Regional unrest sparks anti-Israel, US conspiracy theories
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Regional unrest sparks anti-Israel, US conspiracy theories

From Iran to Egypt, Muslims believe Western powers attempting to destabilize Mideast for personal gain

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Lebanese citizens gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in southern Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. (Photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)
Lebanese citizens gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in southern Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. (Photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)

An Iranian legislator accused Israel and the US Saturday of plotting to instigate widespread crises and instability within Islamic countries by operating and funding double agent militias in regions throughout the Middle East.

According to Iranian state-run news site PressTV, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Majlis Council, claimed that the militias were composed of “Takfiri,” an Islamic legal term used to describe a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy.

“The US and Israel seek to get Muslim countries entangled in domestic problems, and to that end, they use Takfiri groups, which are the puppets of the US and their regional allies,” Boroujerdi said.

Boroujerdi accused Israel of flaring up violence in Lebanon, pointing at Thursday’s blast that ripped through a stronghold of the Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah and resulted in the death of at least 24 people as well as the injury of hundreds more in a suburb south of the country’s capital.

“This is the continuation of the moves designed by the US and Zionists long ago to disrupt security in regional countries, so that they could capitalize on the internal divisions in Islamic countries to ensure the security of the Zionist regime,” the Iranian lawmaker stated.

Boroujerdi’s claims echoed Friday statements made by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who similarly said that Takfiri were behind the deadly car bomb attack.

“According to information and indications, it’s most likely that a Takfiri group was behind [the] explosion and their operatives are known,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech in the southern town of Aita al-Shaab near the Israeli border.

Lebanese citizens and Hezbollah supporters gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion in southern Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday Aug. 15, 2013. (Photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)
Lebanese citizens and Hezbollah supporters gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion in southern Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday Aug. 15, 2013. (Photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)

Lebanese officials estimated that the attack was carried out by activists opposed to Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria’s ongoing civil war.

Nasrallah went on to boast about Hezbollah’s determination and said that his organization will stand undeterred by forces that attempt to undermine the group’s assistance of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime across the border.

“If the battle with these Takfiri terrorists requires that I and all Hezbollah should go to Syria, we will go for the sake of Syria and its people and for the sake of Lebanon and its people,” Nasrallah said.

Though the Hezbollah leader dismissed accusations that Israel was in fact behind the deadly attack, Nasrallah asserted that Takfiri groups had been infiltrated by US and Israeli intelligence operatives.

“If you are working for Israel, our hands will reach you if the state fails to do so,” he said.

Interestingly, the “Brigade of Aisha, the Mother of the Faithful,” a previously unheard-of group which claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, accused Nasrallah himself of being an “agent of Israel” as well as of Iran.

In a video published by the group, a masked man threatened further attacks against what he called the “Iranian colonies” in Lebanon, and warned Nasrallah that Hezbollah would not be exempt from such attacks.

”Nasrallah, you and your organization have received a message from us,” the masked man said. “Be warned.”

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday said Israelis were the ones who benefited from civil unrest in the Arab world.

In Egypt as well, media outlets, political commentators and laypeople across the board have accused Israel and the US of deliberately sparking the country’s ongoing strife in order to attain dominance of the region.

A cartoon circulating on social media depicting the US and Israel as Death knocking on the Middle East and Egypt's doors (photo credit: Twitter screen cap)
A cartoon circulating on social media depicting the US and Israel as Death knocking on the Middle East and Egypt’s doors (photo credit: Twitter screen cap)

On Saturday, The Tamarod movement, a youth group that was instrumental in the protests which led to the ouster of president Mohammed Morsi , called on Egyptian officials to cancel the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement and to decline US aid. Tamarod representatives reported that at least 300,000 people had signed a petition to end the peace treaty with “the Israeli entity,” and to refuse US aid to Egypt.

Egyptian social media was also abuzz with anti-Israel and, to a somewhat higher degree, anti-American chatter, as a number of cartoons spreading rapidly throughout Twitter and Facebook imply that Israel and the US are attempting to tear the Egyptian country and the Middle East apart.

One cartoon shows a recognizable Uncle Sam figure wearing a US flag hat along with a man wearing an Israeli flag hat, placing the Egyptian country in a boiling cauldron filled with blood. Alongside the two men are an additional couple of steaming cauldrons, with the countries of Iraq and Syria drenched in blood boiling inside them.

Muslim Brotherhood members lashed out at the US as well, claiming that the country had not stood up to the task of protecting a democratically elected government.

“The army says the Americans are supporting the Brotherhood, but the Brotherhood says the Americans are backing [Egyptian Army Chief Abdel-Fattah] el-Sissi,” Egyptian journalist Ahmed Fadl told the Guardian.

“Both sides use the same arguments.”

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