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Pop Francis Spreads His Influence beyond the Vatican
Pope Francis

The Vatican still has its scandals, most notably the incalculable hurt caused to tens of thousands by helping to cover up decades of child sexual abuse, but Pope Francis appears to be trying to bring transparency and accountability. He speaks on behalf of the poor but how much is he prepared to challenge the power of those, including the church, with an excess of influence and wealth?.....


“When several years back I appealed for award of Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib, many people called me crazy. Obviously Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh thought Sachin Tendulkar more suitable. Even the present government does not think Ghalib to be deserving,” wrote Katju on his Facebook page and further argued in favour of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, who is often described as Shakespeare of Urdu. “Some people said that if we award Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib why not to Gautam Buddha and Ashoka? I explained that Ghalib was a modern figure, not an ancient or medieval one. Many people have got Bharat Ratna posthumously, e.g. Dr. Ambedkar and Sardar Patel. So why not Ghalib?”....


Pakistan’s Last Self-Declared Jew Campaigns to Save Cemetery
Jon Boone

Arif Hasan, a celebrated Karachi architect who sits on the provincial government’s cultural heritage committee, has proposed the graveyard be declared a protected site. “Naturally there is an anti-Israel feeling which is very strong,” he said. “But this is our heritage, irrespective of whether we are Jewish, Muslim or Christian, and we have to protect it.”....


India’s Current Pop Cultural Obsession
Sadia Dehlvi

I hate to confess it, but much to the horror of Arman, my twenty-two year old son, I too have become a Zindagi addict.  He cannot understand mom’s crossover from a news junkie to serial junkie. I try convincing him to watch the serials with me, enticing him with the possibility of learning the nuances of the Urdu language, but he asks why we can’t read Ghalib instead! Before Zindagi, bedtime Urdu poetry was a ritual…..


How Is Ghar Vapasi Different From Forcible Conversions?
Ram Puniyani

Major conversion to Islam during medieval time was due to the influence of Sufi saints, at whose Dargah the untouchables could also visit. Since even today one fourth of the population holds to the norms of untouchability, it is not surprising that some dominated castes do keep deciding to leave the fold of Hinduism, as was proclaimed by Dr. Ambedkar, who left Hinduism with proclamation that ‘I was born a Hindu; that was not in my hands, but I will not die a Hindu.”…..

Vajpayee Has Always Been a Bharat Ratna, Say Muslim Community Leaders
Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Lauding the statesmanship of the former PM, senior journalist, Sultan Shahin, who met the prime minister on several occasions, said “Vajpayee always initiated the peace process between India and Pakistan. He wanted to have good relations with neighbouring country and therefore, travelled to Pakistan and invited the then President General Pervez Musharraf to sit together, mutually resolve the crisis and restore peace and normalcy along the border. He successfully silenced bitter criticism against the peace move from his own political party, the BJP.” He further said Vajpayee always tried to reach out to Muslims despite being a member of the Sangh Parivar. “Although he was a member of a Parivar (family) with which Muslims have issues, as prime minister of the country Vajpayee always made efforts to take all communities along. He is secular and good human being,” said Shahin....


INDIA: Open Up Radicalisation Debate
Tufail Ahmad

Based on jihadist sources and media reports, it is possible now to establish routes and patterns of radicalisation in India. One, several youths from Tamil Nadu based in Singapore came in contact with ISIS jihadists. The notable case here is that of Fakkurudeen Usman, who took his wife and three children to Syria. The radicalisation wasn’t limited to Singapore, as the jihadists made recruitment efforts in Chennai. Two, it emerged in April that a Kashmiri youth, Adil Fayaz, was radicalised in Australia and he travelled perhaps directly from there to Syria via Turkey. An additional point to remember is this: Several educated Kashmiri youths went missing over the past two years….


Let’s Reclaim Faith
Jyoti Punwani

From the lynch mobs of 1993 to the Bajrangis of 2002 to Dara Singh, who killed Graham Staines and his little boys in 1999, to Yogi Adityanath declaring that if “they convert one Hindu girl, we will convert hundreds of their girls”, they have been proud Hindus, deriving their inspiration from Hindu mythology, harking back to a distorted version of history. In their imagination, they are the Rishis and Rajas of yore, roaming the countryside to slay Rakshasas and invaders. Not for a moment can I say: “They are not Hindus”, though I can say this is not the Hinduism most of us practise…..

Jihad Means Struggle, Struggle to Be Good
Salman Khan

Jihad is the most misused word today…Logon Ne Fasad Ko Jihad Bana Diya…woman is absolutely equal to man and has equal rights…those who kill in the name of religion have not read the holy book (sic)." ….

Below Poverty Line Conversions
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Below Poverty Line Conversions
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

The public doesn’t want it. It’s the mischief of a coterie — Derek O’Brien’s “bigots in Nagpur” and their allies — to increase its clout. This coterie feels emboldened only because Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party government does nothing to discourage the perception that Hindutva is its ultimate goal. Hence Operation Dharam Parivartan, the justification of “Ghar Wapsi” by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Mohan Bhagwat, the threat to establish 543 Vishwa Hindu Parishad units across West Bengal, the Hindu Mahasabha’s demand for Nathuram Godse’s statue in all our cities and the silly move to rename December 25 “Good Governance Day”…..


Conversion and Freedom of Religion
Suhrith Parthasarathy

The decision in Stainislaus is however incorrect not merely due to its tangible consequences. The case relates to a fundamental, and more nuanced, issue of intervention by the state — and its courts — in religious affairs. Anti-conversion laws allow the state the authority to determine what constitutes an illegitimate inducement, and, in doing so, they create a slippery slope. They promote increased governmental involvement in matters that involve pure ethical choices, and they ingrain a deep and dangerous form of paternalism: the state is always watching you, and it has nothing but your best interests in mind. This ought to be a matter of grave concern…..


RSS Hindutva Antics Give Lease of Life to Muslim Right
Hasan Suroor

Narendra Modi's prime ministership may still be a work-in-progress, but for the wider Sangh Parivar it looks like mission accomplished and it might just as well go and hang out the buntings. For, in barely six months, it has succeeded in undoing years of hard work by the Muslim community to defang its own fanatical fringe. Just when it seemed that the Muslim Right had started to come under pressure, it has been given a new lease of life by groups such as VHP and Bajrang Dal with their relentless hate campaign…..

The Astrologer Turned Islamic Radical
Jacob Siegel

There is little about the Sydney hostage taker’s life that makes sense aside from his violent death. That’s because Sheikh Man Haron Monis was a fraud. He was a phony sheikh using an adopted name, preaching religious virtue while he was fighting sexual assault and murder charges. He carried out his violence in the name of ISIS, the radical Islamist group fighting in Iraq and Syria, but even that connection seems to have existed mainly inside his own head. Monis has been called a “Lone Wolf” terrorist, and it’s clear that he was inspired by radical groups like ISIS…..


Politics of Conversion: Right-Wing Hindu Organisations Unsuccessfully Imitate Christian Missionaries
Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

There are loopholes in the argument of the liberals, though their rage has a charmingly righteous ring to it. The first loophole: The RSS and the BJP cannot be expected to play by liberal rules. The RSS’ hostility towards the religious minorities is barely concealed. The BJP maintains an ambivalent attitude towards them. They are right-wing and they will do right-wing politics — that is majoritarian politics…..


The Civilian Leadership Is Confused and Incompetent While the Military Leadership Is Unwilling To Break the Ice Unilaterally
Najam Sethi

The public’s anger against the Taliban may also not be sufficiently long-lived to provide a stable platform for policy overhaul. Already, a counter narrative about the “Indian hand” and “US responsibility” in the Peshawar massacre is beginning to take shape in the media and among radical Islamist groups. Indeed, in the backdrop of pervasive anti-West sentiment and politico-religious ideology, it will not be possible to exploit the current situation for long…..

Nationalism as Antonym of Communalism
Faisal Devji

Since Independence, secularism is increasingly opposed to communalism, with the nation no longer central to its definition. Does this indicate the failure of the nation to demonstrate its plurality, and therefore secularism?....

So should India worry? Well, one cannot ignore that Ghani’s pitch is publicly to Rawalpindi, not Islamabad. Pakistan has quickly promised to raise, train and equip a brigade in the Afghan National Army. Ghani has relegated India to the role of a supporting actor, with the lead conceded to Pakistan. It would be no better for India if Ghani’s initiative failed to achieve a quiet border….

Peshawar Sinks In Gloom
Waseem Ahmad Shah

December 16, which is the blackest day for the country due to its dismemberment in 1971, has added another black chapter to the national history. Now, the day will be remembered for the gloom and destruction descended on the provincial capital. There was no letup in the wailing of ambulance sirens. Dozens of ambulances, both of government as well as non-governmental organisations, seemed to be running short for ferrying bodies of students and teachers…


A group of 8 Arabic-speaking attackers, wearing paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms, entered the Army Public School on Warsak Road around 10.30am (local time) and started the massacre of innocents, spraying bullets indiscriminately, going from classroom-to-classroom. They also took several hostages using them as human shield. The death toll in the attack has reached 160 with a majority of them being students, official sources told PTI. At least 122 others have been injured.  They said that so far six militants have died — four of them blew themselves up while two were shot dead by security forces……

Other Stories:

Malala 'Heartbroken' By Pakistan School Slayings

We Targeted School in Revenge for Military Attacks: Pak Taliban

Pakistan Pm Nawaz Sharif Heads to Peshawar, Calls the Attack a 'National Tragedy'

India Condemns Terror Attack on Children in Pakistan

Indian Pm Narendra Modi Condemns Peshawar Terror Attack

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh Condemns Terror Attack In Peshawar School

Peshawar Terror Attack: Kailash Satyarthi Urges Taliban To Release Captive Children

Four Militants Killed So Far: ISPR

Attack On School Failure Of Pakhtunkhwa Govt: ANP Leaders

Islamic Extremists Do Not Favour Children, Says Counter-Terrorism Expert

Pakistan's Schools of Sorrow
Rafia Zakaria

In Pakistan’s surfeit of victims, young and old and all innocent, no such retrospection can be expected. In the escalating horror of each attack, there is no room to enshrine the particularity of each victim; one schoolboy’s face frozen in death mixes with another teacher’s gunned down corpse. We look away, we sigh, we shrug and we move on. In the meantime, the attacks continue, a panorama of pain for Pakistan, a country identified by its maimed and massacred schoolchildren……

Fight Poverty, Not Conversion
The Hindu Editorial

Is the practice of religion a deeply private affair, confined to values and belief systems at the level of the individual, or is it an open community activity, carried out in the public domain with social participation? Does one person’s right to practise his or her religion come in conflict with another person’s right to propagate his or her religion?....


Live television images of the scene showed intense flashes of gunfire and the explosive sound of loud ammunition rounds. Police officers raced into the building with weapons drawn, followed by medics with stretchers.....

India: Burdwan Blast: Deceit Exposed
Ajit Kumar Singh and Mrinal Kanta Das

India: Burdwan Blast: Deceit Exposed
Ajit Kumar Singh

While it was matter of grave concern that a foreign terrorist outfit was attempting to establish a base inside India, the module's alleged linkages with earlier incidents of subversion across India, and with the larger Islamist terror network in the country, were even more alarming. Reports indicate that Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) terrorists, who had escaped from the Jatana area of Bijnor District in Uttar Pradesh on September 12, 2014, following an accidental blast (no casualties were reported), had close linkages with members of the Burdwan module.....


What Is Wrong With Hindu Rashtra? Modi Should Step In
Anil Dharker

There was Niranjan Jyoti (who calls herself Sadhvi), and her infamous “Ramzada” versus “Haramzada” speech; there was Sakshi Maharaj (is that his name, or another self-given title?), who called Nathuram Godse a patriot; then there was the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, the former Cabinet minister Ram Naik, who apropos nothing said, “Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya as per the wishes of the people.”.....


Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who has warned of militant plans to strike Australian targets, said there were indications the hostage situation at the Lindt Cafe was politically motivated. "This is a very disturbing incident. I can understand the concerns and anxieties of the Australian people," Abbott told reporters in Canberra, without providing any information on the unfolding siege. Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its escalating action against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, is on high alert for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East…..


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Sydney Siege: UK Prime Minister David Cameron 'Deeply Concerned' Over Hostage Stand-Off

Sydney Siege: Hostage-Taker Calling Himself 'The Brother' Claims Four Bombs in Lindt Cafe and City's Banking District

Sydney Siege: Gunman 'Forces' Hostages to Show Jihadist Banner

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  • We need not bother about who rules Jarusalem, Jews or Palestines. We need not bother about who rules Mecca and Mathina....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • If someone following both tents , Islam and Hinduisium. Than Mr writer can you tell,me how can you tell that Nund Rushi...
    ( By Aayina )
  • To Writer We Hindus of India had now known this Fusion confusion technique. 1) Step one of conversion....
    ( By Aayina )
  • interesting article. thank you!'
    ( By haan ji )
  • aah, at last Gulam Mohyuddin. You get want you want, a bashing from Tufil Ahmed to BJP...
    ( By Aayina )
  • A Anburaj. Is your logic applies to People of Sub-continent lived in Arab counties since last 4 to 5 decades and made...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer Sahib, Please do not impose blasphemous and murtaddana thoughts.
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • How about India. Why they fight for mosque, it has no connected history to Arab, but thistory...
    ( By Ayina )
  • I have personally witnessed when I was young how Muslim man lured a married hindu girl ans runaway....
    ( By Aayina )
  • When new relgion comes its Moslty plagerisim of old relgion. The only difference is that the new plagerisim person gives lots...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer sab says to Ghaus sab, "If you worship a god that stereotypes all the mushrikin as the worst of creatures, or all of them ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thoughtful article.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Ghous Sahab, I have never said that all the mushrikin are kafir or every mushrik is a kafir. So why someone is hell-bent to ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Ghaus Sb, You can ask Yunus sb to clarify to you why every Mushrik is not a Kafir. I have explained this time and again and ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Another example of a single min covering both wives and offspring (25:74) And those who pray, "Our Lord! Grant unto us from among our wives ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sahib, This faith of all Muslims is so clear that even you can’t create any sort of confusion in their faith. That ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, After reading the previous comments in which i quoted some verses of the Quran, Please read now these verses of the Quran: “It is Allah ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, In the beginning of the debate, i asked about your purpose behind holding this sort of debate on this site. But you did ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, Please read the following verses of the Quran; Allah the Most High says, “Allah is Creator ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, I am right when i say to you, “You can never show any verse of the Quran which categorically or clearly says that ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, You are falsely accusing me and Yunus sahib of lies. What you are doing in the last some comments is imposing blasphemous thought of ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, you say, “Please do not bring down Allah to your level of incompetence, incoherence and inconsistency.” (End of quote) The person who has this sort ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sab says to Ghaus sab: "You and Yunus sb are among the following who will say and about whom the Prophet (pbuh) will say: ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus sb, You have said “It appears that you do not know the rule of the particle “min” is used in various ways in the Arabic ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The civil, honest and learned responses of Yunus sab and Ghaus sab are in direct contrast to Naseer sab's self-promoting, snotty....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Unless we have another Gandhi soon, we shall soon...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Pakistan is an extreme example of how a country can be...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Let us hope Indian Muslims are not stupid enough to heed the poisonous calls to action of hate groups such as Ansar Ghazwa-tul-Hind.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sahib, please see how Mutazilite (i.e. Rational) book of tafsir (Tafsirul Kashshaf) interprets the verse of Surah Bayyinah (98:1) and hence it also rejects ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Dear Muhammad Yunus Sahib, Your explanation is commendable. That is enough for any honest reader to understand the context ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab, I am getting increasingly concerned about you because for some reason you are repeatedly suggesting that I have said the Qur'an treated all ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Naseer sahib, The reason can be perfect or corrupt, depending on the way as to how the human being takes it. The example of corrupt ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sahib, You say to me, “Please confine yourself to the Divine Speech and give me an example from the Quran where min is used ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Naseer sab's responses to Ghaus sahib and Yunus sahib are rude, arrogant and highly presumptuous. Actually it is Naseer sab who degrades the speech of ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb, Can we first clear up your integrity issue or have you accepted that you are given to deliberate and blatant lying as you have ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus Sb, Please confine yourself to the Divine Speech and give me an example from the Quran where min is used differently. If you cannot, then ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghous Sahab, Your explanation of the verse 98:1 in your last comment was scholarly. What I meant in the opening sentence of my last ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Naseer sab says, "either provide the evidence or invoke the curse of Allah on yourself if you are wrong," and, "The Muslims....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A perceptive and well-informed article from Srijana Mitra Das.'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Achieving gnosis is the goal of staunch Sufis. Not all Muslims are Sufis and not all Sufis are staunch Sufis. For most...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )