Egyptian Islamist Leaders Fault Al-Qaida's Strategy

From FBIS:

FBIS, the Federal Broadcast Information Service, is a part of the CIA's Division of Science & Technology. It monitors not only broadcasts but also publications for open-source intelligence. Since what they are picking up is open-source to begin with, they often don't classify it. Here is an interesting piece: Egyptian Islamist Leaders Fault Al-Qaida's Strategy. These Islamists have some pretty well-structured ideas about where the GWOT is going, and also about its character. On the question of whether the US is a Crusader power, and whether the war is inevitable or desirable, they say:

The fact is that it is the strategy of Al-Qa'ida that strengthened the Christian currents that are hostile to Islam in the United States and the West. Al-Qa'ida's strategy strengthened the voice of those who call for all-out war against Islam. We do not believe that this crusader war actually existed. Some may say, 'so what is wrong with igniting a war against America and the West on the basis of religion? This would mobilize the energies of the Muslim nation and nip these schemes in the bud'. To this we say we disagree with this logic. We disagree not only because the Muslim nation is not ready for such an option. We disagree also because we believe that awakening the Muslim nation from its deep slumber and helping it to rejuvenate its civilization and bounty require us not to fall in the trap of clash of civilizations.
That is, of course, 'not only would we lose a military war; currently, we would lose a cultural competition as well.' I think that's an accurate assessment. An open-eyed view suggests that, if forced to choose sides, most Muslims would prefer an open and largely secular society over Islamist rule. That is not to say that they would prefer domination by the West to domination by the Imams, or that the secular society they would choose would be secular in Western terms. Probably it would look a lot more like Alabama, circa 1930, than Los Angeles today: a state that was in theory secular, but which was permeated by religious influence because of a shared culture.

That represents a step forward. In fact, it may even be preferable to LA 2004. The only thing to complain about in 1930's Alabama, aside from the Depression, was the oppressive racism. Lacking that source of misery, such a culture could be both stable and pleasant. It's not an option for the United States, who has let the genie out of the bottle. It might be one, though, for Egypt, where the jinn is yet confined.

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