Category Archives: Middle Eastern Politics

Facing Religious Zealots: Easter Sunday 21/4 Placed in a Global Conetxt

  Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, in .. where the ttile runs thus “Geopolitics Of The Easter Attacks: The Weaponization Of Religion Amid Hybrid War”

“We have met the enemy and he is us” — Walt Kelly from Pogo Comics, quoted in “The ISIS is US: the shocking truth behind the Army of Terror”[1]

“Crime is a form of communication that is both complex and fascinating as it is always characterized by a relationship that can be established between elements present and something absent, or yet to be discovered…Investigating a crime and trying to prevent recurrence means evaluating every possible voluntary and involuntary message left by an author..”[2]

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/7/sri-lanka-catholics-demand-justice-for-easter-bombing-victims

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The Making of Wahhabi Zealots in Sri Lanka, 1980s-2019

Michael Roberts

All those addressing the fervour that promoted the killing work of the Zahran Hashim jihadist network in Sri Lanka in April 2019 must come to grips with the modern currents of Wahhabi political thinking that go back to the outpourings of the Egyptian intellectuals Sayyid Qutb[1] and Al-Zawahiri[2] in the latter half of the 20th century. This step will then take investigators to the Al-Qaida movement[3] and thence to the more recent brand of Wahhabism embodied within ISIS.

Sayyid Qutb  al-Zawahiri

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Remembrance: Marking 21/4 Jihadist Zealotry in Sri Lanka

Pictures by Raymond Aponsu and Sulochana Gamage

Churches observed Black Sunday yesterday in protest over the terror attacks on 2019 Easter Sunday, calling on the government to deliver justice by prosecuting those responsible for the attacks. Protestors led by the two Colombo Auxiliary Bishops Rt.Rev. Anthony Jayakody and Rt.Rev.Maxwell Silva held placards pleading for justice in Negombo in front of the Katuwapitiya Church which was bombed on April 20, 2019 while others led by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith gathered in front of the Kochchikade St. Anthony’s Church yesterday.

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Gallipoli, the Disastrous Attack on the Ottomans – A BBC Review in 2015

On the 11th November 2020 BritaIn and its former colonies marked REMEMBRANCE DAY to honour the dead in their 20th century World Wars. On 25th April every year AUSTRALIA and Britiain too remember the dead at Gallipoli … Anzac Day as it is called in Ausralia and New Zealand. In the year 2015, one hundred yeas after the event, the BBC clarified the course of events at Gallipoli with a documentary: ….. including this NOTE =

“Casualties are hard to estimate due to conflicting reports, but here are some approximate numbers …..

    • Around 21,000 British empire troops were killed
    • Some 8,000 Australians
    • 2,500 New Zealanders
    • 55,000 to 85,000 Ottomans

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Kamikaze, Mujahid, Tamil Tiger: Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Lens

Michael Roberts, reprinting an essay drafted in 2007 and since presented in Fire & Storm in 2010 (chapter 19: 131-38)

  • Gandhi tried for years to reduce himself to zero” (Dennis Hudson 2002: 132).
  • Hitler: “You are nothing, your nation is everything” (quoted in Koenigsberg 2009: 13).
  • LTTE: “the martyr sacrifices himself for the whole by destroying the I…” (Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam’s interpretation of a Tamil Tiger supporter’s poem; 2005: 134).
  • Spokesman for Al Qaida after the Madrid bombing: “You love life and we love death”
  • Col. Karuna, ex-LTTE: “Death means nothing to me….”
  • The Hagakure is “a living philosophy that holds that life and death [are] the two sides of the same shield” (Yoshio Mishima in his The Way of the Samurai, quoted in Moeren 1986: 109-10).
  • Bushido means to die” (Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney 2002: 117).
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpbl0azdFM …. Kamikaze strike

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Allahu Akbar! Missing Dimensions in Contemporary Reportage

Michael Roberts

I recently watched a good part of Stephen Sackur’s dialogue with a French lady politician [whose name I have forgotten]. Sackur pursued his usual hard-line aggressive and bullying mode of questioning – posing vigorous criticisms of the French government’s position on secularism and its hostility to the carving out of sacred domains by French Muslim peoples.  The implicit suggestion[1] was that the British system’s tolerance of religious sensibilities was a better line of policy.[2]

Muslim protests … and the selfie proudly posted by the Islamic terrorist who was responsible for the killings in Nice in October 2020

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Fresh Insights on the 4/21 Salafi Bombings in Sri Lanka

Samanth Subramanium, in New York Times, 2 July 2020, where the title reads “Two Wealthy Muslim Brothers became suicide Bombers, but Why?”

There’s a video of the exact moment Inshaf Ibrahim decided to abandon his life as a rich young man and turn into a mass murderer. In one sense, he had made up his mind weeks earlier, which was why he was loitering in the Cinnamon Grand hotel’s breakfast buffet on Easter Sunday last year in Colombo, strapped into a knapsack of explosives. Once he arrived, though, he appeared to dither. Later, investigators picked him out of CCTV footage, standing near a vacant table, wearing a baseball cap and a T-shirt, his back to the camera. In the footage, he moves like a perplexed penguin. Two steps forward, half a step back, a turn, another turn: a choreography of hesitation. Perhaps he is reconsidering? But no, the investigators concluded; he is waiting for more people to come in. Finally, a microsecond of stillness, arms heavy by his side; then his hands reach toward the front of his waist, and the film goes dark.

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USA as World’s Policeman 1945-2020

An Incidental Point from Dr Cornel West’s Indictment of the US Administrations’ Internal Policing Programs

KEY Detail within Transcript: USA has 800 military bases worldwide; and has has carried out 211 interventions since 1945.

SEE video and transcript of yesterday’s interview with Dr Cornel West on the 7.30 Report on ABC in Australia = https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/dr-cornel-west-looks-at-the-unrest-in-the-united/12318386

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Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on 21/4: in June 2019 and 21/4/2020

Michael Roberts: On the anniversary of the 21/4 devastation last Tuesday Cardinal Malcolm presented an incisive commentary on the 21/4 jihadist attacks in Easter 2019 in lucid Sinhala. The speech  was as lucid and informative as statesmanlike. It was not a tale of fire and brimstone. Rather it was tinged with profound sadness and directed towards inter-religious cohabitation. But it also pinpointed horrible failures on the part of key personnel in the government of the day on the foundations of his personal chat with the Indian High Commissioner.

Readers are encouraged to seek out and dwell on You Tube versions of this talk. I present a BBC interview involving Cardinal Ranjith in June 2019 and some News Items as preliminary background. This BBC Chat is also a “Must Listen and Must Absorb “moment in the island’s history.

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The Aussie Jihadist Terrorist Mind Today

Rodger Shanahan,  in the Lowy Institute Website, mid-November 2019, = https://www.lowyinstitute.org/news-and-media/multimedia/audio/rodger-shanahan-australian-terrorists-views-world …. where the title is

In order to better understand what motivates Australian radical islamists to join or support a terrorist group it is first necessary to get a better understanding of who they are.  This working paper examines data sets from 173 Australian citizens and residents to paint a picture of our own cohort of radical Islamist terrorists, including how likely they are to be rehabilitated. For the accompanying infographic feature accompanying this report, click here.

Since 2012 several hundred Australians have travelled to Syria and Iraq to undertake jihad with Islamic State, al-Qaeda or other radical Islamist groups.[1]  Dozens more provided financial support to them or other jihadis, or planned, conducted or supported terrorist attacks in Australia on behalf of Islamic State.

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