The ideology of jihad: The covert war within Western capitals


In a grotesque distortion of the original notion of Jihad — which at its core is a profound inner quest for moral excellence — this concept has been twisted into a weapon by the scheming architects of the Muslim Brotherhood and the theocrats of Iran. These cunning deceivers have hijacked the term as a means to disseminate their malignant creed, exploiting the Israeli-Palestinian morass not out of genuine concern but as a convenient means to advance their dominion-seeking goals. The poignant narrative of Palestinian hardship has been misappropriated, recast not as a genuine bid for self-rule but as a powerful tool to incite turmoil within the heart of the West, and to foster a campaign of radicalization while masquerading under the guise of equity and restitution.

The vociferous proclamations of Islamist demagogues, with their venomous rhetoric championing the advent of a transnational Caliphate, have become distressingly pronounced. The Muslim Brotherhood, like the Islamic Republic of Iran, historically cloaked in the garb of social beneficence and political participation, have undergone a malevolent transformation. The most extreme of ideologues among their ranks now brazenly call for the subjugation of Western enlightenment under the yoke of Sharia, dreaming of a dominion as wide as the Umayyad and as despotic as any theocratic nightmare.

In the specter of this debate, one might be reminded of the tumultuous riots that have ensnared the streets of our cities. Washington DC, Berlin, Paris, and London this Saturday have all played unwilling hosts to macabre parades of fury, where masked zealots, possessed by a fervor that flirts dangerously with lunacy, have clashed violently with the constabulary. They have not just scrawled their screeds of hate on the walls of Jewish homes, invoking the medieval libel of deicide but have dared to vociferate calls for a universal Jewish demise.

And let us not neglect to mention their lurid pageants where the flames of Western flags lick the air, consuming in their fiery tongues the woven symbols of our collective histories and hopes.

The theater of war is not confined to the cobblestones and avenues of our metropolises—it extends into the boundless realms of cyberspace. Social media platforms, those digital agoras that promised to bring us closer, now thrum with the dark undercurrents of hatred and division. Here, a veritable Hydra of conspiracy theories takes root, spreading its tendrils through networks and across borders with insidious agility. Among the most pernicious of these narratives is the abject denial of the atrocities committed by Hamas, a group designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, the United States, and other entities.

These deniers whitewash the brutal reality of violence, including the tragic day of October 7, where Hamas’ actions resulted in the loss of over 1,400 lives. The odious suggestion whispered in the dark corners of the internet—that somehow those souls ‘had it coming’—is a ghastly indictment of moral decay. It is a phrase that echoes with the coldness of the executioner, a callous shrug in the face of human suffering. Such rhetoric not only serves to dehumanize victims but also to embolden the perpetrators of terror, granting them an unwarranted sheen of legitimacy.

This cesspool of distortion and lies serves as a digital armory for extremists, arming them with falsehoods and conspiracy theories to fuel the fires of animosity and perpetuate cycles of violence. It’s a pestilence of misinformation that desecrates the memories of victims and mocks the very concept of truth. In combating this wave of digital disinformation and hate, the task before us is Sisyphean, yet it is imperative to confront these untruths with the unyielding light of facts and unwavering resolve.

These outrages, which erupt with a frequency that should alarm any sentient observer, are not isolated spasms of rage. No, they are the symptoms of a malaise that festers in the heart of a radical ideology that preaches destruction as its gospel. This is the sordid theater where the theocratic fantasies of our adversaries unfold in the public square, assaulting the very tenets of Western civilization not merely through vitriolic rhetoric but through the tangible violence of incendiary demonstrations and the defilement of what we, as a pluralistic society, hold sacred.

Such acts are stark testaments to their unabashed repudiation of the principles of tolerance and coexistence; they are the physical manifestations of a philosophy that seeks not just to upend but to eradicate the liberal order. In this sense, the streets of our cities become not merely the backdrop for public disorder but the very front lines of an ideological crusade that seeks to extinguish the light of the Enlightenment with the dark zeal of fanaticism. It is here, on these front lines, where the clash of civilization and barbarism is not a subject of intellectual debate but a lived, visceral reality.

These extremist factions, with a fervor that veers into the deranged, have co-opted religious teachings to legitimize their grand political schemes. Their adherents have infiltrated our public squares, brandishing contempt for our cherished symbols, desecrating our flags—an affront to our national essence and historical narrative.

They recite a litany of past grievances and nurture a narrative of perpetual victimization to justify their bellicose pursuits. Their pronouncements go beyond the defense of their community against perceived threats; they amount to an aggressive doctrine that targets the very core of liberal democracies, with the goal of overthrowing these bastions of freedom and replacing them with a system fundamentally opposed to the principles of free inquiry and human worth.

One finds oneself peering into the abyss of zealotry where the grim apparatus of the Islamic Republic intersects with the long-game stratagems of the Muslim Brotherhood. Each, in their own manner, propagates a doctrine of divinely decreed governance, wielding ‘Jihad’ not as a personal spiritual odyssey but as a politico-religious crusade against the liberties of the secular world.

One might venture to say that we have reached an epoch where the war of ideas has besieged the very shores that our forebears fought so valiantly to defend. Our cities – from London to Paris and New York – find themselves the arenas where a new kind of radicalism, sired not in the deserts of the Middle East but in the disenchanted enclaves of our own urban dwellings, festers.

Here in these metropolises, young minds are courted by the siren songs of extremism, wooed into a dance of destruction. It’s an ideological contagion that creeps through our communities, bleeding into the seams of our social tapestry with whispers of dissension and acts that rend the peace we hold so dear. These radicals, a minority though they may be, have shown a dread capability to sow chaos in the body politic with a simple turn of conviction.

Make no mistake, this is no mere happenstance but a deliberate affront to the principles upon which the edifice of the West is built. The tempest of fanaticism that now howls through the streets of Western capitals is not borne out of solidarity for Palestinian self-determination but is an all-out siege on the sanctity of our liberties, on the enlightenment philosophy that champions the individual and the free society. The weapon of choice? The potent indoctrination of our youth, a campaign as formidable as any waged by steel and powder.

To parry this ideological thrust, the West must reassert with unyielding clarity the supremacy of our cardinal virtues: liberty, egalitarianism, the rule of secular law. It is imperative that these principles transcend being mere rhetorical flourishes or negotiable stances in foreign policy; they must become the anvil against which we forge our counter-strategy. Our defense must be as spirited and resolute as the offense is fervent and relentless.

The specter of radical Jihad that now haunts our public squares is a clarion call – a summons to defend not just the physical demesnes of democracy but its very soul. It is a call that demands a vigorous reanimation of our commitment to those most human of quests: peace, coexistence, and justice, under the aegis of laws made by human hands, not divine fiat.

The battlefield has indeed shifted; the fray for the future is waged within the precincts of our own civic institutions. In the grand tradition of liberty, it is incumbent upon us to maintain a watchful guard against the encroachments of dogma and theocratic ambition. For if history teaches us anything, it is that the lamp of freedom is kept alight not by the timid or the idle, but by the vigilant and the brave. The hour calls for a renewal of that old pledge to liberty – a vow that we shall, by action and spirit, preserve the bastion of Western democracy against the onslaught of those who dream of its ruin.

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Catherine Perez-Shakdam
Catherine Perez-Shakdam, Special Contributor to Blitz is a research fellow at the American Centre for Levant Studies. Her background includes consultancy work for the United Nations Security Council, where she has played a crucial role in shaping policy decisions by providing insights into Yemen’s War Economy, uncovering an intricate web of corruption, trafficking, and money laundering. Catherine has also established herself as a respected voice in the media and has been a frequent contributor for the i24, Al Jazeera, the BBC, The Jerusalem Post, Politico, the Daily Express, and the Daily Mail. Having previously served as a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, Catherine has authored compelling policy recommendations and research papers to address the increasing influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, exposing its activities and providing a deeper understanding of its operations. In 2021, Catherine gained international attention when news broke of her remarkable decade-long infiltration of the Iranian regime, during which she was able to gain access to the highest echelons of the regime’s inner circles. Unsurprisingly, she was promptly labeled an ‘enemy of the state’ by the regime. Undeterred, Catherine has courageously utilized her extensive knowledge and expertise to denounce the activities of the Islamic Republic, helping to unveil a system that had long operated under a shroud of secrecy. Her revelations have provided a unique perspective on Iran’s actions, challenging its narrative and exposing the true nature of its operations.


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