Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
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……
The curse of
terror then is not only the dead children, the dread of crowded places, the
lingering fear of the belted bomber but also the taint it casts on those trying
to fight it. The loss of moral power inherent in the abandonment of law, the
secret persecution of possible suspects, the deaths of those that did deliver
information or evidence, have birthed new criminals. Sometimes it seems the
fight is not of good against evil but only between the varying flavours of
Beheading the Behemoth
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
absolutists might condemn the ‘staged encounter’ and the extra-judicial
killing. But those that have a sprinkling of realist topping to their
principled rigidity, would accept the impossibility of mustering testimonies
against Ishaq. Let’s not forget that this is a man who has been acquitted over
100 times after charges of terrorism and homicide......
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.
Sara A. Carter
Islamic State recruitment document found in Pakistan’s lawless tribal lands
reveals that the extremist group has grand ambitions of building a new
terrorist army in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and triggering a war in India to
provoke an Armageddon-like “end of the world.” The 32-page Urdu-language
document obtained by American Media Institute (AMI) and reviewed by USA TODAY
details a plot to attack U.S. soldiers as they withdraw from Afghanistan and
target American diplomats and Pakistani officials…..
Is there a key
leader whose demise would deal a hammer blow? Does so-called "leadership
decapitation" even work as a strategy? Or do Western counterterrorism
agencies face an indefinite process of crossing names from a never-diminishing
list? Are there just too many groups in too many places to combat as we witness
the emergence of a new generation of terrorist leaders whose significance is
yet to be grasped?.....
..... more than
300 hardcore commanders, militants and suicide bombers of Taliban from FATA and
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have joined ISIS because the Taliban are in a disarray, and
because of the international charm and attraction of the Iraq and Syria based
terrorist organization. “We have credible information that many militants
belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are considering announcing allegiance
Another weapon in the Daesh arsenal that also proved effective is the fact that there is not one single united fight aimed at eliminating or, at least, slowing down the progress of Daesh armies in the Middle East. While military camps of the terror group are reportedly targeted in Syria, other regional conflicts, especially in Yemen, are facilitating the expansion of Daesh. ....
"Opposing 'Sharia courts' is not racism or 'Islamophobic'; it is a defence of the rights of all citizens, irrespective of their beliefs and background to be governed by democratic means under the principle of one law for all. What amounts to racism is the idea that minorities can be denied rights enjoyed by others through the endorsement of religious based 'justice' systems which operate according to divine law that is by its very nature immune from state scrutiny.".....
ISIS is not merely a terrorist group, Weiss and Hassan point out. Rather, ISIS is a “conventional military that mobilizes and deploys foot soldiers with a professional acumen that has impressed members of the U.S. military.” It is also a “mafia adept at exploiting decades-old transnational gray markets for oil and arms trafficking.” ISIS is an experienced “intelligence-gathering apparatus.” The extremist group is a polished and effective “propaganda machine.”.....
Every time I read about or watch a young man exploding himself killing a number of innocent people and leaving behind victims who have never expected to die in this tragic way, I ask if the reason for this brutal act was the wish of the suicide bomber to reach the Houris (nymphs) in paradise very quickly.....
Mohammad Akef Jamal
operations can affect many places in the world. However, their real habitat is
the Arab world; the founders of this organisation and most of its affiliates
are from Arab countries, to the extent that this stage in time represents a
conflict within the Arab world with terrorist organisations……
Dr. Theodore Karasik
Egypt, the ISIS’s Sinai Province formerly (Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis) is a hub of
ISIS activity. But it is important to note that the cult-like ability for ISIS
to recruit sympathizers and lone wolves may be strong in Egypt. An Egyptian
official told me that ISIS is attracting more and more disenchanted Muslim
Brotherhood (Ikhwan) sympathizers…..
loath to talk to terrorists. This is understandable since they regard the
groups as barbaric, worry about legitimising brutality, and remain convinced
that military force can defeat or at least cripple them. But, Powell points
out, most governments end up talking to terrorists. The British government saw
the Mau Mau in Kenya as a "conspiracy based on the total perversion of the
human spirit" - "subhumans" with "death as their only
Muhammad Ali Ehsan
posed by the IS is not just limited to the regional context. Out here in our
part of the world, Hafiz Saeed Khan, a former Taliban commander, has already
sworn an oath of allegiance (January 2015) to the self-proclaimed caliph of the
IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He now acts as the Wali (governor) of the province of
Khorasan — an area supposedly comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of
Central Asia and Iran.....
After all, did
God and his messenger really teach us to observe fasting by killing innocents?
Let’s not forget what the prophet once said, “Whoever does not give up forged
speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and
world is in turmoil, and the Islamic State (IS) group couldn’t be happier. The
ultra-violent terrorist group, notorious for its medieval savagery and its
aptitude for effectively using this violence as slick, Hollywood-style
propaganda, has sown conflicts in Muslim-majority countries to spread its
is only bolstered by Western leaders’ statements describing how evil they are.
The group are reinventing the rules of the game and are attempting their own
version of "Year Zero" for Iraq and Syria in parallel to how the
Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia in the 1970s. As propagandists, ISIL are light years
ahead of the Syrian regime .....
With the IS
encroaching deep into Syria and setting up governance mechanisms, the
possibility of the IS using such chemical weapons in the future cannot be ruled
out. Syria’s stockpiles have been destroyed under the OPCW/UN supervision. If
there are no more Syrian stockpiles, the issue remains: Are there other
stockpiles? Who is supplying these chemical weapons to rebel forces in Syria?
Can these weapons fall into the hands of the IS? Does the IS already have
access to such WMDs?....
U.S. officials describing the effects of the potential ‘catastrophic success’
of the Islamists against the Assad regime, one would think that there is an
unstoppable Juggernaut on its way to overwhelm Damascus and spell the end of
the Assad dynasty, and accelerate the unravelling of Syria. There is no denying
the tactical and significant military achievements of the Syrian opposition
groups, mainly the Islamists....
communities don’t just “quietly condone” the ideology behind Isis, according to
Cameron, but threaten our “common culture”. The London bombings, in fact,
opened the floodgates to what has become a familiar litany of condemnation and
demonization: honour killings, Sharia law, Halal slaughter, FGM, gender
segregation, the face veil, child sex grooming. Wherever you turn, it seems,
those dastardly Muslims pose a threat to you, your families and your way of
S Mubashir Noor
All the actors
in Afghanistan have, at one time or another, dismissed IS's chances in the
country. Their logic was simple: a foreign cult could not drop anchor among the
Rami G. Khouri
anniversary of the ISIS “Caliphate” reminds us that if an orderly political
process does not lead to a legitimate governance system, darker forces of
frustration and desperation will prevail. ISIS is the consequence of that
desperate darkness that has hollowed out the hearts of millions of Arabs, and
lured some of them with the false promises of instant redemption on earth and
“Look, Iraq has
come to the edge of being divided into three parts. Syria’s disintegration
would be worse; it could be divided into 33 parts if things continue like this.
Syria has become a confederation of numerous terror organizations. There are so
many terror organizations that we do not know their names; but, of course, the
worst one is Daesh….
ghastly attacks, some linked to Daesh, change anything in terms of world public
opinion or its leaders? Do you think the world will turn to a new strategy to
resolve this terror? Let us try to understand the “strategy of preventing
attacks” of the countries in question by summarizing what went on in those
places after the attacks.....