The Rise of Secular Liberal Takfirism

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb

Without understating the existential threat which religious “takfiris” (those who accuse other Muslims of apostasy) pose to our region, we must also be equally wary of the secular liberal takfirism which is now on the rise. Like the religious kind, the secular variant is also rabidly sectarian though the sectarianism it practices is not doctrinal, i.e. based on the religous beliefs of its opponents, but political; anyone who dares digress from the Saudi-Western manufactured narrative adopted by the Syrian opposition is ipso facto declared a sectraian Shia/Christian/self-hating Sunni and political heretic who has veered from the mainstream. Thus for example, journalists like the highly respected Sunday Times correspondent, Hala Jaber are branded “sectarian Shia” and “Hizbullah/Assad groupies” by secular liberal opposition supporters for daring to commit political blasphemies like clarifying the origins of a misattributed photo and interviewing President Assad . More than this, secular liberal takfiris find common cause with their religious cohorts in so far as they wax lyrical about the “Shia threat” while cheering on religious takfiris like the al-Nusra/Islamic Front/ Jaish al Mujahideen’s recent assault on ISIS, in a very twisted bid to rebrand them as “moderate” Takfiris—you know, the kind of takfiris who merely flog you for not performing the Friday prayers as opposed to beheading you for lesser offenses. Were it not for the Dahyeh bombings and the journalists and others whose lives they are endangering , secular liberal takfirism could be quite funny.

Salafis: The new Islamist “moderates”

I am suddenly reminded of that brilliant insight Robert Malley and Hussein Agha made when they asked “How far off is the day when Salafis present themselves to the world as the preferable alternative to jihadists?” It seems that day was only a little over a year off. We are now told that the latest Syrian Revolutionaries Front-Islamic Front-Jaish al Mujahideen onslaught against ISIS is being led by Saudi-backed “moderately Islamist”, “mainstream rebels” whom the US is trying to engage because they represent some kind of bulwark against “extremists”. That’s right, groups which seek to resurrect the Omayyad Empire and eliminate all those pesky rafidah and nusayris in their midst, are the new MODERATES. And just as in the past when “moderation” was the buzzword which described any movement or regime which was moderate on Israel and/or imperialism, today’s moderate Salafis, takfiris and Jihadis, are moderate in so far as they serve Empire’s aims. Indeed, these are “Things that make you go hmm” and not in the C and C Music Factory sense of the term either.

Related:
A Brief Glossary for Resistance : 20 Political Terms to Avoid
Beirut Bombings and the Saudi-Takfiri-Israeli Nexus
Salafism And The CIA: A Winning Formula To Destabilize Africa, The Middle East And Russia