A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Readings on a Theme: Post-Jihadism

I'm going to be busy on Journal work this week, so a lot of my postings will be link dumps rather than my own writing, I suspect. This is such a links dump: lots of reading, not much commentary by me.

One theme that has turned up a lot lately is the so-called phenomenon of "post-jihadism," or the increasing number of statements/sermon/fatwas/declarations by various Islamist groups limiting the justifiable targets of jihadist violence. It's easy to by cynical; one of the earliest instances was the decision by the imprisoned leadership of al-Gama‘a al-Islamiyya in Egypt to declare a truce (being in an Egyptian prison clarifies one's thinking in ways that haven't happened yet with their former colleague Ayman al-Zawahiri).

Imprisoned Moroccan scholar Muhammad Fizazi has also reportedly written a letter to Muslims in Germany saying Germany is "not a battle zone" (with a link to his letter here).

Some interesting readings linked loosely or directly to this theme: from the Hudson Institute, Jean-Pierre Filiu on The Brotherhood vs. Al-Qaeda: A Moment of Truth? A three-part post over at Jihadica has summarized popular TV preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi's book on Fiqh al-Jihad: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

One aspect of this tendency has been played up recently by CNN: the story is here, video here:

For a dissenting view on the CNN report, see The Arabist here, who feels that CNN is being manipulated by Sayf al-Qadhafi here. (He points to another piece here.)I'd agree that the Qadhafis are not the best source for Libyan Islamist thinking, but clearly whatever we make of this "Jihadi code," it fits into a broader trend sometimes called "post-jihadism."

Not everyone is post-Jihadist. See Abu Muqawama recently on the Taliban's Book of Rules.

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