Tuesday, November 11, 2014

  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today is the tenth anniversary of Yasir Arafat's death.

In April 1991, Arafat attended the First Popular Arab and Islamic Congress, held in Khartoum and hosted by Hassan al-Turabi, a Sudanese Islamist leader.

PAIC I was meant to unify the Muslim terrorist world after the Soviets left Afghanistan and to strategize next steps to unify the Islamic 'umma.

As J. Millard Burr writes in his extraordinary account of this and subsequent PAIC conferences:

The first PAIC general assembly was, in fact and deed, a seminal moment in the development of both the modern Islamist revolution and the post-Soviet New World Order. Fusing his omnificent view of a modern and evolutionary Islam to that of the narrower revolutionary vision which had recently emerged in Shiite Iran, Turabi managed to square the circle and surmount a millennium of intra-Islamic factionalism. By the strength of his personality Turabi used the PAIC to forge a single, cohesive and unified Islamic movement uniting the Islamist umma from West Africa to Indonesia. It was an organization created to fill a void in the Muslim World and satisfy two primary needs: as a forum essential to the development of the Islamist revolutionary base, and as a unique meeting site where jihad could be discussed openly. The West could be openly reviled, and Turabi could expound at length on the West and its various nations where everything was permitted and nothing was sacred. 

The conference was attended by a who's who of the terrorist world, including Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Imad Mughniyah, and a large Palestinian contingent including Arafat, Nayif Hawatma (DFLP), George Habash (founder of PFLP), Ibrahim Ghousha (Popular Struggle Front), Fathi al-Shiqaqi (founder of Palestine Islamic Jihad,) Jabbar Amar (Islamic Jihad,) Munir Said and Khaled Meshaal (Hamas.)


Most of the action in the conference went on behind the scenes, but some details have emerged, including Arafat's role:

PAIC I opened shortly after the Muslims world-wide commemoration of the "Day of Palestine" celebrated on 11 April 1991. The event had brought together leaders of a number of Palestinian movements -- Sunni and Shiite, secular and Islamist. Among those present were prominent Arab leftist and nationalist figures including Georges Habash, the Christian head of the radical secular Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Jabbar Amar who lived in Sudan and represented Palestine Islamic Jihad, a small movement increasingly dependent on Iran. Incredibly, at PAIC I observers saw Yasser Arafat in conversation with representatives of HAMAS, and members of the secular (and Marxist) Palestine movements circulated freely and "planned their next move."(16) Arafat -- who like Turabi teethed as a Muslim Brother and was thus well aware of the emerging "predominance of the Islamist trend" -- was reported to have played "a leading role" in Turabi's conclave. However, as was his custom, Arafat used the assembly to overplay his hand and confidently announced that, "Khartoum will become the springboard for the liberation of Jerusalem." 
The conference, in retrospect, was in many ways the springboard for the resurgence of violent Islamism:
 Ironically, many of the mujahideen who attended the PAIC, many of whom were battle hardened in such places as Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kashmir, were not as devoted to the issue of Palestine as most people would think. If Jerusalem was to be liberated they would help, but in the end the task would have to be left to Palestinians. And while all PAIC members were devoted to the elimination of Israel, there had already been a plethora of useless conferences called to address that issue over the previous decade. For the Islamists who dominated the PAIC, issues such as the condition of the Muslim community at large, and the status of Islam in the world itself were of much greater importance than Palestine. Indeed, the conference theme was chosen with care and was one that all could agree on: The battle against Western hegemony. Just how (or if) the PAIC would be used to attack the West and its institutions was not really clarified. Although not as virulently anti-American as the Iranian revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the PAIC still rejected the morals and mores of a "neo-Crusader" invasion that could drown Islamic culture. Thus, under Turabi's tutelage the PAIC broadcast the seeds of an epistemology that urged Muslims to turn away from the secular, hedonistic, and selfish proclivities that dominated the West. And it was reported that Turabi was cheered when he characterized the West as an unchecked tyrannical superpower, the incarnation of a "force materielle absolue et tyrannique," and even though Islam yet remained a "prisoner" of the West, it was and would remain "la conscience du monde."
Turabi attempted to unify the PLO and Hamas in 1993, but failed, as Hamas insisted on being treated as an equal partner in any unity, something Arafat opposed strenuously.

The book also notes how Turabi managed to present a moderate, intellectual face of Islamism to the West while scheming to destroy the West at the same time. He was even the subject of fawning magazine articles:
Educated in the United Kingdom and France, and wonderfully aware of how to manipulate the Western journalist's ego, Turabi evolved as the beau ideal of Muslim fundamentalists. And despite the growing Iranian arrangement, he received a decent press from some Western sources; a Christian Science Monitor article of March 1993 noted that "Sudan's image as a harsh Islamic dictatorship, imposed by fanatical mullahs in consort with Iran, does not exactly fit." The Monitor argued that Turabi was no Ayatollah Khomeini, and unlike the more fanatic Islamists, he was urbane, charming, and immensely well-read. Ostensibly, he presented a kinder, gentler, avuncular face of "Islamic fundamentalism" -- a movement that he himself preferred to label the Islamic renaissance. Indeed, the Sudan tried to project an image of a polity moving toward the idealized Islamic state.

1993 saw both the first World Trade Center attack as well as Arafat signing the Oslo Accords. Yet barely a month after being hailed as a "peacemaker," Arafat made an appearance at the second PAIC conference, as did Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, members of the Taliban and many other prominent Islamists.

The West was mostly clueless to the rise of radical Islam that these conferences heralded, and it remains clueless as to how "secular" revolutionaries were working hand in hand with the Islamists, and Shia with Sunnis, in what was meant to be a pan-Arab and pan-Islamic challenge to the West that would culminate with the 9/11 attacks - and, for Arafat, with the second Intifada. Of course, pan-Arab and pan-Muslim unity never occurred as Turabi hoped, but there has been a lot more cross-pollination between various movements than most realize, and PAIC was a seminal event in the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. And Arafat was an enthusiastic part of it.

There is a lot to read in this book.

(h/t David T)

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Zvi

Blog Archive