Al-Queda Co-founder Blasts Bin Ladden and Terrorism

In Cold War, Foreign Affairs, History, war on terror on February 24, 2009 by Editor Z

Fascinating piece. A major figure who helped laid the foundation for the anti-western sentiment in the Middle East, and who helped found Al-Queda blasts Osama Bin Ladden and the tactics of terrorism such as those perpetrated on 9/11. Sayid Iman Sharif is currently serving a life sentence. Sharif has also denounced Bin Ladden associate Iman Alzawahri.

One of Al-Qaida’s founders, Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, has waged a harsh verbal attack on the terrorist organization’s leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Sharif’s criticism of the Al-Qaida ideology and the failures of its leadership have unleashed a heated debate within the global Jihad movement and it has been publicized in several western media outlets.

Sharif, who is serving a life sentence in a Cairo prison, recently wrote a book in which he said, “every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers.”
The Al-Qaida figurehead also said called the September 11 terror attacks immoral and counterproductive.

“Attacking America has become the shortest road to fame and leadership among the Arabs and Muslims,” wrote Sharif, who also goes by the nom de guerre Dr. Fadl. “But what good is it if you destroy one of your enemy’s buildings, and he destroys one of your countries? What good is it if you kill one of his people, and he kills a thousand of yours? That, in short, is my evaluation of 9/11.”

Sharif also criticizes Muslims who move to the West only to perpetrate terror attacks in their adopted countries. “If they gave you permission to enter their homes and live with them, and if they gave you security for yourself and your money, and if they gave you the opportunity to work or study, or they granted you political asylum” wrote Sharif, then it is “not honorable” to “betray them, through killing and destruction.”

It is ideological schisms like this that if used by the forces that stand against them, that we can defeat these forces of militancy and extremism. The thoughts and sympathies of the Arab world and the Muslim world and that region of the world are not monolithic. The ideas espoused by the likes of Dick Cheney that somehow if we shed our humanity, discard the liberties that make freedom and justice and thus America great, and invade countries to “westernize” countries and kill every last terrorist is a farce; as if somehow there is a fixed number of terrorists that can be killed and permanently defeated. It is a policy and philosophy constructed not through rational thought, loyalty to our ideals, or rooted in effectiveness, but is merely a reaction of embittered men blinded by the fires of their own visceral hatreds and emotions.

Contrary to what some might say, the world did not shed soviet Communisms by military means alone. One element that was exploited and is often underestimated in its importance is that some ideological schisms in the ideological grounds of communism. The Sino-Soviet split that had its origins in the 1960s exposed the differences and intense disagreements within the world of communism between the Soviet Union and Maoist China. The two communist powers even engaged in some border skirmishes with one another in 1969. This made way for the exploiting of that rift in the 1970s by America that played a role in ending the cold war and allowed America to prevail.

In terms of this extremism of Al-Queda is it a situation that is just like the Cold War? No, but in terms of it being fought out not on a tangible battlefield, but through persuasion, economic means, military strength, and diplomatic maneuvering, we can learn something by maybe looking to the past for some lessons and when we see divisions between more moderate forces and Al-Queda style extremism to use our values and the power of persuasion to defeat a common enemy.

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