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The Kurds: From Salahuddin (RA) until 2019

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 16th October 2019 10:00

Part 1:

The Kurds are a proud, fierce and battle hardened race right near the heartlands of Islam. Muslims owe to the Kurdish race because they have single handily rescued Muslims from dire annihilation of Islam in certain regions. The 3 major Kurd heroes which the Ummah of Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) owes a debt of gratitude are:

  1. Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi (RA) [1137-1193]: Brought back Palestine under the rule of Islam
  2. Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (RA) [1263-1328]: Destruction of Bid’ah, halting extremism in Taqleed, halted the rise of Shia propaganda and revival of (physical) Jihad, it is the last two achievements in which he truly excelled.
  3. Said Nursi (RA) [1877-1960]: Kept Islam alive in Turkish universities despite brutal crackdown by Secularists giving rise to leaders like Erdogan today

None of these leaders were perfect by any means but we make Dua for Allah Ta’ala to forgive their sins and grant them the highest ranks in paradise (Ameen).

Kurds are spread across (present day) Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Syria and their geographic spread gives them unique advantage. They have access, knowledge and fluency of local culture across the prominent (Arab & Non-Arab) lands and can easily melt into either the Arab or Non-Arab divide.

The Kurds believe that they are the (true) descendants of Sayyiduna Nuh (AS) and ascribe themselves to the region of Mount Ararat where (apparently) the Ark of Sayyiduna Nuh (AS) landed after the storm. The Kurdish word for this mountain is “Ağrı” and the Kurds ascribe their specific origin to be from a location called “Kurdava” which would be in present day Turkey in the "Agri" province of Turkey




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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 16th October 2019 10:17
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (RA) [1263-1328]: Destruction of Bid’ah, halting extremism in Taqleed, halted the rise of Shia propaganda.....

In the raucous created by the innovators I am usually for Imam Ibn-e-Taimiyyah's struggle against Shiaism.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 16th October 2019 11:45

Part 2: Kurds & the Military Rebellion against the Ottoman Empire

The aim of the British empire was to weaken and then eventually dismember the Ottoman empire. This was to be achieved by two distinct pieces on the chessboard as follows:

  1. Arab Nationalism: British empire backed the Arabs, promised them Independence and autonomy and it is well known. The Arabs rose against the (Non-Arab) Turks and weakened the Ottomans enabling British advancement in the Middle east. We will leave it here as it is well known
  2. Kurd Nationalism: The British sought to stoke the feelings of nationalism among the Kurds and also gave them the illusion of freedom and Independence, further weakening the Ottoman empire.

The Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) weakened the iron grip of the Ottomans over their land. In the years leading up to and during the wars Ottomans were not able to militarily exert control so they gave greater autonomy to various regions of the Islamic Caliphate.

Kurd rebellion Starts

Sheikh Ubeydullah Nehri (RA) who was a Sunni Naqshbandi Shaykh was personally called upon by the Khalifa to join the Jihad against the Russians which he did along with thousands of his Mureeds. During this Jihad, the (untrained) Mureeds fought alongside (trained) Ottoman army and there were disputes and disagreements. The treatment of Kurds at the hands of (Turk) Ottoman bred resentment in the heart of the Shaykh. After the Jihad, he collected thousands of his men and took (physical) control of several Ottoman cities. The area fell between the Shia (present day Iran) and Sunni (present day Turkey) this rebellion was (easily) crushed by trained Ottoman forces and the Shia militias. The British were aware of this rebellion as reported in the foreign office correspondence:

Clayton, a British colonial officer in the region, reports to his superior, Trotter that “Sheikh Obeyd Ullah is working hard to extend his influence. He is ingratiating himself with the Christians and  large  numbers  of  the  latter  have  migrated  from  Gever  into  the  Sheikh’s  immediate neighbourhood in order to enjoy his protection from other Kurds. There can be no doubt that he still meditates throwing off the Turkish rule. On the other hand Bahri Bey, Samih Pasha’s aide-de-camp,  is  to  start  this  week  to  bear  to  the  Sheikh  the  decoration  that  the  Sultan  has bestowed upon him” (FO 195/1315 No. 20, Van, 25th May 1880).

The Caliph pardoned Shaykh Ubeydullah (RA) as his crime was deemed not to be rebelling (against the Caliph which was punishable by death) but working for the rights of the beglected people. However, he was exiled first to Istanbul and then Hijaz where he passed away.

Shaykh Ubeydullah (RA) was from a noble family, Sunni and a great scholar of Fiqh and Tasawuff, his work on Mathnwi of Maulana Rumi (RA) is known in our times. He was greatly admired and revered by Kurds to this day. It is likely that due to being a "Hanbali" (as a result die-hard Anti-Shia and Anti-Bid'ah) he was trying to reform the Muslims by taking control of various lands. He must have also come across the (Secular) Ottoman troops when he waged Jihad alongside them and it further deepened his concerns about their Islam, we really cannot be certain.

But nothing in his records suggest him to be a sellout or be on anyone's payroll, he appears to be a Sunni Muslim scholar but he did make distinct and clear calls towards "Kurdish Islam" which today can be viewed as "Kurdish Nationalism", there was no elements of Secularism in his movement at all.

During the Ottoman empire, we see plenty of Muslim (Sunni) Scholars calling for return to Qur'aan and Sunnah in their way, preaching, making Jihad, rebelling, capturing lands...There was no central cohesion or strategy these Ulama were acting as they saw fit.

However, the rebellion of Shaykh Ubeydullah (RA) against the Ottoman did give rise to and became the cornerstone of "Kurdish Nationalism"

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 16th October 2019 12:10

Part 3: Kurds & the Political Rebellion against the Ottoman Empire

The Committee of Union and Progress (إتحاد و ترقى جمعيتی‎) was the first organized political rebellion against the Ottomans. One of the founding members was İshak Sükuti (Kurd) and one of the most active members was another Kurd by the name of Abdullah Cevdet. Both of them were "Secular" and viewed the Ottomans and as an extension (Sunnah) as backwards and thoughts that the Caliphate needs to be (reformed).

The rebellion of Sheikh Ubeydullah Nehri (RA) was "Islamic" and supported by ordinary Kurds.

The political involvement of CUP was "Secular" and disconnected with ordinary Kurds. However, CUP Kurds were university spoken, articulate and easily mingled with the political establishment in Europe. These "Secular Kurds" traveled far and wide in the Ottoman lands and beyond in Europe.

Abdullah Cevdet was shunned by Ulama, he abandoned Sunni Islam and when his coffin was brought back to Istanbul (from Europe), nobody claimed his body and none of the Sunni Turks wanted to perform his Janazah. His Funeral prayers were performed by writers and Journalists.


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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 24th October 2019 08:03

US has betrayed the Kurds for the 8th time

theintercept.com/2019/10/07/kurds-syria-turkey-trump-betr...

1 — Like many other nationalisms, Kurdish nationalism blossomed during the late 1800s. At this point, all of the Kurdish homeland was ruled by the sprawling Ottoman Empire, centered in present day-Turkey. But the Ottoman Empire collapsed after fighting on the losing side of World War I. This, the Kurds understandably believed, was their moment.

The 1920 Treaty of Sèvres completely dismembered the Ottoman Empire, including most of what’s now Turkey, and allocated a section for a possible Kurdistan. But the Turks fought back, making enough trouble that the U.S. supported a new treaty in 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne. The Treaty of Lausanne allowed the British and French to carve off present-day Iraq and Syria, respectively, for themselves. But it made no provision for the Kurds.

This was America’s first, and smallest, betrayal of the Kurds. At this point, the main Kurdish betrayals were handled by the British, who crushed the short-lived Kingdom of Kurdistan in Iraq during the early 1920s. A few years later, the British were happy to see the establishment of a Kurdish “Republic of Ararat,” because it was on Turkish territory. But it turned out that the Turks were more important to the British than the Kurds, so the United Kingdom eventually let Turkey go ahead and extinguish the new country.

This was the kind of thing that gave the British Empire the nickname “perfidious Albion.” Now America has taken up the perfidious mantle.

2 — After World War II, the U.S. gradually assumed the British role as main colonial power in the Mideast. We armed Iraqi Kurds during the rule of Abdel Karim Kassem, who governed Iraq from 1958 to 1963, because Kassem was failing to follow orders.

We then supported a 1963 military coup — which included a small supporting role by a young Saddam Hussein — that removed Kassem from power. We immediately cut off our aid to the Kurds and, in fact, provided the new Iraqi government with napalm to use against them.

3 — By the 1970s, the Iraqi government had drifted into the orbit of the Soviet Union. The Nixon administration, led by Henry Kissinger, hatched a plan with Iran (then our ally, ruled by the Shah) to arm Iraqi Kurds.

The plan wasn’t for the Kurds in Iraq to win, since that might encourage the Kurds in Iran to rise up themselves. It was just to bleed the Iraqi government. But as a congressional report later put it, “This policy was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting. Even in the context of covert action ours was a cynical enterprise.”

Then the U.S. signed off on agreements between the Shah and Saddam that included severing aid to the Kurds. The Iraqi military moved north and slaughtered thousands, as the U.S. ignored heart-rending pleas from our erstwhile Kurdish allies. When questioned, a blasé Kissinger explained that “covert action should not be confused with missionary work.”

When questioned, a blasé Kissinger explained that “covert action should not be confused with missionary work.”

4 — During the 1980s, the Iraqi government moved on to actual genocide against the Kurds, including the use of chemical weapons. The Reagan administration was well aware of Saddam’s use of nerve gas, but because they liked the damage Saddam was doing to Iran, it opposed congressional efforts to impose sanctions on Iraq. The U.S. media also faithfully played its role. When a Washington Post reporter tried to get the paper to publish a photograph of a Kurd killed by chemical weapons, his editor responded, “Who will care?”

5 — As the U.S. bombed Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991, George H.W. Bush famously called on “the Iraqi military and Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands, to force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside.” Both Iraqi Shias in southern Iraq and Iraqi Kurds in northern Iraq heard this and tried to do exactly that.

It turned out that Bush wasn’t being 100 percent honest about his feelings on this subject. The U.S. military stood down as Iraq massacred the rebels across the country.

Why? New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman soon explained that “Mr. Bush never supported the Kurdish and Shiite rebellions against Mr. Hussein, or for that matter any democracy movement in Iraq” because Saddam’s “iron fist simultaneously held Iraq together, much to the satisfaction of the American allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia.” What the U.S. wanted was for the Iraqi military, not regular people, to take charge. “Then,” Friedman wrote, “Washington would have the best of all worlds: an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein.”

6 — Nevertheless, the dying Iraqi Kurds looked so bad on international television that the Bush administration was forced to do something. The U.S. eventually supported what was started as a British effort to protect Kurds in northern Iraq.

During the Clinton administration in the 1990s, these Kurds, the Iraqi Kurds, were the good Kurds. Because they were persecuted by Iraq, our enemy, they were worthy of U.S. sympathy. But the Kurds a few miles north in Turkey started getting uppity too, and since they were annoying our ally, they were the bad Kurds. The U.S. sent Turkey huge amounts of weaponry, which it used — with U.S. knowledge — to murder tens of thousands of Kurds and destroy thousands of villages.

7 — Before the Iraq War in 2003, pundits such as Christopher Hitchens said we had to do it to help the Kurds. By contrast, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg had this dour exchange with neoconservative William Kristol on C-SPAN just as the war started:

Ellsberg: The Kurds have every reason to believe they will be betrayed again by the United States, as so often in the past. The spectacle of our inviting Turks into this war … could not have been reassuring to the Kurds …

Kristol: I’m against betraying the Kurds. Surely your point isn’t that because we betrayed them in the past, we should betray them this time?

Ellsberg: Not that we should, just that we will.

Kristol: We will not. We will not.

Ellsberg, of course, was correct. The post-war independence of Iraqi Kurds made Turkey extremely nervous. In 2007, the U.S. allowed Turkey to carry out a heavy bombing campaign against Iraqi Kurds inside Iraq. By this point, Kristol’s magazine the Weekly Standard was declaring that this betrayal was exactly what America should be doing.

With Trump’s thumbs-up for another slaughter of the Kurds, America is now on betrayal No. 8. Whatever you want to say about U.S. actions, no one can deny that we’re consistent.

The Kurds have an old, famous adage that they “have no friends but the mountains.” Now more than ever, it’s hard to argue that that’s wrong.

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