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The War Within Islam

In my country, a variant of this argument is: “The Saudis don’t know how to choose. If we have democracy, they will not vote out of their conscience, they will vote based on their tribal loyalties.” A popular argument in the Arab world is that we need a strong leader. You can hear it in Egypt from an Egyptian businessman who supports the ruling regime. You can hear it from a doubtful Jordanian, maybe even a doubtful Tunisian who seeks a return to the old order....

Home to Medina and Mecca, the two holiest sites in Islam, the regime leverages its role as ward to these cities to shroud its legitimacy with religion; and function as the gatekeeper to the 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe called to enter its bounds to complete the mandated pilgrimage to Mecca....

 

There are a few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focuses on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world....

 

Before the way is paved for a Taliban takeover — a power sharing arrangement will be only the first step towards that eventuality — the Americans must take into account the imminent possibility that Afghanistan under Taliban will once again become a magnet for all sorts of Islamists. After all, the Taliban chief is Emir-ul-Momineen (Leader of the faithful) not Emir-ul-Afghan....

 
Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a pariah state
Madawi al-Rasheed
Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a pariah state
Madawi al-Rasheed

King Salman will never voluntarily push for such a change without serious pressure from inside and outside the country. Given the support he has from the West, especially President Trump, most Western governments might be happy to see another acronym emerge as the new face of the kingdom to absorb the global outrage over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and murder….

 

For Muslims, Makkah, where the Ka’ba is located, is the epicenter of their faith and Madinah, home of the Prophet’s mosque, their sanctuary for spiritual bliss. These two cities happen to be in Saudi Arabia, which is once again in the news for the most chilling of reasons, presenting Muslims with a difficult decision to make....

If Khashoggi's disappearance shocked Westerners, they were simply not paying close attention to events in the kingdom, and the lengths to which the crown prince has been willing to go to quash dissent, say seasoned Saudi human rights advocates. In an initial wave of executions after Mohammed's abrupt installation as the immediate heir to his father, King Salman, followed by waves of arrests over the past year, he has been ruthless in asserting power. Saudi authorities have spread fear by detaining billionaires and grass-roots activists alike, showing that no one is untouchable....

 

For the dozens of women and other activists arrested in Saudi Arabia this past year alone, Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance last week at the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul will not have come as a surprise. For those who have been able to leave the kingdom after speaking out, meanwhile, it has now become overwhelmingly clear that even on the outside they need to be extremely careful. ...

Since Khashoggi’s disappearance, Republicans and Democrats alike have turned on Saudi Arabia, which spends lavishly on a sophisticated public-relations campaign in the United States. “If this is proven to be true, there is going to be a response from Congress,”...

The continued chaos offers Iran a low-cost opportunity to drain Saudi resources, and it opens up new possibilities for Al Qaeda and the Islamic State to take root in Yemen. M.B.S.’s overly ambitious and misguided foreign policy initiatives have left Saudi Arabia weaker and the region less stable, undermining American objectives. The same goes for Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. ...

Saudi Arabia the 'kingdom of fear'
Talmiz Ahmad
Saudi Arabia the 'kingdom of fear'
Talmiz Ahmad

The heaviest price for this indifference will be paid by the Saudi people, who will be intimidated into silence by the length their prince is willing to go to silence dissent or even mild, well-informed and well-meant criticism of his policies and conduct In November 2014, Khashoggi had written: “Democracy, popular participation or shura … will inevitably be realised...

 

It is very important to underline this, because an increasingly high number of people now take the manipulations as truth, radicalizing themselves, embracing jihad, and becoming fascinated and indoctrinated by terrorist propaganda that promises salvation of the soul and access to paradise to those who embrace the “true way” or the “true Islam”. This makes it crucial to understand what takfir is and how the concepts of takfir and jihad are used by the terrorist groups, not only to better comprehend how they justify their existence and their bloodshed, but also, above all, in fact, to improve strategies of disengagement and deradicalisation....

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Officials grow ever more corrupt to make up for the shrinking value of their salaries. Foreign businessmen, who flocked to Iran after the nuclear deal, have left. This year’s intake at the French school in Tehran was down from 350 to 150. Many Iranians want out, too. Such is the demand for work visas at the German consulate that applicants have to wait two years for an interview. Years of sanctions have made Iran develop a “resistance economy”, which is diverse and in many areas self-sufficient. ...

 

In any young democracy, an election would be celebrated as an expression of democratic life, but in the Maldives today, the upcoming vote is just another indication of the death of its democracy. There is currently little hope that the flawed electoral process and the vote on September 23 will change the current tendencies towards an authoritarian relapse in Maldivian politics....

 

He has stamped on the last shreds of a free press. And he has courted Saudi Arabia and China, who have his back. In his boldest act, in February, Mr Yameen suspended much of the constitution and declared a state of emergency in order to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the convictions of nine opposition members. Among them was the Maldives’ first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Nasheed,,,,

 

While PML-N and ANP were particularly disgraceful in Mian’s case, religious parties must also resist the temptation to inflame religious fervour over negative causes. They have a higher responsibility to help Pakistan showcase the essence of our great religion. With or without other political parties, Khan needs to step forward as a tenacious champion of the rights of all Pakistanis....

 

The removal of Dr. Atif Mian from the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) was the latest episode that showed the tyranny of majoritarian religion in this country. A world renowned economist was removed from the EAC only because of his Ahmadiyya faith. This has heightened tensions between the secular and theocratic forces in the country. This cowardly decision by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has rekindled the historically unsettled debate on whether Pakistan should be a secular or a theocratic state....

Such retrogressive pronouncements or Fatwas from the Barelwi ulema were not on rise in India until they re-ideologised themselves in blasphemy laws emanating from Pakistan. Sultan Shahin, the founder-editor of this progressive forum, New Age Islam, rightly points it out:

“The fact remains that Mumtaz Quadri, the murderer of Governor Salman Taseer came from a non-Wahhabi Barelvi sect and was incited into his act and promised heaven in lieu of this murder by a Barelvi Mullah Hanif Qureshi. A shrine has now been built in the outskirts of Islamabad to worship him. Barelvis are considered Sufism-oriented and have been the main victims of Salafi-Wahhabi attacks on Sufi shrines. The half a million people who thronged the murderer Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral and the tens of thousands who are visiting his so-called shrine, however, are largely from Barelvi sect. They consider Governor Salman Taseer to be a blasphemer and his murderer an Aashiq-e-Rasool, i.e., someone who loves the Prophet (pbuh)…. The fact is Salman Taseer had merely called for the repeal of this black Blasphemy law.”...

The new chief minister of Punjab is a Sardar — read feudal lord — from South Punjab’s most abandoned part of Dera Ghazi Khan. Sardar Usman Buzdar is from Taunsa Sharif, which has no electricity. Taunsa has been the incubator of the proxy warriors Pakistan used in Afghanistan and India and produced leadership for the anti-Shia sectarian banned outfit called Sipah-e-Sahaba, honoured in the country for supplying proxy fodder....

 

Saudi Arabia is in a unique position to simultaneously keep Iran out of Yemen and end the war on favourable terms if it changes its role from war-maker to peacemaker. Saudi Arabia could use its clout and leverage within Western circles and empower international institutions and mechanisms to resolve the conflict. However, the window for achieving a resolution to the conflict is rapidly closing....

 

The Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, the religious group that took leadership position against the appointment from a man from the Ahmadi community to an advisory role in government, is widely believed to be a party formed and mainstreamed at the military establishment’s behest in 2015. However, the party bitten the dust in the July general elections, like all other religious parties, and had lost face....

 

Most Islamist militant groups and networks in this region adhere to the Deobandi-Sunni or Salafist schools of thought. The most prominent among these are Deobandi organization like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Harkat ul Jihad-e-Islami, Harkat ul Mujahedeen, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Omar and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Trans-national groups like Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Waliyat-e-Khurasan, Hizb-ut Tahrir and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) adhere to the Salafist tradition....

For Kabul, the north-south “national” divide continues to be a decision-making obstacle; for Pakistan, the presence of India in Afghanistan erects a roadblock it can’t go over. The American view of Afghanistan has changed under Trump: It wants to get out after setting up a strategic bulwark against China in the region with India’s help....

 

In the past, Mr. Khan had taken various regressive positions — supporting the discriminatory blasphemy laws, attacking liberals, criticizing the press and describing the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan as a legitimate jihad against occupying forces — but he has an opportunity to turn the page and embrace a new, more inclusive vision for the country....

 

Worst of all, there is a growing international consensus that the regime is the best solution for the devastation it has wrought. The international community is now shifting its focus toward reconstruction, rehabilitating the regime through rewarding those responsible for the country’s devastation, and pressuring refugees to return to a country where their safety is far from assured....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • GRD sb., you have a point. Thanks.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • 4we should accept Quranic mode of talaq.
    ( By Arshad )
  • Madarsas are getting modernized, though it is too late.'
    ( By Talha )
  • arshad bhai, it was not about kinds of talaq--- it was something else Hurmate...
    ( By Huzaifa )
  • Faraz doesn't have courage to accept ur challenge. He doesn't know that there r 18 kinds of taalaq.'
    ( By Arshad )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheb, I think PLURALISM is a much better word than 'secularism'/...
    ( By GHULAM RASOOL DEHLVI )
  • Cheap Gulam Mohiyuddin has habit to Balme Hindus all the time, Hindutav may be response ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • बिना लाग लपेट का पहला शाही के क़रीब Article'
    ( By Aayina )
  • Can you debate with me Faraz on this topic?'
    ( By Huzaifa )
  • i have not yet seen the real and critical discussion on triple talaq despite its having ever been ...
    ( By Huzaifa )
  • 'jihad al-difa'a' and 'jihad al-talab' and such foppish words like 'Islamic conquests' are all pseudo ....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Arshad, you have handled this complex subject very well....
    ( By RoyalJ )
  • This is sad. Islamists are setting Bangladesh as well as Malaysia and Indonesia....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good article! Liberalism and secularism can pave the path to unity and harmony. They....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Why it is that your following Islam is not acceptable for them? Your burqa, your kurta, your pyjama...
    ( By Suhail )
  • It's true that islam enhances and emphasises peace and peacefull acts. Then why still islam is considered....
    ( By Faiiz Bin Shareef )
  • GRD sb you have nicely put your words.'
    ( By GGS )
  • Forced Conversion of Hindu Pakistani is really a violation of the basic teaching of Islam which...
    ( By Anjum )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin sb, please let Mr. Hats off accuse me of Munafiqat, as his accusation gives me a chance...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • There should be no objection to revisting the Islamic conquests. There needs a balance between the advocates ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • GM saheb, Both 'jihad al-difa'a' and 'jihad al-talab' were relegated to the historical context which is irrelevant....
    ( By GRD )
  • I had to laugh seeing Hats Off accusing GGS sb. of munafiqat!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • There is no reason to sanctify Islamic conquests. Islamic conquests...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mohtaram GGS saab, agar mai mud ke keh doon ke aap ko yeh behtar hogaa....
    ( By hats off! )
  • people are going to die in detention cetres and do you mean to say that we should live in patience...
    ( By Abdullah )
  • Ek fancy question ye bhi hai? “ghar waapsi karake ek khuda ki puja karaaenge ya anek? Ek khuda waale ghar me ...
    ( By Suhail )
  • Two questions are important for us to understand much about where we are today: Is it necessary to establish Islamic ...
    ( By Suhail )
  • SatishB is very happy because China is persecuting Ughur Muslims. He has all rights to be happy. I wish him real...
    ( By GGS )
  • Ghar waapsi karne ke liye tayyar hain agar Quran aur Veda ko achche se samjhaa denge to. Jab talwar....
    ( By Suhail )
  • If there is truly monotheism in Hinduism, why there is no agenda taken by state-power actors to lay a heavy ....
    ( By GGS )
  • you can say about monotheism of Hinduism. I want to know it from you'
    ( By GGS )
  • Hats off bhayya, jo bhi crimes ho rahe hain Baghdad me dar asal wo ek ghinauni saazish ka jaal hai jise kuch logon ....
    ( By Asif )
  • the world has grown up, but you remained a child, mr GGS, whatelse...
    ( By Ravi Kumar )
  • SatishB Ji, Nice to see day and night politics of India and Pakistan. We will not lag behind in believing ...
    ( By GGS )
  • Hats off Ji, Aap ise joke of the day maan sakte hain, “agar kawwa khana halala hai ke masle me Baghdad...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • what is this qareen brother in your comments?'
    ( By Zain )
  • Agar kawwa khana haal hai ke masle me jo argumentive techniques istemaal hota hai us arguments se Baghdad ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • GGS, why do not you consider Hinduism when you name monotheistic religions of the world? You have become...
    ( By Ravi Kumar )
  • It is interesting to read the coup-de-grace evidence detailing how the Chinese planned a strategy to create...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Mr. Ravi, Your brain is blindly flying in the sky surrounded by darkness. You have grown but exist with the same...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )