Jonathan Lukens on Thu, 3 Jul 2008 08:10:48 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The Temporary AlQaeda Zone

In brief:
Amir Taheri article from the NYPost re:
  "Governance in the Wilderness" (Edarat al-Wahsh) a new book of  
jihadi tactics by Sheik Abu-Bakar Naji.

via John Robb's Global Guerrilla's blog:

< Islamists in the "wilderness" must create parallel societies  
alongside existing ones, Naji says - but not set up formal  
governments, which would be subject to economic pressure or military  
These parallel societies could resemble "liberated zones" set up by  
Marxist guerrillas in parts of Latin America in the last century. But  
they could also exist within cities, under the very noses of the  
authorities - operating as secret societies with their own rules,  
values and enforcement. >

Kind of a tactical "No shit, Sherlock." Here's where it gets weirder:

<But they could also take shape in Western countries with large Muslim  
minorities: The jihadis are to begin by giving areas where Muslims  
live a distinctly Islamic appearance, by imposing special styles of  
dress for women and beards for men. Then they start imposing the  
shariah. In the final phase, they create a parallel system of taxation  
and law enforcement, effectively taking the areas out of government  

Now, I don't mean to dismiss this as silly. It's certainly less silly  
than the Muslim Manchurian Candidate / Barack F Fremont meme. It does,  
however, seem to be a little too simple in its consideration of -er-, - 
ahem- branding. Do beards and burkhas somehow exist *outside of the  
hypercomplex system of relations the enables all of these tactics in  
the first place? That's not a rhetorical question. It's just that  
there is thinking about systems disruption, "the exploit," etc.; there  
is thinking about memes, subculture, signs, etc., but is there a model  
that explains their interface? Is sartorial solidarity and uniformity  
of uniform just as open to disruption as other overspecialized  
homogeneities? The results of my ten minutes of thinking on the matter  
are meager: somebody oughta write a video game called Haircut Warz.  
Hopefully someone out there can top that.

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