Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Listening to establishment commentators speculating (extremely guardedly) about the possible authorship of the bombs in Boston, the name “Al Qaeda” comes up a lot. Tony Blair recently warned that the “struggle against Al Qaeda” would last a generation. Given all the media hoopla about it, I think it’s worth asking whether Al Qaeda even exists. A few years ago I heard a radio interview with a Pakistani journalist called Abid Jan (can’t be sure of the spelling of his name). He was the last journalist to meet Osama bin Laden prior to September 11th, just a few weeks before the attacks. Jan said that when he asked the people in bin Laden’s entourage about Al Qaeda, their response was, “What’s Al Qaeda?”. They had never even heard of it, these people who were supposedly its core members, just before “Al Qaeda” hit the big time.

The concept of Al Qaeda is extremely useful to the members of our governing class because it allows them to encapsulate Islamic evil. It allows them to go on pretending that the source of the jihad threat we face is not Islam itself, its core texts and doctrines, and its 1.5 billion adherents around the world, but this one “bad apple” organisation. If we could only eliminate it, they say, the terrorist threat would disappear. To members of our ruling class, “Al Qaeda” acts as a psychological safety valve that allows them to discharge any public pressure to recognise that Islam is fundamentally evil. By projecting the evil instead on to this one organisation, which may be entirely mythical and is at least of a very limited threat, elites can go on clinging to their flawed moral code, founded in the texts of human rights, whose rules say that “All people have the right to their religion”. The implied corollary of this is that religions cannot be fundamentally wicked. But, as readers of this blog undoubtedly know, Islam is. Our elites cannot acknowledge that without altering the moral foundations of their own worldview and, more specifically, abandoning the flawed concept of “human rights”. “Al Qaeda” helps them to resolve this psychological dissonance.

When the background of Islamic terrorists is investigated after a successful or thwarted attack, often no connection to Bin Laden or his associates, Afghanistan, Pakistan or anything else obviously associated with “Al Qaeda” is found. Even then elite commentators artfully bring it into the picture using phrases like “Al Qaeda-inspired”, “Al Qaeda-linked”, “Al Qaeda has metastasised”, etc. Those who are Islam-aware recognise that in carrying out terrorist attacks, Muslims are simply doing what they have done since Islam existed: preying upon non-Muslims. Only the technological modalities have changed. What we call terrorism is simply Jihad, pre-medieval desert barbarism transposed to the modern world.

People in the Counterjihad movement should be wary of contributing to the Al Qaeda mystique. Since our principal goal is to wake up our fellow nationals to the threat that Islam presents to us, it’s very tempting for us to jump on board the Al Qaeda bandwagon. After all, it helps to show people that there is something sinister and threatening about Islam. But it also runs a serious risk of misleading people about how limited that threat is. “Al Qaeda” has become the primary instrument of Jihad Denialism. The Jihad Deniers who dominate our politics and media must be made to face a simple truth: The problem is not Al Qaeda; the problem is Islam.


Anonymous said...

Good question. Conspiracy theorists have been saying for years that al Qaeda is fake. But their motivation seems to be to discredit the anti-jihad movement, by claiming that those who are committing violence in the name of Islam are really CIA/Mossad agents trying to make Islam look bad.

Of course, Islam was looking bad long before the CIA and Mossad even existed.

Hermes said...

there are lots of docus about this on tube. Here is one of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qmp7-DUBqw

alas said...

If you're interested in this, I recommend 'the power of nightmaters'

Hermes said...

Well it seems that at least a "certain kind" of Al-Qaeda really exists: http://www.jihadica.com/al-qaeda-advises-the-syrian-revolution-shumukh-al-islams-%E2%80%9Ccomprehensive-strategy%E2%80%9D-for-syria/

Anonymous said...

It is a completely created group. Whenever I hear them mentioned I laugh, because it doesn't simply exist. That said, there are enough people frustrated who have had their mom/dad/sister/brother/school/home/etc destroyed by American bombs who will agree with these ideas since they are talked about every day in the media as if they are real. So it is possible to create such a group where one never existed.

I second the recommendation for "The Power of Nightmares"--amazing BBC documentary

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