Management of Savagery
Review Part 1
The book Management of Savagery - the most Critical Stage through which the Umma will Pass is one of the most important works in modern islamic strategic studies. It was written by an unknown author going by the name Abu Bakr Najis and uploaded to the internet in 2004 and judged to be an authentic Al-Qaeda book of strategy. Translated by William McCants former blogger at www.jihadica.com now, Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center.
The managemant of savagery is not an inspirational text, gone are all the solemn sira and hadiths, instead we find a man speaking his mind to the like-minded. Not trying to convince or persuade, but skillfully contemplating the best way to achieve the inherent theocratic objectives of Islam. The expansion of islamic territory basically consists in demanding that kaafirs surrender their freedoms and possessions in return of some degree of personal security under sharia law. With this in mind it is obvious, that muslims needs to be able to unleash and restrain violence in a controlled manner, in order to extort evermore compromises from the infidels. Otherwise they will have no reason to submit. Historically this is done by Jihad and Dawa, i.e. raiding and plundering followed by peace treaties and invitations to the creed. But because of the embryonic state of science and technology within the Islamic world, the days of undisguised muslim conquests into Europe have long come to an end. However, necessity being the mother of invention, this has led to an upsurge in Muslim strategic studies, among which “the management of savagery” is most refined.
Relying heavily on Talibans successful rise to power in Afghanistan, Naji outlines three stages in the conversion of a kufr society into a true islamic state.
1 The stage of exhaustion and vexation
2. The stage of managed savagery
3. The stage of implementing sharia law
From the ashes of the man made law...
The first premise in Najis strategy is that today an islamic state is best to be born out of the complete collapse of the already established order. True Muslims should therefore try and contribute to the downfall of the host society, and prepare to seize power as anarchy erupts. Following a verse in the Quran:
Let there be from among you a group which calls to what is good, enjoins right, and forbids wrong. These are the successful ones.
According to this strategy, abuse destruction and civil strife is an end in and of itself. Constantly disrupting the working routines and bit by bit escalating violence is required of the umma, in order to bring the society of kufr back into a nature state, into a civilisational wilderness of warring tribes and family-feuds with no end in sight. It is mainly in this situation, with the war feeding upon the war, people having lost their possessions and sense freedom, that submission to islam and the security offered by sharia-law becomes a relief.
In order to appreciate how deeply Naji feels this need to destroy any order established by the non-believers, one only needs to quote his comforting words, if the umma were to fail in managing the savagery they themselves are to unleash:
This increase in savagery, which may result from failure is not the worst thing that can happen... Rather, the most abominable of levels of savagery is (still) less than stability under the order of unbelief [nizam al-kufr] by several degrees.
This means that even the most violent and savage society is seen as less of a failure than the rule of the kufaar. A happy and prosperous society is thus nothing but a task to be overcome by fundamental Islam. This is an important point, often missed by Westerners void of religious sentiment but full of mercy and forgiveness towards the impoverished Muslims. They tend to forget that a muslim society is not necessarily meant to be happy and prosperous. Its main priority is to please the creator of the universe, and give the believers an opportunity to enter paradise. True prosperity and happiness lies in the hereafter.
The Illusion of Power
A second important premise upon which Naji bases his strategy stems from an analysis of centralized superpowers. As other jihadis, Naji tends to visualize a superpower as a central force with satellite states orbiting it in submission. This force has its own characteristic “halo”- a certain light emanating from it projecting an image of its power upon the rest of the world. Naji claims that the force of the central power of America is too weak to reach into the muslim lands. And he quotes Paul Kennedy saying:
If America expands the use of its military power and strategically extends more than necessary, this will lead to its downfall.
According to Naji this is the reason the American superpower has resorted to the use of proxy governments and a strong deceptive media-halo, constantly projecting images of invincibility love and righteousness upon the muslim lands.
Now, based on his experiences in the war against the Soviet army in Afghanistan, Naji has through human reasoning, without the use of Quranic sciences, come to the conclusion that the superpowers are not as agile and fierce as they seem. And more importantly they are currently deceived by their own media-halo, believing and reacting according to the image of an all-encompassing power. They think themselves omnipotent, capable of reaching into every house in every corner of the world, with a kind of power not bestowed on any man. Naji further notices how the military capability of a superpower has become highly dependent on the social cohesion of the society, even to the extent that millitary power can become a burden, as social strife erupts.
The overwhelming military power (weapons, technology, fighters) has no value without the cohesion of society and the cohesion of (society’s) institutions and sectors. But this overwhelming military power may become a curse to this great superpower if the cohesion of society [literally "the social entity"] collapses.
That this kind of imagined omnipotence really is making western powers weak and unvigilant, has been confirmed by concerned and responsible politicians, and may very well be at the root of the arrogance displayed by many liberals and left-wingers relentlessly scapegoating the Bush-administration´s war on terror as a "hoax", demoralising nations at war for purposes of domestic policy. The below qoutation shows that this inner political division at least in part depend on calculated efforts of the militant umma. Analysis of other Al Qaeda documents have confirmed this assertion, and placed both the 7/7- and the madrid bombings within this context
Therefore, we should formulate our military and political plans after properly understanding and appraising the ceiling of interest which limits the action of each one of our enemies and work to widen the gap of the interests between hostile fractions. Therefore, the map of interests must be clear in the minds of our leaders of action. It is a map that is just as important as military maps.
Naji argues further that western politics essentially follow material interests and the doctrine of "no eternal enemies only eternal interests." A doctrine conflicting with sharia politics adhering to an idea of eternal enemies and following the interests of God. His analysis entails two main objectives:
1. Tarnishing the deceptive media-halo.
Accomplished in battle on muslim territory, minor terror operations and "momentous events" executed after consultation with the High Command, such as the 911 attacks.
2. Disruption of social cohesion in the society of central power and its allies.
- To be achieved through the stages of exhaustion vexation and managed savagery.
Part II of this review deals with these objectives and elaborate on the management of savagery within european cities in relation to the applied countermeasure of social democrats, the management of decline.