The way out against a sectarian war

Yasin AktayBy: Yasin Aktay*

The image that the incidents in Syria is a sectarian war, is the image those who are managing the war are constantly trying to portray. Frankly, the language and motivation used by those fighting in the battlefield to kill each other is also sectarian language and motivation. Yet, those who are members of these sects have been living together for centuries and never thought about getting into such a war by themselves. On the contrary, Western intervention, the invasion of Iraq in particular, bred the processes that would set different sects and ethnic groups against each other as enemies. In all these processes, outside actors, primarily the U.S., were the actual determiners.

Turkey, which was expected to be on the Sunni side, paid attention from the very beginning to be above sects. After his visit to Najaf, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan determined the clear measure by saying, “We have no such religion as Sunnism or Shiism, but Islam.” Also, today, the main arch enemy of Daesh’s terrorism, which is being presented as the representative of Sunnism and convincing those who are members of the Shiite sect that the incident is a sectarian war, is not Iran but Turkey. Turkey is also the one carrying out the toughest battle against the same Daesh. It is giving martyrs in this war.

We are persistently announcing that what Bashar Assad is doing has nothing to do with Shiism. On the contrary, everything he does destroys Shiism as well. The fact that his protectors Iran or Hezbollah are also Shiite does not mean that what they are doing has anything to do with Shiism. This is best expressed by another Shiite. The statements made by Hezbollah’s former first secretary general, Sheikh Subhi Tufayli, in an interview, are talks that teach Iran and Hezbollah essential lessons on Shiism. In his Friday sermons every week, Tufayli actually gives speeches in this direction, explaining the kind of massacres that are committed against Shiism with Iran and Hezbollah’s contributions to the incidents happening in Syria. Surely this is not something that is going to put an end to all the historical and theological debates on the real meaning of Sunnism and Shiism. But what we are experiencing today is not a sectarian war. We need to lend an ear to this voice to see that it is imperialist sectarian colonialism, which is coarsely wasting sects too.

Tufayli: Who would target Sayyeda Zaynab’s grave?

“Today, Hezbollah is fighting in Syria. Did it go there to protect the Lebanese? Or to help defend the Shiites living in Syria? But Syrian Shiites never needed to be protected. They were never under danger. We were the ones who pushed them into the quagmire.

Shiites are under danger today because of us. We caused it. We are the ones responsible of the smallest harm to the Shiites in Syria. We are the ones who got them into trouble. We are the ones who caused them to suffer pain. Syrian Shiites need neither our help nor our support.

The same applies for the Sayyeda Zaynab mausoleum. Gravestones need nobody’s protection. Do you think we love Sayyeda Zaynab and the Sunnis hate her? Sayyeda Zaynab is honorable for all Muslims.

Protecting Sayyeda Zaynab’s mausoleum or protecting the Lebanese Shiites in Syria is a lie, it is just an excuse for propaganda to hide what they want to do. These are tactics to deceive people. The real issue is protecting the Syrian regime.

They are fighting to protect the criminal, oppressive regime that is killing its own people. How can a regime bombard its own people with all kinds of weapons and missiles? However, it is still yet to launch a single missile at the occupier Israel. I ask, who is at advantage in this case? Of course Israel. In other words, we are currently serving the interests of Israel. Us joining the war in Syria benefits Israel.

What’s worse is, let’s be open, they will not allow either of the two sides to win the war. They want both sides to face defeat so that the ummah can be eliminated. This is their aim.

Like Israel, the West and U.S. are also involved, they all have the same interests. They want us to kill each other and the sectarian wars in Lebanon and Syria to continue forever. This is the biggest kindness we can do for them and we are always going to be insignificant in the eyes of the world. Can you imagine how great a service we are doing to them? Oh Iranian administrators, see all this. See how we are serving the gains of the Zionists, the enemies of the ummah, those who occupied holy Jerusalem.

Hezbollah has no right to do this. It pushed Syrian Shiites into a real disaster. Hezbollah is the reason for every Shiite killed in Syria. Hezbollah and Iran have a responsibility in every home that is destroyed, every tree that is cut. We were able to distance Syrian Shiites from the disgusting sectarian war in Lebanon and its region.

There is a people there and an oppressive ruler. The people want to be freed from this oppressive ruler. We have no right to prevent them.

We say we are followers of Imam Hussein and weep for the injustice done to him. When we speak about him we repeat that he stood up against the tyrant. So what is happening now? It is a revolt against the tyrant.

We talk back and forth about Israel, constantly. Then we sacrifice the young insurgents and weapons elsewhere. These youth are very valuable for us. Instead of training youth to fight against the Zionist enemy, we are training them to serve them. I know Israel is very pleased with all that Hezbollah is doing today.

Sometimes people ask me, ‘Can Israel start an attack against Lebanon, against the resistance?’ I reply smiling. For what reason? On the contrary, if Hezbollah continues to fight in Syria, Israel will provide more protection for Hezbollah. Whoever it is, nobody can serve Israel’s interests as much as we do today.

In the news, we heard Nasrallah raised his voice against Israel and that he threatened to hit important Israeli institutes upon the smallest attack by Israel. But Israel would never consider attacking Lebanon. On the contrary, Israel will start providing more protection for Hezbollah which is fighting in Syria, because for them, Hezbollah is a practical tool to destroy the ummah.

Who prevented the regime from being destroyed by the Syrian insurgency until now? The Americans. They do not want the regime to collapse, this is very clear. They know the people of Syria are being killed for years; we all know very well what has been happening in Syrian prisons for long years, but nobody is saying anything. There is a general conspiracy. The world has a share in this crime.


*Yasin Aktay is the vice chair of the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) in Turkey.

(Published in Yeni Şafak Turkısh newspaper on Monday, Dec. 26,  2016)