It brings me great pleasure to present the reader with this latest, January 2017 issue of IAIS’s flagship journal, Islam and Civilisational Renewal. In this edition of the ICR, we are pleased to carry six substantive articles (including the journal’s first Arabic language contribution), five viewpoints, three event reports and a book review. With some sadness, we also include the obituary of a leading Muslim scholar.
Our first substantive article, written by myself, is a focus piece entitled ‘Terrorism, Banditry and Hirabah: Advancing New Shri’ah Perspectives.’ While seeking to elucidate the Shari’ah concept of hirabah (an approximate equivalent for terrorism), the article discusses that term’s limitations within the context of modern realities. I then suggest that, by reconnecting the fiqh of hirabah to its Qur’anic origins, these inadequacies can be overcome. I conclude with a set of actionable policy recommendations: 1) combating global terrorism requires collective action; 2) Islam forbids terrorism in all its forms, and regardless of the gender, race and religion of its perpetrators; 3) the ulama, in addition to mosque and community leaders, should make the rejection of terrorism a priority; 4) Muslim government leaders should work with community leaders, religious institutions, education centres and the media in order to create anti-extremist currents of opinion; 5) Muslim countries should take control of their own affairs and not expect foreign parties to resolve their disputes; 6) Muslims should strengthen and elevate the status of women, enlisting their support in the cause of peace; 7) states and security forces should avoid reacting to violence with greater violence; and 8) Muslim countries should base their relations with the outside world on positive foundations, particularly the principle of constructive cooperation.