The War Within Islam
Although he still despises the guards who tortured him, Shogre says
that he also saw the best of humanity while in prison. Other prisoners helped
to save him, giving him their food rations so that he could live, and paying
guards not to kill him. Although practising Islam was banned in Sednaya, he
silently memorised 18 chapters of the Quran during his time in confinement,
taught in whispered exchanges with other prisoners.....
C. Christine Fair
Pakistan continues to burnish its credentials as a state sponsor of
terrorism abroad and as a repressive, murderous environment for dissidents at
home. It is a well-known fact that
Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies provide a full suite of state
support to a deadly menagerie of militant groups proscribed by the United
Nations, the United States, and others......
The authorities, apparently, were quite receptive. In English textbooks
for use in madrasas, all Hindu, Christian or foreign-sounding names have been
replaced by Muslim names. Conversations between boys and girls have been
omitted. Illustrations of girls with bare heads have been edited out. The word
“period” was removed from a section on girls’ physical development. The name of
the chairman of the textbook board, a Hindu professor, does not appear....
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched in NWA on June 15, 2014, in the
aftermath of the attack on the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, on June
8-9, 2014, in which at least 33 persons, including all 10 attackers, were
killed. Since then, according to partial data compiled by South Asia Terrorism
Portal (SATP), at least 2,563 terrorists and 232 soldiers have been killed....
Throughout Pakistan’s history, dissent and free speech have been
muzzled by a state that inherited a repressive legal framework from the British
colonizers who ruled the Indian subcontinent until 1947. Journalists, poets,
intellectuals and many politicians who questioned the state were labeled
traitors, sometimes jailed or exiled, and on occasion killed. ...
Dissent or critique of state policy is not only not tolerated but
snubbed in a way that an example is set for others. It has been happening to
outspoken voices against religious conservatism, state's appeasement of clergy
or the military establishment for years.....
For a long while we were told that the Taliban in Afghanistan were our
assets and the Pakistani Taliban were our misguided brothers. Today we are told
that everyone who attacks us is bankrolled by India. But all these stories are
just a way of refusing to admit that for many years now, we have been fighting
an enemy who lives among us and who believes in many of the things we believe
...the Pakistan army is indiscriminately using chemical weapons in
Waziristan and in certain areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, both areas dominated by
Pashtuns—apart from Balochistan. Until recently, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa acted as a
rescue point for IDPs escaping the Pakistan army’s so-called war on terror in
Waziristan and surrounding areas. The Pak military has been using the “war on
terror” to bombard its restive regions that are seeking independence from
Rather than downplaying the divisions among different ethnic and
religious groups in Turkey in the post-putsch period, the ruling party and the
president are deepening the country’s many divisions, all the while assisted by
the mainstream media. They are creating a fractured political environment which
will enable them to promote constitutional amendments, in the long run
presenting Erdoğan’s long-held dream of an executive presidential system as the
only thing that can bring Turkey back from the brink.....
“As we’ve seen after the coup, the reaction is way outside of the
formal rule of law. You started arresting police and gendarmes, now writers,
actors, journalists — so there is no limit,” he said. “When you start pulling
the thread on the rule of law, the whole sweater can come off. And that’s where
The president’s reaction to Turkey’s multiple woes has largely revolved
around clamping down on all dissent and extending the breadth and depth of his
autocracy, blaming everyone but his own often contradictory policies for all
that is going horribly wrong in a nation that not long ago seriously aspired to
become a fully fledged European state but has lately been sucked right back
into the Middle Eastern cauldron, with its present blighted and its future
Arabia has formally banned transgender people from even visiting the country.
It doesn’t end there – they have also been banned from performing the religious
pilgrimage, Umrah. The pilgrimage can be performed by Muslims at any time of
the year as opposed to Hajj, which can only be carried out once a year....
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) data on the execution of terrorists showed that,
from December 2014 to November 2016, just 29 out of 426 executions had been
under the Anti Terrorism Act (ATC). The vast majority (93 per cent) of the 426
executions has been for crimes unrelated to terrorism....
had made an impression not only on the Taliban government in Afghanistan, but
also on the Pakistani madrasas — the religious schools that gave birth to the
Taliban movement and to this day fill its ranks with foot soldiers. Many of
those seminaries were a legacy of American funding of the Islamic insurgency
against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan....
have been growing in Tunisia since the 2000s, with mounting unemployment and
despair and humiliation among the young. Some of them have turned to radical
Salafist movements, inspired by satellite television preachers and driven by
anger at the Tunisian regime’s attempts to impose an official vision of
Where will this
leave the ISIS? During the Mosul operation, the ISIS carried out a series of
devastating attacks in Istanbul, Baghdad and different parts of Saudi Arabia.
Its “lone-wolf” adherents have also been destructive in several parts of West
and South Asia...
There are many
things not allowed or discouraged in Islam but they still happen in Pakistan.
Forced conversion is one of them. Religious parties should be the first in line
to say that they vow to protect the rights of minority converts, and will not
support conversions or marriages under duress....
The rise of
four Ms in Turkey – militarisation, misogyny, mobilisation and martyrisation –
is not good news for Turkey’s liberals, democrats and secularists, who already
feel depressed, forsaken, abandoned. It cannot be a good omen for the region,
why Erdoğan and Gülen had long been allied against the "infidel"
Kemalists, leftists, and seculars. Religion was also why Erdoğan's and Gülen's
Sunni Islamist followers are now at each other's throat. Erdoğan and Gülen did
not break up because one of them abandoned their common faith. They keep
praying to the same God, reciting the same prayers, while their followers keep
attending the same mosques. One lesson from the failed Turkish coup is that
Islam the religion or Islamism the political ideology will never forge the
alliances Islamists often seek. Political Islam is not the right glue for
enduring political alliances.....
Dr Abdus Salam
is a Pakistani hero, whether buildings are named after him or not. More
importantly, his life’s work was science and its promotion. A plaque on a
building and five scholarships in his name do not solve Pakistan’s urgent
education crisis. They may, however, inflame the easily provoked reactionaries
for whom other people’s faith is a matter of life and death. ....
happened in Pakistan, where most violent incidents and even terrorist attacks
are claimed by groups closely associated with the Deobandi ideology rather than
the Barelvi School. Tehrik-e-Taliban is said to follow the Deobandi School...
General’s spymaster, all those years ago, had outlined a way to walk Pakistan’s
policies back from the edge in Afghanistan, involving a political resolution.
The Afghanistan it was premised on, though, may no longer exist. For the
General, retreat from Zarb-e-Azb may prove impossible, but ahead lies the
princes have allegedly called for regime change expressing distrust of the
31-year-old prince. Saudi royals, once prudent and cautious, are now determined
to lead a senseless and costly war in neighbouring Yemen. Internal security is
another problem as ISIS repeatedly has shown that it has a strong presence
inside the kingdom....
also realize that the key value of Islam’s political tradition is what writer
Hayrettin Karaman mentioned in passing in 2015 — and what I emphasized back in
2013. It is the “separation of powers.” It is, in other words, creating clear
boundaries between the executive, the legislation and the judiciary. The most
troubling aspect of Erdogan’s envisioned presidency is not that it may be too
Islamic in that regard. It may rather be too Platonic....
S. Binodkumar Singh
children of war criminals are not innocent. They are hatching conspiracies and
will continue it. We have to remember that and stay alert against them. We have
to continue our war against their conspiracies."....