March 20, 2011

ACED OUT BASE:

Is al-Qaeda slipping into irrelevance after Arab revolts?: Al-Qaeda has been strangely silent since the outbreak of Arab uprisings. Experts say the toppling of autocratic regimes and popular demands for democratic freedom could end up marginalizing Islamist terrorist groups. (Deutsche Welle, 3/11/11)

Albrecht Metzger, an expert on Islam, said recent events show that al-Qaeda's capabilities may have been misjudged in the past.

"I believe that shows the gap, that was always there," Metzger said. "Only because of the group's partially successful attacks in Arab countries or in the West, we believed that al-Qaeda was stronger than it actually is."

This shows that al-Qaeda is a minority in the Arab world, Metzger said, adding that the group's ideology of a "holy war" couldn't convince the masses.

While al-Qaeda advocated violence as the only means to get rid of unpopular secular regimes, the people in Tunisia and Egypt have shown that there is a peaceful and civilized way to do the same, he added.

So is al-Qaeda the big loser in the historic transformations reconfiguring parts of the Arab world? Undoubtedly, according to Mohammad Abu Ramman, a researcher and Mideast expert at the Center for Strategic Studies in the Jordanian capital Amman. He said the terrorist network was never a mouthpiece for Arab youth.

Demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir SquareBildunterschrift: The demands for democratic change are at odds with al-Qaeda's ideology

"Al-Qaeda always offered its own answers to the general political crisis of Arab regimes. This crisis was apparent in the fact that there was never an outlook for a peaceful, democratic transformation," Abu Ramman said. "And it was also evident in the alliance between Arab regimes and the West. It was an alliance that focused on narrow self-interest, to the detriment of any democratic opening."

The analyst pointed out that the yearning for democracy among Arab people and their demands for social justice, equality and pluralism are the opposite of the fundamental values of al-Qaeda. It serves to strip the terror group of its ideological basis, he added.


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Posted by at March 20, 2011 6:34 AM
  

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