Understanding the Jihadist Menace
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Understanding the Jihadist Menace
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Understanding the Jihadist Menace

by The Editors | June 16, 2016

Understanding the Jihadist Menace

Since 9/11, ARI has argued for the need to understand and properly define the enemy that struck us. That’s a necessary condition for combatting it effectively, a point Bush and Obama’s policy failures confirm. After Orlando, Brussels, Paris, Garland, and so many other attacks, the need to understand the enemy has only grown more urgent.

Who is the enemy? It is hopelessly superficial to think of the enemy as “terrorists” (many groups use that tactic) or “haters” or Al Qaeda or “violent extremists,” etc. Bin Laden has been dead for years, and Al Qaeda has been damaged — but clearly the threat persists, notably in the shape of the Islamic State. And, contrary another common view, it’s misleading to portray them as “hijackers of a great religion.”

Even as many in our culture not merely fail, but refuse, to grasp the nature of this enemy, for years ARI has been unflinching in defining the enemy. It is the Islamic totalitarian movement. This is a cause that encompasses many factions, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, the theocratic regime in Iran, the Islamic State, along with numerous al Qaeda offshoots. What unites them is the common goal of imposing their interpretation of Islamic law — by force. They are holy warriors, pursuing a jihad, in the name of religious totalitarianism. And like other totalitarian movements — Nazism, Communism — that ravaged the twentieth century, the jihadists seek to eradicate freedom. They strive for subjugation and conquest.

To learn more on this crucial issue and on how to combat the Islamist menace, the following ARI articles, blog posts, and videos are a good place to start.

Image: Yuriy Seleznev via Shutterstock.com

About The Author

The Editors

The editors are Elan Journo, director of policy research; Steve Simpson, director of legal studies; and Carl Svanberg, editorial assistant.