A very interesting analysis of the Al-Qaida movement & international Islamic fundamentalism.
Martyrdom should be linked not to any political wish list but "ethical practice". That doesn't, of course, mean "there are no strategic aims at all, but the act always folds back into itself because the movement is incapable of controlling anything at the global level. Of course, on one level, the rhetoric is all about policy - but when you look at that rhetoric more carefully you realise that any political or strategic aims dissolve. For instance the Islamic demand 'get out of our lands' is completely unclear. It could mean anything. Such a programme ceases to have any real-world political or strategic relevance. It dissolves into something else."
We should, for our own wellbeing Devji believes, think carefully about that "something else". Starting, for example, by reading what Bin Laden actually says. "I was surprised," Devji recalls, "when I went to the trouble after 2001 of looking at his speeches and statements and communiques at how coherent they were." More than that, how effectively they were picked up and absorbed as a coherent message across the Muslim world.
"It's not as if people were educated to think as he thinks. It's spread amazingly fast. So if you look at the video tape by Mohammad Sidique Khan, the London bomber, it contains the most important elements in Bin Laden's discourse. The stress on 'ethics', for instance - Khan actually uses that word and defines his impending suicide bombing as an 'ethical act'."