Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Defining the enemy

[Originally written May 27, 2004]

We are facing a global insurrection which for convenience sake I'll label the "Qutbists".  I highly recommend a lot of research on subjects such as "Islamic Brotherhood" (here - try http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m0PBZ/4_83/109268859/print.jhtml for a US military brief) and Qutb (various spellings of the first name - usually Sayyid, but also Sayyed, Sayid, Said, Sayd, and Sayed.)  Qutb's "Mein Kampf" (or possibly "On Protracted Warfare") was "Mileposts [or Signposts] on the Road" (link here:


A couple of clues. Qutb was sent by the Egyptian Government (Ministry of Education) to learn American Educational Methods in 1948 - and was supposed to spend five years doing so. A bit over 18 months later he left the nation, saying it was (among other things) irredeemably sinful and the greatest threat to Islamic faith in existance. On his return he became a radical - and Islamicist vs an Islamic.

A digression - Islam has a tradition of entanglement of state with religion. This is due to the first few leaders of the religion also being the political leaders. As it happens, though, the same event that split Shia from Sunni also forced them into a separation of the two - a recognition that the political leader should be spiritual but did not necessarily have to be a spiritual leader. A Caliph alone must be not only a Sultan/Emir, but must also be a mufti (or at least qualified to be such). However, an Islamicist's focus is that the government must be led by a spiritually sound leader, of knowledge sufficient to be at least a Mullah. FWIW, the religious titles are not ranks, but are instead acknowledgements of depth of knowledge about Islamic faith and law. Technically, a mullah does not walk behind a mufti or an ayatollah. Practically, of course, Orwell's comment comes to mind - "Some are more equal than others."

Anyway, Qutb became a severe Islamicist, and due to his experiences in the United States aimed much of his writings toward that nation's demise. Another clue - it was Qutb who parsed the book and the laws of Islam to allow the assassination of Islamic leaders. See, such is specifically forbidden in both book and law. But Qutb's little interpretation relied on how some Hadith (not Sharia and not the Quran) had developed that said apostates should be executed. If the leader were not of the "true faith" -- that is, he didn't follow the strict interpretations of the Qutbists -- then obviously he was an apostate, and it became not only allowable but incumbent upon true followers to execute (not assassinate) the leader.

But, many say, what about the Wahhabi ties? Once more to history. In 1954 the nation of Egypt banned the Brotherhood - they'd never been clearly dirty in various tricks and assassinations. Worse, they'd been really useful in overthrowing the government in 1952 but then demanded the resulting government be run _their_ way. Coincidentally, the founder of the Brotherhood had been assassinated a mere six years later and a schism was developing between those who wished to proselytize for Islam through persuasion and those who wished to resort to force. (Aside, Qutb went to prison in 1952, and at this point is only beginning his writings - though he's published his hate piece of the US (The America I Have Seen. 1949).) The majority of the members (of both sides of the schism) who escaped fled to Saudi Arabia, where the people most willing to provide succor were those who held similar beliefs to the forcers - the Wahabbis. There are also strong enclaves among the Palestinians, the Jordanians, the Syrians, the Turks, and in Iran.

Another clue - strong enclaves in Iran. The Brotherhood was built as a "cross-sectarian boundaries" organization, and had not only Sunni but Shia and Sufi chapters. FWIW it's not believed Khomeini was a member. OTOH, some of the "student leaders" of the Shah's overthrow were.

Anyway, back to the Wahabbis. Because they were the dominant force controlling access to the Hajj, they were able to proselytize more effectively than any other sect. The Qutbists (my term for the "forcers") became closely tied with them largely because each had a great deal to offer the other. The Wahabbis had the doctrinal strength and influence of location, while the Qutbists had a strategy. "Your muscle and my mind..."

For the next couple of decades, the Qutbists converted, assisted, taught and pressured all they could find - and the opposition tended to be local at best. Thus almost all of today's mufti have been constantly exposed to the doctrine of Qutb as a serious consideration in their study of the law and faith, and it's estimated that between a third and half the world's mufti believe it to be legitimate interpretation.

The Qutbists have been running a global variation on Mao's doctrine of guerrilla and protracted warfare. First, they've been following it within each nation separately. But as an expansion, they've treated regions as states, making the states Mao's provinces.

Unfortunately, we've let them run unopposed for most of the past decade - and indeed in some instances gave them support and training (as in Afghanistan). The reason was quite legitimate - we turned our eyes because they assisted us in facing what we perceived as our then greatest foe, the Soviet Union. (Interestingly, we called it a war on Communism. Nowadays we tolerate communistic parties in other states for the most part - so long as they can't band together and work against us.)

I'm going to point out a final cue. Every one of today's RIF's can trace their lineage to the Qutbist Brethren. Al Qaeda (for example) was co-founded by bin Laden and Azzam. Azzam had joined the Brethren before he reached his majority while living in Palestine, and fought against the Israelis. He was a contributor to the founding of Hamas, but left them because they were focused solely on evicting Israel and wouldn't focus on any larger area. In the early 1970's he was a frequent guest at the Qutb family residence (though Sayyid had been hung in 1966 for plotting against the government) and a close acquaintance of al-Zarqawi. You can trace a similar lineage for almost every single member of the RIF Terrorist Network, whether Wahabbi or Jamaat or Deomundi or Shia.

We are facing a global insurgency which is a fish in a sea which also contains mud. The sea is Islam. The mud is a pair of local conflicts for political existance which, for a variety of reasons good and bad, have forced their way into our awareness. I speak of the Israeli mess. I speak of the Pakistan/India confrontation. It's not surprising the Qutbists use these to support their aims - Mao used the conflict against the Japanese to assist his conflict with the government, and vice versa. And WWI certainly provided benefits for the bolsheviks.

The Mullahs have not declared war upon us. Thinking that way assists the Qutbists, of whom many mullahs are members. We're starting behind the curve, but that's no excuse for swinging wildly in all directions.


Post a Comment

<< Home