Current Trends in Islamist Ideology

The Ideology of Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiya

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Senior Fellow, Combating Terrorism Center, United States Military Academy, West Point

Ideology—not poverty or illiteracy—is the key driver of Islamist terrorism. Ideology frames a terrorist group’s organizational structure, leadership and membership motivation, recruitment and support, and strategies and tactics. To counter the threat posed by a terrorist group, its operational infrastructure must be dismantled and its ideological appeal must be reduced. Failure to do so will result in the group replenishing its human losses and material resources and rising again only to continue the fight.

One example of this is Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah (Jemaah Islamiyah—JI), the Southeast Asian associate of al-Qaeda. JI has evolved through three phases. In the first phase, the predecessor of JI, Darul Islam (DI), campaigned for an Islamic state in Indonesia, and attacked several local Indonesian targets. After the DI leadership was forced to relocate from Indonesia to Malaysia, it came into contact with other foreign jihad groups. In the second phase, JI was transformed into a regional jihad group, and carried out attacks throughout Southeast Asia to advance its original mission. Later, after participating in the multinational anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, JI came into contact with al-Qaeda. In the third phase of development, JI came to share al-Qaeda’s global vision of jihad, and began to directly target the U.S., its allies and its friends either in partnership with al-Qaeda or by acting alone.

During each of these phases, JI ideology exhibited a remarkable ability to adapt itself to changing circumstances, to incorporate new ideas, and to apply itself to new strategic and political ends. At the same time, JI ideology remained firmly rooted in its founding precepts and extremist political vision of the world. This, in turn, provided JI with a surprising level of ideological and organizational cohesion, even as it evolved from a local to a global jihad group.

The Birth of JI

JI’s roots can be traced back to the Indonesian rebellion in the 1950s led by Darul Islam (DI). At its founding, the DI movement opposed the secular nature of the Sukarno regime, and from 1948 to 1962, fought the regime to establish an Islamic state in its place. Motivated primarily by politics, the DI rebellion in West Java was led by Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosuwirjo. Before the Second World War, Kartosuwirjo was active in Muslim nationalist politics in the then Dutch East Indies. He eventually grew unhappy with the political maneuvering and slow-pace of nationalist leaders like Masyumi, and in 1947 began assembling a militia in West Java.

In 1948, Kartosuwirjo announced the establishment of the Islamic Army of Indonesia (Tentera Islam Indonesia—TII) and proceeded to fight the newly formed Indonesian republic. For the next thirteen years he continued his struggle to establish an Islamic state. When Kartosuwirjo was arrested in 1962, the rebellion was finally crushed. However, when Suharto came to power in 1966, General Ali Moertopo reactivated DI to protect Indonesia against the danger of Communist infiltration across the Indonesian-Malaysian border in Borneo. In order to discredit the Islamists before the 1977 elections, some 185 people believed to be members of Komando Jihad, a group sharing Kartosuwirjo’s ideals, were arrested by the government in mid-1977.

The founders of JI, Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, were among those detained by the government. Both of them were deeply involved in Islamic proselytizing (dakwah) activities. Although they were never a part of the original Darul Islam, they fully endorsed DI’s political agenda. Due to their meetings with Haji Ismail Pranoto (Hispran for short), who was accused of leading the Komando Jihad, they were both charged with having been inducted into DI by Hispran. Whatever the truth of the charges was, it is no secret that both of them were known for making statements urging disobedience to secular authorities and questioning the validity of the Indonesian constitution. Sungkar and Ba’asyir rejected the state ideology of Pancasila, and dared to criticize the Suharto government. They were tried in 1982 and sentenced to nine years in prison for subversion. Subsequently, their sentences were reduced on appeal to three years and ten months. Facing imminent re-arrest, they fled to Malaysia. In exile, Sungkar became the Suharto regime’s number one enemy.

In Malaysia, Sungkar identified a number of sympathetic Malaysian businessmen who supported the establishment of an Islamic state in Indonesia. In an effort to seek additional funding for their cause, Sungkar and Ba’asyir went to Saudi Arabia. They also established contacts with the mujahidin in Afghanistan, who were then waging war against the Soviet Union. This opened the gateway for JI members to become ever more politicized and radicalized, and they received military training and were exposed to the ideology of armed jihad.

With Malaysian financial backing, Sungkar and Ba’asyir were able to form their own organization. After a dispute with the Indonesian-based DI leader named Ajengan Masduki, Sungkar formed JI in 1993. Sungkar’s new group did not initially have a name but by 1995 Sungkar’s followers were formed into small groups consisting of eight toten members, and they were known as Al Jemaah Al Islamiyah.1 Members of his first small group or cell included Riduan Isamuddin alias Hambali, Abdul Ghani, Jamsari, Suhauime, Matsah, and Adnan and Faiz Bafana.2 The weekly meetings of the JI cells included highly selective readings of the Quran as well as other studies to prepare members for jihad. Compared to DI, JI was a more tightly structured organization, but it retained DI’s vision of establishing an Islamic state in Indonesia. Only later did their ambition grow into creating a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia.

Jama’ah Islamiyah’s Worldview

In general, JI ideology refers to the comprehensive set of ideas by which the group makes sense of itself and the world. It is an attempt by them to provide some explanation of how things have come to be as they are and to provide some indication of where they are heading as a basis to guide their action. It also provides criteria for rigorously distinguishing between what, in their perspective, are to be considered valid and invalid ways of thinking. Finally, JI ideology provides an overriding justification for their violent actions to which they may make a final appeal when challenged by outsiders.

Although much of JI ideology relies on the Quran, the Sunnah and the interpretation of the venerable forefathers (Salafush-Sholih), it must be stressed that it is by no means representative of the views held by all Muslim scholars.3 This is to say that JI ideology has its limits, that it is just one set of interpretation among others, and that in reality it can be quite inconsistent with the general principles of Islam.4

In their understanding of Islam, JI preaches the need to practice Islam in its totality, which is referred to as "Islam Kaffah."5 Within this all-encompassing framework, they hope to achieve peace in the worship of God in the widest sense of the word by accepting the Quranic guidance not only towards the spiritual good of the hereafter but also towards the good life—spiritual, physical and social—attainable in this world.

Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah’s founding charter— The Pedoman Umum Perjuangan Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah, translated as "The General Guide for Islamic Groups," and commonly known as the "PUPJI"—offers insights into the basic concepts of JI ideology.6 In the introduction of the PUPJI, the Central Leadership Council of JI wrote that God has outlined a number of set principles by which men should lead their lives.

Firstly, the aim of man’s creation is to worship God alone.7 Consequently, all worldly possessions, time, energy and thought must be channeled toward this end.

Secondly, human beings are to serve as God’s vicegerent on earth. In this view, man is responsible for ensuring that the earth is managed and developed in accordance with God’s laws. He thus is required to prevent, eliminate and fight all acts of earthly corruption, which is seen as the product of a way of life which falls outside the domain of the Sharia.

Thirdly, life on earth is a contest between good and evil, and a person will be judged by his good deeds. Good deeds are measured by the fulfillment of two fundamental requirements—namely, sincerity toward God and emulating the Prophet in all of life’s endeavors.

Fourthly, the apostles of God were sent by Him to establish the dien. The meaning of "establishing the "dien" or "Iqomatid Dien," according to the exegetes (Mufassirun), is to establish a way of life based on the unity of God (Tawhid). This means to establish Islam in all its aspects as revealed by Abdullah bin Umar, the companion of the Prophet Muhammad, in his commentary of the Surah Al-Fatehah. This includes following aqidah (the Islamic creed), ibadah (performing acts of worship) and accepting Islam as a total manhajulhayah (way of life).

The Prophet Muhammad, in discharging his duties as the messenger of God, had successfully shown all of this, integrating both the physical and spiritual duties of life in total submission to the worship of God. His example was then emulated by the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, the other companions of the Prophet, and also by later generations with varying degrees of success.

In JI’s view, however, Muslims gradually began to lose their way, and forsake their duties to God. After the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924, the Muslim Nation grew increasingly weak, and was exposed to the secularist ideologies of the modern world that wrought further moral decadence and decay. Since the Muslim Nation was no longer a world leader in the religious, political, and military realms, the JI proposed setting up a new state based on the holistic teachings of Islam. The establishment of such a state would restore the unity of religion and politics, thereby counterbalance the secular forces that had caused the enervation and decline of the Islamic Nation.9

What Motivated Them?

Religion is perhaps the most important motivating factor for JI operatives. According to psychological reports, many JI members joined the group because they wanted a "no fuss" path to heaven; others were altruistic and wanted sincerely to help the Muslim Nation.10 In JI, they wanted to be convinced that they had discovered "true Islam," and that they could be freed from endless searching, as they found it too stressful to be critical, evaluative and rational. They believed they could not do wrong in the eyes of God, as JI’s leaders legitimated the group’s agenda and actions through their readings of holy scripture. The psychological profile of the JI’s members (e.g. high compliance, low assertiveness, low in the questioning of religious values, and high level of guilt and loneliness) suggested that they were predisposed to indoctrination and control and needed a sense of belonging without close attachments.

Religious texts were quoted selectively to educate and motivate JI’s members. In the hands of JI ideologues, Islam became a weapon. It incited many to the call of jihad. It also ensured a measure of solidarity over the course of JI’s development, even as JI came into contact with other ideas and groups.The PUPJI, though its written in the Indonesian language, makes extensive use of Arabic words and religious concepts, leaving little room for doubt that distinctively Arab ideas and theology lay at its core. The ideology is, in short, drawn primarily from various religious sources.11

Fear of divine retribution and hope for the rewards of the hereafter were instilled by charismatic lecturers causing members to view JI’s struggle as synonymous with Islam’s.12 The end result was a group driven by the belief that its actions were legitimized by God, hence the need to support it with undivided loyalty and uncompromising devotion. This is evident in Abu Bakar Ba’asyir’s address during the Mujahideen II Congress, held in Surakarta, Jawa Tengah on August 10-12, 2003. In speaking about Indonesia’s struggle for independence from the Netherlands, he underscored that the underlying intention of that struggle is to practice Shariah so that the obligation to worship God is fully realized. He reasoned that the freedom to practice Sharia in its totality was inhibited during Dutch, English and Japanese rule.13 This same line of reasoning can also be traced to Sayyid Qutb or to Egypt’s Gamaa Islamia, who believed that it is an Islamic obligation to fight against political regimes that limit the implementation of Sharia.14 Having different parties speaking about the same thing, all quoting from Islam’s rich sources certainly gave JI the extra religious mileage and super.cial correctness to fuel their struggle.

To reinforce their struggle in pursuit of the caliphate, the JI adopted the concept of Al Wala’ Wal Bara. It believed that his concept, which specifies how to distinguish between friends and enemies, was woven into the fabric of the Islamic creed (Aqidah). This in turn served as a constant reminder of the divine justification and legitimacy for their actions.15 In pursuing their aim, JI stressed the need for individual Muslims to be in a group (Al-Jamaah) —a necessary precursor to the establishment of an Islamic state. The individual Muslim is required to pledge allegiance (Al-Baiah) in order to become a member of JI. Through their loyalty, JI members felt the obligation to God to rid the world of polytheism, falsehood and oppression.16 With this pledge, JI members become obligated to listen (Al-Sa’mu) and obey (Al-Ta’ah) to the best of their ability the Amir, the leader of the group, and other appointed leaders (Ma’sul). When these conditions are not satisfied, the person is charged with having committed a sin against God.17

Those that fulfilled their pledge walked a divine path. JI ideology supplied for its recruits various milestones on the road toward the Islamic state— Iman (belief), Hijra (emigration in the way of God), I'dad (preparation for the struggle in the way of God) and Jihad (struggle in the way of God). These were all stages that the Prophet Muhammad himself was reported to have led the early Muslim generation through. By appealing to jihad, JI constantly urged Muslims to go to war against the enemies of Islam who resisted the application of Islamic law. Initially, their target was the Indonesian government, but JI later came to include Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. A key figure in promoting this ideology was Abu Jibril, who, in his lectures, called for the setting up of a "Nusantara Islamic State" (Daulah Islamiah Nusantara), together with preaching jihad and the desirability of dying as martyr.18

Strategic Flexibility

The Al-Manhaj Al-Harakiy Li Iqomatid Dien (The Progressive Methodology In Establishing The Religion) reveals that JI conceived of their struggle in three stages—namely, the preparation to establish the Daulah (Islamic State), the setting up of the Daulah itself, and finally, the establishment of the caliphate. To ensure the overall cohesion and long-term survivability of JI in this struggle, the PUPJI laid out a broad set of operational guidelines for all JI operatives to follow during each successive stage of the revolutionary struggle.

During the first, preparatory stage, founding a jama’ah, or party, supersedes all other activities for JI. All of this, however, is veiled in secrecy; all JI members operate on a need-to-know basis. An investigation by Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) of JI members revealed that they operate as a clandestine organization, complete with code names and "JI-speak."19 To date, most of the 2000 JI operatives that have been arrested have been more or less foot soldiers with no knowledge of JI’s overall operations or organization.20 An integral part of founding the party is the formation of a core group or righteous leadership that lays the groundwork and designs the future course of development of the group as a whole. A rigid, military-style command and control structure is developed and enforced. Instilling discipline and obedience amongst new recruits is of paramount concern—a central part of the religious imperative to establish the faith. Listening and obeying the leadership is also inculcated through Amar ma’ruf, nahi munkar (the code of enjoining good and forbidding evil) and enforced by various internal review mechanisms such as hisbah, which serves more or less as a thermostat in controlling fluctuation in the members’ commitment. Members are obligated to collectively ensure the compliance of all and to refrain from any deviation from the directives of the leadership.

After the core group is established, the next step is the recruitment and education of new members. Dakwah or missionary work is an attempt by JI to reach out to the masses, to communicate their ideology and popularize their version of Islam Kaffah. The intent of this activity was to promote and exploit feelings of guilt within the Muslim community for failing to live up to JI’s version of "true Islam." The effort was effective, and provided a platform not only for recruitment but also for neutralizing the public’s general animosity toward and distrust of JI’s radical agenda. Another emphasis of JI is on ideological education, which seeks to systematically instill, expand and change the worldview, emotion, desire and practice of all new recruits.21 Tansiq bainal jama’at is another feature of JI ideology that allows it, and perhaps even compels it, to collaborate with other Islamic groups that share their world-view. Various studies on JI have shown that JI is willing to forge alliances domestically, regionally and globally to remain potent and able to achieve their aim.

All of these efforts to establish the party are veiled in secrecy; JI members all operate on a need-to-know basis. An investigation by Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) of JI members revealed that they operate largely as a clandestine organization, complete with code names and "JI-speak."22 To date, most of the 2000 JI operatives that have been arrested have been no more than foot soldiers with little knowledge of the group’s overall operations or organization.23

JI and Al Qaeda Meet

As is well-known, the mujahideen’s victory over the Soviet Union in Afghanistan was a watershed event for radical Islam. The Afghan Jihad increased JI’s military capabilities, their access to new financial and other resource networks, and perhaps most significantly, their sense of belonging to an international Islamic brotherhood.24 JI’s desire for jihad became more concrete, their motivation grew stronger, and their strategies more refined. Unlike other Southeast Asian Islamist groups, JI at this stage was an ideological hybrid. Though its roots were in Southeast Asia, JI’s ideological outlook became increasingly "Arabized," and developed a strong orientation toward the Middle East, most notably toward Saudi Arabia and Egypt. More specifically, JI began to incorporate the ideologies of Al Gamaa Al Islamiyah al Masri (The Islamic Group of Egypt) and, to a lesser extent, the Al Islamiyah Al Jihad al Masri (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) into its own thinking.

In the mid 1990s, Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri visited and spent time engaging the JI leadership in Malaysia. In the second half of the 1990s, Sungkar and Bashir visited Pakistan. Sungkar met with bin Laden on three occasions. The relationship was forged by Hambali, an Indonesian cleric, who as a child aspired to be an astronaut. During the early 1980s, while living in Malaysia, Hambali became a follower of Sungkar. Through his contact with Sungkar, Hambali was invited in 1986 to go to Afghanistan for training and to support the mujahidin in Afghanistan. While Hambali spent the next two months in Karachi awaiting further instructions, he met a number of individuals from Indonesia including Zulkarnaen who also became close to Al Qaeda.25 In early 1987, Hambali and his colleagues underwent two months of military training with AK47s, MAC-1s, handguns, 60MM mortars and RPGs.26 After Hambali returned to Malaysia in mid-1988, he traveled to the Philippines (Tawi-tawi) as a missionary and lived with a local Muslim family in 1991. During this time, he met Samsuddin, an Indonesian who subsequently brought him to the MILF Camp Abubakar. He also met the then MILF leader Salamat Hashim at the camp at that time. After nine months in the Philippines, he returned to Malaysia via Sabah and proceeded to Selangor.

In 1994-1995, Hambali came into contact with Khalid Sheikh Mohommed, who later masterminded the 9/11 attack, and several other important al-Qaeda members, including Wali Amin Khan Shah, who worked with Ramzi Ahmed Yousef to destroy 12 U.S. airliners over the Pacific. As Hambali’s involvement with al-Qaeda deepened, he rose through the ranks of JI’s leadership. JI at the time was divided into several regional groups known as "Mantiqi."27 Hambali was tapped to lead Mantiqi I, which covered Malaysia and Singapore. Mantiqi II was led by Indonesian national Fati and covered Indonesia, Sabah and the Philippines. Nasir Abas headed Mantiqi III, which covered Kalimantan, Mindanao in the Southern Philippines and Sulawesi.There was also a Mantiqi IV in Australia; however, this Mantiqi consisted of only about 20 members, all of whom were Indonesian nationals residing in Australia.

The Mantiqis were all overseen by the Markaz, a central governing body that consisted of Sungkar, Ba’asyir, Zulkarnaen, Rushdan and Mukhlas. In addition to serving on the Markaz, these individuals served in JI’s Shura Majelis (consultative council), which influenced the JI activities from a Koranic perspective. In the mid-1990s, JI primarily focused its activities on funneling money to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the Philippines. But this changed in 1998 when the Markaz decided to start sending members and military equipment to Southern Philippines. From Mantiqi I, groups of Malaysians were sent to MILF camps for training and to support their Muslim brothers. Indonesian JI operative al-Ghozi was the JI’s primary contact in the Philippines and Zulkarnaen was responsible for sending groups of Malaysian and Singapore members to the Philippines. Almost all of the key decision makers were Afghan trained.

After the fall of Suharto in 1998, Sungkar and Ba’asyir returned to Indonesia to continue their struggle. When Sungkar, the charismatic leader of JI, died in 1999, Ba’asyir succeeded him.28 This caused some unhappiness within JI. Together with Irfan Awwas Suryahardi, Ba’asyir founded the Mejelis Mujahideen Indonesia (MMI) in August 2000.29 MMI was an umbrella group of Islamist groups campaigning for the enforcement of Sharia. The younger members of JI—Hambali, Abdul Aziz alias Imam Samudra, Ali Gufron alias Muchlas—saw Ba’asyir as too weak, too accommodating, and too easily in-.uenced by others. These JI hardliners led by Hambali saw the formation of MMI as a betrayal of Abdullah Sungkar’s original plan for JI to remain underground in its struggle to set up an Islamic state. In contrast to Ba’asyir, the Hambali-led group was of the opinion that accommodation with a non-Islamic political system could contaminate the faithful and was forbidden. As to Ba’asyir, he had relocated to the village of Ngruki, where he headed the Pondul Al Mukmeen pesantren in Solo, Central Java. While he had no objection to the conduct of terrorist operations, he also saw the merits of investing in the political struggle. While meeting prominent leaders of the Indonesian government, Ba’asyr continued to admire and follow bin Laden.He repeated his rhetoric, and offered his support to al-Qaeda operations in Southeast Asia.

What more or less emerged from this was three JI factions—the political faction (Yogjakarta-centric) that believed in political struggle, the radical faction led by Ba’asyir (Solo-centric) that combined political struggle with militant tactics, and the terrorist faction led by Hambali (Malaysia-centric). The bulk of the latter faction were Afghan trained and were the closest to al-Qaeda. Despite these differences in tactics and methodology, JI continued to function as a network of Islamic radicals extending across Southeast Asia. At times, the three factions cooperated and even collaborated with each other. In 2000, JI created Rabitat-ul-Mujahideen (Legion of Mujahideen), an umbrella organization of Southeast Asian Islamist and nationalist groups engaged in armed struggle. Its members included Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Free Acheh Movement (GAM), Rohingiya Solidarity Organisation, Araken Rohingiya Nationalist Organisation, and Jemmah Salafiyya (Thailand). Like al-Qaeda, the vanguard of the global Islamic movement, JI aspired to be the vanguard group of the Southeast Asian Jihad.

What facilitated this solidarity among the factions was the extremist political ideology that they all shared in common. Most of the JI leaders who serve on the highest rung of the organizational ladder are protégés of Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir. Many of them were alumni of the Pondok Al Mukmeen in the village of Ngruki, one of the most famous pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) in Central Java. A trusted second tier of leaders appear to have been assigned as field coordinators, responsible for delivering money and explosives and for choosing a local subordinate who can effectively act as team leader of the foot soldiers. The bottom rung—the people who drive the cars, survey targets, deliver bombs, and most often risk arrest, physical injury, or death—are selected shortly before the attack is scheduled. They are mostly young men from pesantrens or Islamic boarding schools. Importantly, the schools that provide the recruits are often led by religious teachers with ties to the Darul Islam rebellions of the 1950’s or to Ba’ayir’s Pondok Al Mukmeen in the village of Ngruki.

Ideological Extremism and International Terrorism

During the period of a decade, a significant component of JI had become ideologically and organizationally linked with al-Qaeda. Today, a significant portion of JI members still believe in the al-Qaeda ideology and continue to actively participate in al-Qaeda’s avowed mission of global jihad. As a direct result of al-Qaeda contact, many JI members began to think and act like al-Qaeda, directing their animosity toward "Crusader" and "Zionist" targets. For instance, the JI terrorist faction leader Hambali recruited Jack Roche, an Australian convert, who was tasked by the al-Qaeda leadership to attack Jewish and Israeli targets in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Similarly, JI hosted the al-Qaeda members that planned the USS Cole attack and two 9/11 pilots including its deputy operational commander Nawaf Al Hazmi in Kuala Lampur in January 2000. Furthermore, JI hosted Zacariya Moussoui, an al-Qaeda suicide pilot in U.S. custody. Both the pre-and post 9/11 JI target selection included U.S., British, Australian andaeli targets. Like it has done on several other occasions, Al Qaeda’s overarching dominant ideology was successful in "hijacking" JI’s parochial ideology.

Today, JI is driven more by its newly acquired ideology of global jihad than by its original, more local agenda. After al-Qaeda’s attack on America’s most iconic landmarks on September 11, 2001, JI is credited with having conducted the second worst terrorist attack. Emulating al-Qaeda, JI carried out simultaneous suicide bombings of the Sari Club and Paddy’s café in Bali on October 12, 2002, killing 202 persons. The bombings were followed by several other attacks including suicide bombings of the JW Marriot hotel and the Australian Embassy both in Jakarta, Indonesia. As the JI training camp Jabal Kuba around Mount Kararo in Mindanao, Philippines is still active, JI still retains significant capabilities to conduct terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia.

And yet, despite its initial setbacks, its period in exile, its linking with al-Qaeda, and its eventual breaking apart into several factions, the JI ideology has remained generally coherent. This has allowed various JI factions to pool together both men and materiel. This would suggest that a military strike on JI’s terrorist faction would be in itself an insufficient strategy to defeat terrorism in Southeast Asia. Instead, terrorism must be snuffed out at its ideological sources, one of the most significant of them being within the radical pesantren. This link between ideological extremism and terrorism must be understood. Without defeating ideological extremism, the threat of terrorism cannot be managed. Instead, the ideology will adapt, even as groups are dismantled, scattered, or as factions emerge in the leadership.

Until now, there has been no concerted effort to ideologically target JI and other comparable groups that employ religious justifications and arguments to legitimate terrorist activities.30 An effective strategy to defeat JI includes, above all, mobilizing moderate Muslims and giving them the freedom to express themselves and to empower those who advocate cooperation and nonviolent solutions to conflict. Moderate Muslims must be made to realize that they are strategic partners in this struggle with radical Islam and to recognize that they have more to lose than gain. The aim here must be to marginalize the militants and promote efforts to isolate and reduce the influence of extremist ideology and its advocacy of intolerance and violence. To have a united voice against terrorism the moderate Muslim majority must remain well organized and single minded on this issue. The challenge here is to build and maintain political institutions for Muslims to resolve their differences democratically, and assume more responsibility for the future direction of their religion. Effective policies for engaging moderate Muslims and neutralizing extremism must be developed. Educating the public on extremist ideologies, organizations and tactics must be done both formally and informally so that the Muslim public is prepared to play its part in the collective struggle of civilization against terror.