Al Qaeda Terror Won't Stop If US Pulls Out of Iraq, Expert Says
Paris, France (CNSNews.com) - Al Qaeda will not stop carrying out acts of terrorism if the U.S. pulls its troops out of Iraq or if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, according to a Middle East expert here. But an American withdrawal will likely open the door to a new regional conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, he predicted.
Olivier Roy, a political scientist and expert on Islam at the French National Center of Scientific Study (CNRS), says it is a mistake to view al Qaeda as a political organization fighting for a political cause like the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq or an independent Palestinian state.
When people link al Qaeda to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or to the war in Iraq they are displaying a Western mindset, Roy argued in an interview. And Muslims who tend to agree with that viewpoint are not the terrorists themselves but leaders such as Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak or Jordan's King Abdullah, he added.
"With al Qaeda, we are in a global fight between two worlds," he said. "Al Qaeda is not a territorial organization. It's not Hamas, it's not Hizballah and it's not the Taliban."
Instead, it should be compared to the Marxist revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 1970s that attracted young Westerners to fight in places like the jungles of South America. Al Qaeda, Roy said, is in fact part of a global revolutionary tradition.
"Today the narrative of the revolt is religious. Forty years ago it was Marxist. Today it is religious and particularly Muslim. But we are still in a global revolt against the system, without having a clear vision of an alternative system," he said.
Roy contended that al Qaeda members are anti-American only because America incarnates the "world order" -- and this "world order is perceived as unjust."