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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Is Radical Islam Killing Itself? Updated

In a must read essay for The New Yorker Lawrence Wright examines the split developing between Dr. Fadl and Dr Zawahiri two of the founders of Al Jihad, while Fadl lanquishs in an Egyptian prison and Zawahiri continues the murderous rampage of Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Fadl has come around to seeing how violent jihad has harmed islam and its standing in the world far more than it has helped through its indiscriminate killing of innocents whether they are infidels or other muslims. Indeed Sunni Al Qaeda and its Shiite equivalents have killed far more muslims than infidels in the Iraq and Afghan wars by bombing markets full of women, children and elderly or sectarian cleansing in order to intimidate them into compliance with their radical ideology. Zawahiri disagrees and says it is OK as long as the main target is the infidel crusaders. It is a fairly long essay but it is a must read to understand the rift taking place in the muslim world, here is the introduction.

Last May, a fax arrived at the London office of the Arabic newspaper Asharq Al Awsat from a shadowy figure in the radical Islamist movement who went by many names. Born Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, he was the former leader of the Egyptian terrorist group Al Jihad, and known to those in the underground mainly as Dr. Fadl. Members of Al Jihad became part of the original core of Al Qaeda; among them was Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant. Fadl was one of the first members of Al Qaeda’s top council. Twenty years ago, he wrote two of the most important books in modern Islamist discourse; Al Qaeda used them to indoctrinate recruits and justify killing. Now Fadl was announcing a new book, rejecting Al Qaeda’s violence. “We are prohibited from committing aggression, even if the enemies of Islam do that,” Fadl wrote in his fax, which was sent from Tora Prison, in Egypt.

Fadl’s fax confirmed rumors that imprisoned leaders of Al Jihad were part of a trend in which former terrorists renounced violence. His defection posed a terrible threat to the radical Islamists, because he directly challenged their authority. “There is a form of obedience that is greater than the obedience accorded to any leader, namely, obedience to God and His Messenger,” Fadl wrote, claiming that hundreds of Egyptian jihadists from various factions had endorsed his position.

I read Wright's authoritative book on the lead up to 9/11 "The Looming Tower" a few months ago and highly recommend it for those that wish to understand just what we are fighting and the threat that is radical islamic jihad and this essay offers just a peek but is a positive development just the same. I wonder if the Democrats or their presumed leader Barack Hussein Obama have or will read either one, somehow I doubt it.
Update: More at Strategy Page and even the New Republic via Hotair.
Even more at the Jawa Report.

3 comments:

heidianne jackson said...

great post, goat - i loved the book as well. i really wish more people had read it as it really conteracts a bit of the bds out there.

oh well...

heidianne jackson
http://biggirlpants.typepad.com

Goat said...

I couldn't put it down Heidi, "The Looming Tower" is an absolute must read book.

suek said...

Even if they give up the violence, they still have the intent of taking over the west from the inside. "Legal jihad" probably doesn't fit into the category of impermissible violence.
Giving up violence is a good thing, but they will still be the enemy...!