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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Saudi Arabia’s Troubling Educational Curriculum
David Andrew Weinberg

Saudi Arabia’s strict brand of Salafist Sunni Islam, commonly referred to in the West as Wahhabism, maintains a strong emphasis on eschewing any religious practices that could be perceived as deviations from monotheism. As a result, the kingdom’s curriculum includes numerous books on monotheism that admonish against acts of polytheism (“Shirk”) and its practitioners (“Mushrikeen”). As such, these lessons are inherently critical toward adherents of non-monotheistic religions. They also single out for criticism many of the rituals that are commonly associated in the local context with Shiite or Sufi Islam....

 

The Myth of ISIS's Strategic Brilliance
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

The end of ISIS as a functioning state project on the ground clearly does not herald the end of ISIS as an entity. In many areas long since cleared of ISIS control, the organization has continued to function as an effective insurgency with both small and large-scale attacks. Around the world, ISIS will remain a terrorist threat, as illustrated by events from Europe to the Philippines. The ISIS footprint on the internet is large and unlikely ever to be removed in its entirety. The group's ideals will still appeal to some segments of society, whether out of disillusionment with the established....

 

Local Sunni communities rejected Salafi-Jihadi ideology repeat­edly. The ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam ran afoul of local custom, of local Islam. The call to violent jihad lacked resonance. Coercive tactics backfired, and the introduction of new, alternative systems of governance proved reversible. The failed Salafi-Jihadi leaders generally died. Those who have survived have learned lessons from all these encounters....

 

With ISIS on the Way Out, Iraqi Power Struggles Pose Major Threat
Hamdi Malik

Also, clashes between the Ninevah Guards, a Sunni force, and the Shiite faction of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada took place in Mosul on July 20. There are fears that these clashes might expand into open warfare amid deep differences over the disputed areas extending from Jalula near the Iranian border, through Kirkuk province and into Yazidi areas near the Syrian border. Terrorist groups have been able to exploit differences....

 

Bangladesh: Unremitting Effort
S. Binodkumar Singh

Claiming that terrorists no longer possessed the capacities to carry out attacks like the one at Gulshan Café, as their 'backbones had been broken' during anti-terrorist drives across the country, Monirul Islam, the CTTC chief, noted, on June 30, 2017, "They may try to get reorganized again but we'll hunt down the absconding terrorists, too....

 

How to Neutralize the Violent Jihadist Pull
Yaya J. Fanusie

However, history also shows that this period was one of negotiation and alliance-making, not political Islam absolutism. According to various biographers of Muhammad writing about this time, in many cases Arab tribes were allowed to keep their religious traditions in exchange for entering into agreements of cooperation, keeping their own distinct identity, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, or pagan. Any hostility was based on whether the tribe would be a threat or ally to the nascent Muslim community, not whether it followed Islam’s beliefs and practices. ...

Mosul in Mindanao: Winning the War With ISIS In the Philippines, But Losing the Peace

They had links with jihadists in Indonesia. At home, they even recruited from among faculty and students at Mindanao State University in Marawi. The Maute group put up over half the fighters who seized Marawi, all the while advertising its role on social media. All this suggests unusual sophistication and strength....

 

The Islamic State Is Not Dead Yet
Antony J. Blinken

But the ongoing civil war there will make it challenging to implement, as evidenced by the slow process of bringing the city of Tabqa — liberated two months ago and a gateway to the Islamic State’s Syrian capital in Raqqa — back to life. Even more challenging is what comes next. Twenty-five million Sunni Muslims live between Baghdad and Damascus....

 

The Legacy of Lal Masjid
Zahid Hussain

The video begins with Ghazi’s last message exhorting his followers to continue the struggle. The video then shows visuals of the Lal Masjid itself, along with the Jamia Hafsa and also visuals of troop deployment prior to the operation. Many of the Pakistanis who have joined Jihadi groups fighting in Iraq and Syria are believed to be former students of the madrasas affiliated with Lal Masjid....

 
9/11 doesn’t Justify Today’s Wars
Jerrod A. Laber and Lucy Steigerwald

9/11 doesn’t Justify Today’s Wars
Lucy Steigerwald

The Afghanistan War had an unfavourable rating of 78 percent in 2016. An American soldier killed there on July 3 was 19 years old—meaning he wasn’t old enough for kindergarten when the war began. We shouldn’t wait for another generation to deploy to a foreign desert before we begin asking when enough is enough....

 

How Africa Became A Hotbed For Terror
Zeynab Ladak

One of the reasons for the cause of terrorism in Africa may be due to poverty and marginalisation of minorities, as seen with Egyptian Bedouins, whereby a group of them joined ISIS after feeling marginalised by their government for decades. Research has found that minorities groups who feel marginalised and are discriminated against, tend to get attracted towards extremism and are more susceptible to radicalization. ....

 

As Indonesia Targets Islamist Hard-Liners, Even Rights Groups Object
Jon Emont

Still, experts cautioned that the ban may not be effective. Hizbut Tahrir functioned as an underground university-based organization during the Suharto dictatorship in the 1980s and 1990s, and may well try to return to those roots. “Of all the Islamic organizations in Indonesia, this is the one that’s most likely to be able to survive underground,” said Ken Ward, a former intelligence analyst with the Australian government who has studied the group, citing its secrecy....

 

ISIS, Battered but Still Potent, Returns to Its Insurgent Roots
Ben Hubbard

“O brothers, I call upon you to rise up wherever you are and to surround them and monitor them, then attack them and kill them,” a Chechen suicide bomber said in a video released posthumously last month. “The disbelievers have gathered today from every faith and attacked the caliphate, but this had only added to our faith and courage.” American officials acknowledged the difficulty of fighting the group online....

 

Ever since the al-Qaida attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that focus has shifted to radical jihadists. Yet both types of extremists remain very active. "We have a jihadist terrorism problem. But we also have a neo-Nazi, far right-wing terrorism problem,"...

 

The Massacre of Mosul: 40,000 Feared Dead In Battle to Take Back City from ISIS as Scale of Civilian Casualties Revealed
Patrick Cockburn

He says he cannot imagine Mosul without the Nabi Yunus mosque (the tomb of Jonah) that Isis blew up as a heretical shrine in 2014 and the al-Nuri mosque, with its 12th century leaning minaret, which Isis destroyed in the last stage of the battle to prevent its capture by government forces. In addition, there is “an unimaginable level of human suffering with more than one million people displaced”....

 

Sistani’s fatwa became decisive to defeat ISIS. Unlike what is portrayed mainly in the Western media that Hashd is a force solely consisting of Shias, it also brought together Sunni tribesmen as well as Christian and Yazidi volunteers. However, Shia volunteers form the majority and in 2016 Iraq’s parliament recognised Hashd as an official force. The fatwa came at a time when Iraq was experiencing a political turmoil. In the wake of ISIS’s lightening advances ...

 

Saudi Arabia was the chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the UK. It said the Kingdom has promoted Wahhabi Islam "across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West" since the 1960s. It added that Saudi Arabia has spent at least £67 billion over the last 30 years in this endeavour. Saudi Arabia has given endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions in the UK. These have then played host to extremist preachers and distributed extremist literature.....

ISIS May Be On Its Knees but It Will Rise Again If We Don’t Break the Cycle
Hassan Hassan

Isis has lost the caliphate but it has gained a transnational organisation it did not have three years ago. Largely an Iraq-focused organisation, al-Qaida in Iraq, whose founders came from various jihadist battlefields, was a localised group until it expanded into Syria in 2013 and became Islamic State in the summer of 2014. Since then, it has sought to develop branches and cells across the region and beyond. Isis is arguably a fully fledged international group vying to reclaim the mantle of global jihad from al-Qaida....

 

Bloggers and publishers were assassinated one after another, attacked in the streets, at home or in their offices, and countless bloggers were persecuted by the infamous 'Section 57', a blasphemy law. This resulted in mass hysteria among the huge number of bloggers, activists, a lot of whom eventually fled the country, tarnishing the 'secular image' of Bangladesh.....

 

The Islamic State of Al-Qaeda
A.J. Caschetta

Only time will tell if the two most dangerous fronts of the global jihad will reunite into a common front. Unfortunately, it will not require an Islamic State of Al-Qaeda for thousands to continue dying in the Long War. In fact, if the current trajectory continues with ISIS mimicking Al-Qaeda, a merger may become irrelevant. Al-Qaeda and ISIS may become even more dangerous as near mirror-images of each other competing for new fighters and for the world's attention....

 

Bombs Will Not Defeat ISIS but Maybe the Internet Will
Abdalaziz Alhamza

We started inside Raqqa, plastering walls with anti-ISIS graffiti and posters. We even created a local magazine called Dabaq, a name similar to that of the ISIS magazine Dabeeq. We would go out at night and place copies of Dabaq at cafes, shops, and mosques. The cover of our magazine was the same as the Islamic State magazine, but inside we published information to discourage residents from joining the terrorist group....

 

Islamic State Nears Its End: Even Before the Battle Is Won, Hopes of a Fresh Dawn for Iraq Are Fading

In Mosul, the initial relief at liberation from IS’s reign of terror is already turning to grumbling. IS ran services and rubbish collection better, they say. They repaired the potholes in the road faster and kept electricity going. “Why did the Iraqi government abandon us to IS in 2014, only to destroy our city when they returned?”...

 

Is Indonesia’s ‘Pious Democracy’ Safe From Islamic Extremism?
Jeremy Menchik

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, a democracy and the largest country in Southeast Asia. It faces many of the same problems as other developing countries, including weak infrastructure, low-quality education and high levels of corruption. Composed of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is also one of the world’s most diverse countries, which means that protecting minority groups is an especially important concern.....

 

Stop Fretting Over Religious Sensitivities, We Must Push Hard Against Islamists
Sara Khan

Fully exploiting the uncontested space we provided them, extremists promoted their supremacist, hate-filled ideology to thousands of Muslims on satellite channels, through social media, on campuses and community events, day in, day out. In the battle of ideas, deconstructing their ideological world view was then and remains now one of our greatest failures. And fail we did – collectively, as Muslim institutions, human rights organisations, anti-racist groups and governments....

Jihad to Proliferate Despite Blow to ISIS
Talmiz Ahmad

Finally, even if Daesh withers away, other localised extremist groups may be expected to take its place. They may be without its centralised structure or its human, military and financial resources, but they will not lack in commitment or ferocity....

 
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