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Radical Islamism and Jihad

PESHAWAR: Ittehad Ulema-e-Afghanistan, an organisation of Afghan refugee religious scholars, has urged the US to declare its failure in Afghanistan and immediately withdraw NATO forces from the country, saying that the people of Afghanistan are able to reconstruct their homeland.

Unlike Indonesia and Brunei, Malaysia seems to be making tentative steps towards raising the stakes in the Islamisation race further, writes Malaysian academic FARISH A. NOOR .

 

Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan (BKA) yesterday called upon the interim government to make women ineligible for becoming head of the government or the state.

 "We have told the government to take measures so that men hold the top executive positions and no woman assumes the responsibility of head of state or government," said BKA Secretary General Muhammad Zafrullah Khan in a joint press briefing following the party's dialogue with the panel of advisers led by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed.

 

In Riyadh last March, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decorated American vice president Dick Cheney with the Kingdom's order of merit (the King Abdul Aziz medallion). At the same time, Osama bin Laden released two audio statements condemning western and Israeli attacks on Muslims and reiterating the need for violent warfare to liberate occupied Muslim territories from the infidels. In terms of media strategy, the contrast between the leaders of the Arab countries and bin Laden could not be starker. On the one hand, Arab kings and presidents lack charisma, seem politically impotent and are rarely, if ever, on message with respect to the "big issue" concerns of the peoples of the Middle East. Princeton academic Bernard Haykel comments.

 

Northern Waziristan, where Islamic militants recently signed a peace deal with the government, has virtually become a “Taliban mini-state”, a 2,500-word report in the New York Times said on Monday. The newspaper quoted a recently arrested suicide bomber in Afghanistan as saying that the former head of Pakistani intelligence, Gen Hamid Gul, “was financing and supporting the project (of producing suicide bombers)”. Though, it said, the claim is impossible to verify. Pakistan intelligence agencies have long nurtured militants in the tribal areas to pressure the rival government in Afghanistan, though the government claims to have ceased its support, reported New York Times on December 12, 2006. It should serve as an essential backgrounder today.

 

“Until some weeks back, the Taliban used to enter Peshawar through Hayatabad and tried to impose their ideology on the people of the city,” said the Landi Kotal local. Referring to the reports some weeks earlier about the growing threat to Peshawar, he added: “They abducted some people, blew up a few CD shops and also entered the homes of some locals and destroyed their TV sets. Since then, security on Peshawar’s border area has been beefed up and no more incidents of this nature have been reported in recent days,” he claimed. M Waqar Bhatti reports.

 

Like a bad dream, the gory images have come back to haunt the land of famished fields and parched valleys veiled in dense layers of dust. Just about when the picture of a woman — covered from head to toe in a blue burqa with a narrow screen in front of her stony eyes — shot in the back of her head was turning grainy, the nightmare revisited Ghazni city last week. Two women, wrapped in blue, were asked to kneel on the ground. And then a few fierce-looking men, with hate dripping from their eyes, nudged the women's bowed heads with the tip of their AKs, and pressed the trigger. As blood flowed into a sandy gulch, a few hapless Afghans watched the lifeless corpses — 'punished' for allegedly running a sex racket, wondering if the spectre of terror would ever leave their nation alone. Shobhan Saxena of TNN reports.

 

A postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman's hat advertising a Scottish police force's new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims. Tayside Police's new non-emergency phone number has prompted complaints from members of the Islamic community. The choice of image on the Tayside Police cards - a black dog sitting in a police officer's hat - has now been raised with Chief Constable John Vine. Tayside Police caused uproar in the Muslim community after they released this advertisement featuring police puppy Rebel sitting in a hat. The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean and has sparked such anger that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert.

 
Islamism shakes Kashmir
Sreeram Chaulia

The capability of terrorists to attack Indian military personnel and pro-India civilians in Kashmir was intact, but the power struggle in Islamabad created uncertainty about whether or not the jihadis could rely on Pakistan's undying support to wrest Kashmir from India, writes research scholar Sreeram Chaulia for Asia Times Online.

 

IMAGINE you are a radical Islamist leading a war against the infidels from the badlands bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan. In front of you is the statement, “We are prohibited from committing aggression, even if the enemies of Islam do that.” ... Pakistan, which is being torn apart by jihadis from within and across its border, needs to make Fadl’s latest work widely available in translation, to be studied in madrasas and discussed in the media. Who knows what reformation this could bring about? An analysis by By Q. Isa Daudpota.

The frenzy of doing something in honour of ‘religion’ is boosted by the pretension that such behaviour must be so ‘good’ in the eyes of God that it does not need accountability to any man-made law. Indeed, law enforcement agencies are effectively paralysed by the pseudo-religious aspect of the frenzy… Communalism, the Pakistani-Indian-Bangladeshi version of European fascism, is made of such mob frenzy and inhuman brutality created around falsehoods and fabrications, writes Farida Majid

 

Deoband: Nudged by persistent and growing identification of Islam and Muslims with terrorism at the national as well as global levels since September 9, 2001, Indian Muslim clerics of all hues finally came together to pronounce an unequivocal fatwa against terrorism of all kinds. In an event organised by Dau-ul-Uloom, Deoband, 6,000, heads of madrasas from across the country along with the heads of organisations sponsoring their institutions, joined hands despite their sectarian differences to say with one voice that terrorism of all kinds was against the peaceful principles of Islam and to exhort Muslims to stay away from such dastardly activities as in Islam even the killing of just one innocent person amounted to the killing entire humanity.

Indian Muslim Ulema urgently need to introspect Indian Muslims have shown they stand against terrorism, but do the ulema have the necessary vision to save them from the ever-expanding web of radical Islamism that is spawning terrorism across the country? How can we complain against our intelligence agencies discriminating against us, as the ulema in Deoband did so vociferously, if we support the massive discrimination routinely practiced against Hindus and Christians and Jews in Muslim lands? In the eyes of Islam stopping people from praying in the worship places of their choice is the worst possible crime. How come when we are in a minority we want all the human and religious rights, but the moment we are a majority of even 51 percent in some country, we declare the country to be Islamic where other religions have little right. What in Allah’s name is Islamic about this attitude, asks Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam in this widely reproduced and circulated essay.

The NWFP government is awaiting the president’s approval to its proposals for amending the Nizam-i-Adl Regulation of 1999, including some provisions which it considers vital for enforcement of Sharia in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata). Officials said that a summary containing the draft of the Sharai Nizam-i-Adl (Amendment) Regulation of 2008 was sent to the president a few days ago because under Article 246 of the Constitution, the governor needed presidential approval for introducing new laws in the Pata, including the Malakand region, reports Waseem Ahmad Shah from Peshawar.

 
Rice Calls Dialogue With Iran Pointless
Helene Cooper and Isabel Kershner

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice escalated the Bush administration's anti-Iran rhetoric on Tuesday, accusing its government of pursuing nuclear weapons and calling any dialogue with its leaders pointless until they suspend the country's enrichment of uranium. While Ms. Rice's message was familiar, the tone of her speech, before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was unusually sharp, taking oblique aim at Senator Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders who have called for the United States to engage Iran diplomatically, report Helene Cooper and Isabel Kershner of The New York Times

 

Most ordinary folks ask the question: from where have the Sufi Mohammads, Nek Mohammads, Baitullah Mehsuds, Fazlullahs, Mangal Baghs, Namdaars and their ilk suddenly appeared and fortified their positions, taking the public hostage and challenging the state? Why do these things not happen in Punjab where they have Raiwind, Mansoora and the renowned 'bazaar' alongside the famous Badshahi mosque? And here in our land known for centuries for its peaceful civilisations and syncretism of cultures there has suddenly emerged the most violent interpretation of religion threatening to take the country into the dark ages, writes Adil Zareef.

 

While it is true that the al-Qaeda’s fortunes in Iraq have taken a tumble, a big question mark remains on whether this means that it has been, finally, defeated. 

Is the Islamist militancy, really, in meltdown — battered by America’s military might, on the one hand, and wracked by internal dissensions and splits, on the other? Or is Mr. Hayden’s claim simply a boast? And an attempt to shore up President George W. Bush’s “legacy” as he prepares to leave the White House? The Hindu correspondent Hasan Suroor explores the issue.

 

For the first time ever, Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa against terrorism on Saturday, stating Islam had come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. The Darul-Uloom had denounced terrorism for the first time in February, but had not issued a fatwa so far. BJP praises Darul Uloom for fatwa against terror, but though Deoband plays peace card; a few call it bluff, adds Devyani Mohan of Indiatimes News Network.

 
Islam's enemy within
Kanchan Gupta

In his column in Daily Pioneer, New Delhi, Kanchan Gupta complains: “At a recent conference on radical Islam, attended by scholars from India and South-East Asian countries, it was irritating to hear professors from Jamia Millia Islamia repeating the canard about the 9/11 terrorist attacks being an elaborate conspiracy hatched by the Christians (of America) and the Jews (of Israel) to "defame Islam" and use the globally televised images of the imploding twin towers as justification for the US-led ‘war against Muslims’.”

 
Silence Of The Lotus
Prem Shankar Jha

Writing for India premier newsweekly Outlook, veteran columnist Prem Shankar Jha condemns a bill to amend the Islamic penal code in Iran that is currently being proposed for passage by the Iranian parliament. This will impose a statutory death penalty on anyone who has been born of at least one Muslim parent and has declared himself/ herself to be Muslim, but later renounced Islam. For any Muslim who believes in the Quranic dictum "La Ikraha fid Deen" (Let there be no compulsion in religion), this is truly outrageous. That a country that calls itself an Islamic republic would do this makes it all the more repugnant. New Age Islam joins Mr. Jha in condemning this move and in asking New Delhi to use its new-found bonhomie with Teheran to impress upon the so-called Islamic republic to follow Islam in its true sense and meaning.

 
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