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

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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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sat, August 30, 2014 8:32 PM  |  Permalink

Latin Translations of the Qur'an: A Brief Intro

[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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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, August 28, 2014 11:47 PM  |  Permalink

The Islamic State's Educational Regulations in Raqqa Province

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.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, August 28, 2014 6:16 PM  |  Permalink

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

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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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, August 28, 2014 10:06 AM  |  Permalink

Jaysh al-Mujahideen Iraq Statements: Clashes with the Islamic State: Translation and Analysis

To recap briefly, Jaysh al-Mujahideen is a Salafi nationalist grouping with anti-Shi'a sentiment and revolutionary aims. However, the group's tensions with the Islamic State in al-Karma (eastern Anbar province), where the group has had a strong presence from the beginning of the revitalised Sunni Arab insurgency this year with good links with local tribesmen, have been simmering for a while. For instance, in May, allegations arose that IS was attempting to gain a monopoly on commodities going in and out of al-Karma so that locals would be forced to buy fuel and food from IS. Further, Jaysh al-Mujahideen disapproves of IS on a broader ideological level for 'ghuluw' ('extremism'). For example, see the most recent prior statement, which, though not calling out IS by name and primarily intended to denounce notions of forming a new 'Sahwa' to fight IS, probably takes an indirect swipe at IS in mentioning rejection of 'extremism' and takfir (declaring others who profess to be Muslim to be non-Muslims).

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Tue, August 26, 2014 10:16 PM  |  Permalink

Naqshbandi Army Statement- 24 August: Analysis and Translation

Intro and Analysis

The latest Naqshbandi Army (JRTN) statement reaffirms many prior JRTN messages, including the stress on the necessity of 'revolution', rejection of federalism and any other projects regarded as 'dividing' Iraq, accusing the government of being behind displacements of members of Iraq's various sects, destruction of shrines etc. There is still no indication of any intention of a plan to confront the Islamic State (IS) on a broader scale despite the distancing from IS' actions against minorities and heritage sites.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Tue, August 26, 2014 6:35 AM  |  Permalink

Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis: 16 August Statement: Translation and Analysis

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sun, August 17, 2014 7:24 AM  |  Permalink

Naqshbandi Army Statement- 13 August: Analysis and Translation

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sat, August 16, 2014 1:02 PM  |  Permalink

Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis: 11 August Statement: Translation and Analysis

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Wed, August 13, 2014 5:28 AM  |  Permalink

Xenophanes: Select Fragments and Analysis

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Mon, August 11, 2014 5:03 PM  |  Permalink

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