This chapter places the Gamā‘ah’s renunciation of political violence in historical context, including the evolution of the group itself, its key members, its ideological profile and organizational structure. It goes on to examine the reaction to the announcement to renounce violence, both within and without the Gamā‘ah, and the Gamā‘ah’s efforts to overcome these obstacles, including its exchanges with the blind Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Raḥmān. It also includes a detailed analysis of the group’s sharī‘ah-justifications for its new position and some of the implications of that position, including the critique of radical jihadism overall and al-Qā‘idah. The Introduction also discusses the likely impact of the Gamā‘ah’s renunciation and its possible significance for Western observers and analysts.
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