Islah… Three decades of countering terrorism

Islah… Three decades of countering terrorism

Alsahwa Net- Since its birth in 1990 following the establishment of Yemen’s unity, the Islah Party has been dealing with terrorism as a global issue before classifying it as a local or a religious problem.

The party has been defending the true Islam against extremist ideologies and acts of violence exercised by some individuals or groups who claim affiliation to Muslims.

The party had a clear vision on this aspect which has been reflected on its ideological and political literature and embodied in its unchanging stances through official statements or statements by its high, middle and junior leaders.

Within its top priorities, the Islah affirmed on the support to government efforts towards countering terrorism using integrated ideological and security approaches.

The Islah affirmed very early that terrorism flourishes only in climate of oppression and the use of various forms of torture and that the promotion of democracy is the right way to eliminate terrorism in Yemen.

The party does not adopt such positions for political advantages, but for firm religious convictions that Islam is the religion of moderation, compassion, rejects such acts and can not be a source of lawlessness.

This was affirmed by the late President of the Islah Party, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar who said that Islam rejects violence and terrorism and anything that harms the people and the society.

“We have no choice but the democratic change as bitter cases of non-peaceful change by some Islamic and national movements had resulted into deaths, retaliations and divisions.” Chief of the Islah’s Political Department, Mohammed Qahtan stated in a press interview published by the Emirati state-run Al-Bayan Newspaper on four December 2003.

“The Islah party is not new to the scene. We have been exercising the peaceful political action for 30 years. We reject violence, terrorism and extremism,” said Qahtan during a radio talk to the London radio in January 2003.

These old statements were reechoed in the speech by the current President of party, Mohammed Al-Yadoumi on 12 September 2019 on the 29th anniversary of the party’s establishment.

The party declared its rejection to several local bloody and violent incidents including assassinations, kidnappings, bombings and armed confrontations and said that such acts oppose values and culture of the Yemeni people

For instance, when a group of gunmen clashed with the police in Aden in September 1994 on the background of, demolishing shrines in the city, an official source of the party condemned the acts against the shrines and said that such militants do not understand Islam.

The party condemned also a suicide car bombing before a Super Shopping Store in November 1997 and another similar incident took place in the capital Sana’a in November 1998.

The President of the Islah, then Abdullah Al-Ahmar condemned the attack against the USS Cole Destroyer off Aden in October 2000.

The party also condemned the murder of American doctors in Jibla Hospital of Ibb province in January 2003. It says then that such acts target primarily the nation and distorts Yemen’s reputation and Islam.

It also condemned kidnappings and murders of foreign tourists took place in Yemen between 2000 and 2012.

It said that such practices damage the country and demanded punishment of perpetrators. 

The party’s condemnation to terrorism extended also to terror attacks happened in the region or other parts of the world.

The party condemned the bombing that targeted local and foreign workers in Al-Khubr city of Saudi Arabia in June 1996.

In this respect, it condemned the terror attacks which targeted the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998.

An official source of the party’s general secretary office condemned the terror attacks targeted New York and Washington on 11 September 2001.   

Yet, the Islah party has been a victim to terrorism attacks against its leaders and members as well as its offices across Yemen. These attacks were carried out by Al-Qaeda terror group or by the regime’s security services.

The regime in Yemen and other political forces have been attempting fiercely to label the Islah party with terrorism.

Yet, the Islah affirmed its rejection to religious extremism and said that supporting radical and extremist groups in Yemen to harm the Islah will backfire.

Four members of the Islah party were gunned down on 29 April 1997 while guarding ballot boxes of the Constituency no. 287 in Al-Madan area of Hajja province, north Yemen.

Thousands of the participants of the victims’ funeral raised placards that condemn violence and terrorism and demand investigation.

Scores of the Islah’s leaders and members were assassinated in Aden since the fighting against the Houthis’ coup started in 2015.

However, the Islah’s members and leaders remain committed to non-violence means.

Al-Yadoumi affirmed in his 2019 speech that the Islah rejects distortion campaigns against the party particularly those that attempt to label the party or link it to terrorism.

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