Is terrorism against Yemenis not a terrorism?

Is terrorism against Yemenis not a terrorism?

By Majed Jameel

According to Oxford dictionaries, terrorism is "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims."   

In our day to day life in the Arab world, almost everyone, even government officials, tend to perceive terrorism as killing a foreigner, a worker, diplomat or tourist by a local religious fanatic." That surely is one aspect of but not the definition of terrorism.

What about a local sectarian religious group that kill the local civilian compatriots and have proven willingness to kill the last Yemeni person in their pursuit of theocratic rule? Houthis are this type of group in Yemen.

Yet few people understand this and that Houthis are not peaceable.  Some western media outlets even take the side of these red-handed extremists and portray them as victims!

Houthis have sabotaged the country's historical transformation process (in 2014), mounted a coup characterized by savage sectarian bigotry, invaded cities with brutal force, killed people, plunged Yemen into the world's worst humanitarian crisis and wreaked havoc everywhere to deny the peace-loving Yemeni people the first chance ever to break free from the dictatorship of the northern traditional elite to a democratic state.

The Houthis did all this to restore the reign of a narrower elite within the northern traditional elite; the Houthi leaders' dynasty which they believe have a divine right to rule by the merit of their being "the holy offspring" of prophet Mohammed (PPH.)

This minority within a minority is a religious Shia Islamist group that is characterized by sectarian bigotry and the tendency to intimidate and eliminate oppositionists and punish their host communities collectively by all means.

For years, they have been fighting a diehard war in key Yemen cities killing civilians individually and en masse, directly and indirectly, and deliberately and collaterally.   

In narrow outlines, the militia's well-trained snipers have been besieging Yemeni cities including Taiz - Yemen's most educated and most civil city that spearheaded the 2011 peaceful pro-democracy protests- gunning down its civilians as a punishment for daring to demand change in Yemen.

The Yemeni media continuously publish stories and pictures of such non-stopping executions of children as they unfold. Children as young as three years old or seven are shot dead by the rebels almost on a daily basis, yet the foreign media turns a blind eye to them.

They have been continually shelling Katyucha rockets, mortar rounds and Howitzer shells into the densely populated neighborhoods of Taiz as a form of collective punishment over the past years. Civilians get killed, bodies charred in the streets in large numbers . No more value or dignity for human life, as though Taizi people are butterflies.

 

Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Askar has said a couple of days ago in a seminar in Paris that during the period from January 2015 to February 2018 Houthis killed and injured 43 thousand people and detained forced into disappearance 18 thousand people.

From April 2015 to date in Taiz alone, the extremists killed more than 2500 children according to local human rights groups, many of them by deliberate murder – sniper shooting. The other face of the double Houthi terrorism against children is that they employ boys as young as 15 and 12  to kill and get killed.  

They have, and still, conscripted thousands of child fighters from schools and everywhere without their relatives' consent and/or knowledge, re-educating them as well as some prisoners with a dogma that renounces democracy as paganism and sugarcoats "martyrdom" in the fight against the government and government supporters, training them militarily and deploying them in combat missions.    

Like ISIL and al-Qaeda, they teach these children that killing a soldier makes them closer to God and dying in this cause is a ticket to an eternal paradise.

They have totally eliminated all forms of dissent in Sana'a and the capital is now a fundamentalist Taliban-style city where only one puritan ideology is allowed- Houthis' ideology

They have rounded up journalists and other peaceful activists to jails from which non one escapes but dead, mindless, incapacitated or too traumatized.

We have heard many former prisoners telling horrific tales of the rebels' techniques of inflicting pains; electrocution, sleep and food deprivation, mock execution ..and the list goes on. Apart from the innovative way of assassinating a critic journalist at large without leaving traces of the crime; secretly arranging for the journalist's restaurant meal to be poisoned. I am referring to the forgotten story of reporter Mohammed Abdul-Absi whom the rebels killed in this heinous way in December 2016.   

The Yemeni government, instead of begging the UN and the US or Europe to designate Houthis as terrorists, should itself designate them first. Because it is the one most concerned and responsible for its civilian citizens, not the UN or foreign countries.   

Foreign media, under the Iranian lobby's influence, ignore Houthi atrocities and cover the events in Yemen only through the prism of Houthis - overstating the contribution of the government's and Arab Coalition's intervention to the humanitarian crisis at the expense of the Houthi insurgency which triggered it.

The militia has destroyed the country and the world seems yet not to understand what is going on thanks to the government's un-decidedness and failure to itself designate the terrorists as terrorists.

It is overdue for the Yemeni government to designate this militia as a terrorist group. It is also overdue for the United Nations to ensure that the Yemeni people's aspirations for democracy enshrined in its own resolutions be enforced by force and not be let down just because there is a maximalist violent religious group that is determined to fight "to the Day of Judgment " to disrupt them.   

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