Jihad Watch Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald gives three reasons why Jihad leapt out of obscurity to become the scourge of the world:
The Islamic nation now faces a great phase of Jihad, unlike anything we knew fifty years ago. Fifty years ago, Jihad was attributed only to a few individuals in Palestine, and in some other Muslims areas." --Saudi cleric Dr. Nasser bin Suleiman al-'Omar, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on April 19, 2006
Why are things different now? The doctrine of Jihad wasn't suddenly invented. It's been the same, more or less, for 1350 years. So what happened to make things so very different? Well, some might point to the end of "colonialism." They might note that the French, after forty years in Morocco and Tunisia, withdrew from both by the mid-1950s, and from Algeria in 1962. They might note that the British garrisons in Aden and elsewhere along the Persian Gulf had been withdrawn, largely for financial reasons (Philip Larkin wrote a poem about it with the memorable line about "the Light Horse of LSE"). But that is not the main thing.
No, the main things which permitted the Jihad to be more than a dim and unattainable (because completely impractical) notion, save in the case of the immediate, local, small-scale Lesser Jihad against Israel, were three:
1) The OPEC oil bonanza. Inshallah-fatalism prevents Arab and Muslim countries from economic development. So they managed to acquire gigantic sums in the only way they possibly could -- by accident. That accident of geology has allowed nearly a dozen Arab states to be the recipients of the largest transfer of wealth in human history; OPEC countries have received $10 trillion (in 2006 dollars) in the past one-third of a century. How have they spent it? On wage-slaves, foreigners who come to do all the work. On palaces for the corrupt ruling families and their corrupt courtiers. Play your cards right and you may share the wealth, even if you are not a prince, princeling, or princelette of the Al-Saud family, but a lowly Bin Laden from Yemen, working your way up as a contractor, or a Khashoggi and so many others like him whose "business" began by his being the middleman in arms deals. And there are so many fixers and middlemen in the Arab Gulf states and Saudi Arabia -- for that is how the large fortunes are made. On armaments -- hundreds of billions of dollars in arms, going to the Muslim states, which are the biggest buyer of foreign arms, year after year, in the world. And mosques, in London and Rome and Paris, and all over the Western world (and the Islamic world too). And madrasas. And campaigns of Da'wa, through generous donations. And Stinger missiles, and guns, and all sorts of things for the training camps in Afghanistan for the Taliban (also helped by generous Saudi donations). And armies of Western hirelings bought up directly or indirectly -- public relations experts, former government officials (especially diplomats), journalists, academics. See the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, see the assorted King Abdul Aziz professors and Guardian of the Two Noble Sanctuaries Professors, see the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, see Durham, see Exeter, see Georgetown, see the Edward Said Professorship (Rashid Khalidi, discovered after a "nationwide" search).
2) The millions of Muslims negligently permitted to settle within various countries of Western Europe, deep behind what those Muslims are taught to regard (by Islam itself) as enemy lines: the lines that once defined Dar al-Harb, the House of War or otherwise expressed, the Bilad al-kufr, or Lands of the Infidels. These now tens of millions of Muslims aggressively pursue demands for changes in local laws and mores, in every way -- in dress, in family law, in separation of men and women, in the rights which individuals can possess (freedom of speech, free exercise of conscience). They are prepared to exploit the freedoms, political and civil, created by and for the Infidels. Muslims have shown that while the Infidel political system is antipathetic to them (for it locates political power in the consent of the governed, and not in the will of Allah, expressed in the Qur'an as glossed by the stories in the Hadith), they do not hesitate to exploit it. Nor do they hesitate to exploit the very guarantees of rights that they would, if they came to dominate, do away with.
3) The exploitation of technological advances made by Infidels, but used to spread the full disturbing message of Islamic jihad. Thus the Ayatollah Khomeini's followers used audiocassettes of his speeches, recorded by him in Neauphle-le-chateau. They disseminated throughout Iran while the Shah still ruled. Thus the videocassettes of decapitations of Infidels, and attacks on American soldiers, that have been distributed all over as recruitment tools for the Jihad -- apparently, the gorier the better. Thus the use of satellite channels to disseminate hatred of the Infidels -- chiefly, but by no means only, Israel and the United States; Denmark has come in for its share, and France for banning the hijab in schools. Any Infidel state or people can expect to be the subject of such a campaign at any time if they dare not to yield to Muslim demands for changes in Infidel rights and laws. And finally, the use of the Internet -- a creation of Infidels, exploited by Muslims to wage a war of dominance and subjugation against those very Infidels.
Those are the three new developments.
Jihad itself is not new. It is very old. It is permanent. One cannot end it. One can work to undo the conditions -- the oil wealth, the unchecked Muslim presence in the Infidel lands, and the exploitation of Western technology by Muslims -- that have made the worldwide Jihad (with many local expressions and theatres of conflict) a reality.
Undoing the past thirty or forty or fifty years, so that Muslims may continue to work for Jihad but with much of the menacing wherewithal stripped from them -- that should be the collective goal of all intelligent and informed Infidels.