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ISIS, Daesh, Boko Haram, Taliban - Illogical Logic of Terrorists to kill innocent people on name of Islam - Refuted

Takfiri Terrorists try to justify their immoral, illogical and un-Islamic rebellion against the Muslim states on the pretext of...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

What are terrorists made of?

According to a recent feature in Scientific America, the US Homeland Department has dished out $12 million to a research facility which investigates the origins, dynamics and psychological impact of terrorism.

The facility, staffed by more than 30 experienced scientists, is called Study of Terrorism & Response to Terrorism (START).

According to Scientific America: “Whereas earlier researchers focused on the political roots of terrorism, many of today’s investigators are probing the psychological factors that drive adherents to commit deadly deeds …”

START is now concentrating on trying to figure out the minds of persons who are willing to cause indiscriminate carnage and maximum deaths (including their own) for what they believe is a cause close to their faith. Such a person does not see it as an act of terror, but, rather, an expression of their theological conviction.

In the past, a majority of studies in this context have been more inclined to treat such men and women as consequences of systematic brainwashing and even mental illness.

Recent studies suggest that terrorist outfits usually tend to screen out mentally unstable recruits and volunteers because their instability is likely to compromise the mission and expose their handlers.
Even though these two factors are still being investigated, the most recent studies on the issue emanating from research facilities such as START suggest that most of the terrorists might actually be mentally stable; even rational.

Summarising the results of the recent studies, Scientific America informs that “the vast majority of terrorists are not mentally ill but are essentially rational people who weigh the costs and benefits of terrorist acts, concluding that terrorism is profitable.”

By profitable they mean an act of terror which, in addition to being financially favourable to the perpetrator (or to his or her family which gets looked after if the person is killed); is also an act which is perceived by the person to be beneficial to his or her sense and perception of their spiritual disposition.

What’s more, recent studies suggest that terrorist outfits usually tend to screen out mentally unstable recruits and volunteers because their instability is likely to compromise the mission and expose their handlers.

The studies also propose that even though economic disadvantages do play a role in pushing a person to join a terror outfit out of anger or desperation, this is not always the case.

Forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman of the University of Pennsylvania, carried out an extensive survey of media reports and court records on 400 ‘extremists.’ He determined that “these individuals were far from being brainwashed, socially isolated, hopeless fighters; 90 per cent of them actually came from caring, intact families; and 63 per cent of these had gone to college.”

There is another interesting query that the researchers are trying to investigate: why were terrorists during the Cold War more constrained in their acts than the ones which emerged after the end of that conflict?

Studies suggest that a majority of significant terror groups during the Cold War were driven by nationalistic or communist impulses. Modern religious terrorism largely emerged from the 1990s onward.

Interestingly, despite the fact that Cold War terrorists did not hesitate to kill perceived enemies, they were, however, overtly conscious of how their acts would be perceived by popular opinion and the media.

For example, militant left-wing outfits in Europe, and even some factions of Palestinian guerrilla organisations (in the late 1960s and 1970s), would often abort attacks in which they feared casualties of innocent bystanders could mount.

This is not the case anymore. It seems, today, the old concern of being perceived as an indiscriminately brutal outfit has actually become the purpose. Terrorists now actually want to be perceived in this manner.

 What are terrorists made of?
by Nadeem F. Paracha,

Related :

Jihad, Extremism

    Saturday, July 9, 2016

    Takfiri Khwarij Terror Attack Holy Prphet's Mosque خارجی حرم رسولؐ میں بھی

    بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّـهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿١ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٢ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِندَ رَسُولِ اللَّـهِ أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّـهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۚ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿٣ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِن وَرَاءِ الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿٤الحجرات

    اے لوگو جو ایمان لائے ہو، اللہ اور اس کے رسول کے آگے پیش قدمی نہ کرو اور اللہ سے ڈرو، اللہ سب کچھ سننے اور جاننے والا ہے (1) اے لوگو جو ایمان لائے ہو، اپنی آواز نبیؐ کی آواز سے بلند نہ کرو، اور نہ نبیؐ کے ساتھ اونچی آواز سے بات کیا کرو جس طرح تم آپس میں ایک دوسرے سے کرتے ہو، کہیں ایسا نہ ہو کہ تمہارا کیا کرایا سب غارت ہو جائے اور تمہیں خبر بھی نہ ہو (2)جو لوگ رسول خدا کے حضور بات کرتے ہوئے اپنی آواز پست رکھتے ہیں وہ در حقیقت وہی لوگ ہیں جن کے دلوں کو اللہ نے تقویٰ کے لیے جانچ لیا ہے، اُن کے لیے مغفرت ہے اور اجر عظیم (3)اے نبیؐ، جو لوگ تمہیں حجروں کے باہر سے پکارتے ہیں ان میں سے اکثر بے عقل ہیں(49:4 )

    لوگو! سارا قرآن پڑھ جائو۔ احادیث کی کتابیں مطالعہ میں لے آئو۔ اسلام مخالف گروہوں کو جہنم سے ڈرایا گیا‘ مکہ کے بُت پرست مشرکوں کو جہنمی بتلایا گیا۔ فرعون‘ ابوجہل اور ابولہب بھی جہنم میں جائیں گے مگر یہ سب انسان تھے، اپنی انسانی شکلوں کے ساتھ جہنم میں جائیں گے۔ 
    ان انسانوں کے درمیان جہنم میں جانے والا ایک ایسا گروہ بھی ہے جو مسلمانوں کے اندر سے برآمد ہوا ہے۔ اس گروہ کے لوگ داڑھیاں رکھتے ہیں‘ نمازیں پڑھتے ہیں‘ قرآن کی تلاوت خوب کرتے ہیں‘ اللہ پر توکل بہت کرتے ہیں مگر یہ ہیں جہنمی...اللہ اللہ! یہ ایسے جہنمی ہیں جو فرعون‘ ابوجہل اور ابولہب کی طرح اپنی انسانی شکلوں کے ساتھ جہنم میں نہیں جائیں گے۔کیوں؟ اس لیے کہ یہ خارجی اور تکفیری ہیں‘ یہ کلمہ پڑھنے والے مسلمانوں کو غیر مسلم نہیں بلکہ مرتد قرار دیتے ہیں۔ اگر یہ غیر مسلم قرار دیتے‘ کافر کہنے تک ہی محدود رہتے تو مسلمانوں کا قتل نہ کرتے۔ انہوں نے مسلمان حکمرانوں اور ان کی رعایا کو مرتد قرار دیا اور پھر ان کو قتل کرنے لگ گئے۔ 
    ایسے لوگوں کو اللہ کے رسولؐ نے ''خوارج‘‘ قرار دیا ہے اور ان کے بارے میں واضح کر دیا کہ ''خارجی لوگ جہنم کے کتّے ہیں‘ (ابن ماجہ۔ صحیح۔)
     یعنی یہ جہنم میں جائیں گے تو کتّے کی شکل میں بھونکتے ہوئے جہنم میں جائیںگے۔ ان بدبختوں کے لیے میرے پُر رحمت رسولؐ گرامی کا سخت ترین انتباہ اس لیے ہے کہ یہ بے گناہ انسانوں پر بھونکتے ہیں‘ کلمہ پڑھنے والے مسلمانوں کو کاٹ کھاتے ہیں۔
     جس طرح ان کے بڑے عبدالرحمان ابن ملجم ملعون نے حضرت علیؓ پر مسجد میں حملہ کیا تھا‘ اسی طرح یہ آج بھی مسجدوں کو نشانہ بناتے ہیں۔ کوفہ کی مسجد کے امام حضرت علیؓ پر حملہ کرنے والے مسجدوں‘ عید گاہوں اور سکولوں پر حملے کرنے کے بعد اب میرے حضورؐکی مسجد کی جانب چل کھڑے ہوئے ہیں۔ جو بدبخت حرم نبویؐ میں‘ میرے حضورؐ کے حرم مدینہ میں بھونکنے کا ارادہ کر لے اس کے کتّا ہونے میں کیا شک رہ گیا! کتّے کی شکل میں جہنمی بننے میں کیا شبہ رہ گیا! 

    میرے حضورؐ نے اپنی اُمت کو آگاہ کرتے ہوئے فرمایا تھا: ''حضرت ابراہیمؑ نے مکہ کو حرم قرار دیا تھا پھر مکہ کے لیے برکت کی دعا بھی کی تھی۔ اب میں نے بھی مدینہ کو اسی طرح حرم قرار دے دیا ہے جس طرح حضرت ابراہیمؑ نے مکہ کو حرم قرار دیا تھا‘‘۔ (بخاری و مسلم۔) اب یہاں کی گیلی گھاس جڑ سے نہ اکھاڑی جائے‘ نہ اس کے درخت ہی کاٹے جائیں۔ یہاں شکار کے جو جانور ہیں ان کو بھگایا نہ جائے...اسی طرح اس شہر میں لڑائی لڑنے کو کوئی شخص ہتھیار مت اٹھائے۔ (بخاری و مسلم۔) مدینہ امن دینے والا حرم ہے (مسلم)، میں مدینہ کے دو سیاہ پتھریلے علاقوںکے درمیانی رقبے کو حرم قرار دے رہا ہوں (مسلم)، عیر اور ثور پہاڑ کے درمیان والا علاقہ مدینے کا حرم ہے (بخاری و مسلم۔)

     مزید فرمایا: انسانوں میں سب سے زیادہ جن پر اللہ کا غضب بھڑک اٹھتا ہے وہ حرم میں خرابی پیدا کرنے والا ہے (طبرانی‘ صحیحہ۔) 

    جی ہاں! جو شخص صرف خرابی پیدا کرے وہ اللہ کے غضب کا شکار ہو جاتا ہے اور جو اس سے کہیں آگے بڑھ کر شہر مدینہ کے دل میں میرے حضورؐ کی مسجد کے پاس آ جائے اور روضہ رسولؐ کہ جو جنت کا حصہ ہے وہاں دہشت گردی کرنے کا ارادہ کر لے‘ خارجیو! اس کے جہنمی کتّا ہونے میں ابھی بھی کوئی شک ہے! اللہ کی قسم! ایسا بدبخت تو کتّے سے بھی بدتر ہے کہ اللہ تعالیٰ نے قرآن میں ایسے ابوجہلوں کو جانوروں سے بھی بدتر قرار دیا ہے۔ یااللہ! آپ کی پناہ۔ آپ کے حبیب اور خلیل حضرت محمد کریمؐ کا شہر کہ جہاں جانوروں کو بھی امن دیا گیا‘ جانوروں کی خوراک گھاس کو بھی امن دیا گیا، جہاں کے درخت کہ جن کی ٹہنیوں پر پرندے گھونسلے بناتے ہیں ان درختوں کو بھی امن دیا گیا...ان خارجی کتّوں نے وہاں تیرے حبیبؐ کی مسجد کی زیارت کرنے والوں کا خون بہانے کا پروگرام بنا لیا۔ ہتھیار چلانے کا ارادہ کر لیا۔ بارود پھاڑنے کا گندہ ترین منصوبہ بنا لیا اور پھر زائرین کی حفاظت پر مامور سعودی سکیورٹی کے جوانوں کو شہید کر دیا۔ میرے مولا کریم! آپ بھی کریم ہیں‘ آپ کے رسولؐ بھی کریم ہیں۔ آپ نے اپنے حبیبؐ کی مبارک زبان سے کیا خوب جملہ نکلوا کر حدیث رسول بنا دیا کہ ایسے لوگ جہنم کے کتّے ہیں۔ ان 
    کا مقدر یہی ہے کہ جہنم میں جائیں تو کتّے کی شکل میں جائیں۔ جنت کے لالچ میں یہ بدبخت جہنم میں جائیں تو بھونکتے ہوئے جائیں۔ جو میرے حضورؐ کے اُمتیوں پر اور مدینے جیسے شہر میں بھونکنے کا پروگرام بنائیں‘ وہ بارود سے ٹکڑے ہونے کے بعد جہنم میں بھونکتے ہوئے ہی جائیں گے۔ جہنم والے پوچھتے ہوںگے‘ قرآن نے بتلایا ہے کہ جہنم میں جو جاتے ہیں‘ پہلے سے موجود جہنمی ان کا جرم پوچھتے ہیں۔ ارے بھائی! کس جرم میں ہمارے پاس آنا ہوا ہے؟ تو پھر وہ اپنے جرائم بتلاتے نہیں۔ جی ہاں! پاکستان‘ ترکی‘ بنگلہ دیش وغیرہ...اور سعودی عرب اور پھر اب مدینہ منورہ جو طابہ بھی ہے اور طیبہ بھی ہے‘ اس پاک شہر کی مسجد رسولؐ کے پاس جو بدبخت جہنم واصل ہوئے‘ جہنمیوں نے پوچھا ہو گا ارے تم! کتّے کی شکل میں کتّے کی طرح بھونک کر ہمارے پاس آ رہے ہو! ہم تو اللہ کی پناہ تم سے مانگتے ہیں۔ ارے تم کون ہو؟ اور یہ اپنا جرم بتلائیں گے کہ ہم نے سعودی عرب کی مسجدوں کو نشانہ بنایا۔ حتیٰ کہ اللہ کے آخری رسول حضرت محمد کریمﷺ کی مسجد کو بھی نشانہ بنانے چل کھڑے ہوئے۔ وہاں بارود پھاڑنے کا ارادہ کر لیا اور پھر پھاڑ بھی دیا‘ یہ ہے ہمارا جرم...اب جہنم والے بھی پناہ مانگیں گے۔ فرعون اور اس کی آل بھی جو جہنم میں اپنی اصل شکلوں کے ساتھ آباد ہیں‘ پناہ مانگیں گے۔ ابوجہل جیسا دشمن اور ابولہب جیسا کمینہ بھی پناہ مانگیں گے ۔ ابولہب بڑا خوبصورت تھا‘ گورا اور سرخی مائل رخساروں والا تھا۔ ایسا گورا کہ اس کا چہرہ آگ کی طرح سرخی مائل تھا۔ وہ بھی اپنی اصل شکل کے ساتھ خارجی کتّوں کو دیکھے گا تو کانوں کو ہاتھ لگا اٹھا ہو گا۔
    کتّا عرب کا ہو یا عجم کا‘ کتّا کتّا ہی ہوتا ہے۔ ہمیں اپنی سوچ اور نظر کو سیدھا اور مستقیم رکھنا ہوگا۔ خوش آئند بات یہ ہے کہ ساری کلمہ گو اُمت ان کتّوں کو جان گئی ہے۔ میں خراج تحسین پیش کرتا ہوں ان علماء اور اسکالرز کو‘ ان اہل علم صحافیوں اور لکھاریوں کو جنہوں نے خارجی فتنے کو احادیث کی روشنی میں اُمت کے سامنے پیش کیا۔ انسانیت کو اس کی حقیقت سے آگاہ کیا اور سلام پیش کرتا ہوں سعودی عرب کے ان سکیورٹی جوانوں کو جنہوں نے خارجی کتّوں کو راستے میں روک کر میرے حضورؐ کی مسجد کے تقدس کو اپنے خون سے تحفظ دیا۔ جنرل راحیل شریف نے حالیہ عید ایسے ہی شیروں کے درمیان گزاری۔ میں شاہ سلمان اور وزیر دفاع شہزادہ محمد بن سلمان کی خدمت میں عرض کروں گا کہ پورا عالم اسلام اور پاکستان آپ کے ساتھ ہے۔ ہمارے شیر دلیر جنرل راحیل شریف کو دنیا خراج تحسین پیش کر رہی ہے کہ کیسے ان کی کمان میں خارجی ملعون ناکام ہوئے ہیں۔ وہ طیب رجب اردوان‘ نوازشریف اور سب کو ساتھ ملا کر عالم اسلام کی ایک فورس بنائیں جس کا ہیڈ کوارٹر سعودی عرب ہو اور جنرل راحیل پورے عالم اسلام کو خارجی ناسور سے پاک کر دیں۔ اللہ تعالیٰ حرمین شریفین اور ان کے خادموں کی حفاظت فرمائے۔ پورے عالم اسلام اور انسانیت کو 
    اس ناسور سے محفوظ فرمائے۔ (آمین)
        امیر حمزہ
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    Related :

    Jihad, Extremism

      Saturday, April 9, 2016

      Islamic Extremism is a Product of Western Imperialism

      shutterstock_324965885 (2)
      As we struggle to come to terms with the latest terrorist attacks in Brussels, it is important that we understand the causes of such extremism. After all, Islamic extremism was virtually unknown fifty years ago and suicide bombings were inconceivable. And yet today it seems that we are confronted with both on a daily basis. 
      Image result for western imperialism in asia

      So what happened to bring Islamic fundamentalism to the forefront of global politics? 

      While there are many factors involved, undoubtedly one of the primary causes is Western imperialism. Western intervention in the Middle East over the past century to secure access to the region’s oil reserves established a perfect environment in which Islamic fundamentalists could exploit growing anti-Western sentiment throughout the Islamic world with some establishing violent extremist groups. The most recent consequence of this process is the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, which emerged out of the chaos caused by the US invasion of Iraq.

      In order to understand the rise of the Islamic State we must first briefly review the history of Western intervention in not only the Middle East but throughout the world to reveal that Islamic extremism in not a unique phenomenon. For the past 500 years, peoples throughout the world have resorted to acts of violence that today would be classified as terrorism in efforts to resist Western imperialism. Indigenous peoples in the Americas often used violent tactics to defend themselves against the brutal European colonizers. There were also many violent slave revolts by Blacks who had been shipped from Africa to the Americas in the service of Western imperialism.

      In Southeast Asia, the Filipino people first violently resisted the Spanish and then rose up again when the United States became the new colonial ruler of the Philippines in 1898. Apparently, Washington’s newest colonial subjects didn’t appreciate President William McKinley’s concern for their well-being when he arrogantly declared that since Filipinos “were unfit for self-government, … there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them.” Meanwhile, in South Africa, the Zulu people were resorting to violence in an effort to resist British attempts to “civilize” them in the late 1800s. Back then, those who violently resisted Western imperialism weren’t labelled “terrorists,” we just called them “savages.” These are just a few examples of the countless attempts throughout the global South to resist the violent and often brutal expansion of Western imperialism, which included not only the imposition of Western values and culture on people, but also Christianity.

      One of the reasons that Islamic extremism has only come to the fore in recent decades is the fact that Western imperialism in the Middle East is a relatively recent occurrence. Western imperialism didn’t begin to make serious headway in the Middle East until the early 20th century. Consequently, we haven’t yet succeeded in our quest to violently subjugate the peoples of that region to the degree that we have peoples throughout most of the rest of the world. In american leech some Middle Eastern nations, Western imperialism initially took the form of traditional colonialism, which involved direct rule. In other countries, it has constituted a neo-colonial approach utilizing international institutions such as the UN Security Council, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as well as direct US and European intervention in the forms of military coups and outright war.

      While European nations, particularly Britain, had made some inroads into the Middle East in the late 1800s, it was the discovery of oil in Iran in 1908 that marked the arrival of Western imperialism. The London-based Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) gained the rights to Iran’s oil and, because its major shareholder was the British government, Britain effectively controlled Iran’s oil sector. During the ensuing decades there were major protests by the Iranian people who were unhappy with foreign ownership of the country’s oil and the fact that Iran was receiving only 16 percent of its own oil wealth. In 1950, the Iranian parliament finally responded to popular demands and voted to nationalize the country’s oil sector. The following year, Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh established the National Iranian Oil Company.

      Unhappy with Iran’s decision to claim ownership of its own oil resources and to use them for the benefit of the Iranian people, the United States and Britain orchestrated a coup to oust the moderate, secular and democratically-elected Mosaddegh government. Shah Reza Pahlavi was installed in power and the new pro-Western dictator immediately re-opened the door for Western companies to return to Iran. And to ensure that the Shah maintained iron-clad control over the population, the United States provided him with military aid as well as training for his secret police force, which would brutalize the Iranian people for the next 26 years.

      Under the Shah, Western oil workers flooded into Iran and the country’s capital Tehran became a decadent playground for high-paid foreign oil workers who engaged openly in un-Islamic activities including alcohol consumption, casino gambling and prostitution. And while the country’s oil wealth was flowing into the pockets of foreigners and the Shah and his cronies, most Iranians were struggling to survive in poverty. Not surprisingly, Islamic fundamentalists began pointing to Western imperialism and Western decadence as an affront both to Islam and to the Iranian people. It was a narrative that began to resonate with many impoverished Iranians who had traditionally been moderates. In 1979, under the leadership of the Ayatollah Khomeini, a popular revolution overthrew the Shah’s repressive regime and established an Islamic state.

      Reflecting on the US role in Iran, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stated, “In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”

      The first significant success for Islamic fundamentalism directly resulted from the United States and Britain overthrowing a democratically-elected and secular government and their subsequent support for a brutal dictatorship, all in the name of securing access to oil. Today, we are not only still dealing with the consequences of this Western imperialism in our relations with Iran, but also with Iran’s support for other fundamentalist groups in the region such as Hezbollah.

      The same year that Iran became an Islamic state, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to defend that country’s unpopular Soviet-backed regime from a growing insurgency. The mujahideen rebels, like the Islamic revolutionaries in Iran, were fighting against a Western-backed dictatorship. This time it was the atheist communists of the Soviet Union that were the imperialists. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan only boosted the strength of the mujahideen as recruits flocked from throughout the Islamic world to help liberate the country from the foreign infidels. Many of the tens of thousands of recruits came from Saudi Arabia, which contributed to the fundamentalist movement known as Wahhabism expanding from being a fringe sect of Islam that primarily existed in Saudi Arabia to a major religious force throughout the Sunni Islamic world.

      The United States viewed the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan through a Cold War lens and began providing weapons and training to the Islamic fundamentalist mujahideen rebels. During the 1980s, Washington supplied the mujahideen with $4 billion in arms that significantly strengthened the fundamentalists and President Ronald Reagan publicly referred to them as “freedom fighters.” One of the mujihadeen beneficiaries of US aid was a Saudi named Osama bin Laden. The primary objective of the war for this particular “freedom fighter” was the removal of a Western military from Islamic lands. The mujahideen succeeded in their holy war in 1989 when the Soviet Union withdrew its forces. And then, in 1996, following a civil war between various factions of the mujahideen, the recently-formed Taliban emerged victorious and established a fundamentalist government.

      As a 1993 article in the British daily Independent made clear, Osama bin Laden was viewed by the West as a warrior, not a terrorist, for his role in the mujahideen. The article, titled “Anti-Soviet Warrior Puts His Army on the Road to Peace,” described bin Laden’s work building roads in the impoverished nation of Sudan in the early 1990s. But bin Laden was not only building roads, he was also establishing a new organization with his mujahideen fighters that would eventually be called al-Qaeda. The mission of al-Qaeda essentially remained the same as that of the mujahideen in Afghanistan: to drive Western military forces out of Islamic lands. This time the target was US troops based in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait following the first Gulf War. Consequently, bin Laden went from being a “freedom fighter” to a “terrorist” virtually overnight even though his mission hadn’t changed, only the target.

      From the perspective of Washington, bin Laden was a “freedom fighter” when he was fighting against the Soviet military presence in Afghanistan but was a “terrorist” when he fought against the presence of US military forces in the Islamic world. From the perspective of bin Laden and his Islamic extremist followers, however, nothing had really changed. Whether it was Soviet soldiers or US troops, both constituted Western military forces that had to be removed from Islamic soil.

      Ultimately, Western intervention in the Islamic world gave birth to al-Qaeda. First, Soviet military support for a puppet regime in Afghanistan, then US backing of the Islamic fundamentalists who constituted the mujahideen rebels, and, finally, the establishment of US military bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during the first Gulf War. As a consequence of these imperialist actions, Islamic extremists in the form of the Taliban and al-Qaeda emerged as powerful forces with the latter feeding off the growing disenchantment among Muslims angry at Western militarism in the Islamic world, Western backing for corrupt governments in the Middle East, and US support for Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

      Following al-Qaeda’s terrorist attacks against New York City and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001, the United States launched its war on terror and targeted the Islamic extremist group in Afghanistan. However, the Bush administration also sought to exploit the 9/11 attacks to justify ousting Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Top Bush administration officials launched a massive propaganda and misinformation campaign to convince the American people that Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks and linked to al-Qaeda, both of which were untrue. They also portrayed Hussein as a terrorist threat because he possessed weapons of mass destruction, which was another lie.

      As the reports by UN weapons inspectors had made clear, Iraq no longer possessed any chemical or biological weapons; they had been destroyed in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions following the first Gulf War in 1991. Furthermore, the Bush administration’s propaganda campaign conveniently ignored the fact that the weapons of mass destruction that Iraq had possessed and used during the 1980s were supplied to it by the United States when Hussein was an ally against the fundamentalist regime that had come to power in Iran.

      In March 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the US military to invade Iraq without authorization from the UN Security Council and in direct violation of international law. Four days before the invasion, Vice-President Dick Cheney declared, “From the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” But one year later an extensive nationwide poll in Iraq showed that 71 percent of Iraqis saw the US troops as “occupiers” rather than “liberators.” Such a response should not have been surprising given that some 100,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the invasion and occupation.

      The military occupation gave rise to an insurgency that sought to oust the foreign occupying troops. Prior to the US invasion there had been no Islamic extremist groups operating in the country. But the emergence of the broad-based insurgency and the post-invasion chaos opened the door for al-Qaeda to enter Iraq. And it was out of both the insurgency and al-Qaeda that the fundamentalist Islamic State (originally known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) emerged in 2006.

      Following the invasion, the United States dismantled Saddam Hussein’s military and many of the unemployed former officers ended up joining the insurgency. Some of these military officers conspired with a breakaway faction of al-Qaeda in Iraq to form the Islamic State. The new extremist group sought to establish an Islamic caliphate in northern Iraq and Syria. The Syrian civil war in 2011 allowed the Islamic State to cross into Syria where it grew dramatically stronger and began to consolidate control over territory. It then re-focused its efforts on Iraq and easily defeated the new US-trained Iraqi army and consolidated its control over northern parts of that country in 2014. Meanwhile, the West’s military intervention in Libya in 2011 helped turn that country into a failed state and opened the door for the Islamic State to establish a foothold in that part of North Africa.

      The Islamic State has had significant success recruiting disenchanted Muslims from around the world to join its ranks and to carry out terrorist attacks in Western nations such as France and Belgium. Last year, even former British Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged “there are elements of truth” in claims that the invasion of Iraq led to the creation of the Islamic State. As Blair admitted, “Of course, you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.”

      Once again, Western imperialist actions in the Middle East had given rise to Islamic extremism. But the rise of the Islamic State should not have come as a surprise to anyone. That the Bush administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq laid the foundation for the emergence of the Islamic State was entirely predictable. After all, the West’s ouster of the moderate and secular Mosaddegh and its backing of the Shah’s ruthless regime in Iran had given birth to that country’s Islamic fundamentalist revolution. And Washington’s military support of fundamentalist rebels in Afghanistan and its establishment of military bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait ensured the emergence of al-Qaeda.

      Meanwhile, Western imperialism in other parts of the Middle East over the past century has also contributed to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. While most of the Arab states in the region gained independence following World War Two, the United States and Britain essentially handed over most of Palestine to European Jews so they could create the Jewish state of Israel. And, ever since, Israel has received unconditional US support to brutally repress the Palestinian people and to repeatedly violate international law, which has generated widespread anti-Western sentiment throughout the Middle East. It wasn’t until after almost 40 years of Israeli rule over Palestinian lands that Islamic fundamentalism and the tactic of suicide bombing finally made inroads among the traditionally moderate Palestinian population. This occurred when Hamas was formed in the Occupied Territories in the mid-1980s. Similarly, it was Israel’s US-supported invasion of Lebanon that gave birth to the fundamentalist group Hezbollah during the same decade.

      Over the past one hundred years, the Middle East has been targeted by Western imperialism in the violent manner that the rest of the world has endured for centuries. Nowadays we use politically correct terms such as “democracy promotion” and “human rights” instead of “civilize” and “Christianize,” but they essentially mean the same thing because they are simply the latest justifications for stealing resources and imposing Western values on other cultures. Not surprisingly, as has been the case throughout the rest of the world over the past 500 years, there is widespread resentment and anger towards the West for its imperialist policies in the Middle East. And, also not surprisingly, some fundamentalist Muslim resisters to Western imperialism have resorted to extreme tactics.

      Finally, perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of Western imperialism in the Islamic world is the fact that each consequence has been more extreme than the previous one. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were far more extremist than the Islamic government that came to power in Iran. And the Islamic State is even more extremist than al-Qaeda. Which begs the question: What new and even more extremist monstrosity are we currently creating with our ongoing military interventions and imperialist policies in the Islamic world?

      By Garry Leech, an independent journalist and author of numerous books including How I Became an American Socialist (Misfit Books, 2016), Capitalism: A Structural Genocide (Zed Books, 2012); Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia (Beacon Press, 2009); and Crude Interventions: The United States Oil and the New World Disorder (Zed Books, 2006). ). He also teaches international politics at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada and Javeriana University in Cali, Colombia. For more information about Garry’s work, visit

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        Wednesday, March 2, 2016

        Actors of instability

        Image result for ttp pakistan
        PAKISTAN’S security indicators have been improving lately, mainly due to the state’s enhanced counterterrorism efforts. Government and security officials highlight gains on the counterterrorism front; statistics support their claims. However, that does not mean we have won the war. We still need to develop effective ideological and political responses to broaden and strengthen the ongoing counterterrorism campaign.

        During the last two weeks, the security and law-enforcement agencies claimed some significant successes. ISPR chief Lt Gen Asim Bajwa revealed that a network of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) had been busted in Karachi.

        Karachi police and the Sindh Counterterrorism Department claimed the killing of some wanted terrorists and the arrest of Asif Chotu, head of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Al Almi, who reorganised the violent sectarian group, from Dera Ghazi Khan. Several other alleged terrorists have been either killed or arrested across the country in recent weeks. That indicates that the law-enforcement agencies have stepped up their campaign to dismantle terror networks in urban areas.
        Image result for lashkar e jhangvi

        Sectarian groups are only one pillar of the existing terrorism infrastructure.
        Most of the militants arrested in recent weeks and months belong to the LeJ. It seems that the law enforcers are focusing more on sectarian terrorist outfits and their allies. Definitely, it will contribute to further decreasing sectarian-related terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The year 2015 saw a 60pc decrease in such attacks compared with 2014. These efforts will also weaken sectarian groups’ nexus with different Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) factions and the latter’s support networks in Pakistan.

        However, Pakistan’s militant landscape is very diverse with multiple actors of instability at work. Sectarian terrorist groups are only one pillar of the existing terrorism infrastructure, which will take time to perish. Though a few other groups have also been weakened, their support bases and operational capabilities remain intact.

        A review of the statistics of 2015 suggests that the TTP remained the major actor of instability, carrying out 212 terrorist attacks across the country. The group also managed to carry out 12 cross-border attacks from Afghanistan. The TTP splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar further fuelled instability by carrying out 28 terrorist attacks.

        Another tribal areas-based group, the Lashkar-i-Islam, was involved in 27 attacks in Khyber Agency and the suburbs of Peshawar. The small militant groups in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, described as the local Taliban, carried out 56 terrorist attacks in 2015. Meanwhile, while LJ was involved in 33 attacks in 2015; the Shia sectarian group Sipah-i-Mohammad Pakistan also remained active during the year, mainly in Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad-Rawalpindi, and carried out 19 targeted killings. Baloch separatist groups were another key actor of instability, mainly in Balochistan.

        In recent years, new actors have been emerging and some old groups are taking advantage of the changes. Affiliates of the militant Islamic State (IS) group accepted responsibility for three attacks, while Jundullah managed four high-intensity attacks in different parts of the country. AQIS also absorbed the human resource of weakening militant groups; it was involved in abduction cases in Pakistan.

        In this context, the responses of the law-enforcement agencies need a dedicated platform to scientifically monitor the changing behaviours, trends, and emerging operational patterns of groups involved in terrorism. This initiative will help them broaden their threat perception and evolve effective responses.

        So far, it has been difficult for the security and law-enforcement agencies to think beyond established threats. Pakistan is a frontline state in the war against terrorism, but Al Qaeda has never been on its threat-perception radar. Instead, the group was always considered part of a global problem, which resulted in the emerging threats being deemed insignificant.

        The same is proving true for the IS, which is now transforming local terrorist groups. It is a real and emerging threat for Pakistan. Understanding the dynamics, including the erosion of conventional militant groups like the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad is also a difficult task.

        Interestingly, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, while denying the presence of IS in Pakistan, has claimed that banned groups like JuD are using the name of Daesh (Arabic acronym of IS) to mask their activities. The minister has always been reluctant to include the group on the list of banned outfits and his new statement indicates the confusion which persists within the security establishment about the status of certain militant groups. The problem with the government is that it does not consider a group a threat unless it is involved in terrorist activities inside the country.

        But at least it has been acknowledged that banned militant groups have become recruiting bases for international terrorist organisations, including Al Qaeda and the IS.

        The successes of law-enforcement agencies deserve commendation, but it has been seen in the past that the elimination of a terrorist group’s leadership did not completely crush the group. After a while, the group reorganised and nurtured a new leadership. It happened more than twice in the case of the LJ. The killing of LJ leaders, including its founder Riaz Basra in 2002, provided a brief lull in sectarian killings. But in 2004, a new wave started which receded in 2008 when its new leaders were killed.

        Yet again, a sudden rise in sectarian killings was observed in 2010 when a new leadership, including Asif Chotu and Naeem Bukhari, took over the group. This leadership proved more lethal, as it had not only expanded the group’s geographical outreach to interior Sindh but also found new targets, including the Hazara and Ismaili communities, and the Bohra community in Karachi.

        The relief in statistics provides an opportunity to the government and law-enforcement agencies to review their responses and recompose their operational strategies. The most important aspect is linked to how to intervene in the spaces that continue breeding new generations of terrorists. Both the politico-ideological and operational perspectives are important and need collaborative efforts.

        The actors of instability use ideological and political spaces to survive, which automatically create the spaces for their operational activities.
        By Muhammad Amir Rana, a security analyst. He is the Director of Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), Islamabad, Pakistan.

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