So, what is happening in Turkey now?
- Since 2011, President Erdogan of Turkey managed to gather the support of Salafi Wahhabi Jihadists across the Arab lands. He was the most popular Muslim leader among them, after the Caliph of Raqqa and the Saudi king.
- He also managed to gather the support of self-styled liberals across the Arab world (what I would call Wahhabo-Liberals, unabashed fans of the absolute kings and princes). They supported him because of his involvement in Syria in support of the Saudi-inspired Salafi Jihadists. Some of the more diehard looked at him as a substitute to the long-awaited Caliph of Islam, perhaps doubting the the ISIS substitute in Raqqa can survive.
- Arab Salafi, pro-Jihdist, pro-Daesh, pro-Saudi social media accounts were among the loudest supporters of Erdogan before the coup attempt in Turkey. They were praying all over the media during the coup attempt for Erdogan to prevail. Some of them even claimed that they were doing it for “a democracy they don’t believe in”, most did not even bother with that fig-leaf.
- Most of these Arab Salafis, Muslim Brothers, and Persian Gulf Wahhabi-liberals, came up (only in Arabic-language posts) with convoluted theory about an American/Western-Zionist-Persian plot to subvert Turkey away from the true Islamic path toward the Caliphate (WTF that be). Many of them still carry the silly new flag that is supposed to represent some mythical moderate Syrian”rebels”, even as in their hearts they owe allegiance to the black ISIS version of the green Saudi flag.
- They all know, of course, that without Erdogan’s support, the Jihadist terrorists of ISIS and Al Nusra and Ahrar Al Sham and Army of Islam and others would not have been able to receive their weapons and volunteers and Persian Gulf tribal money to enable the mass murders in Syria and Iraq and across the world.
- The same tribal Salafis who openly called for donations to support Jihad in Syria and Iraq and across the world also yesterday slaughtered sheep across my Gulf in celebration of the failure of the military coup against their best enabler, Erdogan.
- Turkish officials, their Arab Salafist supporters, started talking loudly of a plot hatched in America against Erdogan. Such loud charges and threats by Erdogan surrogates worked against European governments, especially Germany. It is unlikely they will work against Washington.
- Interestingly, Erdogan had started before the coup attempt to bury the hatchet with Syria. His ministers had started to change tack and show less hostility to Assad. Just days before the coup attempt. That was a wise decision.
- Other countries: Israel, Iran, Europe, whose governments and peoples have little liking or respect for Mr. Erdogan, made the correct noises after the coup failed. Washington, as usual, was caught in a bind: damned if it did, damned if it did not. That is the fate of the only superpower.
- Mr. Erdogan now feels free to make a grab for absolute power, to make sure his regime, his Islamist party, remains in power. Thousands are already rounded up and in prison. That should sound familiar to Germans who survived from the 1930s, if there are any.
- Expect more fireworks in Turkey soon…..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
About Free Speech…
Can it be free at a price?………..
Tell our leaders…….
So what is this “free speech” that many constitutions claim to allow but few actually do? We covered that partly in the previous post. Now, in the Gulf and GCC states:
- In Saudi Arabia, evidence shows that free speech is whatever the princes and their media say. It is also anything that does not contradict what the Wahhabi clerical establishment that is allied with the rulers say.
- The Saudi religious establishment has a short and clear definition of free speech: their interpretation of the Holy Quran and the Hadith, and whatever the ruling princes say. The same applies to the Salafist movements that ape the Saudi system. Also to Al-Qaeda and the temporary Caliphate of ISIS (but without the reference to the princes) .
- In Qatar, free speech is whatever does not criticize the rulers and insult the Muslim Brotherhood. That includes whatever is said by the official Al-Jazeera network. and by Al-Quds Al-Arabi and other oligarchy-owned media.
- Bahrain probably has the broadest definition of Free Speech in the whole region. In Bahrain, first of all, Free speech is mainly anything that is not critical of any Saudi prince or any Saudi policy or any Saudi weekend alcohol-guzzling tourist. In addition, free speech is anything that does not criticize the sheikh (sorry, now king), his crown prince, the prime minister of 45 years, minister of interior, foreign minister (and his girth), minister of defense, minister of justice, or any of their other relatives (note: they all carry the same last name). Free speech is also anything that does not mention the imported foreign armed killer mercenaries from Jordan, Pakistan, Syria and other places.
- In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), free speech is anything that does not criticize the ruling brothers. Free speech is also anything that does not mention the Muslim Brotherhood and anything that does not mention the imported foreign mercenaries led by former Blackwater executives (from Colombia, Australia, South Africa, etc) now fighting in Yemen.
- Back in Kuwait, there is relatively more free speech than in any other Gulf state. Relatively speaking. For some time, a large sectarian tribal section of the self-styled opposition has tried to define free speech and hence restrict it. The dominant Wahhabi-ized tribal-Salafi-Muslim-Brotherhood strain of the opposition has its own odd definition of free speech. In their case Free Speech is whatever they want to say. Many of these admire either Al-Qaeda or ISIS or Nusra or a combination of the Salafi cutthroats that ravage the Middle East. Some probably actively support these groups. Free Speech to that strain is also whatever the Saudi princes and their Wahhabi clerics and their controlled media opine. Apparently free speech to this group is also remaining silent while the neighboring princes throw thousands of people in prison, both Sunni and Shi’a. Apparently free speech also requires a Wahhabi Saudi-style Salafi state which the whole opposition members voted to impose and passed in 2012. It would have turned the country into a Taliban theocracy, but it was fortunately vetoed by the executive branch.
- In Iran, free speech is whatever does not touch the theocracy or the powerful Supreme Leader or the powerful Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) negatively . Or contradicts publicly what the ‘mainstream’ clerics opine. You can probably get away with public criticism of Hassan Rouhani or Zarif, but that is it. Now remember: if you stand in the Middle of Tehran and sing “God Bless America“, that would NOT be considered free speech. But the same applies if you do it in Riyadh.
- Fact is (usually I hate starting a sentence with “fact is”): in the whole Persian-American Gulf region, the only true absolutely Free Speech can probably be found on board the U.S Navy ships. And on some foreign military bases.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Jan 2, 2015: Reports of protests against anti-Muslim attacks in Sweden.
Jan 5, 2015: Neo-Nazi anti-Muslim immigrant rallies in Germany.
Jan 7, 2015: Salafi terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Jan 9, 2015: Two hostage situations involving Salafi terrorists in the Paris area.
What has gone below the radar in recent years is the low level Muslim vs. Muslim campaign being waged across Europe. It is a one-way Salafi vs. (other) Muslim campaign. It is overshadowed by the general Jihadi threat in Europe and by the sectarian war being waged by Wahhabi salafis against everybody else in the Middle East and by the Western military campaigns in the Middle East.
It is one-sided campaign in Europe by Salafis against other Muslims, especially Shi’as. It verges on violence, although it is more political so far. Salafi (Sunni) groups automatically strongly oppose the establishment of Shi’a mosques in European cities and try to derail them. Even as they complain of European prejudice against Muslims (which also exists).
Sometimes it gets violent. Recently a Belgian court sentenced a Moroccan to 27 years in prison for setting fire to the largest Shi’a mosque in Brussels and killing its Imam. He was acquitted of committing “terrorism” but convicted of setting the fire and causing death. This is not the first time Salafi terrorist plots have been uncovered in Europe against other Muslims (usually Shi’as). A Salafi who was arrested recently in North America admitted that he had plans to attack Shi’a establishments.
What some of the Wahhabi Imams in Europe teach is not just to go to the Middle East and fight the Western infidels. What the dominant message is, what resonates more, is their exhortation to go to the Middle East and fight/kill ‘other’ Muslims who are different. The thousands of civilians who are massacred every year by terrorist bombs and mass murdered in Iraq are Muslims. As are almost all those beheaded and shot in Syria.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum