Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

Striking a Balance: Crushing ISIS vs. Boosting Assad
Brooklyn Middleton

The only way the U.S. and Arab states can maintain the sure to be tenuous gains made against ISIS is to empower rebels already on the ground. Saudi Arabia’s serious efforts to train moderate rebels to battle both ISIS and the Syrian military must be backed entirely. At the same time, the FSA should be made a key player in the already formed coalition against ISIS……


Abbas Should Resort To International Law
Rami G. Khouri

Abbas specifically wants the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that would establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza within three years. If that does not fly, he wants the United States to revive bilateral negotiations that would see Israelis and Palestinians focus immediately on the borders of a new Palestinian state. If this approach does not succeed, Abbas also threatens to sign the statutes of the International Criminal Court and take the Palestine state case there. He would reportedly delay this if major European powers recognize the state of Palestine……


Turkey — A Unique Member of NATO
Harun Yahya

Over the time it has become obvious that Turkey does not agree with the western policies toward the Middle East and does not trust the West in this regard. The reason behind this distrust is the West’s policy of searching for solutions using only military means, which has so far miserably failed in stopping the bloodshed……


China at a Crossroads in Gilgit-Baltistan
Senge Sering

With large outcry in Pakistan against recent Palestinian killings, one wonders at the nation’s pronounced silence on the continued Uighur genocide in China’s restive Xinjiang Province. This absence of protest by Pakistan on Muslim oppression in China is not without reason. China is Pakistan’s major defence and trade ally. China has major investments in much of the country including the UN-declared disputed region of Gilgit-Baltistan which borders Xinjiang.....


Lawless in Libya: Entire Country Has Become a Battlefield and the West Has Washed Its Hands of the Disaster That It Contributed To Create
Vijay Prashad

The NATO war destroyed Libyan institutions, and produced in a flash a failed state. The repercussions have been severe for the Libyan people. There is no silver lining here. The West has washed its hands of the disaster that it contributed to create—and has refused at all costs to allow a U.N. investigation into the war itself. Regional actors have no political path for stability. They have turned to their armies…..


Dr Mohammed Najibullah: the Afghan Prometheus

The Pakistani security establishment did not want the Afghan Prometheus out alive. He had withstood the combined Pakistani-Arab-US onslaught through Afghan rebels and Arab mercenaries even after the Soviet withdrawal. In fact, Dr Najibullah inflicted the most humiliating defeat on the ISI-backed Mujahideen in the March 1989 battle of Jalalabad after the Soviet pullout. But the Pakistani junta was perhaps more wary of Dr Najibullah’s Afghan nationalist credentials and a larger than life stature that he had attained on both sides of the Durand Line after the Soviet departure. His opponents knew that, if left alive, Dr Najibullah would continue to stand resolutely against Pakistani meddling in Afghanistan…..


Is It Saudi Arabia Or Egypt That Lies In The Crosshairs Of The IS?
Hasan Kanbolat

As it is, the IS is already talking of conquering Saudi Arabia. It has declared the Saud family itself infidels. It has already openly said that one of its goals is to “use the stones in Mecca to kill those praying there, and to destroy the Kaa’ba, which is being prayed to instead of God.” And so it is that the real target in front of the IS is not Baghdad but rather Riyadh. The West does not wish to see the IS spread from Iraq (and Yemen) towards Saudi Arabia…..


ISIL Release Does Not Seem To Be an ‘Operation’
Günay Hilal Aygün

“There is no operation.” After expressing his satisfaction with the return of the Turkish hostages and the fact that their captivity is finally over, Avcı asked, “What about the other side of the coin?” According to Avcı, we should question what exactly is behind the release of the hostages. Pointing out that a rescue operation -- which is how Erdoğan labelled the event -- is pretty different than what Prime Minister Davutoğlu described as a result of "contacts,”……


Counterterrorism Fatigue in Indonesia
Noor Huda Ismail

The BNPT understands the need to prevent the spread of radical ideas among young people, particularly at risk groups, which is why the agency has launched a massive campaign to fight radical narrative in which it will host a series of talk shows featuring repented jihadists such as Nasir Abbas….


Muslim Separatists and the Idea of an ‘Islamic’ State
Amina Wadud

This is only to assert that the actions that they have been performing exceed even the recommendations about how to engage with an enemy in battle; where all the sources of Islam first demands that war itself has to be declared and respect for prisoners of war and non-combatants is paramount.  This sweep of ISIS across Iraq killing non-Muslims who never declared war, including journalists- to say nothing of killing other Muslims in mass genocide- cannot be connected to any evidentiary base within Islam……

Palestine Is More Than a Wailing Nightingale
Ramzy Baroud

As a Palestinian Gaza refugee from a simple peasantry background, I was raised to believe that Al-Nakhwa was an essential component of one’s Arab identity. Together with Al-Rojoula — “manhood/fortitude/heroism” — Al-Karm — “generosity” — Al-Karama — “dignity” — and Al-Sharaf — “honour” — were all indispensable tenants in the character of any upright person. The alternative is unthinkably shameful……


The basic issue involved holistic education, as best expressed in Thomas Jefferson’s statement, “No nation can remain free unless its citizens are properly educated.  Proper education consists in teaching and learning virtue.  And no nation can remain virtuous unless both the personal and public lives of the individual are infused with awareness and love of Divine Providence”, which was a theist term (as contrasted with deism) back then for God as Muslims understand it. Unfortunately, even the best philosophers have a streak of hypocrisy. ……


Unrest in Yemen: Houthis Get Huffy

Yemeni officials are suspicious that the Houthis have bigger goals in mind. The government has been negotiating with the Houthis since August, but every time the group is offered a deal, their leaders increased their demands, says a senior official close to Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the president. When talks failed earlier this year, Houthi fighters arrived in the capital. “They don’t want a political solution,” says the official. “They want a state within a state, like Hizbullah,” he says, referring to the powerful Shia movement in Lebanon……


The Dependency of an Islamic State on Sharia
Nurrohman Syarif

….the Prophet is basically a moral and spiritual leader. Although many experts acknowledge Muhammad as a prophet and statesman, such as evidenced by his effort to make common ground with a plural society in the “Medina constitution” issued in his lifetime, Muhammad’s involvement in state affairs was not his main mission. He admitted himself that he was sent to perfect morality. In the history of Islam, Islamic law is developed by experts or Islamic jurists privately and independently. Therefore it is not surprising that Islamic law is diverse, depending on the schools of law and their respective methodology…..

State and Utopia: Are Democracies Collapsing In Asia?
Khaled Ahmed

Goodness is defined on the basis of religious rituals. In the Khyber tribal agency, a warlord called Mangal Bagh coerces you into being good by burning your house if you don’t say Namaaz five times a day in a mosque. This is the “Amr” (enforce good) of Islamic law. The other tenet, called “Nahi” (forbid bad), is democratic and modern, but becomes discriminatory when the law of evidence is applied to women and non-Muslims. Pakistan has both “Amr” and “Nahi”. It can’t protest much about the democracy it can’t have….


Is Egypt Doomed to Autocracy?
Alaa Al Aswany

Islamist extremists, certainly, do not believe in democracy. The global Islamic Liberation Party (also known as Hizb ut-Tahrir) argues that there are several fundamental points of incompatibility between Islam and democracy. Most Islamist extremists share this view; the moment they take power, they will establish a quasi-fascist theocracy.....


The World’s First Christian Imams
Burak Bekdil

It is more than relieving that we have a prime minister who thinks he can end the half-century-long dispute over Cyprus just by having a spot of tea with his Greek counterpart on both sides of the divided island. Why did the whole world not think of this before?....

Is Democracy Consistent With Islam?
Nauman Sadiq, New Age Islam

Is Democracy Consistent With Islam?
Nauman Sadiq, New Age Islam

Democracy is like a school and people are like children. We only have two choices. One, keep the people under the paternalistic dictatorships. Two, enrol them in the school of representative democracy and let them experience democracy as a lived reality rather than some stale, sterile theory. The first option will only produce half-witted dwarfs. But the second option will produce an educated human resource that doesn’t just consume resources but also creates new resources. We are on a historic juncture in the Middle East and North Africa in particular and the Islamic world in general. This is the beginning of a new era. This is the beginning of an Islamic Renaissance and Enlightenment.....

Islam and Democracy: Breaking Myths
International Imam Organization

“Real power does not hit hard, but straight to the point” is a popular Indonesian saying. Hitting straight to the point is the significance of Islam in Indonesian Politics. Islam and democracy are said to be in a relationship fraught with problems as Islam, allegedly does not allow secular law to be put above divine law. Unfortunately, there exists a fallacy of generalization that equates Islam to Arab culture. This identification of Arab culture to Islam has resulted in a misleading perspective that Muslim countries could not practice democracy and that Muslims cannot live under a democratic regime…

Love, Faith and Conversions
Mushirul Hasan

“If a modern Diogenes were to hunt out for Indians with his lantern,” wrote Syed Abdullah Barelvi, editor of the once renowned Bombay Chronicle, “he would be sure to come across fervid Hindus, bigoted Muslims and fanatical souls deeply engrossed with the problem of tirelessly finding out how unjustly their own particular community was being treated, and we would have to ask in sorrow: ‘Where are the Indians!’”……

Two Islams -- The Mangled-up and the Pristine
Mike Ghouse

The Islam that I have studied is based on the belief that God has created the entire universe in balance and harmony (Quran 55:4-13), and that each one of us has the responsibility to manage that balance between life and environment, and the balance within (physical and spiritual) through moderation, and balance with others (religious guidance and or civil laws). Anytime that balance is off, we will witness difficulties with our body, family, society and the environment…..

What’s next For Israel, Hamas, And Gaza?
Noam Chomsky

The disengagement was depicted as a noble effort to pursue peace, but the reality was quite different. Israel never relinquished control of Gaza and is, accordingly, recognized as the occupying power by the United Nations, the U.S., and other states….


The idea that Muslim boys feign love to seduce hapless Hindu girls and forcibly convert them to Islam has gained traction in communities already simmering with mutual mistrust. Muslims have accused Hindu organisations of drumming up the issue of forced conversion of Hindu women in a dangerous bid to divide the electorate along religious lines….

Harper Was Right - Islamism Is a Threat
Tarek Fatah

No one could’ve imagined three years ago that the forces of Islamism would gain such strength that they would carve out an “Islamic State” of their own, butcher thousands, and pose such a threat to the rest of the world that NATO has finally met to discuss how to fight the ogre that threatens our civilization. In the 13 years since 9/11, tens of thousands have died, over a trillion dollars have gone down the drain and we are today worse off than we were on the day the twin towers fell in New York.....

9/11 after 13 Years: Millions of Muslims Have Paid For This Lie with Their Lives
Paul Craig Roberts

Millions of Muslims have paid for this lie with their lives, the destruction of their families, and with their dislocation. Most Americans remain comfortable with the fact that their government has destroyed in whole or part seven countries based on a lie Washington told to cover up an inside job that launched the crazed neoconservatives’ drive for Washington’s World Empire.....

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