Is There a Khilafah in Your Future?

The Coming Islamic Revolution

Discussions of jihad terrorism and the best defense against it rarely avoid entanglement in the contentious question of the relationship of terrorist actions to Islam as a religion.  Is the terrorism an aberration of Islam, or is it, judged in light of history, the prevailing orthodoxy?  Indeed, the question is an important one, and, in a society that avoids uncomfortable realities, answering it honestly is less a matter of analysis than of moral courage.

Perhaps less important in theory, but more central in terms of policy, is a question less commonly asked: What is it, exactly, that the terrorists mean to achieve?  Nonstate violence as a political/military methodology is not new, nor does it exist in a vacuum.  It proceeds from a worldview and, in almost all cases, has stated, ideologically defined, conscious goals.  The question then becomes one of whether the terrorists’ motivations are essentially reactive (i.e., they are offended by the presence of infidels on the sacred soil of Arabia, they are opposed to U.S. policy in the Middle East, they are trying to preserve a traditional way of life from the depredations of modern moral corruption, etc.), in which case we would need to stop doing something (pull U.S. forces out of Saudi Arabia, stop supporting Israel, stop exporting trashy movies, etc.).  Or is what they want something affirmative,...

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