The Management of Savagery

A quite fascinating and eye-opening article in the paper this morning by Jennifer Oriel. Her title is, You can’t be a jihadist and a good citizen, but it was this that I had not heard before:

The recent revelation that Islamic State rose to power using a jihadist playbook has offered the world a blueprint of their battle plan. Written by Abu Bakr Naji (nom de guerre of former al-Qa’ida official Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim), The Management of Savagery exposes jihadism as the centrepiece of militant Islamist plans to destroy freedom from within legitimate nation states. It is a game changer for the Western approach to terrorism.

A revelation indeed. Why had I never heard of it? There really is such a book, with the full title, The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass. Oriel also writes that “the three-stage strategy of jihad mirrors the method Bolsheviks used to establish the world’s first totalitarian state, and Naji duly acknowledges communists as an inspiration for his masterplan.” In reality, this is a much older battle plan. Any pretence that this is a strategy picked up from communist practice of the last century is just one more bit of subterfuge among so many.

What you are looking at today is a re-run of the virtually unknown Mughal invasion of India, or at least unknown to us, who should do more to find out what we are dealing with. I knew nothing of it until I came across the story reading through Will and Ariel Durant’s eleven volumes on the history of civilisation (highly recommended, by the way). They begin with these words, from which they go on to show in complete detail just how sound their judgment is:

The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. [My bolding]

It is a story being repeated in the midst of our own Western civilisation. It is being exactly repeated everywhere the Islamic State manages to find its way to power. I am not interested in debating theological issues. But I am very interested in protecting our way of life from marauders who undertake their invasions under a strategy that has been their way for more than a thousand years. If you read first Will and Ariel Durant and then turn to our newspapers of today, on those all too rare occasions when someone prints what is really happening, you will see everything that took place a thousand years ago taking place again, right now. Which is why this is important news from today:

The Islamic State has spread its tentacles beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq and has become a global terror movement whose ultimate aim was “universal dominion”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has opened a regional summit on terrorism with an urgent warning on the long term ambitions of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, or Da’ish.

Addressing a room full of ministers and delegates from around the region, Mr Abbott said ISIL’s reach now extended well beyond the Syrian-Iraq conflict.

ISIL, Mr Abbott said, now had outposts in Libya, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, and was seeking to expand its violent ideology into South Asia and beyond.

“We have all seen on our screen the beheadings, the crucifixion, the mass executions and the sexual slavery that the Da’ish death cult has inflicted mostly on Muslims in the Middle East,” Mr Abbott said.

“That is what the death cult has in store for everyone if it has its way.”

Mr Abbott offered an implicit challenge to the view that ISIL’s success in Syria and its annexation of much of northern Iraq, rode on the back of long standing sectarian grievance between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

He said ISIL’s barbarity went beyond any “local grievance”.

“This is terrorism with global ambitions,” Mr Abbott said. “Da’ish is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: submit or die.”

The Prime Minister said IS’s declaration of a Caliphate last year was a “brazen claim to universal dominion”.

“You can’t negotiate with an entity like this, you can only fight it,” he said.

And for those who think we have damaged our relationship with Indonesia, there is this they need to dwell on along with so much else:

Indonesia has thanked Australia for hosting the summit and stressed the importance of nations working together to stop extremism, Brendan Nicholson writes.

“Indonesia views the Summit as an important event in our regional effort to combat terrorism and extremism,” a government spokesman told The Australian.

“We appreciate Australia’s initiative to host and bring together representatives of the region to better coordinate our efforts to counterterrorism, extremism and blunt extremists’ propaganda.”

This is really no longer an area for partisan difference. On this there needs to be the same sense of unity and purpose across the nation as there is between us and the Indonesians.