Memoirs Of A British Jihadi
Now that the terror threat in Britain has been hilariously "lowered" from 'critical' to 'severe,' (in other words, from 'imminently fucked' to 'almost certainly screwed'), it's as good a time as any to meditate on the ol' 'Why They Do … Read More
Now that the terror threat in Britain has been hilariously "lowered" from 'critical' to 'severe,' (in other words, from 'imminently fucked' to 'almost certainly screwed'), it's as good a time as any to meditate on the ol' 'Why They Do It' question. First, let's review the stock answers with which we're all quite familiar: American foreign policy, British foreign policy, imperialism, poverty in the Third World/Global South, the War in Iraq. Now, let's canvass a former member of the British Jihadi Network, Hassan Butt:
By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the 'Blair's bombs' line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.
Hassan isn't even an apostate. He hasn't renounced Islam and in fact he's quite devout. But when his superiors wouldn't answer his hard questions about Islamic theology, he did his own searching and discovered that he couldn't square what he had been told to do in the name of Islam with what he found in the Qu'ran. I know this might disappoint those folks who live to point out that economic disadvantage and American/British foreign policy are the fundamental engines of evil in the world. But watch the videos below as Hassan reminds us of the power of a fascistic ideology on the minds of the pious, the well-to-do, and, not least on those who don't want to be forced into marrying a girl they don't want to marry.
Those who think that Bush and Blair's war against al-Qaeda and Ba'athism cause terrorism or that suicide bombers are angry at the sight of starving children might do well to acquaint themselves with the history of Islamic schism–the Khawarij and the Wahhabis for a start. There is a great deal of contrast between these splinter groups and the first ummah. Muhammad's ascendancy was due to his character, one that was uncommon in Meccan society–he was a brilliant resolver of conflict amongst those of different tribal allegiance. It wasn't until those with specific power interests within the Islamic empire injected a separatist violent strain into Islam that the violence of jihad against "unbelievers" came into being as we know it today. This ideology was at once appealing to desert brigands and thieves who could use it as a perfect tool for political power grabs, and for the raping and pillaging of fellow Muslims. It functions the same to this day. Those who today continue to insist that Islamic terrorism would disappear or diminish if only George Bush would leave Iraq and if only fewer offensive cartoons would be published only make apparent their own historical illiteracy with respect to the Middle East and Islam. Hassan Butt knows what he's talking about. Individual groups may not issue fatwahs nor may they declare jihad. The division of the world into believers and unbelievers is outdated. In the spirit of Butt's recommendation to confront extremism on the level of theology, it might be worthwhile to call on the Hadith (the sayings of Muhammad). The inhospitable region of the Arabian peninsula known as Najd was home to Ibn Wahhab; it has home to vicious fanaticism for centuries and it is the birthplace of many of al-Qaeda's most integral beliefs. Muhammad himself said that the people of Najd were essentially people of hell:
'O Allah, bless our Syria and our Yemen!' They said: 'Ya Rasulallah, and our Najd!' He didn't reply. He blessed Syria and Yemen twice more. They asked him to bless Najd twice more but he didn't reply. The third time he said: 'There [in Najd] are the earthquakes and the dissensions, and through it will dawn the epoch [or horn] of shaytan.'
Now today, as the flame of violent, separatist Islam burns, many actively apologize for those who defame the religion by carrying out brutal mass murder in its name. They say 'BushBlairimperialismpoverty' and think they're ever so cultured, ever so full of conscience and respect for Islam. In reality, they "do the propaganda work" of the modern day equivalents of those people the Prophet deemed people of hell. Whoever says Islam is an outdated desert religion has this fact working against them. Muhammad could apparently spot the enemies of peace far better than many of the supposed forces of progress in our modern world.