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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

How Hamas Plans To Rebrand Internationally
Adnan Abu Amer

The release of the policy document after various capitals, among them Cairo and Amman, slammed the door in the movement’s face is perhaps not coincidental. It would also not be unreasonable to suggest that 30 years after the movement's inception, Hamas simply recognizes that new positions and policies are required to address political and economic developments and current regional tensions and ties.....

 

Countering Terrorism in Pakistan
Raashid Wali Janjua

In countries like Somalia and Pakistan, the impoverished segment of the population depends upon religious seminaries or madrasas for the education of their children. In these seminaries, the children are educated in theological subjects and are heavily indoctrinated in the extremist version of religion. According to Karin von Hippel, an amount of $1 billion has annually been spent on such madrasas, out of which 75 percent of the contribution comes from abroad, mostly from Saudi Arabia....

 

Radical Islam: The Geo Political Effects of its Errant Violent Ways
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain

It is obvious that Islam is in ferment, uneasy with itself.  The discomfort comes from its spread beyond the shores of the original land where it took birth and shape. Faiths adapt to situations and to people, settling into comfort positions, especially if there is no ecclesiastical authority to force issues as per a single order. Islam’s spread was rapid and its adaptation to regional and local environment gave it acceptance. There was also confrontation, as there inevitably is when a faith attempts to expand its scope and ambit of reach....

 

ISIL after Mosul: Insurgency and Rivalry
Alia Brahimi

While the impending combat threatens to be circuitous and uncertain - involving, as it will, fighting among civilians in the narrow streets and alleyways of the Old City - Abadi's confidence about the final outcome appears to be warranted. But what will be the broader repercussions of Mosul's liberation for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS)?...

 

Syria War: 'Worst Man-Made Disaster since World War II'
Dylan Collins

Six years to the day since protesters poured into the streets of Daraa, Damascus and Aleppo in a "day of rage" against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, Syria's uprising turned global war is far from over. Six years of violence have killed close to half a million people, according to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, displaced half of the country's pre-war population, allowed the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) to seize huge swaths of territory, and created the worst humanitarian crisis in recent memory....

 

India has been more or less lucky to be safe in the last few years despite being high on the hate list of terror groups. These outfits have their focus elsewhere at the moment. Syria, the US and Europe are their priority. No doubt, our security agencies have put in a lot of visible and invisible effort in neutralising their local variants like Indian Mujahedeen and Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent...

 

The Ulema need to stand united in dealing with extremism; they must forget their differences and fight for the Muslims who are suffering at the hands of these few thousand miscreants who are misusing Islam for their own misdeeds. They can build an alternative, the narrative of peace and love; and when the people will no longer be misguided they will not fall in the hands of terrorists nor pay heed to their words....

 
Attacking Sufism
Maria Sartaj

Attacking Sufism
Maria Sartaj

Sufism allows one to have their own unique spiritual experience, in its true essence it never judges; I’ve experienced chants by Hindus at Ajmer Sharif who cried ‘Gharib Nawaz Ki Jai Ho’ in ecstasy and it was as powerful as any other statement of allegiance. One doesn’t become a Sufi just by listening to Coke Studio; it is rather a way of life and a submission to divine power that brings peace to the soul.

Willing Executioners: Preventing Suicide Attacks Requires Shunning Intolerance
Sobhya Agha

Modern suicide terrorism began in the 1980s under conditions where the coercer was the weaker actor and the target the stronger. From Hezbollah, Hamas, the Tamil Tigers and Chechnyan rebel groups to Al Qaeda and the militant Islamic State group, the rhetoric of major suicide terrorist groups reflects the logic of coercive punishment. This technique’s purpose is to inflict punishment and provoke fear....

Coalition forces fear Isis will revert to Al-Qaeda's strategy of guerrilla or "asymmetric" warfare, including bomb attacks. Clever for the fact that attacks can occur anywhere at any time. "Islamic State is a global insurgency. It may well be they will never be as powerful or enjoy the presence they currently have, but it will be a very long time before this group is completely irrelevant."....

 

Counter-Narrative to Dogma of Terrorists
Malik M Ashraf

Islam also forbids armed groups and non-state entities to declare Jihad. According to Islam it can only be declared by a legitimately chosen leader of the state. Similarly rebellion against the state or taking up of arms against it is not permitted by Islam. These Islamic injunctions and teachings must be relied upon to develop a counter narrative against the ideology preached by the terrorists and proponents of religious extremism. That job can best be done by the religious scholars through the pulpit and the mosque.....

 

Al Qaeda Groups Reorganize in West Africa
Thomas Joscelyn

Iyad Ag Ghaly, the long-time leader of Ansar Dine, heads the new joint venture. Ghaly, a Malian Tuareg jihadist, explained why the merger was necessary in a video that is more than seven minutes long. And he emphasized that his group is part of al Qaeda’s international network. “On this blessed occasion, we renew our pledge of allegiance [bayat] to our honourable emirs and sheikhs: Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, our beloved and wise sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri and…the emir of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan Mullah Haibatullah, may Allah protect them and support them,” ....

 

Who Will Dominate Iraq and Syria after ISIS?
Jonathan Spyer

Ownership by the US and its allies of eastern Syria in the post-Islamic State period is the best way to prevent the possibility of the realization of Iran's aims, while presenting Russia with a fait accompli. The indications are that the US administration is thinking in these terms. If so, Iranian victory emerging from the ruins of Syria and Iraq can be prevented. The post-Islamic State landscape in Iraq and Syria is emerging. The contest for primacy within it is set to begin.....

 

The Meaning Of Sehwan: Why Would Contemporary Terrorists Mark It Out For Violence?
Raza Rumi

A suicide bomber who failed to detonate himself at Sakhi Sarwar shrine in 2011, in an interview, said that he had been originally recruited for jihad in Afghanistan but diverted to South Punjab due to the shirk and Murda Parasti (worshipping the dead) prevalent at the shrines. Intriguingly, he said that the reason for this mission was the large number of Kafirs (infidels) that had to be tackled. Such Pakistani Kafirs, he was told, were greater in number – even more than America....

 

What Pakistanis are missing is that the issue of the terrorist sanctuaries is not a new one and has roots in the mistrust between the two countries. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan first shifted its sanctuaries to Afghan soil after the Swat operation in 2011 and the second phase came after the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014. The Afghan government acknowledges their presence, but clearly wants to use the sanctuaries as a quid pro quo for an end to what it says is the Taliban/Haqqani network presence in Pakistan....

 

Afghanistan - Notes from a Broken Land
Andre Vltchek

Afghanistan, a stunning but terribly scarred and injured land has been suffering from a concussion. It has been dizzy and disoriented. It can hardly walk. Still it being Afghanistan, it has been walking anyway, against all odds!.....

 
ISIS in India?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

ISIS in India?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The media overreach which happened in this case actually helps no one. Going ballistic over the ‘ISIS in India’ and coming to conclusions even before the investigating agencies have started looking into the profile of alleged terrorists only helps stoke negative fears about a section of Indian population. More so when the same media houses have maintained a studied silence on the alleged links of some members of Madhya Pradesh unit of BJP with the ISI or the recent conviction of some members of the RSS in Ajmer blast case. This hypocrisy only lends credence to the perception that the media is biased and has an agenda which makes the Muslim community nervous.....

Desecrated but Still Majestic: Inside Palmyra after Second ISIS Occupation
Ruth Maclean

The main mosque of the town was destroyed except for the battle-scarred minaret, still standing and in possession of its crescent moon. Part of the pale green of the mosque’s dome lay amid the grey rubble, loudspeakers still attached. “Isis do this – destroy mosques and try to pretend it was us,” Mohammed said. Nearby, each grave in a cemetery had been systematically destroyed for being too high, the same reason Jihadi fighters in west Africa had used to justify the destruction of the ancient tombs of Timbuktu....

 
Caliphate at Bay
The Economist

Caliphate at Bay

The Shia militias have been kept out of the city to avoid sectarian killings, as have the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. There is no curfew; policemen guard many street corners, and the IS “sleeper cells” that some warn of seem to be soundly asleep, if indeed they exist. ...

 

By 2050, Islam Might Be The World Largest Religion, But Will The Muslim History Remain Soaked In Violent Extremism As Always?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

The strongest extremist movement in the Islamic history was laid down in the Wahhabism-Salafism propounded by the Saudi scholar of the Najdi tribe, Ibn Abdul Wahhab. Based on the puritanical Islamism, it emerged in the 18th century Saudi Arabia and turned into the global jihadist movement inspiring the earlier extremists of the Ikhwan al-Najdiyyun and the present-day jihadists of the ISIS and the ilk….

The Boys Made To Fight for ISIS
Naomi Grimley

The boys are Yazidis from northern Iraq. In 2014, the world watched in horror as tens of thousands of their people were trapped on Mount Sinjar in the searing heat without food or water. At the same time, the teenagers Lovant and Sabbah were being rounded up in their village by IS fighters. Most of the adult males were taken away and murdered, while the boys were moved with their mothers to a nearby city in northern Iraq, before being separated from their families altogether.....

 

Sufis so far have worked to peacefully introduce Sindh to the world. They have protected its religious tolerance and interfaith harmony for centuries, but their own shrines, places where Ayaz and Mehmood stand in the same row, are under attack from terrorists.  The suicide attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine, which left 90 dead on February 16, and more than 250 people injured, is not the first incident that has left us aghast; the fact is, Sindh has witnessed many big and small terrorist attacks in recent years. ....

 

The intellectual and ideological training of Ikhwan Al-Najdiyyun was based on the fanatic teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdul Wahhab al-Najdi. It is important to study and analyze their ideas and practices in order to understand the contemporary terrorism. The primary factor in the teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahab was repugnance and exclusivity. His teachings encouraged religious intolerance and peddled hatred against all those who did not follow the Najdi ideology. The main violent teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahab and his radical thoughts and reflections can be found in details in these books in Arabic: Tafseer Kalimah Tauheed (التوحید کلمہ تفسیر), Risalah Salaas Masail (مسائل رسالہ ثلاث), Kashf Ash-Shubhaat (الشبہات کشف), Risalah Talqeen Usool Al-Aqeedah Lil-Aammah (للعامہ العقیدہ اصول تلقین رسالہ), Risalah Ma’na At-Taghut (الطاغوت اومعنی رسالہ), Risalah Arb'a Qawaid Li Ad-Deen (للدین اربع قواعد رسالہ)....

 

Sufism thus stands in marked contrast with the fanaticism, intolerance, bigotry and militarism of the Taliban, their mentors and like-minded individuals – who, on their part, look upon it as heretical. According to the Taliban ideology, ‘the heretics’ deserve only one type of treatment: death. The militants regard bombing the shrines and killing the pilgrims who visit these places as a religious duty. Not surprisingly, several shrines in Pakistan have been soaked in blood by the militants.

Terrorism: A Technique of War?
Asad Durrani

Since terrorism has survived through the ages, is it possible that it is part of human nature? As children we were afraid of the ‘bully on the block’. When the local Badmash terrified the neighbourhood, we wanted someone to do the same to him. We relished the thought that others would live in fear of us. Maybe terrorism is merely a more radical version of scaring, intimidating, petrifying or frightening others. But then that is a subject for social scientists and psychologists....

 
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