Islam and Politics
Faisal Al Yafai
sectarian identities are easily manipulated. One of the reasons the militants
of ISIL so dislike the borders of nation states – one of their first acts a
year ago after declaring a new "caliphate" was to claim they had
destroyed the borders of Sykes-Picot – is that these borders offer an
alternative allegiance for disaffected Iraqis and Syrians. Though they frame their antipathy in the
language of anti-colonialism and Islamic history, it is a rather more mundane
psychological idea that guides their strategy….
Asia, there is a sense of deep distress at the pervasive chaos, violence and
destruction, and pessimism about the future. Not only are states like Syria,
Iraq, Yemen and Libya in the throes of civil conflict and anarchy and unlikely
to be put together again, the ISIS continues to prosper, with a presence in a
dozen states and increasing declarations of support from several other Jihadi
groups in South and West Asia and North Africa.....
Doha is less
invested in the Muslim Brotherhood than it used to be, and Riyadh less hostile,
but it would be an exaggeration to say the two leaderships view the Islamists
in the same light. But there are good reasons Qatar seems to have concluded
that rivalry with Saudi Arabia is at best pointless and potentially
only way Saudi could instill a radical thinking in the minds of the Sunni
Muslims in India was by the establishment of Wahhabi centers. The Wahhabis are
an extremely orthodox set of Sunni Muslims. There are several Muslims in India
who subscribe to the Wahhabi view. As a first step, Saudi sent in several Wahhabi
preachers into India an Intelligence Bureau report states. The years 2011 to
2013 alone saw a record number of 25,000 Wahhabis coming to India and
conducting seminars in various parts of the country. With them they brought in
Rs 1700 Crore in several installments and used it to propagate the Wahhabi
style of Islam…
Shahid Javed Burki
political developments have come together in more meaningful ways in Muslim
countries than in many other parts of the developing world. Muslim populations
in these countries are very young with the median age of less than 30 years. In
other words, 800 million people in the world’s Muslim population of 1.6 billion
are below that age. Most live in urban areas and most are liberal and better
educated than older people. Most are unhappy with their situation since the
established political and economic orders don’t provide them the space they
The reason so
many civilians died in Gaza last summer was not Israeli tactics or policy. It
was Hamas’s strategy. Hamas deliberately positioned its fighters and munitions
in civilian areas, knowing that Israel would have no choice but to attack them
and that civilian casualty would result. Unable to inflict existential harm on
Israel by military means, Hamas sought to cause large numbers of casualties
among its own people in order to bring international condemnation and
unbearable diplomatic pressure against Israel.....
Maulana Usman Beig and Maulana Rashadi say that Egypt’s law did not
support death sentence and so death sentence given to Morsi was un-Islamic and
anit-Sharia. However, they forget that the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and Ulema
had issued Fatwas of death sentence and fatwa justifying rape of Muslim and
non-Muslim women protesting against their government at Tahrir Square despite
the fact that Egypt did not have death sentence law. According to the reliable
news sources like Al Arabia and Al Masri al Yaum, Brotherhood cadre sexually
assaulted and raped about 19 women protesting at Tahrir Square and one
Brotherhood’s mufti Abu Islam justified their rape. The news was not published
by Islamophobic news portals so that they could declare it a Zionist
situation is going from bad to worse and will not improve if the fighting
parties do not accept a political solution that will unite them in one system
with similar rights. It is the same GCC-EU proposal that the Houthis accepted
three years ago then decided to forgo at Iranian instigation. Alongside the
three main forces, Houthis, Saleh and the legitimate government, there are
southern separatist forces faced by other forces, northern tribal forces and of
course lurking Al-Qaeda elements who will try to seize territories in much the
same way Daesh in Syria and Iraq has done……
The UN reports
that the explosive devices Israel illegally plants and detonates in Gaza can
“tear off limbs hundreds of meters from the blast site.” “The shock waves
create thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch”, while “the injury
threshold is 15 pounds per square inch.” The US is the world’s biggest arms
trafficker and provides most of those weapons. Israel is the biggest recipient
of US aid, and the amount has been increased by Obama after each of Israel’s
massacres against Gaza....
A peace deal
might be elusive at the moment, but this should not deter the intensification
of Palestinian-Arab relations with the aim of at least laying solid foundations
for an economically viable Palestinian state within the internationally
agreed-to 1967 borders.....
Musa Khan Jalalzai
helping the Afghan security forces in fighting against the Taliban and is
facilitating the reconciliation process, in order to stabilise Afghanistan. The
visit of Pakistan’s army chief to Russia was an effort to open a new chapter in
diplomatic and military relations. Due to the US’s inconsistent policies
towards Saudi Arabia and its rapprochement with nuclear Iran, the Saudi King
has ordered his Defence Minister to ask President Putin for nuclear and
military cooperation. The unannounced arrival of the Saudi Defence Minister in
Moscow last week and his meeting with President Putin is a dramatic development
in Middle Eastern politics.....
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
restrictions against religious practices are bound to give fuel to a rise in
militancy, just the thing the Beijing government should want to avoid. “Any religious practice that is not
state-sanctioned is then characterized by the government as participating in
religious extremism," Nee contended. Ramadan is much more than just
abstaining from eating and drinking. It
is also about caring for the welfare of others.....
Middle East and
African governments and civil societies thus have a common enemy, so security
and intelligence cooperation should become an integral part of their
engagement. The Arab world and the broader Middle East should take a more
active role in the momentous developments reshaping Africa, as well as the
dangerous movements trying to turn back the clock.....
Iran wanted to ensure that the American debacle in Iraq deepens, so Tehran doesn’t become the next US war destination. To do so, however, Iran, jointly, although indirectly with the Americans, savaged the once strongest Arab country. The Shia government and its numerous militias killed, butchered, abused and humiliated Sunnis, especially tribes, which were seen as particularity influential following the destruction of the Baath regime and other centers of supposed Sunni seats of power....
Rami G. Khouri
The impact of the deaths on the militant groups will not be known for some time. But judging from the death or capture of dozens of other such prominent leaders in the last two decades, the answer is, “probably not very much.” That is because Salafist-takfiri terror groups have significantly adjusted to the military assaults against them, especially since the 2001 American-led Global War on Terror....
It is baffling to read about or watch the sweep of terror spawned by ISIS in the name of Islam -- a world religion with a following approaching two billion Muslims. It is insufficient merely to point out that the barbarism of ISIS reflects its origins in the fetid swamps of the Sunni Muslim insurgency of post-Saddam Iraq. But ISIS is neither a new presence in the Arab-Muslim history, nor is the response to it by Western powers, primarily Britain and the United States, given their relationship with the Middle East over the past century….
Mohsin Raza Malik
A lot of Rohingya people fled to ghettos and makeshift refugee camps near the border of neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Thailand. This year, in order to escape systematic persecution from both the Myanmar government and Buddhist majority, thousands of Rohingyas have fled from Myanmar to seek shelter in other Southeast Asian countries, namely Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, in small rickety boats through the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea....
The non-violent struggle to boycott Israel will continue and escalate now that it has become clear that Israel is not at all interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict and that its prime minister has no intention of granting the Palestinians their inalienable right of creating an independent state during his watch....
The situation in Libya has gone from bad to worse in full view of the entire world. It was obvious that the mixture of chaos, proliferation of weapons and the political, tribal and factional infighting would repeat the Somalia or Afghanistan scenario and allow for the expansion of Al-Qaeda and Daesh or any other terrorist group....
Yaqoob Khan Bangash
Acts and omissions prejudicially affecting the human rights of a peaceful community of Rohingya Muslims.’ While the Rohingya are certainly a persecuted minority, and surely they need to be helped and all pressures put on the Myanmar government to give them full and equal rights, one can’t help but wonder why all the slogans are religion-based....
Rami G. Khouri
They emphasize military attacks against the criminal Islamist militants, but effectively ignore socio-economic and political issues that underpin Al-Qaeda and ISIS. They ignore the equally criminal policies of family-run Arab security states whose excesses and failures since the 1970s spawned these dangerous militant movements. They absolutely refuse to address the glaring parallel misdeeds of American administrations that have long been complicit in supporting Arab dictatorships, fostered radicalism....
It’s not hard to follow the various trails of blood, and the underlying hate-filled politics of identity, to the door of the empire. Identity and terrorism are weapons of perpetual war in the arsenal of the empire and it uses them with a shameless abandon. It is not the Buddhist majority in Myanmar that is killing the Rohingya minority. Scratch the surface a bit and you see the linkages of these terrorists to Aung San Suu Kyi and organizations working under the imperial umbrella on various high-sounding pretexts....
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Despite having lived in Pakistan for decades, after radical Buddhists began their anti-Muslim movement in Burma, the Rohingyas in Pakistan either don’t have an identity card or are registered as ‘Bengalis’. Ironically, this is precisely what the Myanmar government is doing to the Rohingyas: forcing them to register as Bengalis - hence coercing them into relinquishing their status as inhabitants of Burma since the 15th century - or simply refusing to acknowledge their existence....
Regardless of who the next Turkish president will be, Syria will be a core Turkish interest, and it is unlikely that the new government will alter its stance. We also expect Turkey to continue avoiding direct involvement in the war, especially amid the presence of Iranian forces and militias inside Syria. However, it will continue to influence the Syrian opposition....
The struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia over Yemen kicked off as the Rohingya crisis was a major topic in the media. I was at the United Nations in New York and was talking to a foreign diplomat who is assisting in the run up to Geneva peace talks between Yemen’s warring factions. I spent those days wondering why Iran didn’t send humanitarian aid ships to the poor people from Burma, rather than entering this power struggle with Saudi Arabia over sending aid to Sanaa....