Our Shared Islamist Enemy. By Yair Shamir. Foreign Policy, May 1, 2013. Also here.
From Boston to Israel, radicals are attempting to destroy Western culture.
A Response to Yair Shamir. By Ted Graham. Aslan Media, May 7, 2013.
Orwell wrote in his seminal tome, 1984,
“The object of terrorism is terrorism . . . Now do you begin to understand me?”
we live in a world where too many still do not understand.
the recent terrorist attacks in Boston, there was immense incredulity when the
ethnic nationality of the perpetrators was made known. The act did not make
sense to many, because terror has so often been explained merely as a product
of national conflict, or as a logical reaction to “oppression” or “occupation.”
Even al Qaeda, we are told, is merely reacting to America’s role in the Muslim
the United States in particular, nor the West in general, has played a
significant role in the decades-long war in Chechnya. The usual talking heads
were left scratching their heads – even after more evidence of the bomber’s Islamist
ideology came to light.
terror connected to an extremist Islamist mindset is simply something that many
in the West are unable or unwilling to truly understand. Our opinion-shapers
will look into every possible angle of a terrorist’s background and history to
find some way to explain away, or on occasion sympathize with, the perpetrators’
ignore terrorists’ ideology at our own peril. While their acts are inhuman,
these people are human and we must hold them accountable for their actions –
not treat them as a mere tool of retribution for other misdeeds. Ignoring their
ideology will mean that we can never fully understand the implications behind
would not accept Christians meting out vengeance against Muslims for massacres
and church bombings in Nigeria, or the persecution of Coptic Christians in
Egypt. Why do we accept the argument that perceived Muslim persecution in one
part of the world necessitates Islamist violence in another?
reality, our Islamist enemies’ goals are aggressive by nature. Al Qaeda’s
ideological underpinnings are found in the writings of Egyptian Islamist
theorist Sayyid Qutb, which lauded offensive jihad, or a jihad of conquest.
There is little that is reactive about this belief system – it is not aimed at
defending its rights, but at conquering the world of the disbelievers.
it may seem unbelievable to most that al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States
are about toppling the American nation, this is at the core of the terrorist
organization's goals. On March 11, 2005, al-Quds
al-Arabi published extracts from al Qaeda leader Saif al-Adel’s “al Qaeda’s
Strategy to the Year 2020.” Written in the 1990s, this document outlines how
the terrorist organization has attempted to undertake a series of steps that
will bring down the United States and the West. This impossible goal is an
integral aspect of radical terrorist belief system.
perpetrators of the Boston attacks, while seemingly unconnected to a terror
cell or organization, are examples of people imbued with this radical ideology.
Where and how they became radicalized is an important question for the FBI or
CIA. But there is one thing we already know: Once they became practitioners of
Islamist terror, their goal, in the words of a Boston police chief, was simply
to kill as many people as possible. This was not about military occupation,
borders, or national aspirations.
West, we can understand a person who fights with every breath against tyranny
and oppression. We were raised on the heroic struggles against Nazi Germany and
Soviet Russia. However, we cannot understand someone whose goal is to maim and
murder innocents in the name of their religion.
avoid that conclusion at all costs. It is a concept so foreign that we reject
it outright, and seek other answers more acceptable to our Western palate.
Israel, we have fought against jihadi terrorism long before there was a single
Israeli foot in the West Bank, and even before Jewish sovereignty was
reestablished in 1948. In the 1920s and 1930s, the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin
al-Husseini, would whip his followers into a religious frenzy who would then
murder, burn, and frequently dismember innocent Jews.
modern-day disciples are no less interested in murder for spiritual gain. While
most assume that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is about sovereignty, that is
not what the Palestinian terrorist groups claim.
the most popular party during the last Palestinian elections, seeks the
complete obliteration of Israel. As Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said in Gaza
last December, “Palestine is ours, from the river to the sea and from the south
to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land.”
7 of the Hamas Charter, promises a world without Jews, where the “Day of
Judgment” will only arrive when the last Jews are hunted down and killed. It is
genocidal in its intent.
this aggressive and offensive jihad, unconnected to any particular conflict or
borders, which conjoins Islamist terror groups around the world. It is this
murderous and invasive mindset that drove the Tsarnaev brothers to attack
innocent civilians in Boston.
in the West wish to stand in the way of this malevolent terror, we must first
understand its vision, its true nature, and its goals. Only then can it be
conquered. Sadly, at present, we are not even on the same battlefield.
Jarret Brachman on al-Qaida Ideology, Doctrine, and Media. Video. OakRidgeNationalLab, June 29, 2010. YouTube.