Former Jihadi speaks out. Posted by: McQ
on Monday, July 02, 2007
Interesting articleby Hassan Butt (ok can the jokes, we're already rated "R") who claims to be a former British jihadi and peer of Mohammed Sidique Khan, who led the July 7th bombing attack in London.
When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology - I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.
By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us.
If you missed that, he claims that Islamic radicals do not act as a result of our foreign policy or anyone else's.
Which brings us to point two:
And though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many others to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain and abroad was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary worldwide Islamic state that would dispense Islamic justice.
A caliphate (from the Arabic khilafah), is the Islamic form of government representing the political unity and leadership of the Muslim world.
Look, this may very well be exclusive to his group or groups in Britain (or groups outside the ME), but I believe what he says is much more the driver than is "foreign policy". That's not to deny that our foreign policy may not exacerbate it in some areas. But as the predominant and exclusive reason for the existence of Islamic terrorism, it just never did quite add up. It is a convenient catch-all excuse, but that doesn't mean it is really the reason behind the movement.
So it is important to listen to people like this who attempt to explain why they do what they do and why, for the most part, we aren't to blame through our 'foreign policy':
Formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion: they are considered to be one and the same.
For centuries, the reasoning of Islamic jurists has set down rules of interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and war.
But what radicals and extremists do is to take this two steps further. Their first step has been to argue that, since there is no pure Islamic state, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr (The Land of Unbelief).
Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world.
The argument is, that Muslim scholars cannot or have not provided a convincing argument that what the radicals believe isn't true. Consequently the radicals still believe they are in the lLand of Unbelief, and consequently, have a divine obligation to act in accordance to the commands of their religion (as they interpret them). Says Butt:
If our country [ed. note: UK] is going to take on radicals and violent extremists, Muslim scholars must go back to the books and come forward with a refashioned set of rules and a revised understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Muslims whose homes and souls are firmly planted in what I'd like to term the Land of Co-existence.
And when this new theological territory is opened up, Western Muslims will be able to liberate themselves from defunct models of the world, rewrite the rules of interaction and perhaps we will discover that the concept of killing in the name of Islam is no more than an anachronism.
I have no idea how they would ever presume to accomplish this task, but I think it certainly speaks to what a lot of us have been saying for quite some time. The problem isn't us and our beliefs, it's them and their beliefs. Whether what is suggested is possible is open to question, but this should help those among us who need admissions such as this to put aside the belief that we've brought all of this on ourselves.
Boy, McQ, this is going to bring out the hordes. You are saying it isn’t our fault? The decadent west has not brought this plague upon our own heads? What kind of logic is that? It has to be our fault! Because if it isn’t, then . . .
Uh oh. You mean they really will come after us? Even if we leave the Middle East and bow our heads in shame to their will, they will still send the dogs of war after us? The suicide bombers? The IEDs? The Jihadis? This just can’t be!
It Can’t Be! Why, the introduction of Democracy into the Middle East could actually make sense. Why, the entire Liberal Narrative will just go up in smoke. This can never be!
Of course the problem is the beliefs and actions of the extremists, no one ever doubted that. The question, of course, of why recently there has been a raise in extremism when for most of the 20th century it was tiny is interesting — clearly something changed in the past thirty years. It wasn’t primarily western foreign policy, but the authoritarian policies of leaders like the Shah and the Saudi Royal family, as well as actions like the Marxist government of Afghanistan. US support for authoritarians and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan fed into all this. Western foreign policy of aiding the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan via Pakistan, who funneled the money to extremist groups, was a primary starting point of the radicalization in the Sunni world, while Saddam’s attack on Iran helped the Shi’ite extremists. Western foreign policy has helped recruitment by giving an external outside enemy to Arabs in the Mideast. For Muslims in Europe, alienation from their own societies (due to poor integration by Europeans of Muslim and other immigrant groups) combined with the rise of extremism in the Mideast to radicalize those populations.
How to deal with this is a tricky issue, but primary is to make it more difficult for the radicals to convince the growing youth population in the Mideast, and to have real integration in Europe (and the US — though the US is better at integration than the Europeans). These are complex issues, and can’t be brought to a simplistic cause and effect relationship. Clearly it’s not Islam alone because for a long time Muslims were not radicalized and friendly to the West. It can’t be western foreign policy alone, because that has been reactive. It is truly multicausal and complex.
"You, who want freedom, freedom for everything, the freedom of parties, you who want all the freedoms, you intellectuals: freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way for the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom."
But, nah, "they hate us for our freedom" is just a dumb Bush line.
The question, of course, of why recently there has been a raise in extremism when for most of the 20th century it was tiny is interesting — clearly something changed in the past thirty years.
Clearly, Dr Erb, the Islamists are attempting to establish a caliphate. An effort that has waxed and waned over the centuries. It is once again making a push. Spain, Gates of Vienna anyone? The radical writers, such as Sayed Qtub.have heavily influenced the modern Jihadist aggression. Qtub was hanged in 1966, long before the current problems began. This is also an informative read although some may dismiss it as it was issued from the Combating Terrorism Center at the Military Academy. To think that modern Jihadism has modern roots is just wrong.
The question, of course, of why recently there has been a raise in extremism when for most of the 20th century it was tiny is interesting
Through outreach and assistance to languishing Middle Eastern countries and through hospitality to Muslims who wanted to emigrate from their backward native lands, Western industrialists and governments provided a tremendous upsurge in opportunities for Islamic extremists to wreck havoc for Allah. Further, by bringing Muslims into abrupt contact with the wildly successful values, ringing achievements and shockingly liberal mores of Dar ul-Kufr, Western powers unwittingly fostered an uptick in extremism among people whose relentlessly controlling religion and rigid social traditions brook no challenge and permit no adaptation or compromise.
For most of the 20th century, the vast numbers of Middle Eastern Muslims simply had no knowledge of . . . much of anything outside the Koran, really, and less chance of bringing whatever was out there in line with Islamic imperatives. Then, thanks to the ingenuity, concern and largess of the West (where people had found uses for the black stuff under the sands and were willing to try and bring the natives up to speed as oilmen) the world got smaller, Muslims were invited over and soon started bumping into all sorts of things that Islam requires them to subdue, destroy, vanquish or rule. While millions of modern Muslims quietly go about fashioning a kinder, gentler Islam that doesn’t impede their peaceful progress, some fundamentalists, inevitably, will keep trying to kill or conquer all that offends their old time religion until it’s made clear to them that they must not. Or until they’re all killed. Whatever it takes.
"For most of the 20th century, the vast numbers of Middle Eastern Muslims simply had no knowledge of . . . much of anything outside the Koran, really,..."
Ah, yes, the benefits of education we hear so much about. Not just "How Ya Gonna Keep ’Em Down On the Farm, After They’ve Seen Paree...", but bringing those decadent Parisians into line, as instructed by the Koran. Sounds pretty plausible to me.
" inevitably, will keep trying to kill or conquer all that offends their old time religion until it’s made clear to them that they must not."
Too bad they are not more like the Amish. Now THAT is a religion of peace. I would even settle for them being more like Jehovah’s Witnesses, as pesky as they are.
Scott Erb hits the nail on the head. The mission for the civilized world is to diminish the appeal of Islamofacism by demonstrating — persistently, patiently, resolutely — that our way of life is superior to that promised by radical Islam. If we do this successfully — and I fully believe we will — we will win. Yes, there are Islamofacsists who must be caught or killed to be stopped. We must be alert and vigilant to protect ourselves, and we must act decisely when necessary. But, unfortunately, things are not so simple. We must also strive to create conditions that make unformed Muslims reject Islamofacism. We must isolate and marginalize the fanatics. We must use our heads, not just our bombs.
...clearly something changed in the past thirty years...
Yes, and this is a lot more relevant, I believe, than any of the factors you noted. By far. Using money they got from us for oil, the Saudis launched a huge and expansive decades-long program to promote their version of Islam. Which just happens to be one of the most fundamentalist strains.