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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Trained to Kill: How Four Boy Soldiers Survived Boko Haram
Sarah A. Topol

The insurgents ordered them into waiting trucks. It was crowded inside. There was too much heat and not enough air. After the trucks started moving, there was no stopping and no water. The sun moved across the sky. Some boys died, lying atop other boys, a tangle of sinewy adolescent limbs that moaned, shuddered and then grew still. The boys who survived stopped feeling. Maybe the sun set, maybe another kind of darkness descended, maybe twilight settled in, but they had stopped noticing.....

 

Tell-Tale Signs of ISIS Presence in Balochistan
Shezad Baloch

It is a poorly kept secret that the banned LeJ and other terrorist groups collect money from mosques after Friday prayers, and especially after Eid prayers, urging the faithful to contribute to the funding of the Jihadist fight against Shia, infidels and Western countries engaged in Afghanistan. This happens not only in Quetta but also at a large scale in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. The LeJ and other extremists also collect animal skins to raise money in the name of Jihad....

The Myth of the Extremist
Mark Durie

We live in an era where myths abound, many of which are failing in the face of radical Islamic violence. The sooner we jettison our comforting cognitive short-circuit devices and get on with the rational task of taking Islamic theology seriously, the better....

 

Modelling the Mind of an Islamist Terrorist
Dr Aamir Khan

I also think the fiascos of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya — countries that are smouldering, burning and imploding, with no end to their miseries in sight — are more, not less, likely to give a fillip to the wave of terrorism around the world. Worse, the victim countries will de-stabilize their neighbours. This will further widen the growing rift between the West and Islam....

 

The Global War on Terror Seems Paralysed
Syed Ata Hasnain

There are no solutions visible on the horizon, but the global crisis in terms of spreading terror can be better controlled if the Middle East is more stable and ISIS has less scope to exploit the meaningless differences between nations that should in any case be aligned on the same side....

 

ISIS attempted to plant the seeds of unrest in India in June 2014 by including India in a map of its planned caliphate. Six months later, ISIS named former Tehrik-e-Taliban commander Hafiz Saeed Khan as the Wali (governor) of the “Khorasan Province,” which includes India. Propaganda about Khorasan has not gained significant traction in India, however....

 

Musings on London Bridge: Combating the New Range Of Threats Posed By the IS Will Require Political Settlements in Syria and Iraq
Mohamad Bazzi

To combat this new and more complex range of threats posed by the IS and its sympathisers, governments in the West and throughout the world will need to do more than simply continue military strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. Deterring new attacks against civilians will require working towards political settlements in Syria and Iraq. It will also mean greater vigilance in monitoring clandestine networks set up by IS operatives — and adjusting to a new enemy that knows no limits....

 

Finding Bravado, and Worry, at an Iranian Shrine Where ISIS Struck
Thomas Erdbrink

Many in Iran are trying to grasp the new reality, completely opposite the image of a strong and invincible country long presented to them by their leaders. The attack hit the Islamic republic in its political heart. Iran’s Parliament is home to 290 directly elected representatives. The Khomeini shrine is the resting place of the man who introduced political Islam to the world....

 

 From a strategic standpoint, the struggle against extremism and terrorism relies upon both soft power and hard power, the proverbial carrot or the stick. Soft power is non-coercive. It attempts to change and influence social and political opinion. It seeks diplomatic solutions. Its currency is culture, political values, and foreign policies. Hard power refers to modes of coercion, including economic sanctions and direct military confrontation. If hard power seeks to coerce, soft power seeks to co-opt.....

This was the month when the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). It is astounding that the Jihadis have twisted the true meaning of this month and misquoted the Quran out of context to suit their needs of recruiting new activists and to breed hatred in order to carry out more attacks on innocents. This year, just before the beginning of Ramadan, ISIS beseeched its followers to cause collateral damage and “maximise the benefits” they can get in the hereafter....

The Muslim bloc ~ or Europe for that matter ~ is no stranger to outrages perpetrated by ISIS. Yet last week’s s bedlam and butchery in Shi'ite Iran has caused far greater consternation primarily because of its grave implications....

 

Toxic Masculinity Must Be Included In the Conversation If Mass Terrorism Is To Be Eradicated
Rafia Zakaria

“Hateful ideology is a vehicle for a toxic masculinity that seeks solace in extreme violence,” the women wrote, and the only solution to truly fight terror is to “include women in the debate who may be able to help counter how young men are raised or being indoctrinated to hate”....

Terrorism and Extremitis: To Halt Terrorism, We Must Avoid Stepping Into the Polarisation Trap Set by It
Chetan Bhagat

The (mis)use of Islam in recruiting terrorists means the Muslim community at large, and Islamic countries in particular, have to play an active part in solving the problem. Radical Islamic organisations are able to generate funds for their activities. To counter them, strong moderate Islamic organisations need to be created and funded by governments around the world as well. ....

 

It is not unusual for Muslims to speak this way. Our neighbouring family is Muslim. After the weekend attack in London the mother came to our door with cakes to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan — a time of fasting and prayer — and apologised to us personally for what had happened in the name of her religion....

 

Muslim Nations Are Not the Main Sponsors of Global Terrorism; They Are Its Principal Victims
Munir Akram

The sectarian divide is not the sole ideological rift within the Muslim world today. The Muslim Brotherhood and its populist ideology have become abhorrent to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE. Hamas, the Palestinian affiliate of the Brotherhood, has suffered collateral damage. On the other hand, Qatar and Turkey have espoused the Brotherhood and Hamas. This was evidently the main reason for the Saudi-UAE break with Doha. Last, but not least, today’s weak Islamic world is wide open to domination by external powers....

 

Afghanistan, Pakistan, USA: What Pakistan Wants
Ajit Kumar Singh

Our problem, our challenge, is that we cannot figure out what is it that Pakistan wants. What will it take to convince Pakistan that a stable Afghanistan helps them and helps our region? We continue to make an unconstrained offer for a state-to-state peace dialogue. But we cannot - nor can any signatory to the UN Counter-Terrorism Convention - accept that the global consensus against terrorism is not acted upon. So we again call on the Government of Pakistan to propose its agenda and a mechanism for that dialogue which can lead to peace and prosperity...

 

The Islamic State as an Excuse: It Is Time for Religious Muslims to Face Up To the Cracks in Their Own Homes

The ISIS is not some Hollywood super villain, an Islamic Dr. No, with highly trained agents present everywhere. It does not have that sort of clout outside the regions it controls and some neighbouring spaces. But it is actually more dangerous because it can capitalise on the flaws in our thinking, those cracks in the floor of ordinary family homes, Muslim and non-Muslim....

 

Murder and Suicide— All Terrorism In The Name Of God
Fawad Kaiser

The Old Testament describes how Samson in a single act of vengeance caused the death of about 3000 Philistines, knowing that he himself would die with his victims. Samson used his extraordinary power to bring down the two pillars that supported the temple, crushing his enemies, in the name of God....

 

Many British Muslims, who unashamedly possess a sense of pride and belonging, will share the sentiment of Britain being home. Extremists - whether religious, far right or otherwise - neither like, nor want this. They would rather we have no sense of belonging or affinity to our place of birth, upbringing and citizenship....

 

Zakir Naik Seeks Malaysian Citizenship, but Moderate Malay Muslims Confront His Retrogressive Religious Rhetoric
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

One wonders as to why the controversial Islamist preacher, who is also reported to have the Saudi citizenship along with the Permanent Residence status in Malaysia, is now seeking its citizenship. Is Naik planning to radicalize the Malaysian youths after he has reportedly inspired a misguided section of the South Asian Muslim youths including the Dhaka attackers?   The reason why Naik has now set his eyes on the Malaysian Muslims’ multi-cultural, syncretic and secular society of the democratic ethos is not difficult to see. The Salafist ideologues castigate the multi-culturalism, secularism and religious syncretism, in their books, as “inauthentic” and “contaminated”....

It sets out three beliefs that must be combated: that it is “sinful” to participate in the democratic process; that people “must work to establish an Islamic state or support a so-called Islamic State”; and that it is a form of “betrayal” to assist the British authorities. “We will robustly and precisely show that these and other such divisive narratives are wrong so no other Muslims fall into the trap of this evil ideology of hate.”.....

 

These were the Taliban's Special Forces; the Red Unit. They sat quietly as they listened to their commander Mullah Taqi telling war stories, gently cradling their M4 machine guns. The M4s, with their night-vision scopes, were one of the main reasons they had captured nearly 85% of Helmand province from less-well-armed Afghan forces....

 

ISIS Recruiter Who Radicalised London Bridge Attackers Was Protected By MI5: From Collusion to Blowback
Nafeez Ahmed

Anonymous British counter-terrorism sources, however, told CNN that Butt was the subject of a “full package” of investigatory measures, as he was believed to be “one of the most dangerous extremists in the UK”. After September 2014, when ISIS began calling for attacks on the West, British security services grew “increasingly concerned that al-Muhajiroun members who had remained in the UK would carry out terrorist attacks.” The sources said that “One of those they were most concerned about was Butt.”...

 

Terrorism in Tehran: Reality Confounds Rhetoric
Paul R. Pillar

The United States, ever since 9/11, has claimed a right for itself to be ruthlessly aggressive in the name of responding to terrorism, lashing out with force while sometimes being little restrained by collateral damage or international law (not to mention its own constitutional requirements).  Iran may see a need to be more aggressive in places such as Iraq or Syria in the interest of fighting back against ISIS.  Will the United States grant Iran the same kind of slack it grants itself...?

 

The Jihadists of Islamic State Hit Iran

Iran controls and finances militias in Iraq, where it supports the Shia-led government, and in Syria, where it backs Bashar al-Assad its support and direct action have been critical in the war against IS. But it is also accused of destabilising countries. In Yemen it has supported the Houthis, a rebel group fighting the government and its Saudi allies. In Sunni-led Bahrain it has backed the repressed Shia majority...

 
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