Abu Sayyaf and the “experts”: crime not jihad

Mark SInger

Mark Singer from his Linked In page

Mark Singer, director of business intelligence for the Manila office of Pacific Strategies and Assessments Inc., which closely tracks Abu Sayyaf, thinks that jihad has nothing to do with their kidnappings, extortions and beheadings. I wonder why.

This is the narrative we are all supposed to accept:

“It is a manifestation of their willingness to do this (kidnap, threaten and behead prisoners)  to leverage their criminal activities. They are first and foremost a kidnap group,” the security and risk analyst said

“The black flags and the rhetoric reinforce their claims, but they are not ideologically driven. They are driven totally by criminal intent and kidnap for ransom.”

 

“Driven totally by criminal intent and kidnap for ransom”.  Rubbish. Bandits with religious or ideological justification are different from mere bandits. What makes Muslim terrorism different from mere banditry is that Islam authorizes by them religion to smite the infidel, to waylay them, to behead them. These are not bandits who rob banks “because that’s where the money is.”

Yes, they are criminals. But the particular form of criminality is a cultural expression of Islam. Where there are Muslims, so there will be jihad. This is a statistical correlation, not a one for one correspondence. I would go further and assert that it is an ineluctable consequence of being inspired by the prophet Mohammed to do as he commanded his disciples to do.

The contact webpage of Mark Singer’s employers is http://www.psagroup.com/contact/ You can use that contact point to communicate with Pacific Strategies and Assesments, who, judged by their backgrounds,look like serious and responsible people.

Mr. Singer is entitled to his opinions but you may wish to express your concerns, as politely as possible, that the quality of their advice is measured by the quality of their spokesmen.