Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Most Influential Jihadi
Earlier this year Nixon Center Research Associate Steven Brooke wrote an in-depth analysis of Maqdisi's life and ideology (including an extremely acrimonious dispute with his former student, the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi).
"For insight into Zarqawi, one needs to understand his teacher, the Palestinian- Jordanian theologian Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. Maqdisi devoted much of his life to churning out religious and polemical works that condemn democracy, attack Arab regimes for their apostasy and disbelief, and provide ideological guidance to holy warriors operating throughout the greater Middle East...This is indicative of a critical gap in our understanding of the contemporary salafi-jihadi movement, and especially our lack of appreciation for the disparate and often conflicting ideological strains within that movement. Examining Maqdisi's life and thought will help to fill in these critical gaps."