Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

The Fight against Islamic State Belongs To the Sunni Arab States
Paul McGeough
It's entirely sensible, but is it too much to ask for the Arab and Muslim worlds to speak loudly and clearly, and to act, as they should against the obscene acts of violence being perpetrated in the names of 75 per cent or more of the world's Muslims?....



Turkey: A Nation of Spies and Traitors
Mustafa Akyol

I was more optimistic about the future Turkey. Here was a country that was finally able to break the decades-old military dominance and began to question taboos on history or minorities. A peace process with Kurdish separatists was promising a bright future, free from the concept of the “enemy within” that has poisoned Turkish politics since the beginning of the Republic. Things went down in terrible downward spiral, though, in the past two years….


There were Islamic revolutions in a few countries after the Second World War where Islamic governments were established. But neither Pakistan In 1947 nor Iran, following Ayatollah Khomeini led Islamic revolution, advocate a Khilafat in Iran. Same is true of the Islamist Ikhwan ul Muslimeen recently in Egypt. This is because the Quran does not specify Khilafat as a form of government for Muslims. All it stresses is good governance, honouring human and religious rights to all the communities living under its rule. The form of government can be any based on Islamic and Qur'anic principles. ... It is a paradox then that though none of the political and ideological outfits of Muslims envisages the establishment of Khilafat as a part of Islamic political structure; they create hype over Khilafat and support Jihadi organisations in the name of Khilafat which does not exist in their book of ideology. Isn’t it bewildering?....

Realising the inability of the Arab armies to liberate Palestine --- after all it was the Arab governments which had exhorted the Palestinians to leave their homeland before quixotically attempting to march into it --- the Palestinians took their destiny into their own hands. The PLO was born. Although the Fatah, led by Yasser Arafat was the main constituent in it, it was a secular organization with Christians like George Habash and Leila Khalid playing significant roles in successful anti-Israel operations.....


And there is no Islamic caliphate or Islamic state that is built on the altar of bloodshed, violence and hatred. These are the very characteristics shunned by Islam. The Ulema must embark on a new and true jihad to reclaim the ground that is being usurped by these criminals and mass murderers….

Following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Baluch leaders stated a clear intent to remain independent and maintain their cultural heritage and identity. Pakistan’s response was to use military force and illegally occupied Baluchistan on 27th of March 1948.....


What is particularly disturbing if it is true, as Shahin points out, that Nadvi's view is widely shared by mainstream Muslims? My own sense is that moderate opinion is far more widespread than there is public evidence for it. But moderate Muslims are reluctant to speak up for a variety of reasons.……

Secular and progressive groups and individual Indian Muslims are shocked and pained by the brutality and atrocities being perpetrated by the ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) against Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control. We strongly condemn such barbarism which is against the teachings of Islam. We express our heart-felt sympathies and solidarity with the survivors of those whose near and dear ones have been mercilessly butchered, and the tens of thousands of Iraq’s minorities who have been dispossessed, forced to flee their homes and are now living in extremely difficult circumstances.


How Did The Scholars Disappoint King Abdullah?
Jamal Khashoggi

Had the fanatic “brothers” defeated the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Al Saud, in the battle of Sabilla in 1929, the likes of ISIS would have emerged sooner. However, they would not have advanced and prospered as the current Saudi Kingdom did. Such narrow-minded and fanatic movements carry the weapons of their own destruction within them…..


The Middle East: New Strategic Realities
Gwynne Dyer

The proclamation of the “Islamic State” in eastern Syria and north-western Iraq has huge implications for every country in the Middle East, but for most of the great powers – Russia, the United States, China, India, Britain, France and Germany – it is almost the only thing they still care about in the region. They all have Muslim minorities of their own, and they all want the Islamic State stopped, or at the very least isolated, contained and quarantined…..


Metastasis of the Islamic State
Vijay Prashad

IS slipped through the cracks of regional disunity. Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (the anti-Assad powers) refuse to join a united front with Iran, Iraq and Syria to tackle the IS threat. With absent coordination, IS will continue to thrive. None of the anti-Assad powers have come to terms with the reality that the Syrian civil war is now a cesspool of instability that will not end with any good outcome…..


The Taliban Within: Pity the Nation That Acclaims the Bully as Hero
Muhammad Mutahir Ali

‘Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion. Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero’ A hundred years after Khalil Gibran wrote these words, we fit the profile of the doomed nation that he mourned…..


A New Challenge to Muslim World
I.A. Rehman
The people of Pakistan should be concerned that the slogan of caliphate has spread to India. New Age Islam, a well-known online forum for debate on Muslim affairs, has disclosed a charter of demands presented by a leading Muslim scholar, Maulana Salman Husain Nadvi, urging Saudi Arabia to establish a caliphate.

A Bubble Called Pakistan
Husain Haqqani

The military has ruled Pakistan directly for more than half its existence as an independent country. When it can’t govern directly, the military and its intelligence services still want to exert influence, especially over foreign and national security policies. At any given time, there are enough civilian politicians, media personalities or judges willing to do the military’s bidding for this manipulation to persist.....

The Criminals of Gaza: Understanding Saudi Silence
Akhlaq Ahmad Usmani, Tr. New Age Islam

Barring Saudi Arabia, the whole world, particularly the Muslim world, is openly decrying the deadly Israeli strikes. But to our utter surprise, Wahhabi groups are maintaining complete silence over the plight of Gaza. One wonders what the reason behind it is. What are the links between the radical Jihad of Wahhabi terrorists and Hamas-Israel conflict? And the more important question is why Saudi Arabian and Israeli entities are having an illicit relationship and meeting up in secret?.....

Egypt’s Military Intervention In Libya
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Statements on Egypt’s apparent intention to intervene in Libya caused many observers to recall the sole military incident between Egypt and Libya, which occurred in 1977. However, today’s crisis is nothing like that of 1977’s crisis. Libya’s Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was a leader who is all about slogans. Back then, he dared to threaten Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, saying Libya would occupy Egypt due to his objection of Sadat’s intention to sign a peace treaty with Israel….


Yet for all of Israel’s whining about how it is being targeted by “Islamic extremists” and “terrorists,”(which should be translated to mean Palestinians, Iran, or any other secular or nationalist Arab government in the region) there is a curious and deafening silence when it is confronted with actual terrorists and Muslim fanatics such as ISIS, al-Nusra, and the myriad of other fundamentalist groups waging jihad in Syria and Iraq.....

Israel’s Self-Destructive War and Arab Politics
Ibrahim Kalin

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……

Being Muslim Is A Given, Being Pakistani Was Taken
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....


How A Biased Urdu Press Can Harm India's Secular Image with Half-Truths, Lies
Hasan Suroor

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.....

Related Article:

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

The Concept of Caliphate Being Presented Is Alien To Islam
Khalid Zaheer

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……


Muslim Vs Muslim: A Brief Survey of Conflicts
Irfan Husain

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 shop.

Iran Corners US in Iraq
M K Bhadrakumar

Iran Corners US in Iraq
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......


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