Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

“India is our country. It is a democratic country. We have certain problems; other people also have some problems. Using the democratic system, we can solve these problems. We don't require any exhortation, advice or help from any outside source. The alleged statement of Al Qaeda is unacceptable to us,”...

Keep ‘God’ Out Of It: ‘God’ Does Not Have a ‘Party’, ‘Army’ or Spokespeople
Octavia Nasr

Hiding behind the safety of religion and relying on existing slogans and symbols known for swaying minds into brainwashed submission, evil now avoids criticism because the word “Allah” is invoked in various contexts. No, “God” does not have a “party,” “army” or “spokespeople.” If you believe that such a thing exists, then you need appropriate professional attention and serious treatment before you join us in the 21st century…..

Why Sunni Arab States Are Dragging Their Feet
Rodger Shanahan

Some states have already provided basing support and there is no doubt that some behind-the-scenes support is being provided.  But the Islamic State is a threat to the region made by the region.  A Western military coalition can halt and degrade this enemy, but it will only be defeated by a concerted regional effort that will entail a public and long-term commitment to marginalising its ideology, stopping its sources of funding and foreign fighter pipeline, isolating it from Sunni tribal support and providing a counter-narrative to its hate-filled agenda……


An Indian Perspective: How ‘Democratic’ Is Pakistan?
Sanjay Kumar

Imran Khan would like the world to believe that the upheaval in the Islamic state is a spontaneous overflow of the pent up feelings of the people of Pakistan. He would like his countrymen and the world to believe that what he is doing is in the larger interest of the country and democracy……


The Moderates, the Orthodox and the Radical Extremists
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Islam is the second largest religion in the world. It is also said to be the fastest growing. Muslims are in the majority in over 50 counties. And though Muslims are united in the core belief of One God, there are many internal differences in practices, and interpretations....

Related Articles:

Thought Control, Psychology of Totalism- A case of Wahhabi-inspired Terrorism-Part 1

Understanding Al Qaeda and the Talibani brand of cruelty: Escape from the Grand Inquisitor- Part 2

Morocco and Jordan Are Successful Arab Spring Models
Jamal Khashoggi

Dear Arab pessimist, don’t limit your observations to Iraq and Syria where there are floods of blood and hatred fragmenting both countries. Don’t limit your observation to Libya, which replaced its freedom and salvation from the dictator with chaos, conflicts and fighting between its rebels. Don’t limit your observations to Yemen, which lost its government. Look at Jordan and Morocco where there is hope and where reforms are paving the way for a better future, despite all the mayhem in the region……


Has Turkey Helped ISIL?
Emre Uslu

Turkish authorities and pro-government academics have been busy in recent days, visiting world capitals in an effort to convince them that Turkey has not provided assistance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces. This has been a nice effort, but it is far from convincing major foreign powers. Such efforts are nothing but a reflection of a state that was caught helping a brutal terror organization……

Imran Khan's Momentous Political Gamble
Nauman Sadiq, New Age Islam

Imran Khan's Momentous Political Gamble
Nauman Sadiq, New Age Islam

Before psycho-analyzing Imran Khan’s colourful personality and determining where does PTI stand in the Pakistani political spectrum- whether it’s a centre-left (liberal) or a centre-right (conservative) party - let us first draw a distinction between politics and culture. A democratic system of governance falls in the category of politics while liberalism as a value-system falls in the category of culture......

Iran and Its Sudden Defense of the Kurds
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

There has been news of Kurdish anger against Arabs and Arab governments, blaming them for the spread of ISIS. If this is true, it certainly expresses the Kurds’ ignorance of ISIS’ regional relations. Meanwhile, Iran’s rush to aid the Sunnis among Iraqi Kurds expresses Iran’s tripartite strategy towards Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Tehran wants to dominate the area to protect its influence in Baghdad…..


From Atatürk to Erdoğan
Mustafa Akyol

Why did Erdoğan draw this historical connection? One explanation is he had to give lip service to Atatürk, as every Turkish politician has to do, whatever his thoughts are. But still, this connection was something that went beyond lip service. Another explanation is Erdoğan turned into an “Atatürkist,” embracing all the policies and the ideological legacy of the Supreme Leader. But one must be quite naïve to think that way, because the ideological differences between Erdoğan and Atatürk are still all too obvious……


To Coup or not to Coup
Ayesha Siddiqa

The establishment and its many intellectual clients often refer to the Bangladesh model. What they often forget is that Dhaka’s political system or people’s choices did not change even with intervention. The challenges are far bigger than what some of the foreign qualified Chicago trained economists, commercial bankers or development gurus could manage to even understand. The US has some of the best universities but it has also produced experts that have often messed up with developing states rather than put things right. The question is can Pakistan afford such experimentation?...


Difference between Enemy and Combatant
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

.... the Quran distinguishes between an enemy, on the one hand, and a combatant, on the other. The Quran commands us that even if an individual or a group appears to be one’s enemy, one should still maintain good relations with them. In this way, Dawah efforts can continue in a balanced and proper manner. Obviously, then, apparent enmity must not be allowed to become a barrier in the way of interaction, because it is through interaction that Dawah efforts can continue to be made—and Dawah efforts have the power to turn even enemies into friends.....


Testing Times for Kazakhstan
Erlan Idrissov

Like Indonesia, Kazakhstan is also a place of religious tolerance and freedom. On the Great Silk Road between Asia and Europe, we have always been a meeting point of cultures, religions and civilizations. As the home of many ethnic and religious groups who live together in peace we are also as proud of our Islamic heritage as our reputation for religious freedom, tolerance and diversity....


What is an Indian Muslim?
Saif Shahin

Most Muslims turn to extremism because they see it as the “normal” or “natural” thing for a Muslim to do. They are wrong. But in suggesting that progressive Muslims’ condemnation of ISIS is not representative of the broad Indian Muslim community, we end up implying that they might be right—that extremism is indeed the norm among Muslims. Willy nilly, we start doing ISIS’s bidding……

An Islamist's Criticism of the AK Party
Ali Bulaç

It is a challenging task to elucidate the fact that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is not an Islamist party and does not pursue Islamist policies, and therefore the blame of its errors and mistakes cannot be attributed to Islam…..


Time to Face the ISIS Inside of Us
Elham Manea

ISIS "did not come from another planet," he said. "It is not a product of the infidel West or a bygone orient," he insisted. No, "the truth that we cannot deny is: ISIS learned from our schools, prayed in our mosques, listened to our media... and our religious platforms, read from our books and references, and followed Fatwas (religious edicts) we produced."….


The Caliphate Delusion: The Political Construct That Bears No Relevance in the Modern World
Ghaffar Hussain

Many of those taken in by Islamist propaganda in their youth grow up to reject it, just as most Trotskyists mature to realise a grand workers revolution won’t necessarily make the world a better place, save a small band of hard-core comrades who continue attending Socialist Worker rallies well into their 60s. I also grew up with the dawning realisation that the Islamist narrative was both historically inaccurate and politically illiterate….


From Kemalist Tutelage to Tutelage of Political Islam
Halil Bilecen

After experiencing several military coups since 1960, Turkey succeeded in reducing military tutelage of late. However, Turkey is now facing another form of tutelage: that of political Islam…..


Lahore, Ferguson and Toronto: Three Sides of the Same Coin
Murtaza Haider

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….


Can Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE Form Arab Security Alliance?
Wael Nawara

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.……


Hollowing Out the State in the Middle East
John Bell

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…..


Islam’s Dilemma over the Islamic State
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….


Why I Will not Attend 2014 ISNA, RIS Conferences
Tariq Ramadan

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….


Top 10 Mistakes of Former Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (That Ruined His Country)
Juan Cole

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…..

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