Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

Visit Douglas Farah's
author page at

Press Releases

The U.S. Moves (Slowly) on Hezbollah Financial Structure
The U.S. Treasury Department today announced the sanctioning of Hezbollah-funding organizations, including one with a branch operating inside the United States.

The first is the Martyrs Foundation, including the Goodwill Charitable Organization in Dearborn, Michigan. The Treasury statement says the GCO is a "fundraising office established by the Martyrs Foundation...a Hezbollah front organization that reports directly to the leadership of the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon."

The second is the Al-Qard al-Hassan, described as "cover to manage (Hezbollah) financial activity," and a conduit to the international banking system.

What is ironic about the sanctions is that they come as one of Hezbollah's leading theologians, in an article written for the Washington Post web site, offers an unapologetic and straightforward defense of violent _jihad._

"Jihad in Islam (The violent confrontation of the enemy) is the fighting movement that aims at preventing the enemy from forcing its hegemony over the land and the people by means of violence that confiscates freedom, kills the people, usurps the wealth and prevents the people's rights in self-determination and running their own affairs," writes Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a grand ayatollah. "Therefore, Jihad is confronting violence by means of violence and force by force, which makes it of a defensive nature at times and a preventive one at others."

So, there you have it. The leading Shi'ite intellectual in Lebanon mincing no words as to what he believes, which is in many way more admirable than the groups who come forward believing the same thing but trying to soften the language to disguise the true meaning.

But Fadlallah is not entirely unambiguous.

The key phrase is the use of "defensive jihad," as opposed to "offensive jihad." Does the defensive nature of it justify taking back the land that once belonged to the Caliphate, from Spain to Southeast Asia and northern Africa?

That interpretation is one of the key contributions of Qutb and others in the Muslim Brotherhood, and shared by the jihadist movement around the world. It is not clear if it is shared here.

Finally, one point that always strikes me in these writings: what about Darfur, a genocide perpetrated by an Islamist regime, yet facing no sanction from Islamic countries or clerics. Here is what Fadlallah wrote:

"There is also the case of defending the downtrodden who are prosecuted by the arrogant and who have no means of defending themselves. Muslims have to defend these people if they ask them to. The humanitarian content of Islam makes it responsible for facing the injustice the downtrodden are subjected to by freeing them of this injustice."

Perhaps not if it is an overtly Islamist state using Islam as a weapon? I often wonder what the outcry would be if the Vatican or some other avowedly religious, non-Muslim state were hosting genocide. Or maybe those in Darfur simply do not qualify as downtrodden victims of injustice.

Somalia Still Slowly Bleeds
What is Missing in the Current Debate on Islam
Maintained by Winter Tree Media, LLC