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Interview with Dr Haytham Mouzahem - Spotlight Middle East

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http://english.sahartv.ir/video/spotlight-middle-east-24102013-809

Spotlight Middle East- 24-10-2013 "The Change of Tone" A Syrian solution is the only way to Syrian crisis. This is what President Assad announced in a televised interview. Yet foreign countries insist on interfering. The US maybe withdraws from launching strike against the Syrian regime but does this mean that the US will stop interfering in the Syrian unrest. Could the change of tone be a change of position, are the clashes among insurgents and army groups functioning in Syria the reason for the US to call for a political solution or is it an agreement done between US and Russia to end the crisis? This and a lot more is discussed in this version of Spotlight Middle East with the Journalist and political analyst, Dr. Haytham Mouzahem.

هل يمكن الاستغناء عن الولايات المتحدة اليوم؟

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هيثم مزاحم *

الحياة الخميس ١٤ نوفمبر ٢٠١٣

يقول الباحث الأميركي ولي نصر، إن كتابه الصادر أخيراً (2013)، والمعنون «الأمة المستغنى عنها: تراجع السياسة الخارجية الأميركية The Dispensable Nation يروي قصة سنتين من العمل في إدارة باراك أوباما على حل قضايا الشرق الأوسط الكبير، وهو يهدف من وراء نشر الكتاب، الذي تردد كثيراً في تأليفه، إلى تسليط الضوء على كيفية صناعة السياسة الخارجية الأميركية في عهد الرئيس أوباما وشرح نتائجها على الشرق الأوسط الكبير وعلى الأميركيين أيضاً. ويضيف أن الكتاب يروي ثلاث قصص: القصة الأولى هي قصة إدارة جعلت صعباً جداً على خبراء سياستها الخارجية سماعها، فالكتاب يروي كيف كان كل من وزيرة الخارجية هيلاري كلينتون والممثل الأميركي الخاص في باكستان وأفغانستان ريتشارد هولبروك، وهما شخصان موهوبان ومتفانيان، يقاتلان من أجل إسماع صوتيهما في المبادرات الكبيرة للسياسة الخارجية. لكن السفير الراحل هولبروك، الذي كان ولي نصر كبير مستشاريه بين عامي 2009 و2011، لم ينجح البتة بينما نجحت هيلاري في معركتها وحصل ذلك عندما بدا واضحاً أخيراً أن البيت الأبيض قد استحوذ على صناعة السياسة الخارجية ك…

الخلاف بين الظواهري والبغدادي قد يؤدّي إلى انشقاق "القاعدة"

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بقلم: هيثم مزاحم


أحدث التسجيل الصوتي لزعيم تنظيم "القاعدة" أيمن الظواهري الذي بثته قناة "الجزيرة" الفضائيّة يوم الجمعة 8 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر الجاري ضجّة كبيرة كونه يدعو فيه إلى إلغاء "الدولة الإسلاميّة في العراق والشام" (داعش) ويؤكّد أن "جبهة النصرة في بلاد الشام" هي فرع التنظيم في سوريا، ما يعطي الجبهة غطاءً "شرعياً". لكن "داعش" رفضت على لسان زعيمها أبو بكر البغدادي ما قاله الظواهري، مؤكّدة على أن "داعش" باقية في العراق وسوريا.


Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ar/contents/articles/originals/2013/11/al-qaeda-zawahri-baghdadi-split.html#ixzz2kYUfQ8R5

Internal disagreements could lead to al-Qaeda split

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By Haytham Mouzahem
The audio recording aired by Al Jazeera on Oct. 8  of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has caused quite a stir, in particular because Zawahri called for disbanding the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Zawahri also confirmed that Jabhat al-Nusra was the organization's branch is Syria, giving it the cloak of legitimacy. Meanwhile, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi responded by rejecting Zawahri's call, stressing that ISIS will remain in Iraq and in Syria.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/11/al-qaeda-zawahri-baghdadi-split.html#ixzz2kYU8jWkw

السيّد علي فضل الله: "ملتقى الأديان والثقافات" مبادرة حواريّة لتخفيف الاحتقان الطائفي

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بقلم هيثم مزاحم نشرفي 7 نوفمبر 2013

"إن الله علّمنا أن نحاور كلّ الناس، ولا توجد مقدّسات في الحوار، فقد حاور الله تعالى إبليس، فهل هناك من الناس من هو مثل إبليس؟ كما أن القرآن هو كتاب حوار مع المشركين في توحيد الله، ومع الكافرين في وجود الله وفي نبوّة النبي..."، هكذا أجاب المرجع اللبناني الشيعي الراحل السيّد محمد حسين فضل الله عندما سئل عن ازدياد الحديث عن الحوار بين الأديان في فترة التسعينيات من القرن العشرين.


مناسبة الكلام عن الراحل فضل الله اليوم ودعوته للحوار مع الآخر وخصوصاً مع المسيحيّين والمذاهب الإسلاميّة الأخرى، هو المبادرة التي أطلقها نجله العلامة السيّد علي فضل الله بتأسيس "ملتقى الأديان والثقافات للتنمية والحوار" بمشاركة خمسين شخصيّة من رجال دين مسلمين ومسيحيّين ومفكّرين ومثقّفين من لبنان والعالم العربي والإسلامي.

و"الملتقى" أعلن عنه فضل الله في حفل أقيم في بيروت الثلاثاء 30 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر المنصرم. وقد حضره نواب وسياسيّون وقادة حزبيّون ومثقّفون ومفكّرون وإعلاميّون، أبرزهم رئيس كتلة الوفاء للمقاومة (حزب الله) النائب محمد رعد ورئيس المكتب السيا…

Lebanese Shiite leader launches interfaith dialogue

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By Dr Haytham Mouzahem

"God taught us how to converse with all people. There are no sanctities when it comes to dialogue. God Almighty himself spoke to the devil. Are there people like the devil? Also, the Quran is a book of dialogue with polytheists about the unity of God, and with infidels about the existence of God and the prophecy of Muhammad." This is how the late Lebanese Shiite cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah responded when asked about the increased talk of interfaith dialogue in the 1990s.

The occasion to talk about the late Fadlallah today, and about his call for dialogue with the "Other" — especially with other Christian and Islamic sects — is an initiative launched by his son, the scholar Sayyed Ali Fadlallah. The latter established the "Religions and Cultures Forum for Development and Dialogue," in which 50 different personalities participated, including Muslim and Christian clerics and intellectuals from Lebanon and other countries of the…

Extremism’s roots in Salafism’s literalist interpretation of Islam

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By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem



The Salafist and Wahhabist strains of radical Islam and their differences are worth understanding, as both ideologies have become more influential in the Middle East and North Africa since the Arab Spring revolutions.
“Jihadi Salafism” or the “Takfiri” groups derive from Salafism and Wahhabism, especially from the Al-Qaeda organization and its branches. Since September 11, 2001 some Wahhabis and Salafists have merged with radical Islamists to create “Jihadi Salafism.”
Islamism and especially the Muslim Brotherhood have influenced some Wahhabis, such as Osama Bin Laden, and in return some Islamists have been influenced by Wahhabism as a combination of what some call “Jihadi Salafists” while their enemies describe them as “Takfiri JIhadis.”
Salafism derives from the Arabic word Salafiyya, which originated from the term al-salaf al-salih, which means “the pious predecessors.” This is a reference to the generations of Muslims who lived around the time of the Proph…

Sayyed Ali Fadlallah launches interfaith initiative to contain extremism and sectarianism

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By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem
In 2001, the late Shi’a scholar Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah held a group interview with journalists. Fadlallah was a famous cleric in Lebanon and the Arab world and known in the West since October 23, 1983 when a suicide bomber killed 241 Americans at the U.S. Marine barracks in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. Fadlallah, who died in July 2010, had been accused by the United States of blessing the attack due to his reputation as a “spiritual mentor” of Hezbollah. He vehemently denied both affiliations. He was also the target of an assassination attempt by a car bombing in Beirut in 1985, which according to American leaks was linked to the CIA with collaboration with Saudi intelligence and a Lebanese group. Later, the differences between Fadlallah and Hezbollah publicly revealed that the Islamic Marjaa’ was not at anytime a “spiritual leader” of the Shi’a Lebanese party. Instead, Fadlallah left a legacy of interfaith dialogue and cooperation…

Syrian impasse undermines U.N. peace conference

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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 Ben Jeddo:…

A Look At Jihadi Salafism

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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 through corruption a…