To motivate prospective martyrs, djihadists decry the upcoming destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the temple mount in Jerusalem – through Jews, as they say. Indeed, there is a small group of radical jews, and a much larger group of evangelical christians who advertize the idea of rebuilding the temple. Israel is a pluralistic state, that’s true. In 1967, Moshe Dayan gave back the temple mount to muslim authorities. Though it was a rational choice between a religious war and a jewish Jerusalem, he better shouldn’t have done that. The mosque, which employs a shrine with some whiskers and a large footprint of Mohammed, might be easily destroyed: by Djihadists.
Djihadists have already destroyed the Bayiman Buddha-statues in Afghanistan.
Arab forces have destroyed the jewish old town in Jerusalem, now better known as „East-Jerusalem“, or in the European press as „Illegal jewish settlement“:
In the intervening 19 years the Jordanians waged systematic destruction, desecration and looting of Jewish sites.
57 ancient synagogues (the oldest dated to the 13th century), libraries and centers of religious study were ransacked and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. Those that remained standing were defaced, used for housing of both people and animals. Judiasm’s Holiest site, the Temple Mount, became a slum.
On the Mount of Olives, the Jordanians removed 38,000 tombstones from the ancient cemetery and used them as paving stones for roads and as construction material in Jordanian Army camps, including use as latrines. When the area was recaptured by Israel in 1967, graves were found open with the bones scattered. Parts of the cemetery were converted into parking lots, a filling station, and an asphalt road was built to cut through it. The Intercontinental Hotel was built at the top of the cemetery. Sadar Khalil, appointed by the Jordanian government as the official caretaker of the cemetery, built his home on the grounds using the stones robbed from graves.
In the past months, Djihadists not only relied on the destruction of monuments of other religions. Al-Qaida in Maghreb has ravaged the famous muslim shrines in Timbuktu, employing a rationalist speech of iconoclasm well-known from ancient Judaism and medieval christians: „We think it is stupid, praying at a human being. No matter who it is, you can only pray to god.“
These enlightened djihadist iconoclasts are right, it is stupid to pray in front of a door. But it is equally stupid to pray in a mosque. Or to pray at all. And it is cruel to steal a lollypop from a child, just because you want it.
Believers tend to narcissism: They believe into believing, as Grunberger/Dessuant say about christian believers. Believers need other believers to shoo away their own doubts. And because doubts come back with reality, they forge and force reality to resemble their picture. The religion of djihadism is never iconoclastic, it’s iconodul, it thrives on post-apocalyptic icones. Through the destruction of the shrines of Timbuktu, Djihadists created a picture of their god, which is a god of destruction, of ruins.
In Somalia, bundle-sales of tomatoes and cucumbers were outlawed by djihadists, because both resemble genital organs of different sexes. In most radical islamic communities women are forbidden to display the images of their faces – the deadly artists of djihad have created a fauvistic abstract picture of THE woman, pale blue or deep black, without faces, without mimics, without curves. This negative creation is the same reason, why 9/11 was considered as „wicked art“ by Damien Hirst and by Karlheinz Stockhausen as „the greatest art work ever“. Children can’t seperate destruction from creation. But you can’t play with djihadists. They might pray to an invisible god, but unlike mysticistm they are incapable to think of religion exclusively within the realm of the mind: they act in the visible public realm.
In this respect, it is just more surprising, that European leftists don’t display any outrage against such infamous acts. They rather rally for Hamas and Ahmadinedschad. Hippies at least travelled to Timbuktu. Todays pacifists ignore it. Another djihadist state the size of france in the belly of northern Africa is definitely a reason to worry: for Nigeria, for Ghana, for all the neighbouring countries with muslim communities, but also for Europe. Sadly, it is only the European conservatives, who seem to have a strategy:
Take it for granted, that Gegenstandpunkt and other leftists will see a conspiracy for oil behind any upcoming military action.
You do realize that one cannot stop them within the narrow confines of the laws of land warfare, don’t you? That’s the problem with nonsynchronic progress: these people fight like savages with modern weaponry, but if western forces were to do the same they’re Nazis.
„nonsynchronic progress“, what an elegant undercutting of the realities.
Of course you can’t stop them only with warfare. But without, you won’t either. There is a huge difference between a democrat soldier and a Nazi. I don’t get your point, so I have to suspect a halfway suppressed relativism.
My point is that you will never, ever get the popular support for the actions that are necessary to effectively stop these jihadists, and these actions would be nothing but war crimes. Since the jihadists are difficult to discern from the civilians, collateral damage is inevitable and will only play into their hands. Now the only way to win this is to a) either not get involved, or b) stomp on it with a boot so large and heavy that absolutely nothing jihadist will ever grow there. The desired effect is that everyone just hopes that the atrocities end, i.e. the war would have to become greater than Allah itself. But for that you need Muslim forces to perpetrate the violence, as Christian soldiers will not achieve the desired, but the opposite effect.
I agree with you that military action alone would be futile without complementing socio-economic measures. But this would have to be done over a very long timespan, and is thus quite costly. And they also can only begin once approach b) has ended.
If there’s such a huge difference between a democrat soldier and a Nazi, please ask a few Germans/Europeans to explain the difference to you. Nowadays most westerners have no military literacy whatsoever, and that literacy would be necessary to even understand what’s going on: but they think about war like children do, their pacifism being the mirror image of the Nazis‘ bellicism. Unfortunately, I suspect that this trend will worsen in the coming decades, meaning that Israel will face even stronger winds when it resorts to military action.
I’m not a relativist, I just think that such interventions must not be undertaken unless there’s a realistic chance for their long-term success; and I don’t see any success with Muslim countries with an islamism problem where such an intervention was conducted, neither in Afghanistan, nor in Iraq. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.
Thank you for sharing your thought, I appreciate it and I can understand now, what you wanted to bring forward. I agree in most points, especially the critique about a lack of strategic literacy even among the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. I oppose the simplistic guerrilla-theory as employed by Guevara: That cruelty or collateral damage through the „system“ would play into the hands of djihadists/revolutionaries. This has been proven wrong in the entire South-American region, where guerrillas had been crushed effectively by most often fascist or despotic regimes. The only successful guerrilla besides Castrists were the Sandinistas, and most of all because they were democratic and not communist radicals. They lost elections, they stepped back. At that time. The point is: Any south-american guerrilla lost despite brute force of counter insurgency. EZLN seems to have learned from that lesson well.
With the djihadists it might be a total different setting, but in Afghanistan as in Gaza people don’t join them because of collateral damage, but because of propaganda and ideology. In the sparsely populated areas of Maghreb civilian victims are relatively easy to avoid. In an African town, you can’t do something secretly. It is comparably easy to spy them out and to arrest them. Much of the countryside is flat, there are few mountains and no high mountains, just very few larger settlements and harsh conditions in dry season as in wet season: Many options for helicopters, infrared and satelites. So I estimate a djihadist guerrilla-movement in the Sahel is without any chance against a halfway equipped army. Djihadists all survive by the help of states and governments, here most likely Sudan which forwarded or safeguarded weapons. In Somalia, the rebels were beaten two times with ease, once the will was there. The real Al-Qaida problem is Nigeria, the problem here is honest policing. And Sudan. And some other players.
I also object to the economic argument. What I pointed at was propaganda and enlightenment. The war against djihadists might be won, but the war with islamism can just be won with honesty and a straight argument for freedom and democracy and most important, against anti-Semitism. As long as anti-Semitism grips the most democratic European states like Sweden and Norway, the battle against Djihadists is equally at stake. The official media in Europe recruits more djihadists than Al Qaidas propaganda.
So I think, economical conditions are neglectible what djihadists concerns. There are many poor regions, where violence is rife and there are poor regions without much violence. Djihadists have money for sure.