Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Ideological Roots of 'Islamist' Terrorism: Options before Moderate Muslims
Basil Hijazi, New Age Islam

... But the reality is that the image of Islam has been tarnished so much that even the modern and educated groups of young Muslims the world over are reluctant to accept this moderate narrative of Islam, because it stands brazenly contradictory to the Islamic history that is replete with wars, atrocities, stories of tyrannical rule and inhumane fatwas and statements issued by Muslim jurists.  However, we don’t have to concern ourselves with what went wrong in the past, rather we have to focus on the ideological roots and theological basis on which the entire edifice of the "Islamic" terrorism is based. We should engage in an ideological exercise to find a cure for this dangerous disease which is now prevailing in almost all parts of the world, creating havoc to both Muslims and non-Muslims. I think the main reasons behind the ideological extremism are the following:  


Why Terrorists Are Continuously Gaining Ground
Hamza Kyeyune

Certainly, the problem is not Muslims but, the political radicalisation of religion that creates militant ideologies. Boko Haram and other terrorists cite political grievances to support their response, not religious justification…..


Boko Haram Abductors, Killers Are Terrorists and Thus the Worst Enemies of Islam and Global Peace-Environment
Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam

Many influential Islamic scholars believe that women would contribute more to a thriving society, only if they were educated. They would teach and train their children better than fathers, playing a pivotal role in developing a prosperous family life, hence a prosperous society. But this is difficult to pinpoint the worst aspect of atrocity, brunt of repression and exploitation that girls around the world are enduring, especially Nigerian girls.......  

Behind the Rise of Boko Haram
Nafeez Ahmed

If this analysis is correct, then the hundreds of innocent girls kidnapped in Nigeria are not just victims of Islamist fanaticism; they are also victims of failed foreign, economic and security policies tied to our infernal addiction to black gold……


The Aesthetics of Extremism
Rafia Zakaria

The straggly hair, the unkempt beards, the dark hued clothes of the general dishevelment is all directed to make the onlooker believe in their opposition to everything else. If the world of other politicians is a polished one, perfectly coiffed and neatly starched, theirs is detached from all of that. This opposition extends to their acts.....

Jihadist Trophies of War
Dawn Perlmutter

Human trophy taking is an ancient and widespread practice that appears in almost every culture throughout history. Historically, the classic example of trophies of war are human body parts, most often the head, but also skulls, teeth, fingers and soft body parts such as scalps, ears and genitalia. The second most common trophies of war are women who are taken as slaves or wives….

To force fit with the foul intentions of mass destruction, he quotes the following verse: “And Allah grants respite to none when his appointed time comes and Allah is all-aware of what you do.” [63:11] Quoting this verse out of context, the Jihadi ideologue is more tantamount to say that the fixed time of death has come to the Western Muslims and they should die at least after doing some amount of help for their petty purpose of life; enslaving non-Wahhabi Sufi Muslims and non-Muslims for their threshold. Surely this is not to be true as long as the moderate mainstream Muslims are alive. They, and even a man of slightest intelligence, can easily perceive the huge juxtaposition between the Qur’anic verse and the opinion of Abu Salamah Al-Muhajir….

ISIL and Boko Haram — Two Sides Of the Same Coin

Events around the world have proven that extremist ideologies breed terrorism. This extremism transcends borders and language barriers; and affects people across all sectors of society, regardless of religion, class or gender. The Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria is a prime example of how ignorance and a shallow understanding of religion can transform into something dangerous and sinister. They do not represent the religion, but give fodder to those hate-mongering Islamophobes who want to portray Muslims as narrow-minded and intolerant.....


The Insanity behind Anti-Blasphemy Laws Takes another Life In Pakistan: Islamist Extremists Have Complete Impunity
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

The cold blooded murder of Rashid Rehman in Multan is a shocking example of violence perpetrated in the name of religion. It shows the powerful presence of religious extremists in the country who enjoy complete impunity. What led to the brutal killing of Rashid Rahman was merely his being an advocate of a man who is accused of blasphemy. Since people in Pakistan generally perceive of an advocate as a supporter of the accused, the religious extremists, who commit mindless acts of violence, killed the advocate who did nothing wrong and was just providing legal assistance to the accused who is still a suspect, not a criminal. Let us not forget that this is not an isolated event in Pakistan. A former judge, Arif Iqbal Bhatti was also brutally killed because he did not sentence the accused to death in a fake case of blasphemy. The religious extremists in Pakistan went to the extent of burning alive an insane person accused of blasphemy, while the Islamic Sharia does not allow it, particularly when the accused has lost his senses.....


As such, jihad was hotly contested, nowhere more so than with the jihad of Usuman Dan Fodio, waged between 1804 and 1808 in northern Nigeria. The creation of the Fulani Empire and Sokoto caliphate by the missionary turned revolutionary warrior was regarded as a paradigm event though, in time, Dan Fodio himself led the charge in repudiating the jihad, denouncing those committing crimes and “undertaking raids to seize women as slaves.”….


People are voting for extreme right parties in droves as a reaction to radical Islam. The problem is mostly caused by the inability/refusal of radical Muslims to adapt to the host culture. Not just that, they demand that institutions cater to and/or conform to their Islamic principles....

Popular explanation for this phenomenon is that the values espoused by Islam and the spread of the Wahhabi movement are the foundations of radical Islam. Indeed, the radical movement is a product of national and international politics facilitated by transnational conspiracies. …radical Islamism is not a heap of medieval prejudices; it draws inspirations from the totalitarian regimes of 20th-century Europe and its sundry versions from local and religious roots. ….

Clerics such as Abdul Aziz, who was briefly part of the TTP's negotiating team in talks with the government, continue to expand their networks. For him, the issue of madrassa reform comes down to a debate over whether armed jihad - a "religious obligation" that he defends - is taught in these seminaries…..


Idealism and Jihad: Growing Fears in Europe of Battle-Hardened, Radicalised, European Muslim Fighters of the Syrian Civil War Returning Home To Launch Terrorist Attacks
Irfan Husain

We can point to the terrorist attacks carried out by Islamist extremists to justify our rejection of the whole movement. But the truth is that jihadis don’t have a monopoly on violence against non-combatants: the 19th century Anarchists shook Europe with their campaign of indiscriminate violence. They, too, had utopian goals….


Charity Work in Britain: A Cover for Extremists?
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Charity itself is a core value of faith in Islam and it’s a tax paid to a deprived category of people, like the poor, orphans and the needy. Extremist groups exploited alms-giving and charity to gain prominence and they have managed to collect hundreds of millions throughout the years. Money and preaching are a dangerous mixture which enabled an organization like al-Qaeda to spread and engage in acts of sabotage. Al-Qaeda used this mixture to buy explosives and suicide bombers…..


Therefore, Wahhabism is not a new brand of Islam or any offshoot of Islam; rather Wahhabism is the re-orientation of the original pure Islam. That is Wahhabism is the old pure wine in a new bottle. Wahhabism does not have any separate scriptural book, Qur’an and Sunnah (hadiths) are the principle guidance for Wahhabism. Actually, Wahhabism is nothing but the real Islam of 7th century in a sheer rejuvenation by the grace of Arab’s petrodollars. Most importantly, Wahhabism (pure islam) is dangerously intolerant towards other religions and infidels as it was during early period of Islam (Starting from Prophet Muhammad up to the end period of four rightly guided caliphs).  ...

For the last 30/40 years period, this so called Wahhabism (real Islam) has rapidly invaded the lives of Muslims throughout the whole world. Especially, Muslim majority countries in the south-east Asia were silently invaded right before our eyes by this so called wahhabite pure islam. Not to be mistaken that—it came by the name of Wahhabism, actually it came as the purification of Islam which was considered polluted by many centuries of neglect by the guardians of Islam Saudi Arabia. Thanks to two generals (Zia and Ershad) of Bangladesh for vigorously importing Wahhabi Islam in lieu of Arab petro-dollars. ...

Followers of Wahhabism prefer to identify themselves as Muwahiddun—which means “the unifiers”. Wahhabism is simply the political Islam that has been adopted for power sharing purposes. It has no special practices, nor special rites, and no special interpretation of the religion Islam that differs from the main body of Sunni Islam. Wahhabite followers consider every Muslims should follow the practice of Islam like Wahhabite Muslims and regard all those who do not follow them as the heathens and enemies of Islam. Osama bin Laden is the true follower of Wahhabism. 

Brandeis Bows To Radical Islam
Gina Miller

For over a decade, Hirsi Ali has spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, “honor killings,” and applications of Sharia Law that justify beatings and rape. Her outspoken criticism of Islam was dubbed by CAIR as “anti-Muslim hate” and led Brandeis University President, Frederick Lawrence, to comment in an online statement that Ali’s criticisms were ‘inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.’ So, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s fight for freedom conflicts with Brandeis’ “core values?”.....


Salafism and the Threat to Peace
Syed Farid Alatas

It is a fact that many acts of physical as well as verbal violence are perpetrated in the name of Islam. It is therefore necessary to clarify that the problem lies not in the religion of Islam itself but in certain orientations to be found among Muslims. One such orientation is that of Salafism….

Libya: Is Derna Becoming An Islamist Emirate?
Aya Elbrqawi and Essam Mohamed

With the absence of state institutions, the region is fertile ground for extremist organisations looking to grow and thrive. The Shura council declared their hostility to about anyone who, in their view, antagonises God and the Prophet......


Hypocrisy and Tyranny Cannot Fight Extremism
Aijaz Zaka Syed

How did we end up here and where are we headed? How did we allow a tiny fringe to become so powerful that it now pretends to speak on our behalf?  Religious scholars, intellectuals and ordinary believers have endlessly condemned and rejected the utterly brazen acts and atrocities in the strongest terms possible. Perhaps never in their long history have Muslims faced a crisis of such nature and proportions. Muslim historians see the Mongol wave of death and destruction in the 13th century as the greatest catastrophe to have struck the world of Islam.….


Death of Bin Laden, It Seemed, Delivered the Final Blow but Today Al-Qaeda Is Resurgent
Owen Bennett-Jones

The relative weakness of the Al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan is deceptive. The organisation’s strength now lies at the periphery. Today the Al-Nusra front controls huge tracts of Syrian territory. And there are signs that the jihadis there have learnt an important lesson: if they want the consent of the people, it’s best not to murder too many of them....


Muslims cannot hope to tackle the scourge of terrorism unless its real sources and causes are identified and eliminated
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Ninety percent of the images that Google search came up with were those of terror attacks, suicide bombings or some such glorious adventures involving Muslims...Muslims wielding fearsome weapons; Muslims wearing masks and issuing wild threats or bearded believers angrily protesting in European capitals. ...Muslims cannot hope to tackle this scourge unless its real sources and causes are identified and eliminated. Where are these fountains of hatred and who is fuelling them?

Who are these forces that are out to destroy our world, trying to distort the teachings of a faith that came as hope and salvation for the whole of mankind into a cynical cult of death? Who is poisoning young, impressionable minds? These are questions that have to be confronted effectively and forcefully by everyone who cares for the faith and humanity at large. 

Our religious and political elites and scholars are content with issuing perfunctory calls against extremist violence while doing little to check the springs, sources and factors that feed, fuel and spawn the menace. Instead of speaking truth to power, they are busy propitiating and perpetuating it, ignoring worst excesses and abuses.

The Quranic Understanding of Jihad
Waris Mazhari

Jihad is not limited to engaging war with external enemies. Nor does it always have that connotation. For war against one’s enemies the Quran uses another word—Qital—which is an exceptional form of jihad. The issue of jihad in the sense of Qital needs to be understood in the context of Islam as a missionary movement that is based on Dawah, inviting others to God’s path. This movement, which aims at strengthening the relations between God and human beings and establishing justice and goodness in society, is an entirely peaceful one.….

Gulf Citizens Returning From the Syrian War Are a Serious Threat
Jassir Al-Jassir

When Al-Qaeda first began its terrorist pursuits, Saudi Arabia operated as its launching pad, both in ideological and operational terms. Perhaps this is because Saudi Arabia’s religious structures and Salafist approach exposed the pronounced flaws in Al-Qaeda’s ideology hence the reaction by most Al-Qaeda members, who accuse Saudi Arabia of apostasy and deny its religious legitimacy…..


Salafists have been advertising their events on schoolyards - and some of their recruiting is successful. "It's not only one school where Salafists are trying to recruit teenagers," said Saloua Mohammed, a 32-year-old social worker who has been working in Bonn for many years. She has a good idea of what is going on in the Salafist scene: Young Muslims as well as pupils from educationally disadvantaged background have been a particular focus in her work. Her explanation for that focus is that she is "afraid that disadvantaged teenagers in particular will fall into radicalism."…..


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