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October 27, 2007



I'd like a copy and I've suddenly got an itch to read sermons from Calvin and the Geneva pastors that set off the first War of Religion in France.


I think Hijazi's point is that a correctly oriented Muslim society, i.e. one that is firmly rooted in sharia, will naturally result in a correctly oriented Muslim politics. In other words, the politics of such a society will necessarily be correct and just and thus cannot be determined minus the existence of a true Islamic state.
In this sense, politics is the expression of religion and culture.The more religious the state, the more culturally Islamic it would be, a tautology actually. Is politics would follow.


The similarities between the distinction this Hijazi fellow makes and those that used to be drawn between doctrinal Communists and those who were using Communist doctrine to pursue "political" ends (e.g. ends involving non-Communist concepts like national interests) are obvious.

That doesn't make the two identical, but it isn't hard to see how easily doctrinal and tactical concerns overlap, and how likely it is that people preoccupied with the one can speak with thorough conviction in discussing the other. No Communist regime would have lasted as long as so many of them did if all the doctrinal arguments that erupted within the ideological elites had always been conducted in a spirit of complete insincerity.

Of course, those Communists who thought only in terms of correct doctrine tended to make themselves irrelevant over time. If Hijazi is correct, this would explain what has appeared to be bin Laden's reduced relevance in the world of Islamist terrorism. But I don't know if he is correct, and given bin Laden's record I'm not sure how one would tell.

Abu Ghayib

You can access all of Hijazi's stuff at his blog:



Unrelated, but "Ali Sadraddin Bayanouni, the head of Syria's Muslim Brotherhood, has declared that the MB's embrace of democracy means that it will accept a woman or Christian becoming president of Syria if they are elected to the position."

Oy, what will the Brothers in Egypt think?


I don't know why as-Sahab doesn't take a more active role in managing its image in the Arab-language MSM. I get why they've turned to the internet in response MSM outlets like al-Jazeera not being pliable enough, but as this incident shows you can't just ignore al-Jazeera and expect its influence over you to go away. It will still cover your sayings and doings so why not seek to manage that rather than abandoning all influence you have over your image in the medium that is most consumed by your target audience?

AIPAC(for example) does a lot of direct mail and other Information Operations outside the MSM, but it also recognizes the need to engage the media in order to steer coverage or at least frame issues in a more useful way. Why doesn't as-Sahab send out clear, concise press releases rather than letting al-Jazeera cut up at will the rambling and opaque speeches that as-Sahab seems to love? Are there insurmountable barriers for as-Sahab or some other al-Qaida organization against sending members to talk shows or against submitting Op-Eds in non-Saudi Arab language newspapers? I guess what I'm asking is, are there structural obstacles to further engagement in the MSM or is it a matter of will?

Of course al-Qaida's core beliefs will be repellent to a majority of Arabic speakers, but this sort of bungling of its Information Operations will turn off many of those who would otherwise be attracted to the organization. If nothing else, they would be better able to ensure that their message isn't altered.

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