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Archive for July 25th, 2013

Of the arm, fist and rifle

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron -- product from a neat, brief convo with Ibn Siqilli aka Chris Anzalone ]
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I found the upper image in the same Visual References post from Chris Anzalone that I recommended recently in two comments here [figs 2, 3, 3B] and here. If you look closely — or is just my poor eyesight? — you’ll see the arm, fist and rifle to the left of the black banner in the upper half of the upper image.

Black banner? Did I just say black banner?

That upper image is the “logo of the Brigade of the Awaited Savior (Katibat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar)” according to Chris, and the text below reads, “O’ One Who Arises (al-Qa’im) [from] the family of Muhammad.”

So there you have Mahdism (the titles al-Muntazar and al-Qa’im are both indicators of the same returning great one as the term al-Mahdi itself) along with the well-known banner…

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What follows I have taken from a post on the Lebanese Expatriate blog, with some minor format changes to give the contents better graphical integration with the rest of the post:

For those with the slightest knowledge about Hezbollah and the Middle East, I am not sharing with you something new, but for those who receive this information as a revelation, check out the resemblance between the emblem of Hezbollah and that of the Pasdaran, a.k.a Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.

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— Hezbollah emblem to the left in yellow. Pasdaran emblem to the right in blue.
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So what’s new? Why am I shedding light on what is already obvious? Why target Hezbollah today, out of all the parties that have been selling Lebanon?

Today, more than ever, Hezbollah and Iran owe Lebanon an explanation. Take a look at the 10 Riyal postage stamp that is circulated in Iran.

 


Iranian 10 Riyal postage stamp showing the emblem of Hezbollah covering the whole map of Lebanon. A clear symbol of the hidden intentions and a direct breach for the sovereignty of Lebanon’s independence as a nation.

The stamp commemorates the martyrs of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Isn’t this an obvious breach of Lebanon’s sovereignty as a nation? I understand the bff relationship between Iran and Hezbollah, but why does Iran need to have Hezbollah’s emblem covering the Lebanese territories instead of the Lebanese flag? Why does Iran need to commemorate the Lebanese martyrs in the first place?

What does Hezbollah have to say about this in the first place? How can Hezbollah justify such a demeaning document? What can its big-bellied, tie-less MPs and representatives say to logically justify this? Will they even attempt to justify it, or consider it normal and not even worth concealing with the whole world’s knowledge of its non-matrimonial marriage to Iran.

As a Lebanese, I ask my government (which is controlled by Hezbollah) to question the Iranian ambassador about the motives of this stamp and ban its circulation.

As a Lebanese, I ask Hezbollah to denounce the usage and circulation of this stamp in Iran and ask the Iranian state for an apology to the Lebanese people and its government.

That’s taken from a post made in January, but I think it is no less relevant today, and adds to the general picture I’m painting.

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I put this post together as the result of an exchange with Chris in which I asked him whether a raised arm with slanted rifle was now a characteristic motif across many or all Shi’a jihadist movements, to which he responded:

Those groups influenced by Hizbullah &, by extension, Iranian Gov’t, seem to favor it, likely b/c it’s used by the Pasdaran.

I then asked whether he’d say Hizbollah got the motif from the Pasdaran or vice versa, to which he replied:

The former.

I stumbled across the DoubleQuote image and accompanying Lebanese Expatriate post myself, searching for the best image of a Pasdaran flag or logo while following up on Chris’ pointer to the Pasdaran — and that gave me yet another use of DoubleQuotes in the wild!

Hat-tip, #FF and thanks, Chris!

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Quiet note to self: compare the arm, fist and rifle motif here with the name of the Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord group in 1970s Arkansas. Most interesting, the way we display value systems in titles and images…

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From the Comments section: jihadist use of DoubleQuotes

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron -- comments on two posts by Chris Anzalone aka Ibn Siqilli ]
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I’m bringing across two comments of mine from DoubleQuotes in the wild and making a separate post out of them — to give them more exposure, to emphasize the importance / interest of the two posts by Chris Anzalone that they are based on — and to be able to reference them in a post I’m currently working on. Both graphics are drawn from Chris Anzalone‘s Visual References post from last month, which gives essential visual support to his article, Zaynab’s Guardians: The Emergence of Shi`a Militias in Syria in the CTC Sentinel, just out.

Here’s the first, with Chris’ comment below:

Nasrallah & Bashar with the Qur'an (Poster)
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An Internet poster showing Hizbullah’s secretary-general Hasan Nasrallah (right) and Syrian president Bashar al-Asad. The photograph of Nasrallah was taken after the 2006 Hizbullah-Israel war and has clearly been edited to show light emanating from the book (presumably the Qur’an). The same is true of the posed image of al-Asad. Both are shown by the designer as pious (thus, presumably, deserving of support).

This pair ties the piety of the politician with the piety of the cleric, making a conceptual bridge between both Lebanon & Syria on the one hand, and politics & religion on the other. Not terribly surprising, but still, cleverly done.

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The use of “doubling” in the double cannibalism images presented below some from a little further into the same Visual References post, but serve a different function, making an association in time rather than one linking two contemporaries… They are designed to suggest that present Sunni brutalities have historical precedent — with tremendous spiritual and emotional resonance. Again, Chris’ own comment contextualizes the images:

1, Hind & Abu Sakkar the Syrian Rebel Heart-eater
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Internet poster comparing Abu Sakkar, commander of a Syrian rebel group, (right), who committed a politically symbolic act of cannibalism on video with an organ (said to have been the liver or heart) from a slain Syrian government soldier in May 2013, and Hind bint ‘Utba (left), one of the Prophet Muhammad’s most virulent enemies before his conquest of Mecca in 630 C.E. In some Islamic historical sources, she is said to have taken a bite of the liver of the Prophet’s uncle, Hamza bin ‘Abd al-Muttalib, who was also one of his greatest warriors, after the Muslims’ defeat at the Battle of Uhud near the city of Madina. The text at the bottom reads: “Some stick to their habits and traditions!!,” referring to Sunni Muslims. The image of Hind and Hamza is a still from Syrian film director Moustapha Akkad’s famous 1977 film The Message about the beginnings of the prophetic career of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Akkad was one of those killed in a bombings of hotels in ‘Amman, Jordan carried out by Al-Qa’ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq, then led by Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi.

Taken together, the two “doublets” linked to above can add rich spoils to our understanding of Shi’a contributions to what Chris calls “the increasing sectarianization of Syria’s civil war”.

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