Monday, August 06, 2012

"It is our country"

the al qaeda style jihadist movement began as a kind of anti-imperialism. islamists fought against the soviet invasion of afghanistan. al qaeda became anti-american because the u.s. military planted bases in saudi arabia in the lead up to the gulf war. the rhetoric has always been about fighting western dominance and pushing out non-muslims from muslim lands. but the jihadist themselves have become an international bunch, who rove around the world looking for promising spots for their islamic revolution.

earlier in the year, the MNLA, a largely securlar tuareg nationalist group, allied with the the tuareg branch of the islamist ansar al-din and then fought for an independent tuareg state. ansar al-din called in the international al qaeda franchise to help. when the tuareg rebels won, the islamists turned against the MNLA and now northern mali is basically controlled by islamists who are from other parts of the islamic world. which is prompting a backlash against the foreigner islamists.

and so the anti-imperialist become the imperialists (at least among those who don't buy the "all muslims should all live in one big caliphate" theory)