The Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), al-Qaeda’s media production wing, has released a document explaining the importance of a Taliban victory against the Pakistani army. Written by one of AQ’s chief ideologues, Abu Yahya al-Libi, it seeks to reinforce ideas about a Western war on Islam and also should remind us of the true intentions of the jihad.
In ‘Swat: Victory or Martyrdom’, al-Libi begins by quoting from ‘In the Shade of the Quran’, by one of the godfathers of modern jihadism Sayyid Qutb:
the Prophet and the believers clearly understand and are certain that those who op-pose [sic] them are none other than criminals.
The exposition of disbelief, evil and criminality is necessary for belief, goodness and uprightness to become clear. Clarifying the way of the criminals is an important objective of the Quranic ap-proach [sic], for any confusion in the stance of the criminals and their path also means confusion in the path of the believers and their way. They are two opposite pages and two distinct paths… and their colors and shapes must be clear.
Qutb’s continuing influence on current jihadist ideology is significant as it shows that this is by no means a new phenomenon brought about by foreign policy or any sort of grievance. Instead, al-Qaeda still utilise the work of a man who, in the 1950s, taught hatred and violence against non-Muslims and anyone who resisted the implementation of the Sharia.
Throughout the text, al-Libi applies ideas that were formulated by Qutb, and his South Asian predecessor, Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, regarding the absolute necessity to implement the law of God, and the obligation of Muslims to fight against anyone who stands in the way (including other Muslims, and in this case the Pakistani army):
All people know that our brother Mujahidoon in Swat have publicly announced their goals, and have repetitively stated the demands which they seek to fulfill, being the establishment of the Islamic Shariah in Swat and elsewhere. In another words, they are fighting so as to make the Word of Allah supreme; and there is no Muslim on the face of this earth who is not expected to strive to achieve this goal to the best of their ability.
A Muslim does not accept that something other than the Islamic Shariah should rule over his land. A Muslim never accepts that some other word reigns superior over the Word of Islam. A Muslim does not accept that some of the religion be for Allah, and some be for others. A Mus-lim does not accept that his allegiance be given to someone other than Allah, His Messenger and the Believers. A Muslim does not accept that those who rule him are sinning infidels who op-pose Allah and His Messenger.
It is absolutely crucial that governments all over the world do not lose sight of the true nature of the international jihad. As al-Libi, Zawahiri and countless other jihadist ideologues repeatedly remind us: they are not in any way a reactive force fighting against crimes that the west has committed against them. Instead , they represent the newest form of expansionist fascism that our civilisation must face. Pontificating about what we have done to bring this upon ourselves does nothing except divert our attention from a fight that we simply cannot afford to lose.
It took some doing (the failed deal in Swat earlier this year was the final straw), but the Pakistani government has finally come to terms with this fact and seem now to be in it for the long run. al-Libi’s focus on Pakistan shows that AQ realise this, and are looking to rally support for the Pakistani Taliban.