Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Al Iman South, new religious university opens in Aden

Filed under: Religious, al Iman — by Jane Novak at 6:21 pm on Sunday, October 21, 2012

Aden Tomorrow: Recently opened in the city of Aden branch of the University of faith .. They university founded by and run by Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani, a wanted man internationally on charges of terrorism, has failed the former president and current in his recent visit to the United States to convince the president of dropping the man’s name from the black list as stated in some leaks.

“Islamist Movements in Yemen” published by the Center for Arab Unity Studies

Filed under: Civil Society, Demographics, Religious, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 10:55 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book review in Al Monitor,Rise of Radical Islam in Yemen Altering Its Tribalism, Book Finds

Al Monitor: How can a country with a tribal society also see the spread of Islamic political movements? In anthropology, radicalism and tolerance are contradictory. In his book “Islamist Movements in Yemen” — published by the Center for Arab Unity Studies in Beirut — Dr. Abdul Malik Mohammed Abdullah Issa says that tribes constitute nearly 85% of the total Yemeni population and that there are 168 tribes in Yemen.

At the heart of this tribal social structure is also an Islamic religious identity. Yemeni society has historically been very religious. Although there are political differences within Yemeni society, there have not been ideological or religious differences except in a few cases — for example between Zaydi Shiite Houthis and Salafist Sunnis — and this is because most of Yemeni society belongs to the Shafi’i and Zaydi sects (there also used to be some Jews but most of them have emigrated to Israel).

Issa demonstrates that Yemeni society has historically been pragmatic. Yemenis come from one dynastic line from among the Arab Qahtani and Adnani lines. Yemeni society is highly tribal and religiously Muslim, divided between the Shafi’i and Zaydi sects. In his book, Issa explains the nature of these to sects and notes that there are very few differences between them. There are also some Ismailis, Hanafis, Abayidas, and Twelver Shiites, who came from Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s rule, and Wahhabis, who came from Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

al Zindani interview English

Filed under: Religious, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 7:42 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

AJE: Attacks against civilians from the West were forbidden, he said. When pressed, he distinguished between diplomats and soldiers – referring to the 50 US Marines controversially deployed to the US Embassy for protection after attacks.

Rather than openly endorsing attacks on soldiers, he preferred to mention those who should not be targeted.

“If there are civilian people and military trainers who the Yemeni government use to train [the army] for a limited time, they have protection guarantees,” he said. “But to bring forces for occupation which could expand – this is what we reject.” — (Read on …)

CCYR denounces takfirism by officials, asks Islah to clarify position

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Islah, Religious, Transition — by Jane Novak at 2:42 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saleh frequently resorted to denouncing his opponents in religious terms and framing armed clashes as legitimate jihad with fatwas from his clerics. The CCYR supports equal rights, intellectual freedom and a civil foundation for the impending state and is highlighting the increasing use of fatwas and taqfirism by hard liners to short circuit reform, and intimidate the public at large and activists in particular.

Yemen: Civic Coalition of Youth Revolution condemns Takfirism campaign

“The Civic Coalition of Youth Revolution” CCYR has reviewed the dangers besetting the homeland and revolution with its supreme goal of the new democratic civil Yemen, for sake of which people made big sacrifices.

The CCYR noticed a most important hint in such a historical moment represented in a return to language of Takfeer /Takfirism, exclusion and cancel of others . These are the same values practiced by the former regime throughout 33 years, for which the people of Yemen took to streets.

Most importantly is that it is an influential player within one of the biggest joint meeting parties’ components that practices such behavior and while such a player did not abide by the declared political program of the Islah party, it also did the same for the first goal of revolution represented through establishing the new civil democratic country that respect freedom of thought, belief and of expression.

The CCRY, having condemned such behavior of past black era logic, confirms continue peaceful struggle against any obstacles facing the new Yemen dream of the people.

The CCYR calls Islah leadership to express their attitude towards such practices in a clear manner, for it is an influencing individuals in Islah party who did so.

The CCYR informs all forces of modernization and civilians with care about future of Yemen to practice role of raising awareness on such risks and to fight them everywhere.

The CCYR confirms solidarity with all involved in the Takfirism campaign, Bushra Almaqtary, Fikry Qassem, Salah Aldakak, Muhsen Aed, Sami Shamsan, Adel no’man being last of them.

Civil society activists condemn Yemeni scholars’ fatwa on writer as politically motivated exploitation of religion

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Media, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:36 pm on Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rejecting Taqfirism flat out. And they are correct that a civil state does not reject religion but protects the rights of all religious persuasions equally.

RSF condemns the Takfeer campaign against Yemeni writers

A statement released by Revolution Salvation Front (RSF) on the apostasy campaign against the Yemeni writer, Bushra al-Maqtari

Condemnation Statement

O’ great people..O’ revolutionaries and freedom seekers in all squares of freedom and change
In deliberate abuse to the freedom of belief and approaching elimination and dominance of religion employing, the Yemeni writer Mrs. Bushra al-Maqtari, subjected to Takfeer (apostasy) campaign by known extremist groups.

Recently, these groups issued Fatwa, an Islamic edict by clerics, named as “The Olama’s Fatwa on abuse the Islam and Allah”, in which they named four writers: Bushra al-Maqtari, Fikry Kasim, Muhsin A’aid and Sami Shamsan of being “abused Islam” and described with “apostasy” and “Kufrism”.

The Fatwa elaborated by talking about an article of writer Bushra Maqtari, reported some of severed phrases from the article and interpreted it according their special orientation and political purpose for abuse and incitement to murder against the writer.

The RSF deplores and condemns this unjust Fatwa and that was not in fact Fatwa as it is just exploitation of religion for the liquidation of opponents to insert illegal ambitions, seeking to provoke sedition in society and exclusion of political opponent bigotry and bad interpretation of words away from its meanings.

It rejects the Takfeer at all. The so-called “Olama’s Fatwa on abuse the Islam and Allah” only regarded as a matter of political exploitation of religion to rein the other opinion and intellectually terrify. Such method already used by the same extremist groups against others and authorized the killing of children and women during previous political conflicts especially those infamous fatwa issued against the Yemen southerners during the civil war in 1994, misbelieved as “the war of apostasy and separation”. As well, many writers subjected to such Fatwas, as Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Maqalih and Dr. Hamood al-Awdi.

The RSF warns against going too far in using and monopoly religious and national eligibility by a group extremists and radicalists as Saleh’s regime did to weaken and exclude opposition opponents. Such behavior regarded as a crime must not be silent by the community.

It considered use of the mosques and public spaces to incite against other faiths, beliefs and ideologies as a blatant open call for incitement to murder and crime must be punished.

In this regard, the RSF calls upon the Ministry of Endowment to prevent the use of mosques to religious Takfeer, sedition and hatred in the community.

RSF also calls on political parties, human rights and civil society organizations, social and revolutionary representations, thinkers, writers and all the people to respond to such serious actions that threaten the security, stability and safety of the community.

RSF condemns the sites that published writings of abusive terms such as NabaNews and YemenPress, demanding to be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Issued by The Peaceful Revolution Salvation Front
Date 03/02/2012

Fatwa is here and Gt’d here in article entitled: “The text of the fatwa, and the image” .. scientists Yemen opinion about insulting the divine: the article described Bushra Maqtari, and demanding closure of sites that published her article, and called for abusers to declare repentance”

Interesting to note that AQAP in Jaar banned some of the same newspapers that the scholars are also railing against.

A letter supporting activist Ms. Bushra Maqtari under threats in Taiz

Filed under: Islah, Media, Religious, Taiz, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:00 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

I add my support. Google translation below:

بيان إدانة واستنكار

في استهداف واضح ومتعمد لحرية التفكير والتعبير، واستمرار لنهج الإقصاء والاستقواء بالدين؛ تتعرض الكاتبة بشرى المقطري لحملة تكفير من قبل جماعات متطرفة تعمد إلى استحضار ثقافة إلغاء العقل، وتجريم الفكر الحر.

وأطلت القوى الظلامية المدججة بفتاوى الإلحاد وتغليب منطق التكفير على رؤى التفكير مجدداً بحملة واسعة النطاق على خلفية مقال كتبته بشرى المقطري الناشطة في أهم ساحة من ساحات الثورة، ساحة الحرية بتعز، لتستعيد موروث التكفير، وتعمل على التحريض ضد الكاتبة بهدف إرهابها، ومنعها من ممارسة حقها في التعبير عن الرأي، قبل أن تتطور تلك الحملة حتى وصلت حدّ التحريض على استهداف حياة المقطري، وقيادة مجاميع متطرفة للمطالبة بإدانتها واستهداف حياتها بحجة الإساءة إلى الدين والذات الإلهية.

إن التكفير هو الداء الرجيم الذي دفعت اليمن ثمنه باهظا من ثلاثينيات القرن الماضي، وقتل بسببه أفضل علماء اليمن ومفكريها بتهمة اختصار القرآن، وشنت بواسطته حرب ضارية على الثورة اليمنية في الشمال والجنوب بتهمة الإلحاد والكفر.

وكان التكفير هو السلاح الذي اغتيل بواسطته أهم مناضلي الثورة اليمنية أيضاً، مثلما كان أحد أهم أسلحة علي عبد الله صالح الذي نشره في طول اليمن وعرضها، حيث تشهد اليمن هذه الأيام سقوط مدن وبلدات بأيدي التنظيمات التكفيرية التي تقاوم الدولة وتقيم إماراتها الخاصة التي تمارس فيها نهجاً وحشياُ في التعامل مع البشر، فتنتهك الحقوق والحريات، وتعدم الأبرياء أو تشوه أجسادهم بزعم إقامة الحدود كما يحدث في جعار وزنجبار ورداع.

إن شن حملة التكفير على الكاتبة بشرى المقطري على إثر مقال كتبته خلال الأسبوع الماضي هو امتداد لثقافة النظام الذي قامت الثورة ضده، والصمت الجبان على هذه الحملة التكفيرية هو معادل لفعل التكفير. (Read on …)

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