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<p>Mike Bowers/The Global Mail</p>

Mike Bowers/The Global Mail

Refugee advocate Jamal Daoud, who says he has been the target of a sectarian violence by hardline Sunni Muslims.

Syria’s Civil War Spills Over in Sydney

Syria’s civil war is playing out in Australia’s suburbs along sectarian lines — with some living in Sydney’s west too scared to speak, after beatings, a shooting and an alleged arson.

In early September Abu Ali began to seriously consider closing up his barber shop in the Sydney suburb of Auburn and moving his family to safety in the Shiite Muslim enclave of Arncliffe. That was when two heavyset men with the shaven heads, long beards and short dishdashas favoured by adherents of the strict Orthodox Wahhabi sect came into his shop and ordered him to take down campaign posters for a candidate in the Auburn council elections.

“He said, better for you to take down this photo. I said, no. He said if you [do] not take it down, I’ll give you some trouble,” says Abu Ali, who believes the men were Islamists.

“I am scared of these people. Their version of Islam is very violent. They can attack people,” he says. As a father, he is haunted by internet photos of slain Syrian children, and he fears the same atrocities could be visited on his own.

Syrian Spillover in Sydney Suburbia

This was not the first threat. About 18 months before, as the Syrian uprising against the Assad regime began, a muscular bearded man drew up in a car near Abu Ali’s shop, saying Shiites were rubbish, hurling other abuse and threatening to kick him out of his business.

This man also spoke and dressed like a Wahhabi, Abu Ali says. Shiites, or Shia, belong to a branch of Islam which diverged from the Sunni tradition. Wahhabis, or Salafis, are Sunni Muslims. Sunnis are in the majority in Syria, where resistance to the longtime leader Bashar al-Assad has turned into a bloody civil war.

Abu Ali chased the man away, throwing jars of barber’s gel at his car. But eight months ago, more men appeared in his shop on a busy Sunday and shouted at customers who were lining up for haircuts to get out.

“They said, ‘This is [an] infidel Shia. Why are you coming to have business with him?’ And [they] forced people to go out. So the customers got scared and ran away... Many customers did not return,” Abu Ali says.

Under the weight of such threats, some Shiite families have already fled the Auburn area and several more are thinking of following them, according to Abu Ali, whose shop walls now bristle with CCTV cameras. Police are investigating the threats. Abu Ali is wondering how he can rebuild his barber’s business in Arncliffe and how his wife and children would cope moving away from family, friends and school.

But the fear is not confined to Auburn.

The Global Mail has spoken to several members of Sydney’s Shiite community and of another sect within Shi’ism, the Alawites, who have experienced threats and violence. Across the city, an Alawite man has been shot, a Shiite businessman’s shop was destroyed by fire, there have been several instances of extortion using violence, and one man says he slept with his knife for a week following death threats.

“In some areas of Sydney you can’t say you are Shia — Greenacre, Lakemba and Punchbowl. There are Sunni there from Lebanon and Syria. Some of them are really dangerous.”

Those who spoke to us fear that they are victims of a sectarian campaign, one made all the more frightening because it includes Facebook hate pages glorifying Osama bin Laden and other violent jihadist figures.

After physical intimidation, one building contractor who wants to be known only as “HN” says he avoids certain suburbs, claiming they are becoming “no-go” zones for Shiites.

“In some areas of Sydney you can’t say you are Shia — Greenacre, Lakemba and Punchbowl. There are Sunni there from Lebanon and Syria. Some of them are really dangerous,” says HN.

At heart is the Syrian war, which at its simplest, has Sunni as the main opponents of the Assad regime and Shiites and Alawites as its principal supporters.

Sydney is not the only Australian city where violence has erupted. At least one Melbourne Alawite centre has been fire-bombed and Canberra police are still investigating the February trashing of the Syrian Embassy by demonstrators from interstate.

Jamal Daoud, the council candidate in the poster which the hard men wanted gone from Abu Ali’s shop, believes passionately that violent intimidation on sectarian lines flows from the war in Syria.

“In the last one year, there was big tension in the community. It is an impact of what is happening in the Middle East, especially what is happening in Syria and the perception of some people that this is a global jihad against certain sects and certain ideologies,” says Daoud.

The leafy Auburn avenue where Daoud lives with his family and a chirruping budgie is about 14,000 kilometres from Syria.

But in August he says he slept for a week with his knife, because he had received death threats by text and phone from Sunni fundamentalists who did not want him elected to council.

<p>Ella Rubeli/The Global Mail</p>

Ella Rubeli/The Global Mail

Some businesses in Sydney’s west have been put on boycott lists, posted online.

“There is a dangerous mix here. Religion, politics. Sectarian. It is very dangerous,” he says.

Although he is a Sunni, because of his opposition to removing the Syrian regime by force, extremists have lumped him in with the Shiites they despise, he says.

He replayed the tape of a hate call he recorded on August 29 from a man who spoke in English and Arabic with a Lebanese accent. The man assumed Daoud, a Palestinian from Jordan, was an Iraqi Shiite.

“You fuckin Shia dog. I’m gonna fuck you...send you back to Iraq, you fuckin dogs, you fuckin scumbags,’’ the message said.

Australian authorities acknowledge the tensions. ASIO says in its recently-tabled annual report: “…The situation in Syria, with the potential for violence spilling into other parts of the Middle East, increases the possibility of associated communal violence in Australia and remains a concern for ASIO. There are a small number of people actively promoting hatred and inter-communal violence in Australia.”

Tony Sheehan, the Attorney-General’s Department official responsible for national security and criminal justice, recently warned of the volatility in the air after September demonstrations by Muslims in Sydney’s CBD turned nasty.

“Protests such as the one in Sydney have the potential to intensify existing tensions, particularly when combined with the localised violence in Sydney and Melbourne resulting from issues such as the conflict in Syria,” he said.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas told The Global Mail: “We are certainly aware that there are tensions within the community out of what’s happening in Syria. We accept that that is the case.”

“In the last one year, there was big tension in the community. It is an impact of what is happening in the Middle East, especially what is happening in Syria.”

He sees evidence of that in a number of Sydney incidents, but says there are a handful of perpetrators in an Australian Muslim population of half a million. It is not all about politics, he says.

“Some people who have a criminal background and have been involved in criminal activity in the past appear to be simply using the events in the Middle East as an excuse to cover up their continuing criminal activities in Sydney, such as extortion and so on,” he says.

While their cause may not be clear, a string of incidents has kept those who feel vulnerable in the Shiite and Alawite communities on edge.

Shooting: Ali Ibrahim was shot in the leg outside his home in the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl in February. After speaking to Ibrahim’s family, Daoud told reporters that the shooting followed a Facebook debate over the Syrian conflict.

A man has been arrested, charged and appeared in court in relation to the shooting and further charges are now being considered, according to Kaldas, who cannot say if there is a political or sectarian element to this.

“It’s difficult to say definitively what his motives were, because he’s not telling us a great deal ...I guess we’ll have to wait and see with that one how it plays out in court,” he says.

Shop fire: Rockdale councillor Michael Nagi was quoted in a local newspaper in July saying that a suspicious fire which destroyed his Bankstown chicken shop was lit “because I am a Shiite Muslim”.

Nagi is not prepared to speak about it now. Kaldas says there is still “very much an active investigation” into the fire. Police are not sure who did it, he says.

Extortion: The proprietor of a Sydney juice shop named in a Facebook hate page, “Boycott Tyranny”, which urged its fans to shun Shiite-run enterprises, was assaulted and forced to quit his business. It is understood police are still investigating.

Firebombing: Victoria Police say they are still investigating a petrol bomb attack on the Alevi Community Council of Australia, a Turkish Alawite centre in North Coburg. No-one has been charged.

Fear of reprisals

The conflict in Syria, where some preachers are advocating ethnic cleansing, is a constant conversation topic among locals with Middle East backgrounds, says Joe Wakim, a founder of the Australian Arabic Council.

“They are generally scared of what is happening there and what could happen here,” he says.

Where once the Sunnis were the underdogs in Syria, spied on by secret police, “it’s all twisted now because you have a situation where the people who are pro the government are the ones now spied on... There is now a vindictive thing going on,” Wakim says.

Australian Shiites and Alawites are being told “if you don’t keep your mouth shut, we’ll get your relatives overseas”, he claims.

<p>Ella Rubeli/The Global Mail</p>

Ella Rubeli/The Global Mail

A pleasant afternoon in Auburn, but the Syrian civil war is causing tension within the suburb’s Muslim community.

In the digital age, where images can cross the globe in a flash, there is an additional cause for fear. Agitators are taking photographs at both pro- and anti-Syrian regime demonstrations in Melbourne, Sydney and overseas which can be used to target protesters or their families, Wakim says.

“I knew people who wanted to go to demonstrations but didn’t go because they were worried that their relatives could be beheaded,” he said.

Three Sydney men who initially agreed to speak about the intimidation they had experienced withdrew.

In one case, a man’s wife screamed in distress when he ushered this reporter into the family living room in western Sydney. He apologised and said she was too afraid for him to tell his story.

Two more men confirmed that they had been attacked, but declined to speak for fear of retribution.

“If we don’t protect the community, then we have a lot to answer for, God forbid.”

A community leader who, with the encouragement of his religious mentors after he was attacked, planned to speak to The Global Mail about Sydney Shi’ites’ fears, pulled out at the last minute.

“In view of the assassination in Beirut [when a car bomb killed Sunni leader, Lebanese intelligence chief, and Assad opponent Wissam al-Hassan] and the situation in Syria getting worse, my family not feeling safe of myself doing this interview, just in case they [his attackers] work it out. It will be putting my family in danger,” he texted.

A Sunni man who supports the revolution to overthrow the Assad regime said he could not afford to use his real name because his Syrian relatives could suffer the consequences.

Facebook campaign

Supporters and opponents of the uprising have taken to social media to push their cause with gusto, posting pictures of fallen martyrs, dead and injured children, and militiamen in battle. Then there are the hate pages.

In mid-October, it was still possible to find an Australian Facebook page headed by a photograph of Osama bin Laden, describing the late violent jihadist Abu Musab Al Zarqawi admiringly as “Lion of Jihad and Slayer of Shi’ites.”

The page is named “Bab Al Tabbaneh”, after a Sunni suburb of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, a regular scene of conflict with the Alawite neighbours in Jabal Mohsen.

It described its role thus: “Together hand in hand from Lebanon, Australia and around the world in solidarity and support of the Syrian Revolution and Palestinian Liberation, against the ruthless dictator Bashar Assad and the Terrorist State of Israel”.



Bab Al Tabanneh’s original Facebook page, taken down by October 17.

The page listed Sunni religious leaders who, it claimed, signed a fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law) declaring that Shiites were “outside the fold of Islam”. It named more than 20 Sydney businesses that it urged followers to boycott because they were Shiite or Alawite. This list attracted 5,843 “likes” and some lively hate posts.

One by Hala Haouchar said: “U know wat burns me the most is Hariri chicken!! I stopped eating there when i was told with his own mouth that he had coverted to shiism...i couldn’t finish my food...”

By October 17, the original Bab Al Tabbaneh site was taken down and replaced by another, “Bab al-Tabbaneh”, with the post: “We are backkkkkkkk.”

It directed people to another Facebook page, “Bilad Al Sham: The Revolution”, which had 2,664 “likes” by Tuesday morning.

A post by Khaled Ibn Al Walid which — still on the page at the end of October — praised bin Laden, declaring “may Allah be merciful with him”. Walid says on his own Facebook page that he lives in Sydney.

The list of businesses to boycott is still running on another Facebook page which vilifies Shiites, called “The Awkward Moment When You’re Engaging In Taqiyyah”. It has 193 likes.

Kaldas says that these pages are illegal but can be difficult for counter terrorism authorities to shut down quickly.

“The monitoring and censorship of information and material contained on Facebook pages is primarily the responsibility of Facebook...Facebook is hosted in the United States, which makes it difficult for Australian law enforcement agencies to police,” a spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police says.

Moderate Sunni leaders, still smarting from the virulent anti-Muslim sentiments unleashed by the September protests, are circumspect.

Samier Dandan, president of the Lebanese Muslim Association says: “There are a lot of people in the community who would like to inflame things beyond what they are.

“There have been some incidents and there have been some kerfuffles, but they are not directly related. There has been dialogue and discussions and yelling and screaming, but they are not acts of violence.”

“Hans” Dandachli, a leader of the Australian Syrian Association, which advocates both tolerance between religions and Assad’s overthrow, says he has only heard reports of threats, but he hopes that authorities can close down extremist pages.

“I say if you find these people, stop him...Australia is not Syria. Australia is not another country. Australia is Australia. Keep Australia clean,” he says.

Hosam Khammousieh, an Association member, believes anyone could have mounted the Facebook pages and says that no-one has reported attacks to its Lakemba office.

<p>Ella Rubeli/The Global Mail</p>

Ella Rubeli/The Global Mail

The Gallipoli Mosque in the western Sydney suburb of Auburn. Shia Muslims in the area have reportedly been intimidated, threatened and attacked over their alleged support for the Syrian regime.

Daoud, who describes himself as a “hard left” secular Hezbollah and Hamas supporter, insists that there is segregation in western Sydney, along both sectarian and ideological lines.

“People don’t talk to each other. People don’t buy from each other...I do this myself. If I know that this shop is owned by one Wahhabi, I won’t go and buy,” he says.

He claims the NSW and Australian Federal Police are turning a blind eye to a situation with potential for bloodshed, given the ease with which arms can be obtained in Sydney.

But Kaldas says that police have found there was no real evidence of Daoud’s death-threat allegations and he also does not accept that there are “no go” zones in Sydney. An Egyptian-born Arab himself, he says police are well informed about the doings of Australians from the Middle East.

“If we don’t protect the community, then we have a lot to answer for, God forbid,” he says.

Whatever the police assurances, Abu Ali, who came to Australia 14 years ago fleeing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s persecution of Shiites, is ever vigilant, in case the hard men come back. He no longer sees Australia as a place of refuge.

“I’m really scared now. It reminds me of what was happening before in Iraq. We thought we came to a democratic safe country,” he says, “but we are very scared now.”

33 comments on this story
by Hugo

I really can't believe this is happening in Sydney. Many of these people are honest, hard working now Australian's. They came here to escape this kind of small minded, extremist behaviour and now have to endure it here to. There must be something that can be done....our police don't seem to be able to handle it because the government is fearful of the voter backlash. What can we do? Make citizenship something you can lose and therefore eject these people from our country? Bring in a preamble to the Australian constitution that outlines what we believe (tolerance, etc...)?

October 30, 2012 @ 1:11pm
by Tell

Before people get too hot under the collar about "muslims", remember Catholic Croatians and Christian Orthodox Serbs were at it locally a few decades back too, Irish catholics and proddies, and further back, severe antagonism between Australians based on whether they were RC or C of E. then how about what we did to aboriginals and chinese in the 19th and early 20th c. Each age has its challenges. Also note "“Some people who have a criminal background and have been involved in criminal activity in the past appear to be simply using the events in the Middle East as an excuse to cover up their continuing criminal activities in Sydney, such as extortion and so on” he says. Sounds like the behaviour of IRA and the FARQ in Colombia too, for whom criminal activity first serves their sectarianism and then it flips.

October 30, 2012 @ 1:31pm
by Mac

This is indeed frightening. The incidence of female genital mutilation is also an indicator that there are people who need to be brought to justice to show that there are some cultural practices which are unacceptable in Australia. A 'politically correct' response is not appropriate when physical violence, actual or threatened, is being used.

October 30, 2012 @ 1:53pm
by Fred Hanna

This looks to be a small extremist Salafist / Wahabbist minority. However small though these are dangerous people, and must at the very least be monitored.

I'm just relieved that this publication has finally got an article that is critical of the Wahabbists and Salafists.

October 30, 2012 @ 2:01pm
by Bing

Although it is horrible to be discriminated against by virtue of one's group characteristics, from the point of view of the overall community, it makes sense to inform policy on the basis of the behaviour of a group. If some groups of people are simply, factually, more likely to import problems than others, it would be rational for that to be considered as a factor in immigration decisions.
There appears to be ample evidence that allowing Sunnis, particularly from Lebanon, to immigrate has led directly to a large increase in the amount of undesirable and antisocial behaviour in our community. There will be some people who complain about 'profiling', and however sensible it would be from a rational policy perspective, it may be simply too unpalatable to do so on the basis of race. Race is, after all, something none of us can change.
Religion, however, is a different matter.
Religions are sets of beliefs and attitudes that are entirely open to change.
It is entirely reasonable to keep a track of whether there are different rates of violence committed by people of different belief systems. Further, if there are different beliefs and attitudes that prove substantially more likely to be associated with acts of violence and other anti-social behaviour, it makes sense to avoid bringing people with those beliefs or attitudes into the country. Wrapping anti-social beliefs up in the branding of religion should not protect them from scrutiny. If you believe, for example, that women do not and should not have the same rights as men, that should count against you when you apply to come to Australia. It does not matter whether you belief that because it is a part of some 'established' religion or because you fancy yourself the founder of a new religion soon to have followers, or because you are simply an unpleasant and offensive person. Wrong-headed, socially damaging beliefs are not made better simply by being a part of a larger code.

Where we make a mistake and bring wickedness into the country, in the end we may only be able to remove it by uncompromising ruthlessness. Threats of this sort should be met directly. If it is possible for these people to be deported, that should happen quickly.

October 30, 2012 @ 2:02pm
by Pelllinore

Is this a prime example where the message about Australia and the reason to live here being lost or ignored? Is it just human nature to carry over your prejudices into another country? I have struggled with the barbarity done to civilians in Syria and to feel the same sense of bewilderment of the vehemence carrying over into this country, not the exact reverse makes me sad.

October 30, 2012 @ 3:45pm
by Mansoor

This is nothing more than a propaganda stunt. Only to drive a wedge between Muslims of whom the West is afraid of being the true followers of God and believing in the sovereignity of God only. After all who had heard of Alwite Muslims till the uprising in Syria? At least I as a Muslim of 60 years of age had never heard of them ever before.

October 30, 2012 @ 6:50pm
by Dave King

Find the thugs and deport them - simple enough solution. If it's not for legal reasons then our government should have the guts to change the law so it is.

October 30, 2012 @ 7:18pm
by Michael

Mansoor, I would say that the Syrian people had certainly heard of Alawite Muslims before the uprisings, particularly those in Hama who were so brutally targeted by the regime in 1982.

October 30, 2012 @ 9:35pm
by Gee

Say it isn't so, please, I thought that Islam is the religion of peace and that all are welcome under then banner of Shi'ria. That is what they have been saying

October 31, 2012 @ 4:04am
by Mansoor

Dear Michael, why would Alawites be targeted when the regime in Syria including all the army generals are Alawites. I do not understand as to how do the sects crop in Islam except for because of some vested interests as every Muslim believes and follows the word of God as given in Quran and sunnah as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

October 31, 2012 @ 5:58am
by Marls

A stunt? This is true. I met two hard working Syrian men who were cowardly & viciously attacked by Wahhabis. Where is the police? Where is justice? Police should get the criminals that perpetrated these crimes. While they are at large, the Salafists & Wahhabis will continue with their criminal activities.

October 31, 2012 @ 8:33am
by Jack Donnely

but when Australians talk about these clashes we are called racists and islamaphobes , folks it aint a phobia when its REAL and shooting at anyone on the street

October 31, 2012 @ 9:47am
by Cam

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. Albert Einstein

Albert put it nicely; many of the sectarian problems we have seen through the ages seem to me to be nationalism writ small, and just as awful. The added rpblem is of course the use of religion to back up febrile delusions of nationhood/us vs them/tribalism.

October 31, 2012 @ 11:05am
by David

But on the plus side we do get kebabs. Thank you multiculturalism.

October 31, 2012 @ 11:27am
by Knize10

Please act promptly Australia or your leaders wil soon be Muslim and there will be no turning back once in place.

October 31, 2012 @ 11:34am
by Logan Dunn

Who the h*ll do these people think they are? They have been allowed to immigrate to a beautiful, friendly country and they think they can tell people there what to do? I'd put a stop to that type of behavior right quick but I imagine the islamic butt kissers in the Australian government will do absolutely nothing.

October 31, 2012 @ 12:41pm
by Tannicteeth

Wouldn't the world be a better place without* religion?
Another reason why more people should be atheists.
*I'm not talking about the godlessness or wickedom. I'm talking about a scientifically considered, empathetic, moralistic, humane society.
4.6 billion years of evolution? Seriously guys, grow up.

October 31, 2012 @ 4:21pm
by Mansoor

Dear Knize10 What's wrong with being a Muslim?
Logan Dunn you are either not familiar with history or you have forgotten who the original emigrants to Australia were. Ask some Britisher.

October 31, 2012 @ 11:19pm
by Will

How can you support both Hezbollah and Hamas? That's like supporting the Chetniks and the Yugoslav Partisans both.

November 1, 2012 @ 12:01pm
by Bob Petty

I wish these people would grow up, hate breads hate, and the cycle never ends

November 1, 2012 @ 1:09pm
by Mark

Will: Hezbollah and Hamas have cooperated very closely in the past. Though Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, it's marquee issue is Israel, an issue that bridges the Sunni Shia divide. Likely Daoud is one of those "useful idiots" that Jess Hill wrote about earlier.

November 2, 2012 @ 11:31pm
by rodney allsworth

this violence will never stop, reason=its religious dogma.if it were Christian people the authority's would be all over it, but because its Muslim they cower in fear because of the anti-discrimination UN laws and the contempt for any secular authority as they consider the secular authority as only-infidel-and as such need not be adhered to.

rod qld aust

November 3, 2012 @ 5:54am
by Anjuli

They first came to Australia because it is a peaceful country, now they want to turn it into a war zone .What is wrong with people who want to bring their sectarian culture with them ,if they want to be like they were in their own country ,then they should have stayed there.

November 3, 2012 @ 3:48pm
by Andy G

Calling Wahhabi Sunni is a bit like calling Plymouth Brethren Protestant - true but misleading. Burton's 1855 "A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah" has some interesting insights into pre oil wealth Islam in the region.

Many refugee migrants, not only to Australia, hope to return to their home countries sooner rather than later, and hang desperately onto their cultural identities and symbols, often for several generations.

November 14, 2012 @ 4:20pm
by Sofie

Sometimes life isnt as black or white. The conflict in Syria is not between sunni and shia its a fact! The conflict is simple and one sided. The people want freedom they do not want Alassad to rule Syria anymore and because of this his highness is slaughtering, murdering, killing, bombing, shooting innocent civilians every minute of everyday for the past two years and continuing as you read.... The sunni shia was a front put up by the assad regime to cover their filth... Sunni and shia have living side by side in Australia forever why now is there a sudden stir???

January 17, 2013 @ 11:38pm
by falafel

In regard to the comments made by Sofie I honestly have to say she is clueless and have no idea about the Syrian conflict .Assad is protecting his country and people from the extreme terrorist who have been funded by the evil king of terror from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to bring down the government so they can have their own kind and work together with the western countries over the gas and oil deals .Assad being a Alawite has made this into a sunni vs alawite and shiate war when in fact its a war against terrorism supported by the west .

May 15, 2013 @ 5:18pm
by George

the comment of this so called refugee advocate is none sense. i am a christian lebanese and i know well all this made up stories they use to get residency in Australia by those hizbolah members. honestly his story made me laugh it is just the same story they use to gain permanent residency status in Australia. the problem is police and authority beleive this none sense story and we spend more resources and more tax payers. It is true Jhadiz and alqaeda r dangerous but now they much more contained and thanks to the US and their allies. in the other hands the sleeping cells of hizbollah way much more dangerous which our advocate here might be 1 of them. Australia should be warned of those dangerous cells coz if they wake up, i think they would do to our children much worse what they r doing to the syrian children.

May 26, 2013 @ 12:23pm
by Peter

@by George, love the way he says al-qeida and the jihadists are now under control thanks to the U.S, no fool, they are running amok in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and so on, and yet Hezbollah the only true defender of Lebanon has kicked israel butt hard, you do remember what the israelis did in 2000 to their Christian "comrades" right?, i'll tell you, they left in the middle of the night leavinf behind all the Christians that fought with them, and when the opposition came in and took over they let all the Christians go.

June 5, 2013 @ 1:23pm
by Peter

this war is not about shiite and sunni (which 70% of the Syrian army is), it's about the good and the bad (salafist terrorists), you know, the same ones that the world is supposed to be hunting down everywhere else except in Syria, in Syria they are revered by the west, al-qeida is the muslim branch of the CIA, they have not attacked any americans nor jews which makes you wonder.

June 5, 2013 @ 1:25pm
Show previous 30 comments
by Ben

" Wahhabis, or Salafis, are Sunni Muslims."

I hope the author is aware of the discrepancies between Salafis and 'Wahhabis'.

He wouldn't want to sound ignorant on the matter

June 17, 2013 @ 12:06pm
by stephmac

Islamist extremists are Islamist extremists. They have no place in a world that want's peace and to be left alone to live quiet lives. They have a double standard of intolerance of anyone not of their faith BUT want everyone else to respect theirs and them. And they command respect of which they don't deserve.
Organised religion any kind is messed up. Look at all who have died in the name of religion. What has it accomplished? Nothing but more of the same that is ongoing.

June 30, 2013 @ 2:16am
by The-bullshit-detector

@Ben, would you care to explain the difference? In my understanding, Wahabism is a Saudi form of "Back to Mohummad and the Rightly Guided Caliphs" ideology, replete with the Jihadism of the early Arab Empires. Salafism is a slightly broader, but largely coherent, ideology, that was popularised in Egypt, by the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no strong demarcation line between the two ideologies, besides the countries they are promoted in, no?

September 14, 2013 @ 5:27pm
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