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Just sharing – Muslims speak up against extremism

WORLDWIDE: Suicide bombings are unIslamic

Writing in the New Statesman, Mehdi Hasan argues that there is nothing Islamic about suicide bombings which are completely alien to the Islamic tradition of warfare. Hasan highlights the fatwa issued by Sheikh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, a Malaysian jurist who teaches theology at Oxford University, that sets out firstly, there is no legal precedent in the history of Islam for the tactic of attacking civilians; secondly, suicide bombings cannot be sanctioned and ordered by the likes of Bin Laden and al-Zarqawi who lack the political and theological authority to declare a jihad; and thirdly, suicide is prohibited in Islam.

FULL STORY:

http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2009/11/mehdi-hasan–islam-suicide

PAKISTAN: Musician prays for Taliban defeat

Mohammad Akbar says he prays every day for the Taliban to be defeated so he can play music without fearing for his life. Akbar, who lives in Dera Ismail Khan, part of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt, where people are fiercely protective of their independence from the federal government, explains how the Taliban have alienated many with their hardline approach. Recalling incidents of flogging and beheading by the Taliban, Akbar said ‘The Taliban cannot be our friends.’ He also talked about his friend who had been executed by the Taliban for playing the flute.

FULL STORY:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/art-culture/09-waziristan-musician-prays-for-taliban-defeat–szh-06

WORLDWIDE: Support for Al Qa`ida continues to fade

In an opinion piece for CNN, Audrey Kurth Cronin, a professor at the US National War College, and research associate of the Changing Character of War program at Oxford University, argues that the end of AQ will come about when it loses popular support – a process already underway. Images of dead Muslims, and lack of progress towards its stated goals, particularly in areas of grievance such as Palestine, has resulted in AQ suffering a backlash of popular opinion. A Pew Global Attitudes Project poll in September showed a remarkable drop in support for suicide bombings and Osama Bin Laden across key Muslim majority countries – evidence of AQ’s alienation of popular mainstream Muslim opinion and loss of support from those whose hearts and minds it is trying to win.

FULL STORY:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/10/06/cronin.al.qaeda/index.html

Al-Qaeda in retreat as cash stops flowing

Al-Qaeda has been forced into retreat as a result of a lack of funding. Senior US Treasury official David Cohen stated that AQ is in is worst financial state for many years, with cash flow problems having an impact on the group’s recruitment and training efforts. AQ had made several appeals for funds this year as a result.

FULL STORY:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/6313986/Al-Qaeda-suffering-from-money-troubles-as-Taliban-thrives.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8303978.stm

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About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at www.haniff.sg

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