Books and Documents
Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

Looming Shadows of Islamic State
Vijay Prashad

One of the essential elements of the I.S. is that it operates like a pendulum. When it was hit hard in Kobane, its fighters moved towards the Lebanon-Syria border and back into Iraq’s Anbar Province. They do not stand fast in the face of defeat. Retreat and regroup is the methodology of their battle groups. In the Qalamoun Mountains that divide Syria from Lebanon, the I.S. sent some of its most battle-ready fighters and its most respected clerics to try and absorb Al Qaeda’s fighting group, Jabhat al-Nusra. ….


Stil ISIS’ lack of strategic coherence hasn’t detracted from its success thanks to its media operatives’ good sense. As its hostage videos prove, images are just as important as reality in our world. Even a global jihadist organization doesn’t need a solid strategy if it has skilled copywriters….


Who Is Really Guilty Of Defaming Islam?
Nawar Fakkhry Ezzi

Historically, this genre has been used in the West as a tool for political and social propaganda. Satire also seems like the perfect genre for racists because they can use stereotypes, political incorrectness, and offensive language and images freely. When it is used in this way, however, it spreads and entices hatred between different groups of people, especially because the ‘other’ is most of the time the target of the ridicule. On the other hand, the world becomes a better place when idealists express their thoughts through satire. For Muslims, in general, and Arabs, in particular, this method of expression has been used very prudently because it is too crude for people’s conservative taste and religious ideas are usually off-limits….

Ideology and the Rise of Terror
Vasundhara Sirnate

The Taliban, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and IS are organisations born out of particular configurations of geopolitics and superpower interventions and invasions. They started as resistance movements that were aimed at creating more ideal states and opposed foreign invasions, bad governance and despotic regimes. These groups are trying to create new states. This is why their strategies have been ideological and extremely violent with scant regard for human rights; for state formation is a messy, bloody affair. Just think of Europe between 900 and 1900 AD…..

Don’t Use High Theory to Justify Extremism
Debotri Dhar

Some even suggest that 9/11 and 26/11 were not terrorist attacks but American and Indian conspiracies respectively. (Foreign climes are particularly conducive for conspiracy theories, but that is plain ludicrous.) Humanity's ultimate bastion of hope collapses when educators use the accommodative indirections of high theory to advocate extremism. We must understand that, after a point, colour ceases to matter: saffron, red, green, all bleed into the death-shroud of white. All sides are dangerously armed. To quote Iqbal: "Watan Ki Fikr Kar Nadan, Musibat Aani Wali Hai."…..


Charlie Hebdo Exposes Our Double Standards
Syed Ubaidur Rahman

And by the way where is the limit of freedom of expression. Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were given a free hand while drawing outrageous cartoons of the Prophet, caricatures of Christian religious figures were not allowed as it would disturb law and order. Following the publications of Prophet Muhammad cartoons in 2012 that were more than ‘shocking’ and ‘offensive’, the French government, which claims to be the champion of human rights and free speech, banned street protests….


As a Muslim, I'm Fed up with the Hypocrisy of the Free Speech Fundamentalists
Mehdi Hasan

You and I didn't like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists"? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubya's slogan: either you are with free speech... or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo... or you're a freedom-hating fanatic. I'm writing to you to make a simple request: please stop….


Striking Fear in Paris
Uri Avnery

For other potential Islamic terrorists throughout Europe and America, this must look like a huge achievement. It is an invitation for individuals and tiny groups to do the same again, everywhere. Terrorism means striking fear. The three in Paris certainly succeeded in doing that. They terrorized the French population. And if three youngsters without any qualifications can do that, imagine what 30 could do, or 300!...

A Muslim Perspective on Charlie Hebdo – A Side War
Karim al-Andalusi

“I find stupid that suddenly after the terrorist attack a wave of Muslims appear in the social networks apologising for what happen… Why? Why shall Muslims (an entire community) apologise for what three mad men did? Did “we” (Europeans) apologise for the 1 million Iraqis killed in Iraq? Or did “we” apologise for the years of oppression caused in North Africa? … ” Second, the whole Charlie Hebdo tension is extremely marginal beside the injustice the Arab world is currently experiencing. Charlie Hebdo and the like issues pop up every now and then and would deviate the peoples away from their main cry: Degage, tyrants should step down….


ISIS Has a Message, Do We?
Jamie Dettmer

Nothing could be more off-base where young militants and jihadi aspirants are concerned. They hold certain truths to be self-evident, starting with rejection of the authority structures in the governments of the West and the governments that the West supports in the Muslim world. If they accepted the status quo, they would not be so fascinated by people from backgrounds much like theirs who are fighting the tyrant Bashar al-Assad and cutting off the heads of non-believers in Syria and Iraq. If the message of the West is essentially, “Let’s not do these bad things, let’s keep everything the way it is,” that’s not going to fly…..


Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Afghanistan
Musa Khan Jalalzai

In Ghazni province, masked men have begun attacking houses, vehicles and individuals, and carrying the black flag of IS. Afghan government officials say that these people are not Afghans and cannot speak Pashto or Persian. In Kabul, there are speculations that the chief of the IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had established his contacts across the country when he was fighting alongside the Taliban regime against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. He was then representing the Ishaq extremist group…..


From Obscurity to Dominance: The Continuing Rise of Yemen’s al-Houthi Movement
James Brandon

Although the Houthi movement has sought to increase its control over the Yemeni government without taking direct responsibility for running the Yemeni state, it is unclear whether it will be able to achieve this balance. Indeed, the Houthis have inherited the same challenges which led Ali Abdullah Saleh to describe governing Yemen as “dancing on the heads of snakes,” including a bankrupt and dysfunctional state, a fractious tribal environment, a smoldering al-Qaeda insurgency….

Thy Freedom Is Divine, My Freedom Is Vice!
M. Burhanuddin Qasmi for New Age Islam

Thy Freedom Is Divine, My Freedom Is Vice!
M. Burhanuddin Qasmi for New Age Islam

What we understand from freedom of speech is a political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas using one's physical means to anyone who is willing to receive them. Every government in the world restricts freedom of speech to a certain degree. This is our freedom of speech and is not absolute. It carries certain responsibilities and is not evil or vice. We are not, and we don’t want to support Charlie Hebdo to incite 1.7 billion Muslims and insult Prophet Muhammad (saws)....

Terror of Hypocrisy: Let’s Not Be Selective or Hypocritical In the Debate Surrounding Freedom of Expression and Demand for Condemnation from ‘Moderate’ Muslims
Irena Akbar

Yes, the “moderate” Muslim has performed her “duty” of condemning the acts of her “violent” co-religionists. She has told her non-Muslim friends and colleagues that she doesn’t support the terrorists who murdered the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. But she has also explained to them that she is deeply offended by the obnoxious cartoons. Depicting the Prophet naked, crouching, with genitals exposed? It’s unfunny, nonsensical and nothing but bigotry hiding behind freedom of expression. It’s not even satire….

The Silence of Corpses
Praveen Swami

In the year 1192, al-Hakim Yusuf al-Sabti watched as an angry mob burned down the library of a great doctor from Cordoba, who had been accused of atheism by the clerics of Baghdad. He saw in the hands of Sheikh Ibn al-Maristaniya, the leader of the mob, a rare copy of the Tadhkirah fi’Ilm al-Haya’a, a masterwork by the great medieval scientist Abu Ali ibn al-Haytham that contained proofs that the earth was round. Al-Sabti recorded: “The sheikh exclaimed: ‘here is a huge disaster’, and as he said that he ripped up the book and threw it into the fire.” The heirs of the medieval Islamic rulers who had been al-Haytham’s patrons did not resist the tide: with no challenge to their power then in sight, science was a small sacrifice to appease increasingly powerful clerics. In the centuries that followed, the Middle East’s intellectuals plunged into what the Germans call kadavergehorsamkeit: the silence of corpses…..


The Pencil and the Hijab: Freedom of Expression Includes the Right Not To Be Secular
Gershom Gorenberg

This week, looking at photos of the mass rally in Paris, I was impressed by the apparent show of shared purpose. But I wondered how many of the marchers using the symbol of a pencil to defend free speech would also defend the right to express oneself by wearing a Hijab. This isn't a rhetorical question; I don't know the answer. I'd suggest, however, that acceptance of the woman in the pastel Hijab as a full citizen of the republic, a Frenchwoman, is essential to the war on terror…..


Freedom of Provocateur
Yusuf Kanli

Alas, soon it became clear that everything was just for the cameras, solely aimed at public relations when, as the dust was still on his shoes, the premier condemned a Turkish newspaper as a “provocateur” for republishing the cover and a “non-hazardous” selection of cartoons from Charlie Hebdo to demonstrate solidarity against an Islamo-carnivorous attack on press freedom. Why?  Because if any media outlet dared to insult in any manner the holy values, particularly the prophet of Islam, such an action was tantamount to encouraging Muslims to launch an attack against it…..


The Strategy of the Paris Attacks
Gwynne Dyer

The great Muslim civil war is about the political, social and cultural modernisation of the Muslim world. Should it continue down much the same track that other major global cultures have followed, or should those changes be stopped and indeed reversed? The Islamists take the latter position. Some aspects of modernization are very attractive to many Muslims, so stopping the changes would require a lot of violence, including the overthrow of most existing governments in Muslim countries. But that is the task that the Islamists in general, and the jihadi activists in particular, have undertaken….


Salafism, Secularism, Laicism and Islam
Tayfun Atay

In the modern world where everybody is literate and has a profession, the corresponding meanings have been exceeded and overridden, but the meaning of "laic" corresponding to a person who is not a religious scholar has remained. Meanwhile, the archaeological structure of the word invalidates the widespread opinion in Turkey that “a person cannot be laic; only states can be laic,” because the word defines, as a root, a person who is religious but not a scholar. But is it the laicism of the state that is important in today’s world…

To Super-Sensitive-Religious Jihadists
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

Muhammad the messenger was subjected to physical abuse and vilification all through his apostolic life, and banishment from his home town Makka; yet he forgave them all when he eventually conquered the city. He could have justly avenged himself by spilling Makkan blood, but he did not, so say the history books, of which you are ignorant. So you are also ignorant that tribes there used to wage wars against each other for generations, for grazing-rights for camels!

What is more is that when you commit your crimes, you do so in the apostle’s name and by invoking Almighty God that you say you worship. You people shamelessly shout Allah hu Akbar! Yet this Almighty God warns you: “if you kill one innocent non-combatant person it is as if you have killed whole humanity”.  But you kill not one but many and your own too!

Medusas of Mayhem
Ravi Shankar

The Indian Army says that 21 such women are being trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba at training camps in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to attack India. The mastermind is none other than the planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi. The group of women terrorists, named Dukhtareen-e-Taiba, will be unleashed in the Kashmir Valley through the Uri sector, according to an Indian defence report. So far, Indian intelligence has detected 42 terrorist training camps across the border, which is believed to have women as members…..


Only Muslims Can Stop More Terror Attacks
Paul Collier

In all societies, a significant minority of young men are hormonally predisposed to violence. A core task for a community is to restrain them by means of its culture. Over the centuries Europe’s communities have succeeded so well that our region has become by far the most peaceful society that has ever been known. Yet against this background of peace, Europe’s Muslim communities have manifestly failed to build sufficiently powerful cultural restraints…..


Hate-Speech Laws Aren't the Answer to Islamic Extremism; They're Part of the Problem
Nina Shea

In 2008, the EU mandated religious hate-speech laws, with European officials indignantly declaring that there is "no right to religious insult." More revealingly, one official European commission delicately explained that this measure was taken to "preserve social peace and public order" in light of the "increasing sensitivities" of "certain individuals" who "have reacted violently to criticism of their religion."…


Also, these Islamophobic incidents have been reported from all over France. It goes without saying that unless prompt action is taken, the situation can easily spiral out of control. French law enforcement authorities must crack down on those targeting innocent Muslims and send out a clear message that retributive violence against any religious community will not be tolerated, especially in as fiercely secular a country as France.....

Western Public Opinion Should Not Be Manipulated
Samar Fatany

The liberty of taking up arms against a sovereign country is illegal under the UN charter.  Advocates of peace should mobilize global public opinion to stop the escalation of conflicts and wars. They should exert more pressure on Western policy makers to apply justice and promote peaceful coexistence.  The expansionist policy of Israel, which continues to defy international laws and UN resolutions, remains to be one of the root causes of terror in the region.  The deliberate Judaisation of Al-Quds and the systematic changes in the demographic make-up of the city is an antagonistic practice that is also the source of much rage in the Arab and Muslim world. …..

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