“No Peace Without Islam”

Received one of the irregular news update bulletins from Kavkaz Center just now. Was just googling to find the precise details of a reported press conference held by Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Mansur in Somalia this week. For more on Sheikh Mukhtar see this recent interview.
“No Peace Without Islam” is the title of a new programme that he announced. Only this programme has been announced previously by Abu Yahya al-Libi in late June this year. You can watch the full video by clicking through the links here.
And then I find the following reference:

For such an appeal by bin Laden, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1286, “Bin Laden’s Speeches 2003-2006,” September 8, 2006. See also an article titled “No Peace without Islam” published by the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC, now called Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) in the October 2005 issue of its journal Al-Jama’a. The author of the article, Abu Mus’ab ‘Abd Al-Wadoud (now the group’s leader) calls on the Algerians to refrain from signing agreements with the government, and to invest their efforts in reestablishing the historic Islamic caliphate. Al-Jama’a, October 2005, p. 24 link

Of course, it’s a variant of various refrains that you can trace through the twisted path of ‘political Islam’. In as far as it relates to Afghanistan – who are running up to Peace One Day – I’d say that Islam is here to stay. It remains applicable to the issue of negotiations, though. A significant proportion of the Taliban’s fighting force is religously-motivated – again, just like in the 1980s against the Soviets – and given conviction from fatwas pronounced by local Mullahs…this means that there is no way to ‘convince’ or negotiate your way out of the conflict.

By Alex Strick van Linschoten

Alex Strick van Linschoten is travelling in Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and the north Caucasus over the next 4 years for a book on sufism. He lives in Kandahar, but moves around a lot.

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