Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The best news I have seen today

CNN is reporting that some serious Muslim scholars have crafted a new set of guidelines for jihad that expressly outlaw terrorism.  These people have the credentials within conservative Muslim circles to genuinely debate al Queda on strictly religious grounds.

I've read enough of the Quran and modern interpretative literature on the Quran to predict that this would happen.  Yes, I own an English translation of the Quran and a number of books on Islamic interpretation methods and theories of justice.  I even know enough to keep my Quran on the top shelf.  It really is a beautiful and interesting book, quite full of compelling wisdom and keen insights into human nature.  And it does not support the terrorist activities of al Queda without a tremendous amount of twisting.

I'm sure that I predicted this new interpretation of jihad some time ago, but I can't find it right now.  Probably it was a Journyx email.  Oh well.

I do not believe that al Queda is primarily a religious organization.  I believe that the central leadership is pursuing their own goals for their own reasons, and merely using Islam as a pretext.  They are quite dependent on that pretext for their funding and recruiting.  This new interpretation of jihad could seriously threaten their ability to recruit and raise money.

If it plays out that way then expect al Queda to take desperate action to re-frame this conflict as racial or cultural as opposed to religious.  If al Queda has any WMD squirreled away, expect them to get used soon.  They will throw every weapon they have before they die.

I also would not be surprised to see al Queda take a page from Russia's play book and do a self-attack and blame us (Israel and America.)  This is what Russia did to precipitate the recent invasion of Georgia, for instance.  Russian troops blew up something in Russia, near the Georgia border (I think it was a radio broadcast station, if I remember correctly.)  They blamed the Georgian army (that was too close to the border at the time.)  They invaded and destroyed that army before anyone could actually investigate whether or not the Georgian's had done the deed.  And, of course, the Georgian's did try to defend themselves when the Russian's crossed the border--and at that point the shooting was was on and it was too late for cooler heads to prevail.

I would watch for al Queda to use whatever WMD they can find against the Palestinians, and blame Israel.  Or against the Iranians and blame Israel or the US.  Or against the Pakistanis and blame the US.  Gas attack, viruses, dirty bombs, etc.  Nothing will restrain them any more.

Unfortunately, it is likely to get darker before the dawn.  But this development is definitely the first lights of the coming dawn.

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