Al-Qaeda’s violent methods and tactics have been coming under mounting criticism this year from Islamist scholars who once supported it. One by one they have been coming out in public to denounce the organisation’s actions as being counterproductive.
.. says this BBC article last week. It goes on to point out that:
At one level there is the intellectual debate, the Arab thinkers within the jihadi movement. These are the people who are standing back and questioning whether al-Qaeda’s extreme methods aren’t actually doing more harm than good to Muslims. But then down at the grass roots level, things are moving the other way, because there are still growing numbers of potential recruits to violent jihad, including in Britain.
Often these recruits have only a shallow knowledge of Islam, and they are far less impressed by theological debate than they are by more day-to-day, down-to-earth factors like TV reports of western airstrikes on civilians in Afghanistan or the presence of US and British troops in Iraq.
As thabet points out, “So, yes, foreign policy is part of the problem. But not the only problem.”
But here’s the crunch. Some will say the answer is to teach these wannabe jihadis proper Islam so they can be guided away from terrorism. Secularists are likely to balk at that approach, saying the best way forward is for them to forget about religion. If foreign policy is only part of the problem, a fact neither Islamists nor the pro-war anti-Islamists want to acknowledge, what are other parts to the problem?
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Filed in: Civil liberties,Religion,Terrorism