AP plumps openly for the mujahedin, and drops all pretense of the idea that jihad is a spiritual struggle: “There is a degree of public sympathy for Saudis who carry out jihad in occupied Muslim countries.” But still there is no indignation, in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the Islamic world, over the proposition that jihad warfare against unbelievers, and their subjugation, is justified. These men have been indicted for waging jihad against the wrong people, not because the idea of waging jihad in a violent manner is itself wrong, or because jihad against unbelievers is wrong.
“Saudis indict 991 terrorism suspects,” from Associated Press, October 22:
Saudi authorities have indicted 991 suspected militants for participating in terrorist attacks carried out over the past five years, the interior minister said yesterday.
The legal proceedings mark a big step in the country’s fight against terrorism. Saudi Arabia has so far been reluctant to resort to trying suspects on terrorism charges that could result in death sentences until it can show the public that every effort has been made to give the defendants a chance to repent.
“The kingdom has been the target of an organised terrorist campaign linked to networks of strife and sedition overseas,” said the interior minister, Prince Nayef, in a statement. “This campaign targeted the way of life, economy and principles of Saudi society and sought to create chaos.
“It has direct links to a deviant group that adopts the [mindset] of al-Qaida.”
The 991 suspects, he said, have been responsible for more than 30 attacks in Saudi Arabia since May 2003, killing 164 people, including 74 security officials. A further 160 attacks have been foiled, he added. The statement did not specify the nationality of the suspects or whether all were in custody.
The Saudi government fears a public backlash against its crackdown if it takes overly harsh measures against those indicted, and wants to avoid accusations it was doing so to please the US.
There is a degree of public sympathy for Saudis who carry out jihad in occupied Muslim countries. Many of those who have returned from imprisonment in GuantÃ¡namo Bay or Iraq have been placed on rehabilitation programmes to encourage them to renounce terrorism.
Nayef said the militants’ actions had damaged the reputation of Islam and charity work, “attaching the label of terrorism to Islam and Muslims”…
I thought it was only “Islamophobes” who did that.