“The Coming Terrorism”

 It’s still hard to speak of clear winners and losers of the Gaza war.  There is,  however, one definite result: religous extremism is going to increase  in the Arab and Islamic world.    For you guys in the CT  community, your jobs aren’t  going to get any easier. 

 Ibrahim Eiisa,  the prominent editor of Cairo’s Al-Dostor newspaper had a 1/16  op-ed entitled “the Coming Terrorism.”   Here’s my basic paraphrasal:

The Gaza war is likely to increase religious extremism in the Arab world.  Anyone with two eyes notices that the Arab governments (Egypt, Saudi, Jordan) were interested in allying with the Zionist enemy against Muslims in Gaza.  These governments can try and justify their actions all they want but its clear: they faciliated the attack against oppressed Muslims in Gaza .  So here’s the key point:  the logical assumption of the younger, religious generation is that the government is against Islam.   For this reason,  religous extremism is going to increase and we are likely to see a new form of terrorism.  But this “coming terrorism”  won’t face the far enemy- the US or Zionists but internally against those from within who now may be seen as the enemies of Islam. 

Forget Al-Qaeda here.  In Egypt, for example, Al-Qaeda is not believed to have any foothold.  But pure religous extremism doesn’t need to be channeled in organized group form.  Here’s a key line from Eissa: 

فالناس في الأغلب خاضعون وخانعون لن يرفعوا سيوفهم علي حكامهم لكن قلوبهم ستكون أشد من السيوف القواطع علي دين هؤلاء الحكام،

He says something like this : 

” the people are subjugated and they aren’t going to raise their swords against their governments but their hearts will be stronger than their swords.” 

In the US CT community, people still talk of former Jhadist groups such as Tanzim Al-Jihad (Zawahiri’s old group) as if they still exist, but the Egyptian security forces were successful in breaking them up and crushing them.  So in Egypt they are commonly referred to as “no longer in existence” and they are not the people who are likely to “raise their swords.”   What’s   possible, if not likely,  in the future, are scattered, totally uncoordinated attacks against targets associated with this perceived assault against Islam by young people who have no connections to organized groups or under any influence from Al-Qaeda style Internet forums.

6 Responses

  1. If anything, that’s a bit scarier than having discrete groups out there. I mean, even if Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are less centralized than a national army, we can still identify them, and spy on them, and that sort of thing. But a sort of amorphous threat with no distinct leadership and no real way to predict what they’ll attack? That’s scary.

  2. I absolutely agree. Spontaneus, disoganized acts of violence by individuals with no connections to groups or any experinece reading Jihadist chatrooms or things like that is what prominent Egyptian intelectual Hussam Tamem wrote in an article a month or so ago well before the Gaza war. Eissa doesn’t usually write about terrorism issues, and he is also an intense critic of the government, so to some extent it doesnt surprise me that he is criticizing the government’s position on Gaza.

    But if you put yourself in the shoes of an average, simple Egyptian Muslim, its very very easy to see how the Egyptian government’s position on Gaza and especially against Hamas could be percieved a position aganst Islam itself. And thats a very very important point. I’m no Islamic scholar, but according to the basic fundamentals of the faith, if you believe your government is against Islam, the next logical step is to do something about it.

  3. […] säger mycket om upprördheten som det har väckt runt om i den muslimska (och övriga) världen. The Arabic Media Shack citerar den egyptiska tidningen al-Dustur, som spekulera i om detta kommer att leda till att […]

  4. “What’s possible, if not likely, in the future, are scattered, totally uncoordinated attacks against targets associated with this perceived assault against Islam by young people who have no connections to organized groups or under any influence from Al-Qaeda style Internet forums.”

    Oh. You mean like the attacks we’ve seen in the UK, Europe, Bali and Jakarta over the last half a decade?

    “For you guys in the CT community, your jobs aren’t going to get any easier. ”

    Nor any harder, I’ll wager. Different day, same insanity.

  5. no i dont mean that at all. For the most part, the attacks you referred to in the UK, Europe, Bali were done by organized groups. Thats not whats likely to happen in the future in Egypt if any violence does return.

  6. […] to organized groups, is exactly what people have been predicting for a while now (see Ibrahim Eissa here and Hussam Tamem here).   Based solely on what I read here at Daily News Egypt these attacks are […]

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