Prevailing Over Radical Islam

Date: 23/01/2015

Islam (Radical or Non-radical) has been fightig within itself since 1400 AD when Abu Baker (Sunni) destroyed Ali Hussain (Shia) at Karbla totally. They both fought keeping the teachings of Prophet Mohd before them, and this process of killing by those believing in "Caliphate" against "infidels" shall continue till either the World of "Infidels" wins or Islamic Redicals destroy the World entirely.

My friends, there are no non-Radicals in Islam. And no mantra or Aarti's are going to save us. We have to become Tigers (like Israelis & Japnese) in their Jungle and maime them to save our country.

For the present, let Pakistanis kill themselves fightng each other and finish.

Who Will Prevail in the Struggle against Radical Islamist Elements

Author: Lt Gen PC Katoch, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SC (Retd)
Date: January 9, 2015

A recent article titled, ‘Egypt’s Sisi: Islamic Thinking Is Antagonizing the Entire World’ by Raymond Ibrahim of the David Horwitz Freedom Center, refers to a speech made by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to religious scholars from Al-Azhar University and members of the Awqaf Ministry on January 1, 2015. In his speech, Sisi reportedly focused on: one, the corpus of so-called Islamic texts and ideas sacralized over the years that are antagonizing the entire world; two, it is not possible that 1.6 billion Muslims should want to kill the remaining 7 billion inhabitants of the world so that they themselves may live; and three, Egypt and the Islamic world in its entirety is being torn and is being destroyed by Muslim hands. Brave words no doubt, especially when Sisi told the clerics present at the meeting, “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma (read the Islamic World) is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost and it is being lost by our own hands.”

That the so-called jihad is tearing the Muslim world apart is stating the obvious. Take Pakistan, the mother of terrorism, spawning radicals at the rate of one million annually from 32,000 madrassas and educational institutions in cities but to what end? As per annual reports of Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS), the country suffered 6,894 terrorist related incidents resulting in 9,641 fatalities and leaving 18,788 injured between 2006 and 2009 only. Arguably, some of these are because of reasons other than radicalization, but the latter is the major cause includes casualties in sectarian clashes. That Muslims suffer maximum in the bargain does not stop the killings. As per the World Bank and the IMF, about 35,000 Pakistanis including 5,000 security personnel have been killed in Pakistan at the hands of terrorists causing loss to the Pakistani economy to the tune of US$67 billion. Pakistani military and the ISI is now paying the price for having links with about 12 major terrorist groups. There is no denying the fact that terrorism has no religion, but the Muslim world also needs to introspect as to why is it that the number of terrorists acts are committed more by Muslims than by adherents of other religions. This self-examination is all the more important as the maximum number of casualties caused by terrorism is among Muslims. As per US estimates for 2014 (by, Islamist terrorists have carried out over 24,742 deadly terrorist attacks since 9/11. An analysis of Islamist terror attacks undertaken by the BBC found that as many as 664 terrorist attacks took place during the month of November 2014 alone, causing 5,042 deaths.

It is not that Egyptian President Sisi is a lone voice calling for Muslim introspection but certainly such voices are few and Sisi’s is possibly the strongest one. The issue has also been coming up in some international forums in recent years but has not achieved a desirable outcome. In the 2013 Herat Security Dialogue held in Afghanistan, one session was dedicated to the need for Muslims to introspect over the killing of each other. Interestingly, the seminar was also attended by Taliban representatives. In March 2014, the First International Conference on Combating Terrorism held at Baghdad was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in the wake of terrorist attacks that claimed 8,868 Iraqi lives (which included 7,818 civilians) and left 18,000 injured in 2013. Delegates from over 25 countries plus the UN, EU, Arab League, Islamic Cooperation Council and Interpol participated in this international conference. One full session was assigned to debate among clerics and scholars, in which the latter vehemently advocated an urgent need for reviewing existing religious literature and removing intolerance toward different methods of prayers among Islamic sects. Most clerics, however, were of the view that there is nothing wrong with Islamic teachings. Of course, the clerics had no answer to which religious authority had authorized Al Qaeda and others to engage in their kind of bizarre jihad, which carries out inhuman butchery and killings? The scholars emphasized on course correction to banish intolerance from the fold of Islam.

Terrorism rightfully cannot be linked to any religion, but the debate among Muslims on whether to modulate the curriculums of educational institutions continues unabated. The observation that tolerance must be shown to other forms of prayers among Muslims is also important as it would reduce sectarian strife. Over the years, there have been many discourses on the ethics of disagreement over Islam, but the possibility of any agreement has been lost due to heated arguments. The inability to arrive at viable solutions has led to increased radicalization and sectarian strife, which has been exploited by terrorist organizations as well as global players. Unfortunately, these radical terrorist organizations believe that through terrorism they will achieve a global caliphate that combines both secular and religious governance in a way that transcends existing nation-states.

So where does the world go from here? Will the voice of Sisi remain isolated or would those who head political Islam make a collective expression of sanity. What happens to those who kindle strife within Muslims by funding terrorism globally. Of the two opposing thought processes, which one will prevail depends on the state of stability and peace in the world. There are many drivers of terrorism like religious fundamentalism, radicalization, indoctrination since childhood, sectarian strife, state-sponsored terror, hate crimes, ineffective counter measures and the like. What has amazed the world particularly the West is the pace at which the ISIS cadre strength has expanded; from 10,000 at the time of the fall of Mosul to 31,500 estimated by the CIA by October 2014. The Peshmerga estimated the ISIS forces to be around 100,000 towards the end of 2014.

Besides religious fanaticism, it is quite possible that many youth have been attracted by the macabre, i.e. the televised beheadings and bizarre scenes of men, women and children being shot or slaughtered to slow death. In addition, it is possible that money of them have been lured by the prospect of easy money, women and the power of the gun. While there is no universal definition of terrorism, there is also no agreement on how to counter it. At the International Conference on Combating Terrorism in Iraq last year, Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League stated that while the League had evolved a formula to combat terror as far back as 1988, this had not been implemented judiciously and that the signing of an agreement is not an end in itself. He also indicated the problem of lack of political will to cooperate among countries, exchange of intelligence, expertise and responses, especially towards money laundering, was exacerbating the crisis.

Finally, it is not introspection among Muslims alone that could lead to a peaceful world. Expansion of proxy wars have also made Islamist radicals pawns in the hands of rival big powers. They also receive political patronage from individual states that have dubious political, economy, energy and other interests at the national, regional and global levels. It is ironic that while Baghdad was holding an international conference to combat terror in March 2014, the ISIS hydra was starting to rear its head at that moment. That radical Islamists are offering themselves to be pawns in the hands of global players and are tearing the Muslim world apart is something which Muslim leaders need to realize. It is also unlikely that the big powers will mend their ways in the backdrop of prohibitive costs of conventional wars. So what does the future hold for mankind?

As per Hindu mythology, this Yug (read ‘era’) is the Kalyug, which is supposed to be the worst era in the cycle of the universe. Each Yug denotes 12,000 years. Interestingly, British historian Dr Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889-1975) once said, “It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending, if it is not to end in self destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.” On balance, the fight between the good and the evil is going to be a long one. The question is how long will the fight last and who will prevail.