Friday, September 03, 2004

Jihad, Apocalypse, and Anti-Semitism

An Interview with Richard Landes

-The main goal of modern Jihadism - a cataclysmic apocalyptic movement - is Islam's dominance over the world. It makes millennial claims, promising that once Islam rules everywhere, there will be world peace.

-Jihad, as the millennial war, operates in modern times on two major levels. The first is that of outright violence. Its aggression emerges in most places where Muslim majorities share a border with another culture. The second level expresses itself in demopathy, or the invocation of civil society's values to undermine that system from within.

-Since its inception, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an apocalyptic forgery about the final stages of a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world, has been the Judeophobe's favored text. After World War II, among its most enthusiastic 'believers' have been Arab intellectuals and political elites.

-There is a significant overlap between the religious Hamas and the 'secular' PLO in their use of apocalyptic rhetoric. Its characteristics include global conspiracy theory, total war, virulent anti-Semitism, contempt for human life, and child sacrifice."