Saudi Arabia seeks to contain chaos in the region

Saudi Arabia' recent decision to blacklist several aggressive groups with activities on the ground carries a tone of challenge. But will such decision end the exploitation on Saudi Arabia and the Saudis as people, money and institutions?

Many groups were organized in the name of the memorization of the Holy Quran, the name of jihad and the rescue of the oppressed. Some of these groups had political projects, while most were armed groups with violence being part of their program.

These groups claim that their external activities were against their enemies, while in fact, their ultimate target is Saudi Arabia. Due to the recurrence of their activities, once against the Serbs, a second time against the Americans, a third in Somalia, a fourth in Burma, and a fifth against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, there are no doubts anymore that these organizations are all the same, having one unique goal.

There is no need any more to argue about the validity of the accusations against these groups, the same groups that succeed in misleading people by claiming to be innocent and victims of the hostility against Islam.

What is said about their political activities are plain lies. Some of them admit being armed and violent, but claim that their activities are directed against the others and the enemy. Saudis fell for almost all the lies, whether it was the general public or intellectuals. Throughout the years, the truth was finally revealed: Islam and Muslims have nothing with their activities.

Ulterior motives

The latest example on using the argument of defending Muslim people is what al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are doing. Many of their supporters and a number of imbeciles have raised money, recruited men and prayed for these groups’ victory in mosques and for the triumph of the oppressed in Syria.

A few months later, everyone discovered that they are in fact terrorist groups similar in evil to other organizations affiliated to al-Qaeda, which had waged wars against civilians in the region before.

Oppressed Syrians have nothing to do with what ISIS and al-Nusra are doing except exploiting chaos in order to seize areas that have collapsed on the security level and using them as rally points for training and formation of a military organization which threatens Syria, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the region.

ISIS and al-Nusra were never a threat for al-Assad regime, Iran or Israel. At first, their messages on the media and social networking sites were limited to asking for the support of Syria and the Syrian people; but now they are clearly and openly talking about moving in the future against Saudi Arabia and other countries.

There is no need any more to argue about the validity of the accusations against these groups, the same groups that succeed in misleading people by claiming to be innocent and victims of the hostility against Islam.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

That is why we are not surprised that those who support these groups are countries that are at odds with Saudi Arabia, and Syria has nothing to do with their armament or mobilization.

The question now is: shouldn’t all the activities that lead to such serious consequences, whether in the name of Islam or the oppressed people, be criminalized? Despite the large number of appeals and warnings, we go back every time to square one, in the name of a particular matter, only to discover that it's just another cover for an act of aggression against us.

It is essential to criminalize these groups and establish legal bases to hold accountable the violators, but we must keep in mind other aspects that are equally important. These people are ghosts who would never admit their affiliation, but leaving education, schools, mosques and media open to the public, can help them achieve their goals by acquiring sympathy and support.

 

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on March 8, 2014.

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Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.


 

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