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Islamism - 5
<b>The West Needs To Fight Islamofascists With Big Ideas</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BY YOUSSEF IBRAHIM
September 1, 2006

The West's war on terror is going tactically well enough, with its mission to put out fires here and there before they start. But it sorely misses the larger strategy that must be implemented. The concept is this: <b>It isn't enough to get the guys with the bombs or beards but to alter the environment that produces them.</b>

Just like the war on communism, the war on terror must combine the force of arms with the power of ideas, a higher moral purpose with a mechanism of action. In other words, the West, along with Russia and China — which have no interest in jihadist uprisings within their own territories, needs a roadmap for its war on terror, clearly detailing its ultimate goals and how it will achieve them.

Such a strategy must be forged in G-8 Summit Meetings as well as the manuals of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the parliaments of the European Union. <b>It must be defined unambiguously as the obliteration of an ideology that reduces Islam to a cult of mass murder and suicide.</b>

Here is a blueprint:


<b>Embrace Islam: Al Qaeda to Americans</b>
<b>Warning Signs</b>
<b>Appeasement — it won't work this time, either</b>
<b>The Religion of Peace - at Gun Point</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Deccan Chronicle, Op-Ed 7 Sept., 2006
<b>Who are the terrorists, who are the fascists? </b>
By Samar Fatany

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: I awaited with interest CNN’s much-touted report, “In the Footsteps of Bin Laden,” broadcast on August 23 and likely to repeat several times. I was saddened and disappointed, however, when the programme lumped Bin Laden with the millions of peaceful Muslims who abhor his perversion of all things good. Anchored by Christiane Amanpour, a woman whose earlier reportage had earned my respect, this report was a blatant call for more hatred and further violence and an escalation of tensions between Muslims and the West.

When a reputable network and prominent correspondent claim a young Islamic cleric gave Bin Laden religious approval to kill up to 10 million people in the West, this immediately justifies the actions of American troops to kill more Iraqis or brutalise their prisoners and for Israelis to kill more innocent civilians in Lebanon and Palestine. It also negates the call of humanitarian organisations to protect the lives of innocent civilians and undermines the concerted efforts of the international community to end hostilities in West Asia.

How long are we going to allow media networks to instigate hatred among the unsuspecting western and non-Muslim communities with fabricated stories and lies such as the one carried by the CNN report? This insidious comment that Muslims are allowed to kill 10 million westerners by a fictitious character whose name and identity were never revealed is an obvious attempt to portray Muslims as killers. The threat of “I will kill you” was repeated twice at the beginning and at the end of the report with an obvious stress on the word “kill” by one of the people who claim to have met Bin Laden. To specify the number that Muslims are allowed to kill implies that mass murder is one of the tenets of Islam. How sinister!

In the next few days, we probably will hear Muslims helplessly trying to contradict such assertions, and they will strongly condemn the report by reiterating that mass murder is unacceptable in Islam. However, we all know that the Muslim condemnations will fall on deaf ears as usual. The damage is already done. The only way to reverse this harm is to demand that CNN correct its present course of incitement against Muslims and refrain from obstructing attempts by many who present more accurate facts and viewpoints that could initiate genuine measures of reconciliation.

If we are to be convinced that the Bin Laden report was simply a case of providing information without incitement, then a similar report should be aired about the holy war that is being waged by the Christian fundamentalists, inside and outside the Bush administration, who believe that the establishment of modern Israel is the fulfilment of a Biblical prophecy and that any action taken by Israel is part of God’s design.

Accordingly, a divine mission is in the making and must take its course. Muslims would like to see a commentary on the Israeli soldiers’ behaviour in Lebanon and Palestine that is also justified by Biblical instructions. They would like to hear Amanpour bring the quotes from the Bible (Joshua, 11:11-12) that sanction mass destruction and killings. “And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there was not any left to breathe ... and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded.”

Let the CNN expose to the world why some in the West have become indifferent to the killing and suffering of children and why they tolerate the mass murder of innocent Muslim civilians. It is Jewish and Christian apocalyptic fanaticism that produces the intensity of vengeance resulting in the killing of children and destruction in Lebanon. It also is obvious that the CNN report is part of a sinister plan to justify Israeli brutality by fabricating lies about Islam and Muslims.

The continuing tactics of the Christian fundamentalist holy war perpetrators have been to precede their vicious terror acts with similar accusations against the Muslims. The Muslim world would be accused of what the powerful Christian fundamentalists or the Zionists plan to do so as to justify their actions or transgressions claiming that they are carried out in retaliation or to pre-empt attacks on them. They are waging a war on terror that they themselves instigate. To cover their brutal acts against Muslims they have labelled them as terrorists, fascists and fabricated lies about the principles and tenets of Islam.

Western and American media networks always focus on Bin Laden’s holy war. They forget that he has been outlawed by his government and shunned by his people while the perpetrators of the Christian fundamentalists and Zionist holy wars are legitimised by their governments. I ask you now: Who are the fascists, and who are the terrorists? Analysts believe that Washington is embarking on the “drain-the-swamp” policy in West Asia to rid the region of all voices that resent occupation and submission and aspire for liberty and freedom. They assert that the danger of this policy stems not only from the fact that it will further destabilise the region and make it safer for dictators, but also because of so-called “divine inspiration.”

It is time to stop irresponsible media networks from poisoning the mind of the unsuspecting, ignorant and misinformed public. It is time for the reputable media to attract courageous western people of conscience and allow them to speak out and forge new peaceful initiatives that could save humanity from the real destructive forces of evil. The media should support the calls for peace and allow level-headed political analysts and real men of peace to educate the misinformed public about the policies that threaten us all. Reporters and journalists need to deliver honest coverage that aims to clear away suspicions and misconceptions that have led to conflicts and wars.

Journalists must contribute to change the direction of US-Israeli policy of occupation, aggressions and assassinations that is terrorising West Asia. Their disrespect for international law is threatening our world with more terrorist acts. Their slogan of war on terror should be replaced with the more accurate “Reign of Terror.” The military path will only bring destruction to our world. If the Christian fundamentalists are working toward this end it should not become the mission of the rest of the world. We have had enough hypocrites and warmongers who pollute television screens with their hatred and lies. Terrorism is a universal threat, and fighting it should be a global goal. All I am saying is stop the sabre-rattling and give peace a chance.

Samar Fatany is a radio journalist based in Jeddah 
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The West Needs To Fight Islamofascists With Big Ideas </b>
September 1, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/38952
The West's war on terror is going tactically well enough, with its mission to put out fires here and there before they start. But it sorely misses the larger strategy that must be implemented. The concept is this: It isn't enough to get the guys with the bombs or beards but to alter the environment that produces them.

Just like the war on communism, the war on terror must combine the force of arms with the power of ideas, a higher moral purpose with a mechanism of action. In other words, the West, along with Russia and China — which have no interest in jihadist uprisings within their own territories, needs a roadmap for its war on terror, clearly detailing its ultimate goals and how it will achieve them.

Such a strategy must be forged in G-8 Summit Meetings as well as the manuals of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the parliaments of the European Union. It must be defined unambiguously as the obliteration of an ideology that reduces Islam to a cult of mass murder and suicide.

Here is a blueprint:

1.The West needs strategies conveying to the vast majority of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims that acquiescence to jihadists and their ideologies means a rupture with Western civilization. The consequences for this should be spelled out by withholding Western commerce, the Internet, arms, machinery, and know-how — all of which still represent the bulk of progress as we define it in today's world. Imagine a ban on weapons and technology, on Microsoft and IBM, on Boeing, Ilyushin transport planes, and Airbus spares.

2. Draconian sanctions such as these should be applied in unison with Russia and China and clearly framed within the U.N. code. Islamic so-called moderate or client states including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Indonesia, among others, as well as enemies such as Iran, should be provided with a yardstick to define the dismantling of the infrastructure and software of terror at home — in mosques, in schools, in theocratic institutions, and inside government itself.

That will demand total elimination of the madrassa rote systems, the restructuring of religious teachings, and the outlawing of political groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which adopt religion as political vehicles.

3. In the West itself, the last vestiges of tolerance toward Islamic fundamentalism must be removed. Laws targeting extremist speech, Islamic dress, storefront unregulated mosques, and the traffic of immigrant Muslims who do not speak the language nor share the values of freedom must surface in the legal codes of America, Europe, and Australia. The West must clearly process the fact that it is facing an existential threat to its core values, and it cannot be shy about installing tools of war in its democratic practices.

Lest anyone think this is much ado about little, five years ago on one of America's darkest days when airplanes were crashed into the World Trade Center, it seemed that only a few hundred jihadists were aiming to make a point.

Now, it is clear that the people responsible for those burning towers in Manhattan were only small filaments of a spider's web encompassing millions of Muslims. Beyond towers, their aim is a freeze on freedom, democracy, and secularism — foundations that took centuries to develop, requiring the defeat of communism in order to prevail. The new plan is tyrannical rule by another name — jihad. But jihadists and secular tyrants are quite willing to join hands on this one.

Long before 9/11, jihadist adherents and sponsoring secular states, even communist states, had been stretching cobwebs into the suburbs of London and Islamabad, the streets of Baghdad and Kabul, the valleys between Syria and Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, and inside Western Europe and across Africa.

Enablers include our closest allies in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, tribal leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the merchants of Dubai and Kuwait, all the way into the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and Asia.

So, just imagine a world where the likes of Muammar Gadhafi of Libya, President Chavez of Venezuela, Bashar Al-Assad of Syria, Fidel Castro of Cuba, President Ahmadinejad of Iran, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, along with Hosni Mubarak and his sons in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood movements of Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and carbon copies in Indonesia, Pakistan, and across Asia all join hands.

This is the perspective that the larger strategy requires. It's the big picture.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+Sep 7 2006, 05:22 AM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ Sep 7 2006, 05:22 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Warning Signs</b>

The author says she just learnt that Islam used forcible conversions to spread.
And the penalty for apostasy is also mentioned.

So little by little, America is getting know Islam...and they are talking about openly. Good. Talk away. Before Mullahs from Detroit start issuing Fatwaas..then, my dear America, you are toast.

"For verily, unbelievers shall not talk about that which We have revealed to the faithful. (Nor, for that matter, shall believers...just Know that Islam is the Best for the West. Why did We create "Best Western" if not as a sign to those who have fallen into the ways of kufr?)"
<b>Communists & Islamists Unite?</b>

Duh!! <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Can the West defeat the Islamist threat? Here are ten reasons why not </b>
David Selbourne

LET US SUPPOSE, for the sake of argument, that the war declared by
al-Qaeda and other Islamists is under way. Let us further suppose that
thousands of "terrorist" attacks carried out in Islam's name during
the past decades form part of this war; and that conflicts that have
spread to 50 countries and more, taking the lives of millions —
including in inter-Muslim blood-shedding — are the outcome of what
Osama bin Laden has called "conducting jihad for the sake of Allah".
If such war is under way, there are ten good reasons why, as things
stand, Islam will not be defeated in it.

1) The first is the extent of political division in the non-Muslim
world about what is afoot. Some reject outright that there is a war at
all; others agree with the assertion by the US President that "the war
we fight is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century".
Divided counsels have also dictated everything from "dialogue" to the
use of nuclear weapons, and from reliance on "public diplomacy" to
"taking out Islamic sites", Mecca included. Adding to this incoherence
has been the gulf between those bristling to take the fight to the
"terrorist" and those who would impede such a fight, whether from
domestic civil libertarian concerns or from rivalrous geopolitical

2) The second reason why, as things stand, Islam will not be defeated
is that the strengths of the world community of Muslims are being
underestimated, and the nature of Islam misunderstood. It is neither a
"religion of peace" nor a "religion hijacked" or "perverted" by "the
few". Instead, its moral intransigence and revived ardours, its
jihadist ethic and the refusal of most diaspora Muslims to "share a
common set of values" with non-Muslims are all one, and justified by
the Koran itself.

Islam is not even a religion in the conventional sense of the term. It
is a transnational political and ethical movement that believes that
it holds the solution to mankind's problems. It therefore holds that
it is in mankind's own interests to be subdued under Islam's rule.
Such belief therefore makes an absurdity of the project to
"democratise" Muslim nations in the West's interests, an inversion
that Islam cannot accept and, in its own terms, rightly so. It renders
naive, too, the distinction between the military and political wings
of Islamic movements; and makes Donald Rumsfeld's assertion in June
2005 that the insurgents in Iraq "don't have vision, they're losers"
merely foolish. In this war, if there is a war, the boot is on the
other foot.

3) Indeed, the third reason why Islam will not be defeated, as things
stand, is the low level of Western leadership, in particular in the
United States. During the half-century of the Islamic revival, it has
shown itself at sixes and sevens both diplomatically and militarily.
It has been without a sense of strategic direction, and been unable to
settle upon coherent war plans. It has even lacked the gifts of
language to make its purposes plain. Or, as Burke put it in March,
1775, "a great empire and little minds go ill together". In this war
with Islam, if it is a war, the combination bodes defeat.

4) Next is the contribution to the disarray of Western policy-making
being made by the egotistical competitiveness, and in some cases
hysterics, of "experts" and commentators on Islam. They include
hyperventilating Islamophobes as well as academic apologists for the
worst that is being done in Islam's name. On this battleground, with
its personalised blogsites to assist self-promotion, many seem to
think that their opinions are more important than the issues upon
which they are passing judgment; and amid the babel of advisory
voices, policy has become increasingly inconsistent.

5) The fifth disablement is to be found in the confusion of
"progressives" about the Islamic advance. With their political and
moral bearings lost since the defeat of the "socialist project", many
on the Left have only the fag-end of anti-colonial positions on which
to take their stand. To attribute the West's problems to our colonial
past contains some truth. But it is again to misunderstand the inner
strength of Islam's revival, which is owed not to victimhood but to
advancing confidence in its own belief system.

Moreover, to Islam's further advantage, it has led most of today's
"progressives" to say little, or even to keep silent, about what would
once have been regarded as the reactionary aspects of Islam: its
oppressive hostility to dissent, its maltreatment of women, its
supremacist hatred of selected out-groups such as Jews and gays, and
its readiness to incite and to use extremes of violence against them.
Mein Kampf circulates in Arab countries under the title Jihadi.

6) The sixth reason for Islam's growing strength is the vicarious
satisfaction felt by many non-Muslims at America's reverses. Those who
feel such satisfaction could be regarded as Trojan horses, a cavalry
whose number is legion and which is growing. For some, their principle
— or anti-principle — is that "my enemy's enemy is my friend". Others
believe their refusal of support for the war with Islam, if there is
such a war, is a righteous one. But the consequences are the same:
Islam's advance is being borne along by Muslims and non-Muslims

7) The seventh reason lies in the moral poverty of the West's, and
especially America's, own value system. Doctrines of market freedom,
free choice and competition — or "freedom 'n' liberty" — are no match
for the ethics of Islam and Sharia, like them or not. Yet in the
"battle for hearts and minds" the US First Cavalry Division saw fit to
set up "Operation Adam Smith" in Iraq to teach marketing skills, among
other things, to local entrepreneurs. There can be no victory here.
Or, as Sheikh Mohammed al-Tabatabi told thousands of worshippers in
Baghdad in May 2003: "The West calls for freedom and liberty. Islam
rejects such liberty. True liberty is obedience to Allah."

8) The next indication that Islam's advance will continue lies in the
skilful use being made of the media and of the world wide web in the
service both of the "electronic jihad" and the bamboozling of Western
opinion by Muslim spokesmen. It is also a political enterprise in
which Muslims and non-Muslims can now be found acting together in
furthering the reach of Islam's world view; the help being given by
Western producers and broadcasters to al-Jazeera is the most notable
instance of it.

9) The ninth factor guaranteeing Islam's onward march is the West's
dependency on the material resources of Arab and Muslim countries. In
April 1917, Woodrow Wilson, recommending to the US Congress an
American declaration of war against Germany, could say that "we have
no selfish ends to serve". American levels of consumption make no such
statement possible now. The US is, so to speak, over a barrel. It will
remain so.

10) Finally, the West is convinced that its notions of
technology-driven modernity and market-driven prog- ress are innately
superior to the ideals of "backward" Islam. This is an old delusion.
In 1899, Winston Churchill asserted that there was "no stronger
retrograde force in the world" than Islam. More than a century later,
it is fondly believed that sophisticated hardware and Star Wars
defences will ensure Western mastery in this war, if it is a war.

But as the Saudi "scholar" Suleiman al-Omar declared in June 2004:
"Islam is advancing according to a steady plan. America will be
destroyed." As things stand, given the ten factors set out here, he is
more likely to be proved right than wrong.
<b>India seizes papers with pope's Islam criticism </b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Police in Indian Kashmir seized newspapers carrying Pope Benedict XVI's strong criticisms of Islam and jihad, fearing a Muslim backlash in the flashpoint area.

<b>"We've seized copies of (Indian) newspapers carrying the pope's remarks. It has been done to prevent any tension here,"</b> a police officer said.

Copies of the Indian dailies were impounded at Srinagar's high-security airport when they arrived from New Delhi, he said on Thursday. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Now invite pope to India <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The Sword of Islam </b>
Theology is inquiry into the rationality of faith. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures, says Pope Benedict XVI, is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures

I recently ...read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was probably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than the responses of the learned Persian. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Quran, and deals especially with the image of god and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship of the three Laws: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Quran. I would like to discuss only one point which, in the context of the issue of faith and reason, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation (controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: There is no compulsion in religion. It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Quran, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of god and the nature of the soul. God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to god's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death... .

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: Not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to god's nature. Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident.<b> But for Muslim teaching, god is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality</b>. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R Arnaldez, who points out that <b>Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that god is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it god's will, we would even have to practice idolatry.</b>

As far as understanding of god and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we find ourselves faced with a dilemma which nowadays challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts god's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in god. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: In the beginning was the logos. This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts with logos.

Logos means both reason and word - a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of god, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is god, says the Evangelist. The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance. The vision of Saint Paul, who saw the roads to Asia barred and in a dream saw a Macedonian man plead with him: Come over to Macedonia and help us! - this vision can be interpreted as a distillation of the intrinsic necessity of a rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek inquiry.

In point of fact, this rapprochement had been going on for some time. The mysterious name of god, revealed from the burning bush, a name which separates this god from all other divinities with their many names and declares simply that he is, presents a challenge to the notion of myth, to which Socrates's attempt to vanquish and transcend myth stands in close analogy. Within the Old Testament, the process which started at the burning bush came to new maturity at the time of the Exile, when the God of Israel, an Israel now deprived of its land and worship, was proclaimed as the God of heaven and earth and described in a simple formula which echoes the words uttered at the burning bush: I am. This new understanding of god is accompanied by a kind of enlightenment, which finds stark expression in the mockery of gods who are merely the work of human hands. Thus, despite the bitter conflict with those Hellenistic rulers who sought to accommodate it forcibly to the customs and idolatrous cult of the Greeks, biblical faith, in the Hellenistic period, encountered the best of Greek thought at a deep level, resulting in a mutual enrichment evident especially in the later wisdom literature. Today we know that the Greek translation of the Old Testament produced at Alexandria - the Septuagint - is more than a simple (and in that sense perhaps less than satisfactory) translation of the Hebrew text: It is an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation, one which brought about this encounter in a way that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity. A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II was able to say: Not to act "with logos" is contrary to god's nature.

In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which ultimately led to the claim that we can only know god's voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of god's freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done.

This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazn and might even lead to the image of a capricious god, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of god, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions. As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between god and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine god is the god who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love transcends knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone; nonetheless it continues to be love of the god who is logos. Consequently, Christian worship is in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason.

This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history - it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: This convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.

The thesis that the critically purified Greek heritage forms an integral part of Christian faith has been countered by the call for a dehellenisation of Christianity - a call which has more and more dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age. Viewed more closely, three stages can be observed in the programme of dehellenisation: Although interconnected, they are clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives.

Dehellenisation first emerges in connection with the fundamental postulates of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system. The principle of sola scriptura, on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself. When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this programme forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.

The liberal theology of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ushered in a second stage in the process of dehellenisation, with Adolf von Harnack as its outstanding representative. When I was a student, and in the early years of my teaching, this programme was highly influential in Catholic theology too. It took as its point of departure Pascal's distinction between the God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I would like to describe briefly what was new about this second stage of dehellenisation. Harnack's central idea was to return simply to the man Jesus and to his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of hellenisation: This simple message was seen as the culmination of the religious development of humanity. Jesus was said to have put an end to worship in favour of morality. In the end he was presented as the father of a humanitarian moral message. The fundamental goal was to bring Christianity back into harmony with modern reason, liberating it, that is to say, from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ's divinity and the triune God. In this sense, historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament restored to theology its place within the university: Theology, for Harnack, is something essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific. What it is able to say critically about Jesus is, so to speak, an expression of practical reason and consequently it can take its rightful place within the university. <b>Behind this thinking lies the modern self-limitation of reason, classically expressed in Kant's "Critiques", but in the meantime further radicalised by the impact of the natural sciences. This modern concept of reason is based, to put it briefly, on a synthesis between Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism, a synthesis confirmed by the success of technology.</b>

Before I draw the conclusions to which all this has been leading, I must briefly refer to the third stage of dehellenisation, which is now in progress. In the light of our experience with cultural pluralism, it is often said nowadays that the synthesis with Hellenism achieved in the early Church was a preliminary inculturation which ought not to be binding on other cultures. The latter are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that inculturation, in order to inculturate it anew in their own particular milieux. This thesis is not only false; it is coarse and lacking in precision.

And so I come to my conclusion. This attempt, painted with broad strokes, at a critique of modern reason from within has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly: We are all grateful for the marvellous possibilities that it has opened up for mankind and for the progress in humanity that has been granted to us. The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application.

While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically verifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.

Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures.

(Excerpted from the Pope's lecture at Regensburg University, Germany, on Tuesday, September 12, 2006)

<b>For the new theorists of jihad, Al Qaeda is just the beginning. </b>
Issue of 2006-09-11
Posted 2006-09-04

Even as members of Al Qaeda watched in exultation while the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon burned on September 11, 2001, they realized that the pendulum of catastrophe was swinging in their direction. Osama bin Laden later boasted that he was the only one in the group’s upper hierarchy who had anticipated the magnitude of the wound that Al Qaeda inflicted on America, but he also admitted that he was surprised by the towers’ collapse. His goal, for at least five years, had been to goad America into invading Afghanistan, an ambition that had caused him to continually raise the stakes"the simultaneous bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in August, 1998, followed by the attack on an American warship in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, in October, 2000. Neither of those actions had led the United States to send troops to Afghanistan. After the attacks on New York and Washington, however, it was clear that there would be an overwhelming response. Al Qaeda members began sending their families home and preparing for war.

Two months later, the Taliban government in Afghanistan, which had given sanctuary to bin Laden, was routed, and the Al Qaeda fighters in Tora Bora were pummelled. Although bin Laden and his chief lieutenants escaped death or capture, nearly eighty per cent of Al Qaeda’s members in Afghanistan were killed. Worse, Al Qaeda’s cause was repudiated throughout the world, even in Muslim countries, where the indiscriminate murder of civilians and the use of suicide operatives were denounced as being contrary to Islam. The remnants of the organization scattered and were on the run. Al Qaeda was essentially dead.

From hiding places in Iran, Yemen, Iraq, and the tribal areas of western Pakistan, Al Qaeda’s survivors lamented their failed strategy. Abu al-Walid al-Masri, a senior leader of Al Qaeda’s inner council, later wrote that <b>Al Qaeda’s experience in Afghanistan was “a tragic example of an Islamic movement managed in an alarmingly meaningless way.” He went on, “Everyone knew that their leader was leading them to the abyss and even leading the entire country to utter destruction, but they continued to carry out his orders faithfully and with bitterness.”</b>

In June, 2002, bin Laden’s son Hamzah posted a message on an Al Qaeda Web site: “Oh, Father! Where is the escape and when will we have a home' Oh, Father! I see spheres of danger everywhere I look. . . . Tell me, Father, something useful about what I see.”

“Oh, son!” bin Laden replied. “Suffice to say that I am full of grief and sighs. . . . I can only see a very steep path ahead. A decade has gone by in vagrancy and travel, and here we are in our tragedy. Security has gone, but danger remains.”

In the view of Abu Musab al-Suri, a Syrian who had been a member of Al Qaeda’s inner council, and who is a theorist of jihad, the greatest loss was not the destruction of the terrorist organization but the downfall of the Taliban, which meant that Al Qaeda no longer had a place to train, organize, and recruit. The expulsion from Afghanistan, Suri later wrote, was followed by “three meager years which we spent as fugitives,” dodging the international dragnet by “moving between safe houses and hideouts.” In 2002, he fled to eastern Iran, where bin Laden’s son Saad and Al Qaeda’s security chief, Saif al-Adl, had also taken refuge. There was a five-million-dollar bounty on his head. In this moment of exile and defeat, he began to conceive the future of jihad.

Suri was born into a middle-class family in Aleppo, Syria, in 1958, the year of bin Laden’s birth. Red-haired and sturdily built, he has a black belt in judo; his real name is Mustafa Setmariam Nasar. He became involved in politics at the University of Aleppo, where he studied engineering. Later, he moved to Jordan, where he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that opposed Syria’s dictator, Hafez al-Assad. In 1982, Assad decided that the Brotherhood posed a threat to his authority, and his troops slaughtered as many as thirty thousand people in the city of Hama, one of the group’s strongholds. The ruthlessness of Assad’s response shocked Suri. He renounced the Brotherhood, which he held responsible for provoking the destruction of Hama, and took refuge in Europe for several years. In 1985, he moved to Spain, where he married and became a Spanish citizen; two years later, he found his way to Afghanistan, where he met Osama bin Laden.

The two men have had a contentious relationship. Although Suri became a member of Al Qaeda’s inner council, he grew disillusioned by the fecklessness and the disorganization that characterized Al Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan. “People come to us with empty heads and leave us with empty heads,” he wrote. “They have done nothing for Islam. This is because they have not received any ideological or doctrinal training.”

In 1992, he moved back to Spain, where he helped to establish a terrorist cell that played a part in the planning of September 11th. Two years later, Suri moved to England. He soon became a fixture in the Islamist press in London, writing articles for the magazine Al Ansar, which promoted the insurgency in Algeria that resulted in more than a hundred thousand deaths. The magazine’s editor was Abu Qatada, a Palestinian cleric who has been characterized as Al Qaeda’s spiritual guide in Europe. <b>Al Ansar was, in many ways, the first jihadi think tank</b>; Suri and other strategists suggested tactics for undermining the despotic regimes in the Arab world, and they promoted attacks on the West even as American and European intelligence agencies were largely unaware of the threat that the Islamist movement posed.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who is currently the press aide to the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, met Qatada and Suri in the early nineties. They struck him as far more radical than Osama bin Laden; at the time, Al Qaeda was primarily an anti-Communist organization. “Osama was in the moderate camp,” Khashoggi recalled recently. He coined the phrase “Salafi jihadis” to describe men, such as Abu Qatada and Suri, who had been influenced by Salafism, the puritanical, fundamentalist strain of Islam.<b> “Osama was flirting with these ideas,” Khashoggi said. “He was not the one who originated the radical thinking that came to characterize Al Qaeda. He joined these men, rather than the other way around. His organization became the vehicle for their thinking.”</b>

Suri later wrote about bin Laden’s conversion to his ideas, which took place after bin Laden returned to Afghanistan, in 1996. Salafi jihadis spoke with him about a situation that angered him deeply: the presence of American troops on the holy soil of the Arabian Peninsula. Corrupt Islamic scholars had lent their authority to the Saudi royal family, the jihadis argued, and the royal family, in turn, had given legitimacy to the American incursion. <b>There were two possible solutions: either attack the royal family"which would likely anger the Saudi people"or strike at the American presence. “This would force the Saudi family to defend it, thereby losing its own legitimacy in the eyes of Muslims,” Suri writes. “Bin Laden chose the second option.”</b>

Suri believed that the jihadi movement had nearly been extinguished by the drying up of financial resources, the killing or capture of many terrorist leaders, the loss of safe havens, and the increasing international coöperation among police agencies. (The British authorities were pursuing him as a suspect in the 1995 Paris Métro bombings.) Accordingly, he saw the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, in 1996, as a “golden opportunity,” and he went there the following year. He set up a military camp in Afghanistan, and experimented with chemical weapons. He also arranged bin Laden’s first television interview with CNN. The journalist Peter Bergen, who spent several days in Suri’s company while producing the segment, and who recently published an oral history, “The Osama bin Laden I Know,” recalled, “He was tough and really smart. He seemed like a real intellectual, very conversant with history, and he had an intense seriousness of purpose. He certainly impressed me more than bin Laden.”

In 1999, Suri sent bin Laden an e-mail accusing him of endangering the Taliban regime with his highly theatrical attacks on American targets. And he mocked bin Laden’s love of publicity: “I think our brother has caught the disease of screens, flashes, fans, and applause.” In his writings, Suri rarely mentioned Al Qaeda and disavowed any direct connection to it, despite having served on its inner council. He preferred to speak more broadly of jihad, which he saw as a social movement, encompassing “all those who bear weapons"individuals, groups, and organizations"and wage jihad on the enemies of Islam.”

By 2000, he had begun predicting the end of Al Qaeda, whose preëminence he portrayed as a stage in the development of the worldwide Islamist uprising. “Al Qaeda is not an organization, it is not a group, nor do we want it to be,” he writes. “It is a call, a reference, a methodology.” Eventually, its leadership would be eliminated, he said. (Suri himself was captured in Pakistan in November, 2005.

American intelligence sources confirmed that Suri is in the custody of another country but refused to disclose his exact location.) In the time that remained to Al Qaeda, he argued, its main goal should be to stimulate other groups around the world to join the jihadi movement. His legacy, as he saw it, <b>was to codify the doctrines that animated Islamist jihad, so that Muslim youths of the future could discover the cause and begin their own, spontaneous religious war.</b>

In 2002, Suri, in his hideout in Iran, began writing his defining work, “Call for Worldwide Islamic Resistance,” which is sixteen hundred pages long and was published on the Internet in December, 2004. Didactic and repetitive, but also ruthlessly candid, the book dissects the faults of the jihadi movement and lays out a plan for the future of the struggle. <b>The goal, he writes, is “to bring about the largest number of human and material casualties possible for America and its allies.” He specifically targets Jews, “Westerners in general,” the members of the NATO alliance, Russia, China, atheists, pagans, and hypocrites, as well as “any type of external enemy.” (The proliferation of adversaries mirrors Al Qaeda’s hatred of all other ideologies.) </b>

And yet, at the same time, he bitterly blames Al Qaeda for dragging the entire jihadi movement into an unequal battle that it is likely to lose. Unlike most jihadi theorists, Suri acknowledges the setback caused by September 11th. He laments the demise of the Taliban, which he and other Salafi jihadis considered the modern world’s only true Islamic government. America’s “war on terror,” he complains, doesn’t discriminate between Al Qaeda adherents and Muslims in general. “Many loyal Muslims,” he writes, believe that the September 11th attacks “justified the American assault and have given it a legitimate rationale for reoccupying the Islamic world.” But Suri goes on to argue that America’s plans for international domination were already evident “in the likes of Nixon and Kissinger,” and that this agenda would have been pursued without the provocation of September 11th. Moreover, the American attack on Afghanistan was not really aimed at capturing or killing bin Laden; its true goal was to sweep away the Taliban and eliminate the rule of Islamic law.

In Suri’s view, the underground terrorist movement"that is, Al Qaeda and its sleeper cells"is defunct. This approach was “a failure on all fronts,” because of its inability to achieve military victory or to rally the Muslim people to its cause. He proposes that the next stage of jihad will be characterized by terrorism created by individuals or small autonomous groups (what he terms “leaderless resistance”), which will wear down the enemy and prepare the ground for the far more ambitious aim of waging war on “open fronts”"an outright struggle for territory. He explains, “Without confrontation in the field and seizing control of the land, we cannot establish a state, which is the strategic goal of the resistance.”

Suri acknowledges that the “Jewish enemy, led by America and its nonbelieving, apostate, hypocritical allies,” enjoys overwhelming military superiority, but he argues that the spiritual commitment of the jihadis is equally formidable. <b>He questions Al Qaeda’s opposition to democracy, which offers radical Islamists an opportunity to “secretly use this comfortable and relaxed atmosphere to spread out, reorganize their ranks, and acquire broader public bases</b>.” In many Arabic states, there is a predictable cycle of official tolerance and savage repression, which can work in favor of the Islamists.<b> If the Islamists “open the way for political moderation,” Suri writes, they will “stretch out horizontally along the base and spread. So they once again exterminate and jihad grows yet again! </b>So then they try to open things up once again, and Islam stretches out and expands again!”

The Bush Administration has declared a “war of ideas” against Islamism, Suri observes, and has had some success; he cites the modification of textbooks in many Muslim countries. This effort, he writes, must be countered by the propagation of the jihadi creed"and this is what his book attempts to do, offering a minutely detailed account of the tenets of Salafi jihadism. Suri urges his readers to reject their own repressive governments and to rise up against Western occupation and Zionism. Although the leaders of Al Qaeda have long excused the slaughter of innocents, and many of its attacks have been directed at other Muslims, Suri specifically cautions against harming other Muslims, women and children who may be nonbelievers, and other noncombatants.

Suri addresses the issue of Israel, writing that “the Zionist presence in Palestine” is an insult to Muslims; but he also excoriates the secular Palestinian National Authority that governs the country. “Armed jihad is the only solution,” he advises. “Every mujahid must wage jihad against all forms of normalization"its institutions, officials, and advocates . . . destroying them and assassinating those who rely on them . . . while paying attention not to harm Muslims by mistake.”

There are five regions, according to Suri, where jihadis should focus their energies: <b>Afghanistan, Central Asia, Yemen, Morocco, and, especially, Iraq. </b>The American occupation of Iraq, he declares, inaugurated a “historical new period” that almost single-handedly rescued the jihadi movement just when many of its critics thought it was finished.

The invasion of Iraq posed a dilemma for Al Qaeda. Iraq is a largely Shiite nation, and Al Qaeda is composed of Sunnis who believe that the Shia are heretics. Shortly before the invasion, in March, 2003, bin Laden issued his own list of targets, which included Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen"not Afghanistan or Iraq. Presumably, he regarded the chances of a Taliban resurgence as remote; moreover, he was aware that an Iraqi insurgency could ignite an Islamic civil war and lead to ethnic cleansing of the Sunni minority.

The American occupation posed a major opportunity, however, for a man named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. A former prisoner and sex offender, he was a Bedouin from Jordan. Neither an intellectual nor a strategist, Zarqawi acted largely on brute impulse, but he was a reckless warrior who gained the respect of the Arab mujahideen when he arrived in Pakistan, in the early nineties. In Peshawar, he met a Palestinian sheikh named Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who transformed him from a foot soldier in jihad to a leader who, for a time, rivalled bin Laden.

Maqdisi was already one of the most renowned ideologues of the radical Islamist movement. Incisive, unpredictable, and sharp-tempered, he has a spiritual authority and an originality that make him stand out among jihadi thinkers. His puritanism has led him to denounce many Arab rulers. In “The Evident Sacrileges of the Saudi State,” his widely circulated book, Maqdisi declared a fatwa excommunicating the Saudi royal family"in essence, a license for any Muslim to murder them. (The book influenced the men who bombed a Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh, in 1995, and also those who attacked American troops in Khobar the following year.) “Maqdisi is the most influential jihadi thinker alive,” Will McCants, a fellow at West Point’s Combatting Terrorism Center, told me.

Maqdisi and Zarqawi formed an immediate bond, an alliance of the man of thought and the man of action. In 1993, they returned to Jordan to start an Islamist group; the following year, both men were picked up by Jordanian authorities, who seized their weapons"grenades and a machine gun"and imprisoned them.

Jordanian prisons were full of radicals and prospective recruits, who were drawn to the cerebral sheikh and his ruthless assistant. Zarqawi soon emerged as the leader of the Islamist group, while Maqdisi continued to be the voice of authority. His decisions were often controversial; for instance, when Hamas began its suicide operations against Israel in 1994, Maqdisi denounced the attacks as un-Islamic"a position that Zarqawi supported at the time.

In March, 1999, Jordan’s new king, Abdullah II, granted amnesty to political prisoners. Zarqawi went to Afghanistan, but his defiant mentor chose to stay in Jordan, where he felt that he was doing productive work. He was soon back in prison.

Unruly and independent, Zarqawi refused to swear fidelity to bin Laden, and established his own camp in western Afghanistan, populated mainly by Jordanians, Syrians, and Palestinians. He was bluntly critical of Al Qaeda’s decision to wage war against America and the West rather than against corrupt Arab dictatorships.

After September 11th, Zarqawi and his followers were flushed out of Afghanistan by the invasion of the coalition forces. He took refuge in Iran and, eventually, in the Kurdish region of Iraq. In April, 2003, after the United States’ invasion of Iraq, he set up a new terror group, al-Tawid wal Jihad (Monotheism and Jihad). Unlike the senior members of Al Qaeda, Zarqawi was obsessed with fighting the Shiites, “the most evil of mankind,” thinking that he would unite the much larger Sunni world into a definitive conquest of what he saw as the great Islamic heresy.

That August, shortly after he began his Iraq campaign, he bombed a Shiite mosque, killing a hundred and twenty-five Muslim worshippers, including the most popular Shiite politician in the country, Ayatollah Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim, who, had he lived, would probably have become Iraq’s first freely elected President.

In a letter to bin Laden in January, 2004, which was intercepted by U.S. intelligence, Zarqawi explained that “<b>if we succeed in dragging [the Shia] into the arena of sectarian war it will become possible to awaken the inattentive Sunnis as they feel imminent danger.” </b>He said that he would formally pledge allegiance to Al Qaeda if bin Laden endorsed his battle against the Shiites. Bin Laden told Zarqawi to go ahead and “use the Shiite card,” perhaps because his son Saad and other Al Qaeda figures were being held in Iran, and he hoped that Zarqawi would persuade the Iranians to hand them over; he hesitated, however, to formally ally himself with Zarqawi.

Meanwhile, Zarqawi’s operatives had spread into Europe, where they forged documents and smuggled illegal aliens into the continent while gathering recruits for Iraq. One of his lieutenants, Amer el-Azizi, is a suspect in the March 11, 2004, train bombings in Madrid. Like Zarqawi’s organization, the Spanish cell included former prison inmates and operated more like a street gang than like the highly bureaucratic Al Qaeda. Zarqawi and his men were putting into action the vision that Abu Musab al-Suri had laid out for them: small, spontaneous groups carrying out individual acts of terror in Europe, and an open struggle for territory in Iraq.

Suicide bombings became a trademark of Zarqawi’s operation, despite Maqdisi’s condemnation of the practice. And Zarqawi soon improvised a more gruesome signature: in May, 2004, he was filmed decapitating Nicholas Berg, a young American contractor. The footage was posted on the Internet, and it was followed by other beheadings, along with bombings and assassinations"hundreds of them.

Within radical Islamist circles, Zarqawi’s gory executions and attacks on Muslims at prayer became a source of controversy. From prison, Maqdisi chastised his former protégé. “The pure hands of jihad fighters must not be stained by shedding inviolable blood,” he wrote in an article that was posted on his Web site in July, 2004. “There is no point in vengeful acts that terrify people, provoke the entire world against mujahideen, and prompt the world to fight them.” Maqdisi also advised jihadis not to go to Iraq, “because it will be an inferno for them. This is, by God, the biggest catastrophe.”

Zarqawi angrily refuted Maqdisi’s remarks, saying that he took orders only from God; however, he was beginning to realize that his efforts in Iraq were another dead end for jihad. “The space of movement is starting to get smaller,” he had written to bin Laden in June. “The grip is starting to be tightened on the holy warriors’ necks and, with the spread of soldiers and police, the future is becoming frightening.” <b>Finally, bin Laden agreed to lend his influence to assist Zarqawi in drawing recruits to his cause. In October, 2004, Zarqawi announced his new job title: emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq. </b>

From that time until he was killed by American bombs, in June, 2006, Zarqawi led a murderous campaign unmatched in the history of Al Qaeda. Before Zarqawi became a member, Al Qaeda had killed some thirty-two hundred people. Zarqawi’s forces probably killed twice that number.

In July, 2005, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s chief ideologue and second-in-command, attempted to steer the nihilistic Zarqawi closer to the founders’ original course. In a letter, he outlined the next steps for the Iraqi jihad: “The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or emirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate. . . . The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before"the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity.”

Zawahiri advised Zarqawi to moderate his attacks on Iraqi Shiites and to stop beheading hostages. “We are in a battle,” Zawahiri reminded him. “And more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.”

Zarqawi did not heed Al Qaeda’s requests. As the Iraqi jihad fell into barbarism, <b>Al Qaeda’s leaders began advising their followers to go to Sudan or Kashmir, where the chances of victory seemed more promising.</b> Al Qaeda, meanwhile, was confronting a new problem, which one of its prime thinkers, Abu Bakr Naji, had already anticipated, in an Internet document titled “The Management of Savagery.”

Naji’s identity is unknown. Other Islamist writers have said that he was Tunisian, but a Saudi newspaper identified him as Jordanian. Will McCants, the West Point scholar, has translated Naji’s work. He said that “Abu Bakr Naji” might be a collective pseudonym for various theorists of jihad. But, he added, Naji’s work has appeared on Sawt al-Jihad, the authoritative Al Qaeda Internet magazine, meaning that it reflects the prevailing views of the organization. Other analysts are cautious about giving too much weight to Naji’s words. Speaking at a conference earlier this year, David Kilcullen, the chief counterterrorism strategist at the U.S. State Department, highlighted the tendency of extremist movements to fragment into splinter groups based on ideological differences. “It’s important to realize that there are numerous competing points of view within the movement,” he said. “Not everything published in jihadist forums has the approval of the senior leadership.”

Naji’s document, which appeared in the spring of 2004, addresses the crisis and the opportunity posed by the tumult in the Arab world. “During our long journey, through victories and defeats, through the blood, severed limbs and skulls, some of the movements have disappeared and some have remained,” he writes. “If we meditate on the factor common to the movements which have remained, we find that there is political action in addition to military action.” Many Islamist groups have disparaged the notion of politics, considering it “a filthy activity of Satan,” but understanding the politics of the enemy, Naji suggests, is a necessary evil. “We urge that the leaders work to master political science just as they would work to master military science.”

Naji argues that Al Qaeda’s public image has suffered among Muslims because the organization has failed to carry the battle to the media. “The first step in putting our plan in place should be to focus on justifying the action rationally and through the Sharia,” he says. “Second, we must communicate this justification clearly to the people and the masses such that any means or attempt to distort our action through the media is cut off.”

The media is especially important in the chaotic period that the jihadi movement has entered, when people are understandably offended by the carnage. “If we succeed in the management of this savagery, that stage"by the permission of God"will be a bridge to the Islamic state which has been awaited since the fall of the caliphate,” he proclaims. <b>“If we fail"we seek refuge with God from that"it does not mean an end of the matter. Rather, this failure will lead to an increase in savagery.” </b>

Naji writes in the dry, oddly temperate style that characterizes many Al Qaeda strategy studies. And, like all jihadi theorists, he embeds his analysis in the tradition of Ibn Taymiyya, the thirteenth-century Arab theologian whose ideas undergird the Salafi, or Wahhabi, tradition; bin Laden frequently refers to Ibn Taymiyya in his speeches. The remarks of bin Laden and Zawahiri play only a modest part in Naji’s work. Indeed, Naji is a more attentive reader of Western thinkers: the thesis of “The Management of Savagery” is drawn from the observation of the Yale historian Paul Kennedy, in his book “Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” (1987), that imperial overreach leads to the downfall of empires.

Naji began writing his study in 1998, when the jihad movement’s most promising targets appeared to be Jordan, the countries of North Africa, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen"roughly the same countries that bin Laden later named. Naji recommended that jihadis continually attack the vital economic centers of these countries, such as tourist sites and oil refineries, in order to make the regimes concentrate their forces, leaving their peripheries unprotected. Sensing weakness, Naji predicts, the people will lose confidence in their governments, which will respond with increasingly ineffective acts of repression. Eventually, the governments will lose control. Savagery will naturally follow, offering Islamists the opportunity to capture the allegiance of a population that is desperate for order. (Naji cites Afghanistan before the Taliban as an example.) Even though the jihadis will have caused the chaos, that fact will be forgotten as the fighters impose security, provide food and medical treatment, and establish Islamic courts of justice.

After coalition forces overran Al Qaeda compounds in Afghanistan in late 2001, they seized thousands of pages of internal memoranda, records of strategy sessions and ethical debates, and military manuals, but not a single page devoted to the politics of Al Qaeda. Alone among Al Qaeda theorists, Naji briefly addresses whether jihadis are prepared to run a state should they succeed in toppling one. He quotes a colleague who posed the question “Assuming that we get rid of the apostate regimes today, who will take over the ministry of agriculture, trade, economics, etc.'” Beyond the simplistic notion of imposing a caliphate and establishing the rule of Islamic law, the leaders of the organization appear never to have thought about the most basic facts of government. What kind of economic model would they follow' How would they cope with unemployment, so rampant in the Muslim world' Where do they stand on the environment' Health care' The truth, as Naji essentially concedes, is that the radical Islamists have no interest in government; they are interested only in jihad. In his book, Naji breezily answers his friend as follows: “It is not a prerequisite that the mujahid movement has to be prepared especially for agriculture, trade, and industry. . . . As for the one who manages the techniques in each ministry, he can be a paid employee who has no interest in policy and is not a member of the movement or the party. There are many examples of that and a proper explanation would take a long time.”

Fouad Hussein is a radical Jordanian journalist who met Zarqawi and Maqdisi in 1996, when, he writes, “a career of trouble led me to Suwaqah Prison.” He had published a series of articles criticizing the Jordanian government, and, in response, the authorities locked him up for a month. Since Zarqawi and Maqdisi were being held at the same jail, Hussein sought out interviews with them; eventually, Zarqawi served him tea while Maqdisi talked politics. Zarqawi mentioned that he had been in solitary confinement for more than eight months and had lost his toenails as a result of being tortured. The next week, Zarqawi was sent to solitary again, and his followers staged a riot. Hussein became the negotiator between the prisoners and the warden, who relented"an episode that cemented Hussein’s standing among the radical Islamists.

In 2005, Hussein produced what is perhaps the most definitive outline of Al Qaeda’s master plan: a book titled “Al-Zarqawi: The Second Generation of Al Qaeda.” Although it is largely a favorable biography of Zarqawi and his movement, Hussein incorporates the <b>insights of other Al Qaeda members"notably, Saif al-Adl, the security chief. </b>

It is chilling to read this work and realize how closely recent events seem to be hewing to Al Qaeda’s forecasts. Based on interviews with Zarqawi and Adl, <b>Hussein claims that dragging Iran into conflict with the United States is key to Al Qaeda’s strategy.</b> Expanding the area of conflict in the Middle East will cause the U.S. to overextend its forces. According to Hussein, Al Qaeda believes that Iran expects to be attacked by the U.S., because of its interest in building a nuclear weapon. “Accordingly, Iran is preparing to retaliate for or abort this strike by means of using powerful cards in its hand,” he writes. These tactics include targeting oil installations in the Persian Gulf, which could cut off sixty per cent of the world’s oil supplies, destabilizing Western economies.

In an ominous passage, Hussein notes that “for fifteen years"or since the end of the first Gulf War"Iran has been busy building a secret global army of highly trained personnel and the necessary financial and technological capabilities to carry out any kind of mission.” He is clearly referring to Hezbollah, which has so far focussed its attention on Israel. According to Hussein, “Iran has identified American and Jewish targets around the world. This secret army is led by two professional Lebanese men who have pledged full allegiance to Iran and who hold enough of a grudge against the Americans to qualify them to inflict damage on Jewish and American interests around the world.”

Iran, he continues, has been cultivating good relations with other Palestinian resistance groups, including Hamas. “Iran views these parties as its entrenched wings in occupied Palestine,” Hussein writes, asserting that the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh in February, 2005, were secretly aimed at countering Iranian influence on the Palestinian resistance. “Al Qaeda interpreted this as the first step toward launching an attack on Iran,” Hussein claims. Both the U.S. and Israel view Hezbollah, the Islamist group in Lebanon, as a creature of the Iranian state, and are intent on eliminating it. “The military campaign against Iran will begin when the United States and Israel succeed in disarming Hezbollah,” Hussein predicts.

Hussein claims, without offering evidence, that Iran already has thirty thousand intelligence agents in Iraq. “Since the Americans have not succeeded in eliminating the Sunni resistance, how can they deal with the situation if the Shiites join the resistance' Iran plans to incite its proponents in Iraq to join the anti-U.S. resistance in the event that the United States or Israel launches an attack on Iran. Iran plans to open its border to the resistance and provide it with what it needs to achieve a swift and major victory against the Americans.” Al Qaeda, he writes, also expects the Americans to go after Iran’s principal ally in the region, Syria. <b>The removal of the Assad regime"a longtime goal of jihadis"will allow the country to be infiltrated by Al Qaeda, putting the terrorists within reach, at last, of Israel</b>.

Hussein observes that <b>Al Qaeda’s ideologues have studied the failure of Islamist movements in the past and concluded that they lacked concrete, realistic goals</b>. Therefore, he writes, “Al Qaeda drew up a feasible plan within a well-defined time frame. <b>The plan was based on improving the Islamic jihadist action in quality and quantity and expanding it to include the entire world.”</b>

<b>Al Qaeda’s twenty-year plan began on September 11th, with a stage that Hussein calls “The Awakening.” </b>The ideologues within Al Qaeda believed that “the Islamic nation was in a state of hibernation,” because of repeated catastrophes inflicted upon Muslims by the West. By striking America"“the head of the serpent”"Al Qaeda caused the United States to “lose consciousness and act chaotically against those who attacked it. This entitled the party that hit the serpent to lead the Islamic nation.” This first stage, says Hussein, ended in 2003, when American troops entered Baghdad.

<b>The second, “Eye-Opening” stage will last until the end of 2006,</b> Hussein writes.

Iraq will become the recruiting ground for young men eager to attack America. In this phase, he argues, perhaps wishfully, Al Qaeda will move from being an organization to “a mushrooming invincible and popular trend.” The electronic jihad on the Internet will propagate Al Qaeda’s ideas, and Muslims will be pressed to donate funds to make up for the seizure of terrorist assets by the West. <b>The third stage, “Arising and Standing Up,” will last from 2007 to 2010.</b> Al Qaeda’s focus will be on Syria and Turkey, but it will also begin to directly confront Israel, in order to gain more credibility among the Muslim population.

<b>In the fourth stage, lasting until 2013, Al Qaeda will bring about the demise of Arab governments. “</b>The creeping loss of the regimes’ power will lead to a steady growth in strength within Al Qaeda,” Hussein predicts. Meanwhile, attacks against the Middle East petroleum industry will continue, and America’s power will deteriorate through the constant expansion of the circle of confrontation. “By then, Al Qaeda will have completed its electronic capabilities, and it will be time to use them to launch electronic attacks to undermine the U.S. economy.” <b>Islamists will promote the idea of using gold as the international medium of exchange, leading to the collapse of the dollar.</b>

Then an Islamic caliphate can be declared, inaugurating the fifth stage of Al Qaeda’s grand plan, which will last until 2016. “At this stage, the Western fist in the Arab region will loosen, and Israel will not be able to carry out preëmptive or precautionary strikes,” Hussein writes. “The international balance will change.” Al Qaeda and the Islamist movement will attract powerful new economic allies, such as China, and Europe will fall into disunity.

<b>The sixth phase will be a period of “total confrontation.” The now established caliphate will form an Islamic Army and will instigate a worldwide fight between the “believers” and the “non-believers.” </b>Hussein proclaims, “<b>The world will realize the meaning of real terrorism</b>.” By 2020, “definitive victory” will have been achieved. Victory, according to the Al Qaeda ideologues, means that “falsehood will come to an end. . . . The Islamic state will lead the human race once again to the shore of safety and the oasis of happiness.”

Al Qaeda’s version of utopia has drawn the allegiance of a new generation of Arabs, who have been tutored on the Internet by ideologues such as Suri and Naji. This “third generation of mujahideen,” as Suri calls them, have been radicalized by September 11th, the occupation of Iraq, and the Palestinian intifada. (Suri wrote this before the current struggle in Lebanon.) Those jihadis fighting in the conflict in Iraq have been trained in vicious urban warfare against the most formidable army in history. They will return to their home countries and add their expertise to the new cells springing up in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many European nations.

With a few troublesome exceptions, America has been free of the kind of indigenous Islamist terrorism that has recently visited Britain. It is a tribute to the American Muslim community, which is more integrated into American society than its counterparts in Europe. Relatively few Muslims in the U.S. have been imprisoned, and the typical Muslim household earns more than the national average. The situation in Europe is starkly different, which means that it will be an ongoing source of trouble, and may continue to be a launching pad for the kind of attacks against America represented by the alleged plot to blow up as many as ten airliners over the Atlantic.

In 2002, the Dutch government commissioned a study of the recruits to the Islamist movement. The report, titled “Recruitment for the Jihad in the Netherlands,” <b>divides the jihadis into three groups.</b> First are young men of Dutch descent who have converted to Islam"a phenomenon, noticed elsewhere in Europe, in which traditional forms of worship have lost their allure and radical Islam functions as an all-encompassing identity and as a form of protest. Many of these conversions take place in prison. The second category is composed mainly of illegal Arab immigrants who have little knowledge of the culture and language of their host country. The third and largest category is made up of the sons and grandsons of predominately Moroccan immigrants, native speakers of Dutch who speak little or no Arabic. This group, caught between cultures, identifies most profoundly with radical Islam.

After the murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, in Amsterdam in 2004, the government published another study, “From Dawa to Jihad,” detailing the threats from radical Islam. This study notes a sharp difference between “traditional” radical political Islam and what the authors term “radical-Islamic puritanism,” which characterizes the new generation. <b>Traditional radical Islam was homogeneous and organized; it had a detailed ideology with a specific vision of a non-Western alternative society. There was, in theory, a peaceful path to this idealized vision, but the traditional radical thinkers believed that this path had been cut off by the West, making jihad"which they saw as a political struggle carried out on the battlefield"the only alternative. </b>The ideology of the new generation, comprising a mixture of ethnic identities, is alarmingly vague. Their only political goal is a return to the ideals of the seventh-century Prophet and his early successors; they spout messianic slogans about the caliphate and imposing Sharia, without a clear idea of what those goals entail. <b>They categorically reject the possibility of a peaceful path. They believe that the world is divided between “sons of light” and “sons of darkness,” and that a fight to the end is the will of God.</b>

Al Qaeda’s apocalyptic agenda is not shared by all Islamists. Although most jihadi groups approve of Al Qaeda’s attacks on America and Europe, <b>their own goals are often more parochial, having to do with purifying Islam and toppling regimes in their own countries which they see as heretical.</b> Many of these groups would be happy to see Al Qaeda disappear, so that their campaigns can be understood as nationalist guerrilla struggles with specific political goals.

This rupture has grown increasingly apparent in the past five years. Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, Hezbollah’s spiritual leader, publicly denounced the September 11th attacks and condemned Al Qaeda’s use of suicide bombers, even though the tactic was employed in the 1983 attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and the barracks of American and French troops in Lebanon, both of which are believed to have been carried out by Hezbollah. After September 11th, leaders of the Egyptian Islamist organization, Gama’a Islamiya, which has worked closely with Al Qaeda in the past, publicly condemned Al Qaeda’s tactics and its goals of worldwide jihad. Even some of Zawahiri’s former colleagues in the Egyptian terror group he formed, Al Jihad, argue that Al Qaeda has undermined the cause of Islam by instigating anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. and the West.

It is notable how seldom these ideologues refer to the words of bin Laden or Zawahiri, the nominal leaders of the movement, perhaps because the declarations of Al Qaeda’s leadership are directed more at Americans and Europeans than at the jihadis. “Beware the scripted enemy, who plays to a global audience,” David Kilcullen, the counterterrorism strategist at the State Department, wrote in a paper now being used by the U.S. military in Iraq as a handbook for dealing with the insurgency. <b>Al Qaeda, he wrote, propagates a “single narrative” aimed at influencing the West; but each faction within the jihadi movement has its own version of this narrative, often sharply different from the message being put forward by bin Laden and Zawahiri. </b>

Although American and European intelligence communities are aware of the jihadi texts, the work of these ideologues often reads like a playbook that U.S. policymakers have been slavishly, if inadvertently, following. “The data don’t get to the top, because the decision-makers are not looking for that kind of information,” <b>a policy analyst who works closely with the American intelligence community told me. “They think they know better.”</b>

As the writings of Abu Musab al-Suri, Abu Bakr Naji, Fouad Hussein, and others make clear, the tradition of Salafi jihad existed before bin Laden and Al Qaeda and will likely survive them; yet, from the beginning of the war on terror, the strategy of the Administration has been to decapitate Al Qaeda’s leadership. Bruce Hoffman, who is the author of “Inside Terrorism” and a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, told me, “<b>One of the problems with the kill-or-capture metric is that it has often been to the exclusion of having a deeper, richer understanding of the movement, its origins, and our adversaries’ mindset. </b>

<b>The nuances are absolutely critical. Our adversaries are wedded to the ideology that informs and fuels their struggle, and, by not paying attention, we risk not knowing our enemy.”</b>
The grip of the Majlis-e-ittehadul Muslimeen on the community remains strong, despite minor dents.
WITH A Member representing Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha, five members in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, 40 corporators in Hyderabad and 95-plus members elected to various municipal bodies in Andhra Pradesh, the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen is one of the foremost representatives of the city’s Muslims and the most powerful Muslim party in India and one can see the partys strenghth if it goes to Hyderabads Old city everywhere u look u can see MIM written on walls ,lightpoles and buildings leaving aside flags and posters of its Leadership and its offices .The Majlis has brought lot of development to the Old part of the city even after it is said it hasnt done anything by its opponents who are mostly Ex Majlis workers.
The Majlis was formed in 1927 “for educational and social uplift of Muslims”. But it articulated the position that “the ruler and throne (Nizam) are symbols of the political and cultural rights of the Muslim community… (and) this status must continue forever”.
The Majlis pitted itself against the Andhra Mahasabha and the communists who questioned the feudal order that sustained the Nizam’s rule. It also bitterly opposed the Arya Samaj, which gave social and cultural expression to the aspirations of the urban Hindu population in the Hyderabad State of those days.
By the mid-1940s, the Majlis had come to represent a remarkably aggressive and violent face of Muslim communal politics as it organised the razakars (volunteers) to defend the “independence” of this “Muslim” State from merger with the Indian Union.
According to historians, over 1,50,000 such `volunteers’ were organised by the Majlis for the Nizam State’s defence but they are remembered for unleashing unparalleled violence against Hindu populations, the communists and all those who opposed the Nizam’s “go it alone” policy. It is estimated that during the height of the razakar `agitation’, over 30,000 people had taken shelter in the Secunderabad cantonment alone to protect themselves from these `volunteers’.
But the razakars could do little against the Indian Army and did not even put up a fight. Kasim Rizvi, the Majlis leader, was imprisoned and the organisation banned in 1948. Rizvi was released in 1957 on the undertaking that he would leave for Pakistan in 48 hours. Before he left though, Rizvi met some of the erstwhile activists of the Majlis and passed on the presidentship to Abdul Wahed Owaisi, a famous lawyer and an Islamic scholar who also was jailed for nearly 10 months after he took over the Majlis leadership as the then govt wanted to abolish the Majlis party but Owaisi refused to do so and was seen as a person who had financially supported the party when it was a bankrupt and weak one after the Police Action in Hyderabad State.
Owaisi is credited with having “re-written” the Majlis constitution according to the provisions of the Indian Constitution and “the realities of Muslim minority in independent India”, according to a former journalist, Chander Srivastava. For the first decade-and-a-half after this “reinvention”, the Majlis remained, at best, a marginal player in Hyderabad politics and even though every election saw a rise in its vote share, it could not win more than one Assembly seat.
The 1970s saw an upswing in Majlis’ political fortunes. In 1969, it won back its party headquarters, Dar-us-Salaam — a sprawling 4.5-acre compound in the heart of the New City. It also won compensation which was used to set up an ITI on the premises and a women’s degree college in Nizamabad town. In 1976, Salahuddin Owaisi took over the presidentship of the Majlis after his father’s demise.
This started an important phase in the history of the Majlis as it continued expanding its educational institutions,Hospitals,Banks, including the first Muslim minority Engineering College and Medical College. Courses in MBA, MCA ,Nursing, Pharmacy and other professional degrees followed and now a daily newspaper known as Etemaad Daily. The 1970s were also a watershed in Majlis’ history as after a long period of 31 years, Hyderabad witnessed large-scale communal rioting in 1979. The Majlis came to the forefront in “defending” Muslim life and property Majlis workers could be seen at these moments defending the properties of Muslims in the wake of riots and these workers were very hard even for the police to control them even now it is a known fact that there are nearly about 2500 units of strong members who only act if there is a seirous threat to the Owaisi family and these members are under the direct orders of the Owaisi family which leads the Majlis party leaving aside thousands of workers and informers throughout the State and even outside the country far away till America and the Gulf countries.
Salahuddin Owaisi, also known as “Salar-e-Millat” (commander of the community), has repeatedly alleged in his speeches that the Indian state has “abandoned” the Muslims to their fate. Therefore, “Muslims should stand on their own feet, rather than look to the State for help'’, he argues.
This policy has been an unambiguous success in leveraging the Majlis today to its position of being practically the “sole spokesman” of the Muslims in Hyderabad and its environs.
Voting figures show this clearly. From 58,000 votes in the 1962 Lok Sabha elections for the Hyderabad seat, Majlis votes rose to 1,12,000 in 1980. The clear articulation of this “stand on one’s feet” policy in education and `protection’ during riots doubled its vote-share by 1984. Salahuddin Owaisi won the seat for the first time, polling 2.22 lakh votes. This vote-share doubled in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections to over four lakhs.
The Majlis has since continued its hold on the Hyderabad seat winning about five-and-a-half lakh votes each time.
Despite remarkable economic prosperity and negligible communal violence in the past decade, the hold of the Majlis on the Muslims of Hyderabad remains, despite minor dents. And despite widespread allegations of Majlis leaders having “made money”, most ordinary Muslims continue to support them because, as one bank executive put it “they represent our issues clearly and unambiguously'’. An old Historian Bakhtiyar khan says the Owaisi family was a rich family even before entering Politics and he says he had seen the late Majlis leader Abdul Wahed Owaisi in an American Buick car at a time when rarely cars were seen on Hyderabad Roads and the family had strong relations with the ersthwhile Nizams of Hyderabad and the Paighs even now the family is considered to be one of the richest familes in Hyderabad.
A university teacher says that the Majlis helped Muslims live with dignity and security at a time when they were under attack and even took the fear out of them after the Police action and adds that he has seen Majlis leaders in the front at times confronting with the Police and the Govt.
Asaduddin Owaisi, the articulate UK educated barrister son of Salahuddin Owaisi and Former leader of the Majlis’ Legislature party and now an MP himself who has travelled across the globe meeting world leaders and organizatons and even in war zones compares the Majlis to the Black Power movement of America.
The Majlis that emerged after 1957 is a completely different entity from its pre-independence edition, he says adding that comparisons with that bloody past are “misleading and mischievous”. “That Majlis was fighting for state power, while we have no such ambitions or illusions”.
He stoutly defends the need for “an independent political voice” for the minorities, which is willing to defend them and project their issues “firmly”.
“How can an independent articulation of minority interests and aspirations be termed communal,” he asks and contests any definition of democracy which questions the loyalty of minorities if they assert their independent political identity. “We are a threat not only to the BJP and Hindu communalism, but also to Muslim extremism,” Asaduddin claims. “By providing a legitimate political vent for Muslims to voice their aspirations and fears, we are preventing the rise of political extremism and religious obscurantism when the community is under unprecedented attack from Hindu communalists and the state'’. He can be seen in his speeches speaking against terrorism in the Country and says if the time arises Majlis will stand side by side in defending the Nation. Asaduddins younger brother Akbaruddin Owaisi who is the new Majlis Legislature Party leader in the State Assembly is also a very charismatic leader whose speeches attract thousands of people hanging from buildings to hear him and is heard saying that majlis opponents are just a bunch of people who have been paidup by the BJP to finish the majlis in Andhra pradesh Akbaruddin is also seen as the most powerful youth leader seen in recent times in hyderbad . He is also known to be popular among and the citys mixed population and seen as the richest and most flamboyant
politican in Hyderabd.
September 08, 2006 4:56 PM

<span style='color:red'><b>CHANGE USR NAME AS PER FORUM RULES</b></span>
<b>Turkish official compares pope to Hitler</b>
<i>Politician joins outcry across Muslim world over pontiff's comments in Islam</i>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pakistan demands apology
On Friday, Pakistan’s parliament adopted a resolution condemning Benedict for making what it called “derogatory” comments about Islam, and seeking an apology. Hours later, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican’s ambassador to express regret over the pope’s remarks Tuesday.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Higher expectations of the pope
“One would expect a religious leader such as the pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor’s views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations between the followers of Islam and Catholicism,” said Muhammad Abdul Bari, the council’s secretary-general.

<b>Many Muslims accused Benedict of seeking to promote Judeo-Christian dominance over Islam</b>.

<b>Few in Turkey, especially, failed to pick up on Benedict’s reference to Istanbul as Constantinople — the city’s name more than 500 years ago — before it was conquered by Muslim Ottoman Turks.</b>
Another interesting take on...

<b>The Origins of Al Qaeda's Ideology: Implications for US Strategy</b>.
<i>by Christopher Henzel </i>

<i>"The fight against the enemy nearest to you has precedence over the fight against the enemy farther away.... In all Muslim countries the enemy has the reins of power. The enemy is the present rulers." </i>

--Muhammad Abd al-Salam Faraj, tried and hanged in connection with the 1981 assassination of Anwar al-Sadat (1)

<i>"Victory for the Islamic movements ... cannot be attained unless these movements possess an Islamic base in the heart of the Arab region." </i>

--Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden deputy, 2001 (2)

<i>"We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia.... The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize. We have to ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution." </i>

--Michael Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute, 2002 (3)

The leader of Sadat's assassins, Bin Laden's chief ideologue, and a leading American neoconservative supporter of Israel all call for a revolutionary transformation of the Middle East. <b>However, the United States, the existing Arab regimes, and the traditional Sunni clerical establishments all share an interest in avoiding instability and revolution.</b> <b>This shared interest makes the establishments in the Sunni world America's natural partners in the struggle against al Qaeda and similar movements. If American strategists fail to understand and exploit the divide between the establishments and the revolutionaries within Sunni Islam, the United States will play into the radicals' hands, and turn fence-sitting Sunnis into enemies</b>.

<b>Outsiders of the Sunni World </b>

Sunni Islam is a very big tent, and there always have been insiders and outsiders within Sunnism playing out their rivalries with clashing philosophies. (4) Throughout the past century, the most important of these clashes have occurred between Sunni reformers and the traditional Sunni clerical establishment. The ideology <b>espoused today by al Qaeda and similar groups can be traced directly from the 19th-century founders of modernist reform in Sunnism</b>. Al Qaeda's leading thinkers are steeped in these reformers' long struggle against the establishment. The teaching of the reformers has been heterodox and revolutionary from the beginning; that is, the reformers and their intellectual descendants in al Qaeda are the outsiders of today's Sunni world.

For the most part this struggle has been waged in Egypt, Sunni Islam's center of gravity. On one side of the debate, there is Cairo's Al-Azhar, a seminary and university that has been the center of Sunni orthodoxy for a thousand years. On the other side, al Qaeda's ideology has its origins in late-19th-century efforts in Egypt to reform and modernize faith and society. As the 20th century progressed, the Sunni establishment centered on Al-Azhar came to view the modernist reform movement as more and more heterodox. <b>It became known as Salafism, for the supposedly uncorrupted early Muslim predecessors (salaf, plural aslaf) of today's Islam. The more revolutionary tendencies in this Salafist reform movement constitute the core of today's challenge to the Sunni establishment, and are the chief font of al Qaeda's ideology. </b>

<b>A Century of Reformation </b>

In contemporary Western discussions of the Muslim world, it is common to hear calls for a "reformation in Islam" as an antidote to al Qaeda. (5) These calls often betray a misunderstanding of both Sunni Islam and of the early modern debate between Catholics and Protestants. In fact, a Sunni "reformation" has been under way for more than a century, and it works against Western security interests. The Catholic-Protestant struggle in Europe weakened traditional religious authorities' control over the definition of doctrine, emphasized scripture over tradition, idealized an allegedly uncorrupted primitive religious community, and simplified theology and rites. The Salafist movement in the Sunni Muslim world has been pursuing these same reforms for a century.

More important, the contemporary pundits' calls for "a reformation in Islam" carry with them an implication that the traditional Sunni clerical elite is the ideological basis for al Qaeda, and <b>that weakening the traditional clerical establishment's hold on the minds of pious Sunnis would promote stability. In fact, the opposite is clearly the case in most of the Sunni world</b>. The mutual condemnations that the establishment and Salafist camps have exchanged over the past century, not to mention the blood shed by both sides, make this clear.

Even in Saudi Arabia, which is exceptional because the religious establishment there is itself Salafist, <b>there is a split between a pro-establishment Salafist camp and the revolutionary Salafists</b>. The Saudi regime and its establishment Salafist allies have asserted themselves against revolutionary Salafist tendencies repeatedly since the 1920s, and are belatedly doing so again now.

The revolutionary Salafists are outsiders. Their movement, from its origins a century ago until today, has been at odds with the Sunni establishment. By tracing the movement's ideological development over the past century, it becomes clear why al Qaeda's leaders have chosen their present strategy: the experience of their movement drives them to view their opponents within Sunni Islam--"the near enemy"--as a more important target than non-Muslims--"the far enemy."

<b>Theology and Politics: Ibn Taymiyya </b>

The medieval Sunni scholar Taqi ad-Din Ahmed ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) is an important reference for today's revolutionary Salafists. Ibn Taymiyya needed an argument that would rally Muslims behind the Mamluke rulers of Egypt in their struggle against the advancing Mongols from 1294 to 1303. Some objected that there could be no jihad against the Mongols because they and their king had recently converted to Islam. Ibn Taymiyya reasoned that because the Mongol ruler permitted some aspects of Mongol tribal law to persist alongside the Islamic sharia code, the Mongols were apostates to Islam and therefore legitimate targets of jihad. <b>Today's revolutionary Salafists cite Ibn Taymiyya as an authority for their argument that contemporary Muslim rulers are apostates if they fail to impose sharia exclusively, and that jihad should be waged against them. </b>

Although Ibn Taymiyya's medieval theology is important to the contemporary Salafists, Salafism had its true origins in modern times, in the reform movement at Sunni Islam's Egyptian core in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This reform movement arose out of the reaction of Muslims in the Ottoman Empire to the growing dominance of the West in international politics, in science, and in culture. Napoleon's occupation of Egypt, the French colonization of North Africa, and Britain's domination of Muslims in India and later Egypt all dealt profound shocks to a Muslim world that had, until the 18th century, confidently regarded itself as superior to the West.

<b>Muslim Rationalist: Al-Afghani </b>

Jamal ad-Din Al-Afghani (1839-1897) launched this modernizing reform movement in Islam, one strain of which developed later into the revolutionary Salafism the United States confronts today. Chiefly through his preaching and pupils in Cairo, Al-Afghani spread the idea that Muslim defeats at the hands of the West were due to the corruption of Islam. Al-Afghani admired Western rationalism, and saw it as the source of the West's material strength. Rather than advocating secularization, however, Al-Afghani taught that rationalism was the core of an uncorrupted "true" Islam, the Islam supposedly practiced during the golden age of Muhammad and his first few successors. Al-Afghani believed that if this spiritual revival of Muslim society were accomplished, the Muslim world would soon develop the intellectual equipment it needed to redress the West's technological and military advantages. (6)

Al-Afghani's teachings flew in the face of conventional wisdom in both the Muslim world and the West. Most Ottoman reformers who contemplated the disparities between Western and Eastern power concluded that the Ottoman Empire needed to adopt the science of the West, and set aside much of the thought of the East, a tendency that culminated in Attaturk's radical secularism.

Al-Afghani, on the other hand, diagnosed the Muslim world's problem as theological at root, and prescribed as an antidote religious revival. Al-Afghani also taught that political struggle, even revolt, was sometimes justified.

Al-Afghani's attempts to identify Western rationalism with primitive Islam, as well as his teaching on rebellion, brought condemnation from the Sunni clerical establishment. He failed to win a popular following for his ideas, and he was deported from Egypt by the pro-British regime of the Khedive Tawfiq. (7) But Al-Afghani's students had a lasting impact on the next generation of Muslim thinkers.

<b>Sunni Reformers: 'Abduh and Ridha </b>

Al-Afghani's leading student was Muhammed 'Abduh (1849-1905) He rose to become Grand Mufti of Egypt, making him the only prominent Salafist to have made a career among the clerical elite. 'Abduh was a modernist: like Al-Afghani, he contended that Islam, properly understood, was compatible with the rationalism of modern Europe. This proper understanding could be found in the supposedly pure religion practiced during the first few generations of Islam. 'Abduh coined the term "salafiah" to describe his teachings.

Importantly, 'Abduh also taught that private judgment (ijtihad) was a valid means by which contemporary believers could understand "true" Islam in a modern light. (8)

'Abduh's followers took his ideas in two divergent directions after his death. <b>Some used his teachings to advocate secularization in the Muslim world. They had much impact over the next 50 years, blunting Muslim resistance to Arab socialism and nationalism, </b>but the logic of their views led many of them into outright secularism, taking them out of the debate among Sunni believers. (9)

<b>The other current of 'Abduh's followers used many of his reforming ideas to move down the path that led to today's al Qaeda. </b>'Abduh's pupil and biographer, Mohammed Rashid Ridha (1865-1935) emphasized his master's teachings on the idea of a pure Islam of the aslaf, and on the idea that individuals and societies that adhere to "true" Islam will prosper in this world.

This was an especially attractive promise to Muslims living under European occupations. Ridha's circle viewed the early Muslims' conquests as God's reward for their pious obedience. If only Islam could be cleansed of its medieval encroachments and (in Ridha's version) the errors of both modern Westernizing philosophers and of Shias, then political success would follow. Ridha believed the establishment clergy incapable of leading the reform movement he desired. (10)

<b>Al-Banna and the Muslim Brothers </b>

The Egyptian Hassan Al-Banna (1906-1949) studied with Ridha's circle as a young man, and in 1928 he launched in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood, the first modern Islamic political movement. Al-Banna sought to unite and mobilize Muslims against the cultural and political domination of the West. However, the Brotherhood eventually reached an understanding with the regime of King Faruq, which saw the Brothers as a useful counter to nationalist movements. As a result, revolutionaries among the Salafists began to feel less and less comfortable with the Brotherhood.

Just as these differences within the Brotherhood were coming to the surface, Gamal Abdel Nasser and other military officers overthrew the Egyptian monarchy in 1952. The new socialist and nationalist military regime suppressed the Brotherhood in 1954, claiming it had plotted to assassinate Nasser.

<b>Reform Movements beyond Sunnism's Core </b>

Meanwhile, other Sunni Muslim reform movements beyond Sunnism's Egyptian core were maturing independently of the Salafists. Wahabism, a puritanical Sunni sect, first arose in the 1700s, but remained confined to the sparsely populated deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. In 1816, Sunnism's orthodox core, in the form of an Egyptian army acting in the name of the Ottoman Sultan, reached out to Arabia to destroy the first Wahabi state. Ridha, early in his career, condemned the Wahabis as heretical, as did all mainstream Sunnis. But Ridha gradually came to sympathize with the Arabian dissenters. (11) Wahabi influence throughout the Sunni world grew as oil wealth fed Saudi power in the 1960s and 1970s.

Like Wahabism, the Deobandi and Barelvi movements of South Asia developed independently of the reformers at Sunnism's Egyptian core. The Deobandis and Barelvis attempted to address the problems of South Asian Sunni Muslims who went from being the ruling minority of the Mughal Empire to living after 1857 under direct British rule as a minority among South Asia's Hindus. Their solution was to call on believers to exclude non-Muslim influences from their lives, build purely Muslim institutions, and strive to live a wholly Islamic life, as understood by the movements' scholars. <b>It was not until the 1960s that these South Asian currents influenced the revolutionary Salafists, through the writings of Pakistani cleric Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979) (12) and their impact on another Egyptian outsider, Sayyed Qutb. </b>

<b>Sayyid Qutb</b>

Qutb (1906-1966), the next bearer of the revolutionary Salafist flame, was an educator and member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb warned against the Westernizing influences that continued to permeate the Muslim world during the 1940s and 1950s. He had no formal theological training, but, hearkening back to 'Abduh and Ridha, believed it the duty of the ordinary believer to seek out the supposedly pure Islam of the aslaf. (13) Expanding on Ibn Taymiyya's teaching on jihad against apostate rulers, Qutb argued for struggle against the secular regimes of the Muslim world, even if this meant killing Muslims. Qutb was also influenced by Mawdudi's call on individual Muslims to exclude nonMuslim influences from their lives and institutions. Qutb's endorsement of Mawdudi began a convergence between the revolutionary Salafists and the South Asian movements. (14) The Nasser regime hanged Qutb in 1966. (15)

Nasser's secular agenda, his socialism, and his spectacular defeat in the 1967 war generated opposition to his regime and disillusionment with secularism in general. Some of this opposition flowed into the ranks of the underground Islamic political movements. The Muslim Brotherhood had by this time split with the revolutionary Salafist movements over the Salafists' calls for overturning Muslim states and societies. The Brotherhood became the most significant Islamic political opposition to Nasserism. However, the revolutionary Salafists, who viewed Qutb as a visionary martyr, gained adherents as well. Thousands from both movements languished in Egyptian prisons.

After Nasser's death in 1970, his successor, Anwar al-Sadat, attempted to co-opt both traditional Islam and political Islam as counters to the political left. The Sadat regime at first tolerated the growth of a Salafist campus movement calling itself Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya (the Islamic Group), but the Jamaa began to turn on Sadat when he backed away from his earlier promise to impose sharia law. Around the same time, a more radical faction splintered from the Jamaa, calling itself simply Jihad. Sadat suppressed both groups in the late 1970s.

During the 1970s, one of those who spread Qutb's message and updated his strategy was Muhammad Abd al-Salam Faraj, an electrician and self-taught theologian for the underground Jihad in Egypt. Tried as a leader of the conspiracy that assassinated Sadat in 1981, Faraj used the proceedings to present his manifesto, The Neglected Duty. Along with theological arguments justifying violence, The Neglected Duty echoes Qutb on the need for a strategy that attacks the "near enemy"--apostate Muslim regimes--before the "far enemy" --meaning Israel, the United States, and other Western powers interfering in the Muslim world. (16) Faraj also accused the Muslim Brothers and the establishment Egyptian clergy of collaborating with the secular Egyptian regime. The Neglected Duty was widely read throughout Egypt and the Muslim world.

<b>Mustafa, Zawahiri, and Bin Laden </b>

After Sadat's assassination and the ensuing crackdown on both the Muslim Brothers and the revolutionary Salafists in Egypt, some Salafists gravitated to a sect headed by an engineer named Shukri Mustafa. Mustafa's group, building on Qutb's writings, preached the "denunciation as unbelievers" (takfir) of almost all of society, and separation from it. The traditional religious establishment of Al-Azhar denounced these "takfiris" as heretics. Mustafa was hanged in 1977 for the kidnapping and murder of a senior Al-Azhar cleric. (17)

The guerilla war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 was the incubator for the contemporary stage in the development of revolutionary Salafist doctrine and strategy. Many Arab volunteers in Afghanistan coalesced around revolutionary Salafists who remained outsiders to the Sunni clerical establishment, even as some of the Arab regimes, and the United States, funded them. Many Arabs in Afghanistan came under the influence of the Egyptian physician Ayman al-Zawahiri, a prolific writer whom many found persuasive, but who, like all the revolutionary Salafists, was condemned by the Al-Azhar clerical establishment.

Zawahiri claims to have known Faraj personally; the doctor eventually became a leader of one of the Egyptian Jihad groups. (18) Zawahiri met Osama bin Laden in Peshawar, Pakistan, during the guerilla campaign against the Soviets. The two collaborated closely, Zawahiri contributing his skills as an ideologist, Bin Laden his organizational talents and financial resources. The two publicly announced the merger of their groups in 1998, completing al Qaeda's development into the group that challenges the United States today.

<b>Al Qaeda Strategy Today </b>

Zawahiri remains Bin Laden's deputy as leader of al Qaeda, and the Egyptian doctor's writings provide the best insight into the terrorist organization's current strategic thinking. In his 2001 book Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, Zawahiri identifies and prioritizes the goals of what he calls the "the revolutionary fundamentalist movement": first, achievement of ideological coherence and organization, then struggle against the existing regimes of the Muslim world, followed by the establishment of a "genuinely" Muslim state "at the heart of Arab world." (19) Zawahiri views the current stage of the jihad as one of worldwide, revolutionary struggle, to be waged by means of violence, political action, and propaganda against the secular Muslim regimes and secularized Muslim elites. (20) Zawahiri argues that because the terrain in the key Arab countries is not suitable for guerilla war, Islamists need to conduct political action among the masses, combined with an urban terrorist campaign against the secular regimes, supplemented with attacks on "the external enemy"--i.e., the United States and Israel--as a means of propaganda that will strengthen the jihad's popular support.

Zawahiri wants his Salafist readers to keep in mind that the Arab establishments are the real targets, even if "confining the battle to the domestic enemy ... will not be feasible in this stage of the battle." (21) Highly visible attacks against external enemies, and the inevitable retaliation, Zawahiri explains, will rally ordinary Muslims to the radicals' cause, strengthening the main struggle, the one against the current regimes of the Muslim world. As Zawahiri writes in Knights:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> The jihad movement must ... make room for the Muslim nation to  participate with it in the jihad for the sake of empowerment. The  Muslim nation will not participate with [the jihad movement] unless  the slogans of the mujahidin are understood by the masses.... The  one slogan that has been well understood by the nation and to which  it has been responding for the past 50 years is the call for jihad  against Israel. In addition to this slogan, the [Muslim] nation in  [the 1990s] is geared against the US presence. [The Muslim nation]  has responded favorably to the call for the jihad against the  Americans.... [T]he jihad movement moved to the center of the  leadership of the [Muslim] nation when it adopted the slogan of  liberating the nation from its external enemies.... [Striking at  the United States would force the Americans to] personally wage the  battle against the Muslims, which means that the battle will turn  into a clear-cut jihad against infidels. (22)  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This passage shows that the <b>revolutionary Salafists do not expect to actually defeat America or its allies</b> (whatever al Qaeda propaganda may claim). <b>Instead, spectacular terrorist attacks are a means toward the end of changing the character of the conflict, changing it from a campaign waged by a small faction of extremists against the regimes of Muslim world, into "a clear-cut jihad against infidels," which would, the Salafists hope, attract wide support among the Muslim masses.</b> (23) Zawahiri views the current phase of the jihad as a revolutionary war, and the ideological component of the struggle is thus very important. Like Mao (24) and the North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, (25) Zawahiri considers political and propaganda action to be just as important at some stages as military efforts are. "<b>The jihad must dedicate one of its wings to work with the masses, preach, provide services.... [T]he people will not love us unless they feel that we love them, care about them, and are ready to defend them</b>." (26) This last point--convincing the people that the revolutionary Salafists are "ready to defend them"--again illustrates how Zawahiri sees high-profile terrorist strikes against the external enemy as a means of making propaganda for the Muslim masses. He calls on his followers, at this stage of the struggle, to "launch a battle for orienting the [Muslim] nation" by striking at the United States and Israel. (27)

<b>Thus, al Qaeda's immediate goal is not to destroy Israel or even drive the United States out of the Middle East; rather, it is to "orient the nation." </b>

<b>Overcoming Class Conflicts </b>

For all the importance that Zawahiri attaches to political action and organization among the masses, the revolutionary Salafists have aroused, at least up until the US invasion of Iraq, little popular response to their efforts.

In his 2002 book Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam, Gilles Kepel argues convincingly that <b>contemporary political Islamist movements can succeed only when they are able to mobilize, and maintain an alliance between, the masses and the pious middle classes. </b>Natural tensions between the two constituencies are inherently difficult to control and are repeatedly the downfall of contemporary political Islamist movements, most notably in Algeria. Kepel points out that the Ayatollah Khomeini was the only really successful leader of a movement that harnessed both lower- and middle-class energies long enough to achieve power. This may have had much to do with factors unique to Shia Islam (such as the believer's obligation to choose and support financially a spiritual mentor) that are not available to would-be Sunni revolutionaries.

Kepel goes on to argue that the closest thing so far to a Khomeini-style success in the Sunni Arab world was the rise and fall of the Algerian Front Islamique du Salut (FIS). The FIS convinced the pious middle classes that it was nonviolent and did not threaten stability, while showing a sufficiently revolutionary face to Algeria's masses of alienated young men to mobilize them. The result was a series of FIS electoral successes that would have resulted in a democratically elected FIS regime had the Algerian military not intervened in 1992. When the FIS was unable to control the rage of its underclass supporters over the coup, and violence erupted, the pious middle classes largely deserted the movement, leading to its collapse. (28)

Similarly, Egypt's revolutionary Salafists have been discredited by their violence, especially the Luxor massacre of 1997, when the Jamaa slaughtered 60 foreign tourists. This and other outrages sickened many Egyptians who might otherwise have given the Islamists a hearing. This revulsion, as much as the regime's ruthless crackdown, so weakened the Jamaa that by 1999 its imprisoned leaders had publicly declared a unilateral cease-fire. (29)

<b>Saudi Arabia </b>

Saudi Arabia is exceptional, as mentioned earlier, because Salafism there is a doctrine of the insiders, the clerical establishment. However, even in Saudi Arabia, the centuries-old partnership between the Al-Saud dynasty and the Wahabi clerical establishment gives the establishment Salafist clerics an important interest in suppressing the revolutionary strain of Salafism. Quintan Wiktorowicz and John Kaltner describe this split between violent and nonviolent Salafists, noting the prominence in the latter group of leaders with Ph.D.'s from Saudi universities. (30)

Both the establishment Wahabi clerics and the Al-Saud have sometimes failed in their efforts to keep the revolutionary Salafists out of Saudi Arabia's establishment clergy, and until 2001 actually connived in establishing them outside the kingdom. Since 11 September 2001 and the May 2003 bombings in Riyadh, the Saudi regime has worked, with mixed success, to suppress its revolutionary Salafists.

<b>Strategic Implications for the United States </b>

Almost all of the thinkers who shaped al Qaeda's ideology were outsiders. Al-Afghani, Ridha, Al-Banna, Qutb, Faraj, and Zawahiri all battled the clerical and government establishments of their time. Only 'Abduh penetrated the clerical establishment (and he probably would condemn the violent factions of today's Salafists). Like their intellectual forbears, al Qaeda and today's other Salafist revolutionaries remain outsiders, locked in a century-long philosophical struggle with the traditional Sunni clerical elite, and engaged in political struggle with Arab regimes. The revolutionary Salafists fight because they want power, and because they hate the secularism and corruption they associate with the current Sunni Muslim regimes. (The regimes' undemocratic nature has not been an important motive for the Salafists over the years.)

The revolutionaries have failed so far to mobilize and unite the masses and pious middle classes of most Arab countries. They no longer enjoy the overt support of any government on the planet, having lost their state in Afghanistan, been defeated in Algeria, and fallen out of favor with their erstwhile allies in Sudan's military regime.

The Salafists' current strategy, as Zawahiri described, is to provoke, on an international scale, a cycle of violence and repression that will mobilize the Sunni masses. The American invasion of Afghanistan failed to bring about this mobilization. However, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, combined with US support of Israel's policies in the occupied territories, may at last be triggering the radicalization of the masses and middle classes of the Arab world that al Qaeda has hoped for.

Sunni Islam's most active reformers over the past century have been its outsiders, the Salafists. It is the insiders of Sunni Islam who are America's natural allies. Western advocates of "reformation" understandably want to see the existing secular, Westernized classes in Muslim countries gain the upper hand. But these politically weak classes are small elites viewed with suspicion by both the masses and the regimes. Any American effort to strengthen these elites must be a project for several decades, to be carried out quietly and with the greatest caution. The United States would gain little if more among the Muslim masses came to regard Muslim liberals as agents of the global hegemon, bent on depriving Islam of its capacity to resist a Western culture that most view as morally depraved.

The United States should instead exploit its ties to the existing regimes of the Sunni world in order to combat jointly the revolutionary Salafists. The US struggle against al Qaeda and similar groups will be chiefly a matter of intelligence and police work, with perhaps a role for special forces working with local partners in ungoverned areas. Only the existing Muslim regimes, in coordination with American investigators and spies, can defeat the cells of al Qaeda and similar groups moving among the Sunni world's masses. The United States needs to support and to engage with these undemocratic regimes even more closely if US security services are to be granted the liaison relationships with local authorities that are essential to the real war against terrorism. Washington should set aside, for now, its ambitions for democratic revolution in the region, at least until the Salafist revolution is contained.

Similarly, the United States must avoid positioning itself as the foe of the traditional Sunni clerical establishments, or provoking some of them into sympathy with their erstwhile foes, the revolutionary Salafists. If mainstream Sunnis come to view the United States as bent on a campaign to weaken or remake traditional Muslim culture, then more and more mainstream Sunni believers will conclude that the revolutionary Salafists they once reviled were right all along. At that point the world really would see the clash of civilizations sought by both al Qaeda and some US pundits.

<b>NOTES </b>

(1.) Muhammad Abd Al-Salam Faraj, The Neglected Duty, sections 68-70, trans, in Johannes J. G. Jansen, The Neglected Duty: The Creed of Sadat's Assassins and Islamic Resurgence in the Middle East (New York: Macmillan, 1986), p. 192. The title of Faraj's book is also sometimes translated as "The Forgotten Obligation."

(2.) Ayman al-Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, serialized in Al-Sharq al Awsat (London) 2-10 December 2001, trans. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, document FBIS-NES-2001-1202, maintained on-line by the Federation of American Scientists, http://fas.org/irp/world/para/aymanh_bk.html.

(3.) Michael Ledeen, The War against the Terror Masters (New York: St. Martin's, 2002, 2003), pp. 172, 216.

(4.) The Sunni-Shia split had its origins in the seventh century. Shiism is at least as diverse as Sunnism, but is beyond the scope of this essay because al Qaeda is a militantly Sunni movement with no appeal in the Shia world.

(5.) For example, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said "We need an Islamic reformation, and I think there is real hope for one." Quoted in David Ignatius, "The Read on Wolfowitz," The Washington Post, 17 January 2003, p. A23.

(6.) Albert Hourani, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939 (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1983), pp. 115-17.

(7.) Ibid., p. 109.

(8.) M. A. Zaki Badawi, The Reformers of Egypt (London: Croom Helm, 1978), pp. 35-95.

(9.) Hourani, p. 170. Secularizing disciples of 'Abduh included Lutfi Al-Sayyid (1872-1968), Qasim Amin (1865-1908), and the brothers Mustafa (d. 1947) and Ali (1888-1963) Abdul Raziq.

(10.) Hourani, p. 228. For a mainstream Sunni criticism of Ridha, see Answer to an Enemy of Islam (Istanbul: Waqf Ikhlas Publications, 1993).

(11.) Perhaps this was because Ridha realized that he himself was moving outside the Sunni mainstream, or perhaps he was impressed by the political success of the Wahabis' patron, Ibn Saud, who reestablished the Saudi state in 1902 and conquered Mecca and Medina in 1924-25.

(12.) Gilles Kepel, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 2002), 23.

(13.) In the Shade of the Quran is Qutb's exegesis on the Quran, written while in prison.

(14.) One Salafist admirer of Qutb, the Palestinian-born, Egyptian-educated Abdullah Azzam (1941-1989), obtained a professorship at a Saudi university in the 1970s, where his students included Osama bin Laden. Azzam played an important role in the convergence of Egypt-based revolutionary Salafism and Saudi revolutionary Wahabism.

(15.) Robert Siegel, "Sayyid Qutb's America," National Public Radio, 6 May 2003, http://www.npr.org/ display_pages/features/feature_1253796.html. Like many of the revolutionary Salafists to follow him, Qutb appears to have been radicalized partly by a direct encounter with the West. Sent to study at the University of Northern Colorado in the 1940s by the government of King Faruq, Qutb wrote later of the sexual decadence and secularized religion of the United States.

(16.) Faraj (in Jansen), sections 68-70.

(17.) Kepel, p. 85. The establishment compared the Takfiris to the Kharijites of the seventh century, who are universally reviled by mainstream Sunnis for failing to respect the consensus of believers and for denouncing fellow Muslims as unbelievers.

(18.) Zawahiri, p. 74.

(19.) Ibid., p. 80. "Egypt particularly."

(20.) Ibid., pp. 72-73.

(21.) Ibid., p. 71

(22.) Ibid., pp.75, 78.

(23.) It is a strategy analogous to the failed attempts of European leftist terrorists in the 1970s to set off a revolution with terrorist attacks aimed at provoking indiscriminate government crackdowns.

(24.) Ilana Kass and Bard O'Neill, The Deadly Embrace (Lanham, Md., and London: University Press of America, 1996), p. 13.

(25.) Vo Nguyen Giap, People's War, People's Army (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1962).

(26.) Zawahiri, p. 75.

(27.) Ibid., p. 76.

(28.) Kepel, pp. 254-75.

(29.) Ibid., p. 297.

(30.) Quintan Wiktorowicz and John Kaltner, "Killing in the Name of Islam: Al-Qaeda's Justification for September 11," Middle East Policy, 10 (Summer 2003), 76.

<i>Christopher Henzel is a Foreign Service officer and a 2004 graduate of the National War College. This article is drawn from his course work there. As is the case with all articles in Parameters, the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the author's department or any US government agency. </i>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Official OK with Islamic law in Netherlands
Dutch justice minister says Sharia fine if people vote for it

Posted: September 13, 2006
12:30 p.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

The Netherlands' justice minister says he would welcome Islamic law, or Sharia, to his European nation if the majority of his people vote for it.

Piet Hein Donner wants the Netherlands to give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions, reported the NIS News Bulletin, a Dutch online publication.

"For me it is clear: If two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," Donner said. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'"

Donner was reacting to a plea by a parliamentary leader, Maxime Verhagen, who wants to ban parties seeking to establish Islamic law.

Donner's remarks came from an interview in a book being released today in the Netherlands, "The Country of Hate and Malice."

The justice minister said, according to the Dutch Expatica News, "It must be possible for Muslim groups to come to power (in the Netherlands) via democratic means."

Every citizen, he said, "may argue why the law should be changed, as long as he sticks to the law."

"The majority counts," Donner stated. "That is the essence of democracy."

The justice minister insists Muslims have the right to practice their religion in ways that diverge from Dutch social codes.

He says "a tone that I do not like has crept into the political debate. A tone of: 'Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable, do it our way'. That is not my approach."

Donner said, for example, the Netherlands' Queen Beatrix was wise not to insist on a Muslim leader shaking hands with her when she visited his mosque in The Hague earlier this year. Previously, Dutch Integration Minister Rita Verdonk scolded an imam who would not shake the queen's hand.

As WND reported in 2004, Donner hasn't always been open to every aspect of Muslim culture.

He joined with Verdonk in banning a Muslim book distributed by the Dutch Lel Tawheed mosque promoting the stoning of homosexuals, female circumcision and the beating of wives.

"Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings and if not killed on hitting the ground, they should be then stoned to death," says a book titled "The Way of the Muslim."

Other allegations by those who read the book describe instructions on how to deal with women in clear violation of Dutch and any other civilized law.

Police and security agents were concerned the book might prompt Islamic militants in the Netherlands to become more militant and, in turn, create a violent reaction by Dutch people.

Another publication, called "Fatwas for Muslim Women," says that a woman who lies should receive 100 blows, and it is the husband's duty, even if the woman refuses, to force her to have sex.

Tension between traditional Dutch society and the country's 1 million Muslims has heightened since the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh two years ago by a Muslim who warned of further reprisal against the "enemies of Islam." Muslims were angered by Van Gogh's film "Submission," which centered on violence against women in Islamic societies.

Since then, the government of a nation proud of its liberal social attitudes has cut back on generous welfare programs to immigrants and made Dutch-language classes mandatory for newcomers.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Somali cleric calls for pope's death
Email Print Normal font Large font September 17, 2006

A HARDLINE cleric linked to Somalia's powerful Islamist movement has called for Muslims to "hunt down" and kill Pope Benedict XVI for his controversial comments about Islam.

Sheikh Abubukar Hassan Malin urged Muslims to find the pontiff and punish him for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and Allah in a speech that he said was as offensive as author Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses.

"We urge you Muslims wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion," he said in Friday evening prayers.

"Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim," Malin, a prominent cleric in the Somali capital, told worshippers at a mosque in southern Mogadishu.

"We call on all Islamic Communities across the world to take revenge on the baseless critic called the pope," he said.

Reached by telephone on Saturday, Malin confirmed making the remarks that were echoed in less strident form by other senior clerics in the Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia (SICS).

Another SICS executive member, Sheikh Ahmed Abdullahi, vented similar anger at the pope's "barbarous criticism" but stopped short of calling for his murder.

"He must apologise because he has offended the most honorable person who ever lived in the world," Abdullahi said.

The German-born leader of the Roman Catholic Church has been condemned in the Muslim world for comments he made at a Tuesday lecture, in which he implicitly denounced links between Islam and violence, particularly with reference to jihad, or "holy war."

The pope also quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who said innovations introduced by the Prophet Mohammed were "evil and inhuman."

Somalia, a Horn of Africa nation of some 10 million mainly moderate Muslims, has been wracked by instability for the past 16 years but has recently seen the rise of fundamentalist Islamists who seized the capital in June.


Defiant Reid clashes with Islamist radicals
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->When the home secretary described 9/11, 7/7 in London and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as battles between modern and fanatical values in Islam, it provoked some of the 30-strong audience. Abu Izzadeen, in white flowing robes, interrupted him: "How dare you come to a Muslim area when over 1,000 Muslims have been arrested?" Mr Reid was a tyrant and an enemy of Islam. When Muslim women told him it was a "time for dialogue" he told them to "be quiet" before being ushered out by stewards and police.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A second protester held signs saying "John Reid Go to Hell" and "Home Office = Terrorist Office" before Anjem Choudary interrupted a question and answer session to tell the home secretary that Muslims did not need British values. "We believe Islam is superior, we believe Islam will be implemented one day. It is very rich for you to come here and say we need to monitor our children when your government is murdering people in Iraq and Afghanistan." He too was ushered out.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I think Choudary is of beggardeshi origin, I wonder what he thinks of 1971 when his Muslim brothers were raping the beggardeshi Muslims, vermin like this are the results of India's shortsightedness with beggardesh in 1971.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I think Choudary is of beggardeshi origin<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Yes he is. Person with big mouth and small brain with full of hatred.

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