Sunday, January 04, 2009

Taking the Jihad Temperature - A Gathering Storm Special Series – APPEASEMENT – Part 4

If you throw a frog into boiling water, he will jump out. If you put it in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, he will not notice the rise in temperature and will eventually boil. 

The Islamists are boiling our frog and though this blog and hundreds like it record almost daily the rise in the Jihad temperature, unless we see how far and fast the temperature has risen, we will not know how far along our boiling has progressed. 

So, the Gathering Storm will be posting only once a week but these weekly posts will take the Jihadist temperature by looking back at news and events over the last two years. Over the next several weeks in the areas of intimidationinfiltrationdisinformation and those appeasers and apologists who either knowingly or unknowingly advance the Jihad agenda, the Gathering Storm will show how far our frog has been boiled. 

By seeing the boiling water around us, we can see how far the boiling has progressed. 

The good news is that we are noticing that the water is getting warmer. There is a glimmer of awareness here - a glimmer of hope there. But we have a long way to go. 

Here’s this week’s look back at the rising Jihad temperature of APPEASEMENT !! And remember – this is just a sampling of Jihadist Appeasement. More to follow.

Storm Track Appeasement: Pluralism vs Multiculturalism

There are many things wrong with the concept of multiculturalism. The first of which are its attempts at replacing it with what makes a free society great – pluralism. Multiculturalism believes that all cultures are equal but that’s not true.

For example, the bushman of in Australia could, as individuals, be trained to fly the space shuttle. But that doesn’t make their culture equal to ours because they can’t build a space shuttle. You can try and give everyone equal opportunity and treat everyone equally - but that doesn’t make us equal.

A little story gives a good example of this.

Once upon a time, the animals decided that they must do something to meet the problems of the ‘New World’. So, they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming, and flying and all the animals had to take all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructors, but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school since that would make him more equal. So nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous break-down because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed charley horses from over-exertion and then got a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way of getting there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was made valedictorian.

Equality is a fine ideal. But like all other ideas, it can be pursued to absurdity. The same with multiculturalism. Melanie Phillips wrote about the problem of multiculturalism.

Many people think multiculturalism just means showing respect and tolerance to other cultures and faiths. If that were so, it should be unarguable. We should all support respect and tolerance. But that's not what multiculturalism is at all. It holds that all minority values must have equal status to those of the majority. Any attempt to uphold majority values over minorities is a form of prejudice. That turns minorities into a cultural battering ram to destroy the very idea of being a majority culture at all.

The end result of multiculturalism the Balkanization of a society. Pluralism, on the other hand, doesn’t do this. Pluralism is based a values system that we all hold in common. Multiculturalism is based on lowest common denominator values in a society.

Back to Melanie Phillips .

Pluralism allows for many different groupings but, unlike multiculturalism, does not try to impose one uniform status on all of them. It allows a thousand flowers to bloom, with minorities forming communities of faith, ethnicity or culture within a society — but under the overarching umbrella of a national identity to whose core values everyone signs up. It is only by having that overarching set of common values — monogamy, freedom of conscience, equal rights for women, freedom of expression — that a society coheres as a common project.

Now, the USA and Australia have a leg up on pluralism on Europe. Why? Because of the way both countries were founded, when you come to America as an ethnic group you are immediately accepted being an American. Same with Australia. But when you immigrate to a European country, you are not a European and you are definitely not a Frenchman, German, Dutchman, etc. etc.

Now let’s consider the Muslim.

"What Unites And What Divides Us? Tough Questions for Islam and the West" brought together journalists, policy experts, and representatives of civic organizations from the Islamic world, Europe, and the United States. Discussion and disagreements abounded, but many participants found common ground around one idea. That is, fostering pluralism and participatory forms of government in the Muslim world could offer hope for moderating some of the radical political parties that claim to speak for Islam. And, ultimately, that might help bridge today's sharp divides between East and West.

But can you foster pluralism in Islam? Can you foster pluralism in a culture that sees itself superior to every other culture in world? And when it says it is attempting to assimilate, Muslims, over the last decade or so, instead use intimidation and disinformation tactics to dominate the non-Muslim culture they live in. That is why they can use the weaknesses of multiculturalism as it’s practiced today as a weapon to beat other cultures into submission with the help of their non-Muslim useful idiots who worship at the alter of political correctness and multiculturalism.

Tolerance is the main argument of multiculturalism and those who hold that view hold up America as a prime example of tolerance. But tolerance can go too far. A new book by Amy Chua entitled “Day of Empire - How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance -- and Why They Fall” takes on this concept tolerance as it applies to what she calls hyperpowers.

Every "hyperpower" in history, she writes, has been "at least by the standards of its time, extraordinarily pluralistic and tolerant during its rise to preeminence." Imperial Rome and Britain, China's Tang Dynasty, Achaemenid Persia, the United States -- in the rise to preeminence, each was more accepting of racial, ethnic and religious difference than the competing powers of its age.

Such a happily multicultural case may strike skeptics as politically correct cant, but Chua's argument is clear-eyed and hard-headed. For most of history, tolerance has been a tactical expedient rather than an abstract principle, a way of stoking economic dynamism, increasing manpower and maximizing the efficiency of political control. "To attain and maintain dominance on a global scale," Chua notes, "coercion is simply too inefficient, persecution too costly, and ethnic or religious homogeneity, like inbreeding, too unproductive." In short, tolerance is a force multiplier: It enables a nation to do more with the resources it has. Great powers do well by doing good.

But there are limits to the positive contribution of tolerance.

At some point, strategic tolerance reaches a limit and "sow[s] the seeds of decline," setting off a cycle of "conflict, hatred, and violence." That ominous note is especially evident in Chua's discussion of the U.S. She fears we may be approaching the point at which tolerant rise gives way to intolerant fall.

And where pray tell is this conflict, hatred, and violence coming from. I don’t have to tell you. Just look at the today’s headlines, but the main source is the end result of political correctness and multiculturalism that has replaced pluralism as the tolerant force in our society.

We need to recognize that pluralism is distinctly different from multiculturalism. One is based on strong, positive values. The other is based on appeasing everyone with a lowest common denominator approach. It must stop if we are to preserve the best of the free world’s cultures.

Storm Track Appeasement: Bush Throws in the Towel on War on Terror

First President Bush was lost in translation by turning a war against an ideology into a war against a military tactic. Now he’s lost in space rejecting his Bush Doctrine in favor of ‘real politik’.

As it stands now, American foreign policy in the Middle East has shifted from actively promoting democratic change to the previous policy of realpolitik -- a policy based on the appeasement of dictators and despots that was discredited in the post 9/11 world primarily because it had failed to secure American interests and security even in its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The Bush Doctrine of actively promoting democratic change may have been problematic owing to the backward political culture of the Middle East and other reasons suggested by Silverberg such as Middle Eastern tribal cultures being too resistant to change; secular Middle East dictatorships as too well-entrenched, and Islamic extremists using the electoral process to acquire power and credibility in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, however an American foreign policy based on "based on cold, calculated political and material considerations rather than on moral, ethical or idealistic concerns" hasn't worked in the past and it is highly unlikely to work in the future.

The Bush administration's return to a policy of "realism" translates to both America and Israel being in for a rough time ahead. Simply put, it is unrealistic to think believe that the previously proven wrong policy of realism will do anything but invite another 9/11.

OK. A stinging criticism that has some merit. So what should Bush have done and what should he do now in the waning days of his Administration?

We all know that the label ‘war on terror’ is misnomer and opened the door to for the Left to define terrorism as a criminal justice problem not an ideological one. That’s the root of the confusion we have today. If Bush had said we declare war on an ideology, the ideology of political Islam, we would have seen our enemy in a clearer light.

But that would entail us dissolving our relationships with dictators who crush democratic ideals in their countries, no longer submitting to those dictators that hold our nation hostage to oil, and realizing the reality of a fifth column of Islamists in this country working under the guise of civil rights organizations.

The very best thing that Bush could do before leaving office is to push for US energy independence from foreign oil. This dependence is not just an economic problem but a national security issue and should be treated as one.

He should include this statement in his January ’08 State of the Union Address:

“Our dependence on foreign energy sources is a threat to national security and it must cease. I have ordered a 10-year plan that will open every and all possible sources for oil in the country to drilling and have ordered a fast track permit program for nuclear energy. Tax credits will be issued to any and all companies and individuals who develop or use alternative technologies to reduce the use of oil and natural gas products. I’ve ordered the temporary lifting of controls on the mining and use of coal in this country. We have more coal in this country than the entire middle-east has oil. We have a national crisis on our hands and we are going to use the coal – cleanly.”

Would he have the courage to make this his priority over the last months of his Administration? I wonder.

Storm Track Appeasement: The ‘Culture of Exclusion’

It seems that Sandy Robertson, the principal at the Columbus Manor School in Oak Lawn, Illinois finds it “difficult when you change the schools culture”.

This in response to the heated controversy – police had to be called the Columbus Manor School to intervene in a shouting match among parents – over a decision to deleted the annual Halloween parade and Santa’s gift shop this year.

This is on the heels of a decision by Ridgeland School District 122, that Columbus Manor is part of, to exclude Jello from the lunch menu because of complaints from Muslim parents. Gelatin is often made with tissue or bones of pigs or other animals.
This from an article by Angela Caputo of the Daily Southtown. The story itself is not longer available at the newspaper’s site.

First Jell-O, now Santa
OAK LAWN | School district considers banning traditions seen as offensive to Muslims

September 28, 2007
BY ANGELA CAPUTO Daily Southtown
So long, Halloween parade. Farewell, Santa's gift shop.
The holiday traditions are facing elimination in some Oak Lawn schools this year after complaints that the activities are offensive, particularly to Muslim students.

Final decisions on which of the festivities will be axed will fall to the principals at each of Ridgeland School District 122's five schools, Supt. Tom Smyth said.

"It's difficult when you change the school's culture," said Columbus Manor Principal Sandy Robertson.

Sandy Robertson doesn’t realize how true her statement is. The multiculturalism crowd is trying to change our culture through the process of exclusion – not inclusion. And what get’s excluded always seems to be the Judeo-Christian culture. Why is that when the libs make the change to accommodate a complaint is to drop their draws, raise the white flag of political correctness and surrender to the squeakiest wheel. Even the person who complained didn’t realize the spineless leftists that she was dealing with.

Elizabeth Zahdan, a mother of three District 122 students, says she took her concerns to the school board this month, not because she wanted to do away with the traditions, but rather to make them more inclusive. "I only wanted them modified to represent everyone," she said.

Ms. Zahdan, please understand that your request for Muslim inclusion will almost always result in another culture’s exclusion when officials are faced with lesser of two evils. That is to say, who would be offended least.

Nixing them isn't the response she was looking for. "Now the kids are not being educated about other people," she said.

By ‘other people’ she means our dominant culture. The administration’s excuse is for their action is this.

There's just not time in the six-hour school day to celebrate every holiday, said Smyth, who sent the message to principals that they need to "tone down" the activities that he sees as eating too much into instructional time. "We have to think about our purpose," Smyth said. "Are we about teaching reading, writing and math or for parties or fund-raising during the day?"

Following the example of Lieb Elementary School, Columbus Manor School will exchange the annual Halloween parade for a fall festival next month. The holiday gift bazaars at both schools also will remain, but they'll likely be moved to the PTA-sponsored after-school winter festival. And Santa's annual visit probably will be on a Saturday.

People are starting to get angry in this country seeing their culture under assault by one group of people who just can’t seem to assimilate into a country they chose to live in.

Storm Track Appeasement: U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrating Muslim Victory to be Issued

It seems the U.S. Postal Service is getting into the appeasement act. They will issue a new stamp celebrating the Muslim holiday of EID as part of their Holiday Celebration Series.

Greetings! And Happy Holidays from Allah to you.

The Holiday they are celebrating with this Muslim stamp is EID. And what is EID? I’ll let my eloquent co-host, Always on Watch, speak to that.

The Battle of Badr of March 17, 624, is one of the few military conflicts specifically mentioned in the Qur'an and holds a great deal of significance in Islam. Eid ul-Fitr, the final portion of Ramadan and which the lighting of the Empire State Building will recognize this weekend, has as its origin the aforementioned battle. Furthermore and most importantly, this battle marked the turning point for Islam, both politically and ideologically.

Having earlier fled to Medina along with followers who accepted him as their prophet whereas most of the tribes of Mecca did not, early on that morning in 624 Muhammad got word that a rich Quraish caravan from Syria was returning to Mecca. He therefore assembled the largest army he had ever been able to muster, some 300 men, with the original intent of raiding the caravan. After his men successfully overtook the caravan and brought back the booty, Muhammad then conveniently received a new "revelation" from Allah — a "revelation" which not only included rejoicing in having captured an enemy's caravan but which also called "proved" that Muhammad had been preaching the true way all along. Fulfilling Destiny, Muhammad and his forces proceeded to trounce the Quraish as punishment for having earlier rejected the prophet's teachings. From this source:

In other words, victory at the Battle of Badr proved to Muhammad and his adherents that Islam should from that time forth take on a militant aspect because such is the will of Allah.

I guess to the U.S. Postal Service a holiday is a holiday even if celebrates that “Islam should from that time forth take on a militant aspect because such is the will of Allah.”

Is this what the Christmas Season has degenerated to?

Storm Track Appeasement: Episcopalians, Other Christians Ask Muslims for Forgiveness

Yeah, you read that right. Christians are now apologizing to Muslims. This is a disgusting and unbelievable act of prostration to Islam. What the hell is the Church thinking? Where are the Crusaders of old who remember Martel and Vienna and who refused to see Europe become another Muslim conquest?

Disgusting, just disgusting.

Seven bishops and other Episcopal leaders joined with a number of influential Christian leaders in signing a letter asking Muslims to forgive Christians. The letter with signatures recently appeared as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times.

“Muslims and Christians have not always shaken hands in friendship; their relations have sometimes been tense, even characterized by outright hostility,” the authors said. “Since Jesus Christ says, ‘First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye’ (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the 'war on terror’) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors. Before we ‘shake your hand’ in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.

And where’s the letter of forgiveness from Muslims for the atrocities they committed in history against Christians –and are still going on today? How can Christian leaders commend Muslim leaders and apologize for the failings of the church in the past without taking any account of what Islam has done and is doing to Christian minorities in their countries today. Why has the Church chosen to ignore their plight and even to apologize to the Muslims?

The Episcopal leaders should take a refresher course on the religion they claim to represent.

To quote Rev. Canon Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of the Barnabas Fund a Christian Relief Agency that focuses on persecuted Christian minorities in the Muslim World and elsewhere, “Prince Charles and various Anglican bishops as well as political leaders are united in affirming this. However a closer analysis of both traditions will show this is not the case. For example, Islamic tradition is based on the community (ummah), or the nation [of Islam]. The Christian approach is based on the worth of the individual, freedom of thought, expression, conscience and freedom to change. In Islam such freedoms do not exist. So human rights and religious liberty in the Islamic mind are not given the same weight and importance as in the Christian tradition.”

Storm Track Appeasement: Heard Animals and the Left


A while back I wrote a post on Sheepdogs, Wolves & Sheep that compared the Left with sheep and those in our society that keep them fat and happy and protected from wolves. Mark Helprin writing in The Claremont Review of Books contributed an opinion piece using another animal comparison. His piece entitled “Herd Animals” described the Left as having a heard – or collective – instinct that prevents them from facing threats to their community.


The nature of one’s reaction to aggression against one’s country will often
be determined by whether one sees the polity primarily as individuals who must
struggle with the imperfection of being bound into a collective, or as a
collective that must overcome the circumstantial imperfection that it comprises
individuals. For wildebeest thundering across a plain in Africa, it takes a
village. The herd defends itself by sacrificing a miniscule
proportion of its number and moving on. If the herd were to turn upon the
jackals preying upon it, the jackels would be pulverized almost instantly.
Nonetheless, if the price for the escape of ten thousand is the sacrifice
of only a few, this is how it is done when the collective is paramount.

There is a comparison here to the school shootings of today. When a lone gun man enters a school, the collective cowers under their desks and wait for the hunter to pick them off one by one. If the males in the group, understanding that a gunman can be overpowered by numbers, attacked the government and sacrifice a few for the collective, such incident would reduce the causality count among the prey. But they don’t, and all and not just a few are subject to being victims.


But animals like bears, tigers and lions, that wander individually or in
small groups, know that their survival depends upon how they fight, and
their willingness to fight is so well understood that they are seldom attacked,
whereas to a predator a herd in flight is a living contradiction to the maxim
that there is no FREE LUNCH…

When The Left bends to America’s enemies it may not be a result of cowardice or betrayal, but of loyalty to the omelette so single-minded that it precludes consideration of the eggs….

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute where he referenced a book called ‘Troublesome Young Men’ which is a study of the younger Conservatives who opposed appeasement in the 1930s and who took on Chamberlain.

It's a very revealing book and a very powerful book because we tend to look
backwards and we tend to overstate Churchill's role in that period. And we tend
to understate what a serious and conscientious and thoughtful effort appeasement
was and that it was the direct and deliberate policy of very powerful and very
willful people. We tend to think of it as a psychological weakness as though
Chamberlain was somehow craven. He wasn't craven. Chamberlain had a very clear
vision of the world and he was very ruthless domestically. And they believed so
deeply in avoiding war with Germany that as late as the spring of 1940, when
they are six months or seven months into they war, they are dropping leaflets
instead of bombs on the Rohr, and they are urging the British news media not to
publish anti-German stories because they don't want to offend the German people.

The Chamberlain world view was one of the British omelet
sacrificing, if necessary, the individual British eggs. Even on the eve of World
War II where most people knew war was upon them, the Chamberlain Brits were
concerned about publishing anti-German stories fearing that they might offend
the German people.

Sounds a lot like today? Huh? Chamberlain had the same problem we have today. He couldn’t bring himself to see that it was an ideology not a country or a people that was the enemy. We’re making the same mistake today by not embracing the concept of Islamo-fascism or Islamism as the enemy and not any one particular Muslim country or group.

And you read this book, and it makes you want to weep because,
interestingly, the younger Tories who were most opposed to appeasement were the
combat veterans of World War I, who had lost all of their friends in the war but
who understood that the failure of appeasement would result in a worse war and
that the longer you lied about reality, the greater the disaster.

And they were severly punished and isolated by Chamberlain and the
Conservative machine, and as I read that, I realized that that's really where we
are today. Our current problem is tragic. You have an administration whose
policy is inadequate being opposed by a political left whose policy is worse,
and you have nobody pre pared to talk about the policy we need. Because we are
told if you are for a strong America, you should back the Bush policy even if
it's inadequate, and so you end up making an argument in favor of something that
can't work. So your choice is to defend something which isn't working or to
oppose it by being for an even weaker policy. So this is a catastrophe for this
country and a catastrophe for freedom around the world. Because we have refused
to be honest about the scale of the problem.

Absolutely correct. Those that worship at the altar of pacifism will only bring down upon us all a terrible price for peace at any cost. Or to quote Robert Heinlein, “Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay -- and claims a halo for his dishonesty.”

When will the pacifist ever learn that peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of justice.


Storm Track Infiltration: Shari'a-Jihad Threat Alert #1


Mapping Sharia in America, that has been investigating different mosques over the last several months, has issued their first Shari'a-Jihad Threat Alert.

The first threat centers on an imam called Yusuf Estes – a popular Islamic leader in America. He is active in converting non-Muslims to Islam and writes for several different web sites. Check out the YouTube video where he claims to have converted 135 infidels to Islam after his lecture.

Yusuf Estes preaches from the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Falls Church, Va. The evidence obtained by Mapping Sharia in America was an audio recording on 18 May 2007 of a conversation between Dave Gaubatz, Director of Mapping Shari’a, and Estes.

Dir. Gaubatz had specific intelligence information from a Muslim informant
who had visited Dar al-Hijrah suggesting that Muslims associated with Dar
al-Hijrah were recruiting other Muslims and even non-Muslims in an attempt to
establish a greater “Wahhabi” culture in America. The Wahhabi sect, with strong
ties to the Salafists of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, is a main
exporter or the violent Jihadist political ideology of a world wide Islamic

During the conversation, Estes had his assistants go inside the mosque and obtain Islamic materials for Dir. Gaubatz. At 42:43 minutes into the site visit, Estes placed a compact disc inside Dir. Gaubatz’s jacket pocket. At 52:51 minutes into the site visit, Estes asked Gaubatz if he was ready to convert (or “revert” insofar as Estes preaches everyone was originally a Muslim) and to do so by repeating after him the expression of faith required by Islamic law to become a Muslim. Dir. Gaubatz completed the pseudo conversion to Islam.

Dir. Gaubatz subsequently left Dar al-Hijrah and reviewed the compact
disk Estes had placed inside his pocket. On the disk was a cover letter stating:
“We encourage you to review this CD carefully. Every Muslim must have a copy of
this valuable CD”. Further review of this disk revealed a 17-page manual in
English, entitled The Book of Jihad, Chapter 234, “Obligation of Jihad”. The manual includes passages from the Qur’an, the Sunna (consisting of Ahadith [pl. of
Hadith], which are the authoritative teachings and actions of Mohammed, and
which are used along with verses from the Qur’an as the basis of Shari’a or
Islamic law), and commentary.

So what we have here is a Jihadist actively recruiting people jihad and the over throw of the U.S. as a constitutional republic.

Those are examples of the rising Jihad temperature of for this week. When seen in groups like this, the slow boil becomes obvious.

Next week we return to a look back at the rising Jihad temperature of Islamist Intimidation!!

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  • Islamist terrorism may have its roots in the Middle East, but it has long since expanded globally. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, is no exception. Jemaah Islamiyah has for more than fifteen years fought to transform Indonesia into an Islamist state. In recent years, its terrorist campaign has suffered setbacks. As Jemaah Islamiyah regroups, it builds upon the experience of Middle East terrorist groups. From Al-Qaeda, it adopts philosophical underpinnings that guide its dual strategy. From Hamas and Hezbollah, it borrows an "inverse triangle model" in which a broad network of social services supports a smaller jihadist core, and from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf emirates it adopts a model of charities and NGOs that help Jemaah Islamiyah advance its jihadist goals.

    What Is Jemaah Islamiyah?

    Jemaah Islamiyah's engagement in politics is a cynical short-term tactic in its long-term strategy to eradicate democracy. Founder Abu Bakar Ba'asyir has said, "The democratic system is not the Islamic way. It is forbidden. Democracy is based on people, but the state must be based on God's law—I call it Allahcracy."

    Jemaah Islamiyah was founded sometime in 1992 or 1993 by former members of Darul Islam, an Islamist movement that emerged during Indonesia's fight for independence from the Netherlands but that continued armed struggle for more than a decade after independence. Members of Darul Islam grew especially frustrated with their political emasculation under Muhammad Suharto's rule (1965-98). Jemaah Islamiyah's founders, Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, conceptualized the group as a covert organization that would topple the secular state through a combination of political agitation and violence. Jemaah Islamiyah's primary founding document, Pedoman Umum Perjuangan al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyyah (PUPJI, The general guidebook for the struggle of Jemaah Islamiyah) outlines the role of clandestine cells and describes the Islamist struggle in terms of guerilla warfare. By the end of the decade, Jemaah Islamiyah had become an Al-Qaeda affiliate, receiving financial and material support from the group. Several top Jemaah Islamiyah operatives even received instruction in Afghan training camps.[1] Soon after its founding, Jemaah Islamiyah became an Al-Qaeda affiliate.

    Jemaah Islamiyah sought advantage from the collapse of Suharto's authoritarian rule and Indonesia's descent into a chaotic decentralized democracy. Beginning in 1998, Jemaah Islamiyah launched the "uhud project," whose goal was ridding regions of the country of both Christians and Hindus in order to establish pure Muslim enclaves, governed by Shari‘a (Islamic law). Its two paramilitaries, Laskar Mujahidin in the Moluccas and Laskar Jundullah in Central Sulawesi, engaged in sectarian bloodletting against Christians and Hindus until, in 2002, the government was able to broker the Malino accords, enabling a fragile truce. Meanwhile, Jemaah Islamiyah began a bombing campaign in 2000, killing several hundred people, including 202 in one attack in October 2002 at a Bali disco.

    Indonesian authorities fought back. Security forces arrested more than 450 Jemaah Islamiyah members, prosecuted over 250 terrorists, and eviscerated the organization's regional cell system. Victory was not complete, however. More than a dozen hardened Jemaah Islamiyah leaders remain at large; some, such as Noordin Muhammad Top, have significant organizational skills. Others, such as Zulkarnaen and Dulmatin, have technical and military capabilities. As recently as June 2008, police raids have netted large caches of bombs and bomb-making material,[2] suggesting that Jemaah Islamiyah's commitment to terrorism remains high.

    Justifying a Soft Power Strategy
    With the exception of Ali Ghufreon (known also as Mukhlas), awaiting execution for his role in the 2002 Bali bombing, Southeast Asian jihadists have no important homegrown theoreticians. Jemaah Islamiyah has filled the gap by drawing upon the works of Al-Qaeda's three most important thinkers—Abu Musab as-Suri, whose main work is the 2002 tract "Call to Worldwide Islamic Resistance"; Abu Bakr Naji, who wrote the 2004 document "The Management of Savagery"; and Abdul Qadir (Dr. Fadl), who, in November 2007, penned "Rationalizing Jihad in Egypt and the World."

    Together, these authors provide theoretical sustenance to Jemaah Islamiyah's revitalization of Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, a civil society organization affiliated with Jemaah Islamiyah, and other overt organizations. Suri, for example, argued that Al-Qaeda's blanket opposition to democracy was counterproductive and that jihadists should instead work with Islamist political leaders and parties. Naji concurred. "If we meditate on the factor common to the movements which have remained, we find there is political action in addition to military action," he explained. "We urge that the leaders work to master political science just as they would to master military science." Naji's specific recommendations that jihadists be able to justify their actions in Islamic law and reach the people directly without reliance on state media parallel the strategy implemented in Egypt by Sayyid Qutb who, in the Muslim Brotherhood, combined a mass-based movement and a network of covert cells. Jemaah Islamiyah has also adopted the substance of Qadir's tract which argued that most terrorism is illegal by Islamic law, that violent jihad should only be waged in defense, and that fighting Muslim leaders, even those decried as apostates, is illegal unless rebellion would lead to tangible improvement in Muslims' lives.[3]

    Today, Jemaah Islamiyah pursues a three-front strategy of recruitment and expansion of cells, religious indoctrination and training of its members, and instigation of sectarian conflict. Indeed, Noordin Mohammad Top wrote an 82-page tract about how to establish jihadi cells on a six-month timetable.

    The PUPJI outlines the three phases of jihad: iman (faith of individuals), hijrah (building a base of operations), and then jihad qital (fighting the enemies of Islam). One section of the PUPJI, "Al-Manhaj al-Harakiy Li Iqomatid Dien (The general manual for operations)," states that Jemaah Islamiyah can engage in overt activities in order to proselytize and build a base of support. But the bulk of the document is a guide for clandestine operations and cell-building, the path Jemaah Islamiyah leaders most closely follow.

    The Rebound
    After the Indonesian crackdown that began in 2003, Jemaah Islamiyah reverted to recruitment and indoctrination for several years, but it has again begun to build a base of operations, especially in Central Sulawesi and the Moluccas. As the group sought to recover from the blows inflicted by Indonesian counterterror forces, debate raged about how to move forward. The International Crisis Group's Sydney Jones, a leading expert on Indonesia, describes factional rifts inside Jemaah Islamiyah between proponents of sectarian bloodletting and those who wish to target the Indonesian government and Western targets.[4] Such strategies, however, are not mutually exclusive. Since 2004, Jemaah Islamiyah has increased bombings, assassinations, and raids on military and police facilities. The November 2005 beheadings of three Hindu schoolgirls was meant to undermine confidence in the state.[5]

    By provoking sectarian attacks, Jemaah Islamiyah can broaden its definition of a defensive jihad. Such vigilantism enables it to contend that Jakarta has abdicated responsibility by not coming to the defense of the Muslim community, enabling Jemaah Islamiyah to pursue its goals with greater popular support. Since mid-2006, the Indonesian police have taken seriously the threat of sectarian violence after uncovering documents emphasizing the centrality of sectarian bloodletting to Jemaah Islamiyah's efforts to regroup.

    Religious indoctrination has become a parallel component of Jemaah Islamiyah strategy. The group has sent high-level cells to Pakistan for advanced religious training. In 2003, for example, Jemaah Islamiyah sent nineteen children or brothers of high-ranking Jemaah Islamiyah members to study in the Lashkar e-Toiba madrasa, an Islamic school in Lahore, Pakistan, which has ties to the Taliban. Although Pakistani security arrested and deported them in fall 2004,[6] Jemaah Islamiyah has been able to conduct more such training in Indonesia where the group runs a network of approximately sixty madrasas and has launched its own publishing houses: Al-Alaq, the Arafah Group, the Al-Qowam Group, the Aqwam Group, and Kafayeh Cipta Media.[7]

    Such a strategy is not unique to Indonesia and, indeed, has been frequently practiced in the Middle East. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood regrouped in the wake of the Egyptian government's mid-1990s crackdown by concentrating on mosques, publishing, and proselytizing.[8] Likewise, for more than a decade before Israeli Arabs became involved in Palestinian violence, the Islamic Movement within Israel maintained its own educational institutions and publication houses in the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm.[9] Lebanon, too, has become home to a number of Islamist publishing houses.

    Jemaah Islamiyah's Inverse Triangle
    Like many Middle Eastern Islamist groups, Jemaah Islamiyah has embraced the inverse triangle in which a broad range of charities and nongovernmental agencies (NGOs) serve as cover for a narrower terrorist mission. And like many Islamist groups in the Middle East, as Jemaah Islamiyah regroups, it shows no intention of abandoning its core ideology even as some Indonesian officials wishfully see moderation where none exists. As the organization seeks to rebuild, it becomes an example of how Al-Qaeda affiliates, beaten back by successful counterterror strategies, regroup using both the democratic process they simultaneously fight and the legitimacy naively bestowed by the international community on any organization that calls itself a nongovernmental organization.

    Jemaah Islamiyah has adopted a Hezbollah model of social organization in which most of the group's activities are overt charitable work and provision of social services even as a component of the organization clandestinely pursues terrorism. Beginning in the 1980s, Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shi‘i political group founded by Iran in the wake of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, began to construct a large network of educational institutions and social services both to complement their military wing and to serve as a recruitment tool. Slowly, Hezbollah built a state within a state in Lebanon, preventing anyone within its territory the option of remaining outside the group's influence. Even as Hezbollah conducts terrorist activities against Israel and within Lebanon itself, many in the international community refuse to define the group as a terrorist organization, in effect arguing that social work is exculpatory.[10]

    Hamas has implemented the same model. While Hamas is a lethal terrorist organization that has employed at least sixty suicide bombings since the second intifada began in September 2000, many Palestinians and Europeans argue that the group's network of schools, orphanages, clinics, and social welfare organizations bestows some legitimacy.[11] In Iraq, too, militia leaders pursue the same strategy. Abdul Aziz Hakim, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, has employed not only the Badr Corps, which has sponsored terrorism and conducted violent operations, but also the Shahid al-Mihrab Foundation, a charitable organization run by his son, Amar al-Hakim.

    In Jemaah Islamiyah's case, the base of the inverse triangle is Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, an umbrella organization for political parties, NGOs, civil society organizations, and individuals committed to transforming Indonesia into an Islamic state.[12] Created in 1999, the organization has an office in Yogyakarta, publishes conspiracy-laden and vehemently anti-Semitic and anti-American books through Wihdah Press and its own magazine, Risalah Mujahidin, lobbies political officials, and in 2001 and 2003, held high-profile national conferences.[13] Muhammad Jibril, son of Jemaah Islamiyah leader Muhammad Iqbal Abdurrahman, runs Ar-Rahman Media, its multimedia publishing house. The use of diverse institutions is deliberate, even as the antipathy toward Indonesian democracy is pronounced. Muhammad Jibril told Al-Jazeera,

    We want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation.[14]

    At a November 2006 sermon at a mosque in Kediri, East Java, Jemaah Islamiyah founder Ba'asyir urged his followers to go abroad to wage jihad, though without explaining why. "If you want to go on jihad, do not do it here [Indonesia] but in the southern Philippines or even in Iraq." He said the Bali bombers were legitimate jihadis even if their jihad was "not at the right time or place." Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia may have switched tactics with regard to the desirability of terrorism inside Indonesia, but they have not altered their commitment to violent jihad.

    Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia has to some extent become Jemaah Islamiyah's equivalent of Sinn Fein, the political party that existed solely to mirror the Irish Republican Army's aims. Jemaah Islamiyah uses Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia to achieve whatever aims it can through the democratic process. Thus, the Majelis Mujahidin advocates for Islamic law components to all major bills and laws. It seeks, for example, to push Indonesian penal law into conformity with Islamic law[15] and has urged local Islamic communities to lobby regional representatives for Islamic law at the local level.[16] It is a strategy that is both well organized and effective. Nearly forty regional governments have taken steps to implement Islamic law, regulate interaction between men and women, obligate Qur'an reading, and ban alcohol.[17] The group has also pressured the media to replace secular programming with Islamic programming, legislating to force civil servants to wear Islamic dress, and mandating Arabic literacy.

    Jemaah Islamiyah's engagement in the political process is a cynical short-term tactic in its longer-term strategy to eradicate democracy. "The democratic system is not the Islamic way," Ba'asyir explained. "It is forbidden. Democracy is based on people, but the state must be based on God's law—I call it Allahcracy."[18] "Islam's victory can only come though da'wa and jihad, not elections."[19] Many of Jemaah Islamiyah leaders hold concurrent positions in Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, giving themselves a patina of legitimacy and political cover. Since his release from prison in October 2004, Abdurrahman (Abu Jibril), for example, has used Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia as his base of operations. But his message has not necessarily changed. In one recruiting film produced by Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, Abdurrahman calls on his congregants to wage a violent jihad. Armed with a pistol extended into the air he exclaimed, "You can't just have the Qur'an without the steel. You will bring down the steel."[20] His younger brother remains Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia's director of daily operations.[21]

    Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia has grown increasingly confident and combative in dealing with the government, which it accuses of leading a witch hunt against Muslims. Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia has begun issuing "summons," or official complaints, to the police in order to intimidate them and influence investigations of suspected terrorists. In May 2006, for example, it issued a summons to the Indonesian National Police specialized counterterrorism unit, Detachment 88, for their raid on a Jemaah Islamiyah safe house in Central Java, in which two suspects were killed and two others were arrested.[22] As Ba'asyir said, "The struggle for Islam can only come through crisis and confrontation."[23]

    Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia also serves as a link between Jemaah Islamiyah and Saudi financiers. Many Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia leaders hold or have held concurrent positions in Saudi charities and their Indonesian counterparts that have been used to support terrorist activities.[24] These include the Saudi Al-Haramain and the International Islamic Relief Organization. Two Indonesian charities, KOMPAK and the Medical Emergency Relief Charity, respectively serve as their counterpart or executing agencies. While U.S. Executive Order 13224 and the U.N.'s 1267 Committee on January 22, 2004, designated the Indonesian branch of Al-Haramain as a funder of terrorism, four months after the designation, Al-Haramain was operating openly in East Java.[25]

    Jemaah Islamiyah used or co-opted many of these charities between 1999 and 2001, during a period of sectarian bloodletting in the Molucca Islands between Jemaah Islamiyah's paramilitaries and Christian and Hindu citizens. Dewan Dakwah Islam Indonesia, a hard-line Islamist offshoot of the Muhammadiyah, the national Islamic organization, established KOMPAK in late 1998 ostensibly to provide relief assistance to people in conflict areas, such as Kalimantan, the Moluccas, and Central Sulawesi. It immediately partnered with the Saudi International Islamic Relief Organization although it recently suffered a setback when, on August 3, 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Indonesian branch of the International Islamic Relief Organization, along with the Philippine branch and a Saudi director of the International Islamic Relief Organization, for financing terrorism, including Al-Qaeda. The United Nations Security Council 1267 Committee acted in concert although it did not designate the Indonesian branch of the International Islamic Relief Organization as a financier of terrorism until November 9, 2006.[26] While KOMPAK did not engage in conflict directly, its aid won support for Jemaah Islamiyah and its paramilitary organizations such as Laskar Jundullah and Laskar Mujahidin.

    Of the thirteen regional directors of KOMPAK, at least three were top-level Jemaah Islamiyah operatives.[27] KOMPAK, however, only came to the assistance of Muslim communities, which it worked to radicalize. KOMPAK officials, while acknowledging that they operate in regions struck by sectarian conflict such as Aceh, Poso, the Moluccas, and Bangunan Beton Sumatra, assert they alleviate the crises and provide necessary relief. They deny any links to jihad activities.[28] In 2003, Indonesian forces arrested several KOMPAK leaders for their involvement in sectarian violence and terrorism; several others went underground.

    As with other jihadist organizations and corollary charities in North Africa, Iraq, Chechnya, and elsewhere, KOMPAK's support is not entirely indigenous. It serves as the executing agency of many Saudi and Persian Gulf funds, including from Al-Haramain and the International Islamic Relief Organization.

    Aris Munandar, a top KOMPAK and Al-Haramain official, was a key financial conduit between Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah. Agus Dwikarna not only served as head of KOMPAK for South Sulawesi but also was the regional branch officer for the International Islamic Relief Organization and treasurer of Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia. Munandar, who was a leading member of Jemaah Islamiyah, used KOMPAK to support both the sectarian bloodletting in the Moluccas and Sulawesi and Al-Qaeda operatives' training of Jemaah Islamiyah members.[29] KOMPAK also produced a number of jihadi videos for fundraising and recruitment purposes.

    The Indonesian crackdown broke KOMPAK into disparate cells, but the organization did not cease its commitment to radicalization. One such splinter group, KOMPAK in Ambon, conducted the October 2005 Bali II bombings. Indonesian prosecutors believe that one mid-level Jemaah Islamiyah operative, Abdullah Sonata, received 11 million rupiah (US$15,000) and 100,000 Saudi riyals ($36,500) in 2004 from a Saudi named Syeikh Abu Muhammad to finance militant operations and to send Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists to Mindanao. Other KOMPAK members acquired weaponry with which to instigate a new wave of sectarian bloodletting in Central Sulawesi and the Moluccas.[30] Dulmatin, who is one of Jemaah Islamiyah's leading operatives and has been in hiding in the southern Philippines since early 2004, ordered other KOMPAK members to dispatch suicide bombers to the Philippines. Abdullah Sonata asserted that he sent ten although only four got through.[31]

    It is clear, therefore, that the KOMPAK network, funded by Saudi charities, helped develop Jemaah Islamiyah. It also illustrates clearly that terrorist organizations can be created from social networks.

    Hambali, Jemaah Islamiyah's top operative in Malaysia, established other charities including Pertubahan el Hassan, as conduits for funds to both Jemaah Islamiyah, its paramilitaries in the Moluccas, and the Medical Emergency Relief Charity. Initially, these charities served as ancillary organizations used to assist with jihadist activities. Over the last two years, however, Jemaah Islamiyah has begun to focus far more on charities. While the Indonesian military has made inroads tracking down terrorist leaders, the Indonesian government has been more willing to tolerate Jemaah Islamiyah charities in the belief that it can wean Jemaah Islamiyah leaders from violence and that it is better to have them involved in overt and nonviolent activities. Jakarta has, therefore, been unwilling to enforce United Nations Security Council 1267 Committee or U.S. Department of the Treasury designations, which make it illegal to raise funds for or donate to any proscribed individual or organization. The Indonesian government's strategy appears to mirror that of the Lebanese government's strategy with regard to Hezbollah. Beirut and many Western powers long tolerated Hezbollah, convinced that incorporating it into the Lebanese government might moderate the group. However, in Lebanon, such accommodation backfired precisely because the charities were only one aspect of a much broader strategy that included immutable commitment to jihad.

    Tsunami and Earthquake
    The December 2004 tsunami and the May 2006 earthquake in central Java, both massive humanitarian crises, provide a window into just how Jemaah Islamiyah and its charities operate to further Islamist agendas.

    On December 26, 2004, an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra caused a tsunami which killed more than 165,000 Indonesians and displaced half a million others. Jakarta, overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster, sought to tap Jemaah Islamiyah's social service network. On January 4, 2005, Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia dispatched the first group of seventy-seven volunteers to Aceh from their Yogyakarta based headquarters.[32] Among them was a top Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia official who was a suspect in the October 12, 2002 Bali blast that killed 202 people.[33] Not all Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia personnel were engaged explicitly in humanitarian work; the group indicated that their primary goal was to provide "spiritual guidance" to victims, assist in the reconstruction of mosques, and guard against proselytizing by non-Muslim relief agencies. Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia's non-humanitarian agenda led the Indonesian Air Force to expel nineteen Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia members from Aceh on January 11, 2005.[34]

    Abdurrahman's Laskar Mujahidin also used the tsunami to propel itself to new relevance. Founded in January 2000 by Abdurrahman and Hambali, both of whom had experience fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, the group fielded approximately 500 armed combatants in the Moluccas who were equipped with high-speed motor boats, which they used to attack remote Christian and Hindu communities. After the tsunami, they established four base camps in Aceh including one outside the airport, adjacent to the camps of other domestic and international relief organizations, beneath a sign that read, "Islamic Law Enforcement." Unlike Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, which was more concerned with providing "spiritual guidance" and restoring "infrastructure in places of religious duties," the Laskar Mujahidin was deeply involved in relief work, including the distribution of aid and especially the burial of corpses.[35] Though the organization is vehemently anti-American, it gave cautious backing to the presence of U.S. and Australian troops.[36] It was clear, however, that their lobbying did persuade the government to call for the early departure of foreign troops.

    Joining Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia and Laskar Mujahidin was the Medical Emergency Relief Charity (MERC), an Indonesian executor agency for Saudi funding.[37] Established on August 14, 1999, amidst sectarian fighting, MERC now has twelve offices in Indonesia, concentrated in the regions most directly affected by sectarian violence. In 2000-01, MERC produced two well-publicized jihadi videos for fundraising purposes.[38] While MERC was never directly implicated in supporting Laskar Jundullah and Laskar Mujahidin paramilitary operations to the degree that KOMPAK was, its one-sided approach to the Moluccas conflict, as well as the actions of some individual members, raised suspicions. There is some evidence that MERC received funding from the Indonesian branch of the Saudi-funded International Islamic Relief Organization.[39] MERC operations abroad, in particular in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan, and Chechnya, have also raised concerns about it being a conduit for terrorist funding. MERC sent a team of four doctors and other staff to Iraq in 2003. In 2004, U.S. forces killed one MERC employee, an ambulance driver, in a firefight. The group's website stated that they operate in the tribal areas of Pakistan with the support and permission of the Taliban. Other Islamist organizations such as the Islamic Defenders Front and Hizb ut-Tahrir, though not directly connected to Jemaah Islamiyah, have also become active in Aceh in the wake of the tsunami. Both groups have engaged in sectarian violence.[40]

    The Islamist charities flocked to Aceh for three reasons. The first was to garner good press and media attention, providing a needed makeover for groups associated with terrorism and sectarian violence while simultaneously highlighting the secular government's failure. Second, the Islamist charities sought to counter any Western influence.[41] Hence, Din Syamsudin, the head of the quasi-official Indonesian Ulema Council and president of the second largest Muslim organization in the country, Muhammadiyah, who has subsequently acted as a fundraiser for Hamas, warned:

    All nongovernmental organizations, either domestic or international ... This is a reminder. Do not do this [proselytize] in this kind of situation. The Muslim community will not remain quiet. This is a clear statement, and it is serious.[42]

    Paranoia about Western influence has become a prime motivator for Islamist groups in the Middle East. Prior to the rise of Al-Qaeda, for example, Saudi clergy preached that the Muslim world was subject to a Western "cultural attack" and "intellectual attack." In 1981, the World Muslim League, a Saudi NGO, published a book entitled, The Means of Combating the Intellectual Attack on the Muslim World, which highlighted a theme developed by ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam, a professor at King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz University in Jeddah and mentor to Osama bin Laden.[43] Defense against a "cultural NATO" is a theme that Iranian hardliners have also recently adapted.[44] Hence, almost two years after the tsunami, Ba'asyir declared that "naked women are more dangerous than bombs" in his salvo about spiritual pollution and Western culture and values degrading Islam from within.[45]

    Third, these groups saw the disaster as an opportunity to proselytize. Several groups in addition to Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia indicated that their primary goal was to provide "spiritual guidance" to victims, ensure that Islamic law was being followed, and to assist in the reconstruction of mosques. With 400,000 refugees and mosques at the center of rural community relief efforts, the potential for influence was great.[46]

    The cynicism of the Islamist parties grated on local political movements. While Aceh is nearly 100 percent Muslim, the Acehenese secessionist movement, the Free Aceh Movement known by its acronym GAM (Gerakan Aceh Meredeka), urged the international community to force the Islamist groups to leave in apparent frustration with the government's unwillingness to do so:

    We therefore call on the international community to demand that the FPI [Front Pembela Islam] and Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia leave Acheh … The FPI and Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia are not welcome in Acheh and have never been supported by the Achenese people, nor has their presence been requested. The FPI has been involved in sectarian killings in Maluku and Central Sulawesi and illegal attacks against non-Muslims and others in Java and elsewhere. Their intervention in Aceh is therefore counterproductive.[47]

    Tsunami relief efforts provided a template for subsequent operations, most notably in the May 27, 2006 earthquake in central Java. The magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 6,000 people, injured 78,000, and left up to 1.5 million homeless. The United Nations' World Food Program moved quickly into central Java and chose Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia as one of eight partner organizations to deliver ninety-five tons of food aid. The Australian government immediately protested Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia's contract,[48] but World Food Program spokesman Barry Came said, "We don't pick groups to distribute aid based on their religious or political beliefs. We choose based on the ability to deliver, and so far they've performed up to standard. We have no complaints."[49] He backed down, however, under international pressure.[50] Both Ba'asyir and Abdurrahman had been proscribed under U.N. Security Council 1267 Committee lists as specially designated terrorist financiers, and Ba'asyir, just released from prison, was reportedly planning to deliver the World Food Program aid personally.[51]

    The episode highlights a major problem facing the West when combating Islamism: The United Nations and international agencies either refuse to perform due diligence or use moral equivalency to justify support for Islamist organizations. Not only do such organizations receive Saudi support as they pursue sectarian radicalization, but too often they also indirectly receive subsidies from Western taxpayers who fund international organizations.

    The Hezbollah model is not new to terrorist organizations, but it is new to Jemaah Islamiyah. Jemaah Islamiyah has taken advantage of an opening: Political will in Indonesia to dismantle terrorist infrastructure has waned as the nature of the group's militancy has become apparent. Released from prison, the group's leaders have been able to focus on political, religious, and charitable work. The civilian infrastructure they have developed will make the group—still committed to terrorism—more durable over the long term.

    Policymakers in Indonesia need to understand precedent. The existence of charities and social service networks has not made Hamas or Hezbollah any less violent although they have contributed to de-legitimization of governments. The Indonesian government should do what the Lebanese, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority governments did not: They must uproot social networks. Few governments have put forward a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the phenomenon of the inverse triangle, and most disaggregate the terrorist and social welfare arms and fund raising.

    There is intense international pressure on the Indonesian government to ban Jemaah Islamiyah, but no politician in the world's largest Muslim community has the political courage to do so. As Indonesia's top counterterrorism official, Ansyaad Mbai, stated, the reason there is no ban on Jemaah Islamiyah "is because the political situation is still very sensitive."[52] Complacency and political expediency rule the day in Jakarta. As long as Jemaah Islamiyah members do not blow things up or simply target Western interests, Jakarta will do little.

    It is not just courts and counterterrorism officials who have grown frustrated. A handful of Muslim reformers and liberals have been at the center of a push to rewrite Law No. 8 (1995) on nongovernmental organizations to tighten both the process of NGO incorporation and increase oversight. The proposed law will make fundraising by unregistered (or de-registered) NGOs illegal. The proposed law would make Jemaah Islamiyah's fundraising illegal under Indonesian domestic law.[53]

    This unwillingness to take on terrorist infrastructure is regrettable. First, like Hezbollah and Hamas, Jemaah Islamiyah has a long-term timetable. Second, by pursuing overt strategies, Jemaah Islamiyah is able to forge closer ties and common cause with Islamists who might otherwise eschew their violence. Many Indonesians no longer see Jemaah Islamiyah as a radical fringe organization even though the group's agenda has not changed. Third, there is little evidence that Jemaah Islamiyah will abandon terrorism. Tactics may shift, but strategy does not. Herein, Hamas again provides an example that should worry Indonesian authorities. Its assumption of political control in Gaza has not tempered its commitment to terrorism; indeed, Hamas has become even more aggressive since the January 2006 Palestinian elections.

    Herein, Washington and other Western governments have an interest. Indonesia may be half a world away from the United States, but any Islamist gains in the archipelago nation will have profound repercussions on U.S. national security. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, and the United States should not cede the Indonesian population to the same Saudi-funded Islamists who radicalized their Arab brethren, recruited unencumbered for years in Afghan and Pakistani refugee camps, and profess an inflexible hatred of the United States, Israel, and the West. Washington should pressure Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines to uproot Jemaah Islamiyah's overt presence and cede them no political space where they can recruit and indoctrinate anew. Targeting their financial and social networks is essential to the long-term fight against terrorism.

    Zachary Abuza is a professor of political science at Simmons College and author of Militant Islam in Southeast Asia: Crucible of Terror (Lynne Rienner, 2003), Muslims, Politics and Violence in Indonesia (Routledge, 2006), and Conspiracy of Silence: Islam and Insurgency in Thailand (U.S. Institute of Peace, forthcoming 2009).

    By Blogger DIASPORA, at 6:09 AM  

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