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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

The Mullah-Military Takeover of Pakistan
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Saeed’s release, coupled with the civil-military leadership kowtowing to a radical Islamist group that has already contested two by-elections in the country, is the formal completion of the political mainstreaming of jihadists in Pakistan. This mainstreaming has not only been planned by the military leadership, it has also been pushed by them, resulting in the Dawn Leaks episode last year, from which the civilian government never managed to recover.....

 

What’s Behind the Islamist Protests in Pakistan?
Niloufer Siddiqui

The party adheres to a sub-sect of Sunni Islam which emphasizes personal devotion to the prophet Muhammad, engages in such practices as the veneration of saints, and has typically been considered moderate and tolerant. As a result of some of these practices, the sub-sect has been a victim of extremist outfits in Pakistan, such as the Pakistan Taliban. But the TLP itself has violent origins. It was formed in large part to express support of Mumtaz Qadri, who killed the governor of Punjab for defending the rights of a woman accused of blasphemy in 2011....

 

Pakistan Islamic Lab Results: Military Must Stop Its Tango with Militant Groups
Saad Hafiz

Pakistan’s inability to restrain Islamist groups raises serious questions: Is the creeping confluence of religion and state complete? Will governments need the support of religious extremists to acquire power and keep it? Can religious radicals meet their long-desired goal of establishing a theocracy? Has the military joined politicians in the race to pander to extremists? Will the military agree to share power with extremists? Can extremists eventually replace the military as the arbiters of the country’s destiny? Will semi-literate clerics and Madaris students one day rule a country of two hundred million people armed with nuclear weapons?...

 

Return of a Spectre Called Blasphemy
Farzana Shaikh

But they also brought to fruition a state-sponsored policy, active since 9/11, of quietly empowering Barelvi groups to counterbalance so-called “hardliners” among Pakistan’s proliferating Deobandi and Salafi groups. They were seen to have grown increasingly independent of their handlers within Pakistan’s military and security establishment, whose authority it was said they were now prone to question. It is no wonder that eyebrows were raised when Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, declined to act in support of the government claiming the protestors were ‘our people’....

 

The seeds Maududi sowed became the plants that sapped this noble religion of all progressive ideas and pushed people into a rigid conformity with his brand of 'Islamic ideology'. The introduction of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan was a natural result of the process of Islamisation that Maududi and other right-wing religious parties had set in motion. They had found fertile ground for their agenda in the social conditions of Pakistan.....

Saudis Fail at Their Own Conspiracy
Bruce Riedel

The war in Yemen is costing Riyadh about $5 billion a month. It is a humanitarian catastrophe for the Yemeni people. The Saleh fiasco demonstrates that the Saudi coalition is flailing without a way out. The only winner is Iran. Washington needs to help Riyadh find a way out of the quagmire....

 

Qatari Wahhabism Vs. Saudi Wahhabism And The Perils Of Top-Down Change
James M. Dorsey

A traditional Gulf state and a Wahhabi state to boot, Qatari conservatism was everything but a mirror image of Saudi Arabia’s long-standing puritan way of life. Qatar did not have a powerful religious establishment that could enforce ultra-conservative social norms, nor did it implement absolute gender segregation. Non-Muslims could practice their faith in their own houses of worship and were exempted from bans on alcohol and pork....

 

Islam Marches On, In and On Islamabad
Ayesha Siddiqa

‘Mullah-military alliance’ is of course short-hand for describing the changes unfolding in Pakistan that have sapped its already weakened democracy and rickety institutional infrastructure. What we are witnessing is the metamorphosis of the country’s socio-polity from a post-colonial form to a more organic religious one.....

 

The Plot behind Saudi Arabia’s Fight with Qatar
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In June, Saudi Arabia — along with two other Persian Gulf states and Egypt — picked a fight with Qatar, on the grounds that the country is funding Islamic terrorism. The move was almost satirical, given that Saudi Arabia itself has long funded the spread of fundamentalist Salafi Islam, which is often associated with extremism. However, this diplomatic spat seems to be more than just an example of Saudi Arabia’s pot calling Qatar’s kettle black...

 

For How Long Will The Peace Treaty With Egypt Be Robust?
Efraim Inbar

Sadat violated the Arab taboo against good neighbourly relations with the Jewish state and opened the way for additional peace agreements. The defection of Egypt from the Arab military coalition eliminated the option of a two-front conventional war against Israel and saved the Israeli taxpayer billions of dollars. The heavy price paid by Israel to Egypt was total withdrawal from the Sinai and removal of settlements. ...

 

The Barelvi Movement and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Party – The Forces Behind The Protest – Are Deeply Imbued In Sufi Shrine Culture
Haroon Khalid

The Barelvi movement, the most popular one within the Islamic tradition in South Asia, was seen as the perfect response, an interpretation of Islam rooted in South Asian culture, a depiction of Sufi Islam. However, such assumptions are based on a quite simplistic understanding of Sufism. There is no one uniform interpretation of the term. Sufism means different things to different people. Even within the Sufi tradition, there is a range of ideas, some of which sometimes directly contradict each other....

Why Are Barelvis Wielding New Political Influence In Pakistan?
Umer Ali

For decades, the Deobandi-Salafist groups championed the cause of violent jihad in Pakistan, while the Barelvi groups mostly remained apolitical and non-violent. However, unlike the common belief that only Deobandi-Salafist groups apostatise other sects, Barelvi literature is also rich with Fatwas against the followers of other Islamic sects. One reason why Barelvi groups weren’t radicalized during the Afghan jihad is because the Saudi funding to fight the Soviet Union was directed towards Deobandi and Salafist groups due to their ideological affinity....

Religious Fascism Wins in Pakistan
Karamatullah K Ghori

“Who is the army to adopt a mediator’s role; where does the law assign this role to a major general?” the judge asked. Pakistan is a long way from answering this thorny question. But in a tiny span of just three days, the country has slid many a miles on the road to a precipice. Earlier, on November 24, the notorious Hafiz Saeed, head honcho of the UN-sanctioned Jamaat-ud Dawaa (JuD) was set free, prompting an irate White House to call it “a step in the wrong direction”....

Politics of Hate from the Labbaik Crowd
Khurram Husain

A cut-throat power struggle at the top of the political pyramid, coupled with the disproportionate power that has just been handed to individual preachers with small and medium-sized congregations, and the fragility of our food and fuel logistics and choke points in our external trade mean the potential to hold the country to ransom with ease has been thoroughly exposed…

 

The Axis of Moderation vs. the Axis of Resistance in the Middle East
Najat AlSaied

The Axis of Moderation comprises Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Arab Gulf countries, except for Qatar. The great mistake that the Axis of Moderation has made in confronting the Iranian regime -- to try to curb its export of the its "Revolution" -- has been to fall into the trap of propagating sectarianism. While Iran portrayed itself as the defender of all the Shiites in the world...

 

No Foreign Solutions to Arab Problems
Nabil Fahmy

Arab countries, individually and collectively, will need a fully formed strategy to confront existential foreign and domestic threats to their sovereignty and security in the coming years. It is high time for Arab leaders to outline a vision for the future of inter-Arab relations, and a plan for engaging with their non-Arab neighbours on regional opportunities and challenges. Last but not least, Arab leaders must also explain how they will provide better domestic governance for their people....

 

Is the Israeli-Saudi Alliance Planning to Wage War On Iran?

What these three rogue states have in common is the destruction of Iran like they did with Iraq, Syria or Libya. Netanyahu has warned President Bashar al-Assad not to allow Iran to build military bases in Syria. It remains to be seen whether the new (alleged) “Axis of Evil” or the Russian Iranian Turkish alliance will prevail in the Middle East....

 

Seven Theses on the Rise of Fascism in Pakistan
Ammar Ali Jan

Fascism is a modern phenomenon, and presupposes a modern society of alienated individuals held together by the belief in abstract concepts, with nationalism as the dominant vehicle for producing a sense of community. Yet, when existing structures are unable to arouse passion among the population, the process of alienation increases in society, and concomitantly, the popular desire for a stable community intensifies. This gap is filled by fascist groups, often through the invocation of millenarian fantasies or an imagined glorious past....

 

The Battle of the Islamic World
Ghassan Charbel

It is true that the modern part of the world wants our markets, but it is also true that we need the fruits of its laboratories and research, and we also need its incredible technological progress and investment. Fear of terrorists and extremists has consumed the energies of Islamic countries and deprived them of stability, investment and prosperity. That is why the current battle looks like the battle of the future of the Islamic world....

 

Where Does Pakistan Stand?
Shahid M Amin

 Compassion and mercy were some of the most endearing qualities of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Those who abused him and tortured many of his companions included Abu Sufyan, the leading foe of Muslims, and his vicious wife Hind, who had mutilated the body of Hamza, beloved uncle of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). But when Makkah was conquered, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) forgave Abu Sufyan and Hind. It was this compassion and forgiveness that made Islam so attractive and helped it spread all over the world....

 

Tehran Is Winning the War for Control of the Middle East
Jonathan Spyer

Mohammed bin Salman, at least, appears to have signalled his intent to oppose Iran and its proxies across the Arab world. The game, therefore, is on. The prospects of success for the Saudis will depend on the willingness of their allies to engage alongside them, and a steep learning curve in the methods of political and proxy warfare....

 

Netanyahu's Mixed Messages to Israeli Arabs
Mazal Mualem

It has already been noted that Netanyahu is no different from his predecessors Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, or for that matter, their predecessors, too. They all participated in the years of institutional neglect of the Arab sector. The events of October 2000 that led to the second intifada saw 12 Israeli Arabs and one non-Israeli Palestinian killed by Israeli police. This should have been a warning and was a missed opportunity for change....

 

Zawahiri and Baghdadi’s Disinformation Campaign
Sultan M Hali

It is equally deplorable that to achieve their vested interest of acquiring power and ruling the Muslim world, the propaganda wing of ISIS is also spreading disinformation that democracy is against the basic tenets of Islam. This couldn’t be further from truth. Not only Islam practiced and propagated democracy through a parliament called Majlis-e-Shoora but dynastic rule is not permitted. Western democracies, like the US have borrowed from Islamic democratic canons in their constitution and acknowledged our Holy Prophet (PBUH) as one of the greatest lawgivers of the world as depicted on the Supreme Court friezes....

 

Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last
Thomas L. Friedman

If this virus of an anti-pluralistic, misogynistic Islam that came out of Saudi Arabia in 1979 can be reversed by Saudi Arabia, it would drive moderation across the Muslim world and surely be welcomed here where 65 percent of the population is under 30. One middle-age Saudi banker said to me: “My generation was held hostage by 1979. I know now that my kids will not be hostages.” Added a 28-year-old Saudi woman social entrepreneur: “Ten years ago when we talked about music in Riyadh it meant buying a CD — now it is about the concert next month and what ticket are you buying and which of your friends will go with you.”...

 

Sadat to Salman: Israel At The Expense Of Palestine
Marwan Bishara

Normalisation through weakness is the exact opposite of peace through strength, and therefore, is destined to fail. It is an idea that is tinged with betrayal: betrayal of common Arab interests, as well as the betrayal of Palestine. For the people of the Arab world, Palestine has long been a rallying cause because it's about more than geography or a homeland for the Palestinian people. Palestine is the test of Arab conscience...

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • The pejorative meaning is very much in the minds of people. Look at Yunus Sb’s example to illustrate the correct interpretation of 98:1 and 98:6. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good job sir'
    ( By Siraj Rajdan shaikh )
  • There are many things about Islam and its spread that are awe inspiring without being miracles. Islam is free from all kinds of mumbo jumbo ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus sab, I do not know that we need any terms to distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims. We should on the other hand emphasize our ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin sahib, You are closely reading all the comments. From your comments I have understood that you do not want to hold the debate on ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Shaheen sab, Nobody in Islam has authority to ban any words, but at least we can stop using pejorative and offensive words, we can say ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin sahib, I am sharing with you some points. Despite the fact that the terms ‘kafirin’ and ‘mushrikin’ are not used in pejorative sense among Muslims, ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi )
  • Ghaus sahib, The word "Kafir" is now the exclusive private property of Naseer sab and he will use it as he pleases....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I cancelled my hajj bcoz I don't believe Mecca's existence, then all rituals performed by hajj goers are all faie, satanic, not prescribed in the ...
    ( By Roslli )
  • Shahin Sb, In verse 2:254 Allah says وَالْكَافِرُونَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ or the kafirun are the zalimun. Why don’t we have a verse that says the Mushrikun ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mohammad Yunus Saheb sent me the following comment and asked me to post it only if I agreed with the view. I do. In favt ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb, "Nigger" was not a central theme of Bible. Similarly, "acchut" was not the central theme of Vedas or Upanishads. Also, these ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin sahib, You say, “We have to tell him how abhorrent these terms are and that we must stop using them.” You consider these terms abhorrent, ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Thank you brother, very nice!'
    ( By smile! )
  • Sultan Shahin sahib, Americans got rid of the term "nigger". Hindus got rid of the term "achhut". If terms like kafir and mushrikin provide the...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Akbar's "50-year reign saw Hindus and Muslims draw closer together culturally and theologically, giving...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sage advice! As the author says, "We have to move away from the communal discourse, resort to legal measures... .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb, I am surprised that you are asking Muslims to desist from using frequently used Quranic terms like Kafirin and Mushrikin. How ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Mohammad Yunus Saheb, you have said: “I find the whole discussion about kufr/ kafir a blatant digression from the myriad of issues confronting Islam ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Mohammed Yunus Saheb has sent me the following comment: "In my view God alone...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • کو قرآن مجید میں ڈھونڈیں، ميں قرآن ميں کہاں ہوں ؟ انتہائی​ دل چسپ ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • A country where hook-up-break-up fad is seen as cool, hating triple talaq is not only superficial but ignorance too.'
    ( By Mohammad Arif )
  • Admin whatever is wrong should be considered as a wrong I think triple talak is social evil not only tripal talak but ...
    ( By Kumari Alpna Pathak )
  • We have seen very little use of logic and reason in our discussions. For Kafir to mean disbeliever, it is necessary that every disbeliever is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • With reference to By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi - 12/11/2017 3:33:42 AM, he may read my article: ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus Sb, yo say :You are talking about the idea of supremacism. Please tell me honestly. When you say “some Mushrik are Kafir”, is there ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Is it India is Darul-Islam! well than it is hard to unserstand the formation of Pakistan,Bangladesh and asking for seperate Kashmir....
    ( By Aayina )
  • To Sultan Shahin. Can you describe the miracles shown to mushrikin. Or ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • The idea of Pakistan was Islamic intolerance of diversity . Read the second last line of the article . You are ....
    ( By saurabh )
  • Dear Muslims, Don't make fool of yourself by comparing other religions to Islam. ...
    ( By Raman )
  • Thank you, brother. May God bless you abundantly!'
    ( By happy )
  • We must stop using pejorative words like kafir and mushrikin. We respect all people irrespective of their beliefs....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The true spirit of Islam: progress, humanity, education, and economic progress as ethical imperatives and dictates of Islamic....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! It is good to discover the similarities between different religions. It is even better to learn to have respect for the dissimilarities....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I thought I had reached some clarity in this debate, but it seems Yunus Saheb is not very happy with my understanding of his position. ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Thank you Ghaus Saheb for your clarification. This "vice versa" had really troubled me.
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • I came across this article after it was referred in one of the YouTube videos. The very essence of today's fight between two countries divided ...
    ( By Manjunatha Swamy )
  • “Now, after decades of global inaction and a seal of US approval, Israel will be emboldened to hasten...
    ( By Skepticles )
  • Naseer sahib, You are talking about the idea of supremacism. Please tell me honestly. When you say “some Mushrik are Kafir”, is there not the ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Sultan Shahin sahib, perhaps the following part of my comment in which i used ‘vice versa’ appeared to you as questionable. If it is really ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )