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Hegemonic Competition, Hegemonic Disruption and the Current War
Unformatted Document Text:  Newmann: DRAFT: Please do not cite without permission post-revolutionary leaders and their ideologies must gain some legitimacy – through popular mandate or through coercion – to make the revolution succeed and maintain their hold on power. Support for the policies of the new regime is necessarily uncertain; these policies are often unknown or unclear before the revolution succeeds. Revolutionary Islam satisfies all these characteristics. First, Al-Qaeda’s goal is to overthrow the ruling elites of states from Morocco to Indonesia. Regime change, though a term popularized by the Bush administration, provides the fundamental measure of al-Qaeda’s ultimate goal. In al-Qaeda’s view the “apostate” regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, and throughout Asia where Muslims live in large concentrations, should be replaced by those who believe in al-Qaeda’s brand of Islam. This relates to the second issue. The overthrow of these governments will be followed by a fundamental reordering of all these societies. Al-Qeada’s ideology calls for a brand of Islamic governance based in a very specific interpretation of the Qur’an, an interpretation that would alter the fundamental nature of the societies it captures. 65 The rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan from 1996-2001 is a prelude to the type of societies that al- Qaeda would create. 66 In the largest sense, the revolutionary regime would eliminate the rights of women, end the any separation of church and state that might have existed in the society, outlaw religious pluralism among different religions and within Islam, and reject the essential staples of what most define as modernization in the Western hemisphere, Europe, Africa, South and East Asia – individual freedoms, economic freedoms, and expanding political freedoms. The third issue, a revolution must be broadly based within society appears to be more complex. Al-Qaeda is aided by broad disaffection with the ruling regimes in most of the Middle East and growing anger at the United States. Ruling regimes that are allied with the US face a double-dose of criticism. However, support for al-Qaeda’s goals and al-Qaeda’s style of governance is difficult to measure. The Middle East might be judged as entering a pre-revolutionary phase in 65 Reference to AQ’s version of Islam. 66 The list of Taliban human rights abuses between their ascendancy in 1996 and overthrow in 2001 is long. Details can be found in reports from Amnesty International. See Afghanistan: Grave abuses in the name of religion, November 1996. Available at http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA110121996?open&of=ENG-AFG . Accessed November 27, 2007; Women in Afghanistan: The violations continue, June 1997. Available at: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA110051997? open&of=ENG-AFG . Accessed November 27, 2007; and Afghanistan: Public executions and amputations on increase, May 1998. Available at: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA110051998?open&of=ENG-AFG . Accessed November 27, 2007. 24

Authors: Newmann, William.
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Newmann: DRAFT: Please do not cite without permission
post-revolutionary leaders and their ideologies must gain some legitimacy – through popular mandate or
through coercion – to make the revolution succeed and maintain their hold on power. Support for the policies
of the new regime is necessarily uncertain; these policies are often unknown or unclear before the revolution
succeeds.
Revolutionary Islam satisfies all these characteristics. First, Al-Qaeda’s goal is to overthrow the
ruling elites of states from Morocco to Indonesia. Regime change, though a term popularized by the Bush
administration, provides the fundamental measure of al-Qaeda’s ultimate goal. In al-Qaeda’s view the
“apostate” regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, and throughout Asia where Muslims live in
large concentrations, should be replaced by those who believe in al-Qaeda’s brand of Islam. This relates to
the second issue. The overthrow of these governments will be followed by a fundamental reordering of all
these societies. Al-Qeada’s ideology calls for a brand of Islamic governance based in a very specific
interpretation of the Qur’an, an interpretation that would alter the fundamental nature of the societies it
captures.
The rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan from 1996-2001 is a prelude to the type of societies that al-
Qaeda would create.
In the largest sense, the revolutionary regime would eliminate the rights of women,
end the any separation of church and state that might have existed in the society, outlaw religious pluralism
among different religions and within Islam, and reject the essential staples of what most define as
modernization in the Western hemisphere, Europe, Africa, South and East Asia – individual freedoms,
economic freedoms, and expanding political freedoms. The third issue, a revolution must be broadly based
within society appears to be more complex. Al-Qaeda is aided by broad disaffection with the ruling regimes
in most of the Middle East and growing anger at the United States. Ruling regimes that are allied with the
US face a double-dose of criticism. However, support for al-Qaeda’s goals and al-Qaeda’s style of
governance is difficult to measure. The Middle East might be judged as entering a pre-revolutionary phase in
65
Reference to AQ’s version of Islam.
66
The list of Taliban human rights abuses between their ascendancy in 1996 and overthrow in 2001 is long. Details can be found
in reports from Amnesty International. See Afghanistan: Grave abuses in the name of religion, November 1996. Available at
. Accessed November 27, 2007; Women in
Afghanistan: The violations continue, June 1997. Available at:
. Accessed November 27, 2007; and Afghanistan: Public executions and amputations on increase, May
1998. Available at:
. Accessed November 27,
2007.
24


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