Thursday, January 29, 2015

Obama Warns India on Persecution, Muslims Elated - By Rudabah Simrah -

Obama Warns India on Persecution, Muslims Elated

By Rudabah Simrah
OnIslam Correspodent
Thursday, 29 January 2015 00:00

Obama warned that the prosperity of the country would be hampered if everyone did not have the freedom to follow his religion.

KOLKATA – Falling victims to religious persecution at the hands of extremist Hindu groups, India Muslim and Christian leaders have widely welcomed the caution given by US President Barack Obama to India’s leaders on offering religious freedoms to all sects and groups.

“It is imperative for all Indians to heed President Obama's call to resist any divisions along sectarian lines,” Umar Malick, the President of Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), the largest advocacy group of Indian American Muslims, told

“The deepening relationship between India and the US will be strengthened further when human rights and religious freedom are included in the framework of the US-India Strategic Dialogue.”
Indian Muslims, Christians Seek Obama’s Help
On the final day of his three-day visit to India, in a public speech in New Delhi, after pledging that US would be “India’s best partner”, Obama sounded a note of caution to India’s leaders that the prosperity of the country would be hampered if everyone did not have the freedom to follow his religion.

“Every person has the right to practice his faith without any persecution, fear or discrimination. India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith — so long as it’s not splintered along any lines, and is unified as one nation,” Obama said in his speech, hours before leaving the country on Tuesday.
Before the US President Barack Obama left the US for India, Christians and Muslims had urged him to raise the issue of growing Hindu extremism and the concerns of India's religious minorities while he was in India.

Christians posted a petition for Obama on the White House portal. And, on behalf on Indian Muslims Indian American Muslim Council wrote to him directly.

Representatives from both communities narrated in their letters to Obama how they are being targeted by the Hindu extremist groups in different ways in India.

Hindu activists are "forcibly" converting the Christians and Muslims, violently attacking the church workers and Muslims, and their leaders are openly threatening to turn India "100% Hindu", the letters said.

According to an associate editor of a major national English language newspaper, who spoke to on condition of anonymity, the news of the Christian and Muslim appeals to Obama was largely ignored by the mainstream media, notes
“Many, including some senior journalists, in India believed that Obama would avoid a sensitive issue like the accusation of persecution of the religious minorities in India because the ruling national government is led by a Hindu nationalist party (of Bharatiya Janata Party),” the editor said.

“Obama proved them all wrong. In his parting shot he has not only noted that he was aware of the rising Hindu extremism in India, in a fine diplomatic way he has noted that Modi was silent on the issue and sent out a suggestion to the Indian prime minister that he should act fast to rein in the divisive forces in the country.”


Fr Dominic Emmanuel, director of New Delhi-based Sadbhavana- Institute for Communication and Inter-religious Dialogue, said that as an activist working for the rights of the minorities he was “delighted” that Obama addressed the issue of concerns of the religious minorities.

“In his speech he covered most of the important issues between the two countries, from business cooperation to clean energy, to women's empowerment. The icing on the cake, however, was his rattling off of the Article 25 (1) of the Indian Constitution, reminding everyone around how religious freedom is the bulwark of a mature democracy,” Fr Emmanuel said to

“We have welcomed his speech as wholeheartedly as we welcome the truth from any corner of the world.”

Although persecution of Muslims has taken place in Hindu-majority India for many decades with many thousands of Muslims being killed in scores of anti-Muslim Hindu riots, Christians too have become a target of Hindu extremism in recent years.

With many of their leaders claiming that they would turn India “100% Hindu”, the Hindu right wing groups have stepped up their drive to convert Muslims and Christians in a controversial Hindu Gharwapsi (Homecoming) or “reconversion” program across the country in recent months.

As Christians and Muslims raised voices of protest against the Hindu Gharwapsi programs, the news of the allegedly forcible reconversion to Hinduism by the Hindu groups have found space in the international media.

Shillong-based North Eastern Hill University professor Prasenjit Biswas said Obama's comment on preserving religious tolerance and the matrix of harmony between religions in India “is a clear hint at recent atmosphere of majoritarian religious violence by the far right”.

“Obama held the present central government responsible for violation of religious freedom of minorities especially the Muslims. His caution against misuse of religion bears positive impact on strengthening India's liberal-secular traditions,” Prof Biswas, who is also known as a human rights campaigner, told

Noting that Washington recently lifted the visa ban on Modi, Prof Biswas cautioned that intolerance will effect economic growth of India by creating multiple social and economic rifts both at home and internationally.

“India's dependence in energy sector on the Gulf nation will be its first casualty. It will also create home grown terror that would cost more lives than the country can ill afford,” he said.
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Why is Amit Shah being allowed to make MPs out of bigots? - By Ramchandra Guha - The Telegraph - Calcutta , INDIA

A Good Cop [?] / Bad Cop  act gone awry

The Telegraph

Front Page > Opinion > Story

In the latter part of 2014, four members of Parliament made provocative statements. Yogi Adityanath, the MP from Gorakhpur, claimed that young Muslim men had launched a "love jihad" to entrap Hindu women, by marrying and converting them to Islam. Sakshi Maharaj, the MP from Unnao, said that the murderer of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, was a true patriot. Sadhvi Jyoti Niranjana, MP from Fatehpur (and who had been recently inducted into the council of ministers), said that all those who did not worship Lord Rama or vote for her party were " haramzadon" (a term that we can politely translate as 'rascals', although the original Hindustani admits of more pejorative connotations). Satish Gautam, the MP from Aligarh, proclaimed his support to a programme of converting Muslims and Christians to Hinduism.
The four MPs all belonged to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the party that is running the Union government. As a result, the Opposition asked the prime minister, as head of government, to clarify his stand on the MPs' remarks. The Rajya Sabha was stalled for days on end, with the prime minister first declining to appear and then making a statement, which, in the Opposition's view, was not sufficiently condemnatory of his errant MPs.

In the vast press coverage on these controversies, one salient fact seems to have been obscured. This is that the four fire-raising MPs of the BJP had all been elected from the state of Uttar Pradesh. They had all been chosen to contest for Parliament by the then general secretary of the BJP, Amit Shah, who had been given sole charge of the campaign in India's largest state. Remarkably, neither the press nor the Opposition had noticed the connection.

While the prime minister was repeatedly asked to state his stand, no one - whether inside Parliament or outside it - directed their criticisms to the man principally responsible for having made MPs out of bigots.

The mainstreaming of Amit Shah is one of the more worrying aspects of public discourse in India. This is a man who was the first serving home minister of any state to be arrested; the man who was sent away from his own state for two years by the Supreme Court for fear he would tamper with the evidence in important criminal cases; the man who many say so completely politicized his state's police force that those who did not toe his line were punished.

The controversial background of Amit Shah was forgotten when his party won the Lok Sabha election, their victory owed in good part to their near-clean sweep in Uttar Pradesh, where they won 71 out of 80 seats. The BJP's spectacular showing in India's largest state, and the majority gained overall, prompted the party to elevate Amit Shah to the post of president. Meanwhile, his role in fashioning a BJP victory led to a flurry of appreciative pieces on Amit Shah in the press. 

The man with a distinctly dodgy past was now celebrated as a political genius, as the modern Chanakya, and more.

The pundits in the press particularly praised Amit Shah for his "candidate selection". The candidates he selected included Yogi Adityanath, Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvi Jyoti Niranjana and Satish Gautam. And yet no one has called the BJP president to account for the statements of his MPs from Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, other members of the extended sangh parivar have made their intentions very clear. The head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has declared that India is a Hindu rashtra, and that everyone who is a citizen of this country must acknowledge that he is of "Hindu" origin. In keeping with this ambition, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has launched a series of conversion programmes. Its president, Pravin Togadia, has said that their ultimate goal is to make every Indian a Hindu by faith.

Narendra Modi was, for many years, a fervent believer in a Hindu rashtra himself. In his first years as chief minister, he made disparaging remarks about Muslims and Christians. However, from about 2008 or so he began to fashion a more moderate image. He was now a vikash purush, a man of development, who wished to take all of Gujarat along on the road to prosperity. Once he launched his prime ministerial campaign, he further sought to present himself as a politician of the future, rather than of the past. Although his penchant for polemic remained, the barbs were now directed at individual politicians opposed to him, rather than at communities per se.

Narendra Modi's adroit re-branding, along with his brilliant oratory, played a major role in the success of his party in the Lok Sabha elections. Although such things are impossible to quantify, it does seem that a large number of those who voted for the BJP do not subscribe to the view that India is or must be a Hindu rashtra. They cast their votes as they did because (a) they were (rightly) disgusted by the corruption and dynastic culture of the ruling Congress, and (b) they saw in the energetic, charismatic, self-made Narendra Modi a viable alternative, who could meet their aspirations for a safer, more prosperous, and less corrupt India.

The presentation of Modi as a modernizing, go-getting, growth-and-good-governance-generating reformer was widely shared by the electorate. It may indeed be that Modi has undergone a genuine ideological transformation. Is that also true of his second-in-command? Here the scepticism must run deeper. During the election campaign, Amit Shah was reprimanded by the Election Commission for remarks he made urging Hindus to take 'revenge' through the ballot box.
 The statements made by his chosen MPs from UP show that they take no part in the professed agenda of the government, but subscribe still to the reactionary, polarizing view of India that it was thought (or claimed) that the prime minister had himself left behind. Shah's own failure to publicly reprimand Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Jyoti Niranjana suggests that he is not entirely averse to their worldview. When asked by reporters to comment, he has offered anodyne remarks such as "our party stands for social harmony".

The signs are ominous - more so because in the communalizing of UP, Shah and his party have a willing ally in Mulayam Singh Yadav and his party. Both sides have a vested interest in further polarization. As the next assembly elections in UP come closer, the worry is that the likes of Mulayam and Azam Khan will stoke fear among insecure Muslims, and that the likes of Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Jyoti Niranjana will stoke fear among insecure Hindus. Further stoking the sectarian pot will be Asaduddin Owaisi and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. The BJP under Shah's leadership might then play a double game - getting the prime minister to give stirring speeches promising jobs to all young men and 24x7 power to all rural homes, while on the ground the cadres work at consolidating "Hindu pride".

Shah's defenders have made much of the "clean chit" recently given him by the CBI. The discourse on clean chits (given in this case by an agency notorious for bowing to the wind) obscures a fundamental question, namely, whether association with, or endorsement of, statements and actions so manifestly at variance with our Constitution are at all compatible with the presidentship of India's most important political party.

Shah's career as home minister in Gujarat, his management of the campaign in UP during the general elections, and his conduct as party president all suggest that for him ends are far more important than the means. That is why we must be troubled by the mixture of deference and adulation by which he is currently treated by large sections of the media.


Monday, January 26, 2015

It Is Time For Iran To Tell The West ‘Goodbye’ — Paul Craig Roberts | MODI OFFERS INDIA TO USA ON A PLATTER -- Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


The great hoopla that Modi is making covering US President Obama visit, is to fool the people of India, while INDIA is being offered to the predator USA on a platter. This is second coming of the East India Company, who had come as traders and ended up ruling India and inflicting millions of death of India's civilians to consolidate their hold on the acquired territory. The same class of traders are now in the forefront of selling India cheap to a neo-colonial super-power that will never relinquish INDIA from its predatory grip for centuries to come.The merchants of Gujarat are known to even earlier century foreigners to sell commodities at commissions. These commission agents are once again getting their upper hand to offer our great country to exploit its resources and use its cheaply acquired man-power as canon-fodder for their wars that are certain to be unleashed in the region.

Modi the savior of India is the biggest commission agent that has mesmerized its people to rob them of their country, their identity, their independence, their true standing in the comity of nations. Like Iran, India too is a great civilisation and any Superpower worth its salt will have to subdue each and every visage of earlier great civilizations with the notion, that it may be exposed to an existential threat from any such resurgent civilisation. That's their agenda of 'clash of civilisation'.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

It Is Time For Iran To Tell The West ‘Goodbye’ — Paul Craig Roberts

It Is Time For Iran To Tell The West ‘Goodbye’

Paul Craig Roberts

From all appearances, the Obama regime’s negotiations with Iran, overseen by Russia, were on the verge of ending the contrived nuclear issue. An end to the confrontation is unacceptable to the Zionist Israeli government and to their neocon agents in America.

The Republicans, a political party owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Israel Lobby, hastily invited Netanyahu, the crazed ruler of both Israel and America, to quickly come to tell the Republican Congress, which the insouciant American voters put in place, how to prohibit any accommodation with Iran.

Observing the Israeli-controlled Republican Congress, a collection of warmongers, taking steps to prevent any peaceful resolution of a fabricated issue, Iran’s leader, Seyyed Ali Khamenei sent a letter to Western youth advising the youth of the Western world of the mischaracterization of Islam by Western propagandists.
I respect Khamenei’s effort to reach out to Western youth in order to help them differentiate the reality of Islam from the demonized portrait painted of Islam by Western politicians and media.
The question is: How much impact can Khamenei have?  

Khamenei’s voice is important, but it is small in comparison to the Western liars and propagandists.  Even an important representative, such as Khamenei, of a demonized country and a demonized religion can hardly be heard over the din of propaganda against Iran and Islam.

Moreover, secret Western black op organizations can conduct terrorist operations in the name of Islam, such as possibly occurred with 9/11, the Boston Marathon Bombing, and Charlie Hebdo.  The world is told that Islam is behind these attacks, but experts note that no real evidence is ever supplied.  Just official assertions, such as those that proved incorrect about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria, the false accusations against Gaddafi in Libya, and the false accusations against Russia in Ukraine.  The makers of this propaganda have many voices, and their trumpets overwhelm the voice of Iran’s leader.

Instead of appealing to the West, Iran needs to turn away from the West.  The historical time of the West has passed.

The West has devolved into a police state in which government is no longer accountable to law or to the people.  There are no jobs for young people, and no income security for the elderly. The West is actually in the process of looting itself.  Just look at what is happening in Greece. In order to guarantee the profits of the private banks from outside Greece, the Greek people have had their pensions cut, their employment cut, their social services cut, and they have had to sell their valuable public properties at low prices to private purchasers from outside their country. The same looting is now going on in Ukraine, and Italy, Spain, and Portugal face the identical fate.

In America the entire economic policy of the country is conducted only for the benefit of the super-rich One Percent.

If we use J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings as a metaphor for the West, the West is Mordor and Washington is Sauron.

It is pointless for Iran to negotiate with the West in hopes of gaining acceptance. Iran is on the same list as Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad. The only way Iran can be accepted by the West is to consent to being an American puppet state. Suspicion about Iran’s nuclear energy program is a contrived issue. If it were not the nuclear issue, it would be some other contrived issue, such as weapons of mass destruction, use of chemical weapons, terrorism, and so forth. Iran’s leaders should understand that the real problem is Iran’s independence of Washington’s foreign and economic policies. Washington cannot say that the US wants regime change in Iran because Washington wants a puppet state, so Washington pretends that Iran represents a threat that must be overcome.
If Iran so much admires the decadent and corrupt West that it is willing to be a servile vassal in order to enjoy Western acceptance, all Iran needs to do is to capitulate and align with Washington’s hegemonic policies.

If Iran, one of the two oldest civilizations and cultures on the planet, wishes to continue its existence without coming under the rule of the “exceptional” Americans, Iran must turn its back to the West, ally with Russia, China, India, and the other BRICS countries, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the Western criminals. It is beyond explanation why a civilization as old as the Iranian one would see anything in the West worthy of being associated with.

Above all, Iran should stop fighting other Muslims, even extreme ones who betray the Prophet Mohammed and soil Islam. Iran should not accept the role of being Washington’s mercenary in the fight against the Islamic State. Iran should never help Washington kill Muslims, even misguided ones who betray the Prophet. Instead, Iran should understand that the Islamic State, even if it should be a creation of Washington, is enjoying its success because Muslim peoples are tired of being ruled by the West, which uses the antagonism between Sunni and Shi’ite to rule them both.

If the Islamic State is a Western creation, the Muslims who support it are not. The Islamic state is supported by Muslims because the Muslim people are tired of being ruled and ruined by America, Great Britain, and the French.

Khamenei should forget about America, where evil has taken hold and about which Khamenei can do nothing. Khamenei should try to unify the Muslim peoples and turn them in a new direction.
Islam is weak because it is not unified. For centuries Muslims, divided by ancient political claims, have permitted their religious differences to make them pawns of other powers. It requires leadership to repair a sectarian split, and that is the leadership Iran should attempt to provide. Iran cannot provide leadership by imposing its view. A unifying compromise among Muslims must be made. Fighting on the side of the Americans against the Islamic State perpetuates the split and seals the fate of Muslim peoples as colonies of the West.

The problems that Muslims face might be too large for leadership to rectify. Not only are Muslims afflicted by their internal split, Muslim populations in the West are now positioned by propaganda such that their leaders are compelled to support war against the Islamic State and Iran in order to protect Muslim communities from pogroms. Have history and propaganda made Muslims forever a colonized people?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kerry issued summons in rights group move against RSS - Written by Narayan Lakshman - The Hindu, English Daily, Chennai, India

Return to frontpage


Washington, January 23, 2015

Kerry issued summons in rights group move against RSS

Narayan Lakshman  

A U.S. court has issued summons to Secretary of State John Kerry calling for his response within 60 days to a lawsuit demanding that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) be designated a “foreign terrorist organisation.”

Judge Laura Swain of the District Court of the Southern District of New York said in her summons that Mr. Kerry was required to answer the “declaratory lawsuit” filed by Sikhs for Justice, a human rights group that had earlier filed a case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging culpability for his role in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, which occurred when Mr. Modi was the Chief Minister.

This week’s lawsuit, which acquires significance in the context of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India over the weekend to join its Republic Day celebrations, called for the Foreign Terrorist Organisation tag for the RSS “for believing in and practicing a fascist ideology and for running a passionate, vicious and violent campaign to turn India into a ‘Hindu’ nation with a homogeneous religious and cultural identity.”

In its 26-page complaint, SFJ alleged that the “crimes of the RSS” included the targeting of religious minorities of India, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, citing incidents of violence against these groups in Gujarat, Punjab and Orissa, respectively.

Lawsuit calls for the Foreign Terrorist Organisation tag for RSS ‘for believing in and practising a fascist ideology’

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ji, I’m a bhangi! But you’re an Insan, too!

Posted: 21 Jan 2015 09:30 AM PST
Maulana Sayyid Nurul Hasan Bukhari writes and the scribes these lines(Amin Gilani) also heard it directly from Shah Saheb. 

Ataullah Shah BukhariAtaullah Shah Bukhari
The occasion was a public meeting at Darul Uloom Khayr-ul Madaris, Jalandhar. At lunchtime when everybody sat on the meal-spread, a young sweeper by the name of Prithi was also standing by.

Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari asked him to join at the meal.
 Humbly, he said, ‘Ji I’m a bhangi, meaning lowliest of the castes in Hindu social order. Shahji said sympathetically, ‘but you’re an Insan, too’ – a human-being, ‘and feel hunger as well, don’t you?’ Saying that, Shahji stood up from his seat, washed young man’s hands and made him sit by his side. Prithi was trembling with fear and shame. It had never occurred to his wildest dreams that he could ever sit beside a Sayyid who would feed him like his own child. 

The poor sweeper kept repeating ‘Ji, I’m a bhangi’ – ‘Sir, I’m a sweeper’( an untouchable in Hindu caste hierarchy). Not listening to him, Shahji broke the bread, dipped it in gravy and put the morsel in Prithi’s mouth. As the young sweeper felt a bit comfortable, Shahji took a potato from the broth and put that in Prithi’s mouth. 

After the boy cut part of it by his teeth, Shahji ate the remaining half of the potato. After Prithi drank water, Shahji drank the remaining water from the same bowl. Prithi disappeared soon after taking his meal with Shahji. He was crying. He was no longer a man of this world. 

Hours later, at the time of Asr prayer, he returned with his young wife who had an infant in her lap. ‘Shahji, for Allah’s sake, make us Musalman’, he urged 

Maulana Ataullah Shah Bukhari. The couple embraced Islam just because Prithi had tasted human dignity for the first time in his life, and also for the first time in the memory of his caste.
Lifted from:

Muhammad Ismail Shuja’abadi
Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari – Sawaneh o Afkar p269
(Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari – Biography and Thoughts)
Idarah Talifat i Khatm i Nubuwwat, Lahore
As reported in the monthly Ar-Rashid, Darul Uloom Deoband Number

English: Mohammad Tariq Ghazi
Also read:

Ameer-e-Shariat Ataullah Shah Bukhari on Shi’a-Sunni differences

The post Ji, I’m a bhangi! But you’re an Insan, too! appeared first on Urdu Media Monitor.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials - The Economist, UK

Economist may be regarded as a more sober, mature and academic than other Western propagandist media. However, the following article, though forcefully putting out Western views, is too confused to be branded either propaganda or serious academic exercise to draw practical conclusions to address Muslim grievances. Its focus is more on wrongs 'committed' by Muslims and Islam, rather than the West and Zionists.

1. The long headline --- Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials --  appears to counter the argument more vehemently advanced by Jewish propagandists that it is Islam by its very nature and essentials, that is violent and destructive. Economist proposes to focus on the current world movements to explain why Jihadists have sprung up. (The Neocon's New World Order that unleashes the idea of clash of civilisation to justify war on Islam as a potential global adversary and Muslims as new targets, now that Communist Russia has been effectively decimated.) Economist writer has tried to open a new line of investigation, as according to Economist, possibly taking on Islam as a religion will be too stupendous a job without any measurable immediate results.)
2. Economist warns Western media and policymakers, not to call for any reform in Islam, or they will end up bringing most stringent Salafi Islam into the play. Any idea to bring forth an Islam in tune with West's own interest, will find an ongoing and ever intensive reaction that probably will sap West's own energies.

3. Economist acknowledges that Islam does not allow for separation of religion and state; however it is strange that in addressing Islam and Muslim World, West persist in fashioning its own response to Muslim world mingling religion with state policies. The religion of Islam is the main target by Jewish and Zionist warmongers and it is the Zionists that keep manipulating western policymakers and media propagandist to attack both the religion of Islam and Muslim world. Their notion of survival extends to destruction of entire world.
4. Economist seems to agree to Muslims trying to work out their own formula, adjusting modern parameters to Islamic fundamentals. It therefore is against West trying to force any such changes in the process, that may rebound in problems for the West, without any productive results. The element of hate and phobia has to be exposed and condemned.
5. Economist compares Shia and Sunni hierarchy that ends up a grudging endorsement of a Church like authority that characterizes Shia strain exemplified by Iran, while Sunni religious Ulama without any such authority have been sidelined by 'despots' who virtually separated Islam from the state, (under Left liberal influences?). It mentions Salafis as working towards such a central authority and one of their contribution, according to Economist is, the formulation of 'Jihad' as a violent struggle to confront the rest of the world as well as those that do not follow their strict version of Islam, thus legitimizing 'apostasy' killings and increasing stress to punish the wrongs.
6.Economist persists in branding 9/11 as a Muslim attack, that provoked US attack on Iraq and Afghanistan. The world does not believe that propaganda and both Iraq and Afghanistan had been a disaster with long term consequences for the Western armed invasions. The worst part is that each and every anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic move is couched in religious terms to hide and camouflage West's capitalist exploitation of Muslim resources. Jewish media has been very successful in covering up the truth and propagating the untruth.
7. Economist laments that lack of central authority in Islamic world, effectively appointed INTERNET as the source of formulating a global consensus of Jihadist to confront the West as well as their own kind.
8. Economist opines that factors behind Jihadism will only abate when region's Muslim majority societies become prosperous and politically and socially free. Economist does not assign any active role for the western states to work against that eventualities.
9. This Economist article is directly in response to Charlie Hebdo attacks. Economist being very much aligned to Jewish interests has no word in the article making out that provocation to Muslims need to be condemned to buy peace. A spate of articles both in US and EU and Australia are trying to divide 'radicals' and 'mainstream' Muslims as favour to the overwhelming majority that is not involved in any violence. However, that is more in the manner of divide and rule policy, as long as West itself is not ready to any self-analysis and self-correction.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

The roots of jihadism

A struggle that shames[?]

Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials

Jan 17th 2015 | CAIRO | From the print edition
  • Timekeeper

MANY in the West take the Paris attacks as evidence that Islam needs reform, or indeed a full-on Reformation. They should be careful what they wish for. The reforming of religions is a messy business, and does not necessarily make them gentler or more biddable. Indeed the jihadists from whom the Paris murderers took their lead see themselves as reformers, tasked with a mission to strip their faith of centuries of arcane jurisprudence and non-Islamic practice and bring it back to its fiercer, truer original form.

Their goal is nothing like the tempering outcome hoped for by those calling for a Reformation along the line of Europe’s five centuries ago, but the process has at least one similarity. As in the religious wars that followed on from Europe’s Reformation, the worst of the violence perpetrated by jihadists has been felt by their co-religionists. Most of the victims of resurgent Islamic fundamentalism have been Muslims.

In this section
Related topics
Islam has never acknowledged a separation of religion from the state: from the time of the Prophet both developed together. The challenge of reconciling this with the workings of the post-colonial states set up in the Middle East during the 20th century has proved a difficult one. It is made more so when those modern states fall into a despotism which combines political repression with economic stagnation. Such stagnation is particularly hard on the young people who make up most of the population in most Arab countries. It leaves them without the money to start a family and deprived of a sense that their life has much meaning outside religion.
To the religious, Islam cannot be blamed for these miserable conditions. Hence the argument that, rather than mimic the modernised West, and rather than allow it to intervene in their affairs, as it has done through much of recent history, Muslims should create new forms of politics and government proper to their faith. The Islamists who hold such ideas take their faith as providing ultimate guidance not just in the personal realm but in the social and political realms, too.

For those in the Shia branch of Islam, the high-water mark of such feelings was the Iranian revolution of 1979, which turned a somewhat repressive modernising monarchy into a thoroughly repressive theocracy. Political Islamists of the Sunni strain, frequently marginalised, oppressed or manipulated by authoritarian rulers, do not yet have any comparable landmark.

Salafis, Sunnis who take their name and inspiration from the salaf, the Prophet’s original followers, have played on these grievances. Decades ago some of them reformulated jihad—a term which means struggle of various sorts—as a justification of political violence. Combined with the view that apostasy merits death the idea of jihad has been used to justify everything from the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s president, in 1981 to the slaughter of Syrian and Iraqi Muslims who neglect to pray five times a day, or smoke, or disagree with any other part of the perverse interpretation of Islam favoured by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

From Peshawar to Paris

The first great growth opportunity for modern jihadism came with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. After fighters backed by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and America expelled the enemy they found new targets, with those who created al-Qaeda taking a new interest in the “far enemy”: America and the rest of the West.

In attacking America in 2001, and thus provoking a new invasion of Afghanistan and, later, Iraq, al-Qaeda created an environment where the sort of jihadism it inspired could spread much further than before. Fed by ideology, opportunity and the ready availability of frustrated young men holding their lives cheap the conflagration shows no signs of abating or lessening in its depravity. From Nigeria (see article) to Pakistan, the month that saw 17 slain in Paris saw hundreds more killed elsewhere (see chart).

In many minds IS has now overtaken al-Qaeda as the most notorious current exponents of jihadism. Although IS shares much of its forerunner’s ideology, it is far less discriminating about whom it kills; even al-Qaeda’s leaders have criticised its brutality. And although its leaders call for killing in the West, their main aim is ruling the territory of a new caliphate.

The ability of Sunni Islamists to pick and choose religious concepts and take them out of context is partly down to the absence of respected religious authority in Sunni Islam. Nearly every Shia bows to one of a handful of Grand Ayatollahs, but Sunni institutions such as Cairo’s al-Azhar have limited authority. And the internet allows the masses of alienated youth to listen to the most radical preachers rather than the imam at their local mosque. State attempts to control preachers only increase mistrust of them. Scholars trying to set Islamic teachings in their historical or cultural context, whose work might inspire ways of better accommodating political Islam to the contemporary world, find themselves drowned out.

The relative prosperity, peace and democracy of Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia show that today’s Islam can be tolerant. And there may be positive signs amid the bloodshed in the Arab world—from the popular distrust signalled by Egypt’s rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that briefly ruled after the 2011 revolution, to the way that Ennahda, Tunisia’s Islamist party, relinquished power after recent elections. But most scholars reckon that the factors behind jihadism will only abate when the region’s Muslim-majority societies become prosperous and politically and socially free. None of the Arab world’s leaders are making much progress towards that.

From the print edition: Briefing