Books and Documents
Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

Shariah Is Not the Issue: Taliban Are into More Real Things
Ayaz Amir

The Taliban are in a war and those fighting wars are realists, not armchair philosophers arguing about theory and metaphysical subtleties. Of course they will say they are for the enforcement of Allah’s commandments but that is like the Pakistani side saying that they are for talks strictly within the ambit of the constitution. Both are rhetorical positions from which the two sides will not waver. But the focus of both sides, the Taliban more than the government, will be on concrete issues....


The grand Mufti of the Islamic world had also described suicide bombers as “robbed of their minds... who have been used (as tools) to destroy themselves and societies.”  It seemed that the Taliban terrorists instead of learning from the grand’s Mufti’s decree are still going in the opposite direction by committing suicide attacks. Their activities are part of a conspiracy to defame Islam and destroy Muslims and they are enemies of Islam and the Muslims as they commit crimes against humanity, misguide fellow Muslims especially the innocent youth.  ...


Should Pakistan Negotiate With Terrorists?
Nadeem M. Qureshi

And they also know that in the end, the TTP will have to be defeated on the battleground, not the conference room. So why are politicians reluctant to do what needs to be done? No one is quite sure about the answer….


The Who’s Who of Peace Talks between Pakistan and Taliban
Tallat Azim

Maulana Sami’s connections with Madam Tahira, formerly of running a brothel fame who once stated that the Maulana liked being in the centre of, how shall I put it delicately - things, which also earned him the nickname of Maulana sandwich. Professor Ibrahim’s affiliation with a party whose leader did not retract from considering Hakimullah Mehsud a Shaheed and the interview of Maulana Abdul Aziz in a Burqa, the attire in which he tried to escape from Lal Masjid, is still a very clear memory....


Who is the Nicest Terrorist of Them All?
Michael Curtis

President Barack Obama has declared that al-Qaeda had been "decimated" or is "on the path to defeat."  We now know that in fact, it is alive and well.  It has mutated from a single terrorist organization into one with many branches, perhaps called by different names, but nevertheless linked to each other.  It is engaged in civil war among its own affiliates as well as with its proclaimed enemies.  That civil war has come to a height with the disowning by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, of the rival group, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, normally referred to as ISIS, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi….


Zawahiri Still a Dark Force in Global Jihad
Bruce Riedel

Zawahiri has always compared al-Qaeda to a band of knights fighting under the banner of Islam. They do not command a global army or a vast popular audience. Terrorism is not a popularity contest. Rather, the "knights" provide examples of what a few determined believers can do so as to inspire those who will come later to create a new caliphate, unite Islam, destroy Israel and drive America home broken and defeated just like the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It may all be a twisted fantasy and Zawahiri is a murderer, but the view from his hideout, wherever it is, is probably a lot different from the media speculation….


Threats to Britain's Open Society
Tufail Ahmad

The Darul Uloom madrassa in the village of Chislehurst, modelled after India’s Darul Uloom Deoband, seeks to produce “an Islamic elite who will rule the Muslim world” — as reported by British Indian journalist Edna Fernandes, who also reported that music, drama and modern foreign languages are deemed un-Islamic and Shakespeare is seen as evil for dealing with subjects like love and revenge….


Why Are Extremist Groups Fighting The World, From Syria To Burma?
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Despite efforts, these groups are increasing in number. Al-Qaeda, as a concept, an organization, a set of activities and a set of individuals, has proven that it is a contagious disease in many areas of the region….

At The Table, With Taliban
Khaled Ahmed

Sharif was loaded with anti-American baggage, intellectually chaperoned by Mushahid Hussain and spiritually aided by a brainwashed nation convinced that the US was egging India on to destroy Pakistan. This is still the case, but Sharif is now a mature politician, no longer interested in the rhetoric of his advisors….

A Tale of Two Taliban
D. Suba Chandran

A Tale of Two Taliban
D. Suba Chandran

In terms of links between the leadership, though the Pakistani Taliban claimed Mullah Omar as its leader, it was more rhetoric. In reality, it was led by the Mehsuds in Waziristan aided by a Shura, rather than “commanded” by Mullah Omar. In fact, the Pakistani Taliban is not a monolithic organisation; it has evolved into a franchisee, with the Mehsuds as the core in Waziristan along with the Swat Taliban, Bajaur Taliban and later, even a Punjabi Taliban....


The Pakistani Taliban’s P.R. Offensive
Huma Yousuf

A joke has been circulating among Pakistanis on Twitter: “How to negotiate with the Taliban: Blast. Condemn. Blast. Condemn. Blast. Condemn. #Fail.” It mocks the government’s swiftness at denouncing terrorist attacks while doing too little to stop them....


The Taliban Must Not Be Painted As Violent Savages
Shehzad Ghias

Yes, the state must not be threatened by violence by any anti-state actors but as Kennedy showed us, sometimes acknowledging the other is the first step towards understanding the other. Thus, the rhetoric of painting the Taliban as Wajibul Quatl (worthy of being killed) or violent savages to support military operation must stop. The question now is, can Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif be our John F Kennedy or will he be just another General Yahya Khan?...

Observers are saying that ISIS’s hard-line stance in asserting its dominance over other rebel groups will only worsen the conflict and make the task of international peacekeepers more complicated. The new terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s challenge to Al-Qaeda may prove to do more in harming the mission of the Islamic insurgency than assumed…..


Terrorism in Pakistan Unbridled
Ajit Kumar Singh

Clearly, the ‘terror industry’ that was established by Islamabad decades ago with the primary intention of exporting Mujahideen into neighbouring countries, including India and Afghanistan, to secure Pakistan's perceived 'strategic interests', continues to thrive. This vast misadventure, however, turned progressively against its very creators, and, since 9/11, Pakistan has itself become the increasing target of several formerly state sponsored terrorist formations that have 'gone rogue',...


Will Muslims immolate Sochi, and scuttle the Olympics?
Dr. David Liepert

Since it’s come out that the majority of those threats of supposed anti-Olympic Muslim violence apparently came from “false-flag” Islamophobes.  I think the answer to that question and evidence of the unholy alliance between Islamophobes and Muslim extremists are both quite clear. Only extremists can benefit by provoking an unnecessary conflict. Truth is, Muslim hater/baiters and al Qaeda NEED each other to keep the battle going….

“My dear Muslim brothers, the Levant [Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine/Israel] – that blessed land… The land of Jihad, brothers… Brothers, we betrayed the Muslims of Afghanistan after 9/11. We’ve betrayed the Muslims of Palestine since 1947. We’ve betrayed the Muslims of Chechnya, who are fighting against the Russians. Are we going to betray the Muslims of Syria today?”…


Colour of Cowardice
Irfan Husain

The only silver lining is the resolve shown by the army when it launched retaliatory air raids to punish the Taliban for attacks against military personnel. But when an aerial attack in North Waziristan recently killed dozens of mostly foreign militants, Shireen Mazari, the PTI spokesperson, demanded to know why civilians in the area had not been warned in advance of the impending bombardment....


When the drones turned their fury primarily towards the rebel leadership, suddenly the cessation of drone strikes became their principle demand for any peace talks with Pakistan, knowing well that Pakistan had little sway in the matter. The new drone policy has rattled the current TTP leadership, revealing their Achilles heel: their own survival rather than that of the ‘cause’....


Terrorism Is Rule by Fear and It Is Being Used By the Militants as the Most Powerful Weapon
Zahid Hussain

The relentless spate of killings has generated a state of fear, effectively wearing out the will to fight back. Even more frightening, some have turned defenders of the militants’ cause. But can this ostrich-like behaviour or compliance be traded with security for long? Not speaking out on mindless killings makes one only more vulnerable. The only way to make ourselves secure is to break this state of fear....

A Fresh Formula to Flush Out Terrorism
Elf Habib

Disillusioned and defenceless, ditched in a hellish gyre of gore, grenades and bombs, they have but to besiege the Lord for His infinite mercy, might and intervention for their deliverance. Allah, in fact, is the only solace, source and support for the sufferings of a country that was so fervently believed to be run by Him, the US and the army....


Dramatic acts of terrorism enable perpetrators to reach out far beyond the proximity of their original theatre. In this way, the media serves as a ‘terror magnifier’ by virtue of its intrinsic facilities. 9/11, which shaped the course of world politics, is a classic example of this phenomenon. To reiterate a popular argument, the Indonesian Tsunami caused 227,000 casualties, as opposed to 3,000 in 9/11, yet the latter took the world in a sweltering grip of panic, wielding a reaction of geopolitical proportions...


Saudi Arabia’s Covert War in Yemen
Catherine Shakdam

Saudi Arabia’s heavy-handed policy in Yemen has left visible trenches; moreover, its open support for the radical ultra-orthodox and its ever more disturbing apparent patronage of al-Qaeda has worked to establish a link in between radical factions and terror militants, thus putting Riyadh’s policy and real intentions in the region under a new troubling light. At a time when Yemen is preparing to draft its new constitution, as to assert its democratic future and seal its people’s call for change, Saudi Arabia races to eliminate contenders to its authority and control…..


Pakistan's March to Theocracy
Ayesha Siddiqa

It was a quick call from my editor's office in Karachi informing me not to bother writing anymore about the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or any other militant outfit, religious party or even the cricketer-turned-politician's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). I was told I couldn't even mention TTP and its other sister organisations….


Pakistan Is Losing the Plot to Taliban
Arif Nizami

"Pakistan: the country where even the martyred dead protest, because the living have failed them". So tweeted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, freshly-minted Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief. Young Bilawal's lament should put to shame most of his seniors in the business of politics including of his own party. Condemning the Taliban is a far cry for them. Out of fear or expediency (or both) even the "T" word is missing from their lexicon……

Talibanism vs Pakistanism
Professor Alya Alvi

The Taliban have now started dictating us on TV and through TV anchors. Their strategy has changed. They are now targeting personalities, individuals and media people directly. This is to create fear and dread in order to achieve the desired results. The talks offer by the Taliban and a powerful bomb blast close to GHQ at the same time is the clear message that they are not serious, they are joking….

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