A new concept of Jihad may emerge from the infighting within al-Qaeda and groups affiliated with it.
With the passage of time, perhaps every phenomenon is likely to mutate and generate different copies of itself. This is precisely the case with al-Qaeda. In its third generation, one can clearly see two al-Qaeda mutants co-existing – one (al-Nusra) marginally better, the other (ISIS) much worse than the original al-Qaeda organisation.The two groups had tried for months to resolve their differences and had obviously failed. Confrontations and schisms finally culminated in an open and bloody war which left 12,000 people from both sides dead.
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All that could well lead to a new conception of Jihad. A fourth generation al-Qaeda, equipped with some political insight, might well embrace the “nationalistic” model, which confines Jihad strictly to the national borders of each country, and opens up to political dialogue, political participation and power-sharing with fellow countrymen. The steps al-Nusra has recently taken already point to such a transformative model.
This is part two of a two-part series. Part one was published on Wednesday, February 26.