Saturday, 7 October 2006

Jihadis vs. neocons

Aisha continues to impress me over at Eteraz with her very probing questions and analyses. I don't agree with everything she says, but it is always worth thinking about the issues she raises. Today she is proposing that jihadis and neocons are operating on the same dynamic: a rejection of their socialist/hippy parents' discredited values. She can be devastating in her critique:
And the reason for the staying power of each—neoconservatism and jihadism—might, ironically, be the same. Both are movements rhetorically rooted in religion, but politically rooted in self-interest; both cling to religious law when it suits them and ignore it when it suits them, and when absolutely necessary (Jesus never preached a crusade; the Qur’an specifically forbids the killing of non-combattants [Surit il Nisa’]) invent it out of whole-cloth.
Read it all.

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Adrian MacNair said...

Quite so. I came to the same conclusion more or less recently, although I believe that the one extreme creates the other. Surely the opposite extreme of neocolonialism is neoislamofascism. Perhaps if we were to tone down the Bush administration's impact in the Middle East we would see a return to the moderate forms of peaceful Islam.

Janet said...

Adrian, I really don't think the dynamic is quite that simple. It might have a bit of an effect, but the jihadis and the neocons didn't create each other. They do play off of each other to some extent, but getting rid of one won't make the other go away. It would just deprive them of a bit of fuel.

Aisha's main point is they were born, and are maintained, by a similar dynamic. That might be an oversimplification also, but there's enough truth in it to be useful, in my insufficiently humble opinion.


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