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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

Facing the brutalities of Islamist terror, while President Obama will not go beyond calling it violent extremism, the head of Sunni Islam's oldest seat of learning, Jamia al-Azhar admitted in a counter-terrorism conference in Mecca that extremism was caused by “corrupt interpretations of Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad”, and Islamic curriculums needed to change.

This call for reform, coming from Jamia Al-Azhar, is gratifying. But a half-hearted approach to reform will not work. The problems Muslims face are very basic and cannot be solved with mere tinkering with text-books. The global Muslim community will have to introspect. One question repeatedly asked, for instance, is about the contextual verses of the holy Quran that are utilised by Jihadists to brainwash our youth. Jihadists present these contextual verses as an eternal guide for Muslims.

One would imagine that the followers of Islam who believe, and many certainly do, that Islam is a religion of spirituality, peace, coexistence and tolerance, would be up in arms against the Islamic State. But while routine denunciations from some sections do come occasionally, there is no outrage visible in the Muslim society. The world cannot help noticing that while tens of thousands of Muslims come out on streets to demonstrate the moment there is an allegation of so-called blasphemy against any one, hardly any Muslim would protest at the myriad brutalities perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.

Clearly there is something wrong, some disconnect, some deeper and more complex phenomenon at work than what can be understood from a superficial look at the issue. Instead of expressing outrage, we find thousands of Muslim young men and women running from their comfortable homes, private schools and cushy jobs to fight and join in the brutalities of the so-called Islamic State. Some 12,000 Muslim young men and women are said to have joined so far from 80 countries……

Three separate incidents, in different parts of the United States, in three consecutive days - all inspired by racial or religious bigotry that drove the culprits to claim the lives of people they hated, or attempt to assassinate people they deemed the enemy.

He noted that recently Ayman al-Zawahiri, the present leader of Al Qaeda, reached out to the Brotherhood expressing nostalgic appreciation for the fact that Al Qaeda had been born out of the Brotherhood project and welcomed its members to join his own. “Most of the groups that gain attention in our American politics, and elsewhere, are brotherhood groups. I mean Isis and Al Qaeda cannot come out into the open, but the brotherhood can and does in the form of organizations....

 

Confronted with this reality, the media are playing an essential role in informing us about Islam and influencing how we respond. But, perhaps due to a limited understanding of Islam or a fear of antagonising Muslims, a fundamental point has largely been absent from reporting: the threat of terrorism does not stem from Islam. Rather, it stems from Islamism, a political ideology.

 
Islamophobia vs Anti-Extremism
Imran Khan
Islamophobia vs Anti-Extremism
Imran Khan

When Islamophobes demonise such a small minority, there is something fundamentally wrong with it, and it must not be tolerated in a multi-cultural and pluralistic society. That being said, we as Muslims have an equally important responsibility of challenging the ideologies of hatred rampant amongst us and protecting our own minorities. Unless we do that, many will continue to challenge our moral grounds to question Islamophobia....

 

Arabs are living in a state of displacement, intellectual dispersion, and cultural disparity and reliance. As such, many youths seek to recreate the old glory and dignity of the caliphate era, as they feel they have lost their identity in the “clash of civilizations.” They want to create a new state that unifies them under the slogan of Islam. This is a trap set by Daesh and Al-Qaeda, which mislead and radicalize youths who are torn between Islamic and modern identity....

 

When extremism thrives, fear and suspicion breeds between and within communities, undermining cohesion and prosperity. The harmful consequences do not end there. The rights of women are undermined, as are the rights of minority groups in our society. We have seen a rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry but also hatred and threats towards members of the LGBTQ community. And of course, terrorism is often carried out by those driven by an extremist ideology....

 
FATA: Troubled Territory
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
FATA: Troubled Territory
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

While civilians faced the increased brunt of terror through 2017, the terrorists also increased their attacks against SFs. Fatalities among SFs increased from 39 in 2016 to 54 in 2017. Here also, as in case of civilians, the trend of declining fatalities, established since 2013, was reversed....

 

Rise in extremism cannot be quantified. The greatest impediment in investing in counter-extremism programming is the inability to measure and evaluate progress. How many fewer young men and women have engaged in acts of violence? How many vulnerable young people toying with the idea of violence have not been recruited either online or in-person...

The branding of ISIS has been disguised under the Muslim Kalimah and appears to western society to be an Islamic group. However, for the Muslim world, ISIS (or Daesh) represents the antitheses of Islam and I consider them to be a bunch of cowards. So how are they recruiting Muslims? They are targeting uneducated and disenfranchised individuals that have real-life grievances. ISIS creates an illusion that they have solutions that anyone can come join their utopia and engage in jihad....

 

Today, almost all Muslim countries are fighting against radicals, extremists and terrorists by making use of their forces and finances to secure themselves. The expertise, the weapons to combat, the surveillance equipment, the IT equipment and above all the intelligence sharing is done by US. This explains as who the beneficiary of war on terror is and who is the loser in this unending war; the long war....

 

The terrorist attack in New York city on Halloween day – in which a speeding pickup truck ploughed into pedestrians and killed 8 persons – is a reminder of how the threat of Islamic State (IS) is morphing. The assailant, an Uzbek apparently inspired by the IS command to use vehicles to strike at ‘infidels’ in Western cities, has conveyed a larger message through his diabolical act that the nature of the terrorist problem is shifting and so must the policy response to it.

 

Currently, the Taliban seem capable of upholding a slow-burning war, with the help of outside benefactors. After recent US pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militant sanctuaries, some Taliban fighters consider opting for another regional neighbour, Omari said: “Many Taliban want to leave Pakistan for Iran. They don’t trust Pakistan anymore.”

 

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), the US has carried out at least seven drone attacks inside Pakistan since the beginning of the current year (2017) resulting in at least 48 fatalities (data till October 29, 2017). During the corresponding period of 2016, there were just three such attacks, resulting in seven deaths. There were no further attacks through 2016.

 

The house and the last resting place of Syed Maududi, the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), is located in Ichra, an area of Lahore that falls in the National Assembly constituency NA-122. Going by the recent by-elections, it appears that the grave of the party itself is situated in the adjoining constituency of NA-120. At the same time, this constituency may be known in future as the birthplace of two new religio-political entities, the Milli Muslim League (MML) and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party.

 

Every news headline related to ISIS seems to be beckoning their demise, in both Iraq and Syria. But ISIS cannot possibly be defeated unless the causes that led to its rise in the first place are confronted and eradicated as well. If ISIS, represented by the masked militant, is defeated, or transported elsewhere, ISIS, the idea, will live on, because ideas are not confined to a battlefield, or a specific country. The damage of destructive ideas can always find a way to wreak havoc anywhere and at any time

 

Next time people tell me I am brave to go to Lahore, I will feel sorry for their timid banality. My session on elegy poetry became, for me, a metaphor for the times we live in. But what has continued to stay with me is the short poem by Zehra Apa, Suna Hai Jungalon Ka Bhi Koi Dastoor Hota Hai, about the law of the jungle where small and big animals co-exist and get together to defend her if the earth is at risk. It ends with invoking Allah to give humans Jungalon Ka Dastoor....

 

The jihadists have long sought to inspire individuals or small groups of people to commit acts of terrorism for their cause. Individual terrorists are often described as “lone wolves,” but that term is misleading. If a person is acting in the name of a global, ideological cause, then he or she cannot be considered a “lone wolf,” even if the individual in question has zero contact with others. In fact, single attackers often express their support for the jihadists’ cause in ways that shows the clear influence of propaganda....

 
‘Petrodollar’ Jihadism and Demonetisation: Is Terror Financing Blocked After Demonetisation?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
‘Petrodollar’ Jihadism and Demonetisation: Is Terror Financing Blocked After Demonetisation?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Indeed, India’s people expected that demonetization would be a strong move to crash down the funding sources of terror emanating from the global fountainheads of Wahhabism into various parts of this country. Most notably, the global Wahhabi networks, in name of largesse, immensely funded petrodollars to the religious, educational and other charitable institutions in India. In the year 2016, NDTV, an Indian TV channel ran a two-part show on “Saudi Islam in India and Money Trail”. The channel scrutinised the records of funds pouring in to promote Saudi-style Salafist Islam in India and particularly its influence in Kashmir...

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the head of the Lashkar and its parent political arm, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, was placed under house arrest last month, though no criminal charges have been brought against him. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s offices in several areas now bear new billboards proclaiming them to belong to an organisation called the Tehreek-e-Azaadi-e-Kashmir....

 
The Plight of 18.8 Million War-Torn Yemenis
Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The Plight of 18.8 Million War-Torn Yemenis
Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Jamie McGoldrick said last month that the civilian death toll in the nearly two-year conflict has reached 10,000, with 40,000 others wounded. This announcement marks the first time a U.N. official has confirmed such a high death toll in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation. Earlier, the U.N. reported 4,200 civilians were killed in the war. In addition, many more are indirect victims of the conflict, including those who suffer from chronic diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes, and are unable to get treatment.....

 

Generally speaking, the adjective “Islamic” is used to define a faith, culture and a way of life, whereas “Islamist” is used to define a political line with the ultimate target of the domination of Islamic Sharia law as a political system. Erdogan, like many other Muslims, has been opposing to the use of the term because of his concern that ordinary men would not care too much about the linguistic difference and develop Islamophobic feelings....

 

So even as the Islamic Military Alliance seeks to coordinate action against terrorism within Islamic countries, it must also ensure that Islamic countries like Pakistan which export and propagate terrorism against secular neighbouring countries like India are brought under control. The two countries with the largest Muslim populations in the world are not part of the Islamic Schindler’s List drawn up by Saudi Arabia....

 

In Israel, a promoter for gay events that organizes parties around Tel Aviv drew criticism after publicizing a party using pictures of handsome young men in poses inspired by ISIS beheading videos. But others praised the ads for turning the group’s violent homophobia on its head....

How Not To Fight Terror
Aijaz Zaka Syed
How Not To Fight Terror
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Arabs and Muslims around the world are as distressed and saddened by these senseless killings and attacks targeting innocent bystanders. Indeed, their pain is even more acute considering these cowardly acts are ostensibly carried out in their name and in the name of their faith....

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