Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
ISIS and other Islamist groups -- such as the Taliban and al Qaeda -- collectively rain violence and misery upon the world but most directly upon imperiled Muslims who are subject to their rule. Muslims who are not Islamists, but followers of Islam.
Is Tentacles in India
Paradigm For Religious Tolerance
Economic and Political Weekly
New Age Islam Edit Bureau
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 contextual, particularly militant verses, in Quran are no longer applicable to Muslims;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……
It’s time to stop underestimating this force as some group of self-discrediting madmen. ISIS is a moral and political threat to the fragile and ugly stability that exists in what’s left in the Middle East. ISIS will thrive and spread its ideas for as long as it has its land.
It is an honor to be with you today while my country, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, assumes the UN Security Council’s presidency for the second time during its current membership in the council. I am particularly pleased to be attending this debate on youth in conflict zones and their role in peacemaking. The world is facing a formidable challenge, namely, terrorism and extremism, which may be the greatest challenge to world peace and security, with the youth being its prime victims.
greatest effects are thus achieved indirectly, through the reaction it
inspires, rather than the actual destruction of life and property. This is why,
in that moment when, having read of an attack or the threat of an attack, you
experience a sudden pang of fear, you become a victim yourself. The fact that
the number of people to have been killed in Britain in terrorist attacks by
Islamic militants – 53 (52 during the 7/7 attacks, plus Lee Rigby) – is
statistically negligible is irrelevant. To be afraid of terrorism is normal; to
be concerned is natural. But it is better to be so in measure and in reason,
not in panicked ignorance, and thus win one immediate and important victory....
Ajit Kumar Singh
The rise in the
numbers of women and children killed and maimed from conflict-related violence
is particularly disturbing. This year, UNAMA recorded the highest number of
children and women casualties compared to the same period in previous years.
All parties to the conflict must undertake stronger measures to protect
civilians from harm. When the conflict kills or maims a mother, child, sister
or brother, the repercussions for families and communities are devastating and
after assuming the post of Home Minister of the Province on October 13, 2014,
Khanzada had reportedly been involved in major operations against domestically
oriented terrorists in Punjab, though there was little evidence of any relative
improvement of the security environment as a result.....
The death of
Mullah Omar has minimised the challenge posed to the IS by the Afghan Taliban.
Many factions’ of jihadists in the Afghan-Pakistan region have already
announced their loyalty to the IS. Al Qaeda is also facing a severe financial
as well as manpower crisis. The launch of the Al Qaeda in the Indian
Sub-continent with much fanfare has turned out to be a damp squib.....
If we have
forgotten it, the almost ritualistic murder of another blogger has reminded us
of it yet again. While the act of killing resonates with the nihilistic terror
that religious extremism is inflicting upon in various parts the world (and no
doubt it derives inspiration from those practices), it has a very specific
local history. It lies in the nature of encounter that the Shahbag movement had
with its opposition.....
S. Binodkumar Singh
are, in some measure, a reaction to the assertiveness demonstrated by the
Government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid, as a result of which the
threat from Islamist terrorism in Bangladesh has been minimized. Significantly,
various Islamist terrorist and extremist formations had been operating
menacingly across the country before Wajid coming to power in 2009. The
Government's sustained efforts, since, have led to widespread anxiety among the
extremists, who now find their very existence under threat....
fact that up to 1000 British citizens have travelled to join Isis’ medieval
theocratic nightmare, and in some cases entire families have up and left, it is
true that only a tiny minority of Muslims worldwide support ISIS. But I fear
that too many Muslims disagree with Isis’ caliphate, not because it is a caliphate,
but because it is not their caliphate….
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Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau
Is it that
ISIL’s jihadists are Salafist jihadists and the moderates are just jihadists?
What do the moderates think of the infidels, of Muslims drinking alcohol, of
the other Muslims, like Shias? Or of gay people? Do the moderates respect other
faiths and religious practices, including those Muslims who take the liberty to
Dr Mohammad Taqi
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) owed allegiance to Mullah Omar, the
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) ran terrorist training camps in Afghanistan during his
reign and the al Qaeda leadership was the apple of his eye. These outfits
shared ideology, manpower and logistics with Mullah Omar’s Taliban. They gained
battlefield experience with the Taliban only to boomerang back to Pakistan,
causing great death and destruction. The LeJ founder Riaz Basra was Mullah
Omar’s guest in Afghanistan and dozens of his lieutenants, including the
recently killed sectarian terrorist....
However, the Pakistani authorities
should not forget that the FIA declared various other facilitators and
operatives as fugitives in the case. ... Are we as a nation prepared to muster
the courage to face uncomfortable truths and combat the demons of militancy
that haunt our land? That is the question!
Although we are
yet to see a statement by Mullah Omar confirming he is not alive, the news of
the Taliban emir’s death has delayed a second round of talks between the
militant group and the government in Kabul. A likely peace in Afghanistan will
have serious consequences for journalists like this scribe as much as common
people. With nothing serious to report about, reporters.....
M. J. Akbar
reassumes its engagement with successor states of the Safavid, Ottoman and
European empires to its west up to the Nile and the Sahel in north Africa, it
will renew dialogue with a region that has not had a good night's sleep for at
least two centuries. Analysis is not an advent of any blame game. The fault, as
that crusty realist Shakespeare noted, may lie in ourselves, rather than our
stars, but the destiny of men also has its profound cycles across the
cartwheels of time. The past is littered with skeletons of nations which once
ruled as much as the world as they could reach…..
While the idea
of propagating moderate Islam or taking down radical sites or twitter handles
may be a step in the right direction, the task is humongous and requires a much
faster technological and ideological response from Indian society.....
successful transition to democracy, the legitimacy of its government and the
bravery of its armed forces are not enough to save it. Nor should anyone in
Europe and the West comfort themselves with the idea that the jihadist movement
will eventually self-destruct. From their new theatre of operations in Tunisia,
the terrorists aim at extending their caliphate to Europe and beyond....
R. K. Raghavan
reflects IS’s wishes, not its capabilities. The IS has repeatedly made clear
that its apocalyptic goals include provoking a series of sectarian wars leading
up to the “Final Battle” and the “End times”. The outfit has made some headway
in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In January of this year, it announced the
establishment of a new “province” called the Islamic State of Khurasan,
boasting in its magazine Dabiq that “numerous” groups in both Afghanistan and
Pakistan had joined the new province. But so far, the groups that have joined
the ISK appear to be small, or splinter groups from TTP and other groups. The
announcement of Mullah Omar’s death, if true, will lead to additional
defections to ISK. But that doesn’t mean that sparking a war in India is
Some Indian handlers have been
identified by intelligence agencies, which have tracked and intercepted youth
who had planned to leave for Turkey and then cross over to Syria to join ISIS. ISIS,
the dreaded terror group that has massacred thousands across the globe, has
headhunters in India and among Indians living abroad. They are recruiting young
Indian Muslims attracted to the idea of establishing a Caliphate. Some Indian
handlers have been identified by intelligence agencies, which have tracked and
intercepted youth who had planned to leave for Turkey and then cross over to
Syria to join ISIS.
is too early to say if making Mullah Omar's death public at this stage, when it
supposedly happened in April 2013, was aimed at making the militant movement
more amenable to negotiations or to thwart the talks.....