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Month: March 2018

Pervez Musharraf – The Most Hated Man in Pakistan

Pervez Musharraf is a former President of Pakistan that came to power via a coup d’état in 1999 and was the President between 2001 and 2008.

Musharraf rose to national prominence when he was elevated to a four-star general, appointed by then-Prime Minister Sharif in October 1998, making Musharraf the head of the armed forces.
He led the Kargil infiltration that almost brought India and Pakistan to a full-fledged war in 1999.

After months of contentious relations with Prime Minister Sharif, Sharif unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf from the army’s leadership.

In retaliation, the army staged a coup d’état in 1999 which allowed Musharraf to take-over Pakistan and subsequently placed Prime Minister Sharif under a strict house-arrest.

Musharraf became the head of the military government while remaining the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2001.

He became the President of Pakistan on 20 June 2001, only to win a controversial referendum on 1 May 2002 which awarded him five years of presidency.

During his presidency, he advocated for a third way for varying synthesis of conservatism and left-wing ideas.

He appointed Shaukat Aziz in place of Sharif and directed policies against terrorism, becoming a key player in the American-led war on terror.

Within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11 2001, the US administration concluded that the attackers had probably originated from Afghanistan and that any effective counter-attack would require the co-operation of Pakistan.

The US gave Pakistan a choice to align itself with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan or with Washington. In response to the US Government, Musharraf made a snap decision and Washington would get what it wanted.

He oversaw a rise of in overall GDP at around 50%, however domestic savings declined and saw a rapid rise in economic inequality.

As Shaukat Aziz departed as Prime Minister, and after approving the suspension of the judicature branch in 2007, Musharraf’s position was dramatically weakened in early 2008.

Tendering his resignation in a threat to face potential impeachment movement led by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party in 2008, Musharraf moved to London in self-imposed exile after returning to Pakistan to participate in the general elections held in 2013.

Upon his return, Musharraf was disqualified from taking part in the elections by High Court judges in April 2013.

On 31 March 2014, Musharraf was booked and charged with high treason for implementing emergency rule and suspending the constitution in 2007

On 31 August 2017, he was declared an “absconder” by Pakistan’s anti-terrorism court in verdict of Benazir Bhutto murder case.

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Ertuğrul Gazi And The Birth Of The Ottomans

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Diriliş Ertuğrul and the Birth of the Ottomans

Brand new KJ Vid in special collaboration with Dilly Hussain – Co-founder of 5Pillars Media – the biggest Muslim news site in Britain – 5Pillars

Millions have been inspired by the hit Turkish documentary on the founding father of the Ottoman State.

It’s very easy to understand why!

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Millions of Muslims around the world have been watching the hit Turkish show, ‘Dirilis Ertugrul’.

The show is a fictionalised historical drama series on the life and struggles of Ertugrul Gazi and the Kayi tribe.

Ertugrul Gazi was the father of Sultan Osman I, who founded the Ottoman State in 1299 CE (698 AH).

Most Ottoman chroniclers date the dynasty’s lineage back to the Kayi tribe.

The Kayis migrated from Central Asia to escape the Mongol raids in the beginning of the thirteenth century.

They eventually settled in Anatolia under the protection of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum (the Western Seljuk State).

Initially led by Suleiman Shah, the father of Ertugrul Gazi and the grandfather of Sultan Osman I, the Kayis were loyal citizens of the Seljuk State.

They defended the Western frontier of the Seljuk State, which neighboured the Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire.

The Kayis led by Ertugrul Gazi, fought the Byzantines, the Crusaders and the Mongols under the banner of the Seljuk State.

Ertugrul Gazi was an advocate of Muslim unity and the establishment of a State which would rule with the Divine justice of Islam.

The renowned Sufi mystic, Ibn al-Arabi and the famous Anatolian scholar, Shaykh Edebali both documented their encounters with Ertugrul Gazi.

After the gradual decline and subsequent demise of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, independent ‘Beyliks’ (principalities) began to emerge in Anatolia.

One of these Anatolian Beyliks in the late thirteenth century was the Kayi principality, which evolved to the Ottoman Sultanate in 1299 CE.

Ertugrul Gazi is a revered figure among Turkish Muslims because he laid the foundations for the Ottoman State.

Ertugrul Gazi died in 1281 in the city of Sogut, which was the first capital of the Ottoman State and is regarded as the birthplace of the Osmanli Dynasty.

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Allama Iqbal: An Intellectual Giant

Allama Iqbal was born in November 1877, in Sialkot, a small city in British ruled Punjab. His father was a devoutly religious man and Iqbal attained the basic education of the deen from a local madrassa. He studied Philosophy and Law in England before completing his doctorate in Germany. Prior to this educational sojourn to Europe, Iqbal had been a talented yet typical poet, writing about abstract notions such as love, freedom and nationalism. In fact his poem, Saray Jahan se Acha, Hindustan Hamara (Our India is the best in the world) continues to retain its popularity in modern day India.

With this mindset, he travelled to Europe in 1905 enrolling at Trinity College, Cambridge University. It was in England, and his subsequent stay in Munich until 1908, that Iqbal began to appreciate the true beauty and comprehensive nature of the deen of Allah SWT. He famously wrote in his poem Tulu-e-Islam (The Rise of Islam), “Muslman ko Muslman kar diya Toofan-e-Maghrib ne” (the Muslim was solidified in Islam by the storm of the West), having been afforded a first-hand look at the thought and behaviour of the Europeans.

It is tempting to detail all of his musings upon Islam but the limitations of discourse do not allow such expansive rhetoric. This piece will look at a select few poems and writings, trying to deduce Iqbal’s vision of Islam as a comprehensive system of governance and life. In this arena, the subjects of secularism, democracy, capitalism, Muslim fraternity and nationalism will be highlighted in the vision of Iqbal. It must be acknowledged that he did not possess a flawless ideology upon the deen’s governance and he did attempt to formulate an aligning exercise within the deen and the modern systems of governance. In his essay on Islamic Political Thought, he detailed the dangers of both secularism and theocracy. He was acutely aware of allowing the monastic mullahs total control over the political process and warned against this practice in a vociferous manner.

Nevertheless, his writings upon the concepts used to disease this ummah, namely nationalism, democracy, secularism and capitalism were unequivocal and beautifully constructed. Central to this thought pattern is Iqbal’s staunch belief that there was no dichotomy between the deen of Allah and mainstream politics, one not being complete or correct without the other. A couplet from his collection of poems, Bal-e-Jibril, states “Jalal-e-badshahi ho ya jamhoori tamasha ho; Juda ho deen siyasat se to reh jati hey changezi” (whether it is the royalty of the Kings, or the facade of the democrats; if you separate the deen from politics, you are left with the barbarism of Ghenghis Khan). In fact, this secular ideology was the driving factor behind his interest and involvement in political Islam. In his address to the conference of the All-India Muslim League in 1930, he stated “politics have their roots in the spiritual life of man. It is my belief that Islam is not a matter of private opinion. It is a society. It is because present day political ideas, that appear to be shaping themselves in India (Muslim), may affect its original structure and character that I find myself interested in politics“.

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KJ Poll Result – 62% of KJ Fans believe Erdogan should cut ties with Putin?

On 2nd March 2017, KJ Vids ran a poll asking it’s fans “Should Erdogan cut ties with Putin?”

There were 3,800 votes from which 62% answered “Yes” and 38% voted “No”

There were hundreds of comments in the post which can be read on Facebook.

Should Erdogan cut ties with Putin?

Posted by KJ Vids on Friday, March 2, 2018

Ties between Russia and Turkey are back on track, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said as he met with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the southern city of Sochi for talks set to focus on the Syrian conflict.

“I want to note at the beginning of our meeting that our relations can be considered practically completely restored,” Putin was quoted as saying by the Russian state news agency TASS on November 13 2017.

Relations between Russia and Turkey soured badly after Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border in November 2015, but Putin and Erdogan have taken steps to mend ties since then.

Along with Iran, they have sponsored a series of negotiations on the Syria conflict in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

Addressing reporters in Istanbul on November 13 before departing for Sochi, Erdogan described Putin as “my dear friend.”

The Kremlin has said that Putin and Erdogan plan to discuss regional and international issues including the “joint fight against terrorism” and the efforts to end the more than six-year war in Syria, Turkey’s southern neighbor.

They are also expected to discuss prospects for increasing bilateral trade and cooperation in the energy sector, it said.

Erdogan said he would discuss with Putin more technical details on plans to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.

Putin and Erdogan last met in Ankara on September 28. After the talks, the two presidents said they agreed to closely cooperate on ending Syria’s civil war.

Russia has given crucial military and diplomatic backing to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government throughout the war, which began with a government crackdown on protesters and has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

With reporting by dpa, TASS, Interfax, and Reuters

The Syrian Uprisings – Episode 1 – How the Syrian Uprisings Began

In a brand new series of KJ Videos, we will take an analytical look at the Syrian civil war from the beginning to today. In this episode, we will take you way back in time when the Syrian uprisings all began. But before we begin, don’t forget to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest KJ Videos.

In 2011, successful uprisings – that became known as the Arab Spring – toppled Tunisia’s and Egypt’s presidents giving hope to Syrian activists who began mobilising protests.

At first it seems everything could be easily contained without the need for Gaddafi-like crackdowns.

On 17th February, however, the same day as the Benghazi protests began, things seemed more tense following an argument, between police and protestors in Damascus holding banners saying “The Syrian people will not be humiliated”

But when the interior minister visited the scene in person to assure the crowds that the police officers involved would be investigated, and when Bashar announces a range of new social welfare programmes along with the unblocking of social media platforms, it still seemed likely Syria could avoid the fate of Libya.

By March, however, things seemed to be getting more out of control as the increasingly heavy-handed and undoubtedly nervous regime proved unwilling to take more chances.

That March, peaceful protests erupted in Syria as well, after 15 boys were detained and tortured for writing graffiti in support of the Arab Spring. One of the boys, a 13-year-old, was killed after having been brutally tortured.

Dissidents in Syria’s southernmost city, Daraa, seemed poised to become the epicentre of an Urban revolt.

As the Syrian equivalent of Benghazi, Daraa’s message, soon spread to the historically restive Hama along with Homs and even parts of Damascus. A ‘day of dignity’ was held on 18th March, with an even bigger protest staged the following Friday.

As with Cairo’s Tahrir square, there were a mixture of protestors in Homs. Some were heard chanting ‘peaceful, Muslims, and Christians along with other such as ‘God, Syria freedom and nothing else.’ Other protests were calling for “the downfall of the Assad regime”

Although there were some reports of public buildings and Baath headquarters being burned down, in many cases the protests remained peaceful, with some even marching without their shirts to prove they held no concealed weapons.

Galvanised by the martyrdom of Hamza al-Khatib, a 13-year-old boy, who had been arrested and whose mutilated corpse was afterwards returned to his family, then protests gained a much harder edge.

The Syrian government responded to the protests by killing hundreds of demonstrators and imprisoning many more.
With dozens being killed every day and reportedly more than eight thousand arrested in just two months, mobile phone video footage began to go viral of soldiers haphazardly shooting protestors, including women and children.

Beyond such repression, the regime also engaged in two other strategies in an effort to keep its core constituency as loyal as possible and also to ward off any attempted external influence.

With much the same goal as Yemen’s, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s encouraging of Al-Qaeda militants to take over certain towns, Bashar began a ‘highly selective’ amnesty of prisoners. According to a report prepared for the European Parliament, these were known to include numerous prominent Jihadis such as Muhammed Al-Jowlani, Abu Khalid Al-Suri and Abu Musab al-Suri.

Adding further weight to claims that Bashar was trying to radicalise then opposition by emptying Jihadists into their ranks, there were reports that even before their release such inmates had already been moved to more comfortable prisons so that they could mingle with other political prisoners.

According to one Jihadist fighter later interviewed by the Guardian this was because the regime “wanted them to be radicalised…if this stayed as a street protest, it would have toppled the regime within months and they knew it.”

Within months of Bashar’s spring amnesty, suicide bombings begun in Damascus and Aleppo and by February 2012, the al-Jowlani formally established a Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise known as Jabhat al-Nusrah. Now more easily able to frame opposition attacks as terrorism and marginalise any remaining peaceful protestors.

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Coming Soon – The Syrian Uprisings

Today – March 15th 2018 – the Syrian civil war will enter its eighth year.

More than 465,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, over a million injured, and over 12 million – half the country’s pre-war population – have been displaced from their homes.

In a brand new series by KJ Vids we will have an analytical look at the Syrian Uprisings from start to date.

Watch this space.

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