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Thread: Radical Islamist Ideologies and The Long War

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    Default Radical Islamist Ideologies and The Long War

    IFPA, Jan 07: Radical Islamist Ideologies and the Long War: Implications for U.S. Strategic Planning and U.S. Central Command's Operations
    ...In many respects, this Long War can be portrayed as a struggle between modernity and tradition, between Western cultures and values and Islam’s rejection of individual rights over the greater welfare of society, although it is not as simple as that. While it is not necessarily the clash of civilizations of which much has been written, the new jihadists certainly are seeking to make it one, by attracting moderate Muslim support for actions designed to bring the United States and its coalition allies to their knees, defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, expelled from the Persian Gulf, and witness to the destruction of Israel. As such, the political, strategic, and operational challenges facing the United States in the global struggle against radical jihadists are twofold: on the one hand, Washington and its coalition partners must contain and, if possible, defeat the terrorists on the “battlefield” (both on the virtual battlefield of the Internet and on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and other hotspots where they operate), but, on the other hand, they must also develop and communicate a credible message to the broader Muslim community that can help to de-legitimize the jihadists’ arguments and diminish their appeal. What is needed, in other words, is a better blend of hard and soft power to isolate, disrupt, and, when/where possible, destroy extremist networks, and to create lasting divides between the jihadistst and non-jihadistst Islamic communities....
    ...and a closely related doc:

    Rethinking the War on Terror: Developing a Strategy to Counter Extremist Ideologies
    On January 10, 2007, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA) convened an expert level workshop designed to help U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) devise a strategy to counter the arguments of the radical Islamists and to undermine their appeal to susceptible Muslim audiences around the world. Focusing on the nature of the ideological challenge that the radicals represent, participants explored the ideological underpinnings of current-day radical Islamist movements and factors that contribute to the radicalization process of individuals. There was, in this regard, extensive debate about the centrality of religion to radical Islamist ideology, with many participants convinced that while religion is an important motivator in the radicalization process, it is also being used to legitimate a very specific worldview that has been shaped by many factors external to Islam, but that impinge on Muslim views of Islam’s place in the 21st century world. Over and above specific grievances, many Muslims express a general sense of anger and humiliation (into which radical Islamists can tap) in reaction to events of foreign origin over which they have no control, but which are viewed as impacting their daily lives in a negative fashion. At the same time, domestic problems in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries can feed that dissatisfaction and engender support for extremism, as has the push for autonomy and independence in such areas as Kosovo, Kashmir, and Chechnya. The main point here is that while we face a global, transnational extremist movement, it is one that is often triggered and fed by local conditions and difficulties that have little to do the West per se, and about which we must become far better informed....

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    Default The battle of Legitimacy Theirs vs Ours

    You mention that religion is central to their fight. Hasn' t this remained a key component since the death of the prophet. This has caused a great deal of controversy between Sunnis and Shi'a (internally) and problematic between Muslims and Non-Muslims (Externally). The Salafists desire a return to the Golden age of Islam when they were in charge and will justify any activity (suicide bombers/death of innocents) to get to that goal. The building of coalitions is needed and the will to apply force (killing to the denial of sanctuaries) will be what wins this long war.

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    You mention that religion is central to their fight. Hasn' t this remained a key component since the death of the prophet.
    I would disagree.

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    Why would you be in disagreement? Certain groups have disputed interpretations of components of their religion

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    When you say "they", are you referring to all Muslims, Muslim polities in general, Muslim states?

    If any of those, I would argue, generally speaking, no. I would say that the overwhelming general tendency in Muslim-dominated states is one of coalition-building expansion followed by eventual fragmentation over time, though this is admittedly rather general trend with many exceptions.

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    Sorry for that. They Meaning the Fundamentalists (Salafists) these are the ones who see themselves as reliving and fighting against US Forces Today as the past warriors did during the battle of Yarmuk and Badr, Invoking the Will f God against Superior Forces and winning (this could be with any means necessary)

    I delineate Muslims into three Basic Categories
    Fundamentalists (Those who are against the west/non-Muslims outright)

    The Fence Sitters (Those who are taking the wait and see approach) Semi-Moderates. Those who like democracy and the freedoms associated with it just not present US policies.

    Allies those who are fighting and dying with the west because they believe that Islam can co-exist with other religions and can assimilate (sp) into this complex entity called Globalization.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Wink Warning - soap box rant....

    Hi Tempest1,

    I'm going to play semantician here for a second - specifically about the term "fundamentalist". This is a word that has seen a significant shift in meaning over the past 100 years, and that shift is causing all sorts of problems right now. The general, "pop culture" meaning attached to the term is, bluntly, totally wrong and highly derogatory - it implies that a "fundamentalist" is an unthinking robot who is too "stupid" (or kept in willful ignorance by a manipulating clergy) to think for themselves.

    I would argue that analytically, we need go back to the original meaning of the term. In English, the term derives from someone who personally chose to ascribe to the basic or "fundamental" tenets of Christian theology outlined in a work entitled the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith (1913 I believe). Given the generally Protestant tenor of the work, it required people to think quite a bit about their beliefs. A fundamentalist, stripping away the Christianocentric component is, therefore, a person who has studied their religion, has made an informed choice to accept it and, most importantly, is someone who takes it seriously. Defining someone as a "fundamentalist" solely because they oppose a socio-political system is useless for analytic purposes since it confuses the strength of a persons' convictions with the content of those convictions.

    Having said that (okay, "ranted on a soap box" ), what do we get if we use the older meaning? Well, first off, we get a totally different insight into how the mind of a believer (to rip off Hoffer's term) works. We also get a totally different insight into both where and how the "battle" needs to be conducted. Put simply, it means that we need to conduct a large part of our combat in terms that are internal to Islam - which is, after all, one of Jim Guirard's main points.

    On to your categories and off the semantics soap box, I think you have a really good categorization scheme in terms of political attitude and social contracts.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Hello Dr,

    You have brought up a very good point. The reason I use the term Fundamentalist is to get away from the western perceptions. To look at UBL and this class of people I would not consider them Jihadists (something they want to be called or seen as) but more of a Hirabist. Through their Persuasive Influence they are molding hearts and minds with the way Islam should be and that is associated with the time of Muhammad during the era of Revelation and Enlightenment when Muslims were the bosses and non-Muslims were subjugated to the concept of Dhimmitude and Tolerance.

    To me this is what they want to get back to the Fundamentals=Fundamentalists. I consider UBL and al Qaeda a "Global Insurgency" using Asymmetrical Warfare as its means that has evolved from the traditional models of Terrorism of the 20th century. Their desire is to first rid themselves of the Apostate regimes (reference the Neglected Duty, the Assasination of Anwar Sadat) Secular and Moderate Muslims then establish an Islamic Caliphate (all lands previously conquered at one time or another during the Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbisad Caliphates) then the next step would be Global domination.

    I believe Mawdudi stated this best "Being Muslim IMPLIES PERPETUAL JIHAD until the whole natural universe is under control and rule of Islam." In 1973 during the The World Assembly of Muslim Youth its founder Sayyid Abdulla al Mawdudi stated, “Jews, the source of the conflict, and Christians, enemies of Islam should be rendered into submission, Islam not only seeks the World, it demands the Universe”.

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    Hi Tempest1,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest1 View Post
    You have brought up a very good point. The reason I use the term Fundamentalist is to get away from the western perceptions. To look at UBL and this class of people I would not consider them Jihadists (something they want to be called or seen as) but more of a Hirabist.
    I would certainly agree with them being irhabi or hirabist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest1 View Post
    To me this is what they want to get back to the Fundamentals=Fundamentalists.
    I don't disagree with this, either. I would, however, point out that this is not the only form of "fundamentals" contained within Islam. Consider, by way of example, the works of abu-Hamid al-Ghazali for an alternate set of "fundamentals". I certainly agree with your use of the term fundamentalist as far as strength of belief is concerned for UBL and his little coterie of sociopaths. I was only disagreeing with you when you equated strength of belief with content of belief and, by inference, assuming that no "fundamentalist" could work with "us".

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest1 View Post
    I consider UBL and al Qaeda a "Global Insurgency" using Asymmetrical Warfare as its means that has evolved from the traditional models of Terrorism of the 20th century. Their desire is to first rid themselves of the Apostate regimes (reference the Neglected Duty, the Assasination of Anwar Sadat) Secular and Moderate Muslims then establish an Islamic Caliphate (all lands previously conquered at one time or another during the Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbisad Caliphates) then the next step would be Global domination.
    Again, I don't disagree with your interpretation (or presentation) of their content. Whether they actually believe it may be another matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest1 View Post
    I believe Mawdudi stated this best "Being Muslim IMPLIES PERPETUAL JIHAD until the whole natural universe is under control and rule of Islam." In 1973 during the The World Assembly of Muslim Youth its founder Sayyid Abdulla al Mawdudi stated, “Jews, the source of the conflict, and Christians, enemies of Islam should be rendered into submission, Islam not only seeks the World, it demands the Universe”.
    Again, I think that this is a fairly accurate, from my reading, portrayal of the radical wahabist content and position. But, respectfully, let me point out that this is not he only position within Islam. To assume that it is would be as insane as to assume that Christianity has only a single position; one that was best summed up in the words of the Papal Legate at the siege of Carcassone: "Kill them all, God will know his own".

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Hello again Dr,

    Thank you for your words. When i get on my soap box I might not be as specific as needed. The Fundamentalists you refer to could they be a hybrid a Moderate Fundamentalist so to speak? As far as Wahhabism vs Salafism I might be wrong in interpretations but I feel the Wahhabists are those who desire to stay within the Middle East particularly Saudi Arabia and enforce their strict interpretation of the Shari'a via the Hudud and living a pious life like that of Prophet. (With an emphasis of change in the leadership of Saudi Arabia) The Salafists have similarities but are the exporters of Mayhem and will bend and break the laws of the Shari'a because they see this as justified means to a righteous End. The selected Salafists/Fundamentalists promote Suicide Bombing and the killing of innocents because it is justified in their Jihad against agressors (Kuffars). The Salafists have repealed the process of Ijma (Consensus) and Qiyas (Reasoning by Analogy and Precedence) and allowed only a strict interpretation of the Quran (might I add only the verses that support their Mayhem).
    The Modern day Salafist/Jihadists (Fundamentalists) Basic Operating Guidelines are: The only source of Authority exists with Allah
    Rejects the prerequisites for making and issuance of Fetwas (Religious rulings)
    Everything Permitted in the name of Allah
    NO LIMITS to JIHAD

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    Hi Tempest1,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest1 View Post
    Thank you for your words. When i get on my soap box I might not be as specific as needed. The Fundamentalists you refer to could they be a hybrid a Moderate Fundamentalist so to speak?
    I think we all get goin' on our own soap boxes .

    A "Moderate Fundamentalist"? Certainly, as far as the social contract is concerned. I know a fair number of people who would fall into this category: politically moderate in social contract terms and fundamentalist in their own beliefs. On the whole, they would rather convert people as a result of a genuine desire to convert stemming fro their own actions in the world.

    One of the hallmarks of people who seem to take this position is that they have struggled with their faith and, having done so, realize how important that struggle is. BTW, I know people in many religions who would fit in this category: Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Ba'Hai, etc. Another hallmark of people in this category is that they appear to be able to recognize that "struggle with God" across religious lines in much the same way that mystics across all traditions recognize each other.

    This is really the crowd that we need to mobilize - the true believers who disagree with the content of the irhabi position; who find that content both heretical and repellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest1 View Post
    As far as Wahhabism vs Salafism I might be wrong in interpretations but I feel the Wahhabists are those who desire to stay within the Middle East particularly Saudi Arabia and enforce their strict interpretation of the Shari'a via the Hudud and living a pious life like that of Prophet. (With an emphasis of change in the leadership of Saudi Arabia)
    I think that that used to be the position, but it has changed over the past 20years or so. In particular, you may want to look at the influence of the Wahhabi sect on mosques in the US - a lot of money and radical literature has been sent by them to both North America and Europe.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    What group represents the present day attackers in Saudi Arabia who desire the overthrow of the current Monarchy because of their corruptions by the west? If I had to choose one i would say Wahhabism based on the founding principles of Wahab Wahhab preached rejection of the west, their science and technology, and a return to the Islam of Muhammad’s time. His basic tenets included emphasis on the unity of Allah; opposition to Sufism and any other form of bida (innovation); opposition to gravestones and honoring the dead; advocated the use of Religious Police, Mutawwa, to enforce morality in public places; he used a strict, conservative interpretation of Islamic Dogma; emphasized the “protected” status of women; and emphasized the Hudud. These are the most severe crimes, such as murder, which is punished by beheading; theft calls for amputation of the right hand; Blasphemy is punished by stoning; and for drunkenness a severe whipping.
    He advocated a return of the domination of Islam to the Sunnis and more specifically the Arabs. He believed that Islam would dominate the world and called for establishment of the “pure” Islamic State. This state would consist of all lands that had ever been dominated by Muslims and by pure he meant only Wahhabis would be permitted to live there, all others would be purged. Reinstitution of the Caliphate under Wahhabi Arabs; and the rest of the world would have to be submissive to Shari’a law. He was the first Global Jihadist.

    Am I about 20 years to late? Another reason for this is because Wahhabis are eccentric (Members Only) they only include those from Saudi Arabia outsiders (Muslims included) are looked down upon. I believe they are attempting to influence Wahhabism in other locations but this could be seen as maybe a rift with other Muslim Fundamentalists.

    The Salafists seem to have a Global perspective and are willing to include Muslim Converts into their clique.

    I am signing off for now but look forward to round 2. Have a good evening.

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    Default Who Said What...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest1 View Post
    You mention...
    T1 - Just a friendly reminder, others have made this mistake on this board previously - usually new members, that Council members who post external studies, articles, op-ed pieces etc., do so to open up a reasoned discussion on the issues - the posted link is not necessarily the opinion of the Council poster. Address the source and not the SWC poster.

    Moreover, study the linked item and do not just respond to the quoted text. Context means everything... Linking to supporting documents in your replies / opinions would also add to the discussion.

    We are not that 'drive-by' friendly on this board. We all get on our 'soapbox' here from time to time - Council members then step down and engage in, hmm, off-soapbox discussion to continue the debate. Thanks for understanding.

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    Not sure of which direction off soap box.......... means the Dr and I had a continuous discussion which went well.

    If there is something to which I was to respond to or missed please direct me to this link.

    Thanks

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    Hi Tempest1,

    You may want to read through the document Jedburg posted here a little bit ago - it goes to the heart of why I distinguish between strength and content.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Hello Doctor,

    I am not going to be as engaging today I have some students to attend to but would be very interested in continuing our debate.

    I am a firm believer that force has a variety of options from kinetic to denial of space/territory. It also encompasses a mental aspect of reality present and reality for a future state of being.

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