Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Abu Yahya al-Libi: "We Are Not Houthis...Nor are We of Them", and Allegations of a Zaydi-Twelver Connection

A new essay by Al-Qa'ida Central's "mufti" [jurist], as many jihadi-takfiris refer to him, was published on February 5 by the Al-Fajr Media Center, a shadowy transnational jihadi-takfiri media outlet that distributes all materials produced by AQC and its regional affiliates, Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al-Qai'da in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) of which Al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq (AQI) is the largest member group.

The essay, entitled "We Are Not Houthis...Nor Are We From (Like) Them," لسنا حوثيين .. لا تدعِ الجِذع وتُبصر القذى, is critical of Saudi Arabia's military involvement in the conflict between the Yemeni government of president 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh (Salih) while continuing to deny Yemeni and Saudi government allegations that AQAP is aiding the Houthis, Zaydi Shi'i rebels in northern Yemen led by 'Abd al-Malik al-Houthi. A more literal translation carries the meaning of, "We are not from the same trunk/root," a phrase similar (though reversed) to that used in a famous hadith [report of the Prophet Muhammad's purported sayings and actions] quoted by Shi'i Muslims in which the Prophet says that he and his cousin and son-in-law, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (the first Shi'i Imam), are "from the same tree/root."

Although Zaydis are much closer to Sunnis in many ways theologically and juridically, and some Islamicists have argued that Zaydi "Shi'ism" is historically and currently more akin to a branch of Sunnism, some Salafi Sunni scholars still consider them to be religiously deviant. On the other side, a popular Twelver Shi'i preacher, 'Ammar Nakshawani, has said that because, reportedly, some Yemeni Zaydis, presumably the Houthis, have "asked" Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid 'Ali Husayni Sistani in Iraq to mediate between them and the Saleh government, it is "reason enough" for Twelver Shi'is to support them. AQAP leaders are harshly critical of "the Rafidah" ["those who reject (the Truth)"], a derogatory term used by some Sunnis for Shi'is generally, Twelvers and others. Shi'is, such as those in Iraq, are seen as allies of the "Crusaders," the United States primarily, and its apostate Muslim allies.

Jihadi-takfiri graffiti from Gaza, signed by the "Salafi-jihadi Youth of Gaza": To the, "Partisans of the Leaders of Jihad [Struggle], the mujahid ["warrior," "one who strives"] shaykh Usama bin Laden, the mujahid-shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the mufti of Al-Qa'ida Central Abu Yahya al-Libi."

While in Yemen during the summer of 2007, and this is strictly anecdotal, Yemeni Zaydis I spoke with mentioned government allegations that the Houthis and other Zaydis were supported by Iran, and the majority were not all that supportive of Twelver Shi'ism, telling me that their creed is much closer to Sunnism. Some Yemeni Zaydis, however, have studied in Iran's Twelver seminaries, including the late Husayn Badr al-Din al-Houthi, the former leader of the Houthi rebellion. Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen, a doctoral candidate in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies program, has said that their were political differences between Husayn and the Iranian government during his stay in the country.

Abu Yahya al-Libi...لسنا حوثيين .. لا تدعِ الجِذع وتُبصر القذى (Feb. 5)
Abu Yahya al-Libi, "We Are Not Houthis...Nor Are We of Them"

1 comment:

sociedade_islamica_do_marananhao said...

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salam i u jihadi