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Islam and Politics

Why the Muslims of yesteryears got the respect and goodwill of the Sinhala and Tamil communities? Muslims behaved according to Islam – they were trustworthy, honest, and helpful, empathized with the difficulties of others, never hypocritical and so on. But today most of the Muslims, especially businesspersons, lack the qualities...

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral victory has been extraordinary despite the Opposition’s attacks on him on various issues: farmers’ distress, youth unemployment, poor implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), demonetisation, lynchings, Hindutva, assault on institutions, media gagging, intimidation of intellectuals, tampering of electronic voting machines, politicisation of the armed forces and the Rafale deal. But the country was not swayed by these accusations….

A wife faced with degradation and starvation as a ‘single woman’ in 19th century Europe had no choice but to ‘freely’ stay within the confines of her marriage. An Indian widow faced with neglect and possible abuse after her husband’s death had no choice but to ‘freely’ become a Sati. If a woman is made to believe that a certain deportment or dress is vital for her well-being in this world and the next, then the choice of that deportment or dress can never be a free one....

 

Modi's plan is to side-step the Muslim leadership and sows the seeds of modern thought in the community. To this end, the new measures like student scholarships and teaching modern education in madrasas are enabling moves, necessary to wean the community away from fundamentalist theology....

 

During every election, it has been proved that all Muslim leadership are power-brokers indulging in pernicious vote-bank manipulation, then acquiring state patronage themselves and leaving ordinary Muslims to the mercy of God....

Spotlight on Madrasas, Again
Spotlight on Madrasas, Again
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Madrasa are in spotlight again. Not because there are wild allegations of these institutions harbouring terrorists but through a PIL filed in Delhi High Court to regulate the contents of madrasas and Maktabs. One must also add that the same PIL also asks for similar regulation in Gurukuls but given the fact that there are very few of them, the potential impact of the outcome of this PIL is to be felt by madrasas. The important point for us therefore is how Muslims should respond to such a PIL....

Where these events will lead is unclear. Internally and externally, there are powerful forces at play. Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change are a broad alliance encompassing many segments of society. It seeks a meaningful transformation in Sudan, whereas the Transitional Military Council...

 

The resignations were in response to a hunger strike by Member of Parliament (MP) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, a prominent Buddhist monk, who began fasting on May 31, 2019, in front of the iconic Buddhist temple Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, with five demands, including the resignation of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and the two Governors...

 

In fact, Islam is being attacked with ideologies, not swords, which makes it the fight ‘Jihad’ through ‘pen’ but not through ‘gun’. The historical facts are proving that the notion of jihad through gun is not practicable in this world. This is an outdated notion and defaming the ‘Islam’ and its teachings....

 

Between a Burkini featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and the New Haven mosque set ablaze last month, Muslims in the United States occupy a particularly demanding moment in history. The choice of how we move forward — and with whom, for whom and at whose expense — is a decision that we as Muslims have to make right now....

 

Alas, many are doing just that. Since the bombings in April, police have not just randomly arrested Muslims, who are about 10% of the population, but responded lackadaisically to repeated mob attacks against Muslims and Muslim-owned businesses....

 

It is the more educated section of all communities that worry about matters such as Hindu Rashtra or not. Ordinary folk know only the Rashtra (nation) where they live and work and want to continue to do so. In the Muslim community too, more and more people are 

...

This is the first time such a level of unity has existed since the colonial era in Sudan, and given the history of ethnic, religious and regional fragmentation that followed and today's military response, it is ....

 

In the 1980s and early 1990s, every time India beat Pakistan, his Hindu classmates would tease their Muslim counterparts with remarks such as, ‘Why are you all so sad? Better luck next time.” When Pakistan beat India, they would be asked whether they burst crackers and distributed sweets. Their avowals to the contrary were dismissed outright. The cousin said those taunts led to some of his Muslim friends supporting Pakistan until they passed out of college....

As patriots of India, this destabilising nationalism is not what we need today. We need progress, jobs, less corruption, a stronger economy, but we need to build those things within India, equally accessible to others who are Indians too. We don’t need to be threatened into leaving our nation, or demand that another citizen leaves....

This political mechanism relies heavily on a minority-majority binary to establish that Hindus and Muslims are the two core fundamental identities that represent two distinct and conflicting world views. There are four identifiable components of this unofficial political mechanism: discourse of violence, events of violence, justification of violence, and silence on violence....

 It remains to be seen whether the recent declaration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be translated in action. If it does, it would reverse a much larger trend than the exclusion of minorities that stems from his own party....

 

One of the failings of Modi’s first term had been its tardy record in curbing acts of religious intolerance and violence. Modi’s first term had also empowered fringe Hindu groups and anti-minority voices....

There is certainly a need to bridge the chasm which has been created between the Muslim community and the ruling dispensation. Owing to a number of factors, Muslims have thought that the BJP is their enemy number one. This perception needs to change for the very simple and pragmatic reason that no minority can prosper without cooperating closely with the state. But for this there has to be genuine rethinking amongst the Muslims on a number of issues....

As many as 3 million ethnic Uighur Muslims are incarcerated in huge detention camps across Xinjiang, a Pentagon official recently estimated. The Chinese government says these are “vocational training” centers aimed at stamping out terrorism. Family members of the detained, Western governments and human rights advocates say they are a systematic attempt to oppress and “de-Islamicize” an ethnic and religious minority….

 

The Mongols had little experience running the bureaucracy of the Chinese empire and turned to Muslims from important Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand in Central Asia for help. They recruited and forcibly relocated hundreds of thousands of Central Asians and Persians to help them govern their expanding empire to the Yuan court...

 

It was heartening to see the PM assuring minorities after his election as NDA’s leader. He will do some good to his own international image if he takes concrete steps to dispel the fears of minorities....

An exclusivist Islamic identity which was never ever part of the syncretic valley of Kashmir has been deeply imbibed by the Jam’at-e-Islami and their ilk. It would take both the Indian Muslims and the state to exert more rigorous efforts to restore the ‘lost’ Kashmiriyat of Islam in the valley, cultural confluence of Islamic and Sanskiritc traditions, and not just the revocation of the Article 370….

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 or the commonly known Triple Talaq Bill should go down in history as a bill of pure spite than a necessary law. The bill is discriminatory to the core and ironically, it will act as a hindrance to the much-needed Uniform Civil Code (UCC)....

The trajectories of the African-American Civil Rights Movement or the Black Power Movement would never be applied as a paradigm for analyzing or proposing a way forward for the Indian Muslim community as it would deem to disrupt the secular common sense by focusing on ‘the Muslim’ as an identity and any such assertions would be deemed ‘communal’ and hence an Indian Muslim version of Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr. for that matter would simply not happen....

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