CIP Reports


Black America , Prisons, And Radical Islam


Scientific Training and Radical Islam


Islam and Communism in the 20th Century


A Guide to Shariah Law and Islamist Ideology In Western Europe, 2007-2009


A Guide to Shariah Law and Islamist Ideology In Western Europe - German edition

 

Muslim Women I Love Most

 

The Other Islam (PDF)

Habs-i-nafas1 and Pas-i anfas2 as Methods of Invocation

 

Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

"Surely, those who believe, and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians, whoever have faith with true hearts in Allah and in the Last-day and do good deeds, their reward is with their Lord, and there shall be no fear for them nor any grief." - Qur'an 2:62
Obey your country's laws, Marje Sistani urges Muslims in West
by Mohamed Ali | MONTREAL, Canada
Iraq's Al-Marje Al-Alaa Ali Sistani sent a message to Muslims in Western nations, urging them to obey the laws of the countries in which they live.The fatwa was delivered at a Montreal news conference of prominent Shia Muslims on behalf of Ayatullah Sayyed Ali As-Sistani "Muslims have undertaken to obey the laws of the country of their residence and thus they must be faithful to that undertaking," the statement read. It condemned all acts of violence and encouraged imams to keep a watchful eye on what's going on inside their mosques

U.S. expert: Involvement of Albanians in the Islamic State (IS) harms image of Kosova liberation war by Blerim Mustafa

Presheva Jonë [Geneva] February 27, 2015

The flag of the Albanian nation.

The U.S. expert Stephen Sylejman Schwartz, Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, headquartered in Washington, states to the Albanian news agency Presheva Jonë that the involvement of ethnic Albanians in the Islamic State (IS) negatively affects the reputation of Albanians.

“It contributes to evil stereotypes and false claims that the Kosova liberation war was a jihadist effort.

“As in other instances, Islamist radicals are doing the work of Serbia in undermining the reputation of Albanians.”

Kosova and Albania are among the few countries in Europe where the majority of the population belongs to the Islamic faith.

Continue reading U.S. expert: Involvement of Albanians in the Islamic State (IS) harms image of Kosova liberation war by Blerim Mustafa

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Schwartz Letter to Financial Times: Countries with a claim to the role Turkey seeks by Stephen Schwartz

Financial Times [London] February 26, 2015

The flag of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Sir, Sinan Ülgen asserts, in his article on Turkish relations with the European Union, that Turkey is “the only mainly Muslim nation with a secular democracy” (“Amid a tide of extremism, a mutual embrace that will protect both Turkey and Europe“, February 23).

This claim is inaccurate. Bosnia-Hercegovina, although partitioned (with a 45 per cent Muslim plurality), Kosova (80 per cent Muslim), and Albania (70 per cent Muslim) are multi-party, elected democracies with secular constitutions and vigorous, independent media.

None of these three European Muslim communities must contend with civil-military competition for power, interference with freedom of expression, persecution of minorities, or rising radical Islam, such as are seen in Turkey.

Continue reading Schwartz Letter to Financial Times: Countries with a claim to the role Turkey seeks by Stephen Schwartz

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Libraries Burning: From Sarajevo to Mosul by Stephen Schwartz

The Huffington Post February 26, 2015

Books burning at the Mosul public library.

I have been involved with words throughout my life. My father was a writer, publisher, and bookseller. I have been a writer, publisher, and bookseller. I have worked my way through three collections of rare books: one on Communism, one on literary and artistic modernism, one on Islam (with a small sub-set on Sephardic Judaism). I stored the first — there is no longer a market for volumes of Lenin — and sold the second so I could live in the Muslim Balkans. I remain surrounded by the last.

But I no longer purchase books for their own sake, or for their novelty. I keep books I will need. And I feel guilty about possessing valuable books when, for 23 years, I have been troubled by memories of their ravaging by ideological marauders.

On Sunday, February 22, the black-clad gangsters of the so-called “Islamic State” blew up the public library of Mosul, the Iraqi city they have occupied since the middle of last year. This vandalism was preceded in December by “Islamic State” arson against the Mosul University central library.

Continue reading Libraries Burning: From Sarajevo to Mosul by Stephen Schwartz

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Bosnian Muslims Take on ISIS A model for the Islamic world by Stephen Schwartz

The Weekly Standard Blog February 24, 2015

The flag of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Muslim political and religious leaders in Bosnia-Hercegovina, which is partitioned between a “Republic of Serbs” and a “Muslim-Croat Federation,” have taken firm measures to stop agitation and recruitment for ISIS.

On February 7, according to the Al-Arabiya television network, Bosnian police raided the country’s notorious center of Wahhabi fundamentalism, the northern village of Gornja Maoča. The law-enforcement action came after Bosnian Federation Television showed images of ISIS flags displayed in the settlement. (The ISIS ideology is an especially virulent form of Wahhabism.)

Al-Arabiya portrayed Wahhabism as an ongoing problem in Gornja Maoča. A small group of Bosnian and foreign fanatics, who had been present but without significant impact in the 1992-95 Bosnian War, were encouraged to move to the isolated location after the fighting ended, apparently to keep them away from large groups and make them easier to monitor. In 2010, Gornja Maoča was swept by Bosnian police. But in 2011, a Muslim with Serbian citizenship who had passed through the extremist colony, Mevlid Jašarević, fired at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo with an automatic weapon.

Continue reading Bosnian Muslims Take on ISIS A model for the Islamic world by Stephen Schwartz

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‘Mosque war’ in the UK by Irfan Al-Alawi

Lapido Media February 20, 2015

Dargah of Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan (1856-1921), may his mystery be sanctified, founder of the Barelwi sect. Bareilly Shareef, India -- Photograph 2004 Via Wikimedia Commons.

Most British Muslims, whether emigrants or born in the country, originate culturally in the Indian subcontinent – Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Of some three million British Muslims, comprising close to five percent of the total national census, nearly 40 percent are British Pakistanis. In their identification with Muslim sects, the majority claim affiliation with Sunnism. Within that classification, almost half of British mosques belong to the radical-fundamentalist Deobandi and Wahhabi (so-called ‘Salafi’) factions.

Deobandis are inspirers of the Taliban and the separatist revival movement Tablighi Jamaat. Wahhabi doctrine underlies the Saudi monarchy as well as the brutal, supposed ‘Islamic State’ or ISIS/ISIL. The apparent preponderance of Deobandi mosques in the UK is a fact. These are often purpose-built mosques.

Continue reading ‘Mosque war’ in the UK by Irfan Al-Alawi

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Putin, Al-Sisi, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Holocaust Remembrance by Stephen Schwartz

The Huffington Post February 18, 2015

Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 Serbian Genocide Against Bosnians – Photograph 2008 Via Wikimedia Commons.

In another of his pleasant encounters with world leaders, Russian president Vladimir Putin went to Egypt on February 8, staying until February 10. Meeting with Cairo’s military strongman Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Putin bestowed on his host a macabre but perhaps characteristic gift: a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle. According to media, the present was a token of cooperation in a billion-dollar arms sale by Moscow, which must contend with Western sanctions over Ukraine and a resulting economic downturn. Russia will assist Egypt further, in constructing its first nuclear power plant.

The visit was not a first for either man. Putin had gone to Egypt before, and Al-Sisi traveled to Moscow last year. Reuters reported about the recent meeting, “The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would discuss the situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Continue reading Putin, Al-Sisi, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Holocaust Remembrance by Stephen Schwartz

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Famous Communists and Islam by Stephen Schwartz

First Things Blog February 11, 2015

For some time, an argument has been made that the liberal left, in refusing to examine the problems of Islam, has betrayed its Enlightenment roots. That is, while secular, feminist, and protective of free speech in dealing with its Western peers, the liberal left has been accused of abandoning its heritage in its quest for political correctness regarding Muslims.

In truth, however, the left has a distinguished background of courting Islam as a weapon against Western capitalism. Its most representative figures from the past did so frankly, as the following rehearsal of their statements demonstrates.

Karl Marx supported the Ottoman empire, then accused of atrocities against Christians and non-Turkish Muslims. In 1853, as the Crimean War pitting Russia against Turkey began, Marx wrote, “It is not to be denied that Turkey, the weak state, has shown more true courage, as well as more wise statesmanship, than either of her powerful allies [Britain and France] . . . we may justly attribute the delays and hesitation shown in the manoeuvres of Omer Pasha [Latas] to the paralyzing and temporizing influence of Lord Redcliffe and M. [Edmond] de la Cour, [British and French ambassadors to Turkey] over the Divan [the Ottoman court]. At the moment when [Omer Pasha Latas] was opening the campaign, they procured orders to be sent to him to delay the beginning of hostilities. . . . If there be a general war, it will not be the fault of Turkey, but next to Russia, of France and England. They might have prevented it infallibly, but they did not.”

Continue reading Famous Communists and Islam by Stephen Schwartz

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Syriza in Athens and Putin in Moscow: An Unholy Alliance? by Stephen Schwartz

The Huffington Post February 6, 2015

Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 Serbian Genocide Against Bosnians – Photograph 2008 Via Wikimedia Commons.

The sensational victory of the radical leftist Syriza movement in the January 25 Greek elections, with the populist coalition winning 149 of 300 parliamentary seats, has raised numerous questions across Europe and the world. Most of the controversy about this episode focuses on whether Greece will default on its debt, in a crisis for Europe; or leave the Eurozone altogether, which some would consider a catastrophe

Less attention has been paid to the troubling attitudes of Syriza and its leaders in foreign policy, although many hints have appeared in authoritative media.

Syriza has chosen to rule in alliance with 13 deputies from the rightist party of Independent Greeks, which gives the new government a majority. But why did a militant neo-Marxist phenomenon like Syriza find itself wedded to a conservative force like the Independent Greeks?

Continue reading Syriza in Athens and Putin in Moscow: An Unholy Alliance? by Stephen Schwartz

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‘Freedom for the Ulema:’ Interview With Husein efendija Kavazović Reis-ul ulema of the Islamic Community of Bosnia-Hercegovina by Vildana Selimbegović

Oslobođenje [Sarajevo] February 6-7, 2015

[CIP Note: This important interview with Husein ef. Kavazović, the current reis-ul ulema (chief cleric) of the Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina, comes at a vital moment. Bosnia-Hercegovina has been shocked by a series of brutal attacks against Imam Selvedin ef. Beganović, who directs a mosque in Trnovi, a small village in the northwestern Bosnian region of Velika Kladuša. Imam Beganović, our honorable brother, has suffered at least seven knife assaults because of his preaching against Bosnians participating in the terrorism of the so-called "Islamic State" in Syria and Iraq. In a reportage by Oslobođenje on January 22, 2015, the mayor of Velika Kladuša, Edin Behrić, denied that terrorism poses a security threat in the area or that an extremist training camp exists there. But Jasmin Šahinović, head of the municipal cabinet, admitted that Imam Beganović had been attacked because of his "anti-Wahhabi opinions." Šahinović concluded, "the mayor sympathized with the imam, whom he visited and supported as a citizen." Šahinović added that people called Wahhabis exist in other cities of Bosnia-Hercegovina, and that if someone breaks the law, they should be held responsible without exception. Recruitment for combat outside Bosnian borders is illegal. Please remember the heroic and virtuous Imam Beganović in your duas. Interview translated and edited by CIP. Original title: "Exclusion is Satanic."]

Bosnian chief Islamic cleric (reis-ul ulema) Husein efendija Kavazović.

He became head of the Islamic Community [IZBiH] in September 2012: then he changed the Community’s Constitution, and invited women to participate actively for the first time in elections for Community bodies. The office of the reis [Rijaset IZBiH] and the reis-ul ulema himself helped tirelessly the injured and victims of the spring 2014 floods, trying to share both the good and the bad with people all over Bosnia-Hercegovina. Husein ef. Kavazović had little time; with news of the arrival of Pope Francis in our country [scheduled for June 2015] he visited Catholic Cardinal Vinko Puljić to offer every form of assistance in organizing the Pope’s welcome: for Oslobođenje [Liberation], the reis speaks about Muslims in our country and the world, its contradictions, terrorism and wars, about Bosnia-Hercegovina today, its politicians, and ordinary people who are, in reality, great people.

Continue reading ‘Freedom for the Ulema:’ Interview With Husein efendija Kavazović Reis-ul ulema of the Islamic Community of Bosnia-Hercegovina by Vildana Selimbegović

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Prayer in Islamic Thought and Practice by Marion Holmes Katz New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 244 pp. $26.99. Reviewed by Stephen Schwartz

Middle East Quarterly Winter 2015

The 16th c. C.E. Alipaša mosque, Sarajevo -- Photograph Via Wikimedia Commons. The most beautiful and moving site in the city. Fatiha for the heroes interred there.

Katz, associate professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, has written a thoughtful and at times eye-opening examination of the role of prayer in Islamic societies, part of a series produced by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton titled “Themes in Islamic History.”

Katz’s goal here is to restore “ritual to its proper place in the study of the sharia, and legal analysis in its proper place in the understanding of ritual.” Thus, she surveys the classical schools of Islamic law, explaining their differences on the details of prayer. But while these distinctions are typically minor (dealing mainly with such matters as the position of the hands or the correct number of prostrations), some have wider implications that resonate today.

Continue reading Prayer in Islamic Thought and Practice by Marion Holmes Katz New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 244 pp. $26.99. Reviewed by Stephen Schwartz

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