Islam and Politics
Yet the masters of the New Turkey seem to have their own ideological constraint — Sunni Islamism. They should be able to outgrow that, and instead of taking a side in the region’s growing Sunni-Shiite divide, they should champion reconciliation, be more wary of Sunni extremists, and reach out to non-Sunni Muslims…..
The Islamic Caliphate of Iraq and Syria has been fought into existence — however temporarily — by Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters who pay no attention to the artificial borders of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon or Jordan, or even mandate Palestine, created by the British and French. Their capture of the city of Mosul only emphasises the collapse of the secret partition plan which the Allies drew up in the First World War — for Mosul was sought after for its oil wealth by both Britain and France…..
It has been a momentous week. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan launched one of its most audacious attacks to date on Karachi airport and exposed the state’s brittle security framework. This compelled the civil-military leadership to stop prevaricating and finally launch Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan. This persuaded Imran Khan to patriotically line up behind the military and cancel his “disruptionist” rally in Bahawalpur. This nudged Maulana Tahirul Qadri to postpone his “revolutionary long march” to Islamabad to overthrow the Sharif regime. This emboldened Shahbaz Sharif to signal a show of force against Tahirul Qadri’s base in Model Town Lahore. This ignited Tahir ul Qadri’s supporters against the police. This provoked the police to charge into them. This outraged Tahirul Qadri to exhort his supporters to embrace martyrdom.....
Islam is not just a religion; it is also a system of accumulating and consolidating political power. Its ideology is perfectly suited for these goals. This is what explains how a rag-tag bunch of thugs and extortionists morphed into an all-conquering army and now holds several towns and large territories in Iraq and Syria. Soon ISIS could be creating a caliphate - a dream aborted in Afghanistan after the American invasion pushed Mullah Omar out. If ISIS succeeds, it will become a new power centre for political Islam…..
By 2009, al-Qaeda in Iraq had not just been decimated but humiliated by the U.S. surge and the Anbar Awakening. Here were aggrieved Sunnis, having ferociously fought the Americans who had overthrown 80 years of Sunni hegemony, now reversing allegiance and joining the infidel invader in crushing, indeed extirpating from Iraq, their fellow Sunnis of al-Qaeda….
Democracy can be a dilemma if you happen to be Afghan but not exactly a member of the nation’s kleptocratic elite. Take the example of the rural men from Herat, who ended up hospitalised after the Taliban chopped off their index fingers to punish them for voting. There was something absurd about the fact that these men had voted as citizens of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan only to be punished for voting by the Islamic Emirate of the Taliban……
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners are in a painful dilemma. There is deep mutual animosity between them and ISIS, and ISIS’ successes in Iraq threaten their security. But, the countries are also wary about the Shia upsurge in Iraq, the improving U.S.-Iran engagement, and the likelihood of an Iranian intervention to maintain Shia primacy in the country. ....
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam
Going by the effects of the campaign against them under the leadership of social media and rumours, Mian brothers are going to face a serious predicament very soon. Imran Khan is inclined to use this tragedy to his own political ends. The Muslim League leadership is as usual confused and paralysed. The abilities of Chief Minister of Punjab, who is considered more dynamic and politically sagacious than Nawaz Sharif seem to be faltering.
Eman al Nafjan
The revolutions sweeping the region have struck terror in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s absolute monarchy, which for most of its existence was the only law of the land. The kingdom’s Basic Law was only issued in 1992, during the reign of its fifth head of state, King Fahd. His successor and half-brother, King Abdullah, is today hailed as a modernizer, a leader who has pushed the country further away from tribalism toward civil law......
There is no arguing that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s policies polarized the Iraqis and prepared the ground for the formation of the ISIL, which now reportedly enjoys support of some Sunni groups, tribes, Al-Maliki’s opponents, some Turkmens, Kurds and former personnel of the Baathist army. Situation in neighboring countries, which are astounded by ISIL’s gains in Iraq and consider this group as a genuine existential threat…
Salafist movements share with ISIS the ideological references found in the books of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qaim and Mohammad ibn Abdel Wahhab. Despite this, Salafist movements have divergent political stances. Some completely refuse all forms of rule that exist in the Islamic world and describe them as apostasy, rendering state employees and soldiers legitimate targets of bombings.…..
Rami G. Khouri
Syria, Libya and Iraq are only the most dramatic examples of countries suffering from serious sectarian and other forms of warfare that could easily lead to the fracturing of those states into smaller ethnic units. Similar but less intense tensions define most Arab states. With the exception of Tunisia, the citizens of every Arab country have always been denied any say in defining the structure, values or policies of their state……
The fall of a city the size of Mosul in the hands of a Jihadi/ Takfiri organization driven by dark visions like ISIS, that crucifies and slit the throats of those who oppose it, and still dream of the establishment of a Muslim Caliphate is as stunning as it is historical. The brutal way ISIS treats Muslims who disagree with its words and deeds have become an integral part of its modus operandi…..
Narendra Modi assured Muslims to promote their economic development and preserve their culture, stating: “I want to see you, laptop in one hand, Quran in the other.” Typically, Muslims too look up to the government to fix their life. Every other day, newspapers carry stories in which Muslim leaders and well-intentioned Hindu politicians accuse the government of failing to address Muslim backwardness. For all problems confronting Muslims, the government alone is blamed……
As Islamic movements and political organizations created under their influence proved to be ineffective in delivering basic assurances like dignity, prosperity, justice and political stability, these movements and organizations became more radical. It was believed that moving closer to the putative original principles and way of life of the times of the Prophet Mohammed, would make Islamic society become purer, more inclusive and powerful……
'Ownership', as defined by Oxford English Dictionary is ‘the act, state or right of possessing something’. In Urdu, it translates into Milkiyyat, while in Sindhi the alternative is Maaliki. When someone, something or some place is considered abandoned or ownerless, the Sindhi people often say: Adaa! Hinjee Maaliki Keeran Waaro Keer Kon’hay. What Karachi is going through right now is quite an image of that Sindhi phrase.....
The Dangerous Game that Saudi Arab is Playing by Funding Radical Extremism An enraged Saudi Arab, anger by USA's refusal to either bomb or send soldiers to Syria, went ahead on its own and has over the last two years pumped in billions of dollars to fund the foreign Jihadi elements in Syria that also saw in reciprocation, both Iran, the most powerful Shia dominated country of Middle East as well as Hezbollah.…..
There were no terrorists in Iraq in 2003. There were people with radical Islamist ideas, but they kept quiet for fear of Hussein's torturers, and there weren't very many of them. And there were no weapons of mass destruction either. It was an exceptionally dumb war, to borrow Mr Barack Obama's famous phrase, and it began the destruction of Iraq. It was the fight against foreign occupation after 2003 that radicalised people in Iraq and drove so many of them back into narrow sectarian identities. ‘Al Qaeda in Iraq’, the original name for what now calls itself ISIS, was born in that struggle, and Mr Blair and Mr George W Bush were its midwives......
American refusal or hesitation in helping to control the Islamic threat in Iraq is even more unacceptable because the objective of ISIS is clear. It is fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Persian Gulf area, and to become the leader of global jihad. ISIS has declared that “we are soldiers of Islam and took on our responsibility to bring back the glory of the Islamic Caliphate."….
The aspirations for an Islamic state and Sharia clearly exist in Indonesia. They are legitimate voices that should be accommodated in the country’s political processes. Barring them would only send them underground and possibly make them more dangerous and difficult to monitor as we have learned from the Sukarno and Soeharto dictatorships. But while these Islamist aspirations exist, the four democratic elections held, in 1999, 2004, 2009 and in April this year showed that they don’t enjoy widespread support, not even among the majority of Muslim voters…..
“To be a Turk is to be a Muslim” is a statement that defines both nationality and culture. More than 99 percent of the population is Muslim, although they may not be practicing Muslims. In Turkey, nearly half of the population would describe themselves as secular Turks……
Eyad Abu Shakra
Yes, the presence of political and theological incubators has contributed to a large extent to the emergence of jihadist and Takfirist groups that have spiraled out of control, producing several offshoots of their own. However, mere personal empathy on the part of individuals or governments is not enough to enable these groups to do what they are doing in Syria, Iraq, Yemen or North Africa. The operations of these groups that are overrunning Arab cities and villages surely require huge logistic infrastructures that cannot be sustained solely by donations…..
When asked about accusations by opposition parties that the Turkish government has given military support to Sunni Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria, who now hold Turks hostage in Iraq’s occupied city of Mosul, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç gave a very interesting answer on June 13. Arınç first rephrased the question and then answered it like this: “Was there any help knowingly from Turkey in the form of people, arms or money? No. We can absolutely say ‘No’ to that.” The key thing here is that Arınç added the word “knowingly.”…..
Indonesia and Pakistan, the two largest Muslim-majority countries in the world, have been struggling to define the role of religion, or more specifically Islam, since they became independent states in the late 1940s. The battle is in determining the extent to which the government has the power to interfere in matters of the faith of its citizens, or more specifically, the extent to which religion is considered a public as against a private matter…..
Turkey is calling NATO solely for consultations, it does not say, “There is an attack against me, come and help.” Actually, it cannot say so. NATO equals the U.S. And the U.S. is avoiding military operations. While it has withdrawn from Iraq, while it is withdrawing from Afghanistan, why should it enter Iraq once again? There can only be one reason: If oil is at risk. .....