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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

Why Systematically Discrediting the Ideology behind Jihadist Terror Holds the Key to Counterterrorism Success
Brahma Chellaney

By exporting Wahhabism – the hyper-conservative strain of Islam that has instilled the spirit of martyrdom and become the source of modern Islamist terror – Saudi Arabia has been snuffing out the more liberal Islamic traditions in many countries. Wahhabism is just a variant of Salafism, and the House of Saud is the main backer of Salafis across the globe. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s radicalism is the root from which Islamist terrorist organisations ranging from Islamic State to al-Qaida draw their ideological sustenance....

 

Perverse Ideologies Backed By Billions of Dollars Give Birth to Terror
Farrukh Dhondy

When perverse ideologies are backed by billions of dollars, they are likely to spread in insidious ways. Deviant religious views, such as those of Satanists or some black-magic cults haven’t had the century-long backing of rich oil-revenues and haven’t consequently spread poison throughout the world. The genie of ISIS has now turned against the evil Saudi uncle that conjured it from the oil-lamp and has become its rival in fundamentalist Islamism.....

 

We Must Look To the Past, Not ISIS, For the True Meaning of Islam
Robert Fisk

So I suspect it’s time to raise the ghost of a man known as the Emir Abdelkader – Muslim, Sufi, sheikh, ferocious warrior, humanist, mystic, protector of his people against Western barbarism, protector of Christians against Muslim barbarism, so brave that the Algerian state insisted his bones were brought home from his beloved Damascus, so noble that Abe Lincoln sent him a pair of Colt pistols and the French gave him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour.....

 

Europe Constantly At War With Extremism
Hiranmay Karlekar

The first requirement is the liquidation of the ISIL as soon and as comprehensively as possible. Defeat will not only remove its ability to direct terror strikes abroad and train potential terrorists on its territory, it will also undermine the glamour the ISIL acquired as a result of its early military successes which enabled it and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to claim invincibility and of being designated by Allah to establish Sharia rule, the world over....

 
Aleppo after the Fall
Robert F. Worth

Aleppo after the Fall
Robert F. Worth

What destroyed Aleppo? It was not the sectarianism that is often held up as a key to the Syrian war. It was not just “terrorism,” the word used by regime apologists to fend off any share of blame. Those things played a role, but the core of the conflict in Aleppo, as in much of Syria, was a divide between urban wealth and rural poverty. It is not new. Travelers in the Ottoman era used to describe the shocking gulf between Aleppo’s opulence and the countryside surrounding it, where peasants lived in almost Stone Age conditions…..

 

Can ISIS Survive the Caliphate's Collapse?
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Not only will the Islamic State remain in Iraq and Syria, it is also likely to persist as an international franchise even with loss of core territory. In several parts of the world, such as Southeast Asia, the Islamic State has already moved beyond the insistence on territorial control and statehood, dropping the notion of claiming new "provinces". In short, the Islamic State is indeed Baqiya....

 

The Manchester Bombing: Don’t Give the Jihadists What They Want

IS has said that it wants to force sympathetic Muslims out of a “greyzone” in which they do not fully embrace the jihadists’ “caliphate” because they still feel loyalty to the country where they live. If so, IS can use extreme violence to provoke an official clampdown and to feed the indiscriminate suspicion of Muslims....

 

The Muslim Ummah is currently in conflict. A battle is being waged for the heart and soul of Islam. In some cases, the forces of True Islam and Fake Islam are facing off in full-fledged civil wars. In most instances, the overwhelming majority of orthodox Muslims are being assailed by a fringe minority of violent heretics. If anything prevents mainstream Muslims from cleaning up camp, it is the fact that they are powerless and at the mercy of oppressive leaders who have traditionally supported Takfiri terrorists to do their dirty geo-political work covertly while simultaneously condemning them overtly. It is shameful that a billion-strong majority of Muslim tigers are being pestered by one hundred thousand rats....

Why Islamists Are Obsessed With Controlling Young Girls
Jenny McCartney

Terrorism is not random or accidental. It is a conversation with the state conducted by means of extreme violence. Each atrocity has its point to make. With previous terrorist incidents, Isis has emphasised its hatred of Christians, say, or street revellers. This one was meant largely for the girls....

 

How Egypt Plans To Crack Down On Antiquities Theft
Salwa Samir

According to investigators, these employees let the German group illegally take a piece of a cartouche from a small chamber above King Khufu's burial room and also some fragments from the walls and ceiling of Khufu's tomb in the Great Pyramid. The group used sharp tools while taking the samples, so the pyramid walls were damaged....

 

From Afghan Hideout, Kerala Jihad Leader Calls Faithful to Caliphate
Praveen Swami

Abdulla lashed out at mainstream Indian Muslim leaders who, he argued, were misleading their flock by condemning the Islamic State as illegitimate. “Muslim leaders in India claim that it is possible for Muslims to practise their faith 100% in India: we can pray, fast, go for hajj, and so on”, he said. “But the hypocrite Islamic scholars stay silent on the Quranic commandment for Muslims to engage in offensive jihad. They know that the Prophet went with weapons and conquered the whole of the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic State follows the example of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, yet these so-called scholars criticise it”. “Islam spread by the sword — not by peace”, Abdulla said. “The critics of Islam, ironically, speak the truth, while the so-called Islamic scholars do not. The Prophet Muhammad, the Caliph Abu Bakr Siddiq, and those that followed them, conquered the world by the sword, not by doing Dawah [proselytisation]”.....

Fighting Taliban and the Islamic State
Prof D. Suba Chandran

Let us make a cold calculation on the success and failure stories in our region in terms of politically dealing with an active militant group. Let us not rush towards a political dialogue in the name of a ‘peace process’ or worse in the name of ‘pragmatism’. As a rule, unless the militant groups are defeated militarily or openly willing to take part in the political process without any preconditions, dialogues will only strengthen the former....

 

The Treasures of Timbuktu
Charlie English

It was true that a number of documents from the state-owned Ahmed Baba Institute had indeed been destroyed or stolen, but over the following days and weeks, the tale acquired a delicious twist. Almost all of Timbuktu’s precious manuscripts had been smuggled to safety in a daring rescue operation that a Ford Foundation executive described as “an Indiana Jones moment in real life.”....

 

Contemporary societies and states, whether in the East or the West, have been facing the dual threat of radicalism and terrorism, mainly perpetrated and justified in the name of religion. The rise and proliferation of these are largely the result of lack of economic, social and political openness at the societal and state levels....

 

ISIS Doesn’t Represent Muslims, Is Real Enemy of Islam
Aadil Ikram Zaki

With each terror attack, there is an increasing intellectual churning in much of the Muslim world with a sizeable majority delinking terror with Islam and a faction within the community acknowledging the misinterpretation of Islam by ISIS and other terror outfits such as Taliban and Al-Qaeda. But ISIS has outdone all other outfits with its successful application of savagery....

 

The Brainwashing of Turkey's Children by ISIS
Uzay Bulut

There are more than 1,000 ISIS militants in Turkey and the sympathizers must be in the tens of thousands. ISIS militants have organized all across Turkey – in coffee houses, Internet cafes, mosques and cell hideouts. A lot of ISIS militants were arrested – only to be released later....

 

In Yemen, Shocked to His Bones
Kathy Kelly

In one of the burnt-out shells of the shops where raisins, nuts, fabrics, incense and stone pots were traded for hundreds of years, all that was to be found was a box of coke bottles, a sofa and a child nailing wooden sticks together. This is Sa’ada, ground zero of the 20-month Saudi campaign in Yemen, a largely forgotten conflict that has killed more than 10,000, uprooted 3 million...

 

Playing the ‘Oppression’ Card: How Islamic State Is Radicalising Youth in India
Rezaul H Laskar

“Online, in talking with like-minded individuals from all over the world, they get a deep sense of belonging and sense of brotherhood. So, it’s not so much that Islamic State is using these environments to radicalise and recruit, although that happens, it’s that these individuals find a ‘home’ in these environments and it’s hard to break away from that bond with others, even if it’s only online,”...

 

Will al-Qaeda and ISIS Unite?
Hamdi Malik

These differences date back to the era of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's leadership over al-Qaeda in Iraq, who believed that legitimacy comes from the battlefield and not from above. The leaders of the two groups also disagree about the priorities of jihad at this stage. Although both share the ultimate goal of establishing the Islamic caliphate throughout the world, al-Qaeda leaders believe that this stage requires striking the distant enemy, namely the West....

 

Sinister Web: Pakistan's Footprints of Terror Are Visible Across the World
Sanchita Bhattacharya

With the incoherence of Western policy and continuing, albeit diminishing, financial and military support pouring into Islamabad, even as Pakistan is ascribed a lead role in the search for a 'solution' in Afghanistan, there has been no decisive disincentive to ISI's continuing subversive activities across the region. Pakistan's footprints of terror are visible across the world, but Islamabad continues to operate with complete impunity....

 

Is Sufism Answer To Extremism In Egypt?
Jayson Casper

“Salafists consider Sufis to be infidels, so you cannot open a dialogue with those who reject you,” he said. “Meanwhile the Muslim Brotherhood plays with both Salafists and Sufis as it judges where its interests lie. And in any case the law considers them a terrorist organization.” Sufism may well be a tool to spread the values of love and tolerance in a polarized society, but Egyptian Sufis also view their politics through the lens of existential crisis....

 

The Taliban attack at Mazar-e Sharif’s Camp Shaheen appeared aimed at further undermining Afghanistan’s embattled leaders and security forces. And it delivered another psychological blow to Afghans hoping that this year might finally see government gains against a methodical, years-long Taliban advance. It also served as a reminder that the Taliban, and not the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), still represent the most potent Islamist insurgency threatening Afghanistan....

 

Who Killed My Friend Yameen Rasheed?
Azim Zahir

These extremist groups - just like corrupt politicians - have also formed alliances with radical gangs. There has indeed been a phenomenon of what Olivier Roy has called "Islamisation of radicals". Several of these "Islamised radicals" have gone to Syria to fight. And as these gangs also have or had interdependent relations with powerful politicians, they seem to enjoy impunity within the Maldives....

 

Five Indian Families, Including Young Children, Disappear To Join the Islamic State
Annie Gowen

By the time their relatives realized they were missing, five families – some with small children – had left their comfortable bungalows and jobs as doctors and businessmen to make the perilous journey to Islamic State-controlled territory in Afghanistan. Authorities believe 19 adults and three children settled in Nangarhar province, on the mountainous border with Pakistan. Their departure has raised alarms about the Islamic State's reach in India as well as growing extremism in Kerala, a southern state with deep ties through migrant workers to the Arab Gulf....

 

By now you all know what happened in Mardan to a student named Mashal Khan. It doesn’t bear repeating, but I’ll do it anyway: a talented and intellectually honest young man was slaughtered by his fellow students for having said things that were allegedly blasphemous. He was 23. Pakistan was born in the Chinese Year of the Pig, which is deeply funny for many reasons...

 
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