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My Role in Bridging the Gap between Britain's Muslims and People of All Other Faiths
Sadiq Khan

It depresses me how many people simply equate the length of your beard, the food you eat and the clothes you wear and 'extremism'. If you are a practising Muslim, it does not make you an extremist and I'm determined to play my role in standing up to this kind of sloppy stereotyping. The very people spreading lies about Muslims being extremists risk putting off Muslims from sticking their heads above the parapet and playing an active role in society…..

 

BJP Plans Unprecedented Drive To Recruit Muslims; But How Many Will Sign Up?
Hasan Suroor

When Arif Mohammed Khan, a former Congress and Janata Dal leader, joined the BJP in 2004, he was welcomed with open arms and even rewarded with a party ticket for the Lok Sabha elections. But the honeymoon didn't last long and he quit in 2007 complaining that he was being "ignored ". More recently Aamir Raza Hussain, the noted theatre personality, went through the same "in" and "out" routine. Even Najma Heptullah was in deep freeze for a long time and the only reason she didn't quit, it is believed, is because she had nowhere else to go. It is true that many join it out of sheer opportunism when the party is in power, and leave when they don't get rewarded or it loses power. Still, the BJP's Muslim retention rate is abysmally poor. From some of the accounts I've heard it seems there is little effort to retain them…..

These moves have come under intense scrutiny, with different groups calling for and against what some describe as growing Islamic conservatism, or to some, "manufacturing a siege mentality" among the majority Malays to shore up political support. These fatwas have added to other local controversies - from the banning of yoga for Muslims to several high-profile inter-faith disputes that have split mixed-marriage couples as well as a court decision banning the use of the word "Allah" for God in a Christian publication…..

The Dragon in Buddha’s Robes
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

The Dragon in Buddha’s Robes
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

For China, which is emerging as the strident protagonist of what can only be called a form of politicised Buddhism — that is, more politics than religion — the aim is twofold. Abroad, China wants to woo and win genuinely Buddhist hearts and minds in South-East, East and Central Asia. At home, it hopes to solve the problem of Tibet by saddling Tibetans and the world with an officially-approved successor to the present exiled Dalai Lama. Of course, there are genuine Chinese Buddhists. I have seen diners in restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai stand up with deferentially folded palms as small groups of monks entered….

 

Yasser Arafat and his generation did for the Palestinians what Zionism did for the Jews after World War II. Arafat, Abu al-Abbas and their comrades brought Palestinians out from the obscurity and persecution of the 1950s, from the misery of the refugee camps into the world as key players in international affairs. For 40 years, these leaders were the center of gravity in Palestinian politics. Power went where they went: Amman, Beirut, Tunis, Gaza or Ramallah. Everyone is to blame for the death of my husband and Yasser Arafat: Israel, the U.S. and Arabs…..

 

Shahi Imam Bukhari Has No Rights over Jamia Masjid
M J Akbar

Muslims claim, with justified pride, that the age of Jahiliya, or ignorance, ended when the message of Islam came to the Prophet Muhammad in the desert city of Mecca. Regrettably, Jihalat still lingers in parts of the Muslim world. It has found a temporary sanctuary in Delhi’s Jamia Masjid, the iconic symbol of Indian Islam…..

The Malegaon Mystery: 13 per cent of Muslim votes in Maharashtra Assembly polls went to BJP and another 11 per cent to the Shiv Sena
Javed Anand

If Malegaon’s Muslims continue to feel that successive Congress-NCP governments have done little to address their concerns, why then did they repose their faith in these very parties in the Assembly polls, unlike unhappy voters in other Muslim-predominant pockets who expressed their anger by turning to the MIM?....

 

Satire in the Middle East: Laughing At the Humourless

“If I were a cow, I would be wearing a bra,” goes a lyric in a popular song about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State (IS). This reference to bovine lingerie—a poke at Mr Baghdadi’s supposed umbrage at the sight of naked udders—gets cheers from the audience in Metro al-Madina, a theatre in Beirut. The tune about Mr Baghdadi leading Islam into the abyss has proven such a hit that the Lebanese band performing it, The Great Departed, has extended its show…..

 

Indian Muslims Lose Hope in National Secular Party
Neha Thirani Bagri

“We are not against any community, but we are certainly against the ideology of certain communal parties,” Mr. Pathan said, his voice soft but strained. “If anybody voices communal sentiments against any minority, we are not going to take it lightly. We are replying. That does not make us communal — we are just defending ourselves.”....

The Love Jihad Bogey
Flavia Agnes

Saif Ali Khan, in the context of the recent “love jihad” controversy, wrote in a newspaper: “When Kareena and I married, there were similar death threats, with people on the Net saying ridiculous things about ‘love jihad’”. A child of inter-faith marriage himself, he goes on to remind us that similar death threats were also issued when his parents, the Nawab of Pataudi and the then reigning Bollywood queen, Sharmila Tagore, a Brahmin, got married. In a candid account he states that rather than hatred towards any religion, this has made him more Hindu and more Muslim, and has taught him to respect all religions…….

Building Roads of Peace
Khaled Ahmed

Connectivity is another way of saying “no war”, but in our parts “no war” is considered a cowardly thing. Today, the world thinks if two warrior states become interdependent they will find it hard to go to war. Connectivity is achieved through free trade and you need roads to get your goods across borders. If Pakistan is sensitive to self-interest, it should truly exploit the “edge” of strategic physical location that makes neighbours interdependent with it. That edge is called transit trade….

Bullets and Bigots: Malala Is What Taliban Will Never Be
Murtaza Haider

It is true, at least retrospectively, that not every recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize has been equally deserving. However, the dedication to peace and justice of numerous other recipients is beyond dispute. I think of Dr. Muhammad Yunus (2006), Nelson Mandela (1993), and Dr Martin Luther King Jr (1964) when I think of the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, I will think of Malala…..

 

In Pakistan, Minorities and Women Share a Common Denominator: Both Are Less Powerful Than the Majority Population and Men
Victor V Gill

In Pakistan, minorities and women share a common denominator. Both are less powerful in the society as compared to their counterparts – the majority population and the men. And yet, despite having an unequal status and voice in their society, this weaker segment of the population has produced the only two Nobel Peace Laureates from Pakistan…..

 
The Rise of Unreason
Pervez Hoodbhoy

The Rise of Unreason
Pervez Hoodbhoy

….a staggering number of Pakistanis — university science students included — believe that everything from quantum mechanics to black holes and genes were anticipated 1,400 years ago. Darwin’s theory of evolution is roundly rejected even by students and teachers in biology departments. Instead, the common belief is that all of modern science can be extracted by mastering Arabic and interpreting holy texts expertly enough. Forty years ago, when I joined Islamabad University, the chairman of the physics department, a pious man from the Tableeghi Jamaat, had just calculated the speed at which heaven is running away from earth — and found it to be one centimetre per second less than the speed of light. Today TV channels broadcast even more bizarre theories. Once evidence becomes irrelevant, everything becomes possible.....

Bukharis Must Go: Shahi Imam's Stunt against Modi Reveals Jama Masjid's Real Issue
Hasan Suroor

I can’t resist complimenting the Imam for having managed to achieve, even if wholly inadvertently, what the battalions of secularists battling for years failed to do. In one silly, but momentous stroke, he has united Indian Muslims against his brand of communal and divisive politics that has greatly contributed to the state in which the community finds itself today. His misjudged attempt to cash in on Muslim scepticism about Modi has backfired so spectacularly that even his closest supporters have joined in condemning him....

Indian Canadians also compete in the elections, but in contrast to Pakistanis, their success ratio is higher as they make efforts to engage with their community. On the other hand, Pakistani candidates are confined only to photo sessions for local Urdu newspapers, association with Pakistani political parties, and seeking vote on the basis of caste and clan. ‘Umm… I am jobless nowadays… I’ve heard that the councillors have handsome remuneration, so I am trying my luck there...’..

 

Feminism is not a Pakistani phenomenon. Quaid-e-Azam does not mention feminism once in his speeches. He does not say, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques and you are free to go to your liberal arts colleges.” If Quaid-e-Azam was a feminist, he would have ensured that his sister also emerged as a powerful leader of the freedom movement. People would have remembered her as the ‘Mother of the nation’ and be forced to add her picture to their Pakistani leaders’ sticker collections…..

 

The Silliness Can Wait, First the Care And Rehabilitation of the Victims…Let There Be No Fakery and Grandstanding About That
Ayaz Amir

The terrorists are not winning. Although this can hardly be any consolation for the victims, the Wagah incident is almost an admission of failure, that this was the only vulnerable spot they could target. The victims are all ordinary Pakistanis plus a few Rangers’ personnel. And the terrorists are fighting for the greater glory of Islam. Their victims for the most part turn out to be the less-privileged. This is their understanding of Islam. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is also fighting for the greater glory of the faith. One tactic for which it has earned notoriety is the beheading of real or imagined enemies. Again, all this is being done in the name of Islam. .....

 
Facing up to 1971
Syed Badrul Ahsan

Facing up to 1971
Syed Badrul Ahsan

The war crimes trials and the predicament of the political opposition apart, there is genuine concern in Bangladesh today about reports of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) fugitives finding shelter in the Indian state of West Bengal and allegedly planning terror operations, including assassinations of Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia in Dhaka....

 
Made in India
Harsh Mander

Made in India
Harsh Mander

The violence, which racked Trilokpuri, follows a standard template that recurs whenever organisations choose to organise riots for political gains. The first step is to create a context for the conflict. And the most reliable staple of communal riots since the Partition has been to stir a dispute around a place of worship. In Trilokpuri, just across from a local mosque, a mata ki chowki or temporary temple is assembled for the first time, and loud prayers relayed round the clock through a loudspeaker directed towards the mosque. Tempers are further frayed when word spreads that — contrary to tradition — this makeshift temple would not be dismantled after the festival, but converted into a permanent structure.....

Mumtaz Qadri, Prison King
Rafia Zakaria

Between these tales of dead lawyers and scholars are the tales of property takings, business disagreements, vengeance and revenge, all lubricated by an allegation whose very mention is in Pakistan, a death sentence. Mumtaz Qadri, the prison king, the arbiter of death sentences rules inside prison, but beyond the walls of Adiala is another prison, equally repressive, equally unable to deliver freedom or justice, ruled also by prison kings…..

 
Obama’s Tormentors
Hisham Melhem

Obama’s Tormentors
Hisham Melhem

Watching the numerous photos of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s commander of the Quds Force, a division of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, smiling broadly with Peshmerga units and Iraqi Shiite militias, and observing his role in Syria and in Lebanon as the de facto commander of Shiite forces, one is tempted to call him Iran’s viceroy in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon…..

 
Bukhari, Owaisi and Indian Muslims
Yousuf Kirmani, Tr. New Age Islam

Indian Muslims have never been communal but the BJP that represents a particular section has labelled them as communal. The Muslims of the country never stood behind the Muslim League. Those who might have demanded Pakistan went to Pakistan but those who did not demand did not go and the number of such people was and is high. Sometimes they held onto the Congress and sometimes onto the Samajwadi Party and were cheated by the two.  Now BJP and its leaders want Muslims to come into their fold. Sometimes a Muslim is called a patriot and sometimes he is called a puppy who comes under the wheel and is run over. Sometimes his skullcap is put on and sometimes his skullcap is rejected.....

…the third failed attempt of its kind to assassinate prominent political figure Maulana Fazl ur Rehman – indicates a growing ideological divide between religious parties and Taliban militant groups…

 

What Is Pakistan’s Fundamental Interest?
Imtiaz Gul

What is Pakistan’s fundamental interest? This question has been making rounds in Islamabad’s diplomatic circles, with even countries considered very close to Pakistan wondering if the leadership realizes the futility of its obsolete rhetoric and the gravity of its imminent consequences…..

 
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NEW COMMENTS

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  • Brave lady!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Do not seek where the truth lies in Shia-Sunni polemics. Neither side has it. The truth lies in the unity....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer Saheb, there is a reason why I am so insistent on coherence, consistency and rigour in arriving at any new understanding of Islamic postulates. ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Gulam Mouyddin Muslims living in wester countries and in India are busy in putting pressure to have exclusive and different laws for Muslims.....
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  • Non-Muslims(addressing by negativity by Muslims a degoratory word) readers do not get decived by the articles and the comment. You will feel ...
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  • Royal J As I said I don't care what is your relgion. But perception of your after life comes from relgion life.....
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  • Relevant verses of the Quran: 1. Do not marry a polytheist until they believe: A slave who believes is better than a polytheist, even though ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • If one really wants moral judgements to be free from religious coloring, one should drop words like momin and kafir from one's vocabulary.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Shahin sb, The so-called sword verses have been explained with the help of the verses 9:1 to 9:29 alone .....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, You may try with someone who may know nothing of the Quran but knows logic. Ask Arshad Alam to check with someone who teaches logic ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What Shahin sb says below, is an excellent endorsement of what I say in my article on the universal application of the terms Momin and ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shhains sb says: Maybe a passage from Towards Understanding Quran, Tafheemul Quran will help: فَاَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُوۡرَهَا وَتَقۡوٰٮهَا ۙ‏  ....
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  • Arshad, the concept of Servant Leadership, which I have mentioned in another....
    ( By Royalj )
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  • Labels such as 'Momin' and 'Kafir' are meaningless. Let us just...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • yet another article of Muslim victimhood. Crocodile tears.
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer Saheb, I hope the illiterate Bedouins of 7th century Arabia to whom Quranic verses were directly addressed....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Naseer Saheb, you say: "God enlightens us about right and wrong." فَاَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُوۡرَهَ....
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  • Maybe a passage from Towards Understanding Quran, Tafheemul Quran will help: فَاَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُوۡرَهَا ....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
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    ( By Sultan Shahin )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By muhammad yunus )
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