Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

The Interconnected Regional Conflicts
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

It is difficult for Iran to win the Syrian war, but Saudi Arabia is more capable of winning in Yemen. Most Syrians oppose the Assad regime, and revolted against it and its ally Iran four years ago. Most Yemenis have had a strong relation with Saudi Arabia for many decades now....


As the shelling of infrastructure and the killing of civilians continues, Yemen is coming apart. Hunger is pervasive; major cities have become ghost towns. The bombing campaign will not resolve our four-year-old political crisis; it will only erode any modicum of national cohesion left....


Quite apart from his own special ties with the House of Saud and the money and oil at concessional rates that Saudi Arabia pumps into Pakistan, thousands of Pakistanis work in the kingdom, as they do in the other Gulf countries, and send home billions of dollars in remittances....

Sunni v Shia: Why the Conflict is More Political Than Religious
Ian Black

Extremist Sunni preachers based in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait abuse Shia as “idol-worshippers” – the intolerant language of Wahhabi exclusivity. Iranians are scorned as “Safawis”, a pejorative reference to the 16th-century Safavid dynasty. Fanatical Jihadis such as the Islamic State justify the killing of “apostates” under the doctrine of “Takfir”....


While the Houthis are Shiites, their Zaydi faith is theologically distinct from the Shiite practices of most Iranians. Iran’s major gains in the region are in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, where the Iranians are funding and training Shiite militias battling the Islamic State....


Yemen’s President: The Houthis Must Be Stopped
Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi

The Houthi rebels are puppets of the Iranian government, and the government of Iran does not care for the fate of ordinary Yemenis; it only cares about achieving regional hegemony. On behalf of all Yemenis, I call on the agents of chaos to surrender and to stop serving the ambitions of others....


Arab Feuds: From Himyar to Yemen
Dr Haider Shah

Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) are the mirror image of the Kharjies of the past. A lot of blood was shed in the seventh century: in the Battle of the Camel and the many Skirmishes that followed between warring tribal groupings....


Yemen as an Agatha Christie Plot
Jawed Naqvi

Saudi money helped marginalise the less extremist Muslim group that won the ensuing elections and shored up the throat-slitting forebears of the Islamic State. That battle rages on....


Through an exposition of Sufism, it will be shown that Muslims who genuinely seek the path to holiness and union with God will never be murderous in their hearts but will be filled with profound gentleness and compassion for all....

Eye on Sana’a
Khaled Ahmed

Eye on Sana’a
Khaled Ahmed

The rebels include the Houthi tribe. They are called Shia but are actually Zaidi, which means they do not recognise the Twelve Imams of Iran because Imam Zaid was the son of the fourth Imam, which is where they end their confession....


Is The West Not At War With Islam?
Shakir Mumtaz

Although every Muslim and non-Muslim, with a little acumen, equally and sincerely would wish such were the case, but unfortunately the statement was flat out unbelievable….


A Saudi-Iranian clash will not be just a political rivalry between two countries; it will also inflame Sunni-Shiite tensions. This should be prevented at all costs. Saudi Arabia does not represent Sunni Islam just as Iran does not represent Shiite Islam per se. The Sunni and Shiite communities of the Muslim world may feel affinity toward certain states but they are bigger than any nation-state agenda….



ISIS Declares War on Mohammad's Covenant
Azeem Ibrahim

The Prophet's Constitution of Medina brought together what Muslim scholars describe as an Ummah Wahidah where all the residents of the state, Muslims, Jews, Christians and pagans, ensured religious freedom, gave all groups representation, established the security of women and declared that no weapon can be carried or blood be spilled on the Haram land of the Islamic state....


Yemen, in other words, has become the latest proxy battleground in the sectarian struggle now playing out across the Middle East. It did not have to be this way. The Houthis, unlike Hezbollah and other Shiite movements, do not take directions from Tehran, and have received relatively small amounts of aid....


The Battle for the Middle East's Future Begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia Jumps Into the Abyss
Robert Fisk

Unprecedented in modern Arab history, a Sunni Muslim coalition of 10 nations – including non-Arab Pakistan – has attacked another Arab nation. The Sunnis and the Shia of the Middle East are now at war with each other in Iraq, in Syria and Yemen. Pakistan is a nuclear power. The armies of Bahrain and the Gulf states include Pakistani soldiers. Pakistanis were among the dead in the first great battle against Iraqi troops in the 1991 Gulf War....

Getting Into the Yemeni Storm
Mshari Al-Zaydi

In fact, what is happening in Yemen poses a problem for the whole world, politically, strategically, and in terms of global security. This is especially true when bearing in mind how Yemen is currently being transformed into a regional base for the Persian–Khomeinist camp and a rebel stronghold for Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda....


Saleh’s Shadowy Role in Slide to War
Angus Mcdowall

Saleh appears to hope that he is the only person able to hold together the country’s political, regional and religious factions and will thus prove indispensable for foreign countries worried about Al-Qaeda, which has a branch in Yemen....


Iran-Saudi Proxy War in Yemen Explodes Into Region-Wide Crisis
Simon Tisdall

The conflict, spreading outwards like a poison cloud from the key southern battleground around Aden, pits Saudi Arabia, the leading Sunni Muslim power, plus what remains of Yemen’s government against northern-based Houthi rebels, who are covertly backed by Shia Muslim Iran....

‘Decisive Storm’ Contains Threat
Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi

‘Decisive Storm’ Contains Threat
Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi

Decisive Storm, a name with so many meanings in the international war against Houthi militias in Yemen, is currently under way. Saudi diplomacy is known for being careful. It is known for giving opportunities for moderate solutions....


Why ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ is the Ultimate Setback for Iran
David Andrew Weinberg

Today’s Saudi-led international military intervention in Yemen, Operation Decisive Storm, is a decided setback for Iran’s regional ambitions. Officials in Tehran had been gloating about their proxies’ newfound dominance over four capitals in the Arab world – Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sanaa – but observers suggest that the assembly of a large multinational coalition to push back against Shi’ite insurgents in Yemen represents a new regional challenge for Tehran....

Religious Wars – Mostly Between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims – Are Ravaging Half A Dozen Countries across the World
Pervez Hoodbhoy

The bloodiest conflicts on planet Earth today are no longer imperialist wars waged for raw materials, territory, and markets. Instead, religious wars – mostly between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims – are ravaging half a dozen countries across the world. The new militancy derives sustenance from religious extremism, which in turn derives from a massive return to the faith….

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban: Seize the Day

All sorts of other issues will arise, including education for girls, which the Taliban abhor. But that is not for now. The urgent task is to get the two sides round a table. Pakistan is critical in achieving that—and China and America, acting in concert, could help press it into action….


The Fantasies of a Well-Respected Religious Scholar
Syed Kamran Hashmi

In the middle of a war on terror — a war that revolves around violence in the name of Islam — the nation would have preferred every prominent Maulana to focus on religious laws dealing with peace and justice, the doctrines that preserve the rights of non-Muslims and the importance of a pleural society....

Thirty Years of Takfiri Terror On The Back Of Poisonous Fatwas From Deobandi Ulema Of Jamia Islamia Binori Town, Karachi And Dar-Ul-Uloom Haqqaniah, Akora Khattak
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Instead, the culprits are being mainstreamed and projected into living rooms through prime time television exposure. The patron-in-chief of the virulently anti-Shia outfit, the Ahle-Sunnat-Wal-Jamat (ASWJ), Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, was interviewed by a private television channel this past weekend. Citing various edicts (Fatwas), Ludhianvi indulged in takfir (apostatising) of the Shias without any hard follow-up questions being asked by the said anchor. Whether or not an arch bigot should have gone unquestioned or given prime time space to begin with is another debate but the edicts that Ludhianvi alluded to have been issued by Deobandi seminaries such as the Jamia Islamia Binori Town, Karachi and Dar-ul-uloom Haqqaniah, Akora Khattak, which are the alma maters of the who’s who of jihadist terrorism....


The Frailty of Judges: Many killers in Pakistan cannot be hanged, but the most 'un-hangable' is Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer
Khaled Ahmed

There are many killers Pakistan cannot hang, but the one most “un-hangable” out of them is Mumtaz Qadri, ex-policeman, security guard of late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, whom he shot full of bullets, thinking the governor had blasphemed. Qadri was sentenced to death by a judge of the anti-terrorism special court who had to flee abroad because the judicial process is now thoroughly subordinated to religious extremism. It is also unreliable because the judges may think like the killers when it comes to blasphemy....

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  • Hats Off says, "nothing (nothing) ever went away by everyone ignoring it."....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I support the same reforms that the Muslim Reform Movement stands...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Qanta saheba, expecting Trump to be able to know the difference between....
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  • This is a more balanced article than Hats Off would like us to believe...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good article! Upholding any part of our theology that allegedly excuses terrorism, and mincing words when condemning...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! Yunus sahab's 14 point anti-radicalization narrative is comprehensive and on target.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By muhammad yunus )
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    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • another islamophobe! whats going on?
    ( By hats off! )
  • islamophobe?'
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hat Off says “divine revelations are fiction. god does not talk to people. he never has. and precept always drives practice. tribal culture is far ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • sorry! i need to share this, but i do not know where to post it. therefore. this brought tears to my eyes. the only hope for ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • nothing (nothing) ever went away by everyone ignoring it. passing of time softens slavery. it blunts the edges of a date rape. it even legitimizes bloody ...
    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sir: Pakistan is a nation of Hypocrites, there is one law for the rich and the privileged, and another for the less fortunate.....
    ( By Syed Ali )
  • by all means. such questions are essential. unless and until such questions are asked all round, there is going to ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • It's almost four years since you wrote this aticle, I am speechless at the magnanimity of the mass murder. One question to....
    ( By R.Raman )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Affirmation of the rightfulness of intercommunal friendships is more important than either exaggerated....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Using human rationality as a filter for revelations is what most intelligent believers do. What blind believers or frenzied haters..
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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  • So Tufail Ahmad is an expert on international relations now? What next?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • May Allah protect those children.
    ( By Basheer Ahmed )
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    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
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    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • A pity, this article has not been included in the subsequent issue of NAI.
    ( By Asif Merchant )
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    ( By hats off! )
  • no they haven't been rebutted. they cannot be rebutted because divine revelations are fiction. god does not talk to people. he never has. and precept always ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, Your Islamophobic talking points mixing up tribal culture with religion and precept with practice have been rebutted many times.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • A very thought provoking scholarly article. Shadi Hamid's book is most probably worth reading. I hope to see more of his writings here.
    ( By Asif Merchant )
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    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By Royalj )
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    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good article. However, the author appears to be unaware that the Quran, in every verse that speaks of the kafaru, makes a distinction between the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good decision. I wish every other country will follow the same.'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )