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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Muslim League Factions Have Been a Refuge for All Manner of Rogues
Irfan Husain

Hafiz Saeed insists he has never been charged with any crime, even though both India and the US accuse him of being the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left over 160 dead. Despite a $10 million bounty on his head, Hafiz Saeed maintains a high profile in extremist circles, and is free to carry out his political activities. ...

 
Limits of Jihad
Adnan Adil

Limits of Jihad
Adnan Adil

The Quran does not allow believers to take up arms and shed blood on earth as aggressors to occupy lands or to convert people to Islam or to shed bloodshed in the countries where Muslims enjoy freedom of practicing their faith. Jihad is aimed at ending oppression and persecution and that too by an Islamic state, not by individuals and deviant groups.....

 

The Islamic State's Support Base in Pakistan Continues to Grow
Umair Jamal

Just over a week ago, representatives of two proscribed militant organizations were not only able to participate in a major by-election in Punjab, but they managed to secure more than 11 percent of the constituency’s vote. One of the candidate’s campaign posters had the pictures of Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated the Governor of Punjab province Salman Taseer....

 

It is only with acute understanding of the religion that the wisdom of Islam’s various nuances can be realised. Contextualisation ability can then be strengthened from within, thereby making it less likely for the radicalisation process to take root, irrespective of the ever-changing political and social climate facing the community....

 

The Saudi Ministry of Education religion curriculum also employs anti-Shia rhetoric. The religion curriculum for the 2016-17 school year does not mention Saudi Shia by name, but instead uses veiled language to stigmatize Shia religious practices as shirk, or polytheism or ghulah, “exaggeration.” Saudi religious education textbooks direct these critiques in particular to the Shia practice of visiting graves and religious shrines to venerate important religious figures and members of the family of the prophet, as well as tawassul...,

Islamic State Radio Tries To Quell Controversy over Takfir
Thomas Joscelyn

The circular was so problematic that some of the organization’s top ideologues objected to it, arguing that the delegated committee, one of the most powerful bodies within the Islamic State, had eliminated the little leeway Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men had previously afforded Muslims. Some of the Islamic State’s own leaders and members could be excommunicated under the terms set forth in the ruling and this likely exacerbated an internal power struggle, as some used it as a tool for marginalizing their rivals. [See Islamic State Rescinds One Of Its Most Problematic Religious Rulings.]...

 

Why We Don’t Understand Radicalization
Ellis Cashmore

For many, the default culprit is the internet, alive with Ulema (Muslim scholars who are believed to have a specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law) earnestly advocating death to infidels in the struggle against all enemies of Islam. The enemies are, they say, anyone who is not a Muslim. Their preaching is apparently reinforced locally by other men of god, comparably bellicose and equally opposed to the Kuffar, or unbelievers....

 

A US plan to restart its International Military Education and Training program for Myanmar officers, suspended after the country’s military crushed a pro-democracy uprising in 1988 may now be halted by the Congress. The reputation of Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon and, until recent events a darling of the West, Aung San Suu Kyi, is in tatters for her failure to condemn the army’s so-called “clearing operations” in Rakhine State. Some commentators even suggest that she should be held responsible for what the UN has termed ethnic cleansing and stripped of her 1992 Nobel Peace Prize.....

 

Fighting thoughts is a bigger challenge than fighting actions. Filtering and surveillance of social media activity can though be a good measure, it still presents limitations. It can sometimes take a short video or a propaganda documentary, a ‘western invasion on Muslim countries’ video on YouTube, or a completely rational talk criticising western interventions, to radicalise someone. Therefore, any policy should made should be enforced beyond the stereotyped notion of the ‘threat only coming from devout Muslims’....

 

Terror in Pakistan Wears a Political Hat
Raoof Hasan

It is the former Lashkar-e-Taiba turned Jama’atud Dawa (JuD) that now wears the hat of a political party — MML. Members of LYRA are the proponents of the cause of murderer Qadri who was handed down the capital punishment and whose mausoleum in the outskirts of Islamabad attracts a growing number of devotees with the state languishing around as silent spectator....

 

According to the teachings of the Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him), the international relations is peace, War as an essential element is an exceptional situation. The author has analyzed in detail that terror has no place in the varying aspects of Jihad, and the Deen of Islam is the Deen of peace. Many people in the Muslim world have been affected by the behaviour and thoughts of the Orientalists. They have taught that Islam’s objective is to perpetuate world war. This concept is wrong. Islam is the first message that has made the use of power a fruitful outcome and effectively bound to an ethical code....

 

Islamic State Rescinds One of Its Most Problematic Religious Rulings
Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has revoked one of its most problematic and extreme religious rulings. The one-page repeal was disseminated on social media sites associated with the so-called caliphate on Sept. 15. It was issued after months of controversy surrounding the group’s approach to declaring Takfir on other Muslims, a key ideological issue. On May 17, the Islamic State’s delegated committee, which answers to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, issued a finding titled, “That Those Who Perish Would Perish Upon Proof and Those Who Live Would Live Upon Proof.” The ruling quickly proved to be contentious because of its broad approach to Takfir...

 

Can Egypt’s Al-Azhar Fight Extremism through 'E-Fatwas'?
Ahmed Fouad

Although Al-Azhar’s centre is playing a key role in fighting extremist electronic platforms, luring in those lost between moderation and extremism and improving the image of Islam, we cannot ignore the presence of a similar platform for Dar al-Ifta, which undermines Al-Azhar’s. Dar al-Ifta’s efforts in this regard have been internationally recognized, and the European Parliament adopted them as a point of reference for Islamic Fatwas in 2015....

 

The Best Weapon to De-Radicalise ISIS Returnees: Our Own Humanity
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini

If we fall victim to this sort of thinking, we become that which we abhor and fear Instead our collective task as a nation is to find our own deep well of decency and humanity, to be fair and compassionate, just and kind, and perhaps above all to care: about the victims, the perpetrators, and those who are both victim and perpetrator....

Bangladesh: Unsettling Stability
S. Binodkumar Singh

We've been able to successfully destroy the operational capacity of the militants. The militants' operational capacity increased last year, but they don't have that capacity any more. We've destroyed it by carrying out anti-militancy drives across the country. The militants have no capacity to launch any more big attack right now....

 

The Terrorist Attack That Failed to Terrify
Ben Judah

The worst attacks are generally planned, coordinated, military-inspired operations by terrorist organizations that claim to represent Islam. These, and not something about London, are what inspire the copycats. The spike in attacks in recent years is a direct result of the Islamic State’s establishment of a military force in Syria and Iraq that has, by some estimates, been comparable in size to the British Army...

 

The Key to Defeating Islamic Extremism Is Tackling Its Ideology
Claire Meadows

It’s impossible to determine in advance who will respond to Isis’s propaganda but there does seem to be a bias towards young, vulnerable Muslims. This was recognised by former PM David Cameron in 2015, when at a speech in Birmingham he said that young Muslims are drawn to fundamentalist Islam in the same way that young Germans were attracted to fascism last century....

 
The Mind of an Extremist
Dr S Zulfiqar Gilani

The Mind of an Extremist
Dr S Zulfiqar Gilani

Like all of us, extremists are also social beings and the sustenance of their extremist psyche is linked with the social group/s to which they belong. As groups tend to arrive at more extreme positions than any individual members would on their own, the individual extremist’s position becomes stronger and more extreme due to membership of an extremist group or groups. Groups also tend to become less similar to other groups, which leads to dehumanising members of other groups leading to an us-and-them mentality...

 

A Hunt for Ways to Combat Online Radicalization
Farhad Manjoo

The term has often been used to describe a specific kind of radicalization — that of young Muslim men who are inspired to take violent action by the online messages of Islamist groups like the Islamic State. But as it turns out, it isn’t just violent jihadists who benefit from the internet’s power to radicalize young people from afar. White supremacists are just as adept at it....

 

At Guantánamo, Men Accused In 9/11 Attacks Faced Their 24th Round of Pre-trial Hearings
Margot Williams

Ellen Judd, a Canadian professor of anthropology at the University of Manitoba, spoke of the loss of her spouse, Christine Egan, and Christine’s brother, Michael Egan. On Sept. 11, Christine was visiting her brother, an AON insurance executive on the 105th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Centre. Then Judd addressed the death penalty issue. “I felt inexpressibly deeply how terrible it is to take a human life for the last 16 years....

 

Yes, Islamic State Is Dying, but Don’t Celebrate Just Yet
Ramzy Baroud

Those who blame Islam are not simply ignorant, but many are also guided by sinister agendas. Their mindless notion of blaming religion is as foolish as George W. Bush’s “war on terror.” Wholesale, uninformed judgments can only prolong conflict. They also prevent us from confronting specific and clearly obvious links, for example between Al-Qaeda’s rise in Iraq and the US invasion; between the rise of the sectarian brand of Al-Qaeda under Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and ...

 

The Problem Is Al-Qaeda Not ISIS
Mohammed Al Shaikh

Sururism is the major concept on which al-Qaeda built its cultural ideas. Al-Qaeda has books and recorded speeches. Therefore, one can say that al-Qaeda is a politicized Salafist product. It was the first base which produced the modern violent thought which experts call militant ideology. ISIS does not have a written theoretical legacy and it lacks preaching scholars and influential preachers....

 

Absence of an Anti-Terrorism Narrative
Mawish Moulvi

Terrorism is not simply an act. Behind a willingness to embrace and offer death is the psychological clockwork of martyrdom in motion, one which is confined neither to the body nor the mind. Terrorism is an ideology that unifies and thus it cannot be defeated with a bullet to the bomber; for every one terrorist killed 10 others arise. ...

 

An Islamic State Safe Haven in the Making
Ahmet S. Yayla

Under the ever-growing cloud of radical Islamist propaganda emanating from the Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Turkish authorities continue to see ISIS terrorists as a minor threat. While the U.S. military is distracted by the conventional hot war against ISIS in Syria and the ISIS-controlled cities of Iraq, Turkey is becoming a command centre and logistical hub for ISIS next door....

 

This makes it more complicated for intelligence services and law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent potential terrorist attacks as it will be more difficult to identify threats posed by lone individuals with limited resources rather than more established groups and networks. ISIS has truly become ‘Al Qaeda on steroids’. Although it lacks sophistication and organisation, it has proven that it can commit acts of terror with frequency and unpredictability that Al Qaeda never possessed....

 
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