Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
A Helpless World against a Group of Bigots
Brig Gen Shahedul Anam Khan ndc, psc (Retd)
Brig Gen Shahedul Anam Khan ndc, psc (Retd)
One wonders why
the Jihadis tend to become more active during Ramadan. Only a few days ago,
they had urged their followers 'to make Ramadan a month of calamities for the
non-believers', but their targeting a Shia mosque in Kuwait suggest that it is
not only the 'non-believers' that they are after and that they have extended
the scope of the definition of 'non-believers' and have taken the war to the
doors of those they consider as apostates.....
Sreeram Sundar Chaulia
caliphate’s so-called Quranic rule is more repressive than what Sunnis
currently endure in authoritarian countries, but it offers a mythical release
from daily problems by preaching that a ‘pure’ religious state is infallible
since God is on its side. Its devilish birthday resolution will be to enjoy
many happy returns by ensuring that the three crises of geopolitics,
masculinity and governance are perpetuated......
The blowback by
entrenched interests in Syria and Egypt against popular Arab revolutions
destroyed governance and societal cohesion, resulting in internecine
bloodletting, rule by warlords and radical Islamic groups like the IS, al-Qaeda
and its clones, the redrawing of borders and the breakdown of the region’s
tolerant cultural ethos....
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.
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……
caliphate that Baghdadi in his black turban and robe declared in Mosul last
year is one by-product of the disintegration of the nation state in Iraq and
Syria. The Iraq war in 2003 and the deeply flawed Debaathification policy that
the U.S. executed in Baghdad thereafter was the kiss of death for the Iraqi
state that we knew since 1958. In more than one way, dissolving the Iraqi army
was a recipe for the rise of sectarian militias on all sides of the Iraqi
spectrum: Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni....
Robert D. Crane
resulting desperation among large numbers of the younger generation, including
some in America, has impelled them to join a utopian movement to destroy the
existing world of the “One Percent” by creating what now has become known as
the oxymoronic Islamic State or Da’esh.
It will be
difficult to challenge ISIS without the participation of all countries in the
region, including conflicting governments and the existing international
coalition. It will be very difficult as long as Washington remains unable to
manage Baghdad’s orientations or to stop Iran. Without the criminalization of
sectarianism from both sides, the coalition will lack power. The clash between
the Gulf and Iran over Syria and Yemen is complicating the situation....
targeting secular bloggers, in the real and virtual worlds; because they are
alarmed by the latter’s growing popularity. Bloggers led the Shahbagh movement
and have secured their position in the national mindscape. Killings of and threats to secular bloggers,
by religious extremists in Bangladesh, have once again proved the links between
the virtual world and real-time terror....
The experience of Britain’s suicide bombers shows how these men are full participants in the war engulfing Syria and Iraq. Over the past two years British fighters have tortured prisoners in their care, executed prisoners of war, beheaded journalists and aid workers, and participated in the revival of slavery. As this brutal nihilism has taken hold, some fighters, among them many Britons, have grown weary of its trajectory and left the conflict. Not so the suicide bombers. Theirs are the actions of the conscientious and committed....
One will note that most of them have the faces of children and have barely turned 18. Most are of an age at which a person’s awareness, convictions, beliefs and experience are still forming, let alone reaching maturity and firmness on intellectual issues and matters pertaining to Shariah, the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah, Ijtihad (independent reasoning using the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah) and other matters of faith....
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
It stretches belief to be told that half of Syria and over a third of Iraq has been taken over by militants who have disgraced the noble word ‘Caliphate’ that speaks of a Golden Age of pure Islam when scholars flocked to Baghdad’s ‘House of Wisdom’ to share their knowledge and Arabs led the world in the fields of science, mathematics, medicine, architecture, law and philosophy. The four Rightly Guided Caliphs, who followed in the footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH) must be turning in their graves....
Daesh is a far more sophisticated venture than Al-Qaeda ever was. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, its leader, has a PhD in Islamic history from the Islamic University of Baghdad. Ex Baathists in Saddam Hussein’s army (as I learn from a Reuters report) hold key positions in Daesh and there is an advisory council whose members run ministries very much as in a conventional government. It has ample revenues at its command (the same report citing a figure of 8-9 billions). Soldiers and officials in the Daesh structure are paid regular salaries – if I may point out, attractive by Pakistani standards....
This as laid out in Sharia law, as a precursor to the Islamic Armageddon enshrined in Hadith literature, based on Prophet Mohammed’s prophecy.In the wake of news reports about the British teen’s act of terror, another story emerged about three UK-based sisters taking their nine children and linking up with their brother inside Syria to join the ISIS jihad....
The Salafist movement started from Syria. The focus of the salafist moment is that there should be an Islamic society that ruled by Islamic laws. The Salafist moment gained significant attention among the Muslims in Arab world. The moment aspires that all the Muslims have to attempt to purify Islam and create a pure Muslims society....
Haftroza Nai Duniya argues that Islam did not spread by sword, though it uses at least four accompanying images in which a sword is shown as a weapon of glory, including one on the cover page. Worryingly, it goes on to justify the massacre of nearly a thousand Jews of Banu Quraiza on Prophet Muhammad's orders despite the fact the entire tribe had surrendered and desperately sent emissaries requesting safe passage and offering to leave behind their wealth....
ISIL has won if the standard is being able to impose brutal rule and hold territory. ISIL certainly thinks it has won. It hasn't won in the most crucial of ways. It hasn't been widely recognised as a state by Muslim countries or other rebel groups with which it might otherwise share similar goals. It doesn't have the kind of legitimacy it so obviously craves. And therein lies an opportunity for ISIL to be defeated not just militarily but ideologically as well....
As a former al-Qaeda member told the Guardian, the ISIL offer says that "the shortest path to heaven is jihad and martyrdom. New recruits to ISIL went to nightclubs, took drugs, were members of gangs and had sexual relations out of wedlock. They want absolution, forgiveness. The thirst for redemption is there. And ISIL is catering to that need"....
The ability of ISIL to appeal to an Islamic imaginary across borders and its restoration of the caliphate represents this organisation's crystallisation of a jihadist ideology which has developed over the last 30 years. Despite the future viability of its proto-state in Iraq and Syria against the military might of the US and its coalition, the ability to deliver on a promise of restoring an idealised Islamic state within territory ruled by two Shia governments will continue to inspire followers....
Iraq's Sunnis are still disgruntled and feel the government hasn't addressed their demands. They have been asking for weapons to wage the battle on their own, but opposition from some Shia politicians in Baghdad have prevented that from happening. The planned National Guard has not been approved by parliament....
The number of people living under Islamic State rule has grown since the U.S. bombing began. Virtually the entire population of the mostly Sunni province of Anbar, Iraq’s largest, is under the group’s control, with the addition in May of Ramadi, the provincial capital, a city of nearly 900,000. In Syria, the city of Palmyra, a famed tourist destination, also fell to the Islamic State in May, and most of the province of Deir el Zour, an important oil producing area, has come under Islamic State control since the onset of the U.S. bombing campaign....
Musa Khan Jalalzai
The greatest threat to the national security of Pakistan and India stems from nuclear smuggling and terror groups operating in Punjab, Balochistan, Assam and Kashmir. Increasingly sophisticated chemical and biological weapons are accessible to organisations like IS, Mujahideen-e-Hind (MH), and the Taliban and their allies, which is a matter of great concern. These groups can use more sophisticated conventional weapons as well as chemical and biological agents in India and Pakistan in the near future, as they have already experimented in Iraq and Syria....
S P Seth
According to Hersh’s source, Pasha told the US that “the ISI was using bin Laden as leverage against Taliban and al Qaeda activities inside Afghanistan and Pakistan”. In other words, Generals Kayani and Pasha viewed bin Laden as a ‘resource’ both against al Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as to get US military aid and personal benefits. And when the ISI became part of the US’s operations, an ISI liaison officer was flying with the Seals guiding them into the darkened house and up a staircase to bin Laden’s quarters....
Muslims and Terrorism—The Right Response
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
In Islam, it is very clear that the use of arms is the prerogative solely of the state. Islam brought about major reform in this regard. In pre-Islamic Arabia, everyone kept arms, and inter-tribal rivalry was rife. Islam established a new rule—that the use of arms was to be the prerogative of the state. But today, in various parts of the world, Ulema have issued Fatwas that wrongly declare it permissible for Muslim non-state actors to engage in violence....
Islamic State has given money to prospective allies. The group has accrued substantial financial resources in Iraq and Syria from smuggling oil, selling stolen goods, kidnapping and extortion, seizing bank accounts and smuggling antiquities. In Nigeria, for example, Islamic State used its booty to aid cash-strapped Boko Haram, which had suffered military setbacks at the hands of the Nigerian and neighbouring government forces....