Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

When Islamic terrorists killed a priest in France last month, it was front-page news. Yet when terrorists in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, killed more than a dozen civilians that same day, the story received much less prominent coverage. This was despite the amazing revelation that one of the Mogadishu suicide bombers was reportedly a former member of the country’s parliament — quite a news hook, as they say in journalism....


An Afternoon with Zakir Naik
Zakir Naik

That pulling down other faiths, directly or indirectly, is against the grain of true Islam. That discourtesy to other faiths is not a test of a Muslim’s fearlessness, nor accommodation to other faiths a sign of any weakness. That the success of an Islamic preacher lies not in how many non-Muslims he converts to Islam but on how many bigoted Muslims he converts to liberal (true) Muslims.

The most dangerous Salafi beliefs are those that prohibit the peaceful cohabitation of the believer with those who profess other faiths. Wishing others on non-Islamic festivals, sharing meals with non-believers, etc, are seen as blasphemous acts....


Terrorists in Bangladesh: Why Urban Rich, Not Poor Taliban?
Taj Hashmi

Since terrorism is a political not an Islamic problem, promoting any “de-contaminated” Islam would change nothing. We need to understand what the terrorists want to reform, before trying to reform them. But first of all we need transparent and accountable governance with equal opportunity for all. Historically, poverty-stricken classes never staged any revolutionary or terrorist movement anywhere in the world.....


How to Tackle Radical Islam: The More We Have Dictatorships In The Name Of Religion, the More Global Terrorism Will Persist
Chetan Bhagat

Make no mistake; every religion can be interpreted to justify violence. Lines from the Bible prescribe violence too. Several Hindu texts are against women’s rights in a modern sense. It’s just that there is no armed dictator with billions of petrodollars interpreting the book that way, to justify his repression of democracy....

Syria’s Warlords Were Nobodies, Now They Are Rich Men with Sex Slaves
Paul Wood

The emir was a Syrian in his late twenties. When the revolution started he had volunteered for the Free Syrian Army. Next, he joined the al-Qaeda group in Syria, the Nusra Front. Finally, he defected to Isis, because they were closer to God, and because they gave him a car and a house. He spent his time in the cells abusing the other prisoners as infidels but mostly ‘all he wanted to talk about was girls’...


Islamic State's Child Soldiers: First Come the Sweets, Then the Beheadings
Katrin Kuntz

It is difficult to determine how many child soldiers Islamic State is training. Experts estimate that about 1,500 boys are serving the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. Some are born to the militants. In fact, more than 31,000 women are currently pregnant in IS-held territory. Other children arrive with their parents from abroad when the parents join the jihadist movement.....


Indian Secularists Shouldn't Buy Into the Victimhood of Zakir Naik
G Pramod Kumar

Probably, Zakir Naik knew that his victim-card would work because India is secular and it wouldn't tolerate victimising him without reason. And it did work, which is both reassuring and troubling at the same time.  What's reassuring is the continued reception and tolerance to multiple faiths in a Hindu-majority country; but what's troubling is the misuse of our idea of secularism.....


The Jihadi author reasons that the masses are too scared to call the group Islamic because its 'politically incorrect'. He notes there are 'exceptions among the disbelievers... who will unabashedly declare that jihad and the laws of the Shari’ah – as well as everything else deemed taboo by the Islam-is-a-peaceful-religion crowd – are in fact completely Islamic'...

After Gulshan Massacre In Dhaka, Watch Out For Its Ripples in Indian Cities
Shankar Roychowdhury

A network of mosques and madrasas have been built with Saudi funds in India too, and also, disturbingly, in the Terai belt on the sensitive India-Nepal border, where semi-literate religious clerics, “barefoot teachers,” impart Islamic diktats. These may also be bases for infiltration and espionage from Nepal into the Indian heartland....


In this global society, the operations of groups like al-Qaeda, Taliban and now the Islamic State, have all already created an aura of defiance and chivalry, fighting the formidable powers in the world that victimised the Muslim world by their colonial rule and unjust policies.....

South Asia Islamist Recruitment: Intensifying Efforts
Sanchita Bhattacharya

Previously, terrorist formations were using printed Jihadi literature, propaganda videos and face to face interactions with religious motivators to entice people to their cause. With the Internet boom and proliferation of online web-based communications, as well as the dramatic example of Daesh's...


Fighting ISIS: Tolerance is India's Best Bet
Ranjit Gupta

India’s greatest contribution to the world has been its tolerant pluralistic civilisational ethos that has, over centuries, nurtured inclusiveness, treating people of different faiths, customs, ethnicities, languages and traditions equally and with respect....

Bangladesh: Sustained Response
S. Binodkumar Singh

Bangladesh Jamiyatul Ulama (BJU), a national body of Islamic scholars, issued an anti-militancy fatwa (religious edict) on June 18, 2016, through a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity, declaring that those killing people in the name of religion were heading for hell. Signatures of 101,850 Islamic clerics, including 9,320 women, have been collected in support of the fatwa, prepared in light of the Quran and Hadith.....


Stop Them Before They Wear Suicide Belts
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Some preachers of extremism probably do not understand what they have done to their countries, people or the world. They are planting exaggeration and extremism into young people’s minds. Typically, people who carry out operations join terrorist organizations only after becoming groomed intellectually....


Islamic State and Al Qaeda — Spotting the Differences
Mohammad Ali Babakhel

Al Qaeda primarily remained focused on militaristic objectives while the IS seems keen on the promulgation of Islamic laws and implementation of its own interpretation of the Islamic way of life. The ISIS is a reality and a threat — the denial of its far-reaching influence can be tantamount to suicide....


Our Reactions to Terror Are a Litany of Hypocrisies: Muslims are the Greatest Victims of Radical Islam
Kabir Taneja

Not only is the understanding of political Islam, with all its parts and pieces, pedestrian at best, there is also a sense that the people in the Middle East have made their own mess, never mind that many prevailing problems are rooted in colonialism. There is scarcely any recognition in Western and even Indian discourse that Muslims are the greatest victims of radical Islam. ...

'Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi Zahiri (who died in 456 Hijri) has said: "And it is allowed to kill anyone aside from those we have mentioned, among the combatant idolators or the non combatants, such as the trader, the servant, the old man who gives his advice or not, the farmer, the bishop, the priest, the monk, the blind, the cripple. Spare no-one."'

Combating Terrorism in Bangladesh
Hiranmay Karlekar

Of the two outfits active in the country, Ansar-al-Islam — as Ansarullah Bangla Team has been reincarnated — recruits from organisations like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, Ahle Hadith Bangladesh, Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh and madrasas....


Terrorist Madness: Can Murderous Fanaticism Be Distinguished From A Psychotic Disorder?
Mahir Ali

There are also reasonable grounds, meanwhile, for questioning the dichotomy between extremism and psychological dysfunction. The latter can, obviously, operate independently of the former, and the vast majority of people who diverge from what is assumed to be the norm in that sphere are obviously harmless, in the same way as are most Muslims. But can murderous fanaticism be distinguished from a psychotic disorder?...


Clues on ISIS: Decoding the Ansbach Attack
Rudroneel Ghosh

It’s important to realise that the overall propaganda of the Islamic State includes a strong call for standing up for Muslim rights against perceived discrimination by non-Muslims. Now all three of these terms, Muslim rights, perceived discrimination and even non-Muslims – are subject to interpretation. The Islamic State has its own radical definition of what these are....


How the Bangladesh Government Helped Create the Wolf It Warned Against
Rumi Ahmed

And the wolf is finally here. My Hindu friend says that for the first time in his life, he is afraid of going to the temple. By blogger friend now is afraid of blogging. My atheist friend no longer publicly expresses his views on religion. He is scared to death. Rural people, who loved to congregate on fields to celebrate Eid, are afraid to do so....


Client State’s Dilemma: Will the Rise of the ISIS Persuade Riyadh and Islamabad to Fight Islamism?
Christophe Jaffrelot

The fact that the ISIS elements claimed responsibility for the Karachi bus shooting in May 2015, in which 45 Ismailis were killed, has reinforced Pakistan’s will to eradicate an organisation that had already become a target after it attracted TTP commanders from the FATA. But it doesn’t mean the attitude of Islamabad (and Rawalpindi) will change regarding groups that are still considered potentially “useful” vis-à-vis Afghanistan and India....

The World of Zakir Naik
Kavitha Iyer, Rashmi Rajput

In the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, where 40 kg of RDX, 17 AK-47 assault rifles and 50 hand grenades were seized, the arrests made by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad led them to Zakir Naik. Rahil Ahmed Sheikh, an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative and one of the main conspirators in the case, had worked as a volunteer with the IRF. Feroz Deshmukh, another person the ATS held in the case, was allegedly a librarian with Naik’s IRF. ...


ISIS Backed by Oil Rich Nations: Philosophy of Islam, as Practised by Some Groups, Revolves Around the Concepts of Dar-ul-Islam, Dar-ul-Harb and Jihad
Madhuri Madhok

The ISIS terrorists and their cohorts are working with active cooperation and guidance from international organizations, financed by the Wahhabis and Salafists of Saudi Arabia and other oil rich countries. The narrow, sectarian and anti-human philosophy of Wahhabism does not permit co-existence with non-believers anywhere in the world....

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