Militant radical Islam will not be defeated solely by bringing democracy to the Middle East, Princeton Professor Michael Doran said during a lecture Monday at Princeton University.
Nor is the jihad, being waged by ever-more-sophisticated organizations like Al Qaeda, an insurgency against the United States provoked by unpopular U.S. policies abroad, he said.
Stop the Presses!! The Packet‘s headline should have read: Princeton Professor says Terrorism not US Fault! Or maybe: Princeton Professor shows signs of having read Jihad Watch!
During his address, Professor Doran described the terror network as a highly sophisticated organization that has developed a formidable strategy through analysis and reinterpretation of its own history – both of Islam’s origins and of the radical Jihad movement’s failures in recent decades.
They’re learning from their mistakes? Hope we are learning from ours, but I’m not so sure of that. In 1979 the State Department was blindsided by Khomeini because they just couldn’t believe that theology could really influence politics or that religious fervor could be so powerful. In 2005 the editor of a magazine with an illustrious history of standing up to Communist tyranny dismissed the study of Islam as a motivating factor in modern-day terrorism as an attempt to “discredit Mohammed and Islam” and ruled it out of court. What, if anything, have we learned?
Professor Doran said Al Qaeda doesn’t consider itself a revolutionary movement; that is, he said, its members understand that it will not be their generation – or even the one that follows – that will reap the political and religious fruits they wish to take root in the Middle East.
Indeed. As I have explained many times here and in my books, they believe they are fighting a struggle that has gone on for 1,400 years now. They will not be dissuaded by negotiations or accommodations.
Further, he said, the network has learned to capitalize on its fragmented nature, and it fully recognizes the great importance of public perception of its actions – in the Middle East, not in the West. He said Al Qaeda tailors its propaganda to the complex regional interests and grievances within each Arab state. It is not so much a global insurgency against the United States provoked by its policies that have been deemed reprehensible, but is at its core a struggle for a new order in the Middle East, he said.
Why just the Middle East? What about Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Kashmir, Nigeria?
“It’s about relations between Muslims first and foremost, and we are secondary,” Professor Doran said. “This is not simply an ideological fight.” He added: “I can’t see this thing burning itself out any time soon. I hope I’m wrong.”
About relations between Muslims first and foremost? Really? Certainly Qutb and Maududi and other jihad theorists taught that the Sharia must first be restored in Islamic states, but then they also taught that it must be extended to non-Muslim states.
The Princeton Professor said Al Qaeda plays on the “fears and resentments” in the region and said it will probably continue to do so for the next several years.
Well, considering that it has already gone on for 1,400 years, I’d be willing to believe we’re in for a few more.
He said American-style democracy won’t solve the economic and social problems in these areas – problems he said Al Qaeda is adept at manipulating and capitalizing upon. He said its members are in effect skilled politicians, disseminating a universal message while speaking to the specific concerns of individual
Now where did that “universal message” come from? Gee, could that be the “universal message of Islam?” I thought this was going to stay “between Muslims.”