Radical Islamism and Jihad
The exodus of the young and impressionable to the Islamic State, the far
deadlier strain of a terror state with no borders, is no longer limited to the
Arab world. It is now knocking on our doors....
They have a head start on us, and they are turning us against each other
at an alarming rate. So, we must come together now more than ever to push back
on an individual level. The fate of Bangladesh’s very future hangs in the
Naik justified the destruction of Bamiyan Buddha by Taliban by saying
that it is the right thing to do and that Buddha, who was against idolatry, would
have approved. Now, isn’t that like a pat on the backs of Islamists to destroy
temples, bomb Masjids and shrines of "heretical sects"?...
Moreover, this attack seems to be a violent response to the recent
government crackdown on Islamist extremists. It also comes in the wake of a
public fatwa, signed by more than 1, 00,000 Bangladeshi Ulema, condemning
terrorism as “un-Islamic” and “forbidden”. They were also clear to state that
the suicide squad members of terrorist organisations “will certainly go to
hell” and even attending the Janaza of terrorists is Haram....
The “battle” today is one in which the jihadists of East Turkistan must
convince the “Muslim people…to return to rule” under Islam, Zawahiri argues,
thereby thwarting the “calls of atheism” regularly “spouted” by the Chinese
government. This “battle” also entails the proper education of children in
“Islamic doctrine” and the “rules of Sharia.”...
A preacher like Zakir Naik negates every pluralist cultural component of
our existence and promotes a version of Islam that is an arid desert of dreary habit.
It is an Islam that mocks other faiths even as it seeks to purge every local
strand out of Islamic practice in India. It is nothing more than hard-line
Wahhabism that the Saudis have promoted with missionary zeal across the
Aspiring and educated youth, hooked on to a make-believe virtual world,
are extremely exposed and vulnerable to falling prey to pernicious religious
doctrine. Unlike Naik, who finds stout resistance from within the Muslim
community, these youths are quite susceptible to the monologue of criminals
masquerading as preachers. Such a scenario would put enormous strain on the
resilience of Indian Islam...
The roots of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh are very different.
Extremist rhetoric in Bangladesh is nowhere as mainstream as it has become in
Pakistan. A major reason for this difference is that the Islamist parties and
groups in Bangladesh are tainted by their close association with the Pakistan
army during the war of liberation. In fact, members of the radical Islamist groups,
such as the Jamaat-i-Islami...
More gems: Americans swap wives at will because they eat pigs which also
swap their wives (Naik, I presume, only eats animals who’ve been faithful to
their partners). Islam allows a man to marry multiple women because "in
the USA, there are more women than men". He was factually wrong here
because the US has a sex ratio of more than 1...
Zakir Naik is not a terrorist. Not till the moment there is hard
evidence to prove his direct involvement in any of the terrorist activities
either in India or abroad. The preacher and televangelist from Dongri, who
connects with his young followers in English unlike the Paan-chewing mullahs,
can at best be booked for hate speech. But, here lies the danger Naik poses to
India, including its 160 million-strong Muslim population. Naik thrives in the
minds of thousands of young-terrorist aspirants, seeding the Taliban
philosophy. That, certainly, is deadlier for a secular society than the threat
a 'terrorist' poses....
For one thing, Islamism is derived from a fundamentalist interpretation
of Islam that is promulgated and propagated by the Middle East, chiefly Saudi
Arabia. There are differences amongst the Islamists too – as evidenced by the
ongoing turf war between ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Bangladesh –....
...a traditionally clad Maulvi with a long beard, seemingly a
relic of the past, speaking in the “native” language, fails to impress. Enter the “suited-booted,” tie in place,
Naik, holding forth from a lavishly constructed stage. His English is good
enough. If his elephantine memory and his understanding of Islam appear
impressive, his knowledge of the holy scriptures of other religions seems
“awesome”. How can you not get hooked to his message: Islam is the only “true”
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
According to Sheikh Qardawi, “Allah created the universe in stages. In
the initial call to Islam, initially, Prophet (pbuh) gradually introduced the
basic teachings of Islam. To achieve targeted goals, giving the allowance of
due time is important. Extremists seem to ignore these two important ways.”
They want change right away and in the manner they feel is right, brutal as it
may be, and according to the interpretation they choose to adopt...
Zakir Naik’s conservative ideology, Salafism and anti-rationalist
approach make him a difficult person to like for most liberals. Yet, even in
these circumstances, the clamour to gag him or prevent him from speaking shows
just how illiberal mainstream Indian discourse actually is....
Experts have noted the calm and professional approach of the terrorists,
their weapons skills, their “battle discipline”, and the considerable backup
support available to them in different locales. Besides attacks organised by
its own cadre, ISIS has also shown the capacity to inspire “lone wolf”
Whilst the despicable crimes of the IS-linked criminals is unequivocally
against any Islamic principles of warfare, it is an undeniable fact that Sheikh
Hasina's continuous oppression of non-violent Islamic groups has led to an
ultra-fringe minority resorting to violence; and it is not a far-fetched
possibility for this to snowball into a Syria-type civil war ....
We did not believe Bangladesh could become one of those places where the
wealthy barricade themselves behind high gates and private security, where
embassies issue travel warnings and evacuate their staff, and where — God
forbid — America sends its drones to target the militants...
Syed Badrul Ahsan
But the search for Bangladesh’s soul is yet to end after the murder of
20 diners and two policemen at the Holey Artisan Restaurant in Dhaka’s elite
Gulshan area on Friday at the hands of young Bengali men under the macabre
influence of Islamic State....
Given the sheer ignorance of or disinformation implicit in, much of the
discourse, it is necessary to reiterate, here, that those who participated in
the atrocities during the Liberation War of 1971 were the very groups and
individuals who came to dominate the processes of Islamist radicalization in
the country once they were 'rehabilitated'...
This is a wake-up call for everyone that no country is immune to such
terrorist attack. Terrorism has crossed borders, changed forms, intensified
brutalities and abandoned religion. Unless the world finds an equally smart
response against hate speech and propagation of extreme ideologies, the Dhaka
tragedy is likely to recur from Istanbul to Paris to San Bernardino and
For the IS, everyone who doesn’t subscribe to its vision is an enemy and
it divides these enemies into different sects — crusaders (largely Christians),
apostates (mostly non-Sunni Muslims) and sinners (it could be anyone from gays
“That these kids from very affluent families with no material want can
still be turned to this kind of ideology, motivated not just to the point of
killing but also want to be killed.” That children of the country’s upper
classes appear to have joined militant Islamists in an act of such brutality...
The government in Riyadh represents a pact between the Saud royal family and a clerical establishment that promotes a corrosive and extreme version of Islam. And while the Saudis have improved dramatically in the last dozen years in regulating charities that were linked to Al Qaeda in the 1990s and terrorist financing in general, to this day Saudi Arabia promotes a kind of Supremacism that stokes an enmity of Jews, Christians, Shias and “apostates”. Evidence for this is ample.
India has the world's third largest Muslim population at nearly 175
million but only a handful of them have joined the West Asian group.
Intelligence officials say the new trend of ISIS aspirants working as
"freelance Jihadis" is alarming. "ISIS modules being set up in
India is more dangerous than some youth wanting to travel to Syria," said
a counter-terror official....
Speculation had immediately fallen on extremist groups believed to be
operating in Bangladesh, including outfits affiliated both with al-Qaeda's
South Asian wing and the Islamic State. In the past two years, horrific attacks
by self-declared Islamists have targeted Hindus, intellectuals, secularist
writers and bloggers....