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Global Jihad

By Geoffrey Cook, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

Berkeley–“The concept of jihadism is a flawed one…it is [no more than] a military tactic.” So began Fawaz Gerges’ discussion on the jihadi. “Iran has more jihadists alone than all of the Al’Qaida organization!” This has lead to the new class of terrorist “experts” in the West. There are scholarly legitimate questions, though, to ask because the “righteous” warriors are extra-national (i.e., they act free of any State, and, for that reason, they have become a valid subject for study and understanding for the purpose of establishing correct policy to counter and answer them).

The Iraq War has happened because scholars lost the debate over the correct course of action. Tribal loyalties were underestimated. Until recently at the height of the Jihadi Movement in the 1990s, they numbered no more than 3,000. The Jihadists were not viable in their own homeland. Their violence was directed toward their own governments, but in the last decade their own Islamic nation states defeated them. Their militant “fathers” of the 50s chose to fight the “Near” Enemy (local regimes). Most of the jihadis of after the 1990s were “decommissioned,” and are now highly critical of the younger generation – especially of their attacks upon the “Far” Enemy, for they are quite aware of America’s awesome ability to strike back, and the older Islamists wish to avoid that.

Although there is still a general fondness for the United States as well as wide criticism, the Jihadi Movement chose to shift their struggle to the “Far” enemy (us). The U.S. is so Al-Qaeda-centered that we tend to ignore the larger Jihad Movement, and we project all Islamists as “the enemy;” thus, we have attacked all of them helter-skelter without much thought as to their “guilt” or not. This has created great enmity in the Middle East against Washington’s Empire. Consequently, we have created our War on Terror to include invasions of Muslim territories. The War has radicalized mainstream Muslims in these areas. As a result, our attempt to plant Jeffersonian Democracy in these regions has backfired, and has led to the very thing that we wished them to adopt because it was brought on the back of fierce confrontation, and instead of an egalitarian system, Al’Qaida Ideology has been accepted internationally. Yet this “Conflict can’t be won on the battlefield!” The attempt to push for a military victory has only given Al-Qaeda more prominence and sympathy. This is why Al’Qaida’s ideological motivation has spread – strengthening a rather small association into a major movement.

The Iraq War has produced a transnational insurrection, and has ignited a conflagration of sectarianism within the greater holy zone! “We have to better conceptualize” the aspirations of the Muslim – and especially the Arab – communities. As a result of the present War, the Post-Colonial States of this sector are collapsing. So, “How are we to fill the vacuum?”

Gerges declares that our first order of business should be to solve the Palestine-Israeli conflict! After this, we should address the area’s poverty. Islam is the chief vehicle of resistance in the locale. “Hence Islamists of various hues have become the dominant political force” over the Arab lands!


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