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Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination

13 July 2012 General 23 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

By Adam Levine, CNN

Muslim extremists are more concerned with defending against foreign intrusion than foisting Islam on the world, according to a new study of extremist texts. The study suggests that a Western approach of claiming extremists are seeking world domination is misdirected, and instead should seek to counteract claims of victimhood.

“Continued claims to the contrary, by both official and unofficial sources, only play into a ‘clash of civilizations’ narrative that benefits the extremist cause. These claims also undermine the credibility of Western voices, because the audience knows that extremist arguments are really about victimage and deliverance,” write the researchers, Jeffry Halverson, R. Bennett Furlow and Steven Corman.

The analysis by Arizona State University’s Center for Strategic Communication looked at how the Quran was used in 2,000 propoganda items from 1998 to 2011, though the majority were from post-2007, that emanated mostly from the Middle East and North Africa. Among the groups analyzed were al Qaeda and al Shabaab, as well as anonymous postings online.

One result that surprised the researchers, the “near absence” of citations from one of the most extreme passages, the “Verse of Swords,” that encourages “all-out war against world domination.”

“Widely regarded as the most militant or violent passage of the Quran, it is treated as a divine call for offensive warfare on a global scale,” the researchers wrote. “It is also regarded as a verse which supersedes over 100 other verses of the Quran that counsel patience, tolerance and forgiveness.”

The study concludes that extremists, at least based on how they quote from the Quran, do not reflect “an aggressive offensive foe seeking domination and conquest of unbelievers, as is commonly assumed. Instead they deal with themes of victimization, dishonor and retribution.”

“The verses frequently utilized by extremists from this surah address subjects such as enduring hardships and the importance of fighting against the unjust unbelievers who oppress men, women and children,” the researchers wrote about the most cited chapter (called a “surah”).

The insights led the researchers to suggest alternative approaches to counteracting the extremist messages, rather than focusing on the fear factor. The Arizona group cites a recent effort by the State Department to counteract al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who said in a 2011 video that “there is no hope to remove the corrupt regimes in Muslim countries except by force. And there is no chance to bring change through peaceful action.” The State Department Digital Outreach Team posted a video intercutting that video, which included Zawahiri daring someone to find a single example to prove Zawahiri wrong, with video of Arab Spring protesters in Egypt.

Halverson, Bennett and Corman also suggest undermining the “champion” image aspired to by extremists.

Extremists use a “deliverance narrative to position themselves as the champion that can deliver the community from evil,” the researchers wrote. “However, as we have argued elsewhere, extremists do little that is champion-like. They have not unseated any apostate rulers, and their victims are overwhelmingly likely to be Muslims.”

The study cites data from the West Point Combating Terrorism Center that estimated al Qaeda militants were 38 times more likely to kill a Muslim than a Westerner, based on data from 2006 to 2008.

Original post: Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination


  1. There is and will be a whole lotta foisting going on in the areas that are already muslim.

  2. yeah i wouldn’t worry too much about islam dominating the world. despite what aaishah says. these guys aren’t stupid. hell they get people to blow themselves up. “Instead they deal with themes of victimization, dishonor and retribution.”” they know you can create a greater visceral reaction by pointing out injustices in the world. the tribalism of muslims is strong. they can convince a guy in conneticut to try and blow up times square. a guy in pinellas park to try and blow up ybor city. the us versus them mentality is ingrained in their psyche.

    that is what 9/11 was about, “victimization, dishonor and retribution.”” still don’t know how the victim were or who was dishonored. see that is the problem. we have always defended our interests throughout the world. the first barbary war comes to mind. so someone will always feel victimized and dishonored.

  3. The surviving Mumbai killer said they, the killers were really the victims.

  4. There is simply too much support for killing or at least bashing non muslims and/or the wrong kind of muslims in the muslim mentality. Why on earth would the rest of us want to import people with this attitude into our countries?

    Too many Muslims regard the rest of us as worthless. Why would we want them near us?

  5. I’m not worried about Islam taking over, I think the muslims will commit their own brand of crimes against thought and speech, leading to great oppression by govs. Great spying and surveillance and checking will result, even more than we have now. Muslims have always maintained terror squads.

    With muslims, you get massacres.

  6. Islam:

    1. is a theocratic tribalism. Like other tribalisms, it is based on hating whatever is not of the tribe.

    2. murders itself in a constant futile search for orthodoxy.

    3. has the added peculiarity of wanting to force all women to wear scarves and baggy gowns. Talk about herding cats.

    I go now.

  7. You guys are really full of it. Can’t you see what Islam has done to the cultures it gate crashed onto ? Can’t you see what Muslims in non-muslim countries do (ask for more and more islamic governance) ? Does it really take a genius to put these 2 together ?

    Islam asks for an inch and takes the whole tent like the camel of Arabian nights. Beware…..unless you make muslims mainstream by ruthlessly pushing for American constitution guided civil laws, you are looking at major turmoil in the near future.

  8. As the article states, the majority of examples were taken after 2007. The change in tone may reflect the realization that violence only begets more violence, regardless of the ideology used to employ it (gods, economics, etc). Only through cooperation can we all survive together peacefully. Extreme religious devotion has been the common tool of the oppressors, not the liberators. There is hope for us still but we must release ourselves from toxic faith practices (I did from my fundamentalist Chrisitanity, and my life IS better now). The messages from those that rise among us, whose lives we rarely appreciate and later embelish (or diefy), is useful but not intended to last forever. Let go of the past but don’t impulsively discard the more universal concepts faith practices offer. As a friend once said, “don’t throw out the baby with the bath-water.”

  9. The muslims have a set of people who do not want peace, they want to “fight until everyone else is doing what they say”. This set is going to cause religious conflict and social disruption endlessly as it has from the birth of islam. They want to fight and kill and they will do it until they go blind.

    Some ideas are dribbling in, but I think the appeal of theocracy is very strong among them and they will go on for years trying to implement various forms of it.

    As Proverbs says, “i am wisdom…..they who hate me love death.”

  10. Anon I would say wat u said is spot on! And applies to u more than to the muslims u talk about..”fight until everyone else is diong wat they say” isnt that wat u nchristian missionaries been doing as well! Lol ir hypocrisy amuses me
    if we like to fight n kill how r u still laughing..lemme go pray..hopin an extemist like u wont blow up the mosque

  11. Anon,i would say wat u said is spot on! And applies to u more than to the muslims u talk about..”fight until everyone else is diong wat they say” isnt that wat u nchristian missionaries been doing as well! Lol ir hypocrisy amuses me
    if we like to fight n kill how r u still laughing..lemme go pray..hopin an extemist like u wont blow up the mosque

  12. Its come to my attention that majority of people don’t even know who the terrorists are targeting, or why they are targeting civilians at all. They assume these terrorists are trying to enforce their beliefs upon people. People seem to laugh at the idea that Muslims are killing Muslims as the media will portray it, wanting to enforce Sharia law. Maybe Jared Loughner was a terrorist who was inspired by his atheistic beliefs? OH, wait, he’s Jewish. Was it his beliefs or drug and alcohol abuse that led him down a road to violence? What about Anders Breivick? How about the Crusaders? Both Breivick and the Crusaders have something in common. Both were fed information that made Muslims seem like primitive, idol worshipping, towel heads, who put their head in the dirt 5 times a day.

    Anon, it is not tribal hatred or whatever you get your nonsense from. I suppose your Pope tells you Chrsitians love each other like they love themselves, but in Islam its the opposite?
    ” No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. ”

    That Muslims and Christians can’t be friends? Most of those taken out of context? Forget Luke 14:26 or 2nd Epistle of John 1:9-11? Women have the right to dress how they choose. Considering your Proverbs quote, u seem to be Christian, who seems to forget that Muslims are dressing the way the Virgin Mary did because “wearing scarves and baggy gowns” is considered good and dressing like prostitutes like women in the West is looked upon as bad because it reflects Pagan civilizations that treated women like sexual objects, e.g. late Roman, late Greek, Pre-Islamic Arabia. Do you think women in the west dress with a scarf because they are oppressed? Are the nuns in church oppressed? Dressing “Western” is also directly proportional to the increase in sexual assault on women in the West, so excuse the Muslims for trying to prevent rape. Ever consider what Jesus said about looking at women with lewd eyes? What do you think he would say if he saw “Western” Christian women today?

    Countries like Malaysia and Syria do just the opposite. Unless you dress “Western” you can’t work for the government or on TV without problems. Arabia is even worse, not allowing women to drive cars, even though women were allowed to ride horses, camels, unattended during the time of Prophet Muhammad (S). These countries may be Muslim majority but they have terrible governments. Most of them put into power and supported by yours truely, the great America.

    As for the majority of Muslims who support killing, your arguement itself does not stand on its own. We got over 1.3 billion Muslims on this planet. If terrorists attacks were so common in the world they wouldn’t be reported on the news anymore, like increases in abortion, rape, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, etc. Suppose I did a documentary and interviewed Christian women who came from homes with domestic violence due to alcohol. Should I ascribe this to how a man is to rule over women by quoting the Bible? Or is more right to attribute the violence to alcohol abuse.

  13. Btw Anon,
    Are you fan of Sounds like it to me. But hey, Christians are use to studying other religions from a Christian standpoint.

  14. So, Bennett, who is killing/beating up hairdressers, football fans, etc.? I assume they are trying to enforce their beliefs on people. They blow up bars – I am not a fan of bars, but I hate violent chaos more.

    As for you, Nill your mosque is more likely to be blown up by one of your fellow muslims.

    I don’t follow any islamophobe sites except Spencer. The real news is enough to make one’s blood boil, don’t need Blazing cat fur or Bare naked islam or pam Geller

  15. 20,000 muslims butchered violently n more everyday in burma
    Israeli children writting hate messages on bombs to be dropped in palastine,innocent ppl killed and children found buried under rubble..messages receives loud n clear hypocrites..ur the killers christian n jews..
    bombing mosques,kidnapping,assasinating muslims
    N u probably blow up ur own ppl maybe drunk or jus to pin it on others whichever makes sense to ur sick,disgusting “western” ways

  16. Nill, aside from the real atrocities in the real news, there is also an invention factory at work inflating statistics, making up legends and atrocities. One of the reasons I quit supporting the Pals is that they are caught lying all the time.

    When a story comes out of the Pals it bears checking out carefully. Statistics and polls are bunk. Statistics can be manipulated and people lie on polls.

    Yes, the Rohingya are getting the same treatment muslims dish out to their minorities. Too bad.

  17. If Breivik had been a muslim sneaking into a non muslim camp and shooting down a lot of young people, some muslims would have danced in the streets. Many others silently would have applauded him.

    So there are atrocities, and then there are other atrocities. Don’t pretend to be against all of them.

  18. M Bennett,

    “Its come to my attention that majority of people don’t even know who the terrorists are targeting, or why they are targeting civilians at all.” you are right. we are all baffled by their actions. so why don’t you tell us why 9/11 happened. wait i know. the invasion of iraq and afghanistan? oh shit, that doesn’t make sense? 9/11 happened before those invasions.

    so if islam has no roll in terrorism. why do the terrorists quote from the koran?

    “Was it his beliefs or drug and alcohol abuse that led him down a road to violence?” so you are saying bin laden and al-zawahiri are alcoholics? was the blind shiehk a heroin addict?

    “I suppose your Pope tells you Chrsitians” the pope doesn’t tell all christians anything. he is only in charge of catholics. and even many catholics don’t listen to him quite often. no birth control comes to mind. my oldest sister didn’t have a kid til she was 40. and had to do invitro. definately against canon law.

  19. nill,

    “20,000 muslims butchered violently n more everyday in burma” how long has this been going on?

  20. Nill,

    “to ur sick,disgusting “western” ways” so are you a member or sympathiser of boko haram? you sound very tolerant. lol. don’t you know you aren’t allowed to critisize other cultures? oh shit, what am i saying. everyone is allowed to critisize the west, just not the other way around. that would make you a hatemongering bigot. so should i cry westernphobia? you crack me up.

  21. Mike,
    U really think Muslims are violent because they want to enforce their beliefs on ppl? No one can help you if thats all you take from the media. Palestinians want their homes back, they want justice, and yes maybe a fair court to try the Israeli army for war crimes. Or perhaps you are deluded yet again into thinking its simply kill or be killed. Muslims lived along side Jews peacefully for over a 1000 years with a brief interruption of the Crusaders. You think they got violent in just this last century becuz its part of their beliefs? No, you just lack understanding.

    ” I assume they are trying to enforce their beliefs on people. They blow up bars – I am not a fan of bars, but I hate violent chaos more.”

    Pointless to respond to. Hitler and Stalin were atheists remember? Atheists will kill everybody if they get into power. Same baseless logic to always spew. Terrorists take Quran out of context all the time. I almost did with the 9th chapter because I read to many comments on it by Christians.

    “so why don’t you tell us why 9/11 happened. wait i know. the invasion of iraq and afghanistan? oh shit, that doesn’t make sense? 9/11 happened before those invasions.”

    More utter nonsense. I explained the parable of the Japanese to try and help you understand. I forgot. Your brains fell out with your hair. Is killing Japanese women and children alright becasue they attacked us first? You agreed. Then I said that, “well terrorists can easily justify 9/11 because of what the US has done in the Middle East for over a century.” That is if 9/11 was really done by Muslims.

    I already explained why I believe 9/11 was a hoax. Don’t believe u read my previous posts? Simply put: “I don’t believe that 2 mega steel building can collapse symmetrically to the ground, at free fall speed, after just one hour of burning. History shows us that steel buildings never burn down. you can’t turn steel to rubble like that without explosives. Many will argue that the WTC 7 building burned for like 6 hours so thats why it collapsed. Well the one in Madrid burned all night without collapsing. Then they claim “well you didn’t take into account the architecture of what would happen if hit by a plane.”
    Probably becuz I found out that the WTC building did not have an out of control fire, and it was not hit by a plane.

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