Trump and blacklisting of Muslim Brotherhood
January 30, 2017
By Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
Terrorism is a harmful phenomenon. It has been spreading, and its presence has worsened because many of the solutions addressing it across the world lack the right vision. They fail to go beyond dealing with the moment of the terrorist act and therefore do not tackle terrorism's ideological and organizational roots and origins.
The roots of ideological terrorism lie in the religious extremist rhetoric and hate, incitement and justification speeches delivered after each terrorist act. Some hide these justifications under the pretext of interpretation. Therefore, one must strike all sources of religious extremism with an iron fist. Everyone must perform their roles in this comprehensive war against concepts that support extremism and ideas and symbols related to it.
The organizational roots of terrorism which are manifested in the form of groups, organizations and networks are also as important in this war as it is these organizations which enable extremism and plant it, spread it and market it. These groups also guarantee the permanent revival of terrorism thanks to their multipurpose organizational capabilities.
Islam as a heavenly religion has not been harmed by anyone as much as it's been harmed by extremist speeches and groups which claim to talk on its behalf. Terrorism certainly has no religion but at this moment in history, it's almost limited to Islam due to the rise of terrorist groups and organizations and their rising brutality.
In the royal letter to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, Saudi King Salman wrote: "We are very delighted by our sons, the loyal security forces’ heroic acts and sacrifices to serve their religion, country, nation and sanctities." This is royal praise of the long successful journey in fighting terrorism inside and outside the kingdom. It also commends the magnificent model of fighting terrorism, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and the heroes from among security forces and soldiers - with all their ranks - who participated in the success of this model.
"The roots of ideological terrorism lie in the religious extremist rhetoric and hate, incitement and justification speeches delivered after each terrorist act. Some hide these justifications under the pretext of interpretation." -- Abdullah bin Bijad al-OtaibiSinful, misguided aggressive men
Security forces are confronting "a category of sinful, misguided and aggressive men who violated the commands of God and the Sunna of his prophet (prayer and peace be upon him) and followed the paths of the devil who lured them and embellished their bad acts for them and they thus deemed it permissible to shed blood which God prohibited.
They did not even spare God's houses and their harm and criminality targeted those near and afar. Fathers, brothers, friends and relatives were not spared from their acts. God has exposed their shame. Their acts have been thwarted thanks to God and the efforts of the heroes, the security forces," the king added in the letter.
Confronting terrorism through security forces is effective, and before that, confronting it via legislations, laws and rules proved to be more comprehensive as it provides lasting results. This is why the Muslim Brotherhood was categorized as a terrorist group in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. American President Donald Trump’s administration is currently debating the importance of listing the group as a terrorist organization.
In last Friday's edition, Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that a "group led by Michael Flynn, Trump's national security advisor, desires to include the group in the terror lists of the American State Department and Treasury." This orientation - if approved - will have significant effects in targeting the organizational roots of modern terrorism and extremism.
The Muslim Brotherhood has received great support during Barack Obama's eight years in power. His administration had spoiled the group and submitted to it during the phase known as the Arab Spring. Saudi Arabia and the UAE acted against the desire of the Obama administration and took a historical stance in supporting the Egyptian people and army get rid of the Brotherhood's rule. However, the US is now going back to acting according to its strategic interests away from that arrogance of the wrong vision of the previous administration.
Any serious confrontation to eliminate terrorism must be preceded and accompanied with the establishment of a coherent and comprehensive strategic vision to confront extremism. If the strategy and vision are not complete and strict, terrorism will continue to exist and terrorist groups will spread.
Even if half solutions yield results on the short run, they worsen the problem on the long run. The time of confrontation came a long time ago, and what's left to be done is to create an effective international integrated framework to dry out the sources of terrorism, cut its funding and attack its roots.
Please go to Al Arabiya English to read the entire article.
Saudi king agrees in call with Trump to support Syria, Yemen safe zones: White House
January 30, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump, joined by his senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R), speaks by phone with the Saudi Arabia's King Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Saudi Arabia's King Salman, in a telephone call on Sunday with U.S. President Donald Trump, agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, a White House statement said.
Trump, during his presidential campaign last year, had called for Gulf states to pay for establishing safe zones to protect Syrian refugees.
A statement after the phone call said the two leaders agreed on the importance of strengthening joint efforts to fight the spread of Islamic State militants.
"The president requested, and the King agreed, to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts," the statement said.
The Saudi Press Agency, in an initial readout of the call, made no specific mention of safe zones, but said the two leaders had affirmed the "depth and durability of the strategic relationship" between the two countries.
The agency later said "the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques had confirmed his support and backing for setting up safe zones in Syria", but did not mention Yemen, where a Saudi alliance is fighting against the Iran-aligned Houthi group.
A senior Saudi source told Reuters the two leaders spoke for more than an hour by telephone and agreed to step up counter-terrorism and military cooperation and enhance economic cooperation.
But the source had no word on whether the two leaders discussed Trump's order to put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily ban travelers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries.
The source said Saudi Arabia would enhance its participation in the U.S.-led coalition fighting to oust Islamic State from its strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
The White House statement said the two leaders also agreed on the need to address "Iran's destabilizing regional activities." SPA confirmed the report but made no specific mention of Iran.
Please go to Reuters to read the entire article.
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