By Noor Dahri
June 1, 2018
Before I provide the details of what Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism is and how it works, I need to go back in the day to furnish the entire history about how Islamism/Jihadism (Political Islam) was devised to accomplish the political ends by the western and some regional Islamic powers. This is part one of the topics of The Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism.
It was the era when the Soviet Union (USSR) invaded the state of Afghanistan and posed a direct threat to the Europe, the US, Muslim countries and the state of Israel. The Western world was competing with communism which had been a rising threat to the western capitalism for the past 60 years.
After World War-II, the western world was too exasperated to open another front in the near borders so the power of capitalism was directly shifted from Europe to the US. The US was thought to be capable enough to counter the ideology of communism which was rapidly spreading all around the world, especially in the West.
The Capitalism and the Communism were not only political but were also non-religious and economic ideologies. In the time of communism, the people’s power and wealth were shifted from upper class to lower class and that was not acceptable for the western world because the ideology of capitalism was based on securing the capital of the rich class. The West was in a worse situation from fighting with communism for nearly 60 years in war, from political conflict to the military and ideological ones, and they wanted this war to end but as victorious not defeated.
The USSR intelligence network was extremely strong and powerful and it was also deeply rooted in the CIA and MI6. The higher-ranking officers in the CIA and MI6 became double agents and started working and sharing intelligence with the USSR. The KGB became an uncontrolled dog and even Israeli intelligence network was not at par with the KGB. It successfully maintained its intelligence network in Asian countries, particularly in South Asian states such as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. There was no remaining threat left for the USSR so they were able to invade Afghanistan without any western confrontation.
It was such a great rout for the Western powers that the USSR broke successfully into the region and they could not do anything other than waiting and watching. The local Afghan fighters were fighting with the USSR but it was inconceivable to defeat the red bear without a strong backup support. It went on and on for years and suddenly the western countries realised after seeing the Afghans’ fight with the USSR without any military and financial support that they should step into the war and train Afghan fighters to crash the enemy.
Although Afghans were completely oblivious of the fact that it was not a religious war but an ideological one, the western powers realised that the Afghans were successfully fighting with the most powerful enemy without any sophisticated weapons and the only weapon they were using at the time was religion, the name of Islam. Now, the western powers actualised that they could change the game of chase if only they were able to turn this into a religious war.
Though Capitalism and Communism themselves were ideologies, they were completely non-religious and the countries had been fighting for nearly 60 years but the USSR was not defeated yet. This time, however, they concluded that they needed to create a very strong and powerful ideology that could consume the ideology of communism. That ideology was Islamism (the political Islam, the Jihadism) and the slogan of Jihad against the communism, as an atheist regime.
The war between Islam and Kufr had started. There were four major contributing countries that blatantly fuelled the war and their entire objective was the collapse of Communism. Those four countries whose national interests were to destroy the USSR were the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel. Israel’s role was very limited because her prime goal was to defeat her old enemy (USSR) without directly jumping into war. The USSR sustained Palestinian organisations to destabilise the state of Israel so it was now time for Israel to take revenge; therefore, her role in this war was pretty much understandable.
Islamist militants from all around the world were welcomed, trained, financed and supported on the Afghan soil with the help of the CIA, ISI, GIP (KSA Intel agency) and the Mossad. The Mossad role was to provide arms and training along with the CIA. The Pakistan’s ISI role was the same as well as to deliver financial support and accommodate these militants from all parts of the globe. Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) role was to provide finance and manpower into the war. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with Pakistan not only invented this Islamist militant ideology but spread it all around Pakistan by opening seminaries, mosques and they appointed these militant scholars into such mosques. Also, they spread the Fatwas (religious decree) in relations to legitimise the Jihad against communism (USSR).
The Islamist ideology (Political Islam) was now at its peak; Islamist militants from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were granted multiple visas of the western countries including the UK and the USA. They were invited to not only give sermons on Jihad in local mosques but were allowed to build their mosques, seminaries and social or charitable organisations on the western soils. The official sermons from the western leaders were given in favour of the militants and meetings were arranged between the American President, the UK Prime Minister and the militant leaders.
Osama Bin Laden (later the Al-Qaeda chief), Jalaluddin Haqqani (later the chief of Haqqani Network), Hafiz Saeed (later the LeT chief) and other infamous militants were given the right to the freedom of assembly (human rights article 11) and the freedom of expression (human rights article 10) all around the European countries, particularly in the UK and in the US.
The western Jihadists were sent to Afghanistan to fight the holy war in the name of Islam and to protect Islam from the ‘infidels’ (USSR). The global Islamist militancy was successfully generated and the Muslim nations proudly participated in the holy cause. The Muslim states warmly welcomed the western powers into the war and helped them sustain their presence in the region. I personally asked one of the Islamist leaders a question while I was in Afghanistan in the early 90s; why did they support and welcome western powers against the USSR though both are non-Muslim regimes? And the answer was: “We needed dogs to defeat the pig”. So, in this case, it was not an Jihad but a Western Jihad in the name of Islamism which was sustained and deeply rooted in Islam by none but Muslim countries themselves to achieve their political objectives.
Noor Dahri is a author of books, director of the Middle East Affairs at CommandEleven. He is a counter terrorism researcher based in the UK.