Radical Islamism and Jihad
Responsibility for the emergence of the IS vests with a number of key actors. The United States’ reckless war on Iraq created the reservoir for Jihadis, as money from the Gulf Arabs came to sustain them in an emerging sectarian clash against an ascendant Iran. The narrow and suffocating Assad and al-Maliki regimes – which alienated large sections of Sunnis – propelled the disenfranchised to reckless rebellion. In 2007, the cartoonist Ali Ferzat said of the process called the Damascus Spring (2005), “either reform or le deluge [the flood].” It was the flood. Alienated people who measure their alienation in sectarian terms (Sunni) cannot be only defeated in the battlefield......
With the Western world predominantly reinventing the “Coalition of the Willing” and dispatching arms and air support to Kurdistan, where the Peshmerga have stood alone in battling the Islamic State, pressure is rightly being applied to Southeast Asia to pitch-in, particularly ASEAN’s three predominantly Muslim members: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei……
Yet the United States and its European allies for long, too long, have bent over to service the Wahhabi state. Even as Western politicians loudly proclaimed their allegiance to democracy and secularism, they failed to oppose or counter Saudi Arabia’s oppression of, and utter discrimination against, Shia citizens. For over 40 years they opted to close their eyes and supply Saudi Arabia with massive quantities of fighter planes, missiles and other weaponry, in exchange for the country’s crude......
Osama bin Laden, now arguably at the bottom of the Arabian Sea (according to the official spin), used to personify the intolerant Wahhabi worldview run amok. Then his Wahhabism married Sayid Qutb’s Egyptian Islamism, personified by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Qutb, killed by the Egyptian regime in the late 1960s, was the wayward prophet of a global jihad between Islam and the West. Yet his zealous sons – from Osama/al-Zawahiri to current Caliph Ibrahim of ISIS/IS [The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL] – went much further, their jihad targeting civilians and even Muslims. Now Caliph Ibrahim has manoeuvred Washington into renewed bombing in Iraq – and potentially bombing Syria. Obama does “Syraq”. And yet, more crucially, what if Obama is doing Al-Qaeda’s bidding? This could all fit Osama’s carefully laid-out trap – over the years - of finally managing to expel the US from the Middle East via a constant war of attrition, slowly bleeding the Empire of Chaos. Eric Margolis has alluded to this possibility here…….
“This entity was not established today, but it is the fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the Mujahideen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity to be with the main group, Qaedat al-Jihad, from the soldiers of the Islamic Emirate and its triumphant Emir, Allah permitting, Emir of the Believers, Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid,” al-Zawahiri goes on……
Al-Qaeda Comes Out Of Cold to Call for Jihad in IndiaAl-Qaeda Declares New Front to Wage War on India, Calls for Jihad in the Subcontinent
His father, though, was not a gangster, but an Islamist, arrested in 1998 when the young Abdel-Majed was indeed six at the start of one of the most extraordinary and controversial episodes in British legal history. An exile for his Islamist activities from Egypt, where according to his family’s account he had been repeatedly imprisoned and tortured, his father Adel had been granted asylum in Britain five years before. But he was an associate of known jihadist sympathisers, and when al-Qaeda blew up the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya the police came knocking. Adel Abdel-Majed, an alleged associate and devotee of Ayman al-Zawahiri….
There is no imminent danger of this happening. The overwhelming majority of Muslims are loyal Indians. A number of them in the Armed Forces have readily died for the country displaying outstanding gallantry. Most mainstream Muslim organisations and clergy in India have roundly condemned the IS’s actions and exhortations and savage ways.SM Hameed Chishti, caretaker of Dargah Ajmer Sharif has called them Takfiris out to destroy the pristine image of Islam by razing Iraq’s historically and spiritually significant shrines. Most Sunni leaders, including those from Deoband, have also been harshly critical…..
The future looks bright for IS if the main actors continue to exploit its presence to avoid responsibility for their own failings. Shia Islamists, secular elites and western governments are redefining their relations on the basis of a sort of holy war that is becoming an end in itself. In this context, Gaza, Yemen, Sinai, Libya and even Tunisia are fertile grounds for IS expansion. This is a part of the world which has a high degree of regional integration, both across and within borders: as a result of rural migration, outlying regions are well connected to informal neighbourhoods that often sit close to the heart of the big cities……
IS’s response has been muted. Unlike most jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda’s leaders, it has tended to shy from theological matters. Instead it simply issues videos of Burqa-clad women in the caliphate, headless infidels and its demolition of Shia shrines. Sadly, for many its grim pictures are worth more than words…..
The world is never short of threats and intimidation. The latest to be blurted out is from al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri. He claims to have flagged off an Indian branch of his militant group 'spearheading' a South Asian front. Set against Lashkar-e-Tayyeba's Taj Hotel massacre in Bombay, such a threat from al-Qaida with its presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan at once beeps under the radar…..
In other words Obama’s immediate priority was to get rid of Nouri al-Maliki. According to this logic, a terrorist outfit like the ISIS can, on some occasions, play a useful role. That is why Obama allowed the ISIS to grow in size to frighten the obstinate Prime Minister in Baghdad. Here the President of the United States is giving an example of how terrorism can be placed at the disposal of diplomacy…..
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……
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…..
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 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.....
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……
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…..
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…..
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…..
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……