Jihad Against West is Well-Entrenched, Author Says Josiah Ryan
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(CNSNews.com) – Radical Muslims engaged in holy war — jihadis — are
waging a worldwide campaign to advance their goals, particularly in
moderate Arab states, in Russia, and in the liberal democracies of the
West, according to Walid Phares, author of “The Confrontation: Winning
the War Against Future Jihad.”

Phares, in a recent lecture at the conservative Heritage Foundation,
said the jihadis’ international campaign should not be seen as a
hodgepodge reaction to Western foreign policy but as a structured and
well-organized movement.

For instance, Phares said that extremist Muslims have successfully
engaged in the war of ideas and penetrated the educational and policy
centers of Western democracies.

“Jihadis have inserted into the Western education system tens of
millions of dollars in campuses, think tanks, and beyond,” said Phares.
“That has created a systemic change that created one or two generations
of analysts and experts who impact decision-makers who did not see the
threat coming because they were under the influence of the money.”

Islamic scholar Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, founder and president of the
libertarian think tank Minaret of Freedom, said Phares’s notion of a
highly organized, structured campaign to penetrate the policy processes
of free countries is not accurate. The radical Islamist movement, in
Ahmad’s view, is scattered and is motivated by Western foreign policies
that are perceived as meddling in Islamic affairs.

“I am not aware of any evidence to support” the Phares’s claims, said
Ahmad. “If he means there are people with extreme views in American
think tanks and colleges, then, of course, that’s true. But a suggestion
that there is some sort of conspiracy to affect American policy is
silly.”

The problem is foreign policy and dictatorial regimes in the Middle
East, said Ahmad. “Violent extremism in Islam is absolutely a reaction
to American foreign policy and intervention from other powers like
France,” he said. “Radical Islam has become a problem for the world
because it has been nurtured by the existence of occupations and foreign
meddling.”

Phares told Cybercast News Service it would be a mistake to view the
jihad movement as a random or disorganized response to the West’s
foreign policies.
“We are not dealing with a mere reaction to foreign policy,” he said.
“It cannot be defined as such. The global jihad movement has a doctrine
and world vision.”

“It is sui generis, born of a vision,” said Phares. “This is absolutely
clear if you can see it. You have to see it. Though we don’t see clearly
the nervous system of the Muslim brotherhood or Al Qaeda, for example,
we do see the organization in their network. We see the organization
even though we don’t see the actual center.”

Ahmed agreed that jihadis communicate with each other and do so
effectively. “But my knowledge is that it is a network rather than an
organization, ” he said. “I think people who have done detailed studies
support this idea.”

In addition to being an author, Phares is a senior fellow and a director
of the Future Terrorism Department at the Foundation for Defense of
Democracies, teaches at the National Defense University.

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