June 19, 2010

Do Jihadis Lack Popular Support?

Robert Spencer, in an article entitled Trashing a Freedom Fighter, wrote:

“Islamic fundamentalist groups,” Mishra continues, “have long terrorized many Muslim countries, especially those, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, that were ravaged by blowback from the Cold War and the war on terror. These extremists, who now assault the West as well, have always lacked popular support within their own countries.”

I guess that’s why Hamas won the election in Gaza, and why Sharia was enshrined as the highest law of the land in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and why Pakistan has been playing a double game of aiding the Taliban on one hand while pretending to fight it on the other. It is why we see such a broad-based global Islamic movement dedicated to teaching against the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism, preventing Muslims from joining jihad groups, and inducing those who are in jihad groups to leave them.

Of course, there is no such global movement. The programs in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and elsewhere to “de-radicalize” jihadis have been shown to be useless and/or shams again and again, with high levels of recidivism. Mishra, you’ll note, offers no evidence to back up his assertion that jihadis “have always lacked popular support within their own countries,” and there is a reason for that: there is no such evidence.

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