Books and Documents
Radical Islamism and Jihad

The Cold War climaxed with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and collapse of the communist bloc in 1991. And al-Qaida’s assault on the US mainland on 11 September 2001 was bookended by the shooting of its chief inspirer, Osama bin Laden, by American commandos in Pakistan a decade later. Or so it was thought. If the events of 1991 and 2011 were seen to have definitively ended two major threats to world peace, the last couple of months have destroyed such complacency……


Young Jihadists Are Twisted, Evil and Clueless
Michael Coren

They can't grasp nuance and complexity, they live on adrenalin and emotionalism; they are, ironically, products of the very western decadence and materialism they claim to despise. Then there are the sociological and psychological, even sexual, aspects of all this. Most of these men are severely inadequate, working in boring jobs if they're working at all, failing to make their way, wasting their time on fatuous courses at universities. Suddenly they are heroic, mysterious, have meaning and significance, people are frightened of them, stupid girls desire them…..


Following a Dangerous Path to Radicalisation in Syria
Tara McKelvey

The journey from the US to Syria - and the decision to join an extremist group known for beheading people - may seem chilling to some. These Americans see things differently. Sandee says: "They think that Syria is heaven."….


In his fatwa (religious verdict), Shaikh Abu Bakr clearly and categorically stated that “the Muslim community needs to get united in boycotting the ISIS and its sister terrorist organisations”. “It is about time we expressed our hate and disdain against them”, said the Sunni-Sufi Islamic scholar and leader Shaikh Abu Bakr, who is also a prominent educationist, particularly known in the south Indian Muslim community.....

Hamas in the West Bank: We're Back

Hamas officials, meanwhile, grumble that some 2,000 members, including its leadership and 36 of its parliamentarians, remain in prison in Israel. The Palestinian Authority (PA), Mr Abbas's administration in the West Bank, has long since dissolved the charitable boards running Hamas's welfare associations and, together with Israel, confiscated millions of shekels that financed them. It has dismissed Hamas’s elected mayors and closed the parliament, where the Islamist party had a majority.....


European Jihadists: It Ain’t Half Hot Here, Mum

IS is not the only group Westerners join, but it is the most appealing thanks to its global outlook, which includes spreading the caliphate across the world, to its attempts to implement immediate Sharia law—and to the glow of its military success. In a five-part documentary filmed in Raqqa by Vice, a news website, as a guest of IS, the group’s religious police are shown educating Syrians, running courts, indoctrinating children and putting on public entertainment…..


Past caliphates have bent the rules and selected corrupt or worldly men for leadership. Some have also ignored the Qureshi requirement, or fabricated caliphs’ pedigrees on the grounds of necessity. But the Islamic State refuses to let such things slide. Baghdadi’s Mosul sermon demonstrated command of the florid rhetoric of classical Arabic, so his religious chops are confirmed. And his Qureshi lineage is beyond public dispute. Many Iraqis, including Saddam Hussein, can also boast Qureshi descent, and because no one knows much about Baghdadi—certainly not enough to trace his lineage back 1,400 years to a preliterate society a thousand miles away—it’s hard (and in the Islamic State, probably fatal) to suggest he’s lying……

IS, Frankenstein’s Monster Unleashed
Brahma Chellaney

Indeed, the ongoing fragmentation of states along primordial lines in the arc between Israel and India is spawning de facto new entities or blocks, including Shiastan, Wahhabistan, Kurdistan, ISstan and Talibanstan. Other than Iran, Egypt and Turkey, most of the important nations from the Maghreb to Pakistan….


'As I have said consistently over the last few weeks, ISIL terrorists speak for no religion. They threaten Syrians, Iraqis, Americans and British people alike and make no distinction between Muslims, Christians or any other faith. 'We have already been working hard to keep British people safe and we will continue to do all we can to protect our country and our people from these barbaric terrorists……


….the US and its allies have now found their new bogeyman, sticking close to the recommendations made by then-NATO Secretary General Willy Claes, who, in 1995, envisaged that “Islamic militancy has [now] emerged as perhaps the single gravest threat to the NATO alliance and to Western security.” And this threat has taken the shape of two individuals between 1998 and 2014 – from Osama bin Laden to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka the Caliph Ibrahim, now even aided by numerous bored youths fleeing Islamophobia and a bleak life in Europe, possibly but not necessarily chasing 72 virgins in the afterlife…..


Nothing Islamic About This Caliphate!
Linda S. Heard

The surprise is this. Those recruits and wannabes are not motivated by poverty or marginalization, as used to be the thinking; most are sons of the educated middle classes. That’s a shocker because it’s hard to understand why any educated person could imagine the so-called Islamic State headed by a Rolex-wearing former secular Baathist Caliph, who’s been photographed with his arm around a scantily-clad young female in a former life, is the real deal…..

ISIS Isn’t the First Group to Use the Butcher’s Knife as an Instrument of Policy nor Will It Be the Last
Robert Fisk

There’s no point in searching for the dark inspiration behind decapitation. Almost every ancient text can be used to justify judicial murder, ethnic cleansing or genocide. The Bible is packed with the stuff. But the unique element about ISIS – true to the bleak 18th-century philosophy of Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab himself, so harsh and intolerant that the people of Basra threw him out of their city after his brief visit to what is now Iraq – is the idea of a return to the origins of Islam, to purity…..


Scenes coming from Gaza are similar to 9/11 terrorist attacks on the innocent civilians working in New York's twin towers. Of course, Israel will claim that the buildings were used for terror activities, yet will provide no evidentiary proof. Instead, Israel characterizes nearly all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as terrorists, making no exception for children and women…..


What's The Difference Between ISIS And Asaib Ahl Al-Haq?
Raed Omari

We were all concerned after seeing what appeared to be the world returning to the Dark Ages. Mass killings, looting, forced migration, torture, crucifixion and beheadings have been just some examples of the inhumanities resurrected by ISIS. The word “beheading” has no place in the human dictionary anyway……

ISIL's Soft Economic Underbelly
By Syed Mansur Hashim

The last national census in Iraq was conducted in 1987, i.e. nearly 20 years ago. However, it is estimated that anywhere up to 35% of Iraq's people now live under ISIL control which comes to around 10-13 million people. While ISIL controls up to 40% of Iraq's landmass, it control barely 11% of gas and oil reserves and since its takeover there have been no exports of oil. That is because these reserves are underexploited. It will require massive amounts of external investment and time to fully develop the potential oil fields. Given the current fluid situation on the ground, it is highly unlikely that such a situation will come to pass anytime soon…..


A New Sunni Awakening Is Needed To Beat ISIS
Fareed Zakaria

The ISIS military strategy is brutal but also smart. The group’s annual reports – it has issued them since 2012 – detail its military methods and successes to impress its funders and backers. The videos posted online of executions are barbaric but also strategic. They are designed to sow terror in the minds of opponents, who, when facing ISIS fighters on the battlefield, now reportedly flee rather than fight…..


The pedigree of its leadership, outlined by an Iraqi who has seen documents seized by the Iraqi military, as well as by American intelligence officials, helps explain its battlefield successes: Its leaders augmented traditional military skill with terrorist techniques refined through years of fighting American troops, while also having deep local knowledge and contacts. ISIS is in effect a hybrid of terrorists and an army…..


Everything about ISIL
Verda Özer

Following the cooperation between the U.S. and Iran over Iraq, Tehran is now helping northern Iraq in its struggle against ISIL. This has come as surprise to many, since Iran had been keeping its distance toward Arbil, fearing their independence bid would provoke the Kurds in Iran, too. Cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia is also highly likely soon…..


Jihadi Terrorist or Shaheed (Martyr)? Sunni Jihadis in Islamic State Want To Kill All 'Apostates,' Including Sunni Tribes Which Do Not Adhere To the Al-Qaeda Sectarian View
Lord Meghnad Desai

The first Jihadi from India has just reportedly died in the Iraq/Syria war. Do we know how many have gone to fight there? The British media are agog with dread. As many as a thousand or even more British Muslims may have gone to fight for the Iraqi al-Qaeda, which has now become the Islamic State. Reports are that around 200 may have re-entered the UK. No one knows for sure…..

The Saudis Will Be Vital In Helping to Fight ISIS
David Ignatius

The wild card in the Saudi deck is Bandar, the flamboyant former ambassador to Washington. When he was head of Saudi intelligence and paymaster to Saudi allies in Syria and Lebanon, he was an unpredictable – and in Washington’s eyes, sometimes untrustworthy – operator Some Americans feared Bandar’s covert efforts in the Syrian civil war were unintentionally spawning Al-Qaeda terrorists. U.S. officials were relieved when Bandar was removed….


Where Are The Marches Against The Islamic State?
Yasmine Bahrani

Either we reject the Islamic State and groups like it in the clearest possible terms, or we allow them to become the face of Muslims. When we say “It’s not Islam,” we are dismissing the criminals as someone else’s problem. The truth is, nobody else is going to deal with them. It might seem easier to evade this responsibility, but the price of doing so will be heavy. Because, to the rest of the world, that horrific picture is what Muslims have become. If we don’t do something now, that image will be the world’s perception of us for years to come.....


Islamophobia and Terror in the Name of Islam Feed on Each Other
Maulana Dr. Waris Mazhari

Without the terror and turmoil unleashed in the name of jihad in Pakistan and some other countries being clearly condemned by the Ulema and other Muslim intellectuals, it is simply not possible for Islamophobia to be effectively countered.  After all, Islamophobia, based on hatred for Muslims, and the violent, terror-driven activities in the name of jihad in many countries, which are a complete violation of Islamic principles, feed on each other. The one cannot exist without the other….

The Islamic State has the potential to cause fundamental changes in the Middle East
Yasar Yakis

The proclamation of the Islamic State (IS) has the potential to cause fundamental changes in the Middle East, because the attempt to resuscitate the caliphate is so appealing to many fundamentalist Muslims that it may shake the foundations of stability in the region no matter how limited its success may be at present. This step has several aspects worth being examined very closely......


ISIL, Muslims; Good and Evil
Nuray Mert

ISIL poses more moral dilemmas concerning the question of who is to be held responsible for such horrendous religious ideology and politics. Is it Islam itself that contains the seeds of radicalism? Is it Western powers that have long encouraged radical Islam in the name of political/strategic interests? Is it the sociology of the alienated Muslim youth? Is it the travesty of Western nihilism in the post-liberal age? All of the questions on the relation between religious faith and political convictions are doomed to fail to find answers….


In that statement, the IS claims it attacked Kurdistan because the Kurds had extended their legs beyond their britches, after Erbil sent forces into Kurdish-populated territories beyond its official borders to fill the vacuum left by retreating Iraqi troops. IS sees it as its duty to push the Kurds back to the autonomous borders recognized under Saddam Hussein’s regime. What this illustrates is that the creators of the Islamic State are not a group of crazy armed men who have read too much into their religious texts. Their brief statement shows that nationalism is as deeply rooted in the Islamic State as religion…..

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