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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

World Media on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

From Anders Behring Breivik's rampage on July 22, 2011, which killed 78 people in Oslo and Utoya, Norway, to the cheaply made hoax movie "Innocence of Muslims" of 2012, which caused world-wide protests and deaths, Islamophobic individuals and groups seek to defame the Muslim faith. These acts are then taken up by extremists to present the entire Western world as Islamophobic. An important corrective to this would be to acknowledge that ISIS and its likes make Muslims themselves victims of doctrinal distortion and extremism on the one hand, and Islamophobia and collective stereotyping on the other. Instead of blaming each other, Muslims and non-Muslims have a shared interest in breaking this vicious cycle……

The articles:

ISIS Is Creating Chaos, but They’re a Product of Organized Chaos

What If The Islamic State Wins?

ISIL’s Biggest Mistake: the Disastrous Aleppo Moment for Syrian Rebels Is Repeating Itself for ISIL, This Time in Kobani

Is Central Asia Afraid Of ISIS?

ISIS and Islamophobia

 

Continent of the Islamic State
Vijay Prashad

Al-Baghdadi took the opportunity to announce that his Islamic State (IS) has accepted the oath of loyalty (bay’ah) of the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis of Egypt, of the al-Qaeda operation in Yemen and of the city of Derna in Libya. Al-Baghdadi’s was a terrifying sermon of triumph — “divide their gatherings, split their body, dismember them completely.” Out of northern Iraq and Syria, the IS spills over into the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa…..

 

A State Of Confusion, Cynicism and War
M.J. Akbar

Just in case you missed the news, one side will display the seven stalks of wheat mentioned in the Quran, while the other has a map of the world. Why the map? Because the Caliph wants to bring the world under his rule. How? Check out the silver dinar. It shows a sword and shield, symbols of his jihad. Separately, Al Qaeda has already declared war on a range of nations, including India and Burma, but this is a purely terrorist enterprise. The Caliph already has geography and for the immediate future has his eyes set on Saudi Arabia….

 

Do Not Count On another 11/11/11 Declaring the End Of IS Any Time Soon
Harlan Ullman

Not only has the three and a half centuries old Westphalian system of state-centric politics been challenged by the empowerment of individuals, groups and non-state actors, particularly IS, the artificial boundaries of the Middle East, codified by the secret Sykes-Picot Treaty of 1916, have been eliminated. And the future of Islam, wracked by the struggle among radicals, conservatives and modernists as well as between Sunnis and Shias (and Saudi Arabia and Iran), has been thrust into what Winston Churchill once called the “volcano of Iraq” as long ago as 1922. Unless or until the White House grasps these realities, do not count on another 11/11/11 declaring the end of IS any time soon......

 

Pakistan: Darkening Tangle
Ajit Kumar Singh

It has been reliably learnt that DAISH (al Dawlah al Islamiyah fi al Iraq wal Shām, ISIS) has offered some elements of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Ahl-e-Sunnat wal Jamat (ASWJ) to join hands in Pakistan. DAISH has also formed a ten-member Strategic Planning Wing and now seek to inflict casualties on Pakistan Army outfits who are taking part in operation Zarb-e-Azb…..

 

What Does The Isis Heartland Look Like From The Skies? I Buckled Up My Seat Belt to Find Out
Robert Fisk

No Syrian passenger aircraft any longer routes over Raqqa – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Syrian “capital”, where his lads occasionally do a little beheading and even crucifixion in the town square – but we flew directly over the city of Deir el-Zour, where government troops still hold part of the town; there was brown smoke eddying from the eastern sector, one bridge over the green Euphrates broken in half, Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra fighters still trying to wipe out the last garrison. Neither pilot believed Isis had ground-to-air missiles – not yet, at least – and they dismissed the reports that two captured old MiGs had been put back into the air by the Islamists. “….

 

The Message from Burdwan
Tufail Ahmad

Here is how the ISI hides its own role in jihad and insulates Pakistan’s army. After the Wagah attack, it got the Khorasani-led Taliban to say it was a revenge for Zarb-e-Azb operation. After each turbulence in India-Pakistan ties, Pakistani journalists parrot this line: the army chief does not want to get involved in it. To insulate Pakistan’s army from global criticism after the Wagah attack, the ISI got a Christian couple burnt alive, successfully diverting public opinion. In recent years, Pakistan was globally criticised for its role in the 26/11 attacks. The message from Burdwan: have Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s assassination executed from Indian soil—fundamentally an ISI plan—so that India stops blaming Pakistan for the 26/11 attacks…..

Securing Kabul: Afghanistan Has Become For the TTP the Same Kind Of Safe Haven That the FATA and Quetta Used To Be For Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban
Christophe Jaffrelot

Kabul will fight the Haqqanis but protect others, including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah, who has probably been in the Afghan province of Kunar since 2010.  Ironically, Afghanistan has become for the TTP the same kind of safe haven that the FATA and Quetta used to be for al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. One way out may be to follow the recommendations of Lt Gen (retd) Talat Masood of the Pakistan army: “If we are unable to convince the Haqqani leadership and Quetta Shura that they should work out a negotiated settlement with the Afghan government then what have we gained by hosting these groups apart from inviting the hostility of the Afghan government and the international community and much worse?....

 
The Last Hurrah?
Hasan Suroor

The Last Hurrah?
Hasan Suroor

“Bored with the Taliban and their AK-47s? Try Al Qaeda with its deadly bombs, and suicide bombers. Tired with Al Qaeda too? How about the all-new I.S. flush with armoured tanks, state-of-the-art missiles and its own caliphate to boot?” He went on to suggest that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now Islamic State (I.S.), too, was a “passing fashion”, adding: “Watch this space for our spring collection!” Jokes apart, questions about the I.S.’ “shelf life” are being raised even in knowledgeable circles…..

 

Fighting Extremism Must Not Be Left To the Hesitant Saudi Arabia and the Likes
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

At this time, extremist teachings and discourse increased because the situation was left to get worse. The circle of believers in extremism thus expanded until it all became as if we were living among the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group. It’s as if extremism had settled everywhere, controlling the mentality of a huge minority and sparking fear among a majority.....

Reflections on the Psychology of ISIL
Mustafa Akyol

These people include young boys, who are educated by their fathers or tutors to devote themselves to ISIL and fight “the infidels and apostates.” Apparently these “infidels and apostates” include most us, as several members of ISIL explicitly point to “the Americans,” “Europeans,” “America’s allies,” “secular Arabs,” and even the “apostate Turkish government.” But why does ISIL hate the “infidels?”….

 

Islamists Ready for Mediterranean Battle
Robert Fisk

Turkmens are used in the battles because of their local knowledge, but the soldiers here have noticed that the “labels and brands” of the various Islamist groups are constantly changing. If Isis is here as an organised structure, they say, it is still very small. But they have noticed the rebels now using armour-piercing missiles for the first time as well as missiles with a range of five kilometres. Among Arabic accents on the radios are voices from Egypt, Libya, the Gulf, Tunisia and Morocco....

 

The Islamic State Movement and Pakistan
Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi

Being an ideological and brutal movement, the Islamic State has opened several fronts. Had it confined itself to fighting against the Iraqi and Syrian governments, it would have enjoyed the support of Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab states. However, it has targeted the Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria. It has also threatened the conservative Arab kingdoms, including Saudi Arabia. Above all, it openly challenged the United States and European countries. .....

 

Egypt's War on Terrorism: World's Double Standards
Khaled Abu Toameh

The Egyptians, of course, are entitled to wage a ruthless war on the various terror groups that have long been operating in Sinai. However, by tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Egyptians are also giving Hamas and Islamic Jihad an excuse to resume their attacks on Israel....

 

Politics and the Past in Bangladesh: Dialling Down

Both had opposed independence and assisted Pakistan’s army. Jamaat’s student wing supplied members to pro-army militias that committed atrocities, abducting and killing academics and journalists. The war-crimes court accused Mr Nizami of “Gestapo-like attacks”....

 

Standing Up To the Lethal Volcano of Fundamentalism
Octavia Nasr

In the Arab world, archaic dictatorships hang on to power at any price despite a clear dissatisfaction by a large number of their constituents and despite the loud demand for reform of systems and infrastructures. Meantime, criticism of Islamic fundamentalism is considered criticism of the entire religion of Islam and therefore treated as a red line that no one can fathom crossing. The result is literally a deadly silence where shouts and protests are needed.....

 

Does Pakistan Have a Plan for ISIS
Marvi Sirmed

Farfetched though it may seem, it is possible that some of the Rommels we have might be thinking of the IS as a new asset for achieving a balance of power heavily tilted in our favour? It might seem silly, but it tells a lot about the kind of distrust the state has generated among its own people. Interested to correct it? Fix the country by putting your action where your mouth is. End the drama. Finish off LeJ, JeM, LeT, ASWJ, Jundallah, and TTP. Let Pakistan move ahead…..

 

Death for Merchants of Death, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer
S. Binodkumar Singh

The War Crimes Trials, and the cumulative verdicts against leaders of extremist parties and groups that have been at the core of destabilization in Bangladesh over the past decades, have been crucial in turning the country around after years of mounting chaos that had brought it to the very brink of failure. This process needs to be sustained, indeed, accelerated, despite the backlash of extremist entities, if the gains of the recent past are to be consolidated......

 

There is no easy answer to whether ISIL’s birth was a result of political demobilization of Sunnis in Iraq, or a reflection of what has been going on in the region for decades. Though, there is one simple fact: Military interventions will not score a touchdown unless there is a robust social reconstruction plan that aims to create an impact on the socio-political level. In the post-Saddam Iraq…

 

The ‘Explosive Growth’ of Jihadism in the Netherlands
Soeren Kern

Salafism is a movement that calls on Muslims to return to the form of Islam that was practiced at its inception. Its adherents reject many of the ideas and customs that have become part of Islamic tradition in subsequent centuries. Present-day Salafism has three main strands: apolitical, political and jihadi. All three pursue the same ultimate objective: the establishment of a society based solely upon the tenets of "pure" Islam. Unlike their jihadi counterpart, however, the apolitical and political strands argue that the principal means of reaching this goal should be "Da’wah," or the "call to Islam" in the form of preaching and proselytisation. By contrast, jihadi Salafism prioritizes the "necessity" of violent jihad.....

 

Growing Vulnerabilities in Pakistan
Ajit Kumar Singh

The Wagah attack is not an incident in isolation and, in fact, demonstrates the widespread vulnerability across Pakistan, and the inherent weakness of the state. While Punjab has long been thought to be relatively insulated from the wider movements of insurgency and terrorism that have engulfed the country's other three provinces, this seat of military and political power in Pakistan has demonstrated increasing evidence of growing volatility.....

 

Need To Nip Problem of Extremism in Bud
Mir Ayoob Ali Khan

The concept of caliphate that emerged after the passing away of Prophet Mohammad some 1,400 years ago existed in some form or the other all through history. The last caliphate ended in 1924 when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk replaced it with the Republic of Turkey. Sadly, without going into the technicalities, legitimacy and geographical boundaries of a caliphate, these Muslims have come to believe that formation of a caliphate will bring back the "glorious Muslim rule."….

ISIL or DA’ISH, Wasn’t Born Yesterday
Murat Yetkin

One has to look closer to see how radical Islamic movements found a cultivating ground thanks to the shortsighted policies of the governments of the Western alliance, including the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany and yes, Turkey, which tried to utilize the so called “moderate” Islam against the radical versions over the decades…..

 

Muslim Denial Knows No Bounds: One Way Of Dealing With Self-Styled 'Khalifa' Baghdadi Is To Call Him A Jew And A Mossad Agent, As Does Maulana Abul Irfan Firangi Mahli, But Will It Work?
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

Is the self styled caliph of Muslims, Abu Bakr Baghdadi alias Ibrahim a Jew and a secret agent of Mossad?... Some conspiracy theorists also suggest that many ‘neo-Muslims’ coming from Jewish background have joined Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with a motive....

However, while some find comfort in newer and newer conspiracy theories, many Muslims all over the world have responded to Baghdadi with support and acceptance, little realizing that he might be an enemy of Islam in the same way as the Saudi Wahhabi Kingdom that has by now destroyed almost all symbols of Islam's historicity....

Conspiracy theories have not worked in denying Muslim support to Saudi Kingdom; they are not likely to work in the case of this self-styled Khalifa Baghdadi. What could have worked then but was not tried with any degree of coherence and consistency and what could work now is a serious rebuttal of the extremist ideology of Kharjites and now neo-Kharjites by all sections of mainstream Islam.

There is a whole galaxy of extremist ideologues who have existed throughout the history of Islam. They cannot all be called MI6, CIA, KGB and Mossad agents. These ideologues have enjoyed varying degree of support among the masses. When the ideological mentor of Abdul Wahhab, Taqî ad-Dîn Aḥmad ibn Taymiyyah, for instance, died, while in prison for several years on charges of heresy, hundreds of thousands of Muslims turned up to pray for him, and, incidentally, he was buried in a Sufi cemetery and is still called Sheikh-ul-Islam by some.

We Muslims, at least those of us who want the community to come out of the mess in which we have put ourselves, have to recognise that we have a serious problem on the ideological plane and have to exert hard to sort it out, starting from the most basic question: who is a Muslim. A community that cannot sort out the question of who has the right to be considered its member obviously has a long way to go to join the modern world.

Please read below the Urdu translation of Maulana Abul Irfan Firangi Mahli's essay. When I read it first, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Please share your reactions with us on the New Age Islam forum.

The US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Their Allies Who Made ISIS Can Unmake It Also
Abolhassan Banisadr

Although ISIS is a product of the West’s policy of domination, it is also a Sunni version of Khomeinism. It was Ayatollah Khomeini who sanctified and glorified violence under the garb of religion....Khomeini implemented a doctrine of victory through terrorisation, and his regime’s ideologue, Mesbah Yazdi, has said that “if violence is the only way of achieving the Islamic goal, then it is necessary to use it”. He also said that “if, in a place like the desert where the police are not accessible, and if somebody insulted God, the prophet and Islam, then the sentence for insulting Islamic sacred is execution and if there is no possibility for a trial, then it is the duty of any Muslim to personally carry it out”....

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