Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

These atrocities are shocking and you wonder why people are silent. And then one voice is raised on the Internet. It is Shaheen Sardar Ali’s, a native of that region who teaches law at the Warwick University. In a poignant piece,  Will the Gulai-Nargis Bloom this Spring in the Swat Valley? Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali condemns Talibani Islam  http://newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=1133

she asks: “How long before we will say: enough is enough and rise, speak and act? How much more suffering before we declare emphatically that we refuse to be harassed and silenced any longer and demand answers for the wrongdoings meted out to us? How many more humans will have to be slaughtered, before we stand up and say NO.” -- Zubeida Mustafa

Mr PM, go to Swat and FATA not Davos By Shireen M Mazari

Saving Swat – Editorial in The News, Islamabad

President Zardari’s government, many had hoped, would dismantle the Pakistan that Zia-ul-Haq built — a Pakistan based on the dual primacy of the military and the mullah, resting on the pillars of religious chauvinism and hatred for India. If President Zardari’s handling of the fallout of the Mumbai carnage is any indication, the forces he represents have neither the will nor the resources to reverse history. --- Praveen Swami

Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions

At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” -- Khalid Hasan

Like Muslims in the mainstream, Hindu fundamentalist ideologues too oppose and point to the dangers of Saudi-isation or Talibanisation of Pakistan and other Muslim societies around the world with the financial help and military backing of the United States and other Western powers. But unlike Muslims, the Hindutva ideologues ascribe the American or larger Western involvement to mere stupidity on their part. They just rue the tragic mistake America is making. Mr. Kanchan Gupta, for instance, laments in the article being reproduced below: “Tragically, the Americans refuse to read the writing on the wall. If the Bush Administration erred in trusting Pakistan, the incoming Obama Administration has compounded that error by promising to treble aid to a criminal state whose ruling elite, both military and civilian, is a complicit partner in promoting a particularly virulent form of radical Islamism.”

I wonder if it would take a little more than mere tragic stupidity to become a super-power, indeed the sole super-power of a planet in the solar system, the only system known in the entire universe to have intelligent beings. I wonder where our analysis would lead us if, instead of merely ruing our intelligent planet being ruled by the stupidest among us, we were to credit the Americans with some intelligence and sought to understand what this mighty power is trying to do to our planet.

May I request Mr. Gupta, to credit Americans with some intelligence and study the subject of spreading Talibanisation and Saudi-isation of Pakistan and the rest of Muslim world with American financial and military backing in one of his next columns with this angle! Let us suppose American strategists were an intelligent breed like the rest of us and were creating and sustaining Islamic radicals and terrorists with some purpose. What could that purpose be? Where might we be heading?

These questions are particularly important for us here in India. For we are the ones who have been bearing the brunt of US-Pakistani-Saudi-sponsored Islamic radicalism, terrorism and so-called Jihad. Early indications are that during President-elect Barack Hussein Obama’s term this trend is likely to gain in strength and we are probably going to be an even more frequent target of these accursed “Jihadis”, while the US and the West continue to fund and protect their spon

Dedicated to the girls of Swat who may never go to school again from their sister who was fortunate enough to be educated --  Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali

Today, the 15th January 2009 civilisation, democracy, human rights, rule of law, equality, justice and equity stand defeated. Today, the Government and people of Pakistan have succumbed to a disparate group of faceless, semi-invisible individuals hiding behind an opaque mask of religion and declared all girls' education as outside the pale of Islam. 'Iqra'[Read], a mandatory injunction in the Qur'an for every Muslim male and female, has been reduced to a meaningless word trampled under the feet of worldly gods speaking in God's name. The great and glorious of the state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in a state of complete denial whine and whimper as the state recedes under their very eyes. For today, the parallel 'Taliban' the only government with any writ in Swat has declared all girls' schools closed forever….

Is it possible that the few thousands of militants are so superior in arms and training that the 7th largest army in the world is unable to outmanoeuvre them? Are the government structures and institutions so weak that access lines to arms and ammunition cannot be cut off? But the critical questions of all, that Swatis are asking themselves and the world: Who are these 'people' who have captured their land, terrorised them to death, why and for what end and purpose? As citizens of this country, Swatis demand answers to these questions and for the government to take responsibility for leaving them without security, succour and sustenance.

The Afghan Taliban banned girls' education and many among them now regret the decision. The Pakistani Taliban in Swat have done the same thing and one day they too would realize that this was something wrong. But it would be late by then and neither regrets nor remorse would absolve them of the responsibility of keeping thousands of girls illiterate and rendering jobless a large number of female teachers and other employees. -- Rahimullah Yusufzai

I was also ashamed to tell them (my children) that the terrorists were Muslims and came from a country that was created in the name of Islam. …It’s all very well for us to say Islam has nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. We can go on deluding ourselves that these psychopaths do not represent us. However, the world finds it hard to accept this line of argument as it sees the extremists increasingly assert themselves and take the centre-stage while mainstream Islam turns into a moderate fringe, writes Aijaz Zaka Syed.

Also: Pakistanis, You left us in 1947, Now leave us alone!

By A.M.Jamsheed Bahsa

And Enough is enough’ by FARAH KHAN ALI

As feared by many scholars Israel has succeeded brilliantly in resurrecting a rather quiescent Osama bin laden-led Al-Qaeda and revitalizing Hamas. Indeed all radical Islamic movements around the world have benefited from Israel’s evil bombings of the Palestinian population. Islamic extremism was badly in need of this shot in its arm. The silent majority of moderate Muslims were beginning to understand the need for them to not remain silent in the ongoing Long War on Terror. They had started speaking up. The number of mainstream Muslims coming out in open defiance of not only terrorism but also other forms of bigotry was growing.  Indeed New Age Islam itself was an expression of this realisation. Sunanda K Datta-Ray explains the ramifications of this sudden boost for radical Islamism.

‘Poll verdict against terror’ - Sheikh Hasina

Interviewed by Manash Ghosh

Hasina must deal with ISI clone - Hiranmay Karlekar

'ENEMY OF THE STATE' - Surviving torture in Bangladesh By Tasneem Khalil


On January 15, girls’ schools in the district closed down on an edict from the Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, the Swat chapter of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. … An estimated 80,000 girls have had their education cut off. The government has promised to reopen the schools by March 1. But with 183 schools blown up — including five on Monday — the promise seems unbelievable. Even if the schools reopen, there will be no teachers because under the de facto Taliban rule in Swat, women cannot work.

The few who have offered resistance to the TNSM have been eliminated. Pir Samiullah, a local landlord and spiritual leader, issued a fatwa against Fazlullah’s jihad. Fazlullah mounted an armed attack on the Pir. Some 150 farmers who worked on Samiullah’s lands put up a battle but could not save their leader. The Army did not show up. The Pir’s followers buried his body but the Taliban, afraid it would turn into a shrine, exhumed the body and strung it up as an example of what would happen to those who did not fall in line.

The big lesson from Swat is: setting up religious groups and sponsoring their jihad is one thing, and hoping to bring these groups back under control is quite another. -- Nirupama Subramanian

Historic Mecca, the cradle of Islam, is being buried in an unprecedented onslaught by religious zealots.

Almost all of the rich and multi-layered history of the holy city is gone. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades. Now the actual birthplace of the Prophet Mohamed is facing the bulldozers, with the connivance of Saudi religious authorities whose hard-line interpretation of Islam is compelling them to wipe out their own heritage. It is the same oil-rich orthodoxy that pumped money into the Taliban as they prepared to detonate the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2000. And the same doctrine - violently opposed to all forms of idolatry - that this week decreed that the Saudis' own king be buried in an unmarked desert grave. A Saudi architect, Sami Angawi, who is an acknowledged specialist on the region's Islamic architecture, told The Independent that the final farewell to Mecca is imminent: "What we are witnessing are the last days of Mecca and Medina." -- Daniel Howden

Also: Dissident Watch - Sami Angawi by Rachel Hoff

Elizabeth Farnsworth interviews architect Sami Angawi on Hijazi architecture, Jihad, etc.

In defence of Islamic fundamentalism - Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajedi
Maulana Nadeemul Wajidee, Tr. by Raihan Nezami, Ne

Muslim maulvis and mullahs have been accused in general, for misleading and instigating Muslims towards religious extremism and fanaticism or fundamentalism. According to critics, the present-day inhuman, immoral and barbaric activities are all due to this misguided fundamentalism. One Professor Sahib has even characterized religious fundamentalism, rigidity and extremism as “the mother of all the evils.”  But the question arises: What is Religious Fundamentalism? Is obedience of the teachings of Islam and submission to the Almighty Allah-e-Kareem’s commands and looking like a religious Muslim – internally and externally - religious fundamentalism, extremism and fanaticism? -- Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajedi Translated from Urdu by Raihan  Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com

Sri Lanka is the latest addition to the list of countries where Muslims are being persecuted and chased from their homes where they have been living for generations peacefully with members of other communities. The reason is that they did not submit to the evil designs of the ethnic group LTTE and were also neglected by majority Sinhalese community. In the bargain Muslim community suffered humiliation, torture, murder, killing, rape and looting. They are now a displaced people with no hope of return to their land mostly in North and Eastern provinces where they had been living for generations. --  A.M. Jamsheed Basha, Chennai-based columnist

Backgrounder: Is Sri Lanka's spurned Muslim minority ripe for fundamentalism?The island nation's Muslim minority was driven into camps 17 years ago. Rising frustration over their plight raises concerns they'll turn to radical forms of Islam. -- By Mian Ridge | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Is al-Qa'ida waging war on the United States--issuing a fatwa to "kill the Americans and seize their money"[2] (p. 13)in retaliation to U.S. oppression, or is this animosity founded on something else? Is it mere reciprocity or is it a religion-based ideology? Talking to the West, al-Qa'ida insists it is reciprocal treatment; talking to fellow Muslims it insists that Islam demands this animosity. An analysis by Raymond Ibrahim


THE BIG story in Indonesia in the short while I was there last week was the execution last Sunday of Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Mukhlas by a firing squad for their involvement in the 2002 bombings which killed more than 202 people, including 88 Australians, on the island of Bali. The three had been executed after an extended legal process….

Indonesia’s syncretic Islam is under threat from those who would convert it into the austere Saudi version. For the present, Indonesia remains a vibrant, open and tolerant nation. …

THOUGH the vast Indonesian archipelago is a neighbour of India, the world’s largest Muslim state does not register in Indian minds. Yet, there is no problem from the Indonesian side. -- Manoj Joshi, Mail Today, New Delhi

Also: Backgrounders: 1. Where “soft Islam” is on the march from Economist print edition

2. The majority of Indonesia's Muslims are moderate by Mark Duff BBC religious affairs reporter

3. Islam in Indonesia: countrystudies.us


But if terror groups are to be defeated, it is national governments that will have to do so. In nations like India (and the United States), governments will have to call on the patriotism of citizens to fight the terrorists. In a nation like Pakistan, the government will have to be persuaded to deal with those in their midst who are complicit. This can happen if those nations’ citizens decide they don’t want their own country to be dishonored by allegiances with terror groups. Otherwise, other nations may have to act.

 Patriotism is an indispensable weapon in the defense of civilization against barbarism, says WILLIAM KRISTOL in an article in New York Times commenting on US academics Martha Nussbaum and Jim Leach’s ruminations on the subject of Mumbai Terror.

Few realize in today’s world that the War against Terrorism has been an extraordinary fraud geared by dark forces in control of the policy making procedures in England, France and America, only to trigger a tsunami of "Islamic" terrorism....Few understand that Islamic radicalism does not exist in the periphery, the faraway provinces, the mountains, the plains, the coasts and the villages of the Islamic world – except under form of momentarily adopted means of reaction against grave anti-Islamic policies of colonial powers, which are the main problem that has to be eliminated first. -- Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

Also: Stop Saudi Tyranny in Yemenite Najran! Call for a UN-organized Referendum

Mumbai: The computer engineer was present at the Hyderabad mosque when bombs went off last year. Having already visited a Bajrang Dal camp, he fell prey to Indian Mujahideen, say cops

While Mohammed Mansoor Asgar Peerbhoy, the Pune computer engineer arrested in connection with the Ahmedabad bomb blasts, has said that he became a radical after allegedly being emotionally blackmailed and brainwashed by Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal, two incidents apparently played a key role in this process.

The 31-year-old who was an employee of a Yahoo! India subsidiary and is alleged to be the head of the IM’s “media wing”, has said in a statement to police that witnessing a Bajrang Dal camp in Pune in 2006 and being present in Hyderabad during the Mecca Masjid blast last year had a lasting impression on him, police sources said. A report by Sagnik Chowdhury


Islamists in the United Kingdom are using rap music videos as a call to arms to recruit young people for the holy war. Are young people being radicalised as a result or simply adopting Islam as a posture? Matthias Becker investigates

A twenty-four-year-old Lebanese man is currently being charged with planning explosions on trains in Germany. In the UK two men, twenty-eight and twenty-nine, stood in court in October – also facing charges of planning attacks. One month earlier three Londoners, two of them twenty-seven, the other twenty-eight, were convicted of a terrorist plot to set off bombs. In all three cases the attackers were acting on Islamist convictions and were comparatively young.

Religious fanaticism as a youth trend? Not completely off the mark: some martyrdom videos are accompanied by a soundtrack of ragga music and religious extremists now present themselves in classic gangster-rap poses. The video "Dirty Kuffar" (non-believer), for instance, conjures up a curious image: a man dances and sings to a ragga beat, masked with a keffiyeh, the Arab headscarf, and points a pistol at the viewer.

Also: Are America's Muslims Becoming Radicalized? Joseph Croitoru reports

Six thousand Muslim clerics are set to gather in Hyderabad on November 8 to issue the “biggest ever fatwa” against terrorism. Organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, the country’s largest Islamic body, the meet will have muftis from all states condemning the propaganda that “regards terrorism as synonymous with jihad”. The Jamiat, along with the Dar-ul Uloom Deoband, India’s oldest Islamic seminary, had issued a similar fatwa on May 31, the first of its kind in the country. “The first fatwa was signed by only three muftis. This one will be signed by 6,000 muftis, which means the impact of this will be much larger and deeper,” Jamiat leader Maulana Mahmood Madani told reporters.

NewAgeIslam.com had welcomed the previous fatwa against terror, asked for introspection and suggested the need for going beyond statements and looking into deeper issues that inhibit Indian Muslims’ full integration into the Indian society.  

Can Ulema save Muslims from Radical Islamism?

By Sultan Shahin


We hope the request has been heeded and the present meet will lead to some genuine introspection. The ulema must come forward with visionary guidance for the Muslim community that will help them deal with their own inadequacies and enable them to lead the country on a path of harmony and prosperity rather than remain a community of whiners and grievance-mongers as our leaders have turned us into. It is this whining and constant grievance mongering and spinning of conspiracy theories that is also leading our youth on the path of terrorism. Let us recognise that and act to stem the tide. Blaming others is easy, but let us choose the difficult path of setting our own house in order and setting an example before the country.

Profiting from the sale of Maulana Maudoodi’s books, preaching the sovereignty of God on earth, spreading the poison of khilafat politics, brainwashing our educated youth with dreams of establishing Islamic Sharia rule in India and the world and at the same time seeking to help establish the rule of godless communists through Muslim vote-bank politics does not behove the biggest repositories of the highest truth. A little honesty might help. .. It must disown the heavy baggage of its past and openly recognise that the late Maulana Maududi's ideology has no raison d'être in this country or anywhere else in the world. It is this ideology that has created the now dreaded organisations like SIMI and its offshoot Indian Mujahdeen. As I have said before, a little honesty might help even the biggest repositories of the highest truth. â

I could not help being inspired by Ameer-e-Jamaat Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri’s rousing words addressing the Muslim gathering: “Stand up to fight for the right of other sections of humanity, not just to beg for justice for yourself. " … Tall orders? Shouldn’t be! These are just starting points. After all fight for justice like charity should begin from home. Let us, Maulana Umri, set our houses in order. This will give us the moral strength and moral stature required to fight for justice for all the oppressed of humanity, that indeed, as you very rightly said, is the objective of Islam. –

An analysis by Sultan Shahin, editor, New Age Islam

Today the democratic countries have launched a new world war. They are attacking the Muslims in order to impose on them the laws of democracy, to impose the ways and customs they themselves have devised. We say: "We don’t want that, leave us alone!" But they don’t leave us, and they don’t leave us alone. The question is put this way: "Some people don’t want to." Well, if they don’t, so what? We – who are a part of the people, a part of the population, a part of the nations of the Caucasus – have taken up arms to establish those laws which are natural for this territory, says Movladi Udugov, head of the Informational-Analytical Service of the Caucasus Emirate in an interview with Prague Watchdog.

Also: in Salafism: Theory and Practice Alexander Vasilyev writes: “The doctrine (akida) of the Wahhabi school of thought (its second name – Salafism – is derived from the concept of as-Salaf-as-Salih, and refers to a group of righteous associates of the Prophet Muhammad whom the Wahhabis claim to follow) was established in the Muslim world by Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab on the basis of the writings of the fourteenth century theologian ibn Taymiya, who throughout his entire life was accused by his "professional colleagues" of anthropomorphism (tashbih) and, at the same time, of insisting on the absolute transcendence of the divine person. In the conception of ibn Taymiya and ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, God appears in relation to the world and his own creations as an indifferent being, an outside observer who lacks any personal presence not only in man (the “spark of God”, or fitra, emphasized by the followers of Muslim mysticism), but also in the world of creatures.”

It is important for mainstream Muslims to understand how Jihadis justify their so-called Jihad and brainwash some Muslims quoting and interpreting out of context some Quranic surahs on the basis of the universally accepted among Muslims universality of  Quranic verses. This is how they go about it, completely forgetting Islam’s well-known commandments about there being no compulsion in religion or the Islamic teachings about pluralism and co-existence with other religions:

“ Some of the reasons why jihad for the sake of Allaah is prescribed in Islam are as follows:

“1 – The main goal of jihad is to make the people worship Allaah alone and to bring them forth from servitude to people to servitude to the Lord of people. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

 “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allaah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allaah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zaalimoon (the polytheists, and wrong-doers)” [al-Baqarah 2:193]

“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allaah), then certainly, Allaah is All-Seer of what they do” [al-Anfaal 8:39]” Islam Q&A

1. Shibir’s militancy: it’s a do-or-die challenge for all (New Age)

 2. Shibir threatens RU cultural activists with death (Daily Star)

 3. Smash Palace (Naeem Mohaiemen)

 4. Cultural activists need to unite (New Age)

 5. More protests against removal of sculptures

 6. Protests go on against removal of sculptures

 7. The sculpture row (A.B.M.S. Zahur)

 8. Lalon and Terror (Rahnuma Ahmed)

 A compilation of 29 reports and analysis by Harsh Kapoor

Courtesy: <sacw.net>

Seizing the initiative in these troubled times, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind expressed a consensus condemning terrorism as un-Islamic. More than 6000 clerics signed the declaration, and reminded the nation that jihad and terrorism were “poles apart” and that “terrorism is the biggest crime as per the Quran”. What’s more, they displayed a grown-up refusal to play politics over revelations about Hindu militants arrested in connection with the recent bomb blasts, saying that terrorism should not be linked to any religion, says the Indian Express.

Also: Follow Prophet to become leader even as minority: MJ Akbar

A compilation of reports and comments on the Hyderabad anti-terrorism meet from the Indian media.

Dear Aamir Mughal Sahab,

Knowing how to Interpret Quran correctly doesn’t solve our problems regarding the Holy Quran’s war-like verses. These verses were situational. They are instructions given in a certain context. Some of them certainly are of a universal nature. But that context does not and cannot obtain today or in future.

Time machine or not, we are not going to live in the 7th century Arabia and fight those wars again. Enemies of Islam both within and without are using these surahs to propagate that Islam breeds or justifies terrorism. A virtually new religion has come into existence that I have been calling Jihadism, but it claims to be Islam and derives sustenance from these verses. Its practitioners too are outwardly Muslim and claim to be true Muslims, indeed the only Muslims who deserve to go to Heaven. Jihadism has indeed distorted the very beautiful concept of Jihad fi sabilillah. 

Mainstream Islam is not contradicting these claims loudly and widely enough. This inevitably creates suspicions in the minds of our neighbors, people belonging to other religions who do not understand the situational nature of Quranic verses, particularly as they are told that every word, comma and full stop in the Holy Quran is immutable and of universal significance. This also makes the task of Jihadists easier; they are able to easily brainwash our youth, even those who are highly educated and intelligent.

Living in Pakistan, the very hub of terrorism, you have probably become inured to Qital in a way that Muslims in more peaceful societies are not. The article 'Muslims should abrogate verses of war in Islamic Law' was a cry of despair from an Indonesian Muslim who is watching his peaceful Islamic country gradually turning into an inferno of Jihadism. I made a similar plea in Indian Ulema have no time to lose, must call warlike Quranic surahs obsolete for the same reason.

 Indian Prime Minister took pride not long ago in the fact that not a sin

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