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Tormenting the Souls of Religious Arabs: "Arab Spring' Degrades into Sectarian Counterrevolution

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By Nicola Nasser*

The blind sectarian rampage, which has been waging a war on worship mosques, churches and religious shrines have become a modern Arab trade mark phenomenon, since what the western media called from the start the "Arab Spring" overwhelmed the Arab streets.

The sectarian rampage is sweeping away in its rage cultural treasures of archeology and history, hitting hard at the very foundations of the Arab and Islamic identity of the region, but more importantly tormenting the souls of the Arab Muslim and Christian believers who helplessly watch the safe havens of their places of worship being desecrated, looted, bombed, leveled to the ground and turned instead into traps of death and monuments of destruction by the "suicide bombers" who are shouting "God Is Great."

The only regional precedent for the destruction of worship places on such a scale was the destruction of some one thousand mosques since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. A research by Israeli professor Ayal Banbanetchi, Rapaport noted that after 1948, only 160 mosques remained in the area. In the following years, this number shrank to 40, meaning that 120 were destroyed. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip documented the names and locations of 47 mosques that were destroyed completely and 107 others partially damaged by Israeli bombing during the "Operation Cast Lead" in 2008.

May be because those crimes went unpunished the western public opinion turns a blind eye to the new Arab phenomenon.

Most likely, t he leaders of the Israeli fundamentalist Jewish "Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement" are watching closely and wondering whether the current destruction of mosques by the Muslims themselves would be enough justification to carry out the movement's public threats to build the "third temple" on the debris of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site, in Jerusalem.

It is noteworthy that this destructive phenomenon was an integral part of the "Arab Spring," which so far has ousted two presidents in Egypt and three others in Tunisia, Yemen and Libya, but successfully contained in the Moroccan and Jordanian monarchies.

However containment has been so far unsuccessful in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where the ongoing anti-government mass protests still rage uncontainable to the extent that the tiny island kingdom was forced to invite a Saudi Arabian contingent of the GCC's "Peninsula Shield Force" to move in for help. Nonetheless, opposition sources and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights reported "documented" attacks by "the ruling regime" on 37 Shiite mosques, destroying 27 of them, some one thousand years old.

Islamist Copy of Christian Inquisition

The "Arab Spring" was optimistically named after a season in nature during which life is reborn and was supposed to promise a renewal of the stagnant political, social and economic life in the Arab world, but unfortunately it turned instead into a sectarian season of killing, death and destruction by counterrevolution forces nurtured financially, logistically, militarily and politically by the most conservative among the Arab ruling regimes in the Arabian Peninsula and their U.S. -- led western sponsors and backers.

The sectarian cleansing in Iraq and Syria committed by the exclusionist sectarian zealots has become an Islamist modern copy of the European Christian inquisition in the Middle Ages, with the difference that the old European one was more systematic and organized by the Vatican institution and its allied states while it is perpetrated by uncontrolled sporadic and shadowy gangs of terror in the modern Arab case.

The fact that this horrible phenomenon came into life only with the U.S. -- led invasion then occupation of Iraq in 2003 and exacerbated with the on - record U.S. campaign for a "regime change" in Syria could only be interpreted as an outcome of a premeditated policy to divide and rule in the Arab world.

On last August 24, the Maronite patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai'e told the Vatican Radio: "There is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests and boost inter-confessional conflict between Sunnis and Shiites," adding, "We are seeing the total destruction of what Christians managed to build in 1,400 years" in terms of peaceful cohabitation and coexistence with Muslims.

This interpretation is vindicated, for example, by the fact that both the sectarian ruling antagonists, who were brought to power in Iraq by the invading U.S. army, and the al-Qaida --linked protagonists, whose presence in Iraq coincided with the U.S. occupation of the country and who are waging a sectarian war of terror to remove them from power, were both U.S. -- made warriors, the first as the "democratic opposition" to the national "dictatorship" of late Saddam Hussein and the second as the "freedom fighters" against the military occupation of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union "empire of evil," according to the U.S. propaganda terminology.

In Iraq, the AFP on last May 20 reported that a "war on mosques" still "rages." Seven years earlier the bombing of the dome of the Shiite Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, or the Golden Mosque, was followed by attacks on more than 200 Sunni mosques within two days according to the UN mission in the country. This is indeed a sectarian civil war, but its seeds were sown during the U.S. "Operation Phantom Fury" in 2004 on what Iraqis call "the city of mosques" of Fallujah, where scores of mosques were destroyed completely or damaged by the Americans.

Singling out Plight of Christians Misleading

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
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