PG monarchies help wage civil war in Muslim world: Report
Anti-Shia hate propaganda spread by Sunni religious figures sponsored by, or based in, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf monarchies, is creating the ingredients for a sectarian civil war engulfing the entire Muslim world, the Independent reports.
Iraq and Syria have seen the most violence, with the majority of the 766 civilian fatalities in Iraq this month being Shia pilgrims killed by suicide bombers from the al-Qaeda umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). The anti-Shia hostility of this organization, now operating from Baghdad to Beirut, is so extreme that last month it had to apologize for beheading one of its own wounded fighters in Aleppo – because he was mistakenly believed to have muttered the name of Shia imams as he lay on a stretcher.
At the beginning of December, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula killed 53 doctors and nurses and wounded 162 in an attack on a hospital in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, which had been threatened for not taking care of wounded militants by a commentator on an extreme Sunni satellite TV station. Days before the attack, he announced that armies and tribes would assault the hospital “to take revenge for our brothers. We say this and, by the grace of Allah, we will do it”.
Skilled use of the internet and access to satellite television funded by or based in Sunni states has been central to the resurgence of al-Qaeda across the Middle East, to a degree that Western politicians have so far failed to grasp. In the last year, ISIL has become the most powerful single rebel military force in Iraq and Syria, partly because of its ability to recruit suicide bombers and fanatical fighters through the social media.
Western intelligence agencies, such as the NSA in the US, much criticized for spying on the internet communications of their own citizens, have paid much less attention to open and instantly accessible calls for sectarian murder that are in plain view. Critics say that this is in keeping with a tradition since 9/11 of Western governments not wishing to hold Saudi Arabia or the Persian Gulf monarchies responsible for funding extreme Sunni jihadi groups and propagandists supporting them through private donations.
Satellite television, internet, YouTube and Twitter content, frequently emanating from or financed by oil states in the Arabian peninsula, are at the center of a campaign to spread sectarian hatred to every corner of the Muslim world, including places where Shia are a vulnerable minority, such as Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Malaysia. In Benghazi, in effect the capital of eastern Libya, a jihadi group uploaded a video of the execution of an Iraqi professor who admitted to being a Shia, saying they had shot him in revenge for the execution of Sunni militants by the Iraqi government.