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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

Follies of Denial: Jihad and the Islamic State
Ida Lichter, M.D

Western leaders who deny the religious foundation of the jihadist group Islamic State are blind to its raison d'être, which is firmly grounded in Islamic texts and the concept of offensive jihad. Furthermore, models for militias such as Islamic State can be found in historic and contemporary jihads....

 

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. 

Are Syrian Islamists Moving To Counterbalance Al-Qaeda? Will It Last?
Charles Lister

This latter alliance with Jabhat al-Nusra has been a consistent facet of insurgent dynamics in Syria, but not only in terms of conservative Salafist groups like Ahrar al-Sham. In fact, while rarely acknowledged explicitly in public, the vast majority of the Syrian insurgency has coordinated closely with Al-Qaeda since mid-2012 – and to great effect on the battlefield. But while this pragmatic management of relationships may have secured opposition military victories against the regime, it has also come at an extraordinary cost. The assimilation of Al-Qaeda into the broader insurgency has discouraged the U.S. and its European allies from more definitively backing the ‘moderate’ opposition. That, by extension, has encouraged the intractability of the conflict we see today and the rise of jihadist factions like Jabhat al-Nusra, IS, and many others....

 

Combat Radical Ideologies by Mobilising the Muslim World
Samar Fatany

Religious extremism and militant ideology are the two greatest challenges that the nation of Islam faces today. Researchers believe that Muslim scholars with hard-line views still play a pivotal role in misguiding our youth and allowing them to be easily recruited by militants and terrorist organizations…..

So, by assembling and defeating ISIS decisively at Dabiq, we would defeat them not only in actuality, but in appearance; we would be crushing their very Souls, because if it has been preordained by Allah that they are to be victorious against the 'armies of Rome' in this location, but instead are defeated….

 
Modern Mongols of Iraq
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Modern Mongols of Iraq
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Marx said history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce. In its long history, Iraq, the cradle of civilisation, has seen enough of both. It is said that when the Mongols ransacked Baghdad, the seat of Islamic caliphate and a great centre of learning and civilisation, the city’s fabled rivers turned dark......

 

The White House dissented against the Coptic identity of those killed by Islamic State, with a statement describing the victims as “Egyptian even in their deaths, their identity was to be buried. For unbeknown to the White House, they were merely echoing a deep Egyptian tradition that sought to bury any trace of the Coptic identity….

 

This ideology bears striking resemblances to some factions of Wahhabi and Salafi thoughts, which have been the main interpretations of Islam promoted both domestically and internationally by Saudi Arabia......

Sufis Don’t Have A Pope Or Ayatollahs, But They Have Poets: Speak!
Farrukh Dhondy

The deafening silence, which I personally regret comes from two sources. The first is a limited but necessary voice: that of the majority of immigrant Muslims who live and work and adapt to Europe. The second, much more universally significant, is the voice and opinion, for want of a better word, of Sufi Islam. Sufis don’t have a pope or ayatollahs, but they have poets. Speak!....

 

Root Cause Must Be Understood First To Counter Violent Extremism
Harun Yahya

In the fight against ideological groups, threatening their interests or their members with death has always had an opposite effect. The only way of eliminating a false ideology is by teaching a true one…..

 

Islamic State: The Pushback

The caliphate brings grandeur and a certain authority, even though the vast majority of Muslims repudiate it. Territory provides resources. But the needs of a statehood that has to be expansionist make continued success harder.....

 

Unfortunately the terrorists are still in our midst. They are posed to attack at any time. This requires us to be very alert; we need to understand that these terrorists are not alone. They have partners who are also determined to destroy our lands, through a plan drawn up to thwart Kurdish progress as much as possible…..

 

The War against Islamic State: The Caliphate Cracks

IS differs from jihadist groups that have gone before, including its parent, al-Qaeda. It is uniquely brutal in its treatment of foes and uniquely competent as a propagandist. But what most sets it apart is its claim to have restored the Islamic caliphate. ....

 

‘Islamic State’ as a Western Phenomenon
Ramzy Baroud

No matter how one attempts to wrangle with the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) rise in Iraq and Syria, desperately seeking any political or other context that would validate the movement as an explainable historical circumstance, things refuse to add up…..

 

Child Soldiers Of IS: Is IS Trying To Create A Society That Has A Distinct Taste For Conflict And Killing
Diana Moukalled

But I believe this satanic organization has sown the seeds of its own destruction; it will not last for long, and there will come a day when it will meet its sorry end. But what of the long-term repercussions of its actions, particularly when it comes to the children affected by them? What about the long-term effects of this psychology of violence which these children have inherited......

 

Islamist's View of Islam and State: A Counter Narrative Is a Must
Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef, New Age Islam

However, it is necessary to realize that the distorted interpretation of religion and not religion as such, is the cause of this situation. In fact, this situation is the outcome of so-called Islamism, being taught in our seminaries and propagated by so-called Islamic movements and political and religious parties……

Jihadists Cherry-Picking Qur’anic Verses to Defame Islam, Qur’an and Jihad, Says Sunni-Sufi Cleric Maulana Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi While Planning an Anti-Terrorism Conference

Maulana Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi said that “an obnoxious concept of Jihad is created by the mischievous elements through misinterpreting and cherry-picking Qur’anic verses and injunctions, with an aim to defame Islam, Qur’an and Jihad” Some misguided Muslim youths in different parts of the world wrongly but quite boldly attribute their militant goals and violent acts to Jihad”. He lamented that as a result, any act of terrorism perpetrated in India or any part of the world today is conflated with Islam and Muslims in common....

The liberal-Left’s response to a string of events across the world — the attack on a cultural centre in Copenhagen for hosting a debate on Islam and blasphemy, the attack on Charlie Hebdo cartoonists for ‘insulting the Prophet,’ the flogging of liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and the anti-Islam protests in Germany — exposes the cracks in its discourse surrounding violence perpetrated by religious zealots.....

 

Young Minds Need Truth about Jihad to Prevent another Jake Bilardi
Angela Shanahan

There is a world of difference between someone caught up in fundamentalist Islam, after going through the mill of unemployment, drug use, crime, then choosing to join Islamic State, and someone who is a bright but lonely maths nerd with an interest in current affairs.....

 

That’s What Happens When Your Militancy Landscape Consists of Three Halves
Cyril Almedia

Just as Lakhvi is being ushered out of his pen, the Afghan Taliban, we are told, are being herded towards the negotiating table. And in the middle of all of that the anti-state/anti-Pakistan militants are being pounded away at.....

 

ISIS Beheading Islam through Its Actions!
Hatem Bazian

To claim this destruction is intended to protect Muslims from "shirk" - associating anything with God - implies that Muslims are so fickle in their theological understandings that they are unable to distinguish between history and human contributions that would cause them to easily fall into major sin by taking these statues as partners to God…..

Federally Administered Tribal Areas: Exercises in Futility
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Terrorism and the disproportionate use of force by the state have caused massive collateral damage to property (and to life) in other tribal agencies as well. In August 2014, a damage need assessment survey carried out under the supervision of the FATA FDMA revealed that over 60,000 houses had been damaged in Orakzai, Khyber, South Waziristan and Kurram agencies......

 

Muslim Critique of IS Ideology
Hazim Fouad

First of all, jihad as a term may not be used when fighting other Muslims. Second, it remains a communal obligation and not an individual one, despite claims made by Jihadi ideologues such as Abdallah Azzam. The letter also highlights the dual nature of jihad, referring to a well-known Hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad said after coming home from a battle: “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.”…

Satirists, Led by Muslims, Find Much to Mock in ISIS
Assia Labbas

The parody is one in an expanding universe of sometimes funny, sometimes tasteless and almost always provocative send-up’s of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, that have proliferated across the Internet in recent months. At the risk of offending sensibilities by searching for humour in the horrific, many also aim to cut the extremists down to size......

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Mr Yunus, Thank you for your intervention on the idol worship issue. I have indeed not declared myself an idol worshipper. But I come from a ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Why are so few Hindu religious leaders campaigning loudly against this demeaning and unhealthy job assigned to the lowest castes?   Untouchability, manual scavenging and dry latrines may ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Mr Yunus,Your explanation of the last line of the Surah Fatiha sounds really acceptable. But the question is:1. Do all Muslims understand it that way? ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • @Mr Yunus and Mr ObserverPermit me to club my response to your patient explanations as there is considerable overlap in the issues involved.If I ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Dear Observer,Point taken!You may read my comments to Siraj that has our explanation on why people entered Islam in hordes and even delegations came ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Siraj SbI have complemented Observer for his approach. I fully agree with him that they were relevant for the Meccan period as the ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Secular Logic,I just saw your comment to me as I had been busy drafting some critical comments already posted, Besides, I am not ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Subject: INNAHU KAANA TAWWAABA   As-Salaam Alay-Kum   With all the most valuable contributions coming forth from Muhammad Yunus Saheb and Naseer Ahmed Saheb, I personally ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • The following article completely demolishes the statement made in the comment section in this thread that implied that all non-Muslims hate or at least dislike ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Excellent selection of quotes to make a very valid point!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Subject: “The Pursuit of Goodness”   Good Afternoon Mike,   As-Salaam Alay-Kum   First of all, I am delighted to hear that you are heading towards Aligarh ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • The need is to defeat Saudis to bring back peace in the region. How is this going to happen is another subject. 
    ( By sadaf )
  • Siraj,I am not speculating when I say that the stories of the prophets Yusuf and Yunus (pbut) are found in the Meccan Surahs and ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Muhammad Yunus Sb,In your article you have mentioned Thomas Carlyle talking about tiresome repetitions in the Quran.Observer' article brings out which of the stories ...
    ( By siraj )
  • As far as the translation of verse 1 Surah An-Nasr is concerned, many of the translators have translated  "Fatah" as Victory (Maulana, Rashad, SherAli, ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Dear Muhammad Yunus and the Editor,The article can be corrected to read:“Once the “The Chiefs of Unfaith” died or were killed in battle or ...
    ( By Observer )
  • My guess as follows: 1. Badr - 30 dead 20 wounded2. Uhud - 45 - ok3. Battle of Trench - a hundred or two from ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Observer,Thanks!Don't forget that Hazrat Umar was a bitter enemy of the Prophet before conversion to Islam.Will greatly appreciate if you put the revised ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Muhammad Yunus,Thanks for your comment.If none were executed after the fall of Mecca and before the amnesty period of 4 months, I have ...
    ( By Observer )
  •   Dear Muhammad Yunus, My responses to your clarifications:   1.        The statement: “The Meccans could not point out to active opponents of the new faith among” under the heading, ‘The ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Dear Observer,Excellent article. Great effort. You have captured the major events through the Qur'anic allusions - an approach adopted in our work that is ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • In the 21st century, in this Information Technology, the dissemination of Islamic knowledge, there is an urgent need to examine the authenticity of all ...
    ( By Ibrahim B Syed )
  • Hindus did no wrong to Buddhists. Muslims did no wrong to non Muslims. Christians did no wrong to Muslims and pagans. All are trying to ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Hindus did no wrong to Buddhists. Muslims did no wrong to non Muslims. Christians did no wrong to Muslims and pagans. All are trying to ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Observer, Here are four comments for your kind attention and necessary correction/ rephrasing as warranted:Comment-1  The statement, “the total number of Meccans killed in this battle ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • How can you change something without honestly understanding its past? The system he credits to Nanotawi and those preceded before him did not produce ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • It is good . We should selebratle Friday like eid .
    ( By mohd Sarfraz )
  • As far as being clean/unclean is concerned, it has nothing to do with religion. I take the verse in its historical context as referring to a ...
    ( By Observer )
  • GRD and GG sahebaan don't think so. they are too scholars of Islam and are Sufis or inclined to Sufism.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Ekhlaq Ahmad - 3/27/2015 10:32:59 AMFirst of all i am your brother in humanity if you value humanity over religion. I ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • The number of references to idol worship is not many in the Quran. Except for one stand-alone verse, every other reference to idol worship is only ...
    ( By Observer )
  • LodhiaDo you think the Moderator Sultan Saheb is not enough honest in dealing with these two bad apples on his forum?Are you a single ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Observer,Congratulations for undertaking an exercise that must have taken you at least a decade – assuming you covered the entire period of revelation drawing on ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • If Muslims can pray to dead saints and consider the shrine full of blessings why non-Muslims can't consider idols God.the fact is idols are ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • "Idolators are unclean" let us accept the Quran talks about spiritual uncleanness not physical one. even then the problem doesn't end here. the fact ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Comment-2,Closing down of mosques suspected of harboring terrorist does not mean that the religion of Islam promotes terrorism. Even in the Prophet's era the Muslims ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • It is indeed true that the "Muslim extremists have nothing to do with Islam the religion" as much as the Serbs who bayoneted their ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Well researched article.I endorse the statements:"If we piece together the evidence, the Hadith collections served the purpose of the corrupt Abbassid caliphs, the elite ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Sadaf,You stumble in your argument with Secular Logic. I don't remember whether he ever said that he took stones for God but even ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Good Morning Sultan Shahin Saheb,   As-Salaam Alay-Kum   As a respected and honorable Muslim, along with being a founder and editor of New Age Islam forum, you have ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )