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Radical Islamism and Jihad

Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, you should have sought to understand the philosophy of Kashmiriyat that reigns in Kashmir before writing your latest missive. The Muslims of Kashmir have traditionally understood the message of Islam much better than the fundamentalists and exclusivists who present Islam as a totalitarian, fascist, political ideology of world domination, which seeks to eliminate all the scores of religions sent by God before Prophet Mohammad. This is the reason why even those Kashmiri politicians who now advocate secession have contested elections for the legislative Assemblies constituted under India’s secular and progressive constitution. This is the reason why only a few Kashmiri youth have taken to the path of terror, which you call Jihad. Most of the terrorism seen in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been part of a proxy war waged by neighbouring Pakistan for its own ends. Pakistan, of course, has turned export of terrorism to a fine art, affecting all corners of the globe....

The Taliban simply don’t want modern education and prefer the madrasa that they see as the future inspiration of Afghanistan. They destroy schools wherever they see them: The number of attacks on schools tripled, according to UNICEF, rising from 68 in 2017 to 192 in 2018....

 

The objective of maintaining peace, inherent in such Ahadith, must be instilled into the minds of the present 21st century Muslims. To achieve this objective in modern times, they need to first understand it that those who live under a particular government, corrupt, unjust or truly democratic, they are required to obey the ruling government and live peacefully....

Pitching democracy and territorial nationality against the Islamic principles of governance is the key political Islamist narrative being flagged off by the jihadist ideologues—from Zawahiri to Zakir. But contrary to this jihadist underpinning, there is substantial evidence in the Quran and Sunnah (the Prophetic traditions) to make it possible for us to adopt both democracy and territorial nationality as compatible to Islamic principles….

 The vast majority of Muslims are horrified by the barbaric regression that the Islamic State (ISIS) represents, as well as by its claim to speak in the name of Islam – an Islam most Muslims do not identify with. But while condemning ISIS on both a moral and human level, they have difficulty confronting it on a theological level....

Almost all of these consultants have privately shared they find more allies and support among Muslims in the Middle East than Muslims in the West. The latter are mostly herded under the propaganda of Western Islamists for whom religious identity has become a political weapon....

 While committing many atrocities against women, ISIS at the same time understood and valued the domestic and emotional labour of women for their own nefarious ends....

 

But analysts say Daesh, the group’s Arab acronym, have had to return to its roots as a mainly Iraq-based insurgency force and are undergoing a generational change. Nonetheless it has the capacity to re-emerge, if it's ignored....

 

At a time when al Qaeda is facing an existential crisis and has been entirely marginalised in the global Islamist terrorist movement, and at a time when its incipient proxy in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), the Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind (AGH), has been virtually wiped out barely two years after its formation, Ayman al Zawahiri, the current amir (chief) of al Qaeda, has issued a renewed call for jihad in Kashmir....

Female participation in IS terrorism has not been confined to the theatres of Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Women have been involved in, planned, and perpetrated terrorist attacks around the world since the inception of the Islamic State....

Unlike Pakistan, IS’ penetration in India’s Muslim community is relatively low. Only the Islamist terrorist groups Ummat-e-Mohammadiya and Harkat ul Harb-e-Islam were found to have some links with IS. Both groups are relatively unknown and obscure. ...

The Islamists everywhere have a problem. They do not work on long term goals but are swayed by emotional religious slogans. The Morsi government should have set long term goals and had first tried to win the confidence of the people with pragmatic approach and moderate programmes. Instead, they not only antagonized the secular minded intelligentia and the people but also sent panic alerts to western imperial forces and Israel...

 

The Pakistani military and intelligence establishment has traditionally supported jihadist groups focused on the Kashmiri cause, including outfits allied with al Qaeda. But Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and AGH have argued that the Pakistanis are not trustworthy in this regard. Zawahiri amplifies this critique, but parts of his story are entirely dubious....

The U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, last March, condemning “defamation of religion” as a human rights violation. Speaking for the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Pakistan said that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.” It called on states “to deny impunity” for those exhibiting intolerance of ethnic and religious minorities, and “to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs.”

However, Mr. President, news reports often emanate from Islamic countries, particularly Pakistan, of intolerance of and disrespect for minority religious beliefs. We also see free publication and distribution of Jihadi literature associating Islam with and indeed promoting human rights violations and extremist violence. Even school and madrasa text books are not free from extremist and exclusivist teachings, asking Muslims to stay away from religious and cultural celebrations of other religious communities. Pakistan’s notorious anti-blasphemy laws ensure that members of religious minorities are either lynched by mobs or awarded death sentences on mere accusations of blasphemy. The case of a Christian lady Aasia Bibi, mercifully out of the country now, has brought this issue to world’s attention. Ahmadiya Muslims are officially excluded from Islam and even debarred from claiming to be Muslim in any way. Like non-Muslim minorities, they too suffer indignities of various kinds in their daily life. Hundreds of young Hindu girls are routinely abducted and forcibly converted to Islam and raped in the name of marriage.

While this resolution seeks to protect Islam from defamation through any association with terrorism, the religion is routinely defamed in Muslim countries by publication of literature justifying violence against non-Muslim civilians. The very title of a long essay in the Taliban mouthpiece Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad was: ‘Circumstances in which the killing of innocent people among infidels is justified.’

I would, therefore, urge the Council to ask the Muslim countries to treat intolerance of minorities and Jihadi literature too as defaming the religion of Islam....

Suhail is a former student of Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband, and had been since 2013 trying to put a group together that would help him in converting India (which according to him was Dar- ul-Harb or un-Islamic) to Dar-ul-Islam (Land of Islam). They had named their group Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam...

“The supra-constitutional Sharia courts, established by Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), operate across the country and only the Lahore court of this parallel judicial system has issued verdicts in 5,550 cases, including murder trials”....

 

“ISIS also retained a global finance network that funded its transition back to an insurgency and managed to preserve sufficient weapons and other supplies in tunnel systems and other support zones in order to equip its regenerated insurgent force.”...

 

Despite a United States-led global “war on terror” that has cost US$5.9 trillion, killed an estimated 480,000 to 507,000 people and assassinated bin Laden, al-Qaida has grown and spread since 9/11, expanding from rural Afghanistan into North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, the Gulf States, the Middle East and Central Asia....

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which is what the Taliban called its government during its rule from 1996 to 2001, was based on the allegiance of religious scholars to an all-powerful supreme leader who had ultimate authority. That was Mullah Muhammad Omar, the group’s founding leader....

Assessing the Next ISIS Insurgency, by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), also warns the terror group, often referred to as IS or ISIS, is likely to reclaim territory both in Syria and in Iraq, where it is already seizing control....

 

While Arabs are said to be increasingly turning their back on religion, their trust in Islamist movements has declined dramatically since the "Arab spring" revolts. Branches of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Iran-backed Hezbollah have all suffered a decline in how they are perceived....

 

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1791) preached conservatism in central Arabia in order to reverse moral decline among his contemporary society and to return Islam to its fundamentals. Such Wahhabism was austere and extreme but, like Arabia’s interior, largely irrelevant in the broader Islamic world....

 

Women have long played an important role in jihad, but the Islamic State has, since its inception, expanded both the potential and scope of those female roles. The caliphate may be no longer, but Islamic State's military defeats have not dampened the appeal of jihad in many quarters.....

The UK media used to call Omar Bakri Mohammed the “Tottenham Ayatollah” in mockery, but it was still his followers who went to join Daesh when the time came. The fact is, even Al-Omar’s laughable positions are potentially dangerous....

“It isn’t permissible for Muslims to join the Christians in their festivals with any kind of participation, whether congratulating them, giving gifts to them, attending their celebrations, celebrating them, honouring them or any other form of participation.”...

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