Books and Documents
Radical Islamism and Jihad

Can ISIS Maintain The ‘Caliphate’ Without Baghdadi?
Dr. Theodore Karasik

According to the reports, Baghdadi, was “critically wounded” in the American-led air strike that targeted the western Iraqi border town of al-Qaim. The key question is how ISIS fighters will interpret the loss of the leadership and especially if al-Baghdadi is critically injured and ultimately dies. We must recall that al-Baghdadi was reportedly injured just months before. We have a number of occasions where American airpower decapitated the leaderships of Islamist extremist terrorist groups. The deaths of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki immediately come to mind…….


The Ugly Attractions of ISIS’ Ideology
Amir Taheri

“Pure Mohammadan Islam”: This is what ISIS, Daesh in Arabic, promises to deliver once the caliphate has defeated “Infidel” enemies and secured its position. The promise is at the core of its propaganda, including in cyberspace. Its recent blitzkrieg victories and high-profile beheadings are not the only reason ISIS has attracted universal attention. Perhaps more interesting is Daesh’s ability to seduce large numbers of Muslims across the globe, including in Europe and the United States…..

Violence, Islam And The Islamic Movement: Can Terrorism Be At All Justified In Islam? - Part 4
Dr Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqui

Many misinformation and misunderstandings could be spread about Islam and Muslims because the people of Europe and America, rather the non-Muslims of our own country India do not know much about Islam and Muslims. It is very difficult to acquire information about the past history of Muslims and requires a lot of time but the misunderstanding about the Present of the Muslims can be removed easily. The answer to all  the  misleading propaganda about what is taught in madrasas, what is done inside mosques, what is taught and preached during the Tablighi tours and assemblies is that everything should be in full view of the public. It should be possible for every individual to observe the activities going on in Muslim institutions directly. Not only that, the internal well being of the Ummah also depends on the fact that finances and the management of all these institutions should have transparency and there should be no secretiveness in them....


Violence, Islam And The Islamic Movement: Can Terrorism Be At All Justified In Islam?  - Part 3
Dr Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqui

If in a democratic non-Muslim majority country, the Muslim minority is being persecuted and the government fails to protect their life and property or does it deliberately, or even goes one step ahead and patronises those perpetrating violence, as happened in Gujarat in 2002, what should the Muslims do? Can they resort to violence in retaliation to violence? There is no doubt in the fact that like other Indians, Muslims have the right to defend their life, property and honour. The national law permits them to adopt every method to stop attackers even if the life of the attacker is lost in defending themselves. But under the pressure of the situation, some Muslims also resort to offensive violence which they term as Preventive Strike. In our view it is not right.....

Extremist Ideology: Jail, Jihad and Exploding Kittens

From Syria to Sinai, where Bedouin jihadists killed 30 Egyptian soldiers last week, militants are raising the black flag of jihad, and often in the name of IS. The large coalition led by America to roll back IS opens a new chapter in what ideologues hail as the climactic battle for Islam. As if anticipating the End of Days, Abu Qatada’s young son has a ringtone on his mobile phone of the crash of an incoming missile followed by a jihadist anthem.....


Violence, Islam And The Islamic Movement: Can Terrorism Be At All Justified In Islam? -Part 2
Dr. Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqui

On a comparatively low scale and in a small number in our own country, this retaliatory violence has taken the form of terrorism. These actions were a transgression against the limits set by Islam about the use of violence. This violence that is perpetrated can neither be defined as defensive nor as a means to remove mischief. It can also not be claimed that this violence is done as a punishment that any authority gives to any criminal. Moreover, the retaliatory violence committed by the Muslims in present times has practically taken the shape that transgresses the Islamic limits of use of violence……

The Mesopotamia Mess: Unfortunately, we are no longer able to claim, as we could a few years ago, that no Indian Muslim has fought in foreign jihads
Chinmaya R Gharekhan

A caliphate as well as a caliph has been proclaimed, with territory, finances and an administration able to raise taxes. But it is also a ruthless state determined to establish Sharia rule and eliminate all opposition, Muslim and non-Muslim that stands in its way. The IS has the capability to fight conventional battles. Its military commander is reported to be a former vice president of Saddam…


India has done well to refuse to be dragged into this messy situation. But we should not shy away from lending political support. It would be most unwise for us to continue to pretend that the rise of the IS holds no negative consequences for us. The IS may not conduct operations on Indian soil but its ideology will certainly attract many a Muslim youth in India. We are no longer able to claim, as we could a few years ago, that no Indian Muslim has fought in foreign jihads. Already, dozens, if not hundreds, are fighting in Syria alongside al-Nusra and the IS. The unfurling of IS flags is a portent not to be taken lightly. More than ever, it is essential to maintain communal harmony in our country.


Saudi Arabia's Hate Preachers Must Be Silenced
Khaled Almaeena

Let us encourage a united public outcry condemning their distorted interpretation of our Islamic ideology and let us project our true Muslim faith that shares universal values of tolerance, decency and righteousness. Let us also promote the proper Jihad of striving to do good deeds and serving the Merciful by spreading peace and love to all mankind. The public should understand that they have a religious responsibility to report to the authorities any talk that encourages extremism or sympathizes with any acts of terrorism…..

Saudi Arabia, the Mainspring of Islamic Extremism
Nauman Sadiq

Aside from madrasas, another factor that promotes Wahhabi-Salafi ideology in the Islamic world is the ritual of Hajj and Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina). Every year millions of Muslim men and women travel from all over the Islamic world to perform the ritual and purge their sins. When they return to their native countries, after spending a month or two in Saudi Arabia, along with clean hearts and souls, dates and ZamZam, they also bring along the tales of Saudi hospitality and their true puritanical version of Islam, which some, especially the rural-tribal folks, find attractive…..


The History of Saudi Arabian Links with Islamic Extremism
Annabelle Quince

Saudi Arabia’s history of involvement with jihad dates to the early 20th century, when the state as we know it was formed. Unlike other Arab countries, which had fully-fledged nationalist independence movements, Saudi Arabia was united through a series of wars. ‘There were no historical precedents whereby the whole region was governed as one entity, and therefore the Al Saud [family] reinvented the 18th century Wahhabi movement….

Saudi influences have had a somewhat contradictory impact on Hui Salafis and the wider Muslim community in China. On one level, these influences have contributed – to a degree – to the Salafisation (namely, a cultural and religious approximation of an “idealized” Saudi orthodoxy) of Hui Muslim society. This Salafisation subsumes the adoption of presumably Salafi doctrines, prayers rituals, attitudes, and even culturally authentic attire (the Saudi headgear worn in a manner usually associated with the religiously conservative in the Kingdom) and mosque architecture under what can be described as an Arabisation process, although the appearance of these trends is not always indicative of a Salafi influence. The Salafisation of Hui Muslims has affected nearly all sects…


Violence, Islam And The Islamic Movement: Can Terrorism Be At All Justified In Islam?  - Part 1
Dr. Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqui

What role does violence play in human life? In what conditions Islam permits violence to take the form of a full-fledged war? In that case, what norms has Islam set for war? When violence is considered terrorism? Does Islam permit terrorism in any specific conditions? This article has been written with these questions in mind? The reason for making terrorism and violence the topic of discussion is the present circumstance. In many places Muslims are being made the target of violence and terrorism and many other places even Muslims are adopting the ways of violence and terrorism. Is it permissible for Muslims to indulge in all this? Have they achieved any good by doing so? Will the counter violence by the Muslims be able to stop the violence being perpetrated against them?....


Reputed Indian Islam scholar Dr Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqui answers these questions in this essay and concludes: It is true that we have the right to react to violence unleashed on us through counter-violence, that is to say in self-defence, but we must also keep in mind that doing so might, in many cases, have a seriously negative impact on our mission of inviting others to God's path and of being witnesses unto humanity.

The inherent problem in attempting to tackle radicalisation is that often it is too late. By the time its signs begin to show, the scene is already set. Extremism of any kind is a symptom of an unhealthy society and, like any illness, in order to eradicate it; we should look to treat its cause…..


Stop Pointing Fingers, Many Sources Lie behind ISIS’s Rise
Manuel Almeida

As the anti-ISIS coalition contemplates how to shift away Iraqi Sunni tribal leaders' support for ISIS and the world worries about returning jihadists, it is about time for a collective recognition of responsibility for the region's radicalization problem. This could be the first step to a drastic change of course…..


Salafis came into limelight only two decades ago. Earlier, very few people like the specialists and experts knew of them. Even the popular literature and works that dealt with Islam and appeared at the beginning of the third millennium did not contain the terms "Salafism" and "Salafists". Nonetheless, history witnessed their attempts to return to the puritan form of Islamic lifestyle and cleanse the beliefs and doctrines from later imitations. That is why the Salafists claim that they properly emulate the “Salaf-e-Salih” or “the pious predecessors” in their faith and actions. In this regard, a Hadith tradition reported and authenticated by the famous Hadith compiler, Imam Mohammed al-Bukhari goes like this: "I am the best Salaf for you", meaning “I am the best example to be emulated”....


Ehsanullah Ehsan, as saying: “We respect them. If they ask us for help, we will look into it and decide.” The formation of ISIS with its transnational ambitions may have been the tipping point for the Pakistan army to initiate Operation Zarb-e-Azb. The Pakistan army appears to have acted wisely and tried to eliminate prospective ISIS allies before they made a move here. Zarb-e-Azb was imperative in destroying TTP bases and infrastructure here. This operation has, however, opened up the possibility that terrorists who flee to Afghanistan and further to Central Asia may tie up with ISIS and provide it inroads into Central Asia, India and even China if they support the Uighur living in Xinjiang. ISIS is a real threat to the entire region, not just Pakistan…….


ISIS Is the Latest of Many Islamisms
Rami G. Khouri

Whatever else it represents, including a postponed and displaced resurgence of Saudi Wahhabism from the 18th century, in contemporary terms ISIS is the latest manifestation of at least half a dozen other Islamist movements that have entered the stage of Middle Eastern society and its recurring citizen discontents since the 1970s. The very different natures of these movements and the reasons for their emergence are very relevant for anyone interested in understanding how ISIS came to be and how it could be confronted and defeated. This is because ISIS, like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, Gamaa Islamiya, nonviolent Salafists, militant Salafist-Takfiris, Al-Qaeda and others before it, fundamentally is a symptom of, and a reaction to, deeper ailments in society…..


ISIS’s Foreign Legionnaires: Cutthroats and Delusional Idealists
Hisham Melhem

Indeed ISIS is a terrorist nihilistic cult, but much more can be said about it. For the first time we see a non-state actor born out of the bloody U.S. occupation of Iraq, the long harsh decades of repression visited upon the Iraqi and Syrian peoples by the Baath party, the Arab state system that emerged after WWII which failed in protecting the state, or in establishing good governance and achieving economic prosperity. Add to that a new cruel strain of sectarianism resulting from decades of crude puritan Sunni interpretation of Islam,….


ISIL, the Khmer Rouge of Islamism
Mustafa Akyol

Today’s ISIL is the Khmer Rouge of Islamism. It is so violent that even almost all other Islamists condemn it. Meanwhile, non-Islamist Muslims, at least a billion people, can’t even understand how such a savage group might have anything to do with their faith. Lumping them all into the same basket would be one of the grossest mistakes that could ever be made.....


The ISIS Is Not A Foreign Object That Can Be Purged Through A Simple Surgery; It’s a Cancerous Growth within the Theo-Genetic Make-Up of Wahhabi Doctrine
Javed Anand

In due course, with the discovery of oil, the Saudi rulers switched to the use of soft power in a bid to “Wahhabise” Islam. In recent decades, it has poured billions of petro-dollars into Muslim quarters across the globe (India included), seeking to destroy the reality of a diverse faith and replacing it with a single intolerant, supremacist creed. For millions of Muslims across the world, the seemingly benign Saudi Wahhabism is bad enough. But for those who still remember and revere its theological founder, Muhammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab, it is not good enough. Among the latter is the ISIS and its numerous followers….

Militants with the Islamic State group on Monday captured a military training camp in western Iraq, inching closer to full control of the restive Anbar province, as a spate of deadly bombings shook Baghdad, hitting mostly Shiite neighbourhoods and leaving at least 30 dead. The attacks, which came as Iraqi Shiites marked a major holiday for their sect with families crowding the streets in celebration, raised new concerns that the Sunni militant group is making gains despite U.S.-led coalition airstrikes……




Actors In the IS Movie and Its Various Prequels and Sequels May Be Different; The Financiers, Directors and Producers Live In Saudi Arabia
Irfan Husain

Haven’t we seen this movie before? This was pretty much the same scene when the Taliban were ruling most of Afghanistan before 9/11. There were similar public executions for petty crimes; the same fixation on keeping women out of sight; and the same rejection of things that give people pleasure like sports and the arts. Reason, science and education were anathema, too. Another thing these extremists have in common is a predilection for barbaric punishments: public beheadings, amputations and floggings brutalise a shell-shocked public. The link between the Saudis and jihadi violence cannot be wished away……

Muslim Scholars Must Break the Theological Claims of Extremism
M. A. Muqtedar Khan

The work of Islamic scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah, Syed Qutb and Abdul Wahhab, those who inspire the extremists, must be deconstructed and contextualized. The works of cultural icons like Rumi and contemporary scholars like Bin Bayyah, both of whom advocate tolerance and pluralism, must be taught more widely.....

Over the next few months we saw the boy we knew become buried beneath a spiritual totalitarianism. The word Islam means submission. It allows you to love nothing else; to be a good Muslim, you must surrender yourself completely. Under the informal tutelage of his new friends, our boy eagerly took on the attitudes of his Muslim ‘brothers’ in place of his former personality…..

Saudi Arabia’s ultraconservative brand of Islam is again in the sights of critics who say it underpins the extremist ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis). But in the country itself, the open soul-searching about the role of Wahhabi Islam following the 9/11 attacks on the US is noticeably absent. Some of the features of Isis ideology, such as its hatred of Shia Muslims and application of strict punishments such as limb amputations, are shared with the purist Salafi thought that defines Saudi Wahhabism. Isis has explicitly referenced early Wahhabi teachers, such as Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, to justify its destruction of Shia shrines and Christian churches….

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    ( By Curious Traveler )
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