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Americans ‘have made up a new Islam’

Nadezhda Kevorkova
Nadezhda Kevorkova

Nadezhda Kevorkova has worked at RT since 2010, before which she was a special correspondent for ‘Novaya gazeta,’ ‘Nezavisimaya gazeta,’ and ‘Gazeta.’ Kevorkova has also worked extensively in Russian mass-media. As a war correspondent, she covered the Arab Spring, military and religious conflicts, and the anti-globalization movement. She has worked as a reporter in Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Cuba, and in the republics of the North Caucasus, Tatarstan, and in the Far East. In 2001, after an invitation from US State Department, Kevorkova visited a number of states, including Alaska. As a correspondent of 'Gazeta' she reported from Indian settlements in the US. She covered the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ in 2008, 2010 and 2011; she also visited Gaza several times during the blockade. In 2010, Kevorkova was nominated for the ‘International Women of Courage’ award.

Nadezhda Kevorkova has worked at RT since 2010, before which she was a special correspondent for ‘Novaya gazeta,’ ‘Nezavisimaya gazeta,’ and ‘Gazeta.’ Kevorkova has also worked extensively in Russian mass-media. As a war correspondent, she covered the Arab Spring, military and religious conflicts, and the anti-globalization movement. She has worked as a reporter in Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Cuba, and in the republics of the North Caucasus, Tatarstan, and in the Far East. In 2001, after an invitation from US State Department, Kevorkova visited a number of states, including Alaska. As a correspondent of 'Gazeta' she reported from Indian settlements in the US. She covered the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ in 2008, 2010 and 2011; she also visited Gaza several times during the blockade. In 2010, Kevorkova was nominated for the ‘International Women of Courage’ award.

Americans ‘have made up a new Islam’
The US government is trying to destroy the Muslim world from the inside by creating a so-called “American Islam” that leaves just the shell of the religion, Lebanese politician and analyst Dr. Nacib Hoteit told RT.

Hoteit told RT’s Nadezhda Kevorkova about the three pillars of the American model of New Islam, why the US is purging Christians from the Middle East and how the Syrian rebels’ interests fall into line with those of the US and Israel.

RT:Will the US let the Syrian government win?

Nacib Hoteit: It won’t. But the opposition can’t win, either.

RT:So what are the possible future scenarios?

NH: From a realistic perspective, the US will have to make a break. Now it needs to adapt to the new global status quo. They have to maintain a relationship with Russia and respect BRICS. A decade will pass before the Americans recognize they are not the only masters of the world.

But Americans do not take defeat easily. And when they leave, they will start a fire. Angry at Russia and Iran for outdoing them, they will start fighting them.

There are myriads of Takfirists [a Sunni sect that accuses other Muslims of apostasy], who will go back to their home countries and ignite the flames of feud.

The issue of Palestine has been frozen. Israel has suffered a defeat in Syria and wants to win its positions back. If Hamas returns from Qatar and joins forces with the Resistance Front, this would make other scenarios possible. He who has the weapons sets the tune in Palestine. There is no peaceful solution here.

RT:Is there a danger that the Syrian conflict may spill over to Lebanon?

NH: The spillover has already started. The recent blasts in the Dahiyeh neighborhood of Beirut and in Tripoli are both reverberations of the Syrian crisis. There are structures inside Lebanon that work for Syria. And opinions on Syria are highly divergent inside the country. Add to this the 1.3 million refugees, which is a major problem.

Since 1945, every successful or failed coup in Syria has been staged in Beirut. Right now, Lebanon is a backyard for the armed anti-Assad opposition. The people who come here as tourists are also involved in shipping arms to the opposition.

A man walks near burning cars at the site of explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut November 19, 2013.(Reuters / Ahmad Yassine )

RT:So who are these people that continue arming the Syrian opposition?

NH: The majority are Syrians. Others come from Saudi Arabia, Libya and Kuwait. They can easily get into Tripoli. Chechens or Afghans might have difficulty getting there, because they have a different background. But Arabs know our traditions.

RT:How does the situation in Syria affect the voters in Lebanon?

NH: The entire Lebanese electorate – including the Sunni, Shia, Christians – is politically divided between the March 8 and March 14 coalitions. About 55 percent vote for March 8 and 40 percent for March 14.

Most Shiites and Armenians support the March 8 Alliance. So do some Sunnis and many Orthodox Christians.

Other Sunnis support the rival bloc. Some are neutral.

Samir Geagea and Bachir Gemayel, representing the Druze and the Maronite Catholics respectively, back the March 14 coalition.

In Lebanon, every community is divided – except for the Shia, with only 1 or 2 percent opposing March 8, but even these clans have little influence or unity. But even with their divergent political agendas and preferred methods, the Shia groups oppose Israel and support Resistance.

‘Resistance to Israel is in every Lebanese household’

RT:The Syrian opposition claims there is no resistance to Israel in Lebanon.

NH: There is resistance in every household. At least one member of each family is armed and ready to fight. But this is not necessarily armed resistance. It is also an economic and cultural way to oppose global pressure and preserve our lifestyle and tradition.

Free Syrian Army fighters look at a tank taken by defectors from the regular Syrian Army in Al Qusayr .(Reuters / Samuel Jamison)

RT:The irony is that the Syrian rebels, Israel and the US equally hate Hezbollah, angered by its reluctance to support occupation of Syria. What contribution has the Resistance movement made to the situation in Syria?

NH: Propaganda is fueling a feud between the Sunni and Shia because the US’s and Israel’s policy in Syria has failed.

There are actually not so many Hezbollah activists in Syria. And they are not Hollywood superheroes – they are ordinary people.

There are two stages of the Syrian conflict. The first one started as the people rose against the ruling regime. At that time, Hezbollah acted as a balancing power that convinced the government [in Syria] to give peaceful protesters a pass.

Together with the Ikhwan and Hamas they did their best to grant rights to the people. Hezbollah mediated the release of prisoners. For about 18 months, Hezbollah took no military action.

The second stage came when the US decided to remove Assad and build a new regime in Syria, rooting out the anti-Israeli Resistance in the region. And they had to bring everyone together to fight this new threat.

Near [the Syrian border town of] Qusayr, rebels attacked 10 Lebanese villages, killing the locals and burning down their houses. The Lebanese government failed to respond. [Most of those who live on the Syrian border are Lebanese citizens.]

Hezbollah started protecting 22 Shia villages, that’s 30,000 people. Hezbollah found an Israeli cell in al-Qusayr, from where they intended to fight against the Resistance. There were reports that Israel plans an attack on the Beqaa Valley to disrupt communication between Shia villages. In al-Qusayr they set up an arms cache for the Syrian opposition. 

Hezbollah dealt with the phalangists [a term for all those in Lebanon who cooperate with Israel] with efficiency and precision.

They are also present in Mosque of Sayyidah Zaynab [near Damascus], Prophet Muhammad’s granddaughter. Phalangists laid waste to her tomb and blew up the mosque. Every Shia must protect this place. When she herself was captured, there was no one to protect her. Kidnapping a woman is a crime both in the West and in the East. Now protecting Zaynab’s tomb is every Shia’s obligation.

There’s no Hezbollah in other Syrian cities.

‘No unified front, no united leadership’

RT:From time to time the propaganda machine claims that there are Iranians and Russians fighting in Syria.

NH: Iranian military experts have been in Syria since 1982, but there are very few of them. There are no Russian military experts in Syria.

RT:We hear reports about Chechens fighting in Syria. How do they get there?

NH: They come through Turkey and Jordan. The Chechen fighters are concentrated in Aleppo. Many of them fought in Iraq. They’re the core of the Chechen-Afghan group.

Jabhat al-Nusra is part of Al-Qaeda, but its motivation is more based on religion. Among its members are both Lebanese and Palestinian people. Twenty-five Palestinians, I mean Israeli citizens, and some from Palestinian refugee camps.

There are Muslim groups of 100-200 near Saïda, Jund al-Sham and Osno Ansap. They gather 20-30 people and send them to the frontlines.

It’s only small groups that are fighting, there’s no unified front, no united leadership. There was this one “hero” – he had five subordinates and figured he was in charge of a front.

Fighters from Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra prepare a mortar in Nqareen area near Aleppo, November 12, 2013.(Reuters / Mahmoud Hebbo)

RT:So, there are small groups without a unified front, but the Syrian war has been raging for two and a half years. Who has been orchestrating it?

NH: The USA plays the leading role here. Back when the Afghan war began, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as a national security advisor under President Carter, said that America is facing a choice: either to dominate the world or lead it. They tried the first option, but ended up in Afghanistan and Iraq. To try the second one, they need Obama and a civil war in every little state.

In Lebanon, it’s Takfiris and the American intelligence agents that are trying to pit people against each other.

The French taught these techniques to their people in North Africa, and the Americans adopted this method. They gather Arabs and arm them with weapons and Takfiri ideology.

‘Gulf countries sent their prisoners to fight in Syria’

RT:How is it possible for the US to direct this process? It’s hardly popular in the Arab world, especially after 9/11.

NH: The Americans dragged Arabs to Afghanistan to fight against the USSR. They went to el-Sadat and forced him to release [Al-Qaeda leader] al-Zawahiri. They formed special Arab units trained in Afghanistan. The USA invaded Iraq and brought al-Qaeda there with them.

Saudi Arabia is al-Qaeda’s main sponsor. The prisons in the Gulf countries stand empty now – all the prisoners were sent to fight in Syria.

The Americans took notice of the poor in Libya, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, gave them religious slogans and wages. But these people didn’t really have a choice.

The USA is the main player in the international arena, and it plays people and societies as if they were pawns. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are just pawns as well.

They introduced three elements into their new Islam – Takfiris, money and Jihad Al-Nikah.

‘Americans destroy Muslims from the inside’

RT:Could you explain what Jihad Al-Nikah is? 

NH: It’s when women are urged to come to Syria to temporarily become the rebels’ wives. About a hundred Tunisian women came back pregnant.

In Syria, women were kidnapped to service soldiers. This has never happened in Islam. This revolution will not succeed.

The only thing phalangists are talking about in Syria are male and female genitals. Their fatwas are all about that. Saudi Sheikh al-Luhaydan says that driving has a negative effect on childbearing. As if Islam boils down to genitals and intercourse.

Their slogans are nowhere near Muslim tenets. Sunni groups are opposing Sunnis, opposing their own. The USA can’t wage a war here, so they made up this new Islam.

The British were the first to try and create a new Islam, with a tie.

American Islam is as artificial a construct as Christian Zionists. And Jihad Al-Nikah is the main evidence that this isn’t the true Islam.

Instead of liberating Palestine, you can send women to Syria. It is the most dangerous way of brainwashing Muslims.

A female fighter in the Free Syrian Army exchanges her weapon with a fellow fighter in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighbourhood November 6, 2013. (Reuters / Mahmoud Hassano)

Americans propagate war in every family, propagate sexual relationship, they destroy Muslims from the inside. They say that Muslims should be liberated but in fact they are eliminating the essence of Islam leaving just the shell of the religion. Passing Islam to Salafis and leaving Muslims in savagery. They regard women as a source of satisfaction. They don’t regard the US and Israel as enemies and occupiers – but as those who will let them liberate the territories from the otherwise-minded. They believe they will establish a lot of emirates, appoint emirs and banish Christians.

Americans and Israelis want the kind of Islam based on takfir.

RT:How can you explain the fact that Muslims from all over the world have been called to Syria – to the country that never saw clashes between religious communities and whose Christian community is so strong and lives side by side with Muslims?

NH: The US acts against Christians in the East on purpose. In Palestine, Israel cooperated with the US – they wanted to banish Christians out of there. Driving Christians away from Palestine has been continuing since the occupation – they went to great lengths in order to make 120,000 Christians leave Bethlehem in particular.

When the US occupied Iraq, Israelis were in charge of driving away Christians from there and they succeeded.

So there was just Syria left and they switched their attention to it. But in Syria it can only be done by destroying Islam from the inside, removing science and culture.

RT:How will US-Russian agreements on chemical weapons affect the region?

NH: The agreement between the US and Russia is much wider and deals not only with chemical weapons. They discussed plenty of aspects: Iran’s nuclear program, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, the Caucasus. The draft is prepared. The issue of chemical weapons in Syria is a way to enter another issue – chemical weapons of Israel. They even addressed such details as the “Death to America” slogan in Iran.

Clashes between different groups in Syria take place in the run-up to the Geneva-2 conference. The Jaish group threatened to blow up cars at the border if Turkey doesn’t open a checkpoint. 

RT:Is the military tension at the Lebanese-Syrian border now less acute?

NH: It has subsided significantly. The Ercel township is the only checkpoint for weapons. The Lebanese army will shut it down by force.

Starting from August 21, the Syrian Army has been clearing the territory of Syria but the mass media don’t touch this issue. They all are focused on Iran, while the Syrian Army is conducting an attack.

Syrian army forces load a machine gun mounted at the back of a vehicle in the Syrian Christian town of Maalula on Septamber 7, 2013.(AFP Photo / STR)

The hysteria around chemical weapons of August 21 was rooted in two things: first, there was an ambush laid for guerillas, and second, the army carried out a successful offensive. 

We think that the security services, after 2 1/2 years of war, have realized that the phalangists can’t win.

Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar had a deadline till October for dismissing Assad – he wanted to become the king of Saudi Arabia. Bandar takes orders from the US – he is an American who seeks to get the Saudi Arabian throne.

You need two legs to keep walking: one leg is Bandar, the other is Abdullah. But there are also princes – the offspring who seek to get their slice of the pie. Saudi Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef is al-Qaeda’s enemy. Bandar is its leader. They both act [with] the permission of the US. You need different shoes to walk in different lands. 

RT:Is there any information about the two kidnapped bishops?

NH: We don’t know anything. We have no idea why they have been kidnapped. We believe Turkish security services have a hand in it. One of the bishops is the Patriarch’s brother. It was a blow targeted directly at the Orthodox Church, since it goes against war and is the pillar of conciliation in Syria. The slogan of the Church in Aleppo was “peace and accord in Syria.” The Patriarch’s brother played a very important role in the process of conciliation.

Their kidnapping has a knock-on effect on Russia, too. We believe that Turkey is responsible for that, which gives us hope that the bishops are alive. This is the second part of Turkey’s plan, because they have failed in the first one, which implied quickly occupying Syria. 

RT:Some said the bishops had been kidnapped by the Chechens, some said they had been killed.

NH: All these small groups are not independent – they are not autonomous, each has a leader who gives orders.

RT:Do you think there may be a leader who ordered the killing  of the Italian monks?

NH: The Italian monk was killed during the attack on a cloister in Rakka – there was a real mess there.

But talking about the bishops, the Chechens couldn’t have acted independently, not obeying their leaders. Otherwise they will lose their arms corridor. Turkey keeps these groups under control, looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth. It happened a few times, including the incident with chemical weapons. How come there was sarin, the one that was found in the homes of the militants from Jabhat al-Nusra? It was real sarin. But Turkey’s court discharged those people in two weeks, saying they had no idea what kind of weapon they had.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.