Occupy Al-Qaeda

What does the popular uprising in the west mean for the ideology of Al-Qaeda?

As odd as it might sound, the occupy movement in the west, and in the US in particular, actually delegitimizes attacking the US civilians indiscriminately by Al-Qaeda, even according to their own twisted logic and ill understanding of Islam.

Throughout the last decade, the so called “war on terror” was used by justify occupation of oil rich countries, as well as targeting legitimate targets around the world. With the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, and the new surgical and intelligence strategy of war on Al-Qaeda adopted by the Obama administration, along with the Arab spring, the impact of Al-Qaeda have never been less. The organization is no longer the “only force capable of standing up against Arab autocrats” that it claimed to be. Its atrocities against Muslims have in fact increased antipathy towards its ideology, even among the most deluded, ignorant, and fanatic of Muslims.

Before we get any deeper into this, we need to clarify that Al-Qaeda’s ideology is a twisted understanding of the rules of Jihad in Islam.

According to Islamic Sharia, Jihad is allowed in two cases. The first is in the case of defending one’s own land, which is what is happened in Iraq and what have been happening, and continues to happen in Palestine. This right, or rather duty, is enshrined in all constitutions around the world today.

The second case where Jihad is required is protecting defenseless civilians, like what NATO did in Libya last year, or what America and 33 other countries did when my home country, Kuwait, was occupied by Saddam’s forces in 1990. This is a noble act that any free nation in the world would be proud to do.

Furthermore, even within these two cases where the use of force is allowed, there are very clear and straightforward rules and instructions in Islam against attacking civilians, women, children, elderly, property, and even against hurting the environment during conflicts.

Of course we have all seen how Al-Qaeda disregarded all of these clear commands when it launched an indiscriminate attack against American civilians in 9/11.

One of the justifications for those acts, according to Al-Qaeda’s ideology, is that in a democracy, where people choose their leaders, if these leaders support dictators in the Middle East, or launch wars against Muslim countries, then these leaders represent the will of their nations, therefore, their nations actually deserve to be punished for the actions taken by these states.

In other words, according to Al-Qaeda’s point of view, if people in America are electing people who send armies to kill Muslims, then these people are, in a way, making a conscious decision to kill Muslims, therefore, they are “enemy combatants.”

Apart from the fact that this illustrates utter ignorance about Islam and logic, it also shows a complete ignorance about the dynamics of western nations. This justification shows a psyche that is eager to violence, and therefore, is looking for justifications to do so by making broad assumptions, and accusing people by proxy, which is, again, not allowed in Islam.

This is where the occupy movement actually comes into place.

What the recent uprising in North America, and in many places in Europe shows that EVEN THIS illusion by Al-Qaeda is no longer valid. These “democratic” systems are not exactly representative of the desires, the values, and aspirations of the people who live there, and people are actually trying to change these systems. Electing a president from among two options on the bases of broad issues does not equal being complicit in all of the evil decisions that any particular president might, and will, take.

The occupy movement shows that even according to the twisted logic, and ill understanding of Islam that Al-Qaeda has right now, western nations are no longer legitimate targets. Even according to their own reasoning, Al-Qaeda is no longer allowed to indiscriminately target civilians in the west.

What the occupy movement shows to Al-Qaeda is that people in the west are not satisfied with the way their government is being run, nor with the foreign policy that is being carried out by their name. What Al-Qaeda can learn from the Arab spring, and the occupy movement is that change can (and must) come in peaceful means. Al-Qaeda enthusiasts need to learn from Occupy and adopt a more peaceful approach to achieve the changes they want to see in the world.

When Al-Qaeda attacks a western city or a subway they are actually acting as indiscriminately and with blind force as the US military they are fighting against.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that the US military is the biggest terrorist organization in the world, but this doesn’t mean that Al-Qaeda is not a terrorist group. Both need to stop this madness.

There are many people in America who are standing up against their government, and against all the violence and injustice it carries out at home and abroad. This means that we as Muslims need to rise up for our responsibility to stand up against extremists views in the Muslim world, and we should do that in peaceful means. Just like it is important to dismantle the physical force of Al-Qaeda, it is equally important to dismantle its ideological base.

In other words: Occupy Al-Qaeda.

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