Monday, January 4, 2016

The Assassination of Naji Al-Jarf by the Coward Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi

Syria anti-Islamic State documentary maker 'assassinated' in Turkey “Naji Jerf was killed in Gaziantep, only a couple of months after Isil claimed responsibility for killing Ibrahim Abdelkader and a friend in southern Turkey.

The killing of Naji has united many Syrians from different ideological persuasion in grief, and sparked few conspiracy theories, with some seeing the timing of his killing a day before he left for France, a reason to be suspicious, and positing that perhaps other actors could be behind the tragic event.

But, there is little reason for conspiratorial thinking here, and the act that he died a die before his trip to Paris, a city he visited before, seems incidental. Those who know Naji, or, at least, of him, as is the case with me, know pretty well that IS had some very good reasons to want him dead: he was a secular intellectual who supported like-minded activists in Raqqa, city and governorate, who were busy chronicling IS quiet slaughter of the spirit of a place known for its rebellious and independent streak. Through Hintah, the journal he edited, he also provided young secular activists with an important platform to debate ideas and to expose both IS and Assad’s crimes. His connection to Western organizations was also anathematic to the organization, which, like the Assad regime, prefers to deal with an isolated and docile population. Naji was not the kind of person who could give anyone such satisfaction. The campaign against figures like Naji was began by the Assad regime and long before the revolution. In fact, it has always been a hallmark of the security state that the Assad built in Syria, transforming what was one a potentially viable albeit struggling democracy into a failed-state project. Fascists sustain themselves by killing the hope in our hearts and the light in our minds. That’s why people like Naji live with an X mark on their foreheads, theirs is always a death foretold.

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