I have thought for some time now that a book that is really needed is some sort of jihadi dictionary, explaining common words phrases and allusions that often pepper jihadi magazines and videos. Not that the book would really sell beyond a few hundred copies, but still….
Anyway, one particular word from al-Wahayshi’s recent speech has been bothering me since I first heard it. The word, al-Ruaybdha, is used to describe President Salih. I asked around a bit and didn’t get much beyond what I already knew, namely that it was insult and used to mean someone was a bad Muslim. But that sort of vague definition won’t do, especially for grad students who have too much work but are still looking to waste time on tangents rather than meet arbitrary deadlines, including one for an article due on Monday, so I spent some more time researching the term.
I will leave out the part about the angels, although these are usually my favorite parts, anyone interested can look up the word in Lane’s Lexicon. Basically, the way I understand al-Wahayshi’s use of the term, it means a contemptible or wicked man who is in charge of the community, but instead of taking an active role he prefers to stay in his tent or house and let all sorts of evil things happen around him.
This is particularly pointed in the context of what al-Wahayshi had to say about Salih not sending troops to defend Palestine but instead sending them to attack the noble Yemeni tribes. Salih, the leader of Yemen, is refusing to take an active role in attempting to correct what al-Wahayshi sees as the injustice in Palestine. He has been given responsibility, or perhaps more accurately, has authority and is refusing to use it for the good of the community.
There is, of course, much more here than my meager explanation, but at least for a Thursday night before dinner I am satisfied, at least until someone wants to correct my understanding of the term.