The War Within Islam
Religious extremists do not descend from the sky with bombs strapped to
their chests. Every effect has a cause, and the responsibility for the creation
of the bigots falls squarely on those who call themselves secular and
S. Binodkumar Singh
The other salient features of the draft peace agreement prominently
include: the Government would offer an official pardon to associates of the HeI
militant group and would work to have the group removed from the United Nations
blacklist; the group would not join the Government but would be recognized as a
political party involved in major political decisions;....
Nadeem F. Paracha
Funny thing is that when pressed to describe a person who has no qualms
about strapping a suicide belt around his waist and then blowing himself up in
a crowded mosque, a Sufi shrine or a congested market buzzing with men, women
and children, the apologist would often strike a pose of the unbiased and
objective thinker to suggest: You see, one man's terrorist can be another man's
With a few years of hindsight, it is now clear that much of this effort
was built on sand, literally. It is bound to vanish, not unlike some dunes in
Yasser Latif Hamdani
If there must be a CII its members ought not to be from
religio-political parties. They also should not be extracted from sectarian
clerics. Instead the CII should be filled up with non-sectarian modern Muslim
men and women of vision, schooled both in modern knowledge, law, science and
A section of "Dalit Muslims" testify that they are seated
separately in non-Dalit Muslim feasts. Almost a similar proportion of
respondents confirm that they eat after the upper-caste people have finished.
Many say they are served food on different plates....
Even the fall in oil prices from its peak of $115 to $35 a barrel has
failed to produce the dividends for the capitalist economies and empires. On
the contrary, the oil producing countries have certainly felt the impact of
lower prices on their growth rates, their trade figures and their public
finances. Saudi Arabia, in particular, has been forced to impose austerity...
The Bangladesh Government on the one hand denies there is any al Qaeda
or ISIS in the country, on the other it holds BNP-Jamaat supporters – the
so-called anti-Liberation and pro-Islamist terrorists – responsible for the
The controversial targeted operation has further complicated the law and
order situation in this city of crimes, which has long been infested by
politically-motivated and backed turf wars, target killings, criminal
gangsters, land grabbers, organized gangs of extortionists, ethnic strife, and
religiously motivated Islamist terrorist violence.....
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Many well-meaning Indian Muslim modernists like the Aga Khan III and
Syed Ameer Ali wrote letters of appeal to Ataturk asking him to preserve the
institution of Caliphate, to even become the Caliph himself, but Ataturk
refused to budge. There are many historians and scholars of constitutional law
who have questioned Ataturk’s decision to follow the French model instead of
the British model that would have accommodated some role for religion....
Michael J. Brenner
They are keenly aware that this legitimacy hinges upon their
acknowledged status as custodians of the Holy Sites of Islam in Mecca and
Medina. These sites the House of Saud seized by force in the 1920s from a rival
principality without even a semblance of consultation. That is also why the
founding alliance with the leaders of the Wahhabi movement is so crucial to the
Saudi royals. Its founding preacher, Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, helped make
the Saudis a serious local military power in the 1700s.....
The principle of Nahi an-al Munkir (punishing the prohibited) has
been accepted by the modern state; but Amr bil Maruf (commanding the
permitted) has been wisely ignored. Terrorist leader Mangal Bagh forced people
to say Namaz in the mosque under strict roll-call and burned down the houses of
those who didn’t attend the five-times-a-day prayer. In Swat, warlord Fazlullah
tyrannised the population under Amr bil Maruf, just like the Taliban did
One wonders that if science academics — who are opinion-multipliers —
in Islamabad are hostage to a mindset
that qualifies as radical, anti-human rights, obscurantist, can we really then
condemn Madaris — seminary — teachers, say in Peshawar, Kohat, Bahawalpur or
Khaled Al Maeena
The creation of Israel by a unilateral decision, displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees, coups d’etat and bloody revolutions in the newly formed Arab states whose border demarcations were mostly deformed — all were the ingredients that led to the present day regional predicament....
Nadeem F. Paracha
The ‘Islamic Socialism’ bit, however, was only nominally touched upon.
It was simply a rhetorical gesture, to counter accusations by the religious
parties. Although there were some ideologues within the PPP at the time who
defined ‘Islamic Socialism’ as a localised fusion of social democracy,
socialist economics, the ‘Quranic concept of egalitarianism’ and Muslim
nationalism (of the likes of Jinnah and Iqbal), there was hardly any talk of
just how this fusion would be converted into a holistic economic programme....
All Saudis are expected to attend mosque every Friday, and Wahhabism is
taught from an early age. Saudi Arabia uses religion to control the population
and teaches to hate those who do not share their Islamic values. The clergy
exercises extraordinary power and are free to issue edicts (Fatwas) at their
pleasure. The religious system is often run contrary to the social, political,
and economic aspirations of the young, and is leading to a growing resentment which
is becoming increasingly troublesome for the government....
In Pakistan’s northwest — the main Taliban sanctuary in the country —
where psychiatrists estimate millions are suffering post-traumatic stress
disorder and other psychological illnesses after years of militant attacks,
army offensives and US drone strikes....
Bill Humphrey and Stephan Richter
The best explanation for the bull-in-a-china-shop approach the Saudis
have taken in Yemen to date is this: Saudi Arabia would rather demolish and
break up Yemen into its former two halves again than have it remain united.
After all, the latter scenario might entail dealing with a potentially hostile
state. Split into two parts, Yemen might be much less of a problem. Consider
the historic dimension in support of this hypothesis:....
An Islamist may be a lost Muslim or a Muslim gone astray, but he or she
is a Muslim all the same. We must stop repeating ad nauseam that these aberrant
Muslims have “nothing to do with Islam.” In other words, we must acknowledge
that two Islams are locked in a fight to the death, and that because the
battlefield is the planet and the war threatens values that the West embraces,
the fight is not solely the Muslims’ affair....
When Islam was incorporated as the state religion in 1988, all major
Opposition parties, including the Sheikh Hasina Wajed-led Awami League and
Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party, had denounced the move in no
uncertain words. But Islam plays a much bigger role in Bangladesh politics now
than it did during the 1971 Liberation war or the heady days of the
anti-dictator, pro-democracy movement of the 1980s. Political parties have
responded by variously pandering to majoritarianism....
Mired in war, threatened by jihadists and short of cash—it is a wonder
that anyone wants to rule Libya. Yet until recently the country had four
competing governments. Rival administrations based in Tripoli, the capital in
the west, and Beida, in the east, have spent the past two years fighting over a
disputed election, among other things. That has allowed Islamic State (IS), the
third contender, to grab roughly 180 miles of coastline around Sirte, in
Nadeem F. Paracha
First, to get re-elected as president in 1965, Ayub allowed his
information ministry to co-opt certain Ulema who asked to negatively highlight
the gender of his opponent, Fatima Jinnah. Secondly, after the 1965 war with
India ended in a stalemate, it negatively impacted the country’s economy. Ayub
began to lose popularity and increasingly began to use religious rhetoric.
Muslim modernists began to abandon him.....
It stands at the frontline, facing Islamic State (IS, formerly known as
ISIS/ISIL) in the east and north, hostile Israel in the south and the deep blue
sea in the west. One and a half million (mostly Syrian) refugees are dispersed
all over its tiny territory. Its economy is collapsing and the infrastructure
crumbling. ISIS is right on the border with Syria, literally next door, or even
with one foot inside Lebanon, periodically invading, and setting up countless
“dormant cells” in all the Lebanese cities and all over the countryside.
Hezbollah is fighting ISIS, but the West and Saudi Arabia apparently consider
Hezbollah, not ISIS, to be the major menace to their geopolitical interests.
There is, of course, the assumption that one party — the US — has the
capacity to punish; and the other — Pakistan — has, instead, the capacity to
endure pain. Clearly, in this unequal relationship, America has more options
than Pakistan, although it’s the weaker party that should ideally work with
Some say that many donors, including Turkey, are not charities.
Political interests may motivate Turkey’s financial and humanitarian aid, no
matter how hard both sides try to deny it. Increasing Turkish projects in Gaza
would allow Turkey to become a key player in the Palestinian issue, as is
evident in its stances and moves regarding Israel's blockade...