Al-Qaida: Planting The Seeds For A “Holy War”

By Daniel DiRito | Related entries in Foreign Policy, General Politics, Israel, Religion, The War On Terrorism, The World, War

Ayman al-Zawahri has issued a new video calling on Muslims to rise up and defeat all those who are aligned with Western civilization. Clearly, al-Qaida sees the turmoil in the Middle East as an opportunity to recruit new members…and by portraying the struggle as a religious war they are much more likely to be successful. The current world conflicts may be the beginning of a much broader struggle that could potentially expand well beyond the confines of a war on terror. The Associated Press has the full story here.

CAIRO, Egypt — Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader issued a worldwide call Thursday for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza until Islam reigns from “Spain to Iraq.”

In the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command to Osama bin Laden, said that al-Qaida now views “all the world as a battlefield open in front of us.”

“It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails … from Spain to Iraq,” al-Zawahri said. “We will attack everywhere.” Spain was controlled by Arab Muslims for more than seven centuries until they were driven from power in 1492.

He also called for the “downtrodden” throughout the world, not just Muslims, to join the battle against “tyrannical Western civilization and its leader, America.”

“Stand with Muslims in confronting this unprecedented oppression and tyranny. Stand with us as we stand with you against this injustice that was forbidden by God in his book (the Quran),” al-Zawahri said.

Kamal Habib, a former member of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad militant group who was jailed from 1981 to 1991 along with al-Zawahri, said the al-Qaida No. 2′s outreach to Shiites and non-Muslims was unprecedented and reflected a major change in tactics.

“This is a transformation in the vision of al-Qaida and its struggle with the United States. It is now trying to unite Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims and calling for non-Muslims to join the fight,” he said.

The rhetoric seems to be an attempt to recruit from all the various sectarian groups as well as Muslim’s native to other regions, likely a key to being able to successfully execute attacks around the world. In the United States, there is ample concern that U.S. born sympathizers will establish terrorist cells in order to conduct attacks. Recent terrorist activity in other regions seems to indicate that al-Qaida is achieving success by attempting to characterize this conflict as a battle of religions.

While I understand Israel’s right of self-defense, it seems apparent that a larger issue is unfolding. Since 9/11, a point in time when the U.S. had the sympathy and support of much of the world, the effort to extinguish terrorism has unfortunately been transformed into an ideological conflict with religious beliefs as the point of focus. Sadly, the Bush administration has fueled the conflict with ill-advised remarks such as the oft cited use of the term “Crusade” and increasing accusations of Islamic extremism…instead of remaining focused on the illegitimacy of terrorist acts. This administration seems determined to jump over the politics of this conflict despite their obvious existence.

The invasion of Iraq marked an important turning point in the war on terror. When the invasion began, the argument made by the administration that Iraq had WMD’s, although subsequently found to be inaccurate, kept the conflict focused on terrorism. As it became evident that there were no WMD’s and that the Bush administration had manipulated the intelligence to support the invasion, two unfortunate things occurred.

Read the full article at Thought Theater…here:

www.thoughttheater.com


This entry was posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2006 and is filed under Foreign Policy, General Politics, Israel, Religion, The War On Terrorism, The World, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Al-Qaida: Planting The Seeds For A “Holy War””

  1. Ben Says:

    al-Zawahri is correct that the war in Israel and Lebanon is just one battle of the larger conflict. Namely, the jihadist objective of eliminating all non-Moslem states. The jidadists understand that if they cannot even conquer a tiny country like Israel, in the heart of the Arab middle east, that their objective of global conquest appears to be unrealistic.

    Each one of us will need to choose sides. Choosing the side of the Islamists (and ultimately converting to Islam) may be the best choice for those who don’t want to be the target of terrorism.

  2. nykrindc Says:

    I was wondering when al Qaed would issue its statement regarding the current crisis. I will blog on this later, but I wanted to comment on something you said that caught my eye:

    The rhetoric seems to be an attempt to recruit from all the various sectarian groups as well as Muslim’s native to other regions, likely a key to being able to successfully execute attacks around the world.

    Not only is he trying to recruit from various sectarian groups in the region and others, but also other groups such as the neo-nazi’s or Europe and the US who agree with Jihadists on teh “Jewish problem.” Scary when you think about it, imagine now an unholy union between Jihadists and white supremacists for the sole purpose of defeating zionism and taking down the US government. Last time I focused on this, I remember reading that there were already many cells and groups in this country (white supremacist) whose only motivation was the destruction of the US government. Timothy McVeigh reborn, a thousand times over.

    Add this to recent reports that the military has been infiltrated by various members of white supremacist groups and you have a recipe for disaster. Hence, the fight against militant Islam is one that is trying to expand its boundaries to incorporate all who are against the current world order.

  3. Knemon Says:

    “and increasing accusations of Islamic extremism…instead of remaining focused on the illegitimacy of terrorist acts.”

    The cans! He’s shooting at the cans!

    He HATES these cans!

  4. Wasp Says:

    As Ben Says: “Each one of us will need to choose sides. Choosing the side of the Islamists (and ultimately converting to Islam) may be the best choice for those who don’t want to be the target of terrorism.”

    Ben I wouldn’t want the likes of your yellow belly in my corner fighting for…well anything quite frankly. While Ayman al-Zawahri is counting on cowards like you to give in because of a threat made in the media, he is accomplishing his goal on the first pass. Advising to give in and convert only tells me you must already be a muslim…or a whimp…either way, you need to move to …let’s say France or somewhere where they already are beaten in submission. There isn’t room in the USA for ideology like yours. We are a free people, and not governed by any mullahs…and with the help of PATRIOTS in this country, we’ll keep them at bay on their turf. Another bit of advice, while you are waving your yellow flag of surrender, watch your back there just might be a US Ranger watching.WIMP.

  5. Alan Stewart Carl Says:

    I don’t mean to speak for Ben, but I didn’t read his comment to be pro-conversion. I interpreted it to mean that our only choice is to fight or convert — thus I thought Ben was rebuking those who think we can protect ourselves by mere appeasement. Hopefully Ben will be back to clarify.

  6. Philly Says:

    Ben says: “Choosing the side of the Islamists (and ultimately converting to Islam) may be the best choice for those who don’t want to be the target of terrorism. ”

    Haha – sure – join the Islamists, and (a) get blown up because you are the wrong type of Islamist on any given day (b) get blown up because you are selected as this week’s suicide bomber; (c) live a life of poverty and get blown up because even if the Islamists win, they will all fight among themselves.

  7. emi Says:

    ‘Militant Islam’, ‘radical Islam’, ‘Islamists’, ‘muslim extremists’, ‘muslim moderates’ are all western inventions. There is no such distinctions in Islam. In Islam there is only muslim and non-muslim. If you are muslim, you obey the tenets of Islam. If you have not said the shahada, the muslim profession of submission to Allah, and abide by the tenets of Islam you are kaffir (filth, infidel). Islam is radical and militant, calling it ‘radical Islam’ is like saying ‘wet water’. Islam calls for all humanity to be brought into submission to it. And it sanctions the murder of non-muslims because they are ‘without sanctity’ meaning their ‘blood, possessions, and land’ are legit for the muslim to take. The muslim terrorists are the ones who are practising Islam. The rest are passive terrorists, who support and cover up for them, or victims who are trapped into a religion they are born into and which calls for their murder if they dare to leave it – death for apostasy under Islam.

    The muslims’s alliance with leftists, neo-nazis, et al, against the West and other non-muslim civilizations is a matter of convenience that won’t last. Since Islam’s aim is to establish itself as the only permitted religious-socio-political ideology on the planet, everything else is anathema to it, including whatever ideologies of their non-muslim collaborators. The day the muslims gain power, they will gather up all these non-muslim collaborators and slaughter them — as they did in Iran, where the Iranian leftists joined forces with Khomeni to overthrow the Shah, after which the mullahs gathered up all these leftist useful idiots (who are no longer useful) and shot them. Why? Because Islam does not tolerate any other ideology. Period. Islam does not do multiculturalism. The greatest sin in Islam is to be a non-muslim, because you have rejected their god Allah.

    These two tenets of Islam form the basis for all the muslim terrorism we see in the world today: These tenets are: 1. Islam aims to bring all of humanity into submission to it (Islam does not mean ‘peace’ it means ‘submission; and ‘muslim’ means ‘those who have submitted’). 2. Islam teaches that a non-muslim is ‘without sanctity’ ie their ‘blood, possession and land is legit for the muslim to take’. So there is no problem blowing up innocent civilians. After a muslim atrocity their imams say ‘Islam does not condone the killing of innocents’. They do not tell you that in Islam only muslims can be considered innocent; non-muslims are not considered innocent because they are infidel, having not submitted to Allah.

    Islam is an ideology that sanctions the murder of non-believers, and urges muslims to work to replace the government of their host country with a totalitarian islamic mullahtocracy. Islam should be banned from any civilized country on grounds of an ideology sanctioning mass-murder and sedition.

    (check out http://www.jihadwatch.com)

  8. LJ Westlake Says:

    It is interesting that on this supposedly centrist website, the comments on this thread would do any Bush neo-con proud. While our Middle Eastern policy before Bush 2 was biased in favor of Israel, during this administration, our Middle Eastern policy has been so completely one-sided that it is ridiculous. No make that tragic. Our foreign policy has been completely wrong-headed and stupid. The irony is, by not prevailing upon Israel to moderate their actions, the long-term result, I’m afraid, will be their destruction, and we too will be crippled. If for the last 25 years we had pursued an independent foreign policy instead of one that has been shaped by the power of the pro-Israeli lobby, Israel would be safer.

    The biggest planting of seeds for a holy war has been our unnecessary and downright stupid invasion of Iraq. We played right into Osama hands on that one. Israel is presently playing into the hands of Iran who undoubtedly orchestrated the kidnapping of the soldiers, to get precisely the reaction they got. All eyes are off them and their nuclear program, which was about to go before the UN Security Council, and all eyes are on Israel, who can be depended upon to overreact. Whatever consensus that had been reached by Russia, China, the US, Britain and France about Iran, is now unraveling in disagreements about the on-going conflict in Lebanon and Israel.

    This present conflict will undermine the Arab governments that are our allies, Egypt, Jordan,etc. not to mention the democratically elected governments of Lebanon and Iraq. It increases the power and inflence of the radicals and puts incredible pressure on the moderate, secular governments that we are trying to foster.

    Finally, as centrists, we should work for the defeat of those congressmen and senators who boycotted the recent speech of the Iraqi prime minister. They are Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Mark Dayton (MN), Representatives DeLauro (CN), Lowey, Maloney, and Ackerman of NY. In the words of columunist Elizabeth Sullivan (Cleveland Plain Dealer 7/27):

    “Here’s a newsflash for the handful of Democrats who shamefully boycotted Iraqi leader Al-Maliki’s speech. Al-Maliki is not just a puppet who’s forgotten his pro-Israel play book. He is an Arab. All other Arab leaders in the world and many US allies are also critical of Israeli tactics and pressing for an immediate Israeli cease fire. Is Al-Maliki suppose to fry his own political future and usefulness in Iraq just to act the shill for America and be as non-Arab as possible? Such politically motivated petulance is tantamount to holding up the white flag in Iraq by saying its leaders must betray their own people and beliefs to serve American constituencies. Surely the Democratic leadership has a better strategy than that for ending the war. The fact remains that Al-Maliki’s moderation is the best hope right now for ending the Iraq adventure with something other than civil war and Islamic revolution.

  9. amba Says:

    Read this, and then imagine an alliance of convenience between Al-Qaeda and Hugo Chavez and his growing ilk.

  10. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Sadly, the Bush administration has fueled the conflict with ill-advised remarks such as the oft cited use of the term “Crusade� and increasing accusations of Islamic extremism…instead of remaining focused on the illegitimacy of terrorist acts.

    Because Islamic extremism has nothing to do with terrorist acts. There goes Bush, taking his eye off the ball again. Its like when politicians focussed to much on racism rather than the lynching of black people.

    Since 9/11, a point in time when the U.S. had the sympathy and support of much of the world, the effort to extinguish terrorism has unfortunately been transformed into an ideological conflict with religious beliefs as the point of focus.

    Why can’t Al-Queda go back to that time when their war on us wasn’t about religion or ideology? It was so much nicer then.

    Damn that President Bush! I bet he was the one who wrote the Koran, just so that the neocons could justify their crusade.

  11. Daniel DiRito Says:

    A Quick Note…more detailed responses to follow:

    I’ve not suggested we appease Bin Laden or his ilk…I have suggested that until we win the hearts and minds of the reasonable people who live in the region we will not be able to extinguish those with the radical objectives. We need to create a mindset separation within this region so that these groups will be shut down from within.

    Leaping over that important distinction may simply demonstrate how easy it is for people to become extreme in how they view complex situations…as a friend of mine once told me with regard to running a business…hey if it were simple…everyone would be making a fortune.
    The “war on terror” can’t be won with one liners or assertions that we simply need to kill “them” all…we can’t even find Bin Laden so how would one go about finding all of “them”?

    Applying a war mentality to this situation provides some immediate relief but it isn’t going to prevent the problem from expanding…the sooner we face that reality the sooner we may find some solutions that will actually turn this thing around.

    As always, thanks for the observations and insights…dialogue offers some hope of resolution…and we need some of that these days.

    Daniel

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