Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
Menu
June 12th 2015 print

Merv Bendle

The Jihadist International

The West faces a coordinated attack on a global scale. If its governments are to confront and defeat the external and domestic enemy, the first step must be to recognise that Islamic terror adheres to the same means and methods as those embraced and perfected by earlier generations of revolutionaries

jihad flagIs there a Jihadist International? Is there a co-ordinating agency behind the relentless campaign of terror being waged against Western societies? Governments resist this conclusion, frightened by its implications and the thought that they might actually have to do something about it, standing up to the entrenched hegemony of the Left in the ALP, the Greens, academia, the judiciary, and the media.

Nevertheless, the imperative to recognize reality and act effectively has become unavoidable, especially as the sophisticated global strategy of the Jihadist International has been laid bare in such documents as The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Islamic Nation Will Pass  (see also Jennifer Oriel’s, “Jihadists can’t be good citizens” in The Australian) This follows earlier revelations in Towards a World Strategy for Political Islam (a.k.a. The Project), which was prepared in 1982 by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and became public a decade ago.

The most striking aspects of the rise of Jihadist terrorism has been how closely its progress has followed the blueprint of internationalist Jihadism detailed in these documents and how inept Western governments have been in formulating and implementing an effective response.

The conclusion that the present Jihadist campaign is co-ordinated at a global level can be rejected as paranoid, especially by those Muslims and Leftists anxious to obscure its operations. However, historically, the terrorist war against the West has always had an internationalist dimension as terrorist groups mobilize disaffected radicals in a global campaign against liberal democracies. Now, with the rise of the internet and social media, terrorists finally possess the vital components required to achieve the global reach that they have always desired. Nothing demonstrates this better than the sudden rise of ISIL (the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also called by the politically correct name, Da’ish, which is used to obscure its Islamic identity). This is presently running rings around Western governments.

The internationalist nature of modern terrorism is made clear by its bloody history. This has passed through four phases over the last 150 years. The first, anarchist terrorism, thrived in the four decades leading up to the Great War. It led to the establishment the Black International in 1881, inspired by anarchists like Mikhail Bakunin and Sergei Nechayev, who declared terrorism’s basic theme in his Revolutionary Catechism (1870). According to Nechayev the terrorist must

day and night … have one single thought, one single purpose: merciless destruction. With this aim in view, tirelessly and in cold blood, he must always be prepared to kill with his own hands anyone who stands in the way.

The Black International and related groups, including the Socialist International, were implicated in numerous terrorist bombings and assassinations, including many heads of state, in Europe, Russia, and America. These carefully staged outrages culminated in the Sarajevo assassinations that triggered the Great War.

The second wave, anti-colonialist terrorism, began after that war and lasted until the 1960s. It also had an international dimension and was characterized by relentless terrorist campaigns carried out in Ireland, Israel, Algeria, Latin America and elsewhere. These were supported and often co-ordinated by the well-resourced and ruthless Communist International, which was controlled by the Soviet Union and effectively ran all national communist parties, including in Australia.

A key feature of Comintern strategy was the use of a complex network of front organizations, fellow travellers, and agents of influence to control public opinion, academia, and government policy in the liberal democracies. This involved the majority of the intelligentsia, who were only too eager to connive with totalitarianism in the destruction of their own societies. One of its main initiatives was the formation of the International Brigades, which enrolled some 35,000 volunteers from various countries to fight on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, a strategy of global recruitment presently being replicated by Islamic State.

Global terrorism became explicitly internationalist during the third wave in the late 1960s. This period of international terrorism involved groups like the Red Army Faction, Red Brigades, Weathermen, IRA, and PLO. These formed a complex global network encompassing Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia, sharing intelligence, training facilities, weapons and other resources, and often carrying out terrorist attacks on behalf of each other. This period corresponded to the Cultural Revolution of the Sixties, which led to the romanticisation of revolution and terrorism, exemplified by the Che Guevara cult, which still thrives. Crucially, it shaped the radical ideological outlook of Western academics and intellectuals, who remain resolutely sympathetic to terrorism, even as they slip into their dotage.

The most recent wave, religious terrorism, began in 1979 with the fall of the Shah and the emergence of the ultra-reactionary Shia theocracy in Iran. This triggered a similar Sunni movement in Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, which subsequently became the principal funding source of international Jihadism.  As a pan-Islamist ideology mobilizing terrorists and other extremists on a global scale, Jihadism seeks to establish a global caliphate ruled according to Sharia law. Until recently its vanguard organization was al-Qaeda, but this is now overshadowed by Islamic State. With the exception of their ideology these groups exhibit the same internationalist tendencies found in previous periods of intense terrorist activity.

Organizationally, Jihadism has its origins in the Muslim Brotherhood founded by Hasan al-Banna. Its motto is: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope”, while its oath of allegiance declares that “I believe that…the banner of Islam must cover humanity”. Financially, it is funded by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim regimes controlled by ultra-reactionary Wahhabi and Salafist forms of Islam. Its ideological origins lie in the works of Sayyid Qutb and Muhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj. Qutb provided a radical interpretation of Islam that transformed it into a form of theological and political extremism that is explicitly internationalist and targets the West and existing Muslim regimes. In many respects Qutbism is indistinguishable from Marxism-Leninism. Faraj developed the notion that violent jihad was a religious requirement for all Muslims and this plays a vital role in recruiting alienated young Muslims for al-Qaeda and ISIL.

The internationalist strategy of global Jihadism articulated in The Management of Savagery and The Project is inspired by Comintern strategies and tactics, especially the use of front organizations and agents of influence in its target societies. This strategy of cultural and political infiltration and subversion involves the establishment of mosques, schools, community groups, charities, advocacy groups, academic centres, publishing companies and shops, distributing books, magazines, pamphlets, and other media promoting Islamism, including now the Internet, and especially social media.

It also involves political activity in existing political parties, and alliances with ‘progressive’ Western organizations that espouse anti-capitalist, anti-American, and anti-Semitic views, especially universities and their centres for ‘peace studies’. A key aspect of the strategy is the promotion of Muslim victimhood, focusing on the Palestinian situation, and the alleged prevalence of ‘Islamophobia’, portrayed as a form of racism.

The West faces a coordinated attack on a global scale. It must confront its international and internal enemies and implement a coordinated and realistic response if civilization is to survive. This demands a robust resistance to Islamist ideological infiltration and its subversion of academia, the judiciary, the media, and the parties of the Left, which have to be denounced for their tolerance of the traitors, fellow travellers, agents of influence, and useful idiots they promote.

Merv Bendle, a frequent Quadrant contributor and author of the newly released Anzac and Its Enemies taught the history of terrorism at James Cook University. His latest book can be purchased here