The War Within Islam
Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham
The sarin attacks in Syria of August 2013 and April 2017 resemble one another closely. They reflect a strategic mode that might be repeated yet again by Assad, as long as he remains fully backed by Russia and Iran. At the same time, the geopolitical shift suggested by the recent US military response in Syria marks a desirable turn with consequential implications regarding the ongoing relationships among the US, Syria, Russia, and Iran....
Islam: The Battle Within
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah
Can we imagine today Prof. Jamal Khawja in conversation with top Deoband Ulema or Arkoun presenting a paper in a conference in Azhar or Fazlur Rahman giving extension lecture on annual conference of JeI or head of great seminary addressing annual philosophy or social science congress? Where are those prepared to learn and thus engage in proper dialogue with the other? If most of Muslims think they already have all the answers and thus needn’t think or learn or engage in a proper dialogue as Adonis notes, what can one do?...
There is a growing environment of fear, suspicion and anxiety on Turkish streets. Months of acrimonious campaigning ended April 16 with voters narrowly approving constitutional amendments that will greatly expand the presidency's power. Though the campaign is over, it cultivated seeds of ill will that have grown and spread, evoking hateful rhetoric against those who opposed the amendments.....
Turkey's soul-searching and societal wars never have a moment of truce. Turkey's wars are not just between political leaders and parties; they are wars between the supporters of a democratic, secular country and those of a caliphate which Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, abolished almost a century ago. As Kati Piri, the European Parliament's Turkey rapporteur, said of the referendum: "This is a sad day for all democrats in Turkey."....
When Mustafa went about establishing a modern and secular state, many of his moves were deemed controversial by existing Islamists who were still loyal to the Ottomans. He would go on to pass laws regarding gender equality and women’s suffrage. He would also introduce religious reforms, abolishing the Islamic Caliphate. He scrapped a ban on alcohol and forbade women workers from wearing headscarves.....
The Salafi Call has been known to modify and review several Fatwas in the past, in light of prevailing political circumstances. Between 2011 and 2014, the movement had issued a fatwa prohibiting Coptic candidates from running in the parliamentary elections, but then in 2015 it changed its mind to include a number of Copts on its electoral lists, as per the election law at the time. This time, the Salafi Call seems to be having a change of heart in regard to women in leadership positions.....
The history you’ve inherited is a history tainted with the blood of certain individuals. When a religio-centric government tried to quash your protests under a unified-linguistic dictatorship, you protested. What else could you do? What was the alternative? Grit your teeth and take it in stride? Hell no. Bengalis weren’t real Muslims, they said. And real Pakistanis can’t be allowed to speak Bangla. How could they?...
“The Turkish republic has always been flawed, but it always contained the aspiration that – against the backdrop of the principles to which successive constitutions claimed fidelity – it could become a democracy. Erdoğan’s new Turkey closes off that prospect.”...
As power came from a deniable jihad, religious parties could afford to rest on the margins. But now, as the state of Pakistan reacts against the jihadi “recoil”, two terrorist-declared outfits are ready to become political parties, hoping to secure more votes at the polls than the Jamaat-e-Islami....
The police officers came to the doctor’s door in Istanbul at 6 a.m. — dawn raids usually start then, sometimes 5:30 — and one of them said, “You are accused of attempting to kill President Erdogan.” The doctor couldn’t help it; he laughed. “Really? I did that?” The police officers smiled, too. “Yes. Also for attempting to destroy Turkey and for being a member of a terrorist organization.” “Really?” He looked at them. They carried pistols. “Can I have a cigarette then?” The police seemed surprised. They didn’t expect a Gulenist to smoke. I’m not a Gulenist, the doctor insisted. That didn’t help him......\
A “yes” vote would overhaul the state in its present form, abolishing the post of prime minister, sidelining parliament, and formalising a system in which the president answers no one except voters. A “no” would mark a major setback for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, though far from a fatal one. Yet there is much more riding on the outcome than one man’s political fortunes. What is at stake?...
Vilified by accusations of using a chemical bomb, Syria’s president intensified his counterpropaganda campaign on Thursday, suggesting that child actors had staged death scenes to malign him and that American warplanes had bombed a terrorist warehouse full of poison gases, killing hundreds of people....
The weakened norm emboldens Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons for two reasons. First, his commanders face less of a taboo in deploying them and so are less likely to object. And, second, Mr. Assad has little to gain in upholding a norm that never worked to his benefit....
Turkey matters not just for its size, but also as a bellwether of the political forces shaping the world. For centuries it was the seat of a great empire. Today, as a frontier state, it must cope with the violence spewing out of war-ravaged Syria; it is a test case of whether democracy can be reconciled with political Islam; and it must navigate between Western liberalism and the authoritarian nationalism epitomised by Russia. In recent years under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has gone backwards.....
The conflict has taken an especially heavy toll on the adult male population, with several tens of thousands of Aleppan men killed or maimed in the past six years. Many more have been drafted by the government or are fighting in the ranks of one of Syria’s many militias, for or against al-Assad’s regime....
who do find their way to the GCC states enter the web of the Kafala or
sponsorship system, where the rights of the migrants are minimal. GCC countries
prefer to provide funds to the UN and others so that the refugees remain
outside their fortress. ‘Assad must go’ is an easier slogan for them to chant
than ‘Syrian refugees are welcome here.’...
of a popular Pakistani general to head a Saudi-led alliance of Muslim countries
has set off a furore in Pakistan, amid fears that the move could exacerbate sectarian
tensions at home.....
Asad Rahhim Khan
To embrace an
alliance that excludes Iran, Iraq, and Syria is a political message wrapped in
a sectarian bow. Pakistan’s success is defined by its neutrality: a
parliamentary democracy siding with neither Sunni kings nor Shia theocrats.
Second, a Khaleeji vanity project is the wrong vehicle to be fighting IS and
affiliates anyway. As Kamel Daoud puts it, “Daesh [IS] has a mother: the
invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its
religious-industrial complex.” The kingdom may make the right noises, but it
refuses to go after the radical trends it has encouraged for decades....
most sickeningly pathological terrorist Fazlullah killed 130 children in a
school in Peshawar, he quoted from the Hadith which form a part of Sharia in
Islam. Pushed back by Sharia, Sharif took himself to Karachi last year where he
mixed with the Hindu minority community and made them happy by observing Holi
S. Binodkumar Singh
these efforts, the Government banned Ansar al-Islam (Defenders of Islam), the
Bangladesh chapter of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), on March 5,
2017, as its activities constituted a threat to public security. The ban
circular observed that the militant organization's activities went against
peace and order in the country. The radical group was earlier known as
Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT, Volunteer of Allah Bangla Team)....
Adnan Abu Amer
believe that the new committee will address the governmental work left undone
by the failure to provide for Gazans’ needs under the consensus government. No one
can predict, however, at this point how the PA might act to punish Hamas....
Mumtaz Qadri, who shot Taseer, was hanged in 2016 after being sentenced by a
judge of an anti-terrorism court. The judge left immediately for Hajj after the
sentencing, but the prosecutor complained of death threats being flung at him
daily. Qadri has a grand mausoleum just outside Islamabad, where thousands go
to pay homage to him. The son of the murdered governor, Shahbaz Taseer, was
kidnapped by the Taliban and kept under savage conditions in Afghanistan for
three years before he was able to escape....
the ultra-religious sorts — which this land is abundantly blessed with — are
free from useless doubt. For them more is better. Every newborn, say the
ultras, comes with a guaranteed Rizq (provision) stamped on its forehead. Now
let’s assume, ignoring the visible contrary evidence, that this is correct. Yet
there shall remain an impossibly difficult problem even if food and water were
to drop miraculously from the skies. ....
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan survived the July 2016 coup attempt, he
appears to have lost his sense of diplomacy, his statecraft and arguably even
his mental equilibrium. This is visible in ample measure in the insecure
President’s body language and rhetoric in the wake of a diplomatic row
snowballing into a major crisis before the referendum he is seeking from the
Turks, both within and outside Turkey...
is a symbol of innocence and sacrifice in Turkey and the region. Turkish bridal
showers often include the bride getting a henna design on her palm. Young
conscripts also get henna on their hands just before they are sent off to serve
their country, as a symbol of dedication. For the people of Anatolia, henna
symbolizes new beginnings, excitement and sacrifice for an important cause. It
is an ancient tradition that has been cherished by Jews, Arabs, Alevis, Kurds
and Turks — it is an image that unites and transcends politics….