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Islamic Society

(This open letter to the so-called Shahi (Royal) Imam (prayer-leader) of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, first appeared in The Hindustan Times on March 12, 2001. I was reminded of this today with the Imam deliberately creating a controversy by inviting the Prime Minister of Pakistan but not the Prime Minster of India for the ceremony to anoint his son as the Deputy Imam and his successor. He apparently did this to remind the country of his existence.

The real tragedy, however, is that this comical imam is taken so seriously by politicians as well as media. It is this that has made the man delusional. He can't even get a family member elected as a municipal corporater from the Muslim-dominated Jama Masjid area. But he is treated by political parties as royalty, as if he were the leader of the entire 150 million Muslims of the country.

 It's time the government of India realised that the Mughal rule is over and there is no role for hereditary transfer of imamship agreed to by Mughal kings for their own funny reasons. We are supposed to be ruled by the constitution of India which has no place for hereditary succession to any post. Islam, of course, has very clear rule for the appointment of imams and from all accounts, members of Bukhari's family do not qualify in the presence of reputed scholars living in the area from where namazis to that mosque come.)

Islamic Society

The Pakistan Council of Islamic Ideology’s Dubious Mandate
I.A. Rehman

The council persistently avoids looking into the essence of the Muslim concept of marriage. All that is required is a declaration by each partner of his or her decision to accept the other as the legally adopted spouse and some witnesses to vouch for the event. That the parties to this contract should be mature enough to decide about their lives is a principle embedded in the concept. The question of anyone giving away anyone in marriage is at best of tertiary relevance.....

 
Islamic Society

Many are of the opinion that this absolute devotion to the Sufi saint is not entirely unfounded. As per stories passed down by generations of his disciples, soon after the shrine was built, there was only brackish water found in the area. Ghazi’s followers were concerned about not having access to clean drinking water, when out of nowhere, a spring of fresh drinking water started trickling behind the shrine. His devotees claim the water, which flows to this day, to have healing properties.....

 
Islamic World News

Islamic State Militants Kill 40 Tribesmen in Iraq
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas

Arab World

Islamic State militants execute 30 Iraqi tribal fighters, soldiers

IS kills 30 Assad men; Homs blast injures 37

Calls to Restore Palestine’s Stolen History

Southeast Asia

China Bans Religion in Xinjiang Schools

India

RSS Body Seeks To Prove Indian Muslims Are Hindus

Hyderabad techie, who ‘planned’ to join, IS, let off after counselling

Europe

Sweden Recognises Palestinian State: Foreign Minister

Spain’s Palestine State Vote Gains Support

Hooligans Anti-Salafists Rally Turns Violent

Pakistan

Eight soldiers, 21 suspected militants killed in Khyber operation

Drone strike kills four suspected militants in North Waziristan

Mideast

Israeli closure of al-Aqsa declaration of war: Abbas

Turkish-Indonesian partnership sees brighter future

South Asia

Eight soldiers, 21 militants killed in Bara fighting

Bangladesh, US to work for stopping terror financing

Africa

Boko Haram seizes Mubi town in Adamawa

North America

Canada Muslims Concerned About Safety

Australia

Australia passes laws cracking down on foreign fighters

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More

 
Islam, Women and Feminism

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Prefers Aafia to Malala
Dr Aafia Siddiqui

Malaysia's Women-Only Games Spark Ire

Racist Attacks...Aussie Woman Suffers Broken Arm

Malaysia Muslims Warned Against Halloween

Saudi Women Staff ‘Disastrous’ For Gold Shops

Female Power Dressing On Show in London

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

 
Current Affairs

The Love Jihad Campaign Exposes How Hindu Women Are Central Symbols of the Hindutva
Charu Gupta

The love jihad campaign exposes how Hindu women are central symbols of the Hindutva body politic. Hindutva’s cry for segregation denies free movement to Hindu women, using the threat of physical, emotional and religious harm to women’s bodies as weapons of social control. Women are thus told that inter-religious marriages are undesirable for their own good. Hindu women who indulge in inter-religious romances or marriages are depicted as dangerous to the construct of the Hindu nation.......

Books and Documents

Saints and Shrines in Pakistan
Hartmut Elsenhans

By their virtuous behaviour and meditating reflection on the Holy Qur’an, the saints liberated believers from a mechanistic interpretation of Islamic faith reduced to formal rules of behaviour which the believer had to mindlessly follow. The saint draws his understanding from a meditative vision of God; he experiences a deep mysticism and follows the path of understanding until he experiences the unity of the created world as an emanation of the unique and single God.....

 
Current Affairs

Sparks, Not Fires: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Vadodara and now East Delhi
Ashutosh Varshney

Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Vadodara and now East Delhi — a series of communal incidents have flared up of late. How should we understand their causes? How far might tensions escalate?....

Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
ISIS and Vietnam
Thomas L. Friedman

ISIS and Vietnam
Thomas L. Friedman

ISIS needs to be contained before it destabilizes islands of decency like Jordan, Kurdistan and Lebanon. But destroying it? That will be hard, because it’s not just riding on some jihadist caliphate fantasy, but also on deep Sunni nationalist grievances. Separating the two is the best way to defeat ISIS, but the only way to separate mainstream Sunnis from jihadists is for mainstream Sunnis and Shiites to share power…

 
Current Affairs

India Must Help End the Evil of the Islamic State
Talmiz Ahmad

Over seven million Indians live in the Gulf who remit to their mother country over thirty billion dollars annually. Their safety and welfare are matters of abiding concern to India.  India cannot be a bystander in this situation. It calls for the definition and pursuit of an initiative by India to promote stability of the region by building a new, inclusive and comprehensive security paradigm in association with regional and extra-regional players with a direct interest in peace in West Asia…..

 
Current Affairs

For Less Than Noble Reasons
Mohan Guruswamy

The Mukti Pratishtan, the mother organisation of the BMM, filed cases against Mr Satyarthi in 1996 for defalcation of accounts, usurping its property and working against its interests while employed with it. This case is still being heard in a Delhi court. There is good reason to believe that the Norwegian Nobel Committee did not do due diligence. For it is clear that the story of Mr Satyarthi it has internalised and Mr Satyarthi’s own narration of it makes no mention of the more than a decade with the BMM, as Swami Agnivesh’s comrade in arms…..

 
Islam and Politics

Contradictions: We Turks Have To Wonder, the Kobanis Are Thanking a Man on the Other Side of the World and Not the County That Gave Them Shelter and A Chance To Survive
Dogu Ergil

Sultan Muslim, a Syrian Kurdish woman from the besieged town of Kobani, has given birth to her seventh child in Suruç, a town in Turkey where she sought refuge with her family. You would expect that she and her family would feel grateful that Turkey has offered them a safe place and livelihood during such dire times. Instead, she and her husband named their newly born son Muhammed Obama Muslim, after US President Barack Hussein Obama. One might expect that the child would be named Recep Tayyip or Ahmet. But instead they honored President Obama as their savior, not Turkey's president or prime minister…..

 
Islam and Politics

Hope Springs from Tunisia Again
Semih Idiz

Ennahda, which still has significant support, has not been voted out, of course, and will undoubtedly share power in a coalition government. This is normal in a secular democracy. Tunisia, as a predominantly Islamic country, also has serious problems to overcome yet before it can become a genuine democracy. It is nevertheless the country that inspired the Arab Spring and which is inspiring hope today…

 
Islam and Politics

Normalization between Ankara and Jerusalem? Guess Again
Burak Bekdil

Erdogan (and Davutoglu, for that matter) has both pragmatic and emotional reasons to challenge Israel publicly, and to maintain Turkey's "cold war" with Israel. Emotional, because a holy struggle against Israel is a prerequisite for his pro-Hamas Islamism. And pragmatic, because the cold war and his explosive rhetoric around it have yielded a treasure-trove of votes in a country that champions anti-Semitism.....

 
Urdu Section

کیا رسول اکرم صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے کسی کو نئے ‘‘اسلامی  سال’’ کی مبارکباد کا پیغام بھیجا تھا؟ کیا اس کی فضیلت میں قرآن کریم  کی کوئی آیت یا کوئی حدیث  ہے؟ کیا آپ نے مسلمانوں کو اس  کا حکم دیا تھا کہ نئے  اسلامی سال کی مبارکباد یاں بھیجا کرو؟ کیا آپ نے اسلامی اورغیر اسلامی  سالوں کا فرق بتایا تھا؟ کیا قرآن  کریم یا احادیث میں کہیں  بتایا گیا ہے کہ قمری سال اسلامی سال ہے یا ہجری سال اسلامی سال ہے اور باقی سال غیر اسلامی ہیں؟ اگر قمری سال اسلامی سال ہے تو شمسی  سال کیا غیر اسلامی سال ہے؟ اور بھارت میں صدیوں سے رائج  فصلی، بکرمی، پنجابی ، بنگالی سال کیا ہیں، کیا یہ بھی غیر  اسلامی سال ہیں؟ میرے ذہن میں اس قسم کے سوالات  اس لئے اٹھ  رہےہیں کہ بھارت میں گزشتہ برسوں سے یہ سلسلہ  زور پکڑ تا جارہا ہے کہ محرم مہینے کی شروعات کے ساتھ ہی  مبارکبادیوں  کا سلسلہ  چل پڑتا ہے اور مسلمانوں  کا ایک طبقہ لوگوں کو موبائل  ، انٹر نیٹ ، نیٹ ورکنگ سائٹس اورمختلف ذرائع سےمبارکباد ی کے پیغامات بھیجنا شروع کردیتا ہے ۔

 
Radical Islamism and Jihad

Saudi Arabia's Hate Preachers Must Be Silenced
Khaled Almaeena

Let us encourage a united public outcry condemning their distorted interpretation of our Islamic ideology and let us project our true Muslim faith that shares universal values of tolerance, decency and righteousness. Let us also promote the proper Jihad of striving to do good deeds and serving the Merciful by spreading peace and love to all mankind. The public should understand that they have a religious responsibility to report to the authorities any talk that encourages extremism or sympathizes with any acts of terrorism…..

Current Affairs
Nobel Prize: Hardly Noble Politics
Gouthama Siddarthan, New Age Islam

Nobel Prize: Hardly Noble Politics
Gouthama Siddarthan, New Age Islam

It is really a great achievement of the Nobel award committee that it has created an environment in which criticism of the Nobel prizes is always rubbished and in which controversies are taken just as part and parcel of the scenario of the Nobel awards announcements. The committee has successfully infused the global psyche with a total indifference to, and an utter contempt for any valid and reasonable criticism from really serious and progressive-thinking writers and intellectuals. This can be termed as a feat on the part of the Nobel committee.

Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

The US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Their Allies Who Made ISIS Can Unmake It Also
Abolhassan Banisadr

Although ISIS is a product of the West’s policy of domination, it is also a Sunni version of Khomeinism. It was Ayatollah Khomeini who sanctified and glorified violence under the garb of religion....Khomeini implemented a doctrine of victory through terrorisation, and his regime’s ideologue, Mesbah Yazdi, has said that “if violence is the only way of achieving the Islamic goal, then it is necessary to use it”. He also said that “if, in a place like the desert where the police are not accessible, and if somebody insulted God, the prophet and Islam, then the sentence for insulting Islamic sacred is execution and if there is no possibility for a trial, then it is the duty of any Muslim to personally carry it out”....

Islam, Women and Feminism

Heartbreaking Final Letter of Hanged Iranian Woman
Reyhaneh Jabbari, hanged Iranian woman

Basketball More Than Just a Game for Saudi Women

Good Words for Malala Stuck In KP Assembly Secretariat

Conditional Recruitment for Female Expat Teachers in Saudi Arabia OK’d

Women Seek Age-Old Therapies for Childbirth Problems

Saudi Female Researcher at Leeds University Honoured

Bangladesh Cities Mostly Unsafe For Women

Good Words for Malala Stuck In KP Assembly Secretariat

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

 
Islamic World News

Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal Sentences Jamaat-e-Islami Chief to Death
Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, Saudi Mufti

South Asia

Taliban claim victory after British withdrawal from Afghanistan

India

Ex-Google India Employee Held for Trying To Join Islamic State

Have No Money, How Could I Send People to Afghan: Terror Accused

Arab World

Terrorist groups have no connection to Islam: Saudi Mufti

Hezbollah slams Bahrain ruling to suspend al-Wefaq

Pakistan

Dubai court jails Pakistani smuggling heroin in bags carrying copies of Quran

Pakistan-US ties moving to trade from aid: US envoy

Mideast

Muslim Leaders Issue Collective Rebuke Against ISIS

Turkish enterprises keen to build on strong Saudi ties

Europe

German Spy Agency Sees IS Big Threat, Luring More German Recruits

Councillor from French Far-Right Party Converts To Islam – And Urges Others to Follow

North America

US to step up counter-terrorism cooperation with Canada

Southeast Asia

Malaysia: Halloween 'banned' by Islamic authority

Africa

Tunisia's confident secularists weigh options

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More

 
Debating Islam

'Kidnapping for Ransom Is Part of Jihad in Our Eyes, It Is Allowed In Shariah as Ghanimah; Money in the Banks of Pakistan Is War Booty for Us', Says Taliban Scholar in  Debate with Pakistan Army Official - 6

Taliban Scholar to Pakistan Army Official: "Only you have the experience how tasty the blood of Pakistanis might be and how tasty might be their flesh. These are your own experiences and we can see the perpetrators clearly. Regarding taking the money from banks; yes Alhamdulillah, we raid the banks openly and we consider it as an act of worship. We also consider taking Aseer for Ghanimah an act of worship. Kidnapping the children may be your own deeds but Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has never kidnapped any children nor can anybody prove or attribute such actions to us, Alhamdulillah….."

Current Affairs

Should the Muslims of India change with the times, taking cognizance of the big political change in India, in order to ensure their survival?   The coming to power of the Hindu chauvinists bodes ill for the traditionalist Muslims, the ones inflexible in their display of religiosity, who assert their rights under the Indian Constitution, identify themselves with the Arabs, are lukewarm toward Indian nationalism, and denounce America and its foreign adventures. They are also deeply prejudiced against the Shi’a, whether in India or elsewhere......

 
Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

Muslim Denial Knows No Bounds: One Way Of Dealing With Self-Styled 'Khalifa' Baghdadi Is To Call Him A Jew And A Mossad Agent, As Does Maulana Abul Irfan Firangi Mahli, But Will It Work?
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

Is the self styled caliph of Muslims, Abu Bakr Baghdadi alias Ibrahim a Jew and a secret agent of Mossad?... Some conspiracy theorists also suggest that many ‘neo-Muslims’ coming from Jewish background have joined Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with a motive....

However, while some find comfort in newer and newer conspiracy theories, many Muslims all over the world have responded to Baghdadi with support and acceptance, little realizing that he might be an enemy of Islam in the same way as the Saudi Wahhabi Kingdom that has by now destroyed almost all symbols of Islam's historicity....

Conspiracy theories have not worked in denying Muslim support to Saudi Kingdom; they are not likely to work in the case of this self-styled Khalifa Baghdadi. What could have worked then but was not tried with any degree of coherence and consistency and what could work now is a serious rebuttal of the extremist ideology of Kharjites and now neo-Kharjites by all sections of mainstream Islam.

There is a whole galaxy of extremist ideologues who have existed throughout the history of Islam. They cannot all be called MI6, CIA, KGB and Mossad agents. These ideologues have enjoyed varying degree of support among the masses. When the ideological mentor of Abdul Wahhab, Taqî ad-Dîn Aḥmad ibn Taymiyyah, for instance, died, while in prison for several years on charges of heresy, hundreds of thousands of Muslims turned up to pray for him, and, incidentally, he was buried in a Sufi cemetery and is still called Sheikh-ul-Islam by some.

We Muslims, at least those of us who want the community to come out of the mess in which we have put ourselves, have to recognise that we have a serious problem on the ideological plane and have to exert hard to sort it out, starting from the most basic question: who is a Muslim. A community that cannot sort out the question of who has the right to be considered its member obviously has a long way to go to join the modern world.

Please read below the Urdu translation of Maulana Abul Irfan Firangi Mahli's essay. When I read it first, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Please share your reactions with us on the New Age Islam forum.

Islam and Politics

The Beautiful Faces Clouded by Syria’s Ugly Regime
Diana Moukalled

Here we are taken back to the beginnings of the Syrian uprising, back in 2011. How can any people revolt against a youthful, handsome president, who was trained as a doctor and is married to such a beautiful, elegant, educated woman, and who was previously hailed by the West only years before? In reality, this president is nothing but a butcher, responsible for the deaths of almost 200,000 of his own people and the destruction of an entire country….

 
Debating Islam
The 'Un-Islamic State'
Fakhruddin Ahmed

Confronting ISIS theologically is a waste of time.  So far they have executed soldiers who surrendered, butchered Shias, ethnically cleansed, starved and murdered minority Yazidis and Christians, kidnapped and raped women, and beheaded native and foreign civilians….

 


TOP ARTICLE
Radical Islamism and Jihad
Facing massive appeal of Radical Islam, Moderate Muslims must refute Jihadist theology of violence with a coherent narrative of Islamic moderation, says Sultan Shahin at UNHRC in Geneva
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

We, the silent majority of moderate Muslims are disoriented. Can those Muslims who cherish democracy, peace, and pluralism still have a say in world affairs? Only a tiny fraction of one and a half billion Muslims see in the Quran and Hadees a permission to kill innocents from other sects and communities. But Islam or Islamism is being equated with terrorism because the vast majority of Muslims are still passive and silent.

Thirteen years after 9/11, the Islamist terrorist threat has become more diverse, more complex, and more dangerous. It seems that while the world has focused on fighting the terrorists militarily, it has not faced the challenge of the ideological narrative that Jihadism offers. It is this Islamist extremist narrative that has gained momentum now, animating not only groups like al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, al Nusra, ISIS, etc but also independent actors who may prove even more dangerous. ...

What are we, the Muslim moderates, doing wrong? Why are our youth joining the radicals?

What has happened is that Jihadists have worked out a radical narrative of Islam, a complete theology of violence, xenophobia, hate and Islam-supremacism based on common Muslim beliefs which they are using to brainwash Muslim youth, while we moderates have no coherent narrative or theology of peace, pluralism, co-existence and gender justice to counter that.

So what is the way forward? In my view, this situation calls for a clear refutation of the Jihadist ideology and working out a coherent narrative and a consistent theology of Islamic moderation, peace and gender justice. If not now, when?.....

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