September 12, 2013
Does the Jihad Benefit Muslims?
I’ve spent some years now reading what you write and say to each other, and talking to you directly from time to time. I’ve been thinking about those conversations a lot, and I have a few things I want to say.Berger then goes on to note how the Jihad really has not resulted in a better life for Muslims.
I think most of you are trying to do the right thing. Sure, some of you are jerks, sometimes very violent and homicidal jerks (and you don’t have a monopoly on that). But I believe many of you, perhaps most, get involved with jihadi movements because you genuinely care about the welfare of Muslims and about doing the right thing according to the dictates of your religion and individual consciences.
It is not what you believe, but how you pursue those beliefs, that leads to conflict between us. Al Qaeda’s ideas guide your movement, and the philosophy of Al Qaeda (unlike that of Islam) is based entirely on destruction. This ideology is best expressed in the “Constants on the Path of Jihad,” a text famously interpreted by Anwar Awlaki, which boils down to one simple idea: “If you’re winning, the strategy is kill, and if you’re losing, the strategy is kill.”
“Constants” states – explicitly – that the outcome of your actions doesn’t matter. Win, lose, help people, hurt people, it’s all the same to Al Qaeda.
"As long as there is slaughtering, we're with them. If there's no slaughtering, there's none, that's it. Buzz off," as one member of your movement put it, in an unguarded moment. The only real constant is death.
I'd made a similar statement to some stupid Jihadi Bitch hiding in Kenya that runs an al-Shabaab fan feed.
That none of the Muslims living under the Arab Spring or in areas where Qaeda al-Jihad are better off now then they were 12 years ago. Not in Libya, not in Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia, Iraq. The list never ends.
The death, destruction of heritage and treasure spent in the Jihad have left Islamic countries and the lives of Muslims and the reputation of Islam in the world are worse off, not better off than they were before the Jihad.
At least in western eyes.
But that overlooks something. The Jihad is not about bringing a better life to Muslims. Its about Islam and the influence of Islam. In their eyes everything else is secondary. The Jihadis believe they are advancing their particular brand of radical butchery.
And you have to admit, they've certainly advanced butchery in today's world.
There are those who would argue that this is against Islam, that Muhammad commands to leave the Muslims and the world a better place than how you found it. That's a belief that we in the west, like Berger and myself included, would find noble, "Like us." A value that is much more a a projection of our own values onto the Muslim world than one that world holds itself.
But then again as we so often found out, They're not us.