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Islamist Al-Qaeda terrorists are irrational--but, their goals are simple....

Reader comment on item: What Do Terrorists Want? [A Caliphate and Shari'a]

Submitted by Joseph P "Dutch" Bialke, BSCJS, MA, JD, LLM (United States), Dec 14, 2005 at 16:19

As I wrote in the fall 2004:

Al-Qaeda does not fight for a state or for any acceptable pursuit of self-determination, but rather for an ideology contrary to the principled and humanistic theology, tenets, and traditions of Islam. Al-Qaeda's dogma and raison d'etre, its "reason for existence," as a self-anointed "Army of Allah against all Jews and Crusaders" edify al-Qaeda operatives to murder non-Muslims to further al-Qaeda's militant global objectives and apparently, albeit secondarily, as a means to enter heaven. For instance, Usama Muhammad bin Awad Laden, al-Qaeda's titular Emir (prince or first-in-command), ordered a fatwa (an Islamic religious dictate) that it is the holy duty of all Muslims to kill all Americans and all their allies, military and civilian, wherever they can be found, especially Zionist Jews.

"Al-Qaeda" literally translates to "The Base." Essentially, al-Qaeda is the inspiration and rallying point for most forms of militant Islamist terrorism. Al-Qaeda is an amorphous organization of global reach, composed of members from numerous nationalities, engaging in the intentional murders of protected noncombatants to achieve al-Qaeda's long-term hegemonic Islamist theocratic-political objectives. As far as can be determined, al-Qaeda demands that the state of Israel must be eliminated and replaced in its entirety by Palestine, that all "non-Muslim" countries must cease to exist, and all of their infidel, nonbeliever citizens be converted to Islam, that geographical borders separating Muslim countries be erased, and that all democratic governments in Muslim countries be replaced by a unified Islamist government similar to a Talibanesque theocracy.

Put another way, al-Qaeda and similar stateless aligned Islamist groups seek apparently to recreate the world and transform it into a borderless unified Islamic totalitarian nation, an ummah, under the law of the shari'ah (the canonical laws of Islam). Al-Qaeda views any government that does not fully implement shari'ah Islamic law as jahiliyya, paganism in the form of people governing and controlling people (rather than the people being governed by Islamist clerics who professedly follow the dictates of Allah). Al-Qaeda has shown that it is ready and willing to use all means necessary through jihad, an Islamic holy war, to achieve its stated theocratic-political Islamist vision. In addition, al-Qaeda views its ongoing jihad waged against all they view as infidels as an unwavering spiritual duty. Al-Qaeda followers view individual death in their self-declared jihad as shahada, glorious martyrdom. Al-Qaeda Islamists supposedly claim that such martyrdom in this jihad gains the deceased "martyred" al-Qaeda member, the shahid, immediate entry into heaven, with added status and avails. In reality, however, al-Qaeda's war is an unholy hirabah, an illegal furtive war of indiscriminate terrorism.

Al-Qaeda misrepresents the Muslim faith to justify its acts of terrorism, to incite its cohorts, and to further its intolerant expansionist Islamist theocratic-political goals. That al-Qaeda militants choose unilaterally to do so does not make this an armed conflict directed against Islam or its adherents. To the contrary, the majority of Muslim countries throughout the world have allied themselves with the U.S. in this ongoing conflict. It must be said however, because acts of terrorism are always antithetical to the tenets of any legitimate theology, Islam is unfortunately slandered because al-Qaeda exploits it as an impetus for al-Qaeda acts of terrorism. Moreover, when the leaders and believers of Islam do not strongly and universally condemn such exploitation by al-Qaeda, such lack of condemnation has the operative relative effects of the further tainting of Islam as well as the maligning of Islam followers.

For these reasons, all links between this armed conflict and Islam, and any related disparagement of Islam, result solely from the actions and statements of al-Qaeda, as well as from the overt and tacit supporters of al-Qaeda. The U.S. and its allies do not illegitimately make such links, nor do the U.S. and its allies disparage Islam. Simply put, the U.S. and its allies do not engage in armed conflict against religions or followers of religions. Despite al-Qaeda's calculated stratagem to professedly commit its acts of terrorism in the name, defense, and furtherance of the Islamic faith, the global armed conflict of the U.S. and the civilized world against al-Qaeda is not, and has never been, a conflict against Muslims or Islam. It is an armed conflict in collective self-defense directed against al-Qaeda hostes humani generis and any rogue state supporters of al-Qaeda as perpetrators of global terrorism. International terrorists are the military targets, not Muslims or Islam.
Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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