Algerians and diplomats are “crusader unbelievers”

Al-Qaeda recently delivered a message to the people of Algeria:

In his audio taped message, released Wednesday (April 2nd), al-Zawahiri responded to a question allegedly posed by an Algerian medical student about why the UN offices in Algiers had been attacked. “The United Nations is an enemy of Islam,” the terrorist leader replied. He went on to say the Algerians killed in the attacks were not innocent victims, instead calling them “crusader unbelievers and the government troops who defend them”.

A jolly good fellow, wouldn’t you say?

3 thoughts on “Algerians and diplomats are “crusader unbelievers”

  1. It just goes to show that, despite all the attention devoted to situating Islamic extremism in the struggle for identity and importance in an increasingly gloabalized world, there are basic elements of some of these groups’ ideologies that are simply too intractable or incongruent with modern, political thought.

    I mean, if any collateral damage can be easily and conveniently lumped into your ideology post hoc, then there’s no space for negotiation or dialogue. And there’s no way to comply with demands either. Either everyone who dies is magically complicit in cooperating with Israel, or innocents die. Since no one can possibly believe the former, I don’t see how this achieves any kind of political end.

    Also, I’ve said it before, but the link between the former GSPC and perennial boogeyman Al-qa’idah grows murkier with each passing day.

  2. Well, the thing is there is a huge difference between what a speaker for any group says, what this group does at some point in its existence and what they can become in the future. History is full of tales of groups committing atrocities and then evolving to more acceptable behavior, some of them becoming nearly mainstream. Look at the Irgun, the PLO, Nepal’s Maoists, and so on.

    This said, there are guys which must simply been eradicated (either by putting them in jail for life or killing them in combat) because they are psychologically too brainwashed to change at all. It is a terrible thing that people become that bad, but it is hardly new.

  3. But when has a clear ideology from this group ever emerged? The way they’ve lent out their brand name to groups like the GSPC makes it difficult to discern where the Algerian political crisis ends and the more complicated business of Islamic terrorism begins. It’s not like THE Al-qa’idah targeted the UN *in* Algiers because the UN has always been one of their chief targets. It’s convenient, because the GSPC-cum-AQ-in-the-Islamic-Maghreb is already set up there waging war against the military/government.

    I would hesitate to liken AQ to the PLO or leftists in Nepal, who have a clear and specific political objective. The GSPC has a clear objective, but I would argue their marriage to AQ has blurred the lines significantly, and unless wholesale Islamic conversion by the world is truly an attainable goal, I feel the attention gained by such a marriage is offset by the detriments of having now to devote resources to waging a global terrorism war within Algeria.

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