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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

While it may admittedly be impossible to prevent all attacks, there is no denying the fact that terrorism breeds in waters where democratic freedom is curtailed. Efforts being put in to eradicate poverty, promote sustained economic growth, good governance, rule of law, and respect for all religions, religious values, and beliefs is the only way to ensure we do not get terrorised into segregating the freedom of our citizens and avoid playing into the hands of the very forces we want to keep at bay....

 

I have no idea if the boys had been coached by their elders to play this gruesome charade for the camera, or whether they had thought of it on their own. In either case, the video is a telling reminder — if one was needed — of how far we have sunk as a society. Among the many awful things we have done to Pakistani children is the systematic brainwashing we have subjected them to....

'They have told me that mullahs had been reported in their neighbourhood going from house to house showing photos of family members on their phones, trying to hunt them down,' he told the Guardian. 'The family have had to move from place to place to avoid detection. Sometimes they can only operate after sundown. They have had to cover their faces when they go out in public.  'They have had to remove the rosary that hangs from their car rear-view mirror for fear of attack.’...

 

The Islamic State (ISIS) temporarily managed to win over disgruntled elements among the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban alongside youth from the remote districts in Afghanistan’s east soon after restructuring and renaming itself Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) in 2014. IS-K’s initial victories against the Taliban and the Afghan government on both the battle and propaganda fronts rang alarm bells in world capitals, particularly among the weaker neighbouring Central Asian states...

 

...I also felt a tsunami of love pouring forth from our world family. For the first time I felt this world family personally and the magnitude of this love overpowered hatred, anger, disbelief and shock. I knew this is who we truly are as human beings. I knew that those young men who became terrorists must have been disconnected from love, disconnected from their own true essence, and that enabled them to kill other human beings....

 

Muslims who support such violent or oppressive responses to blasphemy are missing two important points. One is that it is them, not the blasphemers, who are defaming Islam, by presenting it as an immature tradition that has little room for civilized discourse. The second point is that their zealotry is not as religiously grounded as they think. To see this, one must look at the Quran — the most fundamental and only undisputed source of Islam. Most notably, throughout all of its 6,236 verses, it never tells Muslims to silence blasphemy with force. It tells them only to respond with dignity. ...

When the atrocities of TTP (and ISIS) were wreaking havoc on Pakistan (and rest of the world), some ‘religious leaders’ took no time in blasting the ‘heinous Wahhabi ideology’, labelling it as the ‘real culprit’ behind terrorism. Some went a step further to name ‘Salafis, Ahl-i-Hadith, Deobandis, Jamaat e Islami’ and so forth, claiming (wrongly) that they all represent ‘Wahhabi ideology’ Times changed and now these ‘religious leaders’ are following the footsteps of the same terrorist groups!...

 

The Taliban’s strikes in Kandahar and Jaghori confirm the overall picture of a Taliban movement on the rise and a retreat of government control. In addition, the Taliban is also involved in Russia-sponsored talks to end the conflict: a two-track approach — displaying military strength in part to increase leverage at the negotiating table — that echoes Washington’s own under Barack Obama....

 

This time, only a group has been invited, therefore we are not going to participate in it, but our agreement with the Russians is that this meeting should lead to direct talks between us (Afghan government) and the Taliban, if it does not happen like this, then this will reflect the intention of the Taliban and this means they (Taliban) are not prepared for peace….

 

Appeasing such forces does not help the rulers or the country but only fosters extremism and a culture of impunity as Minister of Human Rights Shreen Mazari said, recalling Britain’s appeasement of Hitler at Munich before World War II. The Munich deal was meant to buy peace for a while, but it only increased Hitler’s appetite for dominance through aggression....

The terrorist attack also transformed the Melbourne CBD. Heavily armed police wearing military apparel manned busy intersections. Sirens wailed, loud public address systems swung into action, buildings were locked down, people were told to remain indoors. The world's "most liveable city" morphed into one under terrorist siege like Paris and Brussels....

 

“This is her choice,” I told him, though I was surprised to hear that she married to a Hindu. Out of curiosity, I asked him: “What makes you think so?” He said: “She has put a Bindi on her forehead.” This was revealing: There is a huge gulf between Hindus and Muslims about how we understand each other. I told him that women in my family always put Sindoor in the parting of hair and Bindi on forehead, which is how Hindu women too live in villages. This is the Indian Muslimness Haqqani spoke of....

 

However, Pakistan’s bloated religious brigade—the powerful and influential clergy which has gathered enormous following in the country over the last three or four decades—immediately raised its battle cry against the apex court verdict. Their purblind followers—the rabble known for its nuisance power—instantly poured onto the streets through the length and breadth of Pakistan demanding the court’s decision be annulled and the impugned woman hanged....

The story of 26-year-old Nashidhul Hamzafar proves that the fangs of terrorism, given time and opportunity, can chew up a young mind. Passionately opposed to the ISIS ideology, he ultimately could not resist the brainwashing by his friend Shihas who was among the 22 Kerala youngsters who travelled to Afghanistan to fight for the terrorist organisation....

 

Islam was used to build a Pakistani nation when the sectarianism among the Muslims divided them so glaringly as each sect called the other as a heretic. This uniformity-ridden nation building was pursued at the expense of the socio-cultural diversity. Even today, no day passes without seeing some ministers invoking religious metaphor, which indirectly empowers the clergy who currently control the religion....

 

When the verdict was announced, I couldn’t stop crying because this poor Christian woman had been incarcerated for nine years only because someone had lied. Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was assassinated in January 2011 for saying that Asia was innocent and that the blasphemy allegations against her should be probed thoroughly. Taseer’s killer was garlanded for murdering him. A couple of months later, the federal minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, was also assassinated for defending Asia Bibi....

The Deobandis are a revivalist movement within the Hanafi strain of Islam. It started in the early 1700s as a reaction to the British in India and was inspired by the activism of Shah Waliullah a radical cleric opposed to British rule.  At the time, the Deobandis challenged India’s Muslim leadership, accusing it of “corrupting Islam” and promising a fresh, and more puritanical, start....

 

For the Islamic State, the position of caliph represents a unique fusion of legal-rational and traditional authority. Abu Bakr didn’t seize power in the group, he was elected by the Islamic State of Iraq’s Shura council. Long time spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani described his new emir in 2011 in this way: “Although we have missed our emir, Abu-Omar al-Baghdadi, Allah has bestowed us with a better successor for him; we expect him to be so.”...

 

“ISIL’s horrific crimes in Iraq have left the headlines, but the trauma of the victims’ families endures, with thousands of women, men and children still unaccounted for,” Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations human rights commissioner, said, referring to the Islamic State. “These graves contain the remains of those mercilessly killed for not conforming to ISIL’s twisted ideology and rule.”...

 

A combatant disbeliever can be legitimately fought by the state, while the civilian cannot be prevented from his or her rights despite their non-belief, as is declared in the Quranic verses: “For you your religion and for me mine” and “Whomsoever wills may choose faith, and whomsoever wills may choose non-faith”. Throughout history, people have suffered from the bloodshed and oppression that ensued from religious zealotry emanating from political battle grounds....

The glorious legacy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is etched in the greatest achievement of his followers — from the halls of Al-Hamra to the Taj Mahal, from Alif Leila to Firdausi’s Shahnama, to the theory of optics by Ibn-al-Haytham — in architecture, literature, sciences, and politics great men and women inspired with his message have helped make a better world....

Even when we are willing to ask relevant questions like the sect of a citizen we restrict the inquiry to Shias and Sunnis. I don’t think any record exists where we know how many among our Muslim population are Salafis, Deobandis or Barelvis. This denial then causes us a lot of grief because in the absence of valid data no serious research on possible behaviour patterns of the society and the groups within can be conducted....

This is the main reason for Pakistan’s higher level of tolerance for extremism and extremists compared with other Muslim countries, ranging from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Central Asian states to Turkey. In these countries, religious groups cannot hold the system hostage or control the national narrative. These states invest in religious scholarship, and do not promote certain religious groups....

 

Their appeals, their threats, their slogans in the name of the most sacred name of Islam, the Last Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), are protected against any counter because doing so could mean receiving an edict from the pulpit. Because they have been able to ratchet up enormous public support in heartland Punjab and now have ingress into other parts of the country...

According to the Islamic Map activists, the lion’s share of Islamist organisations were created and are now controlled by a group with Egyptian roots, the Muslim Brotherhood, along with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, and Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs. One public organisation associated with the Muslim Brotherhood has received over 6 million Euros over the past six years, which was used to sponsor the fight against its opponents....

 


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  • Thanks for sharing such informative and well defined scholarship. '
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