Books and Documents
Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

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……

A Blood Stained Jihad: Massacre of Children Result of Rampant Fanaticism in a Pakistan At War With Modernity
MJ Akbar

What kind of mind believes that it can ascend to paradise from the graves of 132 innocent schoolchildren? The same mindset that kills at least 150 women, many pregnant, because they refuse to become sexual slaves in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar. At around the same time that a suicide mission from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) shook the soul of Pakistan and the world, a barbarian named Abu Anas al Libi executed these women, according to a report by the Turkish Anadolu Agency, “because they refused to accept jihad marriage”. A similar mental aberration persuades Sunni fanatics to practise Takfir, which declares many fellow Muslims “unbelievers”, or Kafirs, and therefore worthy of death. ….

Terrorists Must Not Be Granted Martyrdom But Given Life in Jail
Reema Abbasi

The tragic-comedy does not cease here - a nation awoke to the announcement of bail for Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi - prime conspirator of the Mumbai terror attacks.  The news has not only stirred anger in the media, but is in conflict with Sharif’s stance on the death penalty.  Pakistan’s darkest day has left a message - terrorists must suffer a life sentence, and not be granted ‘martyrdom’ conferred on instant death…..


We are left with questions: Can this grief and outrage be channelled? Will Pakistan have a plan to deal with terror and finally crack down in a manner that leaves no room for more attacks?  The writing is on the wall, it is time for Pakistan to take a tough stand on terror. It is time to behead the beast that keeps raising its head, even if this means posting the army at schools, mosques and churches…..


Such a Long Nightmare: The Pakistan State Must Find the Will to Confront not Just Jihadist Fighters, but also their Project
Praveen Swami

For the most part, the language we have used to describe the massacre of 132 school children in Peshawar has consisted of cliché: the perpetrators were evil, cowardly, animals. This language of righteous rage tells us next to nothing about the perpetrators and why they acted as they did. The Taliban’s justification of the carnage may be self-serving, but it also tells us that their acts had context….


Peshawar, My Ancestral City, Is Dying a Slow Death At The Hands Of Religious Fundamentalists, Mullahs, Madrasas, and Militants
Murtaza Haider

I wish I could say, “We didn’t see it coming.” But that would be a lie. We saw it coming, but chose to ignore all the warnings until it was too late to prevent our children from being murdered before our very eyes. Peshawar, my ancestral city, is dying a slow death at the hands of religious fundamentalists. Slowly, but surely, the City fell to mullahs, madrasas, and militants. It all started rather inconspicuously in December 1974, when a bomb explosion injured two at the American Centre in Peshawar. Many did not think much of it. However, dozens of bomb blasts and thousands of civilian deaths later, it became obvious who the enemy was…..

“We have killed all the children in the auditorium,” one of the attackers told his handler. “What do we do now?” he asked. “Wait for the army people, kill them before blowing yourself,” his handler ordered. This, according to a security official, was one of the last conversations the attackers and their handler had shortly before two remaining suicide bombers charged towards the special operations ……


The ulema of Deoband should clarify whether they really stand shoulder to shoulder with the terrorists, as claimed by Maulvi Abdul Aziz. Do the ulema who have issued fatwas against terrorism follow any other Shariat? Maulana Abdul Aziz has spoiled the honour of a religious scholar with his activities. It is surprising to see a government employee shamelessly supporting terrorists. While the entire nation wants to get rid of the menace of terrorism, some wayward people are backing the terrorists and want to import more terrorism as representatives of the ISIS…..

Tribal Barbarism In The Name Of Islam
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

This bloody incident has given a chance to Muslims, especially of this area, to reconsider the whole matter. Only one more event of this kind has been reported in the past. It was also carried out by Islamist terrorists in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia in 2004. Muslims must think why such events take place in the Muslim world, while these have never occurred in the non-Muslim world.....

Pakistan: A Failure to Understand
Maryam Sakeenah

But I wonder at those human beings chanting Arabic religious expressions who blew themselves up for the ‘glorious cause’ of taking revenge from innocent unsuspecting school children. I wonder how they had gone so terribly, terribly wrong in their humanity, their faith…..

Pakistan from the Graveyard

“I AM not sure if Pakistan was created in the name of religion, but it is surely being destroyed in the name of religion.” So wrote a distraught former army officer on December 16th, as a terrorist attack, awful even by Pakistan’s grim standards, unfolded in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the north-west of the country, not far from the border with Afghanistan. Nine members of the Pakistani Taliban, speaking with the local Pashtu accent and dressed in the uniforms of the local paramilitary force, came from a graveyard and over the wall of a large, army-run school. They then moved about, killing children and teachers with guns and grenades. Three or four attackers are said to have blown themselves up…..


This Terror Has a Name
Khaled Ahmed

The day he realises that Pakistan’s internal dysfunction has been caused by Pakistan’s foreign policy and that only a radical change of this policy can end this dysfunction, he will succeed in “normalising” the state. By foreign policy, one means relations with India. The irony is, in the bipartisan political system of Pakistan, both the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League have tried by turns to “normalise” relations with India through trade. Each time, however, the army has prevented them from changing the paradigm of confrontation. Pakistan has persisted in its foreign policy at the cost of total regional and global isolation. The time has come to end it…..


India with Pakistan: Together We Can
Beena Sarwar

In an unprecedented move, students at schools across India observed a two-minute silence on December 17, in solidarity with the victims and survivors of the barbaric attack on an army-run school in Peshawar. Immensely moved, Pakistanis have responded with gratitude for this humane gesture that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed for. There is also gratitude for the hashtag #IndiaWithPakistan on social media. A Pakistani friend remarks on the “irony that our so-called arch enemy’s sympathy and voice seem more comforting in this time of need then our pious apologists”. …..


Pakistan’s Greatest Enemy Is Denial
Husain Haqqani

But will Pakistanis respond to the Peshawar school attack by starting to change the national narrative that has brought us to this point? Or will the narrative take over, as it has done after previous tragedies, allowing tweaking of Pakistani policy without significantly changing it? The December 16 attack is the result of a sustained national policy gone wrong. It can only be changed by a new, sustained policy. The origins of Pakistan’s ill-fated romance with Jihadism lie in the notion that the country faces an existential threat from India….


The Pakistani Taliban released the pictures as they issued a statement claiming the attack was justified because the Pakistani army had long been killing innocent children and families of their fighters. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani also vowed more attacks as he warned civilians to detach themselves from all military institutions…..


Between the CIA and ISIS: Is Torture a Basic Human Trait?
Octavia Nasr

Have you read the CIA torture report in some of its most gruesome details? Has the cruelty of Islamist groups made you sick? Have you been repulsed by the silence or justification given to cover up the bestiality every time it occurs? We know how we became “human” whether you subscribe to the evolution theory or creationism stories. Either way, it is hard to find a unified definition or ethos for what it means to be a “human” today…..


Peshawar Attack Stories: She Was Sitting On the Chair with Blood Dripping From Her Body As She Burned

But the images that 16-year-old Shahrukh Khan replayed from a hospital bed in Peshawar told the full story of the terror and brutality that unfolded at the army school. Talking to an AFP correspondent, Khan recalled seeing “big black boots” coming towards him before he was shot in both legs. Then, he woke up and crawled to the next room to witness this sight: “I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire. She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned.”.....


Peshawar Attack Stories:

Peshawar Attack: Taliban Attackers Shot Most Students Point Blank in Head

‘I Will Never Forget the Big Black Boots and a Body on Fire’

Pakistan School Kids Recall Narrow Escapes, Carnage in Taliban Slaughter

Will Chase Down Every Terrorist to Their Hideouts: Pak PM

Outpouring of Grief as Twin Cities Reacts To Peshawar School Attack


Pakistan Must Live In Peshawar
Reem Wasay

The school was targeted because it was one where military officers sent their offspring and because it was a symbol of everything the Taliban are opposed to: enlightenment and freedom. Where their lies and propaganda brainwash ignorant minds, schools liberate future generations from their draconian claws. Malala Yousafzai (you either love her or hate her in Pakistan) was shot in the face by the same mentality in 2012 and many here sneered at her, calling her a U.S. agent…..


In its most recent gruesome video, ISIS made 22 of its members behead what they claimed was a group of Syrian army officers and pilots. But this time, with the notable exception of British leader Jihad John, the executioners showed their faces. At least one of them was Asian. Some others were white. Two French citizens are thought to be in that video, among other nationalities. The message was clear: ISIS has an army of global fighters who will threaten every country in the world…..


Lone Madman or a Networked Holy Warrior?
John Blaxland

The hostage incident in Sydney's Martin Place has been resolved with the captor, a recent convert from Shia to Sunni Islam with a criminal record killed, along with two hostages and several others injured. Yet this bizarre incident and the strange circumstances raises more questions than it answers. Is this a symptom of an emerging civilisational "War Amongst the People" or the act of just another unhinged lone madman?....


The word "jihad" is widely used, though often inaccurately, by Western politicians and media. In Arabic, the word means "effort" or "struggle". In Islam, it could be an individual's internal struggle against baser instincts, the struggle to build a good Muslim society, or a war for the faith against unbelievers.....

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