Yemen, the Middle East and Turkey – 1 - MÜFIT YÜKSEL

Yemen, the Middle East and Turkey – 1

The recent developments in Yemen, the Houthis' capture of capital Sana'a and Ta'iz, and the military intervention of the Gulf countries under the leadership of Saudi Arabia are all pounding at Turkey's door.

Since 2010, I had written articles about Houthis in Özgün Duruş (Unique Stance) newspaper and in these columns through the developments in Yemen. I've tried to draw the attention of foreign and local public opinion to this matter. Within the context of the Middle East and Turkey, we are under a serious crisis. Another bloody sect conflict, which also happened in the past, is right in front of our door. Unfortunately since the Kırmıtis and Fatimids, our history had been a stage for bloody sect wars. As the Islam world and the Middle East is drifting towards such a point once again; it's inviting a chaos environment with an unclear ending. However, for a long time the sect conflicts had stopped in a vast scale and a state of balance/collusion had been dominant. Following the end of the hot conflicts between the Ottomans and Safavids with the Qasr-i Shirin Treaty in 1639, an ambiance of tranquility and balance was formed and one way or another we had reached the present time. Ottomans had been attentive in protecting the balances and established a regional peace environment with the Sunnah belief and understanding, which is based on and protect the respect towards the Family of the House. The Nakibü'l Eşraf institution and Islam Monasteries/Lodges directed at protecting the rights/laws of Sayyid families had been the guarantee of this in the institutional platform. Ayyubids, Mamelukes and Ottomans established and protected these institutions and the names of His Holiness Imam Hasan and His Holiness Imam Husein, as well as Hulefa-yı Raşidin, had been hanged on the walls of Mosques. On top of that, in Medina at the second atrium of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, all the names of Family of the House imams, as well as the names of Hulefa-i Raşidin and Aşere-i Mübeşşere, had been written and exist there until now. While the Ottomans tend to decline and disperse in time and completely fade from the scene after the World War I, this caused a great void in the region and Islam World. The new republic, which was formed in the 1920s, was based on the “renouncing inheritances” principle and via radical-secularist, positivist reform the Religious structures/institutions, which had been the guarantee of the country and region, had been liquidated one by one. Within this context, the correct Sunnah and education understanding/institutions, which provided an established peace for centuries, had been banned through the hands of radical/secularist personnel of the new republic and eventually annihilated. While in Arabic countries like Egypt, Syria and Iraq, those institutions/structures, which came from tradition/blood, managed to continue their existence for a while after the separation from Ottomans, however, during the Cold War period, through the hands of Nasserist/Socialism covered secular Arab nationalist dictatorships, those institutions and structures had been brought down to the point of liquidation in these countries, starting from Egypt.

Since the 1920s, the stern Salafi/Wahhabi, conflicting/reactionary marginal belief, which dominated Mecca and Medina, Hedjaz and the Arabic peninsula, started to come to the fore in the region and Islam world, in other words, where the Sunni population was more intense, after the Ottomans and its institutions retreated from the region, starting from Turkey, and thus left a void.

While the Sunni world, whose political, religious and social institutions had been disarrayed, caliphate being in the first place, had been almost taken hostage by the conflicting, marginal belief/politics that resembles Khawarijism, in time; Iran's conflicting/expansionist policy directed at forming political, sectarian ghettos and conflict lines in the international and regional politics, had brought the region to the verge of calamity. Besides, as the Khawarij belief and politics, like ISIL/DAİŞ, the armed/disruptive organizations, which were based on destruction, taken the forefront in the region and Islam world, and, established a field domination in certain regions, it mobilized the political/communal fault lines and also brought the region to the verge of possible calamities. The point arrived today is pointing at a scary process.

Yemen is the country that harbors many different communities and sects. The members of the Zaidiyyah sect, which was the closest extension of Shi'aism to Sunni sects, and Shafiis and Khawarij-Ibadi sect members, are the prominent ones.(Zaidiyyah is a sect that had been proportioned to Imam Zaid Bin Ali, the grandchild of His Holiness Husein (Ra.). Imam Zaid, is Imam Ali Zeynelabidin's son and the brother of Imam Muhammad Bakır, and possibly came to life in H.80th year. He had a strong education and had been martyred in H. 121 or 122 after the rioted against the Ummayads. See also Muhammad Ebu Zehre, Imam Zaid.) Shafiis and Zaidis perpetuated in a structure that balanced each other in terms of population. In history, even though these factors had entered many sect conflicts, they learned not to fight and live in collusion and peace.

In recent years, the Shi'ah-Sunni conflicts appeared and the present table had been revealed. The Houthis, who exist in the northern part of Yemen, their border with Saudi Arabia, around the Sa'ade province, and the confederation of Houthi tribes's flaming rebels in the recent times, had caused serious sect conflicts. The Houthis, who are Zaidis, following the effect of their connection with Iraq in the past 30-35 years, had left the Zaidiyyah sect aside and accepted the İsna-Aşeriyya-Ca'fer sect; thus, as a result of their organization within this frame had caused the recent conflicts. The Houthis, who had left their actual sect, Zaidiyyah, aside and taken Iran's support politically after the “becoming Shi'ah” process, made used of the chaos caused by the Arab Spring and the overthrowing of Ali Abdullah Salih, who had been administering the country since the 1980s, had moved up until Sana'a, the capital, and taken control of it, including Ta'iz and its surroundings. As for the Sunni-Shafiis; they adopted a stern Salafi/Wahhabi line within the last 30-40 years with the effect of Saudi Arabia's Salafism/Wahhabism propaganda. Thus, the armed organizations like Al-Qaeda had become active in the region with their activities. In this way, the İsna-Aşeri-Ca'feri community, which had been formed within the context of the movement and confederation of Houthi tribes, the stern Salafi/Wahhabism, which is becoming popular between the Shafiis with the effect of Saudi Arabia, and the armed organizations that are based on this marginal belief, are all representing the source of tension and conflicts, and keeping these contradictions and conflicts alive. Salafi/Wahhabi line within the last 30-40 years with the effect of Saudi Arabia's Salafism/Wahhabism propaganda. Thus, the armed organizations like Al-Qaeda had become active in the region with their activities. In this way, the İsna-Aşeri-Ca'feri community, which had been formed within the context of the movement and confederation of Houthi tribes, the stern Salafi/Wahhabism, which is becoming popular between the Shafiis with the effect of Saudi Arabia, and the armed organizations that are based on this marginal belief, are all representing the source of tension and conflicts, and keeping these contradictions and conflicts alive.

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