HOW TO WIN THE WAR ON TERROR

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A PROPOSAL OUTLINING A PRACTICAL AND REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTION TO A GLOBAL THREAT

AN

INTRODUCTION PRESENTED

BY

SHIREEN 2 1,

QUDOSI

OCTOBER

2009

ABSTRACT
The objective of the proposed project is to reduce the influence of radical Islam as practiced by militants and minimize radical thought, which has been left unchallenged by mainstream Muslims on both sides of the secular and non-secular divide. In fighting radical Islam, the focus of political administrations has been to target geographic battlefields. However, the real battlefield is in the mind. The only way we can win the war on terror is by fighting radical Islamic ideology. Islamic ideology (as presently perceived) is comparable to a factory producing militant followers. It is only through challenging this nucleus that we have any hope of winning the struggle against extremism in Islam. The previously applied label “War on Terror” focused on militant Islam and terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda. Though the label has changed, it remains that there are a growing number of radical Islamic terror networks. Al-Qaeda remains an easily recognized front runner; however, it is accompanied by dozens of other groups, some of which include Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Muslims Brotherhood, and Jama’atud-Da’wah. While some of these groups are political and state-specific, the fact remains that they are each active sponsors of terrorism. Changing the label hasn’t changed the war. In fact, the war on terror has spread past identifiable targets and into the sociopolitical sphere, where Muslim lobbyists and social groups push to pass legislation favoring an Islamic agenda that conflicts with our constitutional foundation – an act commonly referred to as Islamism. Moreover, a number of non-militant and non-Islamist Muslims tacitly support the propagandist views that favor misinterpretations of Islamic faith. The core of Islamic faith plays a critical role in understanding the issues since Islam is a faith that dictates a central political and social structure for its followers. The solution is to challenge questionable Islamic ideology in all major components of Islamic philosophy. Methods including challenging prevailing interpretations of scripture paired with an analysis of trends ranging from terrorism, political indoctrination of Islam in western society, and cultural implications regularly associated with the faith. The method must be executed in a very specific manner for it to be effective; anything short of this specific method will fail. I execute this method in my manuscript, which is one third complete at this point. I petition your assistance and ask you to help me to complete the manuscript within a 6 month time frame.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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INTRODUCTION
The September 11, 2001 attack against the United States, as witnessed in the destruction and loss of lives at the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, launched a war on terror that promised to end radical Islam. It is now nearly a decade after our declaration of war and the only real ground that has been made is a weakened western state. Strong holds have been secured by those individuals and groups who promote radicalism in both thought and action. The war on terror is failing; it is no longer identifiable, the issues and targets are blurred and newer complications entangling social discourse with political and military agendas continue to deplete resources that far exceed monetary cost.

BACKGROUND
Since its conception, Islam has been a highly political religion. Its tenets do not stop at communicating a connection between man and God; they dictate how a society should be constructed, including a complete sociopolitical system. Islam creates a very specific psyche in its followers. 1 The psychological framework is why despite the radical activity, the open heresy against humanity, we still do not witness Muslims protesting radicalism in its many forms with the same enthusiasm and effort that is placed into protests against free speech.2 The faith (as is) is fundamentally at odds with a western society that encourages The increased number of Islamist church and state as separate entities. movements is an unseen aspect of the Herein lays another aspect of the coined “East West Dichotomy”. Is Islam, which “War on Terror”; it can be argued that lays the foundation for a judicial system, these ‘back door’ attempts at subverting fundamentally at odds with western jurisprudence? One can argue yes. The Western ideals are more damaging than evidence rests in the increasing rate of outright attacks. Islamist movements that were first tracked in Europe, with its eventual spread to the United States. Euro-American societies are facing increased pressure to espouse liberal views that relegate Western ideals for Islamic ones.3 As warned by myself and a number of scholars in the field, this is a crippling move with absolutely no merit to a society that wishes to remain free. The increased number of Islamist movements is an unseen aspect of the “War on Terror”; it can be argued that these ‘back door’ attempts at subverting Western ideals are more damaging than outright attacks.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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THE ROLE OF 9-11
The outright attack against the West began long before 9-11. However, it was the attack on U.S. soil that launched the issue to the international arena. Within moments an entire world was made an unwilling witness to an ongoing jihad against the West and an internal rift within Islam that predated our public awareness of it. 9-11 highlighted a very real problem. 9-12 witnessed “Day One” of how we dealt with that problem. Fast forward 9 years and we are failing on more fronts now than on or before that date.

DEFINING THE PROBLEM
There are two key questions when it comes to defining the issue: 1) Identifying the target and 2) Identifying the battle front.

I. Identifying the Target
The target is a hydra, a folkloric beast with multiple heads. As in mythology, removal of one of its heads would result in the immediate growth of another or another pair in its place. It was impossible to defeat through removing the heads alone; rather, one wishing to defeat a hydra would have to strike at its heart. Similarly the “War on Terror” is not defined by one geographical region, one ethnic group or one political movement. It is a theological ideology manifest in multiple groups worldwide – a powerful bridge that links millions of people who otherwise may appear very different from one another. With this in mind, the war against Islamic extremism cannot and will not be won in the long term based on a conventional understanding of war. Continuing to treat this war as a literal war, even to point of seeing it as contained within a literal battle field, ensures that we will lose it. At present, it is costing us far more than the sum of billions. We’re losing resources daily, including credibility, authority, the will of the American public and the respect of the international arena; these are problems that are not exclusive to America, but include Europe and other foreign states.4 As predicted, the war is already causing cracks within our own system, as most recently evidenced in the backlash against our own intelligence community. This sum of losses here does not include what we will be made to forfeit if we lose this war.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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II. Identifying the Battle Front
As stated, it is primitive to think of modern day battles as only taking place geographically. The reality is that we’ve long since moved beyond such boundaries even as far back as early the last century. In the “War on Terror”, there is a second type of battle front that is going unnoticed by politicians and lawmakers. The alternative front is in the sociopolitical sphere where excessively liberal shows of ‘tolerance’ continue being made to accommodate Muslim preferences and cater to Muslim sensitivities. These efforts are counter productive to a larger democratic state. The More and more of a Muslim efforts are not seen as a measure of good will and demographic will depend on tolerance by the recipients, but as weaknesses. And the measure will not be reciprocated, but special treatment rather taken advantage off as more and more of a …guaranteeing an inevitable Muslim demographic will depend on special treatment. and direct clash between Muslims and non-Muslims Such treatment creates hostility and animosity within non-Muslim groups, thus guaranteeing an inevitable and direct clash between Muslims and non-Muslims civilians within a state. Such a confrontation will trigger increased riots, hate crimes, tensions between ethnic and religious groups; the conflict will also guarantee increased pressure on elected officials to provide a quick solution in favor of nationalism and against religious and ethnic groups.

WHY WE ARE LOSING
A number potential solutions have been put into effect. While they are not entirely without merit, they are also not without their flaws. In some instances they also contribute to and escalate the problem. Below is a sampling of some efforts that are currently in place, followed by a brief synopsis of why they are failing:

I) Military Initiatives
Military operations, while necessary in certain instances, cannot strike at the root of the problem. Direct combat depletes resources, costs lives, and reaffirms militant jihadi rhetoric against the West; it strengthens their cause and feeds into their propaganda. Recognition of only a geographic struggle or an effort to combat only radical extremists with known terrorist affiliations, also handicaps a far reaching understanding of the situation.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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II) Working with Muslim Interest Groups
While working with Muslim groups is a positive strategy, the …immersed in your society and using your problem with it is that (with little liberties and ideologies as weapons to further exception) the wrong types of groups and individual are being their own agenda. given the podium. While many of these groups are based in the West and fronted by Western Muslims, their platform clearly highlights Islamist activity with a Wahhabi agenda. These groups then narrowly navigate the discussion on Islam and set the platform for what is and isn’t acceptable – an approach that is not in the best interest of a free society. The resulting censorship and assault on free speech has clearly been effective considering the mass incline of reverse discrimination against non-Muslim citizens in Europe and America, as well as the increasing number of steps taken by officials to prove themselves as “tolerant and accepting”. What gets lost in this shuffle is a real discussion that has any hope of advancing the issues forward. A failure to seek out navigate the discussion on Islam and domestic groups and individuals with an set the platform for what is and isn’t authentic voice results in a failure to address the problem in an area where it hides most; acceptable – an approach that is not while it is easy to recognize an enemy in the in the best interest of a free society. battle field when wielding a recognizable weapon, it is difficult to recognize them when they’re immersed in your society and using your liberties and ideologies as weapons to further their own agenda. These groups then narrowly

III) Working with “Experts”
Though working with experts is recommended, a number of agencies continue to work with so called “Islamic experts” who go unnamed …a number of these ‘expert’ are speaking thoroughly in the findings and reports. from a bias indoctrinated perspective; an expert is This is unfortunate since it is clear that a great majority of these ‘expert’ are speaking thoroughly not an expert if s/he is incapable of looking at a situation objectively

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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from a bias indoctrinated perspective; an expert is not an expert if s/he is incapable of looking at a situation objectively. Many Islamic experts and scholars suffer from this condition, particularly if they were raised as a Muslim.

IV) Muslim Narratives
Since 9-11, an increasing number of Muslim narratives have hit the shelves in the form of memoirs or autobiographies. While they are of use in one sense, they are still personal and isolated experiences that unfortunately often result in glorification of the author, rather than shifting the reader’s attention to the issues.

V) Watchdog Groups and Lobbies
Watchdog groups have gained considerable ground on the issues, and do an excellent job of raising awareness. While there are both benefits and drawbacks to these groups, the major issue here is that no matter what truths are presented by them, they will not be accepted by Muslims – particularly if the findings are presented by apostates or Jews. Muslims are highly skeptical of these groups and as such anything that is presented by them is left unaccepted or unconsidered by the very audience that needs to be targeted the most. Muslims do not welcome criticism, and (in their current state) will certainly never accept criticism by a non-Muslim – especially if the critics are Jews or former Muslims.

REDEFINING THE “WAR”
We have to begin seeing the struggle in the war on terror as going beyond the scope of literal battlefields. The solution involves getting to the root of the problem - in other words, weakening the structures by redefining the foundation.

I. The Pyramid Base
If we view this issue in a pyramid illustration targeting what groups play a part in the “War on Terror”, we would see a world-wide Muslim population forming the base of this structure. The core problem is not with extremist groups but with the 1.5 billion Muslims who (with minimal exception) are not truthfully questioning any of it. For reasons discussed in the manuscript, Muslims question neither the political/social climate, their faith, culture, nor their own preconceived notions. With little exception, their opinions are premised on bias views and they have been left thoroughly unchallenged in a manner that has potential of truly grasping their attention.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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II. Elected Officials
The next step in understanding the problem is by targeting politicians and law makers who 1) genuinely do not understand the problem or 2) are pressured into being soft on how they deal with the issues. Elected officials must be truthfully made aware of the issues and their ramifications. just who they represent, but what they represent They must stop excusing, …we must replace sympathy with accountability, justifying, and extending overly sympathetic shows of and tolerance with truth. tolerance to the point of compromising the ideals of the establishment which one represents. Law makers and politicians must remember not just who they represent, but what they represent. 5 In both cases, we must replace sympathy with accountability, and tolerance with truth. Law makers and politicians must remember not

THE PROPOSED SOLUTION
My manuscript 1) targets a worldwide Muslim audience based on the one element that cannot be refuted, and 2) serves as a guide for elected officials, government/military, academics and anyone interested in gaining a more sensitive understanding of the issues. The manuscript uses an organic method that understands academic discourse and uses it as a tool to serve a larger objective to target a key audience: 1.5 billion Muslims. The work is also of benefit to non-Muslims, NGOs, analysts, militaries, lawmakers and elected officials, academics and scholars. The manuscript, (with a working title of “The Book of the Believers”) is different from any other work on the subject. It does not lecture. It is not a memoir. It neither apologizes for Islam nor does it attack blindly. It places unapologetic truth as the highest priority, weaves story telling with analysis and ultimately uses the most fundamental psychology to crack the barriers in the Muslim psyche. “Book of the Believers” is a call to action; it demands accountability and uses the very tools employed by fundamentalism to destroy radicalism. The goal is not to simply end the war on terror, but to go beyond it to the source, to the ideology that implants the seed for extremism in both thought and action. 6

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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…if you destroy certain elements in Islam in a very specific way, as this manuscript does, then you destroy radical Islam itself. What potential would 1.5 billion people have if they were truly free? What would we do if we were freed from this war, if we were no longer trapped between two impossible positions – for at the moment we can neither win, nor can we give in.

While it is considerably difficult to undo the damage of false perception, it is not impossible if done right. In fact, if done right, it’s extremely easy and the shift can begin within one generation, though with considerable (and needed) internal conflict. The source of terror is a skewed perception of Islam and the promotion of dogmatic elements that continue to indoctrinate each being that is born into it through no free choice of their own. But if you destroy certain elements in Islam in a very specific way, as this manuscript does, then you destroy radical Islam itself. The manuscript is about 6 months away from completion - if and only if those six months are spent in complete dedication to the work. It has been impossible to carve time away to isolate oneself completely to this end and with a recent decision to include a review of other authors and earlier theories, it is clear that even a mere 15 hours a week are not near enough to complete the work within a reasonable time.7 At this time, I am actively seeking grants that will allow me to focus exclusively on completing the manuscript. I have made the introduction and first chapter available online for your viewing. You are free to read it and judge it for yourself – and from there decide if this is something you want to be a part of. I would like to remind you that the first chapter is not indicative of how the rest of the work will be presented and argued; however, it is an accurate reflection of its tone. If you feel moved by it, I invite you to get in touch with me. I also request you to forward this proposal to others who may be interested. As a gesture of thanks, and with your permission, I’ll be including your name in a special “Acknowledgement” section of the final published work. Islamic radicalism is one of the most widespread problems of the 21st century – and what is more worthwhile than working towards successfully eradicating radical Islam? Perhaps the real question here is: What potential would 1.5 billion people have if they were truly free? What would we do if we were freed from this war, if we were no longer trapped between two impossible positions – for at the moment we can neither win, nor can we give in.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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PROJECTED RESPONSE

The manuscript is expected to be positively received by outside groups. However, the key response being sought is that of a larger Muslim population. To test the approach and theories presented in the manuscript, discussions were carried out with Muslims of varied backgrounds, some secular and some zealous in their position. In some cases, samples of the work were distributed to gauge the reader’s reaction. While not all subjects were openly accepting of the ideas presented, the key is that after some time they did come back to discuss what was initially offered. They also carried the discussion forward; a critical move showing thought and a willingness to engage in dialogue. While in some cases, the acceptance of new findings and theories were immediate; in other cases, individuals took up to one to two years to be open to the ideas. But again, the key is that shifts in perceptions were clearly visible. The ideology that created our presented dilemma did not happen overnight. The indoctrination into culture and religion took years to instill, and have been practiced by individuals for decades; clearly, changes are not going to take place over night. The key is to foster (and provoke) a dialogue, an argument – a truthful exchange of ideas, within Muslims by Muslims in an intelligent and precise manner that makes them impossible to refute. When some of the issues explored in the manuscript were discussed with Muslims, without fail I witnessed every single individual reveal a crack in the rigidity of their thoughts. While they may not walk away agreeing with me, the key is they walked away thinking about it. And though logic is difficult to disagree with, truth is impossible to ignore. The solution is to present truth in a way that makes it impossible for Muslims to turn away from it.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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RECOMMENDATIONS

"Shireen Qudosi's Book of the Believers (Kitab Al-Mu'minin) is an important contribution to the debate over the future of Islam. It brings together personal experience, insight, and an attitude of deep questioning, with an essential commitment to the restoration of Islam's intellectual and spiritual achievements. Most important, Shireen Qudosi writes from the heart, the place from which all sincere believers in the monotheistic faiths draw the inspiration needed to contend with the corruption and conformism especially visible among the Muslims today."

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz Executive Director, The Center for Islamic Pluralism Author, The Two Faces of Islam and The Other Islam

“It’s honest, thoughtful and interesting. Two criticisms: it's best not to start anew but immerse yourself in those who came before and their thoughts; and blaming Muslims for Islam's ills reminds me of blaming Russians and Cubans for Communism's ills - an avoidance of the elephant in the room.” 8

Daniel Pipes Professor, Author, and Political Commentator Executive Director of The Middle East Forum

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ABOUT SHIREEN QUDOSI
Shireen Qudosi is an American Muslim of Pakistani/Afghan ethnicity, and has been living in the United States for the past 22 years. While she was raised as a Sunni Muslim, she eventually accepted Sufi Islam after years studying Islam and comparative religions. The culmination of experiences is what drives her to realize a vision of a revolution within Islam with relentless passion.

Personal Statement
What began as a curious interest in 2003 has now fleshed into a full-time passion. Working in any capacity to further help both Muslims and non-Muslims understand Islam became a resolute goal soon after reading the Quran for myself, at a time where beheadings seemed a near weekly occurrence. Partly due to my Eastern heritage and Western education, I was and continue to be fascinated by the psychology the faith instills within its followers - a psychology that fails to be scrutinized truthfully by them. In 2004-2005, I worked with local community and regional Muslim groups to understand the structures and initiatives that were already in place. In 2006-2007, I traveled to Tokyo and had the opportunity to study migrant Muslim communities, with a particular interest in the psychology of reversion among Japanese women. In 2008 I took an interest in comparative studies between the Quran and the Bible. In 2009, I focused primarily on extensive networking to broaden my resource base and began collaborating with national think tanks, community and interest groups. 2009 also saw the launch of the Qudosi Chronicles, a project that's already seen considerable success in its preliminary stages. By the end of 2009, the QC will feature a new website, enabling myself and a team of talented writers to better serve our readership. In 2010, I plan to further develop the Chronicles, work toward further research and writing to complete the Book of the Believers, and place a core emphasis on tracking Islamist activity in Southern California. I also hope to allocate time to studying aspects of Judaism. When it comes to Islam, the issues and sub-issues are endless. But what I can tell you is it's near impossible to find a Muslim who doesn't peddle the status quo in one way or another. I personally don't care for allegiances that are forced upon us at birth. As such, I have no problem speaking without bias or predisposed notions of loyalty to culture and religion.

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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REFERENCES
Editor of the Qudosi Chronicles The Book of the Believers: Introduction & Chapter One

Published with:
The Middle East Forum Islamist Watch Pajamas Media Muslim World Today Family Security Matters The Common Conservative Halal Lifestyle Magazine

Articles:
Interview with UK Journalist Charlie Francis-Pape Speech Transcript An Unseen Invasion: The Subversion of British Culture by Pakistani Muslims Islamist Groups Push Conspiracy Theories in Homegrown Terror Cases Pro Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Eyes Public Office "Caliphate or Republic" A Look at the Ongoing Struggle in Defining the War on Terror "There is No America. There is only Islam" Ahmadinejad Uses Christ to Attack West A Global President? Hawaiian Senate Declares "Islam Day" Why Obama's Speech Failed to Deliver Q & A: Muslim Women

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Footnotes:
1 Discussed in detail throughout the manuscript.

2 A growing number of protests against free speech include opposition to Danish cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, murder of Theo Van Gogh, death threats against a number writers and speakers who express an unfavorable view of Islam, violence against publications and editors running such content, protests against academic institutions featuring critical writers/speakers, and protests against lawmakers and religious figures who have made remarks on Islam and the prophet, which could have (and thus were) interpreted as unfavorable. 3 Some examples include the inclusion of Sharia law in any context, UN resolutions against “blasphemous speech”, the increased legislation against free speech in the name of religious tolerance, as well as the use of cultural relativism as a justification for violating state/national laws. 4 Recent examples include Scotland’s release of the Lockerbie bomber and his subsequent return to a cheering Libya, a move supported by the UK (though denied by officials until proven). The United Nations is also perceived as increasingly ineffective – a view made concrete courtesy of appearances by Gaddafi and Ahmadinejad (or lack thereof during Netanyahu’s September 2009 speech). 5. Law makers and politicians include elected city/state officials who allow Saudi money and regulate how they conduct business. Case and point, approval of the Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia. 6 According to Daniel Pipes, moderate Muslims "constitute a very small movement", but a "brave" one, which the U.S. government should "give priority to locating, meeting with, funding, forwarding, empowering, and celebrating”. He suggests that "radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam the solution". [New York Sun, 2007] 7 Includes additional literature review, analysis of current trends/recent history, historical review, comparative texts including cross referencing three interpretations of the Quran, and looking at secondary sources including Hadiths and Sunnahs, plus an entire new section on Israel (moving it beyond a subsection). If adequate resources are gained, I also plan on increasing the frequency of attending events, networking in the field, including travel and discussion with select Muslims groups (at least on a domestic level) in order to have more thorough research available to the reader. 8 Were the work to start with outright attacks and accusations, we would immediately lose our core audience and the larger effort would be ineffective. In a subsequent email, Pipes did suggest the work offer a familiarization of previous works. I believe he may be right in this regard and the suggestion has been taken into consideration and will be put into effect. Outside thinkers and theories will be introduced and applied to the situation at hand.

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Notes:

“How to Win the War on Terror” by Shireen Qudosi http://www.Qudosi.com

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