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Monthly Archives: June 2010

al-Qā’idah in the Arabian Peninsula releases its first English language magazine “Inspire”

UPDATE 7: Inspire Magazine has been translated into Arabic as an ‘Īd al-Fiṭr gift to the Muslim ummah (community) by the Arabic Anṣār al-Mujāhidīn Forum.

Click here: Inspire Magazine Arabic

UPDATE 6: The Investigative Project on Terrorism weighs in on “Inspire Magazine” and its potential negative effects on radicalization.

UPDATE 5: Katherine Zimmerman of the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project explains the implications of AQAP’s “Inspire Magazine”.

UPDATE 4: Aaron Weisburd of the Internet Haganah provides his take on the full release of AQAP’s “Inspire Magazine”.

UPDATE 3: After 12 days, AQAP releases the full version of “Inspire Magazine” without corruption. Also, checkout Jarret Brachman’s quick take analysis of the new magazine.

Click here: AQAP – Inspire Magazine Volume 1 – UNCORRUPTED

UPDATE 2: J.M. Berger of IntelWire along with Thomas Hegghammer of Jihadica posted new blog entries detailing past English language magazines by jihādīs and the continued lack of understanding by the mainstream media when reporting on the “Inspire” magazine.

UPDATE: After the forums released the new English language magazine “Inspire” within an hour or so they took it down since the pdf file was corrupted. The first three pages — the table of contents — was fine, but afterwards the text was gibberish. I am still keeping this corrupted file up so people can see what it looked like. For more on why the file was corrupted and taken down check out the Internet Haganah’s analysis. Also, it is worthwhile to read J.M. Berger of IntelWire’s critique of the US media coverage of the “Inspire” magazine release.

NOTE: al-Malāḥim Media, al-Qā’idah in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media outfit, released a new English language magazine called “Inspire”, which features interviews with the amīr (leader) of AQAP Abū Basīr (Nāṣir al-Wūḥayshī) and Anwar al-’Awlakī.

Original corrupted file (won’t harm your computer, gibberish after a few pages): AQAP – Inspire Magazine Volume 1

Al-Katāayb Foundation for Media Productions presents: “The African Crusaders”

NOTE: Al-Katāayb Foundation for Media Productions is the media center used by al-Qā’idah-linked Ḥarakat al-Shabāb al-Mujāhidīn based in Somalia. Ibn Siqilli on this video:

Harakat al-Shabab’s media outlet, the Al-Kata’ib (Brigades) Media Foundation, released a video entitled “The African Crusaders” yesterday in which the AU’s forces are labeled agents of the United States, which seeks to persecute Muslims in Somalia and across the globe. Battle footage shows fierce fighting between Harakat al-Shabab militiamen and AU forces, particularly Uganda Army soldiers. Ugandan “crusaders” were discussed in Harakat al-Shabab’s groundbreaking September 2009 video “Labbayk Ya Usama” (We Heed Your Call, O’ Usama), which I wrote about at some length HERE.

Citizens of the African nations contributing soldiers to the AU mission in Somalia, namely Uganda and Burundi, are asked to consider whether they wish to sacrifice their sons to a failed mission in Somalia to support a weak, failing government, that led by PresidentShaykh Sharif Ahmed. The video’s narrator asks Ugandans to consider whether their soldiers would have been better employed defending them from the insurgents of the Lord’s Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony in northern Uganda.

In one part, audio of the late Harakat al-Shabab leader Aden (Adan, Adam) Hashi Ayro (he was killed in a U.S. missile strike in March 2008) is used and a current commander, Husayn Fidow, is shown speaking. The group also recently released photographs of its fighters burning captured AU vehicles.

New statement from the Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan: “Regarding The Puppet Regime’s Mining Contract With Foreign Companies”

NOTE: This message is by the Afghan Ṭālibān and unedited below.

Statement Of The Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan Regarding The Puppet Regime’s Mining Contract With Foreign Companies

Rajab 14, 1431 A.H, Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

According to a news report, American geologists have found $1 trillion worth of valuable minerals, including iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and lithium. This report is followed by the news stories of awarding contracts by the corrupt and puppet Karzai administration for mining these deposits. In fact the occupation forces are disgracefully facing the most horrible situation in Afghanistan. In order to save their face, both the American and their puppets in Kabul very restlessly “disclosed” this news to show their “eagerness” the betterment of the Afghan Masses.

Through these measures the American forces and their dazed military leadership are trying to get maximum benefit from the Afghan wealth in form of gaining support from vital American companies in favor of Obama’s Afghan Policy.

Secondly, it intends to use it as a bribe to those allies of this shattered alliance, who no more wants to stay in Afghanistan. The US believes that monetary greed will make them stay along the US in this graveyard. Another design behind “breaking” this news was to drag those countries to Afghanistan who have been opposing the US occupation. The last but not least, the news aims at diverting the global attention from US’s defeat and acquire more time to stay in Afghanistan. Perhaps, the whole world is aware of these deceitful and failed efforts by the US.

Now when the US and its puppet regime in Afghanistan want to achieve their illegal goals, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan consider it necessary to issue a policy statement regarding these minerals and the agreements for mining these minerals by the puppets Afghan regime.

1. The recent reports are no revelations as the vast deposits in Afghanistan were no secret. In fact Afghanistan is well known for its mineral wealth. These natural deposits are Afghan’s wealth. The mining of these minerals and all related agreements can be awarded by an independent and legal Afghan government only, not the one being imposed over the Afghan masses through force, tanks and warplanes.

2. The puppet regime set up in Kabul by the occupation forces is the most corrupt, ineffective, and weakest of the world community, the fact which has been confessed by the Americans and their puppet president in Kabul. Now who can ensure transparency in such circumstances? This is why, The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan declares any accord in this regard as illegitimate and the parties to the contract as a looter of the Afghan wealth.

3. The Americans and their puppet elements hold that these minerals and contracts in this regard will change the destiny of Afghan masses. This wealth will make the reconstruction of Afghanistan possible and help the Afghan economy to become stable. It is worth reminding that the puppet regime in Afghanistan has received billions of dollars from the international community in the past. In how much transparent manner has this amount been spent and how much has it helped a common man is not secret from the world. Then, why will be they let to plunder the wealth of this oppressed nation? Who can guarantee the wealth excavated under this administration will be spent for the betterment of common man and reconstruction of his country?

4. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan warns all foreign companies, entering into contract with the puppet regime that no guarantee of the life of their worker can be given. Whosoever, enter into contract with this puppet regime regarding the natural resources, their contract will be considered as illegal by the Afghan masses and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan hopes that the contract for mining these minerals after the defeat of the United State of America will be awarded on merit to those companies which have the sincerity and capability to carry out this important work.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr publishes new article: “Islamic Ruling on Military Alliances with Non-Muslim States”

NOTE: Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr (The Party of Liberation) is a Sunni pan-Islamist movement whose goal is to unite the Muslim ummah (community) and reinstate the Caliphate (al-khilāfah). Once the Caliphate is reinstated, the government would be ruled by Islamic law (sharī’ah) with the Caliph (khalīfah) being the head of state elected by a shūrā (consultation) council. Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr was founded in 1953 in Jerusalem by Taqī ad-Dīn al-Nabhānī who was an Islamic scholar (‘ālim). Currently, Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr is located in more than forty countries and is especially active in the United Kingdom and maintains a branch in the United States. The article is unedited below.

Today, we find Muslim countries making military alliances with the kuffar and fighting alongside them. Turkey is a member of NATO and has sent troops to Afghanistan under the UN International Security Assistance Force.

Pakistan has entered a military alliance with America to fight Muslims in the tribal areas and support the Afghan war.

Many Muslim countries participate in numerous other military alliances and collective security agreements.

Historically, the Khilafah entered in to military alliances with kafir states at certain times.

In America and Europe we find a small minority of Muslims joining the western armies and being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan with some scholars even issuing fatwas that this is permissible in Islam.

The Islamic ruling on military alliances and their permissibility is given below. This is taken from the bookShakhsiya Islamiyya (Islamic Personality) Volume 2 by Sheikh Taquideen an-Nabhani. The extract below is based on a draft translation from Arabic.

Al-hilf” linguistically means covenant (‘ahd) and friendship. It is said “halifuhu” derived from “‘ahiduhu” (he covenanted with him). However, the technical definition of the word “al-hilf” specifically means military alliance.

Military alliances are the alliances contracted between two or more states that make their armies fight together with a common enemy, or exchange military intelligence and weapons between them, or if one of them enters in to war they will consult with the other state to enter war with them or not according to the interests they see.

These alliances could be dual treaties (mu’ahadat thinaiyya) contracted between two, three or more states, but they do not consider aggression upon one state as an aggression against all of them. Rather if aggression occurs upon one of the treaty states, the other states with which it has a military alliance have the option of joining the war alongside the state facing aggression or not according to what is in their interests.

These alliances could also be collective alliances in which aggression against one of the treaty states is an aggression against all of them. So if war occurs between one treaty state and another state then the other states with which it has a military alliance will enter the war alongside it.

All of these alliances, whether they were dual, collective or other than these, necessitate that the army fights with its ally to protect it and its entity whether there were numerous leaders or a single leader.

These alliances are void from their basis and are not contracted legitimately in Islam. The Ummah is not obliged to follow them even if the Muslims’ Khaleefah contracted them since they contradict the Shar’a. This is because these alliances make the Muslim fight under a kafir leadership, under a kufr banner, in order to preserve a kufr entity, all of which is haram. It is not allowed for a Muslim to fight except under a Muslim leadership and under the Islamic banner.

There came a prohibition in the sahih hadith against fighting under the disbelievers’ banner and their leadership.

Ahmad and An-Nisa’I narrated from Anas who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Do not seek light with the fire of polytheists.” i.e. do not make the polytheists’ fire a light for you.

The fire is an indication of war. It is said the “fire of war was kindled” (awqada nar) i.e. its evil and violent passion was called into existence. The fire of fright (tahweel) is a fire the Arabs in jahiliyyah would kindle during alliances. The hadith alludes to war with polytheists and adopting their banner, so the prohibition of war together with polytheists is understood from it.

Alliances would also make the disbelievers fight with Muslims while preserving their entity i.e. they would fight as a state and not individuals. The Messenger prohibited seeking assistance of the disbelievers as an entity.

It came in the hadith of Adh-Dhahhak (RA), “that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم went out on the day of Uhud, when all of a sudden there was a good squadron or a harsh squadron so he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Who are these?’ They said: ‘The Jews of so and so.’ So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘We do not seek assistance of disbelievers.’”

Al-Bayhaqi said: The authentic report is what Al-Hafidh Abu Abdullah informed us via a chain leading to Abu Hameed as-Sa’idi who said: “The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم went out until he left behind Thaniyya al-Wada’, and all of a sudden there was a squadron. He said: ‘Who are these?’ They said: ‘Banu Qaynuqa and they are the people of Abdullah bin Salam.’ He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Have they embraced Islam?’ They said: ‘Rather they are on their deen.’ He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Tell them to return for we do not seek assistance of the polytheists.”

The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم rejected assistance from the Jews and said in general manner: “We do not seek assistance of the disbelievers…We do not seek assistance of the polytheists.”

One should not say that we seek assistance with disbelievers against our enemy and seeking assistance with the disbeliever is allowed because the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم consented to Quzman fighting together with him in Uhud and he was a disbeliever, and he صلى الله عليه وسلم accepted assistance from some Jews of Khaybar in war. One should not say this because seeking assistance with disbelievers is allowed if they are individuals under the Muslims’ banner. Those whom the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم sought assistance from were individuals not an entity or state.

When Banu Qaynuqa came to the messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم they came as a tribe with their own leader, and they were like a state that previously made a treaty with the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم. They came to fight with the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and they were upon this situation and it was said to him: “They are the company of Abdullah bin Salam” so he refused to seek assistance from them due to this. Accordingly it is not allowed to seek assistance from a kafir army and under the banner of their disbelieving state.

Imam As-Sarakhsi said in ‘Al-Mabsut’ in the book of ‘Siyar’: “From the hadith of Adh-Dhahabi (ra) ‘that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم went out the day of Uhud where there was a husna squadron or he said khushna. So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: Who are these? They said: The Jews so and so. So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: We do not seek assistance of disbelievers.’ Its interpretation (ta’weel) is that they were powerful in themselves not fighting under the Muslims’ banner. For us, we only seek assistance from them if they were fighting under the Muslims’ banner whereas if they come independent with their own banner then we do not seek assistance from them. This is the interpretation of what was narrated when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Do not seek light from the fire of the polytheists’ narrated by Ahmad and An-Nisa’I via the way of Anas and he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “I am free (bariu) from every Muslim who fights together with a polytheist’ meaning if the Muslim is under the polytheists’ banner.”

From this it becomes clear that military alliances with disbelieving states are haram in the Shar’a and they are not contracted.

It is not allowed for the Muslim to shed his blood in the way of defending the belligerent disbeliever. Rather the Muslim only fights people so that they enter into Islam from disbelief (kufr). As for fighting disbelievers to enter from kufr into kufr and to shed his blood for that, this is also haram.

Articles of the Week – 6/19-6/25

Sunday June 20:

“Legitimate Demands [2] Barack’s Dilemma” – Adam Gadahan, As-Saḥāb Foundation for Islamic Media Publication: http://bit.ly/c6dQXK

“Forget the substance of Gadahn’s post, it’s the tech that matters” – J.M. Berger, IntelWire: http://bit.ly/dty6tR

“Good Deal for Gaza” – Marc Lynch, The Middle East Channel: http://bit.ly/blRn8x

Monday June 21:

“Kandahar Timeline 1979-2010″ – Alex Strick van Linschoten, A Different Place Blog: http://bit.ly/aM0bld

“The 2010 Failed State Index Rankings” – Foreign Policy Magazine, July/August 2010: http://bit.ly/9kutY3

“State of Jihad: 2010 and Beyond” – Matthew M. Reed, International Affairs Review: http://bit.ly/cYX4w4

“Politics and prayer”- Review of “A Mosque in Munich” – Issandr El Amrani, The National: http://bit.ly/95mbax

Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group, Periodical Review June 2010 – No. 1, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism: http://bit.ly/ab2WDN

“Profiles of the 15 known Saudi Guantanamo recidivists” – Thomas Joscelyn, The Long War Journalhttp://bit.ly/bL1CEw

“A New Taleban Front?” – Thomas Ruttig, The Afghanistan Analysts Networkhttp://bit.ly/aexJjQ

Tuesday June 22:

“Yemen: Avoiding Freefall” – Ginny Hill, The World Today, Volume 66, Number 7, July 2010: http://bit.ly/aA7kln

“West Africa and the Maghreb Security Brief June 7, 2010 – June 22, 2010″ – Critical Threats Projecthttp://bit.ly/cHdVL7

“Punjab’s growing militant problem” – Interview with Hassan Abbas, The AfPak Channelhttp://bit.ly/c9Rvm4

“West coast jihad” - Brian Fishman, The AfPak Channelhttp://bit.ly/dzmznm

Wednesday June 23:

“Militant’s Path From Pakistan to Times Square” – Andrea Elliott, New York Timeshttp://nyti.ms/b1ZJEX

“Veiled Truths- The Rise of Political Islam in the West” – Marc Lynch, Foreign Affairshttp://bit.ly/caa3UL

Thursday June 24:

“The Iraqi Elections of 2010—and 2005″ – Kanan Makiya, The Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Middle East Brief 42, June 2010http://bit.ly/9OfrOA

“Puncturing Pakistan’s “madrasa myth”” – Gregg Carlstrom, The Majlishttp://bit.ly/9vNjZR

Friday June 25:

“Saudi Preacher: The West Implements the Humane Values of the Shari’a Better than the Muslims” – Middle East Media Research Institutehttp://bit.ly/9KHXNj

“The Legal War on Terror for the week of 6/18-6/24″ – Andrew Lebovich, Foreign Policyhttp://bit.ly/cI0a7I

“Al-Qaeda losing supporters in jihadi groups across Arab world” – Camille Tawil, Magharebiahttp://bit.ly/bZw7yr

“Islamist Preacher Zakir Naik, Barred from U.K. and Canada – An Ideological Profile” – Steven Stalinsky, Middle East Media Research Institutehttp://bit.ly/cXSiR4

‘Scratching the Surface of Radicalism in Germany” – Andrew Lebovich, The Washington Note: http://bit.ly/9ZsTHm

Scratching the Surface of Radicalism in Germany

NOTE: This article was originally published at The Washington Note and is being cross-posted here with permission from the author, Andrew Lebovich.

German-police.jpg

On Monday Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, announced the launch of a new counter-terrorism initiative, a hotline for members of radical Islamists groups to call where they can get advice for leaving the group. The idea, based on long-running programs for Germans leaving neo-Nazi groups, has gotten relatively favorable coverage from wire services and news sites. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière described it as a “valuable preventive effort” in helping counteract the threat of domestic radicalization.

For the last few years German officials have expressed increasing concerns about radicalization, first of German Muslims from immigrant backgrounds and more recently from German converts to Islam. Germany reportedly monitors 29 different Islamist organizations, and estimates that roughly 36,000 members of these organizations pose potential security risks. The 2007 Sauerland cell arrests raised the specter of terrorism against German and American targets, and more recently anecdotal evidence suggests a small but steady flow of young Muslims and converts (estimated to be about 40 per year) to conflict zones such as the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. The death of wanted militant Eric Breininger and the publication of his jihadist memoirs/travelogue soon after shone a spotlight on this phenomenon, and brought new attention to the persistent rumors of a “German colony” of jihadists in Pakistan.

Religious and potentially violent extremism is thus a clear problem in Germany, as in other European countries, but a jihadist recovery hotline hardly qualifies as de-radicalization. And while not a bad idea at all, this idea is neither preventive nor likely to be particularly effective.

On the one hand, many factors have to converge for someone to even use this hotline; an individual, having joined a radical organization, would have to have come to the decision not only to leave an organization with likely tight-knit members, but also overcome the very real fear of retribution as well as accept the possible arrest of friends and associates in the group as a result of their return from an extremist environment. This is a small group of people, though by all means governments should provide them the support they can.

Yet the real problem lies not in getting through the social and security pressures placed on militant group members, but letting the process radicalization get that far in the first place. In a 2009 report the Muslim Public Affairs Council attempted to lay out the complex and ill-understood manner in which an individual progresses from a so-called “normal” life, to possessing radical ideas, and perhaps to action. The report lays out a variety of factors (economic, political, social/cultural and personal) as well as steps that generally occur as someone grows more radical.

While radicalization is different for each person, the report helps demonstrate that a long process precedes the act of joining an activist or militant group, whether the seeds for this progression are sown in a mosque, amongst a circle of friends, or on the internet. Waiting for someone to join, lose taste for, and summon the courage to leave a militant organization is not preventive, it is reactive. And it means that for every person who goes through all of these steps, many more undergo radicalization unabated.

I do not doubt that German officials understand the threat posed by radicalization. And thankfully the threat from domestic terrorism, whether in Europe or the United States, remains low. But the fight against terrorism requires continuous effort to understand and treat the causes of radicalization, rather than dealing with symptoms as they appear.

Andrew Lebovich is a Research Associate for the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He writes the weekly column “The Legal War on Terror” for Foreign Policy and blogs at The Washington Note. You can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/tweetsintheme.

Jamā’at Anṣār al-Sunnah release their first propaganda video: “The Knight of Ansar #1″

UPDATE: IbnSiqilli has clarified the similarities between the two Jamā’at Anṣār al-Sunnah in Gaza and Iraq. The Iraqi groups’ members are mostly Kurds, therefore it seems unlikely that Palestinians have been part of their group. Rather, it is just a popular name.

NOTE: Jamā’at Anṣār al-Sunnah is an al-Qā’idah-linked group based in the Gaza Strip. It is speculation on this authors behalf, but there is a group in Iraq that has the same name, therefore it is possible that Jama’at Ansar al-Sunnah in Gaza is a faction of past Palestinian foreign fighters in Iraq. Jama’at Ansar al-Sunnah in Gaza also claimed responsibility a for rocket attack this past March, which landed in Israel, killing a Thai worker. The attack in response for the so-called “Judaization” of sites both holy to Jews and Muslims.


Two new statements from the Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan: “On The General McChrystal’s End” and “General Petraeus’ Dizziness In The Congress Reflects The US Defeat In Afghanistan”

NOTE: These two messages are by the Afghan Ṭālibān and unedited below.

The Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan On The General McChrystal’s End

Rajab 11, 1431 A.H, Thursday, June 24, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

The spokesman of The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi has termed the dismissal of General McChrystal as a logical end to the Afghan War. In a statement regarding the sacking of General McChrystal he said that his replacement, General Petraeus will face the same fate as the freedom loving Afghans and their land never let anyone succeed in occupying this great and brave nation of the world.

“History is evident of more powerful and experienced generals than General McChrystal and empires mighty than the United States of America being surrendered and bowed down before the Afghans” Ahmadi said and added “This is why; Afghanistan is called the graveyard of super powers”.

Ahmadi rejected the reports which states McChrystal’s criticism of Obama’s war team lead to his dismissal. He said “it was the hidden help from Almighty Allah besides the bravery and sacrifices of our fearless Mujahideen which made the enemy armies bow down and proved the Obama’s strategy a great failure.” He blamed Obama for shrewdly shifting the responsibility of defeat to General McChrystal and American armies. Through these preemptive measures he wants to save his and his party’s face. But Obama will never be successful as the change of Generals will not work because the Afghan has already won this long war.

He reminds that in past President Obama and General McChrystal had tried to win the war by increasing the number of soldiers, and all those futile exercises got them nothing except their terrible end which the world will witness in future also.

Ahmadi Said, “No matter how many policies they make or change their Generals but the US and NATO has no alternative except to bow down before the principled stance of Ameer-ul-Momineen, Mullah Omer Mujahid in which has stated that Afghanistan is the home of Afghan masses, and no Peace can be restored until and unless an Islamic government is set up according to the wishes of Afghans and all the occupation force leave Afghanistan”.

He said that the US has been changing these faces for years in Afghanistan but with no outcome. Similarly, the appointment of General Petraeus will have no outcome in favor of the occupation forces as he had already been involved in all decision making regarding Afghanistan as a Chief of Central Command in the past.  Indeed, he has got no special qualities than General McChrystal had. “His falling down due to stress during the congressional session about Afghanistan last week has left a big question mark on his physical and mental health”, Qari held. The incident in Washington has damaged his military reputation in the eyes of common man.

Ahmadi opined that General McChrystal had been unable to understand the issue of Afghanistan. Instead of getting out of the Afghanistan he insisted for more troops which lead to his appalling departure. If Petraeus remained unable to pave ways for the exit of occupation forces his end will be even worst.

Ahmadi said it was Al-Fath Operation which resulted in the sacking of most powerful American general. “This operation will continue in a more effective, organized and severe manner under the guidance of our central leader and will be successful inshallah”, he concluded.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

The Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan: General Petraeus’ Dizziness In The Congress Reflects The US Defeat In Afghanistan

Rajab 11, 1431 A.H, Thursday, June 24, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

All Praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of all that exists and may peace and prayers be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, companions in entirety.

The US war in Afghanistan has lasted longer than Vietnam War which was into 103 months by the time the last U.S. troop withdrew. This war has become the big military crusade by the US. The world has witnessed the worst kind of cruelty and attacks on the innocent Afghans in social and wedding gatherings under the grab of so-called slogans of peace, development and prosperity since the US aggression on Afghanistan. However, none of these acts of terrorism by the Americans has ever weakened the exemplary spirit of freedom loving Afghans.

The Jihad by Afghans and the new military strategies of Mujahideen have made the Generals in Pentagon to lose their wits. The situation has reached a stage where the chief of US Central Command Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal has warned the Whitehouse of defeat if the later didn’t send more troops to Afghanistan. In the light of this warning by Gen. McChrystal, President Obama at West Point College in New York in September, 2009, announced the new strategy and promised to send thirty thousands more troops to Afghanistan. President Obama said that these forces will change the face of war in Afghanistan while ensuring a win for the United States. In order to prove the words of Obama true, fifteen thousands US, Ten thousands British and Twenty thousands Afghan forces started operation in the small Marjah Area of Helmand Province. In fact, this was an examination of the Obama strategy.

The district commissioner imported from Germany was called keeping in mind that they will establish their writ in Marjah. But despite this huge operation they have been unable to establish the writ of the government. Even today they are getting same level damage at the hands of Mujahideen they have been causing from the day one of this operation. After using force in Marjah and consequent damage at the hand of Mujahideen, the US is now reluctant to start the Kandahar operation. Even they have changed the name of operation from military action to the establishment of Peace, dialogue and the writ of government due to the realization that like the Marjah operation the failure of Kandahar operation will prove the new strategy a failure besides bringing insult to the US internationally.

Obama intends to analyze the new policy in the coming December in order to assess what has the US achieved from it. But the secretary of State Robert Gates and Chief of Central Command General David Petraeus are loosing their wits and are saying that they will have nothing by December.

Nine years of military actions, different strategies, and back breaking monitory and life damages at the hands of Mujahideen have left the Crusaders totally in distress. General David Petraeus, the commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, fainted while giving testimony to the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee, forcing proceedings to a halt while he was taken away. It took him thirty minute to become conscious. Indeed, this saved him from the hard questions from the member of Congress. It was told that he fall unconscious because he didn’t have enough water before coming here this morning but we all know that The US army has never seen their Central Commander fainted and that too when he was asked on the prospects for withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

In fact, the policies of Whitehouse regarding Afghanistan have miserably failed. The Americans confess that government in Kabul being placed by them is directly responsible for the maladministration, corrupt and bad governance, deteriorated situation of law and order and smuggling of narcotics.

The Pentagon admits to have spent 6 million dollars on the Afghan army and police, which to them haven’t yielded any positive results because 90 percent of them are illiterates. The institutional conflict in Afghanistan is on its heights. The officers don’t pay salary to their subordinates, and the soldiers use to sell their boots and ration, whereas most of the official vehicles are used by the police officials for smuggling. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reportedly termed Afghanistan as a Mafia state. Likewise, the Pentagon is encountered with internal scuffle. Moreover, one hundred thousands contracts have been signed. Every soldier is recruited under an agreement. Most of the agreements have been acquired by the economic tycoons and retired Generals of Pentagon. They sells these agreement in return for profit of million of dollars.

According to a UN report about Afghanistan, 85 out of 100 dollars for the Afghanistan go to different countries but these loans are recovered from the poor afghan masses. Moreover, the Russian prime minister has alleged the US and NATO for not doing any serious effort to bring to an end to the smuggling of Heroin and narcotics. He has blamed them of giving free hands for the cultivation of opium and said they are not stopping its smuggling to the Russia. While, Analyst says that United States is doing it deliberately for destabilizing Russia.

These circumstances indicate a very sharp decline in the US’s significance in the military and political field on global front. The US is steadily going in the direction where all previous occupation forces had been victims at the hand of this historical land. Despite all this, the Generals in Pentagon, living in fool’s paradise, think that they have some chances to win the Afghan War.

Since last three months, almost every day has been proved fatal for the American armies, the fact which is admitted by the US also. Even the US’s figures shows 300 soldiers being killed during this period. In addition, the Mujahideen have razed hundreds of vehicles, killed dozens of spies and destroyed several helicopters. General Petraeus, being witness to the incidents in Afghanistan is the only person who realizes the gravity of situation and described this situation well by falling unconscious in the congressional meeting. Through this action he gave the answer to many questions to which the members of committee were eager to listen. They should learn from this answer by General Petraeus and start working for the well being of their masses.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr posts invitation and trailer for its upcoming International Media conference in Beirut

NOTE: Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr (The Party of Liberation) is a Sunni pan-Islamist movement whose goal is to unite the Muslim ummah (community) and reinstate the Caliphate (al-khilāfah). Once the Caliphate is reinstated, the government would be ruled by Islamic law (sharī’ah) with the Caliph (khalīfah) being the head of state elected by a shūrā (consultation) council. Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr was founded in 1953 in Jerusalem by Taqī ad-Dīn al-Nabhānī who was an Islamic scholar (‘ālim). Currently, Ḥizb ut-Taḥrīr is located in more than forty countries and is especially active in the United Kingdom and maintains a branch in the United States. The invitation is unedited below and the trailer for it is embedded under the invitation.

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

International Media conference

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Perspective on the world’s most critical international and regional problems

The Central Media Office of Hizb-ut-Tahrir is honored to invite you to participate in the international conference to be held in Beirut-Lebanon to mark the 89th annual painful remembrance day of the destruction of the Khilafah on the 28th Rajab 1342H/ 3rd March 1924.

The conference will be convened under the title:

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Perspective on the world’s most critical international and regional problems

The speakers will present the viewpoint of Hizb ut-Tahrir related to the most significant strategic crises confronting the global village:

A- The Muslim world:

•1- Issues in the Middle East (Palestine, Iraq, Sudan)
•2- Issues in South Asia (Pakistan, Afghanistan)
•3- Issues in South East Asia (Indonesia and the separatist movement)
•4- Issues in West and Central Asia (Cyprus, Turkey, Caucasia, East Turkestan)

B- Islam, Muslims and the West

C- International crises that impact the Muslim ummah:

•1- The international financial crisis
•2- The global nuclear threat, including the Iranian nuclear issue

All these issues will be addressed in an express unambiguous manner presenting the true path to better future for the troubled global village

Professional politicians and distinguished media people can not afford to miss this opportunity.

Date : Sunday, 6 Shaban 1431 H, corresponding to July 18, 2010

Conference venue: Conference Hall of Bristol, Le Bristol Hotel Convention Center, Verdun, Beirut

Osman Bakhach
Director

Central Media Office

Anṣār al-Mujāhidīn English Forum translated an essay by Dr. Akram Ḥijāzī: “Ibn Taymiyyah Reviews”

NOTE: Anṣār al-Mujāhidīn English Forum a popular online jihādī forum has recently translated an essay by Dr. Akram Ḥijāzī, who has written several essays in the past, about the conference in Mardin, Turkey this past March, which condemned Taqī ad-Dīn Ibn Taymīyyah’s fatwā (legal ruling), which condoned the use of takfīr (excommunication). Ḥijāzī’s essay is unedited below, but before I posted a brief description/biography on Ibn Taymīyyah from some of my past research. The footnotes for the research are below Ḥijāzī’s essay.

Ibn Taymīyyah lived in Damascus during the time of the Mongol invasions of Islamic lands. This had a chilling effect because the Mongols sacked Baghdad, which was the seat of the Caliphate. Although the Mongols converted to Islam, Ibn Taymīyyah believed they were not true believers.[1] Ibn Taymīyyah was an ‘alim or religious scholar who followed the teachings of the Ḥanbali Law School, which had the strictest adherence to Islamic law of the four Sunni schools of law.

Ibn Taymīyyah spoke out against the Mongols because, in his view, they did not fully implement the sharī’ah (Islamic law).[2] Instead, they used a dual system that gave more weight to Mongol traditional law, the yassa code, which was a man-made law. The Mongols viewed Chinggis Khan as a sovereign and a prophet,[3] which would directly deviate from the Qur’anic verse 33:40 that states: “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets [Khātim al- Nabiyīn], and God has knowledge of all things.” Therefore, Ibn Taymīyyah viewed the Mongols as committing heresy and that they were introducing bid’ah (an innovation) that was perverting Islam.[4]

Ibn Taymīyyah also considered Shi’ism, certain aspects of Sufism and falsafah (philosophy) bid’ah as well.[5] Contrary to popular belief, though, Ibn Taymīyyah was not completely against Sufism. He was a member of the Qādirīyyah Sufi ṭarīqah (order), rather Ibn Taymīyyah took issue with certain aspects of Sufism such as the veneration of saints.[6] Ibn Taymīyyah would have also considered them sins, but not punishable by death like Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Wahhab, who misrepresented many aspects of Ibn Taymīyyah’s thought. For example, Muhammad Ibn Amḭr al-Ṣana’anī, originally a follower of ‘Abd al-Wahhab, once he decided to actually read ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s works he believed they were a “naïve and imperfect repetition of Ibn Taymīyyah’s doctrine.”[7] Further, Hamid Alger points out that: “whatever one makes of the positions assumed by Ibn Taymīyyah, there is no doubt that he was a far more rigorous and careful thinker and an infinitely prolific scholar than was Muḥammad b. ‘Abd al-Wahhab.”[8] Therefore, it could be argued that ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s selective use of Ibn Taymīyyah’s work and then later abridged versions of Ibn Taymīyyah’s works published by the Saudi state have created a misunderstanding of the corpus of Ibn Taymīyyah’s ideas, which is very intellectually sound compared to his caricature in much of the Western scholarship on him.

Drawing on past historical events, Ibn Taymīyyah reinterpreted the idea of jāhilīyyah and applied it to his time period. Therefore, since the Mongols adopted yassa code, they were considered by him to be in a state of jāhilīyyah.[9] This allowed Ibn Taymīyyah to call the Mongols apostates (murtadd) and pronounce takfīr (excommunication) against them from Islam. Ibn Taymīyyah viewed the Mongols as creating fitnah (disturbance, anarchy) within the Islamic community because of their differing beliefs similar to the fitnah during the period following the Kharijites assassination of the forth Caliph ‘Alī Ibn Abū Ṭālib.[10] Therefore, using qīyās (analogical reasoning), Ibn Taymīyyah issued a fatwā(legal ruling) calling for an obligatory jihād (farḍ al-‘ayn) against the Mongols and those who supported them, which stated: “Every group of Muslims [in reference to the Mongols] that transgresses Islamic law [the implementation of the Mongols’ yassa code] … must be combated, even when they continue to profess the credo.”[11]

It is worthwhile to examine two notions that are misrepresented about Ibn Taymīyyah in the literature. First, Ibn Taymīyyah did not promote capital punishment for apostasy as has been interpreted by later jihadists from his thought. As Mohammad Hashim Kamali points out: “[Ibn Taymīyyah] held that apostasy is a sin which carries no ḥadd (fixed) punishment and that a sin of this kind may be punished only under the discretionary punishment of ta’zīr (corporal).”[12] As such, Ibn Taymīyyah does not view apostasy as a capital crime, which jihadists do today. Indeed, Ibn Taymīyyah called to kill the apostate Mongols, but it was only specific to that instance since if one looked to Ibn Taymīyyah’s full collection of work, which jihadists do not do they would realize they are completely taking his work out of context. The other problematic interpretation of Ibn Taymīyyah is that he believed that one should rebel against any leader who did not fully adhere to the Islamic faith. In truth, similar to the orthodox Sunni ‘ulamā’ understanding, Ibn Taymīyyah believed one should be obedient to their leader even if they were unjust. Victor E. Makari explains Ibn Taymīyyah’s views: “To be obedient to those in authority is not only commanded by God, but also is itself an extension of the believer’s obedience to Him and to His Prophet.”[13] Later Makari explains: “Ibn Taymīyyah placed social peace above the exercise of the right to dissent.”[14] Moreover, Ibn Taymīyyah stated: “It is the duty of Muslims to obey their ruler whether he is impious or ignorant,” as long as Muslims are allowed to practice their faith without interference.[15]

“Ibn Taymiyyah Reviews” By Dr.Akram Hijazi

Rajab 08, 1431 A.H, Monday, June 21, 2010

In the name of Allah, the most Merciful and Compassionate

Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forum

Translation and Languages Department

presents

An English Translation of Al-Moraqeb Center Article

Ibn Taymiyyah Reviews

Penned By Dr. Akram Hijazi

-May Allah Protect Him-

Fifteen scholars from different Islamic countries presented their interpretation of the fatwa by Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya at the end of a conference convened in the city of Mardin in south-east Turkey on 27-28 March 2010. The conference was organized by the Global Center for Renewal and Guidance (London) on collaboration with the Canopus Islamic Foundation for Consultations (London) and Artuklu University (Mardin). Taking part in the conference were participants from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Indonesia, Bosnia, Morocco, Nigeria, India, Albania, Yemen, Senegal, Kuwait and Mauritania. Also in attendance were six Sheikhs from Saudi Arabia, including Abdullah Umar Naseef, Abdul Wahhab al-Turayri, Abdullah al-Borak, Nasser al-Hanini, Ayedh al-Dusari and Hassan Filimban in addition to Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayah, executive president of the Global Center for Renewal and Guidance, the Mufti of Bosnia, Sheikh Mustafa Ceric, Qadi Sheikh Abdullah Walad ‘Ala Salem, president of the Supreme Constitutional Council in Mauritania, Sheikh al-Habeeb Ali al-Jifri from Yemen and others. The main topics discussed in the conference were as follows:

· The Mardin Fatwa: time, place, circumstances and context

· The categorization of an abode in traditional fiqh and in the light of modern globalization and communications.

· The importance of the Fatwa in light of Islamic history

· Understanding of Jihad: the conditions of armed conflict and rules of engagement, as defined by Ibn Taymiyya and the United Nations Charter.

Undoubtedly those following reactions will find that most of those who have welcomed the Mardin fatwa are secularists, atheists, rafidites, Sufis,Qabbouris, Jews, Crusaders, the Sultans’ preachers, those opposed to the global Jihad movement, and even the simple-minded! Are there then those who will justify all this uproar over the conference? And what is the truth about the contents of the closing statement issued by it?

The first thing that attracts attention in the closing statement issued by the conference is the media release about the nature of the conference, its topic, its starting points and its aims.

Nature of the conference: The statement called the conference only “Peace Summit Conference.”

Topic of the conference: “To study the most important foundations of the relations between Muslims and their fellow human beings and classification of abodes in Islamic thought and related issues in defining jihad, loyalty and enmity (al-wala’ wal-bara’), citizenship andmigration (hijra).”

Goal of the conference: “Achieve peaceful co-existence and cooperation between Muslims and others” in light of “the contemporary reality which binds Muslims to international treaties through which security and peace have been achieved for all mankind and guarantee their wealth, their integrity and their homelands, based upon which Muslims now interact with others in an unprecedented manner in many political, social and economic matters. Muslims are in need of sound Islamic legal visionwhich does not violate Islamic religious texts, but are in harmony with the aims of shari’ah while adapting to the contemporary reality.

The theme for the conference: “The fatwa of Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya, may Allah have mercy on him, concerning the classification of the city of Mardin in his lifetime. This was the theme for research, because of the exceptional intellectual, cultural and symbolic meaning it holds.”

General Discussion

Political Agenda

According to his statements made to Islam Today on 4th of April 2010, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayah said: “A meeting of the different (parties) across the Islamic spectrum is an expression of the attempt to find a common view on matters which concern their fate which are issues of internal struggle”, while adding: “We in the International Center have invited groups who specialize in the Sheikh of Islam from different schools and philosophies, in order to achieve unity regarding issues of the Ummah, so that some of us can be convinced by the others, just like the Mardin University.” However, all of those attending the conference belonged to one political school; standing directly and unambiguously in the corner of the existing political and international regimes. Their fatwa is subsequently more political in nature than religious. And so? What has gathered together those who belong to ideological schools that are supposedly contradictory and competitive in their beliefs such as Salafism, Sufism, Shi’ism and secularism other than their common interests and goals in targeting the movements of resistance and jihad? What right permits them to have dogmatic differences on its importance and at the same time reach an agreement on leaving behind Ibn Taymiyya’s fatwa!!? Have they all one day arrived at the same distance from Ibn Taymiyya!!!?

As for calling the conference “The Peace Summit Conference”, it is not devoid of indications that the conference was convened in accordance with an international agenda or directly complies with Western initiatives, especially since in the words of one observer, there was coordination between the British and Turkish governments before it was convened.

The strange thing is that none of the scholars from the countries or peoples being occupied, oppressed or threatened with extinction attended the conference and they were not represented in it from near or far. It was as if they were not part of the Ummah or that their countries have been forgotten or ripped away from human existence. Among those absent and missing were scholars from East Turkestan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Jammu and Kashmir, Thailand and Nigeria. Rather those who had planned the conference had already scripted its goals and outcomes previously.

Second: Peaceful Co-existence

The Fatwa of Ibn Taymiyya was not itself the goal of the conference even though it had announced it was based upon his works and thought. Rather the goal was to demolish the idea of dividing the Islamic world into two abodes (the abode of Islam and the abode of war; Dar al-Islamand Dar al-Harb). This is not an idea produced by Ibn Taymiyya alone, but it is integral to the Islamic creed. But the conferees believe, according to the final statement, which states: “The classification of abodes in Islamic jurisprudence is an Ijtihadi (juristic) classification dictated by the circumstances of the Islamic Ummah and the nature of international relations as prevalent then. However, the change in circumstances now and the existence of recognized international treaties, the criminalization of wars based on other than a response to aggression and resistance to occupation, and the emergence of the civil states which guarantee on the whole, the rights of (different) creeds, ethnicities and nationalities; has necessitated declaring the entire world a place of mutual toleration and peaceful co-existence among all faiths and sects in the framework of establishing common good and justice among people, wherein they enjoy safety and security with respect to their wealth, their habitations and their dignity. This is what shari’ah affirmed and called for since the Prophet, blessings of Allah and peace be upon him, emigrated to Medina and concluded the first treatyguaranteeing peaceful co-existence among all parties and ethnicities in the framework of justice and common interests. Shortcomings and violations perpetrated by certain statesthat corrupt or scar this process should not be used as a pretext for denying its validity and fabricating conflict between it and Islamic shari’ah.”

Therefore, changes that have occurred in mankind have necessitated making the entire world a place of mutual tolerance and peaceful co-existence! Subsequently, international political regimes, international law and all its organizations are correct, legal, recognized and agreed upon between peoples and the United Nations! This mutual toleration, peaceful co-existence, justice and security has clearly appeared in Somalia, Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Eastern Turkestan, Thailand, Kashmir, the Philippines and Nigeria. As for the failure or violation of this co-existence only certain countries have done this like the United States, which invaded Iraq along with 32 other countries without a Security Council resolution. Western Europe, some Asian countries, Ethiopia, Israel, Russia, the Nigerian police who massacred thousands of Muslims in the streets, and China who have oppressed the peoples of East Turkestan for more than 200 years to the point where the country has almost been exterminated. This violation does not effect the situation of peaceful co-existence and mutual toleration.

This tiresome co-existence among creeds, ethnicities and nationalities ignore the vicious wars against Islam and the Muslims, the defamation of their reputation and image, the attack on their Prophet, the prohibition on building mosques and minarets, the ban on niqabs, the war on thehijab, firing upon and hacking the glorious Quran, tearing the flesh of Muslim women and slaughtering innocents. This kind of co-existence is not reflected in the statement, and is not recognized in it, and it does not hold to account any international law or aggressor nation for any kind of responsibility, rather this word is not reflected in the statement in the first place.

As for Ahmad Ozul, a lecturer in the Islamic Studies Institute in Istanbul, he was bluntwhen he indicated in an interview with the newspaperTawadi Zaman that “The final statement of the conference addresses the Western world more than the Islamic world.” This was also expressed by the actions of the Turkish journalists in immediately translating the works of the conference to the English language and distributing it to different Western media sources. And if we read the statements of Mustafa Ciric, the Mufti of Bosnia, whose people were massacred in the recent past, let them clarify the picture more and eliminate astonishment. What did he say: “We do not have to look at secular liberalism as an enemy of Islam, rather we must push in the direction where the western secular model absorbs more religious values in everyday social life.” And his Excellency added: “There no longer is any meaning to the term Islamic state on the evidence that Muslims largely find religious rights and freedom in Western nations, much more so than is the case in any Islamic country. There is no distinction between an Islamic state and non-Islamic states, rather the distinction is between countries that offer justice, freedom and security and those that do not.” Enough! This is the reality of the conference, and there is no need to talk about Caliphate and Islamic rule, on Muslims and non-Muslims, or if a callwas harmed or aided, or whether a method is correct or if it is futile. The struggle with the West now proceeds in the framework of searching for loopholes for relations with it based upon appeasing it, and accepting its ideology in exchange for its embracing the Muslims.

Third: Bringing Down Jihad

The final statement for the conference believes that “Responsibility falls upon the scholars of the Ummah to clearly and explicitly condemn all forms of violence-to-change or protest inside or outside Muslim societies and state the truth without obscurity or ambiguity.” As for what pertains to “Fighting in the Cause of Allah”: “The law and authority to execute and implement it is entrusted first to those who lead the community (heads of state) as a political decision with weighty consequences derived from that.” Therefore, “It is not permitted for the individual Muslim or a group of Muslims to declare war or engage in combative Jihad of their own accord. This (restriction) is to prevent much evil and to truly uphold religious texts on this matter.”

No doubt that this language was not drafted with any connection to the Ibn Taymiyya fatwa worth mentioning. Many have preceded them in saying this and this has no significance for the fatwa. Everything in this matter, from first to last, has been said previously by the Organization of the Islamic Conference which eliminated the definition of Jihad from the work schedule of its annual summit, beginning with the summit in the Senegalese capital Dakar on December 23, 1991, which convened the day after the end of the second Gulf War. In our second article in the series of “The Stormy Autumn of Gaza – Eliminating Jihadand Raping the Resistance”, from January 21, 2009, we paused at the official position on Jihad and all forms of resistance and we said that the decision of the Dakar conference to drop Jihad meant that Arab and Muslim rulers:

· They will not announce it one day, because it no longer exists on their political agenda. And, because they are not committed to it even theoretically and subsequently what need is there to commit to it practically.

· If they had risked Jihad as a religious obligation and vacated the legal ruling on the Palestinian situation officially, what will prevent them from risking resistance as a popular choice which equates to nothing when compared to a religious doctrinal choice?

· They will try to put in placethe culture of “peace” in the official Arab political mind, along the American path, in a fundamental manner to replace the culture of resistance let alone the culture of Jihad.

· They will not accept any Jihadist movement to the extent that they will assign to it all causes of condemnation and failure if it is not connected to their policies.

· They will evade recognizing any flag of Jihad or resistance while on the contrary any American intervention in the region against Jihadist groups will be welcomed, (because) they have become terrorist groups!

· They will take extreme measures against every dogmatic culture beginning with banning preaching against the Jews and Crusaders on the way to cleansing the mosques of “provocative” preachers and lecturers, harassing them and even throwing oppositionist scholars into prison or marginalizing them and encroaching upon their educational program and ending the granting of government license permitting satellite preaching.

It is established that the sovereign rulers had not previously declared Jihad based on the Mardin or other Fatwa, and they had not previously voided (Jihad) based on them! We do not understand how Jihad can be dependant upon the leader of the community (the sovereign ruler) when he is the one who legally and politically voided it in all forms, including nationalist. In so far the fatwa speaks originally of co-existence, peace and security, it is natural that the conferees would resort to connecting Jihad to the responsibilityof the ruler. Meaning the fatwa is in perfect harmony with the official position which abandons Jihad and resistance. This alone is enough to void the legality of the fatwa, because in its basis it only takes into consideration the current political calculus.

Thenwhich ruleris meant? And what is his creed? What is the extent of his legitimacy? What if he was a fabrication of the enemy in the first place? What about his policies and clientage to the West and his assistance to them? What is the legal position when Paul Bremer, the first American civilian ruler of Iraq was regarded by some sheikhs and scholars as the sovereign ruler to whom fell the victory and to whom obedience was a duty? What is the position on Jihad if the ruler is an occupying invader? And what is the situation if the country is ruled by the laws of occupation and its constitutions? What is the official position on what some other sheikhs might consider a duty if the occupation (forces) were raiding homes? When does Jihad become a duty?

The infallibility which the Mardin jurists have bestowed upon the sovereign ruler and stripped away from his rivals does not take into consideration the conditions of sovereignty, and does not mention at all any of the legal situations in which the Ummah is obligated to depose the ruler and strip him of his sovereignty. The ruler can commit treason or apostasy and form alliances with enemies. There are many examples of this in Islamic history. So what is the judgement on him? Then what is the position of the Mardin scholars on the ruling against Arab leaders whom previous scholars had judged guilty of apostasy and kufr. Did the Mardin fatwa duplicate those rulings? Does not this logic make even the Pharaohs legal sovereign rulers!

If it is the duty of the scholars to condemn all forms of violence-to-change and protest, and condemn every group that revolts against the sovereign ruler in declaring Jihad, and regard Ibn Taymiyya’s fatwa as non-applicable for this time, then what about the violence which the sovereign ruler is able to practice against the general public internally and externally? Was the Salvation Front which won the elections in Algeria in 1990, for example practicing bloody violence when the military launched the coup against them and were they devoting themselves to murdering society? What is the legal ruling on those who conducted the coup? Were they compelled to launch the coup by some great misdeed? Amazing!!!

If every action of the sovereign ruler falls within the Islamic framework then what is the ruling on the opposition when they make alliance with a foreign, non-Muslim enemy and one day summon foreign forces to remove (the ruler) as happened in Iraq? What is the legal ruling on the ruler and those who oppose him among those who have sought foreign aid against others? What is the true state of the victorious faction? Is its existence or non-existence conditional upon the ruler? There is an astounding contradiction in the Mardin announcement which does not go beyond the present moment lived by the ruler strictly speaking. It provided no (legal) foundation to the extent that it provided political positions.

Fourth: Loyalty and Enmity

The Mardinjuristshave renounced al-wala’ wal-bara’ (loyalty and enmity) “unless it is connected to a kuffar belief”, and it is not mentioned in any situation according to the statement; to five obligatory judgements which are “permissible, recommended, not recommended, non-permissible and required”, which is nothing but acceptance of international law, treaties, national relations and the rights and duties about which the final statement speaks. It is therefore natural that the definition degrades to its lowest level in order to reinforcethe call for peace and confine Jihad in the hands of the sovereign ruler.

Even though we know that the most prominent of contemporary scholars have issued fatwas regarding international law and all man-made laws as kaffir laws, but according to the statement they are “recognized”! So who established its legitimacy? And who, other than Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayah and his supporters, said that: “There is no great disparity between international pacts and Islamic law with regards to the law of war and peace…the situation now is distinguished by the existence of treaties which govern the entire world?” Who, other than Doctor Hassan bin Muhammad has abandoned the division of the Islamic world into the Abode of War and Abode of Peace: “There is nothing in Islamic law”, and “The root of establishing relations between nations is peaceful ties, and this is what accords with the peaceful program set forth by the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, by corresponding with kings and rulers of contemporary nations for the establishment of the Islamic State in Medina al-Munawwara, calling them to peace and security, and informing them of the establishment of the Islamic State.” To whom then was addressed the messages which included the famous phrase “Embrace Islam and you shall have peace?”

His, peace be upon him, message to Khosru, King of Persia:

“I am the Messenger of Allah to all people, let all living be warned and bear to the infidels the truth of the words, surrender to Islam and you shall have peace, if you plot, the sins of the Maji are upon you.”

His message to al-Muqauqis of Egypt:

“I call you to Islam. Submit and you shall have peace. Allah will reward you twice.”

His message to Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantium:

“I call you to the message of Islam. Submit and you shall have peace, Allah will reward you twice, if you refrain, upon you are the sins of the Arisiyin”.

If the fatwa and subsequent statements of its patrons was based upon a clear gap from which the Ummah is suffering, we would have said that the group was justified and possessed of rare courage and that they speak frankly to the Ummah. However, on the contrary, it came as a frantic effort to bypass the legal ruling at a time when Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayah has accused the adherents of Ibn Taymiyya of taking his words out of context or subtracting or adding to them, in applying shari’ah rulings.

The problem with those Islamic groups with an international bent who have discarded Ibn Taymiyya’s fatwa or stripped it of legality – as al-Turayri says! – is that their view of takfiri, terrorist and hereticalgroups is considered as nothing but a coverfor the abandonment of religion and appeasement of the West. However, it will become action to discard the legitimacy of the remaining groups, and this is occurring in any case, and from there it will lead to abandonment of the basic principle and elements of religion. Then there will be no kuffarand no takfiriyeen. We have heard official sermons which view the Jews and Christians as Believers and we are aware of fatwas by scholars who think that they are Believers to a certain degree! We have monitored crazy protests against a ruling of kufr upon those who uttered it. We have read writers who praise kufr and attack Allah, the Almighty; their books and stories are distributed in Arabic countries, but the Mardin jurists did not say such as these were kufr and did not come to mention them as examples of common cases in the Ummah. Then why this affected ignorance, because they were not the targets of the conference. If it is required to abrogate the judgement of takfeer from Islam and no one remains except Believers on earth and international agreements, then what is the value of religions? What is the benefit of sending messengers and prophets? What is the value of the Believer if there is no such thing as an unbeliever? Who then are the kaffirs about whom the Glorious Quran speaks? How were they kaffir? If Allah, the Almighty created Paradise for the Believers, for whom did He create the fire? So on what basis are the people of the Global Jihad described as takfiriyeen when kaffirs are ignored, as is rejecting their kufr? Rather it is a triumph for them under the pretext of innovation and freedom of expression!!? Is there a greater infamy than this?

Finally

The Mardin fatwa calls to mind the wave of studies of prisons for detainees from the Salafist-Jihadist movements. Even though this method has been exhausted by its authors and promoters it bears witness we still observe an escalation of this matter, this time on the part of scholars, who have summoned the scholars of the Ummah from history to subject them to revisions of an unique kind. Not only this, butthe call for revisionism includes other jurists and scholars such as al-‘Izz bin Abdul Salam, al-Shatabi and others. And in the not distant future we will see reviews of Ibn Kathir, al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Hashem, Ibn al-Qayyem al-Jawziyah, al-Zahabi, al-Tubra and even the imams of the four schools, eventually arriving at a review of the Glorious Quran under the pretext that some of the Ayas are not considered appropriate for contemporary language! This has previously occurred on the part of many of the atheists about whose ideas we read and became informed at any early age. This, however was not Salafist-Jihadist or anything else.

Certainly, we are not opposed to reviewing (our) heritage by acknowledgedscholars of the Ummah whenever that is necessary in a way that accompanies the times and answers independent judgements on questions posed, and stops short of the great Revelations which the Ummah scholars of old found it difficult to discover or predict. However, we will not accept reviews surrounded by thousands of questions and suspicions, while there are legal rulings and independent judgement that render them superfluous. It is amazing that it is we alone who review. It is more amazing that when we review, we do not return to where we started, but to where the Western and political regime wants us to be. This is a collapse and not a review, and it is no ijtihad.

Therefore, we need to stop the review of Shar’ia foundations that enjoy consensus, to renew the legal position concerning issues that have long departed as points of interpretation and contention, as is often the case, such as Muslim abodes, Western values, reconciliation with Israel and not with Jews, alliance with the enemies and seeking their help, international law and its agencies, ruling regimes, sovereignty of the ruler, Jihad, military bases in our countries, plundering the wealth of the Ummah, playing with its resources, lassitude, weakness, false rumors, meticulousness, distortion, innovation, superstitions, political chicanery, the economy, commerce, development, culture, relations with other civilizations and nations, the war on Islam, the killing and pursuit of sinless Muslims, the defamation of Islam and the Muslims, oppressing them, racism, attacks upon the Faith and Messenger of Allah, the peace of Allah be upon him, and insolence to Allah.

Appendix 1

Text of the Closing Statement of the Mardin Conference

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Declaration of Mardin, Abode of Peace

All Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds and Peace and Salutations be upon Muhammad, who has been sent as a Mercy unto the Worlds, his family and all of his companions.

A Peace Summit Conference (Mardin: The Abode of Peace), was convened in the Turkish city of Mardin at the Artuklu University campus on Saturday and Sunday (27-28 March 2010), under the auspices of the Global Center for Renewal and Guidance (GCRG – based in London), in cooperation with Canopus Consulting (based in Bristol), and sponsored by Artuklu University.

Participating in the conference was a group of renowned Muslim scholars, from across the Muslim world, who brought with them diverse and relevant specializations. They gathered in order to collectively study one of the most important (classical juridical) foundations of the relations between Muslims and fellow human beings, namely: the (classical juridical) classification of ‘abodes’ (diyar), as Islamically conceived, and other related concepts such as jihad, loyalty and enmity, citizenship, and migration (to non-Muslim territories).

They selected this juridical conceptual distinction, because of its importance in the grounding of peaceful and harmonious co-existence and cooperation for good and justice between Muslims and non-Muslims, provided that it is understood in consonance with normative religious texts and maxims, and in light of higher objectives of Islamic Law.

The organizers chose as the main research theme for the conference the legal edict (fatwa) passed by Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya concerning the classification of the city of Mardin during his lifetime. The edict was chosen, because of the significant intellectual, civilizational and symbolic meaning that it holds.

The point of it is that Ibn Taymiyya, in his classification of the city of Mardin – through his deep understanding of the Shari’ah and keen insight and awareness of the context in which he lived – went beyond the classification that was common amongst past Muslim jurists: Dividing territories into an Abode of Islam (in which the primary state is peace), an Abode of Kufr (Unbelief) (in which the primary state is war), and anAbode of ‘Ahd (Covenant) (in which the primary state is truce), amongst other divisions (that they had stipulated).

Instead of the classification common in his age, Ibn Taymiyya came up with a compound classification by virtue of which civil strife amongst Muslims was averted, and their lives, wealth, and honor safeguarded, and justice amongst them and others established.

His fatwa is one that is exceptional in its formulation and that, to a large degree, addresses a similar context to our time, a political state of the world that is different from the one encountered by past jurists, and which had formed the basis for the particular way in which they had classified territories.

It is such a changed context that Ibn Taymiyya took into consideration when passing his fatwa, and that now makes it imperative that contemporary jurists review the classical classification, because of the changed contemporary situation: Muslims are now bound by international treaties through which security and peace have been achieved for the entire humanity, and in which they enjoy safety and security, with respect to their property, integrity and homelands.

Consequently, Muslims are interacting with others in unprecedented ways: politically, socially and economically.

Contemporary jurists also need to review the classical classification of abodes, because there is a real need for a sound Islamic and legal vision that does not violate Islamic religious texts, but is in harmony with the higher objectives of the Shari’ah, and engages our contemporary context.

In light of the above, the participants presented and discussed research papers at the conference, and the following are the conclusions and recommendations reached:

First Conclusions:

1. Ibn Taymiyya’s fatwa concerning Mardin can under no circumstances be appropriated and used as evidence for leveling the charge of kufr(unbelief) against fellow Muslims, rebelling against rulers, deeming game their lives and property, terrorizing those who enjoy safety and security, acting treacherously towards those who live (in harmony) with fellow Muslims or with whom fellow Muslims live (in harmony) via the bond of citizenship and peace. On the contrary, the fatwa deems all of that unlawful, not withstanding its original purpose of supporting a Muslim state against a non-Muslim state. Ibn Taymiyya agrees with all of this, and follows, the precedent of previous Muslim scholars in this regard, and does not deviate from their position. Anyone who seeks support from this fatwa for killing Muslims or non-Muslims has erred in his interpretation and has misapplied the revealed texts.

2. The classification of abodes in Islamic jurisprudence was a classification based on ijtihad (juristic reasoning), that was necessitated by the circumstances of the Muslim world then, and the nature of the international relations prevalent at that time. However, circumstances have changed now: The existence of recognized international treaties which consider as crimes wars that do not involve repelling aggression or resisting occupation; the emergence of civil states which guarantee, on the whole, religious, ethnic and national rights; have necessitated declaring, instead the entire world as a place of tolerance and peaceful co-existence between all religions, groups and factions in the context of establishing common good and justice amongst people, and wherein they enjoy safety and security with respect to their wealth, habitations and integrity. This is what the Shari’ah has been affirming and acknowledging, and to which it has been inviting humanity, ever since the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) migrated to Medina and concluded the first treaty agreement that guaranteed mutual and harmonious co-existence between the factions and various ethnic groups in a framework of justice and common interest. Shortcomings and breaches perpetrated by certain states that happen to scar and mar this process cannot and should not be used as a means for denying its validity and creating conflict between it and the Islamic Shari’ah.

3. Amongst the priorities of Muslim scholars and Islamic academic institutions should be the analysis and assessment of ideas that breed extremism, takfir (labeling fellow Muslims as unbelievers) and violence in the name of Islam. Security measures, no matter how fair and just they may happen to be, cannot take the place of an eloquent (scholarly) elucidation supported by proof and evidence. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Ummah’s religious scholars to condemn all forms of violent attempts to change or violent protest, within or outside Muslim societies. Such condemnation must be clear, explicit, and be a true manifestation of real courage in speaking the truth, soas to eliminate any confusion or ambiguity.

4. Muslim scholars throughout the ages have always stressed and emphasized that the jihad that is considered the pinnacle of the religion of Islam, is not of one type, but of many, and actually fighting in the Path of God is only one type. The validation, authorization, and execution of this particular type of jihad is granted by the Shari’ah to only those who lead the community (actual heads of states). This is, because such a decision of war is a political decision with major repercussions and consequences. Hence, it is not for a Muslim individual or Muslim group to announce and declare war, or engage in combative jihad, whimsically and on their own. This restriction is vital for preventing much evil from occurring, and for truly upholding Islamic religious texts relevant to this matter.

5. The basis of the legitimacy of jihad is that it is either to repel aggression (“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do nottransgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors” — Surah al-Baqarah, 190), or to aid those who are weak and oppressed (“And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?” Surah al-Nisa’, 75), or in defense of the freedom of worshiping (“To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; — and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid” — Surah al-Hajj, 39). It is not legitimate to declare war, because of differences in religion or in search of spoils of war.

6. The issue of fatwas in Islam is a serious one. It is for this reason that scholars have drawn up stringent prerequisites for the Mufti (the authority issuing fatwas). Of these requirements is that he must be fully qualified in scholarly knowledge. The conditions specific to the fatwa itself is having established the proper object of application (manat) according to time, place, circumstance, person and future outcome.

7. The notion of loyalty and enmity (al-wala wal-bara) must never be used to declare anyone out of the fold of Islam, unless an actual article of unbelief is held. In all other cases, it actually involves several types of judgement ranging according to the juridical five-fold scale: (permissible, recommended, not recommended, non-permissible, and required). Therefore, it is not permissible to narrow the application of this notion and use it for declaring a Muslim outside the fold of Islam.

Second Recommendations:

The participants in the conference suggested the following recommendations:

· Convening an annual conference in Europe to research and explore, the Islamic conception of peace, and peaceful co-existence, between nations and religions.

· Establishing the Mardin Center for Research in Islamic Political Theory.

· Creating research units and departments at Islamic universities and postgraduate institutions concerned with research, training, and qualifying of potential candidates, in the area of formulating and issuing fatwas on public issues pertaining to the entire Muslim Ummah.

· Encouraging theoretical and practical studies concerned with the historical conditions and circumstances effecting the issuing of religious edicts and opinions.

· Encouraging academic and scientific studies that focus on the historical circumstances and conditions in which the edicts of great scholars were issued in the past.

· Making more effort in revising, editing, and exploring the legacy of Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya – may Allah have mercy on him – and the legacy of the exemplary scholars, with respect to their impact on the Muslim world and what is hoped to be gained from a sound and correct understanding of their respective legacies in terms of guiding and directing both the general public and specialists.

· Referring the declaration to the various fiqh (juridical) academies in the Muslim world for the purpose of enriching it, deepening discussion around it and extending its benefit (to a wider audience).

In conclusion, the organizers and participants wish to extend their heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all those who contributed to the success of the conference, and first and foremost amongst them the Governor of Mardin, the President of Artuklu University, and the Mufti of Mardin.

May God send his peace and salutation upon our master, Muhammad, his family and his Companions, and all Praise be to God through Whose bounty and favour righteous works are completed.

Appendix 2

Text of the Fatwa of Ibn Taymiyyah

He, may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked about the country of Mardin, was it the Abode of War or the Abode of Peace? Must any Muslim dwelling there emigrate to Islamic countries or not? And if he must emigrate, but does not emigrate, and he helps the enemies of the Muslims with his person and his money, does he thereby commit a sin? Does the one who insults him and accuses him of hypocrisy sin or not?

He answered:

“Praise be to Allah. The blood and wealth of Muslims are forbidden whether they are in Mardin or elsewhere. Aiding those who have deviated from the Shari’ah of the Religion of Islam is forbidden whether they are the people of Mardin or others. If a (Muslim) residing there cannot establish his Religion then migration is a duty, otherwise it is recommended but not fulfilled.

Assisting the enemy with their persons or their wealth is forbidden to them. They must refrain from that in any possible way, by omission, demonstration or cooperation. If this is not possible except by migration then this is incumbent upon them.

It is not permissible to curse them generally or to charge them with hypocrisy. Rather the curse and the charge of hypocrisy falls along the characteristics mentioned in al-Kitab wal-Sunnah, thus some of the people of Mardin and others will fall under this.

As for its being the Abode of War or of Peace, the two definitions are fixed upon it: It does not have the status of Abode of War whose people are infidels, and it does not have the status of Abode of Peace where the rulings of Islam are implemented, because its soldiers are Muslims (meaning its soldiers are not Muslims). Nor does it have the status of Abode of War whose people are infidels (for there are many Muslim residents); rather there is a third classification in which the Muslim appropriately acts, and battles those who are outside the Shari’ah of Islam as befits him”. Here ends his words, may Allah have mercy on him. (Fatwa 28: 240-241)

[1] Karen Armstrong. Islam: A Short History (New York: The Modern Library, 2002), 104.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Denis Aigle, “The Mongol Invasions of Bilād al-Shām by Ghāzān Khān and Ibn Taymīyah’s Three “Anti-Mongol Fatwas,” Mamlūk Studies Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2007, 114.

[4] Armstrong, 104.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Hamid Algar, Wahhabism: A Critical Essay (Oneonta, NY: Islamic Publications International, 2002), 10.

[7] Hamadi Redissi, “The Refutation of Wahhabism in Arabic Sources, 1745-1932,” (ed.) Madawi al-Rasheed, Kingdom Without Borders: Saudi Political, Religious and Media Frontiers (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 168.

[8] Algar, 9.

[9] Gilles Kepel, Muslim Extremism in Egypt: The Prophet and the Pharaoh (Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1985), 194.

[10] Aigle, 103.

[11] Emmanuel Sivan, Radical Islam (Yale University Press, 1985), 128.

[12] Mohammad Hashim Kamali, “Punishment in Islamic Law: A Critique of the Hudud Bill of Kelantan, Malaysia,” Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 3, 1998, 213; Ibn Taymīyyah, al-Ṣārim al-Maslūl, Muḥayy al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Ḥamid (ed.) (Beirut: Daral- Kitab, 1978), p. 318.

[13] Victor E. Makari, Ibn Taymīyyah’s Ethics: The Social Factor (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983), 154.

[14] Ibid., 156.

[15] Ibid.

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