Books and Documents
The War Within Islam

Did Saudi Arabia send Qaeda prisoners to Syria?
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

This would actually be a good idea to watch al-Qaeda and the Assad’s regime fight each other until they both die. But if they don’t eliminate each other, al-Qaeda fighters will pose a major threat. They may turn back and threaten their countries and the allies of their countries. This is what we have tried in Afghanistan, and this is what Bin Laden did to us…..

‘Muslims Attack’ another Revered Shrine in Damascus
Saeed Naqvi

Millions of Muslims will, in the next few days, observe the birth and death anniversaries of Fatima Zahra, Prophet Mohammad's daughter. But during this period, the world famous shrine of her daughter, Saiyada Zainab, outside Damascus, holy to millions around the world, will be in grave danger. That remarkable chronicler of London's Independent, Robert Fisk, ascribes the danger to "Salafist mortar fire". But so far the shrine is safe....


Treason Trial of Pervez Musharraf and Pandora's Box

According to one interpretation, the July 31, 2009 judgment seems to suggest that all those who aided and abetted the subversion might also be complicit. And that list has some powerful people. To quote MD Taseer, davaar-i-hashr mera naam-i-amal na dekh, is mein kuchh parda nasheenon kay bhi naam atay hain. The murders of Shaheeds Akbar Bugti and BB cannot be allowed to slide.....


In “The Second Arab Awakening: Revolution, Democracy, and the Islamist Challenge from Tunis to Damascus,” Dawisha dates the first Arab awakening to the 1950s and ’60s, when separate groups of military officers—the most famous was Egypt’s Gamal Abdul-Nasser—toppled regimes across the Arab world and sought to achieve the Arab nationalist goal of unity....


Pakistan: Do Articles 62 and 63 Fully Conform To The Teachings Of The Quran And Sunnah?
Saleem Safi

How can I buy an ideology of Pakistan that someone with Ayaz Amir’s intellectual calibre is considered to be flouting and someone like Pervez Musharraf is seen to protect? The question I then ask is: do Articles 62 and 63 fully conform to the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah? Anyone against the ideology of Pakistan surely cannot be a patriotic Pakistani but the real issue is: what, after all, is Pakistan’s ideology?...


Banning a Textbook — The Punjab Government Panics
Pervez Hoodbhoy

To claim that this is a dangerous book is the height of absurdity. My personal opinion is that it is rather insipid, has little contemporary relevance, the choice of essays and poems could have been better, and the end of chapter exercises ask for no more than straightforward reproductions. But other than this, it is scarcely worthy of comment.....

The Shias see the rebellion against the Assad regime as a threat to the Shia world and therefore is hell-bent on saving it. As young Shia men and girls from across the neighbouring countries from Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen etc are headed towards Syria to fight to save the Shia regime in Syria, the Sunni circles have also been trying hard to mobilize support of Sunnis all around the world. Even Jabhat al Nusrah, an Al Qaida affiliate in Iraq got involved in the war to topple Assad and establish an ‘Islamic state’ there. The desperation reached such a stage that Sunni Salafi clerics also jumped into the fray to buoy up the spirits of the supporters of Free Syrian Army, calling all the Muslims to join the FSA in Syria.

Pakistan: Generation Landslide
Nadeem F. Paracha

In the Arab countries, the largely Barelvi Pakistani Muslims came into contact with the strain of faith practiced by the Arabs and encouraged by their monarchs. Some call it ‘Wahabism,’ some explain it as being ‘Salafi’ and some describe it as ‘Ahle Hadith.’ All these definitions have separate historical trajectories, but all three do come and settle on a common ground that does not allow any Islamic sect, sub-sect or strain that has anything whatsoever to do with Sufism, shrines or rituals smacking (to them) of heresy and shirk.....


A Suicidal Path: Indian Muslim Groups Come Out In Support Of Pro-Pakistan Bangladeshi War Criminals
Garga Chatterjee

But, shockingly, the largest was a massive rally held in Kolkata on March 30, explicitly against the Shahbag protests and in support of the war criminals already convicted. Various Muslim groups, including the All Bengal Minority Council, the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation, the Madrasa Students Union, the Muslim Think Tank and the All Bengal Imam Muezzin Association, organised the rally.....

‘Future of the Islamic World Actually Exists In Indonesia, Not In Saudi Arabia’
Evi Rahmawati

Islam is a religion that brings developments. The developments occur through human’s reason that is definitely blessed with the ability to keep moving and growing dynamically. Islam is not a static religion which constantly gives a place for stagnation....

‘Minorities’ Have an Inalienable Claim on Pakistani Nationalism—a Spiritual-Ethnic Identity on a Modernising Quest
Javed Jabbar

Separated, yet in parallel ways, Pakistan and Bangladesh entered the next phase of the search for sovereign, autonomous Muslim nationalism in South Asia. Due to its ethnic and linguistic homogeneity, Bangladesh does not face the supra-nation-building tasks that face Pakistan. The assertion of the identity and rights of the several nations/sub-nations that exist in Pakistan—belatedly recognised by the 18th Amendment—strengthens rather than weakens Pakistani nationalism....


Analysts have hailed the event as an important milestone in Pakistan's short but turbulent history, which has seen three periods of military rule. But the PPP has been dogged throughout by allegations of corruption and incompetence. Pakistan suffers crippling power shortages and gun and bomb attacks by Taliban and other militants are a near-daily scourge....

FATA: The Fall of Tirah
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

FATA: The Fall of Tirah
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

After much of the Tirah Valley had fallen to the TTP-LI combine, Sadat Afridi, spokesman of the AI, observed, "We have resisted insurgents for over seven years, but this attack was unusual... There were foreign fighters. Uzbeks, Chechens. Almost 3,000 of them... We ran out of ammunition and other supplies."…


It has now become impossible to introduce a new front beside the fighters who have come from France, Germany, Britain, the US, Australia and the Arab states. There are only two camps in Syria, Assad’s and that of the fighters. As there are around 200,000 fighters, how can we expect those fighting the regime to turn on those who are fighting with them? They will win this war without wondering who the foreign fighters are and what ideology they follow....


Will Shiite and Sunni Islam Ever Reconcile?
Mike Ghouse

Sunni Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said that he was leaving the book (Quran) behind him for his followers to learn, understand and practice the religion. Each one is individually accountable for his or her actions, while the Shiite Muslims believe that Prophet had also said he was leaving behind his progeny to offer guidance. Both the versions are authentic to the believers, and this is the problem. If the Shiite version is accepted by the Sunnis, then they would have to accept that the spiritual leadership is passed on through Prophet's family and accept the Shiite imams as their spiritual guides…..

Currently, the name of Pakistan has surfaced in connection with the role of Jabhat ul Nusrah in the insurgency in Syria. Last month, US undersecretary Hillary Clinton had made the serious statement that terrorists in Syria were getting  ‘messages’ from the central leadership of Al Qaida in Pakistan. Al Nusrah is originally linked to Al Qaida’s Iraq based branch which sends mercenaries to Syria. It means that Al Qaida network based in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq have become very active and powerful in Syria which may make matters worse for the country as NATO is contemplating military intervention in the strife-torn country.


A Sad List of Blasphemy Victims
Mehr Tarar

1,274 people charged, 51 killed before trials, and General Zia’s blasphemy laws in 1986 as an addendum to “Pakistan’s Penal Code [which] dates back to pre-partition India when it was introduced in 1860. Section 295, better known as the Blasphemy law, deals with religious offences and was meant to prevent religious violence....” What is wrong with this picture?...

Though Islam had its genesis in Arabian Peninsula, it was the Persians, Turks and Kurds—all non-Arabs, that extended its spread and development resulting in a vast political territory stretching from the Iberian peninsula to the Hindukush and Gangetic valley. In India, Islam entered after three hundred years of the demise of the Prophet, after being enriched for two hundred years in the most civilized and culturally sophisticated land called Persia....

Bangladesh’s Long Twilight Struggle It cannot Afford to Lose
Syed Badrul Ahsan

It is an unhappy Bangladesh its people inhabit today. Secular Muslims, and they are by far the majority in the country, have nevertheless been unable to put up a decisive response to the sinister doings of the bigots and their friends, such as those in the BNP. It is once more a twilight struggle for Bangladesh’s citizens, against the forces of medieval darkness, one they cannot afford to lose….


Pakistan: The Story of a Nightmare
Kamila Hyat

What we need to admit, openly and loudly, is that we are living today in a nightmare; an especially macabre, terrifying nightmare from which we cannot wake up. The nightmare is our reality. There is no way of shaking it off or sitting up to sip some cold water, knowing it will then go away. It is here to stay. We have waited too long. The question now is whether the nightmare can be swept away. The dream of course will be even harder to reconstruct.....


General Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan’s Prodigal General
Najeeb Jung

Weaponisation, sectarian brutalisation and a completely non- secular sectarian approach were his legacy to the people of Pakistan. This policy of Islamisation not only crept into the military but gradually helped Islamic parties and Jihadi groups gain considerable power and weaken the state. Gen Musharraf, for all his plain talk positioning himself as a soldier of modern secular governance....

Civil-Military paralysis
Najam Sethi

Balochistan has been laid low by insurgency and sectarian terrorism. The military is using a combination of Frontier Corps, ISI, MI and "pro-Pakistan" Tribal Lashkars to combat militant Baloch nationalism. This is the source of hundreds of "missing or dead persons" in the province. But the military refuses to put the same force-combination to use against sectarian terrorists. This leads to the suspicion that the military is not acting against the sectarian terrorists because they are also being used by the military against the Baloch nationalists. Certainly, this is a common refrain in Balochistan. Meanwhile, the provincial civilian leadership is paralysed. It is averse to stepping on the toes of the military's counter-insurgency and national security policy in the area no less than admitting "democratic" failure by handing over the province to the army under Article 245...


Consent and Coercion in ‘Takfiristan’
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Something along the lines of Nazi Germany seems underway in Pakistan where the consensus — the APC after all included all major political parties — is to treat the Takfiri barbarians with kid gloves as they massacre what are becoming the Jews and gypsies of Pakistan, i.e. the Barelvis, Shiites, Ahmedis, Christians and Hindus....


Can The Pakistan Army Stop Communalists And Extremists?
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

Can the law enforcing agencies who work under the officials arrest any killer or the lower courts who are weaker than those officials give punishment to those killers in view of their own security when the home minister of Pakistan provides arms license and financial assistance to the leaders of the Jihadi organisations through his closest relative and the chief minister of the largest province of the country and the law minister of his cabinet makes arrangements for all the facilities and payments worth lakhs of rupees to the killers of the minorities in Pakistan?...

Pakistan Losing both War and Peace
Zafar Hilaly

That is not to say that the military does not believe in dialogue, agreement, reaching a consensus, convincing opponents and not crushing them. Needless to say, we make peace usually with unsavoury enemies – not with friends – but surely never with those who believe that the slaughter of innocent women and children actually brings them closer to God. For them there can be no mercy and with them no peace.....

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