Accession Number:

ADA539948

Title:

A Global Transnational Sunni Caliphate: Realistic or Utopian Vision?

Descriptive Note:

Research rept.

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE FELLOWS PROGRAM MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

55.0

Abstract:

The reestablishment of a global transnational Sunni Caliphate is the stated objective of militant radical Islamic MRI groups. They follow a radical ideology borne out of the perceived negative state of Islam in the Middle East in the 20th century. They continue to blame democracy, capitalism, modernity and the move toward secular governments in Muslim lands as the root cause for Islams decline. They believe that a return to the ways of the Rightly Guided Caliphs is the only cure for the ills that plague Muslim society today. Ultimately, they seek a utopian vision where Islam dominates the world and everyone is subject to their radical version of Islam. Despite their grand vision of reestablishing a global transnational Sunni Caliphate it will likely fail. While historically appealing to many Muslims, the Caliphal period was never as puritanical as posited by the MRI groups as power often changed hands through violence and not by the election of believers as mandated by Islam. If such a structure struggle existed in a much less complex world, its not likely to succeed in todays global society. Furthermore, its unlikely the MRI groups can unite their vision and agree on a grand strategy to defeat the current nation-state world order. It seems more likely that the MRI groups are using the cultural Muslim symbol of the historic Islamic Caliphate as a means to rally young Muslims to their cause. The reestablishment of the historic Caliphate is instead a grand vision the MRI groups are using as more of a rhetorical device to recruit, gain sympathy, mobilize followers, and gain legitimacy. Nonetheless, the US must not sit back and presume this will fail, but must engage with a strategy to counter this radical vision. This strategy must be one in which the whole of government is engaged.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE