This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: Muslims are often regarded now with the same mixture of fear and contempt as workers were in the 19th century. And the jihadi terrorist has the same feelings about America as his anarchist predecessor had about the bourgeoisie: he sees it as the epitome of arrogance and power. Osama bin Laden is a 21st century Ravachol (Ravachol was a Russian terrorist leader), a living symbol of hatred and resistance for his followers, a bogeyman for the police and intelligence services. Todays jihadis resemble yesterdays anarchists: in reality, a myriad of tiny groups, in their own eyes, a vanguard rallying the oppressed masses. Saudi Arabia has now taken the role of Italy while 11 September 2001 is the modern version of 24 June 1894, a wake-up call to the international community. The reasons for the rise of terrorism now and anarchism then are the same. Muslims worldwide are united by a sense of unease and crisis. The Arab world seems to be more bitter, more cynical and less creative than it was in the 1980s. There is a growing sense of solidarity with other Muslims, a feeling that Islam itself is in danger. This is fertile ground for a fanatical minority. Osama bin Laden led the way with his famous fatwa declaration in1996: "The walls of oppression and humiliation cannot be demolished except in a rain of bullets." The similarities with anarchism are striking. Violence will probably be the undoing of jihadi terrorism, like anarchism before it, but terrorism will stop sooner if the Arab and Muslim worlds are offered an alternative hope to ease their sense of exclusion. A task force on terrorist financing, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, recently highlighted this interaction, noting: "Other Islamic terrorist organizations, Hamas and Hizballah specifically, often use the very same methods-and even the same institutions-[as al-Qa'ida] to raise and move their money. And more recently, published reports suggest that al-Qa'ida has formed additional tactical, ad-hoc alliances with these terrorist organizations to cooperate on money laundering and other unlawful activities."(5) In fact, while there is no shortage of examples of operational and logistical links between disparate militant Islamist groups, these interactions are most pervasive in the realm of financing. Introduction The concept of jihad, dating back to the earliest stages of Islam, has always been open to various interpretations. Since Islamic sources define jihad in very broad terms, Muslims have, throughout Islamic history, been able to transform and extend its meaning according to their specific perceptions and needs. This document focuses on a concept of jihad that has been emerging for some time in Islamist discourse, as is evident in Islamist forums and websites. In this permutation, jihad is perceived as being aimed primarily at undermining the Western economy, particularly the U.S. economy, with the ultimate goal of bringing about the total collapse of the West.  In practical terms, this concept of jihad does not pose an immediate and substantial...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENG 2100 taught by Professor Schrieber during the Fall '07 term at CUNY Baruch.
- Fall '07