Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Why ISIS Feels So Threatened By Sindh's Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine
Haroon Khalid

While the ultimate culmination of Dhamal aligns with the cosmic patterns, its individual steps follow no pattern at all. It could begin as a gentle dance, a flirtatious duel with the beat of the drum. It teases, consents to a union and then shyly backs away. The Dholwala plays along. The contest is for everyone to see and partake. The lovers finally merge, initially softly, tenderly, and then passionately, wildly. It has uncontrollable energy, a force which through its movements can halt the movement of the cosmos. Like the Tandava of Shiva and the ecstatic dance of Kali, if uninterrupted it can lead to destruction. Yet on the other hand, like Vishnu, the preserver, through its alignment with the cosmos it holds the world in its place....

Suspected Jihadists Are Being Killed in Droves on Kenya’s Coast

Many recruits are disappointed—Somalia is not the Islamic paradise they were told it was, and foreigners are used as cannon fodder. So they come back to Kenya, where they face an awful choice. They can join an amnesty programme and turn informer—thereby risking being killed by their erstwhile chums. Or they can refuse, and risk being “disappeared” by the police. Any young man who has been away from his village for a while, or who has been seen with suspected al-Shabab sympathisers, is in danger....


But when it comes to Islam, ignoring important economic, historical and political factors has become perfectly acceptable. Politicians, pundits and ordinary Americans see Islam -- not political groups using Islamic rhetoric -- as an existential threat to Western secular norms. So, they believe, restraining it justifies extraordinary measures, even those that violate American values and the Constitution -- such as trying to ban mosques....


In Afghanistan, Families from Kerala Try To Build Islamic State
Praveen Swami

From interviews with family members, and messages they have sent their friends, The Indian Express has pieced together a portrait of the bizarre life the group has built for itself in the eight months since they disappeared. The members of the group have set up stores, teach religion, have married, and had children. None appears to be engaged in military activity....


Does Muslim Translate To Terrorist?
Rafia Zakaria

Still, the overly broad nature of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation is unlikely to accomplish any security objectives for the US. In the near term, it is likely to enable all sorts of wrongful prosecutions of Arab Americans; in the long term, it will likely make the American-Muslim community even more insular, increasing the possibility of alienation and ultimately radicalisation.....


The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS – Part Three
Luke Mogelson

One of the questions hovering over the Mosul campaign is what will become of places like Hassan Sham, which ISIS took from the Iraqi Army, and the Peshmerga took from ISIS. Will the Arab population be allowed to return? Will the Iraqi Army attempt to remove the Peshmerga from the disputed territories by force? The Kurds, who in the past two years have vastly expanded the amount of land that they control, seem uneager to relinquish any of it....


The Illusion of the Islamic State in Afghanistan
Ahmad Murid Partaw

According to Afghan officials, if there is fear of ISIL-K footprint in Afghanistan, it has to be directly shared and discussed with Afghan authorities, instead of colluding with forces that are hostile to its people and government. It’s also important that the illusion of the Islamic State in the region should not serve as a pretext for the neighbouring states to establish relationships with terrorist groups such as the Afghan Taliban and other groups....


The Barelvi Pushback: In Pakistan, State Empowered the Seminary by Hiring Proxy Warriors from It
Khaled Ahmed

Always preaching tough Islam, Deobandis received funds from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, occupying “soft” Barelvi mosques through sheer muscle. Deoband, of course, is another city in India that gave rise to hardline Islam in the subcontinent reaching out to their hardline brethren, the Wahhabis, of Saudi Arabia. ....

Bangladesh Is Committing Suicide by Shifting From Secularism to Islamisation

According to the trend, therefore, Bangladesh is being transformed towards Islamisation. Sadly again, Hefazat-e-Islam is largely composed of teachers and academics who are meant to shape the youth, instilling education on liberalism and tolerance but their blueprint is just the opposite. Their level of intolerance has Sufis and Ahmediyas on target.....

Several factions within the Taliban are vying for power. The Mansoor network, which claims to be backed by Iran and Russia, has risen to become the most dynamic group within the Taliban. The levels of morale within the Taliban vary. The boost to morale from 2016 battlefield successes was dampened by the high cost at which they were gained, as well as the alienation of many Taliban from their leadership and the sense that many had no stake in those battlefield gains....


Bangladesh’s Creeping Islamism
K. Anis Ahmed

The Bengali letter “o” used to stand for “ol,” a yam; now it stands for “orna,” a scarf worn by women for modesty. Texts by non-Muslim writers — including some revered as part of Bengali heritage, like the classical poet Gyandas or the contemporary novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay — have been removed. Also gone are a small excerpt from the Ramayana, a Hindu classic that Islamists reject as foreign to the Muslim canon, and songs of the Sufi icon Lalon Shah, whose syncretic faith is anathema to Muslim conservatives....


The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS – Part Two
Luke Mogelson

“I’m going to explain something to you,” Bashar said, with chilling composure. He was the only man I had not seen touch either Ahmed or Mohammad. It occurred to me that Bashar possessed the same uncanny self-command that Salem had shown in his execution video. “If Adnan had joined ISIS, I would have, too,” he said softly, as if to a child. “When Adnan joined the swat, I joined the swat. How many times did you and Alawi go to jail together? You were never apart! And now he’s ISIS and you’re a prophet?”....


The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS - Part One
Luke Mogelson

More than a hundred thousand soldiers, policemen, and government-sanctioned-militia members were expected to participate in the fight to liberate Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. It had been occupied since June, 2014, and was now home to about six thousand militants from the Islamic State, or ISIS. The swat-team members were desperate to join the battle. They called relatives in Mosul, chain-smoked cigarettes, and excoriated the war planners, from Baghdad, who seemed to have forgotten them....


The Bigotry That Armed the Quebec Mosque Attacker
Haroon Siddiqui

In Quebec, Islamophobia manifested itself in a series of sensational cases, in 2007 and 2008, over the “reasonable accommodation” of religious minorities, Muslims in particular. The provincial soccer federation barred Hijab-wearing girls on the pretext of safety. It took an official commission to calm public nerves. Its 2008 report, which had the eminent philosopher Charles Taylor as an author, found there was no crisis: Sensationalist media coverage had distorted perceptions, but Muslims were not making unreasonable demands....

Scientists Are Easy Prey for Jihadism: The Insight Could Have Important Implications
Paul Vallely

What Rose has done is to highlight three specific traits that characterise the “engineering mindset”: first, it asks “why argue when there is one best solution?”; second, it asserts “if only people were rational, remedies would be simple”; and third, it appeals to those with an underlying craving for a lost order, which lies at the heart of both Salafi and Jihadi ideology. But they will need something that cannot come from western cultural experts. What the report omits to point out is that students will require input from others within their faith – to open up to them the richness of the Islamic traditions that constituted the religion before the arrival of oil-rich Salafi fundamentalism....

My Journey Away From Radical Islam
Ammar Anwer

Maududi thought that a state could either be religious or irreligious. Therefore, he did not agree with the view that secularism was just the separation of religion from a state’s affairs, but strongly argued that secularism gives rise to atheism, or a lack of belief, in society. He saw religion as the ultimate source of morality, and, so, when people became un-Islamic, society would also become unethical.....

Jihadism is no longer a metastasis which is endemic to a select few Arab and Tuareg clans dwelling in Mali's northern fringes; it is on the move and it is "jumping" ethnicity, finding a home with new groups – Songhai, Fulani and others....


Afghan Taliban Seek ‘To Establish an Islamic State on Earth’
Bill Roggio

Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistani jihadist group that is closely allied with al Qaeda, “operates terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan,” the US government stated in 2014. The Turkistan Islamic Party, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Imam Bukhari Jamaat, an Uzbek jihadist group that operates in both Syria and Afghanistan, have all claimed to operate camps inside Afghanistan....


I Went to Aleppo to Study, I Left in a Convoy of Refugees
Lina Shamy

We were desperate for the world to hear and help us. I had been frantically tweeting images and videos of destruction from eastern Aleppo. We relied on local providers who used Turkish wireless networks and satellite routers to keep Aleppo online. On Dec. 12, as Aleppo was close to falling, many of us tweeted our last calls for help. I recorded my video inside a friend’s house, my voice trembling. I feared a massacre....


Understanding the Concept of Salafism in Traditional Sunnism
Adis Duderija

The former tend to discuss the concept in a fleeting manner - usually by not much more than identifying Salafism's theoreticians, such as Abdul Wahhab and Ibn Taimiyah - and focus instead on the political, economic and the social dimensions behind the rise of Salafi movements. There is, accordingly, little interest in the conceptual genealogy but also the contested meanings of the concept of Salafism in the Islamic tradition....

Taliban Eulogizes Pakistani Cleric With Al Qaeda Ties
Bill Roggio

His death is “an irreparable loss for the entire Muslim world and specifically for the followers of knowledge, Dawah [preaching] and Jihad.” The Taliban thanked him for providing “Jihadi services.”Salimullah was one of the founders of Jamia Farooqia, an Islamic university in Karachi, Pakistan known to have “strong connections to the Taliban movement in Afghanistan...


The Myth of Two Extremes in Pakistan
Umair Javed

The incident has revealed something supremely rotten in Pakistan’s state and society. Instead of provoking unequivocal condemnation, the abduction of several activists has spawned mass indifference, or much worse, victim-blaming. Some days ago, I was informed by a gentleman in Lahore that those missing were prominent ‘anti-state’ and ‘anti-Islam’ agents thus implying they deserved their fate....


Young Symbol of Afghan Resilience Joins List of Lost Leaders
Mujib Mashal

The attack in Kandahar this week seemed expressly aimed at breaking down the cause that Mr. Shamsi and his colleagues were dedicated to: trying to restore faith in government after years of devastating war and disappointing failures....


I Escaped Death in Dhaka, Bangladesh, By Reciting From the Quran
Linda Pressly

When five armed Islamist militants stormed a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 1 July 2016, 29 people lost their lives. Emerging from the appalling, bloody debris are stories of immense courage. There are also unanswered questions about what happened to some of those who died....


General Zia and President Erdogan both came to power after a coup against the establishment. “Both strengthened their control over the government by employing similar tactics: oppressing freedom of expression, arresting and torturing political opponents, controlling educational and religious institutes and harnessing the tides of global politics for their own benefit....


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  • Saudis should switch from funding Wahhabi schools to funding liberal and scientific education and...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Why would any Muslim in Australia go to a mosque/imam/priest to file for a divorce?!
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • One-sided but thought provoking article.'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is half story, there are many Hindus also accused. This sick people always talk of victim play, Hindus as culprit.
    ( By Aayina )
  • Dr. Kafeel's imprisonment and denial of bail smell to high heaven. I hope the wife's approaching the Supreme Court results in a judicious....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Prejudice and stereotypes seem to be predominant yardsticks of assessing people and situations. Humanism...
    ( By Meera )
  • Exclusivist and hegemonistic tendencies must be rooted out of Islam. Pluralism and respect for other religions and other sects are the true tenets of Islam.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • وہابی دیوبندی ہمیشہ یہی جملہ کہتے پھرتے ہیں کہ نبی ہماری طرح ہیں کسی دیوبندی نے اپنی کتاب میں لکھا کہ نبی کا علم چوپایہ ...
    ( By Abdul Ghani )
  • The writer has mixed two different issues in the article. But... good effort, bachcha.'
    ( By arshad )
  • What Hats Off wants to be considered are in fact items which need to be rejected and denounced.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the matter of "idrubihunna", the matter of the evidentiary value of a woman and kuffar being less than that of a momeen....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Bahut khub lajwab. Alhumduliillah
    ( By Arifkhan )
  • The article tries to cover certain important issues related to marriages. No doubt there are certain expectations for a successful....
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • "The real reason for the loss of faith in Islam is not the West but Turkey itself: It is a reaction to all the....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is somewhat of a stretch but it is harmless.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • اسلام علیکم یا شیخ ما طالعت بنسہ کتب الدیوبندیۃ ما قالوا ھکذا قط بل انما قالا
    ( By muhammad khalid )
  • You seem to blame everyone except yourself!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • i suspect it ois the company. with so many foul mouthed exegetes, lying "moderates....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Yes, dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheb, This is the bitter truth. The pathetic plight of ....
    ( By GRD )
  • What makes you do it? I don't know. Is it just bad manners
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Worrisome but does have elements of truth!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islam Bharat me na hi aata to shi Tha
    ( By Parveen )
  • Sad to note that Justice Sachar passed away today.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The status of women seems to be directly proportional to how civilized a society is.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sharia upholders get Legislative Council seats while reformers get nothing
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The charge-sheet leaves no doubt that she was a target only because she was a Muslim. The Hindu right wing in Jammu has been indulging ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • We can blame all Muslims for they hate the Hindus as Khafirs Kufueer........( so many such words ) etc.What....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • After all you are the expert here. Right? So you tell me ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, what makes you write such inane comments?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mathematicians think god id a mathematician. ulemas think god is an ulema. garbage pickers think god ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Great article except there was one bad apple - Hajj Amin al-Husayni who " al-Husayni still collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • God is the greatest mathematician" - which God we talking about: Hindu, Muslim, Christian....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • kaash khuda mujhe bhi apne mehboob k nakshe kadam par chla de sari umr bs itni si iltija h aapse'
    ( By sharib )
  • The muslims view Trishul as a weapon...but the hindus see it as a symbol of Lord Shiva. Who is today using the Trishul as a ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Having said that, one must add that none of these played the causative role in the current marginalisation and brutalisa­tion of the community. For that, ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • The problem is Muslims neither understand hindus or hindu fears, nor hindutva . When they think of " Hindu rashtra" or "hindu right wing" the ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Very strange logic..so when you can practise hindu phobia why shouldnt the world practise I... tell me....
    ( By indiewater )
  • I am unable to fathom what is the purpose of this ARTICLE. I know the author has been writing similar articles earlier too. But he ...
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • Your article drives us to introspect and reflect on how politics has become devoid of any humanity. Truly, women’s bodies have been used as sites ...
    ( By Meera )
  • Political parties exploit communalism because it is an exploitable issue. They will exploit anything that yields them. .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )