Sunday, July 24, 2005

Al-Qaida: Wrong answers to real problems

I found this article this afternoon while doing my usual online newspaper reading. Yes it is at Aljazeera, and it is a very good article I recommend reading. Some selected parapgraphs to tempt you into reading the full article:

Al-Qaida, it must be said, is no pioneer in this field. For although it founds its ideology on religious references and speaks a language overwhelmed by religious symbols, al-Qaida falls largely within the modern tradition of revolutionary anarchists - from the Jacobins and the Bolsheviks down to latter-day Marxist guerrillas like the Baadr-Meinhoff Gang.

Al-Qaida is also a revival of the radical currents that surfaced in Islamic history from time to time only to be defeated by moderate mainstream Islam led by the Ulama (scholars). In particular, they appear to be a continuation of Kharijite thought with its dualistic puritanical conception of the world and the community of Muslims and of Gnostic underground
organisations like the Assassins and Qaramita, who sought to disrupt the stability of Muslim societies through acts of terrorism. Al-Qaida would be best seen as a mixture of these political and ideological strands.

Apart from the ideological justifications it takes recourse to, one would, indeed, be hard put to find much that distinguishes it from Latin American anarchist groups. Their acts share the same destructive ferocity, the same absurdity. The difference is that where one finds its ideological legitimacy in Marxism, the other seeks it in the Islamic religion.

The terrible irony is that Muslims currently find themselves helplessly trapped between two fundamentalisms, between Bush's hammer and Bin Laden's anvil, hostages to an extreme right wing American administration, aggressively seeking to impose its expansionist and hegemonic will over the region at gunpoint, and to a cluster of violent, wild fringe groups, lacking in political experience or sound religious understanding.

The two share a shallow, myopic, dualistic conception of the world populated by 'us' and 'them' in Bush's language, 'believers' and 'non-believers' in Bin Laden's. Al-Zarqawi and his fellows then brandish the sword of excommunication (takfir) against the Muslim body itself in an endless orgy of maiming and mutilation.

Soumayya Ghannoushi is a researcher in the history of ideas at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London.

6 comments:

Josh Pollard said...

what a bunch of b.s.!! so it was bush's fault when they bombed the WTC in 1993? That is such a load of crap. There reason just keeps changing so they can keep blaming it on us. The truth is that they hate western culture. That is something that you will never be able to pin on one person. And the idea that you can pin our immoral culture (that truly revolts them) on conservatives is absolutely ridiculous when it is the conservatives in this country who are trying so hard to restore the morals that have been slipping away since the 60’s.

I’m not attacking you Lisa, unless of course you believe this rubbish. I know you are smarter than that though. This terrorism has been going on for a lot longer than Bush has been president.

Lisa Renee said...

Josh I know you aren't attacking me but I didn't get from that article what you did. I saw it as a condemnation of both Al Queda and some of the US policies.

It also goes deeper than that as she offers a perspective into the history of violence within the islamic religion and how they dealt with it.

I don't agree with all of the article but felt that it offered some insight into this that isn't what we normally read here. Yes you have to separate some of the anti-american bias that is written, else you might come away feeling like you did about reading it. I read alot of international papers so I guess I might be more accustomed to skimming over the bias parts and concentrating more on the informational items.

Josh Pollard said...

If it was just the bias of one newspaper I wouldn't have been so upset. The problem is that most of the extreme left in THIS country share the same view.

Lisa Renee said...

I understand your concerns Josh, but I also think the article made some valid points. Especially the parts where she states that these acts are senseless.

Any extreme point, right or left usually should be taken with a grain of salt.

Josh Pollard said...

taking what extremist do and say with a grain of salt is what has lead this country to the sorry shape it is in now. We have had decades of standing idly by as the far left has tried to destroy everything this country was founded on. I'm sick of watching them tear our country apart.

Lisa Renee said...

Josh, I don't agree with you that it is only the extreme left that is tearing this country apart. It is also the extreme right. The problem is the rest of us who are not of either extreme have not let both of them know it's time for them to either be part of the solution or back off.

I'm sorry you didn't get out of the article what I did as far as her honest statements concerning believing Al Queda was only interested in destruction as well as the other statements she made that were not anti-US.