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jihad/terror, just sharing, radicalisation / counter-radicalisation

Just sharing – Interview with former member of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group

Mission Reflections on Jihad: Ben Otman
Extracted from the original source: http://www.gwumc.edu/hspi/policy/ReflectionsOnJihad.pdf

How  was  the  decision  to  release  the  July  3rd  communiqué  reached?   Was  there  a  particular  event  or  set  of  criteria  that  precipitated  this  decision?    
It  was  a  very  difficult  decision  because  of  the  absence  of  charismatic,  powerful  leadership,  so  all  these  people  had  to  cooperate  based  on  open  dialogue.

There  are  some  key  figures  who  played  a  significant  role  to  galvanise  support  to  get  individuals  to  agree  with  the  dialogue  beween  the  government  and  the  LIFG.

One  of  the  main  factors  that  encouraged  these  people  to  release  the  communiqué  was  their  conclusion  that  the  process  of  dialoge  had  reached  its  final  stage.

Two  important  measures  convinced  them  to  support  the  dialogue.  First,  they  were  certain  that  the  group  and  its  leaders  in  prison  were  acting  based  on  their  free  will.  Second,  the  Libyan  Government  was  seriously  committed  to  dialogue  and  reconciliation.

In  November  2007,  AlQaeda’s  Ayman  alZawahiri  along  with  Abu  Laith  alLiby  announced  with  great  fanfare  that  LIFG  had  merged  with  Al‐Qaeda,  yet  in  the  communiqué  it  states  Abu  Laith  al‐Liby  did  so  on  his  own  and  without  “approval  of  most  members  in  the  Shura  Majlis.”   Can  you  expand  upon  this  statement?   How  is  LIFG  governed?   Have  the  rules  for  decision‐making  changed  over  time?   What  insights  can  you  provide  on  Abu  Yahya  al‐Liby,  now  one  of  the  leaders  of  AQIM  and  also  a  current  or  former  member  of  LIFG?
The  decision  to  dismantle  the  group,  or  merge  with  another  group,  or  even  to  change  its  name,  is  an  organizational  decision  that  no  individual  in  the  LIFG  leadership  has  the  right  to  make  on  his  own.

The  LIFG  in  its  constitution  puts  these  kinds  of  decisions  in  the  hands  of  the  shura  council  members  collectively.  Not  even  the  leader  of  the  group  has  the  power  or  the  authority  to  make  organizational  decisions  regarding  the  group.  That’s  why  Abu  Laith’s  decision  does  not  represent  the  group  and  is  illegitimate.

The  LIFG  constitution  specifies  its  governing  structure  of  committees,  departments,  and  authorities,  as  well  as  the  nature  of  the  relationships  between  the  parts  of  the  group.  The  constitution  has  developed  over  the  years.  Since  the  early‐90s,  the  shura  council  discusses  and  reviews  the  constitution  as  part  of  the  agenda  for  every  general  meeting.

Abu  Yahya  alLiby  (Hassan  Gayid)  has  not  announced  his  resignation  from  the  group  directly  because  of  his  loyalty  to  the  group  and  its  leadership.  Because  of  the  circumstances  surrounding  him,  he  decided  with  other  individuals  to  subscribe  to  the  al‐Qaeda  network.

This  action  from  the  LIFG  point  of  view  means  he  is  no  longer  a  member  of  the  group—its  automatic  dis‐membership.

The  bottom  line  is  that  Abu  Yahya  alLiby  is  a  significant  part  of  the  AlQaeda  leadership,  not  just  in  AQIM,  but  in  the  whole  network  worldwide  he  is  the  most  influential  and  spiritual  figure  so  far.  In  the  future,  for  him  the  sky  is  the  limit  to  be  the  top  Jihadi  theorist  worldwide,  but  I  am  not  sure  he  can  make  it  as  bin  Laden’s  successor,  as  some  reports  have  mentioned.

What  strategic  impact  do  you  think  the  July  communiqué  will  have?   Upon AlQaeda  specifically?  How  about  upon  alQaeda’s  narrative,  “brand,”  and  strength?   Do  you  think  the  effects  will  vary  among  Muslim  populations  living  in  the  Arab  world  and  those  living  in  the  West  and  elsewhere?   The  communiqué  is  signed  “Islamic  Fighting  Group  –  Britain.”   Are  the  authors  vulnerable  to  charges  that  they  do  not  represent  the  majority  of  LIFG  members?      
The  communiqué  by  itself  has  no  impact  on  the  strategic  level,  despite  its  importance   in  encouraging  and  supporting  the  LIFG  members  and  leadership  in  prison  to  keep  doing  good  work  and  toreach  the  final  destination  of  the  dialogue  between  the  group  and  the  government.

The  communiqué  will  deny  anyone  in  the  future  the  opportunity  or  the  possibility  to  try  to  re‐group  and  re‐organise  for  another  round  of  struggle  based  on  violence.

The  real  strategic  impact  will  come  from  the  recently  released  book,  “Corrective  Studies  in  Understanding  Jihad,  Accountability,  and  the  Judgment  of  the  People,”  written  by  six  members  of  the  LIFG  leadership,  including  Abdullah  Sadik,  the  leader  of  the  group,  and  Abu  Munder  Saidi,  the  spiritual  leader  of  the  group.

This  new  book  is  the  fruit  of  the  dialogue  between  the  government  and  the  LIFG  that  started  in  January  2007.  A  lot  of  Arab  national  daily  newspapers  started  running  series  of  this  book,  including  papers  in  Libya,  Algeria,  and  Jordan.  I  think  this  book,  if  it  is  compounded  with  the  release  of  the  approximately  200  LIFG  members  in  prison,  will  have  much  more  strategic  effect.

The  most  important  strategic  impact  for  the  478‐page  book  is  not  that  it  has  pragmatically  denounced  violence,  but  that  it  has  ideologically  de‐legitimised  violence.
What  are  the  hallmarks  of  legitimate  jihad?   When  is  it  permissible  and  under  what  circumstances?   How  sound  are  AlQaeda’s  theological  underpinnings?   Do  you  believe  that  their  ideology  should  be  further  theologically  challenged  by  Islamic  scholars  and  other  jihadist  leaders?  What  are  AlQaeda’s  greatest  strengths?   What  are  their  greatest  weaknesses?   If  they  continue  down  the  path  they  have  pursued,  what  is  their  future?
Discussing  what  is  legitimate  Jihad  and  what  is  not  is  one  of  the  most  difficult  and  complex  issues  facing  all  Muslims  worldwid  and  the  rest  of  the  intellectuals  and  thinkers  in  the  West.

Despite  all  that  I  would  like  to  say,  the  most  important  thing  is  the  framework  and  the  approach  to  discuss  arguing,  theorising,  and  conceptualising  Jihad.

From  my  point  of  view,  I  would  like  to  say  taking  in  account  the  religious  text  in  the  Quran  and  authentic  Hadeeth  (saying  of  the  prophet)  in  the  twenty‐first  century  is  not  just  a  Muslim  issue  despite  it  being  one  of  the  Muslim  duties  in  specific  circumstances,  but  it’s  an  issue  affecting  the  whole  world  because  here  we  talk  about  war  and  peace.

That’s  why  I  strongly  believe  that  the  departure  point  arguing  about  legitimate  Jihad  should  be  approached  from  an  internationl  relations  studies  point  of  view.  That  means  when  we  are  theorising  and  analysing  Jihad  we  take  in  account  our  contemporary  world,  which  is  significantly  different  from  various  historical  phases  in  the  past.

My  point  is  Muslims  should  theorise  and  understand  Jihad  (war  and  peace)  based  on  the  contemporary  phase.  That  is  why  I  believe  the  departure  point  is  international  relations  studies,  so  we  can  utilise  the  knowledge  compilation  developed  by  humanity  to  discuss  how  to  regulate,  control,  and  establish  laws  and  rules  for  war.

What  I’ve  said  makes  AlQaeda’s  theological  underpinnings  unrelative  and  unstable,  because  AlQaeda  heavily  depends  on  two  elements.  First,  a  mechanical  understanding  from  ideas,  concepts,  and  visions  written  hundreds  of  years  ago.  So  I  can  say  AlQaeda  understands  and  theorises  our  modern  life  through  glasses  made  thousands  of  years  ago.  Second,  the  imbalance  of  power  between  Muslim  countries  and  the  West,  which  is  one  of  the  main  sources  contributing  to  Muslim  weakness,  fragmentation,  underdevelopment,  and  grievances.

AlQaeda  poses  serious  threats  not  to  the  West  only  but  to  the  Muslim  countries  as  well.  If  it’s  killing  thousands  of  Westerns  and  Non‐Muslims  worldwide,  it  is  doing  the  same  thing  in  the  Muslim  countries,  plus  high‐jacking  Islam  itself.  So  an  ideological  confrontation  between  AlQaeda  and  Muslim  scholars,  intellectuals,  and  thinkers  is  inevitable  to  uncover  and  de‐legitimise  terrorism,  extremism,  and  radicalism,  which  are  established  as  a  school  of  thought  in  terms  of  understanding  and  having  a  strategy  to  act  in  the  name  of  Islam.

In  the  last  nine  years,  you’ve  transitioned  from  being  an  alQaeda  ally,  to  sincere  critic,  to  a  position  of  open  dissent  –  why?
The  bottom  line  is  I  am  a  politician.  I  have  dreams,  hopes,  and  vision.  Taking  that  in  account,  my  agenda  dictating  who  is  my  Ally  and  who  is  not.  And  during  the  period  of  the  Soviet’s  invasion  in  Afghanistan,  all  the  parties  who  shared  the  same  objective  of      defeating  the  Empire  of  Evil  (The  Soviet  Union)  were  one  way  or  another  allies  despite  the  differences  between  all  of  them.  And  Al‐Qaeda  20  years  ago  was  completely  different  from  the  AlQaeda  of  today.

I  strongly  believe  all  Muslims  should  criticise  and  resist  AlQaeda  attempts  to  hi‐jack  the  Islamic  agenda,  in  both  levels  domestic  and  international.

When  you  joined  LIFG,  what  was  your  concept  of  the  movement?   What  were  your  hopes  and  goals  in  Libya;  in  Afghanistan;  and  for  Islamic  communities  around  the  world?   
I  never  ever  believed  that  the  LIFG  is  the  Muslim  nation  or  the  Libyan  society.  It’s  just  a  group  of  Muslims  who  believe  that  Libyan  society  constitutes  100%  of  Muslims  who  have  the  right  to  establish  and  build  a  Nation  State  based  on  Sharia  law.  And  the  LIFG  can  act  as  driver,  catalyst,  and  vanguard  to  speed  up  the  process  of  transforming  the  Libyan  society  to  the  Islamic  version.

Our  goal  in  Afghanistan  was  achieved,  which  was  to  defeat  the  enemy,  liberate  the  whole  country  from  communism,  and  help  the  Mujahideen  to  take  over  the  governance  of  Afghanistan.  Since  then  the  LIFG  quit  fighting,  and  it  didn’t  take  any  part  in  the  civil  war  between  yesterday’s  Mujahideen  and  today’s  Rulers.  Even  during  the  period  of  the  Taliban  the  LIFG  took  no  part  in  the  fight  against  the  other  groups,  and  it  was  a  Shura  decision.

Regarding  the  communities  in  the  Islamic  world,  we  are  as  individuals  in  the  Islamic  fighting  group  the  LIFG.  We  have  our  individual  hopes  and  sketchy  visions  for  the  Muslim  nation  worldwide,  but  the  group  itself,  LIFG,  has  no  agenda  regarding  that  issue  because  it’s  been  built  based  on  National  Struggle.

This  despite  the  cooperation  between  the  LIFG  and  other  Muslim  groups  in  other  places  of  the  world,  but  that’s  a  normal  response  to  given  circumstances,  not  based  on  political  agenda  intentionally  being  developed.

What  motivated  LIFG  and  the  Libyan  government  to  engage  in  peace  talks  in  recent  years?   What  is  the  current  status  of  these  discussions?   What  lessons  can  be  learned  from  this  process?
I  have  to  say  the  idea  and  the  initiative  was  launched  by  Saif  Islam  AlQadafi,  Colonel  Muamer  AlQadafi’s  son,  in  December  2007.  Because  I  was  in  the  heart  of  that  process  since  its  launch,  I  can  say  without  a  doubt  that  Saif  AlIslam  himself  was  the  main  driver  and  the  power  house  for  its  sure  success.  And  the  LIFG,  when  they  knew  that  Saif  AlIslam  was  sponsoring  the  initiative,  they  showed  no  hesitation  to  accept  the  window  of  opportunity  to  engage  in  the  process  of  peace  talks.

And  I  think  due  to  the  circumstances  surrounding  the  group,  when  the  initiative  was  launched  it  did  motivate  the  group  to  engage.  Most  of  the  group  had  been  arrested,  including  six  of  the  leaders.  At  this  time  there  was  also  the  dominance  of  the  Al‐Qaeda‐like  style  of  Jihad,  which  is  based  on  stray,  blind  violence.  So  the  group  was  in  a  position  to  think  and  reflect  about  their  experience  and  to  come  to  a  conclusion  about  the  use  of  violene  and  the  negative  impact  imposed  by  Radical  Islam  Ideology  to  the  future  of  Islam  itself.  And  here  I  can  say  I  am  quoting  them  because  they  have  told  me  that  in  person  in  2007,  during  one  of  my  visits  to  the  prison  when  we  were  in  the  middle  of  peace  talks.

As  for  the  current  status,  I  can  say  we’ve  reached  the  final  destination,  thank  god  successfully,  because  the  group  issued  their  new  book  [Correctional  Studies]  which  de‐legitimises  the  use  of  terrorism  and  violence.  And  now  we  are  waiting  for  the  final  move  from  the  government  to  start  the  process  of  releasing  all  of  them,  taking  in  account  the  security  measures  and  precautions.

There  are  many  lessons  one  can  take  from  this  process,  but  the  most  important  one  is  sometimes  we  face  problems  which  appear  to  be  unsolvable  because  our  minds  have  been  set  by  defalt.  And  when  we  start  to  think  of  the  unthinkable  we  find  that  those  unsolvable  problems  are  actually  solvable,  and  the  main  problem  was  our  way  of  thinking,  not  the  problem  itself.

Is  complete  reconciliation  possible?   
Yes  of  course.

In  your  November  2007  open  letter  to  Dr.  Ayman  alZawahiri,  you  urge  alQaeda  to  take  a  more  inclusive  approach  and  return  to  “mainstream”  Islam.   What  are  the  tenets  of  mainstream  Islam?   Can  alQaeda  ever  really  support  it?
This  is  one  of  the  main  problematic  and  debatable  issues,  mainstream  Islam.  And  that  is  because  the  political  presence  of  the  Muslim  nation,  the  Caliph,  does  not  exist  anymore.  So  we  don’t  have  a  political  entity  we  can  identify  as  the  Muslim  nation.  The  current  existence  of  the  Muslim  nation  is  at  the  faithful  level—people  sharing  the  same  faith,  belief,  and  creed.  But  they  are  divided  into  about  55  independent  sovereign  countries,  plus  dozens  of  Muslim  communities  in  non  Muslim  States.

Taking  that  in  account  imagine  how  difficult  it  is  to  identify  mainstream  Islam  in  this  plural  sphere,  despite  all  I  can  say  about  the  fact  that  throughout  the  history  of  the  Muslim  nation—since  its  existence  over  1500  years  ago—the  Sunni  School  of  thought  always  is  the  dominant  power  and  force  representing  mainstream  Islam.  Our  problem  here  is  Al‐Qaeda  itself.  Its  point  of  departure  is  between  the  Sunni  sect  of  Islam  and  the  Salafist  Ideology,  but  public  opinion  and  the  vast  majority  of  the  Muslim  Sunni  worldwide  reject  and  do  not  accept  Al‐Qaeda’s  understanding  or  interpretation  of  Islam.

The  main  three  different  points  here  between  Al‐Qaeda  and  the  Sunni  sect  of  Islam  are:
First;  the  issue  of  loyalty.
Al‐Qaeda  practically  transformed  this  concept  from  its  traditional  understanding—which  is  that  all  Muslims  are  loyal  to  each  other—to  the  notion  that  all  Muslims  should  be  loyal  to  Al‐Qaeda  and  if  you’re  not,  that  means  there  is  something  wrong  with  your  faith,  belief,  and  creed,  and  you  may  end  up  being  identified  as  a  non  Muslim  from  Al‐Qaeda’s  point  of  view.  This  understanding  is  one  of  the  main  sources  of  bad  and  sometimes  evil  reactions  committed  by  Al‐Qaeda  members.

Second;  their  understanding  of  Jihad,  which  has  been  transformed  from  ethical  and  moral  action  based  on  justice  to  be  nonsense  terrorist  activities.

Third;  traditionally  Muslim  leaders  are  of  two  characters.  One  is  people  with  authority  and  power,  like  presidents,  kings,  and  princes.  They  are  the  source  of  political  legitimacy.    The  other  is  people  who  have  the  moral  power,  the  Scholars  (Ulama),  and  they  are  the  source  of  religious  legitimacy.  Traditionally  this  is  the  structure  of  power  in  the  Muslim  society.

I  myself  am  asking  here  where  does  Al‐Qaeda  fit  in  these  categories,  taking  in  account  that  they  claim  to  represent  the  whole  Muslim  nation,  including  launching  a  global  war  against  many  different  nations  on  behalf  of  the  Muslim  nation.

What  salience  does  the  new  field  manual  “Rules  for  Mujahideen”  have  for  operations  and  with  Islamic  communities?   What  effect  will  it  have  on  Islamist  operations  themselves  or  the  perceptions  of  such?
Let  me  first  describe  the  manual  itself.  It’s  not  an  ideological  or  theological  argument  or  thesis  about  Jihad,  so  my  point  of  view  is  I  believe  it’s  an  administrational reaction  from  the  Taliban  movement  to  certain  circumstances.

In  different  words,  they  believe  they’ve  entered  a  new  phase  a  little  bit  more  advanced  than  the  previous  one,  and  if  you  see  the  manual  itself,  which  is  more  than  60  pages,  it’s  all  about  how  to  control  and  run  areas  under  their  control.  There  are  many  other  articles  in  the  manual  which  we  can  describe  as  a  code  of  conduct  and  rules  of  engagement.

According  to  what  has  been  mentioned,  its  impact  outside  of  Afghanistan  will  be  insignificant,  if  that.  Just  if  you  look  at  Algeria,  Iraq,  and  now  Somalia,  all  Jihadists  are  still  active  in  these  areas  based  on  their  old  rules,  which  were  mentioned  in  the  manual  released  on  May  9th,  2009.  Take  for  example  kidnapping  for  ransom,  which  is  strictly prohibited  according  to  the  manual,  but  is  still  part  of  the  Jihad  in  Algeria,  Somalia  and  Iraq.

Do  you  continue  to  believe  al‐Qaeda  should  cease  its  military  operations  (both  in  the  Arab  world  and  in  the  West),  and  focus  its  operations  on  the  battle  in  Afghanistan?
Yes  I  still  believe  Al‐Qaeda  should  cease  military  operations  both  in  the  Arab  world  and  in  the  West.  Regarding  Afghanistan,  I  don’t  think  Al‐Qaeda  has  the  right  to  develop  their  own  agenda  to  benefit  from  the  conflict  at  the  cost  of  the  Afghan  people  and  Taliban  themslves.

So  if  they  decide  to  stay  or  to  stand  the  course  with  Taliban,  they  should  participate  within  the  Taliban  framework  and  based  on  their  rules,  because  we  know  in  the  past  that  Al‐Qaeda  is  fully  responsible  for  bringing  this  war  to  Afghanistan.

And  I  believe  it  is  the  right  time  for  Al‐Qaeda  as  an  origanisation  to  revise  and  judge  their  ideology,  strategy  and  tactic  based  on  their  own  experience.  And  if  they  keep  repeating  the  slogan  with  doing  this  for  the  sake  of  our  nation  only,  I  would  like  to  ask  them,  ‘Does  your  nation  really  want/need  you?’.  And  the  reality  is  that  you’ve  imposed  yourself  on  your  nation.

What  ought  to  be  done  for  the  people  of  Afghanistan  –  by  countries  in  the  Islamic  world  and  those  in  the  West?   Are  there  avenues  and  opportunities  for  cooperation  in  stabilizing  and  rebuilding  the  Afghan  state?
There  are  two  ways  of  answering  this  question.  The  first  one  is  in  a  typical  politician’s  style,  offering  fine  words  but  little  action  to  satisfy  a  specific  audience.  The  second  one  is  transforming  leadership—making  things  happen  through  conflict  like  Franklin  D.  Roosevelt  and  his  historical  shift  from  Dr.  New  Deal  to  Dr.  Win‐the‐War.  I  will  try  to  make  some  points  based  on  the  second  rather  than  the  first.

There  are  always  opportunities  to  stabilise  and  rebuild  Afghanistan,  but  the  problem  is  that  we  need  some  luck  and  a  lot  of  skill  to  explore  those  opportunities.  We  have  to  understand  two  fundamental  issues  to  start  to  think  about  stabalising  and  rebuilding  Afghanistan.

First,  we  are  the  world  facing  multi‐dimensional  challenges  of  building  peace  in  Afghanistan.  Second,  rebuilding  Afghanistan  should  be  prioritized  towards  the  top  of  the  international  political  and  security  agenda.

The  immediate  challenge  in  Afghanistan  is  its  still  in  the  conflict  phase,  so  we  should  urgently  develop  strategy  to  take  it  to  the  next  phase,  which  is  the  post‐conflict  phase.

As  long  as  we  are  still  stuck  in  the  conflict  phase,  it’s  going  to  be  extremely  difficult  to  rebuild  the  state,  to  stabilize  it,  and  to  deliver  peace  and  security.  And  that  strategy  should  be  formulated  based  on  one  reality:  The  Afghanisation  of  the  Conflict.

And  here  if  I  may  refer  to  the  distinguished  article  in  Foreign  Affairs  magazine,  July‐August  issue,  titled  ‘Flipping  the  Taliban,’  written  by  Fotini  Christia  and  Michael  Semple.  Changing  sides,  realigning,  flipping  is  called  the  Afghan  way  of  war.  The  missing  point  here  is  the  context,  and  by  this  I  mean  the  Afghanisation  of  war,  people  changing  sides,  flipping  from  one  Afghan  group  to  another.  It’s  very  hard  to  find  an  example  that  people  involved  in  the  armed  struggle  change  sides  from  the  resistance  to  the  foreign  ocupiers  or  from  the  resistance  to  the  government  side,  since  the  70’s  if  I  may  say  –  it’s  been  the  other  way  around.

To  clarify  more,  if  some  groups  of  Mujahideen  switch  sides  from  Taliban  to  Hikmatyar,  it  wouldn’t  make  any  difference  in  the  big  picture  because  they’re  still  fighting  the  same  enemies.  The  existing  president,  Hamid  Karzai,  is  expired  and  should  leave.  A  new  government  should  be  formed  from  leaders  capable  of  launching  the  process  of  taking  Afghanistan  gradually  to  the  post‐conflict  phase,  and  it  should  include  Mujahideen  leaders  who  fought  against  the  Soviet  Invaders  during  the  80’s.
Militarily,  instead  of  the  strategy  aiming  for  a  comprehensive  military  victory  over  the  Taliban,  another  strategy  should  be  developed  based  on  convincing  the  Taliban  that  they  can’t  win  the  war.  Full  responsibility  and  burden  should  move  to  the  United  Nations  to  sort  out  all  the  challenges  from  the  Afghan  conflict.  De‐link  from  the  approach  of  global  war  on  terror,  which  includes  re‐defining  the  Taliban  movement  as  an  indigenous  national  resistance  movement  instead  of  a  terrorist  group  in  order  to  pave  the  wy  to  engage  them  in  the  near  future  in  peace  talks  and  in  the  political  process.  Pakistan,  Saudi  Arabia  and  Qatar  should  play  a  major  role  to  the  conflict  resolution.

What  message(s)  should  members  of  Islamic  communities  be  hearing  from  their  leaders  (Islamic  scholars,  politicians,  NGO’s,  community  leaders,  etc.)?     Wake  up  and  learn  how  to  pick  yourself  up  out  of  the  dust  and  reject  the  helpless  state.

Stop  playing  the  role  of  the  victim,  because  you  are  the  victim  of  your  own  despair.  Connect  yourself  with  the  inspiring  part  of  Islamic  identity,  with  values  that  can  give  you  strength  and  hope.

Try  hard  to  open  a  new  horizon  for  yourself  away  from  radicalization  and  extremism,  walk  away  from  the  destructive  cultures  and  teachings  of  death,  and  start  to  think  optimistically  to  a  different  kind  life.

A better  future.  And  if  under  any  circumstances  you  begin  considering  war,  you  should  first  stop  to  think  of  peace.

What  did  you  think  of  President  Obama’s  remarks  in  Cairo?   What  impact,  if  any,  do  you  think  it  will  have  in  opening  up  a  new  dialogue  between  the  United  States  and  Muslim  communities  around  the  world?
The  problem  is  not  about  remarks  in  Cairo  or  dialogue  between  the  United  States  and  the  Muslim  communities,  it’s  about  avoiding  a  traditional  Western  approach  when  it  comes  to  the  Middle  East  (talking  idealistically  and  acting  brutally),  that  is  if  the  Intellectual  President  Obama  wants  to  influence  the  Muslim  communities  world  wide.

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About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at www.haniff.sg

Discussion

One thought on “Just sharing – Interview with former member of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group

  1. salamthank you for your comment and sharing. amy u find this blog beneficial.

    Posted by U-Start @ Muhammad Haniff Hassan | August 1, 2010, 11:53 am

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