Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

State Elections in Pakistan and the Emerging Political Scenario
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

Whatever may be the result of the elections, one thing could be said for sure: as an outcome of the nefarious mindset of the influential elements in Pakistani politics, religious extremism and sectarian vices will spread in the country more than ever before. The main reasons behind it are certain political parties’ reliance on the terror outfits and their continued silence over their obnoxious acts of violence and militancy with an aim to overpower the opposition parties. This is what has been going on for a decade in the country. ... the root-cause of the catastrophes engulfing Pakistan is the widespread phenomenon of extremism and sectarian violence, which is not taken into consideration by any of the political parties of the country. Not even now when they should urgently try to redress it....


Saudi Arabia Puts On Show with 'Abdullah's Shield'
Bruce Riedel

Saudi Arabia staged its largest-ever military exercise this week to demonstrate its capability to defend itself against its northern Shiite neighbors. The guest list for the event was the most potent symbol of Saudi power, bringing together its Gulf allies with Pakistan and its nuclear shield…..


What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden
Carlotta Gall

The United States was neither speaking out against Pakistan nor changing its policy toward a government that was exporting terrorism, the legislator lamented. “How many people have to die before they get it? They are standing by a military that protects aids and abets people who are going against the U.S. and Western mission in Afghanistan, in Syria, everywhere.” When I remember the beleaguered state of Afghanistan in 2001, I marvel at the changes the American intervention has fostered: the rebuilding, the modernity, and the bright graduates in every office. Yet after 13 years, more than a trillion dollars spent, 120,000 foreign troops deployed at the height of the war and tens of thousands of lives lost, Afghanistan’s predicament has not changed: It remains a weak state, prey to the ambitions of its neighbours and extremist Islamists. This is perhaps an unpopular opinion, but to pull out now is, undeniably, to leave with the job only half-done. Meanwhile, the real enemy remains at large......


Arabs and Muslims Should Flock To Jerusalem
Daoud Kuttab

The tide in favour of visits to Jerusalem seems to be finally turning, possibly due, in part, to the anti-Muslim Brotherhood sentiment, as well as to the real dangers facing Jerusalem. The “Road to Jerusalem” conference, held under the patronage of King Abdullah, has finally provided a well-researched religious response to Fatwas like Qaradawi’s……


Saudi Wahhabi Leaders See Turkish Threat over Caliphate
Madawi Al-Rasheed

The Saudi university director may rest assured that neither Erdogan nor his own rulers are destined to restore the caliphate, at least in the near future. He will be shocked if he comes across statistics about Saudi tourists visiting Turkey this summer, not all of whom will be fantasizing about the nudist clubs that allegedly flourish under Erdogan’s government….

Gilgit-Baltistan Protests: Images from the Tahrir Square that the World Missed
Senge Sering

Despite its importance or perhaps because of it, Gilgit-Baltistan is dubbed the last colony in the world. Locals facing economic and political stagnation blame Pakistan for coupling the region with Kashmir and denying them the right of citizenship.....


Hamas Must Repudiate the Anti-Semitism in Its Charter
Richard Cohen

Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day has passed. But then, as far as I’m concerned, it is always Holocaust Remembrance Day — a perpetual and frustratingly futile attempt to come to terms with murder so vast and incomprehensible it is like pondering what came before the big bang. And yet in a corner of the world, the Holocaust is considered no mystery at all. The Jews did it to themselves to foster the creation of Israel. This is what Hamas believes…..


The point is, we humans, in our thirst for control, have shaped divinity to our liking. Anyone who does not agree with us is the other side. That would still be okay if we could at least co-exist just like every other thing in nature does. The worst thing that God ever gave man is the power to think, which has been used forever to raid and destroy others who may not think alike….


In the West, zealotry has come to be associated with bearded men of Middle Eastern appearance who dress in ankle-length white robes. Yet zealotry is hardly unknown among clean-shaven white Caucasian males who wear a suit and tie.....


Why the Constitutional Court of Turkey is Right
Mustafa Akyol

The hottest debate in Turkey these days is the tension between the government and the Constitutional Court — or, more precisely, between Prime Minister Erdoğan and top judge Haşim Kılıç. And I find the latter absolutely right……


The Fall of Democracy And Predicament Of Political Islam In Turkey
Begüm Burak

Turkey today is witnessing how authoritarianism is taking the place of democracy through the instrumentalisation of religion for political purposes with the ultimate aim of ending the Hizmet movement……


Truth, Lies and the Jamaat e Islami
Abdul Majeed Abid

Founded in 1941 by Abul A’la Maududi, as the ‘vanguard’ of Islamic revolution, the Jamaat’s history is full of skeletons in its closet. Starting from an anti-nationalist position, JI changed its colours faster than a chameleon after the creation of Pakistan. Following the make-over, JI became the flag bearer of the ‘Ideology of Pakistan,....

The Danger of Civil War(s) in Turkey
Nuray Mert

This is the first time that a civil institutional body has truly confronted the civilian government without the shadow of the military hegemony over civil politics. That is why I call it a “civil war” of sorts. Besides, it has emerged that the rise of civilian actors in politics does not always result in democratic politics and social peace. …..


Qadhafi Wanted Out
Alana Cook

According to a Citizens Commission Report, a senior aide to Qadhafi requested a 72-hour truce with U.S. military command officials to negotiate a cease-fire with talks to be held in Tripoli. If all conditions were deemed acceptable, Libya would “stop all combat operations immediately and withdraw all military forces to the outskirts of all cities, and assume a defensive posture.”….

Being on Nuclear Verge May Suit Iran’s Political Goals
Steve Kramer

Iran hasn’t been occupied in modern times, but was a “playground” for foreign powers from the early 19th century until the 1940s, when Mohammad Rezâ Shâh Pahlavi became Shah of Iran (1941-1979). During the previous century and a half the Iranians became masters of politics and negotiations……


Palestinian Unity: It’s Better Late than Never
Ramzy Baroud

It is untrue that the rift between Fatah and Hamas goes back to the January 2006 elections, when Hamas won the majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and formed a government. The feud is as old as Hamas itself. The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, was founded in Gaza with two main objectives, one direct and the other inferred: To resist the Israeli military occupation at the start of the First Palestinian Intifada in 1987 and to counterbalance the influence of the PLO……


The Sheikhdom of Fear
Yusuf Kanli

Having the courage to say the problems of the country, criticize the administration or the absolute ruler, express opinions, let’s say on a new legislation and brand it as a tool of intensifying dictatorship deserves praise, definitely. Yet, in democracies, there should not be the need for heroes or courageous knights of the world….


Pakistan Bows Down To Saudis
Mehr F Husain

The usual ‘Khuda Hafiz’ has morphed into ‘Allah- Hafiz’; cotton chadors have been pulled off and sombre black Abayas are donned; where once a moustache was the pride and honour of a man, it’s been overshadowed by a beard - the longer and more unkempt, the holier a man is; history is now rewritten so that the country’s bloodline and lineage has nothing to do with South Asia but is in fact Middle Eastern…


In The Mideast, Election ‘Carnivals’ Are the Greatest Tricks
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

The question remains, do you still believe in democracy around you? This is an old story that Britain tried to impose in the first decades of the 20th Century in Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and Iraq. The Americans tried to do the same in Iraq and consequently, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki has grabbed more power than the former dictator Saddam Hussein, whose toppling cost amounted to a trillion dollars…..


There's No War in Syria, We’ve Been Imagining It
Raed Omari

So, there is no war in Syria. It is safe and sound and the biggest concern of Syrians nowadays is who to support among the "many" presidential hopefuls. In brief, it is the best time in Syria now to hold presidential elections. Plus, the presidential election is never going to be a "one man show," as it has never been. On every such election in Syria, there is always a fierce competition among the leftist, rightist, centrist, conservative, liberal and secular and Islamist candidates representing all Syria's mosaic…..

Qur'anic Morality and Satanic Development Model
Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

The Holy Quran in Sura An-Nisa, Ayat 119 has clearly articulated the evil crooked paths of the Satan like this. Defacing the fair nature means transgressing Universal Balance of Justice in worldly life that encompasses both nature and society. Disturbing the balance in relation between man and man, man and society, man and nature, disturbing the balanced eco system for super profit, infusing perversion in human nature related to biological system and imbalance in material and spiritual aspects of human life all come under the purview of defacing the fair nature. Many Western countries have now permitted homosexuality, lesbian marriage and marriage between same sexes. Such is the climax of Western Civilization and Moral Standard of Western Society! This is absolutely an act of defacing fair nature through perversion in biological system of mankind on the part of the Satan and from Qur'anic point of view the so-called civilized West has now turned out to be follower of the Satan and the present Corporate Development Model has become a Satanic Development Model....

Can Hamas-Fatah Unity Lead to Mideast Peace?
Noura Erakat, Jonathan Schanzer, Ali and Ami

The two main Palestinian factions, the Palestine Liberation Organization, which runs the West Bank and is dominated by Fatah, and the militant Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, have agreed to overcome their divisions and form a unity government within five weeks. Because of this, Israel has suspended talks, citing Hamas’s refusal, until now, to recognize its right to exist.

But can reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas end up improving the chances of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which have dimmed as American-backed talks have foundered?...

This is a pity — as the number of civilians who were killed in atrocities by the Pakistan military in 1971 was, without doubt, very high. Whatever might be the actual figure, it would not affect the government’s current policy for the need for criminal accountability for these offences......


A Bloody Misalliance: Radical Islam and Infantile Marxism
Philip Bounds

Let us not exaggerate the problem. The majority of the world’s Muslims are similar to the majority of the world’s Marxists: tolerant, compassionate and sincere. But the alliance between the authoritarian deadbeats of the revolutionary left and the Islamofascist right is not to be taken lightly. It is not simply individuals who are judged by the company they keep. The more that Marxism and Islam allow their margins to be clogged up by bigots, the greater the likelihood that their virtues will be obscured. If the genuine members of both faiths wish to rescue themselves from obloquy, they have no choice but to police their borders more rigorously. Their only option is to put up some barbed wire, employ a few security guards and display a clearly marked sign: “No Fundamentalists Allowed”....


Turkey Was Inept, Not Evil, in Syria
Mustafa Akyol

History is full of failed grand narratives. Just as George W. Bush’s idealistic “freedom agenda” crumbled when his occupation of Iraq produced a divided and bloody country, the freedom agenda of Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan — a much less belligerent but similarly idealistic vision of the Middle East — ran aground in Syria…..


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