Monday, October 12, 2009

Jihad futures

The recent violence in the Muslim countries has left scores of innocent victims. Without sounding too reductionist one could say that the fight is between the West trying to impose a liberal socio-political framework in some conservative Muslim majority nations, and the neo-Jihadis who would like to adopt a more conservative interpretation of Islam that is rooted in the tribal and nomadic cultures of the Middle East.

The clash between the liberal west and the conservative jihadis  is unfolding in the urban centers in the East and the West. The attacks in September 2001 on urban landmarks in the United States and the recent carnage in Kabul, Mumbai, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad present an increasingly urban face of a war fought primarily by some faceless warriors.

Where is this war going to move in the future, I often wonder. Will it continue to be fought in the urban centers in South/west Asia, or will it gravitate to new urban centers?

I believe that the epicenter of this warfare will disperse even more. A new generation of Jihadis is busy brushing up on militancy in Indonesia and Morocco. As evidence, I present here a map (see below) of the word ‘Jihad’ being searched on the internet since 2004 from computers in different cities across the world. The top two cities are Jakarta and Rabat.


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