al-Ma’sadat Media Foundation presents a new article from Abū Sa'd al 'Āmilī: "The Consequences of the Revolutions in Order to Reap the Fruits"

Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: Abū Sa’d al ‘Āmilī — “The Consequences of the Revolutions in Order to Reap the Fruits”

To inquire about a translation for this article for a fee email: [email protected]

Fursān al-Balāgh Media presents a new article from Abū 'Abd Allah Anīs: "The Western Media's Revolution to Counter the Arab Revolutions"

Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: Abū ‘Abd Allah Anīs — “The Western Media’s Revolution to Counter the Arab Revolutions”

To inquire about a translation for this statement for a fee email: [email protected]

GUEST POST: Perceptions of the “Arab Spring” Within the Salafi-Jihadi Movement

NOTE: As with all guest posts, the opinions expressed below are those of the guest author and they do not necessarily represent the views of this blogs administrator and does not at all represent his employer at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. aims to not only provide primary sources for researchers and occasional analysis of them, but also to allow other young and upcoming students as well as established academics or policy wonks to contribute original analysis on issues related to jihadism. If you would like to contribute a piece, please email your idea/post to azelin [at] jihadology [dot] net. Pieces should be no longer than 2,000 words please.
Past Guest Posts:
Jack Roche, “The Indonesian Jamā’ah Islāmiyyah’s Constitution (PUPJI),” November 14, 2012.
Kévin Jackson, “The Pledge of Allegiance and its Implications,” July 27, 2012.
Behnam Said, “A Brief Look at the History and Power of Anasheed in Jihadist Culture,” May 31, 2012.
Jonah Ondieki and Jake Zenn, “Gaidi Mtaani,” April 24, 2012.
Joshua Foust, “Jihadi Ideology Is Not As Important As We Think,” January 25, 2011.
Charles Cameron, “Hitting the Blind-Spot- A Review of Jean-Pierre Filiu’s “Apocalypse in Islam,” January 24, 2011.
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, “Why Jihadi Ideology Matters,” January 21, 2011.
Joshua Foust, “Some Inchoate Thoughts on Ideology,” January 19, 2011.
Marissa Allison, “Militants Seize Mecca: Juhaymān al ‘Utaybī and the Siege of the Grand Mosque in Mecca,” June 9, 2010.

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Tara Vassefi
“The popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain have not only shaken the foundation of the authoritarian order in the Middle East, but they have also hammered a deadly nail in the coffin of a terrorism narrative which has painted al Qaeda as the West’s greatest threat,” Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics opined in definitive tones in January 2012. Peter Bergen, the bestselling author and CNN terrorism analyst, shares that sentiment, describing Osama bin Laden’s death and the events popularly known as the “Arab Spring” as “the final bookends” of the Global War on Terror. “It’s hard to think of anything that’s more seismic in terms of undercutting al Qaeda’s ideology,” he said, than the combination of these two developments. Other Western commentators believe the Arab Spring has helped the forces of jihadism. Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA unit that pursued bin Laden, said at a book festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, that the Arab Spring “delighted al Qaeda,” and has been “an intelligence disaster” for the United States.
Gerges and Bergen are representative of one side of a debate raging in the West over the impact of the Arab Spring on the threat of al Qaeda–inspired terrorism; Scheuer represents another side, with many gradations between their polarized outlooks. Yet, although informed observers’ perspectives on the impact that the Arab Spring will have on al Qaeda and other salafi jihadi groups differ, they are seemingly unanimous in believing that the effect of these uprisings will be profound. Unfortunately, one important voice has been marginalized from this debate: that of salafi jihadis themselves.
A review of prominent articles and analyses on the topic, some of them quite worthwhile, makes the marginalization of the jihadis’ perspective clear. Analysis of the Arab Spring’s impact on al Qaeda is often structural in nature, as is the case with Seth Jones’s observation in Foreign Policy that the revolutions may produce weak states, which social science literature suggests are more likely to become “fertile ground for terrorist groups.” Although Jones quotes from al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, that quotation is intended to show that al Qaeda has designs for the Arab Spring rather than to comprehensively illuminate the group’s perspective and strategic thought. Eugenio Lilli’s structural analysis in the Journal of Terrorism Research reaches a more optimistic conclusion, that democracy is “still one of the best weapons to fight the threat of Islamic terrorism.” Lilli quotes Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Qaddafi’s warnings that their fall could bolster extremist forces, but he neither quotes nor cites the views of a single jihadi figure since the revolutions began.
Some analyses focus on internal dynamics within the jihadi movement. For example, William McCants’s informative Foreign Affairs piece “Al Qaeda’s Challenge” discusses, among other things, the manner in which Islamists who vote and Islamist parliamentarians pose problems for al Qaeda’s outlook. McCants hones in on a few discrete aspects of al Qaeda’s thought that are challenged by the new Islamist embrace of electoral politics, rather than assessing the group’s current perceptions of the Arab Spring. Still other contributions describe on-the-ground developments spurred by the Arab Spring that may strengthen or undermine al Qaeda. Such pieces may contribute when they offer rich descriptions, but they are less concerned with how jihadis see developments, and jihadi thinkers are rarely quoted in this genre.
Jihadi perceptions of the Arab Spring are important not because we can take their viewpoint as the definitive reading of these events, but rather because the U.S. has often encountered problems over the past decade when it has failed to understand the adversary. It could likewise be a grave error to declare what the events of the Arab Spring mean for the future of jihadi activities without understanding how the other side in this conflict perceives them.
This article addresses this gap in the literature through an analysis of 101 documents produced by salafi jihadi thinkers within a year following the movement’s first statement on the uprising in Tunisia (a January 13, 2011 statement from Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud). These documents include statements released by spokesmen, interviews with the movement’s intellectual leaders, and discussions on Web forums. Of course, there is no unified jihadi movement with something resembling a collective conscience. There are conflicting and competing groups; nor do they possess a unified view of the Arab Spring. But within the first year of public statements, there was more agreement than disagreement. Jihadi observers had a largely optimistic outlook on the revolts, seeing the Arab Spring as “a tsunami” capable of sweeping away regimes throughout the region and beyond. These observers believed that they were presented with new opportunities, and have begun to outline a methodology for taking advantage of these opportunities.
A Pan-Islamic Uprising
Jihadi observers see the events in the Arab world as a pan-Islamic uprising, one that may quickly extend beyond Arabic-speaking countries. This was apparent even in the first statement that a jihadi group released on the events of the Arab Spring, the aforementioned document from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud. “Your battle you fight today,” Wadoud told the Tunisians, “isn’t alienated from the general battle the Muslim umma is engaged in against its external and domestic enemies.”
Jihadi observers were ahead of the curve in predicting that Egypt would be next. On January 21, four days before the demonstrations that would topple Hosni Mubarak began, Kuwait-based commentator Hamid bin Abdallah al Ali wrote that the Egyptian regime “has an appointment with a coming and imminent pain.” He stated that the coming demonstration would “transfer the pains which afflicted the Arab peoples onto the tyrants, and transfer the authority back to the people, just as Tunisia did.” Ali’s assessment proved to be more accurate than that offered by U.S. officials, including the American secretary of state.
Jihadi observers generally agree with the assessment of Jordanian Islamist Akram Hijazi, who said on January 26 that “the Arab people are

Check out my new post for the New York Times' 'Room For Debate': "For Each Nation, a Different Approach"


The tragic death of the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and his colleagues, along with the breach of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, may lead some Americans to question, in light of such horrific attacks, the United States’ future relationship with these countries.
It is important to place these events in context. The United States has long dealt with Middle Eastern governments in which a segment of their populations have harbored anti-American sentiments.
In the past, these countries’ leaders were not beholden to anyone, but the challenge now is how to work with democratically elected officials who must take into account their constituents’ views. This will indeed make relations more complicated. This is especially the case in Egypt, as was seen by the weak response of Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, who seemed more concerned about the alleged video than with the attack on the U.S. Embassy. Relations will be tense in the days and weeks ahead because of the apparent alignment of religious populism and the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to cover its flank from the Salafis. As a result, over time it will likely become more difficult for the United States to work as cooperatively with the Egyptian government as it has in the past. While the United States has economic aid leverage over Egypt, there are inherent limits to American power, especially in the face of a Muslim Brotherhood-led government hostile and opposed to American interests and values.
On the other side of the spectrum is Libya. Unlike Egypt, Libya’s new Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur issued a strong statement supporting the United States and calling for the unity of the two countries in dealing with the menace of violent extremism. Similarly, there was a demonstration in Benghazi and Tripoli today rallying support for the U.S. Consulate, as well as praising Ambassador Stevens for his work with the leadership. This is compared with the Muslim Brotherhood’s call for more demonstrations in Egypt against the film this Friday.
This episode provides a window into how relations with countries in the new Middle East might take shape. The United States should engage with the countries that want to continue to work in tandem, while treading carefully and cautiously with others, where relations will be more problematic and tenuous. In short, each country of the Middle East and
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Minbar at-Tawḥīd wa-l-Jihād presents a new Fatwā from Shaykh Abū al-Mundhir al-Shinqīṭī: "What is the Ruling on the Requirment of Surrendering Mujāhid Arms to the New State After the Fall of the Current Regime?"

Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: Shaykh Abū al-Mundhir al-Shinqīṭī — “What is the Ruling on the Requirment of Surrendering Mujāhid Arms to the New State After the Fall of the Current Regime?”

To inquire about a translation for this fatwā for a fee email: [email protected]