Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Loosing info war, terrorist Ideology

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    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Loosing info war, terrorist Ideology

    Saudi Reformist Author in 'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat': 'Terrorism: A Cultural Phenomenon'

    ( Right ON, G )


    "The Security Success in the Fight Against Terrorism... Has Not Been Accompanied by Successes in the Fight Against the Ideology Behind [It]"

    "The third and most important conclusion is that the persistence of Al-Qaeda is a result of the persistence of the circumstances against which Al-Qaeda is working; this provides the organization with a suitable environment for existence and vitality. The spread of an epidemic is not due to the strength of the virus itself, but due to the existence of an environment that provides the virus with the opportunity to grow and develop. The fight against the epidemic is therefore the fight against the virus itself, and so unless the virus itself is combated the epidemic will continue. The same can be said about Al-Qaeda.

    "In Saudi Arabia, for example, the security agencies performed their full role with regards to the detection, investigation and arrest [of terrorists], but this is not everything. Weeds return once they have been plucked out so long as their roots remain intact. The roots in this case, and in any real society, are the places of socialization, from homes to the mosque, from social clubs to the media and others. These help to shape an individual's personality from childhood, and help them move in one direction or another or at the least give the individual the potential of moving in one direction or the other. These institutions sow the first seeds that give rise to the core of thought and behavior; this supports the popular [Arab] proverb, 'One goes back to their roots.'

    "The security success in the fight against terrorism and the forces of destruction has not been accompanied by successes in the fight against the ideology behind this destructive behavior. What other explanation is there for the hundreds of Al-Qaeda recruits, a figure which represents only the tip of the iceberg, not to mention the silent followers and sympathizers. There is a defect - there can be no doubt about that - and this is in the damage that has been caused by the educational institutes [in Saudi Arabia] since we diverted from the correct path, socially and culturally, and we took up the labyrinthine ideology of the Sahwa [Islamic re-awakening] in the late 1970s [following the Mecca siege]. Educational institutes, without exception, began to reflect this ideology."

    "Schools and Educational Curriculums Continue to Disseminate Extremist Ideology - Despite Efforts to Reduce Its Impact"

    "This is an ideology that is in essence a culture of blood and death that calls for the elimination of the unbelievers - i.e. anyone who does not fully agree with this ideology - both within Saudi Arabia and abroad. All educational institutions then formed along this basis, in the light of the ideological struggle against the Iranian revolution that was attempting to export a different concept of Islam, as well as the political struggle against a superpower that was attempting to occupy Afghanistan in order to access the waters of the Gulf. These factors resulted in the state turning a blind eye to what was going on inside these educational institutes, and even in some cases encouraging what was going on there for political purposes, and so today we are reaping what we sowed.

    "Perhaps circumstance rules supreme, and the game of politics has its own rules, and some things are necessary. There is no shame in making a mistake - life in essence is trial and error - but it is shameful to deny making the mistake [in the first place] and to continue to make the same mistake over and over again. As for nations, it is wrong to continue implementing a policy that may have been effective once, but is a disaster once circumstances have changed. In the end, the wise man is one that not only listens to others, but who also listens to his own experience and history. Only the obstinate will deny that there have been efforts to release these educational institutes from their [ideological] captivity, but these efforts have only dealt with the visible tip of the iceberg.

    "This is where the problem lies: Schools and educational curriculums continue to disseminate extremist ideology, despite the efforts to reduce its impact, and [this] has resulted in the elimination of the effective education of any cadres by involving Islam in the fields of chemistry and medicine, resulting in the classification of humanity [into believer and unbeliever] and the promotion of hatred and a culture of death. Some mosques continue to give sermons calling for death, destruction and killing, but now we are in need of new sermons that call for tolerance and inter-faith dialogue, because we are all the children of Adam. We are in need of sermons that address the glories of life and humanity. At this point someone will ask: Are we supposed to leave behind our culture and religion?"

    "We Are Muslims... But We Are Not By Necessity Islamists - And There Is a Difference Between Islam and Islamism"

    "Of course not, for those that are in control of the world today have not forgotten their culture and religion; indeed they are well aware of their own religion, and of how the world works. We are Muslims, there is no doubt about that, but we are not by necessity Islamists, and there is a difference between Islam and Islamism. Before the Sahwa we were a society of Muslims, giving God his right, and not forgetting our lot in the world. But after the Sahwa and the kidnapping of our educational institutes, we became a society of Islamists forgetting our lot in the world. There is no getting out of this situation except by going back to the world that we neglected and returning to our Islam and our humanity. Without uprooting the intellectual and cultural roots behind extremism and violence, we will continue to be plagued by these [ideological] weeds, pulling them out but leaving the roots to remain and sprout once more.

    "Until the situation changes, Al-Qaeda and its supporters will continue to exist and appear in this same way."





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