Saturday, October 20, 2007

Silver Lining?

At Russia Profile, Dr Dmitry Shlapentokh has an interesting article on The Jihadization of the North Caucasus. Excerpt:
The North Caucasus resistance has become increasingly radical since the beginning of the Second Chechen War in 1999. For the jihadists who oppose Chechen nationalists, the Taliban has become the example. But as the radicalization of the North Caucasian resistance increases, even the Taliban, which according to some radical jihadists is possibly the only government that followed the dicta of the Koran, started to lose its luster.

A contributor to one Internet site appeals to the authority of Sheikh Al Islam Ibn Taymia, who, together with Qutb, is one of the most quoted authorities for present-day Islamists. The contributor argued that the Taliban has become tainted by compromise with the non-Islamic world and has tried to create a peculiar, but still democratic, state. This was a crucial mistake. To start with, democracy is an outmoded political system; even leaders who are not inspired by Islam understand this. Hitler abandoned democracy and made Germany a strong state. Chinese leaders have followed the same path, forsaking democracy and pitilessly crushing those who challenged the regime, which has made China strong despite much screaming from Western critics. Democracy is an unworkable institution by its very nature; furthermore, organized states of any type are not part of Islam. The Taliban forgot this. It attempted to play according to international rules. It wanted to be recognized by the international community and indeed was recognized by some states. The Taliban also tried to integrate themselves in the global order of the non-Islamic world, hobnobbing with regimes that, while claiming to be Muslim, were actually quite foreign to Islam, such as the Persian Gulf states.

All these blunders would have been avoided by those who follow the Islamic path. They would have rejected any political arrangement that does not stem directly from the Koran. The Koran implies that one-man rule rather than democracy should be the organizing principle of government. This principle should go along with resolute struggle against any regime that is a traitor to Islam despite external Muslim trappings. Such regimes are to be treated with the most decisive actions, for they are more dangerous than openly anti-Islamic regimes to the cause of Islam.

And the same holds for the Russian regime. Muslims who serve Russians and those such as Ramzan Kadyrov, Russia's viceroy in Chechnya who combines Islam and nationalism should be decimated without pity. The Internet sites make a special point of describing the gruesome death of such people. Other Muslims are warned not to help wounded pseudo-Muslims, at the risk of being subject to attack themselves.

This uncompromising extremist view, apparently shared by increasing numbers of Islamists underground, including the North Caucasian segment, is troubling. But it has a silver lining. The absolutist nature of the movement could well create a basis for cooperation for practically all members of the international community, regardless of the tensions among the major players.
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