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7th Rangers: Mahathir Mohamad Calls – Again – For Islamic Unity By Hugh Fitzgerald


 
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Mahathir Mohamad Calls – Again – For Islamic Unity By Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Our "Great Leader"
Jihad Watch : Fresh from his December fiasco at the mid-December “Islamic Summit” in Kuala Lumpur, which was supposed to help promote “uniting the world’s Muslims,” Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is at it again.
On January 7, following what he called the “immoral” killing of Qassem Soleimani, Mohamad again called for the Muslim world to unite. Perhaps we ought to remind him that at that Kuala Lumpur meeting, only 20 of the 57 Muslim-majority states even bothered to send delegates. Such important Muslim countries as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Indonesia failed to attend.
Even Pakistan, which with Turkey and Malaysia had been one of the three organizers of the conference, chose in the end not to send a delegate after its Prime Minister, Imran Khan, was read the riot act by the Saudi Crown Prince. Nothing was achieved at this four-day meeting; the meeting called to promote “unity” among Muslims instead revealed the deep fissures among them.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Secretary General Yousef al-Othaimeen in Riyadh insisted that such gatherings as the Kuala Lumpur “Muslim summit” would only divide Muslims: “It is not in the interest of an Islamic nation to hold summits and meetings outside the framework of the (OIC), especially at this time when the world is witnessing multiple conflicts.”
That failed attempt at unity was held scarcely a month ago, yet here we have Mahathir again speaking of the need for Muslims to unite after the death of Soleimani. His Sisyphean task is described here:
The world’s oldest premier, who has in recent months stoked diplomatic tensions by speaking out on issues concerning the Muslim world, also said the US drone attack on Soleimani was against international laws.
Which international laws prohibit a state from protecting its own people from imminent attack, with a carefully targeted killing? Does Mahathir Mohamad think the targeted killings of Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and Anwar al-Awlaki, terrorists all, violated “international law”?

What law is he referring to? Has Mohamad forgotten that, according to Article 51 of the UN Charter and customary international law, a State may invoke self-defense, including anticipatory self-defense, to justify its use of force in another State’s territory when an armed attack, having reached a certain threshold of gravity, occurs or is imminent?
Soleimani’s killing in Baghdad has sparked fears of a broader conflict in the Middle East. Mahathir, 94, said it could also lead to an escalation in “what is called terrorism”.
Those “fears of a broader conflict” were, as soon became clear, hysterical. The killing of Soleimani was followed by a limited response from the Iranians who, clearly terrified of Trump, took pains not to kill any Americans, while informing their own people, to save face, that they had killed “80 soldiers  and wounded 200.”
“The time is right for Muslim countries to come together,” Mahathir told reporters. “We are no longer safe now. If anybody insults or says something that somebody doesn’t like, it is all right for that person from another country to send a drone and perhaps have a shot at me.”
The purest hysteria. “We [Muslims] are no longer safe now”? Last I looked, not all Muslims had been carrying out the kind of attacks that Qassem Soleimani is credited with, nor are they all plotting imminent attacks on Americans. Soleimani was not killed, Mahathir Mohamad, because of his “insults” or his saying “something that somebody doesn’t like.” He was killed because he had murdered tens of thousands of people, including 600 American soldiers, and he was planning attacks on embassies that American intelligence had good reason to believe were “imminent.”
Calm down, Prime Minister, such wild charges make you look silly. No  one is after Muslims (“we are no longer safe”); tens of millions of Muslims are living right now, in the lands of the Infidels, in perfect safety. Why, not even those diabolical Israelis have responded to you for all the insults you have hurled in their direction.
Comparing the killing of Soleimani to the 2018 murder of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Mahathir said both happened across boundaries. “This is also another act where one country decides on its own to kill the leaders of another country.”
Mahathir Mohamed should take care to mind his facts. First, Jamal Khashoggi was not a “leader,” but a journalist. Second, he was not killed by agents of “another country,” but by agents of his own country, Saudi Arabia.
“Both are guilty of immoral acts, it is against the law, ” he said, according to the Star.
The killing of Qassem Soleimani, with  the blood of tens of thousands on his hands, and the promise of many more victims, has nothing in common with the killing of a Saudi journalist guilty of nothing more than criticizing his own country’s regime, by agents of that regime. Mahathir Mohamed’s likening of the killing and dismemberment of a journalist whose only weapon was words, with the American targeted killing of someone who was undeniably the world’s most famous terrorist, and was preparing an imminent attack on Americans, is grotesque..
Mahathir Mohamad fails to understand  two things. First, when he deplores the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, clearly pointing at, though not naming, Saudi Arabia, as his executioner, he has chosen the very worst way to promote “Islamic unity.” For the Saudis and their allies — the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt — will be enraged — while other countries that need Saudi money, such as Pakistan, will at least pretend to be, by Mohamad’s bringing up the murder of Khashoggi.
Second, Soleimani’s killing is not deplored, as Mohamad seems to think, by the Muslim world as a whole. Sunnis, who constitute 85% of the world’s Muslims, appear to be mostly delighted. The Saudis are delighted; their official media celebrated the strike. So did the Sunnis in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan.
Even in Iraq, according to reports from Mithal al-Alusi and others, it is not just the Sunnis in Iraq, but also many Shi’a who were enraged at Iran’s, and Qassem Soleimani’s, interference in their country. Mahathir Mohamad is 94 years old. He is the world’s oldest living ruler. Perhaps it’s time, for his own sake, and for that of whatever Muslim “unity” may be possible, that he give it a rest.
The Saudi Crown Prince would no doubt ensure that Mahathir Mohamad’s last years are made very, very comfortable, just as long as he promises to be quiet. For he has, like that Jane Austen heroine, delighted us long enough.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:01 PM  
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