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Radical Islamism and Jihad

The politically sensitive issue of ‘disrespecting’ Islam will have to be deftly handled by the Government, and not be allowed to undermine much needed initiatives against radicalisation and terrorism....

The call for innovation is particularly significant as it is a reaction to successful counterterrorism measures by many states which have weakened al-Qaeda Central and ISIL....

Tragically, a few years from now, Syria will be right back where it was before the campaign against ISIS: suffering from chaos and conflict, with terrorism ascendant...

 

Their sermons targeted India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, US and, to some extent, Pakistan. This group had already started identifying themselves as AQ in “Barre Saghir” (South Asia), suggesting a South Asia-focused AQ branch, which was exhorting Muslims of these countries to wage jihad in their own countries against pro-West governments....

I attached a picture of Wiranto’s family during a funeral of his grandson in November 2018 which went viral on social media for its exposure of his daughter, Lia Wiranto, who wore a Niqab (full-face veil) and her husband, who sat next to her, wearing a white turban. At that time the image led to speculations that some members of Wiranto’s family had joined a radical group....

Mr. President,

Islamophobia and Islamist violence are both growing and in the unlikeliest of places. Recent attacks on churches in Sri Lanka were as much of a surprise as the attack on mosques in Christchurch. And now copycat attacks are taking place elsewhere. A vicious cycle of xenophobic violence is in operation.

While the world suffers from Jihadist violence, Muslims in particular suffer the most causalities in sectarian wars incited by the Islamist Jihadist ideology. And yet, even almost two decades after 9/11, Muslim nations continue to be in denial. Islamist ideology based on the Islamic theology of consensus is absolved of any responsibility for violent extremism.

The result is that Muslim children continue to be taught in madrasas Islam supremacism and contempt for other religions. Even explicitly violent passages have not yet been weeded out from text books.

The terrorism it generates takes many shapes. If Hindu, Sikh and Christian girls are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan, this too essentially comes from contempt for other religions taught in religious seminaries. In several countries including Pakistan, some Muslims do not wait for courts to pass judgements to punish those they consider guilty.

 The Council should convince the offending states to establish the rule of law on the basis of the UN Charter and repeal unacceptable laws against freedom of religion and conscience.-----

We need to consider two things here; firstly if the act of Shirk (polytheism) had been the cause of fighting, the peace-treaty would not have been signed between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Mushrikin of Makkah. Secondly, if those Mushrikin had not been the religious persecutors or the violators of the peace-treaty, the fighting would not have occurred. ..

Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, you should have sought to understand the philosophy of Kashmiriyat that reigns in Kashmir before writing your latest missive. The Muslims of Kashmir have traditionally understood the message of Islam much better than the fundamentalists and exclusivists who present Islam as a totalitarian, fascist, political ideology of world domination, which seeks to eliminate all the scores of religions sent by God before Prophet Mohammad. This is the reason why even those Kashmiri politicians who now advocate secession have contested elections for the legislative Assemblies constituted under India’s secular and progressive constitution. This is the reason why only a few Kashmiri youth have taken to the path of terror, which you call Jihad. Most of the terrorism seen in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been part of a proxy war waged by neighbouring Pakistan for its own ends. Pakistan, of course, has turned export of terrorism to a fine art, affecting all corners of the globe....

 Aware of this, the jurists of all ages have unanimously agreed in their area of principles of jurisprudence that any word of the Quran whose meaning is apparent (Zahir) still has the possibility of specification or further interpretation. Therefore no one in this world can present this verse (9:5) as a definitive evidence to prove that the word “Mushrikin” mentioned in the Quran refers to all Mushrikin of the world or of all ages....

Numerous fatwas (edicts) have been issued by ulema (Islamic scholars) across the globe, particularly since 9/11 in a bid to stem the tide of Islamist terrorism. Tens of thousands of ulema have endorsed these fatwas issued by influential institutions of Islamic learning of all sects in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as other parts of the world. When issued, these fatwas inspired great expectations. As perceptive and insightful an observer as Mr. Ziauddin Sardar proclaimed “the beginning of the end of the war of terror” when a hundred thousand Deobandi ulema endorsed a fatwa issued by the hundred-year-old Islamic madrasa in Deoband, India, “unequivocally denouncing terrorism,” in June 2008. Similarly, Sufism-oriented Barailwis, hard-line Salafis, Ahl-e-Hadeesis, have all denounced Islamist terrorism in their separate or joint statements. But terrorist ideology continues to attract our youth, particularly in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. What used to be merely a Pakistan-sponsored secessionist struggle is showing signs of tuning into an Islamist struggle for the establishment of Islamic Sharia through a universal Caliphate, very much redolent of the objectives of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS.  Popularizing the slogan of “Shariatya Shahadat,” a militant leader Zakir Musa, Burhan Wani’s successor, even threatened to kill Hurriyat leaders for calling Kashmir’s separatist movement political and not religious. Calling them “hypocrites, infidels, followers of evil”, the militant had warned to chop off their heads to be hanged in Lal Chowk in Srinagar, “if they create hurdles in the path of making Kashmir an Islamic State”....

Maulana Mufti Salman Mansoorpuri, a Jamiat scholar, insisted late last year that Pakistan has been erroneously and mischievously linking the term to their rift with India. Mahmood Madani revealed this at an Observer Research Foundation (ORF) conference last month, sparking renewed interest in the theological interpretation of the phrase....

Related Articles:

How Pakistanis Are Being Brainwashed Into Engaging In War against India: Virulent Anti-Islam Propaganda in Pakistan In The Name Of So-Called Ghazwa-e-Hind

How the Pakistani Media Twisted Events and Brought In the Erroneous Concept of Ghazwa-e-Hind In Reporting The IAF Air Strike On Jaish e Mohammad's Terrorist Training Camp In Balakot

Pakistani Jihadis' War Cry of Ghazwa-e-Hind Is Entirely Based On Concocted Ahadith: No Religious Sanctity attached to Terrorist Designs on India

The U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, last March, condemning “defamation of religion” as a human rights violation. Speaking for the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Pakistan said that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.” It called on states “to deny impunity” for those exhibiting intolerance of ethnic and religious minorities, and “to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs.”

However, Mr. President, news reports often emanate from Islamic countries, particularly Pakistan, of intolerance of and disrespect for minority religious beliefs. We also see free publication and distribution of Jihadi literature associating Islam with and indeed promoting human rights violations and extremist violence. Even school and madrasa text books are not free from extremist and exclusivist teachings, asking Muslims to stay away from religious and cultural celebrations of other religious communities. Pakistan’s notorious anti-blasphemy laws ensure that members of religious minorities are either lynched by mobs or awarded death sentences on mere accusations of blasphemy. The case of a Christian lady Aasia Bibi, mercifully out of the country now, has brought this issue to world’s attention. Ahmadiya Muslims are officially excluded from Islam and even debarred from claiming to be Muslim in any way. Like non-Muslim minorities, they too suffer indignities of various kinds in their daily life. Hundreds of young Hindu girls are routinely abducted and forcibly converted to Islam and raped in the name of marriage.

While this resolution seeks to protect Islam from defamation through any association with terrorism, the religion is routinely defamed in Muslim countries by publication of literature justifying violence against non-Muslim civilians. The very title of a long essay in the Taliban mouthpiece Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad was: ‘Circumstances in which the killing of innocent people among infidels is justified.’

I would, therefore, urge the Council to ask the Muslim countries to treat intolerance of minorities and Jihadi literature too as defaming the religion of Islam....

A War on Terror has been raging for 17 years now but we are no closer to defeating Islamist terror. Jihadism continues to attract Muslim youth. This is because the world has not paid enough attention to the ideology of Islamism and Jihadism.

Mainstream Muslims have considered Islam a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many. Islam aims at reforming society for a peaceful, harmonious, pluralist existence. However, due to certain historical factors, the theology and jurisprudence of Islam that evolved in the 8th and 9th centuries (CE), present Islam as a political, totalitarian ideology of supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and gender discrimination. It is this theology of violence, exclusivism and world-domination that is taught in madrasas and sustains Islamism. But despite the Islamist violence against peaceful Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the community is still not focussed on the need for evolving a counternarrative of Islam.

 It is imperative that Muslim countries that have signed the UN Charter look into the issue urgently and work towards developing a new theology of peace, pluralism and gender justice. While several countries like Morocco and now Saudi Arabia appear to be moving in this direction, the one country that has made a solid contribution is Turkey. In a decade-long exercise 100 Turkish scholars have managed to limit the number of authentic ahadith to just 1600, out of over 10,000, and provide each hadith with context and suitable interpretation. This book of authentic Hadith has been provided to all mosques in Turkey but I hope it is made available to the global Muslim community in their own languages as soon as possible.

Allama Iqbal, a poet-philosopher of the South Asian sub-continent had called for the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam almost a hundred years ago. Let us at least start working on it now....

Strangely enough, there are repeat performances of the policies that had led to public anger and paved the way to religious movements to take over the public arena and reach power in some countries....

Dunya viewed many of the girls as inexperienced boy-band groupies, having understood ISIS as some kind of trendy rebellion. They watched ISIS videos on their phones and laptops, droning on about the delight of finally living under a caliphate....

 

Iraq says that ISIS is not safe. “Our hands can reach out whether you are in caves or tunnels, mountains or deserts,” say leaflets recently dropped over suspected ISIS cells. Coordinating those hands, paying them salaries, and providing them the right intelligence, is key to helping them reach those locations….

 Now that the Pakistani Prime Minister has officially declared "jihad" in Kashmir, it is an open invitation to the terrorist ideologues and organisations across the world and particularly those operating in Pakistan to wage war against India particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. Indian ulema and Islamic scholars, have refuted the Pakistani war cry of Ghazwatul Hind and the renewed religious rhetoric of “Jihad-e-Kashmir," on several occasions, but merely rhetorically. No serious effort has been made to study the Jihadi or Islamist extremist narrative and engage with it. NewAgeIslam.com has been attempting to evolve a new consensus over a theology of peace and pluralism to replace the present consensus over the traditional theology of violence and supremacism, but no support has come to us from the ulema. They merely keep on spouting rhetoric which may please the powers-that-be but is not helping moderate our thoughts towards accepting all religions as spiritual paths to salvation. Until Muslims accept the pluralistic message of Quran in this regard and let go of supremacism, nothing much will change....

The researcher who goes to the depth of the ideology of the group will discover the falsity of this claim, and realize that the idea of the use of force and violence is based on one of the fundamental ideas in the approach founded by the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Hassan Al-Banna the difference between him and Sayyid Qutb was only on the timing and method not in principle and idea....

ISIS, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, belongs to the Salafist branch within Islam that wants to re-create the Islamic caliphate and impose Sharia law throughout the region. ISIS views Hamas and its supporters as “apostates.”...

 

Meanwhile, Afghanistan, expectedly and immediately after the Pakistani announcement in September 2005, raised objections on the grounds that this was an attempt to make the disputed border permanent....

 

ISIS may be militarily defeated tomorrow and even go out of existence. But this will not solve the problem of Muslim radicalisation. If our madrasas and educational institutions continue to prepare the ground for self-segregation and militancy, expounding the current theology, mixed with narratives of victimhood and marginalisation, Islam will continue to be hobbled, Muslims will continue to struggle to fit in the way of life in contemporary world.

Moderate, progressive Muslims must urgently evolve and propagate an alternative theology of peace and pluralism, consistent in all respects with the teachings of Islam, and suitable for contemporary and future societies, while refuting the current theology of violence and supremacism.

Unfortunately, as we have seen above, the task is not so easy. Radicalisation has not just happened overnight. Jihadi theology has evolved over hundreds of years. Major theologians who have studied Islam independently have brought to us a political version of Islam, stripping the religion of all its spirituality.

While it is primarily the duty of Muslims to fight this ideological war within slam, this is no longer just a Muslim concern. The world too must confront Muslim scholars with the supremacism and extremism present in their theology and ask them to rethink Islam.  ProgressiveMuslims should join the rest of the world to defeat extremism in Islamic theology.

Without a claim to physical territory anymore, the group’s information operations have become even more critical to its success. The nature and spread of ISIS as an organization have changed as a result....

 

In politics, as in life, the urgent always trumps the important. The urgent question about ISIS these days is the fate of thousands of foreign former fighters now languishing in limbo in makeshift prisons....

 

I didn’t see you questioning the notorious tele-evangelist Dr. Zakir Naik when he said: “all Muslims should be terrorists” or when he said: “Quran allows Muslims to have sex with female slaves.” Indeed, you all kept quiet when Naik made hateful remarks like the following: “People in the west eat pork and hence behave like pigs. Pigs are the only animals in the world that invite their friends to have sex with their partners. Westerners also do the same.” Naik has made insulting other religions in the guise of comparative study or interfaith dialogue his speciality. But I find almost the entire fraternity of Muslim ulema coming out in his defence when it was discovered that his discourse inevitably inspired several people around the world who took to the path of terrorism.

Worst of all, you and all other ulema kept quiet when Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi of Hyderabad asked Muslims to pray for the Islamic State. In a press release available online he said: “Condemnation of their (Islamic State’s) action may not be called sagacity and will be considered against the spirit of Islam. … they have tried to fulfil the dream of a large section of Muslims and their determination has infused a new life into the concept of Caliphate. Their announcement (of caliphate) has surpassed Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi’s powerful writings and speeches about Caliphate and has realized the concept practically. …..

SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks online activity of jihadist groups, reported that in a video released by the militant group, the 68-year-old al-Zawahiri also criticizes "backtrackers" from jihad, referring to former Jihadis who changed their views in prison and called the 9/11 attacks unacceptable because innocent civilians were harmed....

 
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