Radical Islamism and Jihad
While the ultimate culmination of Dhamal aligns with the cosmic
patterns, its individual steps follow no pattern at all. It could begin as a
gentle dance, a flirtatious duel with the beat of the drum. It teases, consents
to a union and then shyly backs away. The Dholwala plays along. The contest is
for everyone to see and partake. The lovers finally merge, initially softly,
tenderly, and then passionately, wildly. It has uncontrollable energy, a force
which through its movements can halt the movement of the cosmos. Like the
Tandava of Shiva and the ecstatic dance of Kali, if uninterrupted it can lead
to destruction. Yet on the other hand, like Vishnu, the preserver, through its
alignment with the cosmos it holds the world in its place....
are disappointed—Somalia is not the Islamic paradise they were told it was, and
foreigners are used as cannon fodder. So they come back to Kenya, where they
face an awful choice. They can join an amnesty programme and turn
informer—thereby risking being killed by their erstwhile chums. Or they can
refuse, and risk being “disappeared” by the police. Any young man who has been
away from his village for a while, or who has been seen with suspected
al-Shabab sympathisers, is in danger....
But when it comes to Islam, ignoring important economic, historical and
political factors has become perfectly acceptable. Politicians, pundits and
ordinary Americans see Islam -- not political groups using Islamic rhetoric --
as an existential threat to Western secular norms. So, they believe,
restraining it justifies extraordinary measures, even those that violate
American values and the Constitution -- such as trying to ban mosques....
From interviews with family members, and messages they have sent their
friends, The Indian Express has pieced together a portrait of the bizarre life
the group has built for itself in the eight months since they disappeared. The
members of the group have set up stores, teach religion, have married, and had
children. None appears to be engaged in military activity....
Still, the overly broad nature of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as
a terrorist organisation is unlikely to accomplish any security objectives for
the US. In the near term, it is likely to enable all sorts of wrongful
prosecutions of Arab Americans; in the long term, it will likely make the
American-Muslim community even more insular, increasing the possibility of
alienation and ultimately radicalisation.....
One of the questions hovering over the Mosul campaign is what will
become of places like Hassan Sham, which ISIS took from the Iraqi Army, and the
Peshmerga took from ISIS. Will the Arab population be allowed to return? Will
the Iraqi Army attempt to remove the Peshmerga from the disputed territories by
force? The Kurds, who in the past two years have vastly expanded the amount of
land that they control, seem uneager to relinquish any of it....
Ahmad Murid Partaw
According to Afghan officials, if there is fear of ISIL-K footprint in
Afghanistan, it has to be directly shared and discussed with Afghan
authorities, instead of colluding with forces that are hostile to its people
and government. It’s also important that the illusion of the Islamic State in
the region should not serve as a pretext for the neighbouring states to
establish relationships with terrorist groups such as the Afghan Taliban and
Always preaching tough Islam, Deobandis received funds from Saudi
Arabia and other Arab allies, occupying “soft” Barelvi mosques through sheer muscle.
Deoband, of course, is another city in India that gave rise to hardline Islam
in the subcontinent reaching out to their hardline brethren, the Wahhabis, of
Saudi Arabia. ....
According to the trend, therefore, Bangladesh is being transformed
towards Islamisation. Sadly again, Hefazat-e-Islam is largely composed of
teachers and academics who are meant to shape the youth, instilling education
on liberalism and tolerance but their blueprint is just the opposite. Their
level of intolerance has Sufis and Ahmediyas on target.....
Several factions within the Taliban are vying for power. The Mansoor
network, which claims to be backed by Iran and Russia, has risen to become the
most dynamic group within the Taliban. The levels of morale within the Taliban
vary. The boost to morale from 2016 battlefield successes was dampened by the
high cost at which they were gained, as well as the alienation of many Taliban
from their leadership and the sense that many had no stake in those battlefield
K. Anis Ahmed
The Bengali letter “o” used to stand for “ol,” a yam; now it stands for
“orna,” a scarf worn by women for modesty. Texts by non-Muslim writers —
including some revered as part of Bengali heritage, like the classical poet
Gyandas or the contemporary novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay — have been removed.
Also gone are a small excerpt from the Ramayana, a Hindu classic that Islamists
reject as foreign to the Muslim canon, and songs of the Sufi icon Lalon Shah,
whose syncretic faith is anathema to Muslim conservatives....
“I’m going to explain something to you,” Bashar said, with chilling
composure. He was the only man I had not seen touch either Ahmed or Mohammad.
It occurred to me that Bashar possessed the same uncanny self-command that
Salem had shown in his execution video. “If Adnan had joined ISIS, I would
have, too,” he said softly, as if to a child. “When Adnan joined the swat, I
joined the swat. How many times did you and Alawi go to jail together? You were
never apart! And now he’s ISIS and you’re a prophet?”....
More than a hundred thousand soldiers, policemen, and
government-sanctioned-militia members were expected to participate in the fight
to liberate Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. It had been occupied since
June, 2014, and was now home to about six thousand militants from the Islamic
State, or ISIS. The swat-team members were desperate to join the battle. They
called relatives in Mosul, chain-smoked cigarettes, and excoriated the war
planners, from Baghdad, who seemed to have forgotten them....
In Quebec, Islamophobia manifested itself in a series of sensational
cases, in 2007 and 2008, over the “reasonable accommodation” of religious
minorities, Muslims in particular. The provincial soccer federation barred
Hijab-wearing girls on the pretext of safety. It took an official commission to
calm public nerves. Its 2008 report, which had the eminent philosopher Charles
Taylor as an author, found there was no crisis: Sensationalist media coverage
had distorted perceptions, but Muslims were not making unreasonable demands....
What Rose has done is to highlight three specific traits that
characterise the “engineering mindset”: first, it asks “why argue when there is
one best solution?”; second, it asserts “if only people were rational, remedies
would be simple”; and third, it appeals to those with an underlying craving for
a lost order, which lies at the heart of both Salafi and Jihadi ideology. But
they will need something that cannot come from western cultural experts. What
the report omits to point out is that students will require input from others
within their faith – to open up to them the richness of the Islamic traditions
that constituted the religion before the arrival of oil-rich Salafi
Maududi thought that a state could either be religious or irreligious.
Therefore, he did not agree with the view that secularism was just the
separation of religion from a state’s affairs, but strongly argued that
secularism gives rise to atheism, or a lack of belief, in society. He saw
religion as the ultimate source of morality, and, so, when people became
un-Islamic, society would also become unethical.....
Jihadism is no longer a metastasis which is endemic to a select few
Arab and Tuareg clans dwelling in Mali's northern fringes; it is on the move
and it is "jumping" ethnicity, finding a home with new groups –
Songhai, Fulani and others....
Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistani jihadist group that is closely
allied with al Qaeda, “operates terrorist training camps in eastern
Afghanistan,” the US government stated in 2014. The Turkistan Islamic Party,
the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Imam Bukhari Jamaat, an Uzbek jihadist group
that operates in both Syria and Afghanistan, have all claimed to operate camps
We were desperate for the world to hear and help us. I had been
frantically tweeting images and videos of destruction from eastern Aleppo. We
relied on local providers who used Turkish wireless networks and satellite
routers to keep Aleppo online. On Dec. 12, as Aleppo was close to falling, many
of us tweeted our last calls for help. I recorded my video inside a friend’s
house, my voice trembling. I feared a massacre....
The former tend to discuss the concept in a fleeting manner - usually
by not much more than identifying Salafism's theoreticians, such as Abdul
Wahhab and Ibn Taimiyah - and focus instead on the political, economic and the
social dimensions behind the rise of Salafi movements. There is, accordingly,
little interest in the conceptual genealogy but also the contested meanings of
the concept of Salafism in the Islamic tradition....
His death is “an irreparable loss for the entire Muslim world and
specifically for the followers of knowledge, Dawah [preaching] and Jihad.” The
Taliban thanked him for providing “Jihadi services.”Salimullah was one of the
founders of Jamia Farooqia, an Islamic university in Karachi, Pakistan known to
have “strong connections to the Taliban movement in Afghanistan...
The incident has revealed something supremely rotten in Pakistan’s
state and society. Instead of provoking unequivocal condemnation, the abduction
of several activists has spawned mass indifference, or much worse,
victim-blaming. Some days ago, I was informed by a gentleman in Lahore that
those missing were prominent ‘anti-state’ and ‘anti-Islam’ agents thus implying
they deserved their fate....
The attack in Kandahar this week seemed expressly aimed at breaking
down the cause that Mr. Shamsi and his colleagues were dedicated to: trying to
restore faith in government after years of devastating war and disappointing
When five armed Islamist militants stormed a restaurant in Dhaka,
Bangladesh, on 1 July 2016, 29 people lost their lives. Emerging from the
appalling, bloody debris are stories of immense courage. There are also
unanswered questions about what happened to some of those who died....
General Zia and President Erdogan both came to power after a coup
against the establishment. “Both strengthened their control over the government
by employing similar tactics: oppressing freedom of expression, arresting and
torturing political opponents, controlling educational and religious institutes
and harnessing the tides of global politics for their own benefit....