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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

The crown prince’s signature policy initiative is the disastrous war in Yemen. The war has devastated the Arab world’s poorest country and created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe....

 

Increasing intimacy between Saudi Arabia, the so-called bastion of Islamic orthodoxy, and Israel, the Jewish state carved out by the colonial powers in Arab Palestine, appears astonishing at first sight. ...

 It would be a natural progression from the Islamic welfare state which we know is very close to Khan’s heart. Radical Islamists in Pakistan have long harboured the vision of a theocratic state, governed by Shariah laws....

 

The establishment’s romance with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan proved to be short, and the idea that a ‘Barelvi awakening’ could help build a counter-narrative to that of the Deobandi militant groups proved false....

 

“I feel Bangladesh is the mirror image of Pakistan. No matter how much Hasina hates Pakistan, she is actually turning Bangladesh into a Pakistan in every possible way — by stifling free speech, giving unnecessary powers to the army and making it a police state.”...

 

“Nawaz Sharif never fought with the establishment, he only refused to take dictation and he had the courage to say no to the invisible forces in the process of decision-making. Every single ‘No’ of Sharif tilted the balance of power in favour of democratic forces...

 
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan: Pakistan Confronts A New Type Of Extremist Threat
Michael Kugelman
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan: Pakistan Confronts A New Type Of Extremist Threat
Michael Kugelman and Adam Weinstein

TLP has not perpetrated deadly attacks. But it subscribes to a violent ideology that includes calling for the deaths of liberal Pakistani activists and anyone accused of blasphemy. It also lionizes figures like Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated Salman Taseer....

 

The historic election of two Muslim women to the US Congress caused waves of celebration in the Muslim World. But while Muslim voices within and without the US congratulated the newly elected congresswomen, Riyadh begged to disagree...

Prince Mohammed may not realize it, but his obsession with maintaining his image as the sole voice of Saudi progress is hobbling his own reform efforts.....

No physical presence? No military presence, but economic stuff acceptable? No presence meaning no influence? And no influence with whom: the Pakhtuns or the non-Pakhtuns? And if no influence anywhere, how do we negate India’s ties to the non-Pakhtuns in Afghanistan? The ‘Taliban in government’ stuff is difficult to flesh out, too. ...

 

It makes strategic sense to focus on a sector in which Qatar holds more than 30 percent of the global market share than on its far smaller and declining oil output. By also reinforcing Qatar’s autonomy from its Persian Gulf neighbours, the move exemplifies the failure of the 2017 blockade to force Qatar to clip its wings and return to a Saudi-led regional fold. With neither Saudi Arabia nor the Emirates willing to back down or concede defeat...

 

When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) brought the message of Islam, he galvanized a backward people into a great nation that became over time the strongest and most advanced Empire in the world for centuries. The basic underlying principle of Islam was the eternal movement and evolution. Islam did not remain bound to Medina but went on to establish great Empires elsewhere. So long as early Muslims remained wedded to the idea of Ijtehad, they made great strides in science, law and humanity.

Also Read:

Naya Pakistan or the Same Old Bigoted Pakistan?

Why Imran Khan’s Invocation of Medina is Deeply Regressive

 

Khashoggi was murdered by a team sent from the royal court in Riyadh, which was part of the rapid-action capability that had been organized 18 months before. Khashoggi’s provocative journalism and his ties to Qatar and Turkey had offended the increasingly autocratic crown prince, who issued a “bring him back” order in July 2018...

 

On Tuesday afternoon, a large congregation of top-notch Afghan clerics had assembled at a wedding hall in Kabul to mark the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Festive fervour pervaded the air, as clerics, young and old, greeted and embraced each other in a beautiful spirit of camaraderie and compassion that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) preached and propagated all his life....

There are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends, theorised William Clay, only permanent interests. This principle perhaps best applies to the current geopolitical situation of the Middle East....

 

As for Iran, it doesn’t need to flex its muscles. It just needs to wait for the Trump administration to fully appreciate the balance of power in the Middle East. As Mr. Trump’s mirage of an Arab order evaporates, a stark reality emerges: There is no credible Arab challenge to Iran’s regional influence, nor is there any prospect of reducing it with American threats and bluster....

The sheer brutality of the violence unleashed against children is one of the hallmarks of today’s wars. About 350 million children are living in war zones from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Syria and Myanmar. Many of these children are on the receiving end of war crimes and other human rights violations. Yet the world is turning its back.

Words cannot do justice to the moral depravity on display. Children are deliberately targeted for killing, abduction, rape and recruitment into armed groups. Others are treated as “collateral damage” in attacks on civilian infrastructure. Schools – and schoolchildren – are regarded as legitimate military targets. They are bombed in their classrooms or, especially if they are girls, assaulted for the crime of attending school. Obstructing humanitarian aid is now a standard military tactic, depriving children of access to food and medical aid.

Eglantyne Jebb, who founded Save the Children almost 100 years ago in the aftermath of world war one, once commented that “all wars are wars against children”. You can’t help wondering how she would view the wars of the 21st century.

 

The Khashoggi case has become a game of bids and a political ball. But it has clearly exposed strong ideological orientations and deeply repressed feelings, not only of ordinary people, but also of high-profile officials who have hidden their real stances and shrouded them with diplomacy and official courtesy.

 

Many people around the world wrongly believe that Saudi Arabia “represents” Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth. Islam is not represented by any nation, at least not Saudi Arabia. Like all enemies of Islam, Saudi Arabia has blackened the name of Islam.

Arab Education System  needs reform
Zaid M. Belbagi
Arab Education System needs reform
Zaid M. Belbagi

According to the World Bank, the quality of education in the Arab world has dropped in comparison to other regions. Immediate reform in this regard is needed to make the same progress that has been made in Asia and Latin America. Yemen and Egypt, which have high levels of illiteracy, are also plagued with political problems.

 

These states should work to find some sort of formula for serious dialogue and understanding, not just make meaningless slogans or statements because ongoing crisis would mean that terrorism, fundamentalism, wars, poverty and illiteracy will find suitable environments for growth and wise men and wisdom will have no influence whatsoever and the region will drown in a sea of crises, which will produce more of them......

The battle between monarchical and republican Islam goes back to the Cold War, when Arab monarchies backed by Western powers saw secular and sometimes socialist Muslim states as their main rivals. In those days both sides deployed the Islamists against one another....

What that should tell Turkish President Erdogan is that his neo-Ottoman aspiration for Turkish leadership in the Islamic world has once again hit the walls of Middle Eastern reality. All the same, it is fun to watch a Muslim country, the world's biggest jailer of journalists, condemning another Muslim country for the murder of a journalist....

 

At a time when Sunni Gulf monarchies are supposed to stand in unity against Iran, Saudi Arabia’s hostility towards Qatar has only created new rifts within West Asia. It has lost the Syrian civil war and its military and monetary investments there have been in vain. Now, the Khashoggi case is a public relations disaster for a country which wants to be the leader of the Sunni world....

 

His misadventures will diminish the heft and standing of Saudi Arabia whichever way one looks at it. The attack on Yemen involving Saudi Arabia’s UAE allies has no end in sight. Beside the international condemnation the cost to the Saudi exchequer has been high. It is more than likely that Washington and London will be forced to stop providing further military aid and intelligence. The Houthis are nowhere near being defeated....

 
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