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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

San Bernardino terrorists allegedly studied AQAP’s Inspire magazine, pledged allegiance to Baghdadi
Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State encourages its followers to swear allegiance to Baghdadi before dying, because his “caliphate” is supposedly the only legitimate Islamic authority in the world today. The jihadists argue that if a Muslim dies in a state of “disobedience,” then the fires of hell await. The Islamic State has made this argument repeatedly in its English-language Dabiq magazine, which is very similar to AQAP’s Inspire.

 
Museum of Lost Objects: Mar Elian Monastery
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf

Museum of Lost Objects: Mar Elian Monastery
Inscription over the doorway to the monastery

For centuries, Christians and Muslims have visited the small Syrian town of al-Qaryatain to venerate a saint known as Mar Elian. But in August 2015, the shrine was bulldozed by the group that calls itself Islamic State and the multifaith community was torn apart. …

 
Museum of Lost Objects: Aleppo's Minaret
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf

The minaret of Aleppo's Great Mosque was unusual - unlike traditional cylindrical minarets, it was square in cross-section. At 45m high, its pinkish-beige stone, wrapped in intricate Arabic inscriptions, stood out on the city's skyline. It tells the story of Aleppo - or Halab as it's called in Arabic - one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.....

 

Daesh itself has abandoned the shortened term because it is too close to the Arabic words that mean “one who crushes underfoot,” or “sowers of discord.” It’s also similar to the word for bigot. Those are much closer to the truth, and have the added benefit that “Daesh” also insults, rather than flatters, the group. ....

 
Museum of Lost Objects: Tell of Qarqur
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf

Many ancient objects destroyed or badly damaged in Iraq and Syria since 2003 are things of beauty - sculptures, tombs and temples, monasteries and minarets. Others may be less dazzling but hugely important as a source of knowledge about the ancient world. One of these is Tell Qarqur.....

 

“What is at stake here is not just walls and stones. The destroyed mausoleums were important from a religious point of view, from an historical point of view and from an identity point of view. Such an attack against buildings dedicated to religion and historic monuments falls into the category of crimes that destroy the roots of an entire people and profoundly and irremediably affect its social practices and structures.”...

 

Among other concerns was whether Mujahideen could “bear the burden of running a country,” the officials said, adding bin Laden had come to the conclusion that they could not. And while bin Laden clearly foresaw a time when there would be an Islamic caliphate, his letters and notes provide little to indicate he saw himself playing a vital role.....

 

In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide before Our Very Eyes (Part One and Two)
Seth Frantzman

The Yazidi are a religious minority in Iraq whose ancient religion is indigenous to this area.  Their holy shrines dot the landscape. The Yazidi religion is complex and secretive. Due to centuries of persecution by varying Islamic regimes, they are reticent to go into detail about their religion or history. Yazidis live in a large area that stretches from the Syrian border through the Nineveh plains, around Mosul to the foothills of the mountains of Kurdistan. This is a diverse countryside, with many Kurds, Turkmen, and Arabs. It is also a heartland of ancient civilizations......

 

Interpretations of Terrorism and Legends of Globalization
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

Terrorism is not the weapon of the powerful as American philosopher Noam Chomsky puts it. Terrorism is the weapon of criminals, and it's not the product of an empire or an economic party but the product of the teachings available at hand. It has been rearranged in a repugnant, bloody manner which has now backfired on Muslims all over again....

 

The Sexual Misery of the Arab World: Suicide Bombers Surrender To A Terrifying, Surrealistic Logic: The Path to Orgasm Runs through Death, Not Love
Kamel Daoud

Paradise and its virgins are a pet topic of preachers, who present these otherworldly delights as rewards to those who dwell in the lands of sexual misery. Dreaming about such prospects, suicide bombers surrender to a terrifying, surrealistic logic: The path to orgasm runs through death, not love.....

Cold-Blooded Crime of an Especially Despicable Kind Has Long Been a Hallmark of Jaishes and Lashkars Violent Savages
Salman Tarik Kureshi

Of course, cold-blooded crime of an especially despicable kind has long been a hallmark of these violent savages and their fellow travellers. The APS massacre, the Safoora bus atrocity, the murder of Sabeen Mahmud, the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai, the unending toll of foul atrocities during the Taliban occupation of Swat and the Mumbai massacres, these are only a few examples of how low these violent primitives are prepared to go...

 

Islamic State Comes To Pakistan:  ISIS Hopes To Set Up Its Sub-HQ, With Help from Powerful Madrasas and Clerics
Khaled Ahmed

As Pakistan denies the growing footprint of the Islamic State (IS) on its soil, its radicalised citizens keep killing “liberals” and members of Muslim sects they don’t like. There’s evidence that Pakistanis are going to Syria “for training”....

Is the War against the ISIS India’s War?
Suhasini Haidar

Finally, it is necessary to understand just what the idea of the “global war on terror” means for India. If India were to believe that the war against the ISIS is part of the global fight against terror, is the reverse true? Are countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — which have included Pakistan in their coalition against the IS but also profess cooperation with India on terror...

In His Own Words: Recently Detained Delhi Cleric Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi Did Indeed Support ISIS and Incite Muslim Youth; Excerpts from His Speeches Available On YouTube
Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi

Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi a Deobandi cleric was recently arrested presumably for backing ISIS and instigating Muslim youth in his various speeches. After his arrest, his supporters have claimed that he has not supported ISIS. It is important for the Muslim community and the nation at large to settle the question if he really supported ISIS and provoked Muslims in his speeches, or is it just a police conspiracy, as claimed by his supporters. To settle the issue, NewAgeIslam.com is producing some of his statements taken from the speeches available at youtube.com with their English translation.

Making of a Jihadi: How Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh Became Indian Face of Islamic State
Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh

The aim, according to Mudabbir for establishing IS in India was to fight in India like ISIS is fighting in Syria and Iraq. While describing the structure of Janood-ul-Khalifa- al-Hind, Mudabbir said that there were three senior positions where he was the 'Emir', Rizwan alias Khalid as 'Naib Emir' and Najmal Huda from Bengaluru as 'Emir Askary' (battalion commander). The group also had plans to set up a media wing with units in Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Allahabad, Uttarakhand and Azamgarh. ....

From the Middle East to Southeast Asia to North America and Europe, Islamic State militants have shown there is no place safe in the world from their terror. Unlike other terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, attackers have shown a much more advanced network without sacrificing on a single unified command structure. However, unlike all the other terrorist groups in the past, the most dangerous ability that Islamic State has demonstrated is its capability to lure Western educated individuals. ...

What ISIS Wants You to See: A So-Called ‘Idealistic Caliphate’
Shahira Fahmy

“Al-Walaa Wal-Baraa”, Arabic for “loyalty and disavowal", refers to the Islamic concept of friendship toward fellow Muslims – and compares it to racism in America. Come live with us in the Caliphate, they say, and you will experience Utopia on earth. Second, Dabiq, through its pictures, is more than a recruitment tool. It is making the world aware of this aspiring “new nation-state”: strong and confident, based on a foundation of strict Muslim societal norms – and giving readers the impression that the Caliphate is ready to join the world as a rule-based, righteous and responsible nation.....

Social Control Is Emerging As ISIS Motive for Erasing Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
Franklin Lamb

By controlling antiquities like other resources, ISIS inserts itself into countless holes in the ground. The real goal is not simply cash profit but rather it is psychological control over new ranges of behaviour and thought of its subjects which is part of its totalitarian vision of absolute control. ISIS has transformed the pre-Islamic past of Syria into a forbidden zone...

 

The Connection between Terrorism and Tyranny
Waheed Abdel-Meguid

Studying the origins of terrorism indicates that there were objective circumstances that drove some groups of youth into searching for an ideology that stimulates rebellion against despotic regimes, after the glow of leftist Marxist “ideologies” waned. They found their long lost authority in extremist Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) notions. This terrorism came out from the darkness of government prisons that carried despotism to an extreme. Then the extremist Fiqh interpretations were extracted from obscurantist books .....

However, most people are silent on the role of government schools in this regard. The government is in a state of denial about the subjectivities and cultural identities produced by the textbooks of Pakistan. This is the reason why it has not made any firm resolve to reform public sector education. A critical analysis of the discourse narrated in the Pakistan Studies textbook makes one realise that such books create subjectivities and ideologies that are aligned with the narrative peddled by the TTP. We will have to come out of this state of denial and bring reforms to the education system in addition to focusing on regularising madrasas.....

Self-Made Radicals: Living and Loathing among ‘Unbelievers’: Organisations That Teach Self - Segregation And Alienation From The West Prepare The Ground For Jihad
Tahmina Rashid

Imams in the West may not be preaching violence to the faithful or urging them to engage in terrorism, but they are teaching orthodox Islam and Islamic etiquette of living a Muslim life in the West. Al-Huda, where Tashfeen studied, is one of hundreds of such organisations, whose message can easily escape scrutiny — yet Al-Huda is a nursery for promoting the ‘Otherness’. Young Muslims are told that they may be living in the West but that they are different; their identity is the only Muslim identity, and nothing else matters.

 When the IS calls upon Muslim men and women to commit jihad in the West, one should not be surprised if average Muslims respond to these calls. Outfits like Al-Huda as nurseries for self-seclusion have done the groundwork already....

Path to perdition: the increasingly fundamentalist mindset of young Pakistanis
Irfan Husain

...Many opinion polls have shown the increasingly fundamentalist mindset of young Pakistanis. As teaching standards continue to fall, and TV channels go on churning out programmes based on irrational nonsense, we can expect society to be defined more by religiosity than reason.

Why Do Militants Attack Educational Institutions?: This Is Not Just Some Ideological Dogma But An Obvious Tactical Requirement
Dr. Azeem Ibrahim

But for these groups this isn’t just some ideological dogma but an obvious tactical requirement. The biggest threat to the propagation of ideas that these militants are trying to push – and to their survival in the long run – are educated young Muslims who can recognize the viciousness and perversity of their ideology. There is no greater threat to them than people who can read Islamic history and who know how much a betrayal of Islam this latter-day jihadism is.....

 

Containing ISIS in the ‘Dark Web’
Diana Moukalled

Internet has not produced groups such as ISIS even though it has become a major tool in spreading their ideologies In effect, Cohen said we must push ISIS off the internet and social networking websites and force it into mysterious domain described as the dark web. But what do digital experts mean when they say “we have to force” ISIS and its supporters into unknown spaces?....

 

Pakistan’s 9/11: Education Is More Dangerous than Illiteracy; Most Terrorists Are Educated Where Textbooks Inculcate Jihad and Righteous War
Khaled Ahmed

What was begun as jihad in Pakistan, with help from Saudi Arabia and America, led to dreams of conquest and Khilafat; and when the warriors ran out of innocent people of other faiths to kill, they started killing fellow Muslims...

Any attempt to purge the textbooks is opposed by political parties. The brainwash is everywhere, as writer Mohammed Hanif complains: “We are often told that only a few Muslims are bringing a bad name to all of us. I feel that those few also include our representatives in the media who pretend they can save Islam’s reputation by going on TV and writing op-eds to reassure the world that we come in peace. They tell the world that though the mass murderer was quoting from the Quran, he got the Quran wrong.”....



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