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Radical Islamism and Jihad

Post-Mumbai, then, the Pakistani security establishment and its terrorist proxies won the battle of ideas, although by default. Everybody protested and blamed the attackers. But neither India nor its actual or potential partners put up the kind of intellectual fight that was necessary to counter the pernicious arguments that turned the victim into a part-culprit. Ironically, though, Pakistan — which ultimately emerged from the process as a victim —fell victim to its own propaganda.

For one, the state’s embrace of the argument it made on Mumbai left the population in a state of total psychological denial, unable to understand the motivations of an attack which made no sense to the vast majority of citizens. The trauma of the attack was evaded through all sorts of conspiracy theories which represented Pakistan as the victim of a Hindu-Zionist plot backed by the U.S. Confused, too, were many Pakistani intellectuals who, deprived of any prospect of a real political alternative, preferred to choose radical nationalism as their last resort. They encouraged, if not fed, the popular paranoia which they often shared...

Terrorism is primarily a political struggle, and has to be fought as such. Refusing to do so will make political violence an acceptable means of solving political issues and lead to the erosion of the solidarity and determination of the international community. Sadly, the world’s failure to respond appropriately to Mumbai has given a victory, if by default, to the terrorists who attacked the city. -- Frédéric Grare

 

Wahabi Rules for Football game! A Wahhabi Mufti Declares rules for football

This is now a fresh fatwa but admittedly interesting especially for the Wahabbiite’s followers and the westerners who utilize Wahhabiite against Islam. Abdullah al-Najdi is one of the Wahhabi muftis, who has specified 14 conditions for football and this venture is a disposure of farce to laicize the ideological principles of Islam and prove the Islamic teachings absurd. One has asked the Mufti to explain the terms and conditions of football. He asks: “The youths who are not familiar to virtue, and do not emphasize their time; usually ask; “what are the codes and rules of football enable us to absolve ourselves from resemblance with the infidels, sinners and the enemies of Islam like US and Russia? Al-Najdi says: I want to tell them: if you insist on playing football you have to conform to the following rules;

In every non-Islamic country the rate of crime among Muslims is much higher than the average population. France has a high rate of crime confined mostly to its Muslim population. In Netherlands the rate of the crime has jumped 11% in just one year and it is exclusively because of Muslims. In an article published in Times, Lahor, April 2001, Khaled Ahmed reported that the crime rate among Pakistanis in UK "is higher than in any other community. Fully 2 percent of the prisoners rotting in British jails are Pakistanis, the highest for any one community." In Australia raping the white girls by Muslim youths has become a national problem. What are the excuses of these Muslim rapists? That "in Islamic countries girls don't dress like this!" -- Ali Sina

Yet where else in the Middle East is there such a fusion of religion and politics? The lines between the two are so blurred in Israel that it has prevented the country's legislators from formally adopting a constitution for the past 61 years. Begin himself, in almost his very next breath, then did what every Israeli politician – secular or religious – does when they start defending Israel's right to occupy the West Bank: he weaved together history as told by the Old Testament, with facts on the ground. The land of the West Bank, which he referred to exclusively by the biblical names of Judea and Samaria, was the ''cradle of Jewish civilisation'', Begin argued.

Therefore no Israeli leader, Begin reiterated, should ''relinquish'' this land to the Palestinians, and no one had any right to demand that Jews should stop settling this land. The mixture of religion and politics may well be a dangerous thing in the hands of Shiite clerics such as Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But religious extremism is not exclusive to Islam. Israel has its own Jewish extremists that Begin is happy to ignore. People who are settling the land of ''Judea and Samaria'' because they believe they are acting on God's explicit wishes. Are these people dangerous? Last Sunday it was reported that Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet, had recently received intelligence on the existence of an ammunition cache in the West Bank settlement of Beit Hagai. A year ago, religious extremists detonated a pipe bomb at the front door of the distinguished Israeli historian Professor Ze'ev Sternhell, a longtime campaigner against Jewish settlement of the West Bank. How far would such people go if Israel ever moved to evacuate the West Bank and start evacuating settlements? -- Jason Koutsoukis

Lashkar Jihad, just like other radical Sunni Islamic terrorist organizations, believe that it is their Koran-Hadith inspired duty to kill innocents and to instill fear. Therefore, the region of Sulawesi was a paradise for them to cause mayhem and to create a major gulf between both communities. Given this, events spiralled out of control and inter-religious clashes erupted because these outsiders to Sulawesi desired to kill in the name of Islam. However, much more disturbing is the role of the government of Indonesia or elements within the security services and military. After all, Lashkar Jihad was given a free reign to enter the region and this radical Sunni Islamic terrorist network was not removed from this delicate region. Therefore, surely collusion was taking place, if so, then how can religious or ethnic minorities feel secure in Indonesia?. -- Lee Jay Walker

 

According to a recent BBC analysis: “The military launched a massive public relations exercise, briefing sympathetic talk-show hosts and journalists, who were encouraged to whip up public opinion against the (Kerry-Lugar) Bill. General Kayani also secretly met the opposition politician Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab CM, who the Army had ostracised until now.” Though such behind-the-scene interference has always been a major factor in political changes in the country, it is never legitimate or desirable. The Army is unhappy and angry because Zardari has given away too many concessions to the Americans and the GHQ realises that if the Kerry-Lugar Bill was to be implemented as desired by Washington, Pakistani cities could soon turn into battlegrounds between the Army and the Lashkar Tayyaba, the Jaish Mohammed and Taliban forces combined. So far the GHQ has kept the Lashkar Tayyaba quiet by not acceding to the US demands of attacking or even touching Muridke, arguing that once this sleeping elephant wakes up, it could turn around and trample our own forces.

AFTER ALL the LeT was raised and trained by our military establishment to fight the Indians in Kashmir and they are good at it. Turning their guns inwards, with TTP suicide bombers roaming everywhere, would turn Pakistan into a burning inferno, ready to collapse. Thus the Kerry-Lugar Bill is considered to be a recipe for instant disaster.

 ... SO FAR, MQM strategists say, the Taliban have refrained from attacking Karachi because firstly the level of public vigilance in the city is far greater and intense because of the omni-present MQM cadres on the streets, and secondly because the Pathans in Karachi seriously believe that their economic and financial interests would be severely hit if Taliban terrorism disrupts the city. So the Pukhtoons are in no mood to secretly provide sanctuaries to suicide bombers and could openly confront them if need be. On this issue, they and the MQM are on the same page, with strong political support from the ANP and the Jamaat-e-Islami. Several meetings between the MQM and Pathan leadership on this issue have already raised the level of mutual trust and coordination for joint action. -- Shaheen Sehbai

What if America's greatest threat was not from terrorists or so-called "extremists"?, What if our baseline tactical assumptions created in reaction to the 9/11 attacks did not address the strategic ideological threat?, Almost every homeland security and every counterterrorist law enforcement-related tactic has been focused on preventing "the next 9/11" attack on America. But the next 9/11 style mass-casualty terrorist attack, no matter how horrific, will not destroy America. We need to be less afraid of "the next 9/11," and more concerned about showing the courage of our convictions in defending America's values and ideals. America is a survivor, because we are much more than buildings and cities. America is more than a nation-state. We are more than individuals and families. We are certainly all of that, and we certainly need to defend all of that. But first and foremost, America is an idea, and our twin towers of equality and liberty will continue to stand as long as we fight for the idea that is America. In fact, the true threat to America is much larger than terrorist tactics alone. -- Jeffrey Imm

I’ve always thought that Islamic extremism was different. To me, the most persuasive theory is that some people are caught between modernity and tradition and as an escape have invented a make-believe purism, which permits killing in the name of holiness. Then came the Iraq war and the debate shifted. But over the past few weeks, I’ve been reminded that the problem has not gone away. There are still fanatics in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza and South Lebanon, and even Denver. In some ways extremism is on the wane but in other ways the poisonous infection has not been addressed. -- By David A. Lehrer

 

It is true that Pakistan is increasingly viewed as the epicentre of Islamic terrorism. Many plots, real and imaginary, have had their roots in the badlands of Fata. Many young Brits of Pakistani descent have travelled to remote parts of the country to receive training in bomb-making. But the point is that these young men do not need visas to return to Bradford and Wolverhampton. Being born in Britain, they enter their country without let or hindrance. Apart from the Pakistani students who were arrested on terrorism charges last year, all those accused and convicted in Britain are citizens of the United Kingdom. And all the Pakistani students accused in the so-called terror plot were later released and deported without any charges. In fact, the entire episode was deeply embarrassing for the British government. -- Irfan Husain

 

This is the new face of al-Qaeda: out go the beards, Arab robes and backdrops from Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tatooine; income dark suits and sixth-former curtains that look like they’re covered in a layer of grease. ... But the biggest attraction, for teenage boys at least, is Wahhabism’s puritanical view of sex. Teenage boys are obsessed by sex. But the pursuit of sex often makes them unhappy, angry and frustrated, and this is aggravated in a culture where sex is everywhere and where, it seems, everyone else is at it. In a world where sex has become cheap and meaningless, and where women are encouraged to see themselves as fit only to be some gangster’s bitch or this month’s Katie Price, some of the more thoughtful men yearn to idolise and idealise them as wife material (there have been puritanical youth culture movements in the past, such as the Straight Edge scene that emerged in the early 80s in California). As youth culture has become raunchier, the danger of this reaction has strengthened. Most of all teenagers yearn for idealism. To people growing up in Germany radical Islam is both sufficiently non-European (indeed, anti-European) while also having the manly and moral qualities of strength and brotherhood that attract drifting young men, who in the past might have opted for Nazism and Communism. And, most of all, it’s the ultimate rebellion. - Ed West

 

Chandra Muzaffar critiques self-styled Islamist groups for misusing the doctrine of jihad to legitimize the killing of innocent people, non-Muslims as well as Muslims, including perfectly innocent civilians, something that has played a major role in worsening relations between Muslims and others in recent years, besides giving Islam a bad name. Chandra recognizes the justice and legitimacy of certain causes that radical Islamists champion, such as countering Zionist occupation in Palestine or opposing the American invasion of Iraq. He also recognizes that Islam allows for armed defence as a form of jihad under certain extreme circumstances. Yet, he points out, Islam does not sanction indiscriminate violence against non-Muslims in the name of jihad or preach hatred for people of other faiths, as some radical Islamists claim. He regards this tendency to be a major hurdle to inter-faith dialogue and improving relations between Muslims and others. -- Yoginder Sikand

“Islam has practiced Jihad  from its earliest days. The war against the Kuffar was not simply a just war, but it was a religious duty, depicted as a good deed that guarantees a Muslim’s entry into Paradise. Furthermore, Muslims have never hesitated to advocate the duty of spreading their religion throughout the world; and thus Jihad became the ideal way to accomplish that goal. While there are certain Ayaat in the Qur’an that call for tolerance toward Christians and Jews, other Ayaat call for fighting them. As for those who are neither Christians, nor Jews, they face no choice but embracing Islam, or migration, or death. The Qur’an addresses the Arab nation as a unique and chosen nation entrusted by Allah with the task of spreading his knowledge and will all over the world: “Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-livers.” Surat Al-‘Imran (The House of ‘Imran) 3:110. -- Jacob Thomas

Islam and its comprehensive ways in which the Muslim Brotherhood endorses, unequivocally rejects adopting the  shedding of  innocent blood or the  use  of violence to assume political power. Islam's method for changing society and reform basically taught by Allah are with wisdom and fair preaching and persuasion. Quality, perfection, exaltedness and consistency are the most important characteristics of Islam where the form of the argument relies on integrity of thought, fine style, purity, and the sublime goals and nobility making the following of Islam easy. If we controversially agreed to use violence in assuming power it will give legitimacy to all people to utilize the tools enabling them to use the force to seize the reins of the power.  Thus, the country will remain plagued by permanent disturbances and instability. -- Prof. Mohamed Habib, Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood

 

A string of attacks on army and government convoys in South and North Waziristan and in parts of Malakand, particularly in July and August, led to consensus within the government that the TTP militants operating out of FATA were pursuing objectives that at best could be characterized as a "direct, existential threat to the state and constitution of Pakistan." That is why the Pakistan army and its chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, began to put out a very pointed message. "Pakistan’s current fight is against extremism and terrorism. It is not a fight based on religion, ethnicity, sub-nationalism or provincialism," Kiyani told more than 1,000 cadets of the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, some 120 km northwest of Islamabad. Today, the TTP stands fairly discredited. But the solution to the problem lies in attacking both the disease and its causes. -- Imtiaz Gul

 

The threat of Islamist terrorism was not recognised at the time but the ideology of the supremacy of Islam was present in Kysar’s fundamentalism and “no compromise” attitude.

The problem with this 'extremist' sect is not that it proselytises, but it seems to have so little contact with the outside world.

He's right in that the Tablighi Jamaat copy Muhammad in all his customs, even it is reported, eschewing beds for sleeping and toothbrushes for cleaning teeth; they use a twig. But he is wrong about their interest in non-believers, indicating the serious religion "blind spot" that bedevils coverage of world affairs now. If it were the duty of the Tablighi Jamaat to convert non-believers, there might be a freer debate than there is. -- Jenny Taylor

The TJ is said to have 80 million followers around the world and wants to build a so-called mega mosque in Newham, east London.  A combination of factors has caused increasingly alarm in Britain about the Tabligh. What I wanted to know was why they were building a new ‘global headquarters’ – as it’s been called - in London. -- Jenny Taylor

I attended one of those meetings as a reporter in August 1989 and heard young men decry the evils of drink, discos and “free intermingling of the sexes”. One called Kysar, then aged 19, told me: “Islam isn’t a religion where you can only adopt part of it. You have to adopt the whole Islamic viewpoint on society. There can be no compromise with the divine system revealed to us.”. -- Sean O'Neill

India must choose which Pakistan it wants to support, and which it wants to isolate and hopefully defeat over time. Clearly, we must work to erode the credibility and legitimacy of Pakistan's armed forces establishment whose very reason to be is its festering animosity towards India. Islamic fundamentalists are the second group to be opposed. It is not mere coincidence the two are aligned in vicious opposition to India and subvert by coordinated, violent means any move to improve bilateral relations. Pakistan-bashing, on which some sections of India's political spectrum and media thrive, strengthens the hands of these two groups. Nothing serves their purpose better than a bellicose India flexing muscles and vocal chords against Pakistan which they claim to represent. The reaction to Sharm el-Sheikh must have been music to their ears. -- Rajiv Kumar

 

Pakistan and Burning Alive of Christians

In Pakistan the relentless hatred of Sunni Islamic fanatics towards all minorities is continuing and the reasons, like always, are based on their hate-filled minds. Therefore, at least six innocent Christians have been killed on the grounds that the Koran was desecrated. Of course, no evidence, and even if evidence, does this mean you can burn alive women, men, and children? Well in the eyes of radical Sunni Islam it does.

They believed that it was their religious duty to kill innocents

Verse 9:73 in the Koran states "O Prophet! Strive hard (wage war) against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, – an evil refuge indeed." While the Hadith 9:4 says "Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection." 

Therefore, in the last few weeks Christians have been burnt alive in Pakistan, converts from Islam have been beheaded in Somalia, and Christian pastors in Nigeria were beheaded for not converting to Islam. All these acts were done by radical Sunni Islamists and in every case the killers were shouting "Allah akbar" (God is great) because they believed that it was their religious duty to kill innocents because of their understanding of conservative Islam. -- -- Lee Jay Walker, Tokyo

 

Mark Juergensmeyer: by spiritualizing violence, religion gives terrorism remarkable power

Capitalism is too important to the rise of terrorism. Capitalism is the dominant ideology, which, like democracy, was exported by the West to developing countries. Capitalism systematically seizes the rights of minority and the poor groups.

Meanwhile, religious fanaticism is a crucial factor in many terrorist organizations today. Religion is not so important in the formation of terrorists groups, but in the justification of their violent acts. For example, Osama bin Laden relates the concept of jihad with martyrdom in his anti US sloganeering. -- Ahmad Fuad Fanani

 

Capitalism is too important to the rise of terrorism. Capitalism is the dominant ideology, which, like democracy, was exported by the West to developing countries. Capitalism systematically seizes the rights of minority and the poor groups.

Meanwhile, religious fanaticism is a crucial factor in many terrorist organizations today. Religion is not so important in the formation of terrorists groups, but in the justification of their violent acts. For example, Osama bin Laden relates the concept of jihad with martyrdom in his anti US sloganeering. -- Ahmad Fuad Fanani

 

We want occupation of Islam in entire world: Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed

Very soon we will enter India via Doda: Saeed

“Those qualified to lead people in prayer are also eligible to lead the people otherwise.”: Saeed

Pakistan’s stern action against the Taliban-linked cleric stands in stark contrast to its refusal to prosecute Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, despite the fact that he used near-identical language in several speeches made in recent years. Saeed’s speeches also contained attacks on Pakistan’s rulers, attacks on its anti-Taliban war and calls for violence against India. ... Those qualified to lead people in prayer, he argued, “are also eligible to lead the people otherwise.”

Saeed asserted that “the real objectives for the establishment of Pakistan will be achieved when the original Islamic system, established in Mecca 1400 years ago, will be implemented here.” His language closely mirrored the proclamations of Sufi Mohammad. “We hate democracy,” the pro-Taliban cleric said in February 2009, soon after the Government of Pakistan signed a peace deal that imposed Shariah across north-west Pakistan. “We want the occupation of Islam in the entire world. Islam does not permit democracy or election.”

Much of Saeed’s invective was directed at India and Hindus.In a 1999 article, he said that “the Hindu is a mean enemy and the proper way to deal with him is the one adopted by our forefathers, who crushed them by force.” Later, in December 1999, Saeed told an interviewer that Kashmir was “only our base camp.” “The real war,” he asserted, “will be inside [India]. Very soon we will enter India via Doda and unfurl the Islamic flag on the Red Fort.” On the eve of the Mumbai attacks, Saeed to

Well, the frightening reality is that it would be difficult to locate any glimmer of hope and aspiration in the eyes of a majority of our young people. Considering the demographic dominance of the young in our population, this is a very disturbing situation. Every year, we have these multitudes of young people passing through their matric or intermediate or graduation exams and we know that the skills they have are inadequate and opportunities rather scarce and we also know that as young people they have their passions and a longing for the fulfilment of their dreams. A report published on Wednesday in The Independent of London also said that the Taliban are using children "bought" from poor families or recruited from madrasas to train as suicide bombers for attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The writer, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, quotes Qari Abdullah, a Taliban commander in charge of child recruitment, as saying that children as young as five and six years old were being recruited from poor families. -- Ghazi Salahuddin

Forcibly recruited by Taliban, A big challenge says Lt. Gen. Nadeem Ahmed

One, a 16-year-old Shaukat Ali, said the militants abducted him while he was playing cricket. He said they told him they wanted him to be “a warrior” and offered to pay his family for his services. North West Frontier Province Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour said security forces had rescued dozens of children aged 6 to 15 who the Taliban were allegedly training as suicide bombers. “They are prepared mentally. They say that Islam is everything for them. They say they are doing it for Islam. They say they have to carry suicide attacks for the sake of Islam. -- AP

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

 
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