Humanity has gone through different stages, had different centers of power and produced various scientific innovations and breakthroughs.
The rise and fall of these development, crises, big conflicts, clashes and revolutions have had a crucial impact in molding the world today.
Deriving right lessons
Complexities have been present in all stages of history. The realistic assessment of all these dimensions has had an important role to play in providing the right lessons that have helped the victorious and the wrong interpretations that have disappointed the defeated.
Regarding the conflict with Iran, the right characterization helps countries, leaders and researchers reach facts based on accurate information and analysis and to take stances and make decisions accordingly.
Some information can be false and some interpretations can be unsound due to certain political orientations or wrong visions or personal opinions thus making the characterizations flawed and imperfect. As such, certain stands, policies and decisions would be built on an unrealistic basis, which results in their failure.
Al-Banna and his group established strong ties with Iranian religious groups opposed to the Shah’s regime, and this was the moment of their convergence in contemporary historyAbdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
Terrorism in its contemporary understanding covers a wide range of ideologies — including a diversity of theories and ideas, religious political groups, and paramilitary organizations characterized by hierarchy, secrecy and obedience. It’s one of the most important challenges facing the world since the end of the 1970s as a result of its wide range of repercussions.
Nevertheless many Western researchers, officials or politicians prefer to present a superficial reading of what is going on in the Middle East — from Pakistan and Afghanistan in the east, to the Arab Maghreb in the west — pointing to conflicts between Sunnis and Shiites.
Some of these researchers and politicians have been influenced by the western model represented in the conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants and said the Sunnis represent the majority while the Shiites represent the minority.
Thus they make false conclusions because they’re seeking an easy way to build their perceptions instead of basing the latter on accuracy, knowledge and reason.
Origins of terror
To explain this misperception it is important to understand the past. Contemporary groups of political Islam that started with Hassan al-Banna when he established the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 and which began to proliferate, multiply and diversify are an idea that was originally derived from the political opposition groups in Islamic history like the Shiites and Khawarij and the likes of these two groups.
This also led to different branches such as Isma’ilism and others, or in the highly organized Sufi schools or through the influence of some European movements, groups and parties such as Nazism and Fascism or others. However, in this it is important to clarify how the ideas developed within Sunnism and Shiism alike.
Banna and his group established strong ties with Iranian religious groups opposed to the Shah’s regime at the time, and this was a moment of their convergence in contemporary history.
Banna and his group leaders had to take some elements of Shiism as did their mullahs counterparts who opposed the Shah regime at the time and adopted some parts of Sunnism. This attempt to harmonize and exchange experiences is what governs the entire contemporary terrorist scene today.
US’ right assessment
In brief, the Shiite version evolved from Abol-Ghasem Kashani and Fada’iyan-e Islam to Khomeini and later manifested in the form of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Houthi militia in Yemen and Shiite terrorist militias in Iraq as well as in Syria.
The Sunni path developed from the secret Muslim Brotherhood organization to Sayyad Qutb’s organization in the 1950s and 1960s, to the violent religious group of the 1970s and 1980s in Egypt and Syria, and then to al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya in the 1990s, Al-Qaeda and then finally ISIS.
The greatest international power, the United States, has risen to the threat posed by Iran and has decided to confront it, instead of making concessions to it, as Obama did. This is in addition to the great influence the US has on European countries that are still hesitant to confront this Iranian threat. During this historical moment, it is important to rebuild the right perspective again and display the right characterization with the seriousness it deserves.
The biggest heirs of this history of contemporary terrorism are two countries in the region, Iran and Qatar. Turkey has also become involved. In fact, these three countries have started dividing roles and they are working to manipulate the world’s perceptions and distort any deep and accurate descriptions.
The supporter of Shiite militias and parties is Iran, and sometimes Qatar, while the supporter of terrorist groups and organizations are Qatar and Turkey which coordinate their supporting roles as after the so-called Arab Spring, they (Qatar and Turkey) became the centers of fundamentalism in the region and the world.
We must take into consideration that all information, facts and documents prove an organic relation between the Sunni organization Al Qaeda and the Iranian Khamenei regime, and the same can be said about the relation between ISIS and Iran on one hand and ISIS and Turkey on another.
ANALYSIS: The Nazi roots of Muslim Brotherhood
The clearest examples of this close harmonization of roles can be witnessed in the ongoing rapprochement in Yemen between the Muslim Brotherhood there.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been cunningly waiting and lurking ever since Operation Decisive Storm was launched and has started to take sides with the Houthi militia, after the great advances of the Yemeni army and resistance in the western coast and in the Battle of Hodeidah and the battles towards Saada, towards the east and west of Taiz and in the direction of Sanaa.
Ben Rhodes, a former aide of Barack Obama and an advisor on the nuclear deal during Obama’s term, presents an example of the dysfunctional characterization, perception and the personal bias of Obama.
In his book The World As it Is, Rhodes said Obama “blindly adored Iran and its civilization” and despised Arabs in such a strange way. The writer recounts various details, information, figures and decisions about Obama’s submission to Iranian blackmail and providing huge financial aid to the country and allowing Tehran to expand and gain influence while overlooking its relations with ISIS. These are some of the facts that narrate important details of Obama’s eight lean years.
At last, though, thanks to the efforts of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the world has become more familiar with Iran’s destructive roles.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.