Radical Islamism and Jihad
For the past few years, Khurram Zaki has been campaigning against extremist religious groups in Pakistan. Recently, he and his friend Jibran Nasir attempted to file a complaint against Maulana Abdul Aziz of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) of Islamabad. They alleged that Aziz was inciting hatred against Shia Muslims. They cited a video message of the cleric. Local police declined to file an FIR.
With the way things are now, vast swathes of Pakistanis stand on the
wrong side of history. Instead of challenging the extremism in their midst,
they have enabled its rise by either by embracing it or by failing to act on
the demands of their conscious. Such guilt cannot be easily shed especially
until there is movement of reconciliation with the ugly truth that lies behind
The Wahhabi tradition led directly to the radicalization of tens of
thousands of Sunni Muslims, including Osama Bin Laden, which later led to the
formation of al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 attacks. Wahhabism’s most recent warping
has come at the hands of the Islamic State....
It is time to tell the Brotherhood that reform will only happen when it
dismisses the first generation of its leaders living in denial, and replaces
them with qualified politicians who are aware of reality....
Despite his rhetoric, and his administration’s perceived shift toward Iran, Obama has not fundamentally changed the US status quo toward Saudi Arabia. In fact, he’s sold more advanced weaponry to Saudi leaders than any of his predecessors. And that means one thing: an emboldened Saudi Arabia will contribute to more war and instability in the Middle East – and America will be drawn into more conflict.
The simplistic narrative that a secularist regime is fighting back
militant Islamists in a Muslim-majority country ignores the complexities of the
political situation. What role the long-standing fissure of Bangladeshi
politics plays and how religion is being used by politicians of all shades for
expediency are ignored in this narrative....
K. Anis Ahmed
Bangladesh has sustained so far as a liberal society thanks to the
strength and tenor of its ethno-linguistic culture. Examples of this are the
millions of women who ignored the warning of Hefazat-e-Islam, a network of
hard-line clerics allied with the BNP and Jamaat, to stay away from the
festivities celebrating Pohela Boishakh (the secular Bengali New Year).
Yet, heartening as such spirited displays are, culture alone cannot keep us
The role of Saudi Arabia, and its Arab allies like Qatar, as the master
funders of terror began decades ago when the House of Saud began exporting
Wahhabism, its medieval version of Islamic doctrine, to Europe and other parts
of the world. Wahhabis preached hatred of non-Arabs, namely Shiites, as well as
Christians and all other religions. Imams versed in this theology in Saudi
religious institutions were taught to preach that the followers of all other
religions were infidels not worthy of mercy....
If we trace the origin of these issues, particularly the rise of
Islamophobia, there’s no running away from the fact that Saudi Arabia’s export
of Wahhabism over decades has contributed to the current state of affairs. In
fact, this is what created the foundation for the global Jihadi movement.
Today, IS has emerged as the most extreme form of this Wahhabi/Salafi creed....
In terms of its objectives, it is not just a reactionary organization
fighting to avenge injustices done to Muslims or against foreign occupation
armies; instead, it envisions bringing back the Islamic caliphate not just in
the Middle East but throughout the world. It believes in the idea that no
religion other than Islam should survive ...
A regional diplomat who follows Yemen says that if Al Qaeda manages to
successfully root itself as a political and economic organization, it could
become a more resilient threat, much like Al Shabaab in nearby Somalia. “We may
be facing a more complicated Al Qaeda,” the diplomat said, “not just a
terrorist organization but a movement controlling territory with happy people
Across the border in Saudi Arabia, even ultra-puritanical grand mufti
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al ash-Sheikh has denounced IS terrorists as neo-Kharijites.
This cross-sectarian echoing is rare and has to be nurtured to rid the world of
the menace of IS, a death cult that has no justification to exist at all. To
begin with, let us call IS terrorists and those of their ilk what they are: Fasadi
or Kharajites. This would isolate them and make the struggle against them
more inclusive. Using their atrocities to corner and demonise Muslims, who are
overwhelming victims of Fasadi terror, may help narrow political causes but not
the sacred mission of defeating IS.....
Originating in India in the mid-1800s, Deobandism is the doctrine that
inspired the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, whose imams trained at the
school in Uttar Pradesh, northeast of Delhi. Deobandi clerics, operating out of
an anti-imperialist rubric devised to rid India of the British following the
suppression of the Indian Mutiny in 1857, have made a serious effort to seize
control of British mosques.....
Prem Anand Mishra
Islamic State seeks its idea from Abbasids. The black flag is a
signature to that, but unlike the Abbasids period which was a period of many
contributions from philosophy to music and art, Baghdadi’s caliphate seeks
refuge in the idea of Ibn Taymiyyah and Abdul Wahhab, the reformers who called
for puritanical Islam. The Salafist/Wahhabist ideologies are
ultraconservative revivalist ideas that believe even Shias are heretics like
polytheists or pagans. Sign and symbols provide the idea of the importance of their
legitimacy. The selection of an orange suit before beheading and burning people
alive is a strategic act to remind the Muslim world how Americans carried their
rendition mission against Muslims at Guantanamo Bay.....
However, Saudi financing of radicalism in India was and remains a major
problem that needs to be tackled through identification and control of money
flows and check on its end use. While India gears up to sign an agreement on
counter-terrorism with the Maldives, it would be pertinent to start discussions
on the threat posed to India by radical Saudi ideas, and initiate steps to
break the Kerala link with Saudi-Maldives radicalism.....
watching videos of lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American Yemani imam
described as the “Bin Laden of the internet.”
Awlaki, a high-level Al Qaeda operative, was killed in a U.S. drone
strike in Yemen, the first U.S. citizen to be so targeted. From a young man who
had spoken out against violence, Warsame became enthralled with beheading
videos. He came to conclude that as a devout Muslim, he must join the fight
against the infidels.....
Their beliefs are rooted in fascist philosophers such as Ahmad ibn
Taymiyyah and Sayyid Qutb. Ibn Taymiyyah asserted in the 1200-1300s that strict
Shariah law must rule all governments, globally. Otherwise, God’s will could
not be done. In the 1950s-‘60s, Muslim Brotherhood sage Qutb took Taymiyyah’s
philosophy to a new level. He argued in his book, “Milestones,” that Western
politics and lifestyles were literally attacking Islam, and that Islam had to
defend itself with political subterfuge and violence. Subsequent Islamists have
taken lines from the Koran, the Sunnah, and the Hadith to further justify their
Notably, before the court verdict, Hefazat-e-Islami, the radical
umbrella organisation, had threatened chaos in the country if Islam was removed
as the state religion....
As he walked through Lahore he got diverted by a rally. This was a fair
while ago now - in the months after 9/11 - and emotions were running high. It
turned out the rally was organised by one of Pakistan's most formidable
militant outfits, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and everyone was chanting anti-American
slogans. There were announcements saying: "We need people to go to
Afghanistan to fight the Americans!"....
Masood Azhar, a Pakistani cleric
Within a few hours of his arrival he was giving the Friday sermon at
Madina Mosque in Clapton, east London. His speech on the duty of jihad apparently
moved some of the congregation to tears. Next stop - according to a report of
the jihadist leader's own magazine - was a reception with a group of Islamic
scholars where there was a long discussion on "jihad, its need, training
and other related issues". The visiting preacher was Masood Azhar......
These should be underpinned effectively and neutralised without buckling
under any sort of pressure from the religious right wing. We must not only
protect the precincts of our educational institutions from terror attacks, it
is now also time to cleanse our syllabus and curricula of nefarious content,
which work as a powder keg, disseminating toxic vibes against ethnic and
religious minorities and the outside world....
Nadeem F. Paracha
One can snicker
at their foolhardy mutterings, but know this: The ogres can also be described
as alter-egos of the apologists. It can be a TV anchor, a confused middle-class
lad, a politician in the assembly, or even a rich aunt who has recently
rediscovered piety. Truth is, the ogres may as well be anarchic projections of
what lies inside the apologists; but is repressed. The enemy is quite literally
Countering Daesh Online
Colin P. Clarke and Isaac R. Porche III
Colin P. Clarke and Isaac R. Porche III
The group is also using the dark web to recruit and disseminate its
propaganda to aspiring jihadists. For sympathetic audiences, an online push can
sometimes be enough to spark violent action. This is especially true for individuals
who are already radicalized.....
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran
The night before he was killed, Massoud had an appointment with Belgian
journalists. Prior to the meeting, his friend Massoud Khalili read out to him
as usual the poetry of Hafez Shirazi. They had a habit of randomly choosing a
page from a book of a collection of Shirazi’s poetry. Khalili read: “Enjoy this
night which we will spend together. Days pass by, months go by and years come to
an end, and you will never get to live this night again.”....
A former friend of Reda Nidalha who requested anonymity believes that
the religious aspect probably played a lesser role in Reda Nidalha's case. “He
never bothered about religion, and he had friends from many different cultures.
Even when he was already in Syria, he used to talk to me sometimes on social
media. I told him I did not agree with his decision. He told me he had a job
there and was married.”....