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Posted on Thu 1 September 2011

Behind & Beyond 9/11

Ten years on from the ghastly atrocity of 9/11, and all that followed it, it is worth asking about ‘the stagnant and fetid waters’ that have given birth to terrorism on such a vast and well-organised scale. Commentators have drawn attention to the seething, and growing, resentment in the Muslim world at the dominance of the West, the experience of colonialism, the creation of Israel, the Kashmir dispute and, of course, the casus belli of so much, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

This resentment, however, has not just been the usual one of the weaker against the stronger or of the subjugated against the oppressor. It has also been informed by a world-view which expects ‘manifest victory’ for Islam, has not been reconciled to lands ‘lost’ to Islam, whether India, the Iberian peninsula or, indeed, Palestine, seeks the restoration of the Caliphate and the abolition of the nation-state in the cause of a united Ummah or Islamic nation.

Resentment in itself is not enough, even if it is supported by an unfulfilled world-view, to lead to extremism and then to terrorism. What has happened, rather, is that there has been a succession of movements and leaders who have turned the world-view and anger into ideology.

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