The title of the news has been changed by the Muslim Times, to make it more readable for our readers.
Source: NY Times:
AMMAN, Jordan — As Syria’s civil war raged, a Kuwaiti Islamist, Ghanim al-Mteiri, funneled cash from wealthy donors in the Persian Gulf to Syria’s affiliate of Al Qaeda in hopes that it would overthrow the government and lay the foundations of an Islamic state.
So Mr. Mteiri watched in dismay as another, even more violent jihadist organization, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, seized a chunk of Syria, stormed into Iraq and not only declared itself an Islamic state, but also demanded that all Muslims swear allegiance to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
For the first time since its emergence more than two decades ago, the Qaeda of Osama bin Laden finds itself facing a rival jihadist organization with the resources and influence to threaten its status as the flagship movement of violent extremism. For the moment, Al Qaeda has lost ground, but the question remains: Will this new group, which now calls itself simply the Islamic State, endure?
Those still allied with Al Qaeda think the new group will fall victim to the same tactics that somehow have simultaneously made it an enemy of the West and of Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of Al Qaeda.
“We all dream of an Islamic state, but we want a political Islam that is able to stand up and not be erased from the map,” Mr. Mteiri said. “The great powers will never accept this, and they are bigger and stronger than ISIS.”
Although many dismissed as propaganda ISIS’ announcement on Sunday that it had established a caliphate — or global Islamic state — the group’s out-of-nowhere rise in just over one year has created a clash over ideology and tactics between partisans of the world’s two leading jihadist organizations. It also has created a generational split as ISIS has electrified a new group of radical jihadists with its emphasis on sectarian warfare and founding an Islamic state.
On Monday, ISIS members paraded through Raqqa in Syria, demonstrating the kind of success that has won it a growing following and outsize mystique: It showed off what appeared to be a Scud missile and other heavy weapons apparently looted from Iraqi military bases.
“It is clear that the first and second generation that started Al Qaeda, most of them are supporting Zawahri, but the new generation is more radical and closer to ISIS,” said Hassan Abu Hanieh, a Jordanian expert on Islamist movements.
While Al Qaeda remains committed to using terrorist tactics against the West and Arab governments, it has criticized ISIS for killing civilians and for waging war on other Muslims. This rivalry has disrupted the jihadist landscape across the Middle East and spurred new debates about how to fight jihad and what, exactly, an Islamic state is supposed to look like.
“People don’t have to like it, but they have to respond to it,” said Shadi Hamid, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, of the group’s declaration of an Islamic state. “Now that there is an actual caliphate with a caliph, a lot of Muslims are going to have to talk about what that means, and there is going to be some sympathy.”
The successes of ISIS owe much to the failures of other Islamist movements and the group’s ability to take advantage of local circumstances, including Sunni anger in Iraq at the Shiite-controlled government, experts say.
The Egyptian military’s ouster one year ago of the country’s elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, dealt a harsh blow to the Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy of gradual change through electoral politics and societal reform.