water station supplying Damascus. This excerpt from Musseref Yetim’s “Negotiating  International Water Rights: Resource Conflict in Turkey, Syria and Iraq should convince you that bastards like Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar should not be taken at their word.)

By April 1975, Iraqi-Syrian relations seriously deteriorated over the use of the waters of the Euphrates, yet the conflict had been brewing for some time because of concerns deeply rooted in the strategic, ideological, and political realms. Seale analyzed the situation as follows:

If Damascus and Baghdad had not been so much at odds, they might perhaps have been able to resolve their longstanding dispute over the division of the Euphrates waters (…) Dam-building and irrigation projects in all three countries from the 1960s onwards caused a row to break out over the volume of water each was entitled to […) The squabble over water rights grew into a vast bone of contention, not to be assuaged by mediation attempts, most notably Saudi efforts. From 1975 onwards the two countries began abusing each other over the airways — `fascist right-wing criminal’ was standard invective — arresting each other’s sympathizers, moving troops threateningly to the border, setting off explosions in each other’s capitals.39

The bitter rivalry between the two opposing Ba’ath Parties deepened the tension and distrust between Iraq and Syria.40 Both governments sought to undermine each other and were rightly suspicious of each other’s subversive activities and feared the other one was plotting to bring their downfall. The exclusive nature of domestic political institutions created opportunities to exploit internal tensions arising from ethnic and sectarian divisions. The conflict between the Ba’thist rulers of Syria and Iraq was the main culprit for the failure of negotiations.

The tension between the watercourse states, Syria and Iraq, had been on the rise following the nationalization of the Iraqi Petroleum Company (IPC). The Syrian demand for the increase in royalties in early 1973 and the subsequent closure of the oil pipeline that carried Iraqi oil to the Mediterranean Sea crossing Syrian soil did not help either.41 Furthermore, Iraq signed an agreement with Turkey for the construction of an oil pipeline to transport Iraqi oil throughout Turkish lands to the Mediterranean Sea on 26 August 1973. Not only did Syria lose a substantial amount of oil revenues and alienated Iraq, it also gave Turkey an opportunity to develop its relations with Iraq and to gain a new source of revenue. Disturbed by the Iraqi oil policy, Syria accused Iraq of not following Ba’thist ideology, not keeping its promises about expanding the capacity of the Syrian-Iraqi oil pipeline, and of favoring Turkey — a non-Arab state. Iraq’s good relations with Turkey concerning the Euphrates waters were also source of a concern for Syria. Indeed, Iraq did not express any displeasure throughout the crises towards Turkey and did not include Turkey in its protests of Syria during the 1975 crisis.

Another important source of tension between the two Ba’thist states was Israel. Since 1948, Israel has been a contentious issue among the Arab states. In 1975, Iraq firmly opposed to a partial Middle East agreement and was accusing Syria of being in the process of accepting such a peace agreement with Israel. The last straw in Iraqi accusations took place in May 1975, when Iraq proposed the creation of the ‘Northern Military Front’ against Israel. Iraq’s policy at that time was likely designed to deepen the Ba’th party rule in Iraq and to steer the members of the Iraqi Ba’th Party away from any involvement with Syria.42 Syria responded by charging Iraq with surrendering Arab land to Iran, the betrayal of the Arab people, and deriding Iraqi aid during the October war.43 Furthermore, Syria retaliated by using its newly gained strategic advantage: manipulation of the water flow entering Iraq. Indeed, Syria reduced the water flow entering Iraq first in the spring 1974 and then in 1975, as we have seen. This led to the destruction of 70 percent of Iraq’s winter crops44 and also formed the basis to Iraqi claims of deliberately holding more water in the lake of the Tabqa dam.45 Iraq also charged the Syrian Ba’th party with betrayal of the Ba’th party ideals. The short and long-term repercussions of Syria’s vast usage of the Euphrates water, including the reclamation of 640,000 ha of land,46 the evaporation of the water from the reservoir of the Tabqa dam, and the quality of water that flowed into Iraq, provided Iraq with good justification for its protests. Overall approximately 3 million Iraqi farmers of Shi’i origin suffered economically.47 In some sources, the spread of the Shi’i underground movement, Al-Dawa, has been attributed to this water shortage.48 This highlights a crucial dimension of the water rights conflict: minorities inhabiting the Euphrates and Tigris watercourse. Here one should also note that the majority of the Iraqi army was at the time of Shi’i origin.49

Every development concerning the Euphrates and Tigris water has important repercussions in domestic politics, especially in Iraq and Turkey. Following the Algiers Agreement in March 1975 between Iran and Iraq that helped Iraq to crack down on the Kurdish insurgence in northern Iraq, Syria attempted to instigate Shi’i unrest in order to weaken the Iraqi government’s hold on power by reducing the Euphrates flow. For a number of reasons, Syria interpreted the Algiers agreement as a harmful development. First, Syria’s position in the Arab world as an ardent antagonist of Israel might be undermined, because having settled its protracted dispute with Iran and established stability in northern Iraq, Iraq now had resources at its disposal use against Israel. Iraq had already accused Syria of selling out to Israel and wrongly opposed Syrian disengagement negotiations with Israel. Secondly, .q could undermine the Alawite dominated Ba’th rule by playing on the suspicions of the Sunni Arabs in Syria concerning the indifference of the Alawite regime to the struggle with Israel. At this point, Iraqi allegations ‘re not groundless and appealed to Syrian Sunnis, who were already suspicious of Assad’s regime, developing conspiracy theories about Assad d the collusion between his regime and the Zionists. Iraq and Sunni Arabs Syria justified their claims by arguing that during the 1967 war Israel occupied the Golan Heights without a fight while Assad was the defense mister; furthermore, in 1970 Assad betrayed Palestine by refusing to allow the deployment of the air force in a Syrian expedition to assist the PLO against Jordan; the Assad regime also sabotaged the Iraqi attack against Israel in 1973.

Pakistan KP prosecution data gives lie to claims against Afghan refugees 

​Pakistan: PESHAWAR: Contrary to the widespread notion of massive involvement of Afghan refugees in major crimes, a study has revealed that they constitute just over one per cent of those found to have been involved in offences deemed heinous.

Documents retrieved through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act, 2013 provide startling details of crime statistics involving Afghan refugees that run contrary to the claims often peddled by the civil law enforcement agencies.

These documents were obtained from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s Directorate of Prosecution and Department of Police to cross-check and corroborate the statistics.

The statistics obtained pertain to the period from 2014 to Sept 30, 2016, and involve major crimes including kidnapping for ransom, kidnapping and abduction, murder, robbery, extortion and bombing.

According to the Directorate of Prosecution, a total of 11,685 cases were registered during the period, out of which 10,549 were put up in court. Out of these, only 134 involved Afghan refugees. This comes to 1.27 per cent of the total number of cases landing in court.

The cases involved 23,007 accused, of which only 300 were Afghan refugees. Thus, the percentage of Afghan refugees accused of the said crimes comes to 1.3pc.

The statistics fly in the face of claims often bandied about by the civil law enforcement agencies, which routinely blame Afghan refugees for the spike in crimes across the province.

Before the escalation of militancy in the region and even after it, police would often blame Afghan refugees for some of the heinous crimes, including kidnapping for ransom, extortion and bombing.

The oft-quoted figures about Afghan refugees’ involvement in offences ranged from 15pc to 30pc of the total crimes taking place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, although neither did the police nor any other civil law enforcement agency come up with credible evidence to corroborate the claims.

The figures provided by the Department of Police, however, are slightly higher than those obtained from the Directorate of Prosecution, which is mandated to pursue cases in the courts of law.

The year-wise figure provided by the Department of Police shows that a total of 146 cases involving Afghan refugees were registered in 2014 as against the record of the prosecution directorate which puts the total number of such cases landing in court at 56 only.

Similarly, according to the Department of Police, a total of 96 cases were registered against Afghan refugees in 2015. The record of the Directorate of Prosecution shows that only 49 cases were put up in court during the period.

The Department of Police says a total of 100 cases were registered against Afghan refugees between January 1 and September 30, 2016. According to the Directorate of Prosecution, however, only 29 cases pertaining to the Afghan refugees were put up in court during the period.

The difference between the figures provided by the police and those given by the prosecution directorate could be attributed to the fact that while policemen routinely register cases, only the ones whose challans are complete are put up in court. The figures provided by the Directorate of Prosecution, thus, are considered authentic.

In 2014, according to the prosecution, of the total 87 cases of kidnapping for ransom, only nine involved Afghan refugees. Out of the 3,386 cases of murder registered during the period 32 involved Afghan refugees. Of the 133 cases pertaining to bomb blasts, only one case involved Afghan refugee.

During 2015, according to the documents, of the 70 cases of kidnapping for ransom, only three involved Afghan refugees and out of the 2,519 murder cases, only 28 involved Afghan refugees. A total of 57 cases of bomb blasts were registered during the period, but none involved an Afghan.

Similarly, from January to September last year, 33 cases of kidnapping for ransom were registered out of which only one involved an Afghan. Of the 2,033 murder cases registered during the period, 14 were put up in court against Afghans, while out of the 61 cases registered for bomb explosions, four were put up in court against Afghans.

Extortion that had until recently seen a spike before dipping down also did not have significant involvement of Afghans. During the period from 2014 to 30th September, 2016, a total of 384 cases of extortion were registered, according to the statistics provided by the prosecution directorate, of which only nine cases were put up in court against Afghan refugees.

“This is a classic case of the term ‘post-truth’,” said Khalid Aziz, a former bureaucrat and head of the Regional Institute of Policy Research & Training. “Truth is created to justify a certain action.”

“No one asks whether it is true or not,” he said of the exaggerated figures of involvement of Afghans in heinous crimes. “No correlation is carried out.”

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2017