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Islam and Politics

Perhaps, after realising the impossibility of wholesale expulsion of any community, especially in the current context of a globally integrated nation state system, the BBS now believes that a solution to the so called ‘Muslim Problem’ should be found within the country....

On the contrary, it will be quite in keeping with Quranic teachings and recorded policies of the Prophet. Fa-Man ‘Afa Wa-Aslaha Fa-Ajruhu Alallahi — those who condone and reconcile, for them there is reward from God — proclaims the Quran (XL: 42). The verse is preceded by a reference to the practice of meeting evil with evil and concludes with the assertion of divine dislike for all evildoers....

It was, in essence, an electoral showdown between two competing ideological forces: on one side are minorities and progressive Muslims anxious to retain Indonesia’s pluralism and secular character; on the other are Islamist groups and increasing numbers of born-again Muslims who wish to make the country more Islamic....

 

Just for a minute imagine a Muslim man marrying a Hindu actress according to Muslim traditions. All hell would have broken loose and accusations of love jihad would be levelled against the man. Like the Islamists, the Hindu right wing also works overtime to weaken Indian pluralism. In their intense hatred of Muslims, these Hindu right wingers do not realise that they are like carbon-copies of the very same Islamists that they claim to oppose.... 

I am Muslim. I don’t wear a bindi or apply Sindoor. I don’t perform Aarti. I visit temples only as a tourist. Does that make me less secular than Nusrat Jahan, the young Muslim MP from Basirhat, West Bengal, who wears bindi, applies Sindoor, and inaugurates Jagannath Yatra, a Hindu religious pilgrimage?...

For a demographically diverse country such as India, hate crimes — including crimes of contempt — are a disaster. Each of our religious and caste communities’ number in the millions, and crimes that are directed against any of these groups could result in a magnitude of disaffection that impels violence, even terrorism….

“The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”

Minutes later, a monastic aide rushed in and confirmed that someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail at a nearby mosque. The abbot flicked his fingers in the air and shrugged….

 

It means having pride in one’s identity as Muslims and as citizens of this country. It is precisely the manner in which Muslim MPs in the Lok Sabha asserted their patriotism as well as their Muslim-ness, without feeling apologetic about either.

The solution lies in what Babasaheb Ambedkar said: “Educate, Organise, Agitate”...

From a Western perspective, these developments can be interpreted as a sign of the increasing strength and appeal of political Islam, in combination with the influence of transnational organisations and networks, or explained as a result of the growing anxiety about religious identities....

Medinipur district was the worst affected as it fell victim to an attack of cyclone in October 1942 and the District Magistrate delayed relief to punish the Congress rebels of the Quit India Movement. Shyama Prasad realised that it was time for him to quit and submitted his resignation in November 1942....

 

 The Hindus and the Muslims, the two dominant religious communities of Bengal had been living side by side for several centuries. One obvious reason for this might have been that the vast majority of the Bengali Muslims had not been taught to regard their Hindu counterparts as the “other,”....

Some may have once welcomed the order that Mr Haftar promised to restore. But his bombardment has punctured such hopes. His flamboyant uniforms, his nepotistic promotion of his sons and backing from the former regime’s henchmen stir fears of a second Qaddafi....

 

The accusation was not that he stole beef, or that he was stealing cows, or that he was a child lifter. He was suspected of theft and what was interesting is that the mob forced him to recite “Jai Shri Ram” as if it was engaging in an act of ritual justice....

Having been a teacher for close to half a century, I feel entitled to comment on the novel pedagogic practices that are emerging in our blessed country. After all, all kinds of people are now in the business of “teaching a lesson”....

Almost 30 years ago, in the midst of Lal Krishna Advani’s Rath Yatra (arguably the single most fissiparous action by any politician in independent India), a dearly beloved friend told me, “All my life I’ve thought of myself as many things: a son, a brother, a friend, a lover, a student of English literature, and many other things besides. Now I have to start thinking of myself as Muslim.” It was one of the saddest, most terrifying, things I’d heard in my life until then....

Two of Hinduism’s greatest deities, Ram and Hanuman, were profoundly insulted by a riotous mob of alleged Hindus in Jharkhand when 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari was lynched in their name. No god is ever honoured by being associated with murder....

...the landlady casually asked me, “What is your name and are you from Delhi?” “No aunty! My name is Suhail and I’m from J&K,” I replied. She was taken aback and said, “Jammu or Kashmir”. “Kashmir,” I said. She turned pale and with a sense of insecurity visible on her face, said, “Please leave...

“All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion... Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice…”

- Article 25, Indian Constitution....

In Congress and in the broader foreign-policy establishment today, Saudi Arabia is a political football. Americans rightly resent both the complicity of some Saudi officials in the 9/11 terror attacks and subsequent efforts by the executive branch to suppress the information. ...

 

Yet it is always followed by the same question: “If Pakistan was to be a secular state, why separate from India?” This naïve question is repeated by people on all sides of the divide, from Pakistani Islamists to right wing Hindutvists in India. I shall endeavour to answer this simplistic formulation through this article....

Although those targeted by jihadist violence on Easter Sunday were the island’s Christians, it has been Sinhala Buddhist mobs led by saffron-clad Buddhist monks that have been at the forefront of the ongoing attacks against Muslims....

 

People felt — probably rightly — that Mr. Erdogan had pressured the body into the decision. It not only disturbed half of the population that does not vote for him but also many of his own supporters. Turks couldn’t accept that the government could arrange a new election after it lost one....

 

Please stop thinking everything is a giant conspiracy against you and using that to cover up your own shortcomings. There is no better time than now for an internal change. See where you are going wrong as a community. Fix it. Just stop whining every time anything goes wrong around you....

 

They are against religious shrines and cultural festivals, music, statues and monuments. Processions with high-pitched music during Muharram have been condemned by Wahhabi imams. The zeal to replace the Persian word “Khuda” with the Arabic word “Allah” is also in process...

Akin to America’s 9/11, Sri Lanka’s 21/04 – the black Easter Sunday where a spate of despicable terror attacks targeted some churches and high-end hotels by an ‘extremist’ group – has become the latest watershed which would hereafter divide this island nation’s post-independence period...

 
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