How Al-Qaeda Will Perish

[Wall Street Journal] Bret Stephens - Last year, imprisoned Egyptian radical Sayyed Imam al-Sharif, a.k.a. "Dr. Fadl," the first "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, published The Document of Right Guidance for Jihad Activity in Egypt and the World, a systematic refutation of al-Qaeda's theology and methods. "The alternative" to violent jihadism, he said in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, "is not to kill civilians, foreigners and tourists, destroy property and commit aggression against the lives and property of those who are inviolable under the pretext of jihad. All of this is forbidden." He adds that "it is not permitted to go out to fight jihad without the permission of both parents." There really is a broad rethink sweeping the Muslim world about the practical utility - and moral defensibility - of terrorism, particularly since al-Qaeda began targeting fellow Sunni Muslims. Reports of al-Qaeda's torture chambers in Iraq have also percolated through Arab consciousness. Even among Saudis, a recent survey by Terror Free Tomorrow finds that "less than one in ten Saudis have a favorable opinion of al-Qaeda, and 88% approve the Saudi military and police pursuing al-Qaeda fighters."

2008-03-25 01:00:00

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