Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Many British Muslims, who unashamedly possess a sense of pride and belonging, will share the sentiment of Britain being home. Extremists - whether religious, far right or otherwise - neither like, nor want this. They would rather we have no sense of belonging or affinity to our place of birth, upbringing and citizenship....


Zakir Naik Seeks Malaysian Citizenship, but Moderate Malay Muslims Confront His Retrogressive Religious Rhetoric
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

One wonders as to why the controversial Islamist preacher, who is also reported to have the Saudi citizenship along with the Permanent Residence status in Malaysia, is now seeking its citizenship. Is Naik planning to radicalize the Malaysian youths after he has reportedly inspired a misguided section of the South Asian Muslim youths including the Dhaka attackers?   The reason why Naik has now set his eyes on the Malaysian Muslims’ multi-cultural, syncretic and secular society of the democratic ethos is not difficult to see. The Salafist ideologues castigate the multi-culturalism, secularism and religious syncretism, in their books, as “inauthentic” and “contaminated”....

It sets out three beliefs that must be combated: that it is “sinful” to participate in the democratic process; that people “must work to establish an Islamic state or support a so-called Islamic State”; and that it is a form of “betrayal” to assist the British authorities. “We will robustly and precisely show that these and other such divisive narratives are wrong so no other Muslims fall into the trap of this evil ideology of hate.”.....


These were the Taliban's Special Forces; the Red Unit. They sat quietly as they listened to their commander Mullah Taqi telling war stories, gently cradling their M4 machine guns. The M4s, with their night-vision scopes, were one of the main reasons they had captured nearly 85% of Helmand province from less-well-armed Afghan forces....


ISIS Recruiter Who Radicalised London Bridge Attackers Was Protected By MI5: From Collusion to Blowback
Nafeez Ahmed

Anonymous British counter-terrorism sources, however, told CNN that Butt was the subject of a “full package” of investigatory measures, as he was believed to be “one of the most dangerous extremists in the UK”. After September 2014, when ISIS began calling for attacks on the West, British security services grew “increasingly concerned that al-Muhajiroun members who had remained in the UK would carry out terrorist attacks.” The sources said that “One of those they were most concerned about was Butt.”...


Terrorism in Tehran: Reality Confounds Rhetoric
Paul R. Pillar

The United States, ever since 9/11, has claimed a right for itself to be ruthlessly aggressive in the name of responding to terrorism, lashing out with force while sometimes being little restrained by collateral damage or international law (not to mention its own constitutional requirements).  Iran may see a need to be more aggressive in places such as Iraq or Syria in the interest of fighting back against ISIS.  Will the United States grant Iran the same kind of slack it grants itself...?


The Jihadists of Islamic State Hit Iran

Iran controls and finances militias in Iraq, where it supports the Shia-led government, and in Syria, where it backs Bashar al-Assad its support and direct action have been critical in the war against IS. But it is also accused of destabilising countries. In Yemen it has supported the Houthis, a rebel group fighting the government and its Saudi allies. In Sunni-led Bahrain it has backed the repressed Shia majority...


Radical Islam Is Gaining Ground in Indonesia
Elena Valdameri

The rise of radical Islam is not a new phenomenon in the Southeast Asian country. Spread peacefully by Sufi preachers coming from India and Persia since the early 1980s Indonesia’s Islam has been under Saudi Arabia’s conservative influence. The Middle Eastern country began to fund the creation of religious schools and circulate booklets and pamphlets promoting Wahhabism. The most immediate consequence of this was that radical versions of Islam, new in the archipelagic country, started competing with more tolerant versions of the same religion....


London Attacks: From Extremism to Terrorism
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The teenagers involved in Dhaka attacks had named Zakir Naik as their inspiration. Now it can be very well argued that for every militant there are millions others who do not derive the same message from preachers like Zakir Naik or Omar Bakri. But this argument misses the small point that one doesn’t need an army to launch a terror attack. One or two convinced individual is enough to create mayhem. There is therefore a greater need to put on surveillance these imams who preach hate in the name of Islam or any other religion....

Is there a link between the tragic happenings of last few years and the spread of intolerance that we are seeing now? Is there any commonality between the people who have been killing innocent people in the name of Islam and those who think that secular ideas have no place in a Muslim country? Probably no, as the former requires a type of mentality and brainwashing that a garden variety religious person will not have. However, both kinds are intolerant — a basic tenet Islam asks its followers to have.....


How Not to Talk About Terrorism
Waleed Aly

In both Australia and the United States we have politicians and commentators whose political posturing rests on their unwavering focus on terrorism but who pay little attention to, and even attack, those who know the most about it. They support policies that have no sound security justification and then excoriate those who point that out. They cheer on every advance of the security state but then suddenly scorch those who run it, simply because the agencies reject the latest populist orthodoxy....


Why the London Terror Attack Happened Now
Jonathan Cook

The solution, complex as it will need to be, certainly cannot include the use by us of similarly indiscriminate violence, more “intervention” in the Middle East, or more scapegoating of Muslims. It will require taking a step back and considering how and why we too are addicted to this dance of death....

How the Muslim Community Can Tackle the Scourge of Extremism
Sheema Khan

There should be “safe” spaces available for Muslim youth to discuss their concerns and passion for justice, in the company of those with sound knowledge of Islamic teachings. Rather than the traditional one-way lecture, there should be round tables in which topics are discussed frankly in context with normative Islamic principles. Currently, most Muslim institutions shy away from such discussions, for fear of being accused of fomenting extremism….


Hath Not A Statue Eyes?
SN Rasul

Within the myopic vision of my world, I remember a time when religion, in Bangladesh, was not the haven of extremism. Derived from an existence of ignorance, perhaps, I saw religion in this country as a nationalistic trait, of course, but also as an apolitical and abstract characteristic of my family’s grander purpose. That is, after all, where religion flourishes from the mouths of guardians, in the loud voices of family gatherings and traditions....


Daesh: An Existential Threat to Islam
Aymen Ijaz

Islam is a religion of peace, love, moderation and justice. Islam teaches coexistence and tolerance among various ethnic, social and sectarian entities. Glancing at the history, one finds that despite presence of Islamic civilizations in different regions such as Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, etc the Islamic societies that emerged in cosmopolitan cities such as Cairo, Baghdad, Istanbul, Damascus, Jerusalem, etc have produced perfect examples of endogenous and inclusive cultures embedded in diverse and complex environments under different political establishments....


In Tatters: A Horrific Attack in Kabul Shows the Afghan Government’s Weakness

The bombing will also intensify the row within the administration of Donald Trump over whether to increase America’s military presence in Afghanistan. Mr Trump’s national-security team has endorsed a plan to deploy up to 5,000 extra troops. Others in the White House remain opposed to further entangling America in a war on which it already spends $3bn a month. ..


Salman Abedi: The New Face of Modern-Day Terrorism
Dr. Halla Diyab

The violence that shrouded Gaddafi’s death footage summarizes another face of many rebels. The world failed to see beyond the violent aggression of that scene to praise the doing of Libyan militant youngsters, among of which was Salman Abedi. No one imagined that one of these youngsters was opting to become the architect of our girls’ fate, signing up for a future of terror where he came so close to our streets, and kill us all.....

No Single Reason For, Or Solution To, Terrorism
Chris Doyle

A similar synthetic debate shrouds the role of Islam. Many point to the religion as the ideological evil involved. Yet many of these young Muslims attracted to Daesh, Al-Qaeda and such groups have little to no understanding of the religion. Some who joined Daesh bought “Islam for Dummies.”...

Taliban Target: Scholars of Islam
Mujib Mashal and Jawad Sukhanyar

Taliban Target: Scholars of Islam
Mujib Mashal

The senior Taliban figure, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering other members of the leadership, said that under Mawlawi Haibatullah’s orders, sermons were more closely watched than ever — and that straying from Taliban interpretations of Shariah law was punished “as harshly as possible.”….

Why Systematically Discrediting the Ideology behind Jihadist Terror Holds the Key to Counterterrorism Success
Brahma Chellaney

By exporting Wahhabism – the hyper-conservative strain of Islam that has instilled the spirit of martyrdom and become the source of modern Islamist terror – Saudi Arabia has been snuffing out the more liberal Islamic traditions in many countries. Wahhabism is just a variant of Salafism, and the House of Saud is the main backer of Salafis across the globe. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s radicalism is the root from which Islamist terrorist organisations ranging from Islamic State to al-Qaida draw their ideological sustenance....

Perverse Ideologies Backed By Billions of Dollars Give Birth to Terror
Farrukh Dhondy

When perverse ideologies are backed by billions of dollars, they are likely to spread in insidious ways. Deviant religious views, such as those of Satanists or some black-magic cults haven’t had the century-long backing of rich oil-revenues and haven’t consequently spread poison throughout the world. The genie of ISIS has now turned against the evil Saudi uncle that conjured it from the oil-lamp and has become its rival in fundamentalist Islamism.....


Europe Constantly At War With Extremism
Hiranmay Karlekar

The first requirement is the liquidation of the ISIL as soon and as comprehensively as possible. Defeat will not only remove its ability to direct terror strikes abroad and train potential terrorists on its territory, it will also undermine the glamour the ISIL acquired as a result of its early military successes which enabled it and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to claim invincibility and of being designated by Allah to establish Sharia rule, the world over....

Aleppo after the Fall
Robert F. Worth

Aleppo after the Fall
Robert F. Worth

What destroyed Aleppo? It was not the sectarianism that is often held up as a key to the Syrian war. It was not just “terrorism,” the word used by regime apologists to fend off any share of blame. Those things played a role, but the core of the conflict in Aleppo, as in much of Syria, was a divide between urban wealth and rural poverty. It is not new. Travelers in the Ottoman era used to describe the shocking gulf between Aleppo’s opulence and the countryside surrounding it, where peasants lived in almost Stone Age conditions…..


Can ISIS Survive the Caliphate's Collapse?
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Not only will the Islamic State remain in Iraq and Syria, it is also likely to persist as an international franchise even with loss of core territory. In several parts of the world, such as Southeast Asia, the Islamic State has already moved beyond the insistence on territorial control and statehood, dropping the notion of claiming new "provinces". In short, the Islamic State is indeed Baqiya....


The Manchester Bombing: Don’t Give the Jihadists What They Want

IS has said that it wants to force sympathetic Muslims out of a “greyzone” in which they do not fully embrace the jihadists’ “caliphate” because they still feel loyalty to the country where they live. If so, IS can use extreme violence to provoke an official clampdown and to feed the indiscriminate suspicion of Muslims....

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