The death of Osama bin Laden - the end of Al-Qaeda's Pan-Islamic ambition?
Hellmich, C. (2011) The death of Osama bin Laden - the end of Al-Qaeda's Pan-Islamic ambition? Orient, 52 (4). pp. 8-14. ISSN 0030-5227
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This paper evaluates the implications of Osama bin Ladin’s death for the future of al-Qaeda’s global jihad. It critically examines the debate as to the make-up of the group and identifies bin Ladin’s primary role as chief ideologue advocating a defensive jihad to liberate the umma. The rationale and appeal of bin Ladin’s message and Muslims’ reaction to both his statements and al-Qaeda’s increasing use of sectarian violence are assessed in the context of Pan-Islam as political ideology. The paper concludes that while the ideal of Islamic unity and the sentiment of Muslim solidarity are unlikely to vanish, al-Qaeda’s violent jihad has not only failed to achieve these goals but has worked against it, thereby confining it to the political margins.