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Table of Contents
It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that world terrorism keeps harming life of average civil people. One of such proactive terrorist organizations is Al Qaeda. This organization acts within the Middle East, Europe, and Balkan Peninsula. The main objective of Al Qaeda is to defeat the Western world in the proclaimed jihad and establish a unitary Islamic state within the Middle East. The organization is known to initiate a wide range of terrorist acts all over the world. Thus, the government of the United States expresses concerns about Al Qaeda and implements a proactive policy regarding the preventive measures against this organization. Still, there has been little agreement on the real background of Al Qaeda: whether it is geopolitical or religious. Therefore, the following policy paper focuses on revealing the organization’s basis and suggests the related amendments to the existing policy.
With regard to the literary analysis, which helped to determine the hypothesis concerning the policy, it is important to pay attention to the political background of Al Qaeda. As Blanchard suggests, this aspect is based on three following statements (2007). The first one demonstrates a claim that Al Qaeda is able to create a totally Islamic state without secular and liberal government as the main basis for the inner political system has to be a sharia law. This law can be referred to as the religious basis as long as it originates from Muslim doctrine regarding a layout of state in the Islamic world.
The second statement proclaims a struggle for Liberation of Homelands. In other words, Al Qaeda strives to obtain control all over the Middle East and the rest of pro-Muslim countries. The establishment of the Islamic world’s independence is supposed to be based on this unity. The organization considers it to be an important aspect because all Muslims should be united ideologically. Therefore, establishment of any secular state cannot be accepted. In addition, Al Qaeda is intending to restore national resources within the Islamic world as long as it has lost control over a substantial part of them.
The third statement is related to responsibility for social equality within the Islamic world. The representatives of Al Qaeda consider social equality to be the basis of the Muslim population’s well-being. It can be explained by the fact that Muslim confession regards the state to be a protector of Muslims. Thus, according to the religious statements, human rights cannot be violated in the Islamic society. Still, Al Qaeda does not respect democracy as a political system since democracy empowers a man-made government. In other words, Muslims are expected to obey God but not men. The Law of God should be the main law for the government as well as for the society. In such a way, it is becoming apparent that a political background of Al Qaeda is based on the valuation of Islamic faith.
As for religious perspective of Al Qaeda, it has to be considered that the organization has proclaimed a jihad against the U.S. as the main aggressor. Kepel, Milelli, and Ghazaleh explain it by the fact that the U.S. intervened in the inner conflicts of the Islamic world and made numerous attempts regarding liberal overthrows in multiple Islamic countries (2008). Besides that, Al Qaeda members are strongly convinced that they are deprived of the right to choose their own religion and political system. In fact, the majority of resentments concerning the U.S. intervention are mainly based on discrimination of Islamic religion. Needless to say, it is a strictly Muslims’ opinion about the United States, but it can be applied to the main motives of Al Qaeda for starting a jihad.
Al Qaeda regards the U.S. intervention as the main factor, which thwarts them from creating a unitary Islamic state. As long as the organization plans the Islamic government to be based on the Muslim faith, the jihad is a well-justified action because according to Al Qaeda, faith worth repelling the aggressor. That is why the organization uses violent actions concerning every single act of injustice towards their faith. Again, the religious basis of Al Qaeda can be observed from this perspective. Generally speaking, the issue of faith emerges in any sphere of the organization’s activity so that Al Qaeda is concerned about any U.S. influence on the Muslim world. In such a way, the proclaimed jihad should be understood in its original meaning as long as Al Qaeda holds a serious opinion about the religious controversy.
It is also important to pay attention to the perspective of the U.S. official policy regarding the activity and ideology of Al Qaeda. As Riedel claims, the President of the U.S. officially outlined the Al Qaeda issue in the list of top problems. This organization still demonstrates a certain threat to the world’s peace. In fact, numerous terroristic acts all over the world and intensification of aggression in Yemen and Syria can be regarded as a reliable evidence of the organization’s malicious intentions towards a civilized world. Thus, Al Qaeda should be fought against, defeated, and eliminated (2010). This statement reflects the official opinion about the related policy of the United States so that the existing policy concerning this organization may make a certain sense though. However, this policy does not consider a religious perspective profoundly, which makes it possible to claim that the policy implies defense of the U.S geopolitical interests.
Two out of three books of the literary review consider Al Qaeda to be based on a radical Islamism, which was caused by the intervention of the Western world in the inner conflicts between Muslims. This statement does not have to be regarded as universal because it may not coincide with a real situation. Still, it is a strong position of Al Qaeda, which has to be taken into consideration because the elimination of this organization will not solve the problem of radical Islamism. What is more, it is extremely essential to distinguish whether radical form of Muslim faith should face any restrictions on the part of the Western world. The literary analysis has given a sufficient context for discussion of these issues, which are necessary to proceed in the analysis section.
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To start the analysis, it is worth assuming that Al Qaeda does not have to be regarded as politically based organization. With regard to its key ideological statements, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the organization refers its activities to the Muslim ideas so that any involvement of geopolitics is secondary, being caused by the need to obtain a maximum of target pro-Islamic audience. What is more, strictly political views of Al Qaeda are also based on Muslim faith. In other words, the organization treats every single aspect from the perspective of Muslim religion as long as they consider God to be the basis for any human sphere. Since it is an external surface of the organization’s intentions, political goals do not have to be disregarded. Al Qaeda may use resentfulness for discrimination of Islamism as a cause for aggressive behavior initiation within the Middle East and towards the Western world.
As a consequence, an evident political pressure can be observed in the organization’s statements regarding relationships with secular and democratic states. As Bin Laden outlined, these forms of government are totally unacceptable. However, it is pivotal to mention that Al Qaeda’s leader reasoned this statement, which is directly related to Muslim religion. As it has been mentioned above, religious basis can be used for promotion of Al Qaeda to the masses. Hence, Al Qaeda may utilize religion as a manipulative tool for achievement of its geopolitical aims. In addition, a strong denial of democracy can be regarded as a distinct evidence of establishment of tyranny regime in the Middle East. There is a certain gap in the understanding of willingness to establish an authoritative government within the Islamic world. On the contrary, this problem is rather complicated so that it has to be discussed independently.
To speak about the idea of Al Qaeda in order to establish authoritative Islamic government all over the Middle East, it is worth mentioning that this Islamist organization regards the government as a main protector of Muslim population. Al Qaeda expresses this opinion, being strongly convinced that the government should be based on Sharia law. Taking this point into consideration, Al Qaeda is not tending to violate human rights as long as it contradicts Sharia law and basic principles of Muslim faith. One should not confuse demand for law-obedience with absence of freedom of choice in the society. Al Qaeda intrinsically expects the intended political system to be based on respect of Sharia law since it is proclaimed by God. Specification of laws was not mentioned by the organization, but these laws cannot violate basic rights of Muslim population because they are related to the Islamic doctrine.
On the contrary, Al Qaeda demonstrates an evident resistance to the secular government, which means that, any liberal form of the government has to face an overthrow. Al Qaeda strongly believes that Muslims will obey the law of Sharia only. This statement demonstrates a willingness of the organization to take control over the Islamic society by dint of aggressive actions as long as Al Qaeda does not include any alternative to the political system in the Muslim world. Provided that Al Qaeda obtains control over the Middle East, it is likely to expose a certain threat to the world’s peace. From this perspective, the organization seeks to achieve geopolitical goals because it places the emphasis on the exact form of government. Hence, Al Qaeda may intend to use authoritative and Sharia law-based society in order to manipulate citizens for the further fulfillment of its geopolitical objectives.
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To return to the subject of Sharia law, it is pivotal to mention that this law does not include any actions and decisions, which can be initiated against humanity. Therefore, law-obedience suggested by Al Qaeda is supposed to be understood in its primary sense. Promotion of such sort of obedience is typical of any civilized state because well-being of population depends heavily on the law obedience. To the greatest extent, a law obedient society will subdue radically oriented Islamism. Thus, Al Qaeda is particularly focused on the internal order of pro-Islamic countries. Political statements of the organization do not outline exact plans regarding its international influence. Instead, Al Qaeda takes charge of religious unity of the Islamic world so that politics are involved as the basis for restoring religious awareness among Muslims. That is why striving for establishment of Shariat rule has a strictly religious basis.
What is more important, the majority of Muslims supports such governmental layout. As a consequence, the U.S. has to respect this choice accordingly. In this case, ideology of Al Qaeda coincides with attitudes of average Muslims. According to Al Qaeda, Arab Spring is related to the intervention of the U.S. in the internal political confrontations in the Middle East. Anyway, promotion of pro-Islamic format of the government is commonly supported by a substantial percentage of Muslims. Hence, the U.S. is recommended to take the responsibility for any interference cancellation in order to solve the situation within the Muslim world. This enormous ethnic, religious, and socio-cultural group has to develop in its own way. It is becoming increasingly apparent since the methods of the civilization’s development in the Western manner failed to demonstrate a sufficient applicability to the Islamic world. A need for this international strategy should be primarily justified by a religious background of Al Qaeda so that the existing policy should be amended as follows.
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These amendments should be directed to the President’s policy about fighting against Al Qaeda. First of all, the organization does not have to be regarded as a threat to the world’s peace because every single terrorist act, which was made by the other organization, will be considered as aggression of Al Qaeda. Violent method of the organization neutralization did not work because it keeps initiating attacks against the Western world. That is why the problem should be addressed throughout diplomacy at the highest level. Hence, a third party is supposed to be involved. It can be comprised of certain pro-Islamic officials and European observers, who will control the normalization of relationships between conflicting parties. Regarding these factors, Al Qaeda has to be regarded as religion-based organization because its main demand is Islamic rights restoration.
Therefore, Al Qaeda cannot be eliminated at least physically as it will provoke a new wave of protests against the U.S. To the broadest extent, the organization can be destroyed, but the problem will remain and worsen even more. The U.S. is recommended to find a common language with the Islamic world and let it develop in its own way. This aspect should be the primary factor in the establishment of peaceful relationships. Since the United States promotes democracy and freedom of choice, the official position of Washington should change concerning the Al Qaeda’s policy. Treatment of the organization as a religious group and negotiations with its leaders will secure the U.S. and the rest of the Western world from continuous attacks of Al Qaeda. Needless to say, the organization may keep fighting for its control over the Middle East, but the U.S. does not have to intrude into these conflicts any longer in order to preserve peace within the Western world.
All in all, the policy paper has investigated the identification of Al Qaeda’s background, which obtains a dubious character. In fact, the organization can be treated as a religious organization as well as political one. That is why the policy paper has conducted a literary review, which revealed the following facts. Al Qaeda considers the government to be responsible for the population as long as it is one of the main statements of Islamic doctrine. Thus, the legislative organs have to be established on the basis of Sharia law. It is proclaimed by God so that every single Muslim will obey it. Consequently, Al Qaeda does not respect democracy and secular government as they represent a men-made government, which means that society is controlled by a certain group of people but not by God. Still, the U.S. President officially outlines that Al Qaeda remains to be a threat to the world’s peace since this organization keeps leading the jihad against the Western world.
The policy paper has analyzed these findings. First of all, the organization has been distinguished as religion-based. Al Qaeda strives for unity of Muslims all over the Middle East because this aspect is mentioned in Koran. In regard to political perspective, Al Qaeda fights for the establishment of law-abiding society on the basis of Sharia law. In such a way, involvement of politics can be justified by the need to unite all Muslims religiously. Hence, socio-cultural unity does not imply any particular threat to the Western world. Subsequently, the U.S. is recommended to change its official position considerably in order to initiate a diplomatic dialogue with the Islamic world, respecting their choice of religion and political system.