To: Voice in your head
"Couldnt the same be said of the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan and the mujahideen who flocked to Bosnia, to fight alongside the Bosnian-Muslims?"
In Afghanistan, yes. In Bosnia, almost certainly not. While I do not dispute the just nature of their cause there, al-Qaeda, which was already in existence at that point, fought with a kind of brutality that scared the hell out of even their fellow Muslims. More to the point, as soon as the jihad in Bosnia was over, they invaded Kosovo. Once Kosovo was pacified, they invaded Macedonia. So whatever al-Qaeda's motivations for sending its foot soldiers to Bosnia, a point should be stressed that the acts were not done for altruistic principles any more than the terrorist group's current support to oppressed Muslims in China is.
"I believe that this is largely the result of the principle that power corrupts. The Muslim clerics of the Arab nations have power, in that their words carry the weight of authority with them. The most devout Christian, in my opinion, is not going to go forth and kill, if his priest were to tell him to do so. The Christian is open to the idea that his priest is wise, but that all people are capable of sin."
I agree with this to a certain extent, but I think that the lack a non-Wahhabi clerical authority in Sunni Islam (gone since the caliphate collapsed) is part of the problem. Because there is no legitimate counter-authority in the absence of the caliph, Wahhabi organizations can issue proclamations and fatwas and there is no mechanism within Sunni Islam for saying that they are wrong. Under that type of system, militants can basically "shop around" until they find clerics they like and then hold them up as arbiters of divine authority.
"I believe that you are comparing the real Crusades with Al-Qaedas jihad rather than with real jihad. I am trying to ask if the term Crusade was perverted in the same manner as the term jihad - asking if history is repeating itself, as it appears to me that it is."
To a certain extent yes, but the situation within Islam is drastically worse because Christianity at least had a mechanism to shut down the Crusades: the European monarchs and the pope. Within Islam and in particular Wahhabism, jihad is now a non-state enterprise and since there is a noticeable absence of authority there is no real way to shut it down.
"Is Wahhabi the root of the perversion of the term jihad and the indoctrination of that perversion amongst Arab Muslims? Or is my question based on a false assumption? Or neither?"
Wahhabism is almost certainly the root of the concept of jihad as a non-state enterprise and therefore of modern Islamic terrorism. The al-Saud clan in Riyadh were basically bandits on the fringes of the Ottoman Empire until Ibn Abd al-Wahhab agreed to give them his spiritual authority. Wahhab wanted to scrap all of Islamic tradition and jurisprudence to start things over with just the Qur'an (as he interpreted it, of course). The result is spiritual chaos, which can easily be exploited by opportunistic individuals like bin Laden.
Nor is it simply an Arab problem. Wahhabi mi$$ionary activities are a global venture, courtesy of Saudi oil money. Wherever you see violence, intolerance, and terrorism in the Islamic world, Wahhabism is right behind it. This is something the US is going to have to recognize sooner or later, IMO.
To: Angelus Errare
Many good points. Thank you.
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