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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

In Pakistan, Judges Are a Part of the Problem of Religious Conservatism Trumping Justice
Khaled Ahmed

The policeman, Mumtaz Qadri, who shot Taseer, was hanged in 2016 after being sentenced by a judge of an anti-terrorism court. The judge left immediately for Hajj after the sentencing, but the prosecutor complained of death threats being flung at him daily. Qadri has a grand mausoleum just outside Islamabad, where thousands go to pay homage to him. The son of the murdered governor, Shahbaz Taseer, was kidnapped by the Taliban and kept under savage conditions in Afghanistan for three years before he was able to escape....

 

Who’s Pakistan's Enemy Number One?
Pervez Hoodbhoy

Fortunately, the ultra-religious sorts — which this land is abundantly blessed with — are free from useless doubt. For them more is better. Every newborn, say the ultras, comes with a guaranteed Rizq (provision) stamped on its forehead. Now let’s assume, ignoring the visible contrary evidence, that this is correct. Yet there shall remain an impossibly difficult problem even if food and water were to drop miraculously from the skies. ....

 

Erdogan Should Put Brakes on Himself
Shantanu Mukharji

Ever since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan survived the July 2016 coup attempt, he appears to have lost his sense of diplomacy, his statecraft and arguably even his mental equilibrium. This is visible in ample measure in the insecure President’s body language and rhetoric in the wake of a diplomatic row snowballing into a major crisis before the referendum he is seeking from the Turks, both within and outside Turkey...

 

Henna-Adorned Hands Give Voice to Turkish Referendum Opponents
Pinar Tremblay

Henna is a symbol of innocence and sacrifice in Turkey and the region. Turkish bridal showers often include the bride getting a henna design on her palm. Young conscripts also get henna on their hands just before they are sent off to serve their country, as a symbol of dedication. For the people of Anatolia, henna symbolizes new beginnings, excitement and sacrifice for an important cause. It is an ancient tradition that has been cherished by Jews, Arabs, Alevis, Kurds and Turks — it is an image that unites and transcends politics….

 

Bloodshed in the Middle East
Shahid M Amin

Bloodshed in Syria can stop only if Iran and Saudi Arabia come to terms. Iran must stop its military intervention in Syria and the Saudis should curb the Salafi religious institutions in their country that provide inspiration and recruits for IS and other religious extremists. ....

 

It is a tryst with the home-grown extremist organisations. The occasional attempts to selectively address the mushrooming terror nurseries are as cosmetic as they are inadequate. Pakistan must first learn to celebrate its own true history, vivid diversity and rich culture and not suffer from any inferiority complex, as that aids the facilitation of alien sensibilities and their brutal implications....

The TAK emerged in 2005 when the PKK had withdrawn from Turkey and was licking its wounds in sanctuaries in Northern Iraq, while its leader Öcalan was calling for a political solution to the Kurdish conflict. The TAK took advantage of the PKK’s troubles, offering an alternative, more violent platform to the most radicalised fringe of the Kurdish youth. Between 2005 and 2011 the TAK was actively involved in attacks against Turkish civilians and security forces, with a significant preference for the non-Kurdish West of the country....

 

The Shrine for Salman Taseer’s Killer Embodies the Real Danger Pakistan Faces from Within
Anam Zakaria

Extremism has cast a web over diverse religious practices. Whereas death anniversaries and pilgrimages to shrines have usually involved the veneration of peaceful Sufi saints symbolising tolerance and religious syncretism, today thousands pay homage to the shrine of an assassin and organise an “Urs” – death anniversary of a Sufi saint – transforming a murderer into a saint....

 

Pakistan's Soft Power Can Be its Religious Minorities
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Meanwhile, a video by a local Barelvi cleric is making the rounds on social media in which the said cleric claims that ours is not a religion of peace. He goes on to argue — quite inaccurately that there is no verse in our holy book that speaks of peace. This goes against the very grain of what Muslim activists all around the world have been at pains to establish. Now here comes a cleric with a huge following telling people that what we have been saying is untrue.....

 

Cross-Border Sanctuaries Are Major Obstacles in the Fight against Insurgencies and Terrorism
Zahid Hussain

The Jamaat ul Ahrar, which is responsible for the recent attacks claiming over 100 innocent lives, is the largest and most lethal of Pakistani militant outfits currently operating from the Afghan border region. The network has pledged allegiance to the militant Islamic State group (IS) making the situation much more dangerous...

 

Pakistan Returns to Carnage
Ajit Kumar Singh

'Revengeful' and 'regrouped' terrorists are again on the rampage across Pakistan. During a span of just seven days (February 13, 2017 to February 19, 2017) Pakistan accounted for at least 205 fatalities [100 civilians, 21 Security Force (SF) personnel, 84 terrorists) in 22 terrorism-related incidents.....

 

The Attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s Shrine: Butchery of Our Soul
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine at Sehwan as well as the attacks in Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar was nothing less than an attack on Pakistan’s soul. It shows that the terrorists, be they of Jamaat-ul Ahrar or Daesh, are acting in a coordinated way and are clear about their targets. It is a war against Pakistanis’ agency to decide to how to live their lives. Terrorists need not bother though. Our own state institutions have been waging this war on individual rights for decades now....

 

A Battle for the Soul of Pakistan
Beena Sarwar

Of all Pakistan’s provinces, Sindh traditionally has the strongest, most inclusive and tolerant syncretic Sufi culture. That is clearly something the militants are desperately targeting. The attack on Pakistan’s Sufi shrines is part of a larger strategy that aims to grab political power. This includes the kidnapping and forced conversions of Hindu girls, the misuse of ‘blasphemy’ laws, targeted killing of Ahmadis, Shias, and anyone these extremists consider ‘deviant’ from their version of Islam....

No Place for 'Soft Islam' In a Hard Country, Pakistan
Shamil Shams

Pakistan's southern Sindh province is famous for its pluralistic culture. For centuries, the area has been a centre of religious tolerance and cultural harmony, where not only different Islamic sects have co-existed but people from other religions - particularly Hinduism - have contributed to the enrichment of its social fabric. Mystical Islam preached and promoted by Sufis, have played a vital role in this social construct. But on Thursday, February 16, the diminishing Sufi culture in Pakistan received another blow when a suicide bomber belonging to the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) organization blew himself up in a packed shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.....

 

The Fight Pakistan Must Wage Within
Husain Haqqani

The Jihadis justify their violence against Sufi shrines as attacks against ‘impure’ manifestations of the Islamic faith. Killing ‘unbelievers,’ ‘heretics’ and ‘deviants’ is an integral part of their plan to create a purer Islamic state. The same justification has been used in the past to attack Shias and Ahmadis as well as Pakistan’s Christians and Hindus. Although Jihadi groups were originally nurtured by Pakistan for proxy wars in Afghanistan and against India, at least some Jihadi groups consider Pakistanis as legitimate targets....

Does Religion Form the Core of the Pakistani Identity and Is It Reconcilable With Democracy
Khaled Ahmed

General Zaheer ul Islam Abbasi tried to stage an Islamic coup in 1995 because Pakistan was “not based on Quran and Sunnah”. Gul found instant traction with the madrasa leaders, who in turn agreed with al Qaeda chief Aiman al-Zawahiri’s treatise proving how Pakistan was not an Islamic state despite the constitution and a supra-constitutional Shariah court....

 

This Is Not Khuda Hafiz for Now: the House Arrest of JuD’s Chief Is Not a Policy Shift
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa

The stories of different mullahs and Maulanas travelling to Beijing and back are now fairly old. In any case, the bulk of Pakistan-based religious-radical groups do not consider China an enemy. Therefore, we need to re-think before jumping to the conclusion that the house arrest indicates a policy watershed. This may serve the purpose of signalling to the world the state’s ability to control these elements but it is not a precursor to a strategic change especially at a time when the geo-political plate seems to be in flux....

Afghanistan: Unrelenting Bloodshed
S. Binodkumar Singh

At this time, even though the Afghan Taliban has declared that it has no intention of participating in peace talks with the Afghan Government, despite international efforts, an attempt is being made to bring the rebels to the talks table. The first round of official peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan Government had taken place in the intervening night of July 7 and July 8, 2015, in Murree in Pakistan, with an agreement to meet again on August 15 and 16, 2015, in the Qatar capital, Doha....

 

The Undumpable Hafiz Saeed
Khaled Ahmed

Pakistan can’t dump Hafiz Saeed because he is too big organisationally and funding-wise. His outreach is comparable to Fethullah Gülen who controls the Turkish mind, but Saeed went one better — successfully running stealth courts handing down punishments, 5,500 cases in Lahore alone, and he takes on India while the politicians are quaking in their shoes....

Sindh: Fragile Peace
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Sindh: Fragile Peace
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Almost 75 per cent of militants on the terrorism watch list for their alleged links with over a dozen proscribed organisations remain untraceable in Karachi, according to official documents. The Sindh counterterrorism forces were unable to trace 142 of a total of 190 terrorists, who were listed in 'category A', a term used for terrorists put on exceptional risk or high risk. Six most wanted terrorists belonging to proscribed organizations had shifted to Holland, Bangladesh, Dubai, Ethiopia, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan...

 

How the ‘Good’ Jihadis Pose a Bigger Risk in the Long Term
Cyril Almeida

But the conversation about what to do with the good Jihadis isn’t going to be held by the average Pakistani, it will be held by the state whose calculus is necessarily different: It has been served loyally in the past by the good Jihadis; the security apparatus is battle hardened, but the state war weary; and merger is a helluva lot simpler to effect than dissolution.....

 

Pakistan's Punjab: Two-Faced On Counterterrorism
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Punjab has long consolidated as a nursery of terrorism. Media reports in May 2016 quoted a senior counter-terrorism (CT) officer, citing a confidential report titled "Proscribed/Jihadi Organizations", who noted that major banned outfits in the country were still recruiting madrasa students to wage jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir, and that such non-state actors had become very dangerous for Pakistan as well.....

 

The Absentees at the Astana Talks on the Syrian Conflict Hold the Cards for the Next Steps
Vijay Prashad

It is those who were absent who hold the cards for the next phase. Turkey’s main proxy, Ahrar al-Sham, did not come to Astana, but uncharacteristically it sent its blessings for the deliberations. It might, in time, join the process. The two parties that are outside the ceasefire are the Islamic State (IS) and the al-Qaeda proxy, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS). These groups have attempted to peel away fighters from those who went to Astana, saying that the negotiators shame the ‘revolution’....

 

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.....

 

Pakistan’s Unending War on Civil Society
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......

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Dear Hats off: My condition of accepting my response may go against the norms of debating, it may appear childlike ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • What a snobbish and condescending rant from Hats Off
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ill-timed satire from Hats Off!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • An anti-Iranian point of view! Clubbing Iran with the Brotherhood is a neat trick!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the terrorist attack is actually a great help to the victims. it put them out of the miserable meaningless...
    ( By hats off! )
  • dear mr. raihan nezami first: i think the word "invincible" is probably not what you had in mind (i hope i am not mistaken...
    ( By hats off! )
  • thought provoking article which loses the crux of artificially created binary of a homogeneous inclusive minority community ....
    ( By Ayushman )
  • شکریہ! ایک اور خوبصورت تحریر کے لیے: یہ خود ہمارے لیے ایک لمحہ فکریہ ہے کہ‘‘جب یوروپ گی گلیاں کیچڑ آلود تھیں اس وقت ....
    ( By Mufti Arshad Jamaal )
  • درست فرمایا آپ نے (دیر آید درست آید) ۔ بے انتہاء مسرت ہوئی۔ پوری آزادی کے ساتھ اس ....
    ( By misbahul Hoda )
  • What has Hats Off's fulminations got to do with the meaning of Kafir? He is simply consumed by impotent rage at not being able to cite ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • marvellous egyptiannculture,destroyed arab pagans in the guaise of Islam.The Pre-Islamic History of Egpty is great
    ( By C.Sruguma )
  • Dear Hats off: First, you promise to accept the meaning of the word "Kafir" given by me, only then ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • mr. raihan nezami must verify the meaning of the word "kafir" before he lets loose.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • defending slave raids, ghazwas, right-hand possessions, jizya and denigration of the religion and scriptures of others produces a sickness of mind that cannot.....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Hats off: I respect your penchant desire for learning, but alas! it is not for positive intentions as you are always indulged in negative ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Hats Off is once again indulging in psychological projection. It is he who is logic proof and impervious to all evidence of.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The concept of psychological projection is well grounded in classical psychology and continues to be as relevant today.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Suhel Khan who is funding wahabism n salafism which say even music dancing even some say mobile is Haram but AK 47 is halal.....
    ( By Atul Shukla )
  • @Suhel Khan all well established norms r not always correct. Well established ' Manubaad' is discarded now...
    ( By Ajoy Dutta )
  • Sultan Shahin has been for long, pursuing his single agenda of criticising each and every aspect of Islam ....
    ( By Suhel Khan )
  • @Kartikaswara Gouda you talked about shivaji. do you know that during his coronation manuvadies persecuted him and after much difficulty ....
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • Goutier record Islamic have hatred roots'
    ( By Sant Singh )
  • Western writer- ISLAM AND THE BHAGAVAD-GITA In the last 30 years, I have spoken against Islam and Islamic fundamentalism numerous ....
    ( By Kartikaswara Gouda )
  • Ignorance is Bliss.---English proverb.
    ( By Polumetla Kumar )
  • Islam started with human race. Prophet Muhammad is the last one in reforming ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES. He preached.....
    ( By Saidu Pallipparambil )
  • If they do not talk of peace, why refugees from Syria, Jordan and Iraq beg and crawl to go to Europe ....
    ( By Polumetla Kumar )
  • “…leaders capable of leading the Muslim community in religious matters” And,...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • some good news from morocco." Death penalty for apostates is really an Old Testament subject which was stolen....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Poor Hats Off! As if calling it 'pop psychaitry' would hide the fact that he is in denial.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Killing of Hindu atheists as well as Muslim atheists must stop. Any scriptural verses ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very pertinent and rightful plaint!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A bold truthful article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • wow. Worth reading . These beautiful lines from Maulana sahab is a great treat for secular and ...
    ( By Nikrun )
  • CORRECTION: In my last post I meant, "Martin Luther did say those things and yet Protestants....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A ban on triple talaq would be the appropriate step to take at this time. Our laws must....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear friends, I suggest all to read JIHAD- A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism۔۔۔
    ( By Surya Prakash Samidala )
  • Don't compare Beef Ban with blasphemy Mr Shamim Siddiqui....There is also meat....
    ( By Arnab Pal )
  • 3/22/2017 7:46:27 AM hats off! the fact of the matter is that the Holy Qur'an (not the koran) refers to non-muslims as kuffar. as...
    ( By hats off! )
  • l ماشاء اللہ! آپ کی حالیہ اشاعت ‘‘مصباح ادب’’ موصول ہوئی۔ اللہ زیادہ سے زیادہ خدمت دین کی توفیق بخشے(آمین)۔ چونکہ آپ سے میرے تعلقات بہت ...
    ( By Mufti Arshad Jamaal )
  • @Polumetla Kumar, Sir are you talking about today America and Europe countries who are talking about PEACE.' ...
    ( By Naeem Ahmed )