Books and Documents

Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

Qatif is the Pride of Saudi Arabia
Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

The people of Qatif enjoy the love and respect of all the people in the Kingdom. Thus, it would be impossible for the IS or any other terrorist outfit or country to drive a wedge between Saudis. Sunnis or Shiites in the Kingdom are citizens enjoying equal rights and opportunities....


ISIS is Not Misleading Us through Media Disinformation
Diana Moukalled

ISIS is exactly as it presents itself: a blind killing machine whose violence and love for control has no limits. Yes, ISIS is launching a psychological and propaganda war and it’s succeeding at that. However this organization, which the entire world is supposed to be fighting, is still capable of expanding and achieving gains on ground....


I wanted to understand how European children were falling for this propaganda, and to grasp the mindset of soldiers who spent their days torturing, stealing, raping, killing, and their nights staring into their computers and bragging. Perhaps this man would give me an insight. For now, however, it was getting late, and my boyfriend, Milan, was due to come round....


Facing The Jihadist Challenge: Muslims Need To Refute Jihadis’ Xenophobic, Supremacist, Millenarian Thesis And Focus On Islamic Pluralism, Says Sultan Shahin At UNHRC In Geneva
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

Facing the brutalities of Islamist terror, while President Obama will not go beyond calling it violent extremism, the head of Sunni Islam's oldest seat of learning, Jamia al-Azhar admitted in a counter-terrorism conference in Mecca that extremism was caused by “corrupt interpretations of Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad”, and Islamic curriculums needed to change.

This call for reform, coming from Jamia Al-Azhar, is gratifying. But a half-hearted approach to reform will not work. The problems Muslims face are very basic and cannot be solved with mere tinkering with text-books. The global Muslim community will have to introspect. One question repeatedly asked, for instance, is about the contextual verses of the holy Quran that are utilised by Jihadists to brainwash our youth. Jihadists present these contextual verses as an eternal guide for Muslims.

One would imagine that the followers of Islam who believe, and many certainly do, that Islam is a religion of spirituality, peace, coexistence and tolerance, would be up in arms against the Islamic State. But while routine denunciations from some sections do come occasionally, there is no outrage visible in the Muslim society. The world cannot help noticing that while tens of thousands of Muslims come out on streets to demonstrate the moment there is an allegation of so-called blasphemy against any one, hardly any Muslim would protest at the myriad brutalities perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.

Clearly there is something wrong, some disconnect, some deeper and more complex phenomenon at work than what can be understood from a superficial look at the issue. Instead of expressing outrage, we find thousands of Muslim young men and women running from their comfortable homes, private schools and cushy jobs to fight and join in the brutalities of the so-called Islamic State. Some 12,000 Muslim young men and women are said to have joined so far from 80 countries……

Muslims Must Confront Islamist Terror Ideologically: An Islamic Reformation Required
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

We seem to be living in an era of Islamist terror. Massacre of journalists in Paris has followed the massacre of children in Peshawar. Thirteen years after 9/11, the world is facing a more complex, more diverse and more dangerous threat.  While the world has focused on fighting the terrorists militarily, the challenge of their ideological narrative has gone essentially unchallenged. ...

The malaise of Islam is clearly far deeper. The problems are basic, fundamental to Islam. But ulema, the supposed custodians of faith, continue to be in denial.

What does the larger society do? I think the world needs to first inform itself of what is going on within the Muslim community. We should have credible surveys to find out the extent of radicalisation, monitor Friday sermons, study text books of different madrasas, and  confront the ulema with the fundamental questions raised here. If the ulema really want to save Islam from being considered synonymous with terrorism, they should at least make the following commonsensical declarations, which are also consistent with the faith:

 1. Quran is a created book of God, not divine as God Himself;

2. contextual, particularly militant verses, in Quran are no longer applicable to Muslims;

3. Hadees is not an Islamic scripture a la Quran.

4. Shariah cannot be considered divine.

 What the ulema, intellectuals and politicians have done so far amounts to nothing more than a cosmetic endeavour; they have been hoping and perhaps praying that the issues will go away. But radicalism is deepening and intensifying. It is attracting more and more converts. 

So clearly Muslim theologians will need to go beyond superficial statements, walk further in the direction of rationality, prepare a coherent theology of peace and moderation and propagate it among masses, if they want Islam to survive as a moderate religion, a moral standard, and a spiritual path to salvation rather than allow Islamic scriptures to degenerate into terrorist manuals.

If the ulema do not agree to walk their peaceful talk, the larger society should encourage and support those few moderate, progressive Muslims who are willing to go out on a limb, perhaps  putting their heads on the chopping block in this process. This section should be able to go to the community directly, bypassing the ulema and campaign for sanity. 

Baghdadi, You Are Wrong
Mike Ghouse

Al-Baghdadi, the self proclaimed Caliph of ISIL released an audio message on May 14, misrepresenting the values dearly held by millions of Muslims for fourteen centuries. He said, "Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting” and added, “It is the war of Muslims against infidels....

Educated Militants
Huma Yusuf

In a Pakistani context, the obvious example is MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui. Militants ranging from Osama bin Laden to the Nigerian ‘underwear bomber’ have hailed from affluent families and earned college degrees before turning to jihad....


The Islamic State (IS) caliph’s recent remarks about the knowledge, competence and credentials of Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s caliph, have not merely spawned the strange scenario of two contending caliphs muddling the most flaunted Muslim concept of a single unrivalled Caliphate but are also feared to be fuelling fresh turf wars among terrorists trampling various regions....


Saudi Suicide Bombing: Shi'ite Stronghold Qatif was a Sunni Terrorist Target Waiting to Happen
Gianluca Mezzofiore

In Saudi Arabia, this tension has only been fuelled by the war in Yemen, which pits the Sunni Wahabbi Saudi government against the Shia Houthi rebels, who are widely perceived to be backed by Iran, the Shia powerhouse in the Middle East and Riyadh's main rival….


Rather than inducing panic in Western capitals, it should lead to a realistic assessment of the Islamic State’s strengths and weaknesses. One setback in a long war must not trigger hasty strategic shifts that lead to foreign countries’ becoming mired in Iraq once more….


An American in Mumbai
Khaled Ahmed

Nadir Soofi, a Pakistani American born to a conservative, religious Pakistani father from a “military family” and an American mother, was shot dead by Texas police as he and a friend were about to assault a “blaspheming” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas....


An ‘Indian Brother’ Finds Mention In Al-Qaeda Leader Osama Bin Laden’s Diary
Praveen Swami

Newly released documents recovered from Osama bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad show the al-Qaeda leader received multiple payments from an individual he identified as “the Indian brother in Madinah”....


In the West erroneous views are basically determined by the lack of knowledge of Jihad and its role for Muslims. Common myths about this noble practice are perceived as ‘holy war’: Islam is spread by force by sword or guns: it is wrongly equated with acts of violence/terrorism against civilians and suicide bombings: and Islam / Quran promotes clash of civilization….


The Washington Post wrote, “Attacks on progressive writers and critics of Islam are happening with increasing regularity in Bangladesh, where nearly 90 percent of citizens are Muslims. The country has a long tradition of official secularism — the principle was enshrined in the 1971 constitution (though that section was nullified between 1979 and 2010). But in periods of conflict, it also has a tradition of antagonism toward religion's most radical critics....

From Hip-Hop to Jihad, How the Islamic State Became a Magnet for Converts
Souad Mekhennet

She has told her parents that she is now the bride of a Dutch Moroccan national fighting for the Islamic State and that she spends most of her time learning Arabic and studying the Quran. Her parents now live for her texts, which come once a week at best, apparently during rare times when she has an Internet connection. She has relocated from place to place, her parents said, because of bombing campaigns. A photo that she recently sent them shows her in a flowing blue Niqab, in a room with a Middle Eastern-style wood-burning oven....


What Makes A Terrorist Or A Target Killer Tick: Can the Reason Be Found In Complex Socio-Political Analysis?
Nadeem F. Paracha

The largely perceived and indoctrinated memory of one’s parents being (willingly) taken for a ride by insincere politicians, infuriated many Mohajir youth who began to do what they thought their parents should’ve done. To some this also meant picking up a gun.....


Taliban Regrouping: Closer To Al Qaeda than To the Afghan Taliban, the TTP Is a Formidable Challenge for Islamabad and the Region
Manish Rai

The TTP is also now trying hard to initiate good relations with its previous affiliates like Harkatul Jihad Al Islami, the Qari Saifullah Akhtar Group, Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and some Chechen groups. Now the TTP’s core organisation is not a big group with its cadre at most at 5-7,000, which was about 25-30,000 when it was united under the strong leadership of Baitullah and Hakeemullah Mehsud.....


Islamic Jihad Is Reinventing Itself
Hani Albasoos

Eight years of Palestinian political division led by Fatah and Hamas had created a political vacuum. After many failed attempts by Arab states to mediate disputes, the PIJ emerged as a seemingly unlikely Palestinian interlocutor able to bring compromise and end the division. Since then, PIJ leaders have been holding continued talks with both Fatah and Hamas and convened seminars and workshops to stress the consequences of Palestinian discord…..

The Anatomy of a Terrorist
Dr. Maleeha Aslam

A link between “displaced aggression” and terrorism has also been postulated. Individuals joining the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Islamic State are assumed to be the ones testing out possibilities for personal mobility and avenues for exerting power. This however may be true for the young recruits but not necessarily the masterminds of these networks. Youth may use opportunities provided by terrorist networks as side-door entries into politics....


Open Societies, the Antidote to Middle Eastern Violence
David Ignatius

Young Jihadis are motivated by core “life questions” about meaning and belonging, by unresolved aggression toward authority figures, by attention-seeking and exhibitionism, more than by ideology, argues a UAE-based analyst who has been analyzing radicalization for more than a decade....


Taliban Fears over Young Recruits Attracted To Isis in Afghanistan
Emma Graham-Harrison

And while to outsiders they might seem united by an ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam, in fact they have serious religious differences. Most Taliban follow the Hanafi school; to the Salafi purists of Isis their beliefs are flawed....


Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan
Abdul Basit

The growth of extremism has marginalised moderate and sane voices in Pakistan. This is evident from the killing of former Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer, the Taliban assault on female education activist Malala Yousafzai and targeted assassinations of moderate Islamic scholars like Maulana Hassan Jan and Mufti Sarfraz Naeemi. Extremism has been further sustained by broken governance, widespread social injustices and the intellectually stagnant Madrasa (seminary) and public education system....



The kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram sparked outrage worldwide and the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign. Many of the girls were sold into slavery, prostitution, and forced marriages....


ISIS obviously drapes itself in a harsh brand of Islamic fundamentalism. But while the organization does have, among its founders and higher-ups, members with in-depth knowledge of the Muslim faith — albeit an interpretation of that faith that most Muslims find horrific — Atran said that the ins and outs of religious practice weren't a major motivating factor for the ISIS members he spoke with....


The Name-Changing Jihadi Terror Groups
Gwynne Dyer

Baghdadi declared himself caliph and, therefore, commander of all the world's Muslims. This was an extremely bold step, since those Muslims who hear the call of “Caliph Ibrahim” and do not submit to his authority — even fighters in other Jihadi organisations like the Al Nusra Front and Al Qaeda — are technically “apostates” and liable to death in the eyes of those who do accept his claim....


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  • Dear Ayesha, As-Salaam Alay-Kum First of all, I am impressed with your right to the point remark, “I know my Islam and my scriptures better than ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • I understand your concern Mr Listener, but I don't need your sympathy! Mr Naseer, instead of blaming Noor or any woman who writes on ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
  • "A poll conducted by Al-Jazeera’s Arabic News Desk revealed that a staggering 81% of Al Jazeera Arabic viewers support Islamic State victories in Syria ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Universl brotherhood based on a passion to do the right thing and to promote what is good and just is the true message of Islam.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yes dear Listener you are very right. But unless the women realize that the Quran and Sunna is in their favour, they will ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mohtrama, There is an article today in response to your statement: "The holy book also decrees that the testimony of a woman in a court of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Gender issues are very real. It is really sad that Muslim males (not all for sure) generally don't think it is important. Ignoring the ...
    ( By Listener )
  • Gender issues are very real. It is really sad that Muslim males (not all for sure) generally don't think it is important. Ignoring the ...
    ( By Listener )
  • It's not about disagreeing with Noor Zaheer janab!It's about the categorical usage of the word 'heresy'. I do have problems with Zaheer's s book ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
  • ما شا ء الله مقالة جيدة يستحق القراءة والنشر في الأوساط الإرهابية التي تنفذ الهجمات الانتحارية تحت شعار الدين
    ( By Abu Muhaiman )
  • This is the best chapter in the book.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ayesha Saheba, Heresy is not such a bad word nor even inappropriate for Noor Zaheer's book and why should I not criticise her if ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Waah Naseer sahab! If you agree that you acknowledge these problems are there so please let me know where lies the problem as well ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
  • Ayesha Hareem says: “While Mr Naseer seems to be ignorant or don't want to acknowledge the inequalities present in the Muslim community.” And goes ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • We must listen to the views of women writers such as Noor Zaheer. We must take them seriously. Zia's criticism of her book is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Giving up 'Ijtihad' is like giving up on Islam.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mr Ghulam Rasool has made an important point. While Mr Naseer seems to be ignorant or don't want to acknowledge the inequalities present in ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
  • Where Bush comes into the picture is in my comment. Since it is invisible to Mr Shahin, I repeat it:But let us not forget that ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Obviously not, Mr Shahin. It is just that Muslims only outrage when they are the targets, not the perpetrators. I would like this author ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Are you saying secularlogic that the genocide of the Yazidis in Sham, persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh, Christians in Egypt and Pakistan justifies the ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Would the author like to comment on the genocide of the Yazidis in Sham, Hindus in Bangladesh, persecution of Christians in Egypt and Pakistan.....
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Number of the Day: 82.3% of respondents to the Arabic language Al-Jazeera poll say they support the Caliphate known as The Islamic State. Over ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Mike is wrong on one count, though. He says Muslims challenge Baghdadi's lunatic message. We must be living on different planets. I haven't seen ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • I don't understand Naseer Saheb, where does Bush enter the picture in this discussion. George W. Bush maintained even on 9/11, the day Islamist ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Perhaps the Rohingyas can be re-settled in islamic bangladesh , where a space has been created by ethnic cleansing the Hindu population, from 28% ...
    ( By barani )
  • Yes, we should capture and put Al Baghdadi on trial and execute him. But let us not forget that Bush is the greater villain ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Urdu Daily editor's jibe at Mufti Ismail is for the wealth he made for himself when he was MLA from 2009 to 2014 ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • thanks for this article. it reflects a certain commitment as well as scholarship
    ( By yogi )
  • I'm happy to see someone stands up to these muftis and mullahs. No one would say that a PhD is necessarily also a moral ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • It's not bad idea to openly discuss and debate these issues of paramount importance. But making mockery of the Qur'anic verses without even reading ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Heresy based on Hearsay is a very accurate description of the book and Zia-us-Salam's criticism is both fair and accurate. Noor Zaheer is without a ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Waheeduddin Khan KI Gumrahiyan By Shaikh Muadh Omeri https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=CNI72 twdqy4
    ( By Iqbal )
  • Waheeduddin Khan KI Gumrahiyan By Shaikh Muadh Omeri https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=CNI72 twdqy4
    ( By Iqbal )
  • Mohammed Ismail is a politician today and like most politicians, corrupt. The Editor of Bedar has done the right thing by seeking his expulsion ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Please do not do the thing which defames Islam and Muslims.
    ( By Hammad Ansari )
  • In the name of Allah the most Gracious and most merciful May 25, 2015 Galib Ramathan 1626 Weston Road Unit B1 Toronto, Ontario, M9N 1T9, Canada Tel: (416) 901-1168 ...
    ( By Galib Ramathan )
  • Amazing report! Unbelievable. Can Muftis from Deoband behave in this fashion?
    ( By Azharuddin )
  • The author makes some basic and sensible points.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Nice study of the situation in Bangladesh
    ( By Shadaab Saaquib )
  • Rational,What the ISIS is doing is not proof of contradictions in the Quran.You have lost your nerve on the strange case of Prophet Yunus ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )