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Yemen, the next laboratory for terrorism

Ezzadine Said Al Asbahi , Sunday 29 Nov 2020
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Views: 3614

The Houthi militia in Sanaa issued on 25 November a court ruling stipulating that 91 Yemeni politicians and media figures are to be executed, including myself.

The ruling has no value per se, and from an ethical point of view, it is an advantage because it is only natural to stand on the opposite side of any bigoted group and be against the rule of any fascist militia.

In reality, the Houthi militia kills Yemenis on a daily basis, and after six years of destruction, there is not a single household that has not experienced lasting grief and great devastation because of this militia.

The aim of this court ruling is to seize people's properties, which have been plundered as well.

I rather seek to discuss the issue in a more holistic manner given the importance of what is going on. The ruling confirms the reality of the Houthi group as the most bigoted of all extremist groups in Yemen.

I also want to raise the question here with regards to a circle of international analysts and media figures who consider their overt or covert support of this group and its practices as wisdom and moderation. How would the latter, and the international mediators, as a minority of supporters, explain to us and to the world the continued madness and extremism of such an unruly militia, while advocating that it can accept a peace dialogue?

What is happening is a complete collapse that Yemen is facing due to a subversive group that has taken control of the decision-making spheres, and is practicing a frightening fascist approach together with a systematic repression that reinforces the fragmentation of Yemen on all levels, in such a way that makes it impossible for us to regain the safety of this country for decades to come.

This confirms that the loose international attitude towards a terrorist group is a blessing for the continuation of an approach that cannot be dealt with through diplomacy only, should our goal be to make it disappear in order to make room for peace.

What if the world had dealt with the rise of Nazism and fascism in Europe with the same logic that the current international analysts adopt towards the situation in Yemen?

And what would the situation be like if we insisted on the necessity of dealing with ISIS in Iraq and Syria with the logic of diplomacy and had the Islamic State sign a joint statement for sharing power?

There is no intimidation here (nor a personal goal). It is an objective vision that many representatives of the international community ignore, either intentionally or because of a lack of knowledge, but the danger is there and it is increasing.

The Houthi group is ignored, and it continues to grow and proliferate, not only militarily but also ideologically, to the extent that it has become a modus operandi that inspires every extremist group.

The world’s and the sub-region’s belittling of what is happening in the Houthi-controlled areas raises both sadness and anxiety and reminds us of the emergence of the Arab-Afghan extremism, or even the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, which the international community dealt with in the beginning with disdain and even protectionism, and sometimes sympathy, by providing refuge to many of its leaders by the time the extremist movement would only attack its opponents from among the people of its country.

The matter then developed into international terrorism targeting international communities which previously supported it or contributed to supporting it through their blessed silence.

And here we are, creating a new hatchery in Yemen that some international analysts overlook, and see its danger as only pertaining to a part of Yemeni geography, and that it will be an obedient and cooperative militia, repeating, hence, the same mistake they made when initially dealing with Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Yemen, today, is another laboratory for a new face of extremism and terrorism that is much more sophisticated, and even more cohesive than the experiences of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

A little logic shows the features of development and danger. Seven years ago, we and the international community were looking after the grievances of a county in the far end of Yemen, called Saada, advocating that it was entitled to obtain development opportunities. Then it became a militia that wanted partnership in all forms of governance, then it overthrew the state and killed its institutions.

And now we are also talking about an armed movement that wants to liberate the Arabian Peninsula and announce (the idea of the Quranic march) that goes beyond Yemen’s jurisdiction to an extremist caliphate that is fighting infidelity everywhere.

Do take note of the daily focus on showing the Houthi militia as being part of the so-called axis of resistance (to Israel and America), and not just as a rebel group against the Yemeni government.

This is an issue that is growing every day and is gaining supporters and advocates in the whole region, not just in Yemen.

That is why when the Houthi group in Sanaa issued rulings against President Trump and dozens of world and Arab leaders over the past months, some reacted with much contempt and trepidation, and still do. While sarcastically claiming, how could the Houthi group, isolated in the mountains of Yemen, threaten these leaders and their countries?

They forget, out of ignorance, how the extremist organisations have created terrorism through fatwas and rulings, and the extent to which the idea has grown among followers who then form their own organisations, prosecute others, and destroy all their opponents.

Like extremist movements around the world, organisations proliferate through dedicated individuals who are able to harm without necessarily being positioned under one organisational umbrella.

Terrorism succeeds, rather, whenever and wherever it becomes a widespread idea.

Al-Qaeda’s leadership ended in the caves of Afghanistan, which are more complex than Yemen, but its idea is flourishing everywhere, including in the countries of Europe or America and among the circles that are far from illiterate laymen to students in international universities and schools.

These are poisonous winds that do not stop at a limit once they are unleashed from their bottles. They find it helpful to look weak in the beginning, and their prosperity is then consecrated through those who advocate their quintessential purity without fear, as they have specific grievances and seek to undermine their small surroundings, which in this case are parts of Yemen that are resistant to it. Then the world wakes up to a new nightmare of terrorism.

In this regard, the matter in Yemen is crystal clear, and not a speculation (even if international analysts hate it), as the Houthi group is moving at an accelerated pace to be the most important laboratory for the graduation of regiments of young fighters who will rule the planet and carry out the Quranic march according to what they claim, and their supporters will not be Yemenis only, nor will their arena be Yemen alone. It will be larger than Arabia and its Gulf.

This is what is happening now in Yemen, and if it is left unaddressed, it will worsen every day and its dangers shall increase, the most prominent of which is the promotion of hate speech and bigoted logic, in which all others see a project for corpses to be trampled upon, in order to rule the region, because the world makes through its silence a disaster that goes beyond compromising peace and wisdom in Yemen.

Yes, it is a project that can be defeated now, if we change the strategy of confrontation, and if international vigilance takes place, and before that, the region’s vigilance against the danger of what is happening in Yemen in terms of collapse and destruction, whose repercussions will affect everyone.

The project will be defeated if this international vigilance occurs, while rigorously addressing the danger of the Houthi militia project in Yemen and stopping it, and with the Yemenis continuing to resist, ending their conflict, and rallying around the project of a civil democratic state with courage and bravery.

* The writer is the Ambassador of Yemen to Morocco

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