The War Within Islam
In our previous editorial, we had expressed our sense of relief that Abu Bakr Baghdadi’s caliphate has been accepted by only terrorist organisations in Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria and the religious scholars of the world, especially the Egyptian Islamic scholar and mufti Yousuf Al Qaradhawi had rejected Abu Bakr’s claim to be the caliph of the Muslims of the world as null and void and un-Islamic. But to our utter shock, we have come to know through a news report published in the front page of Urdu daily Aag of Lucknow that one of the renowned Islamic scholar and great grandson of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi has congratulated Abu Bakr Baghdadi on being appointed as the caliph of Muslims and has prayed for his well being and safety. In a letter written to Baghdadi which is available on What’s App, he has showered praises on his valour and religious zeal with which he has taught a lesson to the tyrant ruler Nuri Al Maliki. In his two page letter, Maulana Salman Nadvi has addressed Abu Bakr Baghdadi as Ameerul Momineen and has praised Abu Bakr Baghdadi for establishing the much desired Islamic Caliphate......
Perhaps, the Al Qaida in Ben Ghazi is aware that Abu Bakr’s caliphate has drawn criticism and adverse Fatwas from the Islamic world on the basis that it was not sponsored by the Ijma of the Muslims and Abu Bakr was not elected by any Shura of the Elders. So if Al Qaida too had declared its government in Benghazi a Caliphate, it would have met the same fate. So probably to avoid any religious blowback or fatwa from Al Qaradhawi or any senior cleric, it avoided the use of the word Caliphate. By doing so, it will also not antagonise the two most powerful oil rich nations of the region – Saudi Arabia and Qatar -- as they will believe that an Emirate cannot be an enemy of an Emirate while the Caliphate is definitely an enemy of an Emirate or a Kingdom......
Syed Babar Ashraf
“Any ideology that peddles hatred, intolerance and extremism should be severely and unreservedly condemned. Maulana Salman Nadwi’s letter has clearly proven that there are petrodollar-funded Wahhabi organisations in India that are working at the behest of Saudi Arabia to propagate Wahhabism, the official ideology of the Kingdom. Maulana Nadwi’s letter should be taken as a clear warning of an imminent danger. The government should keep eye on all activities of the Wahhabi organisations in India," said the General Secretary of the All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), Syed Babar Ashraf.
The Sufi leader claimed that the supporters of ISIS are also at work in India ... He alleged that “the prime concern of nearly all Wahhabi movements in the country is to weaken the democratic system and sabotage the pluralistic values of India. But sadly the government falls prey to their strategies and destructive designs. Impressed by their large seminaries, towering buildings, large-scale conferences and wealthy madrasas funded by the foreign Wahhabi sources”.
Indian Maulana Salman Nadwi’s letter extending congratulation and support to the self-imposed Islamic caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi of ISIS has created sensation in the country. It has left many wondering which way is the Muslim community moving. Being a senior teacher in a leading Indian Madrasa, Nadwat ul Ulema, Maulana Salman Nadvi’s letter has created an impression that there is a sharp turnaround in the attitude and approach of Madrasa circles in India towards the ISIS and other militant outfits. This apparently is true not only for individuals like Maulana Nadwi but also for most Madrasas that are now associated with the petro-dollar-funded Wahhabi-Deobandi seminaries. No wonder, Nadwat ul Ulema has not yet dissociated itself with Maulana Nadwi's statement and there has been no condemnation of his letter by any Muslim organisation or Ulema from Maulana Nadwi’s school of thought.
However, the peace-loving Sufi-minded non-Wahhabi Sunni Ulema and Sufi-oriented Madrasas of India that New Age Islam interviewed didn’t endorse any terror outfit or their ideology in any way. They have come out with open, unequivocal and categorical statements clearly denouncing this ideology of hatred, extremism and intolerance and discouraging any soft approach towards the ISIS and other militant outfits. Sufi-oriented Sunni Ulema (also known as Ulema-e-Ahle Sunnat) have timely condemned the Nadwi-Deobandi support to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s self-imposed caliphate in their interview with New Age Islam News Bureau......
Urdu Press is by and large sympathetic to the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. This can be seen in its acts of omission and commission. It completely ignored the news that the ISIS had asked the residents of Mosul to offer their daughters in Jiahd al Nikah to the fighters. It also mostly ignored two workers returned from Iraq on July 3, Safdar Kunhi and Mohammad Abbas, who narrated their harried experience of escape from Najaf. Mohammad Abbas had called ISIS militants "barbarians" and added that he had never heard of or seen anything like this before. He had said: "The violence is unparalleled, the brutality unbearable.” But when one of Keralite nurses released from captivity praised the good behaviour of ISIS militants towards them, a section of Urdu media went overboard, blowing the news out of all proportions. ...
The Urdu media is by and large secular and balanced in their approach towards sectarian and extremist ideologies and presents the two sides of an issue as Akhbar-e-Mashriq has also done. But when it comes to religion or dealing with someone supposedly religious, it gets confused. Urdu media should take a more mature approach while presenting and dealing with issues like the ISIS. Clearly a section of the Urdu Press has sympathies for ISIS. This requires a rethink. The earlier Muslims make up their mind about them the better. While Nuri al-Maliki is to blame for alienating Sunnis and behaving like a Shia dictator, the answer is not a Sunni band of terrorists loyal to the the Islamic Khilafat of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ruling parts of Iraq.
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…….