Thursday, January 21, 2010

IntelliBriefs: Countering the Internet Jihad

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    Man in the dark operating a computer, courtesy of powtac/flickr
    • By Peter Buxbaum in Washington, DC for ISN Security Watch
    • Religiously inspired tranquility

      Some experts tout the accomplishments of the Sakinah Campaign, a Saudi-based online effort to combat internet radicalization. Sakinah, which is Arabic for 'religiously inspired tranquility,' originated as an independent, volunteer organization, but has since been subsumed by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

      Sakinah claims to have turned hundreds of extremists and potential extremists away from "deviant views." Sakinah is focused on stemming the tide of extremism in Saudi Arabia and averting terrorist attacks in that country, specifically by combating the radical Islamist concept of takfir. Takfir refers to a pronouncement that a Muslim or a group of Muslims have become apostates, thus providing a rationalization for killing them.

      By all accounts, a western online response to jihadist cyber-radicalization is absent.

    • it must be noted, was that the Sakinah representative focused on the issue of terrorism in Saudi Arabia, and refused to discuss issues of terrorism outside the country.

      Fatwas posted on the Sakinah website address the issue of perpetrating violence against non-Muslims. "Assassination and acts of sabotage are forbidden because they make the Muslims face evil, killing, and displacement," stated one fatwa. "The legal thing, which should be done with the non-Muslims, is to perform jihad and meet them in the battlefield. This could happen provided that the Muslims can equip their armies to conquer and fight the disbelievers [...]". Another fatwa stated that Muslims should not attack non-Muslims with whom they are not at war.

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