Sunday, October 21, 2007

Effectively Communicating Jihad: a spade is a spade

Our new political watering hole, flagship and article library Politeia feels honoured to have gained permission by the author to publish a highly important essay on how strategic communications against the War on Terrorism can be improved. These pages have adopted, effective immediately, his recommendations with regard to idiom pertaining to Jihad and terrorism. We heartily encourage the readership to follow suit.

The author, Sam C. Holliday is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a former director of Stability Studies at the Army War College, and a retired Army Colonel. He earned a Master's in Public Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in International Relations from the University of South Carolina. Currently he is Director of The Armiger Cromwell Center, a small nonprofit Internet organization for thinking "outside of the box of conventional wisdom." By means of its online essays, the ACC seeks more effective foreign policies to achieve stability through equilibrium. He's got his work cut out for him.

His recommendation for more precise idiom with respect to terrorism or the ongoing Jihad against the West, coincides with the alleged renunciation of terrorism by Sayid Imam al-Sharif, the man who prescribed the "Third Jihad" for the Islamization of the world. In effect, this could potentially be the turning point in the War on Terrorism.

Al-Sharif is the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. His supporters assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981. He himself was with Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, fighting against the Soviet Union. He was captured after 9/11 and has been in an Egyptian jail since 2004.

There have been several reports that Al-Sharif will soon publish a book in which he states that the use of terrorism, and the killing of innocent nonbelievers in the name of Jihad, constitutes a violation of the Koran.

Sam Holliday argues that our enemies have called their struggle for the global Caliphate "Jihad", which means "holy war", and refer to their practitioners as "mujahidin", meaning "holy warriors", or "Servants of Allah" or, most irritating of all, “martyrs”. The latter word harks back to the first Christians who were persecuted under the pagan laws of the Roman Empire; it is derived from the Greek word 'martyras', meaning witness. They'd rather be tortured to death as 'witnesses to God', than acknowledge the Emperor's genie.

The point is that this Islamic terminology of holy war and holy warriors has positive emotional and religious connotations in the Muslim world. Furthermore - and this has become almost conspiratorial in its Orwellian dimensions - the media, Western governments and their spokespersons, the appeasers, apologists and advocates, for fear of antagonising the bullies, are exerting through political correctness the use of highly euphemistic terminology, the words "terrorism" and "terrorist" have been tabooed altogether and placed on an index of politically incorrect P.R. terms.

Sam Holliday argues that this Orwellian Newspeak is both inaccurate and dangerous. The leaders of the Third Jihad have exploited this lack of moral courage to their advantage. Holliday presses upon our leaders the urgent need to make changes in their spasmodic approach not to offend Muslims, and capitalize on al-Sharif's new found humanity. His dissent can potentially remove the Koranic justification from the terrorists. By accurately stating that we are fighting against Evil and Evildoers - not holy warriors - we can ourselves obtain a strategic communication advantage.

The author describes the "Third Jihad" as an aggressive revivalist movement that is accepted, respected and supported by peaceful and naive Muslims. The holy warriors come in numerous organizations of many sizes and with various tactical agendas. "They are motivated by feelings of envy, frustration, greed, prejudice and hatred that are the result of manipulation by the leaders."

Holliday provides a chronological outline of the history of Islam and the First and Second Jihads, the conquests of Spain and Byzantium (Constantinople), upto the Iranian Marxist-Islamist Revolution that overthrew the Shah, which is considered to be the starting shot of the third endeavour to establish a global Caliphate.

"For its leaders, the Third Jihad is just another effort to spread Islam until everyone is governed by “the ways of the Prophet”—and to take down the Great Satan. For the foot soldiers, it is a way to express their feelings. In all three Jihads violence has been an accepted way to eliminate, or convert, non-believers (infidels)."

They aim to weaken the opposition against the establishment of the global Caliphate, and to push back the influence of the West. This cultural takeover was al-Sharif's original goal. Many Muslims however oppose the Third Jihad as they have become its prime victims. Yet they might be willing to condemn “terrorism”, but not the goal of a Great Caliphate itself, being so central to Islam.

There's an entire Western cohort that denies the threat of the Third Jihad: if we meet the enemy with pacifist overtures, or perhaps throw them a Zionist bone, the danger will dissolve as by a miracle. This is often followed by assertions that directly refute the trivialization of terrorism, namely that it is the result of Western Foreign Policies in Islamic countries. This argument thanks its popularity to the fact that it suits the Leftist political agenda. Alternatively the existential rivalry between Shiites and Sunnis is pointed out, which is neither here, nor there (or anywhere).

Then there's the hyper dangerous, counter democratic phenomenon that is currently undermining our very way of life: the 'hate speech', "Islamophobia - a term invented to shut down legitimate and vital debate about the threat of the Third Jihad - and narrow their focus to the personal, inner, nonviolent Jihad al Akbar. They are weary, and want to enjoy the good life without effort or worry."

Not to mention the amount of deflectors: the climate, the McCanns, the amoral exploits of Hollywood degenerates. It all serves to at least distract the attention, or put in a positive light, a political-religious movement "that under international law is considered aggression, and for the past 300 years has often been called imperialism."

Holliday argues however that the idiom Hirabah (unholy warfare) and hirabahists (evildoers who use terror and will incur Allah's condemnation on Judgment Day) allows the distinction between Islam as religion and Islam as basis for all out conquest. He stresses the fact that it is necessary for Muslims to be "convinced that this distinction can be made in accordance with authentic Qur'anic Islam. The conversion of al-Sharif allows this distinction to be better communicated to all Muslims. The struggle over whether such a distinction can be made illustrates why communications is the center of gravity in irregular warfare—the oldest form of conflict among humans: insurgents using any means available to them to weaken those in authority."

The new idiom will be understood by, and will have meaning, for those who speak Arabic. We must attempt to discredit aggressive, unholy warfare, the Koranic justification of violence: Warfare against Hirabahists rather than War on Terror or GWOT (Global War on Terror). "However, the changes needed are not primarily in semantics. They are primarily contextual: how the leaders and people of America and Europe view irregular warfare and what changes they are prepared to make to become more effective in this form of conflict."

He clarifies further that we need to condemn terrorists in Islamic religious terms, rather than in Western secular terms. "No longer should we adopt the language of those falsely claiming they are fighting a Jihad for Islam." "If used effectively the apparent renunciation of terrorism by al-Sharif can facilitate such a change."

~ The entire essay is published on the Politeia Articles Database ~

2 comments:

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Cass,

A very interesting article, definitely worth reposting.

L.A.

Geo Karras said...
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