Today, there is growing anger in all areas of daily life – between neighbors, in religious discourse and other aspects of personal and social relations. Young people have been expressing their strong opposition to certain ideologies through violence. In other words, we are faced with a global wave of violent radicalization.
Ask most people who has committed the worst terrorist attack in Europe in the past decade or two. They’ll probably say Muslims. They would be wrong.
A year ago, in May 2016, Britain’s House of Lords decided to establish a new International Relations Committee. On 2 May 2017, after six months deliberation, the committee issued its second report: “The Middle East: Time for New Realism”. It is, quite frankly, an astonishing document, imbued with unconcealed hostility towards, and distrust of, US President Donald Trump, with the anti-Brexit rhetoric of much of the British establishment, and with downright naïve recommendations, reflecting the consensus of the politically correct, concerning Saudi Arabia, the Iran nuclear deal, and Palestinian sovereignty.
Blasphemy has joined terrorism as a catchall phrase to intimidate, incarcerate and kill critics and political opponents as well as stifle unfettered debate and settle scores.
I am quite used to people smirking into their sleeves when they hear that I’ve just written a book called The Islamic Enlightenment. The really helpful wags say they expect something along the lines of The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro Agnew, which was billed as a collection of all the memorable aphorisms of the former US vice-president, and contained only blank pages. So, the Islamic Enlightenment — good for a laugh. But we’re all familiar with the serious argument that lies behind the jests; that Islam has not been through an Enlightenment, a Reformation, or any of the other rites of…
Global Jihadism, also known as Jihadist extremism, remains the most highlighted form of violent extremism today. It refers to actions justified by a particular interpretation of Islam, forming a worldwide violent ideological movement. The actors of global Jihadism can be organised individuals, groups, networks or organisations. Stories covering terrorist attacks committed by al-Qaeda and very recently ISIS militants in Europe and North America have swept Westerns and Eastern mainstream media since 1990s. Although it is unequivocal that most attacks – including some public executions of ‘spies’ or other enemies – were carried out in West Asia and North Africa, focus remains persistent…
Terrorist attacks have been randomly sweeping the world. While uncertainty around bloody conflicts in West Asia and Africa, sectarian politics in Arabia and Iran, integration issues in Europe and North America and lack of democracy in Muslim majority states have become the norms of modern politics, one fact remains certain: Sectarianism has been on the rise in Muslim majority countries. Perhaps there are detectable patterns along these sectarian lines that we can unfold. While the majority of Muslims have been unwillingly dragged into unpleasant discourses, often resulting in their discrimination and alienation based on religious affiliation, there are underlying patterns…
Sunnis and Shias have lived together in peace for centuries, and up to the new millennium have barely had a history of bloody conflict. Why now? The Sectarian Elements of a Conflict The Middle East is a mess from which no one can claim exemption. The invasion of Iraq and the Syrian civil war have pulled all the already beleaguered regional governments into tragic quicksand, where alliances and animosities constantly shift. Everyone is stuck in an overly complicated nexus of relations, and the future is so murky no political leader can put forth a plausible way out. The world powers are…
Last week, Saudi writer and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, wrote a piece in the London-based al-Hayat newspaper in which he argued that “Sunnis” were targeted as a group and called on them to ‘defend themselves as a sect’. Such flawed, reductionist and ill-informed analysis contributes to little more than reminding us that sectarianism is actually a fait accompli.