The War Within Islam
On one hand is the Deobandi-Ahl-e-Hadith-ideology-inspired outright
terrorism, on the other is violent extremism based on Barelvi school of
thought. There is yet another challenge of non-violent extremism, mainly
propagated by the likes of Tableeghi Jamaat, which has strong potential of
turning into violence any time.....
A prominent editor in Bangladesh is facing the wrath of the ruling
party. In less than a month, 79 lawsuits have been filed against him throughout
the country, of which 17 are petitions to sue him for sedition. This plight has
befallen Mahfuz Anam of The Daily Star, after he made an introspective comment
on a TV talk show on February 4.....
The Jamaat’s consistent sympathy with the Taliban under former Ameer,
Qazi Hussain was categorically confirmed by their later Ameer, Munawwar Hasan,
who declared them more authentic Muslims than the Pakistan military. Defensive
commentators and researchers have buried the vocal and tacit support by the
mainstream ‘moderate’ Islamic parties for the militants. They subsume this in
the conspiracy theories....
Wong Chun Wai
“If there are some of you who wish to be an Arab and practise Arab
culture, and do not wish to follow our Malay customs and traditions, that is up
to you. “I also welcome you to live in Saudi Arabia. “That is your right but I
believe there are Malays who are proud of the Malay culture. At least I am real
and not a hypocrite and the people of Johor know who their ruler is,”....
The Pakistani “debacle” I'm referring to is state-sponsorship of Wahhabism, pre-modern Sharia code, and the infringement of human rights, especially of minorities and women. Thanks to its unabated growth, political Islam has already destabilised the country, and has spilled over beyond its borders. It's no exaggeration that the country's criminal justice system – to a large extent – has broken down, and its leftover is comparable to what prevails in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the age-old tribal honour system, “blood money”, and the so-called Blasphemy Law reign supreme.
Karachi is the heart of Sindh, once populated by communities with a highly developed social consciousness from Gujarat. Like Mumbai, Karachi too was developed into a modern metropolis by Hindu, Parsi, Memon and Ismaili traders who lived in harmony. The Sindhi was still in the process of slow gravitation to the big city when Partition happened and Muslim refugees from India’s Uttar Pradesh flocked to Karachi. As the non-Muslim Gujaratis fled to India, Urdu-speaking Muslims filled the gap meant for internal Sindhi migrants. ...
The blasphemy law and Qadri’s sentence are both highly divisive issues. Ordinary people ask how a person whose funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands could be a sinner. Or how it is that the Asia Bibi case which started earlier has not been decided as yet. People see a foreign, particularly western and Israeli, conspiracy behind the quick decision and hanging.
Andrew Scott Cooper
The I.M.F. has warned that if government spending is not reined in, the Saudis will be bankrupt by 2020. Suddenly, the world’s reserve bank of black gold is looking to borrow billions of dollars from foreign lenders. King Salman’s response has been to promise austerity, higher taxes and subsidy cuts to a people who have grown used to state largess and handouts. ...
These radical views of Islam have metastasised into extremist groups such as al Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS) and the Taliban on both sides of the Durand Line dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan has perhaps 20,000 madrassas. In some, radical views of Islam are taught. And as long as radical clerics are allowed to preach and extremism persists, Pakistan will never be safe from violence and even potential civil war or revolution.
If you drive
from Sunni Muslim Sidon to Shia Muslim southern Lebanon, you can travel from
Saudi Arabia to Iran in 10 minutes. Sidon - like Lebanon's other great Sunni
majority city, Tripoli - has always basked in the favour of the Saudi monarchy.
The south, with its mass of Hezbollah fighters - armed and paid for by Tehran,
its "martyr" photographs plastered across the walls of every village
- has long been a lung through which Saudi Arabia's Iranian enemies breathe....
Iran has had it
all: Hadith-driven feminism, vibrant civil society, a culture of engagement
with politics and a patience for slow, internal reform. If these were the key
ingredients required for political change, Iran would have had it by now. The
hard truth is that those things are not enough. A country is both its people
and its leaders.....
Yasser Latif Hamdani
It was not
meant to be a theocracy to be run by priests with a divine mission. If there
must be a CII, it must be populated by modernists, progressive Muslim scholars,
enlightened jurists and renaissance men and women, not reactionary Mullahs who
want to turn back the clock....
James M. Dorsey
will be determined by how the kingdom’s rulers restructure their Faustian
bargain with Wahhabism, the puritan interpretation of Islam in which the Al
Saud cloak themselves but which increasingly looms as a prime obstacle to
resolving their problems. Founded on an alliance between the Al Saud family and
descendants of 18th century preacher Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, modern Saudi
Arabia adopted an interpretation of Islam that is in many respects not
dissimilar from that of the self-styled Islamic State.....
Muslim Brotherhood’s embrace of terrorism and the very real threat it poses to
American lives and the national security of the United States make it long
overdue for designation," Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a
statement after the vote. "This will make it less likely that members of
the Muslim Brotherhood will be able to enter the United States."...
the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) been engaged in terrorist activity
- the thing it does best - because there has been “Kurdophobia” in Turkey? If
Islamist terror targeting western cities should be blamed on Islamophobia in
the West, as the Turkish leaders persistently claim, should the PKK’s terror
targeting Turkish cities be blamed on “Kurdophobia” in Turkey? ....
In a country
like Pakistan, which is in a perpetual state of identity crisis, the Pakistani
dream is more elusive to imagine, let alone realise. Is there even such a thing
as the ‘Pakistani dream’? What are the nation’s collective desires, hopes and
goals? Here, a panel of commentators deliberates.....
I cannot forget
the image of a government official watching on TV representatives from the
rival camps trading accusations and claiming to have Saudis’ best interests at
heart. The official would laugh and say: “Let them fight and burn each other.”
Both sides are burning their country amid this power struggle, preferring to
fight about matters that have been settled by younger countries.....
S. Mubashir Noor, New Age Islam
Why are world powers mum on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen? Are Yemenis
any less human than those trapped in or fleeing Syria? Three thousand civilians
have fallen to Saudi warplanes and weaponry since March last year. In seeking
to pulverize the Houthi rebels who deposed unpopular President Mansour Hadi,
Riyadh has laid waste an entire country. All for the sake of getting even with
how many people perished in the Diyarbakır blast? Does anyone remember what
happened at that Suruç gathering of young people carrying toys to the children
of Kobane, the Syrian Kurdish town besieged by Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant (ISIL) terrorists? Was it not very strange that all the cameras
overlooking that garden where people gathered for their unfortunate end in the
hands of some bloodthirsty beasts were all out of order?...
Syria is a
nasty complex of wars within a war: an uprising against dictatorship; a
sectarian battle between Sunnis and Alawites (and their Shia allies); an
internecine struggle among Sunni Arabs; a Kurdish quest for a homeland; a
regional proxy war pitting Saudi Arabia and Turkey against Iran;....
Syed Mohammad Ali
There are many
progressive Muslim scholars who can help utilise over 1,400 years of knowledge
production from within the Islamic faith to help build an effective
counter-narrative. It is about time that such religious scholars are actively
engaged by the state and its relevant public institutions to highlight
intrinsic principles of moderation, tolerance and critical thinking from within
the Islamic tradition, which can refute and override the...
toward a more Islamist, autocratic posture by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
has long worried regional and western observers, particularly his strong curbs
on political speech and active political repression of the Kurds. That policy
has taken a bloody turn with the repeated bombing of Syrian and Iraqi Kurds —
both of whom have been anti-ISIS bulwarks....
hope, long live reform," goes one reformist campaign poster. Will that
long-awaited hope have a chance after 37 years? Not if we go by what the
supreme leader says: "Beware of those who want to change the Islamic
Republic from within."...
One of the
assumptions that she is anti-Pakistan is made from her expressed distrust of
the army for facilitating the Taliban, which ultimately led to the Taliban
takeover of Swat. How she has come to such a view is not surprising, as many
like her have pointed out before that militancy in fact had the support of some
elements in the army....
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Government's apathy towards the Baloch and to development in the Province
continues to be reflected in the region's economic human development profile,
despite its enormous wealth in natural resources, and the location of a range
of high profile projects backed by China. The impact of these projects on local
populations has been nil, and outside workers have been brought in, to the
exclusion of locals...