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The Islamist Kronstadt–Yesterday, or Never

We may despise the methods employed by Al Qaeda and other takfiri Islamists, but we cannot be surprised that they fight us. From the day Napolean Bonaparte landed on Egyptian shores in 1798, the West has unceasingly occupied Muslim land, … Read More

By / April 12, 2007

We may despise the methods employed by Al Qaeda and other takfiri Islamists, but we cannot be surprised that they fight us. From the day Napolean Bonaparte landed on Egyptian shores in 1798, the West has unceasingly occupied Muslim land, immiserated its peoples, emasculated its culture, and pilfered its resources. Is it any surprise that a revolutionary movement has emerged which seeks to liberate Muslims from the bungling brutality of the West? Because make no mistake about it: this is a liberation movement. And though we are repulsed by the reactionary aspects of their ideology, we would be fools to deny that Islamists are justified in seeking the liberation of their peoples from the West. If the above codswallop still sounds at all reasonable to you, I draw your attention attention to yesterday's atrocity in Algiers.

The death toll from al-Qaida-claimed suicide bombings in Algeria rose Thursday to 33, the government said, and police rolled out in force in the shaken capital, establishing highway checkpoints to reinforce security. The group that claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks, al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, has carried out a series of recent bombings jeopardizing Algeria’s tentative peace. The country, a staunch U.S. ally in the war on terrorism, has been trying to turn the page on a 15-year insurgency that killed 200,000 people.

This is not just another massacre by an Al Qaeda satellite group. It may in fact be the most pathological expression of Islamist nihilism that we’ve seen in the 21st century. The Algerian Civil War of the 1990s was not so much a war as a Kurtzian descent into the horrors of human bestiality. What began as a conflict between the military and Islamists devolved into a succession of increasingly surreal massacres in which the takfirists of The Armed Islamic Group extended takfir to an ever-larger portion of the Algerian population. Ultimately, anyone who did not support the GIA was proclaimed worthy of death, and entire villages were massacred in joyous all-night orgies in which women were raped or captured as sexual chattel, pregnant women disemboweled, children beheaded, and all the rest. The GIA proudly claimed responsibility and that the massacres were an “offering to God.” Unlike in today’s Iraq, there were not even confessional differences to justify the bloodshed. The madness ended only when the GIA began consuming itself, with members proclaiming takfir on one another or defecting out of horror at the violence. Al-Qaeda in Islamic North Africa—the group responsible for the recent bombing—is composed partly by remnants of the GIA. The group was moribund, and Al Qaida’s sponsorship is enabling its resurgence. If there is a purer expression of Islamism's loathing of the Muslim people, I can't imagine it. And if this isn’t the Kronstadt moment for sympathizers of Islamism, then their Kronstadt will never come.

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