For those who live here, it's another reminder that Lebanon is never far from the conflict surrounding the creation of Israel.The fact that the history of Islam is filled with episodes of Muslims fighting amongst themselves is apparently irrelevant.
I guess I should have seen it coming when she described one of the sides as a "sunny Islamist group"
Reuters conveniently forgets that the long history of Arabs killing Arabs predates the reestablishment of the State of Israel. At the end of his book The Arabs In History, Bernard Lewis provides a time line (p. 179) of the early history of Islam:
632. Death of MuhammadHistorically, Arabs have not needed Israel as a pretext for killing each other.
656. Murder of 'Uthman--beginning of first civil war in Islam.
657-59. Battle of Siffin
661. Murder of 'Ali--beginning of Umayyad dynasty.
680. Massacre of Husain and 'Alids at Karbala.
683-90. Second civil war
685-87. Revolt of Mukhtar in Iraq--beginning of extremist Shi'a.
More recently, things have not changed. Raphael Patai, in an updated chapter in his book The Arab Mind has a list of Arab conflicts--not involving Israel--just during the 13 years from 1970 to 1983:
1. Intermittent disputes involving border warfare and assassinations between South Yemen on the one hand, and North Yemen and Saudi Arabia, on the other since the early 1970's. A brief but fierce border war between the two Yemens took place as recently as March, 1979.For a more up-to-date list of Islamist violence, there is TheReligionOfPeace.com, which has a list (scroll to bottom of their page)--currently at 11,490--of Islamist attacks around the world since 9/11: including attacks this year in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also in Thailand, Somalia, German, India, Algeria, The Philippines, Sudan, Chechnya, Yemen, and Indonesia.
2. A major and bloody, albeit brief, conflict between Jordan and Palestinian guerrillas in 1970, complicated by Syrian intervention.
3. Fighting between the Kurds and the Iraqis, which lasted several years.
4. A bloody conflict between Northern and Southern Sudan, 1956-1972.
5. Clashes between South Yemen and Oman, linked to the Dhofar rebellion, 1972-1976.
6. A tripartite conflict between Algeria on the one hand and Morocco and Mauritania, on the other, over the control of the former Spanish Sahara, beginning in 1976 and subsequently transformed into guerrilla warfare against Morocco by the Polisario, the freedom fighters of the Western Sahara, supported by Algeria and Libya, which was still in progress in 1982.
7. Intermittent hostility, and actual border fighting, including air attacks, between Egypt and Libya in 1977.
8. The Lebanese civil war, which began in 1975, involving two outside parties, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization, still unresolved in early 1982.
9. The invasion of Chad by Libya in 1980.
10. The war between Iraq and Iran, which began in the fall of 1980, in which Iraq is supported by Jordan and Iran by Syria, making it in effect, an inter-Arab conflict. It was still in progress in early 1982.
11. In February, 1982, a conflict flared up between the Syrian government and Muslim fundamentalists in the Syrian city of Hama, in which several thousands were killed and major parts of Hama were destroyed. [p.357-358]
Reuters should know that throughout history and including today, Islamists in general--and terrorist groups like Fatah and Al Qaeda--do not need Israel in order go around killing Jews, Arabs, and Muslims.
Technorati Tag: Lebanon.