Jihadists Unsure How To Deal With Obama

By Glenn Church | Related entries in Barack, Islam

Jihadists appear unsure how to handle the election of Barack Obama. Their messages since Obama’s election stress their uncertainty and confusion. Some Jihadists want to ignore Obama, others praise the American people, some threaten Obama to change Bush policies and still others want to convert him to Islam.

In sum, radical Muslims are divided on whether to take a more conciliatory role or use Obama’s election as an opportunity to exploit.

In a message to Obama, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, head of an Iraqi jihadist group, stated the United States must “return to your former state of neutrality, withdraw your troops, and return to your homelands.”  Yet Al-Baghdadi also asked the members of the new administration to become Muslims. He promised to instruct them as needed.

He probably would not have asked that of John McCain.

The jihadists do not know what to expect from Obama. While giving threats, they also sound unsure. They are particularly unclear how to address Obama’s race. They do not know whether to exploit Obama’s African-American heritage or appeal to it.

The Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance warned Obama to hold to his promises of change or they will continue to fight. They told Obama that he won not because Americans were no longer racists but “because of the many mistakes the Bush administration fell under.” Yet they tell Obama that if he makes the right choices he will go down in history as “the courageous one.”

The jihadists know that Obama’s election improves America’s image in the world. This sudden improvement in the world community is what leaves the jihadists pondering if a hard line or conciliatory position serves their recruiting needs best.

Some, like the Taliban, ignore Obama’s commitment to reinvigorate American involvement in Afghanistan. That may be combination of propaganda, hopefulness and not understanding what Obama promises.

“The overwhelming victory of Barrack Obama …and his assumption of US presidency reveals the collective willingness of American people not to continue the current despicable and anti-human wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — wars that have been launched by W. Bush,” stated the Taliban in a November 11 press release.

Other jihadists, like Abu Yahya al-Libi, do not even try to appeal to Obama or American sentiment. After a 13-page religious rant, loaded with quotes from the Koran, one line mercifully sums up the purpose with a plea for God to “humiliate Bush and his party.” There is no mention of Obama or much of anything since the seventh century.

Another jihadist, Hamid al-Ali, barely mentions Obama, but takes his race and campaign slogan for change and twists it into a something ordained by God upon the American people.

“The American nation asked for change and got it, after it saw with its own eyes how a group of authoritarian leaders driven by blind discrimination, ignorance, and stupidity transformed everything they had into rubble…

“God, however, sent them a person they deeply despise and hate because of his color and his African roots and placed all of them under his command…  

“We say this while we confess to the accomplishment of the American nation in creating this change, knowing that we do not expect much from it, except ridding the world of the gang that controlled the White House and owned the most powerful military force in history that filled the world with injustice and oppression. Bush and his gang are finished.”

That is what all the jihadists agree. They despise Bush and know change is coming. They just have not figured out exactly what it means. More importantly, all are uneasy with Obama and the new image he presents of the United States to the world.

(from Foolocracy.com)


This entry was posted on Monday, November 17th, 2008 and is filed under Barack, Islam. 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.

5 Responses to “Jihadists Unsure How To Deal With Obama”

  1. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Remember that cartoons and teddy bears named Mohammad inflame the passions of muslims and justify jihad for them. If Obama does not live up to their own “hopes” for the “change” that the jihadists desire, they will hate him as much as any president – or perhaps even worse.

    Depending on how Obama uses miltary force in regions like Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan ect… combined with how much he will defend Israel’s interests, I believe it is possible Obama will be hated even more than Bush.

    Since Obama is the best they are going to get from the U.S. and they know it, if he “betrays” them, look for some firebrand cleric or mufti or whatever order a fatwa for his assassination as an apostate from Islam.

    They are sitting on his family history, waiting to exploit it if necessary, because according to all 4 schools of Sunni sharia jurisprudence, if your father was a muslim then you were born a muslim, and if you converted to Christianity in your adulthood, then you are an apostate and the punishment for apostacy is death, for it is the greatest sin in Islam, even worse than murder.

    Bush was just an infidel murderer to them. Obama would be an apostate murderer!

  2. kranky kritter Says:

    Without making too big a deal of it, Point #1 sort of has to be a “who cares?” point. Because American foreign policy has to be driven by what’s right for America, not by how jihadists “approach” our new President.

    Notice that for jihadists, their goal is unchanged. They are only disagreeing about how they think they can swing the incoming US admin to help them achieve their goals. They still want an islamic area utterly free from foreign interference, one in which they intend to press their agenda of a region utterly ruled by ultra-conservative islamic orthodoxy. Not all the folks in the region want this, but jihadists do. They’re zealots by definition if you ask me. I do not trust the suggestion that once the infidels have been expunged, jihadists will return to their plows, so to speak.

    Jihadists who make noisy attempts to dictate how an Obama admin ought to craft its foreign policy make conciliation on Obama’s part untenable. However, my belief is that such positions on the part of some jihadists are not actually geared to achieving such a stated goal. They are geared towards creating an advantageous future political position for their faction. They have to know they can’t really tell us what to do, but the culture is such that they are expected to noisily demand it anyway, or lose face.

    Obviously, current US foreign policy towards the middle east opposes the establishment or growth of rule by ultra-conservative islamic orthodoxy. The US wants a pluralistic approach, for obvious philosophical reasons. If the tone of Obama’s general statements on foreign policy are to be trusted, I do not think we can expect to see much of a change. Obama has said he will talk, but he has not said he’s prepared to establish friendly relationships with middle eastern nations unwilling to work to establish a pluralistic approach that protects basic human rights of equality and liberty similar to what we see in the US and most of modern Europe.

    I think there is a real and growing taste among a substantial numbers of Americans to agree to disagree with places like Iran and Pakistan and Afghanistan and thus lean towards leaving fractious combative middle eastern nations to their own devices. I’ll cheerfully concede that such a vision holds some appeal. However, ultimately it strikes me as naive to think we’ll be well-served in the long run by scaling back our direct influence very much. Maybe we let up on the throttle somewhat. But fundamentally changing our approach by constraining it to emphasize conciliatory diplomacy that would manifest as comparatively laissez-faire? I don’t think so.

    In other words, while it may be a good time for more carrot and less stick, I have my doubts about anything more than a tweak.

  3. mike mcEachran Says:

    A testament to the importance of Obama’s personality, identity, and commitment to communication as a force for change. These intangible qualities were much maligned during the campaign as wishful thinking on the part of Obama’s supporters. Despite pessimistic and grim forcasting in the style of the always sunny Jimmy the D and his ilke, I think we can look forward to an Obama administration who will avoid squandering advantages like the Bush administration did so wantonly. The Obama folks know the advantage they have here, and I’m sure we’ll see some pretty slick manuevering to exploit it. (Jimmy they already know he’s a Christian – or maybe they think he’s posing as one. Either way, it ain’t new news to them.) If we’ve seen anything, we’ve seen Obama’s incredible ability to “thread the needle” on sticky issues, and disarm both sides. I’m looking forward to more of the same.

  4. rachel Says:

    Confusion to the enemy! :-D

  5. kranky kritter Says:

    Mike, you sound extraordinarily naive to me.

    I say this even while forthrightly agreeing with you on your list of Obama’s admirable qualities(BTW I voted for him.) . Beyond those, I am at a loss in trying to imagine the alleged advantages you allude to or the slick maneuverings you imagine.

    One thing any basic study in diplomacy and foreign relations teaches you is that the the toolbox is small and the options limited. What we are talking about is th nature of the currently poor relationship between entities who have many divergent interests. The most skilled of counselors cannot bridge the divide between entities unless their differences are in fact reconcilable and not irreconcilable. Is there any love? How much common interest is there? How much unmalleable divergence of opinion?

    Nothing wrong with being an optimist though, I guess. So feel free to think that the differences between America and the jihadists are reconcilable. My personal skepticism is based on the entire history of post WWII middle eastern politics.

    Where do think Obama ought to start? Do you think he should begin by persuading jihadists and other conservative muslims to agree that Israel in fact has a right to continue to exist? Or should he start with something a little bit easier, like napkin color?

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