Islam and Politics
In recognition of these holy tasks, the TIB organized a meeting in Istanbul from July 17 to July 19, which was attended by representatives of religious organizations from conflict zones. Many Muslim scholars and the Ummah’s most prestigious intellectuals attended as well, in order to assert the values and morals of mutual coexistence….
Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury
For the first time, Afghanistan had a written democratic constitution that ensured peaceful and orderly transfer of power, recognised ethnic diversity, and ensured the rights of women, children and the disadvantaged. The country had three presidential and two parliamentary elections that saw good turnout despite threats from Taliban forces of attacking and disrupting the polling process…..
Yasser Latif Hamdani
The fratricidal Shia-Sunni war that is going on in Iraq and Syria is likely to expand to the greater Arab world with Lebanon being next on the list. Saudi Arabia and Iran will continue to fight their wars in other lands by proxy. The Arab Spring continues to destabilise the Arab world. Turkey’s short-sighted leader is more interested in re-establishing a Caliphate of his own and is not likely to step up to the plate. Afghanistan’s leaders are preoccupied with the implications of the US withdrawal. In Pakistan, we continue to kill Shias and Ahmedis.....
Is it necessary to remind us of what some Algerians did to Algeria or to other fellow Algerians; or to remind us of what some Egyptians did to Egypt or other Egyptians; or what some Sudanese did to Sudan, from Darfur to Juba; or what some Lebanese did to Lebanon, from Sidon to Beirut to Tripoli? I don't know but I remember how during my early years of political and academic work, I kept silent and never defied sayings like: "Noble resentment triggers revolutions." How can "resentment" be described as "noble?" No. Resentment is resentment and it can only produce the darkest of injustice…..
Like many post-colonial states, Pakistan was created first and imagined afterwards. In fact, the process of ‘imagining’ Pakistan continues to this day — particularly on Pakistani TV channels. History as a discipline has been instrumental in tracing the evolutionary process of Pakistan as a political imaginary. If the texts produced by the likes of Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi and Shaikh Muhammad Ikram are read dispassionately, one senses the past has been reconstructed just to suit the historical inevitability of a Muslim state in the North-West of India……
The $500 million in proposed U.S. aid would be almost what ISIS ran off with in its Mosul bank heist last month…..
The distinguished Israeli scholar Zeev Sternhell, reviewing the reactionary nationalist tide in his country, writes that “the occupation will continue, land will be confiscated from its owners to expand the settlements, the Jordan Valley will be cleansed of Arabs, Arab Jerusalem will be strangled by Jewish neighbourhoods, and any act of robbery and foolishness that serves Jewish expansion in the city will be welcomed by the High Court of Justice. The road to South Africa has been paved and will not be blocked until the Western world presents Israel with an unequivocal choice: Stop the annexation and dismantle most of the colonies and the settler state, or be an outcast.”....
is neither a stable country nor a democratic one, largely due to the
short-sighted meddling of Cameron and his allies who thought that democracy
would rapidly emerge once the dictatorship was overturned. Mirroring the
situation in Somalia, Libya now stands to become Africa’s latest failed
Oddly, however, no one reminds us that today’s carnage is an obscene replay — by both sides — of what has happened before, and indeed before that. The leftist Israeli historian Illan Pappe has recorded how on Dec 28, 2006, the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem reported that 660 Palestinians had been killed in that year alone, most in Gaza, including 141 children; and that since 2000, Israeli forces had killed almost 4,000 Palestinians with 20,000 wounded. But scarcely has there been a single mention of all of this in a single report on the latest slaughter in the Gaza war….
When Israel is on “good behavior,” more than two Palestinian children are killed every week, a pattern that goes back over 14 years. The underlying cause is the criminal occupation and the programs to reduce Palestinian life to bare survival in Gaza, while Palestinians are restricted to unviable cantons in the West Bank and Israel takes over what it wants, all in gross violation of international law and explicit Security Council resolutions, not to speak of minimal decency.....
What's happening in Iraq and Syria is not a conventional Shia-Sunni conflict. It is a case of motivated groups of wrongly indoctrinated fighters going out of control and playing havoc. They are killing Sunnis, Sufis, Shias and Christians. Their call for Caliphate is just a camouflage to spread Wahhabism in areas traditionally dominated by spiritually-oriented liberal Muslim sects…..
Societies provide oxygen for Islamists to grow in their midst. The liberal atmosphere of Britain, notably in institutions like the London School of Economics, over past decades offered sanctuaries for Islamists, considering their arguments as legitimate politics against imperialism. Saudi Arabia is bankrolling Wahhabism across the world. Pakistani society has been transformed into a 24x7 seminary for nurturing arguments favourable to jihadists and fatal to Muslim reformists. Under Saudi-Pakistani influence, now the Maldivian society is being transformed on a jihadist path….
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have denounced the murders. But with Jewish teenagers marching through Jerusalem and calling for revenge, and Palestinian teenagers rioting in West Bank villages, the condemnations have so far felt impotent. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is now 79 years old. Netanyahu is 64. Each has spent almost a decade in power (Netanyahu’s terms haven’t been consecutive). There is a limit to how long they can retain control over their young and increasingly restless populations. The median age in Israel is 29.9. In the West Bank, it’s 22.4. In Gaza, 18.2.....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
Watching Israel’s reign of terror return to Gaza once again with full vindictive force over the past few days though, targeting a helpless, defenceless civilian population for the zillionth time while the world stands and stares, one tends to join people like Ahmadinejad in their wishful thinking......
If the central government fails to grant satisfactory concessions to Sunnis and Kurds, the Kurds will push for sovereignty and independence. The Kurds are serious, and the international community must adapt to this emerging reality. While all Iraqi leaders bear responsibility for resolving the current crisis, the greatest share lies with the country’s Shiite politicians…..
The entire episode, particularly after its grim ending, seemed to traumatize Israelis into ignoring harsh truths about the settlers and the militarization of their society. For instance, one of the three has since been accused of humiliating Palestinian prisoners, while another was reportedly an occupation soldier. Amid a portrayal of the three as hapless youths, although one was a 19-year-old soldier, commentators have failed to provide badly needed context to events. Few, if any, assigned the blame where it was most deserved – on expansionist policies which have sown hatred and bloodshed…..
"It would have simply been the end of state sovereignty had the authorities bowed to this demand. The leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood must have anticipated the rejection of the authorities and they knew they were bringing things towards a deadlock."…..
The new caliph presents Muslims with a choice to accept him or be assumed apostate and so, liable to be killed. This has precedence in medieval Europe, rather than in Muslim history. A medieval Christian king would declare cuius regio, eius et religio or to whom belongs the realm also belongs the religion, requiring subjects to accept his religion, leave or be killed……
The three Israeli boys were kidnapped on June 12, one day after ISIL raided the Turkish Consulate General in Mosul and captured 49 people, including the consul general; it has been a month in captivity as of yesterday. Was there a link between the two provocative actions in two days? It is hard to tell now. But the events have started to unfold in an inflammable manner afterwards. Iraqi Kurds have captured the other oil-rich city of Kirkuk, ISIL has shortened its name to Islamic State (IS), only claiming control over parts of both Syria and Iraq and declared its leader Abu Bakr el-Baghdadi the new Caliph of “all Muslims” on June 24….
Israel could send Gaza back to whichever age it wishes. Its military advantage, its general dominance, over the Palestinians has never been greater since 1948. But it chooses otherwise. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s talk of a ground invasion is empty. The last thing Israel wants, short of a cataclysm, is to go into Gaza and get stuck…..
Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein's monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open. As Kurdish-held border crossings fall to ISIS, Turkey will find it has a new neighbour of extraordinary violence, and one deeply ungrateful for past favours from the Turkish intelligence service.....
It would be naive to think that the two Kurdistans on the southern borders of Turkey and a second Saudi Arabia in the same area will not affect Turkey. This refers to a probable Afghanisation of Iraq after Syria and Pakistanisation of Turkey. When will the Turks who have been bystanders to the developments so far wake up to the realities?....
The government argued that the word is unique to Islam, and restricted its use to Muslims. This goes against the established fact that non-Muslims have used the word “Allah” since time immemorial in the Middle East and other parts of the Islamic world. Few were surprised by the ruling. Christians and other minorities in Malaysia knew that the issue was not really about the usage of the word “Allah,” but rather a show of political force about who really rules the country…..
A mix of ruthlessness, astute publicity and clever tactics has allowed SIC to punch above its strength, estimated anywhere between 7,000-20,000 fighters. Its expansion in both Iraq and Syria has followed a pattern. Potential allies such as tribal groups and local militias are wooed with cash, guns and promises. Leaders who resist pledging allegiance, as well as allies who have served their purpose, are then targeted for assassination……
"The interior ministry is reinforcing the Zawiyah to eliminate Wahabism,” he says. “Thanks be to God, the Sufis are strong here.” Morocco’s Sufi revival is likely to mean Sufis will play a growing role not only in national political life, but also as a tool for furthering Morocco’s regional, and even international, influence……