Radical Islamism and Jihad
Sultan Shahin, who runs a website from New Delhi that counters Jihadi
propaganda, said his site has been banned in Pakistan for publishing such
articles. But there are lessons to be learnt from the experience of other
countries where such programmes are being run. "Although de-radicalisation
programmes are not a great success, counter-radicalisation can be of help in
the Indian context," he says...
But then there
are those like Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Masood Azhar, who remain so relevant to the
security institution that help is sought from powerful allies like China to
protect them at international forums. In the past calendar year, China blocked
Indian and now even American efforts to pass a resolution in the UN Security
Council declaring Azhar as terrorist....
Muhammad Amir Rana
Raddul Fasaad appears to be an attempt at a collaborative effort to counter the
threat. Still, it is to be seen how this effort can transform into a proper
institutional mechanism. Law-enforcement agencies can cope with the new
challenges by putting in place improved investigation, intelligence-gathering
and intelligence-sharing mechanisms, and by developing a rapid response
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
On June 19,
2016, for instance, the KP Government allocated PKR 300 million in its budget
to Darul Uloom Haqqania (Nowshera), known as the 'University of Jihad'. The
madrasa is known for having several top Afghan Taliban leaders among its
alumni, including former Taliban chief Mullah Omar who received an honorary
doctorate from the seminary. Haqqani Network founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, al
Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) leader Asim Umar and slain Afghan
Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, are among the other alumni of the
K S Venkatachalam
Sufism is close to the Hinduism’s Advaidic philosophy, where atman (human soul)
and Parmatma (God) are one, as there is no distinction of duality between the
God and the soul, except in our perception. Jhulelal continues to be the
unifying force and the centre of all cultural activities of the Sindhi
community. It is against this backdrop, one should not be surprised why the IS
specifically chose to target the Holy Shrine, as Sufism preaches love and
government overhauled its counter-extremism programs and cut off dozens of
Islamist groups from taxpayer funding. Politicians and journalists learned a
very important lesson about Western Islam: It is a diverse mix of dozens of
different political and religious sects, which includes both violent and
non-violent extremists. No single group could represent all Western Muslims,
and it was only by delineating British Islam into its diverse, competing
constituents that extremism could be effectively tackled and suitable Muslim
combat the flow of young Muslims to overseas battlefields have been complicated
by the ambivalence toward, and sometimes support for, the Jihadi cause among
some imams and the recruits’ parents. In an interview that began and ended with
a prayer, Mr. Sabur said he had welcomed his son’s death as a martyr: “I felt
elated. Speaking about it now, I am over elated.”....
Where is the IS
heading? Few observers would bet on its annihilation. It would perhaps do
better than al-Qaeda, which lost its punch following the killing of Osama bin
Laden. The ISIS is expected to be more enduring than its rivals because it is
not personality-oriented. It has shown itself to be more pragmatic in opting
for expansion in terms of geography, instead of sticking to mere ideology.....
As we walked
inside, what struck me most was not the tranquillity, or even the spirituality,
but the feeling of being in a sanctuary. I remember less about the altar of the
shrine, and more of the haven it provided for the downtrodden. There were
beggars and madmen; the aged and the sick; women with their children; Hindus
and Muslims. The people I saw there fascinated me because they were people
society had forsaken....
joined Isis and became a suicide bomber, but what did the future hold for the
other UK citizens and residents? When we fall short of those standards, we not
only risk miscarriages of justice. We undermine the foundation of our
democracy, and give licence to regimes across the world to behave just as they
wish. I think this is exactly what those who violently attack us want.
Detention without proper cause or due legal process, in conditions criticised
by many, is unacceptable.....
Rami G Khouri
international concern that thousands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) fighters and their leaders will soon disperse to many countries - once
Raqqa and Mosul are liberated - has focused on possible terror threats from a
renewed global underground army of frustrated radicals.....
S Akbar Zaidi
ethos of a land known, over the centuries, for its Sufi values and shrines, is
undergoing a fundamental change – but its liberal intelligentsia is not willing
to admit this, or perhaps even acknowledge it to themselves. Walk into
Shikarpur and see the remains of the numerous NATO tankers that were burnt
there by extremist elements, possibly in collusion with the oil mafia from the
area. Go to the province’s border districts and you will find Jamaat-ud-Dawa
(JuD) graffiti everywhere invoking people against India….
If only the
Pakistani governments could finance schools which taught Pakistanis to respect
their own indigenous and syncretic religious traditions, rather than buying
fleets of American F-16 fighters, and handing over education to the Saudis,
Pakistani might now yet be an important trading partner for a future Indian
superpower — a place where Sufis can still sing safely and in peace....
sacrifices bought influence: Maulana Nizamuddin Shamzai, the head of the Jamia
Uloom-e-Islamia, worked through Akhtar to bring together Osama bin Laden and
Mullah Omar. The effort paved the way for the al-Qaeda chief to shift base to
Afghanistan at the end of 1996. The Harkat itself wielded significant influence
in Afghanistan, reportedly holding three ministerial positions in the Taliban
government, along with 22 Sharia court judges....
Syed Ata Hasnain
The shrine of
Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah evokes the finest emotions
of faith, especially because one rubs shoulders with as many Hindu and Sikh
pilgrims as Muslim. In fact, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was also commonly referred as
Jhulelal (the river deity) by local Sindhi Hindus, as the shrine stands close
to the river Indus. It is also famous for the Dhamal, a dance by hundreds of
men and women to the sound of drum beats, an action which supposedly places the
individual in direct contact with his maker,,,.
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....
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....
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....
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.....
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....
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
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. ....
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