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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

Return of a Spectre Called Blasphemy
Farzana Shaikh

But they also brought to fruition a state-sponsored policy, active since 9/11, of quietly empowering Barelvi groups to counterbalance so-called “hardliners” among Pakistan’s proliferating Deobandi and Salafi groups. They were seen to have grown increasingly independent of their handlers within Pakistan’s military and security establishment, whose authority it was said they were now prone to question. It is no wonder that eyebrows were raised when Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, declined to act in support of the government claiming the protestors were ‘our people’....

 

The seeds Maududi sowed became the plants that sapped this noble religion of all progressive ideas and pushed people into a rigid conformity with his brand of 'Islamic ideology'. The introduction of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan was a natural result of the process of Islamisation that Maududi and other right-wing religious parties had set in motion. They had found fertile ground for their agenda in the social conditions of Pakistan.....

Saudis Fail at Their Own Conspiracy
Bruce Riedel

The war in Yemen is costing Riyadh about $5 billion a month. It is a humanitarian catastrophe for the Yemeni people. The Saleh fiasco demonstrates that the Saudi coalition is flailing without a way out. The only winner is Iran. Washington needs to help Riyadh find a way out of the quagmire....

 

Qatari Wahhabism Vs. Saudi Wahhabism And The Perils Of Top-Down Change
James M. Dorsey

A traditional Gulf state and a Wahhabi state to boot, Qatari conservatism was everything but a mirror image of Saudi Arabia’s long-standing puritan way of life. Qatar did not have a powerful religious establishment that could enforce ultra-conservative social norms, nor did it implement absolute gender segregation. Non-Muslims could practice their faith in their own houses of worship and were exempted from bans on alcohol and pork....

 

Islam Marches On, In and On Islamabad
Ayesha Siddiqa

‘Mullah-military alliance’ is of course short-hand for describing the changes unfolding in Pakistan that have sapped its already weakened democracy and rickety institutional infrastructure. What we are witnessing is the metamorphosis of the country’s socio-polity from a post-colonial form to a more organic religious one.....

 

The Plot behind Saudi Arabia’s Fight with Qatar
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In June, Saudi Arabia — along with two other Persian Gulf states and Egypt — picked a fight with Qatar, on the grounds that the country is funding Islamic terrorism. The move was almost satirical, given that Saudi Arabia itself has long funded the spread of fundamentalist Salafi Islam, which is often associated with extremism. However, this diplomatic spat seems to be more than just an example of Saudi Arabia’s pot calling Qatar’s kettle black...

 

For How Long Will The Peace Treaty With Egypt Be Robust?
Efraim Inbar

Sadat violated the Arab taboo against good neighbourly relations with the Jewish state and opened the way for additional peace agreements. The defection of Egypt from the Arab military coalition eliminated the option of a two-front conventional war against Israel and saved the Israeli taxpayer billions of dollars. The heavy price paid by Israel to Egypt was total withdrawal from the Sinai and removal of settlements. ...

 

The Barelvi Movement and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Party – The Forces Behind The Protest – Are Deeply Imbued In Sufi Shrine Culture
Haroon Khalid

The Barelvi movement, the most popular one within the Islamic tradition in South Asia, was seen as the perfect response, an interpretation of Islam rooted in South Asian culture, a depiction of Sufi Islam. However, such assumptions are based on a quite simplistic understanding of Sufism. There is no one uniform interpretation of the term. Sufism means different things to different people. Even within the Sufi tradition, there is a range of ideas, some of which sometimes directly contradict each other....

Why Are Barelvis Wielding New Political Influence In Pakistan?
Umer Ali

For decades, the Deobandi-Salafist groups championed the cause of violent jihad in Pakistan, while the Barelvi groups mostly remained apolitical and non-violent. However, unlike the common belief that only Deobandi-Salafist groups apostatise other sects, Barelvi literature is also rich with Fatwas against the followers of other Islamic sects. One reason why Barelvi groups weren’t radicalized during the Afghan jihad is because the Saudi funding to fight the Soviet Union was directed towards Deobandi and Salafist groups due to their ideological affinity....

Religious Fascism Wins in Pakistan
Karamatullah K Ghori

“Who is the army to adopt a mediator’s role; where does the law assign this role to a major general?” the judge asked. Pakistan is a long way from answering this thorny question. But in a tiny span of just three days, the country has slid many a miles on the road to a precipice. Earlier, on November 24, the notorious Hafiz Saeed, head honcho of the UN-sanctioned Jamaat-ud Dawaa (JuD) was set free, prompting an irate White House to call it “a step in the wrong direction”....

Politics of Hate from the Labbaik Crowd
Khurram Husain

A cut-throat power struggle at the top of the political pyramid, coupled with the disproportionate power that has just been handed to individual preachers with small and medium-sized congregations, and the fragility of our food and fuel logistics and choke points in our external trade mean the potential to hold the country to ransom with ease has been thoroughly exposed…

 

The Axis of Moderation vs. the Axis of Resistance in the Middle East
Najat AlSaied

The Axis of Moderation comprises Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Arab Gulf countries, except for Qatar. The great mistake that the Axis of Moderation has made in confronting the Iranian regime -- to try to curb its export of the its "Revolution" -- has been to fall into the trap of propagating sectarianism. While Iran portrayed itself as the defender of all the Shiites in the world...

 

No Foreign Solutions to Arab Problems
Nabil Fahmy

Arab countries, individually and collectively, will need a fully formed strategy to confront existential foreign and domestic threats to their sovereignty and security in the coming years. It is high time for Arab leaders to outline a vision for the future of inter-Arab relations, and a plan for engaging with their non-Arab neighbours on regional opportunities and challenges. Last but not least, Arab leaders must also explain how they will provide better domestic governance for their people....

 

Is the Israeli-Saudi Alliance Planning to Wage War On Iran?

What these three rogue states have in common is the destruction of Iran like they did with Iraq, Syria or Libya. Netanyahu has warned President Bashar al-Assad not to allow Iran to build military bases in Syria. It remains to be seen whether the new (alleged) “Axis of Evil” or the Russian Iranian Turkish alliance will prevail in the Middle East....

 

Seven Theses on the Rise of Fascism in Pakistan
Ammar Ali Jan

Fascism is a modern phenomenon, and presupposes a modern society of alienated individuals held together by the belief in abstract concepts, with nationalism as the dominant vehicle for producing a sense of community. Yet, when existing structures are unable to arouse passion among the population, the process of alienation increases in society, and concomitantly, the popular desire for a stable community intensifies. This gap is filled by fascist groups, often through the invocation of millenarian fantasies or an imagined glorious past....

 

The Battle of the Islamic World
Ghassan Charbel

It is true that the modern part of the world wants our markets, but it is also true that we need the fruits of its laboratories and research, and we also need its incredible technological progress and investment. Fear of terrorists and extremists has consumed the energies of Islamic countries and deprived them of stability, investment and prosperity. That is why the current battle looks like the battle of the future of the Islamic world....

 

Where Does Pakistan Stand?
Shahid M Amin

 Compassion and mercy were some of the most endearing qualities of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Those who abused him and tortured many of his companions included Abu Sufyan, the leading foe of Muslims, and his vicious wife Hind, who had mutilated the body of Hamza, beloved uncle of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). But when Makkah was conquered, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) forgave Abu Sufyan and Hind. It was this compassion and forgiveness that made Islam so attractive and helped it spread all over the world....

 

Tehran Is Winning the War for Control of the Middle East
Jonathan Spyer

Mohammed bin Salman, at least, appears to have signalled his intent to oppose Iran and its proxies across the Arab world. The game, therefore, is on. The prospects of success for the Saudis will depend on the willingness of their allies to engage alongside them, and a steep learning curve in the methods of political and proxy warfare....

 

Netanyahu's Mixed Messages to Israeli Arabs
Mazal Mualem

It has already been noted that Netanyahu is no different from his predecessors Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, or for that matter, their predecessors, too. They all participated in the years of institutional neglect of the Arab sector. The events of October 2000 that led to the second intifada saw 12 Israeli Arabs and one non-Israeli Palestinian killed by Israeli police. This should have been a warning and was a missed opportunity for change....

 

Zawahiri and Baghdadi’s Disinformation Campaign
Sultan M Hali

It is equally deplorable that to achieve their vested interest of acquiring power and ruling the Muslim world, the propaganda wing of ISIS is also spreading disinformation that democracy is against the basic tenets of Islam. This couldn’t be further from truth. Not only Islam practiced and propagated democracy through a parliament called Majlis-e-Shoora but dynastic rule is not permitted. Western democracies, like the US have borrowed from Islamic democratic canons in their constitution and acknowledged our Holy Prophet (PBUH) as one of the greatest lawgivers of the world as depicted on the Supreme Court friezes....

 

Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last
Thomas L. Friedman

If this virus of an anti-pluralistic, misogynistic Islam that came out of Saudi Arabia in 1979 can be reversed by Saudi Arabia, it would drive moderation across the Muslim world and surely be welcomed here where 65 percent of the population is under 30. One middle-age Saudi banker said to me: “My generation was held hostage by 1979. I know now that my kids will not be hostages.” Added a 28-year-old Saudi woman social entrepreneur: “Ten years ago when we talked about music in Riyadh it meant buying a CD — now it is about the concert next month and what ticket are you buying and which of your friends will go with you.”...

 

Sadat to Salman: Israel At The Expense Of Palestine
Marwan Bishara

Normalisation through weakness is the exact opposite of peace through strength, and therefore, is destined to fail. It is an idea that is tinged with betrayal: betrayal of common Arab interests, as well as the betrayal of Palestine. For the people of the Arab world, Palestine has long been a rallying cause because it's about more than geography or a homeland for the Palestinian people. Palestine is the test of Arab conscience...

 

Iran’s Imperial Project: Erecting a New Empire in the Region
Ilan Berman

Over the past year, a steady drumbeat of news reports from the Persian Gulf, intelligence assessments regarding Syria’s civil war, and firsthand accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region....

 

Are Israel, Saudi Arabia About To Upgrade Relations?
Ben Caspit

 "What we are dealing with here are two princes, both of whom are relatively young. Bin Salman has been showing exceptional boldness, which may even be too adventurous. The decisions that he is making would have been considered insane just a year or two ago, and he is thrusting Saudi diplomacy into entirely new spheres. It will be interesting to see how it all ends."...

 

Will Islamic Jihad Defy Hamas To Attack Israel?
Shlomi Eldar

Nonetheless, the Palestinian source believes Egypt and Hamas wield great influence over the organization, and Islamic Jihad would not dare take offensive action against Israel despite pressure by its Gaza supporters and militants. He too said the group's threats are for the benefit of a domestic audience, in a bid to show supporters at home that it has an impressive ability to retaliate for the blow it took, but that Hamas is forcing it to refrain for its own strategic reasons.....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • We need not bother about who rules Jarusalem, Jews or Palestines. We need not bother about who rules Mecca and Mathina....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • If someone following both tents , Islam and Hinduisium. Than Mr writer can you tell,me how can you tell that Nund Rushi...
    ( By Aayina )
  • To Writer We Hindus of India had now known this Fusion confusion technique. 1) Step one of conversion....
    ( By Aayina )
  • interesting article. thank you!'
    ( By haan ji )
  • aah, at last Gulam Mohyuddin. You get want you want, a bashing from Tufil Ahmed to BJP...
    ( By Aayina )
  • A Anburaj. Is your logic applies to People of Sub-continent lived in Arab counties since last 4 to 5 decades and made...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer Sahib, Please do not impose blasphemous and murtaddana thoughts.
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • How about India. Why they fight for mosque, it has no connected history to Arab, but thistory...
    ( By Ayina )
  • I have personally witnessed when I was young how Muslim man lured a married hindu girl ans runaway....
    ( By Aayina )
  • When new relgion comes its Moslty plagerisim of old relgion. The only difference is that the new plagerisim person gives lots...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer sab says to Ghaus sab, "If you worship a god that stereotypes all the mushrikin as the worst of creatures, or all of them ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thoughtful article.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Ghous Sahab, I have never said that all the mushrikin are kafir or every mushrik is a kafir. So why someone is hell-bent to ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Ghaus Sb, You can ask Yunus sb to clarify to you why every Mushrik is not a Kafir. I have explained this time and again and ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Another example of a single min covering both wives and offspring (25:74) And those who pray, "Our Lord! Grant unto us from among our wives ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sahib, This faith of all Muslims is so clear that even you can’t create any sort of confusion in their faith. That ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, After reading the previous comments in which i quoted some verses of the Quran, Please read now these verses of the Quran: “It is Allah ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, In the beginning of the debate, i asked about your purpose behind holding this sort of debate on this site. But you did ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, Please read the following verses of the Quran; Allah the Most High says, “Allah is Creator ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, I am right when i say to you, “You can never show any verse of the Quran which categorically or clearly says that ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, You are falsely accusing me and Yunus sahib of lies. What you are doing in the last some comments is imposing blasphemous thought of ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, you say, “Please do not bring down Allah to your level of incompetence, incoherence and inconsistency.” (End of quote) The person who has this sort ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sab says to Ghaus sab: "You and Yunus sb are among the following who will say and about whom the Prophet (pbuh) will say: ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus sb, You have said “It appears that you do not know the rule of the particle “min” is used in various ways in the Arabic ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The civil, honest and learned responses of Yunus sab and Ghaus sab are in direct contrast to Naseer sab's self-promoting, snotty....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Unless we have another Gandhi soon, we shall soon...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Pakistan is an extreme example of how a country can be...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Let us hope Indian Muslims are not stupid enough to heed the poisonous calls to action of hate groups such as Ansar Ghazwa-tul-Hind.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sahib, please see how Mutazilite (i.e. Rational) book of tafsir (Tafsirul Kashshaf) interprets the verse of Surah Bayyinah (98:1) and hence it also rejects ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Dear Muhammad Yunus Sahib, Your explanation is commendable. That is enough for any honest reader to understand the context ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab, I am getting increasingly concerned about you because for some reason you are repeatedly suggesting that I have said the Qur'an treated all ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Naseer sahib, The reason can be perfect or corrupt, depending on the way as to how the human being takes it. The example of corrupt ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, You say to me, “Please confine yourself to the Divine Speech and give me an example from the Quran where min is used ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sab's responses to Ghaus sahib and Yunus sahib are rude, arrogant and highly presumptuous. Actually it is Naseer sab who degrades the speech of ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb, Can we first clear up your integrity issue or have you accepted that you are given to deliberate and blatant lying as you have ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus Sb, Please confine yourself to the Divine Speech and give me an example from the Quran where min is used differently. If you cannot, then ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghous Sahab, Your explanation of the verse 98:1 in your last comment was scholarly. What I meant in the opening sentence of my last ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Naseer sab says, "either provide the evidence or invoke the curse of Allah on yourself if you are wrong," and, "The Muslims....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A perceptive and well-informed article from Srijana Mitra Das.'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Achieving gnosis is the goal of staunch Sufis. Not all Muslims are Sufis and not all Sufis are staunch Sufis. For most...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )