Why are Islamic Terrorist organizations susceptible to shifting their focus from targeting the near-enemy to the far-enemy?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In some respects, Wright's work suggests that it is much easier for Islamic Terrorist organizations to shift their focus to the far- enemy because it emboldens the organization.  From as early as 1948, Wright's work opens with the Egyptian scholar who recognizes that Islam will be fundamentally opposed to the far- enemy that is materialist, be they capitalist or communist.  In doing so, he helped to create a far- enemy that will always remain, and by extension, always be present to embolden the organization.  In creating the far- enemy, Islamic Terrorist organizations are able to make themselves stronger when cast against them.  On another enemy, the near- enemy forces some level of confrontation and, eventually, workable solutions.  For instance, if the Islamic Terrorist organization focuses on the near enemy, on some level, there is some aspect of forcing confrontation and to work out a solution on a local level.  Working out a local solution on the near- enemy makes the organization less acceptable and helps to diminish it in that problem- solving makes terrorism an unacceptable solution.  In focusing on the far- enemy, the idea of pragmatic negotiation lessens and the lack of knowledge about the far- enemy through image, propaganda, and "spin," helps to continue the vitality and life- line of the Islamic Terrorist organization.

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