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Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

Liberals Pay the Price for Trump and Saudi-Supported Illiberalism
James Dorsey

The ultra-conservative alliance, buoyed by Trump’s policies, includes Saudi-backed ultra-conservative ideologies and governments that are beneficiaries of Saudi largess and opportunistically play politics with religion, as well as anti-Saudi jihadists. Saudi largesse is part of a massively funded, decades-long soft power play by the kingdom designed to box-in Iran by globally promoting an ultra-conservative, supremacist, intolerant strand of Islam...

 

If We Can't Scrap Blasphemy Law, Simply Don't Use It
Azis Anwar Fachrudin

Meanwhile, Rizieq’s prosecution, in my opinion, must continue. This will give a lesson to the Muslim groups who insist on upholding the law that the law can be used against them. This move is particularly significant given that rational arguments cannot convince them. As an old Arabic proverb goes: “He who lives in a house made of glass must not throw stones on others’.”...

 

Trump’s Ban on Muslim Refugees: Counter-Terror Strategy or Politically Motivated Slugfest?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

It cannot be denied that the eight million American citizens are at increasing risk for the daunting challenge from terrorist groups operating from outside the US, particularly Syria, Iraq and several West Asian and North African Muslim countries. Some of these groups including ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Shabab, and Boko Haram have indiscriminately targeted the American citizens in several nefarious terror attacks. Given this, the uncompromising counter-terror stances such as the above will considerably help rescue the US citizens who are wantonly attacked by the radical Islamist terrorists.....

The Art of the Deal in Afghanistan
Barnett R. Rubin

The administration’s counterterrorism policy would make a political settlement impossible, which is probably fine with Mr. Trump. A peace process requires differentiating the Taliban from global jihadists, integrating the former so as to isolate the latter. The leaked draft of an executive order to revive torture and re-establish black sites, however, referred to “a global armed conflict with ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other associated international Islamist terrorist groups,” and made no distinction among them....

 

Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh to Be Relocated to Remote Island
Maher Sattar

The United Nations has called the Rohingya; a Muslim ethnic group denied citizenship in Myanmar, the world’s most persecuted minority. John McKissick, head of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar, near the Burmese border, said in November that Myanmar’s government was trying to achieve an “ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority.”....

They Rejected A Peaceful Solution For Palestine, What Are The Alternatives?
Baria Alamuddin

After decades of warnings that the window of opportunity for two states may be narrowing, perhaps last week we heard it finally close, not with a bang but a whimper. We are at the intersection of a number of factors that jointly threaten to kill the two-state solution:...

 

The Nowhere People Next Door: The Rohingyas Are A People Persecuted At Home In Myanmar, Rejected Abroad
Happymon Jacob

The Rohingyas are a people struck by tragedy: persecuted at home in Myanmar, rejected or barely tolerated abroad, and sacrificed at the altar of strategic calculations by powerful neighbours. ...

 

Israel's Never-Ending Crimes: It's Not Just Settlements
Stanley L Cohen

To make matters worse, despite its gratuitous dicta, the resolution remains very much a toothless declaration without any enforcement mechanism whatsoever - essentially relying upon a sudden burst of Israeli conscience to reverse a steady march of indifference to international law that has led Israel's way since the very first day it was manufactured from stolen land in Palestine....

Armed Insurgency in Myanmar Heralds Shift for Rohingya
Richard C. Paddock, Ellen Barry and Mike Ives

In addition, some analysts fear that turning the Rohingya into a transnational Muslim cause could draw foreign jihadists of varying stripes to Myanmar, adding terrorism to an already combustible mix and giving the Myanmar military a convenient excuse for a draconian response. But after decades of persecution and violence, to which the rest of the world largely responded with a shrug, some Rohingya say an armed response is overdue.....

 

Perfidious Albion and Israel-Palestine
Avi Shlaim

In 1915, Britain privately promised Hussein, the Sharif of Mecca, to support an independent Arab kingdom after the war if he would mount an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. The venerable Sharif kept his side of the bargain but Britain did not. On November 2, 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, pledging its support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. So Palestine became the twice-promised land....

The Three-Way Tug Of War That’s Pulling Syria Apart
Nauman Sadiq

After the 9/11 tragedy, however, the Western political establishments and corporate media have become a lot more circumspect, therefore this time around, they have waged covert jihads against the Arab-nationalist Gaddafi regime in Libya and the anti-Zionist Assad regime in Syria, in which the Islamic jihadists have been sold as “moderate rebels,” with secular and nationalist ambitions, to the Western audience....

 

Israel as the Lights Go Out
Roger Cohen

Why was this unremarkable formula unsayable for so long? Because cowardice inhabits Washington, Jerusalem and Ramallah: This little diplomatic flurry has been obscene. Kerry was honorable; Obama lacked courage. Netanyahu dismissed the “last twitches of yesterday’s world.” It is a measure of where we are that tomorrow’s may well be worse....

 

Paris Peace Conference: A Damp Squib
Mouin Rabbani

More realistic proponents of Palestinian self-determination will immediately recognise that a half-century of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not going to be meaningfully addressed by international meetings. Unless the conditions have first been created by the Palestinians themselves to make those meetings productive. This could happen through mobilising all the resources at their disposal, both inside Palestine and in the diaspora, and by effectively mobilising all those who support their cause. It is a tall order with no alternative...

 
The Lady and the Rohingya
David Scott Mathieson

The Lady and the Rohingya
David Scott Mathieson

Positioning the deplorable repression of the Rohingya in this broader political context does not exculpate the state’s failure to prevent and punish any abuses, or exonerate Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi for her seemingly tacit endorsement of heartless official denials. But only a more calibrated understanding of the difficulties faced by her government and Myanmar as a whole — not blanket condemnation — stands any chance of yielding practical measures that could alleviate the Rohingya’s suffering....

 

Is This The End Of The Republic And Islamism In Turkey?
Nuray Mert

The starting point of Islamist politics was to challenge the politics of modernity in the name of justice and dignity, but ended up producing the worst version of modern politics. Islamists managed to challenge the power of the secular republican system and have come close to ending it altogether in Turkey, but only at the cost of surrendering themselves to nationalist authoritarianism with more religious flavour...

 
Assad Has Won in Syria but Syria Hardly Exists
David W. Lesch and James Gelvin

Upward of 500,000 are dead from the war, and an untold number of Syrians have died indirectly from the conflict (the price for destroying hospitals, targeting health care professionals and using starvation as a weapon). With more than two million injured, about 11.5 percent of the prewar population have become casualties. And close to half the population of Syria is either internally or externally displaced....

 

The fall of Aleppo signals the beginning of the end of the Syrian civil war, changing the relevance of many arguments about the specifics of the Syrian conflict. Yet, the larger lessons remain. Whether we learn them is up to us...

 

Fight For Mosul And Turkish-Iraqi Relations
Mustafa Aydin

The sectarian rift between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq and the presence of more than a million civilians in Mosul further complicates the fight. The mostly Sunni residents of Mosul are skeptical about the Iraqi army and the Shiite militias that participated in sectarian atrocities in the previous offensives on Fallujah and Ramadi. Thus, who will control and rule the city following its liberation from ISIL is one of the most burning issues....

 

Buddhist and Islamist Extremists Wage War
Dr. Maha Hosain Aziz

Back in 2014, the Buddhist extremist contingent in Myanmar and in Sri Lanka publicly formed a global anti-Islamist pact, vowing to fight the “jihadist threat”. The link between a religious group (Muslims) and religious extremists (Islamist extremists) was erroneously being made as we of course noted the rise in Buddhist extremist-led violence against Muslim minorities in these countries and elsewhere in southern Asia. We also noted how the usual suspects–the Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, Al Shabaab and ISIS–vowed jihad in response to the anti-Muslim violence led by these Buddhist extremists. But there wasn’t really any action taken–or so it seemed....

CPEC and Dollars Are More Important To Pakistan than Interest of Muslims
Dr Shabir Choudhry

As long as CPEC related projects are not completed and dollars are coming in, Pakistani government, Pakistani people and even the religious parties can ignore anti Muslim policies of China. To these people regular flow of dollars, whether from Washington or Beijing, is more important than to speak about anti Muslim policies....

 

Are Islamist Political Parties in Uttar Pradesh Flouting Supreme Court’s Ban on Religion-Based Politics?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

As various secular and liberal political parties brace for the UP-assembly elections, the above SC ruling has come crashing down the political ambitions of a few newly-formed Muslim parties with soaring dreams of a self-styled Islamic governance system. Clearly, it had to come as a shock to the religio-politicians whose agendas are relying on the ulterior religious motives rather than secular principles of inclusive democracy….

The Long Exile of Abdulrahman: Europe’s First Syrian Refugee
Anisa Abeytia

On September 755, Abdulrahman, the last of the Umayyad’s, fled his home in Damascus, Syria to escape the same fate as his family, all of whom were massacred. He was the last in his line, a Noah’s ark of a dying civilization. His Aeneas-like departure took him to Egypt and then Morocco following his earlier Syrian predecessor, Tariq ibn Ziyaad, who in 711 was the first Syrian to cross the Mediterranean into Spain....

Only One Democratic State Is Possible In Palestine And Israel
Ramzy Baroud

That said, it behooves everyone to understand that coexistence in one democratic state is not a dark scenario that spells doom for the region. It is time to abandon unattainable illusions and focus all energies to foster coexistence based on equality and justice for all. There can be one state between the river and the sea, and that is a democratic state for all its people, regardless of their ethnicity or religious beliefs....

 

Jinnah Would Have Regretted Making Pakistan
Yasser Latif Hamdani

A confident young lawyer, who succeeded in the legal practice at a time when the profession was dominated by British and Hindu lawyers, Jinnah, had very little practical use for ideas of Muslim exceptionalism at that time.  More importantly he saw himself as an Indian first second and last, with the fact that he was a Muslim being entirely incidental and largely confined to his name, which in any event he abbreviated to M A Jinnah. Amongst his closest friends and associates, there were hardly any Muslims in that early period. The few Muslims who did get entry into his circle were like him, incidental Muslims. It is well known that Jinnah followed none of the dietary prohibitions prescribed by his religion. ....

Truth And Dignity In Tunisia
Joseph A. Kechichian

Truth And Dignity In Tunisia
Joseph A. Kechichian

To be sure, Tunisia is not yet a beacon of democracy, but few should dismiss how the main Islamist party, Al Nahda, won elections and, far more important, how its leaders accepted a separation of powers between their religious and political activities...

 
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