If I am against Assad, it doesn’t mean I am with…

A simple explanation for simple minded pro dictatorships people.

If I am against Assad, it doesn’t mean I am with Daesh nor any form of regressive Islamist forces in Syria. (And by the way, you have a MULTITUDE of sides in Syria).

If I am against Assad, it doesn’t mean I support the USA nor Israel. It doesn’t mean I stand with American imperialism. Nor with its involvement in Syria. (very limited compared to the Russian “invitation”).

If I am against Assad, it doesn’t mean I support Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE. It doesn’t mean I support Erdogan. It doesn’t mean I support the Saudi onslaught on Yemen. It doesn’t mean I support the Saudi invasion of Bahrain.

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Chris Riddel cartoon.

If I am against Hezbollah invasion of Syria, it doesn’t mean I do not stand with the right of self-determination in Palestine, it doesn’t mean I am a Zionist.

If I am against Hezbollah invasion of Syria, it doesn’t mean I want peace with Israel.

If I am against Assad, it means that I am with the downfall of all dictatorships and dynasties. The dynasties of the gulf, and the dictatorships of the world, including Iran and Russia. And hey, no, it doesn’t mean I love the system in US and other parts of the world.

Go on, treat me as an Arab traitor, treat me and condemn me with your simple and unjust perception of the world. I will always stand with oppressed Syrians under the repressive regime of Bashar el Assad and regressive factions, and I will always stand with the oppressed Palestinians under the repressive Zionist colonial state.

I do not need your approvals nor your sad strategy of “resistance”.

Students Harassed by Online pro-Hezbollah Crowd.

At the moment of writing, Aleppo rebel held areas are collapsing one after the other under the heavy bombardments of Assad and Putin. The aerial bombing is helping the ‘Syrian army’ and various militias on the ground, mainly funded or trained by Iran. The bombing does NOT differentiate between civilians and rebels. Aleppo has been under siege for 110 days.

In Lebanon, Beirut. The American Universty of Beirut (AUB) Secular club held a silent vigil for the victims in Aleppo on December 6th 2016. Students held signs, some of the latter were protesting Hezbollah intervention in Aleppo. The protest triggered  violent online reactions from some Hezbollah supporters. The club hid the face of a protester for security reasons, but not the message itself.

Due to the multitude of disrespectful comments, death threats, and rape threats that were being posted on a photo…

Publiée par AUB Secular Club sur Mercredi 7 décembre 2016

 

Karim Safieddine, a member of the AUB Secular Club, reflects on the nature of the online attacks.

A few comments on the reaction many activists received by some of the pro-Hezbollah community online.

These activists, mainly part of the AUB Secular Club, engaged in a demonstration concerned with the on-going battle in Aleppo. As a Lebanese political and military organization, Hezbollah was taken into account as it intervened in the Syrian conflict and is responsible for the survival of the Syrian government and much of its policies.

The demonstration was purely political, as these activists held political ideals they expressed quite freely. To no surprise, when politics intersects with the concept of ‘religious duty’, ‘sacredness’ and martyrs, it’s no longer a political question, but an absolute answer. Hezbollah’s attaching of ‘sacredness’ to their political and military intervention in Syria lead to an enormous sensitivity among its youth circles.

The very ‘sacredness’ attached to the intervention of course renders it unquestionable, as in, it must be taken for granted. It’s the apriori.

This doesn’t completely differ from the pro-rebel Islamist reaction when activists critique them, it’s all ‘sacred’, from both opposing poles.

Besides that, it’s quite interesting to observe the backlash. Much of it wasn’t politically-oriented. There were no moral or clever analyses. The backlash was centered around ‘honor’ and insults made towards the ‘women’ of the demonstrators (as if we own ‘our women’).

In other words, the backlash was based on the clear patriarchal and man-based honor culture Hezbollah, as a political organization, is based on; almost identical to the Lebanese Forces during the civil war actually.

As expected, much of the remaining section of the community was mainly silently supportive. The blame would be put on the activists for expressing their views (“lesh la t7ot 7alak b hek maw2ef? why are you putting yourself in such a situation? “); they were then asked not to ‘generalize’.

Comrades such as Farah Baba (who received rape threats), Nour Hawila, Ali Zeineddine and many more have encountered countless sexist insults and harassment. This isn’t a recent and entirely new event, it’s one of a sequence.

Again, we repeat, quite frankly, that what’s happening in Aleppo is a massacre and Hezbollah is complicit in its active military support of the regime.

 

 

Misogyny among some Hezbollah supporters : “I just see Hypocrisy”

This post is written by M, the writer chose to remain anonymous in order to prevent attacks against herself. She denounces and condemns the grave issue of online misogyny and stresses that even though those are online attacks : “…every single account has a REAL LIFE HUMAN behind it. These are real life people, and giving them the power to objectify and harass women with threats over the internet can easily transfer to “justified” harassment of individuals in real life situations. “

A couple of weeks ago an issue emerged on Twitter which resulted in the harassment of a woman, on the social media website, under the accusation that she “disrespected” the political figure Sayed Hassan Nasrallah. The woman, falsely accused of doing the “crime” herself, the crime being exercising her right to a political opinion on her own country, as well as practicing the right to freedom of speech, was subject to the revealing of her per-hijab pictures all over the social media website. The hijab is a piece of cloth that Muslim women, as well as Orthodox Christians, use to cover their hair in order to please God by following his orders. The hijab is a sign of modesty, a sign of respectfulness, and a sign of purity. Any women can put it on, and this particular woman decided to do so a couple of months ago. The recent change in lifestyle made it hard for her to track down every single hijab-less picture of herself on the internet- allowing these vulgar, disgusting, disrespectful, misogynist supposedly MUSLIM boys to find her pre-hijab pictures and post them all over their profiles. They thus went on to call her derogatory names and attack anyone who defended her in the situation. Anyone who spoke out against this got targeted.
In order to “protect themselves” from being a subject of this, some women even encouraged it through the reasoning of “she supports X political group”, “she’s from X sect”. Now many of you might not see the issue here, just another case of “internet fun”, just another something to put to the list of things “we should ignore”. I don’t see it that way at all.

Three things that make this issue relevant, other than it not being the first time these boys have attacked a woman on social media:

Firstly, and most obviously, these aren’t just people on the internet. I hate to break it to you, but every single account has a REAL LIFE HUMAN behind it. These are real life people, and giving them the power to objectify and harass women with threats over the internet can easily transfer to “justified” harassment of individuals in real life situations. This could result in rape, domestic abuse, violence etc. These disgusting excuses for human beings exist in real life. And harassment accepted on the internet, easily becomes harassment accepted in daily life. Not to mention the impact of the event on women themselves. In this particular case, everyone who now sees this woman with a headscarf knows what she looks like without it, which may not seem like a big deal to non-Muslims, but it’s a big deal. This has the potential to effect the whole point of the hijab and what it stands for. Nobody, EXCEPT THE WOMAN HERSELF, has the right to rip her hijab off.

Which brings me to my second point, the fact that every single time these people attack a woman, I see very few, if any, stand up against it. I don’t see people standing up for the morals they preach so adamantly. I don’t see people stand up like the religious figures, they praise so much, have in the past. I don’t see any reaction. I just see the “oh ignore it”, “oh she asked for it, you know how they are”. “oh she should have kept it to herself”. NO. She had EVERY right to tweet whatever she did. She has the right to express herself. She has the right to discuss political orientations that don’t mirror your views. She has EVERY right to not be harassed because of a tweet you don’t agree with.
Stop victim blaming. Stop defending the perpetrators. Stop being an apologist. Grow a spine. There is no justification for sexual harassment. None whatsoever, stop looking for one just because you’re a coward. Stop trying to rationalize a woman being stripped of her identity and her dignity because of a controversial political view. You’d think that these people preaching justice, resistance and righteousness for RT’s (Retweets) all day long, would at least use one of their 20,000 tweets a day to put their money where their mouth is. The most surprising aspect of all of this all was the HIJABI MUSLIM WOMEN who laughed and attempted to justify this repulsive behavior. Internalized misogyny at its finest.

Lastly, the moral and religious aspect of the issue. These perpetrators, as well as those who encouraged these acts, are supposedly Shia Muslims. Shia Islam is a persecuted minority sect of Islam that places special emphasis on the family of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, referred to as “Ahlul Beit”. Throughout the history of Shia Islam we see the honour of martyrdom. The importance of standing up for what you believe to be right, even if it means being oppressed, murdered, or detained as a result. We can easily see this with the majority of the Imams and many of their followers. Now, I don’t know about you, but I see nothing honourable about harassment of women simply on the basis of their political views. I don’t see anything noble about making fake Snapchat accounts to send fake “nudes” to each other and claim them to be those of a woman you disagreed with.
I see nothing promising about making up rumors about women on the internet that have the capacity to ruin their reputation and stain their name. I see nothing heroic about stalking a woman’s internet profile to scavenge for pictures of her without a headscarf and paint the internet with them. I see nothing great about exposing women’s private pictures. I see nothing Shia about making a fake account of a individual’s mother and zooming into her breasts while tweeting dirty comments at boys. I see nothing Muslim about ruining the life a woman through her social media account. I see nothing Muslim about smearing the life of a sister. Of a daughter. Of a mother. I don’t see justification.

I just see hypocrisy.

M,

Finally, Lebanon’s government decides to actively fight religious extremists of Arsal.

The state tries to neutralise the army of Lebanon and is intelligent in doing so, but it should try to neutralise it by action, not inaction, the action of attacking the extremists with the backing of all political factions and all religious authorities.

The Hezbollah position of fighting against extremists of Arsal is politically dangerous because it gives the picture of a Shia-Sunni fight and this picture is explainable though not justifiable. It also gives the image of supporting Assad, and it is true, Hezbollah is directly Assad through this battle, but it is also, and most importantly, defending Lebanon of the Nusra front and the Islamic state policy of expansionism. IS and the Nusra front are expansionists and they will try to attack all country to expand the so-called caliphates, and they don’t care whether they have local support among Muslims.

Had the army decided to take matters more directly into its hands, that is, relentlessly fighting for Arsal as soon as the terrorists fell back with hostages last year, Hezbollah would have not taken the battle into their own hands.

The army has already given martyrs to the Lebanese people and territories, often with surprise attacks by the extremists. The government finally decided to have a proactive stance in the battle. Gebran Bassil, the Lebanese foreign minister, has criticised the vagueness of the cabinet statement. “What is needed is a decision rather than a statement. We support tasking the Army [with clearing Arsal’s outskirts of jihadis] as stipulated in the statement, but we oppose the vagueness of it, and we are waiting for results,”. “A statement said the government tasked the Army with doing whatever is necessary to drive out jihadis entrenched in the mountain terrain along the outer edge of Arsal” [Daily Star]

Let us then wait for the results. I’m not speaking about “containing” them, nor counter-attacking them, but attacking them, and driving Nusra front and the Islamic state out of the Lebanese territories. The longer these groups stay, the greater their forces will be to attack Lebanon Bekaa province.

UAE expel 70 Lebanese families and Hezbollah gets blamed.

UAE decided to expel 70 families, mostly shiites, l’Orient Le-Jour has reported. Gebran Bassil, Foreign minister of Lebanon, has confirmed the news yesterday night.

UAE gave them 24 hours to pack up and leave the Emirati states.

The decision is still unrevealed, but it is very probable that it’s political, and probably sectarian due to the fact that most of the families are Shiites.

This comes after the Bahraini authorities have watched and interrogated Lebanese shiites, after Hassan Nasrallah strong stance against the Bahrain kingdom in one of his latest speech.

L’Orient Le Jour implied that the intense and bad relations between Hezbollah and the Golf countries may be behind this initiative. Comments quickly appeared on the website and some have already blamed Hezbollah and Iran.

Pierre Hadjigeorgiou commented :

Ils s’attendaient a quoi les nouveaux impérialistes Perses? Ils se mêlent de ce qui ne les regardent pas, s’immiscent dans les affaires des autres, participent a et provoquent des guerres meurtrières et ils croient que les autres vont se taire? Laisser faire? Eh bien non, ils ne vont pas laisser les choses allez comme cela. Ils vont nous faire chier aussi. Résultat, des familles entières vont en payer le prix…

My Translation : Why did they expect those new Persians imperialists ? They mingled in others business, participated and provoke new wars, you think they’ll [UAE] will remain silent? They won’t let it happen. They will also piss us off. So entiere families will pay the price.

This comment, I speculate, represent many voices in Lebanon.

Here’s my answer : first, there’s been 0 report that tie directly these Lebanese families to Hezbollah, nor they were engaged in any operation there. If some are supportive of Hezbollah, that doesn’t make them anyway a political tool in the hands of UAE. Expelling families because they’re “pissed off” of a political group they don’t agree with is never justifiable unless it has been proven that all these families members (woman and children) are all directly linked to acts that Harm UAE.

When USA deported and “interned” 120.000 Japanese after the Pearl Harbor attack, who’s to blame ? The Japanese imperialists? Pear Harbor attack ? Or the racism of the USA authorities at that time ?

I myself witnessed Lebanese families that live in fear because of these deportations threats and their sects. They didn’t feel they’re victims of Hezbollah, but victims the often racist stance of the Arab kingdoms, especially Saudi Arabia, the latter religious authorities consider Shiites as apostates and has often persecuted them.

The only party to blame here is the “Modern” United Arab Emirates and their political punishment.

Why Removing Political slogans is a strong step towards normality.

The talks between major political parties Hezbollah (Party of God) and the Mustaqbal party (Futur Party) have brought to the table the political slogans. They both decided to remove them and it was reported that Hezbollah removed slogans in Saida and Mustaqbal removed slogans in Tripoli.

Once as I was leaving my building I noticed multiple new political flags hung every 5 meters under the building. I was outraged because the building wasn’t a political bureau. It was a building where civilians, not politicians, lived.

The moment a political party (or supporters) put flags and slogans in public places it means one thing : This is my territory and here lives my supporters. 

The moment political parties put flags everywhere, they transform into militias (symbolically or not), the neighbourhoods transform into supposedly strongholds even when they are mostly habited by politically inactive civilians.

Worse, during periods of turmoil and tensions, those flags and slogans become the indicator for “enemies groups” : alias this neighbourhood belongs to this party, so it is a legitimate target. They also become the indicator of “victories” : removing a flag and putting a new one.

in the following years of the 2006 War and the very tensed period between Hezbollah and Mustaqbal (or March 14 and March 8) the Lebanese flag became the symbol of March 14 really, as a response to Hezbollah flags. This road was dangerous because it was a symbol of state separation. “We have the Lebanese state flag and you have your”Hezbollah land flag “.

Beirut Governor Ziad Chebib oversees the removal of political posters in the neighborhood of Hay al-Lija – Daily Star courtesy.

Political flags should only be put where they belong : on officially recognised political bureaus. 

Maybe this step will bring Lebanese citizens closer, and with time, we will not have to think when being in a neighbourhood that : “This belongs to that political party, “they” are against “us” so I better get out of here”

PS : the flags under my building were removed.

Israel won’t pay the $856 Million in compensation to Lebanon.

Israel fought a war against Lebanon in 2006, killing more than 1000 people, 30% children under 13. It also bombed the Jiye electric power plant, (which is basically collective punishment), this bombing led to a disastrous oil slick.

The UN general assembly just voted a resolution, (170 votes on 179) asking Israel to pay $856 million in compensation.

On the paper, it is great, but Israel won’t act. Paying the sum would seem as a loss to them, especially against Hezbollah.
UN resolutions are already not being applied, Israel violates Lebanese airspace almost daily. (Resolution 1701).

Israel won’t pay because their goal were the destruction of the Jiye Electric power plant, and even if they had not foreseen the oil slick, they were probably content with it.

Oil from the bombed power plant of Jieh (south Lebanon) contaminating the beaches of Beirut – August 2006 – ZeNahla.

Israel won’t pay a single dollar because to them, it is an act of being forcefully bowed. Justice isn’t really their platter.

Hezbollah TV’s special Christmas coverage – By Beirut Report/Comment

I don’t claim to be pro-Hezbollah or anti Hezbollah, as I try have an external eyes to our political issues. But this report from Habib Batta on his blog Beirut Report makes you think. –> Click here for the report

Let’s think a bit, Christmas is mainly celebrated in what we call the West, of course Christians around the world celebrate it, like the Lebanese Christians. And in the Middle East, often religions and confessions are present on the same soil.

The west claim to be allied with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, did not in any way celebrate Christmas or even mentioned it, yet Hezbollah, on the “list” of terrorists, both in EU and USA, showed a peace message, a coexistence message… Is it not odd ?

That’s because they want us to believe what they want to believe.