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Briar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:30 AM
Original message
A largely bourgeois endeavour
(As is most political activism, of course.)

A largely bourgeois endeavour

Al Qaida-style terrorists are not the type who seek out madrasas

William Dalrymple

...

But it is now becoming very clear that producing cannon-fodder for the Taliban and graduating local sectarian thugs is not at all the same as producing the kind of technically literate al-Qaida terrorist who carried out the horrifyingly sophisticated attacks on the World Trade Centre. Indeed, there is an important and fundamental distinction to be made between most madrasa graduates - who tend to be pious villagers from impoverished economic backgrounds, possessing little technical sophistication - and the sort of middle-class, politically literate, global Salafi jihadis who plan al-Qaida operations around the world. Most of these turn out to have secular scientific or technical backgrounds and very few actually turn out to be madrasa graduates.

...

Peter Bergen of Johns Hopkins University recently published the conclusions of his in-depth study of 75 Islamist terrorists who had carried out four major anti-western attacks. According to Bergen, "53% of the terrorists had either attended college or had received a college degree. As a point of reference, only 52% of Americans have been to college." Against this background, the backgrounds of the British bombers should not come as a surprise.

....

In actual fact, al-Qaida operatives tend to be highly educated and their aims clearly and explicitly political. Bin Laden, in his numerous communiques, has always been completely clear about this. In his first public statement, "A declaration of war against the Americans", issued in 1996, he announced he was fighting US foreign policy in the Middle East and, in particular, American support for the House of Saud and the state of Israel. His aim, he stated, is to unleash a clash of civilisations between Islam and the "Zionist crusaders" of the west, and so provoke an American backlash strong enough to radicalise the Muslim world and topple pro-western governments.

Bush has fulfilled Bin Laden's every hope. Through the invasion of secular Ba'athist Iraq, the abuses in Abu Ghraib, the mass murders in Falluja, America - with Britain's obedient assistance - has turned Iraq into a jihadist playground while alienating all moderate Muslim opinion in the Islamic heartlands and, crucially, in the west. Of course, we must condemn the horrific atrocities these men cause; but condemnation is not enough. Unless we attempt to understand the jihadis, read their statements and honestly analyse what has led these men to blow themselves up, we can never defeat them or even begin to drain the swamp of the grievances in which they continue to flourish.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/attackonlondon/story/0,16132,...

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Again, the Guardian makes it clear
what is really going on with al Qaeda. If Bush were really interested in stopping terrorism, he'd take a closer look at his foreign policy.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:37 AM
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2. In many cases it's clear the "terrorists" are way smarter than the cops.
But that's a very inconvenient message for the "national security"
( :rofl:) state to be spreading around.
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