I am barely coming to understand the US landscape of extremism and now we have to learn the Arab/Muslim landscape.
Via Katherine Yurica, Pepe Escobar of Asia Times
has a piece describing how the assorted outrages against Muslim sensibilities (occupation, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo) have brought together the Salafist cultural wing and the Wahhabist religious wing of Islamic reactionary movements, neither of which had been talking to one another much before.
"Salafis don't even recognize political struggle as a means to establishing an Islamic state. For them, the soul of each individual Muslim takes precedence over politics..."
But take it into the political realm and and you have Salafi-jihadists.
Al-Qaeda [and some other groups] are Salafi-jihadis, considering jihad to be a personal, religious duty of every Muslim.
This is analogous to the relationship between the Southern Baptist Conference and Eric Rudolph and other such "Christian" terrorists. Your typical SBC member, no matter how much he hates the "liberal media" and "Hollywood" and "secular humanists" would much rather pick up a chicken wing than a rifle.
A member of the Muslim brotherhood who in effect founded al Qaida found the means to convert the non-violent and numerous Salafists into Salafist-jihadis by waging armed conflict using the Wahhabi religious wing (the Taliban) as the frontline troops.
Azzam was neither a Salafi nor a Wahhabi. He thought at the time that the only winning jihad strategy was to fight for the liberation of the entire Islamic ummah (community).
And this vision has succeeded, thanks to Bush's ineptitude or design:
Al-Qaeda's dream of mobilizing the ummah by way of jihad may have taken a backseat role, but who needs it when you have reports of Korans flushed down the toilet? The Newsweek controversy reveals to the fullest extent how al-Qaeda may be reaching its goal of politicizing the masses through other means.
Escobar says the Europeans fear linkages between far-left groups there and the Salafist-jihadis. I think a far more serious issue is the potential for a linkup with far-right American groups. We have some reasons to believe that that occurred on a small scale.
(Thanks to Information Clearing House).