Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination
ASU researchers highlight one effort to counter a video by al Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as a better approach to fighting extremist rhetoric.
July 10th, 2012
04:41 AM ET

Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination

By Adam Levine, CNN

(CNN) - Muslim extremists are more concerned with defending against foreign intrusion than foisting Islam on the world, according to a new study of extremist texts. The study suggests that a Western approach of claiming extremists are seeking world domination is misdirected, and instead should seek to counteract claims of victimhood.

"Continued claims to the contrary, by both official and unofficial sources, only play into a 'clash of civilizations' narrative that benefits the extremist cause. These claims also undermine the credibility of Western voices, because the audience knows that extremist arguments are really about victimage and deliverance," write the researchers, Jeffry Halverson, R. Bennett Furlow and Steven Corman.

The analysis by Arizona State University's Center for Strategic Communication looked at how the Quran was used in 2,000 propoganda items from 1998 to 2011, though the majority were from post-2007, that emanated mostly from the Middle East and North Africa. Among the groups analyzed were al Qaeda and al Shabaab, as well as anonymous postings online.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (343 Responses)
  1. Spamhater007

    Complete BS story. The goal of the Koran is complete domination plain and simple.

    August 16, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  2. Everett Wallace

    why did ALL you mooooslims try to take over the planet, by uschering in aliens, demons and other PARAsites. the TOP number one, uno alqada leader resides in georgia, usa and their is none bigger than the one we have contained. So now you mooooooslims cannot take over any thing, you can try and conquer tartus. we have satan first born in georgia usa along with some of it's biggest and most EVIL children.

    July 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs:!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • EQ8Rhomes

      Why? Because it makes one to think for oneself, instead of relying on outdated ready-made answers to all issues, personal or public?

      July 29, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  4. BG

    From AtlasShrugs:


    July 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Another Former Republican

      This article is a joke. Here is a quote from an article published today on http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_07_11/Hamenei-End-of-the-World/...

      Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Hamenei has called on his people to prepare for a war and the End of the World.
      In his recent message, Ayatollah Hamenei warned the Iranian people of the coming of the Mahdi, the Hidden Imam, the last and awaited prophet who will appear for the Doomsday to save the world and impose Islamic world order.

      Mr. Hamenei stressed the coming of the Mahdi was prophesized in the Quran and all Iranians were to prepare for it.

      He said that, if the Iranian people believed themselves to be the soldiers of the Twelfth Imam, they should get ready to be led by Allah to the war to help the Islamic civilization triumph over the world.

      “It is our destiny,” the Iranian spiritual leader concluded.


      July 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  5. all religions are cults LOL

    I don't have to read the Koran to see by actions that Muslims are evil, and so are Christians.
    The only way is atheism, you won't have some cult driving you and are free to make up your own mind.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • matt

      if your an atheist then why are animals evil in your mind? Make more sense.

      July 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • WASP

      @matt: to an athiest animals aren't evil, their just animals. they are normally either bigger, stronger,faster, posionous, armoured or have natural weapons like horns or sharp teeth...........which needless to say we have none of these things.
      they concept of anything being "evil" is strictly a religious thing, the animals which you happen to be one do what they are built to do.....................survive.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  6. sean

    I am glad the islam extremists don't have the power and resources the west have. If they all the drones, subs, aircraft carriers..etc like the U.S., they would have succeded by now. If the roles were reversed- the extremist has all the technology like the U.S. and the rest of the world had little, they would force their religion on the rest of the world. They would show no mercy either.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • guy

      kinda like what the US does, with democracy.
      muslims are almost as bad as christians.
      the US does exactly what you say the extremist would do.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  7. ralphie

    OK, so if they live practically everywhere, and clash everywhere that they they live, isn't the end result the same?

    July 11, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  8. Paul232

    Sily. They arent focused on dominating world right now since they're in defensive mode, due to Afghanistan, Iraq, and crackdowns in other halfway reasonable Muslim nations. But it is their core philosophy.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:59 am |
  9. The Other Lawrence

    Anyone who thinks Wahabi-ism or any other radical/extremist sect of Islam is only concerned with a "cultural defensive posture" does NOT read Arabic and has clearly not spoken with real live fundamentalists. من النار والسيف Means something. That is "By Fire and Sword" which is how the one true faith is to be spread. The religion of peace started out as an inclusive, open call to humanity but by the end of the profit's life he preached hate and persecution of non-believers.

    Frankly Christians are no better in their fundamentalist form.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • silvia

      Even with out any of that... Just look at what is being preached by fundamentalist in places in England and France... If deliverance is what they wanted, they wouldn't be trying to expand their religious influence there...

      July 11, 2012 at 3:10 am |
  10. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:-------------------

    o On the koranic passages and world domination:
    "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

    Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

    Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

    Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

    Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like

    a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

    In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

    Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

    Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

    A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

    Don Richardson

    July 11, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  11. mark

    Muslim extremists say they want the same thing as moderate Muslims: the absolute destruction of everyone else. One group works toward that goal, the other group excuses, finances and endorses their efforts.

    July 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  12. Lailee

    I am a muslim. Muslim extermists disgust me. They don't have any mercy. I have read several posts here that these extermists want the americans/infidels dead. They also want the moderate muslims who don't believe in their way of life gone and dead. But what is even more appualing is that these extermist leaders such as (al-Zawahiri and Bin Laden) from wealthy backgrounds go on to supress the poor in poverty stricken countries such as Afghanistan.
    I don't think that we should compromise with any kind of extermists. Would anyone negotiate with Nazis, Communism, or Hitler? Would anyone ever think about asking what they wanted and how we could accommodate them? These personalities are a threat to civilization just as Hitler or communism. They must be stopped.

    July 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Lailee..as an atheist i could not agree more, but where are the Muslim voices of outrage when abhorrent acts take place.. like the very recent murder of that poor woman in Afghanistan As your religion does not believe that any one, other than a muslim is worthy it would have more of an impact. But I fear you also fear you own religion, and understand the dangers that even the moderates are capable of...you fear speaking out publicly because of the violent nature of the religion and the uneducated running the show. I am sorry but I see not hope for your religion every being accepted as peaceful until it actually is.. and education over rides the hate.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  13. Greg Whittaker

    Just like what the alien said to the President in Independence Day when he asked "what do you want" and the muslim, I mean alien said, I want you to die." Read the koran, repent, pay a poll tax or die. Anyone who says different is a liar.

    July 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  14. Terry Brookman

    Personally I do not trust any religion, government or organization of any type to tell me what to do and think, if you believe in a god or supreme being you should know he is capable of talking to you personally and not through another person, place or thing and anyone who assumes that they are his appointed mouth piece is insane. There are way too many control freaks as is and they can all run off a cliff, just don't try to get me to follow.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • UsayWha?

      I agree with you 100%! Well said.

      July 11, 2012 at 2:22 am |
  15. Terry Brookman

    They want to convert the entire world to Islam, that is their duty by Islamic law. You will be assimilated just like the Borg in Star Trek. The only exception was in the past where other religions had to pay a tax to exist. Truth is they are most likely to wipe themselves out if they can get atomic weapons, Suicide bombers do what they do because they really
    believe what they were taught in their religious schools: that duty
    to God exceeds all other priorities, and that martyrdom in his
    service will be rewarded in the gardens of Paradise. And they were
    taught that lesson not necessarily by extremist fanatics but by
    decent, gentle, mainstream religious instructors, who lined them up
    in their madrasas, sitting in rows, rhythmically nodding their
    innocent little heads up and down while they learned every word
    of the holy book like demented parrots.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  16. Sam Yaza

    people like being the victim and feeling persecuted (i don't know why it the worse felling you can have) that whats spreading it, if you all stop attacking them they'll die out

    July 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Really?

      Really??? As I recall, on September 11, 2001, the US was attacked by Muslim Extremists. We were indeed in a conflict in the Middle East, but we were defending one Muslim country against an attack by another. We weren't attacking Islam, we were defending people's right not to be attacked. Everyone should have the right to live in peace believing what they want to believe. You can't force anyone to believe anything.

      The American way of life may not be perfect. People abuse the system. People break laws. But people also have the right to believe what they want and work and educate themselves, something that we're seeing extremists don't want. What is the danger in girls going to school in Afghanistan? They might lean to think for themselves? They might read things in the Koran that contridict what the Extremists say? Really???

      July 11, 2012 at 3:44 am |
  17. Tom

    There is no doubt in my mind there are many good Muslims, By that I mean Muslims that don't want me dead. But anyone who watched the news on TV in the days following 9-11 saw MILLIONS of Muslims around the world thirsty for our blood.. Go on, PUT lipstick on a pig. It's STILL a pig. In general, generalities serve NO purpose. There are good & bad in just about any group you can name. It is called INDIVIDUALITY. We are who we choose to be.

    July 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  18. Aces Full Mike

    The Muslim Caliphate that is developing in the Middle East is a serious long term threat to the West. You simply cannot ignore Fundamentalist Islam’s primary goal of spreading Islam globally and converting or killing all infidels. As these people start controlling more and more of the Middle East we are going down a very dangerous path.

    July 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      "You simply cannot ignore Fundamentalist Islam’s primary goal of spreading Islam globally and converting or killing all infidels"
      Except that that's exactly what the article said they DON'T want.
      Stop listening to Faux News and your xtian preacher, open your mind and your heart, talk to a few Muslims, and stop peeing your pants every time you see one.
      Grow a pair, Princess!

      July 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • John

      @Fred. I'm not a huge fan of Faux or xtianity, but I have to disagree with you on this one. Extremists are extremists. That's why they are called Extremists. They want something that isn't normal to their religion (world domination). I agree with you though, most Muslims, especially here in the west, are normal citizens trying to make a good living.

      July 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Aces Full Mike

    “Muslim Extremists can’t be bargained with, they can’t be reasoned with, they don’t feel pity, or remorse, or regret, and they absolutely will not stop, ever, until all infidels are dead”.
    Kyle Reese

    July 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
1 2 3 4
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.