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Radical Islamism and Jihad

Only in Pakistan can the front group of a nationally and internationally banned terrorist outfit, a group whose Amir is a globally recognized terrorist kept under house arrest by the state itself, be audacious enough to announce the formation – and induction – of a brand new, perfectly legal political party. Just another political party birthed by a militant organization widely believed to be linked to global jihadist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS...

 

Untold ‘Stories’ Of ‘Islamisation’ Of Nigeria
Afis A. Oladosu

I sang: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise. At home, I was taught to open my eyes in the Sujud while observing my prayers; at school I was told to never open my eyes while the morning assembly which was always conducted in Jesus name was going on. “Is it because we should not see the Almighty that is the reason we had to close our eyes?” I craved to know; is it because the Almighty is so visible that His visibility produces invisibility that is the reason we do not close our eyes while observing the Salat?” I became confused.....

 

New Dangers Stalk Syrian Children Still Haunted by Horrors under ISIS
Somini Sengupta

The boy did not want to see a beheading, so he held his mother’s hand tight and tried to close his eyes. But seeing it was mandatory when the Islamic State ruled his hometown in northern Syria: If you were out on the street, you had to watch. The boy, now 11 and a refugee in Beirut, reckons he saw 10 beheadings, and once he saw a man accused of a crime being thrown off the top of a building. Videos of executions were shown after the executions — and children were invited to watch inside mosques....

 

Pakistan’s “Islamisation” program was initiated by President Zia-ul-Haq (1977-1988), which involved the proliferation of Islamic schools “madrasas” and the promotion of Islamic law “Sharia,” was specifically designed create unity by suppressing ethnic separatism and make Pakistan the global Sunni leader, an effort that eventually led to the proliferation of Islamic terrorist groups within its borders....

 

Is New Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh An Ideological Affiliate Of Islamic State?
Nuruzzaman Labu

“The terrorists who have been arrested do not talk about IS presence. But New JMB follows IS ideology. Another organisation named Ansar Al Islam follows al-Qaeda. But none of these groups are affiliated with the international terrorist organisations. However, we have learned of their efforts to gain affiliate status,”...

 

The Art of Making a Jihadist
Andrew Anthony

So much for the sleeping dreams, what of their waking ones? What world do jihadists want to create? It’s notable that so much of the descriptive work of Jihadi films, poetry and artwork is fixated on two things: the base evil of the enemy and the sensual indulgence of heaven. What it seldom attempts to do is to describe the idyll of Jihadi life on Earth.....

Saudi Arabia’s Troubling Educational Curriculum
David Andrew Weinberg

Saudi Arabia’s strict brand of Salafist Sunni Islam, commonly referred to in the West as Wahhabism, maintains a strong emphasis on eschewing any religious practices that could be perceived as deviations from monotheism. As a result, the kingdom’s curriculum includes numerous books on monotheism that admonish against acts of polytheism (“Shirk”) and its practitioners (“Mushrikeen”). As such, these lessons are inherently critical toward adherents of non-monotheistic religions. They also single out for criticism many of the rituals that are commonly associated in the local context with Shiite or Sufi Islam....

 

The Myth of ISIS's Strategic Brilliance
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

The end of ISIS as a functioning state project on the ground clearly does not herald the end of ISIS as an entity. In many areas long since cleared of ISIS control, the organization has continued to function as an effective insurgency with both small and large-scale attacks. Around the world, ISIS will remain a terrorist threat, as illustrated by events from Europe to the Philippines. The ISIS footprint on the internet is large and unlikely ever to be removed in its entirety. The group's ideals will still appeal to some segments of society, whether out of disillusionment with the established....

 

Local Sunni communities rejected Salafi-Jihadi ideology repeat­edly. The ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam ran afoul of local custom, of local Islam. The call to violent jihad lacked resonance. Coercive tactics backfired, and the introduction of new, alternative systems of governance proved reversible. The failed Salafi-Jihadi leaders generally died. Those who have survived have learned lessons from all these encounters....

 

With ISIS on the Way Out, Iraqi Power Struggles Pose Major Threat
Hamdi Malik

Also, clashes between the Ninevah Guards, a Sunni force, and the Shiite faction of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada took place in Mosul on July 20. There are fears that these clashes might expand into open warfare amid deep differences over the disputed areas extending from Jalula near the Iranian border, through Kirkuk province and into Yazidi areas near the Syrian border. Terrorist groups have been able to exploit differences....

 

Bangladesh: Unremitting Effort
S. Binodkumar Singh

Claiming that terrorists no longer possessed the capacities to carry out attacks like the one at Gulshan Café, as their 'backbones had been broken' during anti-terrorist drives across the country, Monirul Islam, the CTTC chief, noted, on June 30, 2017, "They may try to get reorganized again but we'll hunt down the absconding terrorists, too....

 

How to Neutralize the Violent Jihadist Pull
Yaya J. Fanusie

However, history also shows that this period was one of negotiation and alliance-making, not political Islam absolutism. According to various biographers of Muhammad writing about this time, in many cases Arab tribes were allowed to keep their religious traditions in exchange for entering into agreements of cooperation, keeping their own distinct identity, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, or pagan. Any hostility was based on whether the tribe would be a threat or ally to the nascent Muslim community, not whether it followed Islam’s beliefs and practices. ...

Mosul in Mindanao: Winning the War With ISIS In the Philippines, But Losing the Peace

They had links with jihadists in Indonesia. At home, they even recruited from among faculty and students at Mindanao State University in Marawi. The Maute group put up over half the fighters who seized Marawi, all the while advertising its role on social media. All this suggests unusual sophistication and strength....

 

The Islamic State Is Not Dead Yet
Antony J. Blinken

But the ongoing civil war there will make it challenging to implement, as evidenced by the slow process of bringing the city of Tabqa — liberated two months ago and a gateway to the Islamic State’s Syrian capital in Raqqa — back to life. Even more challenging is what comes next. Twenty-five million Sunni Muslims live between Baghdad and Damascus....

 

The Legacy of Lal Masjid
Zahid Hussain

The video begins with Ghazi’s last message exhorting his followers to continue the struggle. The video then shows visuals of the Lal Masjid itself, along with the Jamia Hafsa and also visuals of troop deployment prior to the operation. Many of the Pakistanis who have joined Jihadi groups fighting in Iraq and Syria are believed to be former students of the madrasas affiliated with Lal Masjid....

 
9/11 doesn’t Justify Today’s Wars
Jerrod A. Laber and Lucy Steigerwald

9/11 doesn’t Justify Today’s Wars
Lucy Steigerwald

The Afghanistan War had an unfavourable rating of 78 percent in 2016. An American soldier killed there on July 3 was 19 years old—meaning he wasn’t old enough for kindergarten when the war began. We shouldn’t wait for another generation to deploy to a foreign desert before we begin asking when enough is enough....

 

How Africa Became A Hotbed For Terror
Zeynab Ladak

One of the reasons for the cause of terrorism in Africa may be due to poverty and marginalisation of minorities, as seen with Egyptian Bedouins, whereby a group of them joined ISIS after feeling marginalised by their government for decades. Research has found that minorities groups who feel marginalised and are discriminated against, tend to get attracted towards extremism and are more susceptible to radicalization. ....

 

As Indonesia Targets Islamist Hard-Liners, Even Rights Groups Object
Jon Emont

Still, experts cautioned that the ban may not be effective. Hizbut Tahrir functioned as an underground university-based organization during the Suharto dictatorship in the 1980s and 1990s, and may well try to return to those roots. “Of all the Islamic organizations in Indonesia, this is the one that’s most likely to be able to survive underground,” said Ken Ward, a former intelligence analyst with the Australian government who has studied the group, citing its secrecy....

 

ISIS, Battered but Still Potent, Returns to Its Insurgent Roots
Ben Hubbard

“O brothers, I call upon you to rise up wherever you are and to surround them and monitor them, then attack them and kill them,” a Chechen suicide bomber said in a video released posthumously last month. “The disbelievers have gathered today from every faith and attacked the caliphate, but this had only added to our faith and courage.” American officials acknowledged the difficulty of fighting the group online....

 

Ever since the al-Qaida attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that focus has shifted to radical jihadists. Yet both types of extremists remain very active. "We have a jihadist terrorism problem. But we also have a neo-Nazi, far right-wing terrorism problem,"...

 

The Massacre of Mosul: 40,000 Feared Dead In Battle to Take Back City from ISIS as Scale of Civilian Casualties Revealed
Patrick Cockburn

He says he cannot imagine Mosul without the Nabi Yunus mosque (the tomb of Jonah) that Isis blew up as a heretical shrine in 2014 and the al-Nuri mosque, with its 12th century leaning minaret, which Isis destroyed in the last stage of the battle to prevent its capture by government forces. In addition, there is “an unimaginable level of human suffering with more than one million people displaced”....

 

Sistani’s fatwa became decisive to defeat ISIS. Unlike what is portrayed mainly in the Western media that Hashd is a force solely consisting of Shias, it also brought together Sunni tribesmen as well as Christian and Yazidi volunteers. However, Shia volunteers form the majority and in 2016 Iraq’s parliament recognised Hashd as an official force. The fatwa came at a time when Iraq was experiencing a political turmoil. In the wake of ISIS’s lightening advances ...

 

Saudi Arabia was the chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the UK. It said the Kingdom has promoted Wahhabi Islam "across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West" since the 1960s. It added that Saudi Arabia has spent at least £67 billion over the last 30 years in this endeavour. Saudi Arabia has given endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions in the UK. These have then played host to extremist preachers and distributed extremist literature.....

ISIS May Be On Its Knees but It Will Rise Again If We Don’t Break the Cycle
Hassan Hassan

Isis has lost the caliphate but it has gained a transnational organisation it did not have three years ago. Largely an Iraq-focused organisation, al-Qaida in Iraq, whose founders came from various jihadist battlefields, was a localised group until it expanded into Syria in 2013 and became Islamic State in the summer of 2014. Since then, it has sought to develop branches and cells across the region and beyond. Isis is arguably a fully fledged international group vying to reclaim the mantle of global jihad from al-Qaida....

 

Bloggers and publishers were assassinated one after another, attacked in the streets, at home or in their offices, and countless bloggers were persecuted by the infamous 'Section 57', a blasphemy law. This resulted in mass hysteria among the huge number of bloggers, activists, a lot of whom eventually fled the country, tarnishing the 'secular image' of Bangladesh.....

 
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