Islam and Politics
The riots and looting in Ferguson (a suburb of St. Louis), which have lasted for more than a week, show that in the case that fundamental issues of social justice remain unresolved, even American cities are not impervious to riots and chaos….
This is a historic moment of evolution for Saudi Arabia, to discard the Sunni-Shiite division as a basis for its national identity and alliances and adopt a “citizenship” approach, more or less similar to what binds Egyptians. It was this national feeling of citizenship, rather than sectarian identification, which provided Egyptians with a sense of comradeship allowing Muslims to denounce Muslim Brotherhood attacks on Christian churches after former President Mohammed Morsi’s removal and Christians to withstand the assaults as they felt they were political in nature rather than an assault on the faith. This was the bond that, perhaps once, unified Syria, Libya, Iraq and Sudan before the sectarian division broke those countries into pieces. If Saudi Arabia can now make that paradigm shift, everything could be possible, including cooperation with Hezbollah, even Iran.……
The Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria; radical settlers in Israel; Hezbollah in Lebanon. Non-state actors, armed with guns and ideology, are prevailing over the state in the Middle East. Each has a different patron and even opposing ends, but they have a common source of strength…..
Clare M. Lopez
The chaos in the Middle East plays out on several levels. At one level, the most easily seen, it is an intra-Islamic sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. Such Fitna dates to the death of Muhammad in 632, when his followers couldn’t agree on who should succeed him. However, as the obvious reluctance of the broader Muslim world to forge that pan-Islamic coalition allows Islamic State to advance and consolidate….
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. It is imperative that we educate ourselves, and that we display good judgment and fortitude. If those around us are silent in the face of the unacceptable, the conscience of Muslims must not remain silent, neither in the name of wisdom betrayed, nor of Sufism perverted…..
In fact, Islamic thought is going through an exciting phase of development. Not all of this is immediately positive, but a lot of it is, and perhaps much of it is essential as a phase of maturation. Moreover, one of the most interesting intellectual developments in this context is absolutely the discovery of politics as a new field of theory and practice. In contrast to what is assumed, this is quite a recent development. Nevertheless, while in theory Islamism promises a perfect society and is able to mobilize people on the basis of its slogan "al-Islam Huwa al-hall" or Islam is the solution….
Al-Maliki’s successor needs to make the al-Da’wah Party a party of pan-Islam and try to attract Sunnis into it (this happened in the 1960s) – or better yet needs to found a Labour Party that could unite Iraqis across ethnicity and sect. This Shiite rule business can’t hope to put Iraq back together…..
Remember, ISIS was created in Iraq and grew out of that country’s internal dynamics. Over the last decade, the U.S. helped organize Iraq’s “moderates” – the Shiite-dominated government – gave them tens of billions of dollars in aid and supplied and trained their army. But, it turned out, the moderates weren’t that moderate and as they turned authoritarian and sectarian, Sunni opposition movements grew and jihadist opposition groups such as ISIS gained tacit or active support. This is a familiar pattern throughout the region…..
It's true that all three monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have been stained at various points in history with murder and violence. But only Islam still seems mired in the twelfth century. Neither Judaism nor Christianity has any equivalents today to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and ISIS…..
Over the past decade, the United States helped organize Iraq’s “moderates” — the Shiite-dominated government — giving them tens of billions of dollars in aid and supplying and training their army. But, it turned out, the moderates weren’t that moderate. As they became authoritarian and sectarian, Sunni opposition movements grew and Jihadi opposition groups such as ISIS gained tacit or active support. This has been a familiar pattern throughout the region.....
“Those who are disbelievers are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption.” (Qur’an, 8: 73) It must not be forgotten that the verses in which Allah commands Muslims to be united are clearly as obligatory as those commanding prayer or fasting. These verses apply to all Muslims. The command to “be united” also applies to all Muslims……
However, it seems that they simply agree more on the idea of the “New Turkey,” but it is not clear whether they attribute the same meaning to it. Besides, each has his peculiar political models - neither of which may be easily defined as democracy - and it may be that both consider themselves to be “the master of the game,” able to manipulate the other. That is why I am very concerned about the prospects of the peace process, let alone democracy……
Ahmet raises a trembling hand to his face, taking off his glasses and wiping away tears. His voice quivers as he speaks, but not in sadness. He is afraid. Five days earlier, he was at his nephew’s house when security forces suddenly descended. The nephew had grown a beard. And in Xinjiang, the sprawling region that dominates China’s western flank and the locus of persistent civil strife, that’s often enough to put a man behind bars. The nephew was taken away, as were his wife and their daughter, not yet a year old. When Ahmet tried to intervene he, too, spent the night in a cell that was too small to let him lie down. Through the bars, he watched men with long sticks walk to where his nephew was being held – and for the next 20 hours heard the young man’s screams……
Abdul Khalique Junejo
Since the country was created in the name of religion, wherever in the world there was war or a conflict such as Bosnia, Burma and Chechnya, Muslims were encouraged to come to Karachi and other parts of lower Sindh by the state authorities as well as their co-religion brethren already there. During the last decade, the war on terror and the war on jihadists have sent hundreds of thousands more flocking to Karachi (and Hyderabad) and the surrounding areas. This process of unlimited and unregulated influx of aliens into Sindh has been encouraged and facilitated by the 1973 Constitution that allows everyone from everywhere to go and settle anywhere. All this has turned Karachi, and its surroundings, into a jungle where might is right….
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a towering figure in Indian, and later Pakistani, history. He spent more years in prison for his beliefs than Nelson Mandela, first under British rule and later under dictatorships in Pakistan. Bacha Khan was punished by the British for demanding freedom from foreign rule. After independence, he was punished in the new state of Pakistan for questioning its elites and their policies.....
Imagine if the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) didn’t confront Nouri al-Maliki’s forces when it attacked Anbar around three months ago. Imagine if ISIS hadn’t taken over the city of Mosul on June 10. Imagine that fear and anger hadn’t found its way into Iraq as a result of the consecutive collapse of the army and the state’s security forces……
The first approach, represented by Erdogan, is predicated on the notion of the “will of the people (Milli Irade)”, at the expense of some of the fundamental freedoms, constitutional checks and balances and the separation of powers. The second approach, especially pushed for by Ihsanoglu, advocates the maintenance of the existing parliamentary system and warns that a hybrid system, where both prime minister and president are elected directly, risks creating instability, tension and polarisation…..
With Independence Day coming our way, I am drawn to reading them again, for some reason. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that this August 14 gives us little to celebrate and much to mourn. We mourn the state of our nation, its politics, its crumbling affairs of law and order but what we mourn most, albeit unconsciously, is the loss of our own identity…..
Both men have had a lasting impact. Sukarno is widely seen as a model of Indonesian nationalism and was a pioneer of the patriotic movement while Hasyim was the founding father of NU, now the largest Muslim organization in the world, which preaches a moderate Islam that rejects the idea of an absolute Islamic state in Indonesia…..
Time changes everything. Time has changed Gaza. But the Strip was never a passive place of people subsisting on hand-outs or a pervasive sense of victimhood. Being a freedom fighter preceded any rational thinking about life and the many choices it had to offer growing up in a refugee camp, and all the little kids of my generation wanted to join the Fidayeen. But options for Gazans are becoming much more limited than ever before, even for my generation.....
Gardner attributed the appeal of the "Islamic State" for Albanian Muslims to penetration of the Muslim communities in the Western Balkans by Wahhabism, the fundamentalist doctrine originating in Saudi Arabia.....
To understand the collective Arab panic over the weekend in Cairo on the Gaza ceasefire, an overview is required. Ever since King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia came out of convalescence from Europe in February 2011 to see the first two casualties of the Arab Spring — Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali — his heart sank. Logically, next to fall would be monarchies and emirates — Saudi, Jordan, Qatar, Morocco, Bahrain, the GCC in general. "Never," screamed Abdullah…..
All four leaders of the Islamic renaissance met unusually tragic ends. The last of the revolutionaries, Colonel Qaddafi of Libya died in a sewage hole. Today, there is no Bhutto, King Faisal, Shah Iran, Anwar Sadat or Qaddafi to challenge. Whatever remains of the Muslim world comprises political touts and carpetbaggers. The map of the Middle East has changed forever…..
Mohammed Fahad al-Harthi
The deteriorating situation in the Arab world reminds us time and again of a real need for strong leadership in the region. The current harmony we are witnessing between Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo may well just be the light at the end of a dark tunnel......
I don’t see what it is that they are waiting for but I believe it is high time Muslim leaders start appreciating the gravity of the situation and pinpoint their common enemy. We must revive regional organisations like the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and make them more effective and influential. The Muslims of the world must come together to fight this injustice. Not just as Muslims, but as humans, otherwise, Palestine, as we know it, will seize to exist....