Books and Documents
Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

16/12/14 Must Be Moulded In the Making of a Brand New Existential Narrative for the Besieged Nation
Nadeem F. Paracha

Our military leaders, civilian representatives in the parliament (and even on the streets), our media, in fact each one of us must immediately strive to reach that long-awaited new consensus about exactly what kind of a Pakistan we want; how to achieve it and, more so, make sure that never again will we allow a madness that causes thousands of mothers and fathers cry over the still bodies of their children….


Peshawar Mayhem: A Crime against Islam
Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg

First, as far back as the 7th Century, Islam emphasized the sanctity of civilians, especially children. In a very well-known tradition, the First Caliph Abu Bakr instructed the army he dispatched in 632 AD, as such: “You shall not engage in treachery; you shall not act unfaithfully; you shall not engage in deception; you shall not indulge in mutilation; you shall kill neither a young child nor an old man nor a woman; you shall not fell palm trees or burn them, you shall not cut down any fruit-bearing tree; you shall not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel except for food. You will pass people who occupy themselves in monks’ cells; leave them alone, and leave alone what they busy themselves with.”….


The Taliban’s ‘Alarmingly Efficient’ War On Education
Jon Henley

Peshawar Public Army School was far from the first Pakistani school to be targeted by the fundamentalist militants: according to a comprehensive report released earlier this year by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), a coalition of organisations including Human Rights Watch, Save the Children and UNICEF, at least 838 were attacked between 2009 and 2012. Hundreds were destroyed…..


Pakistan Must Discard its 'Good Taliban, Bad Taliban' Narrative
Beena Sarwar

The Peshawar attack won't prevent future attacks unless the Pakistani government upholds the rule of law and prosecutes murderers. The Pakistan government has yet to prosecute those who are already in custody on terror charges, like the two attackers in the Ahmadi attacks of 2010, captured by Ahmadi worshippers and handed over to the police. Although charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act and still in custody, they have yet to be punished…..

Protesting Against Apologists
Basil Nabi Malik

The protests outside Lal Masjid, although limited in nature, represent a realisation in at least a segment of society that Pakistan needs to reclaim the space lost to the clergy. Participants appear to want to “reclaim their mosques”, or have their opinions represented in the narrative of not only the country, but their religion as well. It recognises that as a collective narrative of state and religion has been intentionally manufactured over the years…

Pakistan: The Blood Price Of Faustian Bargains
Mirza Waheed

It is perhaps another measure of the deep schisms in Pakistan's body-politic that apologists for such openly hostile groups go into conspiracy-theory mode every time the former commit an atrocity. Very soon, the Pakistani Taliban and their affiliates may have to distance themselves from their defenders in TV studios and on social media, because even when the Taliban triumphantly claim responsibility for murderous attacks, the apologists seem to say, "No, you didn't do it, bro." That evergreen excuse, the foreign hand, is invoked even as leaders of extremist groups openly address rallies in Pakistan's cities, threatening more murder. ….


What the Taliban Really Want Is Implementation of Pakistan’s Constitution
Aakar Patel

To answer the question that analysts have been scratching their heads over: what the Taliban really want is implementation of Pakistan’s Constitution. That is why it is difficult to fight them because they say they are right on the question of law. No fight against them will succeed, or can even be properly started, unless the confusion over the Constitution and its promise is resolved…..

Time to Confront the Taliban Apologists in Our Midst
Maria Amir

The past two days have seen the country ‘congratulating’ itself for standing united in the face of this atrocity: Imran Khan has been revered for ‘calling off his Dharna’, our Prime Minister has been applauded for ‘acting quickly’ and demanding that the death penalty be enforced on prisoners on death row. We are all supposedly ‘united’. Really? Is the bar so low that we now congratulate ourselves for having had the decency to muster up a human response to an inhuman tragedy that goes beyond the power matrix? Apparently, it is…..

Turning Point Peshawar?
Hamid Mir

The whole world is standing with Pakistan. This is an opportunity not only for Pakistan but for the whole of South Asia to unite and strike the enemies of humanity without any distinction between good and bad. Let us stop our dirty double games with each other. Let us play fair for the sake of the memory of all those innocent people who have lost their lives in terrorist incidents all over South Asia in the last one decade……


Wash My Blood-Stained Bag, Mama
Osama Bin Javaid

My brother said they were checking if anyone was playing dead by putting the hot barrels of their guns on their necks. Anyone who made a noise was shot. My brother turned his phone to silent and played dead too. There was so much blood coming out of his bullet wound that they didn't bother to check if he was alive. This time he was really scared. He said, 'don't come to get me or they will kill you too. They just killed my friend'…..


Peshawar Carnage Implications
Babar Ayaz

Suffering terrorism, violent sectarianism and an independence movement in Balochistan, the people are questioning, now openly, the policy of nurturing various jihadi groups by the state. Is the state ready to change its skewed strategic culture is a question asked by many writers. Christina Fair, in her latest book Fighting to The End, is not very hopeful. But I would like to take some solace in what a retired senior official once said, “Old policies of the state are like the Titanic; they need time to change course.” I hope it does before we hit the iceberg…..


It Wasn’t the Final Atrocity: From Time To Time, Pakistan Shall Continue To Witness More Such Catastrophes
Pervez Hoodbhoy

…if Pakistan is to be at peace with itself then it must seek peace with its neighbours and begin disassembling the apparatus of jihad. The bitter truth is that you reap what you sow Today, massive militant establishments hold the Pakistani state hostage. They run their own training centres, hospitals, and disaster relief programmes. When Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs, said that Pakistan was not going to target militant groups which “did not pose a threat to the state”, he accidentally spilled the beans. In fact he was merely restating Pakistan’s well-known zero-sum paradigm — we live to hurt others, not to better ourselves…..

How the Pakistani Taliban Became a Deadly Force
Declan Walsh and Douglas Schorzman

Through the years, the militants have also hit Pakistani military and intelligence targets, including a suicide bombing in the canteen of Pakistan’s elite special forces commandos, the Special Services Groups, and a hostage-taking inside the army’s General Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The Pakistani Taliban were also behind fatal bomb blasts on softer targets like the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September 2008 and the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar in 2009.....


In This Country... We Were Supposed To......
Mosharraf Zaidi

In this country, we were supposed to be able to seek knowledge. To pray safely, to love safely, to worship safely, to learn. We go to China quite a lot, but it is only to ask for things. To ask for weapons systems to use against India. To ask for forgiveness for allowing terrorists from ETIM to operate in our country. We never went to China to seek knowledge, or to ask why Chinese Muslims aren’t allowed to fast. In this country, we were supposed to live without fear. But here we are. We are scared of Modi and his Hindutvadis. We were never scared before. Over 1,000 years we lived with them, never scared. Now, we’re scared? Nuclear weapons, F-16s, tanks, MRAPs, night vision goggles, training, surveillance equipment, guns, bullets, and bombs. Why do we exist in fear in a free country?....


The Poison Within: If You Keep Vipers in Your Garden Don’t Be Surprised If You Get Bitten
Irfan Husain

“IF you keep vipers in your garden,” goes the old proverb. “Don’t be surprised if you get bitten.” After years of getting bitten regularly, we have developed an immunity to snake venom. But every once in a while, a particularly poisonous serpent can still inflict a lot of suffering. And then cries go up to clear the garden once and for all. But soon, the pain subsides, and the soothing refrain goes up: they are our snakes, after all, and we can train them to behave better; they are only reacting to drone attacks; once the nasty Americans leave the neighbourhood, they will calm down; and we should not kill the snakes that only bite our neighbours…..

The State’s Duty is to Truly Counter Terrorism
Huma Yusuf

Only a state can take the kind of holistic measures needed to truly counter terrorism: strengthening the criminal justice system; reviving local policing; revising hate-filled school curriculum; upholding hate speech laws; and cutting the flows of terrorism financing. Only the state can match the organisation and resources of the militant groups that are destroying Pakistan…..


These people have not committed this atrocity for only one reason. Not because they are Muslims, not because they are primitive, not because they are Pashtun, not because they have no sense of honour, not even because they are coldly advancing their interests. The generic version of this statement encompasses all these things: an ideological position, a strong sense of identity associated with righteousness and justice, an assessment of politics, and a large-scale strategic environment that permits, even encourages, this behaviour. This generic description applies to all of the multifarious sides in this mess.....

Terrorism and Domestic Politics: Nawaz Sharif's Extremist, ISI Links
G Parthasarathy

In our public discourse on terrorism from territory under Pakistan's control, there has been a tendency to hold the military establishment as being solely responsible for the rise of terrorist outfits in Pakistan, as though the country's political parties are devoid of any responsibility for the burgeoning of radical Islamic groups in the country. The Deobandi-oriented Jamiat Ulema e Islam (JUI) headed by Maulana Fazl ur Rehman has backed the Taliban in Afghanistan, Harkat ul Mujahideen in J&K and Jaish e Mohammed, responsible for the hijacking of IC 814 and the December 2001 attack on our Parliament…..


From Peshawar, With Tears of Blood
Owais Tohid

“It seems that only yesterday, I took my son for his first day in school, and today I took my son to the graveyard to bury him with my own hands.” Aurangzeb’s 15-year-old son Hasan Zeb left his home for the Army Public School along with his younger brother Musa Zeb on Tuesday, but will never come back. “He made Qahva for me and hugged me, his mother kissed his forehead. I should have curled him in my lap and kept him there forever.”….


Humanity Dies as Peshawar Bleeds
Zara Hafeez

With an exceedingly heavy heart and a throat choked up on tears, I extend my condolences to all those people who lost their loved ones, their children in this incident today. And for all those who support the Taliban and are their apologists, God damn you to the deepest pits of hell. Leave us alone! Leave our children alone! Don’t for a moment think that only Peshawar bleeds today, because on this atrocious day, Pakistan bleeds. On this day, humanity bleeds….


A Conditional Caliphate
M.J. Akbar

The tragic irony is that Islam historically flourished precisely because it left space for pluralism in faith and politics. Verse 2:256 of the Koran unambiguously states that "There shall be no coercion in matters of religion." The Prophet Muhammad banned female infanticide, a common practice at that time, and Quranic law gave women inheritance rights. As for the concept of jihad, only a state can declare a holy war; the maverick Jihadism that we see today is evidence of chaos rather than the realization of Islamic doctrine. If Islam is in any danger today, it is from rogue Islamists who fail to recognize that the former glory of the Ottoman caliphate grew out of its policy of tolerance, such as providing refuge for Jews fleeing the inquisition in Spain and Portugal. Long before the closed-minded caliphate of ISIS and its allies can hurt their declared enemies, they will devastate the faith of the faithful…..

Pakistan: A Country in Mourning
Mehr F. Husain

Divisions and cracks had started appearing and critics of the Taliban waited to see how the umbrella organisation imploded. This horrific attack on the schoolchildren in Peshawar was not driven by religion, ethnicity, class or creed. It was the result of an organisation blinded by its lust for blood……


Will Pakistan Unite Against The Ideology Behind The Peshawar Massacre?
Imtiaz Gul

Not only is the Peshawar Army Public School attack a typical target killing – the target being an installation associated with the Pakistan army – but also an attempt to strike fear into the minds of people at large, creating panic and uncertainty. That is a simple terror tactic that groups such as the TTP or its new branches like Jamaat ul Ahrar and Jundullah deploy as part of their destructive agendas. The tactic may be surprising, but the attack is not

The Lessons from Peshawar: How About Expelling All Those Targeting Innocents In The Name Of Faith from the Fold of Islam
Aijaz Zaka Syed

The Muslim world needs to evolve a more nuanced, thinking approach to this Fitna. And it starts with urgent recognition of the magnitude of the challenge we face in violent extremism. As Sharif pointed out, this is OUR own war and we must approach it as such. How about expelling all those targeting innocents in the name of faith from the fold of Islam? Extreme crises call for extreme measures.

Extremism's Innocent Victims: Children and Islam
Queen Rania

Islam did not kill children yesterday. Evil, depraved monsters of men did. They did so to scare us, to separate us and to sow the seeds of hatred and mistrust. We must not let them. There are no words to comfort the distraught parents of those innocent children. It's too soon. But we can stand with them in solidarity, regardless of race or religion. And we can work harder as a global family to protect our children. So that when they skip out of our homes in the morning, we know and they know that they will return to our arms later that day……

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