Tuesday, July 20, 2004

U.S.: David Warren on jihad as a whole

In the course of three years' intense study of the issue, I've become convinced that there is -- well, this is a slight exaggeration -- no such thing as "Al Qaeda". It is, more precisely, only a name applied vaguely to one of several financing and logistical arms of the Wahabi branch of what could more accurately be called the "Islamic Jihad". Not an army, nor a disciplined network of underground cells, but an historical movement -- and thus more comparable to something like "the Enlightenment" in the West, than to any organized militia. Not to say the Jihad shares ideals with the Enlightenment -- far from it -- but rather, it is similar in being a vast idealistic movement, consciously advanced by men who co-operate as and where they think they can be most effective -- but taking their orders, ultimately, not from men but from "the zeitgeist", or "Allah".

This may sound a very abstract analysis, but it has practical consequences for "homeland security". For starters, it means we cannot draw neat, legalistic lines between who's in and who's out of the cabal. For instance, a journalist working for Al-Jazeera may be every bit as committed to the struggle as a man rehearsing the assembly of a mid-flight bomb. Each is advancing the Jihad by the means most available to him. And, exempting the one from prosecution while arresting the other is entirely obtuse.

Indications especially from the FBI are to expect a major terrorist hit on North America, sometime between now and the U.S. election in November. I think they are right to expect this. The political, economic, and social fallout from such a hit is unpredictably huge. But I am less and less confident that it can be prevented by anything resembling normal police methods. This is because, thanks chiefly to "political correction", we cannot look at the whole Jihad, and are in fact only looking for the pointy bits.
This may well be why GWB does not particularly care about the whereabouts of bin Laden; for, killing that violence-pimp will not solve the problem. The problem is ideological; it is Islam. When Western society can look at Islam, see it for the corruption that it is, and banish it from all Western lands, then we will have made a start in defeating Islamic terrorism. The Scandinavians have come to this realization before anyone else; may their insight spread.

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