Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

'Islamic State': Raqqa's Loss Seals Rapid Rise and Fall – Concluding Part
Jim Muir

Marshalled against a band of militants variously estimated at between 2,000 and 12,000 with a hard core probably closer to 4,000 or 5,000, was a vast assembly of government and auxiliary forces, estimated at around 100,000, counting regular army and federal police units, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and the Popular Mobilisation, including some Sunni and minority volunteers as well as Shia militias....


In a fourth-grade second semester Monotheism textbook, Saudi students learn that polytheists, "the worst creatures" according to the Quran (98:6), are condemned to Hell. In a lesson entitled "Universality of Islam and Prophet Mohammed" fifth-graders are taught that Prophet Mohammed was sent to all human beings: "Say, [O Mohammed], "O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all (7:158). They also learn that all human beings should believe in the Prophet Mohammed and in Islam, and leave supposedly corrupted religions....

'Islamic State': Raqqa's Loss Seals Rapid Rise and Fall – Part One
Jim Muir

The entrenchment of Wahhabi Salafism in Saudi Arabia - and the billions of petrodollars to which it gained access - provided one of the wellsprings for jihadist militancy in the region in modern times. Jihad means struggle on the path of Allah, which can mean many kinds of personal struggle, but more often is taken to mean waging holy war. But the man most widely credited, or blamed, for bringing Salafism into the 20th Century was the Egyptian thinker Sayyid Qutb. He provided a direct bridge from the thought and heritage of Abd al-Wahhab and his predecessors to a new generation of jihadist militants, leading up to al-Qaeda and all that was to follow.....


After Years of Progress, a Deadly Setback in Somalia

Al Shabaab is just the latest iteration of several generations of nationalist Islamist resistance movements in Somalia. Though neither monolithic nor entirely cohesive, the group has shown a tenacity, perseverance, and unity of purpose that has humbled a succession of foreign-backed governments, which have crumbled under the weight of clan divisions, corruption, and incompetence.....


The Philippine Army Recaptures A City Seized By Muslim Insurgents

Islamic State made a determined effort to take Marawi, the biggest city with a Muslim majority in the Philippines, which is largely Catholic. Fighters belonging to Mr Hapilon’s branch of Abu Sayyaf and to another band of Muslim militants, called the Maute group, showed themselves in the city in May. Both groups pledged allegiance to Islamic State, although both are better known for kidnapping and protection rackets than for their political objectives....


The term Islamic terrorism is a misnomer and is the brain child of corporate media (mind controlling machine owned by big shots) who are always hell-bent to tarnish the image of Islam.  Corporate and paid Media is like “Joseph Goebbels”, Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany, as Hitler believed that “if a lie is said hundred times repeatedly, masses will accept it as truth”. Islam and terrorism are mutually exclusive and both can’t coexist in any space and time. I think all rationalists will agree with me that terrorism has no religion....


Mogadishu Truck Bomb: 500 Casualties In Somalia’s Worst Terrorist Attack
Jason Burke

At least 500 people are believed to have been killed or seriously injured in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in one of the most lethal terrorist acts anywhere in the world for many years. The death toll from Saturday’s attack, which involved a truck packed with several hundred kilograms of military-grade and homemade explosives, stood at 276 on Sunday, according to Associated Press, but is expected to rise as more bodies are dug from the rubble spread over an area hundreds of metres wide in the centre of the city. At least 300 people were injured, according to local reports....


Where Is ISIS Headed? Just Link the Dots
Syed Ata Hasnain

From there it could operate in the future and pin its hopes on exploiting the piracy in the region to become a source for its future income. There is considerable concern among Southeast Asian nations about their future security given the other problem, of Rohingyas in Myanmar, which has let flow a stream of refugees who could also be exploited for the Daesh cause. Daesh would at some stage wish to signal its arrival on the regional stage through a spectacular event, and that could be a lone wolf attack in any of the major capitals....


Mainstreaming Terror Further Radicalises Society, Undermines State
Khaled Ahmed

Hafiz Saeed and his “charity” organisations including hundreds of schools and colleges are the prime example of “mainstreaming” of an outlawed organisation by Pakistan. Its negative fallout was also endured, like the running of private courts under “Islamic law”. What has been highlighted by a lame-duck PMLN government is the negative consequence of what is called “mainstreaming”: Instead of de-radicalising the declared terrorists the process further radicalises society and undermines the power of the state....


Is Terrorism Limited To A Specific Culture?
Mashari Althaydi

All these groups as well as others kill and destroy in the name of religion. They harm Muslims first as well as non-Muslims. Confronting evil must be on the same pace whether here or there. However, what’s happening here is frankly deeper and more dangerous and complicated....

Las Vegas Gunman Is Not a Terrorist
Mamdouh AlMuhaini

Terrorism stems from an extremist religious ideology that incites hatred and enmity and pushes those who embrace it to kill others because they follow a different religion, sect or opinion. We have seen these among believers of different faiths and not just among Muslims....


The Islamic State isn’t currently gaining new ground, but the potential for gaining new fighters waits in the wings. Enter the next generation of extremists: local Sunni civilians who lost everything in the war and are already afraid for their safety, and a new enlistment of young, smart sympathizers who can use their expertise in engineering, science and the military to serve the goals of an armed group....


Pakistan’s Intelligence Service ‘Has Connections with Terrorist Groups’
Bill Roggio

If Pakistan is serious about showing good faith in fighting terrorism and stabilizing South Asia, it should start by arresting the Taliban’s leadership, and closing the training camps, madrasas, recruiting centres, financial hubs, and other support networks that are based within its border....


Muslim League Factions Have Been a Refuge for All Manner of Rogues
Irfan Husain

Hafiz Saeed insists he has never been charged with any crime, even though both India and the US accuse him of being the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left over 160 dead. Despite a $10 million bounty on his head, Hafiz Saeed maintains a high profile in extremist circles, and is free to carry out his political activities. ...

Limits of Jihad
Adnan Adil

Limits of Jihad
Adnan Adil

The Quran does not allow believers to take up arms and shed blood on earth as aggressors to occupy lands or to convert people to Islam or to shed bloodshed in the countries where Muslims enjoy freedom of practicing their faith. Jihad is aimed at ending oppression and persecution and that too by an Islamic state, not by individuals and deviant groups.....


The Islamic State's Support Base in Pakistan Continues to Grow
Umair Jamal

Just over a week ago, representatives of two proscribed militant organizations were not only able to participate in a major by-election in Punjab, but they managed to secure more than 11 percent of the constituency’s vote. One of the candidate’s campaign posters had the pictures of Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated the Governor of Punjab province Salman Taseer....


It is only with acute understanding of the religion that the wisdom of Islam’s various nuances can be realised. Contextualisation ability can then be strengthened from within, thereby making it less likely for the radicalisation process to take root, irrespective of the ever-changing political and social climate facing the community....


The Saudi Ministry of Education religion curriculum also employs anti-Shia rhetoric. The religion curriculum for the 2016-17 school year does not mention Saudi Shia by name, but instead uses veiled language to stigmatize Shia religious practices as shirk, or polytheism or ghulah, “exaggeration.” Saudi religious education textbooks direct these critiques in particular to the Shia practice of visiting graves and religious shrines to venerate important religious figures and members of the family of the prophet, as well as tawassul...,

Islamic State Radio Tries To Quell Controversy over Takfir
Thomas Joscelyn

The circular was so problematic that some of the organization’s top ideologues objected to it, arguing that the delegated committee, one of the most powerful bodies within the Islamic State, had eliminated the little leeway Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men had previously afforded Muslims. Some of the Islamic State’s own leaders and members could be excommunicated under the terms set forth in the ruling and this likely exacerbated an internal power struggle, as some used it as a tool for marginalizing their rivals. [See Islamic State Rescinds One Of Its Most Problematic Religious Rulings.]...


Why We Don’t Understand Radicalization
Ellis Cashmore

For many, the default culprit is the internet, alive with Ulema (Muslim scholars who are believed to have a specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law) earnestly advocating death to infidels in the struggle against all enemies of Islam. The enemies are, they say, anyone who is not a Muslim. Their preaching is apparently reinforced locally by other men of god, comparably bellicose and equally opposed to the Kuffar, or unbelievers....


A US plan to restart its International Military Education and Training program for Myanmar officers, suspended after the country’s military crushed a pro-democracy uprising in 1988 may now be halted by the Congress. The reputation of Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon and, until recent events a darling of the West, Aung San Suu Kyi, is in tatters for her failure to condemn the army’s so-called “clearing operations” in Rakhine State. Some commentators even suggest that she should be held responsible for what the UN has termed ethnic cleansing and stripped of her 1992 Nobel Peace Prize.....


Fighting thoughts is a bigger challenge than fighting actions. Filtering and surveillance of social media activity can though be a good measure, it still presents limitations. It can sometimes take a short video or a propaganda documentary, a ‘western invasion on Muslim countries’ video on YouTube, or a completely rational talk criticising western interventions, to radicalise someone. Therefore, any policy should made should be enforced beyond the stereotyped notion of the ‘threat only coming from devout Muslims’....


Terror in Pakistan Wears a Political Hat
Raoof Hasan

It is the former Lashkar-e-Taiba turned Jama’atud Dawa (JuD) that now wears the hat of a political party — MML. Members of LYRA are the proponents of the cause of murderer Qadri who was handed down the capital punishment and whose mausoleum in the outskirts of Islamabad attracts a growing number of devotees with the state languishing around as silent spectator....


According to the teachings of the Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him), the international relations is peace, War as an essential element is an exceptional situation. The author has analyzed in detail that terror has no place in the varying aspects of Jihad, and the Deen of Islam is the Deen of peace. Many people in the Muslim world have been affected by the behaviour and thoughts of the Orientalists. They have taught that Islam’s objective is to perpetuate world war. This concept is wrong. Islam is the first message that has made the use of power a fruitful outcome and effectively bound to an ethical code....


Islamic State Rescinds One of Its Most Problematic Religious Rulings
Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has revoked one of its most problematic and extreme religious rulings. The one-page repeal was disseminated on social media sites associated with the so-called caliphate on Sept. 15. It was issued after months of controversy surrounding the group’s approach to declaring Takfir on other Muslims, a key ideological issue. On May 17, the Islamic State’s delegated committee, which answers to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, issued a finding titled, “That Those Who Perish Would Perish Upon Proof and Those Who Live Would Live Upon Proof.” The ruling quickly proved to be contentious because of its broad approach to Takfir...

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