Stories about Islamists

Of Afrazul’s brutal murder and India’s love(less) jihad

The brutal murder of Muhammad Afrazul in Rajasthan has left everyone aghast and shocked. Washington-based Baloch activist, Ahmar Mustikhan, writes, “My head is bowed in shame as a defender of Hinduism as a humanist faith and an Indophile. I am speechless and very angry.” He has compared the killer Shambhu Lal to the Muslim killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who hacked an off-duty fusilier, Lee Rigby, with a knife and cleaver in London, putting the debate in an altogether different category. After this, one feels the urge to look for a suitable nomenclature for an extremism-like phenomenon in Hinduism. Huffington Post quotes the ...

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Bacon greased bullets? Really, America?

As I write these lines, I’m in the middle of mourning the loss of my friend, Jim – a fine gentleman, who, as a young man, fled Robert Mugabe’s brutal Zimbabwe and took refuge in the United States. Like millions of others, Jim regarded America his home, the same America that despite all its fallacies and futilities remains, with malice toward none, the greatest country on earth. You must be wondering why I am bringing up a friend’s passing away in a political conversation. You see, in order to connect the dots of the anomalies that surround us, one must ...

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“Terror groups only kill non-Muslims”: 5 misconceptions about terror groups

Knowing your enemy is the very first step in fighting and defeating the threat it poses to your existence. Your enemy will always try to fool you with misinformation, so you never find out his actual motives and tactics. The world, both in the West and the East, has been fighting terrorism for decades, even before America saw the brutality of 9/11. The 9/11 terror attacks shifted all the efforts toward growing terrorism in the name of Islam and it was named as the ‘war on terror’. This war has been going on for 14 years now – with attacks around the world only increasing in ...

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The Paris attacks are an act of war – against Islam itself

The appalling attacks in Paris were, as Francois Hollande said, an ‘act of war’. They were Islamism’s declaration of war on free society – but, crucially, they represented something else. An act of war, by Islamists, upon Islam itself. As Douglas Murray says, it is lazy and wrong to argue that these attacks had nothing to do with Islam. The repugnant creed of the Islamic State (IS) is certainly related to Islam – but it is also inimical to Islam. The scenes in Paris will shock Muslims world over; indeed, when we Muslims hear of gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” before committing the very acts of murder explicitly prohibited by the Quran, ...

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Preserving immigrant Islam

As a first-generation Muslim immigrant, I struggle to understand my faith. What must my vision be when imparting true Islamic values to second-generation American Muslim children? What are my values of Islam; peace-loving, tolerant, secular, truthful and community based, yes those are my values. To seek an understanding of second-generation Muslims and their immigrant parents, both struggling to draw a balance between faith and society, I sat down with Muslim American children, scholars and parents, and tried to get a sense of what Islam means to them. Here is what I understood. A professor of Comparative Religions at an East Coast University, Farahnaz ...

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How can we stop our children from being radicalised by extremists?

I ask this question because all around me, our kids are being brainwashed by adults who are scared that Islam will disappear from the world if the younger generation is not trained to kill for the sake of religion. “Dada, you will not go to heaven if you do not keep a beard, Mehroze Khan Chacha told me”. “Nana, you should wear shalwar kameez when you go to the mosque, not jeans and T-shirt, Akmal driver Chacha says so.” “Dadi, you should not watch TV, Allah will punish you for it, our Quran teacher told us.” “Mummy, why don’t you wear a burqa, our Islamiat teacher says your prayers ...

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No, Jinnah would not defend our blasphemy law

“I thoroughly endorse the principle that while this measure should aim at those undesirable persons who indulge in wanton vilification or attack upon the religion of any particular class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion, we must also secure this very important and fundamental principle that those who are engaged in historical works, those who are engaged in bona fide and honest criticism of a religion, shall be protected.”–Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the passage of 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (also Pakistan Penal Code) There is a common tendency – common between Islamists and self-hating Pakistanis alike ...

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Dear America, how about practising what you preach on tolerance?

The United States of America claims to champion liberal democracy and human rights across the globe, but it has much to introspect before it preaches to others. And even its preaching is quite selective. For instance, Uncle Sam has been silent over the lashing of Raef al Badawi (who talked of making Saudi Arabia a secular democracy) or princesses kept in house arrest by the late King Abdullah. However, the irony lies in whether the United States has a valid locus standi to claim to preach tolerance to others. It has had its own history of being established on the corpses of the Red Indians (who faced ...

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It is not just the West, Islamophobia is on the rise in Pakistan too

Only when we thought Osama bin Laden was rotting in his grave and the West had started accepting us for our faith, Islamophobia struck again.  After the Charlie Hebdo attack of January 7th, the Denmark shootings of February 14th and the public flogging of Raef Badawi, a liberal blogger of Saudi Arabia, the West found grounds to fear Islam again. We see articles in the news about how the West is becoming cynical and alienating Muslims, and how a parking space issue can turn into a homicide because almost everybody in the West is either afraid of Muslims or angry at them. Like Mr Kashif Chaudhry, you too might believe that some Twitter ...

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How serious is the ISIS threat to South Asia?

Recent weeks have brought a bevy of news headlines attesting to the rising profile of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in South Asia. The group’s literature has circulated in Pakistan, and its flags have been spotted in Kashmir. Several Pakistani militant commanders expressed their allegiance to ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Alleged ISIS recruiters were arrested in Pakistani and Indian cities. Officials in Afghanistan declared that ISIS is “active” in the country’s south. Most significantly, last month, ISIS’s spokesman officially announced the group’s expansion into what he identified as “Khorasan” — a region encompassing present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. Despite all this, some observers, including those writing for the South Asia Channel, argue that ISIS ...

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