This news story tells the tale of two brothers from Tripoli, Libya, and their relationship to America and Al Qaeda. In an interview the eldest and only living brother, Abdel Wahab Mohamed Qaid, explains his Brother’s reasons for becoming apart of Jihad against the West, and his own reasons for not. In the end both brothers disagreed with the tendency for Americans to perceive every Islamic militant as being apart of Al Qaeda and a threat to the West. Qaid argues that this is simply not true. While the article presents a necessary perspective that is often silenced or forgotten in the war on terrorism, it  also demonstrates that the line which separates religion from politics is not always found. For the youngest brother, Abu Yahya, what was first a political fight against dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, became a political war infused with religion against the West. Abu Yahya became his own weapon when he “joined the global jihad against the West”. But was he partaking in a religious or political war? The Muslim brothers interpret (have interpreted) their world through the words written in the Qur’an and therefore it isn’t one or the other. One could argue that their actions are not so much solely religious or political as they are a reality comprising of both. Perhaps the American’s reaction towards any found Islamic militant is a response to such a reality because the Americans fear that these men act politically as religious fundamentalists, which is contrary to the American way. Every Muslim, especially the militant ones, become a threat because one fails to understand that although there often is no distinguishable separation between the Muslim religion and politics, not every Muslim (actually very few) is acting out against the West. One forgets that each person despite their religion still has their own lens with which they perceive the world. This would account for the various ideologies which include political views, that were and are active among the various Islamic militant groups or individuals, and which were ignorantly ignored. As well, one forgets the ideologies of the American’s themselves which fueled the imprisonment of many Muslim men, including Abu Yahya. 

-EmilyS

#349

 

http://nyti.ms/RuGIjf

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