Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Saraya al-Khorasani 31 August Statement: Translation and Analysis

August 31, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Intro and Analysis
Saraya al-Khorasani ("Khorasani Brigades") is an Iraqi Shi'a militia that has appeared in both Iraq and Syria. As is apparent from even a cursory glance at the group's own output, it identifies with Iran's ideology of wilayat al-faqih and its current representative for that system: namely, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.


Saraya al-Khorasani "Official Press Outlet" graphic. On right: Ayatollah Khamenei.

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The Life of Abu Muhammad al-Muhajir: A Founder and Commander of Jamaat Ansar al-Islam in Bilad al-Sham

August 30, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Intro and Analysis
Jamaat Ansar al-Islam (JAI)- a jihadi group most well known in its history and prior incarnations for operating in Iraq- expanded into Syria in under a contingent called "Ansar al-Sham" (more formally, 'Jamaat Ansar al-Islam in Bilad al-Sham'), claiming to have participated in the siege of Mannagh airbase in Aleppo province that eventually fell to an offensive led by the Islamic State (IS). As I documented in a post yesterday, though JAI's Iraq branch has not been pledged allegiance to IS, it has been significantly weakened by defections particularly in Ninawa province- facilitated by IS displays of power and ideological overlap between the two groups. Indeed, one JAI source described to me the situation as follows: in Mosul, JAI has a presence but "has no ability to operate because of IS." Similarly in Tikrit, where JAI assisted IS in a subordinate role in the insurgent takeover of the town, IS quickly asserted its authority, arresting and killing members of JAI, such that JAI (the same source relates to me) has been forced to go underground in the area.

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Latin Translations of the Qur'an: A Brief Intro

August 28, 2014 at 11:47 pm

[NB: All translations from Latin and Arabic here are my own]

The Western experience of translating the Qur'an dates back nearly 900 years, beginning with one Robert of Ketton in the 12th century CE. The translation had been organized in Christian Spain as part of a wider Arabic-Latin translation project by Peter the Venerable (of the Cluny Abbey in eastern France), who wrote in a letter in Latin to Bernard of Clairvaux Abbey (also in France) regarding the endeavor vis-à-vis Islamic texts:

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The Islamic State's Educational Regulations in Raqqa Province

August 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm

As has been apparent for some time, Raqqa city serves as the de facto capital of the Islamic State (IS), where new aspects in governance are tried and tested, including the most brutal aspects of it such as crucifixion of those accused of planting IEDs (executed first, then hung on a cross). Likewise the education system in Raqqa has seen a number of regulations imposed by IS, most notably gender segregation in schools and the obligation for schoolgirls to wear hijab beyond the fifth year of primary education (age 10/11). The latest statement below indicates a clear ideological framework for the regulation of content of education.

Translation

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Jamaat Ansar al-Islam: Denial of Allegiance to the Islamic State: Translation and Analysis

August 28, 2014 at 10:06 am

To recall, Jamaat Ansar al-Islam (JAI) is a jihadi group operating in Iraq (with a branch that expanded into Syria) espousing the ideology of reviving the Caliphate. Traditionally though the group has been at odds with the Islamic State (IS) and its prior incarnations because it does not accept IS' claims to be a state and caliphate, but instead, like al-Qa'ida, reduces IS to jamaat ad-dawla (group of the state). The two groups have clashed multiple times in Iraq, including in Mosul and Kirkuk governorate, where JAI has traditionally had a substantial presence. More recently, the IS-led takeover of Mosul with the subsequent assertions of IS power has led many members of JAI in the city to pledge allegiance to IS- something undoubtedly facilitated by ideological overlap. However, that does not mean JAI has been completely subsumed under IS as some pro-IS sources have been claiming, refutation of which is the purpose of this latest statement.

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