Middle East and North Africaedited

Running Head: The Middle East and North Africa
The Middle East and North Africa
The Roots of Islamic Radicalism in the Middle East can be attributed to the times of the emergence of
Muslim brotherhood and later Al-Qaida(Cleveland, William 2009).In the PBS film documentary: America
at crossroads, Jihad the men, and ideas behind Al-Qaida it examines and explores the life and the story
of the men who fought and planned al-Qaida's activities. It examines the careers of three men who were
driven by an ideology of hatred towards the West. The film also tells the Birth and evolution of the
Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda through a firsthand witness and how a beautiful and peaceful
religion was distorted and hijacked by terrorists in the name of Jihad. This essay discusses the main
questions that arise and their responses.
Jihad can mean striving or struggle and is interpreted as the struggle within oneself and peaceful
struggle against sin, temptations, and immorality. Even though in Islam there is Jihad of the sword, It
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Running Head: The Middle East and North Africa
does not call for war unless in the case for self-defense in what most western societies would call a just
war. Prophet Muhammad waged Jihad in the name of defending the community from aggressors. He
called for restraints and keeping the peace if the enemy calls for peace. Osama bin laden interpretation
of Jihad has split the Muslim societies with vast majority calling it a form of terrorism. Bin Laden turned
upside down all the fundamentals of Jihad and waged war against noncombatants and the innocent
westerners who had no links to the War.
America and its allies can use the authority of Moderate scholars who have Condemned Osama Bin
laden interpretation of Jihad. Since Muslims are commanded in the Quran to obey their religious
leaders, it will deter them to join groups that have been termed to be terrorists.
The Muslim Brotherhood reformists such as Sayyid Qutb was critical towards the Egyptian society ‘s
shift towards the Western values which represented everything in opposition to the Islamic values. He
was convinced that western values were reducing the Egyptian communities to Jahiliya which meant a
stateOf paganism which existed before prophet Muhammad mission. Qutb applied this term to the
modern Egyptian society which he believed was living in violation of Islam. The reformist such as Qutb
Regarded this connection to be encouraging a sense of materialism and degrading the Muslim
ummah.Egyptian Muslims were drifting more to the ways of the west and living the traditions of Islam
American played into the hands of Bin Laden. He was frankly happy that an American boot in the soil
was coming into action. Bin Laden wanted for American invention and hoped to teach them a lesson just
like the Russians before them. Later by invading Iraq Al-Qaeda got a life line, it was the form of its
revival.Osama got a rallying call for thousands of young Muslims around the world to wage Jihad in Iraq
and defend the Muslim lands from the American infidels. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq did, however,
neutralize the threat but did not eliminate it. In contrast, it threw both countries into anarchy. Al-Qaida
Got more recruits thus encouraging the growth of radical Islam. America should have engaged the
Muslim countries to force the Taliban to surrender Osama and his men. Even though Taliban ultimately
refused to surrender Osama. They would have at least Forced Osama to stop further attacks on America.
The war was completely not worth since it did not eliminate Al-Qaida.
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Running Head: The Middle East and North Africa
PBS Film documentary America at cross roads, Jihad: The men and ideas Behind Al-Qaida.can be
accessed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lagdeg1Bz5E&spfreload=10
Cleveland, William. A History of modern middle east 3
ed Westview Press 2009: Pg 557-576
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