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By Micah Halpern

Monday March 31, 2008


Fact: Victory in battle against Islamic radicalism and terror will take several generations.
Nothing new there. Western thinkers have been saying that for years.

Fact: Fighting terrorism means knowing the enemy and knowing the weapons the enemy is using.
Nothing new there either.

Fact: Victory in battle against Western infidels will take generations.
Now that's new.
For the first time ever the terrorists and the Muslim extremists from whose midst they emerge, the believers who want to topple the West, are declaring outright that according to their plan the actual defeat of the West will take generations to accomplish.

The new approach that Muslim extremism is taking in explaining their plan to rid the world of infidels, to take over the world and to rule the world, is colossal. And yet, rather than boldly heralding this news, rather than proclaiming this transformative thinking to be policy, the Muslim world is slowly slipping it into the vernacular of radical Islam.

The original objective of radical Islam was two-fold.
First, the infidels.
Islamic radicals would bring about the overthrow and ousting of Western society. An Islamic Revolution would transform the world. America, Israel and all countries that embrace Western countries would be toppled, destroyed, eradicated.
Next, the believers.
Islamic radicals would replace the Arab and Muslim leaders with theocracies. The current regimes in the Muslim world are run by Muslims, but Muslims in name only. The goal of Muslim Islamisists is to replace the kings and dictators with Islamic law and run a country patterned after Iran - according to Shariya, according to Islamic law.

Jihad is an overarching concept for the radical Muslim and the terrorist. Originally, radicals like Osama bin Laden and The Ayatollah Khomeini advocated the Islamic principle of Jihad. Jihad is a religious obligation to defeat those who reject the primacy of Islam and resist the hegemony of Islam.

Jihad is no longer the working principle of radical, extremist, Islam. Terrorists and Muslim extremists have made a transition. That transition is manifest in language. It is subtle, it is strong. It signifies an essential shift in principles. Jihad has been replaced with a new theological term.

Jihad has been replaced with Moqawamah.

Moqawamah. The word actually sounds Native American, like a summer camp in the Pocono Mountains or the name of a boy scout troop. It is pure Arabic. It explains an attitude similar to but significantly different from, Jihad. It means resistance.

Jihad implies an all out struggle and absolute victory.

Moqawamah implies that victory is not near at all.

In Moqawamah the fighter must fight, but the fighter must not necessarily win. Moqawamah is not about the current engagement, Moqawamah is about a long, protracted, multi-generational struggle.

Moqawamah is a way for terrorists and radical Islam to save face. It is a way of saying that not winning is not defeat. Not winning is part of a process. Not winning is a step forward. Moqawamah is why Muslim radicals around the world can interpret the Hezbollah war against Israel as victory - Israel did not destroy Hezbollah so Hezbollah is victorious and Hezbollah can continue to strike against and hit Israel. Moqawamah is why Muslim radicals around the world can interpret al Qaeda sponsored and led attacks against Western targets as victory. The resistance is still viable. Moqawamah is successful.

In brief, in Moqawamah, if you do not lose - you win. If there is one fighter still standing, one subscriber to the principle of Moqawamah unvanquished, Moqawamah wins. The flip side for the Western world is that it is almost impossible to defeat Moqawamah.

The terrorist need not win to win. Moqawamah is the perfect equation for a guerrilla - terror philosophy that does not favor fighters fighting in uniform and that promotes attacks against innocent civilians in schools, airplanes, office buildings and trains. Shooting rockets from Gaza into innocent Israeli towns will help the next generation get closer to the goal of ridding the world of Israel. Attacking the Twin Towers will help the next generation get closer to the goal of ridding the world of Western influences.

This thinking is deeply intertwined with theological justification. The Muslim radical has found a way of justifying the cruel reality that Allah has turned his back on Islam. Allah has not heard the prayers of radicals. Israel and the Jews have been blessed while the Muslim world sits in utter poverty and chaos despite enormous oil and gas reserves. Moqawamah puts it all in perspective for the Muslim mind.

Moqawamah turns little actions into large symbols. Moqawamah speaks not to the now, it speaks to the future. Moqawamah allows radical Islam to continue to plan great victory in the future. In the war against terror and radical Islam Moqawamah is the new fact on the ground.

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4 June 2017 12:14 PM in Columns

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