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Books and Documents

Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

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……

The Terror of Fighting Terror
Rafia Zakaria

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 depravity....

 
Beheading the Behemoth
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Beheading the Behemoth
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

The extreme 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......

 

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. 

Islamic State Recruitment Document Seeks To Trigger a War in India to Provoke Armageddon-Like 'End Of the World'
Sara A. Carter

An apparent 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 to ISIS.....

 

Rethinking the War on Daesh
Ramzy Baroud

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. ....

 

Islamic State Is Not Islamic, Sex Grooming Gangs, Sharia Sportswear
Soeren Kern

"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.”.....

 

This Is Not the Way It Is Done, Abdullah
Sara Mattar

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.....

 

To Deal With Daesh, Understand Its Strategy
Mohammad Akef Jamal

True, Daesh’s 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……

 

The Egypt Bombing Wave: Why Did ISIS Now Pick Italy?
Dr. Theodore Karasik

In 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…..

 

Why Talking To the Afghan Taleban Is a Good Idea
Fareed Zakaria

Governments are 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 deliverance."....

 

The Creeping Evil of the Islamic State
Muhammad Ali Ehsan

The danger 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.....

 
Ramadhan: A Call for Mercy in the Middle East
Mohamad Hery Saripudin and Dimas Muhamad

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 drink.”....

 

Can Indonesian Islamists Resist The Allure Of IS?
Ary Hermawan

The Islamic 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 genocidal ideology…..

 

Dismantling ISIL's Propaganda Machine
James Denselow

ISIL's message 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 ..... 

 

Islamic State and the Poor Man’s Nuclear Weapon
Bhaswati Mukherjee

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?....

 

The Feared ‘Catastrophic Success’ In Syria
Hisham Melhem

Listening to 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....

 

Life for British Muslims since 7/7 – Abuse, Suspicion and Constant Apologies
Mehdi Hasan

Muslim 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 life……

 

The Black Flag Worries the Taliban
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 tight-knit Pashtuns....

 

Against Tyranny and ISIS, Call on Elvis
Rami G. Khouri

The one-year 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 in paradise.....

 

Syria: A Confederation of Terror Organizations
Serkan Demirtas

“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….

 

Preventing Bloody Fridays
Harun Yahya

Did these 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.....

 


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NEW COMMENTS

  • henry baba, it would be nice if you could also write an essay on the purpose of life from your own perspective, drawing on ...
    ( By yogi )
  • Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Secular Logic and Rational: The verses of the Quran that talk of violence are to be seen in the ...
    ( By wasim )
  • Dear Naseer Saheb, you have quoted Natana J. DeLong-Bas to say in her book “Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad: “Although a person ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Rational says, "those who are unaware of the Quran and hadith have raised their voices against the death of blasphemers." . . . .You ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Another problem that must be seen in the light of progressive Islam is how Muslims should deal with what many call “Salafism”. As an ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The comprehension of past jurists and past ulemas should not be our guide. We should derive our wisdom from our reading of the original ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • " Reform, to my mind, is possible only through a call to a return to the Islam of the Quran." . . .I agree! ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Those who depict reality as travesty they are helpless people,frustrated people, an finally worthless people.those show are killing and dying are doing some ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Mr naseer says modern Islam is a travestyof.islam.may. I ask who is making it a travesty? Do the Jews and the Christians are making ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Insha'Allahu my dear Jenab Yogi Bhai Sahib, Insha'Allahu. I am presently reading Hazrat-ji Mawlana Wahiduddin Khan's books and I will write on the purpose ...
    ( By Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • He has said right in this para:Inspired by the right understanding of Islam, Muslims need to proactively reach out to people of other faiths, ...
    ( By Mohammad Imran )
  • आतंकवाद का कोई धर्म नही होता है ! अगर आप आतंकवाद को आप धर्म से जोड़ कर देखते है तो आप अपनी नजरिया बदल ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • To further disappoint you Rational, not one of the verses in the Quran, that speak of apostates and apostasy, talk of punishment in this ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,What I hear you saying is that:1. You are of sound mind and body.2. That you are an apostate of Islam3. That you are ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • rational has neglected nothing. these verses are used by Muslims to punish the apostates.do you want an apostate should live in fear so that ...
    ( By rational )
  • rational has neglected nothing. these verses are used by Muslims to punish the apostates.do you want an apostate should live in fear so that ...
    ( By rational )
  • it only means that if one fights for his beliefs against Muslims must be killed.To Muslims the Quran is truth. To unbeliever it is ...
    ( By rational )
  • The punishment for one who turns a renegade in times of war is death in all countries/societies. And yet the Quran takes great care to ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • so coming back to Islamophobia only Islam and Muslims are responsible. I would say that fear is real as it is instilled by islam ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMyou have one statement(doubtful) to your favor" there is no punishment for apostasy in the Qur'an"your believer brothers have more arguments than you to ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational neglected to quote the next two verses:(4:89) They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Islam either demands heads of apostates or silence of apostates.if apostates want to share their unhappiness with Islam it is treated like treason against ...
    ( By rational )
  • Al Quran:They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they). But take not ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMI am not stopping you from spreading the message you want to spread. However i don't agree with the Quran has nothing to do ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational, it is better to spread the word that there is no punishment for apostasy in the Quran rather than fight a silly war ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • thank you very much henry ji for your good wishes.do please consider writing a LONG article on thhe purpose of life.....
    ( By yogi )
  • A glaring contrast observed by a long distant observer.   How two dissimilar Nations treated their benefactors who made exactly similar contributions to their respective countries’ ...
    ( By Distant Observer )
  • you are free to express your opinion about my strategy.<br>we are talking about the Quran and Hadith not on common sense. on common sense ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational says, "i will keep beat you with the Quranic and Hadith verses." . . .That is poor strategy on your part. Your attacks ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thanks likewise, my brother Yogi Sahib for your comment. May our Beloved All-Merciful Allah bless you and your family ba-shafaat-e Rasul Pak Hazrat Muhammad ...
    ( By Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • Wasim's article is superb! Agree 100 per cent with what he says. Muslims need to reform themselves internally and externally. Focus on purifying their ...
    ( By Noorie )
  • I would buy this author's well meaning piece, if I had not read the Quran and the HadithThe Quran has imperialist, exclusivist, anti-nonMuslim, misogyinistic ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • thanks very much henry for this! good to see you back on NAI --after quite a while, i think!
    ( By yogi )
  • http://indianmuslimpost.blogspot.com/2013/01/ghazwa-e-hind-what-should-indian.html
    ( By rational )
  • "Naimatullah Shah WaliThe Sufi Saint, Seer who lived in the Indian subcontinent (Kashmir Valley) around 900 years ago. He has made a lot of ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMyour trick of putting question mark on me neither has proved fruitful in past nor in future.you will keep slinging psychological jargon on me ...
    ( By rational )
  • Islam says "kill the gays by throwing them from the roof"Is not Islam simple enough?
    ( By rational )
  • GMyes. i am mentally healthy.why are you asking such foolish question?i have killed none. i ahve abused none.i have raped none. i have killed ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational, you have been carrying on your sick hate war on the faith of over a billion peaceful Muslims for so many years. You ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • When I saw Richard Miniter's name I decided to take this article with a grain of salt.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )