Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Understanding Islam Extremists

In order to help me grasp terrorism I know I need a better understanding of Islam.  I am almost finished with the book Inside the Jihad, My life with Al Qaeda.  It is about an Arab Muslim, Omar Nasiri, who becomes a spy for the European secret service and infiltrates Al Qaeda training camps and sleeper cells.  It is a great book provides insight into the justifications of terrorism.  Here is one part I found particularly interesting.

I learned that there are many types of Jihad.  These include "inner jihad (prayer), the jihad of knowledge and scholarship, jihad of the tongue (speaking out), jihad through actions and the ultimate jihad, the 'holy war.'"  The ultimate jihad is the one that justifies terrorism.

Of course, the laws governing jihad, as described in the Kur'an and the hadith, are open for interpretation.  Omar points out that there varying degrees of interpretation (hence the terrorists being labeled as extremists.  Their interpretations are extreme).  For example, there is an interesting interpretation comparing "innocent" people and the "enemy."

Extremists view the "enemy" to include the entire supply chain supporting the enemy.  In other words, the people with the guns are not the only enemy.  Anyone who provides money, food or water, moral support (journalists writing in favor of the enemy), to the enemy is also the enemy.  Wives/children who pray for the triumphant return of their husband/father from battle, are the enemy.  Clearly, in their eyes, every American is the enemy.  Everyone, can be their enemy.

I've also learned that, for the most part, extremist's are incapable of innovation, which is what they prefer because anyone who innovates is an infidel.  As history has taught us, time and time again, anything that fails to evolve, dies...

I'll post more on this topic as think up more interesting points.

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