The War Within Islam
This is not a trivial matter and says something about the ease with which Israel attacks Gaza and kills women and children. Israel fights because it can. It knows that neither the West nor the Arab world is willing or able to stop it. Its actions cause outrage in world public opinion but it enjoys the comfort of the "protective dome" which is the political and military support of Western governments……
In India when we read articles by our learned columnists of Urdu newspapers, we form a very positive picture of the ISIS. The picture is: The ISIS is a religious organization, headed by a leader who is the namesake of the fist rightly guided caliph Abu Bakr and fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate. It is not killing people unnecessarily and not gunning down Shias and other opponents in cold blood, not killing even women and children. They are not demolishing any religious places of the minority communities, be it Christians or Shias. They are acting so much under the Shariah law that they have even killed their own comrades for transgressing the Shariah.
Yesterday an Urdu daily published from New Delhi carried a news report on its cover page declaring that Abu Bakr Baghdadi had announced the most desired and much-awaited caliphate and wanted the world to call it by the name Islamic State and not by its name ISIS. The report also said that the ISIS have set up Shariah courts in their jurisdiction and justice was being delivered quickly under Shariah Law. The report also mentioned that they have not spared even their own men who were found guilty of corruption and other wrongdoings.
Nadeem F. Paracha
Being Muslim is a given. Being Pakistani was taken. It needs to be developed, nourished and given a cohesive shape. Being a Muslim is for the Almighty to know (and decide). Being Pakistani is for the world to know. That’s nationhood....
It's a new Iraq surge in the making, and it has nothing to do with the US Army. Thousands of Indian Shias have applied for visas to Iraq, where a deadly sectarian conflict between the extreme Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the country's majority Shia population threatens all of West Asia. There could be many thousands more waiting to do the same, and all the while our intelligence agencies piece together inputs on Indians fighting for ISIS......
An analysis of the Urdu press by NewAgeIslam, a progressive Delhi-based news website is revealing. The website's editor Sultan Shahin has shown great courage over the years in challenging Muslim orthodoxy and channelling the debate on Islamic issues into a progressive direction. He believes that by and large the Urdu press is secular but it gets "confused" and tends to veer to the Right when it comes to reporting religious issues. And that’s what is happening now. In a sharp critique, Shahin has pointed out how the Urdu media has manipulated the slant through what he calls "acts of omission and commission"—suppressing or playing down negative stories while playing up pro-ISIS statements. For example, reports that ISIS had asked the residents of Mosul to offer their daughters in "Jihad al Nikah" (a practice whereby women were once offered as comfort slaves to jihadis) were completely ignored by the Urdu press.....
Indian Urdu Media's Dilemma: To Support Or Not To Support The Islamic State Of Iraq And Greater Syria and the Islamic Khilafat of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
In Islam there is no concept of Khilafat the way it is being presented today. The Quran has given certain principles to be followed when setting up a governance system, and that is what should bind Muslims. These principles can take any form, depending on the needs of the times. When the Quran gives principles to achieve a certain purpose, following those principles is what matters. When God asked believers to be militarily prepared against their enemies, He said: “Be ready against them to the utmost of your power and with well-prepared horses. ...” (8:60). It is quite clear that the mention of horses here was not meant in the literal sense…..
Islamism, as a distinctive construct, only made sense in opposition to something else—and that something else was secularism, which grew in influence during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Islam was no longer just a way of being; in the face of Western dominance, it became a political theology of authenticity and resistance and a spiritual alternative to liberal-secular democracy. Islamism needed Habib Bourguiba and Gamal Abdel Nasser just as much as it needed Hassan al-Banna or Sayyid Qutb……
It is easy to blame external forces, and specially the West, for our predicament. And it is true that Western support for the most repressive governments in the Muslim world and elsewhere during the Cold War have made matters worse. But we need to be masters of our own destiny, and not allow tin-pot dictators, shabby politicians or sleazy kings and emirs — or, indeed, Washington — to hold the Muslim world to ransom forever……
Funded by Arabian Gulf petrodollars from
Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among other places, and for a long while supported, at
least implicitly, by the Obama administration, radical Islamist fighters in Syria
opposing Bashar al-Assad have been expanding in strength, numbers, and
lethality for the last three years. This winter, they and their branches in
Iraq converged, first taking Fallujah, then moving on to the spring and summer
debacles across Sunni Iraq and the establishment of a “caliphate” in the
territories they control in both countries. ... The disintegration of Iraq is
the result of U.S. policies that, since 2003, have been strikingly devoid of
coherence or any real comprehension when it comes to the forces at play in the
country or the region. They have had
about them an aura of puerility, of "good guys" versus "bad
guys," that will leave future historians stunned. Worst of all, they have
generated a modern-day Middle Eastern Catch-22 in which all sides are armed,
funded, and supported directly or indirectly by Washington or its allies. Meanwhile,
ISIS and other Sunni insurgent groups have effectively tapped into the tens of
thousands of angry young men I saw in Fallujah last year and are reportedly
enjoying significant popular support (as, in some cases, the best of a series
of terrible options) in many of the towns and cities where they have set up
Taking into account the behaviour of Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri and of Maulana Fazl ur Rahman, it can be said that they do not want the operation to continue because it has broken the back of the Taliban and if the ground and aerial offensive continues, they might be annihilated. This has prompted the Taliban to press their agents in the government like Chaudhary Nisar Ali, Maulana Fazl ur Rahman and Imran Khan to disturb the process and possibly stall the operation to give Taliban time to reorganise themselves and regain strength....
M K Bhadrakumar
An altogether new interpretation is available today that the current turmoil in Iraq has been a carefully hatched plot by the US and its regional allies, especially Turkey which is keeping a deafening silence on the Iraq developments. Could the kidnapping of the Turks in their consulate in Mosul, ostensibly by the ISIL, be in reality a stage-managed publicity stunt that projects Ankara as victim rather than as the mentor of the terrorist group? There are no easy answers......
After a cruel end to the Qaddafi saga, and the stalemate in Syria, the Saudis found that the Qataris were punching above their weight, trying to mediate between the Taliban and Kabul, linking up the Muslim Brotherhood strands in Egypt, Turkey and Hamas – in each instance upstaging Riyadh. If there is one group the Saudis are even more paranoid about than Iran, it is the Akhwan ul Muslimeen or the Muslim Brotherhood which is ideologically opposed to the institution of the King in Saudi Arabia…..
However, being convinced of the victories of its side in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts, the Saudi rulers are not about to oblige the Ayatollahs by lowering their support for those jihadists. Thus, this ostensibly unending hybrid proxy war continues. If Iraq remains as chaotic as it is right now, the sole winners are likely to be ISIS, which is betting on further escalating the chaos to strengthen its presence in Iraq and then using that strength to oust Bashar Assad....
Dr Mahjabeen Islam
Pakistan is at a point where there needs to be a multi-dimensional approach to free it of the chokehold of terrorism. In peaceful times, we would have had the luxury of safeguarding human rights; at a time of war with an enemy that has invaded the hearts and minds of significant segments of the population, preserving the integrity of Pakistan, as well as countless lives and major national assets, far outweighs the possible violation of human rights. …..
David D. Kirkpatrick
Their battles are an extension of sectarian hostilities nearly as old as Islam. But they are also a manifestation of a radically new scramble for power playing out across the region in the aftermath of the United States invasion of Iraq and the Arab Spring revolts. This island nation off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia was the first place where Arab Spring demands for equal citizenship and democratic governance degenerated into a sectarian feud….
One of the top items on Turkey's political agenda relates to the ongoing operation against the Gülen Movement, which formed an autonomous shadow state in various government institutions. The group, which is primarily organized within law enforcement and the judiciary, remains active in media, education and finance as well. It aims to accumulate power through anti-democratic channels…..
What Iraq needs is a strong man, a man who can keep a violent, bloodthirsty argumentative Iraqi population all under total control. Iraq has always been violent, that’s how Iraqis are. You have to show an iron fist. They are not ready for democracy. Iraq must have a dictator to survive……
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam
The leader of Pakistan Awami Tehreek has announced that the revolution was a few weeks away and that the Awami Inquilab Council had been set up. His voice was full of sound and fury. He got carried away and even called the police and officers of other departments ‘dogs’. No doubt, the members of his party have been killed and an apparently administrative matter was treated in a violent manner. After that the leadership of Awami Tahreek is outraged and its leader wants to turn this anger into a revolution......
The abduction of 46 or some of the nurses by his ‘Islamic army’ is not in consonance with Islamic diplomatic principles or principles of war. The nurses are not a part of the Iraqi government which Mr Baghdadi is at loggerheads with. They are guests or ambassadors of India doing a noble service to the nation to which he belongs. Their abduction from their place of work and confining them against their will is against the principles of an Islamic caliphate and against the tenets of Islam. They are not the citizens of the country. They are citizens of India with which the ISIS does not have any disputes and which is not a party to the war. Therefore, any harm to the nurses or any other Indian worker in their captivity will not be in the interests of the ISIS itself, not to speak of the damage it will cause to the image of Islam and Muslims the world over. It will become an international issue and will aggravate the international political situation.
Ramadan always takes me back to the refugee camp in Gaza, no matter where I am in the world. And when a TV sheikh preaches about what Ramadan is or is not about, I often reflect on what Ramadan has meant to me and my peers in the refugee camp. It was not about feeling the brunt of the poor, for we all were, Ghassan included, poverty-stricken. It was about sharing the hardships of life, a communal struggle against one’s own weaknesses and a month-long introspection to uncover the collective strength of a beleaguered community. Ramadan was an exacting platform through which poverty and deprivation were devalued so that when Ramadan was over, we felt grateful for the little we had, before we resumed our struggle for the rights and freedoms we truly deserved…….
The fragmentation of Iraq — a possibility now more real than in the past—into three states would not fail to generate new tensions, which in turn would spill over into the neighbouring countries of Iran, Turkey, and Jordan. That might easily fuel foreign intervention to end or contain the chaos in the region. Some observers have noted that U.S. Democrats’ design for the partition of Iraq is finally coming to fruition…..
Islamist militant group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria. It also proclaimed the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as caliph and "leader for Muslims everywhere". Setting up a caliphate ruled by the strict Islamic law has long been a goal of many jihadists. Meanwhile, Iraq's army continued an offensive to retake the northern city of Tikrit from the Isis-led rebels. The city was seized by the insurgents on 11 June as they swept across large parts of northern-western Iraq. In a separate development, Israel called for the creation of an independent Kurdish state in response to the gain made by the Sunni rebels in Iraq.
If the 1980s is notorious in Pakistan’s history for its so called Islamisation, the current decade will probably be remembered as the era of ‘blasphemisation’ of Pakistan. Over forty years ago Zia ul Haq deployed Islam to legitimize his illegal coup against a democratic government and proceeded to raise a generation of militants in CIA run training camps funded by Saudi money. This period not only witnessed the increasing institutionalization of religion but also the rise of Sunni militancy – the leaders and founding members of notorious organizations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Lashkar-e-Taiba were a product of the Afghan Jihad....
When people ask me how Pakistan compares to Afghanistan, I answer that Afghanistan has only one civil war - the one between the government and the Taliban. But Pakistan has at least three and possibly half a dozen lesser civil wars. These three major wars are being fought against the Pakistani Taliban, Baloch separatists who want to divide the country and multiple ethnic, criminal and Islamic gangs in Karachi....
I am ashamed of being a Pakistani today. I am ashamed that I belong to a country that kills human rights lawyers and sitting governors, and issues death threats to university professors. I am ashamed that we believe in spaghetti monster theories and pie in the sky conspiracies and risk the future of our children. I am ashamed that we have rejected our scientists just because they believe in a different dogma. I am ashamed that we cannot protect our women, we cannot protect our children and we cannot protect our men from the evil that is extremism, fundamentalism and the foolhardy idea that Pakistan is a great nation.....