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Radical Islamism and Jihad

While the group, like many others that self-identify as “jihadist”, deploys ideological rhetoric to promote its political goals, it is the deprived and fractious context in which it operates that best explains its appeal – especially to women....

 

When it was dominant, jihad was expansionist and triumphalist; when it was subservient to colonial dominance, jihad was interpreted as nothing more than the right of self-defence; and now, in the post-colonial context, jihad....

Meanwhile, different parameters show that the general law and order situation in Sindh remained far from satisfactory. According to the Sindh Police, as many as 1,520 people were murdered across the Sindh Province...

 

Terrorism above all is a murder and Quran 6:151 says” do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully (the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime)....

If Afghans keep fighting amongst each other, they will be handing over space to external powers to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal matters. But if the Afghans come together and stand united, Afghanistan has a chance at one day being free of all kinds of external interference....

 

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik need to sit, and discuss seriously, how to deal with ISIS. ...

 

It will take a great deal of creative thinking and imaginative refashioning of New Delhi’s policy towards Afghanistan for India to recover lost ground vis-à-vis the Pashtuns. ....

 

Interestingly, emergence of Taliban is not a result of class struggle or fits into the chemistry of religious war within the society. It is not a Catholic vs Protestant struggle of renaissance period ....

 

Those who call for Malaysia to be declared an Islamic state need to tell us the definition of Islam this state is to be built upon, and if this move will isolate our country even further from the modern Islam embraced by the rest of the world....

Iran declared its revolution an Islamic revolution, not just a Shiite one; it hoped to inspire Sunni Muslims as well. Although many Sunni militants saw Iran’s Shiite theology as anathema....

 

I felt oppressed. I knew for sure that, if I was to die right then, I was going to heaven." He added: "I feel, you know, you know what I'm saying, if I was to die in five or 10 minutes, I'm going to heaven. That's all that matters to me."...

In one sense, it will never really make sense to speak of ISIS as defeated. There will always exist some forgotten corner of the globe or a dark crevice of the Internet in which recruits and recruiters will gather....

 

Africa’s religious landscape is changing very rapidly, in various ways. These changes include the introduction of new religions and adjustments in the modes of worship as well as the personalities that are revered. ....

 

Like many Pakistani Muslims, the women refused to drink water from a utensil touched by a choorhi, a derogatory word for a Christian. Apparently incensed that a lowly Christian woman had argued with them, two of the women who later appeared as witnesses in the case said Asia had insulted Muhammad and the Quran....

 

With polls slated for December 30, the first two weeks of canvassing have already seen eight deaths and dozens injured.....

 

A permanent refugee population in Bangladesh, and possible alliances between various groups of militants, could also have grave implications for the domestic security situation in that country, similar to the volatility seen in Lebanon and...

 

For its part, Tunisia oscillates between traditionalism and the fragility of democracy, with the impulse for change measured by innovation and closures....

 

When you consider how, after the Arabs’ humiliating defeat in the June war of 1967, all the secular ideologies that had then animated the public debate — such as pan-Arabism, Nasserism, Baathism, socialism — proved to be hollow and worthless, you begin to see a vacuum there....

 

Since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009, more than 27,000 people, mostly in the remote northeast, have been killed. Nearly 2 million others have been displaced....

 

A War on Terror has been raging for 17 years now but we are no closer to defeating Islamist terror. Jihadism continues to attract Muslim youth. This is because the world has not paid enough attention to the ideology of Islamism and Jihadism.

Mainstream Muslims have considered Islam a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many. Islam aims at reforming society for a peaceful, harmonious, pluralist existence. However, due to certain historical factors, the theology and jurisprudence of Islam that evolved in the 8th and 9th centuries (CE), present Islam as a political, totalitarian ideology of supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and gender discrimination. It is this theology of violence, exclusivism and world-domination that is taught in madrasas and sustains Islamism. But despite the Islamist violence against peaceful Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the community is still not focussed on the need for evolving a counternarrative of Islam.

 It is imperative that Muslim countries that have signed the UN Charter look into the issue urgently and work towards developing a new theology of peace, pluralism and gender justice. While several countries like Morocco and now Saudi Arabia appear to be moving in this direction, the one country that has made a solid contribution is Turkey. In a decade-long exercise 100 Turkish scholars have managed to limit the number of authentic ahadith to just 1600, out of over 10,000, and provide each hadith with context and suitable interpretation. This book of authentic Hadith has been provided to all mosques in Turkey but I hope it is made available to the global Muslim community in their own languages as soon as possible.

Allama Iqbal, a poet-philosopher of the South Asian sub-continent had called for the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam almost a hundred years ago. Let us at least start working on it now....

All of which suggests that triumphalism over the end of ISIS, although tempting, is extremely premature. The original threat posed by the Islamic State’s physical “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria may indeed be gone, but the group’s activities and ideology remain a real challenge...

 

Official Iraqi statistics actually indicate that the number of its members killed in the war to restore areas they occupied since June 2014 exceeded 20,000. This is in addition to hundreds of prisoners held by Iraqi forces. Meanwhile, the international coalition sources estimate 80,000 members of ISIS were killed in Iraq and Syria....

 

What did the US planners get out of the war in Afghanistan? ....

 
Should Bangladesh Become Another Jihadist Launch Pad?
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Should Bangladesh Become Another Jihadist Launch Pad?
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Armed jihadists belonging to Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh (JIB) and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have started attacking the leaders and activists of Awami League and its other front organizations. Agenda of JIB-BNP nexus is to push Bangladesh towards a civil war. According to numerous reports, Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) is actively helping the JIB-BNP nexus in returning to power thus re-establishing Pakistan’s influence on Bangladesh....

 

ISIS may be militarily defeated tomorrow and even go out of existence. But this will not solve the problem of Muslim radicalisation. If our madrasas and educational institutions continue to prepare the ground for self-segregation and militancy, expounding the current theology, mixed with narratives of victimhood and marginalisation, Islam will continue to be hobbled, Muslims will continue to struggle to fit in the way of life in contemporary world.

Moderate, progressive Muslims must urgently evolve and propagate an alternative theology of peace and pluralism, consistent in all respects with the teachings of Islam, and suitable for contemporary and future societies, while refuting the current theology of violence and supremacism.

Unfortunately, as we have seen above, the task is not so easy. Radicalisation has not just happened overnight. Jihadi theology has evolved over hundreds of years. Major theologians who have studied Islam independently have brought to us a political version of Islam, stripping the religion of all its spirituality.

While it is primarily the duty of Muslims to fight this ideological war within slam, this is no longer just a Muslim concern. The world too must confront Muslim scholars with the supremacism and extremism present in their theology and ask them to rethink Islam.  ProgressiveMuslims should join the rest of the world to defeat extremism in Islamic theology.

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