By Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
02 June 2015
In every crime, you look first for those who benefit most. In the case of Daesh (so-called Islamic State) attacks on Saudi targets, the latest of which on Shiite mosques, we need to find the beneficiaries.
** To start with, let’s go back to the creation of Daesh, when Iran, years ago, instructed former Iraqi Primer Minister, Nouri Almalki, to release some 1,500 Al-Qaeda members from Abu Ghraib prison. They were given arms and transferred to Syria. Their mission was to attack the moderate Syrian resistance. Their action also serves as a way to win world sympathy for the government and to validate its claim of fighting terrorism.
Today, the same goal is being achieved. By coordinating attacks with the Syrian regime and Hezbollah, Daesh has managed to slow the resistance advance. The pro-Iran parties never attacked each other, or Iran. Even though, Iran has a long border with Iraq, not even once Daesh has gone after Shiite or government targets inside the Farsi nation. The same can be said about Hezbollah and Syrian troops. Mosul, Tadmur and Ramadi were among strategic cities that were handed over to few hundreds of Daesh fighters. The capture of these cities was suspiciously easy. In each case, the mighty Iraqi and Syrian armies just left, leaving their heavy and light weaponry behind.
** Al-Qaeda, too, has cozy relations with Iran. During the US bombardment of their bases in Afghanistan, they hid their families in Iran. They managed to escape to the Arab Gulf region and Iraq via Iran. In return, they never attacked the Farsi nation, even though they pretend to be archenemies. By attacking holy Shiite mosques, they used Al-Qaeda and Daesh to frighten the Arab Shiites in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon into Iran’s open arms.
It works. Today, Iran is offering help against Daesh and Al-Qaeda to Sunni and Shiite Arabs in some countries. With nowhere to go, and no other help available, it is understandable if they’d fall for the trick. Iranian forces and its Shiite militias from as diverse places as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Lebanon, are fighting Daesh. Once victory is achieved, they could pretend to be the only savior of Iraqis and their shield against terrorists.
** Saudi Arabia has always been a target of Iran’s revolution and ideology exportation. Their methodology includes recruiting Shiite and Sunni dissidents. During the Gulf War I with Iraq, Iran was involved in deadly attacks on Saudi diplomats in Turkey, Pakistan and Thailand. They were caught red-handed trying to plant bombs in Makkah, and ignite confrontations during Haj seasons. Their masterpiece operation was the bombing of Alkhobar towers in the Eastern regions 1994, in which they used Hezbollah and local Shiites trained in Iran and Lebanon. The last attempt was the transportation of highly explosive material from Bahrain to Dammam a few weeks ago. It just happened that the same material was used in Al-Qudaih mosque bombing.
** With Saudi Arabia leading the Arab Alliance charge against Iran’s proxy militia in Yemen, the Houthis, and coordinating efforts with Turkey and Qatar to support Alfateh Army in Syria, the need to distract Saudi Arabia with attacks from inside became more urgent. They applied the same tactic elsewhere to start sectarian wars among Sunnis and Shiites, using Arabs to kill Arabs. The Farsis never use their own people to do the dirty work, or fight. They are the masters of proxy wars and Arab soldiers have always been their enslaved soldiers of choice. Religion, again, is used and abused to recruit and march the masses.
Building on the above, it makes a whole lot of sense to accuse Iran of Al-Dalwa, Al-Qudaih and Dammam mosques attacks. Who gets killed, Shiite or Sunni, is not of concern to the Farsi nation, as long as they are Arabs. Iranians have been doing and attempting such evil everywhere, including the holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah, so why not in a couple of mosques here or there?
The Saudi people have shown their awareness of these schemes and goals. Government officials, religious and community leaders, scholars, academics, writers and citizens from all regions and walks of life have gone out of their way to denounce these attacks and call for unity.
On Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, people have shared their feelings and thoughts and called for solidarity against Daesh and Iran. If the disturbance of peace and the division of the Saudis were the objectives, Iran and Daesh have miserably miscalculated and failed. Instead, more sympathy and unification were achieved.
It is high time for us to fight hate speech with stringent laws. I am calling on all Muslim and Arab governments to bring down sectarian media and satellite channels, punishing those who call for “fitnah” among Muslims, and advocate mistreatments and discrimination against groups and individuals based on racial, tribal, religious or gender affiliation. It is about time to follow King Salman’s call to go not only after those who committed or supported hate crimes but also after their sympathizers.
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi