Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
Aijaz Zaka Syed
Indeed, America’s war has not just inflamed and turned the whole of the Muslim world, including Pakistan, upside down and created monsters like Isis, the west itself is now beginning to feel the heat of the ‘far war’, the latest example being the attack on an Islamophobic Paris rag. Is Pakistan looking to go down that road? Has it drawn no lessons from the war next door? Don’t get me wrong. I am all for fighting extremism. Whatever its causes and whoever sowed the seeds of strife, terrorism has emerged as an existential threat to Pakistan and the Muslim world. Indeed, Muslims have been its chief victims. Extremism needs to be dealt with firmly and effectively.....
The massacres in Peshawar and Paris, and the daily bombings in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq must provide the impetus for a tolerant and forgiving Islam to emerge in Muslim societies, where the majority needs to shun its justifications or silence, and loudly refuse to tolerate killing in the name of Islam…..
It is this Quranic verse cultural critic Ziauddin Sardar cites in his book, Reading the Quran, to say, “If there is no compulsion in religion then all opinions can be expressed freely, including those which cause offence to religious people. The believers will show respect and use respectful language towards God and His Prophet simply because they are believers. Non-believers, by definition, take a rejectionist attitude to both.”….
However, the memorial was attacked by Mumtaz Qadri’s supporters, who reportedly belonged to a banned terror outfit. The scene was as tragic as it was violent. Placards such as “ST Hum Sharminda Hain, Tumhara Qaatil Zinda Hai” were set ablaze as baton-wielding villains pounded participants, including campaigners of renown. ….
Governor Salman Taseer
And by comforting her did he uphold the core Islamic principles of clemency and compassion? Yes he did. Then what was his crime? Everyone knows Salmaan Taseer did not commit blasphemy in regards to the Prophet (PBUH) and always expressed his indebtedness to the Apostle of God. However, he did blaspheme when he raised his voice against the priests who abuse the law. He did blaspheme when he stood up for the weak and he did blaspheme when he defended hapless minorities. That was his real crime and in Pakistan everyone gets punished for it…..
World leaders, journalists' groups and others around the world have expressed horror at the deadly attack Wednesday by gunmen on the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo…..
…many Islamists and Islamophobes are mirror images of each other. They both want to prove that Islam is intolerant, exclusive, hostile, anti-pluralist, antI-democratic, anti-secularist, and anti-human rights. This is much more the case with the terrorists who claim to be Muslims. They simply prove the point of the Islamophobes. As a matter of fact, they both dislike the fact that Muslims and their religion have been flourishing in Western secular democratic societies. They hate to see that the overwhelming majority of Muslims have successfully integrated to Western societies and have been increasingly become “good” citizens. They deplore the fact that many practicing Muslims with their manifest Muslim identities can become engineers, doctors, judges, teachers, mayors, artists, members of the parliaments in almost all Western countries. Both Islamophobes and so-called “Muslim” terrorists denigrate pluralism and co-existence….
The recruitment has been cast, in some media accounts, as a consequence of France’s muscular secularism — in particular, laws which forbid some forms of public display of ostentatious religious symbols, like the Hijab, Sikh turbans, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses…..
Muslims’ concerns can be easily addressed by the toning down of communal rhetoric, strong intervention to handle emerging communal situations, even-handed police machinery, and a judicial system that dispenses justice quickly and effectively. This is not just an issue between two communities: it pertains to a national consensus on the idea of India. We are all part of this debate…..
The weekly magazine has been subject to protests in the Muslim world since February 2006 when it reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which had been printed by Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. French News Agency AFP said that despite being taken to court over anti-racism laws because of its publications in 2011 and 2012, the weekly continued to publish controversial cartoons of the Muslim prophet….
François Hollande, France’s president, rightly called it “an act of exceptional barbarity . . . against freedom of expression”. But the murder on Wednesday of 12 people at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, will not surprise anyone familiar with the rising tensions among France’s 5m or more Muslim citizens and the poisonous legacy of French colonialism in North Africa. For now, the perpetrators are unidentified. We need to keep in mind that the worst terrorist outrage in Europe of recent years, the murder of 77 people in Norway in 2011, was committed not by Islamist militants but by a far-right fanatic, Anders Behring Breivik…..
“This is a dangerous moment for European societies,” said Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London. “With increasing radicalization among supporters of jihadist organizations and the white working class increasingly feeling disenfranchised and uncoupled from elites, things are coming to a head.” Olivier Roy, a French scholar of Islam and radicalism, called the Paris assault — the most deadly terrorist attack on French soil since the Algerian war ended in the early 1960s — “a quantitative and therefore qualitative turning point,” noting the target and the number of victims. “This was a maximum-impact attack,” he said. “They did this to shock the public, and in that sense they succeeded.”…..
Other Related Stories:
Blow-By-Blow Account of Massacre at Charlie Hebdo in Paris
Charlie Hebdo Attack: Leading Cartoonists, Economist among the DeadOne Suspect Surrenders in Attack on French Newspaper; Two Others at Large
These militants see the IS as totally uncompromising in pursuing the jihadi agenda; they are enthused by its military victories, and inspired by the announcement of the caliphate. Indian Muslims, who have rejected jihad for 35 years, are now being specially targeted on social media by both al-Qaeda and the IS to participate in jihad at home and in West Asia. The spectre of global jihad now looms over South Asia…..
I would argue that almost all of the atrocities that have taken place in the past 10-15 years, against Ahmadis, Christians, Shias, Sufi shrines, and other sectarian targets could be seen in the same light—monsters attacking the state, through its most vulnerable citizen groups. The militants that Pakistan created to serve as its proxies in the struggle for Kashmir at the beginning, and against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1990s have developed their own agendas, not unrelated to the agendas they were given at creation….
These trends suggest that despite the terror and revulsion that the IS may cause, its ideology is attracting a number of people, some of them who are far from the stereotypical image of the “jihadi” we have in mind. As a result, security organisations have their task cut out. …
It will not be easy to defeat the brutal jihadists of Islamic State (IS), as the American-led coalition against the group aims to do. IS is one of the best-financed terrorist organisations in the world, except for state-backed ones. There is no credible estimate of the secretive group’s net worth, but in October 2014 an American official described it as amassing wealth at “a pretty massive clip”. It pays fighters around $400 a month, which is more than Syrian rebel groups or the Iraqi government offer. It appears to have no trouble purchasing weaponry, either on the black market or from corrupt officials or militias…..
Paul R. Pillar
The juggernaut has stalled. There will be endless debate about the causes of this change of momentum, ranging from military measures that the United States has taken to the somewhat more enlightened policies of the Iraqi central government. These and other influences have their effects, but the larger phenomenon of the decline of ISIS — decline not just that has happened so far but is yet to come — can be explained most of all by the group’s own policies and practices…..
In the New Year, all Pakistanis must assemble at the equivalent of the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore to pledge to eliminate Dahshatgardi (terrorism). This upheaval, which is of Pakistan’s own making, has to be tackled on the political, military, economic and ideological planks. In this, the Army, the government, the political opposition and civil society should be on the same page. A task as mammoth as reconfiguring Pakistan is to become a national mission….
The latest issue of Dabiq, ISIS' online propaganda magazine, published on Monday, criticized al-Zawahri, al Qaeda, its closest ally, AQAP, and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, saying all were "deviating" from "the truth" of the Quran. It further stated that al Qaeda was never the same after al-Zawahri and American propagandist Adam Gadahn took over....
During the run-up to New Year's Day there were a number of terrorist attacks in the Middle East and parts of Africa by groups such as al-Qaida ally Boko Haram, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Shabaab, and other lesser known, but just as dangerous, organizations. "They share one goal: the creation of a world devoted to Allah and ruled by Sharia law," said former police counterterrorism expert Joseph Manziano, now a director of security for an international firm. "And because they share a common fanaticism – religious intolerance – they are the most dangerous human beings on the planet,"....
Despite the successful consolidation of the judiciary in areas under its control, harsh ISIS policies may eventually backfire and provoke a local response. Its rigid rules have paralyzed a healthcare system already in tatters and dependent on government funding. ISIS has shown resilience through winning some hearts and minds and exploiting Sunni resentment against central governments whether in Syria or Iraq. Disenfranchised Sunnis may have welcomed ISIS, but it remains alien to those societies that do not necessarily espouse the organization’s radical views….
Syed Kamran Hashmi
Not only religious scholars or state officials, Muslim communities too got their hands dirty by mostly staying indifferent to terrorism. Out of sheer hatred, some of them even celebrated the attack on US soil. They did not realise that the same sword that cuts the throat of their adversaries will one day be swiped at their own children, which it did a few years down the road, killing 40,000 to 50,000 people in Pakistan since 2007. Blinded by our xenophobia, even then we could not challenge the real enemy who continued to build its strength under our very noses until December16, 2014….
“I just wanted to point out that while we study the ghastliness of the effects of racism in America, we are witnessing a new form of racism taking birth right in front of our eyes, where Muslim and terrorists are almost always uttered in the same breath. And this is a completely accepted form of expression, like nigger was a century ago.” There was a sudden explosion of rage from the young man sitting behind me. “I am sick of people always talking about how Muslims are the victims and how there are moderate Muslims in the world.”…..
While there was deep outrage and empathy across India following the Peshawar incident, there was also a certain amount of Schadenfreude among strategists that the terror Pakistani groups have unleashed against its neighbour had come home to their military masters. But India can hardly afford to be complacent, given that this network of the various “Talibans” is more united and synchronised than ever, and benefits from the differences between the South Asian neighbours in the areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India it focuses on….
We are now told that Pakistan’s 9/11 moment has come, that there is no turning back now. But already we are hearing the weasel voices whispering that the attackers “were not Muslims”. Soon, it will be revealed that they were “working for a foreign power”. After all, we will be told, this is “not our war, after all”. And, of course, there is little likelihood of improvement in any kind of intelligence – whether pertaining to foreknowledge of dire threats, or to the grey matter in the heads of our leaders….