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Yūsuf al-'Uyairī and the Making of a Revolutionary Salafi Praxis

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Yūsuf al-'Uyairī was the first leader of al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula. Besides being part of the al-Qaeda network he was also an important ideologue, whose ideas give a much more coherent view of Jihadism as it has developed during the past few years and as it has been adopted by a new generation. Al-'Uyairī, who was killed in June 2003, aged 29, was a prolific writer who wrote on a variety of topics, ranging from the clash of civilization with the West to economic and political relations between the United States and the Middle East, to jihadist movements in Chechnya, the Philippines, Afghanistan, and finally, just before he died, Iraq. Interestingly, his goal is not only geared to mobilizing the Muslim umma as a whole for the jihād against the West and its local allies, the rulers (tawāghīt), the 'establishment 'ulamā'', and the Westernized intellectuals, who undermine the umma with the discourse of cooperation, mutual understanding, rationalism and tolerance. In his modernist project, he also tries to show that the mujāhid has a superior knowledge and insight into reality and therefore deserves to be on the forefront of the permanent revolution to change reality in accordance with the will of God.

Affiliations: 1: Nijmegen

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