Homegrown Jihadi--A Preliminary Inquiry
The recent revelation that the Jihadis who attacked the mass-transit system in London were of the homegrown variety has caused something of a hubbub in the academic field of Jihadi Studies. Here at the Institute we feel too much is being made of the distinction between the so called "homegrown jihadis" and the more well known feral wild jihadis. As the species is not native to the west, the distinction is one of introduction timing and not of biology. Nevertheless, the phenomenon of homegrown jihadis is one that merits a closer look by the research staff here at the Institute.
To give us some background on the homegrown jihadi movement we recently interviewed Dr. Ali Al Awadi of the Center for Sustainable Jihad. Because of the importance of this information, relevant portions of that interview are being made available here, free of charge. The entire interview is available for Institute subscribers at the Institute Insiders site.
Dr. Awadi, thank you for taking some time for us, tell us about your background and why you founded the Center for Sustainable Jihad.
Yes, certainly, my PhD is in Islamic Studies but my undergraduate work was in Animal Husbandry, which has been more than a passing hobby of mine since around the time I reached puberty. The Center was founded in 2002, when we became concerned that because of invasive pressures in their natural habitat, jihadis faced a serious threat to their survival.
Most of us are aware of the pressures on the jihadi, tell us what your concerns are, and what you are trying to accomplish.
By the time it reaches it's destination, the average jihadi has logged over 15,000 miles. As 95% of the world's jihads are dominated by only six transnational jihadi organizations, this well-traveled jihadi neatly encapsulates the global trends in jihad activities. Jihad has become an increasingly anonymous and corporate activity. Prior to 2001 most jihadi originated from two or three locations in the world, it was industrial in scale and style, specializing in monocultural jihads. This leads to loss of bio-diversity, damage to the environment at a high cost to the movement, and the homogenization of style and tactics.
Jihadi for export
The advent of western political and military pressure on those two or three jihad growing regions has had an impact on the jihadi, reducing it's quality and diversity. Shortening "jihad miles" (the distance between jihad and destination) is pivotal to the CSJ's vision of a holistic organic jihad supply system. Rather than treating jihad as a commodity for import and export, its production should be regarded as a basic activity at the heart of any thriving, non-Islamic community.
I am sorry Mr. On, I am rambling.
No that's fine, please continue to tell us about the goals of the CSJ.
The underlying message that we are trying to convey is to think small, and, more importantly, local. Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations of jihadis.
A systems perspective is essential to understanding sustainability. The system is envisioned in its broadest sense, from the individual jihadi, to the local ecosystem, and to communities affected by jihad both locally and globally. An emphasis on the holistic system allows a larger and more thorough view of the organic interactions between jihadis and the environment.
How have your efforts been received by the public?
Quite well, in fact we have found our efforts to be complemented by our natural allies who oppose the forces that threaten the jihadi way of life.
Yeah, I suppose so.