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Research Report

“TO OUR GREAT DETRIMENT”:: IGNORING WHAT EXTREMISTS SAY ABOUT JIHAD (with appendices)

Stephen Collins Coughlin
Copyright Date: Jul. 1, 2007
Pages: 358
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep05072

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. i-i)
  2. (pp. ii-ii)
    Tecumseh Sherman and Rene Descartes

    North design to conquer the South, we must begin at Kentucky and reconquer the country from there as we did from the Indians. It was this conviction then as plainly as now that made men think I was insane. A good many followers now want to make me a prophet. I rather think you now agree with me that this is no common war. You must now see that I was right in not seeking prominence at the outstart. I knew and know yet that the northern people have to unlearn all their experience of the past thirty years and...

  3. (pp. iii-iv)
  4. (pp. 1-25)

    In a series of comments on The National Strategy for Victory in Iraq made at the National Defense University, 1 December 2005, four years into the War on Terror (WOT), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace explained that:

    To talk about how we are going to proceed, we need to understand the nature of the enemy. And clearly, the nature of this enemy is different than any we have faced in the past …. Our enemies had declared war on us years before, but the attacks in New York, in the skies over Pennsylvania and here...

  5. (pp. 26-70)

    Because of the complex nature of a paper attempting to explain Islamic law as it relates to jihad while at the same time applying a process able to generate indicators of possible threat strategies or future action, Chapter 2 will discuss the methodology used to capture the threat doctrine as well as a review of the associated literature.

    A Note on Scope. Discussions regarding doctrinal positions of Islamic law will be limited to those that reflect Sunni Islamic jurisprudence and associated supporting doctrines. Because this paper seeks to identify the depth of Islamic law on given points of law relating...

  6. (pp. 71-82)

    Thought by Western analysts and decisionmakers to be ancillary to the actual conduct of policy for most Middle Eastern Muslim countries, Islamic law’s status turns out to be constitutionally established in most of them. “Extremists” and Islamist who know this reasonably claim that if the Western-style constitutions of many Muslim countries were properly followed, they would have to yield to Islamic law. One such example comes from the article “Constitutions of the Muslim Countries Reveal the Great Betrayal” from the Webpage Kalifah.com.140 Calling for the imposition of Islamic law, Muslim forms of governance, and a return of the caliphate, the...

  7. (pp. 83-133)

    While it is not the point of this paper to undertake a detailed analysis of Islamic law per se, a review of a few guiding principles is necessary to provide an understanding of Islamic legal concepts that frame legal doctrines on jihad discussed in this paper. Contrary to Western notions of “separation of church and state,” Islam defines itself in unitary terms as a complete way of life governed by a single body of law that comes from Allah who retains sole sovereignty. This concept is strictly construed. The concepts reviewed in this chapter will be those used to ground...

  8. (pp. 134-223)

    Hardly a day goes by without there being some story on jihad. Against claims that jihad does not mean holy war comes a website that defines jihad as “attacks committed by determined Muslims in the name of their faith”253 that provides an itemized list of over 8,905 “deadly acts of terrorism” since 11 September 2001.254 Because public discourse on jihad is so contentious, the need for a controlling definition capable of pre-empting lesser understandings of the term needs to be identified. Because Islam is a complete way of life governed by Islamic law, the legal definition of jihad will be...

  9. (pp. 224-228)

    It is the conclusion of this thesis that Islamic law forms the doctrinal basis for the jihadi threat that can only be understood through an unconstrained review of the Islamic law of jihad. Answering the three research questions, it turns out that:

    When the Chairman said that we have yet to read what our enemy’s have said, he confirmed that we have failed to do a doctrine-based threat assessment of the enemy;

    Had the IC done so, it would have quickly found that the doctrinal basis of the jihadi threat is the law of jihad in Islamic law in just...

  10. (pp. 322-329)