The Globalization of Jihad: From Islamist Resistance to War Against the West

Islamist groups like al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are part of a larger movement against the United States. It is not a religious movement, nor one of only Muslims. These groups established a common cause with anti-U.S. forces in Latin America and elsewhere. They are trying to appeal to a broader audience.

Today, there is a globalization of the so-called “jihad.” For example, Hamas is cooperating with the Russians. The Iranians have connected to Cuba. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has praised Iraqi insurgents for their “anti-imperialist” resistance. Meanwhile, the Islamist radicals are increasingly adopting the language of Marxism and class war to broaden their appeal at home.


Many new anti-Western groups and organizations have arisen throughout the Muslim world in response to the war on terrorism. The leaders of al-Qaeda provide these groups with money, logistics and other support. These smaller groups act independently, making it harder for the West to defend itself against them.

The jihadists might use chemical weapons in their next major attack to harm a large number of innocent people. They will use young people to deliver them. Perhaps such an attack will be launched in the United States, in Europe, or some other place around the world.

The jihadists have formed special cells to spread false information. This disinformation builds hatred among people who otherwise would not support their rebellion. The jihadists use the Internet to coordinate the activities of their decentralized network.


Leaders of the global jihadist movement are adopting the language of anti-capitalism and class war to expand the conflict beyond the religious realm. Recent riots that spread rapidly throughout France are an example of the results. These riots occurred because North African immigrants felt trapped in the lower levels of French society. They felt denied of any opportunity. This feeling fueled their hatred of the French state and the symbols of its wealth. Extremists exploit this situation and transform it into a conflict between Muslims and Europeans, even though it is not related to religion.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an anti-imperialist movement with hatred for the West. It is focused on winning political power for its own sake. It has nothing to do with the religion of Islam.

Poverty and socioeconomic inequity are very real problems in many parts of the Muslim world. Wherever people live in poverty, extremism is likely to grow. The influence of the extremists can be undermined by addressing these problems. By narrowing the economic gulf between the Muslim world and the West, we can reduce the hatred and radicalism.

Source: The Globalization of Jihad: From Islamist Resistance to War Against the West
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