The War Within Islam
The ruling PMLN has always known that one day the chickens would come home to roost since Punjab remains the base of all sectarian and Jihadi organizations in the country. These were originally nurtured by the military establishment but have become independent or autonomous in recent years and struck out on their own with links to Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. …
However, the growth of a Tubu separatist/independence movement in Libya would create immediate concerns in Chad and Niger, which also host Tubu populations with considerable military experience and expertise in modern desert fighting. …
Saddam is Dead! Long live Saddam! And glancing through the grisly list of executions which the new, free, democratic, American-constructed Iraq has carried out – about 500 all told, and rising – Saddamism is flourishing in the land of the two rivers….
Considering Turkey’s problems with Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and also al-Qaeda, Kurds are tailor-made allies for Ankara. The government needs to see this fact and start bringing Iraqi and Syrian Kurds together under its sphere of influence. Turkey could also play a mediating role between these Kurdish groups and lay the basis for developing economic, social and cultural integration among Kurds in the region. For everyone, it is no longer rational to count on conflicts among the Kurds….
Road to Raqqa
“We have armies in Iraq and an army in Syria,” proclaimed the ISIS, “full of hungry lions who drink blood and eat bones.” The camp of radical Islamists who dominated the armed rebellion against the Assad government differed in their tactics.....
The main problem is that the current negotiation process is completely out of touch with events in Syria. One side does not want to end the war; the other cannot. The regime continues to portray itself as resolved to fight "terrorism", which means it will continue to bombard opposition-held residential areas and torture dissidents to death….
Can we therefore predict that a military operation is on the cards against all Taliban strongholds? Can we expect the Prime Minister to address the nation and tell us why he has been compelled to take off the velvet glove and reveal his iron fist....
So Egypt is back to the age of the dictators – or, as I always call it, the Age of Magic Statistics. The Egyptian people, no less – or at least 38.6 per cent of those who can vote – have endorsed their country’s new and pro-army constitution by a fantastical 98.1 per cent. This is such stuff as dreams are made on….
Before the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement traced out an awkward assortment of nation-states in the Middle East, the name Syria was used by merchants, politicians and warriors alike to describe a stretch of land enclosed by the Taurus Mountains to the north, the Mediterranean to the west, the Sinai Peninsula to the south and the desert to the east. If you were sitting in 18th-century Paris contemplating the abundance of cotton and spices on the other side of the Mediterranean, you would know this region as the Levant -- its Latin root "levare" meaning "to raise," from where the sun would rise in the east....
Criticizing al-Qaeda loudly and at the high ranks of the state is even more dangerous than getting identified with the group. Standing at the frontline in the front against al-Qaeda would turn Turkey into a tailor-made target. No need to mention that al-Qaeda is as the Turkish border when clashing with other Syrian rebels….
Rami G. Khouri
When they become scared, they stop acting like individuals, and they move as a herd that instinctively seeks the closest water hole and food source. Thriving can wait. Survival is the imperative today, and order is its handmaiden….
Those who are defeated dream of a saviour coming even from afterlife. They exalt Salaheddine who died before 900 years and they carry the pictures of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan. This is the state of some Arabs who invent images from the history or the present and decorate them, hoping that these will inspire change. Establishing a perfect image for leaders is a trap….
The militia commander with the dazzling smile leads us through the desert towards the oilfields, his Toyota pick-up truck throwing up a cloud of exhaust and dust. Looming on the horizon are the steeply sloping mountain ridges surrounding the Owbari Valley. Overhead the midday sun is glaring down on the dunes, a sea of golden desert in what was once the ancient Roman province of Fezzan. The remote oil outpost we are aiming for, called the El Sharara fields, is part of the Murzuq basin and one of the most important in Libya, drawing out 350,000 or so barrels of oil daily from the parched earth….
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
This ‘foreign hand’ is not of the American, or any other
Western, variety. The ‘conspiracies’ hatched by this external power are
presumably home-grown enough that our otherwise paranoid makers of public
opinion simply do not feel the need to raise a ruckus. As such, when it comes
to Saudi Arabia (and its clone Gulf kingdoms), we declare a holy exception....
“Subconsciously (and sadly) the Muslim-Turkish thinking tolerates it if Muslims kill Muslims; does not tolerate it but does not turn the world upside down when Christians kill Muslims; pragmatically ignores it when too-powerful Christians kill Muslims; but is programmed to turn the world upside down when Jews kill Muslims.”…
Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them". Prince Nawaf's attempt to capture the moral high ground on the Syrian and Iranian issues conceals the Kingdom's growing isolation from the regional geopolitical scene. This isolation has manifest in increasingly tense relations with Western allies that have prompted calls for rethinking Saudi-Western relations and a growing distance between Saudi and its Arab Gulf neighbours on the Syrian and Iranian issues….
The Syrian debacle has put a damper on the Arab revolutions and beyond. Every country from Afghanistan to Iran to Morocco now points to Syria as a justification that all these revolutions were in vain, that the ruling regimes and all their atrocities are better than this carnage. This is a bogus binary….
“Asymmetric warfare” is the war between two sides whose military power and strategies and tactics differ significantly. Such struggles often involve tactics of unconventional warfare and are characterized by extreme uncertainty. It is completely unknown how far this investigation can go. Yet it is certain that no symmetry will remain at all if this “asymmetric war” does not end soon….
The year 2013 has expectedly been terrible for several Arab countries. It has been terrible because the promise of greater freedoms and political reforms has been reversed, most violently in some instances, by taking a few countries down the path of anarchy and complete chaos. Syria and Egypt are two cases in point….
This best-defence-is-offence attitude is not going to help the government much, however. Corruption is a serious matter and the real best defence would be to help bring those who are charged to justice. Meanwhile, the Gülen Movement, normally a civil society group, should help save itself from the image of secrecy and infiltration that it has been drawn into in the past decade….
Resurgence of Islam Today
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Much of the 20th century saw that those countries which were more “modern” I.e., Western or secular like Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran were seen as more advanced as compared to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which were regarded as religious and traditional and hence “backward.”.....
PAKISTAN’S Federal Interior Minister
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s condemnation of the hanging of Quader Mollah for his
war crimes of 1971 actually reinforces the proof that Mollah was indeed a
collaborator of the Pakistanis and a war criminal, and that he should have
stayed back in Pakistan. ... What the Pak minister said is actually a
confession that till now it had not accepted a liberated Bangladesh and its
independent political existence. So far, those who opposed Bangladesh’s
independence are Pakistan’s heroes. And therefore, what we hear about Jamaat
and Islamist groups getting support in various ways from Pakistan, are perhaps
Dr Qadri won the only National Assembly seat for his party in the 2002 general elections, and used to claim that General Pervez Musharraf had promised him the slot of Prime Minister. In less than a year, he resigned and quit politics. In 2008, he sought asylum in Canada, claiming he was facing threats to his life from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. He got the asylum, and later Canadian nationality, but violated his agreement with his new country’s government that he would not visit Pakistan owing to the threats….
Three years after the Arab Spring, the dominant narrative about this region remains articulated in terms of binary opposites: vanishing republics versus resilient monarchies, the secular versus Islamist divide and the Sunni versus Shiite schism……
Yaqoob Khan Bangash
I am sure that there are millions of my fellow citizens of Pakistan who would never condone the killing of innocent people in the name of the country, and would in fact be glad that a heinous criminal has received the just reward for his actions. As a Pakistani, I am neither ‘saddened’ nor ‘grieved’ by Molla’s death….