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The War Within Islam
Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/18/2010
Two readers asked me questions well worth answering. The first asked whether Islam itself isn't the enemy; the second, how these distinctions appear from an Israeli standpoint; .
The Moderate Muslim Litmus Tests
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/31/2010
In the controversy over the "Ground Zero" mosque in New York and other issues, Muslims are often asked if they condemn terrorism, Iran, or Hamas and other revolutionary Islamist groups, along with other questions. The idea is to determine whether they are moderates or radicals. Each of these questions also has an unnoticed "internal Muslim" aspect as well that makes them all the more important.
Are Hijackers Extremists Proper Muslims or Contenders in a Civil War?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 1/27/2010
One of the most controversial issues today is the relationship of the political doctrine of Islamism (including revolutionary activity and terrorism) and the religion of Islam.
Radical Islamism: An Introductory Primer
Prof. Barry Rubin - 1/17/2010
The following is intended as a work in progress to provide a very brief discussion of issues involving radical Islamism. Naturally, it is too short to make all points, deal with all aspects, and cover all details. I plan to expand it in future to include possible solutions.
Where Is the OIC When Mosques Are Attacked?
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 12/19/2009
According to the Associated Press, Jihadi terrorists "stormed a mosque in Rawalpindi , killing at least 36 worshippers, including six military officers, during Friday prayers as they sprayed gunfire and threw grenades before blowing themselves up," Pakistani officials said. A military statement said four attackers hurled grenades and then opened fire as they rushed toward the mosque, located on Parade Lane in a military residential colony, just a few miles from the capital. Two Jihadists then blew themselves up inside, while the other two terrorists were killed in an exchange of gunfire. Seve...
Islamic Cleric to Pope: Let's Unite and Kill the Jews Together!
Prof. Barry Rubin - 5/13/2009
It’s a pity that the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) chief Islamic judge Tayseer Rajab Tamimi will be criticized for rudeness rather than incitement to genocide. And the whole political context of Tamimi’s statements shouldn’t be missed either: he is an appointee of the PA. When he demands that Israel be wiped out either he’s speaking for his bosses or if not they should fire him. Of course, they won’t because in large part he is.
Double standard of Muslim nations
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury - 3/24/2009
In recent years, many of the Muslim nations although are continuing to term those who participated in the war in Afghanistan as terrorists, in the state-owned and private media, Afghan warriors are continued to be termed as ‘Mijahid’ [member of Holy War]..
Book Review: Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery
Alamgir Hussain - 3/3/2009
Book Review: Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery.
Publisher: IUniverse Inc, New York, Bloomington | Pages 380 | Paperback: US$ 17.95 | Kindle: US$ 7.96
Who Speaks For Islam?
Iqbal Latif - 2/5/2009
The irreducible folly of terrorism has shown itself in the latest news streaming in from the troubled corner of the world; North Western Frontier Province. In Dera Ismail Khan there was a hand grenade lobbed at a local mosque, resulting in the injury of 6 worshippers. Islam is being held hostage by its own lunatics who want to avenge their losing battleground on the blood of innocents. This is the age of making new schools for girls not destroying schools by invoking writ of Allah. "We Ask Taliban To Spare Our Schools"
The Paradox of Muslim Weakness
Sadanand Dhume - 6/1/2008
In the years since 9/11 two broad narratives have emerged in the West to explain the nature of the so-called War on Terror. On the right it has become commonplace to equate Islamism – the ideology that seeks to order 21st century societies by the medieval norms enshrined in Islamic sharia law – with a long line of totalitarian threats to liberal democracy. Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution, for instance, calls it a “foul apparition that has succeeded fascism, Nazism, and communism as the world's next bane.” The left, not surprisingly, sees the issue as a product of poverty or flawe...
This is not Islam
Sunita Paul - 5/20/2008
I was rather shocked to see stories about a religious leader in Bangladesh named Mr. Ahmadullah Ashraf, who grabbed a religious school (Madrassa) in Dhaka with the help of armed hooligans and continuing to use illegal electricity and gas connections by denouncing local laws. He reportedly is also continuing questionable personal life, which certainly goes beyond the minimal standard of dignity of any person having firm faith in God. Yes, it is unfortunately true to some extent that few people in our societies are using religion as a garb to cover their misdeeds and crimes, and the case of Mr. Ahmadullah Ashraf is just one such example.
A Closer look at Right and Wrong Islam
Rashidul Bari - 5/20/2008
Osama Bin Laden and Muhammad Yunus are both Muslim, but who represents the correct Islam? Who is an asset to Islam and who is its destroyer? Who is a disgrace to the Muslims and who is the symbol of the religion? Who is most notorious member and who is the great benefactor to Islam once famous as a promoter of education, knowledge and peace. What made Dr. Alvin Harp raise the question, “When do the lives of 15 million people have a greater value than those of 1.3 billion?”
Muslim Women: Status and Divorce Rights Under Islamic Law
Shabdita Gupta - 5/3/2008
Muslim Law could be seen as an admirable system of jurisprudence providing, as it did, many rational and revolutionary concepts that could not be conceived by the other systems of law then in force at that distant date. It provided, for example, for the right of inheritance to the females even when there were male heirs and also the modern concept of divorce by mutual consent, while the other systems of law took so many centuries to do so. But as a result of deplorable distortions made by, and unfortunate metamorphosis undergone at the hands of Anglo-Indian courts, substantial portions of the...
Shia-Sunni Unity for World Peace
Tanveer Jafri - 5/2/2008
The Religion of Islam outwardly seems as a single sect & generally all its followers are called the Muslims. But reality lies somewhere else. Undoubtedly, the Muslims are one in following the basic principles such as one Allah (God), One Quraan, One Hajj, and Namaz (Prayer) for five times a day, Roza (Fast) & Zakaat. Usually all the Muslims who have religious attitude try to follow these basic principles. But in reality, the Islam religion that seems one, as historical paradoxes go on, is divided in 73 different sects. The two sects - The Shiites & the Sunnies, are the major sects. Besides the...
Does Qur’an endorse travel ban?
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury - 4/29/2008
According to Qur’an two mosques are most sacred and precious for all Muslims. These are called Haramine in Arabic. According to the holy Qur’an, if someone stops Muslim from visiting any of these mosques, it will be considered as unforgivable sin. But, very unfortunately, due to suggestions of some uneducated clergies and anti-Semitic elements in the society, Bangladeshi government is continuing travel ban on Israel, thus stopping the people of this country from visiting Al Aqsa mosque.
Murderous Mothers: The Hidden Female Face of Honor Killings
Dr. Chesler, Ph.D. - 4/18/2008
Texas-born Patricia ("Tissie) Said, formerly of the Owens family, is the mother who lured her two teenage daughters, Sarah and Amina, to their deaths at the hands of their own father this past New Years Day in Dallas. How can a mother do such a thing? Even if her own life was threatened, even if her husband Yasser had literally held a gun to her head and told her to trick her daughters into returning, isn't a mother supposed to sacrifice herself for her children? Or at least to protect them? What can explain such a perversion of maternal instinct and of the life force itself?
The Relationship Between Traditional and Contemporary Islamist Political Thought
Sherko Kirmanj, Ph.D. - 4/11/2008
Political Islamism has often, though not always, been treated as a relatively new phenomenon. By the same token, examinations of Medieval Islamic political thought, like those of Montgomery Watt and Ann Lambton, look at this factor in its own historical context. There are exceptions, of course, as with Hrair Dekmejian who studied the historical cyclic responses of radical Islamism, while Antony Black has traced the broad history of Islamic political thought. What is both interesting and useful at present is to take a broader view of Islamist political thinking over time and the relationship between various waves of its development.
Islam in the Age of Extremism
Abukar Arman - 4/8/2008
Extremism is the root cause of the proliferation of violence throughout the world. It is the impetus pushing lawlessness, gluttonous greed and downright disregarding of human rights. It is a massive boulder blocking the path to peace.
The Moslem Hero of Moderation
Sunita Paul - 4/5/2008
"People are punished for crime, for creating anarchy and for putting humanity into horrifying terror. But, could we ever believe that someone would be arrested, tortured and imprisoned for long 17 months just for being in favor of global peace, inter-faith dialogue, ending religious hatred and thinking of everything good and noble for mankind? In my case it did happen and after being released on bail keeping the sedition charge very much alive. According to the allegations, my crime is: I am a living contradiction to today's phenomenon in the Muslim world, a Zionist, a defender of Israel and a devout, practicing Muslim living in the second largest Muslim country in the world."
The Price of Dissent in Islam
Rafi Aamer - 3/31/2008
Individual disagreements on many issues are common occurrences but when this disagreement involves religion, things have the potential to become really nasty. Faith invokes strong emotions. Disagreements with someone’s belief can earn you pronouncements of apostasy--and even a death threat is not out of question. Such has been the case with people belonging to almost every religion at one time or another. Lately, though, it has become predominantly a Muslim phenomenon.
Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: Portrait of a Leading Islamist Cleric
Ana B. Soage, Ph.D. candidate - 3/25/2008
Yusuf al-Qaradawi is one of the best known and more important contemporary Muslim clerics. He is widely read and heeded throughout the Muslim world. This article discusses al-Qaradawi's thought, his influence, his style of leadership and where he stands on the spectrum of Islamist political thought and activity.
Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is the cofounder and president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He has his own Arabic-language website and supervises the popular site Islam Online (bilingual English/Arabic). He...
Renaissance Cannot Be Islamic
Iqbal Latif - 3/16/2008
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has adopted a new charter that calls for a “jihad of peace” to spark off an Islamic renaissance. Muslim country Indonesia called for an “Islamic Renaissance.” Indonesian President Susilo Bambang was quoted as saying “The possibility of an Islamic renaissance lies before us. We need to get our act together as an organisation of Muslim nations.” These are virtuous and extremely timely, helpful statements cannot be overlooked, these represents sea change of attitude and I can see beginning of a thaw in very hardened ideological quarters. The world should try to capitalise on these offshoots and act as catalyst to commence a debate on change.
Islamists Blast Valentine's Day
Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D. - 2/14/2008
While millions of men and women are gearing up for a happy Valentine’s Day, the same cannot be said for Muslims.
'Nation of Islam' and Denial of Its Killing Fields!
Iqbal Latif - 1/12/2008
Suicide bombers have traumatized the conscience of our nation. Instead of outright condemnation of the civil society, it is intellectually fashionable to draw moral equivalence holding poor social conditions as catalyst of these acts; it is poor judgment and disregard of history. Heartless assassins removed an icon of democracy and pluralism in Pakistan, however, political expediency took over the better of national conscious, in a sorrowful display of politics over her dead body the nation imploded within. Her killers remain at large in the wilderness. Everyone else is blamed but the heartles...
Muslim Pilgrimage Exemplifies Believers' Equality Before God
Ahmad Al-Akhras, Ph.D. - 12/19/2007
Muslims from all over the world are taking part in the largest gathering on Earth, the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hajj is a religious obligation that every Muslim must fulfill, if financially and physically able, at least once in his or her lifetime. During these historic days, white, brown and black people, rich and poor, kings and peasants, men and women, old and young will all stand before God, all brothers and sisters, at the holiest of shrines in the center of the Muslim world, where all will call upon God to accept their good deeds. These days represent the zenith of every Muslim's lifetime.
So Why Do They Hate Us?
Hashmat Moslih - 12/3/2007
The 11th of September is a gruesome celebration of a gruesome act committed by the leaders of the Western civilization. It is the celebration of the death of logic. Logic died when the Western leaders demanded that the occupied must provide security for the occupier. In such an environment of world order, attacks like that of 11th of September are inevitable and nothing is going to prevent it. Humanity has reached a deadlock - war is the only path in resuscitating “reason” and “logic’. What happened to “reason” and “logic” and where enlightenment is are questions which can only be answered by...
Have We Been Good Muslims?
Ghazal Omid - 10/15/2007
The Muslim Eid al-Fitr (Celebration of Ramadan) is upon us. Have we been good Muslims? Fitr is similar to Lent for Catholics; a celebration of the ending of a month of getting closer to God through soul searching, soul cleansing and clarity. It is not simply a month of self torture by starvation for which God has no respect.
Gutenberg and the Date Palm
Warner MacKenzie - 10/9/2007
During the Taleban rule in Afghanistan it was difficult to ignore the irony that, despite the banning of everything “modern” and “infidel”, the Toyota pick-up truck and the AK-47 seemed to warrant a special dispensation. Television sets, cassette players, radios, and even kites were sought out and enthusiastically destroyed as un-Islamic symbols of evil Western influence, but not however, the Taleban’s indispensable satellite phones. The taleban era was held up as an example of how an ideal Islamic state should look and function; which gives me cause to ponder just how those who crave a recons...
Wrong Concepts About Islam
Imran Khan - 9/11/2007
Accusations against Islam are not something new but since 9/11 have found new heights. The latest attack has come in the shape of a newly published book named "Infidel" written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which is her autobiography.
Nationalists Versus Islamists: The Middle East’s Titanic Battle
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/20/2007
The Middle East is in a new era, very different from the politics and strategic situation we have been used to for so long. For 55 years the region has lived under Arab nationalist dominance. Every Arab regime, except perhaps Sudan, is Arab nationalist, governed by that basic system and world view.
Shia Revival, Shia Triumphalism
Jason Guberman-Pfeffer - 8/20/2007
Vali Nasr (2006) The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 304, $17.13
It is certainly true that a Shia revival is manifest in post-Saddam Iraq—the first and arguably the last Arab Shia nation—and that this reality’s reverberations across the Middle East cut deeply against the grain of the historic Sunni-Shia and Arab-Persian divides which make up the regional dynamic. To admit as much is, however, to grasp the pinnacle of Shia ascendancy. Iraq, Lebanon and the Islamic Republic in Iran are collectively likely to remain the greatest p...
Islam: New Leaders, Old Slogans
Imran Khan - 8/6/2007
There is a big row about the Muslim world, especially from the West and Muslim political leaders (mainly in power), that there are Moderate Muslims and Extremists or Fundamental Muslims and there is a big danger that extremists could become in charge of those parts. Their definition of a moderate is that the Muslims who want to live peacefully with everyone despite of any religious affiliations. The term Extremism or Fundamentalism is used for those Muslims who want to implement harsh rules over people and even want to kill others due to their religious believes.
Fantasist and Fanaticist Renegades
Nicholas M. Guariglia - 7/27/2007
A video has recently hit the Internet, where two Iraqi men, presumably Shi’a, are hauled away by members of Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army. The two men sat blindfolded, their captor’s spit periodically hitting their cheek. Their accused crime was the selling of alcohol, banned under Islam. The one man asks of his subjugator, “We were saved from tyranny! And you brought another?” He then turns to his prison mate, “How can it be, brother… When Saddam fell I rejoiced, but now again I’m blindfolded.”
Islam's Five Wife, Ten Breast Fantasy
Ghazal Omid - 7/20/2007
We know that women, under Islamic law, are able to divorce their husbands with minimum difficulty and — in theory — have personal freedom and rights to travel, education, etc. In fact, women are accorded more respect under Islam than any other religion on earth.
The Truth Behind the Veil
Weam Namou - 7/14/2007
During my trip to Baghdad five years ago I visited my parents' Christian village in Mosil and asked my cousins to find me an abayya in the souk. He found one I liked, disputed with the merchant over a few dinars, wanted to walk out, and at my plea, agreed on a price. I left with an abbaya that today still has some of the spices I'd carried in my luggage in a journey that lasted from Baghdad to Detroit three days.
Walk In My Muslim Shoes
Ghazal Omid - 7/12/2007
For more than five years, since 9/11, we have been hearing about terrorism. Lately another phrase seems to be dominating the media; in some cases with very valid concerns: "Muslim (or Islamic) extremism."
God And Guidance In Islam
Ghazal Omid - 7/11/2007
For millions of Muslims, Friday is a holiday as well as the holy day of the week. We worship from Thursday night through Friday afternoon and believe the spirits of those who love us come back to visit and guide us. I believe it is time for me to believe this because I am writing this article inspired by the true story of the great Gandhi.
The Benefits of Islam - From a Christian's Perspective
Weam Namou - 7/7/2007
Eight years ago, I was on a transit at Heathrow Airport when I entered a bookshop and saw a rack of Middle Eastern novels written by Western authors. The covers all portrayed veiled women running away from an abusive husband, father or brother. Women I'd never knew personally, not at home in America or in my birth country of Iraq. Although I realize they exist everywhere.
Loving God His Own Way
Ghazal Omid - 7/4/2007
How we should love God the way He wants us to love and worship Him, as taught by the Prophets. Is it possible the way of Gandhi could rid the world of violence? For millions of Muslims, Friday is a holiday as well as the holy day of the week. We worship from Thursday night through Friday afternoon and believe the spirits of those who love us come back to visit and guide us. I believe it is time for me to believe this because I am writing this article inspired by the true story of the great Gandhi.
Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, a voice of Moderate Shiah Islam
Ghazal Omid - 6/30/2007
Renegade Ayatollah, some call him. Most of the Iranian human rights activists, including me, know him through his late illustrious father and through his bold actions in Iran in 2005. His is the first voice of Moderate Islam echoing aloud from Iran. Tragically, the government of Iran, seemingly, will soon succeed in shutting him down if we don’t move fast.
Islamic Hotel Branding & Muslim Hospitality
Naseem Javed - 6/29/2007
There is a sudden realization among key developers in Dubai and Middle Eastern countries that hotels and hospitality in Arabia can easily absorb a huge number of properties and tour destinations purely based on Islamic culture. These new brands will deliver all the traditional values and customs to accommodate familiar authentic experiences for Muslims traveling alone or with their families. These new brands will address how Muslim needs are met and how they want to be treated.
The Orgy Of Obliteration Within Crescent Of Islam
Iqbal Latif - 6/20/2007
A quick expanse of the hotspots in the Islamic world reveals a very repulsive and distressful drama unf olding very silently and unnoticeably. 6th of June marked the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Six Day War according to the civil calendar. So how did the Palestinians acknowledge this significant date? They tore each other apart this time, unable to penetrate through the thick walls, the desire for blood now turns to their own. Of course, this ongoing conflict provides a ready made excuse for all the problems of Arab societies ranging from the national to the deeply personal. As Egy...
Never Intervene in a Muslim Country
Muhammad Hussain - 5/22/2007
When the UN-lead forces drove the Taliban out of Afghanistan, I was indignant of the US, like those overwhelming majority of the Muslims worldwide. However, it was not long afterwards that my perception changed totally. During their five-year rule, the Taliban robbed the dignity and future of the entire women folks of Afghanistan. All sorts of human rights violation and introduction of cruel and often barbaric Sharia laws caused immense sufferings to the people of Afghanistan. Desperate economic condition and hardship drove as many as 25% of the entire population to refugee camps in neighborin...
Will The Internet Slay Islam - A Response
Sirajul Haq Khan - 5/20/2007
This article is in response to Will the Internet Slay Islam? written by Wolfgang Bruno published by the Global Politician on May 17, 2007.
It is true, and was highly predictable, that with the technological advances in modern communication e-fatwas have increased in frequency, as have other things that are now much more accessible such as pornography and child abuse. The current Chief cleric of Egypt (unnamed in your article), is Mufti ‘Ali Jumaa (pronounced ‘Gomaa’ in Egyptian dialect).
The Golden Age Of Islam?
Mumin Salih - 5/14/2007
Muslims in general exhibit a special nostalgia of what they like to call the Golden Era of Islam. Generations of Muslims had spent their lives dreaming that one day they will bring back the glory of the early years of Islam. The result is that the ambition to establish an Islamic World has become an obsession to all Muslim who believe a true Islamic World will solve for good all their problems.
Marriage in Islam
Allison Knight-Khan - 5/10/2007
In America, the marriage failure rate exceeds the success rate. In fact, 57 percent of marriages are ending in failure. The short life span of an American marriage is two years and two months.* This is a very temporary result for the “state of bliss,” which we call marriage. What has gone wrong with expectations that marriage is not the “happily-ever-after” dream that is advertised to us from childhood on?
The Followers of Ismail
David J. Jonsson - 4/24/2007
In recent weeks we have seen resurgence in the followers of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam. Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qaddafi called, in a speech in Niger to Tuareg tribal leaders, for the establishment of a second Shi'ite Fatimid state in North Africa, after the model of the 10th-13th century empire that ruled North Africa, Egypt, and parts of the Fertile Crescent. It is worthwhile to review some of the background and origins of this sect and also to see how it may be impacting current events. The Ismailis are the followers of the seventh caliph Ismail and are know as seveners vs. the followers ...
An Apology for Koranic Antisemitism?
Andrew G. Bostom - 4/24/2007
Two months after the mass murdering acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11/01, Dr. Walid Fataihi, director of "outreach" for the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), who still serves on the ISB Board of Directors, boasted that this carnage engendered two related "successes" -enhanced Muslim proselytization efforts, and damage to Christian-Jewish relations in the U.S.
Is Islam a Bad Religion?
Amit Pyakurel - 4/21/2007
What if we call for a fair distinction between the concept of Islam and some of its unfair practices? May be, this is highly essential and also reasonable, regarding the elevating prejudice against Islam, from the world, especially from the Western or European societies, who, consciously or unconsciously, fear Islam as a threat to the modern--peaceful, tolerant, and open-minded societies.
Misconception vs. True Face of Islam
Amit Pyakurel - 4/21/2007
Concepts towards Islam and some of its unfair practices should be distinct. The newly breed term "Islamophobia," as it is feared to be infiltrating into the mentality of the Western, European, or other societies, considering that it may be taking its shape so as to put forth unnecessary prejudice and false negative speculation against the Islam by the non-Muslims, we are also tend to ascertain that how relevant is the term in itself. Is it about fearing the overall aspects of Islam, or fearing only some of its distorted or misinterpreted values that perceivably leads to radicalism, fundamentalism, discrimination, or even terrorism?
Overblown Threat and Islamophobia
Abukar Arman - 1/29/2007
Analysts both in the Muslim and the Western world by and large agree that “fear” and lack of objective dialogue are the root cause of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism. And while the debate on which one of the two ignited the other is still ongoing, one fact remains irrefutable: more people were victimized as a result of Islamophobia than the other way around.
Carnage amongst brothers and the vain nirvana of Global Caliphate
Iqbal Latif - 1/3/2007
Radicals are the greatest proponents of Islamic unity and caliphate. The unique method to reach this unison is mesmerising. The formula is simple: first, eliminate any opposing thought and then impose spiritual unity from top down. Definitely unity can only be achieved by force. The last time a universal Islamic Ottoman Caliphate existed under Selim the grim, Mamluks and Saffvids lost their dynasties. Might and conquest was an integral part of previous ideological unity. In an environment where state craft has become part and parcel of the new world, the radicals are selling a dream of nirvana...
Why Muslims remained backward....
Iqbal Latif - 12/26/2006
The problem of Muslim backwardness and under representation in public services is a fact but this is not a problem of independent India. In 1878 Sir Syed had said that "Muslims had derived least benefit from European sciences and literature" and in 1882 appearing before the Education Commission of the Central Legislative Council presented voluminous evidence to show almost negligible Muslim presence among the graduates of Calcutta University. According to his memo there was no Muslim among 6 Doctors of Law and 4 Honors in Law. Among the Bachelors and Licentiates of Law there were 8 out of 705 ...
Islamic Economics and Shariah Law: A Plan for World Domination
David J. Jonsson - 12/20/2006
My goal today is to put you into the mind of an Islamist — to think like an Islamist. It is only possible to understand the events occurring by understanding their thinking and what it would mean to live under Shariah law. There is a well-worn Cliché “It’s the economy stupid” that appears around election times. So it is with Islamic Economics and the Clash of Ideologies we are witnessing today. See also: Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance
Spare us the words, and spare us the letters
Iqbal Latif - 12/11/2006
O Sultan! Because I dare to approach your deaf walls,
because I tried to reveal my sadness and tribulation,
I was b eaten with my shoes.
Nizar Qabbani dichotomy of character is mind-boggling, an enemy of 'tyranny' but a great friend of despots. His writings against the decadent Arab imaginary Sultan are classics but when it came to tyrants like Saddam and Hafez Assad he never really criticize these dictators in person. In his later years, Qabbani's poems included a strong strain of anti-authoritarianism.
Why the clergy has made our heroes our heretics?
Iqbal Latif - 11/26/2006
Our heroes are our heretics! One needs to look at the reasons why the entrenched clergy from the very beginning of Islam to present day has always frowned at any attempt of "enlightened moderation." Those who meditated science and logic came up with a lot of questions and those questions are more often than not nipped in the bud. Decline of the Islamic golden age was due to supremacy and ascendancy of dogma over rationalism – for example, the lack of separation between faith and reason – that is why the Muslim Arab world fell into scientific slumber just as the Christian world woke up. Intern...
Zahra Amir Ebrahimi- Humans are humans, a gorgeous combination of beauty and beast
Iqbal Latif - 11/21/2006
In the Islamic world legislation of public morals seems to be the best past time for clergy. The most evil way to curb individual freedom is to subject an individual to scrutiny of his/her private life. If a woman accuses someone of rape she needs four witnesses, if man accuses a woman of lewdness one is enough, if a woman is caught on videos four witnesses criterion is compromised. Humans are humans, a gorgeous combination of beauty and beast, no amount of theological harassment; ideological bullying and absolutism can change them into angels.The numbers of thesis by the senior clergy of Qom ...
The Islamic world needs to look back to move forward
Iqbal Latif - 11/20/2006
Islam's missing renaissance? Was Golden age of Islam a reality or a Myth? If it was for real what killed it! Why Islam was unable to produce its Da Vinci´s and Bach´s from the likes of Al Kindi and Al Farabi in the past! And why it is falling behind to produce the inventors of today? It was and remains until today Islam's radical orthodoxy long romance with medievalism, fanaticism, bigotry and predestination. A voyage through history.
Radical Islamic Group Advocates Execution for Islamic Defectors
Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D. - 9/10/2006
A radical Islamic group which advocates execution for Islamic defectors is still operating legally in Britain—at least for the moment. That despite a promised ban on the group by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Aug. 2005 after the 7/7 terrorist attacks on London. Hizb ut Tahrir, which has its international headquarters in London, has far-reaching and radical aims. Group members would like to reestablish Islamic rule throughout the Muslim world, an idea inspired by the medieval Arabic caliphate, which ruled, in part, from Saudi Arabia to southern Spain. Though Hizb ut Tahrir has come under...
Five Years After 9/11 - Lessons Unlearned
Sajjad Khan - 9/3/2006
The ancient Chinese warrior Sun Tzu taught his soldiers to "know your enemy" before going into war. For if "you know your enemy and know yourself , in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated." The Americans and British alas still do not understand their enemy. Whether it be the governments, informed commentators or ordinary citizenry the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the Muslim world remains worrying. One could partly excuse why senior officials in 10 Downing Street and the West Wing had to rush to buy books on Afghanistan, Political Islam and Muslim groups following the event...
Middle East: Marching Backward to the Future
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/23/2006
The fighting in Lebanon marks a return to an old worldview, a view once espoused by pan-Arab nationalists and now taken up by radical Islamists. The prevailing belief of extremist leaders is that the West is weak and can be defeated by Muslims willing to martyr themselves and engage in large-scale bloodshed. Victory, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a recent speech, requires recklessness. The war in Lebanon thus poses troubling implications for the players in the Middle East, explains Middle East scholar Barry Rubin. State sponsors of terror had success with proxy warfare. Ever-grow...
Extremism and Madrasas
Imran Khan - 8/20/2006
Many experts believe that Madrassas are playing vital role in promoting extremism and Madrassa students only get hate lessons from there. These thoughts are not related to few persons only but many governments in the West also believe in it. But is it true or has it been wrongly assumed? We need to look things in bit detail. Focus would be on Pakistan as it is in highlights all the time.
What the future might hold if we fail to deal with the Leftist/Marxist-Islamist Alliance
David J. Jonsson - 8/8/2006
With every passing year following the events of 9/11 the rise of Leftist/Marxist-Islamist Alliance has increased global instability. By the beginning of 2006, nearly all the combustible ingredients—far bigger in scale than those leading to World Wars 1 and 11 and the Gulf Wars of 1991 or 2003—were in place.
Book Review - "Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill" by Jessica Stern
Scott D. O'Reilly - 4/4/2006
For a growing portion of humanity the United States is, to borrow a line from Melville's Moby Dick, "the incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them." The tidal wave of Globalization, the cultural disruptions left in Modernity's wake, and the perceived indifference of the United States to the developing world's plight have created an undercurrent of anguish, resentment and hostility most Americans barely fathom. Terrorists see themselves as "Fate's Lieutenant," God's instrument here on earth, charged with vanquishing the source of their bottomle...
Vandalism in the name of Islam
Manuela Paraipan - 3/14/2006
Many things have been said and written about the cartoon controversy. By now most of us know how it started with the 12 cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed which first appeared in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten, last year, in September. The extremist Imam Ahmed Abu Laban brought a dossier of cartoons to Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia and sent word in all the other Arab and Muslim countries about what he had considered as an insult of the West towards Islam.
Cartoon Controversy: For Law and Order to Prevail, Assertive Ignorance Must Be Curtailed
Abukar Arman - 2/28/2006
To many peace-loving Muslims and non-Muslims around the world, the riots of recent weeks over a dozen provocative cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad was the worst thing that could happen to our politically volatile world. They see neither the newspaper's provocation, nor the senseless, emotional reactions that ensued as justified. To others (extremists fon both sides of the fence), this was their respective wishes delivered on a golden plate!
America and Political Islam
Abid Mustafa - 2/20/2006
Hamas's win has once again propelled political Islam to the center of America's "war on terror." However, Hamas's victory is not the first for Islamists. Throughout much of the Middle East, Islamists have made unprecedented gains via the ballot box and marginalized their opponents-the modernists whose raison d'etre is to secularise Islam.
Hizb ut-Tahrir: A Party We Should Know More About
Manuela Paraipan - 7/12/2005
Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) is a global Islamic political party whose ultimate aim is to implement Islam in all life aspects and to establish the caliphate in the Muslim lands and then spread it everywhere in the world. Its leadership claims that their message is peaceful and they do no support terrorist actions against capitalist nations they are so eager to bring down.
The Evolution of Islam: Interview with Mohamed Ibn Guadi
Ryan Mauro - 6/16/2005
Mohamed Ibn Guadi is an Islamologist at Strasbourg University and a researcher in Semitic Philology. He is a contributor to Figaro, Le Point and other journals. He is the Director of the Islamology Program at the French Center of Middle East Studies (AFEMO) in Toulouse. He is currently preparing a book on Islam and the West.
Flushing the Religious and Nationalist Extremists on Both Sides of the Divide
Samer Zouehid - 5/21/2005
The issue of Guantanamo Bay has once again flared up the so called clash of civilizations. The event in question was published by Newsweek, which claimed Korans were being flushed down the toilet in Guantanamo Bay by guards attempting to humiliate inmates at the infamous prison in Cuba. Following weeks of rioting in Afghanistan, which has killed 17 so far, Newsweek have apologized for printing the story, while acknowledging the claims were false and could not be verified. Whether true or not, the story has acted as a catalyst in resurfacing prejudice attitudes towards Muslim societies, as an army of miss-informed analysts have risen to condemn these decadent societies.
Flushing the Koran: Extremist Responses of Muslims Incomparable To Even Most Radical Christians and Jews
Ross G. Kaminsky - 5/16/2005
The recent news about Muslim reaction following the possible flushing of a Koran highlights one of the world's most serious problems: the hijacking of the Muslim religion by fanatics, and their inclination towards violence. It's hard to imagine a religions American, even one as radical by our standards as James Dobson, calling for death to anyone for flushing a bible. Yet it seems to be the default reaction in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world.
The Crescent and the Cross - Communities of God
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/25/2005
"From the beginning, people of different languages and religions were permitted to live in Christian lands and cities, namely Jews, Armenians, Ismaelites, Agarenes and others such as these, except that they do not mix with Christians, but rather live separately. For this reason, places have been designated for these according to ethnic group, either within the city or without, so that they may be restricted to these and not extend their dwelling beyond them."
The Crescent and the Cross - Introduction To Each Other
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/25/2005
"There are two maxims for historians which so harmonise with what I know of history that I would like to claim them as my own, though they really belong to nineteenth-century historiography: first, that governments try to press upon the historian the key to all the drawers but one, and are anxious to spread the belief that this single one contains no secret of importance; secondly, that if the historian can only find the thing which the government does not want him to know, he will lay his hand upon something that is likely to be significant."
The Crescent and the Cross - A First Encounter
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/24/2005
"In accordance with this [right to act], whenever some one of the infidel parents or some other should oppose the giving up of his son for the Janiccaries, he is immediately hanged from his doorsill, his blood being deemed unworthy."
Turkish firman, 1601
Islam and Liberalism
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/13/2005
Islam is not merely a religion. It is also - and perhaps, foremost - a state ideology. It is all-pervasive and missionary. It permeates every aspect of social cooperation and culture. It is an organizing principle, a narrative, a philosophy, a value system, and a vade mecum. In this it resembles Confucianism and, to some extent, Hinduism.