Wednesday, September 08, 2004


It is important to visualize the world in its present form, in order to recognize the stakes of the war on terror.

This blog has posited that a new, virtual umma has formed on Earth---the New Frontier. To be as thorough as possible describing this new rising post-national global power, it helps to visualize the virtual umma as a physical country, though it only partially is.

In past wars, maps were often used to show the positions of enemies and allies in the ongoing struggle. Maps showed ideological adversaries' strategic positions by visualizing the conflict geographically. Our current situation seems to deemphasize visualizing the global nature of the war; maps only concentrate on areas of conflict, such as central Iraq or eastern Afghanistan. The most credible map of the global conflict would show the whole world in context to the new nation, one that this blog will hereby refer to as Islamia---the umma of Islamic countries and their cells throughout the free world, unified by the Internet and telecommunications technology.

We are witnessing a unique, powerful signature of the World Wide Web. The first ten years of the Web were relatively benign, with emphasis placed on commerce and the exchange of ideas. The Web is still such a place, but some ideas reinforce themselves more effectively than others. Islam is a religion without a head, comprised of thousands of holy men with unique interpretations of the Koran. It is a decentralized faith composed of a Muslim community called umma and adapts almost perfectly to the decentralized, anonymous information network of the Web.

Many Muslims who have left their native lands for places like Europe and America find it difficult to assimilate into their adopted countries. They retain their sense of umma through the Internet. Now, a Muslim can go anywhere but be perfectly at home at Islamia online. Islamia's citizens have a sense of nationhood, and are inspired to defend their nation, though it is virtual. Through the Web, Islamia governs its people with a Sharia system of fatwas administered by clergy. The sheiks in Medina or Cairo have a direct line into Detroit, London and Paris through their websites.

Islamia will evolve rapidly, and become more established as the Internet becomes more reliable, stable, speedy and pervasive. As the Internet matures, so shall the nation of Islamia.

We must visualize our global situation. This map attempts to show the nation that wishes our destruction. Battle lines are amorphous. The borders shown on this map are only partially accurate---it is difficult to show geographically what is largely virtual. But this map does show the plethora of cells throughout the west, which are Islamia's colonies. The true number of cells is not even entirely known.

Some people may object that drawing a map of Islamia over-simplifies the issues, and renders all Muslims as enemies. This blog recognizes that the war against Islamofascism is complex; but we need to objectify our enemies as much as possible so we can visualize our standing in this war. Most of the war reporting takes a microcosmic view, concentrating on local battles, skirmishes and atrocities without drawing a global context.

Readers are invited to assist in this visualization project. This map is a first stab at identifying something new on the global political landscape. Defining what it is will be essential to turning the tide on this war.

Some questions to ponder:

What is the cultural currency of a virtual nation like Islamia? Certainly, videos and media recording acts of terror---'martyrdom'---are essential in a media-based umma to reinforce will and determination.

How does Islamia inspire unanimity of its citizens?

Is the West responsible for the existence of Islamia by creating the technologies that allow it to flourish?

What technologies need to be deployed to fight Islamia on an even playing field?

Can Islamia be changed into a more moderate force, or will there always be a lethal side to it?

Are there other religions or cults that might similarly form and be as dangerous as Islamia? Many groups are coalescing online and are grasping at concepts of nationhood, like a virtual umma. Who are the leading candidates?

Does the Web inspire only specialized interest groups which will ultimately debase the notion of national sovereignty?

Please add questions as they occur to you.