Qatari sociologist Abd Al-Aziz Khazraj Al-Ansari has said that the deadly Beirut explosion which wiped out the entire port area of the city and killed more than 200 people is ‘divine punishment for blasphemy, sodomy, plastic surgery in Lebanon.’
Al-Ansari made the bizarre comments in Arabic on a YouTube channel, which were translated by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute):
Allah's punishment? What kind of god wants to kill people to remind people to worship him and his word?
Qatari Sociologist Abd Al-Aziz Khazraj Al-Ansari: Beirut Port Explosion Is Divine Punishment for Blasphemy, Sodomy, Plastic Surgery in Lebanon pic.twitter.com/QBvqXmkwDf
— Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) August 10, 2020
Transcription of his comments:
- You all have attacked the laws decreed by Allah for the world. The number one (reason for the disaster) is blasphemy.
- Dear brothers, when you go to America, Britain, France..when you meet the British or Americans, what do they say to you? “F**k you! F**k you! What? S**t”….I don’t know what else, they curse your mother and if they want more, they say “Goddammitt!” They call on Allah to curse you and stuff like that. But when you go to Lebanon, you hear: “May your religion be cursed!” “May your God be cursed!” May your whatever be cursed. They curse Allah! They curse your religion! Everybody curses the religion!
- You curse Allah and His religion and you expect Him to give you success? This might be the main reason for the torment you are experiencing. The cursing of Allah has become as prevalent as the drinking of water.
- The second reason is that Lebanon is famous for changing Allah’s creation. You want to puff your lips? Augment your breasts? Change your face? Go to Lebanon.
- In addition, Lebanon is famous for the prevalence of sodomy and the abundance of homosexuals in it. In the Lebanese media they bring people who tell sexual jokes! Cash! Cash! Can anything infuriate Allah more than this?
- 85% of Lebanese girls are not married. What do you think they are doing? Making origami models with the boys? Collecting stamps? Most of them are involved in forbidden relationships.
- Each Lebanese must go out on the street and cut out with scissors the tongue of anyone cursing Allah. You want to get better? Start with that and you shall see how Allah will change your situation for the better
In March 2019, the same ‘sociologist’ had posted another video on the Al-Mojtama YouTube channel, which he runs, in which he mocked International Women’s Day for being a celebration of women’s freedom to “act like whores, to play around… and to do whatever they want.” He mocked the West for allowing women to work as TV hosts and actresses and attend co-ed universities. He said the West allows women to serve in the military and police in order to “provide comfort” to male service members, and added that dogs are more honorable than the “filthy” secular people who fool women into driving cars, working as electricians, completing their education, and turning into prostitutes like in Europe, where he claimed 90 percent of children are bastards.
Al-Ansari’s Facebook page says that he is the manager of the Center for the Organization of Marriage Projects. The Al-Mojtama YouTube channel’s “About” section says that the channel calls for a return to the instructions of Allah and Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
Qatar – a country more radical than Saudi? Sunni Muslim camps in Middle East
Qatar is a small peninsular Arab country with a population of ~ 2.8 million. Incredibly, foreign expat workers constitute 88% of the population with those from Bharat alone contributing around 22%! Native Qataris are 90% Sunni Muslims and most adhere to the extremely hardline Salafi/Wahhabi schools of Sunni Islam.
Most of us are aware of the Sunni-Shia split in the Muslim world, and the rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. But there are conflicts even within the Sunni world. In 2017, there were demands from within the Arab world that Al Jazeera – the Qatari-state owned global TV channel – be shut down. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt had declared a ‘soft war’ on Qatar and one of their demands was that Al Jazeera be shut down as they viewed the channel as sympathetic to the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that threatened the region’s monarchies.
So does this mean that Al Jazeera and Qatar are promoters of modern democracy? Hardly. Qatar is staunchly pro-Islamist and indeed is notorious for funding terror around the world, including in Malappuram, Kerala. Al Jazeera‘s coverage has been found to be sympathetic of extremist groups like Muslim Brotherhood, and also Al-Qaida linked groups in Syria and Yemen. The deep racism and exploitation of expatriate labor in the Arab world is common knowledge – discrimination against Muslims from the Bharatiya sub-continent is just a shade less than what non-Muslim workers face.
This Washington Post article by a professor of international affairs at Texas A&M University, gives a good explanation of how the Sunni world lines up in 3 camps:
1.) Qatar, Turkey represent the bottom-up, populist Sunni Islamist stance, which while certainly not liberal democratic, seeks power through electoral means (although Qatar is an absolute monarchy which is run as per Sharia Law with punishments like flogging and stoning) for the ‘re-Islamisation’ of societies. This group backs the extremist Muslim Brotherhood group which saw successes after the Arab Spring, and Turkey’s authoritarian leader Erdogan especially wants a post-Assad Syria and a bloc of similar regimes with Turkey at the head.
2.) Saudi Arabia represents the antithesis of populist, bottom-up Sunni Islam. Its monarchy long ago made its Salafi religious establishment, known as Wahhabi, a partner in supporting its rule. So Saudi and other Sunni monarchies like Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait prefer top-down political Islam. They are accused by Qatar and Turkey of having betrayed Islam, being status-quoist and yielding to Western powers. So while the Saudi regime funds radical Wahhabi Islamist preachers across the world, including in Bharat, domestically it sees popular Islam as a threat.
3.) United Arab Emirates (UAE), while allied with Saudi Arabia, represents a third trend in political Islam – top-down Islam inside borders. Official Islam in the Emirates is tightly tied to state authority and subservient to it. Unlike in Saudi Arabia, the Emiratis have no ambition to propagate Islam beyond their borders. Just the opposite — they support anti-Islamist forces in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere and prefer a tamed state Islam. This is top-down Islam, but in one country. In this they are joined by Egypt, once the center of Arab politics, but now, given its domestic economic and political problems, more a follower than a leader.
And then we have the violent Sunni terror groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda: they share the puritanical Salafi interpretation of Islam with Saudi Arabia but hate the Saudi rulers as sellouts to the United States. Both Saudi and Turkey have at times aligned with these terror outfits in regional fights like Syria and Yemen, but know they cannot be controlled or trusted. These terror groups constitute a a bottom-up, populist movement but reject democracy and consider State Islam within regional borders as the antithesis of their message of a united Muslim community.
How does all this matter for Hindus?
Hindus are at the receiving end of sanctimonious lectures and sociological assessments from both the Western and Islamic world. Our deracinated elites have deliberately kept us pre-occupied in defensively reacting to these external assessments, so much so that we have forgotten to do purva-paksha i.e. reverse the gaze by building a deep familiarity with other societies and perspectives before debating them.
So the next time an Al Jazeera article talks about ‘caste, oppression, patriarchy, hierarchy’ and what-not in context of Hindus, or an Indian Islamist threatens ‘Hindu bigots’ of an ‘avalanche’ with help of Arab nations, knowledge about the Arab and Sunni world will help us in giving a measured response.
Egalitarianism and brotherhood in the Muslim world / ummah is a myth. But while these dynamics and schisms within the Muslim world give more geopolitical room for the Bharatiya state to maneuver, Hindus must always be aware that when it comes to the personal religious level, we are all just ‘idol-worshipping’ kafirs who are objects of pan-Islamist, even pan-Abrahamic, bigotry & hate of varying degrees.
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