Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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An Islamist Take on the Financial Crisis
Islamist terrorists are often portrayed as crazed and irrational actors who live in isolation from the real world, rather than individuals acting according to a coherent logic that makes sense if one understands the premise of the view.

This struck me in reading how the Islamists view the current financial crisis in the West. For Hamas, a part of the global Muslim Brotherhood, the crisis is divine punishment for the multiple sins of the non-Islamist world.

We see it as God's punishment for the criminals (U.S. and its Western allies). Nothing is more unjust than occupying an Islamic state. Nothing is more unjust than keeping the Palestinian people under occupation for over 60 years," Ismail Haniyeh told worshippers before Friday prayers in the Gaza Strip.

This view is shared by al Qaeda. In a recent statements al Qaeda has gloated over the meltdown.

Al-Qaida and other extremist groups have gloated in recent weeks about the West's financial woes, painting the crisis as either divine punishment for supposed wrongs or the last gasps of a dying empire.

An American al-Qaida member, Adam Gadahn, said in a video released this month that ``the enemies of Islam are facing a crushing defeat, which is beginning to manifest itself in the expanding crisis their economy is experiencing.''

The similarity of the sentiments shows what many of us have long said: That while Hamas and the larger Muslim Brotherhood are not the same as al Qaeda, they do share a similar world view. While they differ on tactics, the end result they look to as part of their divine harvest, is in fact, identical.

The difference in tactics is, from time to time, enough to set off a round of killing among them, but both, in the end, believe they must, and will, establish Allah's kingdom on earth. To that end, they have the right, or more accurately a duty, to rid the world of infidels. This means everyone who does not agree with them, even other Muslims.

Within this world view, a financial crisis seemingly coming out of the blue, can only be seen as a form of divine punishment for their enemies. Portraying it as such is part of narrative that needs to be constantly be updated, revised and retold to keep the faithful, well, faithful.

Every revolutionary and terrorist group-and others-with any historical trajectory builds into itself a narrative of the righteousness of its cause, some view of the world that justifies its actions.

What is striking is that the narrative of the Islamists, be it Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood or al Qaeda, all end with the rest of us dead.
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