Book on Islamist challenge released

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Islamic discourse is at a nascent stage and has a long way to go, said Talmiz Ahmad at the launch of the book The Islamist Challenge in West Asia: Doctrinal and Political Competitions after the Arab Spring authored by him and published by Pentagon Press. Speaking further on the publication, Ahmed said “No political order is sustainable without Islam.”

The book launch was followed by a panel discussion, chaired by director general, IDSA, Dr Arvind Gupta. The panellists comprised Ishrat Aziz, Ranjit Gupta, Dr Atul Aneja, Professor AK Pasha, Swashpawan Singh and Dr PK Pradhan.

Speaking during the discussion, Ishrat Aziz highlighted that the political Islam rises from political failures and has nothing to do with concept of Islam as such. On the Arab Spring, he added that the people wanted and yearned for self governance and consultative governance, something which did not suit the regimes. While, Ranjit Gupta emphasised that the emergence of political Islam as the ruler is the process of breaking out from its traditional mould of agitationists, activists and the opposition. This process will therefore be turbulent and long lasting. Speaking of the change in Arab world, Professor AK Pasha said that the change will run through the filter of Sharia. What is acceptable will be embraced. The basic source of law will remain the Sharia. Dr PK Pradhan highlighted how Al Qaeda and its affiliates which had considerably weakened during the past decade, have found a fresh lease of life due to the vacuum created by fall of dictators and the continuing failure of Arab revolutions to provide stable governance.

The publication throws light on the situation in the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) region, following the Arab Spring. It provides an overview of the political aspects of Islamic law – the Sharia, as it evolved from early Islam and, over the last two hundred years, experienced the impact of Western colonialism.

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