Monday, December 23, 2013

( 14 ) " War, Resistance, Jihad, and Terrorism. "

By Sodium

The question that one may raise when it comes to the Middle East is this: Why the Middle East region has been a point of attraction for Western's adventurism for expansion and eventual colonization and exploitations, at all levels, economically, politically and even culturally ?

Although the answer to this question is well known to most readers who are interested in following events, as they occur in the Middle East, it is only appropriate to read what Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A World Without Islam " has written with regards to the above question. Fuller has mentioned the following reasons as an answer to the "Why " in the above question:

~  Proximity of the Middle East to Europe, especially the colonial powers of Western Europe.
~  Abundance of energy sources, such as petroleum and natural gas, in some countries of the Middle East.
~  Financial hugeness in the hands of some Middle Eastern countries.
~  Strategic location of the Middle East, as the cross roads to Africa and the Far East.

In addition to the above reasons, I have my own reasons as an answer to the " Why " in the above question. I will keep my own reasons to myself, at this point of time. I may release them, at some point in the future, as timing dictate to do so. At this point, I will adhere firmly to reviewing what Graham Fuller has written in the chapter of this topic.

Because of the reasons Graham Fuller has mentioned, as cited above, he says that no other region in the world has suffered from Western's adventurisms as the Middle East has suffered. And because of such an adventurisms,War, Resistance, Jihad, and Terrorism have been the by-products of the Western exploitations and colonialism of the Middle East. The following quotes may provide the interested readers of what Fuller has to convey to them, with regards to the by-products of Western adventurisms to, exploitations and colonialism of the Middle East:

Quotation One:
" Probably no other region of the world has endured such intense and sustained intervention from the West than the Middle East. "

That is so, of course, because of the reasons specified in the foregoing outline.

Quotation Two:
" The cumulative anger, frustration, and radicalism that this history of interventions has produced are abundantly evident. The question perhaps is not how 9/11, ( date of Osama bin Laden's attack on the trade Twin Towers in New York and the attack on the Pentagon in Washington DC. ), could have happened, but instead, why did not happen sooner ?   As radical Middle East groups articulate their grievances in our globalized age, why should we be surprised that they ultimately carry their struggle to the heart of the West ?  It takes little brilliance, then, to have anticipated some kind of pushback, resistance, a sharp or even violent response to long-term Western actions. It is particularly disingenuous for the West at this point to run around and speculate on what is wrong with the Muslim world, or with Islam, that the West should be witnessing a violent response from the Muslim World. It borders on obtuseness or willful ignorance not to acknowledge any impact or role of its own policies over the last two centuries or more in stimulating the range of current responses from the Muslim world. "

Quotation Three:
" So it becomes analytically shaky to suggest that somehow Islam, madrasas, or radical ideology is the ultimate cause of the resistance. "

Quotation Four:
Hence the need to demonize the enemy and paint the struggle in black-and-white moral terms. Modern communication complicates the problem further when the course of the war can be viewed on television and the Internet from multiple perspectives. The administration of George W. Bush managed to impose serious ( self ) censorship upon American media in covering the bloody details of the Iraq War. Indeed, to Washington one of the great outrages of the Arab satellite station Aljazeera was its regular, on-site, and graphic portrayal of the impact that bombing and combat were having on real people on the ground in real neighborhood. Pictures of American dead, sometimes even civilian casualties, are often termed" obscene " in American Media, partly in order to prevent from being witnessed. And the acts that produced  the pictures are likewise obscene. War is most easily fought when its human consequences remain distant, invisible, abstract. "

Quotation Five:
" In the Qur'an and the Hadith, Jihad has many meanings. The basic root of the word jihad in Arabic means " effort " or " struggle. "  It is widely used to refer to the struggle of the individual to live a virtuous life, to uphold religious values in one's personal life, to help propagate Islam through personal effort by way of personal example and promoting the Faith. In that context the word jihad for Muslims retains quite positive religious connotations of personal devotion toward betterment. It is also routinely used in colloquial Arabic simply to mean " I'll make an effort, do my best."  That the " great jihad, " or personal jihad, as defined by the Prophet."

" Leaser jihad, " as defined originally by the Prophet, came to refer to military efforts in a context of military struggle in which the key obligations were defense and preservation of Islam and umma, (community or nation. )

Quotation Six:
" Acts of  terrorism and suicide operations have now entered into Western vocabulary of Muslim actions in the context of war.

" Does the problem reside primarily with Islam ?  Or are there political and social origins of these issues that require more complex policy analysis and treatment ?  Clearly this book argues that the problem is not basically " Islam, " but the legacy of geopolitical and social issues that affect Muslims who are indeed adopting weapons of the weak. Terrorist operations have a long and venerable history in different places and times, but in the last century, some of the more dramatic cases of such operations have included the Vietcong, the BASK ETA, Shining Path in Peru, PKK ( a Kurdish organization in Turkey ), MJK ( an Iranian group operating against the Islamic Republic ), Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, Sikh in India, the Communist Party in India, Naxalites in India, the IRA in Ireland, Kach in Israel, Red Brigades, Aum Shinrikyo, FARC in Columbia, and so on. In racent decades, however, the number of Muslim organizations on the list has increased dramatically with the new confrontations with the West. "

Final Words:
For those readers who are interested in exploring more about Jihad, it is recommended to read an old essay published on this website, about three years ago, under the title, " The Meaning Of Jihad In Islam."


Next topic will be the last topic of this series and will be topic ( 15 ) What to do ? Toward a New Policy with the Muslim World.



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