[Marxism] Behind Black Flag in Syria

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Sun Nov 17 07:45:52 MST 2013

> Black Flag
> http://aramhamath.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/black-flag.html?spref=tw
> I'm sure many Syrians outside in the diaspora, only able to follow
> events on the ground through the medium of the internet, have noted,
> with no small amount of worry, the seeming lack of Syrian 
> revolutionary
> flags, and the prominence of various types of "Islamic banners", be it
> those brandished by rebel brigades or in whatever peaceful
> demonstrations still occur in Syria despite it being a time of war now
> (sadly).
> While I am certainly not an "Islamist" in the conventional sense, I
> would not consider myself a secularist or liberal either (I'm still
> working it out), so popular religious sentiment doesn't bother me (on
> the contrary) as it might do for more secular Syrians, be they inside 
> or
> outside the country. Regardless, it worried me as well initially,
> because it raised the possibility that the original goals of the
> revolution were being lost, that of freedom for Syrians of all 
> stripes,
> to be replaced by a widespread call for an "Islamic state" (a vague
> concept even for its most vociferous proponents, who haven't bothered 
> to
> flesh out what it means or entails).
> I recently spent a week, working in liberated areas in Idlib and 
> Aleppo
> governorates. I cannot say that I saw many revolutionary flags, and
> various flags and banners with the shahadah were much more prominent, 
> at
> rebel checkpoints or in people's shops or houses. In a large town near
> Aleppo, the black flag, as I call it, was everywhere. On the walls of
> people's houses and shops, or flying from lamp-posts and so on.
> I would tell you a bit more about the town. During the fight against 
> the
> regime, most of the population fled, with someone telling me how it 
> was
> reduced from 25,000 to 2,000, with FSA rebel fighters hiding in the
> hills on the outskirts of the town. Despite great odds, and precious
> little help, they managed to liberate the whole town, and capture the
> town's huge military base for themselves. Thankfully, the townspeople
> returned, and the population has now swelled to 50,000, what with the
> obvious influx of refugees.
> I'm sure you can imagine how difficult and hellish that period of 
> their
> lives must have been. Thankfully the town is tens of kilometres from 
> the
> front against the regime in Aleppo, and the town is entirely liberated
> and free. While obviously the situation is far from perfect, it is in
> better shape than most other places, praise God.
> The Syrian revolution started out as peaceful protests to try and 
> induce
> this rotten regime to change, to allow for the freedoms they have 
> denied
> us for so long. In response, Assad has turned the country into fire 
> and
> ash, sending it into hell. To me, the revolution is now about 
> something
> much more profound than simple political reforms and basic freedoms,
> although these are obviously still essential goals. It has now become 
> a
> struggle about who we are as a people, and what values we hold. Are we
> slaves to willingly accept the boot of the thugs and murderers, who
> happily rape women and butcher children with knives, in response for
> mere "security"? Or are we to live as free men who refuse to 
> compromise
> our dignity, and our belief in the sanctity of the lives of people 
> whose
> only crime was to speak their minds?
> When the revolution has now turned into a struggle over the most basic
> or even primordial rights (for lack of a better word), what will 
> Syrians
> hold on to? Islam's affirmation of the sanctity of human life is a
> direct affront to this rotten regime, and to all the other rotten
> governments of the region, all of whom happily torture and execute
> unceasingly. In such an existential struggle, are we really surprised
> that Syrians would turn towards their religion even more than before
> (Especially in the conservative towns and villages of northern Syria)?
> I met and spoke with many people of all stripes, and not once did I 
> hear
> or get the impression that they were now fighting merely to impose an
> Islamic state - it still remains a struggle for freedom and dignity,
> albeit now with much greater urgency. Young men, younger than me, who
> are married with young children, all go and fight regardless of the 
> risk
> to themselves. I met someone who fought on the frontline 4 days after
> getting married, and lost an eye, and he simply, pardon the language,
> didn't
> give a fuck.
> Interestingly, after having befriended some people and becoming
> "friends" on facebook, one thing which is noticeable is that the 
> photos
> or posts they have on their pages earlier on in the revolution sport 
> the
> tricolour revolutionary flag, but more recent ones feature the black
> "tawhid" banner - in the process, they hadn't suddenly become
> "fanatics", I can assure you.
> After my limited time there, with hours and hours of conversation, I
> finally understand. The one souvenir I took from Syria is pictured
> below, which I will hang on the wall of my flat alongside the
> traditional revolutionary flag. It has earned its place.
> One more thing, I saw the supposed "Al-Qaeda" flag sported by ordinary
> Syrians, those who absolutely despise the ISIS / Da3esh bastards -
> remember that that particular flag is an actual banner of the prophet,
> so don't automatically assume that anyone who waves it is 
> automatically
> an ISIS supporter.
> Posted by Khalil Abdullahat 22:00

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