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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……

Islamism, with the many definitions it can have, does not depend on any specific living breathing person. The movement’s leaders are not so important to the ideology because they themselves are only faithful to this hegemonic and totalitarian ideology, contemporary Nazism....

 

Al-Baghdadi is not the first Jihadi leader to be killed, if the news is verified; before him influential figures such as [Osama] Bin Laden, [Abu Musab] Al-Zarqawi, Abu Umar al-Baghdadi, [Abu Hamza] Al-Muhajir, Al-Adnani, [Abu Umar] Al-Shishani were all killed. It didn’t stop anything; neither did it change the situation on the ground....

 

We can still reunite some families and help others find closure by finally informing them of the fates of their long lost loved ones. To achieve this the international community needs to act swiftly and demand the relevant authorities make investigating the missing ISIL abductees a priority....

 

Muslims should reject all the extremist organisations and extremist ideologies and chalk out long term peaceful programmes for economic and scientific development. Terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakr Baghdadi and Ayman Al Zawahiri should not find space in any Muslim religious and political discourse....

Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said, “We keep hearing of such threats and it is not the first time that we received such a threat. I don't think we need to take it seriously....

 

Therefore, despite the treaty obligation they began to conspire along with some of their mischievous allies against the Muslims and their allies. (On both sides these were mostly Ahl-i-Kitab i.e. Jewish and Christen tribes...

Here, Logical Islamism borrows the strict laws of science from Logical Positivism and also derives from it that lofty position in which it placed mathematics and physics, the pillars of modern civilisation. However, it differs from it in that it doesn’t put the soul in collision with science and it doesn’t create a mutually exclusive formula between religion and physics....

 

Medieval scholars of Islamic law delineated two basic forms of armed jihad: defensive jihad, an armed struggle against invaders; and aggressive jihad, a pre-emptive or offensive attack commissioned by a political authority....

In Islam war and fighting is not a private affair. Even for an organised political community/state permission is contextual and not an all-time activity. Its conduct is subject to considerations of feasibility and principle, rules and norms....

“He was a half-baked person and did not even complete the course to become a Maulvi. He was always ambitious, radical and violent in his thoughts.” But he was not alone. Most of the Muslim youth in Kattankudy have turned to monotheism and radical preaching...

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.

 
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