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Might Jihadists and Islamists have Opposing Goals?

Reader comment on item: Nike and 9/11

Submitted by Alex (United States), Sep 12, 2006 at 12:26

In my mind, terrorism does not obstruct the Islamist agenda so much as it fulfills the jihadist agenda. Take for example the recent message from al Qaeda that invited Dr. Pipes to join al Qaeda--had its author, Adam Gadahn, had the Islamist goal of winning support within the US, he would not have praised Seymour Hersh and company, because he knows that by doing so, he undermines their ability to continue with their pro-Islamist editorials.

The message seemed rather to be from a jihadist point of view, with the specific aim of turning Islamist-friendly commentators away from their formerly expressed sympathies, so that in case al Qaeda launches another attack against civilians in the US, no member of the Sunni ulema anywhere can say that al Qaeda did not forewarn America or that the jihad killed potential converts. None of this means that Islamists should be tolerated--indeed, the Nike episode described in this article proves that Islamists aim to arbitrarily terrorize us with non-violent means--but it does show that jihad has been globalized in the modern era, with none of the previous ethical or territorial constraints that would have existed in traditional Islam.

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