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Radical Islamism and Jihad

The relative weakness of the Al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan is deceptive. The organisation’s strength now lies at the periphery. Today the Al-Nusra front controls huge tracts of Syrian territory. And there are signs that the jihadis there have learnt an important lesson: if they want the consent of the people, it’s best not to murder too many of them....

 

Ninety percent of the images that Google search came up with were those of terror attacks, suicide bombings or some such glorious adventures involving Muslims...Muslims wielding fearsome weapons; Muslims wearing masks and issuing wild threats or bearded believers angrily protesting in European capitals. ...Muslims cannot hope to tackle this scourge unless its real sources and causes are identified and eliminated. Where are these fountains of hatred and who is fuelling them?

Who are these forces that are out to destroy our world, trying to distort the teachings of a faith that came as hope and salvation for the whole of mankind into a cynical cult of death? Who is poisoning young, impressionable minds? These are questions that have to be confronted effectively and forcefully by everyone who cares for the faith and humanity at large. 

Our religious and political elites and scholars are content with issuing perfunctory calls against extremist violence while doing little to check the springs, sources and factors that feed, fuel and spawn the menace. Instead of speaking truth to power, they are busy propitiating and perpetuating it, ignoring worst excesses and abuses.

The Quranic Understanding of Jihad
Waris Mazhari
The Quranic Understanding of Jihad
Waris Mazhari

Jihad is not limited to engaging war with external enemies. Nor does it always have that connotation. For war against one’s enemies the Quran uses another word—Qital—which is an exceptional form of jihad. The issue of jihad in the sense of Qital needs to be understood in the context of Islam as a missionary movement that is based on Dawah, inviting others to God’s path. This movement, which aims at strengthening the relations between God and human beings and establishing justice and goodness in society, is an entirely peaceful one.….

When Al-Qaeda first began its terrorist pursuits, Saudi Arabia operated as its launching pad, both in ideological and operational terms. Perhaps this is because Saudi Arabia’s religious structures and Salafist approach exposed the pronounced flaws in Al-Qaeda’s ideology hence the reaction by most Al-Qaeda members, who accuse Saudi Arabia of apostasy and deny its religious legitimacy…..

 

Salafists have been advertising their events on schoolyards - and some of their recruiting is successful. "It's not only one school where Salafists are trying to recruit teenagers," said Saloua Mohammed, a 32-year-old social worker who has been working in Bonn for many years. She has a good idea of what is going on in the Salafist scene: Young Muslims as well as pupils from educationally disadvantaged background have been a particular focus in her work. Her explanation for that focus is that she is "afraid that disadvantaged teenagers in particular will fall into radicalism."…..

 

How bizarre. Turkey, under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule, would be the role model for Muslim countries without democracy. It would be the bridge between the West and the Muslim world. It would prune Muslim radicalism. Sorry, gentlemen; the days of fantasy and fairy tales are over. While you were enthusiastically waiting to see the days when the Hamas mind would reform itself and look more like the more reasonable Turkish mind, the opposite has happened. ….

 

Fanatics are religious zealots and apply fraudulent religious modes. Faithful apply the Code of their Creator intelligently and only for positively good outcomes. In the case of Muslims, the former, operate under the guidance of their ignorant Religious priests. The later, the faithful intelligently obey Codes of behaviour as ordained in scripture Quran. A poet compares the two as:-

Deen-e-Kafir Fikr-O-Tadbbeer-e-Jihad—Deen-e-Mullah Fi Sabilillah Fasaad .......

The Anti-Thesis of Radical Islam
Mümtazer Türköne
The Anti-Thesis of Radical Islam
Mümtazer Türköne

In my final analysis, radical Islam starts to rise when Islam's democratic methods fail in the face of monarchies and dictatorships. Because of this recurring mistake in the Middle East, we have seen the rise of al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and similar organizations…..

Religious Extremism = Child Abuse?
Engy Abdelkader
Religious Extremism = Child Abuse?
Engy Abdelkader

In truth, most Muslim parents are similar to other parents in terms of the dreams and aspirations they have for their children: good health, good schools, good jobs and the good life. And most children who have such access have little reason to seek comfort and a sense of belonging in the violent ideologies espoused by Web-based terrorist recruiters looking to seduce them…..

 

Militancy in Pakistan is increasingly getting urban and attracting the educated. Besides its numerous local affiliates, the most significant beneficiary is Al Qaida. That Pakistan is home to several Islamist militant groups with Al Qaida connections is not a secret.....

 
Al-Qaeda and ISIS Fight Over the Jihadist Future
Brian Michael Jenkins
Al-Qaeda and ISIS Fight Over the Jihadist Future
Brian Michael Jenkins

Faced with open defiance from the leader of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria and Iraq, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri publicly expelled the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), suspending its franchise and stripping it of its status as part of the Al-Qaeda global enterprise. The split will test the value of Al-Qaeda’s brand….

 
Al-Qaeda: The Third Generation?
Abdulaziz Alhies
Al-Qaeda: The Third Generation?
Abdulaziz Alhies and Hamza Mustafa

The very concept of al-Qaeda - of the universal Jihad - is crumbling. More precisely, what's coming to an end is the co-existence - within this concept - between the classic model set by Osama bin Laden on the one hand, and on the other, the decentralised model defended by Ayman al-Zawahiri and, more significantly in the Syrian case, Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri....

 

The leaders of the country have seen the head of Medusa in a mirror and fear has transformed them into stone. This is the impact the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has had on the nation. Ordinary people – men, women and children – have writhed under the tyranny of its despotism which has never thought it necessary to proffer a reason for its atrocities other than in terms of false religion. Even the most grotesque acts of cruelty, such as the beheading of soldiers, are presented as piety.....

 

An overwhelming majority of Taliban fighters and leaders are ethnic Pashtuns, but the movement is neither ethno-nationalist nor is it a tribal uprising. The Taliban has a mix of Ghilzai and Durrani Pashtuns within its ranks, but attracts members from other Pashtun tribes and some non-Pashtuns, too. Clan and tribal identity has never been the sole criteria for membership or leadership. The Taliban have never been able to mobilize a whole tribe or a clan for their cause.....

 

Unfortunately, the regime’s tactics have produced more social polarization and divisiveness, turning Egyptian society Orwellian. Recently a man reported his wife to police for belonging to the Brotherhood, presenting as evidence a picture of her making a Rabaa salute — a symbol of the infamous massacre at a sit-in last August. Similarly, a mother told police her son belonged to the April 6 youth movement….

 

The write-ups in this magazine would make the impressionable Muslim youth feel as if they were born either to kill or be killed and that there is no better purpose to their life, if they are true Muslims. Thus it is detrimental to their faith as it gives legitimacy to killing all the infidels including non-combatant civilians. It is important to remember that the Jihadi-Wahhabi definition of infidel includes even non-Wahhabi Muslims whose able-bodied men have to be killed, old men and children enslaved and women turned into concubines to the Jihadis....

Most importantly, al-Qaeda is neither just an Islamist terrorist group like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, HUJI or JMB, nor is it an Islamist political organisation like the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-e-Islami. It is a global movement and a franchise like McDonald's. It can open new branches anywhere. No country, including Bangladesh, is off limits to its operators. It loves to explore new opportunities to recruit fighters from trouble spots, especially from Muslim underdogs within and beyond the Muslim World. From al-Qaeda perspective, politically turbulent and socially fractured Bangladesh is an “attractive” place….

 
Jordanian Jihadi Fighters
Mona Alami
Jordanian Jihadi Fighters
Mona Alami

Jordanian fighters have come to play an important role in the protracted Syrian conflict. Unlike the previous generation of Jordanian jihadis—al-Qaeda leaders from a decade earlier who professed their belief in a global jihad—this new generation currently fighting in Syria is prioritising regional and local causes. The outcome of their engagement in Syria will define the vision and goals of this rising generation of Jordanian fighters….

 

This is where one could expect the main difference in the TTP’s focus under Fazlullah, as compared to that of the Mehsuds. Neither Baitullah nor Hakimullah Mehsud attempted to impose their version of Islam. In fact, it would not be wrong even to state that both the Mehsuds did not even have a version of Islam that they attempted to impose. They were ruthless more in carrying out a violent vendetta against the State of Pakistan, than attempting to change its society. .….

 

There has been demand for outlawing Jamaat. The government, for reasons unknown, is unwilling to oblige. It is time that we deal with the Jamaat issue. Now is the time to get rid of the violent elements in our politics. Don’t we have a finer political vision than Jamaati politics? ….

 

Some Bangladeshi Islamist militant leaders and their outfits have had longstanding relations with the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda and its leaders, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, an audio message of whom has caused concerns across the country since Saturday. The links have been established through journalistic investigations, findings of independent and local researchers, and government investigators, and records in different considerable websites…..

Salafists enforce a fundamentalist form of Islam that promotes violent jihad, or holy war, against non-believers. They settled in Gaza about a decade ago, and have collaborated for some time with militants in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula. Shin Bet says West Bank recruits are being managed by the Gaza-based jihadists, who use only nom de guerres...

 
Saudi Arabia: The Cradle of Terror
Catherine Shakdam
Saudi Arabia: The Cradle of Terror
Catherine Shakdam

72 preachers across Saudi Arabia have, under strict orders from the royals, called on their congregations to join and support “Jihad” in Syria. Saudi Arabia’s clerics, the very men who should have been advocating peace and restraint, have called on Muslims to wage war on their Syrian brothers, thus directly interfering with a founding pillar of Islamic law. The very militants that claim to be carrying the flag of Islam are no more than abominations, Takfiris radicals, the hellhounds of Saudi Arabia…..

The negative influence of some religious leaders and imams, the inadequate standard of education that fails to prepare them for the work force, the neglect of uneducated parents and the traditional upbringing of many families who dismiss dialogue and communication are some of the major factors that have denied proper guidance for the young. ....

 

The current Wahhabi movement is working to restore the glorious time of the Muslim Empire and its Jihad against the Christian powers. The leaders of Wahhabism are applying the fanatic Sunni Shariah as it is stated in the old teachings of the old scholars: Ibn Taimiya and Abdel Wahhab and others. .....

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