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The War Within Islam

D-Chowk: Pakistan’s Domestic Kargil
Dr Mohammad Taqi

The drama at D-Chowk is but a political equivalent of the Kargil infiltration. Just as the Kargil misadventure was the military’s desperate and reckless attempt to ostensibly break the status quo with India with utter disregard for the consequences, the Khan-Qadri assault on parliament has been designed to reverse the small gains the democratic dispensation has made vis-à-vis the praetorian guard since 2008. Months into his third stint, Mr Sharif was perceived by the establishment to be getting too big for his boots already…..

 

Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain, as well as the Emirates of the UAE and Qatar, are rivals to the Caliphate, having been founded after the demise of the Caliphate, as substitutes which took them into the Western state system, and led the first three to use a title for the head of state abhorrent to Islam theologically. Thus the IS does not ask the Kings and Emirs to give its Caliph baia, or allegiance, but deposes them….

 

By Denouncing ISIS as ‘Not Muslims’, Moderate Muslims Risk Making Things Worse
James Brandon

Rather than seeking to effectively re-contextualise and de-fang this verse for the modern era, a blunt rejection of those who cite it as non-Muslims removes all scope for critically engaging – and dismantling – their arguments. This ostrich approach that extremists’ actions ‘have nothing to do with Islam’ not only fails to recognise how deep-rooted some hard-line jihadist interpretations are, but…..

Are these IS terrorists aware of the offense and damage they are causing to Islam and Muslims? They are inflicting harm not only on themselves and their countries but also on the moderate religion of Islam, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was the embodiment of the perfection of all noble qualities. Islam is a code of life based on peace and justice. Even the enemies of Islam have certified that this is the true nature of the religion…..

This is not necessarily because all the Sunni-led countries of the Middle East are ambivalent about the group that claims to have created a Muslim caliphate across wide swaths of Syria and Iraq, and which beheaded a British aid worker this weekend. But intersecting allegiances and strategic aims mean some Arab countries feel they must tread cautiously……

 

Radical Clerics Misusing Islamic Literature, Particularly Hadith Traditions, to Further Nefarious Ends: Time for Mainstream Ulema to Wake Up and Refute!
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

The extremist scholars are constantly on the lookout for all such Islamic texts that can be misused to serve their abhorrent designs. Al-Jazouli’s quoting the above-mentioned Hadith justifying wanton killing of civilians is not an isolated instance. Many more Takfiri-Wahhabi ideologues and militants have long been quoting and misinterpreting them. One such obnoxious instance was recently seen in a heated debate between a Pakistani army official and a Taliban scholar. Obviously, the Pakistan army official was not so well-versed in the Islamic sciences that he could theologically refute the TTP scholar’s filthy and nasty argument declaring all Pakistanis as Kafir (infidel) and thus justifying the murder of their women and children…. But the question remains: what responsibility does this disturbing phenomenon place on the mainstream moderate Ulema and Islamic scholars? Will they continue to remain silent onlookers at the brazen distortion of Islamic literature or take a courageous stance of refuting and rebutting it? Regrettably, while the extremists’ distortion and misrepresentation of the Qur’an and Sunnah are on the rise, we hardly find creditable and hard-hitting efforts to retort them on the sound and tenable theological grounds......

Al-Qaida’s Tape Announcing Formation of Qaiadat ul Jihad in South Asia is An Attempt to Divert Attention from Saudi Proposal to Demolish Prophet’s Tomb, Says Sufi leader Ashraf Kichhowchhawi

Aiman Al Zawahiri of Al Qaeda announcing formation of Qaiadat ul Jihad (Jihad leadership) in South Asia with a Pakistani terrorist being its leader is a dangerous culmination of terror activities perpetrated at the behest of Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar. With their massive oil and gas money in India, they seek to create an infrastructure to support their future destructive agenda in this secular, pluralistic and purely democratic country. Going by an in-depth analysis, the recent al-Qaida tape is aimed at diverting attention of the Indian Muslims from the media reports that have exposed a Saudi monarchy conspiracy to remove or demolish the tomb of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) from its present place in Masjid al-Nabwi, situated in Madina, one of the two holy cities of Islam.  The report about the impending tomb demolition was contradicted in feeble voice from an unnamed Saudi Officer through a news portal Al Arabia. Net, while the Saudi monarchy maintained a stony silence. Clearly, the Saudi regime contradicted it because it is a matter of grave concerns for anyone who professes Islam and takes pride in its cultural heritage......

The Islamic State Has Supporters in Paradise, Maldives
Ishaan Tharoor

When the medieval Arab traveler Ibn Battuta gazed upon the Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago of more than a thousand coral atolls and turquoise-blue lagoons, he thought it "one of the wonders of the world." He didn't need much persuading to halt his voyage, and assumed the role of "Quazi"--or chief religious judge--for the entire archipelago, deliberating on matters of state while enjoying the delights of the islands' beaches and, as local lore goes, its women……

The Middle East in Purgatory
Yasar Yakis

….the most important leader on the Sunni side is King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He seems to be aware of the risks that the Islamic State (IS) is posing in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is more vulnerable to the IS threat, because what is preached by the IS has many similarities to what the Saudis have been taught at schools for centuries. Therefore, Saudi Arabia is fertile ground for the propagation of IS ideas and methods…..

 

Siege of Islamabad: What Next?
Pervez Hoodbhoy

But with the dangerous precedent they have established, hard-line clerics disaffected with the army’s betrayal, and operations such as Zarb-i-Azb, may give the call to occupy. The marching orders could also come from Caliph Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi of ISIS or some other radical leader; their literature is already being circulated around. Thereafter, from the hundreds of madrasas in and around the city, charged mobs armed to the teeth will pour out to fulfil their holy duty. Nuclear Pakistan would have the world sitting on edge.....

 

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.

 

'Recruit Sunnis for a Powerful Global Islamic Army to Fight Shias and Help Muslims in Need; Five Lakh Brave Indian Youth Will Be Provided': Maulana Salman Nadvi to Saudi Government
Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadvi

Note:  New Age Islam is presenting below full text of a charter of demands presented some time ago to the Saudi government by Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadvi, the first Indian Muslim to embrace the self-styled khilafat of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (in translation from Arabic). It gives us an idea of how this member of al-Baghdadi Khilafat, also apparently still a holder of Indian nationality, looks at terrorism, sectarian war, the role of Saudi government and Muslim umma in general. His world view is here in full view. The worrying thing for me is that this is not just his view. There are many takers for this view. If he is promising to put together an army of five lakh (5,00,000) Muslim youth from the Indian sub-continent, essentially India, as he has no influence anywhere else, is he just making a tall claim? Only proper investigation can reveal.

The silence with which Indian Muslims have greeted the call of Baghdadi's so-called Khilafat is also quite confusing. One doesn't know if it is meaningful and revealing. One would have thought that Muslim ulema here would come out all guns blazing against this absurdity of a medieval khilafat in the 21st century. Instead, there is no protest even when an influential Maulana joins the Khilafat. The Sufi ulema and mashaikh that New Age Islam correspondents interviewed are quite categorical in their condemnation but they have got little influence now. Most Muslims have already developed a radical Wahhabi mindset, even though some of them continue to go to Sufi shrines and do not even realise it yet. Power of the petrodollar-funded Islamic mass media, you can say.

Let me just give you a rough and very brief idea of Nadvi's world view here. In this charter of demands, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadvi, he is asking Saudi Arabia to organise a Khilafat for the Muslim umma, the global Muslim community, which would have a world Islamic Army in which he would contribute five lakh Muslim youth from India. He says there is no need for recruiting youth from among the messed up youth of the Gulf, when you can find them right here. This army would stand behind Muslims wherever they are in trouble. He wishes that terrorists should not be called terrorists and thus antagonised. They are sincere Muslim youth fighting for a noble cause. There should be a confederation of Jihadi organisations active across the Islamic world midwifed by Ulema who should help them hold a dialogue among themselves so they come together and iron out their differences and emerge as one powerful global force.

Let me quote to you his exact words, though in translation from Arabic. (A picture of the original letter in Arabic is given below) Syed Salman Hussaini Nadvi says: "as for the issue of Qadiyanis particularly Safvids and those who abuse the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet - meaning Shias), we should not be afraid of them and we do not need to go to the US or Israel to ward off threats from them. Just recruit the Ahl-e-Sunnah youth from the Indian sub-continent and form a powerful Muslim army of the Islamic world. After that there will be no need of the so-called army of the sick youth of the Gulf States. If you are sincere towards the True faith, True path, Sunnah and for the protection of the true path of Islam, then simply make an appeal, a call. Five lakh brave youth from the Indian sub-continent will be provided."

Maulana Nadvi says: "Since the land of Kaabah is the beating heart of the entire Muslim community and is the centre of the Islamic world, the holy Prophet (pbuh) had said about it, 'Drive out the Christians and the Jews' (from Arabia) and had decided that this land is a sacred land for the entire Muslim Ummah and so there is no room here for the Christians and the Jews in the same way there is no room for Muslims in Vatican.

"Therefore this is the responsibility of the government of the Aal-e-Saud (to drive out the Christians and the Jews from Arabia and establish such a nation which will have no non-Muslims)."

He also says: "Military training among the Muslim youth should be stressed. Every effort should be made to save them from Freedom and social ills."

We Indians have a peculiar problem to deal with. The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi had vociferously supported Muslims having double loyalties, extra-territorial loyalties to an Islamic Khilafat, the Ottoman Empire, then based in Turkey. Now that Gandhiji's party is not in power, maybe the government will put its foot down and say that those who are loyal to al-Baghdadi's Khilafat will no longer be Indian citizens. They will not be allowed to recruit here for the proposed global Islamic Army. --- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

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 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.....

 
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