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Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
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Vivekananda
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This Islamic website offers facts about Islam and Muslims, Islam way and Islamic ideology. Online Islam - Latest Islamic World News, Articles on Radical Islamism & Jihad and Islam, Terrorism and Jihad
     
Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
10 Oct 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com
Terrorism in Pakistan, Celebrating Ramadan, jihadi style

By Muqtedar Khan

 

Ramadan mubarak?

In the month of Ramadan, when even frowning is undesirable, some Muslims with poisoned minds have chosen to murder and maim indiscriminately.

 

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and serves as a spiritual boot camp for Muslims. In this month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk everyday; abstaining from food, water, sex and anything unpleasant and immoral. One is not allowed to get angry, speak rudely or even think of bad things. The purpose of the month is to take a break from deep entanglements in mundane affairs and make a systematic and concerted effort to reconnect with the divine and work on improving one's personal moral character.

 

For me, Ramadan is about returning to the fountain of truth and drinking from it as deeply as possible. It is not the parched throat but rather the parched soul that is my concern, so I study the Quran and contemplate on it. Other Muslims adhere more closely to rituals. I believe that while rituals discipline, knowledge is more transformative. But too each his own. The goal in Ramadan is really is to find a way, ritual, spiritual or intellectual, to get closer to God.

 

But unfortunately, for some Muslims, murder and mayhem rather than prayer and fasting have become the way to celebrate Ramadan.

 

On September 6th, in the first week of Ramadan, two suicide bombers killed over 50 people in Peshawar, Pakistan. On September 13th, five bombs killed over 30 in New Delhi, India. On September 15th, a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a Ramadan fast breaking ceremony killing 22 people in Diyala, Iraq. On September 17th, a truck bomb and some militants attacked the US embassy in San'a, Yemen killing 16 people and on September 20th a massive truck bomb killed over 60 people in Islamabad, Pakistan.

 

All of these attacks have been conducted by people who call themselves "Jihadis", this they claim is their struggle in the path of God. One cannot imagine to what extent the minds and the hearts of these people have become poisoned that in the month of Ramadan when even frowning is undesirable, they chose to murder and maim indiscriminately. The most incomprehensible aspect of these atrocities is that a vast majority of their victims are the very people on whose behalf these wars are waged!

 

If they want to fight and die for God, they are welcome. There are over 200,000 American soldiers, in Iraq and Afghanistan, who are there specifically to oblige them. Why not go and fight them?

 

These cowards, who call themselves Jihadis, run and hide from soldiers seeking to fight them and instead target helpless and unarmed civilians. They repeatedly confirm that they have no regard for social order, for law, for human life and even for the sacred injunctions from the God whose pleasure they seek through violence.

 

If they really wish to wage a Jihad (struggle) in this holy month of Ramadan, then their first target should be their own cowardice and the profound Jahiliyyah (ignorance) that disables them from seeing what is right and what is wrong.

 

There are three kinds of Muslim responses to these never ending atrocities. Some Muslims condemn, oppose and actively reject the Jihadis and their agenda of global anarchy. I wish they would be better organized and more effective.

 

Another minority, unfortunately, appreciates and supports the Jihadis. I pray that this Ramadan may open their eyes to the true reality of the Jihadi phenomenon. It preys on the weak and the helpless, has achieved absolutely nothing of value for Muslims, and has pushed a large number of people in the world to despise Islam and hate Muslims.

 

And then there is a significant Muslim population that lives in denial. They also are intellectually dishonest. They first deny that there is such a thing as jihadi terrorism, resorting to conspiracy theories blaming every act of Jihadi violence either on Israel, the US or India. Then they argue that unjust wars by these three nations (in Palestine, Iraq and Kashmir) is the primary cause for Jihadi violence; a phenomenon whose very existence they have already denied.

 

Unless Muslims wakeup to the culture of terrorism in their world and act to eradicate it, they may find themselves isolated and shunned from the rest of the world, while also being the biggest victims of the very phenomenon they do not fight.

September 23, 2008

 

Muqtedar Khan is Director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

10 COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE SO FAR

 

 

Wow, another train wreck of an article from ol' Muqtedar. Perhaps I should have expected this from the man who was once going around calling himself a "Muslim Kissinger." Not everyday one hears one pattern himself after a war criminal. "Culture of terrorism"? Rubbish! None of us support this sort of madness, but you do Muqtedar old chap. Maybe you don't understand that the war in Afghanistan is directly linked to the instability in Pakistan, a country which is now being attacked. You over simply the fact that a WAR which is being waged on the peoples of the region and quit playing clueless. Take a long hard look at the death toll and tell us how is inflicting the maximum number of causalities. Your interest is not in the lives of ordinary Pakistanis (or Afghans or Iraqis). Your only interest is in justifying America's ever-expanding war against a broad swathe of the world's population.
There are very few individuals who give $14 MILLION in campaign donations , as Israeli Billionaire Haim Saban did. There are very few individuals who can then buy a Middle East policy think tank at Brookings , as Haim Saban did. There are very few individuals whose "Directors of Research" can then write editorials for the Los Angeles Times telling the American people that Hussein has WMDs -- as Saban's Directors did. Thats the same Brookings which Muqtedar works for. Who's in denial now, Mr."Muslim Kissinger" wannabe?


- Posted by DrM on September 24, 2008 at 04:58 AM

 

 

>> Wow, another train wreck of an article from ol' Muqtedar. Perhaps I should have expected this from the man who was once going around calling himself a "Muslim Kissinger." Not everyday one hears one pattern himself after a war criminal. "Culture of terrorism"?

I agree with most of what Muqtedar is saying. Forgetting the implications of some of his comments regarding Muslims (and yours). But its actually not a common practice amongst our senior Ulema to counter terrorisms ideology. I hear talks about the threat of "materialist philosophy", the threat of co-educational and public schooling, the insincerity and impiety of jeans and t-shirts, the meaninglessness of western professions etc. But only once, in my entire recollection of Friday talks, have I heard a lecture that talked about the failure and falsity of some terrorist groups. The taliban represented both good and bad for most people who understand their roots. But for majority of our scholars, they are the underdogs and champions of a war against the west. We are intellectually dishonest.

>> Unless Muslims wakeup to the culture of terrorism in their world and act to eradicate it, they may find themselves isolated and shunned from the rest of the world, while also being the biggest victims of the very phenomenon they do not fight.

Countering terrorism as the American government do it, is not the same as educating and democratising the region. We also have a pseudo-church infrastructure that operates under the guise of Uloom and Madhab, that we as Muslims have loaded with the false responsibility of establishing an maintaining Islam.


- Posted by Ghulam (South Africa) on September 24, 2008 at 12:19 PM

 

 

>> All of these attacks have been conducted by people who call themselves "Jihadis", this they claim is their struggle in the path of God. <<

Well, there are genuine jihadis (some terrorists) and there are rogue jihadis (most terrorists). One should make sure one does not simply do way with jihad (like most posters on this website living in Western countries would like to see happen). Afterall, the Prophet (pbuh) did wage jihad to defend his native lands. He only lived for 10-15 odd years as a Prophet, he could well have just refused to fight if he did not want to leave behind a legacy of jihad. Hello? 

The challenge facing Muslims in general is not to throw all fighting men into the garbage bin in an effort to please their "masters" about them having nothing to do with terrorism. 

The ideal way to wage Jihad would be to establish a caliphate as the Hizb-ut-Tahrir people have correctly pointed out. Sort of like an Iran for Sunni Islam. So that there is ACCOUNTABILITY. If there is abuse or terrorism by the state apparatus while waging jihad, one can replace the people responsible for it or even punish them for breaking the rules of legitimate Islamic military conflict. 

Or maybe an OPEC of Islamic Jihad. or a United Nations of Islamic Jihad. Whereby different Muslim countries enter into an agreement to supply arms and human fodder to fight nations that violate the rights of Muslims. This way Muslim nations can continue to elect bumbling idiots like Bush, Saddam, Zardari, Mubarak et al as their leaders while at the same time, creating a legitimate avenue for defending of Muslim citizens the world over. 

The current system of Muslim bandits operating as autonomous gorilla bands and going around killing people in the name of jihad is certainly taking things out-of-control.


- Posted by hajibaba on September 24, 2008 at 09:16 PM

 

 

>> He only lived for 10-15 odd years as a Prophet, he could well have just refused to fight if he did not want to leave behind a legacy of jihad. Hello?

This statement is wrong on so many levels. The span of Muhammad (S) prophethood was tewnty two years. The first nine prior to migration were spent in Makkah. The reconquest of Makkah happened in the last two. The middle eleven were spent in Madinah. The battle of Badr was only fought about fourteen years into our Nabis (S) Prophethood. They weren't many wars. But a quite a few battles against the idolators of Makkah, culminating in a conquest that was premised on the breaking of the treaty of Hudaybiyah.


- Posted by Ghulam (South Africa) on September 25, 2008 at 04:55 PM

 

 

>> The battle of Badr was only fought about fourteen years into our Nabis (S) Prophethood. They weren't many wars. <<

Heh heh. My point exactly. If one reads your comment carefully, one can feel the reluctance and resentment with which you are having to acknowledge the existence of jihad in the life of the Prophet (pbuh). As if someone is having to pry it out of your throat with a stick!


- Posted by hajibaba on September 26, 2008 at 02:07 AM

 

 

>> Heh heh. My point exactly. If one reads your comment carefully, one can feel the reluctance and resentment with which you are having to acknowledge the existence of jihad in the life of the Prophet (pbuh).

This is shameless. You're the one with the limited view because you wiped away the 14 years of our Nabi SAW Prophethood that preceded those battles! I'm not ashamed of Jihad in Islam. I spent five years in military so I may know a little more about the military and war than you.

>> OPEC of Islamic Jihad. or a United Nations of Islamic Jihad<<
>> ..one can replace the people responsible for it or even punish them for breaking the rules of legitimate Islamic military conflict<<
>> Muslim nations can continue to elect bumbling idiots like Bush, Saddam, Zardari, Mubarak et al <<
>> killing people in the name of jihad is certainly taking things out-of-control <<

What are you talking about? Not one of those people was legitimately elected! Noone can punish an authoritarian dictator. Muslim's united around our capacity to make war? You're making no sense. You're doing this in relation to Islam, and our Nabi SAW. And you don't seem to care.


- Posted by Ghulam (South Africa) on September 26, 2008 at 11:59 AM

 

 

>But its actually not a common practice amongst our senior Ulema to counter terrorisms ideology. <

Depends what your definition of terrorism is. Most Ulema(as if we ever listen to them), Muslims and non-Muslims would consider the US army to be terrorists for their invasions and war crimes. The vast majority of the victims of terrorism are Muslims, often at the hands of imperial powers. That being said, resisting brutal foreign occupations is not terrorism. Nobody needs to go to a madrassa to get radicalized. Having a missile with a "made in USA" dropped on your house will do it provided you survive. 

>I hear talks about the threat of "materialist philosophy", the threat of co-educational and public schooling, the insincerity and impiety of jeans and t-shirts, the meaninglessness of western professions etc<

You're confusing separate issues. Materialism is the opposite of spirituality, and the driving force behind the factors at play in the world today. The quest for material wealth and power cannot be understated. The philosophy of gender and schooling in Islam are separate issues. Also, there's no such thing as "western professions,"(unless you count interior decorating) and I've yet to hear Ulema discourage anyone from acquiring education. That's a straw man argument.
What the Ulema need to do is to start teaching the economics of Sunnah money to liberate us from the poison of riba. Sheikh Imran Hoseins work in this field is nothing short of revolutionary.


- Posted by DrM on October 1, 2008 at 12:31 PM

 

 

>> >But its actually not a common practice amongst our senior Ulema to counter terrorisms ideology.
>> Depends what your definition of terrorism is... That being said, resisting brutal foreign occupations is not terrorism.

You're wrong. The reason I say this, is because majority of the world actually do agree that state terrorism is terror. Western countries refuse to accept a GLOBAL understanding of State-sponsored terrorism, and so circumvent the UN framework by imposing their policy view. The whole anti-war movement is very vocal about state-terrorism and is trying to promote the law.

But you know exactly what I'm referring to. The internal direction that Muslims are taking from our theological sources isn't actually opposed to terrorism. They view our relationship with non-muslims in the context of an eternal civilisational conflict. There is a political system that is considered Islamic, and any Muslim who adopts Sunnah and opposes any "non-Islamic" political systems through war is considered Mujahideen.

I meant to point out that it is easier to criticise jeans than it is to criticise war from the view of our current orthodoxy.

>> Materialism is the opposite of spirituality, and the driving force behind the factors at play in the world today.

Hmmmm. This is sad because you don't understand materialist philosophy. Any choice that is based on reason and evidence is materialist. Western secular professions are rooted in ethics, accountability and regulation and have been very positive for numerous reasons. Western promoted sciences of Medicine, Law, Economics, Management etc have resulted into our current level of highly developed and constantly improving professions. Modern society, whether Islamic or otherwise cannot operate well wihtout it.

>> I've yet to hear Ulema discourage anyone from acquiring education.

You haven't listened to enough tablighi scholars. Its basically the idea that the pursuit of a profession is devoid of any spiritual merit. But my perspective of this is that there is a threat emanating from western educated professionals because it is critical of spiritual notions. But that's another discussion.

>> the economics of Sunnah money to liberate us from the poison of riba

Another very long discussion, but our "Spiritualist" scholars ignore western scholars of law and economics (especially the Muslim ones) and will not do anything for our development. The best tools were developed by likes of Adam Smith and you can't ignore that. If you don't discuss supply and demand, or the value of GDP, you aren't discussing economics of Sunnah with the best tools.


- Posted by Ghulam (South Africa) on October 4, 2008 at 11:53 AM

 

 

>You're wrong. The reason I say this, is because majority of the world actually do agree that state terrorism is terror.<

No they don't. They can't even agree on what constitutes global warming, much less what the definition of "terrorism" is.

>Western countries refuse to accept a GLOBAL understanding of State-sponsored terrorism, and so circumvent the UN framework by imposing their policy view.< 

Western nations created the smokescreen of the UN to give the impression that other nations had a say in global affairs. Anybody who knows the history of the organization is well aware that is is nothing more than a League of Nations with the US in it. 

>The whole anti-war movement is very vocal about state-terrorism and is trying to promote the law.<

The anti-war movement was a colossal failure. Vocal about state terrorism? Hardly The anti-war opposed the war against Iraq but said that they "support the troops." They could not bring themselves to denounce US soldiers as terrorists for their numerous war crimes. That would be politically incorrect and career suicide for the Democrats active in the movement. 

>The internal direction that Muslims are taking from our theological sources isn't actually opposed to terrorism is.<

No definition provided again. Dozens upon dozens of fatwas have been issued against terrorism. People don't need a fatwa or an imam to fire them up. As I've stated earlier all you need is a missile with a "made in USA" dropped on your house to do it provided you survive, with or without 12 years of economic sanctions. That being said, Islam isn't pacifism. It’s not terrorism to oppose the invasion, occupation and exploitation of one’s own country. On support for terror, western populations are far more supportive of using terrorism as a tool of foreign policy to advance their own “national interest.” They really are in no position to complain about the miniscule( and misguided) response of some Muslims in this area.


>They view our relationship with non-muslims in the context of an eternal civilisational conflict.< 

Nonsense. This is the failed "Clash of Civilizations" thesis advanced by neocon godfather Sam Huntington. Muslims and non-Muslims have lived in peace for centuries.

?There is a political system that is considered Islamic, and any Muslim who adopts Sunnah and opposes any "non-Islamic" political systems through war is considered Mujahideen.<

Chaff. That's not the definition of Mujahideen, and I don't know a single person who buys into that. 

>> Materialism is the opposite of spirituality, and the driving force behind the factors at play in the world today.

>Hmmmm. This is sad because you don't understand materialist philosophy. Any choice that is based on reason and evidence is materialist. Western secular professions are rooted in ethics, accountability and regulation and have been very positive for numerous reasons. 

I’m afraid you’re the one who doesn’t understand what materialism is. Materialism can refer either to the simple preoccupation with the material world, as opposed to intellectual or spiritual concepts, or to the theory that physical matter is all there is. It states that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence. It’s the bedrock of atheism, and cannot be reconciled with Islam or any kind of belief system. 
> Modern society, whether Islamic or otherwise cannot operate well wihtout it. Western promoted sciences of Medicine, Law, Economics, Management etc have resulted into our current level of highly developed and constantly improving professions. <
There won’t be a world left to operate if materialist driven ideologies and its nihilist underpinnings continue unopposed. 
Medicine, Law, Economics, Management aren’t western sciences. Crack open a history book and find out yourself. That being said I don’t see how client regimes and banana republics are expected to be on the cutting edge of research and development.


- Posted by DrM on October 7, 2008 at 03:20 PM

 

 

>> I've yet to hear Ulema discourage anyone from acquiring education.

You haven't listened to enough tablighi scholars. Its basically the idea that the pursuit of a profession is devoid of any spiritual merit. But my perspective of this is that there is a threat emanating from western educated professionals because it is critical of spiritual notions. But that's another discussion.<<
This is a straw man argument. I know plenty of Tablighi professionals, and have heard plenty of their Ulema’s bayans. Nowhere did I find anyone discouraging education, rather the opposite. Don’t just be another doctor, engineer, scientist, craftsaman etc, be the best at it. I do not agree with them on everything, but you’ll never find a group of Muslims or Ulema with whom you’ll be in agreement on everything. That being said, the Tabligh Jammat has done excellent work in rural and urban areas. 
SOME, and I stress some “western educated” Muslims are problematic in that they insist that their PhD’s, status and money give qualify them as spokespersons and Ulema of Islam. This is why we have multi-million dollar masajid, but no noor in them.


>> the economics of Sunnah money to liberate us from the poison of riba

>Another very long discussion, but our "Spiritualist" scholars ignore western scholars of law and economics (especially the Muslim ones) and will not do anything for our development. The best tools were developed by likes of Adam Smith and you can't ignore that. If you don't discuss supply and demand, or the value of GDP, you aren't discussing economics of Sunnah with the best tools.<
Your inferiority complex is showing again with this infatuation and obsession of all things western. Adam Smith's(like Marx’s) exalted reputation and the reality of his dubious contribution to economic thought are two very different things. Western states rule the world today through century’s old policy of organized violence through which much of the world today is in a state of political, economic and social slavery. I don’t believe the people who created the problem can solve it. You can use all the fancy (and deliberately confusing) terms plucked out of financial text books today but the rules and dynamics of sound economics remain the same. 
An economy based on riba and a fraudulent banking system is doomed to failure, as we can see happening right now.


- Posted by DrM on October 7, 2008 at 03:24 PM

 

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