Radical Islamism and Jihad
Reflect on this
critical point. Whenever ISIS kills in the name of Islam, claims to follow the
Holy Quran, or uses the Holy month of Ramazan to spread anarchy across the
globe, know that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explicitly warned us of these
imposters, and entrusted us to root them out. The only people who refuse to
reflect on this point are ISIS, ISIS sympathisers and anti-Islam extremists who
want the world to believe that ISIS is legitimate. Intelligent people,
meanwhile, see Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) prophetic wisdom and thus remain
united against both ignorance and extremism.....
varied tactics. In the Gulf, IS members have targeted Shia mosques to foment
sectarian strife. In places such as Yemen and Afghanistan, IS seeks to
undermine strong branches of al-Qaeda, its jihadist rival. Elsewhere
spectacular attacks, such as the massacre in Sousse, have helped IS live up to
its slogan of “remaining and expanding”; conveniently diverting attention from
the group’s losses not only in Syria and Iraq but farther afield. ....
But Rezgui had
recently been radicalised and Salhi had been on a watch list in the past. That
these massacres, as well as the suicide bombing of a mosque in Kuwait, were
seemingly perpetrated in the name of religion, however, only underlines once
again that it is more essential than ever that the true Islam – moderate,
tolerant and peaceful – asserts itself and makes its presence in the world
known more and more loudly…..
The struggle in
Iraq is to redress balance between an oppressed Sunni population in post Saddam
Iraq and the oppressing Shiites who were installed in power due to Western
intervention and later Iranian clout and influence. But it is the Sunni Iraqis
that are displaced and Sunni Iraqi cities and heritage that they continue to
destroy after looting them. In Libyan town, Kuwaiti and Saudi mosques the
victims are innocent civilians, in Somalia, Egypt and Yemen too.....
State, consequently, will eventually follow the same strategy as the Taliban,
al Shabaab, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and al Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb. The group will abandon its territorial gains to return to an
amorphous, low-level insurgency and terrorism campaign. It is, of course, the
same strategic shift the group made in 2010. If it had not done so, it would
not be here today. If the Islamic State does not abandon its here and now attitude,
deciding to stand its ground and defend its caliphate to the end, it will be
To still insist on the validity of old
assumptions about Muslim radicalisation is to ignore the elephant in the room:
the pull of religion. Radicals are responding to the IS call for Islamic
revival. Nothing more, nothing less. Other factors — alienation, searching for
a “meaning’’ in life, the lure of adventure — is secondary. The alienation
theory was long busted after it turned out that many, if not all, of those
attracted to extremism were actually well-adjusted and well-integrated into
their communities. And the notion of testosterone-fuelled boys dying for a
slice of Jihadi adventure has been disproved by schoolgirls and housewives
heading for jihad. .... The process of radicalisation is a lot more complex
than is assumed, but the ultimate pull factor is religion. Any
de-radicalisation strategy, in order to be effective, will have to be anchored
in a religious counter-narrative. And it will have to come from imams and
Maulvis — not from counter-extremism think tanks and reformed radicals.
Unknown to the world is that Yemenis are being killed just because they don't share the ideology. For the past three months, Saudi Arabia has been using cluster bombs to kill Zaydi Muslims. Under international law any military aggression against another country and its people can never be justified. But of course the world's media and the private club of world leaders have kept silent on such tragedies. Is it because Saudi Arabia has the money, powerful friends and oil that it does not have to abide by international laws? The rulers of Saudi Arabia got away with 9/11 where seven hijackers were from Saudi Arabia….
Wahhabism, the major Salafi movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the Arabian Peninsula, employed the notion of jihad for the first time in the modern history of Islam to spread religious preaching and control among Muslim communities. From the second half of the 18th century to the late 19th century, the followers of Wahhabism spread their ideology among tribes in the peninsula and neighboring regions, in Iraq and the Gulf, imposing their ideology forcefully if necessary....
newness of ISIS society forms a strange counterpoint to the self-conscious
archaism of the culture—the obsession with purity, with the buried truths of
religion, and with classical literary forms. The al-Khansa’ Brigades are a
notable example. Al-Khansa’ was a female poet of the pre-Islamic era who
converted to Islam and became a companion of the Prophet, and her elegies for
her male relations are keystones of the genre. The name therefore suggests an
institution with deep roots in the past, and yet there has never been anything
like the Brigades in Islamic history, nor do they have an equivalent anywhere
else in the Arab world. The militants, of course, see no contradiction. ....
Muhammad Amir Rana
of religious political parties as well as sectarian, charitable, radical and
militant organisations remain active in colleges and universities. Other wings
of such organisations seek to influence specific segments of society. Almost
every religious organisation — whether its ambitions are political, sectarian
or militant — maintains wings with a particular focus on women, traders,
lawyers, doctors, and teachers, among others. These wings have a key role in
promoting extremism among middle-income groups and have an array of tools at
their disposal to increase their influence. ....
Nazism is banned because it is an extremist, fascist, nationalist ideology that represents a direct threat to the nation. It has a bloody history, and its fire still burns under the ashes. Extremist ideas are present everywhere, but since Nazi extremism is very dangerous, liberal countries that believe in freedom have decided not to tolerate it....
Groups like al-Qaeda and Somalia’s al-Shabaab pitched their message to would-be foreign fighters to come and defend fellow Muslims who were being killed. But ISIS tells Muslims they can only live in a society made up of the faithful – their caliphate. “So their emphasis is to get them looking around and seeing the corruption around them, seeing the decadence around them, feeling the moral repugnance to the world around them….
The wholesale destruction of buildings and properties, the bombing and maiming of innocent men, women, and children are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam and the Muslims. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the vast majority have nothing to do with the violent events some have associated with Muslims….
A second contradiction is found in the divergent interests of those within the loose and shifting confederation of ISIS allies. In Iraq, this includes Douri's network (which, even if reports of Douri's death prove true, remains strong and widespread), along with tribal self-defence forces, a Sufi militia and former insurgent groups like Ansar al-Islam and Jaish al-Mujahideen....
Authorities estimate only half-a-dozen New Zealanders have traveled to Syria to fight with Islamic State. It's unclear how they've become radicalized, although Taylor's case might provide a clue: He's acknowledged listening to the sermons of the late U.S.-born al-Qaida preacher Anwar al-Awlaki....
Today, in a world where people are often careful to separate the state from religious issues, most would agree that governments should stick to waging physical battles against Islamist militants rather than getting caught up in ideological wars. But the challenge insurrectionist Islamists pose is an ideological one, and it cannot be addressed without undertaking the perilous task of crafting counternarratives....
Most significantly, the claim of "reforming Islam" is advanced by the terrorists themselves. They argue that by blowing up shrines, devastating other historical monuments, and massacring Shia Muslim and spiritual Sufis, they are restoring the faith of Muhammad to an imagined pristine condition at its origin. As Bosnians said during the atrocious Balkan Wars of the 1990s, by that logic they should have defended themselves with swords and bows and arrows, while riding on camels, although their enemies had modern weaponry….
Rami G. Khouri
The United States seems not to have learned very much in the long stretch between fighting against Al-Qaeda from the late 1980s to dealing with ISIS today. The fact that so many different kinds of young men and women in their thousands join ISIS or affiliate with it in their home countries abroad should suggest to any serious political analyst that the way to defeat the groups is to address and remove the reasons that created it and continue to see it expand....
Afghanistan has a long tradition of various militant groups shifting allegiances, and most of the suspected ISIL groups appear to be former Taliban or local militias that have simply spontaneously decided to use the black flag to attract support or attention. There is little evidence of widespread funding or ISIL fighters travelling from the Middle East to Afghanistan....
H A Hellyer
The fact is that a religious reformation has already taken place in Islam. The purist Salafi movement that came about in the Arabian Peninsula more than 200 years ago was precisely that – a reformation process – and it did not work out very well. Indeed, one could argue that an element within the neo-religious ideology of ISIL dates back to the rebellion against classical religious authority that Salafism promoted....
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Sabeen Mahmud lost her life as she hit too close to the state's vulnerabilities. Though there has been some hue and cry about her killing and a 'high level enquiry' has been ordered by the Government, it is unlikely to yield results any different from those of similar enquiries in the cases of the killing of journalist Saleem Shehzad and the assassination attempt on journalist Hamid Mir....
The fact is the Houthi offensive seems to be having the opposite effect. The Houthis tend to label most of the armed opposition they face, especially tribes, as al-Qaeda. Their over-ambition, expansion to predominantly Sunni areas and excessive violence, coupled with their Zaydi revivalist drive, is giving al-Qaeda an unprecedented local recruitment boost....
The Red Mosque also has named its central library after bin Laden and, on November 29, 2014, the extremist all-girl students of Jamia Hafsa, a Madrasa in the Red Mosque Network, released a video in support of ISIS, urging all Pakistani Jihadis to join forces with the terrorist organization. Maulana Aziz refused to condemn the video, instead remarking, “I don’t know why these boys are reluctant to say that we support the organization which wants to implement the Islamic system....
The growing pervasiveness of Islamophobia among Europeans, precipitated by the rise of violent extremists of all colorations and the seemingly endless bloodshed between Muslim communities and against Westerners, which has produced a conscious and unconscious repudiation of anything related to Muslims in general....
S. Binodkumar Singh
The significant support base of the radical Islamist formations in the country, as well as of the BNP which allies with them, retains the potential to cause extreme harm within the country, and it will require both an iron will and political sagacity to carry the War Crimes Trials process to its logical conclusion....