Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Al Qaeda: "The Shia Will Submit Or Die"

Many Western observers have correctly noted that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi wants to touch off a civil war in Iraq between the former Sunni ruling minority and the Shiite majority. This is seen as a tactic to drive American forces out of Iraq. However, the recently released text of the letter from al Qaeda second-in-command al-Zawahiri to al Qaeda-in-Iraq leader al-Zarqawi shows that this is not merely a tactic, but an ulimate goal of the Sunni organization al Qaeda.

Al-Zawahiri's words also reveal an arrogance worthy of Stalin and a blind religious fanaticism that would please Cotton Mather. Al-Zawahiri writes:
I assert here that any rational person understands with ease that the Shia cooperated with the Americans in the invasion of Afghanistan, Rafsanjani himself confessed to it, and they cooperated with them in the overthrow of Saddam and the occupation of Iraq in exchange for the Shia's assumption of power and their turning a blind eye to the American military presence in Iraq. This is clear to everybody who has two eyes.
This passage is prologue for another instructing al-Zarqawi on the "heresy" of the Shia:
People of discernment and knowledge among Muslims know the extent of danger to Islam of the Twelve'er school of Shiism. It is a religious school based on excess and falsehood whose function is to accuse the companions of Muhammad of heresy in a campaign against Islam, in order to free the way for a group of those who call for a dialogue in the name of the hidden mahdi who is in control of existence and infallible in what he does. Their prior history in cooperating with the enemies of Islam is consistent with their current reality of connivance with the Crusaders.
Then al Zawahiri goes on to admit that Shiite Muslims are squarely in al Qaeda's crosshairs:
The collision between any state based on the model of prophecy with the Shia is a matter that will happen sooner or later. This is the judgment of history, and these are the fruits to be expected from the rejectionist Shia sect and their opinion of the Sunnis.
These are clear, well-known matters to anyone with a knowledge of history, the ideologies, and the politics of states.
But this is leading up to a warning to al-Zarqawi, delivered with tact, and revealing the depths of the al Qaeda leadership's arrogance and elitism:
We must repeat what we mentioned previously, that the majority of Muslims don't comprehend this and possibly could not even imagine it. For that reason, many of your Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about your attacks on the Shia. The sharpness of this questioning increases when the attacks are on one of their mosques, and it increases more when the attacks are on the mausoleum of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib, may God honor him. My opinion is that this matter won't be acceptable to the Muslim populace however much you have tried to explain it, and aversion to this will continue.
Translation: "I hate the Shia as much as you, but we will have time to deal with them later when it won't upset the ignorant masses as much."

CENTCOM has just posted the Zawahiri letter on their site with commentary. More on the Zawahiri letter and CENTCOM's analysis later.