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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Why Moderate Muslims Come To Support Extremist Groups
Barbara F. Walter

If these groups have proliferated because Muslim citizens are supporting them for practical reasons — because Salafi-jihadist groups are better able to fight or offer greater reassurances against corruption — then effective counterstrategies have to address the conditions that make support for these groups advantageous. Eliminate the underlying conditions that make an extreme ideology beneficial to embrace, and you eliminate the incentives for elites and moderates to back it....

 

But ISIS writ large isn’t just going after Sufis in Egypt. It continues to attack Sufis around the world, especially in Pakistan. Most infamously, ISIS bombed a Pakistani mosque in February that killed at least 70 people and injured more than 250. Four months before, ISIS murdered 52 people at a Sufi shrine. And in April 2011, suicide bombers killed 41 Sufis during a three-day festival....

Is Sufism A New Target For Terrorists In Sinai?
Sonia Farid

The beheading of Sheikh Abu Heraz was preceded by the bombing of two Sufi shrines in North Sinai in August 2013: the shrine of Sheikh Selim Abu Garir in the village of Bir al-Abd, where al-Rawda Mosque is located, and the shrine of Sheikh Hamid in al-Maghara region. Several village residents said extremists threatened them a few days before the attack to kill them if they celebrate the prophet’s birthday, which falls this year on November 30, since it is considered an un-Islamic “novelty.” …

 

With The Loss of Its Caliphate, ISIS Could Turn Even More Reckless and Radical
Joby Warrick

The group views Sufi Muslims as apostates and has attacked Sufi shrines in northern Africa and Iraq. But the Islamic State has generally not targeted Sufis in Egypt, where the strain of Sunni Islam has deep roots that date back centuries and broad popular appeal. “As you get more desperate, you also get internal feuding over who is more puritanical,”...

 

On May 17, the IS set out its new Takfir stance. Bin‘ali said this entailed a sequence of excommunication to which there was no end. As Bunzel puts it, if A is an unbeliever and B excuses A’s unbelief, then B becomes an unbeliever; and if C excuses B’s unbelief, then C becomes an unbeliever, and so on ad infinitum....

 

Do-It-Yourself Terrorism: The Threat Has Evolved From Trained Professionals to Simple ‘Singletons’
George H. Wittman

Less than a year ago, the focus of counter-Islamic terrorism was based on the fact that very few terrorists acted as “lone wolves” or, as they are known in intelligence jargon, “singletons.” That perception has changed dramatically. It’s now realized that a wholly new tactic requiring little training and organization presents an even more dangerous threat than the earlier operational approach of carefully organized, vetted and trained small “professional” groups....

 

At least 235 people have been killed after dozens of militants set off a suicide bomb and opened fire at a mosque in Egypt's restive northern Sinai province in the worst religious extremism attack the country has ever faced. The attack on Friday targeted supporters of the security forces attending prayers there, two eyewitnesses and a security source said….

Other Stories:

Militants Shoot Faithful Fleeing Bomb Blasts At Egypt Mosque

At Least 235 Killed In 'Horrific' Attack At Egypt Mosque

 

Attack On A Sufi Tomb In Kerala: Discern Between Malik Bin Dinar’s Islam And The Self-Styled Islamists Vandalising A Tomb And Chopping Off A Christian Professor's Hand
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Why the Keralite Salafist activists systematically target the Sufi shrines, while they seem ‘peaceniks’ loudly talking about ‘Islam as religion of peace’? But when it comes to show peace and toleration within Islam itself, they find no room for other schools of thought! Literally, there is no diametric difference between the ISIS onslaught on tombs of the Prophet’s companions and the demolition of the Sufi tomb by the Salafis at Nadukani in Kerala. Worst of all, the deafening silence by the ‘popular’ Muslim fronts, Islamic media outlets and political parties particularly those formed in the name of Islam and Muslims in Kerala is appalling....

Autocracies Breed Terror in Middle East
Patrick Wintour

“Recent examples of the catastrophes created by evil ideologies can be found across my region: children who have lived through the mass atrocities of the Syrian regime, Isis in Iraq and Syria, or the war in Yemen are now young adults with little hope for a better future.” He said the risk was that such conflicts will breed a new generation of young extremists....

 

The Battle for the Lands of the Caliphate
Clifford D. May

They intend to become so powerful — and so dangerous — that no Iraqi government will dare defy them. Bashar Assad, the mass-murdering dictator they’ve rescued, is to serve as their obedient Syrian satrap. Hezbollah, their terrorist foreign legion, has been tightening its grip on Lebanon. Yemen’s Houthi rebels depend on Tehran for funding, arms and, presumably, instruction....

 

Stop Portraying Islamic State As A Band Of Exotic Globetrotters
Tom Smith

And perhaps most concerning has been recent coverage of the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar. As the world slowly finds its voice (if not much else) to condemn the Burmese government, too many onlookers are falling for that same government’s claim of a Rohingya extremist insurgency. It seems the West found another opportunity to invent new jihadists: exotic, remote, and ready to keep the story going....

 

After The Liberation of Mosul, an Orgy Of Killing
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Around them in Mosul, captured Isis weapons were siphoned off by soldiers and corrupt officers, and then sold to the Kurds or one of the dozens of Shia military units that were ostensibly established to fight Isis. These militias have been stockpiling Isis weapons in preparation for the next conflict. In Baghdad, the very politicians whose disastrous actions had led to the rise of Isis were appearing on TV, giving speeches, as they continued to jostle, bicker and loot the nation. The commander and his men knew that the silence of guns in this ruined country did not mean peace; it simply meant the end of one kind of war and the start of another....

 

Crimes of the Caliphate: Iraqi Shepherd Bears Witness to ISIS Massacre
Margaret Coker

“They were slaughtering people for all kinds of reasons, those caught using the internet, those suspected of being witches,” the shepherd, Saad al-Omar, said at the site of a mass grave here on Tuesday. “Here, I saw those victims, my neighbours. I saw bodies of mothers with their children. They had been shot. They had been burned. They were all dead.”...

 

If Saudi Arabia Reforms, What Happens to Islamists Elsewhere?
Kamel Daoud

Around 1744, a tribal chieftain, Muhammad ibn Saud, formed an alliance with an ultraconservative preacher named Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and created the first monarchical state on the Arabian Peninsula. On the one hand, there was the Saud family, governing the country by right of blood and succession; on the other, there was Wahhabism, an ultra-puritanical and extreme version of Islam it called the original Islam. A family and a clergy….

Islamic State: From Physical Caliphate to Virtual Jihad
Daniel Wagner and Giuseppe Del Vecchio

Adaptations to jihadists’ modes of operation have continually outpaced states’ ability to effectively counter them, and will likely continue to do so. Virtual jihad has not only gained prominence and credibility as an alternative to traditional conceptions of jihad but has also progressively outpaced physical jihad. Although physical jihad continues to appeal to a great many actors, virtual jihad has supplanted traditional notions of jihad for a new generation of adherents…

 

A Tale of Two Hotels, a Buddha Behind Each
Mujib Mashal

It also has many paintings of the giant, cliff-side Buddha statues that made this region famous around the world before their destruction at the hands of the Taliban in 2001. “The Buddhas were the identity of Bamian,” said Ustad Abdullah, 63, a biology teacher cutting greens for his cows in the fields nearby. “I am confident they will rebuild the Buddhas. But maybe they should leave them like that — to show what the Taliban did?”....

The Afghan Taliban has not only rejected the Islamic State’s political vision of establishing Khorasan Province under the Caliphate but is also actively fighting against ISIS in Afghanistan. The eventual goal of the Afghan Taliban is the resurgence “of the lost Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” As their focus is only on the political concept of this emirate…

 
A Jihad Grows in Florida
Daniel Greenfield

The plotters may look like buffoons to us. But the difference between a buffoon and a monster is success. If the 9/11 hijackers had failed, their plot to destroy the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and the White House using box cutters would have seemed hilarious. Had Omar Mateen’s plot been broken up early, the media would have dismissed him as a delusional idiot whose terror plots were nothing more than empty fantasies....

 

ISIS is not defeated ideologically, and there is much wishful thinking that once it loses territory it will not be seen as an attractive Salafi-Jihadi franchise. Its “end-of-times” vision easily accommodates defeat and its symbolic narrative can be reframed for a renewed focus on the West. Ever since al- Qa’ida’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri helped establish the Islamic Jihad in Egypt during the 1990s, the Salafi-Jihadi insurgency has not been defeated — it just morphs into a new menace....

 

Iran Sent Them to Syria, Now Afghan Fighters Are a Worry at Home
Mujib Mashal

“They tell you are defending the shrine of Zainab, and that is true: We believe in defending our religion and faith,” Jawed said. “But when you get there, you realize you have been brought to the slaughterhouse of a war of major powers.”...

 

Political Pandering Nurtures Cancer of Islamic Extremism
Fareed Zakaria

"Travel around Asia and you will see so many new mosques and madrasas built in the last 30 years that have had funding from the Gulf. They are modern, clean, air-conditioned, well-equipped -- and Wahhabi [Saudi Arabia's puritanical version of Islam]." Recently, it was reported that Saudi Arabia plans to contribute almost $1 billion to build 560 mosques in Bangladesh….

 

Soldiers Trained For Jihad Need to Fight Wars without End
Saeed Naqvi

Strange the connections the mind makes. Trained hounds, when redundant, can be housed in kennels, walked, and distributed among dog lovers. What does mankind do with trained Jihadis? They have been trained to kill “Kafirs” and blow themselves up with promises of Houris in paradise. After a Jihadi has served his ghoulish purpose, what are his trainers supposed to do with him? Send him elsewhere on another Jihadi expedition?...

 

How Muslims Can Answer the ISIS Myth of Islamic Supremacy

I used to joke with friends that the U.K. is now Englandistan. But the time for jokes is over. A Wahhabi extremist like Anjem Choudary wants Sharia in the U.K., where he was born and raised. He openly praises Daesh. America has its own (not as famous) version in Maryland-based “Imam” Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa, who came here from Libya as a 10-year-old boy….

 

The human capacity for atrocities is limitless, and philosophies that offer moral justification for them are particularly pernicious. Careful vetting of immigrants makes sense, while a meat-ax approach does not. This struggle may continue for decades or even centuries. Unlike in the contest with communism, we in the non-Muslim world have limited influence. Our best hopes for countering Islamism are: 1) recognizing that it’s an ideology; and 2) remembering that moderate Muslims are indispensable allies.

The cancer of Islamist extremism spreads around the world
Fareed Zakaria

Consider Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, long seen as a moderate bulwark. This year, the governor of Jakarta, the country's capital and largest city, lost his bid for re-election after he was painted by hardliners as unfit for office because he is Christian. Worse, he was then jailed after being convicted on a dubious and unfair blasphemy charge. Amid a rising tide of extremist politics, Indonesia's "moderate" president and its mainstream "moderate" organisations have failed to stand up for the country's traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism.

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NEW COMMENTS

  • The confusion about the concept of shahadah is just one of many that have left non-Muslims....
    ( By GRD )
  • Naseer sb, you again misunderstood what I wrote. I said poetry and something written in poetic style are two different things. One may not be ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Arshad sb, I agree with what you say about the Quran. It has its own charm, style, diction and power to awe, amaze and convince. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Different folks show their intolerance in different ways. People can have good inter-community relations in spite of these petty scruples. Making ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb can neither explain his flip-flops nor has the honesty to admit that he has revised his earlier categorical opinion that all the Mushrikin ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus sb says :"Flaw in Argument: A Muslim girl can fall in love with and marry a polytheist in breach of Qur’anic decree (2:221) retaining ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb, poetry is the art of use of language for conveying one's thought in an effective style. Quran is not vain poetry but it ...
    ( By arshad )
  • What have you read on Islam. Islam is 5% good, 35% bad and rest neutral. So let us not pick and choose 5% and ignore ...
    ( By Raman )
  • The rubbish that emanates from Naseer sab's pen is mind boggling.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Both the courts and the NIA are guilty of violating Hadiya's fundamental۔۔۔۔
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • no amount of rage is going to help your hollow claims. muslims are forbiddeen from eating offerings offered to another deity. they cannot....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: ""A close scrutiny of the opening ....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • allah hates poets and poetry. what else is new? allah hates most of the things he thoughtlessly creates - kufr, shirk and so...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Arshad sb, The Quran says that it is those who stray in evil who follow the poets. The Prophet was neither instructed in poetry nor ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus sb's understanding of the Quran is extremely weak. There is no reversal of the meaning of verse 2:221 which is meant for all good/clean ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Simplistic half truths in Hats Offs hate war against Muslims!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The perennial enemy of Islam should know that the same question was not asked of other communities.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Will Shahin sb and Yunus sb answer the questions please? Yunus sb cannot explain his flip-flops and will not answer and is therefore in hiding. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • that there was not a single answer from the oh-so tolerant extremists on this site proves once and for all that islam and muslims are ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • just goes to prove how egalitarian and accommodating the polytheists are and how exclusive and discriminatory....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Both Hindus and Muslims indulge in honor killings. The RSS has raised it to a war of hate and lies with their "Love Jihad" scam!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Instead of using our sense of goodness and righteousness to get the best meaning out of....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The fact is my above remarks expressly relate to the polytheists among the Prophet’immediate s audience only, who did not believe in this (Qur’an’s) ultimate ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • thanks for the update mr another arshad!'
    ( By hats off! )
  • Had Ayyothiya,Madura ,Kasi etc Mosques been handed over to Hindus, lot of cruel incidents that tarnishes the images/prestiges of Muslims would not have been ....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • I am unable to comprehend why Shahin sb cannot show the courtesy of doing a proper cut/paste job to present my complete argument. I can ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, The following is what Yunus sb has said before running away saying that he will not agree with me even if I said a ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr Hats off really hats off to your understanding. 'arshad' does not literally mean "I am late Sharif Arshad". It is....
    ( By arshad )
  • Gulam Mohyuddin did you not get any yes, this how your Muslim are. Includes Sultan Shahin, the propoganda of new age Islam....
    ( By Aayina )
  • The discussion of Kafir is just 1400 year old. It keep on changing the meaning depending on where and how Muslims are in political power.
    ( By Aayina )
  • casuistry when mistaken for logic has hilarious consequences. what with anonymous well known scholars, kill....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Qur'an is indeed great. it enables dead men to write and post comments on the reader's response to their articles....
    ( By hats off! )
  • This mushrikin/kafir discussion has gone to ridiculous lengths and seems to be never-ending. For a modernist....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • That's why your eagerness to be included surprised me.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "For those Muslims who choose to embrace modernity, the AIMPLB is an anachronism....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer Saheb, you have said: "While Allah does not consider all of them as kafir but simply as people without....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Urdu is not good. Many errors of imla, faulty construction of sentences...
    ( By Shahid )
  • Naseer SB, I am by nature a poet so I see poetry in Quran. You are a scientist....
    ( By arshad )
  • hats off, you jumped off to make a silly comment. Read the comment again. I said "no human being can...
    ( By arshad )
  • if a murtad doest not covet even jannat, what can s/he covet from mere mortals.'
    ( By hats off! )