The tension of the upheaval in the Middle East is getting hotter, although some others are already in the phase of the post-crisis. But some news that developed in the Middle East this recently affirmed that the Middle East is entering a new era that becomes an arena of competition for the three important components of the world power.
The three powers do not simply represent the military strength, but also the power of the ideologies and masses. Each of the Shiah, Al-Qaeda and the West (in which includes Israel and the crony rulers that have not yet collapsed). The three of them are the most potential powers to control the Middle East after the crisis. Due to that, it is interesting to analyze what would the Middle East be like in 10 or 20 years from now.
We assume that the task of overthrowing the Arab regimes will, most of it, be completed by the year 2012. What will happen after that?
The West and ‘Israel’
The West and “Israel” are always in the position of supporting any regime that rules in the Middle East as long as the two conditions are met; not supporting “terrorism” and being cooperative in selling oil to the West.
They basically do not make a fuss of the repressive attitudes of the regimes against their subjects. Even if they voice out criticisms, it is no more than a ‘lips sweetener’.
The West has long known the authoritarian attitude of Hosni Mubarak, Gaddafi and other tyrants towards their people, but was only silent all these while, not doing any meaningful action. The West had been hostile towards the regime of Muammar Gaddafi only because he ordered the bombing of an aircraft belonging to the West at Lockerbie. It was totally unrelated with his brutality against his people. After Gaddafi ‘apologized’ to the West, the West could afford to be embracing Gaddafi, as if there was no problem before. It’s reasonably so because he was cooperative in selling his country’s natural resources, and more importantly, he was very anti-Al-Qaeda and “terrorism” (read: jihad).
But when Gaddafi started to be abandoned by his people and cornered, the West was not reluctant to cast him out. This pattern became the standard attitude of the West against whichever regimes in the Middle East, in fact in the world. The bottom line is, the West sees the potential of the Middle East and North Africa in just two strategic considerations; how far their natural resources can be utilized, and how far are the distance between the rulers and the “terrorism” movement, as an effort to protect “Israel”.
The problem is, the West, led by America, are being pestered by problems over and over again. The economic crisis that is getting more and more acute, and the moral deterioration of their forces on all battle fronts (to not say defeat) make them choose to be cautious in addressing them. Meaning, this upheaval in the Middle East has already been a bit too late for America and the West in general, because they are already mired in the wallows of Afghanistan and Iraq, that makes them no longer able to move agility. Previously, when America was still powerful, an upheaval of this kind was going to be a golden opportunity, as there was no rival. But today, the rivals are already many.
But this by no means mean that the West is already paralyzed. They are still potent and dangerous, but it is no longer the single player in taking advantage of the momentum of this kind of upheaval, not to mention in a region as important as the Middle East which is the main theater of the world turmoils.
Shiah, The Most Real Threat
The time when Hosni Mubarak was in power, behind his inhumanity to the people, there’s a geo-political interest that was not realized, namely his hatred against Iran. Since Iran successfully toppled the tyrannical regime of Reza Pahlevi in 1979, and the direction of the state changed into a pure Shiah state, Egypt never allowed Iran’s ship to pass through the Suez Canal. But after Egypt overthrew Hosni Mubarak, for the first time the Suez canal was traversed by Iran’s warships.
The unrest in Bahrain is also troubling, where its demonstrators are Shiah, fighting against the regime which is Sunni. Saudi Arabia is in a dilemmatic position, if it allows the regime of Bahrain to be overthrown by the Shiah demonstrators, it means that the Sunni regime, which obviously is the friend of Saudi Arabia, would be gone. It’s clear that Saudi Arabia is in danger, because the threat of the Shia is increasingly nearing its border lines. Although it will invite a crooked look from the international world, Saudi Arabia feels the need to send an army directly to Bahrain, as an effort to curb the advance of the Shia.
Not much different from Oman, Kuwait and Yemen, all of which hold a large enough potential of the adherents of Shiaism. If these people’s upheaval can be played well by Iran, it is not impossible that Saudi Arabia will be more and more desperate by the advance of the Shiite Iran’s influence in the region. Even before the unrest broke out, the Houthi rebels in Yemen had already been troubling the Saudi. Not to mention the Saudi domestic upheaval, which was also spurred on by the adherents of Shiah, who to begin with, are of the Saudi nationals. They are concentrated in the cities of the eastern part of Saudi Arabia, such as Hufuf, Qatif and Awamiya. The Saudi regime who are Sunni are being hit by the people’s movement which is mounted up by the Shia.
If this development should go on, it will be getting bigger, making the Middle East in real danger and threat from the Shiahs and Iran. True, history will always rotate in the same axis. If in the past, latent rivalry happened between the Arabs and the Persians, today that his history is repeated. Now the Arabs are represented by Saudi Arabia and the Persians are represented by Iran. And Iran, since the old days, has always been a major cause of problems, because it was destined to be a fertile land for the expansion of the various deviations and malice. It’s no surprise in the history of Persia, they most often associated themselves and were always mutually cooperative with the Jews.
Iran is currently in a golden age with its Shia. Since it stopped waging war against Iraq in the 80’s, the concentration of its practice is only in spreading influence through its Shia teachings to the entire regions, or even the world.
In fact, Indonesia is being made as an object of serious cultivation. Not less than 300 Indonesian students are groomed every year with the Shia teachings in Qum, Iran and other cities to become the cadres of Shia fighters in the land of Indonesia.
They are known to be cunning, because it does not bring in a new Prophet, but only rebukes the Prophet’s Sahabahs. But the essence of its teaching is instilling burning hatred against the Ahlus Sunnah wa-Al Jama’ah who are the majority in this country (Indonesia -ed.). It may be said that Iran is having more chance in taking advantage of the upheavals in the Middle East compared to the West, due to a number of factors:
1. Iran is a wealthy country with oil money in abundance, beaten only by Saudi Arabia.
2. Iran is not involved in war with any nation, thus their finances are intact.
3. Iran has accomplices in all countries in the Middle East with their Shiah teachings. They can be utilized for deflecting the agenda of the reformation, or at least reduce the resistance of the Sunni community against the teachings of Shiah.
4. Iran is very close to the spots of upheavals in the Middle East, and the people are having a relatively similar posture, they can also speak Arabic. It is easy for them to infiltrate, especially that it is supported by their aqeedah of Taqiyah, which allows them to pretend to be Sunni to cut up from within.
5. Iran is also self-sufficient technologically, which could become an alternative for the society in the Middle East which rejects the West. Its military is also strong, in fact it could even be the strongest in the region. 6. Iran is also consistent in its pretension by appearing hostile to America and Israel, which makes it hard for the people of the Middle East to neglect Iran, e.g. in the case of the defense of Gaza. 7. Iran is also not bothered by Al-Qaeda, different from Saudi Arabia or the West. It’s reasonably so because Al-Qaeda can only operate where there is a base of its Sunnis, while Iran has very few Sunni adherents. Meaning, Iran’s economy and military strength is in a stable condition, no other meaningful disturbance. With all these considerations, hence it can be inferred that Iran with its Shiah will continue to flap its wings to a number of territories in the Middle East and North Africa to imbed its hegemony. The era of upheaval and its fruit afterward, in the form of an openness, can be taken advantage of to its full potential by Iran, at a time when other regional Sunni countries are busy with their own businesses. Such as Egypt, when the Ikhwan activists are busy fighting against the secular in determining the colour of their country, the Shiahs are freely preaching in the middle of the society. There is no longer a law or rule that can prevent them, because the era is already open. In 10 or 20 years from now, Iran will only have to reap the results. The same goes with the other countries.
Iran vs Al-Qaeda and Global Jihadis
The series of trials that Allah gives to the Islamic ummah in order to elevate its status, turns out to have come in turn very quickly. When Al-Qaeda and the activists of global jihad are being tested in terms of their resilience, by fighting against the world superpower, America, in several places at once, the Shias with the support of Iran are already writhing.
The Shias and Iran are ready to wait to be the next enemy after the collapse of America and its coalitions. Around 10 or 20 years from now, Iran with its Shia will be far more stronger than now. Its feet will be set firmer in some regions.
The Islamic ummah led by Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and global jihad activists are in the midst of being “trained” by Allah to practice the ibaadah of Jihad fie sabilillah, by means of being given an opponent that is top class. This is because, the implementation of the ibaadah of jihad is different from other ibaadah such as Solat and Zakat.
In Jihad, there has to be an enemy for it to be accomplished, while in Solat it is enough with facing the Qibla and unfurling a prayer rug.
Coincidentally, the starting points of the development of jihad and the plan of action of the Shiahs turns out to be simultaneous. In 1979, the mullahs of the Shiahs successfully muzzled the regime of Reza Pahlevi and established a sovereign Shia state. In the same year, the Soviet Union raided Afghanistan, which started out to be battled by the Mujahideen with the initial capital of not more than 6 rifles.
In 1991, alhamdulillah, the Soviet Union was able to be defeated by the permission of Allah, in fact that empire broke into pieces, only Russia remains. As if we are given a chance to compete in a sprint race with the same starting point; in 1979. After 30 years, Iran became a force to be reckoned with. It has extensive influence in the Islamic world. Iraq is already within the control of Iran after America left, although not fully. If it is success in Bahrain, the number of Shiah states will increase. And there will be many more.
On the other hand, also after 30 years, the global jihad successfully established a strong influence in Afghanistan, a part of Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Chechnya (Caucasus), Kashmir and a number of other armed upheaval regions.
Sooner or later, the big battle between the global Mujahideen against Iran will erupt. Because, after America has weakened, Iran has to be cleaned out from the Middle East.
The development of Iran actually could have been an inspiration for the Saudi rulers and other regimes. When they are alarmed by the advance of Shiah, the best partner to contain it is Al-Qaeda and the activists of the global jihad. Unfortunately, the Saudi regime is unable to get away from America. Soon they will regret, for taking the wrong partner.
The bottom line is, actually the Middle East is in need of Al-Qaeda and the activists of global jihad, but the rulers have already gone too far in their self-interests attributable to the feeling that the izzah is still in the hands of America. Whereas, in truth the izzah is with Allah and His Rasul through the ibaadah called jihad fie sabilillah. Seeking izzah from America will only give us humiliation.
Source: Ansar al-Mujahideen Forum