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View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title This book offers a scholarly, highly readable account of the 11thth century rulers of Morocco and Muslim Spain who offered a full range of meanings of jihad and challenged Ibn Khaldun's paradigm for the rise and fall of regimes.
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About the Author : Ronald A. Buy New Learn more about this copy. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. New Hardcover Quantity Available: Fighting to protect Islamic lands and to re discover the real faith. Al-Murabitun is the plural form of al-Murabit. Among its meanings is "one who is ready to fight at a fortress. These structures fulfilled two different aims: the defense of Dar al-Islam against external forces and spiritual elevation through religious exercises and prayers.
The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad
As such, the group's name may be considered a call to Muslim people of the region to defend their lands against external invaders. Moreover, the concept of ribat is particularly important in the history of the Almoravids. After his journey to Mecca, Yahya ibn Ibrahim, leader of the Berber Lamtuna tribe, realized that his people did not adhere to authentic Islamic prescriptions. As such, he appointed an ultra-orthodox Sunni religious scholar, Abdallah ibn Yasin, to teach his people the right way to be an Islamic believer.
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Yasin built a ribat to allow people to study and to know about the real Islam, consequently becoming the spiritual leader of the rising Almoravid dynasty. Treated as a historical metaphor, this may be considered a call upon the people of the region to rediscover a pure Islamic belief by sticking strictly to the prescriptions of the Quran and the Hadith. While the two groups will continue to have the same strategic aim-imposing Shari'a in the region-their short-term aims as well as tactics and strategies are different.
Belmokthar's relations with AQIM leadership remain particularly tense. The appointment of Jamal Oukacha a. Such attacks may push external actors to increase pressure on the group, which, after the defeat in Mali and the loss of several organizational leaders most notably Abu Zeid , is more interested in reorganizing its ranks and operational networks. The fact that the leader of this new group is apparently not Algerian and the presence of MUJWA fighters in its ranks suggest that this is the final stage of a process started several years ago: the ethno-national pluralization of northern African jihad activities.
While AQIM continues to remain an Algerian-led and Algerian-focused organization, jihadists from Mauritania, Mali, the Western Sahara, Niger, southern Libya and Chad now represent an important reality on the ground and the birth of al-Murabitun reflects this change.
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A second element of differentiation is the focus of Belmokhtar on immediate actions, while AQIM leader Abd al-Malik Droukdel has stressed over the last two years the need to act gradually in order to avoid powerful external pressures and friction with local Muslim communities. Despite these differences, it is still likely that members from the two organizations will cooperate at some point, as the organizational boundaries between all the groups operating in Northern Africa are rather thin and the same members-above all, low-ranking militants-may fight and operate under different labels and affiliations according to the circumstances.
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- The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad by Ronald A. Messier, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®;
- The Almoravids/al-Murabitun (1040–1147).
The birth of al-Murabitun adds a new brand to the already dense and fragmented environment of Northern Africa jihadism. The name of the new group recalls a series of specific features of northern Africa's history under the reign of the Almoravids, especially the search for Muslim unity, Islamic purity and the fight against external enemies. Although Belmokhtar has taken a step back by renouncing the leadership of this brand new group, his choice confirms his importance in the overall balance of North African jihadism, a particularly remarkable result for a person believed dead in March-April The Murabitun, despite having the same strategic aims as AQIM, will compete with the elder organization to some degree for a variety of reasons, primarily the personal friction between Belmokhtar and Droukdel.
However, tactical and short-term convergences are more than likely on specific aims and operations, and the boundaries between these organizations will remain porous and often indistinguishable. Log in.
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