It was widely assumed that politics was breaking away from religion and that as societies became more industrialized religious belief and practice would be restricted to private thoughts and activities. The decline in the social and political importance of religion in the West was grounded in the social scientific traditions flowing from the commanding figures and the religious sociology of for example Emil Durkheim Durkheim and Max Weber, who insisted in different ways that secularization was integral to modernization.
The processes of modern industrialism which Weber saw as being characterized by depersonalized functional relationships and increasing bureaucratization were leading, if not to the final 'death of God', at the least to the 'disenchantment of the world'. The numinous forces that had underpinned the medieval cosmos would be psychologized, subjectivized, and demythologized. on the face of it, the 1979 revolution in Iran seriously dented conventional wisdom. Here was a revolt deploying a repertoire of religious symbols that brought down a modernizing government and placed political power in the hands of a religious establishment steeped in medieval theology and jurisprudence. Moreover this was clearly an urban, not a rural, phenomenon-a response, perhaps, to 'over-rapid' or'uneven' development, but not in any sense a movement such as the counter-revolutionary movements in the Vende or the peasant jacqueries that challenged the secular project of the French Revolution.
Some commentators even argued that the mix of politics an religion that came huition in Iran was peculiarly Islamic, or even uniquely Shitii Islam, it was said, unlike Christianity, had a built-in political agenda: the Prophet Muhammad had combined the role of revelator with that of state-builder, and that all who sought to follow his path must sooner or later be drawn into the political game. Shiism was a counter-cultural variation on this theme. Originally a protest movement against the worldly Umayyads who took over Muhammad's empire, it developed into a tradition of radical dissent, one that oscillated over the centuries between quietism and activism, withdrawal and revolt. The Khomeinist revolution-like the rise of the Shii Hezbollah in Lebanon-represented the swing of the Shii pendulum towards activism, after decades of sullen acquiescence in 'unrighteous' government.
By the early 1980’s, however, it was becoming clear that religious activism was very far from being confined to the Islamic world and that newly politicized movements were occurring in virtually every major religious tradition. In America the New Christian Right (NCR) challenged and temporarily checked the boundaries of church-state separation that had steadily been moving in a secular direction. Commenting on the growth of evangelical and fundamentalist churches in America at the expense of the liberal 'mainstream', Peter Berger, doyen of Weberian sociologists, was forced to admit that 'serious intellectual difficulties' had been created 'for those who thought them.
But the compliment post-modernism payd to religion is back-handed and treacherous. By proclaiming the end of positivism and the ideology of progress, which was supposed to have replaced or overtaken religion, postmodernism opens up public space for religion-but at the price of relativizing its claims to absolute truth. By saying, in effect, 'Your story is as good as mine, or his, or hers', post-modernism allows religious voices to have their say while denying their right to silence others, as religions have tended to do throughout history. For the true fundamentalist, the 'post-' prefixed to modernism is a catch, perhaps even a fraud, because modernity, in Anthony Gidden's formulation, is founded on the 'institutionalisation of doubt'. Far from 'de-institutionalizing' doubt, however, the pluralism implicit in a post-modernist outlook sanctifies it by opening the doors of choice, which is the enemy of certainty.
Like religious communities, the nations are collectivities that transcend the sum of their individual parts; like religious communities nations bear witness to the idea that human blood must be shed in their defence: the war memorials, cenotaphs, and Tombs to the Unknown Warrior that grace our cities attest to transcendental demands the nation makes of its citizens. Such demands, as I pointed pointed out in my 1999 seminar on related subjects (see further down this website), are made on the basis of faith rather than empirical evidence. For nationalists, the nation, whatever the acts committed in its name, is essentially and ultimately good, as the future will reveal; the conviction of its virtue is not a matter of empirical evidence, but of faith.
However heologically, fundamentalists must reject choice because they know there is only one truth that has been revealed to them by the 'supraempirical spiritual entity' most of them call God. But the contemporary situation under which this deity (or in some cases deities) makes demands on them are utterly different from those that prevailed in pre-modern times when most people were exposed to a single religious tradition within a cultural milieu largely formed by that tradition.
The situation facing Muslims living in the West illustrates dilemmas that can be applied, with suitable modifications, to be lievers in other faith traditions who may feel ghettoized, or to those living as minorities in a globalized, predominantly secular culture conditioned by technologies originating in the post-Enlightenment West. Islamic websites such as www.islam-qa.com, in which sheikhs based in Saudi Arabia advise young Muslim females living in America to submit to abusive parents or (implicitly) to avoid calling in the 'unbelieving' authorities even when raped by their fathers, are operating within a wholly different context from the 'traditional' milieu where Islam was dominant, where the Islamic judges would have had knowledge of the individuals concerned in particular cases. in the old city of Fez in Morocco the law books which guided the scholars were supplemented by their personal and community knowledge. Far from being the agents of 'blind justice', the Islamic judge was expected to have 'knowledge of men' (ilm al-rijal). Similarly, the formalistic 'do's and don'ts' of Islam as contained in a popular compendium published by the fundamentalist Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi reveals the skeleton of Islarnically correct behaviour without showing the flesh-and-blood context in which the Islamic system of values used to operate. In a pluralistic world where Muslims are obliged to live cheek-by-jowel with non-Muslim neighbours, where almost everyone has access to televised images of what used to be called the domain of war or unbelief (dar al-harb or dar al-kuft), the modalities of everyday living acquire a significance they did not have before.
Under modern conditions an open question-what is the proper way to behave, is replaced by a much narrower one: how should Muslims (or followers of other faith traditions) behave under modern conditions, the implication being that for Muslims nowadays the whole world has become dar al-harb because even in Muslim majority areas ways of living differently from the 'straight path' prescribed by Islam are ever-present alternatives. In precolonial times, during the era of what might be called the classical Islamic hegemony, the possibility of alternative non-Islamic lifestyles simply did not arise for the majority of people. Where pork is not available, no one has to make a decision about whether to eat hot-dogs.
Where wine was the preserve of a privileged elite who drank it in the privacy of their palaces, the permissibility of alcohol consumption was not a burning social question. In a 'homosocial' society where women were strictly segregated, lesbian and gay relationships (though formally prohibited) were rarely seen as threatening to the social order. Under pressures from outside forces all these issues, especially those involving sexual appearance and behaviour, have acquired iconic significance as marking boundaries between the insiders and outsiders, the community of salvation and the 'unsaved' people who live beyond its boundaries. Thus in an archetypically Western milieu such as the American high school, Muslim identity defaults to gender segregation, with veiled Muslim coeds holding all-female 'proms' in order to avoid breaking the taboo on sexual mixing. Their evangelical Christian counterparts hold assemblies of 'promise-keepers', who proclaim their commitment to chastity before marriage and fidelity afterwards. In a pluralistic environment such as America, all religious groups will use behavioural restrictions as a way of marking the boundaries between believers and nonbelievers, between 'us' (the saved) and'them' (the damned). Mormons abstain from tea and coffee as well as alcoholso they are distinguishable from orthodox evangelicals who are mostly teetotal. Jehova's Witnesses avoid blood transfusions (and military service), Christian Scientists avoid conventional medicine (because Christ is the only Healer), and some Hasidic Jews (like some ultra-orthodox Muslims) exhibit behaviour bordering on incivility by refusing to shake hands with non-believers.
Such behaviour is often described by those whom it is designed to exclude as 'fundamentalist'. One of the 'family resemblances' exb ibited by movements in this book is the concern or even obsession with the drawing of boundaries that will set the group apart from the wider society by deliberately choosing beliefs or modes of behaviour which proclaim who they are and how they would like to be seen.
In this respect fundamentalisms are distinctly modern phenomena: like the New Religious Movements that have sprouted in some of the post industrialized parts of the world (notably South-East Asia and North America) they feed on contemporary alienation or anomie by offering solutions to contemporary dilemmas, buttressing the loss of identities sustained by many people (especially young people today) at times of rapid social change, high social and geographic mobility, and other stress-inducing factors. As two well-known American observers put it: 'Fundamentalism is a truly modern phenomenon-modern in the sense that the movement is always seeking original solutions to new, pressing problems. Leaders are not merely Constructing more rigid orthodoxies in the name of defending old mythical orthodoxies. In the process of undertaking "restoration" within contemporary demographic/technological centers, new social orders are actually being promulgated.’
The born-again Christian finds comfort and support, not just by internalizing the iconic figure of Jesus as a personal super-ego, but also by accessing the support of fellow believers. Islamist organizations such as Hamas are not just involved in armed resistance to the Israeli occupation of their land but dispose of a considerable range of welfare activities. As well as being places of worship, churches, mosques, and synagogues are the focus of social networks. The intensive religiosity exhibited by fundamentalists in all traditions may strengthen the support and increase the social opportunities the individual receives from such networks, though there are perils here as well: in the absence of disciplined hierarchies disputes about the interpretation of texts makes fundamentalists vulnerable to the splits that afflict many radical movements.
Nationalist rhetoric everywhere is suffused with religious symbolism and purpose. To give but one example, let me cite some extracts from the address by the Irish patriot Padraic Pearse, architect of the 1916 rebellion against Britain, at the graveside of an earlier nationalist, the Fenian Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa in August 1915: Pearse declares that he is speaking 'on behalf of a new generation that has been re-baptised in the Fenian faith, and that has accepted the responsibility of carrying out the Fenian programme'. He goes on to propose 'that, here by the grave of this unrepentant Fenian, we renew our baptismal vows ... We stand at Rossa's grave not in sadness but rather in exaltation of spirit that it has been given to us to come thus into so close a communion with that brave and splendid Gael. Splendid and holy causes are served by men who are themselves splendid and holy.'The language is the language of religion ('baptism', 'exaltation', 'communion', 'holy', 'spirit'), not the empirical language of politics.
For example the biblical story of Exodus exercised a powerful influence on the construction of American identities, from the Pilgrim Fathers to the New Zions (Nauvoo, Illinois, and Salt Lake City, Utah) founded by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith and his successor Brigham Young ('The American Moses') in The Israeli example is instructive. As members of a First World, industrial society accustomed to Western lifestyles with swimming pools, flush-toilets, and other modem conveniences, the Israeli settlers are greedy for water, a scarce resource in Palestine.
According to recent accounts, Israeli settlers are now using 80 per cent of the water available to farmers in Palestine. When religious language is used, the illegal and disproportionate use of water is translated into a God-given grant of land and water-rights to Abraham. In the biblical rhetoric of the settlers, the Jews are God's special people; the Arab Palestinians are identified with the Amalekites, a Caananite tribe whom the ancient Hebrews were commanded to annihilate totally, with their women, children, and flocks. Where good and evil, God and the Devil, are ranged in opposite camps, who would deliberately choose the latter? Far from being its ideological competitor, the religious 'fundamentalism' in Israel-Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, and many other of the world's most troubled regions is best understood as an intensification or deepening of nationalism by way of religion's mobilizing potential.
South Asian religious fundamentalisms provide a good illustration of this argument. If one looks at fundamentalism in terms of its primary Protestant meaning as defending the 'fundamentals' or orthodoxy of a religious tradition, there is a case for saying that the T-word' should not be applied to movements such as the RSS in India and its political offshoots, the BJP currently leading the governing coalition in Delhi, the VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad, 'World Hindu Society'), the Sikh Akali Dal Party in the Punjab, and the Sinhalese nationalist party ruling in mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka.
The sociologist Steve Bruce produces three arguments for excluding these South Asian movements from his definition of fundamentalism. First, he says, with reference to the B J P and VH P, they have been 'provoked more by the threat of Islam than by a decline in religious observance by Hindus'. Second, they are directed more towards expelling or subordinating 'foreigners' (as they see most Muslims) than to revitalizing and purifying the Hindu faithful: 'there is no decline in orthodoxy to redress, because there is no orthodoxy.' Third, they are only tangentially a reaction to secularization. For these and other reasons Bruce concludes that 'the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam offer much more fertile soil for fundamentalism than Hinduism and Buddhism.
On the face of it the three Abrahamic monotheisms might seem more susceptible to political exploitation of the kind we have been describing than Hindu polytheism or Buddhism, because of the absence in these traditions of an orthodoxy based on a single scriptural tradition. As Bruce argues, 'Hinduism might be better described not as a religion but as a loose collection of religions-that ofthe Shaivites, the Vaishnavas, the Shaktas, the Smartas and others-that share some common themes but that tolerate a huge variety of expressions of those themes.
Unlike the Abrahamic traditions, each of which has a canonical scripture that can function as a rallying point for defence, the Hindu tradition contains such an abundance of scriptures, laws, and philosophies that 'it becomes very difficult to single out any one specific item' as being basic or'fundamental'.
Despite this important difference, however, there are compelling parallels that Bruce overlooks. Like its Islamic counterpart, Hindu revivalism with its nationalist or fundamentalist offshoots is rooted in a reformist religious tradition more than a century old.
The original movement was not in the first instance anti-Muslim but anti-colonial, stimulated by the British administration's pigeonholing of India's religious communities into identifiable and hence manageable groups according to the principle of 'divide and rule'. From the 1871 census the British defined their Indian subjects according to religion. With the introduction of democratic institutions at local level, starting in igog, religious groupings were organized into separate electorates, with a number of constituencies reserved for Muslims in each province, and similar arrangements for Christians in Madras and Sikhs in the Punjab. For the educated Hindu elite the need to cultivate their own constituencies meant 'delineating a broad-based communal identity'beyond the old caste system. The creation of a new 'Hindu' identity inevitably generated reciprocal responses amongst Muslims and Sikhs (as well as from the smaller Jain and Parsee communities whose separate identities were acknowledged), with all of the three main groups competing against each other for a 'privileged position in colonial society’.
The reformist movements within 'Hinduism' (a term invented by Europeans) bear some 'family resemblances' to the Islamic salafi movement that originated in colonial Egypt towards the end of the nineteenth century. Swami Dayananda Sarasvati (1824-83), founder of Arya Samajthe Society of Aryas-is one of the spiritual and intellectual progenitors of the RSS and its offshoot the BJP. In some respects he resembles Afghani in his rejection of tradition and the search he undertook for a modernized, more rational religion that would regenerate his society. A Brahman from a well-to-do Shaivite family in Gujarat, he was profoundly affected, aged 14, by watching a mouse consume (and pollute) offerings of food made to the statue of Shiva during an all-night vigil when other members of his family had dozed off According to his autobiography Dayananda felt it impossible 'to reconcile the idea of an omnipotent, living god with this idol which allows the mice to run over his body and thus suffers his image to be polluted without the slightest protest'. After wandering around India for thirteen years as a holy man (a conventional apprenticeship for an aspiring guru) Dayananda found a teacher who persuaded him to preach his reformist doctrines in Hindi (the popular vernacular) rather than in learned Sanskrit.
Some of Dayananda's ideas reveal an affinity with the 'fundamentalisms' to be found in the Abrahamic traditions. He believed that the Indian scriptures-the Vedaswere the highest revelations ever vouchsafed to humanity, and contained all knowledge, scientific as well as spiritual. 'All the knowledge that is extant in the world' he would claim 'originated in Aryavarta'-the Land of Arya, his name for ancient India, a mythical realm whose kings ruled over all the earth and taught wisdom to all their peoples. Through their vast knowledge the ancient Indians were able to produce the weapons of war described in the great epics such as the Mahabharata. 'Since the knowledge of the Vedas is of general applicability, all references to kings and battles are in fact political or military directives. ' The sentiment is identical to that of the Islamists who recall the age of the 'Rightly Guided Caliphs' as an era of justice and prosperity (although in actual fact, three of the first four caliphs were brutally murdered). His point about military directives is strikingly similar to an argument employed by the Islamist writer Sayyid Qutb in Milestones, the tract he wrote while in prison in Egypt before his execution in 1966. Muhammad's Companions, according to Qutb, used the Koran not just for aesthetic or even moral guidance, but as a manual for action 'as a soldier on the battlefield' reads his daily bulletin .
Dayananda's ideas first took root among Hindus in the Punjab, which has large Muslim and Sikh populations, and it was Punjabi leaders of the Arya Samaj who founded the Punjab Hindu Provincial Sabha (council), the first politically oriented Hindu group, in igog. By 1921 it had become the All-India Hindu Mahasabha (great council), gone of the best-known institutions of Hindu reaction' . The council actively fostered the growth of the RS S, Now a highly professional organization with 25,000 branches throughout the country, the RS S has lent its organizational skills to two political parties, the Jana Sangh and its de facto successor, the BJP. Both L. K. Advani, president of the BJP, and the Indian Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee started their careers as RSS organizers.
The parallels with the Muslim Brotherhood founded in British-dominated Egypt in 1928, just three years after the RSS, are compelling. Both movements adopted something of the style of their colonial masters: the Muslim Brotherhood had affinities with the Boy Scout Movement and Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) organizations that stressed the importance of physical activity, with paramilitary overtones. The khaki shorts worn by RSS volunteers during their drills were modelled on the uniform of the British Indian police. Both organizations discouraged democratic dissent under an authoritarian style of leadership. Both organizations encouraged male bonding by excluding women (though both allowed the creation of smaller all-female organizations). Both opposed the mixing of sexes within the organization as contrary to religious norms.
Like the Muslim Brothers, members of the RSS are organized into groups that transcend or substitute for family ties. Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, grouped his followers into 'families and battalions'; young Palestinians who today volunteer for suicide missions are organized into 'friendship packs' who may act as family substitutes, while holding them to their decision. The organizers of the RSS model themselves on Hindu renunciates. 'Dedicated to a higher goal [they] are supposed to abandon family ties and material wealth.' Like the Palestinian and Lebanese volunteers belonging to the Shia Hezbollah, they are generally young, unmarried men in their twenties. They wear Indian-style dress and are expected to lead an exemplary, ascetic existence, although some may marry and have families after a period of service. Organizers serve without salary, but their material needs are taken care of Some volunteers are provided with motor scooters for getting around town. Both the Brotherhood and the RSS consciously blend elements of modernity with aspects of tradition. Al-Banna sought to infuse his organization with some of the spiritual values of Sufism (Islamic mysticism) without its devotional excesses. As leader he called himself the murshid, or guide, a title usually reserved for the leaders of Sufi orders; his favourite reading, al-Ghazali's Revitalization of the religious sciences, is strongly informed by Sufi mysticism. In a similar manner the RSS leaders blended the prestige of secular learning with spiritual knowledge. The founder K. B. Hedgewarwho ranthe organization from 1925 to 1940 was known to his followers by the honorific Doctoji. His successor, M. S. Golwalkar (1940-73), was called Guruji. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the RSS blended indigenous ideas of spiritual leadership with organizational techniques borrowed from Western bureaucracy.
The Hindu movement's leading intellectual was V. D. Savarkar (1883-1966), who held the presidency of the Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1942. Like Sayyid Qutb he wrote his most influential work, Hindutva, 'Hindu-ness', in prison, where he spent many years after his detention by the British in 1910. Hindutva is a manifesto for religious nationalism. As Daniel Gold explains, Savarkar's 'idea of Hindu Nation stands in contrast to the idea of a composite, territorially defined political entity that developed among the secular nationalists and would be enshrined in the Indian constitution. The modern western idea of nation, according to Savarkar, does not do justice to the ancient glory of the Hindu people, the indigenous and numerically dominant population of the subcontinent. The people whose culture grew up and developed in greater Indiafrom the Himalayas to the southern seas, by some accounts from Iran to Singapore-this, for Savarkar was the Hindu Nation. The subcontinent is their motherland, and Hinduness is the quality of their national culture. ' Hindutva is not the same as Hindu religious orthodoxy because, according to Savarkar, its spirit is manifest in other South Asian religions, including Jainism, Sikhism, and Indian Buddhism. Muslims and Christians, by con trast, are seen as foreign elements in the subcontinent, which rightly belongs to Hindus. 'Hindus should actively reject any alien dominance: they have done so in the past and should renew their struggle valiantly whenever necessary.' For Savarkar India is both 'Fatherland' and 'Holyland': as Gold points out, this definition deliberately excludes Muslims and Christians for whom India is not a holy land. 'From the viewpoint of Hindu cultural nationalism, Savarkar's formulation effectively isolates the perceived other.
Golwalkar, like his Indian contemporary, the Islamist ideologue Mawdudi, expressed his admiration for the Nazis in Germany, who held similar ideas about national purity. 'Germany has shocked the world by purging the country of the sernitic races-the Jews,' he wrote in 1939 before the full horror of Nazi atrocities had taken place. 'Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races [sic] and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.'
As suggested by me (see also my earlier seminar transcript of ‘Reformed Aryans, in East and West, P.1’ next on this website), there is a 'fundamentalistic' element in Dayananda's elevation of the Vedas to the surnmum of human knowledge along with his myth of the golden age of Aryavartic kings. But the predominant tone, and its consequences, are nationalist. Hindutva secularizes Hinduism by sacralizing the nation, bringing the cosmic whole within the realm of human organization. As Gold astutely observes, 'If personal religion entails among other things the identification of the individual with some larger whole, then the Hindu Nation may appear as a whole more immediately visible and attainable than the ritual cosmos of traditional Hinduisrn.' The problem, of course, is that such a sacralization of nationality is explicitly antipluralistic. Both Arya Samaj and the RSS define their religion in contradistinction to other groups. The 'Hinduization` of Indian nationalism generated a reciprocal response among Muslims that led to the traumatic partition of the subcontinent in 1947, with many thousands killed or maimed in communal rioting. The shock of the sainted Mahatma Gandhi's assassination by an RSS member in January 1948 allowed Nehru to ban the RSS and its affiliates, enabling Congress to foist upon India a secular Constitution that lies 'squarely in the best Western tradition'. As Sunil Khilnani observes, 'Constitutional democracy based on universal suffrage did not emerge from popular pressures for it within Indian society, it was not wrested by the people from the state; it was given to them by the political choice of an intellectual elite.'
The sacralization of Indian identity would remain a potent, corrosive force in the body politic, a sleeping giant that could all too easily be woken by politicians willing to play the communal card. job reservations or affirmative action programmes aimed at protecting 'scheduled castes' (the former Untouchables), could be presented as clashing with the rights or aspirations of the majority. In the words British, who in recognition of their help against the great rebellion or'Mutiny'of 1857 recruited Sikhs into the army, allowing them to keep their long hair, turbans, and other marks of distinction. 'Building upon the tradition emanating from the sixth and tenth gurus, the British helped in shaping the notion of the Sikhs as a martial race and indeed as a distinct and separate nation.'35 Like other fundamentalist leaders Bhindranwale strongly resisted the pressures towards assimilation, whether Hinduistic or secular Western. In his preaching he called for a return to the original teachings of the ten gurus and strict adherence to their codes of moral conduct. Like fundamentalist preachers in other traditions he paid more attention to politics and social behaviour than to the cosmological questions the religion addresses.
In defending his community against the perceived cultural encroachments of Hindu Punjabis, Bhindranwale unleashed a campaign of terror that cost hundreds of innocent Hindu lives. To the symbolic or latent militancy of Sikhism represented by beard, dagger, and sword he added two new items: the revolver and the motorcycle. Towards the end of 1983, fearing arrest, Bhindranwale and dozens of armed supporters installed themselves in the compound surrounding the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest shrine of Sikhism, an area constantly thronged with visitors, pilgrims, priests, and auxiliary helpers. By taking refuge in the temple area, he challenged the government to defile the sanctuary-using the pilgrims and others as human shields, while permitting his followers to desecrate it. There are parallels here with the seizure of the sanctuary in Mecca, Islam's holiest shrine, by the Saudi rebel Juhaiman al-Utaibi in November 1979. Operation Blue Star, the Indian Army's attack on the Golden Temple in June 1984, resulted in more than a thousand deaths (including Bhindranwale's), many of them innocent pilgrims. Shortly afterwards Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who authorized the attack, was murdered by her trusted Sikh bodyguards. Nearly three thousand Sikhs lost their lives in the ensuing rioting in Delhi and other cities. In a retaliatory attack, Sikh terrorists may have been responsible for the crash of an Air India jumbo jet off the Irish coast in June 1985, killing all 32 9 people on board.
The second major challenge to India's secular constitution took place seven years later, in 1992, when a gang of Hindu militants destroyed the Babri Masjid (mosque of Babur) in the town of Ayodhya, south-east of Delhi. Ayodhya is the mythical birthplace of Lord Rama, hero of the Rayama, one of the great Indian epics, and an incarnation of the great god Vishnu. The Kingdom of Ayodhya over which Rama rules with his beautiful consort Sita after his exile and travails in the forest, epitomizes the golden age of Aryavarta as described by Dayananda. Rama's alleged birthplace, however, became the site of a mosque said to have been constructed on the orders of Babur, the first Moghul emperor, after a visit to the city in 1528. In 1949, two years after independence, local worshippers eported the miraculous appearance of Rama's image in the building. (Muslims, more sceptically, believed it had been put there by local Hindu activists.) An outbreak of communal rioting persuaded the local magistrate to close the building-but he allowed Hindu worshippers to visit it once a year on the anniversary of the image's appearance. The build-up to the crisis started in earnest in 1986 when a local court allowed the building to be opened for Hindu worship. in the ensuing riots bombs were set off, shops were burned, and at least twenty people died.
By 1989 the confrontation had became a major national issue, with an all-India campaign by Hindu activists to construct a new temple at the site. Small donations were sought from millions of ordinary people; villagers from all over India collaborated in making bricks for the temple's construction. Tensions escalated throughout the summer, with increasing communal rioting taking place as the elections approached. The government's efforts at mediation were unsuccessful, and in November the Congress faction led by Indira's son Rajiv Gandhi was defeated at the polls. His successor proved no more successful at defusing the tension. In December 1992, in defiance of the courts and their own religious leaders, a group of Hindu hotheads demolished the mosque during a ceremony for the dedication of the new temple, many of them using their bare hands. In an action that infuriated India's Muslims (and would have wide repercussions in Pakistan) the 13,000 police and militiamen who had been drafted to protect
the site failed to intervene. The subsequent riots in Bombay and other cities were the worst since India's independence in 1947. In a series of pogroms thousands of innocent Muslims lost their lives: even in Bombay's affluent Colobar district where real estate prices rival those of Tokyo and New York, middle-class Muslims found it necessary to remove their names from lists of residents on apartment blocks, fearing lynching by the mob.
Sri Lanka provides a further example of South Asian religious nationalism. Here, in a situation that bears a certain resemblance to Ireland, the demand for recognition of its separate status by an island minority linked by religion and ethnicity to its larger neighbour (in this case Hindu Tamils of southern India) is perceived by members of the majority community-Sinhalese Buddhists-as a threat to the nation's integrity. Like Irish Catholicism the Theravada Buddhism of Sri Lanka has developed into a nationalist ideology in which religion has become a marker of communal identity. The reasons are largely historical. Sri Lankan Buddhists regard themselves as the survivors of the great Buddhist empire founded in India by King Asoka in the third century BCE. While in mainland India Buddhism eventually disappeared as society relapsed into the multiform patterns of worship which came to be known as Hinduism, the Sinhalese held to the Buddhist faith which eventually became politicized. In Sri Lanka (as in Burma), Buddhism provided the stirrings of anti-colonial sentiment by offering 'the only universally acceptable king who rescued Buddhism and our nationalism from oblivion.'
In 1956, the year of Britain's Suez debacle, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, leader of the opposition Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP), was able to win power on a proBuddhist, pro-Sinhalese ticket, replacing the upper-class, English-educated liberals of the United National Party who had governed the country since independence. The SLFP benefited hugely from celebration of the 25ooth anniversary of the Buddha's birth (Buddha Jayanti) the following year and from the previous publication of a report detailing the suppression of Buddhism under the British. The Jayanti enlarged upon and celebrated the national myth bonding the Buddhist faith to the land and the Sinhalese nation which 'had come into being with the blessing of the Buddha as a "chosen race" with a divine mission to fulfil, and now stands on the threshold of a new era leading to its "great destiny"'. The SLFP was aggressively supported by the United Monks' Front, which rejected the concept of secular nationhood in terms very similar to those that would be used by Ayatollah Khomeini in his famous Najaf lectures.
The 'Buddhisization' of Sri Lankan politics had the inevitable consequence of making non-Buddhists (Tamils and Muslims) feel excluded from the nation, provoking demands by Tamil separatists for a state of their own. The Tamil Tigers-as the activists called themselves-were concerned not only with securing political rights, but more importantly with maintaining a cultural, ethnic, and religious identity which had been suppressed or alienated as Sinhalese nationalism became increasingly reliant on Buddhist symbols. More than 60,000 people from both communities lost their lives in the ensuing civil war that lasted nearly two decades. In the late ig8os the Tigers resorted increasingly to the novel tactic-pioneered by the Shii Hezbollah in Lebanon-of suicide bombing. More often than not the victims were civilians. A steady campaign of assassinations (including that of the Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in iggi, by a female bomber) and indiscriminate murder was kept up through the 1990’s. In 1996, 91 people died, and 1,400 were wounded, in the suicide bombing of Colombo's Central Bank; 18 were killed in the destruction of the twin-towered World Trade Centre in Colombo in 1997; 16 died in the suicidal attack on a Buddhist shrine in Kandy in 1998. Some, though not all, the Tigers were practising Hindus, who dedicated themselves to Shiva before sacrificing themselves-and others.
The example of Buddhism in Sri Lanka clearly demonstrates that none of the major religious traditions is immune from 'fundamentalism', to which violence is closely linked-though it might be better in this, as in most other contexts, to describe the process as the 'nationalization' or secularization of religion. Donald Swearer argues that by 'homogenizing' the Buddhist tradition and reducing it to a simplified core teaching along with a moralistic programme of right living linked to Sinhalese Buddhist identity, Bandaranaike (and his later successor President Jayawardine) 'ignored the polar dynamic between the transmundane and the mundane, a distinction basic not only to traditional Theravada Buddhism but to the other great historical religions as well. The absolutism of fundamentalism stems from this basic transformation of the religious worldview.' The narrowly ideological nature of 'fundamentalism', Swearer concludes, means that it is 'not religious in the classical sense of that term but rather a variant of a secular faith couched in religious language'. In this process traditional religious symbols are 'stripped of their symbolic power to evoke a multiplicity of meanings'. Like Juergensmeyer, Swearer sees nationalism as triumphing over religion, rather than the reverse: 'Religions thus harnessed to nationalism are often regarded as more pure and orthodox than the traditional forms they seek to supplant; in turn nationalism readily takes on the character of a fervid, absolutistic revival of religion. In the case of Sri Lanka, as elsewhere, the search for national identity is prior and conditions the fundamentalism of the religion(s) incorporated into nationalism.'
The heart of the fundamentalist project, in line with this analysis, lies not in religion but in the essentially modern agenda of extending or consolidating the power of the national state-or, to use the term preferred by the Israeli sociologist S. N. Eisenstadt, the revolutionary 'Jacobin' state that appeared with the French Revolution and the movements that surfaced in its wake, including communism and fascism (though he tactfully avoids mentioning Zionism). According to Eisenstadt, the fundamentalists appropriated some of the 'central aspects of the political program of modernity', including its 'participatory, totalistic and egalitarian orientations' while reject of a former state director-general of police and official of the VHP affiliated to the RSS: 'We feel that what we are doing is good for the country. After all what is good for 82 per cent of the country is good for the rest of the country, isn't it? The 'Fundamental Rights' guaranteeing 'freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation or religion' under article 25 of the Constitution would remain highly problematic in a society as religious as India's. As T. N. Madan points out, 'secularism does not mean in India that religion is privatized: such an idea is alien to the indigenous religious traditions, which are holistic in character and do not recognize such dualistic categories as sacred versus profane, religious versus secular, or public versus private.'
One of the severest tests facing India's secular constitutional arrangements has come from the 'fundamentalist', or rather nationalist, movement within the minority Sikh community. Space does not allow an adequate description of Sikh fundamentalism. However T. N. Madan's account in Fundamentalisms Observed makes it abundantly clear that the Sikh movement led by the charismatic preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (1947-84) fits the pattern of movements in other religious traditions that have turned to, or ended in, violence. A relatively young religion founded in the Punjab during the sixteenth century, Sikhism constantly faced the possibility of being reabsorbed into the Hindu mainstream from which it originally sprang. Its distinctive identity was buttressed by the ing the Enlightenment values embedded in Jacobinism, including the sovereignty and autonomy of reason and the perfectibility of man.
'The basic structure or phenomenology of their vision and action', he concludes, 'is in many crucial and seemingly paradoxical ways a modern one, just as was the case with the totalitarian movements of the twenties and thirties. These movements bear within themselves the seeds of very intensive and virulent revolutionary sectarian, utopian Jacobinism, seeds which can, under appropriate circumstances, come to full-blown fruition.' Such movements have always had violent repercussions: before developing its modern meaning of freelance or irregular military action, the word 'terrorist' was applied to the Jacobin revolutionaries in France who used the power of the state to inflict terror on their enemies.
The use of violence, whether by revolutionaries who seize control of the state, or by freelancers who challenge the government, is neither arbitrary nor meaningless. Studies of religious conflicts in Europe and South Asia reveal similar patterns of violence. Examining religious riots in sixteenth-century France, Natalie Zemon Davis discovered 'rites of violence' that bore many of the hallmarks of religious activity. 'Even extreme ways of defiling corpses-dragging bodies through the streets and throwing them to the dogs, dismembering genitalia and selling them in mock commerce-and desecrating religious objects' had 'perverse connections' with such religious concepts as 'pollution and purification, heresy and blasphemy'. In his analysis of religious violence in South Asia Stanley Tambiah reaches similar conclusions. For example, in cases where innocent bystanders were burned alive by the crowd, the defenceless and terrified victims were murdered ritualistically in 'mock imitation of both the self-immolation of (Buddhist] conscientious objectors and the terminal rite of cremation'.
If there is a common theme to the foregoing, as well as to the many more instances that must remain unmentioned, it may be found in the way that religion has become secularized in many parts of the world, even among people who claim to be resisting secularism. The mythical images of cosmic struggle which form part of the religious repertoire of the great traditions are being actualized or brought down to earth. 'The cosmic struggle is understood to be occurring in this world rather than in a mythical setting. Believers identify personally with the struggle.' All religions affirm the primacy of meaning and order over chaos; hence in treating of death and violence, religions strive to contain them within an overarching, benign cosmic frame. In the Baghavad Cita the god Krishna tells the warrior Arjuna that he must submit to his destiny in fighting against his own kinsmen. in so doing, he assents to the disorder of the world, although the contestants know that in the grander sense, 'this disorder is corrected by a cosmic order that is beyond killing and being killed'.
Similarly the Koran contains many allusions to the Prophet Muhammad's battles, which are set in the wider context of a moral order deemed to be upheld by an allseeing benevolent God. For Christians, Jesus's heroism in allowing himself to endure an excruciatingly painful death is seen as 'a monumental act of redemption for humankind, tipping the balance of power and allowing the struggle for order to succeed'.
Religious images and texts provide ways in which violence, pain,. and death are overcome symbolically. Human suffering is made more durable by the idea that death and pain are not pointless, that lives are not wasted needlessly, but are part of a grander scheme in which divinely constituted order reigns supreme above the chaos and disorder of the world. In such a context the horrors and chaos of wars, as described in the Mahabharata and the Book of Joshua, as debated in the Baghavad Gita, as predicted in the Book of Revelation, and as alluded to in the Koran, are subsumed within an order seen to be meaningful and ultimately benign. The reading and recitation of such texts, like the performance of ancient Greek tragedies, doubtless had a cartbartic function, purging people of anger and rage, inducing pity and fear, reducing actual conflict, upholding social harmony. By its rejection of symbolic interpretations fundamentalism (at least in its politically militant versions) releases the violence contained in the text. Fundamentalism is religion materialized, the word made flesh, as it were, with the flesh rendered, all too often, into shattered body parts by the forces of holy rage.
Fundamentalisms differ from 'cults' or New Religious Movements by their commitment to textual scripturalism. For example, the focus of the Rajneesh community in Oregon and Poona was on the person of Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, a charismatic 'cult' leader who drew eclectically on a wide variety of sources from Hinduism, Buddhism, Christian, and Islamic mysticism, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy, as well as personal spiritual experience, in his teachings. A Christian fundamentalist such as Jerry Falwell, by contrast, sticks closely to the 'inerrant' text of the Bible in his sermons. This distinction, however, should not be drawn too sharply. David Koresh, the 'prophet' of the Branch Davidian sect of Seventh Day Adventism who perished along with dozens of his followers at Waco Texas in April 1993, when his compound was attacked by US federal agents, was a 'textual fundamentalist' as well as a charismatic leader who availed himself of the sexual services of his female followers in order to 'spread his seed'. Far from being the result of 'brain-washing' or 'mind-control' techniques, the charismatic power he exercised over his followers was the result of their conviction that he was a divinely inspired interpreter of biblical passages (particularly the Book of Revelation) that are central to the Seventh Day Adventist tradition. During the prolonged negotiations preceding the federal attack on the Waco compound after a 5i-day siege, the FBI negotiators dismissed Koresh's sermonizing as mere 'Bible babble'. To his followers, however, his discourses on the Christian apocalypse were both meaningful and pregnant with religious insight.
As these and many other examples suggest, it is not just religious movements designated as 'fundamentalist' which have come to challenge the secularization thesis so confidently proclaimed by Harvey Cox in the 1960's when he was professor of Divinity at Harvard. According to Anson Shupe and Jeffrey Hadden, the forces of secularization, rather than being unidirectional, are part of a dialectical process: 'the economic and secular forces of socalled "modernization" contain the very seeds of a reaction that brings religion back into the heart of concerns about public policy. There is an abundance of evidence to support this view in North America, where the New Christian Right is actively engaged in Republican politics. The same dialectical logic, however, also limits potential of fundamentalists to transform society in the direction they want. As Steve Bruce has noted, in order to maximize its electoral appeal the NCR has to compartmentalize its approach and form alliances with other conservative religious groups such as Mormons, Catholics, and conservative Jews. This not only dilutes the religious aspect of the message, which is to convert non-believers; the very act of compartmentalization-of separating the religious from the political-undermines the fundamentalist agenda of 'bringing back God into politics'.
A similar logic applies to television, the most conspicuous of the technologies used by fundamentalists in America. By means of television, 'televangelists' such as Pat Robertson seek to challenge the secular order, by 're-enchanting' the world with divine interventions and supernatural events. Robertson and the late Oral Roberts have performed healings on camera, even claiming to heal viewers through their sets. In such programmes the sacred is reaffirmed, after being banished from secular networks, or at best restricted to the realm of fiction. The process of modernization described by Weber in his famous phrase 'the disenchantment of the world' is reversed. Through television the world is re-enchanted and resacralized.
At the same time the counter-attack on secular values mounted through religious television may prove subject to the law of diminishing returns. Through television the sacred and supernatural are domesticated, and ultimately banalized. In the end, disenchantment continues under the guise of the new religiosity. In the studio the charismatic leader who speaks for God must put himself under the control of the director and camera crew. Sacred words may disappear on the cutting-room floor. The structure of authority becomes ambiguous.
Television, mixing fact and fiction within a common format, collapses mythos and logos, especially in cultures where the conventions of theatre and fiction have recently been imported. In India movie stars who played divine beings in religious epics have turned themselves into politicians. The Ayodhya agitation referred to in Chapter 6 was boosted by television showings of the Ramayana; in cdar fudlowecC, ffmcfu and A/fusfirn agitators stirred up mutual hostility by showing videos of their co-religionists under attack. (In Brazil, actors, carrying drama into real life, have been known to kill each other offstage.) But over-exposure on television can lead God's spokespersons to become parodies of themselves. In America, where television preachers are well into the second generation, Christian broadcasting is also Christian'camp'.
In the 700 Club the supernatural is not just appropriated: it is routinized and domesticated, formatted into a regular 15-20-minute slots. In normal parlance a supernatural event is by definition unpredictable and aweinspiring, since natural laws have been suspended or superseded. Yet on the 700 Club healings and other supernatural interventions, in which the divine is presumed to have acted on matter by the invocation of the Holy Spirit through prayer, occur so frequently as to be almost banal. To the outsider Walsh's remark about the need for a miracle on her hair seems an outrageous put-down-both of the healed woman's pain, and of her divinely arranged release from it. But the studio audience-and, one suspects, the average 700 Club viewer-take it quite differently. For those born-again Christians miracles are routine occurrences-something to make in-group jokes about. in the community of the saved, as exhibited on CBN, God routinely suspends natural laws and processes. The miraculous is thus not so much a manifestation of the inexplicable Power of the Almighty, as the ritual confirmation of a belief-system that challenges the conventions of secular medical science. Like the Bible itself, the miraculous acts as a shibboleth or totem, reinforcing the identity of the group.
Everywhere religious programming is becoming more self-conscious as religious leaders try to get their messages across to increasingly sophisticated audiences. A study of Syrian broadcasts during the holy month of Ramadan in 1995 and 1996 shows that like Christmas in Western countries, Ramadan is a time when families get together and watch a considerable amount of television, much of it entertainment. The religious broadcasts, according to the scholar Andreas Christmann, subtly interweave Ramadan hymns and prayers with images that would seem 'to contradict the rather sparse and iconoclastic visual language of orthodox Islam', with the traditional repertoire of hymns and prayers accompanied by images of prayer halls, minarets, calligraphies, meditating Muslims, and 'romanticised pictures of the Syrian landscape as well as pages from the Quran, slotted in as graphic cards'. The overall effect presents Islam as a national religion, rather as the BBC's Songs of Praise-where professionally sung hymns are accompanied by shots that pay homage to the beauties of Britain's landscape and its magnificent cathedrals-celebrates the glories of Britain's national Church (with space, of course, given to non-Anglican communions). After a thorough viewing of two seasons' Ramadan programmes it became clear to Christmann that they 'attempt to reinforce the notion of belonging to one nation regardless of denomination, ethnicity, class and gender. With strong appeal to the unification of the national community, the main appeal of the televisual message is to harmonize divergent interests and orientations.'
In contrast to Robertson, who seeks to restore the God who intervenes supernaturally by means of the airwaves, Syrian television seeks to integrate popular religiosity with the modernist reformism of the Salafi tradition, with the media canalizing 'popular spirituality away from mystical pantheism into more monotheistic spiritual forms'. The invocations played during the popular Iftar programmes transmitted during the fast-breaking meal at sundown contain no references to the guardian spirits or to the efficacy of amulets and talismans, or to visits to the tombs of local saints or leaders of mystical orders. By conceiving God as non-manipulative and more abstract, television has brought popular religion into closer conformity with Islam's official monotheistic ideals.' Sufi dances, when shown, are rather stiff and low-key. Nothing is shown on television that is suggestive of 'excess, exaggeration or trance'.
The increase in religious militancy, occurring in many traditions in defiance of the secularization thesis, may be related to the increasing power and accessibility of audiovisual media, but the long-term consequences are ambiguous. In the first instance the fundamentalist impulse in many traditions has been a reaction to the invasive quality of film and television, which exposes 'sacred areas' like sexual relations to public gaze, transgressive images bringing them into the home. During the Islamist campaign in Algeria technicians had their throats slit for fitting satellite dishes that would bring into Muslim homes images of the 'satanic West', including semi-pornographic material from Italy and the Netherlands as well as factual news channels. In America 'televangelists' such as Falwell and Robertson 'fought back' against the perceived secularization of the culture by creating their own religious programmes and television networks. With the development of satellite networks such as the al-jazeera channel based in Qatar, state-funded broadcasting monopolies are losing their ability to impose censorship and control information. In the least-developed regions even more radical forces for change are at work, as the audio-visual revolution undercuts the authority of the literate elites. Societies such as Iran and India where levels of literacy have been low have moved from the oral to the audio-visual era without experiencing the revolution in literacy that generated both Protestantism and the Enlightenment in Europe.
Clearly the revolution in communications has a bearing on the failure of the secularization thesis as promulgated by Berger, Cox, and others. Where levels of literacy are low the audio and video cassette have enabled charismatic religious figures such as Sheikh Kishk in Egypt and the late Ayatollah Khomeini to acquire massive followings. Osama bin Laden's carefully crafted videos disseminated by al-Jazeera have contributed to his image as the archetypical Islamic hero. Audio-visual technologies restore the power of word and gesture-traditional province of religion-to a new type of leader, undercutting the hegemony of bureaucrats and the traditional religious professionals whose source of information and power was the written word. When relayed on tape or television, the power of orality and the languages of ritual and gesture retain their potency. 'Insult'-perceived through claims made on television rather than in The Satanic Versestriggered the anti-Rushdie agitation in Britain and South Asia.
The Ayodhya dispute, which had festered in the courts for decades, only became a national issue in India when everyone could see what was happening. With television the processes whereby village- or family-based identities break down are accelerated, leaving an emotional vacuum to be filled by iconic, charismatic figures such as Bin Laden. Literacy has ceased to be the prerequisite for entering the political realm as it was in the past.
Fundamentalisms have benefited from the revolution in communications in two ways. First, radio broadcasts and television images, which are now accessible to the majority of people on this planet, make people much more aware of issues with which they can identify than was the case in the past. They increase the political temperature and add to perceptions of cultural conflict. An obvious example is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with viewers throughout the Muslim world enraged by the sight of Israeli soldiers killing and humiliating Palestinians, while viewers in the West, shocked and dismayed by the carnage inflicted by suicide bombers, are liable to have anti-Arab or anti-Muslim prejudices confirmed. As numerous media theorists have pointed out, television is not the same as propaganda. It does not have a unidirectional or homogenizing impact on viewers. Most viewers bring pre-existing knowledge to what they see and hear on television, 'decoding images' according to their prejudices. In the Muslim world images of Israeli oppression may be reinforced by perceived differences in lifestyles.
For example the explicit sexual interactions to be seen on Tel Aviv beach may add to Islamist perceptions that Palestinians are facing not just a 'racist' enemy that discriminates against them, but one that is wholly evil because of its 'pagan' Yahili) social attitudes. Secondly, as explained already, fundamentalists benefit from the 'para-personal', electronically amplified relationships between charismatic leaders and their audiences. Nasser and Hitler were both beneficiaries of the new medium of radio; both Khomeini and Bin Laden were iconically impressive figures able to convey the solemnity, gravitas, nobility, and asceticism Muslims associate with the aniconic image of the Prophet Muhammad.
But if fundamentalist movements benefit from the media revolution, they are also liable to be among its casualties. The development of satellite television and increasing access to the Internet is bringing an end to the information monopolies on which fundamentalists-like other authoritarian movements-depend. In certain contexts, such as Israel- Palestine and Iraq after the AngloAmerican invasion, armed resistance to an externally imposed authority, publicized by the media, is regarded as legitimate by a significant number of people. Under such circumstances (which usually fit the category of religious nationalism, rather than 'pure' fundamentalism) the terrorists or martyrs may become heroes. But where religious radicals have tried to impose their will by violence, as in Egypt, the publicity they court by indulging in the 'propaganda of the deed' may result in popular revulsion, especially in the pious middle-class constituencies on which they depend for support. After an exhaustive analysis of modern Islamist movements from Morocco to Indonesia the French political analyst Gilles Kepel has concluded that terrorism is really a sign of failure, deployed when political mobilization has failed.
The recurrent violence of the 1990's, the attacks on tourists in Egypt, the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the war in Chechnya, the violence in France, the attacks on US targets in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and East Africa culminating in '9/11' is 'above all a reflection of the movement's structural weakness, not its growing strength'.-o The decline in the movement's capacity for political mobilization explains why 'such spectacular and devastating new forms of terrorism' were visited on America itself. Kepel's book was published before Islamist parties took power in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province following elections imposed by Washington on the Musharraf government. Rumours of the death of Islamism in this area are certainly premature. On a broader canvas, Kepel's analysis may still hold good, but there are frightening dangers along the way. Where Islamists have succeeded in taking power, as in Iran, satellite technology tells against them, since it becomes impossible for them to sustain their monopoly over the religious discourse. Religious texts such as the Koran have endured because they transcend ideologies, speaking to the human condition in language that is always open to alternative interpretations.
Recently Iranian opposition forces, with explicit verbal support from the American president, where demonstrating against the clerical leadership whom they accuse of blocking the reformist agenda of President Khatami and the parliament. The demonstrators have been sustained by satellite channels run by Iranian exiles in the United States. Mindful of the fate of the Baathist regime in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Iranian regime appears to be succumbing to international pressure, backed by the United States, to open up its nuclear programme to United Nations weapons inspectors. Libya, once a pariah state, has announced that it is abandoning weapons of mass destruction, a policy aimed at the lifting of United Nations sanctions.
The future is nonetheless precarious. Soon two Islamist regimes, Iran and Pakistan, could be armed with nuclear weapons, a prospect made more dangerous by the strand of apocalyptic fantasy that excites and inspires the children of Abraham. In Israel-Palestine Jewish fundamentalists, backed by the Israeli army and with support from the Falwellites and other Protestant extremists in America resist US pressure to relinquish control of occupied Palestine, in ironic collusion with the Islamist militants of Harnas and Islamic Jihad. Within three years, at this writing, an Iranian regime with nuclear capacity could be supporting the Palestinians in the next round of the intifada against Israel. Since the latter already has its nuclear weapons, the stage will be set for the Armageddon predicted and welcomed by premilliennialists as the necessary prelude to the return of Christ.
The gloomy prognosis might be applied, a fortiori, to Pakistan, an economic and social disaster zone when compared with its rival, the 'polytheist' or 'pagan' India. More ominously even than in Israel- Palestine, the apocalyptic mood in Pakistan centres on the 'Islamic bomb', to which there are now flower-decked shrines in major cities. Like the attacks on New York and Washington, which like other cities in the Satanic West face the prospect of terrorist attacks with 'dirty bombs' (conventional explosives containing radioactive materials capable of spreading radiation over a large area), Pakistani bomb-worship may be a manifestation of nihilistic theological despair. 'Polytheist' India flourishes compared with rightly-guided Pakistan. So do infidel places by adding 'scientific creationism' to the curriculum. They inconvenience some women-especially poor women with limited access to travel-by making abortion illegal in certain states. On a planetary level they are selfish, greedy, and stupid, damaging the environment by the excessive use of energy and lobbying against environmental controls. What is the point of saving the planet, they argue, if Jesus is arriving tomorrow?
American fundamentalists are a headache, a thorn in flesh of the bien-pensant liberals, the subject of bemused concern to 'Old Europeans' who have experienced too many real catastrophes to yearn for Armageddon. Given that premillennialism and its associated theologies are significant components of American policy, especially under Republican administrations, it seems fair to state that Protestant fundamentalism is a dangerous religion. Whatever spiritual benefits individuals may have gained by taking Jesus as their 'personal saviour' the apocalyptic fantasies harboured by born-again Christians have a negative impact on public policy. Because of its impact on the environment and its baleful role in the Middle East, America's religiosity is a problem.
But the solution is also American. The constitutional separation of church and state is as fundamental to American democracy as the Bible is to fundamentalists. The hard line preached by televangelists such as Falwell and Robertson is protected by the First Amendment, but it is also limited by it. Though fundamentalists can influence policy, they cannot control it. The same considerations apply, by and large, to fundamentalists in Israel, Sri Lanka, and India, who are constrained by the pluralistic and democratic political systems in which they operate.
The Islamic situation is different, because for historical and sociological reasons too complex to explain in this book, very few Muslim political cultures have developed along democratic lines. In their ruthless drive to power, Islamists have succeeded in taking control of the state temporarily in Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and permanently in Saudi Arabia and (under different sectarian colours) in Iran. Where the Islamist tide has receded or been checked (as in Pakistan, Egypt, and Algeria) it has been ruthless action by the military rather than the constraints of democratic institutions that have protected secular government. The association of religious pluralism and secularism with militarism (as in Syria, Pakistan, and Turkey) rather than with democracy has been an important element in the Islamist rhetorical armory.
Where the military governs along secular lines, as in Algeria or in Turkey during periods of army intervention, Islamists can plausibly appeal to democratic feelings. But where Islamists actually hold power, as in Iran, they resist democratic change as being contrary to the will of God. There are ways out of this vicious spiral, but they require fine political tuning. One example is offered by Turkey, where in order to win democratically Islamists have had to abandon their more strident demands for 're-islamizing' society. Another is offered by Jordan, which allows Islam ists; to win parliamentary seats, exposing them to the cut and thrust of political debate.
Despite these very real problems, the call for freedom, even when polluted by the suspicion that it is being exploited by commercial interests, still runs with the grain of popular aspirations. Islamism, like other fundamentalisms, works best in opposition. In power it proves no less susceptible to corruption or manipulation than the ideologies and systems it seeks to supplant. For the foreseeable future Muslim nationalists will doubtless continue to resist American global hegemony, along with Russian imperialism in Transcaucasia and the Israeli subjugation of Palestine. But in other respects the power of modern technology may be working in America's direction. In the age of satellite broadcasting and the internet, pluralism and diversity of choice are no longer aspirations. They are dynamic realities.
Although many religious activists (especially the evengelical movements within Christianity and Islam) believe they have a universal mission to transform or convert the world, all religious traditions must face the problematic of their parochial origins, the embarrassing fact that saviours and prophets uttered divine words in particular languages to relatively small groups of people at particular historical junctures.
Although both Hindutva and Islamic resurgence provide total alternatives in political terms, religious resurgence fits nicely into the neoliberal worldview. The presumed weakness or failure of the state legitimates resurgence and its call for inverting modernization. Hindu nationalists found few noticeable difficulties cuddling up to neoliberalism, although the lure of state power admittedly may have been an important enticement, given India's changing relation to the global political economy.
The attitude of Islamists toward neoliberalism in Pakistan remains untested, but the actual practice of reliance on a market-based civil society in the areas of self-help, welfare, education, and banking suggests few political contradictions between Islamism and neoliberalism there. For the most part, contestation lies in the cultural domain: in ideals and practices of the family, the regulation of sexual relations, and Westernization. Here, too, a changed attitude is conspicuous. The ideal family now is not the communalized institution of extended blood ties but is increasingly a nuclear arrangement liberated from larger societal curbs . This shift in the idealized nature of the family is more patriarchal than its historical predecessor in Muslim society. It is inherently bourgeois in a lumpen sense-privatized and vulnerable to masculine whim. Veiling and segregation become more explicable within (lumpen) bourgeois notions of family and private property than as cultural pathologies of a traditional society.
The relation between religious resurgence and Westernization is more complicated. The former has no trouble embracing the technical and instrumental aspects of Western modernity. Their rejection of the West is confined mainly to its cultural expressions, a phenomenon not uncommon to relations of exchange under conditions of differential power. Furthermore, and especially in view of cultural hierarchies drawn by language and privi
ideologies of Marxist-Leninism, National Socialism, and anti-colonialism as the principal challenge to a world order based on the hegemonic power of the liberal capitalist West. Just as the contradictions within liberalism (between, for example, the universal rights of man and the pursuit of imperial trade) gave rise to the anti-colonial movements of the post-Second World War era, so the earliest shoots of fundamentalism (semantically, if not as an age-old phenomenon) came to fruition in the United States-in the very heart of the capitalist West.
Since 9/11 one year after I first presented part 1 and 2 of the term Fundamentalism has been frequently used for groups that in some cases are even New Religious Movements (NMRs in academic jargon) and in others should really be called “Reform Movements” as I did in part one. For the sake of a general understanding and since this is an improved transcript placed on the internet end 2003, we will term them “Modernist Religions”. In contrast the word ‘Fundamentalism” was coined more then two centuries ago in context of a Protestant setting.
For example Islamic scholars argue that since all observant Muslims believe the Koran-the divine text of Islam-to be the unmediated Word of God, all are committed to a doctrine of scriptural inerrancy, whereas for Protestants biblical inerrancy is one of the hallmarks that distinguishes fundamentalists from liberals. If all believing Muslims are `fundamentalists' in this sense of the word, then the term is meaningless, because it fails to distinguish between the hard-edged militant who seeks to `Islamize' his society and the quietist who avoids politics completely. `Higher criticism of the Bible' based on close textual study-the original cause of the Protestant fundamentalist revolt against liberalism and modernism challenged traditional teachings by claiming, for example, that the Book of Isaiah has more than one author and that the Pentateuch-the first five books of the Old Testament-was not authored by Moses himself. `Higher criticism' of the Koran, by contrast, which would challenge the belief that every word contained in the text was dictated to Muhammad by God through the agency of the Angel Gabriel, has not been a major issue in the Muslim world to date, though it may become so in due course, as literary critical theories gain ground in academic circles. The concerns of most Muslim `fundamentalists' especially following 9/11 are largely of a different order: the removal of governments deemed corrupt or too pro-Western and the replacement of laws imported from the West by the indigenous Sharia code derived from the Koran and the sunna (custom) of the Prophet Muhammad.
Parallel concerns may be found among the 'fundamentalist' New Religious Movements (NRMs) in Japan, where the Allied Occupation in 1945 imposed comprehensive and far-reaching changes in the country's civil code. On slightly different grounds scholars of Judaism point out that `fundamentalist' is much too broad a term when applied both to ultra-orthodox groups known as Haredim (some of which still refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel) and the religious settlers of Gush Emunim (the Bloc of the Faithful) who place more emphasis on holding onto the Land of Israel than on observing the Halakha (Jewish law).
`Fundamentalism', according to its critics, is just a dirty fourteen-letter word. It is a term of abuse levelled by liberals and Enlightenment rationalists against any group, not just to the rational mind, with fundamentalists exposing what one anthropologist calls `the hubris of reason's pretence in trying to take over religion's role'.'
Words have a life and energy of their own that will usually defy the exacting demands of scholars. The F-word has long since escaped from the Protestant closet in which it began its semantic career around the turn of the twentieth century.
The applications or meanings attached to words cannot be confined to the context in which they originate: if one limits `fundamentalism' to its original meaning one might as well do the same for words like `nationalism' and `secularization' which also appeared in the post Enlightenment West before being applied to movements or processes in non-Western societies. Applying the same restrictive logic, ore should not speak of Judaism or Christianity as `religions' because that originally Latin word is found in neither Old nor New Testaments. 'Fundamentalism' may indeed be a `Western linguistic encroachment' on other traditions, but the phenomenon (or rather, the phenomena) it describes exists, although no single definition will ever be uncontested. Put at its broadest, it may be described as a `religious way of being' that manifests itself in a strategy by which beleaguered believers attempt to preserve their distinctive identity as a people or group in the face of modernity and secularization.
Bruce Lawrence, a scholar who does, believes that the F-word can be extended beyond its original Protestant matrix, sees its connection with modernity as crucial: 'Fundamentalism is a multifocal phenomenon precisely because the modernist hegemony, though originating in some parts of the West, was not limited to Protestant Christianity' (emphasis added). The Enlightenment influenced significant numbers of Jews, and because of the colonization of much of Africa and Asia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it touched the lives and destinies of many Muslims.- According to this view the `modernist hegemony' did not end with the attainment of political independence by so-called Third World countries. Indeed, given the far-reaching consequences of the scientific revolution that flowed from the Enlightenment, the modern predicament against which fundamentalists everywhere are reacting has been extended to cover virtually every corner of the planet.
Rather than quibbling about the usefulness of 'fundamentalism' as an analytic term, I propose in this book to explore its ambiguities, to unpack some of its meanings. The term may be less than wholly satisfactory, but the phenomena it encompasses deserve to be analysed. Whether or not we like the phrase, fundamentalist or fundamentalist-like movements appear to be erupting in many parts of the world, from the Americas to South-East Asia. No one would claim that these movements, which occur in most of the world's great religious traditions, are identical. But all of them exhibit what the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein called `family resemblances'. In explaining his analogy Wittgenstein took the example of games-board-games, card-games, ball-games, Olympic Games, and so forth. Instead of assuming that all must have a single, defining feature because of the common name applied to them, games should be examined for similarities and relationships. Such an examination, said Wittgenstein, would reveal 'a complicated network of similarities overlapping and criss-crossing: sometimes overall similarities, sometimes similarities of detail' such as one finds in different members of the same family, in which 'build, features, colour of eyes, gait, temperament et cetera overlap and criss-cross in the same way'.
Before proceeding to explore these resemblances, it would be useful to recapitulate the history of the word and its burgeoning semantic career. Its origins are quite revealing. Although the wordhas acquired negative connotations in much of the world, it did not begin as a term of abuse or even criticism. It appeared early in the twentieth century not, as might be expected, in the 'Bible Belt' of the Old South, but in southern California, one of America's most rapidly developing regions (in the same area and at about the same time that one of fundamentalism's principal bugbears, the Hollywood film industry, made its appearance). Milton and Lyman Stewart, two devout Christian brothers who had made their fortune in the California oil business, embarked on a five-year programme of sponsorship for a series of pamphlets which were sent free of charge to 'English-speaking Protestant pastors, evangelists, missionaries, theological professors, theological students, YMCA secretaries, Sunday School superintendents, religious lay workers, and editors of religious publications throughout the world'. Entitled The Fundamentals: A Testimony of Truth, the tracts, written by a number of leading conservative American and British theologians, were aimed at stopping the erosion of what the brothers and their editors considered to be the `fundamental' beliefs of Protestantism: the inerrancy of the Bible; the direct creation of the world, and humanity, ex nihilo by God (in contrast to Darwinian evolution); the authenticity of miracles; the virgin birth of Jesus, his Crucifixion and bodily resurrection; the substitutionary atonement (the doctrine that Christ died to redeem the sins of humanity); and (for some but not all believers) his imminent return to judge and rule over the world.
Like many conservative American Protestants, who are technically known as premillennial dispensationalists, the Stewart brothers believed that the End Times prophesies contained in the scriptures, notably the Old Testament books of Ezekiel and Daniel, and the last book of the New Testament, the Revelation of St John, referred to real (not symbolic) events that were shortly due to happen on the plane of human history. Drawing on a tradition of prophecy interpretation developed by an English clergyman, John Nelson Darby (18oo-8a), they argued that since many Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah were fulfilled with the coming of Christ as documented in the New Testament, other predictions, concerning the End Times, would soon come to pass. Expecting the world to end at any moment they saw it as their duty to save as many people as possible before the coming catastrophe when sinners would perish horribly and the saved would be 'raptured' into the presence of Christ.
Being successful businessmen, the Stewarts wanted, and expected, results. As Lyman wrote to Milton after learning that the American Tobacco Company was spending millions of dollars distributing free cigarettes in order to give people a taste for them: `Christians should learn from the wisdom of the world.'
Theological motives were complemented by business competition. Lyman's 'organizing principle' in the oil business was fighting his rival John D. Rockefeller's attempts to monopolize the industry. It may or may not be coincidental that one of the first preachers he hired came to his attention after preaching against `something that one of those infidel professors in Chicago University had published'. Chicago Divinity School, a hotbed of liberalism, had been founded and endowed by John D. Rockefeller.
Some three million copies of The Fundamentals were circulated, on both sides of the Atlantic. The -ist was added in 192o by Curtis Lee Laws, a conservative Baptist editor: `Fundamentalists', he declared, `were those who were ready to do battle royal for The Fundamentals.' The previous year William B. Riley, a leader of the militant dispensationalist premillennialist party among the Northern Baptists, had organized the non-denominational World Christian Fundamentals Association. Although premillennialist ideas do not loom as large in The Fundamentals as they would in later fundamentalist discourse, there is no doubt that the Stewart brothers approved. About half the American contributors to The Fundamentals, including such leading lights as Reuben Torrey and Cyrus Ignatius Scofield, were premillennialists. Before endowing The Fundamentals, Lyman Stewart had been a major sponsor of Scofield's reference Bible, first published in 1909, and still the preferred commentary of American premillennialists.
The belief that Jesus would return to rule over an earthly kingdom of the righteous after defeating the Anti- christ dates back to the earliest phase of Christianity, when the apostles lived in the daily expectation of his promised return. Dismayed by its revolutionary potential, which challenged the renovated imperial cults, common to both Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism, that conferred divine legitimacy on the Holy Roman and Byzantine emperors, the early church fathers, notably St Augustine (354-430) allegorized and spiritualized the coming Kingdom of God. Christian apocalyptic became `part of the everyday fabric of Christian life and belief, and to that extent reinforced eschatological awareness by embedding it in liturgy and preaching' while distancing Catholic thought from literalistic readings of prophesy and especially notions of an earthly millennium.5 The seal on Augustine's teaching was set by the Council of Ephesus in 431 which condemned millennialism and expurgated works of earlier church fathers thought to be tainted with the doctrine. After the Reformation loosened the Church's grip on Christian teaching, millennialist ideas resurfaced in such apocalyptic movements as the Anabaptists of Munster in Germany and Fifth Monarchy Men who took part in the English Revolution (1649-60). Transplanted to America, where constitutional separation of church and state encourages religious innovation, millennialist ideas took root in fertile soil.
Belief in the coming physical millennium lies at the basis of at least three of the new world religions founded in the United States since 18oo-Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, and.the Jehova's Witnesses. The number of premillennialist Protestants (who believe that the Second Coming will be followed by the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth) has been estimated conservatively at eight million. Not all the early fundamentalists were premillennialists. But it is interesting to note George W. Dollar, a leading premillennialist, drew a sharp distinction between true fundamentalism based only on scriptural interpretation and `orthodoxy', which he considered based in the often syncretistic views of the church fathers and the classic creeds. Noting that there was very little in The Fundamentals that taught premillennialism, he concluded that they should really be `hailed as the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy'.
The fundamentalist myth of a golden age, whether set in the past or projected into the future, will be explored in the next chapter. Here it is enough to point out that the `F-word', however constructed, should never be taken at face value: even at its origin, in The Fundamentals, its meaning was contested. In no tradition does one find a complete consensus, even among conservatives, about what the `fundamentals' of the faith really are. Fundamentalists are nothing if not selective about the texts they use and their mode of interpretation. They are also much more innovative in the way they interpret the texts they select than is often supposed. In this respect they may be contrasted with traditionalists.
`Tradition', like `fundamental', can also be understood in more than one way. Among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and other religious communities, the word conveys the sense of a cumulative body of ritual, behaviour, and thought that reaches back to the time of origins. In Catholicism especially, tradition embodying the accumulated experience and knowledge of the Church is seen as a source of authority equal to scripture. Tied to the exclusive authority of the Church, tradition was affirmed at the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, the Church's official response to the challenge posed by the sola scriptura doctrine of the Protestant reformers. In a sense Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other Reformation leaders could be described as `fundamentalists' many centuries before the term was coined, while the Council of Trent can be seen as a `fundamentalist' or 'integralist' response.
In the Islamic tradition similar considerations apply: tradition here means the accumulated body of interpretation, law, and practice as developed over the centuries by the ulama, the class of `learned men' who constitute Islam's professional religionists or clerics. Throughout Islamic history there have been `renovators' or reformers who, like Luther, challenged the authority of the ulama on the basis of their readings of the Sources of Islam, namely the Koran and the Hadiths (the latter, sometimes confusingly translated as `Traditions', are canonized reports about Muhammad's deeds and teachings, based, it is supposed, on the oral testimony of his contemporaries and passed down by word of mouth before being collated into written collections). In this sense the medieval scholar Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1326) who ended his life in prison for challenging the authority of the ulama and rulers of his day was a `fundamentalist'. Significantly his writings are extremely popular among today's Islamist militants.
A less specialized meaning of `tradition', however, is also relevant here. In a broader context, tradition is simply what occurs unselfconsciously as part of the natural order of things, an unreflective or unconsidered Weltanschauung (world view). In the words of Martin Marty, `most people who live in a traditional culture do not know they are traditionalists'.5 Tradition, in this sense, consists in not being aware that how one believes or behaves is 'traditional', because alternative ways of thinking or living are simply not taken into consideration. In `traditional' societies, including the mainly rural communities that formerly constituted the American Bible Belt, the Bible was seen as comprehensively true, a source of universal wisdom, knowledge, and authority deemed to have been transmitted to humanity by God through the prophets, patriarchs, and apostles who wrote the Bible. The latter was not thought of as a `scientific textbook'; but nor did the ordinary pastor or worshipper consider it `unscientific'. For most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Bible was considered compatible with reason, or at least with that version of reason conveyed by the 'commonsense' philosophy which spread to North America from Scotland, along with Calvinist theology and more or less democratic forms of church governance.
When Higher Criticism, originating in Germany, began to challenge the received understandings of the Bible, for example by using sophisticated methods of textual analysis to argue that books attributed to Moses or Isaiah show evidence of editorial changes, textual accumulations, and multiple authorship, or that the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ depended on a mistranslation of the original Greek text, unreflective tradition (the `received knowledge' of generations) was converted into reactive defensiveness. From this perspective fundamentalism may be defined as `tradition made self-aware and consequently defensive'. In Samuel Heilman's words, `traditionalism is not fundamentalism, but a necessary correlate to it'.
In all religions, but especially in Protestantism, the active defence of tradition demands selectivity, since the text of the Bible is too vast and complex to be defended in all its details. Like any military commander, the fundamentalist had to choose the ground on which to do `battle royal' with the forces of liberalism and Higher Criticism. The Fundamentals was part of the process that galvanized this reaction. Hence in America especially it cut across the more democratically organized denominations, including Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, and Methodists. In most of the American denominations it represented the grass roots reaction to the elitism of the seminaries, perceived as being out of touch with the culture and beliefs of ordinary believers. Yet, as Marty and Appleby point out, the very idea behind the project revealed the distance that had already been travelled along the path of secularity: `Designating fundamentalisms automatically places the designator at great remove from the time when religion thrived as a whole way of life. To identify any one thing or set of beliefs or practices as essential is to diminish other elements of what was once an organic whole.'?
The most famous of the `battles royal' which tore many American churches apart in the first half of the twentieth century was the `Monkey Trial' in Dayton Tennessee in 1925. As Garry Wills, one of America's best-known commentators has explained, the trial was something of a `put-up job' engineered, in effect, by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to challenge an obscure and little used Tennessee state law banning the teaching of evolution in schools.
Many southern states had such laws early in the twentieth century. A biology teacher, John Scopes (who subsequently admitted that he had missed teaching the classes dealing with evolution), `claimed (rather shakily) to have broken the law'.
It was `one of the best early examples of what would later be known as a "media event" ', in which the coverage itself was more important than what actually occurred in court. Hundreds of journalists attended, including the most famous reporter of the day, H. L. Mencken of the Baltimore Sun. Radio lines were brought into the courtroom, and the judge held up proceedings to allow photographers; to get their shots. The fundamentalist defenders of the state law won the trial on points. With a fundamentalist jury, three members of which testified that they read nothing but the Bible, the verdict was a foregone conclusion. The state law was upheld but Scopes had his conviction quashed on appeal, which prevented the ACLU from pursuing its original aim of bringing the case to a higher Federal court. He went on to become a geologist after winning a scholarship to the University of Chicago.
Culturally the media battle was a devastating defeat for fundamentalism. In a famous cross-examination before the trial judge William Jennings Bryan, former Secretary of State and three times Democratic candidate for the presidency, suffered public humiliation at the hands of Clarence Darrow, the ACLU lawyer. Cleverly drawing on literalistic interpretations of the Bible approved of by conservatives, Darrow showed that Bryan's knowledge of scripture and fundamentalist principles of interpretation was fatally flawed. Afflicted with diabetes, Bryan died shortly after the trial, a broken man. In the media treatment sight was lost of the moral issues that had been his primary concern.
As a Democrat and populist Bryan believed that German
militarism, the ultimate cause of the First World War, had been a by-product of
Darwin's theory of natural selection combined with Friedrich Nietzsche's ideas
about the human Will to Power. Given the way in which ideas of Social Darwinism
were subsequently put to use by the Nazis, he deserves more credit than he has
been given. Shortly before the Second World War, Adolf Hitler would state in
one of his speeches: `[Anyone] who has pondered on the order of this world
realizes that its meaning lies in the warlike survival of the fittest.
Antievolution laws remained on the statue books of several
American states, and indeed were extended in some cases. But for the American
public at large fundamentalists were exposed as rural ignoramuses, countryside
`hillbillies' out of touch with modern thought. One of the major cultural
events of twentieth-century America, the `Monkey Trial', precipitated what
might be called the `withdrawal phase' of American fundamentalism-a retreat
into the enclaves of churches and private educational institutions, such as Bob
Jones University. In the mainstream academies, seminaries, and denominations,
liberal theology which accepted evolution as `God's way of doing things' swept
`In their theories, story lines, plots, and images, the nation's scholars, journalists, novelists, playwrights, and filmmakers most explicitly articulated modern America as a world in which Fundamentalists figured as stigmatized outsiders. The terms of secular modernity were also written into a wide array of laws, court decisions, government policies, decrees, and regulations, codes of etiquette, customs, practices, and commonsense presuppositions that structured national public discourses.'
that `at the national level signs of religious partisanship were voluntarily suppressed' though it remained for the most part `incomplete, fragile, and, at times and places, seriously contested'.- Thereafter the `modern secular hegemony' held sway for several decades.
The triumph of liberalism in the mainstream churches was at first tacitly endorsed by the fundamentalists who, for the most part, opted for the strategy of `separation' from the world. Logically premillennialist Christians should not care if `the world' goes from bad to worse, though they are charitably enjoined to rescue as many souls as they can. According to the Book of Revelation the reign of the Antichrist preceding the Second Coming will be accompanied by all sorts of portents and signs of evil. As the `saved remnant' of humanity, true Christians (i.e fundamentalists) should even welcome these signs as proof that salvation is imminent. `The darker the night gets, the lighter my heart gets', wrote Reuben Torrey, one of the editors of The Fundamentals.
The contempt to which fundamentalists were exposed in the popular media after the Scopes trial reinforced the correctness of this view. This does not mean, however, that American fundamentalism remained static. Despite its exclusion from the mainstream, the half-century from 1930 to 1980 saw a steady institutional growth, with numerous (mainly Baptist) churches seceding from national denominations in order to create an impressive national infrastructure of `pastoral networks, parachurch organisations and superchurches, schools and colleges, book and magazine publishing industries, radio, television and direct-mail operations' that built on older institutions created during the nineteenth-century revivals, such as the famous Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Whilst main.s=e= America, abetted by an increasingly centralized ambitions, American fundamentalists are constrained by this wall which, for historical reasons, they are more likely than not to accept. As refugees from what they conceived to be the `religious tyrannies' of the Old World, the Protestant colonists who founded the United States in 1776 and won its independence from Britain were opposed to any alliance between state power and religious authority. Churches should be self-governing, autonomous institutions free from taxation and government interference. Nevertheless since all of the Founding Fathers were Protestants, modern fundamentalists can reasonably argue that the United States was founded as a Christian-i.e. Protestant-nation. For them the `wall of separation' does not mean that the state is atheist or even secular in the fullest sense of the word: merely that it maintains a posture of neutrality towards the different churches or religious denominations. With waves of Catholic migrants from Ireland arriving from the 183os and Jewish immigration from Eastern and Central Europe from the latter part of the nineteenth century, denominational pluralism was extended beyond what many people (though not Jefferson, who believed in religious freedom `for the infidel of every denomination') would have imagined during the 1780s.
A landmark Supreme Court decision in 1961 extended to `secular humanists' (i.e. non-believers) the legal protection accorded to followers of religious faiths. Ironically this is the decision which fundamentalists now use in order to argue that `secular humanism' qualifies as a religion, for example when values associated with it appear in school curricula. It should therefore be curbed by the state, whose responsibility it is to maintain the `wall of separation'. American fundamentalists are therefore constrained by the pluralistic religious culture in which they must operate. Rather than forming a religious party aimed at taking over the government, they lobby for power and influence within the Republican Party. Legislative successes at state level have included the reinstitution of daily prayers in some public schools, `equal time' rules for the teaching of evolution and creation, and the overturning by a dozen or more states of the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade judgement repealing state bans on abortion. At the local level fundamentalists have lobbied for the banning of books deemed irrelibious from public school libraries or Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, William Golding's Lord of the Flies, and books by Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, and John Steinbeck, all of which have been seen as promoting the `religion' of secular humanism by questioning faith in God or portraying religion negatively. These successes, however, have often been reversed by the courts after actions by organizations such as the ACLU and PAW (People for the American Way, a liberal lobby group. At the national level fundamentalism is further constrained by the need to find conservative partners from beyond the ranks of Protestant fundamentalists.
On single issues such as abortion or ERA (the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women), fundamentalist lobbying can be efficacious. In the wider political domain, however, American fundamentalists are faced with a dilemma. To collaborate with other conservative groups they must suppress or even abandon their theological objections. As Steve Bruce explains: `In the world-view which creates the particular reasons conservative Protestants have for resisting modernism, Catholics and Jews are not Christians, and Mormonism is a dangerous cult. But legislative and electoral success requires that fundamentalists work in alliance with such groups and with secular conservatives. Outside the pro-Life (anti-abortion) and anti-ERA campaigns, which raise gender issues to which all conservative religionists are particularly sensitive, fundamentalists have found little support. Given that religious pluralism is the primary enemy of fundamentalist certainty, this is hardly surprising. In the United States the Constitution, the first in the world to make religious pluralism a central article of faith, is the reef on which the aspirations of `pure' Protestant fundamentalism seem destined to founder.
But as Steve Bruce in The Rise and Fall of the New Christian Right ( 1988,p 171), mentioned, in a letter written in May 1937 by Sir Reader Bullard, British Minister in Jeddah, it already stated that King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud `has been coming out strong as a fundamentalist' by condemning women who mix with men `under the cloak of progress'. Bruce Lawrence next suggested that the term “Islamic fundamentalism” was `coined' by H. A. R. Gibb, the well-known orientalist, in his book Mohammedanism (later retitled Islam) with reference to Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the pan Islamic reformer ‘Egyptian Rite’ Freemason , plus political activist.
Afghani (who traveled to India the same month as Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky as I described in The Matrix of Modernist Religions and Nationalism P.21), was a masterful conspirator, polemicist, and political activist, can in the current context thus also be seen as the founder of ‘Islamic`fundamentalism'.
Far from unequivocally opposing the Enlightenment (one of the family traits ascribed to most fundamentalist movements) however, Afghani's attitude to modernity was thoroughly ambiguous. Hating imperialism, he nevertheless acknowledged the need for wholescale reforms of the `Muslim religion', which he saw as decadent, decayed, and corrupt. Thus this spirit is much closer to that of Martin Luther than to, say, a contemporary scriptural literalist such as Jerry Falwell, hence I called it a “Religious Reform Movement” in p.1.
A journal which Afghani founded in Paris with his disciple Muhammad Abduh, was the leading reformist journal of its time. Despite its short duration, it remained an abiding influence on the modernist movement in Islam. The inclusion of Afghani under the 'fundamentalist' label therefore expands our definition not just because Islam is different from Christianity but because what is `fundamental' to both faiths has been construed differently. Islamic fundamentalism or Islamism, to use an English word that corresponds more closely to the term adopted by contemporary Muslim activists, thus is not countermodernist in the way that fundamentalist Christianity has been described as being. Far from challenging the basic premisses of the Enlightenment, the movement launched by Afghani and Abduh in the 1870s, known as the Salafiyya, after the `pious ancestors' or Prophet's Companions, absorbed the modernist spirit to the point where Abduh broke with Afghani and collaborated with the British power in Egypt to further his reformist agenda. Unlike Christian fundamentalism, Salafism cannot be described as anti-modernist, although the word salafi is sometimes used for `fundamentalist' in Arabic. An alternative Arabic term, usuli from usul (roots), corresponds more closely to the F-word in English.
A complicating factor here, however, is the specific usage it has acquired in the religious history of Shiism, the minority tradition in Islam which, like Catholicism, balances adherence to scripture with an emphasis on religious leadership. In the nineteenth century the Shii ulama divided into two major schools, the usulis and the akhbaris.
Though described in the Western media as a `fundamentalist', the leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, belonged to the usuli school and upheld its tenets against those of his more conservative or `fundamentalism', akhbari rivals. Though presenting himself as the defender of Islamic `fundamentalism', Khomeini was a radical innovator in Shii religious and political thought. Despite his frequent denunciations of Marxism, he incorporated a good deal of Marxist thinking into his discourse.
The problems of definition are compounded when socalled Jewish fundamentalism is taken into account. As with Arabic there is no indigenous Hebrew word for `fundamentalism'. The term usually employed for Jewish extremists by the Israeli media is yamina dati, the 'religious right'.
Far from rejecting modernity, fundamentalists of the religious right such as Gush Emunim (GE), the Bloc of the Faithful, are religious innovators. Whereas the traditionalist or orthodox groups known as the Haredim regarded the establishment of Israel as an impious pre-empting of the Messiah's role, Gush Emunim and other right-wing religious Zionists see the secular state as a `stage' towards Redemption. For them the whole Land of Palestine (including the territories captured in the 1967 Arab-Israel war) belongs to the Jewish people and must be held in trust for the coming Messiah. The Haredi groups such as Neturei Karta (NK), the `Guardians of the City', are much more strict in their adherence to the Halakha, Jewish religious law, than Gush Emunim. The most orthodox or `fundamentalist' among them do not even recognize the State of Israel: for them the condition of exile is an existential one, fundamental to the very concept of Jewishness. If Jewish `fundamentalism' can embrace such divergent alternatives as NK and GE, can the term be meaningful or useful?
The question, of course, is theoretical. By now it should be clear that the meanings, or possible applications, of the F-word have strayed far beyond the umbrella of the 'Abrahamic' monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Sikh `fundamentalists' took control of the Golden Temple of Amritsar, and when Indira Gandhi sent the troops in, they murdered her in revenge. Hindu 'fundamentalists' demolished the Babri Masjid Mosque at Ayodhya in 1992, believing it to be the site of the birthplace of the deity Rama, setting off communal rioting that led to thousands of deaths. Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka have taken up arms against Tamil separatists, breaking with centuries of pacifism. For their part the Tamils, who pioneered the suicide bomb a decade before Lebanese squads to take an oath to the Hindu god Shiva.
So if `Fundamentalism' it encompasses many types of activity, not all of them religious. The wing of the Scottish National Party least disposed to cooperate with other parties in the Scottish parliament has been described as `fundamentalist' by its oponents. ane Kelsey a New market policies adopted by the Labour government in the late 1980s and named after the Minister of Finance, Roger Douglas, as `Economic Fundamentalism'. `The "fundamentals" of the programme'-market liberalization and free trade, limited government, a narrow monetarist policy, a deregulated labour market and fiscal restraint were systematically embedded against change'. Like holy writ they were assumed to be `givens', based on common sense and consensus, and beyond challenge.
In Germany members of the Green Party who supported Joskha Fischer in joining Gerhard Schroeder's 'Red-Green coalition' are described as 'realos' (realists), in contrast to the 'fundis' (fundamentalists) who hold true to the party's ideology of pacifism, opposition to nuclear power, and radical `Green' environmentalisms. The tension between the two wings was brought to breaking-point when Fischer, as Germany's foreign minister, supported the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 while his Green Party colleague, environment minister Jurgen Trittin, was pressured into abandoning a scheme to make auto manufacturers pay for the cost of recycling old cars, and forced to make painful compromises in his plans for phasing out nuclear power'?
Similar tensions between ideological purists who stick to the `fundamentals' of their cause without compromising their principles, and the political realists who argue that real gains can be achieved through bargaining and compromise, exist in all political and cultural movements; indeed they are the very stuff of democratic politics: the energy of political life is released most often when the ideals of party activists are pitted against the realities of power. Virtually every movement, from animal rights to feminism, will embrace a spectrum ranging from uncompromising radicalism or `extremism' to pragmatic accommodationism.
For feminist ultras such as Andrea Dworkin, all penetrative sex is deemed to be rape. For some animal liberationists, every abbattoir, however humane its procedures, is an extermination camp, while in the rhetoric of radical prolifers such as Pat Robertson, the 43 million foetuses `murdered' since Roev. Wade are an abomination comparable to the Nazi Holocaust.
At the borders of the semantic field it now occupies, the word fundamentalism strays into `extremism', 'sectarian ism', `ideological purism'. It seems doubtful, however, if these non-religious uses of the word are analytically useful. There may be some similarities in political and social psychology between, say, anti=abortionists, animal rightists, Green Party activists, Islamist agitators, and the Six ~1116j
imply kinship. The genetic bond that defines fundamentalism in its more central, and useful, meaning-the 'fundamentalist DNA', as it were-is sharper and more distinctive than `extremism'. The original `Protestant' use of the word anchors it in the responses of individual or collective selfhoods, of personal and group identities, to the scandal or `shock of the Other'.
Although many religious activists (especially the evangelical movements within Christianity and Islam) believe they have a universal mission to transform or convert the world, all religious traditions must face the problematic of their parochial origins, the embarrassing fact that saviours and prophets uttered divine words in particular languages to relatively small groups of people at particular historical junctures.
The Matrix of Al-Quada
Firsth Three major influences: August 26, 1941, Mawlana Mawdudi founds the Islamist party Jam'at-I Islami (Islamic Party) and in 1928 already Hassan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Both where a reaction to Colonialism, and both in fact as I explained in part one, A/B. This second part now will gives for the first time a complete overview of various Islamic groups in a way that can be quickly comprehended without first reading several dozens of book in order to start puzzling these facts together. With every group I give however a recommended reading list for those who want to read more details.
The best book about JI only came out in 2003 written by CNN correspondent Maria A. Ressa,
Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda Newest Center of Operations in Southeast
In fact the Jemaah Islamlyah (Islamic Community) (JI) is Indonesia's leading Islamic extremist group. Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Bashir founded the JI in 1973. Their intent was to build as an Islamic self-governing commune to advance their goal for a strict Islamic society. Sungkar was always political leader while Bashir provide ideological and religious doctrine. Although they started out with only 30 students, activities soon attracted the attention ( authorities of the repressive Suharto regime, and both Sungkar and Bashir were arrested 1978, and they spent nearly four yea jail for passing literature advocating a lamic state for Indonesia. In 1985, Sur and Bashir fled Indonesia and set up in Malaysia. Malaysia was by this time a self-styled Islamic state, so the Islamiyah prospered. Sungkar and B were able to recruit younger Islamic leaders such as the Afghan veteran Hambali.
These new leaders were sent to Afghanistan for military training and to fight the Soviet Union. By the mid-1990s the organizational structure of the JI was complete, with operations controlled by a leadership headed by Hambali and five division chiefs reporting to him.
The goal of the Jernaah Islamiyah was theocratic Islamic state to include Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
Because of this goal, leaders of the JI formed working alliances with Islamic groups the Malaysia Mujahideen Group (KM the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and so on.
In 1998, Sungkar and Bashir move Jernaah Islamiyah's main organizationback to Indonesia. The fall of the Suharto regime gave the JI a chance to expand. Sungka Bashir headed the group in Indonesia Hamball remained in Malaysia. Hambal already developed closer ties with Bin Laden. In 1999, Sungkar died, leaving Bashir in complete control of JI. B recruited members at his religious school Ngruki village in Solo, Central Java.
JI is organized into operation cells, and its cell leaders carry out operations independent of central decision making, thus leaving its leaders deniability. Hambali always operated underground planning and directed large-scale operations against non-Muslims. Training for JI operatives came from a Qaeda training camp in Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Fruits of this training came in a bombing campaign against Christian churches on December 24, 2000. Thirty churches throughout Indonesia were bombed.
The bombing of the Sari Club on Bali's Kuta Beach on October 12, 2002, directed international attention to the Jemaah Islamiyah. Foreign tourists, mostly Australians, were the targets, and 188 were killed and hundreds more wounded in the bombing. For several years, foreign governments, especially the United States, had been pressuring the Indonesian government of Megawati Sukarnoputri to act against the JI. The Indonesian government had been reluctant, because a crackdown on the JI might stir up Islamic opposition to the government. Other governments, however, in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore had arrested JI operatives throughout 2001. Although Bashir continued to deny JI's involvement in the Bali bombing, anti-terrorist experts around the world believed that Hambali and the JI were behind it. In October 2002, the United Stated formally declared it a terrorist organization subject to sanctions.
The Jemaah Islamiyah has been hurt by the arrests of key leaders. Abu Bakar Bashir has been under arrest since 2001, and a jury convicted him on September 4, 2003, of treasonous activity but not that he headed the Jernaah Islamiyah terrorist network. This verdict included a four-year jail term, but a December 2003 appeal reduced his sentence to three years. His imprisonment did not prevent the JI from launching a suicide bombing attack on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, in early August 2003. Increased publicity and police investigations led to the arrest of Hambali on August 12, 2003, in Thailand. The loss of both the spiritual head, Bashir, and the operations expert, Ham has seriously weakened the JI, but there still enough activists left to undertake ter ist operations. From his prison cell B warned in November 2003 that all Mu countries with close ties to the United St were subject to attack. See also Bashir,
Bakar; al-Ghozi, Fathur Rohman; Ham (Riduan Isamuddin): Sharon Behn, "C Warns Muslims Linked to the U.S.," Washington, Times (November 17. 2003), John Bur "Islamic Network 'Is on a Mission' Te Group," Financial Times (London) (Oct. 2002), p. 12; Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qada Global Network of Terror (New York: Colu University Press, 2002); Rohan Gunaratna, " Links That Bind Terror Groups," Guardian ( dou) (October 15, 2002), p. 1; Ellen Nakast and Alan Sipress, "Al Qaeda Figure Seize Thailand," Washington Post (August 15, 2003 p. A1.
Muslim Brotherhood (al-lichwan al-Muslimun) (Egypt) The Muslim Brotherhood has lo leading Islamic fundamentalist tion in Egypt. In 1928, Hassan a schoolteacher and a follower school of Islam, founded th Brothers in Ismaila, Egypt. His tent was for this organization t( leader in the anti-colonial against the British. From the beg leadership of the Muslim Broth nounced both capitalism and N failures and looked toward a re lam. This involvement in politic Muslim Brotherhood in direct to the British. During World W cret organization with the Mus ers, the Special Order, was form out violent attacks against the thorities. British authorities a Banna for anti-British activities war, al-Banna launched a terr paign against what he consid enemies of Islam. On Decembe the Egyptian government banne lim Brotherhood. Leadership of t Brother retaliated with the assas the Egyptian Prime Minister Fahmy el-Nokrashy Pasha on 28, 1948. On February 12, 1949 tian secret police killed al-B-, Cairo street. Despite the bann Muslim Brotherhood and the as of al-Banna, the Egyptian gove lowed the Muslim Brotherhood t tute itself because King Farou advisors wanted to use it as a tween the Egyptian nationalis Communists. Sheikh Hassan almoderate cleric, assumed the post of the Muslim Brotherho( chief rival, Saleh al-Ashmawy cleric, attracted support from radical elements in the Muslim Brotherhood.
The leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood supported the new government of Gamal Abdel Nasser until it became apparent that he had no intention of founding an Islamic government. Both Nasser and his chief assistant, Anwar Sadat, had made contact with the Muslim Brotherhood before their seizure of power in July 1952. By the early 1950s, the Muslim Brotherhood had two million members scattered throughout the Muslim world, but most of its political strength remained in Egypt. The leadership formed a terrorist branch, the Secret Organ, to carry out assassinations against political leaders opposing its policies. Nasser's settlement in 1954 of a Suez Canal dispute caused the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood to attempt an assassination of Nasser in Alexandria, Egypt, on October 26, 1954, but they failed. The Egyptian government arrested Hodeibi and other leaders. Several of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were executed and over 4,000 were arrested and imprisoned. After the Nasser government banned the Muslim Brotherhood, both leaders and members went underground. It was at this time that the influence of Sayyid Qutb became the dominant philosophy in the Muslim Brotherhood. In his book, Signposts Along the Road, and other writings, he declared perpetual religious war (iihad) against all religions other than Islam and against the Nasser government. Quth and other leader, of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested tortured, and executed in 1965.
After Nasser's death in 1970, the governement of Sadat was more tolerant of the Muslim Brotherhood.
ligion and politics. Members of group carried out Sadat's assassina October 6, 1981, but the membershi Muslim Brotherhood applauded the
The Muslim Brotherhood has bee major opposition to the subsequen Mubarak government. Mubarak's gvernement has been less oppressive than and the Muslim Brotherhood has p in this environment. Financial supp( Saudi Arabia has allowed the Muslin erhood to provide medical clinics, so fare centers, and clubs. These mosqt support services have been popular the Egyptian lower middle class strength of the Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian professional classes-doctors, lawyers, and journalists.
The most dynamic and deadly offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas. Only after the outbreak of the Intefada 1987 was the Muslim Brotherhood formed into the political entity that carries out a terrorism war against Israel. At the same time that Hamas was launching war with Israel it was also establishing schools, hospitals, mosques, and other services in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank. Hamas's popularity among Palestians comes from a combination of i ist orientation, war against Israel, social services that it provides. See Banna, Hassan; Hamas (Haara Muqawama al-Islami) (Islamic Rev Movement).
Suggested readings: J. Bowyer Bell on the Nile. The World Trade Center a Terror (San Francisco: Encounter Boot John L. Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Reality? (New York: Oxford Univers 1992); Fereydoun Hoveyda, The Broken The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Funda (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998); Richard Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers (London: Oxford University Press, 1966); Harold Schneider, "Fundamentalists Gain Small Voice in Egypt" Washington Post (December 7, 2000), p. A27.
Osama bin Laden
To escape persecution by Saudi security forces, bin Laden and his family moved to Pakistan in April 1991. He then launched a campaign against the Saudi family by portraying them as false Muslims. Then Hassan al-Turabi, the religious leader in Sudan, invited bin Laden to Sudan. Bin Laden moved the bulk of al-Qaeda's membership and assets to Sudan. There he established a series of businesses. Because bin Laden was not a religious scholar, he formed a religious committee that could issue religious rulings, or fatwas. These fatwas have given him authority to act.
Bin Laden's first operation against the United States was in Somalia in the early 1990s. American intervention resulted in unacceptable casualties brought by Somali forces under the control of Arab Afghan
fighters. His role was at the leadership level, and the victory in Somalia convinced him that the United States could be driven out of Saudi Arabia and ultimately out of the Middle East if pressure were placed on it. His experience in helping first the Muslims in Bosnia and then the Albanian Muslims in Kosovo only reinforced this belief.
By the mid-1990s, bin Laden had enough prestige and influence in the Islamist world that he was able to set up the al-Qaeda network of terrorist organizations. In 1994, bin Laden moved to London, England, to coordinate activities there. On April 7, 1994, he lost his Saudi citizenship and had his financial assets there frozen for anti-Saudi activities. Because of the danger of arrest and extradition, bin Laden returned to Khartoum, Sudan, and the protection of the Turabi government. In a series of conferences in 1994 and 1995 in Tehran, Iran; Khartown; and Larnaca, Cyprus, the leaders of the Islamist movement planned a coordinated terrorist campaign against the United States, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab states participating in Mideast peace initiatives. Bin Laden was not a participant in all of these meetings, but by the end of 1995 he had become the most powerful leader of the terrorist campaign.
Bin Laden opened his campaign against the Saudi regime in November 1995. A car bomb exploded in Riyadh on November 13, 1995, killing 5 Americans and 1 Saudi and wounding more than 60. 'Vhe Armed Islamic Movement (AIM), a front for bin Laden, claimed credit for the attack. It was his first blow to overthrow the Saudi regime. Then on June 25, 1996, a bomb team exploded a truck bomb at al-Khobar in Dhahran, killing 19 American servicemen and wounding hundreds of others.
In May 1996, bin Laden moved his operations from Sudan to Afghanistan. The Saudi government and the United States placed pressure on the Sudanese government of General Omar al-Bashir to expel bin Laden. Negotiations were in progress to deport him to Saudi Arabia when bin Laden decided to move to Afghanistan. Afghanistan was a natural haven, because of the Taliban in September 1996 soon became a safe refuge for seeking asylum. Taliban lea bin Laden as a hero of the Mu Laden responded by arran from the Arab world for th Then he was allowed to es camp in the Jalalabad area o With the assistance of the Tali organized a series of training a cadre of terrorists to carry worldwide. Al-Qaeda forc Taliban military units fightin Alliance Army of General Masood.
The first major operation were the bombings of the U.S Kenya and Tanzania. Ayman al-Z operational commander, bu Sadiq Odeh was the on-site cobombs exploded on August 7, 1998, one in Nairobi, Kenya, and the other in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Casualties at both embassies were heavy, with about 250 deaths and more than 5,500 injured. Most of the victims were Africans. The United States responded by a cruise attack on his base camps in Afghanistan on August 20, 1998. This failed attack only reinforced bin Laden's stature in the Muslim world. At the time that his political reputation was growing, bin Laden's health began deteriorating. Reports surfaced that he suffered from stomach and kidney troubles, and that he required a renal dialysis machine. His close associate al-Zawahiri also served as his personal doctor.
Bin Laden approved the plans for the September 2001 attacks in the United States as a way to cripple American economic, military, and political power. Targets were selected for symbolic reasons-the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and probably the White House. Days before the September assault, two al-Qaeda operatives assassinated the military commander of the Northern Alliance, Masood. Bin Laden expected a vigorous American response to these attacks, and he counted on the harshness of the response to mobilize Muslims worldwide against the United States and the West. Instead, the response was worldwide sympathy for the victims in the United States and the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
The fall of Afghanistan to the Northern Alliance with ~he assistance of the U.S. military was a major setback for bin Laden. The case of the Taliban's fall was unexpected. Loss of key leaders, such as Mohammad Atef, was also a blow. Bin Laden retreated into the Tora Bora complex, where he stayed until early December. Bin Laden, his family, and around 1,000 fighters escaped into Pakistan. Efforts by U.S. intelligence have been unable to locate his whereabouts. Most observers believe that he is being protected in the remote areas of northwest Pakistan outside of the reach of the Pakistani government. Even with a low profile, bin Laden is considered a hero to many Muslims because he stood up to the United States.
Constantly cited by radical Muslim Groups is that June 5-10, 1967, Israel conducts preemptive war against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. April 15, 1968 Palestinc Liberation Organization (PLO) selects Yasser Arafat to become chair of the Executive Committtee. And July 28 of the same year First aircraft highjacking by the Popular Front for the
(P LP) Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
From here I will list in alphabetical order other major players in the current “ Matrix of ‘Al-Qaeda’.
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) (Middle East)
The most notorious terrorist group in the Middle East in the period from 1974 until the early 1990s. Sabri al-Banna founded the group on November 22, 1974, and he assumed the name Abu Nidal (Father of the Revolution). His purpose was to protest the involvement of Syrian forces in the Lebanese civil war. For a time, the group had the name Black June to commemorate the uprising of the Palestinians against the Jordanians in June 1974. He modeled the ANO on the strategy and tactics of the Jewish terrorist group the Stern Gang. His opposition to Syrian intervention in Lebanon moderated, and he turned his attention to Israeli targets.
Abu Nidal had success in recruiting activists, and soon the Abu Nidal, group had several hundred hard-core in members ready to carry out operations. His hit team consisted of three or four members who were to study and then attack a designated target. From 1974 to 1990 the ANO carried out operations in 20 countries, and it killed or injured nearly 900 persons. One such example was the bombing of a Gulf Air aircraft on September 23, 1983, near Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, that killed 111 passengers and crew. During its heyday, the ANO's headquarters was in Baghdad, Iraq, but most of its operations came out of Lebanon. With an operation base in Lebanon, Abu Nidal was able to recruit from the Palestinian refugee camps. Many of the ANO's operations targeted the Palestine Liberation Organization and its head, Yasser Arafat. A blood feud developed between Abu Nidal and Arafat that continued to Abu Nidal's death.
Since 1990, the Abu Nidal Organization has deteriorated and has become almost inactive. In the 1980s, terrorist experts classified ANO as one of the most active and dangerous terrorist groups operating. Political pressure from Western and Middle Eastern governments, internal dissention, and the health of Abu Nidal have all played roles in weakening the ANO. Political pressure on Iraq (1983), Syria (1987), Libya (1999), and Egypt (1999) caused the ANO to move its operations to Baghdad, Iraq.
Another major factor in the eclipse of the group was a purge of members of the ANO by Abu Nidal in 1989. Abu Nidal became fearful of dissidents in the ANO at his training camps in Libya. He purged 150 of his 800 followers and had them executed. This action caused two leaders of the ANO, Atef Abu Baker and Abdel Rahman Issa, to break with Abu Nidal in November 1989. In addition, news of the executions hurt the ability of ANO to recruit, and membership has lagged since the purge. Much of ANO's financial support has also dried up because of its lack of support from patron states. Barry Rubin reported in The Jerusalem Post in 2002 that Abu Nidal and his supporters are reported to have killed 300 people and wounded more than 650 others in a wide variety of attacks, most of them in Western Europe.
Abu Nidal had periodic health problems, including a heart condition, and he was in virtual retirement in Baghdad, Iraq. He retained control over the Abu Nidal Organization, but its last major operation was the assassination of a Jordanian diplomat in 1994. Nidal had some form of skin cancer, and he was receiving medical attention in Baghdad until August 2002. On August 14, 2002, Iraqi intelligence agents of the Mukhabarat surrounded the villa where Abu Nidal was living and attacked it. Abu Nidal was either shot or he shot himself to evade arrest. He died in a local hospital later the same day. The Abu Nidal Organization died with him. See also Arafat, Mohammed Yasser; Nidal, Abu; Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Suggested readings: Marie Colvin and Sonya Murad, "Executed," Sunday Times (London) (August 25, 2002), p. 13; Con Coughlin, "He Who Lives by Terrorism," Sunday Telegraph (London) (August 25, 2002), p. 19; Kenneth Labich, James 0. Goldsborough, and Tony Clifton, "War among the Terrorists," Newsweek (August 14, 1978),p. 25; Yossi Melman, The Master Terrorist: The True Story behind Abu Nidal (New York: Adama Books, 1986); Barry Rubin, "A Man Who Showed That Terrorism Pays," Jerusalem Post (August 28, 2002), p. 7; Patrick Seale, Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire (New York: Random House, 1992).
Abu Sayyaf Group (Bearer of the Sword) (ASG) (Philippines)
The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), founded by Ustadz Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani (Abu Sayyaf), Amilhussin Jumaani, and Wahab Akbar, is one of the leading Muslim separatist groups in the Philippines. This group tion to the prospect of freeing the Burnhams. This effort received a setback when Philippine government troops engaged the Abu Sayyaf in Sirawal town on June 7, 2002, resulting in the deaths of Martin Burnham and Deborah Yap and the wounding of Gracia Burnham.
The increased American aid has allowed Philippine forces to harass the Abu Sayyaf. American troops are not allowed to conduct military operations, but advisors can give oral assistance and train Philippine forces. Military pressure has caused the Abu Sayyaf to split into three independent groups. Khadafy janjalani continues to lead one group and'its goal remains to establish an Islamic fundamentalist state. Another group, more interested in banditry, is under the leadership of Hamsiraji Sall. Leadership of the third group is unknown, but it was still active in the winter of 2003. Continuous military pressure is making it difficult for the Abu Sayyaf to continue operations, but it is still able to stage a terrorist attack or a kidnapping.
Suggested readings: Phar Kim Beng, "Abu Sayyaf s Tactical Game for Moro Loyalty," Straits Times (Singapore) (June 5, 2000), p. 50; Penny Crisp, "A Religious War Comes to Paradise," Asiaweek (May 5, 2000), p. 20; Miriam Donohoe, "Filipino Officials Allege Gang, Army in Collusion," Irish Times (February 16, 2002), p. 10; Rohan Gunaratna, "The Evolution and Tactics of the Abu Sayyaf Group, Jane's Intelligence Review 13, no. 7 (July 1, 2001); Richard Lloyd Parry, "Treasure Island," Independent (London) (March 4, 2001), p. 18; Ilene R. Prusher and Simon Montlake, "Across Southeast Asia, Ripple Effect of Attacks on US," Christian Science Monitor (September 18, 2001), p. 7; Maria A. Ressa, Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia (New York: Free Press, 2003); Marites D. Vitug and Tony Clifton, "A Rebellion with a Cause," Newsweek (May 15, 2000), p. 47.
Afghan Arabs (Middle East)
The unintended consequence of the Afghanistan-Soviet War in the 1980s, was the formation of a cadre of Afghan Arabs willing to carry on a war with the West. Among fundamentalist Muslims, the war against the atheistic Soviets was a j1had, or holy war. Volunteers had come from all over the Muslim world to fight in this holy cause. These volunteers started arriving in 1986, partly stimulated by Saudi Arabian Airlines giving a 75 percent discount on flights to Peshawar, Pakistan, for those joining the mujahideen. Religious support came from Pakistan and other Arab states, but weaponry and supplies came from the United States. Pakistani security authorities kept the Americans away from the Afghanistan fighters. At least 25 countries had natives fighting in the Afghanistan War. Estimates of the number of Afghan Arabs that fought in Afghanistan range from the CIA estimate of 17,000 to the British intelligence source of Jane's Intelligence Review's 14,000. Jane's also broke down the totals by nationality-5,000 Saudis, 3,000 Yemenis, 2,800 Algerians, 2,000 Egyptians, 400 Tunisians, 370 Iraqis, 200 Libyans, and a score of other nationalities. One observer noted that, for the Afghan Arabs, "Afghanistan was like a university which introduced a new ideology and school of thought." After the war, most of these Afghan Arabs returned to their native lands full of devotion to the Islamist cause. Other Afghan Arabs moved to western cities, especially London and Frankfurt, because they were unwelcome in their native lands.
In the past decade, whenever an opportunity arose to advance the Islamist cause, Afghan Arabs appeared on the scene. Algerian Afghan Arabs provided the military leaders and fighters for the Armed Islamic Group and the Islamic Salvation Front in the Algerian civil war in the 1990s. Next, Afghan Arabs appeared in Albania to train the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and then to fight in Kosovo. Another group appeared in the Philippines to form the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group. Afghan Arabs have also been active in Chechnya fighting Russian military forces. Many Afghan Arabs also returned to Afghanistan and fought for the Taliban.
A number of leaders emerged among the Afghan Arabs. Most notable among these Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. It is from the ~adre of Afghan Arabs that bin Laden has been able to recruit members for his network.
Suggested readings: Mark Huband, Warriors of the Prophet: The Struggle for Islam (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999); Roland jacquard, In the Name of Osama Bin Laden: Global Terrorism and the Bin Laden Brotherhood (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002); Elizabeth Shogren and Douglas Frantz, "U.S. Aid to Afghan Rebels Proves a Deadly Boomerang," Los Angeles Times (August 2, 1993), p. Al.
Albanian Macedonian National Liberation Army (NLA) (Macedonia)
Ali Ahmeti (1959- ) is the leader of the Albanian Macedonian National Liberation Army (NLA). He was born on January 4, 1959, into an Albanian Muslim family in Kicevo, Macedonia. His early life was spent in the village of Zajas near Kicevo. He studied philosophy at the University of Pristina in Kosovo (then in Yugoslavia). Yugoslavian authorities imprisoned him for two months for his activities in the 1981 uprising of Albanian students at the University of Pristina. After his release from prison, Ahmeti fled to Switzerland. In Switzerland, Ahmeti joined the Movement for an Albanian Socialist Republic in Yugoslavia. His political views at this time were those of an Albanian nationalist with a strong Marxist-Leninist orientation.
Ahmeti decided in the early 1990s to return to the Balkans and organize forces against Yugoslavia and Macedonia. By 1993, he was back in Macedonia organizing guerrilla groups. During the Kosovo War, he became affiliated with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and fought beside the KLA in that war. After the success of the KLA in Kosovo, Ahmeti decided to adopt the same guerrilla strategy in Macedonia. This strategy was to initiate open guerrilla warfare followed by a willingness to negotiate to attract the Western powers to intervene on his side against the Macedonian government. He also had an experienced army because many of the military leaders and fighters in the National Liberation Army had fought in Kosovo and they brought their weapons with them. The National Liberation Army launched its offensive in February 2001. This strategy of inviting outside powers was successful, with the Western powers intervening in the civil war on the side of the Albanian minority and ensuring a political settlement. Ahmeti continued to claim that constitutional and political guarantees were his only goals, and in early June 2002, he established a new political party. This party, the Democratic Union for Integration, is the personal creation of Ahmed, and he used his reputation as an Albanian military leader to challenge the Macedonian government in the September 2002 elections. This gamble was successful, as his party is now one of the two coalition parties heading the government. Ahmeti has made the transition from guerrilla leader to politician, but his inclusion on the Bush administration's list of outlawed Albanian terrorists still leaves his status questionable.
Suggested readings: Timothy Garton Ash, "Is There a Good Terrorist?" New York Review of Books XLVIII, no. 19 (November 29, 2001); Ian Fisher, "Shadowy Rebel Assures Macedonia That He Seeks Peace," New York Times (August 17, 2001), p. A3; Ashley Fantz, "Yesterday's Terrorist, Today's Peacemaker," http://salon.com/ (accessed September 17, 2002); Richard Mertens, "Once a Rebel, Now a Reformer," Christian Science Monitor (July 18, 2002), p. 6; Alissa J. Rubin, "Rebel Leader No Longer Persona Non Grata," Los Angeles Times (August 20, 2001), p. A5; Daniel Simpson, "An Uphill Fight in Macedonia to Fend Off Chaos," New York Times (June 14, 2002), p. A6; R. Jeffrey Smith, "Birth of New Rebel Army," Washington Post (March 30, 2001), p. Al; Nicholas Wood, "Macedonian Rebel Chief Calls Off War," Guardian (London) (September 28, 2001), p. 18.
Amal is a Lebanese Shi'ite group that has resorted to terrorism. Musa al-Sadr founded the political party Harakat al-Mahrumin (Movement of the Deprived) in 1974 to represent the interests of the Shi'ite population in Lebanon. In July 1975, he formed the militia wing Amal (Harakat Amal) (Movement of Hope). Amal comes from the acronym AMAL, from Afwaj al-Muqawama al Lubnaniya (Lebanese Resistance Detachment). Al-Sadr used Amal as a fighting force to protect the Shi'ites in southern Lebanon. At first, al-Sadr had Amal cooperate with Kamal al-jumblatt's Lebanese National Movement, but he found jumblatt's role in the Lebanese civil war in 1975 unsatisfactory. The Amal found itself caught in the middle of the civil war and sometimes had to fight on one side or the other. The presence of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) complicated the situation. Caught in the middle of the struggle between the PLO and Israel, Amal forces found that they had difficulties with both sides. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 caused even more chaos. AI-Sadr's disappearance and probable murder during a visit in Muarnmar Qaddafi's Libya in August 1978 produced a change of leadership in Amal.
The loss of al-Sadr changed the orientation of Amal. His prestige as a religious leader could not be matched. Husain al-Husami, a Shi'ite parliamentary leader, replaced al-Sadr, but he proved to be ineffective as a leader. Nabih Berri, a lawyer who had studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris, reptaced at Husaim in 1980. In the interval, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 had changed the political landscape for Shi'ites. Ayatollah Khomeini's fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iran revitalized Lebanon's Shi'ites. Membership in Amal had always been small, but the number of sympathizers had been large. Much of its financial support came from urban Shi'ites, but they did little of the fighting. Relations between Amal and the leaders of Syria have always been good, and in the 1980s, Syrian president Hafiz al-Asad counted on its support during the Syrian intervention in eastern Lebanon.
Amal's Syrian ties and opposition to PLO activities in southern Lebanon led to fighting between Amal and the PLO in 1982. Amal leaders were uncertain about the Israeli invasion in 1982 until it became apparent that the Israelis wanted to occupy southern Lebanon. Amal has had an anti-Israel orientation, but its bad relationship with the PLO had deteriorated to the point that its defeat was watched with some satisfaction. Israeli efforts to incorporate the Amal into a militia group to support Israeli occupation failed, and hostilities opened between the Amal and Israeli military forces.
Berri's leadership of Amal has had to withstand several serious challenges. Husain Musawi, a member of Amal's Command Council, broke with Amal in the summer of 1982. He wanted to recast Amal as a proKhomeini group and found a Shl'ite Islamic state. After leaving Amal, Musawi founded the Islamic Amal Movement. Another challenger was the Shi'ite religious leader Mufti Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din. He led the religious wing of Amal in a revolt against Berri, but in early 1983, he left Amal to engage in Shi'ite politics on the national level. Berri has been able to withstand these challenges, but he remains first among equals, and much of his energy is devoted to persuasion rather than the giving of orders.
The most serious threat to Amal has come from the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah. Whereas most of the leadership of Amal is secular, the leadership of Hezbollah is clerical. These fundamentalist Shi'ite clerics called for a Shi'ite Islamic state modeled after Ayatollah Khomeini's regime in Iran and attracted significant support from militant Shi'ites, taking members away from Amal. These differences led to a civil war between Amal and Hezbollah that broke out in May 1988. Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad distrusted Hezbollah because of its close ties to Iran. This civil war only lasted until January 1989, when the Damascus Agreement was signed under the auspices of Syria. Both groups then turned their attention to the fight against Israel.
Gradually the leadership of Amal has turned away from military operations against Israel to a greater involvement in Lebanese politics. Hezbollah's leaders have attacked Berri for being too moderate and as an enemy of an Islamic revolution in Lebanon. These attacks led Berri to adopt more militant tactics in the late 1980s, but his entry into mainstream Lebanese politics in the 1990s reduced his interest in the war against watched with some satisfaction. Israeli efforts to incorporate the Amal into a militia group to support Israeli occupation failed, and hostilities opened between the Amal and Israeli military forces.
Berri's leadership of Amal has had to withstand several serious challenges. Husain Musawi, a member of Amal's Command Council, broke with Amal in the summer of 1982. He wanted to recast Amal as a proKhomeini group and found a Shl'ite Islamic state. After leaving Amal, Musawi founded the Islamic Amal Movement. Another challenger was the Shi'ite religious leader Mufti Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din. He led the religious wing of Amal in a revolt against Berri, but in early 1983, he left Amal to engage in Shi'ite politics on the national level. Berri has been able to withstand these challenges, but he remains first among equals, and much of his energy is devoted to persuasion rather than the giving of orders.
The most serious threat to Amal has come from the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah. Whereas most of the leadership of Amal is secular, the leadership of Hezbollah is clerical. These fundamentalist Shi'ite clerics called for a Shi'ite Islamic state modeled after Ayatollah Khomeini's regime in Iran and attracted significant support from militant Shi'ites, taking members away from Amal. These differences led to a civil war between Amal and Hezbollah that broke out in May 1988. Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad distrusted Hezbollah because of its close ties to Iran. This civil war only lasted until January 1989, when the Damascus Agreement was signed under the auspices of Syria. Both groups then turned their attention to the fight against Israel.
Gradually the leadership of Amal has turned away from military operations against Israel to a greater involvement in Lebanese politics. Hezbollah's leaders have attacked Berri for being too moderate and as an enemy of an Islamic revolution in Lebanon. These attacks led Berri to adopt more militant tactics in the late 1980s, but his entry into mainstream Lebanese politics in the 1990s reduced his interest in the war against
Israel. Berri's election as president of the Lebanese parliament on November 20, 1992, is an indication of his more moderate image. See also Hezbollah (Party of God); al-Sadr, Musa.
Suggested readings: Fouad Ajarm, The Vanisbed Imam: Musa al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986); Hala jaber, Hezbollah: Born witb a Vengeance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997); Augustus Richard Norton, Amal and the Sbi'a: Struggle for the Soul of Lebanon (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1987); Robin Wright, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985).
Al-Aqsa lntifada (Palestine)
Al-Aqsa Intifada is the latest Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank. This uprising started on September 28, 2000, in response to the visit to the Temple Mount, or as the Arabs called it "Haram at-Sharif," in Jerusalem of the Likud political leader Ariel Sharon. Tensions had been building among Palestinians over the failure of the implementation of the Oslo Peace Accords of 1993. Palestinians had received a measure of self-government in the accords with the Palestinian Authority (PA), but the failure of negotiations for the evacuation of Israeli military and settlers from what the Palestinians perceived as their territory was the catalyst for the uprising. The collapse of the Camp David talks in 1998 also frustrated of the Palestinians.
The Aqsa Intifada differed from the 1987 Intifada in both motivation and intensity. In 1987, an accident in the Gaza Strip resulted in a spontaneous uprising against the Israelis. In contrast, a symbolic event in Jerusalem led to an organized uprising. Two factors are important to an understanding of this Intifada: the frustration of younger elements in the Palestinian nationalist movement with the old guard around Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the inability of the Arafat's forces to control the Islamists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Soon after the outbreak of violence, younger elements within the Palestinian Authority (PA) organized groups to carry out urban guerrilla tactics against the Israelis. Then, in October 2000, al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades appeared to fight against the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Seven members of Arafat's al-Fatah came together and formed the new group. While this group claimed allegiance to Arafat, the leaders maintained no ties with him. Anti-Israeli activity by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades joined with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to carry the battle to the Israelis. A major tactic has been suicide bombings within Israel, but these operations have not been as frequent as those of Hamas. The most serious was on June 19, 2002, when an Aqsa Martyrs Brigades suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a bus stop in Jerusalem that killed 6 persons and wounded 43 others.
The Israelis responded with an emphasis on coercive measures, such as military occupations of refugee camps and major Palestinian urban sites. Economic sanctions against Palestinians have been harsh, including sealing off Israel frorm the territories. -'\lass arrests of suspected terrorist leaders have become routine. Finally, Israel has resorted to extrajudicial killings of Palestinian leaders. None of these measures has been effective in ending the Intifada. Palestinians have been fighting the battle for international public opinion almost as much as the war against Israel.
The impact of the Aqsa Intifada has been the almost total breakdown of the Palestinian economy and social life in the occupied territories and the weakening of the Israeli economy. Economic life has ceased to exist for most Palestinians. Frequent military interventions into the occupied territories of Gaza nd the West Bank have stopped any attempts to reestablish a functioning economy. Schools and universities have been closed. Suicide strikes and loss of Palestinian labor has also impacted the Israeli economy. Failure of leadership on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides have allowed the Aqsa Intifada to continue long after its political message had been received. The inability of Israel to deal with the settlement problem and the inability of Palestinians to control terrorism have made any attempt to end the Aqsa Intifada futile. See also Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades; Hamas (Haarakat al-Muqawama al-Islami) (Islamic Resistance Movement); Intifada; Islamic jihad.
Suggested readings: Ghassan Andoni, "A Comparative Study of Intifada 1987 and Intifada 2000," in Roane Carey (ed.), The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid (London: Verso, 2001); Kirsten E. Schulze, "Camp David and the Al-Aqsa Intifada: An Assessment of the State of the IsraeliPalestinian Peace Process, July-December 2000)," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 24, no. 3 (MayJune 2001); Joshua Sinai, "Why Israel Can't Resolve the New Palestinian Intifada," Journal of Counterterrorism & Security International 7, no. 3 (Spring, 2001); Khalil Shikaki, "Palestinians Divided," Foreign Affairs (January 2002/February 2002), p. 89; Khaled Abu Toameh, "Anatomy of Rage," Jerusalem Report (March 26, 2001), p. 22.
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Kataib Shuhada Al-Aqsa) (Palestine)
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades has been one of the leading terrorist groups operating during the Palestinian Aqsa Intifada. Shortly after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada on September 28, 2000, seven veterans of Yasser Arafat's al-Fatah met at the Balata Refugee Camp near Nablus on the West Bank and decided to form al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades to carry the war to Israel. This meeting was held in October 2000 at Nablus's Balata refugee camp. Among the founders were Nasser Awais, Yasser Badawi, Maged Masri, and Raed Karmi. They named the group after alAqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The leaders have maintained their loyalty to Arafat, but they have had reservations about the leadership in the Palestinian Authority (PA). They claim that the group is independent from Arafat and the Palestinian Authority (PA). They also have strong ties to Marwan Barghouthi, the head of al-Fatah's militia, Tanzim.
Members of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades are not as intransigent as those in Islamic Jihad or Hamas, but they are willing to conduct a guerrilla war against Israel until Israeli troops withdraw from the occupied territories and a Palestinian state exists. At first, most of the operations were against Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers on the West Bank, but this changed after the violence escalated, and they became willing to use any tactics, including suicide bombers to achieve this goal. Initially, most of the suicide bombers were men, but since 2002 most have been women. These attacks threatened Israeli security so Israeli authorities targeted the leadership of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades for assassination. Raed Karmi and Mahmoud Titi have been killed, and Awais and Masri were captured by the Israelis. Despite these losses, the at-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have still initiated operations in Israel.
Efforts by the Palestinian Authority to bring al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades under control have been unsuccessful. Militants in leadership positions have refused to heed the calls from al-Fatah to cease terrorist attacks. They believe that the moderate policies of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority will not force the Israelis to come to the bargaining table. The arrest oi Barghouthi by the Israelis has been a blow because he had considerable prestige among the rank-and-file of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. In the middle of 2003, a stalemate began between the leadership of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades on one side and Arafat and the Palestinian Authority on the other side that will not be broken until one or the other concedes. See also Al-Aqsa Intifada; Arafat, Mohammed Yasser; Barghouthi, Marwan bin Khatib.
Suggested readings: Ferry Biedermann, "Secular and Deadly: The Rise of the Martyrs' Brigades," http://Salon.com/ (accessed March 19, 2002); Peter Hermann, "Palestinian Dissension Confounds a 'Martyr,"' Baltimore Sun (January 9, 2003), p. 1A; Michael Tierney, "Yo and Ready to Kill," Herald (Glasgow 2002), p. 8; Tracy Wilkinson, "End for a 'Martyr,"' Los Angeles Times (D 2002), p. 1.
Armed Islamic Group (Groupes Islamiques Armes) (GIA) (Algeria)
The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is the most active terrorist group in Algeria. This group was formed shortly after the Algerian military seized control of the Algerian government in 1992. Members of the GIA advocate an Islamist state and are willing to use unrestricted terror to achieve this end. Djaffar Alghani, an early leader, conducted a campaign against the Algerian intelligentsia, killing administrators, teachers, and journalists. Over 40 journalists have been assassinated in almost a decade. The GIA has also targeted foreigners, including Christian priests and tourists. This campaign by the GIA has contributed to the bulk of the more than 70,00 people killed in this religious civil war against the Algerian state.
The Armed Islamic Group had good relations with the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) until its violence alienated the FIS leadership. By the mid-1990s, however, hostilities had broken out between the two groups. Even the moderates in the GIA, Mohammed Said and Abderazak Redjam, were executed by the more externe GIA leader, Djamel Zitouni, in 1994. Algerian authorities killed a number of the GIAs leaders as well, including its military leaders Mourad Sid Ahmed and Antar Zouabri. New leaders emerged and carried out terrorist operations against both the Algerian government and civilian targets. By the beginning of the 2000s so much bloodshed had taken place that even the most radical GIA leaders began to have reservations about continuing the campaign of terror. Isolated incidents of terrorism have continued, but the prospect of the Algerian government becoming more accommodating to the demands of the Islamic fundamentalists has led to a decrease in agitation by them.
Suggested readings: Ed Blanche, "Death Toll Mounts in Algerian Bloodbath," Jane's Intelligence Review 9, no.1 (March 1, 1997), p. 119; Elie Chalala, "Killing Fields," In These Times (January 10, 1999), p. 12; James Ciment, "The Battle of Algiers," In These Times 22 (December 28, 1997) p. 19; William B. Quandt, Between Ballots and Bullets: Algeria's Transition from Authoritarianism (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1998); Milton Viorst, "Algeria's Long Night," Foreign Affairs (November-December 1997), p. 86; Michael Willis, The Islamist Cballenge in Algeria: A Political History (Washington Square: New York University Press, 1996).
Bakr, Yasin Abu (1930- ) (Trinidad)
Born in 1930 in Trinidad, Yasin Abu Bakr is the spiritual leader of the Trinidad Islamist group jamaat al-Muslimeen (Society of Muslims). His first career was as a policeman. After Bakr became attracted to the American Black Muslim movement and its brand of Islam, he founded the jamaat al-Muslimeen in 1969 with only 12 members. After establishing a religious oommunity, Bakr developed close ties to Libya's President Muarnmar Qaddafi and made frequent trips to Libya to consult with him. Over the years, the Libyan government has subsidized the growth of Bakr's group. By 2001, the jamaat alMuslimeen had between 6,000 and 7,000 members.
Bakr was a minor religious leader in Trinidad until the jamaat at-Mustimeen attempted a coup against the Trinidad government in 1990. He and followers had been angered over delays in resolving a land dispute with the government. Bakr gathered 114 members of the jamaat a]-Muslimeen for a coup attempt against the government in Port of Spain on July 27, 1990. Their first action was to bomb the police headquarters building. Next, Bakr led his supporters armed with AK-47s to seize the parliament building, known as the Red House, and occupy the Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) station. After seizing the building, Bakr held government officials, including Prime Minister Arthur Robinson, hostage.Bakr and the jamaat al-Muslimeen held the hostages for six days while hostage negotiations proceeded. An acting prime minister signed an amnesty for the hostage-takers, and the hostages were freed on August 1, 1990. Soldiers arrested Bakr and his 114 compatriots and threw them into jail, but lawyers for Bakr and his supporters appealed their arrest. After the Port of Spain courts finally accepted the amnesty, all of the hostage-takers were released from prison in 1992. They also won nearly $1 million from the government for wrongful destruction and occupation of jamaat al-Muslimeen property. This amnesty and the financial settlement outraged many in Trinidad because 24 people had been killed during the coup attempt.
Bakr and his jamaat al-Muslimeen remain controversial. Government officials remain nervous about Bakr's political ambitions. His contacts with Qaddaft have kept him in the spotlight as a potential terrorist. The arrest of a man in Florida with an affiliation with the jamaat at-Muslimeen in late 2001 for attempting to buy assault rifles and machine guns has created further uncertainty. Bakr has made efforts to keep a low political profile while at the same time posing as the champion of the lower classes. Despite fears that he had contacts with terrorists, Bakr condemned the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, and he has refused to participate-in anti-American demonstrations. See also Qaddafi, Muammar.
Suggested readings: David Gonzalez, "Failed Rebel's Boast: At Least He Rules the Street," New York Times (January 9, 2002), p. A4; Angela Potter, "After Terrorist Attacks, Trinidad Puts Muslim Rebel Group under Renewed Scrutiny," Associated Press Worldstream (October 28, 2001), p. 1; Peter Richards, "Radical -Muslim Group Focus of Trinidad and Tobago Poll," Inter Press Ser vice (October 4, 2002), p.1; Scott Wheeler, "Trinidad and Tobago-Terrorists Develop Island Operations," Insight (December 24, 2002), p. 1.
Black September (Palestine)
Black September was the terrorist wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Palestinian camps had been set up in Jordan in the aftermath of the Arab defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Adherents of Yasser Arafat's a]-Fatah used these base camps to launch military operations against Israel. On March 21, 1968, Israeli forces invaded Jordan to attack the Karameh Base camp. A battle ensued during which the Palestinians, with the help of Jordanian army units, were able to fight the Israelis to a stalemate. Palestinian commandos from both al-Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) started treating Jordanian territory as part of a Palestinian state. Affairs deteriorated so much that King Hussein of Jordan unleashed his army against the Palestinian commandos on September 10, 1970. Thousands of al-Fatah and PFLP fighters were killed in the fighting. Subsequently, the leadership of al-Fatah moved its operations to Leba tary operations were curtail 1971, Arafat and the central Fatah allowed the militant separate terrorist group to September. Salah Khalaf (als lyad), a former schoolteacher Fatah, became the operation September. His chief assi Youssef. The purpose of the g and implement special operat leaders were all officers who to carry out secret missions.
Black September carried spectacular terrorist acts. A si ist squad assassinated Wasf minister of Jordan, on the ste Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, on No to avenge his role in the su Palestinians in September 19 minor operations, four Black tives, two men and two wo Sabena Flight 517 from Bru Tel Aviv, Israel. After the pla Airport in Israel, an Israeli a the hostages, killed the two n the two women.
The most notorious ope September was the massac Olympic Team at the 1972 pics. A hit team attacked th team at the Olympic Village 1972, and the final casualti lis and 5 Palestinians. Plarm tion knew that the coverage would ensure worldwide bloody operation horrified t Arabs considered it a triurr bers of the Black September Embassy in Bangkok, Thai ber 28, 1972, but this opera out the violence of the Violence associated with BI the Munich operation and I of three diplomats, includi bassador to Sudan Cleo A. 2, 1973, in Khartoum, Su type of operations counterp Palestinian cause. Palestine nization leaders decided in
erations of Black September. Later in 1981, leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization reconstituted Black September briefly to counter the anti-PLO atrocities of Abu Nidal and the Abu Nidal Organization.
The Israeli government formed a special unit to avenge the Munich Olympics massacre. Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, created a special group under the name Wrath of God (MlVtzan Elohim) to seek out and kill those responsible for the massacre. During 1972 and 1973, this group assassinated those key Palestinian terrorist leaders that the Israelis believed responsible for Munich. The Wrath of God killed at least six leaders of Black September. All Hasan Salameh was a special target because the Israelis blamed him for Munich. Operations of the Wrath of God came to a sudden end in July 1975 when an Israeli hit team in a case of mistaken identity assassinated a Moroccan waiter on July 21, 1975, in Lillehammer, Norway. Israeli agents thought the waiter was Ali Hasan Salameh. In the aftermath of this bungled affair the Israelis closed down the Wrath of God. This closure did not mean that the Israeli intelligence services gave up on hunting down and killing Salameh. An Israeli hit team blew Salameh up with a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon on January 22, 1979. See also Abu Nidal Organization (ANO); Arafat, Mohammed Yasser; Nidal, Abu; Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Suggested readings: Christopher Dobson, Black September: Its Short, Violent History (New York: Macmillan, 1974); Christopher Dobson and Ronald Payne, The Terrorists: Their Weapons, Leaders and Tactics, rev. ed. (New York: Facts on File, 1982); Serge Groussard, The Blood of Israel: The Massacre of the Israeli Athletes: The Olympics 1972 (New York: Morrow, 1975).
Jemaah Islamiyah (Islamic Community, or JI)Indonesia
Abu Bakar Bashir (1937 or 1938-)is the head of terrorist operations for the Indonesian Islamic extremist group Jemaah Islamiyah. He was born on April 4, 1964, in the village of Sukamanah, West Java. He was the eldest of 13 children from a poor Muslim family of religious teachers. He attended local Islamic schools at Ciganjur. Hamball became an opponent of the Indonesian dictator Suharto, and in 1985 he went into exile in Malaysia. It was in Malaysia that Hambali met Abu Bakar Bashir, and he became one of Bashir's followers. In 1987, Hamball volunteered to fight in Afghanistan. He returned to Malaysia in 1990, where he married a local Malaysian-Chinese woman. By this time, he had become one of the leaders of the jemaah Islamiyah.
After the collapse of the Suharto regime in 1998, Hambali stayed in Malaysia for a while before returning to Indonesia. His Afghanistan military training helped him in the planning for terrorist operations. He was the mastermind behind the jemaah Islamiyah's anti-Christian bombing campaign in December 2000. In April 2001, Hambali became the operations chief of jemaah Islamiyah responsible for operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore. He succeeded Mahamad lqbal B. R. Rahman, an Indonesian cleric, who had been arrested by Malaysian authorities. Hamball has always operated in the background, but his involvement in other terrorist activities is suspected. He is now wanted in both Malaysia and Singapore for his terrorist activities. His name surfaced immediately after the'Bali, bombing on October 12, 2002, as a chief suspect. The arrests of Amrozi, an East Javanese car repairman and a participant in the Bali bombing, and Imam Samudra, a computer engineer, confirmed the involvement of Hambali in planning the bombing.
In February 2003, Hambah realized his high profile made him a target and he resigned as operations chief of Jemaah Islamiyah.
The manhunt for Hambali intensified after the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, in early August 2003.
Hekmatyar, Gulbuddin (1947-) (Afghanistan)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is a fundamentalist Afghan political leader and a rival of the Taliban. He was born in 1947 in Imam Saheb in the northern province of Kunduz, Afghanistan, into a Ghilzai Pushtun family. His initial education was at the Kabul military cadet school of Mahtabqila, but his political activities there caused him to leave school. He returned to Kunduz and attended the Shirkhan High School. He is by training an engineer, but he never received his engineering degree from Kabul University. While at the university, he was instrumental in the founding of the radical Islamist Muslim Youth Organization of Afghanistan. Despite the lack of a degree, Hekmatyar taught engineering at the Kabul University for several years. In 1972, he was accused of killing a Maoist student, and the government of Sardar Muhammad Da'ud imprisoned him for this murder.
Hekmatyar's imprisonment and later his flight to Pakistan in 1973 led him to devote the rest of his life to Afghan politics. He founded the Islamic fundamental group Hizb-i Islami-i Afghanistan in 1974. Ahmed Rashid,,a Pakistani journalist, characterized his party as a "secretive, highly centralized, political organization whose cadres were drawn from educated urban Pashtuns." His goal for his party was to form a purified Islamic state in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar directed his group in resistance to the Afghanistan Communists in the late 1970s and against the Soviet forces in the 1980s.
Hekmatyar was a favorite of the Pakistani government because the Pakistani security agencies believed that they could control him. Part of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency's strategy was to send foreign aid to militant Islamic groups that were anti-American. As a result, Hekmatyar's forces of nearly 30,000 troops received nearly 70 percent of their assistance in their fight against the Soviet army from the ISI.
Hekmatyar also established a relationship with militant Islamist leader Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman because they shared a passion for a holy war against the Soviets and for the spread of their version of the Islamic religion. After the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1992, Hekmatyar challenged other muJahideen leaders for political power in Afghanistan. His rivalry with Ahmed Shah Masood, the military leader of the jamaiat-i Islami (Islamic Society) was particularly anti-American. As a result, Hekmatyar's forces of nearly 30,000 troops received nearly 70 percent of their assistance in their fight against the Soviet army from the ISI.
Hekmatyar also established a relationship with militant Islamist leader Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman because they shared a passion for a holy war against the Soviets and for the spread of their version of the Islamic religion. After the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1992, Hekmatyar challenged other muJahideen leaders for political power in Afghanistan. His rivalry with Ahmed Shah Masood, the military leader of the jamaiat-i Islami (Islamic Society) was particularly fierce. In August 1987, Hekmatyar was nearly killed by a car bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan. It was never proven who carried out the attempt.
In 1992, he became prime minister of the Afghanistan government, but his continuous fighting with other mujahideen groups led to a breakdown in civil order. Even during the war with the Soviets, the other mujahideen leaders never trusted him because of his open ambition. His staunchly anti-American posture made sure that no American political backing came to him. Much of Hekmatyar's support continued to come from the ISI. Pakistan ended their special relationship in late 1992 because he had refused to end the feuding with other mujahideen leaders. He became unpopular in Afghanistan because of the casualties caused by the bombardment of Kabul by forces under' his command. In June 1996, Hekmatyar was briefly prime minister of another Afghan government shortly before the Taliban seized Kabul. After failing to reach an understanding with the Taliban, he fled to Iran and lived in Tehran. In an interview with a news correspondent in September 2001, Hekmatyar continued to be critical of the Uruted States and to oppose without reservation the restoration of the exiled former Afghan monarch Zahir Shah. In February 2002, Hekmatyar returned to western Afghanistan and began plotting against the Hamid Karzai government. He made contact with senior Tallban and al-Qaeda leaders in an effort to conclude an alliance. Hekmatyar has become such a threat that an American rocket attack targeted him in May 2002, but he escaped harm. Since this attack Hekmatyar has become a growing threat to the security of the Karzal government in Afghanistan. In early December 2003, he issued a call for a holy war against coalition forces in Afghanistan in a 22minute speech contained in a compact disc. See also Abdel-Rachman, Sheikh Omar; Taliban (Students of Religious Schools).
Suggested readings: Maziar Bahari, "Warlord-in -Waiting," Newsweek (September 28, 2001), p. 35; Gerald Bourke, "Weary Kabul Expects the Worst," Guardian (London) (July 5, 1996), p. 17; James Dao, "Afghan Warlord May Team Up with Al Qaeda and Taliban," New York Times (May 30, 2002), p. A12; M. J. Goharil The Taliban: Ascent to Power (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); Robert D. Kaplan, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan (New York: Vintage Books, 200i-)-,Ralph H. Magnus and Eden Nasby, Afghanistan: Mullah, Marx, and Mujahid (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000); Alexander Nicoll, and Farhan Bokhari, "Pakistan PM Cools towards Hekmatyar," Financial Times (London) (August 17, 1992), p. 3; Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven, CT: Yale University 1992
Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Liberation Party) (HT) (Central Asia)
The Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Liberation Party) is a radical Islamic movement that advocates the uniting of the Muslim world under the rule of a caliphate modeled after the Rashid Caliphate (A.D. 632-A.D. 661). Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani Filastym, a Palestinian schoolteacher and Islamic judge, founded the HT in 1953 in Hebron. In his book The Islamic State (1962) he described the world of the prophet Muhammad and the spread of Islam as a model for the modern world. He advocated winning mass support to convert Muslim regimes rather than revolutionary action to overthrow them. He proposed an Islamic council that would elect a caliph who would have dictatorial powers and a highly centralized administrative structure to control political life and foreign policy. Islamic law (Sharia) would be implemented to govern Muslim society. The role of women would be restricted exclusively to the family. Once the Muslim world is united under the caliphate, then the expansion of Islam into the nonMuslim world would commence by means of a holy war (jihad).
Many of the ideas of the Hizb ut-Tahrir al Islami resemble those of the Wahhabi revival, but differences exist. Both adherents of HT and the Wahhabis want to reestablish an idealized Islamic state modeled on the one from the time of the prophet Muhammad. They also consider the Shi'ites as heretics and would expel them from Muslim states. Jews would suffer a similar fate. The major difference between the two is over tactics. Leaders of the HT advocate a peaceful transition to the purified Islamic state based on the view that all other Islamic movements are in error because HT alone has found the true way~ They have found Wahhabism too violent and counterproductive.
The Hizb ut-Tahrir at-Islami soon found itself in trouble with authorities in the Muslim states in the Middle East. Governments felt threatened by HT and its adherents were forced to go underground to avoid persecution. In 1974, members of HT attempted to assassinate Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Leaders moved to Europe and established headquarters in Germany and in Great Britam. Sheikh Zaloom, a Palestinian and former professor at Egypt's al-Azhar University, is the current head with a location in Europe, he runs a secret organization that raises funds and recruits followers.
Muslim students at British universities have been attracted to the HT. These recruits return to their native countries and establish secret cells of five to seven men. Only the cell leader knows the next level of organization and receives instructions from it. The growth of HT has been rapid, especially in Central Asia in the former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Authorities in these states have arrested and imprisoned those HT members whom they can identify. Most of those arrested are educated young men from large cities.
Suggested readings: Douglas Davis, "Islamic Fundamentalism with a Sugar Coating," Jerusalem Post (August 24, 1995), p. 7; David Harrison, "Battle for Islam's Future," Observer (London) (August 13, 1995), p. 12; Ahmed Rashid, Jibad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002).
The Intifada broke out over a minor incident in Gaza. On December 7, 1987, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) truck ran into another truck, killing four Palestinians and injuring seven others. Rumors spread among the Palestinians that the accident had been deliberate. During the funeral of three of the dead at the jabalya refuge~ camp in Gaza, a mass demonstration formed. Israeli troops intervened, but they were unable to disperse the rioters. Demonstrations spread throughout Gaza and the West Bank. Confrontations between the IDF and Palestinian youth became a daily occurrence. Palestinian leaders then initiated a campaign of civil disobedience against Israel. Israeli authorities responded by use of force, deportation of Intifada leaders, economic sanctions, curfews, school closings, and finally political assassination. A Mossad hit team assassinated PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad) in April 1987 in Tunis, Tunisia. This assassination only further intensified the Intifada. During the first year of the Intifada, the Israelis arrested more than 18,000 Palestinians. Slowly, the Israelis came to the realization that the Intifada was a mass uprising and military force alone could not end it.
Soon after the outbreak of the Intifada, the Palestinians formed a coordinating committee in the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU). This leadership group had 15 rotating members drawn from five Palestiman groups-al-Fatah, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Palestine Communist Party, and Islamic jihad. Each of these groups provided three members to the UNLU. Each time a member of the UNLU was arrested, a- new member would be appointed to replace him. The relationship between the UNLU and the PLO was loose because of the difficulty of communications between Palestine and Tunisia. The main mission of the UNLC was coordinating the activities of the Intifada. A secondary mission was the neutralization of Palestinian collaborators with Israel.
The Intifada lasted for nearly three years. Israeli authorities found the cost and the intensity of the Intifada unacceptable. Israeli forces always retained military supremacy, but the Palestinians refused to accept it. The notion that the Israelis could permanently occupy Palestinian territory proved illusory. It took negotiations in Oslo between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization to end the Intifada. After the Oslo Accords were signed in September 1993, peace was thought to be possible. This accord allowed autonomy for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and it had the support of the overwhelming majority of the Palestinians. However, this peace also proved to be illusory, and by the late 1990s the Palestinians became convinced that the peace process was dead. See also Arafat, Yasser; Al-Fatah; Islamic j1had; Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Suggested readings: Ghassan Andoni, "A Comparative Study of Intifada 1987 and Intifada 2000," in Roane Carey (ed.), The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartbeid (London: Verso, 2001); Don Peretz, Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990); Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari, Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising: Israel's Tbird Front (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990); Khalil Shikaki, "Palestinians Divided," Foreign Affairs (January-February 2002), P. 89.
Narnangani, Jurna (1969-2001) (Uzbekistan) juma Namangani was the military leader of the radical Islamist guerrilla group Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). born in 1969 in the village of Nama the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan. His name was jumabol Ahmadzha Khojaev. In 1987, when he was 18, drafted into the Soviet army. His caree Soviet army as a paratrooper was su and he reached the rank of se Numangani was sent to Afghanistan the Soviet-Afghan war to fight agai muiahideen. He came to respect the 2 as fighters, and this admiration ma reexamine his Muslim roots. After the army, Namangani became a folk Tahkir Abdoulialilovitch Yuldeshev, gious leader in Namangan, and sha vision of an Islamic state in Uzbekis first the Uzbekistan government to agitation from Islamic advocates, but it cracked down on radical Islamist Namangani and Yuldeshev fled to ne ing Tajikistan, where Namangam be guerrilla leader in the Tajik civil war side of the Islamic Renaissance Part) He was a successful military comman his reputation grew to almost mythic portions.
Namangani settled down to be a farmer and businessman. He purchased a large farm in the village of Hoit northeast of Garin in Tajikistan. His wife and daughter lived with him and he worked as a farmer. Later, Namangani purchased several trucks and entered the transportation business. His reputation soon attracted Islamic radicals, and they attempted to recruit him as a military leader to fight against the Uzbekistan government. After Yuldeshev visited and conversed with him in Hoit in 1997, Namangani traveled to Kabul, Afglaamstan, in the summer of 1998 for further talks with Yuldeshev, Osama bin Laden, and representatives of the Taliban government. As a result of these talks, Namangani and Yuldeshev founded the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan with the goal to overthrow the Uzbekistan government of Islam Karimov and establish an Islamic state.
Namangam returned to Tajikistan and began organizing a guerrilla army. In August 1999, Namangani's forces made a raid into Kyrgyzstan. Then, on August 25, 1999, the IMU declared a holy war (jihad) against the Uzbekistan government. From a fortified base camp in the Tavildara Valley of Tajikistan, Namangani launched a series of military operations against Uzbekistan.
Aid came from bin Laden and the government, but most of the monye comes from IMU's growing involvement in ghan opium trade. These sources of allowed Namangani to supply his with modern weapons and pay them salaries of between $100 and $500.
Namangani had striking successe military campaigns against Uzbekis til the American intervention into Asia in the aftermath of September 2001. Namangani died in the fighting against coalition forces on November 2001.
Suggested readings: Christian Cary Hot Zone," Newsweek
(October 8, 200 Lynne O'Donnell, "Al-Qa'ida Military St Killed,"
Australian (Sydney) (Nove 2001), p. 9; David Filipov, "Battle-Tes
mander," Boston Globe (October 26, A18; Ahmed Rashid, Jibad: The Rise o
Islam in Central Asia (New Haven, CT: University Press, 2002); Doug
Struck,Taliban Chief Feared in Homeland," Washington Post (November 10,
2001), p. A17.
Nasrallah, Hassan (1960- ) (Lebanon)
Hassan Nasrallah is the leader of Hezbollah (Party of God) in Lebanon. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon. His father was a Shl'ite vegetable seller, but his family traced its descent to the prophet Muhammad. He studied at the Baalbek Theological School in the Bekka Valley. The civil war in Beirut caused him to leave and travel in 1976 to the Iraqi holy city of Najaf to study Shi'ite theology. After an expulsion from Iraq by Saddam Hussein in 1978, Nasrallah traveled to Iran and met the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini. Returning to Lebanon, he joined the Amal, a Shi'ite terrorist organization, and became a follower of the Amal leader Abbas Musawi. His area of operation was in the Bekka valley of Lebanon.
Nasrallah joined the Hezbollah soon after its founding in 1982. Musawi and Sobhi Tufeili started the Hezbollah with the blessing of Khomeini and Iran's intelligence services. Tufeili was the first leader of Hezbollah, but he was replaced as its secretary-general in 1990. Nasrallah's mentor Musawi became the new chief of Hezbollah. Nasrallah acted as the organization's military leader until an Israeli helicopter attack killed Musawl, his family, and his bodyguards on February 16, 1992. Nasrallah whas on the 11-member ruling council of the Hezbollah and this council elected him as secretary-general on February 18, 1992. His main rival for leadership remained Tufeili.
Nasrallah's first action was to launch military attacks against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. These attacks involved rocket attacks and later suicide bombers. Military pressure by Hezbollah led to Israel withdrawing from southern Lebanon in May 2000. This retreat made Nasrallah popular both among the Shi'ites in Lebanon and in the Arab world.
Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) (Palestin The Palestine Islamic Jiliad is one of the n violent of the Palestinian groups that engaged in terrorist acts against Israel. ; al-Husseini and other activists from the C Strip formed the precursor of this grou 1964. They originally called their group Palestine Liberation Force before chan their name to the Palestine Islamic Ji This group became the predominant Pale ian terrorist organization in the Gaza S and it was often in opposition to Ya Arafat's al-Fatah. In 1971, Israeli police killed al-Husseini and arrested most of followers. While in prison, members of the Palestine Islamic j1had converted to the fundamentalist creed of the Islamists.
The Palestine Islamic Jihad reestablished itself after most of its members were released from prison in the early 1980s. In 1981, Fathi Shikaki, a Palestinian medical doctor, revived the Palestine Islamic Jiliad and associated it with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was also able to recruit the ex-prisoners when they returned to the Gaza Strip. Most of these members were still hostile toward at-Fatah, but a truce was arranged between the two groups. Shikaki was also able to recruit Sheikh Abdul al-Aziz Odeh, a popular lecturer in Islamic law and a strong Islamist preacher, at a large mosque in the Gaza Strip to the Palestine Islamic j1had. Shikaki's philosophy was to recruit a small group of hard-core militants to carry out operations against Israel regardless of the cost in lives and property. Because of Shikaki's favorable impression of the Ayatollah Komeini's regime, he sought and-received financial aid from the Iranian government.
Leaders of the Palestine Islamic jihad spent the first three years organizing the group before launching military operations against Israel. These operations commenced in late 1983. Besides conducting terror attacks against Israeli targets, the group mobilized Palestinian youth. In the early 1980s, the leadership of the Palestine Islamic j1had turned its attention to recruiting promising students at Bit Zeit University. Student recruits organized a series of student demonstrations. During one of these demonstrations on April 13, 1987, Israeli forces opened fire, killing a student and wounding several others. By the early 1990s, the leadership decided to adopt the tactic of suicide bombing. Both Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jiliad have specialized in suicide bombings, mostly inside Israel.
Israeli authorities believed that the Palestine Islamic Jihad posed a serious threat to the security of Israel and decided to repress it. Raids against the leadership of the Palestine Islamic j1had resulted in more than 50 arrests.
Odeh was one of the arres was deported along with severa leagues. These losses were ser Shikaki was able to escape Israel until 1986, When he received a prison sentence for smuggling Gaza. Rather than keep him Israeli authorities deported him to Lebanon August 1988. Shikaki's presence in Lebanon meant ties between the Palestine Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah became closer. He then moved to Damascus, Syria, in 1990 continued to provide leadership for th Islamic Jihad. Then on October 26 Israeli hit team assassinated S Valetta on the island of Malta. Abdullah Shallah, a former pr Middle Eastern politics at the Un South Florida, replaced him as head of the Palestine Islamic Jihad.
Leaders of the Pan Islamic Jihad have always had working relationship with the Palestinian Authority (PA) than has Hamas. This relationship made it easier for the leaders of the Palestine Islamic Jihad to accep with Israel in the summer of 2003.
Suggested readings: Mary Curtin of Islamic jihad Reported Slain," L Times (October 29,1995), p. AI; Mich "Ex-USF Prof Leads jihad," Tampa Tj tober 31, 1995), p. 1; Richard Harw Riddle of Islamic jihad," Washington tember 21, 1984), p. A27; Meir Hatina Salvation in Palestine (Tel Aviv).
Thalib, Jaffar Urnar (1961- ) (Indonesia)
Jaffar Umar Thalib is the leader of the Indonesian Islamic extremist paramilitary Laskar Jihad (Militia of the Holy War). He was born in 1961 in east Java. His father was a veteran of Indonesia's war of independence and a religious scholar who ran a religious school. Thallb received his early education at his father's religious school. At age 19, he moved to Jakarta where he studied Arabic. After a disagreement with the teacher, Thalib left Indonesia to study at a religious school in Lahore, Pakistan. The lure of the war in Afghanistan caused him to neglect his religious studies, and, beginning in 1987, he served with the mujahideen fighting the Soviet military forces. Thalib found the experience enlightening and at the same time he learned how to conduct a guerrilla war that could defeat a superpower. He also met Osama bin Laden at Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1987, but he found bin Laden unimpressive and called him lightweight.
Thalib returned to Indonesia and founded • network of religious schools. In these schools, Thalib advanced the idea of an Islamic state for Indonesia and strict adherence to Islamic law. He sat on an Islamic court in 2001 that sentenced a man to death by stoning for adultery and then he made certain that the sentence was carried out. This verdict was contrary to Indonesian law, but, after a brief arrest, Thalib was released. Thalib has always considered the United States as the main enemy of Muslims because of its support for Israel. Although Thalib has denied any association with al-Qacda, he has defended both the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and the events of Sept 2001, as legitimate operations a enemy of the Muslims. Thalib has a faithful following of between 3,000 and 10,000.
In April 2000, he founded the Laskar jihad to defend Muslims in a religious w ar against Christians in the Moluccan Islands this group to the Moluccan Island to intervene in fighting between Christians and Muslims. In this bloody war, casualties numbered over 6,000 and nearly 750,000 were displaced.
Despite this intervention the Laskar jihad, the Indonesian governement was reluctant to arrest Thalib. His followers are fanatical and the Indonesian wanted to avoid conflict with the Islamists of Thalib. Indonesian police finally him on May 4, 2002, after Muslim rioting in Ambon, Indonesia, killed 12 people. Police reluctance to charge him changed after the October 12, 2003 bombing on Ball that killed 188 and hundreds more. Because many of them were foreign nationals, foreign governments placed pressure on the Indonesian government to crack Islamist extremists.
The Indonesian court acquitted Thalib of inciting attacks on Christians and attacking the Indonesian government on Januari 30, 2003. Thalib has political ambitions for Indonesia becoming an Islamic state, he has threatened to reestablish the Laska in the event that Christians start persecuting Muslims in Indonesia.
Suggested readings: Don Greenl Boss Cleared of Incitement," Australia (January 31, 2003), p. 7; Andrew Mar Threat of jaffar," New York Times (2002), sec. 6, p. 45; Simon Montlakc, "Militant Group Threatens Indonesian Peace," Christian Science Monitor (April 4, 2002), p. 7; Grace Nirang, "Jihad Chief Held after Attacks in Indonesia," National Post (Canada) (May 6, 2002), p. A16; Richard C. Paddock, "Indonesian Extremist Backs Terror," Los Angeles Times (September 23, 2001), p. A4.
Al-Turabi, Abdallah Hassan (1932- ) (Sudan)
Hassan at-Turabi, is Sudan's leading Islamic fundamentalist leader. He was born in 1932 in Kassala in eastern Sudan into a merchant family. His father, a judge, was also a scholar of Islam and trained him in Islamic studies. AlTurabi attended EnglIsh-language schools in the Sudan before entering the British-run Gordon College in Khartoum. In 1955, he graduated with a degree in law. At the same time that he studied in Western schools, he became a secret member of the Khartoum branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In 1955, he won a scholarship to the University of London, where he earned a master's degree in law in 1957. In 1959, he won another scholarship and worked on a dissertation in law at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1961, al-Turabi traveled to the United States, and he was disturbed by the racial prejudice he encountered. After finishing his dissertation in 1964, al-Turabi traveled extensively in Europe.
Al-Turabi returned to Sudan in 1965 and entered Sudanese politics. He formed the Islamic Charter Front JCF) as an umbrella group to permit a variety of Islamic fundamentalist groups to influence politics. Winning a seat in the Sudanese parliament, al-Turabi served as attorney general of Gaafar Nirneiri's government. When outside the government, al-Turabi provided political opposition. From his writings and speeches, he soon became one of the leading Islamic fundamentalist political thinkers. Al-Turabi also converted the ICF into the National Islamic Front (NIF). His chance for political power emerged after the June 30 tary coup of General Omar aleral Bashir allowed al-Turabi Islamic fundamentalist military In 1991, al-Turabi launched an program that mandated the Isl the Sharia for Sudan.
After the Persian Gulf War, outspoken anti -Americanism leader in the Muslim world. His that all of the non-Islamic st Middle East were puppets of States and should be destroy tempted with some success to and Shi'ite Muslims into an inte lamiC alliance. His efforts led to tion of the Armed Islamic Move to carry out a new terrorist camp non-Islamic governments.
Among those enjoying Sudan hospitality in the early 1990s were Osama bin Laden and his supporters. In a conference in April 1991, at-Turabi assumed leadership of the Islamic Arab People's Conference (IAPC). Members of this conference formed the Popular International Organization (PIO) in Khartoum, Sudan, to coordinate the activities of the Islamic liberation struggle. This organization soon became affiliated with the Iranian government. Training camps to education and train terrorists were established in Sudan. At-Turabi also had connections with Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and with the participants in the 1993 plot to bomb the World Trade Center in New York City.
Al-Turabi's relationship with bin Laden had positive benefits for Sudan. Sudan's infrastructure of dams, roads, bridges, and ports needed building. Bin Laden's construction expertise and his financial connections made it easy to start a large public works program. This infrastructure upgrade was necessary because the government's Islamic policies had provoked a military uprising in southern Sudan from non-Muslims.
At-Turabi's relationship with al-Bashir soured in the late 1990s. Sudan had become a haven for terrorist groups with al-Turabi's blessings. In 1992, a dissident Sudanese national assaulted him in Ottawa, Canada, and al-Turabi blamed the United States for the assault. Pressure from the United States and the civil war in southern Sudan persuaded alBashir to declare his independence from alTurabi. Osama bin Laden had to relocate to Afghanistan and the profile of other terrorist groups tolerated by al-Turabi was lowered. Al-Turabi's influence has been reduced to that of a figurehead and the government has placed him under house arrest at his home in Khartoum in February 2001. The alBashir government has been reluctant to bring him before a court on serious changes, because it wants to avoid making him a martyr. President Bashir released Turabi from house arrest on October 14, 2003. Turabi has used his freedom to attack the Bashir government and its handling of the rebellion in southern Sudan. See also Bin Laden, Osama; Islamic Fundamentalism.
Suggested readings: Kamal Bakhit, "Turabi Released in Khartoum," Mideast-Mirror [London] (October 14, 2003), p. 1; David Hirst, "Behind the Veil of Sudan's Theocracy," Guardian (London) (May 27, 1997), p. 16; David Hirst, "Dark Times Loom for Visionary Sudan," Guardian (London) (May 26, 1997), p. 12; Fereydoun, Hoveyda, The Broken Crescent; The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998); Robert MacLaughlin, "Sudan the Coup de Grace," Arabies Trends (May 1, 2001), p. 1; Judith Miller, "Faces of Fundamentalism: Hassan al-Turabi and Muhammed Fadlallah," Foreign Affairs (November-December 1994), p. 123; Jonathan C. Randal, "Sudan's Urbane Islamic Leader Sends Shivers from Behind the Scenes," Washington Post (May 9, 1995), p. A14; Abdel Salarn Sidahmed, Politics and Islam in Contemporary Sudan (Richmond, UK: Curzon Press, 1997); Al Venter, "SudanSudan's Spymaster: Hassan al-Turabi," Jane's Intelligence Review 5, no. 7 (July 1, 1998), p. 6.
Uighurs Separatists (China)
Muslim Ulghurs from China's far western province of Xinjiang have established groups to fight for an Islamist state. Uighurs have had a lengthy history of independence going back to an independent state in A.D. 744. More recently, there were Uighur states set up in 1933 and 1944, but both lasted only a few years. First outlines of a new independence movement appeared in the mid-1960s during Mao Tse-tung's Cultural Revolution. Nearly 120,000 Uighurs were arrested for anti-Mao activities during the Cultural Revolution. In response to this persecution, a small group of Uighur militants formed the Eastern Turkestan People's Party to begin the process to lead to an independent Uighur state. Later this party was renamed the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).
Both the party and political agitation among the Ulghurs remained dormant until Chinese authorities decided to use the Muslim Uighurs to weaken the Soviets in Afghanistan. In case of unintended consequences, the Chinese govermnent encouraged Uighurs to fight in Afghanistan against the Soviet army. Ulghur recruits received military training in mulahideen camps where they alco recelved indoctrination in Islamic reliz1,_-dz -.cachings. These Uighur veterans renirncd to China ready to fight for a Uighur separatist Islamic state in Xinjiang. This militancy happened at the same time the Chinese government decided to promote immigration of the ethnic Chinese Han population into Xinjiang. A clash of cultures ensued, leading to the Baren uprising in April 1990. The two days of rioting that took place in Baren resulted in the deaths of least 30 people, and the government arrested almost 8,000 others. Throughout the 1990s attacks on Chinese police and ethnic Hans resulted in a harsh crackdown by the government on Uighurs in Xinjiang. Uighur militants retaliated with a terrorist campaign of bombings of buildings and buses directed against Chinese officials and Uighurs remaining loyal to the Chinese government.
The Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement remains the largest and most active of the Uighur separatists. Hasan Mahsum is the current leader of the ETIM and he fled China in 1997 after release from a Chinese reeducation through labor camp. Mahsum directed ETIM operations first in Afghanistan, but later he moved to Pakistan and other Central Asian states. ETIM's relationship to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda has been close with most of ETIM's fighters receiving training at al-Qaeda training camps. ETIM leaders send graduates of these camps to Xinjiang, China, to form terrorist groups for operations there.
The Eastern Turkestan Islamic Party had been a major participant in the terrorist campaign, but several other Islami have also become active. These gro ate under various names, including Turkestan Islamic Party of All Turkestan .
Most of the leaders of the reside outside of Xinjiang. They organize, and plan operations from other Muslim states in the region; Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Ky and Pakistan. Germany.
Suggested readings: Chien-pen "China's 'War on Terror': Septemb Uighur Separatism," Foreign Affairs (J August, 2002), p. 8; Michael Dwye Shadow of the Han," Australian Finan (June 28, 2002), p. 40; Erik Eckhom, New York Times (September 13, 2002), p. A6; Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002); Mark O'Neill, "A Life in Forgotten Exile," South China Morning Post (May 15, 200 1), p. 15; Craig S. Smith, "China, in Harsh Crackdown, Executes Muslim Separatists," New York Times (December 16,2001), p. 1A; Russell Working, " China's Own Muslim Nationalists," Moscow Times (October 26, 2001), p. A.