Three days ago, the Tahadi Islamic Forum released a statement titled “Declaration of Independence.” They are cutting off correspondence with other forums including the premiere al-Qaeda forum Shamukh al-Islam. This is because they believe they have been strangling open debate. By gaining such independence, Tahadi explains that they will have more legitimacy now and that it will better conform to Islamic principles. Tahadi hopes their forum lives up to its reputation as a place of free-flowing conversation. More interesting than the statement itself is how the grassroots online jihadis have reacted. Two major schools of thought have played out: 1. excitement and 2. confusion. Here are some examples:
Abu Muhammad al-Qurayshi: We ask God for the facilitation of a unified jihadi media.
Abu Muhtasib: God knows how happy this decision is, which came … to correct the path of the media jihad and maintain the existence of integrity and independence.
al-Mustashar al-Khas: We are tired of the life of humiliation and they treat us like slaves.
Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sayf: Blessings upon God to you, but I did not understand the reason [for the declaration].
Abu Qa’qa’ al-Najdi: Did Shamukh get struck/infected like al-Fallujah (previous top AQ forum), please clarify if possible.
Abu Hafs al-Sunni al-Sunni: My brothers did not understand the meaning of this independence, God bless you. Is it possible any of you can guide me and explain to me this decision? May God reward you.
Dhakwan: You did well to end this problem/widespread phenomenon in the jihadi forums.
Hindkushi: God expected that [Tahadi] will be [given] the courage to speak the word of truth found in the current jihadi forums, then praise God who showed me after I lost hope for a long period of time.
Asad al-Islam: We do not understand what is intended [by this independence].
Abu Dhar al-Maqdisi: A courageous and successful step, God willing.
Khadim al-Jihad: Perhaps a good initiative to restore the good old days for us.
Although many forum participants were relieved, unsure how to react, and wanted more information for guidance, one forum member named Hamam Harith believed it was a bad idea by asking what benefit the jihadi media and forums will get from this “independence.” Also, some forum goers did not understand if it was a clean break from affiliating with other forums or whether it included media outlets too such as al-Fajr Media Center or the Global Islamic Media Front. If Tahadi were smart one would suspect that they would provide a follow up statement with more details. Unfortunately, I do not have access to Shamukh al-Islam Forum, since it is privatized, and they no longer accept new registrants. As such, I will rely on Aaron at Internet Haganah for some more details as well as to provide more historical context since there have been forum fights in the past including al-Hesbah and Tajdeed.