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Tunisia’s New President, an Interior Minister in Habib Bourguiba’s Government in 1960s, Defeated Moncef Marzouki, a Human-Rights Campaigner Who Spent Years in Exile

Mr Marzouki’s appeal to voters was that he would defend their newly won liberties. This attracted Islamist sympathisers, especially supporters of Nahda (“Awakening”), the Islamist party that had led a governing coalition in the outgoing constituent assembly but which chose not to put up a candidate...

 

Happy ‘Illicit’ New Year
Özgür Korkmaz

“Lives are being wasted with illicit behaviours and attitudes with a deception of entertainment, either forgetting or ignoring religious or moral values. What a bitter picture is that. How sad it is to consider the Earth only as a planet of entertainment by ignoring the screams and tears of the people facing cruelty in different parts of the world,” the transcript of the fatwa published on Diyanet’s website read, without naming, but fully describing the New Year’s celebrations. The same Diyanet had a liberal view on the issue….

 

A Timely Reminder of the Bloody Anniversary We All Forgot
Robert Fisk

In US history, it is a profound event that we should all remember; here, after all, lie the original bones of the Union, its victory consecrated among some of the units whose soldiers were sent to their deaths in Iraq in 2003, its brutality ghosted into the future narrative of American military records, its equalities reflected in the large number of black soldiers who died in present-day Mesopotamia. But for the Irish, too, the civil war of 1861-1865, is a sombre anniversary. They reckon that 210,000 Irish soldiers fought in British uniform in the First World War, and that 49,300 were killed. Yet almost as many Irishmen fought in the American Civil War – 200,000 in all, 180,000 in the Union army, and 20,000 for the Confederates.....

 

Turkey’s Future: Can Turkey’s Past Glories Be Revived By Its Grandiose Islamist President?

The question is more urgent as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s first popularly elected president, presses for constitutional changes that would endow him with executive power. He then hopes to fulfil his dream of a new and assertive Turkey, where Sunni Islam prevails and the glories of the old empire are revived. Others are less enthusiastic. “Turkey will become a Middle East-style dictatorship,” predicts Levent Gultekin, a prominent pundit….

 

Myanmar’s Rohingya See Little Benefit from New Citizenship Effort

Sitting in a small rattan shack, Aye Khaing holds out her most-valued new possession: a pink identification card, indicating she is a full citizen of this country after years of statelessness. Yet more than two months since receiving her citizenship, Ms. Aye Khaing and others in the pilot program haven’t been allowed to leave the squalid displaced-persons camp they have called home since religious violence broke out in Myanmar two years ago. Border guards and police, perched on watchtowers above, say that it is too dangerous for them to exit, and that they must keep the Rohingya Muslims in camps to maintain the area’s security…..

 

Can Pakistan Keep Democracy Alongside Military Courts?
Mehr F. Husain

Pakistan's anti-terror moves are a case of too little too late, and won’t help, say the critics.  But what else can be done? It took the most gruesome attack in the country’s history for the state and society to finally land on the same page Alas, nothing ever runs smoothly.  Even today, as the government and the military work out a constructive way to take on terrorists without losing public support, there are doubts about what the future will look like.  And the biggest issue is: military courts trying civilians accused of terrorism….

 

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

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NEW COMMENTS

  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   As-Salaam Alay-Kum   Who are the so-called “Moderate Islamic Scholars”? What is the actual translation of the two words, “Functional Education”?   Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi Saheb, ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Can Karni Singh protect his wife and future daughter from being abducted legally by a muslim ?
    ( By barani )
  • If Modi cannot restrain hate merchants in his own party like Sadhvi Prachi, he is unfit to be the Prime Minister of India.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • OUR CHILDREN DESERVE A CONSISTENT INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION     The inconsistency in this curriculum is obvious. For example, at the outset of the school year, my son brought home ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • I WAS SEDUCED BY THE IDEOLOGY   Challenging the notion of statehood, democratic theory and Middle Eastern power politics certainly takes a degree of intellectual sophistication, but it ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • A key statement in the article reads:"according to an influential article in the Atlantic magazine, the Islamic State, what with its beheadings, massacres, crucifixions ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • We also need to add that in Canada, there has been a big backlash against the judge !!
    ( By Mubashir )
  • Good article.Complements the exegetic refutation of ISIS as an Islamic outgrowth per the following article: Declare The ISIS As ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Sufi scholars keep silence wherever their traditional approach is questioned.  On sectarian issues they never miss the oppertunity.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • My last comment on Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, addressed to Sultan Shahin Saheb has been repeated due to captcha problem. Therefore, the last one, ending with the ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • Observerif billions of people can misunderstood the God's message in 1400 years, why not Wahiduddin khan saheb. what if he is among those who ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
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  • Sultan Shahiin  says, “Khalid Suhail Sb, Rather than calling it Taqiyya, why don't we take it as an evolution in thinking for the better.”  Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • Dear Sir, I dont think Muslims believe in co-e3xistence with other religions. You can proof of that all over the world. You can see ...
    ( By Tim )
  • Is there a contradiction in what the Maulana said?Reverend R. Bosworth-Smith wrote in "Mohammed & Mohammedanism" in 1946:   "Head of the state as well as the ...
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  • Debate and discussion on a subject as important as this should be certainly held. I will be travelling and busy with my work at ...
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  • Yes, that is how we have to bring revolution in youth mind and this is the time we have to work against this extreme ...
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  • Sufi scholars of NAI may post their scholarly comments on "Imamat of Women".Will they perform their Namaz behind a Woman Imam?
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  • Sufi scholars of NAI may post their scholarly comments on "Imamat of Women".Will they perform their Namaz behind a Woman Imam?
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Sultan ShahinIt is true only if the Maulana has replaced his early standing with evolved learning. If he continues to believe that only ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Sultan ShahinIt is true only if the Maulana has replaced his early standing with evolved learning. If he continues to believe that only ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • This may make you angry but I suggest that instead of calling Ahmadis non-Muslims, let all Muslims become Ahmadis.  Then Islam will be really ...
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  • Khalid Suhail Sb, Rather than calling it Taqiyya, why don't we take it as an evolution in thinking for the better. All aware people ...
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  • Dear Sultan ShahinWhy don't you start from Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi? there your team hold some meetings/seminars.I think you must have some Aalims ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
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  • The position of Brailvis/SUfis is not different than those of Devbandis with a difference that Devbandis didn't like calling Hindus kafir.in my childhood there ...
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  • To: All Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam Forum   Read a published write-up re: biggest fraud in the name of "Islamic Mortgage" by a Mortgage mafia ...
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  • A comment on this article by one of my learned friends:Dear Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi saheb,It should be so. But this is not perceived as that ...
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    ( By Sultan Shahin )
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    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • A SETTING FOR A MORALLY INSTRUCTIVE YARN   The American conversation about Islam may be noisy and confusing, but it isn’t new. And these forgotten images remind us to ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Mr Yunus,Dont you think your services are more required in Iraq where Quran is being implemented  in the literal sense by ISIS
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