Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Religious Extremism is Devouring Pakistan

The clouds hanging over the future of Pakistan's state and society are getting darker. Collapse isn't impending, but there is a slow-burning fuse. While timescales cannot be mathematically forecast, the speed of societal decline has surprised many who have long warned that religious extremism is devouring Pakistan. Here is how it all went down the hill: The 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan devastated the Taliban. Many fighters were products of madrasas in Pakistan, and their trauma was partly shared by their erstwhile benefactors in the Pakistan military and intelligence. Recognizing that this force would remain important for maintaining Pakistani influence in Afghanistan--and keep the low-intensity war in Kashmir going--the army secretly welcomed them on Pakistani soil. Rebuilding and rearming was quick, especially as the United States tripped upin Afghanistan after a successful initial victory. -- Pervez Hoodbhoy

Once, in a battlefield, the Prophet came across the corpse of a woman. Driven to anger, the Prophet exclaimed, ‘What sort of war was she fighting that she was killed?’ Then, he sent a message to the man who was leading the Muslim forces, Hazrat Khalid, instructing him to ensure that henceforth no woman, labourer or slave must be slain in the course of the war (Sunan Abu Daud 2669, Masnad Ahmad 17158, Sahih Bukhari 3015). The Prophet repeatedly forbade the killing of women and children during war, as is mentioned in the books of Hadith. According to one hadith report, the Prophet declared:

  ‘Do not slay any old, infirm person, nor any child or woman. Do not cheat in matters of war booty. Be kind and charitable. God loves those who are charitable.’ -- Maulvi Yahya Nomani (Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand)

THERE will be a tendency in India to take President Asif Zardari’s remarks on how Pakistan itself created religious extremists “to achieve some short- term tactical objectives”, with a generous dose of salt. The ever- smiling Pakistani leader is known to come up with dramatic statements and gestures. But even so, there is some value in the man who is president of the country saying it like it is. It adds to creating a climate of opinion which sees these extremists for what they are — terrorists — and not, as the president himself pointed out, as “heroes”. Even today, there are sections of public opinion in Pakistan who lionise these extremists out of some misguided patriotism. – Editorial in Mail Today, New Delhi
President Zardari has also had the courage to speak up in favour of unconditional peace and normalisation with India. In a sense, he is carrying the torch forward from where General Musharraf himself left it in 2007 after a radical about- turn in strategic thinking in 2004 about the nature of the threat from India and the future prospects of Kashmir. But there is one difference. Even as both say that the Taliban is the real threat rather than India, Mr Zardari makes no bones about the need for an unequivocal about- turn in India policy while General Musharraf hums and haws tactically in deference to decades of carefully nurtured “ anti- India sensitivities” in the military. -- Najam Sethi, Lahore


Repeated use of Islamic phrases underlines the extent to which the faith has been cynically used to spread violence. While Muslims argue that Islam does not condone this kind of terrorism against unarmed, innocent civilians, most do not condemn it in clear, unequivocal terms. After agreeing that such acts are un-Islamic, there is all too often a lingering "Yes, but…" hanging in the air.
It is this ambiguity that has given terror groups in Pakistan and elsewhere the space and legitimacy to operate. Now that Pakistanis have seen the true face of terrorism in Swat, and have begun to support the government in its drive to rid us of this cancer, the lesson needs to be reinforced. One way would be to dub the Channel 4 documentary and show it extensively on various TV channels in Pakistan. We need to hear ordinary people who survived or lost close relatives, and see their pain.
We need to see the horrors inflicted in the name of Islam. Above all, we need to share the agony of our neighbours. -- Irfan Hussain

The Qur’an asserts that if the use of force would not have been allowed in such cases, the disruption and disorder caused by insurgent nations could have reached the extent that the places of worship – where the Almighty is kept in constant remembrance – would have become deserted and forsaken, not to mention the disruption of the society itself:







And had it not been that Allah checks one set of people with another, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and the mosques, in which His praise is abundantly celebrated would have been utterly destroyed. (22:40)

In religious parlance, this use of force is called Jihad -- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi,  renowned Islamic scholar based in Lahore, (Translated by: Shehzad Saleem)

Can jihad be declared against a non-Muslim government that does not in any way oppress Muslims? Can such a government be told either to accept Islam or else hand over power to Muslims? This is a very crucial question. ... it should be kept in mind that in those days all states were identified with one religion or the other.  Every state was strictly identified with a particular religion, and so it was simply inconceivable that any non-Muslim government would allow Muslims to invite its subjects to God’s path.  This is why the issue was never even discussed then of how Muslims should relate to a non-Muslim state that explicitly allowed Islam to be practiced in its territory or that permitted its subjects to accept Islam and follow it.
In the view of some scholars, in such a situation Muslims must adopt the path of peacefully inviting others to the faith, making use of it to the utmost extent possible so much as to that all the adequate proofs (hujjat) of God be made known. After this, God will decide, in accordance with His practice, which He invariably does after all His proofs have been clearly established, and which can take any form. My own limited understanding leads me to believe that this opinion is in closer accordance with reason, the spirit of the shariah, and the aims and wisdom of God’s revelation. This position can be backed by Hadith reports that insist on the need for peaceful propagation of Islam before fighting can at all be envisaged. And, it must be remembered, today it is no longer forbidden for Muslims to communicate their faith to non-Muslim rulers or non-Muslims in general. -- Maulvi Yahya Nomani (Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand)

What is lost in terrorist attacks is much more than life. Driven by single-minded hatred towards all things they either don't know of, understand, or those that don't fit into the Pashto-centric world view, terrorists have destroyed chunks of history and today are dangerously threatening more. After the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas in central Afghanistan because boss Mullah Omar had decreed all depiction in stone or paper of human and animal forms un-Islamic, the phrase archaeological terrorism was coined by scholars who had watched the carnage unfold. The world watched with horror as the Taliban destroyed ancient sculptures in Afghanistan. The response was a helpless, collective gasp as explosives, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons blew apart two colossal images of the Buddha in Bamiyan, 230 km from the Afghan capital Kabul. Today, the same danger looms over Pakistan, which contains sites from the Indus Valley civilisation. -- Ranjan Roy

Islamists’ deceitful politics of death

Pro-Islamist media have been helping to ensure that the venom spreads as far as possible. In a June 16 article, Riyaz Masoor, editor, Rising Kashmir, suggested that the victims “represented the nation Kashmir and the rapists represented the state of India; it was the Hindu India raping the Muslim Kashmir.” Mr. Masoor accused the Indian Army, which until now has not been alleged to have played any role in the Shopian deaths, of going “on a raping spree.” “Let them carry a poison pill with them,” he advised the State’s women: “if, God forbid, they are caught, let them swallow the poison and embrace death and defeat the evil military man of the world’s largest democracy.”…

Last year, Kashmir’s people decisively rejected Mr. Geelani’s communal chauvinism and defeated his demand for a boycott of the Assembly elections. The candidates they elected, though, have so far shown little integrity or commitment to those they represent: both the National Conference and the PDP have sought accommodation with Islamist secessionists. They must summon up the courage to take on Mr. Geelani — or risk being swept away by the rising tide of hate. -- Praveen Swami


This, of course, is the dilemma of using criminals and terrorists to further the state’s agenda: they become an embarrassment or, worse, turn against their handlers. It has always struck me as ironic that people like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar use random violence against the innocent as a tool, while claiming the protection of the Constitution when they are arrested. Thus, while people like them organise terror operations targeting ordinary citizens, when caught they demand their habeas corpus rights guaranteed under the Constitution….The sad reality in Pakistan is that when the state wishes to hold an individual, nobody is beyond its reach. So when people like Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Masood Azhar and Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid fame are released by our superior courts on grounds of insufficient evidence, we have the right to ask what’s going on. Some of these people have publicly urged their misguided followers to commit violent acts, so to pretend they should get the benefit of the doubt is dangerous legal sophistry. Finally, the Army has taken off its gloves in the fight against extremism. And if new laws are required to combat this menace on the judicial level, Parliament must do whatever it takes. -- Irfan Hussain

History is bunk, said Henry Ford. To which another aphorism could be added: literature is literature, and shouldn't be mistaken for reality. Historical and literary precedent is freely and mistakenly being bandied about in a good deal of international commentary on Afghanistan, whose thrust is that modernity is fated to fail in that country (even if the rest of the world has embraced it). Putting material and human resources at Afghanistan's disposal, such 'liberal' opinion claims, is a futile attempt on the part of the international community. ...

Obama's Af-Pak strategy, however, brings about a shift of focus that could reverse some of the damage done. What's needed is patient and open-ended engagement with the people of the region, whether in Afghanistan or in Pakistan's tribal areas. They must be provided security, along with help in building roads, schools, hospitals and modern state institutions. That's what it will take to turn the tide against transnational jihadis operating out of the region. Leaving South Asia at peace, while Kipling's ghost could finally be laid to rest. -- Swagato Ganguly 

In a thoughtful 2002 essay, scholar Saeed Shafqat noted that groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawa had profoundly influenced Pakistan’s “process of identity formation.” “Negating Islamic identity,” he argued, “is equated with opposing Pakistan.” “Over the years,” Shafqat argued, “the religio-political groups have become not only militant in responding towards imagined or real enemies — ‘the West’ or ‘India’— but have also become the champions of ‘Pakistan ideology’.”

Elite-led political organisations have failed to mount a coherent ideological challenge to this project — or to address the conditions in which Islamist groups have flourished. Lashkar recruitment in southern Punjab is known to prey on the increasingly angry children of landless peasants and the urban poor. In Pakistan’s north-west, too, disputes over land, resources and development have fed and informed the rise of the Taliban.

Handing out aid will do little to solve these crises. Writing in The Washington Post, scholar C. Christine Fair noted that the U.S. handouts had “allowed Pakistan to avoid having to choose between guns and butter.” “Such choices,” she argued, “define the democratic process. But successive Pakistani governments have successfully wagered that chronic instability and the imminent dangers of terrorism and nuclear black-marketing would leave the world with no choice but to bail them out, regardless of their failures.” She concluded: “The world needs a smarter way to help Pakistan.” -- Praveen Swami


What is being overlooked, meanwhile, is the fact that what the world is fighting against in the Af-Pak area is a dangerous ideology. The terrorists believe it is their manifest destiny to spread their cult around the globe, and that this agenda can be achieved through terrorism.

The US, by proposing the contact group consisting of the European Union, Russia, China, India, Iran, Central Asian Republics and Saudi Arabia, has already acknowledged the global nature of the problem. The contact group could develop a global approach, on the basis of which various nations facing the jihadi threat could offer specific help. India, on its part, has invested a billion dollars worth of aid in the development of infrastructure in Afghanistan and has lost its people to terrorism.

The US's staying power in Afghanistan, and its ability to mobilise meaningful international support, will depend on how it conceptualises the global nature of the Taliban threat, and Washington's ability to persuade the Pakistani army to accept such an assessment. While the Pakistani army was responsible to a large extent for nurturing this Frankenstein, the US, too, bears significant responsibility. Today, to save Pakistan, Afghanistan, the rest of the world, and the fair name of Islam, the jihadi threat has to be fought against in a spirit of global cooperation. And in this campaign, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the main battlefields. -- K Subrahmanyam

Let’s just say it: The U.S. first allowed Pakistan to acquire the nuclear bomb by turning a blind eye to its illicit procurement of blueprints and items during the 1970s and 1980s. Then, when the clandestine nuclear importers morphed into covert nuclear exporters, the U.S. admittedly failed to detect their proliferation activities for 16 long years. Worse still, as shown by A.Q. Khan’s release from house arrest and the collapse of international investigations, Washington has not been interested in fully investigating that ring or in bringing its ringleaders to justice.

Safeguarding WMD demands a stable, moderate Pakistan. That, in turn, calls for sustained international political investment in building and strengthening civilian institutions. But is that possible without a clear break from politically expedient U.S. policies that continue to prop up a meddling army, fatten the ISI and encourage the military, intelligence and nuclear establishments to stay not accountable to the elected government? Even Secretary Clinton was constrained to admit that “our policy toward Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent.” The most likely scenario of Pakistani WMD falling into Islamist hands is an intra-military struggle in which the jihadists gain ascendancy. -- Brahma Chellaney

Conflict between Rulers and Clerics: Which way the Sunni terror monster will turn?

Kashmiris are being exploited like the Kurds of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria in history by neighbouring states and outside powers like Britain, Russia and now USA.

The point to be noted is that there appeared to be a tacit agreement that the US ( and UK) would keep the Kashmir pot boiling ( remember the recent uncouth statement in India by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband that to avoid terrorist attacks like 26/11 India must resolve the Kashmir issue . Such regular statements provide oxygen to terrorists’ cause and encourage them .It is as if India stated that terror attacks in north Ireland would cease if London gave in to the demands of Irish Republican Army.)

In return the terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba have kept generally silent about the atrocities in Occupied Palestine and genocide in Gaza by Israelis with full US support and illegal invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq in which over a million Iraqis have died. So much for the solidarity between members of Islamic Ummah of Palestine,Iraq and disgruntled Kashmir elements being trained, equipped and financed by Pakistan for its own ends, when it is quite clear that Islamabad has no intention of agreeing to an independent Kashmir.Why go far? Just look at the terrible conditions in Pak occupied Kashmir ruled from the interior ministry of Pakistan.

Steve Coll writes in Ghost Wars: “Every Pakistani general, liberal or religious believed in the jihadists by 1999, not from personal Islamic conviction, in most cases, but because the jihadists had proved themselves over many years as the one force able to frighten, flummox, and bog down the Hindu-dominated Indian army. About a dozen Indian divisions had been tied up in Kashmir during the late 1990s to suppress a few thousand well-trained, paradise-seeking guerrillas. What more could Pakistan ask.”

Saleem Sahzad wrote in Asia Times last November:  “Before the partition of British India in 1947, Punjab was seen as a loyal colony of the British and their recruits fought against the Afghans. After partition, Punjabis were seen as usurpers who divided the Pashtun tribes in the name of a new country called Pakistan. To many Afghans, Punjabis are opportunists and while they claim to be Muslims, their culture is a blend of Hinduism and Sikhism,” -- K Gajendra Singh  


“Kill the Non-believers wherever you find them!”

Some verses of Qur’an were revealed for specific occasions and carry instructions for similar circumstances if they ever exist again; out of context quotation of such verses in parts, by any one is misleading. Such efforts to twist the meanings, with ulterior motives, result in tarnishing the image of Islam. One such example is a part of verse 5 of Surah At-Tauba; “fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them”. It appears to indicate that the Muslims are free to kill the pagans or non believers where ever they find them. A look at verses (Qur’an, 9:1-6) in Qur’an revealed before conquest of Makka, is self explanatory....

Requirement of “Jihad Kabira” (Bigger Jihad, fighting social evils) seems to be the need of hour.... Hence initially Jihad has to be against these evils of society, to establish just Islamic welfare societies which should provide knowledge (religious and secular) justice, fair play and equal opportunities for their people, so that they do not have to look and run towards developed countries to earn the bread and butter...

There was no forced conversion as a policy of state in the light of Qur’an: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”(Qur’an, 2:256). Spain and India are the living examples with majority non Muslim population despite Muslim rule for centuries. It is not permissible in an Islamic state to start killing the unbelievers unless they are in a state of war or convicted by courts for specified offences. One has to live in peace and preach Islam by inviting them to the real message of Qur’an. ...

... someone has to find an answer to the question: Is killing of innocent civilians, women and children whether Muslims or non Muslims justified in the name of Jihad? Can the declaration of Jihad with arms be left at the discretion of few individuals or religious zealots? Or should it be the responsibility of the Islamic states keeping in view the teachings of Islam, national interests and the prevalent system of international relations (UN, OIC and other forums)? Muslim scholars and leadership through dialogue with the international community, have to analyse the reasons of this pathetic state of affairs and find out practicable, realistic and just solutions on long term basis to make the world safer place for everyone. -- Aftab Ahmad Khan

Organised Priestly Abuse of Children in Pakistani Madrasas

Remote madrasas may be turning boys into drones but then there are thousands of madrasas spread all over Pakistan’s urban centres that are producing millions of neo-drones who may not become suicide bombers but are totally unfit to live in this world. These kids need to be rescued

Priestly abuse of children has been going on for as long as there have been priests and children. But never has this been done in such an organised manner as is the case here in Pakistan. This abuse (aside from the pervasive sexual abuse) spells disaster. Just step out of a large city and all you would see around you are hundreds and thousands of little children — from six to thirty-six months old. Until these kids are of an age to observe the ways of their elders, they live and behave like untrained dogs. That’s the real Pakistan and no military or political leader is having sleepless nights over this. -- Nasir Abbas Mirza, Daily Times, Lahore

The growing Talibanization of the mind that Kamila Hyat spoke about in her column this week is a real threat to our fundamental rights and liberties. Simply put it is bigotry, intolerance, obscurantism and coercion practiced in the name of religion that feeds on (a) the fear of change being ushered in by modernity, (b) confusion about the role of religion in the society, and (c) the failure of the state to provide for the basic needs of citizens, including means of subsistence the absence of which renders people desperate and a balanced education without which they lack the tools to question and resist extreme intolerant ideas. The message of the Taliban or other religious bigots can be simple and appealing to a majority of the population that is deprived of basic needs, disempowered and consequently disgruntled. The contract between the citizens and the state is not being honoured by the state and thus the system neither provides for the basic needs of a majority of the citizens nor offers them any real prospect for upward social mobility. This problem of governance is then presented by the maulvi as a consequence of lack of religion. -- Babar Sattar

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for a Crash Plan for IDPS -- Asma Jahangir

'Nuclear Weapons Are Not Kalashnikovs'

Spiegel Interview with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari

"They call everyone else a kaafir", said a typically conservative looking young man at an anti-Taliban protest in Islamabad the other day. Sporting a skull cap, a beard and ankle-high shalwaar — he spoke confidently, "They are the state, the Constitution and the judiciary and what’s worse is that they use guns to achieve their goals". Contrary to what many urban dwellers think about the "religiously" attired people, there are numerous religious schools and organisations that stand against the philosophy of the Taliban. ... ... Abu Bakr, a boy of class 8, spoke fluent English and talked about the destruction caused by the Taliban: "I think there is not a single Pakistani who says that terrorism is right because it is damaging our country and as far as I am concerned I’m really conscious about what is happening to my country".

There will always be grey areas when it comes to religion. But in a time when we need general consensus against extremists, it is important to separate the extremist fringe from the truly devout Muslims who believe in tolerance, peace and compassion for all mankind. -- Nosheen Abbas

Controversial ideologue Abdul Aleem Islahi helps make sense of Indian Mujahideen story

By January 2007, Islahi was alarmed enough by these activities to suggest (Mufti Abdul) Bashar leave his job. Bashar then started work at the magazine Nishaan-e-Rah — a name from Islamist ideologue Sayyed Qutb’s seminal work, Milestones, which fired the minds of figures such as Osama bin-Laden and Abdullah Azzam. Later that year, Bashar moved to New Delhi, resuming contact with city-based SIMI cadre — who, the Gujarat Police say, he motivated to join the Indian Mujahideen.

Islahi appears to have little sympathy for the jihadists who disregarded his advice. “These young men,” he says, “had little of the training needed to understand Islam. They did not know Arabic, and had never studied theology. And they did not understand that the purpose of Islam is not to subjugate the infidel, but, rather, to change his outlook and world view.” -- Praveen Swami


They are creating a widening pool of young minds that are sympathetic to militancy…. education has never been a priority here, and even Pakistan’s current plan to double education spending next year might collapse as have past efforts, which were thwarted by sluggish bureaucracies, unstable governments and a lack of commitment by Pakistan’s governing elite to the poor.

… But if the state has forgotten the children here, the mullahs have not. With public education in shambles, Pakistan’s poorest families have turned to madrasas, or Islamic schools, that feed and house the children while pushing a more militant brand of Islam than was traditional here.

The Islamic schools are also seen as employment opportunities.

“When someone doesn’t see a way ahead for himself, he builds a mosque and sits in it,” said Jan Sher, whose village in south-western Punjab, Shadan Lund, has become a militant stronghold, with madrasas now outnumbering public schools. Poverty has also helped expand enrolment in madrasas, which serve as a safety net by housing and feeding poor children.

“How can someone who earns 200 rupees a day afford expenses for five children?” asked Hafeezur Rehman, a caretaker in the Jamia Sadiqqia Taleemul Quran madrasa in Multan, the main city in south Punjab. The school houses and feeds 73 boys from poor villages.

Former President Pervez Musharraf tried to regulate the madrasas, offering financial incentives if they would add general subjects. But after taking the money, many refused to allow monitoring.

“The madrasa reform project failed,” said Javed Ashraf Qazi, a retired general who served as education minister at the time.

Suicide bombings were neither encouraged nor condemned. The ideology may be rigid, but it offers the promise of respect, a powerful draw for lower-class young men. -- Sabrina Tavernise


Deadly social change

So, it is lack of understanding of this background that leads people to show surprise that south Punjab, which was considered a hub of Barelvi Islam, is moving towards Deobandi and Wahabi ideologies.

A closer look, in fact, shows that a lot of Barelvis have shifted towards other ideologies and are part of the jihad industry without abandoning their original ideology. The gap between the Barelvis and Deobandis has narrowed most peculiarly in south Punjab. Is it because of the hundreds of madrasas that mushroomed in this belt especially in the 1980s? The answer is yes and no. Yes because the new madrasas, which were different from the traditional ones in the area, introduced a more dramatic curriculum that nurtured in the students an appreciation of sectarian and ideological differences. Hence, the sectarian violence in the region, which predates the current shift, dates back to the 1980s and 1990s.

The radicalisation, including sectarian violence, represents an urge for social transformation because some prominent landowners in this area are Shia as opposed to the underdogs most of whom are Sunnis. The growing radicalisation in southern Punjab shown up in the inability of the state to carry out land reforms and shift the socioeconomic and political power structure from a pre-capitalist society to a capitalist one will have its consequences in the years to come. So while the proliferation of madrasas is part of the problem it does not explain the social development in its entirety. Not to mention that southern Punjab as a sub-region has suffered due to the gradual, reverse migration of the elite to other parts of the country creating a power vacuum that is ready to be filled by another lot. -- Ayesha Siddiqa

Nonetheless, the JI Ameer’s self-created definition of Shaheed means that there is a state within a state where Taliban could be allowed to slash the throats of security forces and to shed the blood of innocent persons….


The music market vanished, too. All 400 shops. The owner of one had converted it into a kebab joint. "This is sharia," he spat at his grill, which hissed with more smoke than fire. Across from his stand, a barber had hung the obligatory "No un-Islamic haircuts, no shaves" sign and was taking an early morning nap, his face covered with a newspaper. This, I was told, was the price of peace.

As a Taliban insurgency gains strength in Pakistan, my country seems to be preparing to surrender. In areas where the Taliban formally hold sway, such as Swat, people have bowed to their guns. And in the heartland, in Punjab and other regions, there is a disquieting acceptance of the inevitability of the Taliban's rise to power. Over the past two years, Pakistani civil society has driven a military dictator from power and managed to force an elected government to restore our top judges to the bench. But when it comes to the Taliban, it seems incapable of speaking with one voice. - Mohammed Hanif

The Talibans’ excesses and their threats to impose their brand of Shariah on the whole of Pakistan have not gone unchallenged. Intellectuals have been very critical. But the Pakistan government seems confused. On the one hand, it has signed an agreement with the Taliban; meanwhile, it bombs Taliban targets in other parts of the country. It almost appears to be a clever move to use the Taliban threat to secure billions of dollars in aid. But perhaps such strategies too have nothing to do with Shariah. -- Ishtiyaque Danish


Pakistani state seems remarkably unwilling to fight back Islamic fundamentalism

“Whosoever takes part in jihad against India, Allah will set him free from the pyres of hell” Lashkar-e-Taiba ideologue Muhammad Ibrahim declared a decade ago. For years, the Pakistani state used its resources to ensure that jihadists like Ibrahim did not have to wait until afterlife to profit from their actions. Nurtured by power, Pakistan’s jihadist movement grew into a formidable beast. Now, the beast appears poised to bite the hand that has for so long fed it.

Despite the threat, the Pakistani state seems remarkably unwilling to fight back — a phenomenon that has caused no small amount of bewilderment among analysts and commentators across the world. In fact, the military-dominated state apparatus could prove to have a better comprehension of reality than its critics. Pakistan’s jihadist movement does indeed seek power, but not a state. It poses no threat to the alliance of the military and the mullah, which shaped Pakistan’s destiny. -- Praveen Swami

1 2 ..54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 ... 63 64 65

Get New Age Islam in Your Inbox
Most Popular Articles

The Reality of Pakistani Propaganda of Ghazwa e Hind and Composite Culture of IndiaPLAY 

Global Terrorism and Islam; M J Akbar provides The Indian PerspectivePLAY 

Shaukat Kashmiri speaks to New Age Islam TV on impact of Sufi IslamPLAY 

Petrodollar Islam, Salafi Islam, Wahhabi Islam in Pakistani SocietyPLAY 

Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khan Shastri Speaks on Unity of God in Islam and HinduismPLAY 

Indian Muslims Oppose Wahhabi Extremism: A NewAgeIslam TV Report- 8PLAY 

NewAgeIslam, Editor Sultan Shahin speaks on the Taliban and radical IslamPLAY 

Reality of Islamic Terrorism or Extremism by Dr. Tahirul QadriPLAY 

Sultan Shahin, Editor, NewAgeIslam speaks at UNHRC: Islam and Religious MinoritiesPLAY 


  • what has been attempted by mr. naseer ahmed is neither here nor there. i never brought in judaic...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Arshad Alam, While what you write may be true - the marginalization of and tacit...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Mubashir, This is to quote from my jt publication, Essential Message of Islam to....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • If you don't find this to be one of the most damning and shameless acts in Pakistan's history,…...”
    ( By Skeptical )
  • Shaped by history is human, not divine, and can be reformed or discarded. Theology is shaped by humans and can be reformed/discarded.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Aayina, Muslims hate the Israeli Jews because of the Palestinian issue and not because their faith teaches them. After the Spanish Inquisition, the Jews found ...
    ( By Mubashir )
  • Simple.... The presence of "Love Jihad" philosophy has been simply proved from the horse's mouth. Hindus need to be cautious on this.'
    ( By Raju )
  • Plz clarify Quranist detailed aqeeda...'
    ( By Arif Qureshi )
  • Gulam Mohiyuddin is right, unless Pakistan does not declare India as friend, Indian Muslims cannot like India with full heart ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • We have Holy Books which, if properly used, can be useful guides. But Islam, Christianity and Judaism are not really "religions...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sad state of affairs.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This will continue as long as Pakistan and India remain enemies.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Your well-argued article situates Muslims as a community within the contemporary social and political context. How long will such discrimination and...
    ( By Meera )
  • authenticity' is not a function of being 'shaped by history.
    ( By hats off! )
  • The subject of the article is reform using the historical approach. Can the ahadith be revised/reformed using the....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • i am afraid, as is usual with you, you will never ever answer in a direct and forthright manner. you are just rambling as you ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • गाय, बकरे, भेड़, उँट, को जन्नत पोहचाने के लीये सूक्रीया. बाकी रही, ईनसानो की चालू कर दो, बजाय काफ़िर, हीन्दू के ध्धीमी केहके मारने की बजाय, ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Salam. Any subject like animal sacrifice can be open to discussion. However, when someone writes: "It is nothing but a Church/Clergy instituted con-job."...
    ( By Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq )
  • Dear hats off! You raised the following two questions to Rashid Samnasky (shown in red ink). I have seen his reply, which....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Remarkable similarities between Pakistan's Jamaat ud Dawa and India's RSS.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • a good exposition of the "no true scotsman" fallacy. no true religion etc.,
    ( By hats off! )
  • self reference belongs in a category of paradoxes. one who would depend upon self ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Mubashir, Ghamidi is completely mistaken. The punishment was only to those who fought against the Muslims and broke their treaties ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Quran says explicitly that it is produced by Allah....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Jammu and Ladak is predominantly occupied by Hindus.There is peace .However in Muslims majority area ie Kashmir unrest....
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • Dear Naseer, Ghamidi says that the punishment would be from...
    ( By Mubashir )
  • A picture/idol of Lord Buddha sitting in Padmasanam is always a source....
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • Animal slaughter is a historical custom aimed at pleasing a deity/ God or a heightened gesture of hospitality in entertaining a guest over meal. ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • I've signed an eye-donation pledge and a body-donation pledge, too. I have...
    ( By Haan )
  • Respected Rabbi, May God bless you immensely!
    ( By ji )
  • My dear hats off, if there is no detail given for say, church services, worship/puja and their associated rituals then....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • As far as I know, the Quran itself does not make any claim of being uncreated.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Welfare of mankind and protection of our home planet would and should figure prominently in any intelligent Muslim...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What does historicism mean? It does not mean that the Quran is not a historical document.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • There isn't even the minutest flaw in the understanding of the Quran by Rabbi Allen Maller'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • dear mr. samnakay i am well aware of the trend of Qur'an-only-muslims. but at the risk of sounding tiresome and persistent, what ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • If I may, dear hats off, you say @8/13/2017 7:38:49 PM--“how can the sunnah be gleaned from the Qur'an.” Quran is THE habit/practice/Sunnah as seen ....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I guess the taboos against organ donation exist and are very strong and these are not easily overcome. It would require concerted effort and education ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Any work of science is also by a historical person and published in a journal at a place and point in time and therefore is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • even if it is agreed (for the sake of argument) that Qur'an need not be subjected to a historical analysis or context, this does tell ...
    ( By hats off! )