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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

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 contextual, particularly militant verses, in Quran are no longer applicable to Muslims;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

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……

Malaysia Ramps up Fight against ISIS
Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

Malaysia's Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has set up a committee that will fight the spread of terrorist ideology by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in schools, universities and the Internet....

 

Terror Raids and the Lure of IS For Young Men
Anne Aly

In the teenager's mind, their violence is no less brutal than the atrocities he believes are carried out against Muslims. In his mind, there are no innocent victims. This is Islamic State on the internet....

 

'Calling an Act of Terror 'Jihad' Is the Gravest Form of Terrorism in the 21st Century,' Say Ulema at National Anti-Terrorism Conference in Delhi

An “Anti-Terrorism Conference” of Ulema held in Delhi on 19 April strongly denounced every form of terrorism, injustice and corruption. It proclaimed its standpoint that “peaceful coexistence” is the only way of life that can ensure peace and security for all religious communities in India......

The Sufist Izzat Al-Douri and the Extremist ISIS
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Yemen has all the potential of developing into a regional conflict. Iran and Saudi Arabia spearhead the two dividing poles within the Middle Eastern countries. One is headed by Saudi Arabia with its partners Bahrain and UAE. The other led by Iran with its partners Hezbollah and Syrian government....

 

84 on Hitlist, 8 Killed: Dhaka’s Politics Drives Cycle of Death
Praveen Swami

Fighters from Bangladesh, intelligence officials believe, have responded to the call, though no one is certain how many. In one video, ‘A Glimpse of a Base of Al-Qaeda in Khurasan’, a Bengali-speaking fighter identifying himself as ‘Suleiman’ said: “Here, I feel there is the kind of environment that helps one learn how to deal with his family and what one’s role should be as a son, a Mujahid and a Muslim....

 

Military Institute Student to Son of Ex-Judge, Islamic State Taps Dhaka Gen-Next
Praveen Swami

Islam was referring to the ruthless — and successful — battle waged by Sheikh Hasina’s government less than a decade ago against Jihadist networks such as the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) and the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)....

 

The Dilemma of Terrorism Scholarship
Abdul Basit

The current terrorism scholarship is faced with more or less the same situation with the rise of Middle Eastern terrorist group the Islamic State (IS) in June 2014. Terrorism experts failed to prognosticate the meteoric rise of the IS....

 

A Savage New World of Terrorism
M. K. Narayanan

In the battle for the Jihadi mind-space, the IS clearly has gained the upper hand at the moment. Using social media and other Internet-linked methodologies, it has been able to lure recruits in sizeable numbers from across the world. Thousands of educated Muslims, including women, have thus been inveigled into joining the IS....

 
Iraq’s Cycles of Revenge
The New York Times

In a disturbing number of instances, it seems clear that Shiite militias, which to varying degrees are backed by Iran, are taking revenge on Sunnis in areas they have helped clear of ISIS fighters, who are Sunni....

 

Terrorism in Malaysia: Lurch to illiberalism
Datuk Seri Najib Razak,PM of Malaysia

Mr Najib had promised to roll back the Sedition Act, just as he promised to junk the ISA. Yet while pushing through the new anti-terror rules, his government took the opportunity to table changes to the act which would greatly toughen sentences and forbid speech that denigrates religion....

 
Pakistan: Persistent Mischief
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Pakistan: Persistent Mischief
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Meanwhile, in response to Hangings and Executions of terrorists in Pakistan, domestically oriented terrorist groups, primarily the TTP and its splinters, such as Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, have intensified their operations....

 

From Kerala Family to Ex-Gangster, IS Pulls Maldives Men
Praveen Swami

The class IX Islamic studies textbook tells students “performing jihad against people that obstruct the religion” is an obligation. It promises that “Islam ruling over the world is very near”. Promising a caliphate, the textbook says “this is something that the Jews and Christians do not want. It is why they collaborate against Islam even now”....

 

Minister’s Reasoning Why Women Join IS is Chauvinistic
Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom

Women who join Islamic State (IS) are often lonely and fragile “Lonely women who can’t sleep at night will stay awake and be online on their Facebook. A total of 173 Malaysians have been arrested for joining IS and the youngest recruit (to date) was a 14-year-old girl. IS has gained quite a reputation for being internet savvy and skilled for spreading its radicalised version of religion through social media...

 

Is India Safe from the Scourge of the ‘Islamic State’
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain

The few isolated cases of raising of IS flags by small groups of youth in parts of the Kashmir Valley should not lead us to believe that there is mass support for such an ideology. The romance of doing something different and something silly always appeals to youth. However, it does call for sending messages across all forms of media and through Friday sermons, counseling of parents and identification of vulnerable youth…..

 

Reformasi in the Islamic world?
Roger Smith

The fight against ISIS is therefore one that Muslims, Christians and good people of all persuasions have a stake in. But this is perhaps most of all the Islamic world's fight for their future, their faith, and the right to determine identity and freedom on their terms-as much for the housewives and the traders, the fishermen and the farmers and the factory workers and the entrepreneurs-as for the conservative clergy....

The State of the Islamic State
Michael Curtis

Bin Laden formed al-Qaeda in 1988 and Zarqawi who formed his own Jihadist group in 1999 pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda network in October 2004. But differences, tactical and ideological, emerged between the two. Bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian citizen, believing that the Islamic world was in crisis, called for the restoration of Sharia law, and the use of violent jihad (holy war) to do this....

 

Christians are hardly the only religious targets of jihadists; the Islamic State and other radical Islamists also massacre moderate and secular Muslims. Sunni radicals target Shiites; Shiite radicals target Sunnis....

 

Action Points for Defeating the Extremist Ideology
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

The extremist ideology is not very much different from the current state of the defective Islamic theology of all sects. The extremists are only extreme in their actions and it is not without justification that the Islamophobes call them more Muslim than the “moderates”. It is therefore impossible for the moderates to defeat the extremists ideologically, without accepting and correcting their defective theology…..

Turkey’s Reaction to Terrorism
Beril Dedeoglu

There are many illegal organizations in Turkey that use ethnic, religious or ideological references. But they lack any social base, and therefore public opinion is persuaded that foreign forces are behind them....

 

Bangladesh: And Then They Came For Oyasiqur Rahman Babu!
Subhash Gatade

Oasiqur Rahman Babu, who was otherwise a very shy, introvert type person, is dead. But his words would keep ringing in our ears for times to come ""The pen will remain active; will continue till the death of your belief,"….

 
More Room for Militants
Muhammad Amir Rana

More Room for Militants
Muhammad Amir Rana

The militant organisation calling itself the Islamic State (IS) had already registered its presence in the capital of Yemen by orchestrating large-scale suicide attacks on Shia mosques in Sana’a last month. Once regarded as a successful counterterrorism model, Yemen has been transformed into a crisis state in no time.........

 

Not all of the young men came from troubled families or were disadvantaged. Perhaps the most determining factor in their decisions to go to Syria was their influence on one another. The soccer player, Mr. Chaib, “was the central figure,” recalled Yousef Bartho Assidiq, a native Norwegian convert to Islam who visited Fredrikstad several times along with members of Prophet’s Umma, a radical group from Oslo that openly supports the Islamic State…..

 

It is Not Enough To Call Them Terrorists
Ahmet Hakan

We call “terrorists” those people who take up arms and commit acts of terror. If terrorists render it much more difficult to shout out loud for democratic rights with their actions....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Excellent article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb,  For a beginning, you can respond to my 3 comments on chapter 3 of your book.   You have two comments on part 1 of my article:Who Is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Secular Logic says:"Even worse than what is written in the Quran is the way people are trying to defend the obnoxious verses in it. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Aiman Reyaz        your your right, a Quranic term had been used in wrong context to incite the Muslims against Russia by ...
    ( By Mohammad Ishaque Foujdar )
  • How offensive it is that 'reincarnation' should be considered to be incorrect, while saying things like "Mohammad was the last prophet" should be considered ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab,You state: Yunus Sb, you don't have to defend and support the mistakes you made in your book "the essential message of Islam"Would ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Rational,Regarding Bani Ismail and why there were no prophets until Muhammad (pbuh) and why there were so many among Bani Yaqub or Israel there ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,Surely People and mankind in general have benefited from the Quran all through. The better you understand, the more benefit you can get out ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb,In case any Maulana disputes the meaning of 98:6 like Yunus Sb did, here is the counter:The construction of 98:6 is exactly as ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Nasser ahmed sahebSince the Quran has reached to major population of the globe, so they will be judged by the standard of the Quran ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Then what about those who could never understand the truth of the Quran for whole lives? The Quran was revealed for human beings. Allah knew ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Rational,The fault is not with the Quran. Talk about human weaknesses. Bigotry is a universal trait. Hazrat Umar (RA) understood the meaning of "fitna" ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,By tribals, I mean the adivasi kind of tribals. What is partiality?  ·         Kufr is relative to what a person knows and believes to be “the truth” ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The weakest part of the Quran is that in more than thousand years only Nasser saheb understood the Quran correctly.Millions of scholars in thousand ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Nasser sahebWas there no urbanised people in the long history of banu Ismael? At that time tribal life was norm. Even bank Israels lived ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • A general rule that is followed in all speeches, articles is that it should reflect and bring out the fact that Allah has inscribed ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb,That is exactly what I have said in my article:Action Points for Defeating the Extremist IdeologyThe extremists are only extreme in their actions and ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Gm Sb,There are some oft repeated words in the Quran or the keywords and these cannot be simply wished away and must be understood correctly. According ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,,  Is God holding them or any person responsible for any kufr in the spiritual dimension unless it is from knowledge, deliberate and wilful? They will be ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • So much time wasted talking about kafir and mushrik! Is that all that Islam is about?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Nasser sahebWhy Allah kept so many generation ignorant. Why guidance of those people didn't matter to God.Ignorant people! Why! Whose fault it is that ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Shahin Sb,  There are precisely three verses in the Quran that talk about the punishment of the Mushrikin. These are:  Kufr - a relative concept  (33:72) We did indeed offer the Trust ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Kafir and mushrik were not ready to accept hz Mohammed God's prophet. This is only their fault. Otherwise good and people are found everywhere. Sincerest ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Mohammed yunus sahebWhy don't you agree with Nasser saheb on mohkimat(clear verses). Why it needs so much explanation? Either you or Nasser saheb is ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Shahin Sb,(1) Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, were not going to depart (from their ways) until there ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • From the perspective of muslim ulema it is not demonization of Islam and its prophet. It is service to Islam. From their perspective they ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Mohammed yunus sahebRead the article in full. Maulana doesn't think madarsa education needs any modernisation.http://newageislam.com/interview/maulana-wahiduddin-khan-for-new-age-islam/major-issue-muslims-in-india-facing-today-is-secular-education/d/102668
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Mohammed yunus saheb.Please read the interview of maulana wahiduddin khan saheb available on this site. And when Muslims are not one on basic issues of ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Yunus Sb,If the intention of the Quran was to say all the polytheists and the kafaru among the people of the book ....it would ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Sultan Shahin Sahab,Why can't you split the subject of the verse into two categories:i) Those who disbelieved among the People of the Book ii) ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • There is no need to study other philosophies. Just read and contemplate on ambiguous book and you will have mastery over every philosophy.The Quran ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Rational Muhammad Yunus,There is no reference to 'madrassa' in the article nor is the 'madrassa education' blamed. It has connected the explosive rise ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • And what was that clear prophecy? Is not that so called clear prophecy not bone of contention.These prophecies have been used to declare people ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Let us assume the Quran is vilifying only those were disbelievers among the people of book. But what was that those people didn't believe ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Thanks Sultan Shahin Sahab for your comment.I do not agree with you. The Ulama will NOT allow the ISIS to carry on with their ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • madarsa are blamed for radicalization of muslims. They say madarsa curriculum must be changed.But to maulana wahiduddin khan saheb madarsa are doing perfectly well. ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin,I agree with you that 98:6 is referencing a certain population of "People of the Book" and "polytheists", but in a slightly ...
    ( By Curious Traveler )
  • There in a nutshell you have it!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Another whitewash of islamic crimes - Jews and Christians were dhimmis - second class citizens and the Almoravids did large scale persecution of both in ...
    ( By barani )
  • Md Yunus Saheb: "The question is: Are the Muslim Ulema going to allow a faction of Muslims (ISIS and its ideological affiliates) to demonize ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )