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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Who Will Dominate Iraq and Syria after ISIS?
Jonathan Spyer

Ownership by the US and its allies of eastern Syria in the post-Islamic State period is the best way to prevent the possibility of the realization of Iran's aims, while presenting Russia with a fait accompli. The indications are that the US administration is thinking in these terms. If so, Iranian victory emerging from the ruins of Syria and Iraq can be prevented. The post-Islamic State landscape in Iraq and Syria is emerging. The contest for primacy within it is set to begin.....

 

The Meaning Of Sehwan: Why Would Contemporary Terrorists Mark It Out For Violence?
Raza Rumi

A suicide bomber who failed to detonate himself at Sakhi Sarwar shrine in 2011, in an interview, said that he had been originally recruited for jihad in Afghanistan but diverted to South Punjab due to the shirk and Murda Parasti (worshipping the dead) prevalent at the shrines. Intriguingly, he said that the reason for this mission was the large number of Kafirs (infidels) that had to be tackled. Such Pakistani Kafirs, he was told, were greater in number – even more than America....

 

What Pakistanis are missing is that the issue of the terrorist sanctuaries is not a new one and has roots in the mistrust between the two countries. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan first shifted its sanctuaries to Afghan soil after the Swat operation in 2011 and the second phase came after the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014. The Afghan government acknowledges their presence, but clearly wants to use the sanctuaries as a quid pro quo for an end to what it says is the Taliban/Haqqani network presence in Pakistan....

 

Afghanistan - Notes from a Broken Land
Andre Vltchek

Afghanistan, a stunning but terribly scarred and injured land has been suffering from a concussion. It has been dizzy and disoriented. It can hardly walk. Still it being Afghanistan, it has been walking anyway, against all odds!.....

 
ISIS in India?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

ISIS in India?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The media overreach which happened in this case actually helps no one. Going ballistic over the ‘ISIS in India’ and coming to conclusions even before the investigating agencies have started looking into the profile of alleged terrorists only helps stoke negative fears about a section of Indian population. More so when the same media houses have maintained a studied silence on the alleged links of some members of Madhya Pradesh unit of BJP with the ISI or the recent conviction of some members of the RSS in Ajmer blast case. This hypocrisy only lends credence to the perception that the media is biased and has an agenda which makes the Muslim community nervous.....

Desecrated but Still Majestic: Inside Palmyra after Second ISIS Occupation
Ruth Maclean

The main mosque of the town was destroyed except for the battle-scarred minaret, still standing and in possession of its crescent moon. Part of the pale green of the mosque’s dome lay amid the grey rubble, loudspeakers still attached. “Isis do this – destroy mosques and try to pretend it was us,” Mohammed said. Nearby, each grave in a cemetery had been systematically destroyed for being too high, the same reason Jihadi fighters in west Africa had used to justify the destruction of the ancient tombs of Timbuktu....

 
Caliphate at Bay
The Economist

Caliphate at Bay

The Shia militias have been kept out of the city to avoid sectarian killings, as have the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. There is no curfew; policemen guard many street corners, and the IS “sleeper cells” that some warn of seem to be soundly asleep, if indeed they exist. ...

 

By 2050, Islam Might Be The World Largest Religion, But Will The Muslim History Remain Soaked In Violent Extremism As Always?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

The strongest extremist movement in the Islamic history was laid down in the Wahhabism-Salafism propounded by the Saudi scholar of the Najdi tribe, Ibn Abdul Wahhab. Based on the puritanical Islamism, it emerged in the 18th century Saudi Arabia and turned into the global jihadist movement inspiring the earlier extremists of the Ikhwan al-Najdiyyun and the present-day jihadists of the ISIS and the ilk….

The Boys Made To Fight for ISIS
Naomi Grimley

The boys are Yazidis from northern Iraq. In 2014, the world watched in horror as tens of thousands of their people were trapped on Mount Sinjar in the searing heat without food or water. At the same time, the teenagers Lovant and Sabbah were being rounded up in their village by IS fighters. Most of the adult males were taken away and murdered, while the boys were moved with their mothers to a nearby city in northern Iraq, before being separated from their families altogether.....

 

Sufis so far have worked to peacefully introduce Sindh to the world. They have protected its religious tolerance and interfaith harmony for centuries, but their own shrines, places where Ayaz and Mehmood stand in the same row, are under attack from terrorists.  The suicide attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine, which left 90 dead on February 16, and more than 250 people injured, is not the first incident that has left us aghast; the fact is, Sindh has witnessed many big and small terrorist attacks in recent years. ....

 

The intellectual and ideological training of Ikhwan Al-Najdiyyun was based on the fanatic teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdul Wahhab al-Najdi. It is important to study and analyze their ideas and practices in order to understand the contemporary terrorism. The primary factor in the teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahab was repugnance and exclusivity. His teachings encouraged religious intolerance and peddled hatred against all those who did not follow the Najdi ideology. The main violent teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahab and his radical thoughts and reflections can be found in details in these books in Arabic: Tafseer Kalimah Tauheed (التوحید کلمہ تفسیر), Risalah Salaas Masail (مسائل رسالہ ثلاث), Kashf Ash-Shubhaat (الشبہات کشف), Risalah Talqeen Usool Al-Aqeedah Lil-Aammah (للعامہ العقیدہ اصول تلقین رسالہ), Risalah Ma’na At-Taghut (الطاغوت اومعنی رسالہ), Risalah Arb'a Qawaid Li Ad-Deen (للدین اربع قواعد رسالہ)....

 

Sufism thus stands in marked contrast with the fanaticism, intolerance, bigotry and militarism of the Taliban, their mentors and like-minded individuals – who, on their part, look upon it as heretical. According to the Taliban ideology, ‘the heretics’ deserve only one type of treatment: death. The militants regard bombing the shrines and killing the pilgrims who visit these places as a religious duty. Not surprisingly, several shrines in Pakistan have been soaked in blood by the militants.

Terrorism: A Technique of War?
Asad Durrani

Since terrorism has survived through the ages, is it possible that it is part of human nature? As children we were afraid of the ‘bully on the block’. When the local Badmash terrified the neighbourhood, we wanted someone to do the same to him. We relished the thought that others would live in fear of us. Maybe terrorism is merely a more radical version of scaring, intimidating, petrifying or frightening others. But then that is a subject for social scientists and psychologists....

 

Officially Outlawing Love: The Sehwan Killing By ISIS Only Reaffirmed What Pakistan Formally Believes In
Khaled Ahmed

After the Pakistani killers of the Islamic State (IS) slew 88 devotees and wounded hundreds at the “Shia” mausoleum of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar at Sehwan Sharif in Sindh recently, people thought it was an act of satanic cruelty. But IS knew Sehwan as “Shia” and that the saint buried there was renamed Usman to avoid being found out. The saint is revered by Muslims, Hindus, Ismailis and other branches of Islam; all dance together to the Qalandar’s mesmerising songs. Did the IS take itself out of the pale of Islam with this act?....

Although signs of Daesh’s footprint in the country began to appear in 2014, top officials of the federal and Punjab governments dismissed the organisation’s presence in Pakistan until recently. Daesh had established its bases in eastern Afghanistan’s bordering areas with Pakistan in 2014 and, soon afterwards, had penetrated into South Waziristan. Daesh’s sanctuaries, training camps and financial resources in Afghanistan have infused a new life into Pakistan’s outlawed militant sectarian groups....

 

Pakistan’s New Policy on Terror and What It Means
Hiranmay Karlekar

The question is whether history will repeat itself. Given past experience, it is very likely that it will. Hence, another question: Why this flurry of action now? One reason can be fear of the Trump Administration which is determined to stamp out the Islamic State and Islamist terrorism, and may not have much patience with Pakistan’s patronage of the JeM and JuD. This pressure from FATF, and genuine alarm at the recent surge of terrorism inside Pakistan, may well have led to these measures and the launch of Radd-ul-Fasaad...

 

Pakistan’s Terror-Finance Time-Bomb
Praveen Swami

Now, Saeed is back in detention again — because no less than Khawaja Asif, Pakistan’s Defence Minister, said at a conference in Germany last month, that he could “pose a serious threat to society”. No one knows what that threat is, though, because no criminal charges have been brought. There has been no explanation, either, of why Pakistan is holding Saeed, other than that it is in national interest.....

 

Risks in Rush to Crush ISIS
Paul R. Pillar

Of course ISIS is a horrible group, and everyone not in it agrees that the world will be better off without it. But before U.S. forces take up any larger share of the burden of fighting it, three realities ought to be carefully considered....

 

How 'Radical' Islam Often Isn't Radical At All
Z Fareen Parvez

While Wahhabis follow one of the main Sunni orthodox schools of law, Salafis tend to think through legal questions independently. So equating the two is a mistake. For some Salafists, labeling them as Wahhabi is a way to dismiss their faith or even insult them. Identifying with Salafism does not mean one supports the politics of the Saudi state....

The IS’s puritanical, one-size-fits-all brand of Islam hasn’t found much resonance in India. Given the syncretic nature of Indian Islam, it is extremely difficult for groups such as the IS to become popular among Muslims, as it did in parts of Iraq and Syria. But lone- wolf attacks, inspired by the IS world view and tactics, could pose security risks. The IS is not recruiting people through local communities as in the case of other terror organisations or, as in Pakistan and Afghanistan, through madrasas....

 

Who Are The Sufis And Why Does ISIS See Them As Threatening?
Peter Gottschalk

Sufi traditions reflect a vastly underreported quality about Islamic traditions in general. While some revivalist Muslim movements such as the Wahhabis and other Salafis see only one way of observing Islam, there are others who embrace its diversity. Many Muslims proudly defend Sufi customs such as shrine devotions because they are so integral to Muslim and non-Muslim communities....

 

Followers of Mumtaz Qadri feted him as a hero at his tomb on Monday, the start of a three-day festival marking the anniversary of his hanging+ on February 29, 2016. Qadri assassinated liberal Punjab governor Salman Taseer in 2011, angered by the politician's reformist stance on Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. The state's decision to execute him provoked uproar among Islamists....

 

Netting Jihadis Online
Rahul Tripathi

Sultan Shahin, who runs a website from New Delhi that counters Jihadi propaganda, said his site has been banned in Pakistan for publishing such articles. But there are lessons to be learnt from the experience of other countries where such programmes are being run. "Although de-radicalisation programmes are not a great success, counter-radicalisation can be of help in the Indian context," he says...

Pakistan: Jehadis Are Shared Assets; A Deeper Design Can Be Read In China's Cosseting Of Masood Azhar
Ayesha Siddiqa

But then there are those like Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Masood Azhar, who remain so relevant to the security institution that help is sought from powerful allies like China to protect them at international forums. In the past calendar year, China blocked Indian and now even American efforts to pass a resolution in the UN Security Council declaring Azhar as terrorist....

 

No Counterterrorism Strategy Can Work Without Civilian and Military Collaboration
Muhammad Amir Rana

Operation Raddul Fasaad appears to be an attempt at a collaborative effort to counter the threat. Still, it is to be seen how this effort can transform into a proper institutional mechanism. Law-enforcement agencies can cope with the new challenges by putting in place improved investigation, intelligence-gathering and intelligence-sharing mechanisms, and by developing a rapid response system....

 
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