Showing posts from November 1, 2013

Syrian impasse undermines U.N. peace conference

By Haytham Mouzahem Many elements have threatened the United Nations “Geneva 2″ conference that the United States and Russia have agreed to convene in November to end the Syrian war that has killed over than 100,000 people and forced millions to leave their homes. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared on October 21 that “factors are not yet in place” for the scheduled peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland. He said in an interview with Al-Mayadeen television in Beirut, “No time has been set, and the factors are not yet in place if we want Geneva 2 to succeed.” “Which forces are taking part? What relation do these forces have with the Syrian people? Do these forces represent the Syrian people, or do they represent the states that invented them? There are many questions about the conference…What is the framework of the conference?” Assad asked. Assad has not ruled out running for re-election in 2014. He responded to the question of Al-Mayadeen’s Chairman of the Board, Ghassan

A Look At Jihadi Salafism

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem   Professor Radwan Al-Sayed is professor of Islamic studies at the Lebanese University and a current member of the political bureau of Lebanon’s Future Party. Professor al-Sayed spoke exclusively with The Atlantic Post about the rise of “Jihadi Salafism,” a movement and ideology used to describe the beliefs of Salafi Muslims who became interested in violent jihads – meaning “struggles” or “holy wars” – in the mid-1990s. The Salafi phenomenon, explained al-Sayed, was born in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Radical Salafis first declared jihad against non-Muslim countries before focusing their efforts increasingly on Muslim countries. The rise of Jihadi Salafism led to an insurrection by radical figureheads, including Juhayman al-Otaybi, whose 1979 movement against Saudi leadership eventually led to his three-week takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site. Al-Otaybi claimed that the royal al-Saud family had lost its legitimacy thr