Books and Documents

Current Affairs

Gathering Clouds over West Asia
Shashank Joshi

West Asia is in a period of heightened uncertainty. In the Levant, regional powers are scrambling to fill the vacuum created by the steady dismantling of the Islamic State’s sham caliphate across Syria and Iraq. Kurds, buoyed by their pivotal position in this race to Raqqa, have held an independence referendum, drawing the ire of their Iraqi, Turkish and Iranian neighbours, with every chance of a conflagration in disputed, oil-rich areas such as Kirkuk....


When It Comes To the Decree of the Saudi King, Even Clerics Can Be Overruled
Rafia Zakaria

That, of course, is the story as it appears, the sort of jubilant tale of progress and advance that the Saudis are so eager to sell to the world — at least to a Western world increasingly sceptical of their intentions for the region. While the new US president and his advisers (several of whom have already been fired) were eager to peer through illuminated globes and partake of traditional sword dances, others in the US are not so dazzled by the regime’s recent doings....


There’s Little Possibility of the Centre Getting SC Sanction to Deport Rohingyas
Ajai Sahni

Why then the very high profile public, media and litigious campaign? Not because it has any possibility of success, but because it feeds perfectly into the wider Hindutva discourse and its polarising politics. This is no different from the periodic and high-decibel broadsides launched against illegal Bangladeshi migrants; despite over nine years of BJP-led government (six under Atal Behari Vajpayee and well over three under the present regime), nothing of significance has been done on this issue. But its electoral yield has been significant....


Long after a gunman opened fire from the top story of the Mandalay Bay hotel on Sunday night, killing more than 50 people and injuring at least 200, people in dusty, blood-stained T-shirts and jeans were still jogging away from the scene. Flashing red and blue lights from countless ambulances and police cars nearly outshone the casino towers on the Strip. At the Rebel gas station behind the MGM Grand, survivors stood teary-eyed and shocked....

Another Story:

At Least 50 Dead, More Than 200 Hurt in Las Vegas Shooting


Suu Kyi and Sheikh Hasina:  Same, Same yet So Different
Vineeta Pandey

Two women. Close neighbours. Both powerful and influential. Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Sheikh Hasina are the women under focus of the world at present. Despite having too many things in common they are different in several ways. ....


Exit Nawaz Sharif, ad Nauseam
Khaled Ahmed

The people are gravitating to the proxy warriors. A spook-supported Bol TV anchor and model Hamza Abbasi caused a stir when he praised the “terror-watch” suspect in his tweets: “US/India say he is a terrorist; I know Hafiz Saeed as a righteous man. Hafiz Saeed has done great work against Takfeer & sectarianism, social work for non-Muslims of Pakistan & is a mentor (sic!) to Kashmiris”....


Bareilly’s Far From Berkeley: A Successful US Tour Will Not Be Enough To Overcome Doubts About Rahul Gandhi’s Political Future

Instead we saw, in both public and private, a thoughtful politician able to express himself clearly on some of the most pressing issues facing India. Gandhi touched upon subjects ranging from Chinese competitiveness in blue collar manufacturing, to mass migration from rural to urban India, to the low agricultural productivity that plagues the countryside....

Solving the Afghan Riddle
Satinder K. Lambah

Solving the Afghan Riddle
Satinder K. Lambah

Indo-Afghan relations are unique. Just after Independence, on January 4, 1950, India signed a Treaty of Friendship with Afghanistan which also permitted opening of consulates in each other’s country. Interestingly, not standing on protocol, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru signed this agreement with the Afghan Ambassador in India to indicate the importance New Delhi attached to its relations with Kabul. ....


China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Master Plan Revealed
Khurram Husain

For instance, thousands of acres of agricultural land will be leased out to Chinese enterprises to set up “demonstration projects” in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology. A full system of monitoring and surveillance will be built in cities from Peshawar to Karachi, with 24 hour video recordings on roads and busy marketplaces for law and order. A national fibre optic backbone will be built for the country not only for internet traffic, but also terrestrial distribution of broadcast TV, which will cooperate with Chinese media in the “dissemination of Chinese culture”.....

Other Story:

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: A Boon For The Economy, A Bane For Locals


One Nation One Code: Why Hindu and Muslim Attitudes to Personal Law Can't Be Compared
Madhu Purnima Kishwar

Sadly, in recent decades, Islamists have been forcing Muslims to build walls of separation from other faith groups. Ever since petrodollar Islam has come to dominate the global scene, ordinary followers of Islam cannot take such liberties. Self appointed guardians of Muslim personal law in India have begun to take rigid positions regarding what they claim are Quran and Sharia sanctioned practices.....


The Milli Muslim League is no bystander here. The party is making all efforts to be recognised as a political group out and about in the mainstream. MML is a Hafiz Saeed offshoot. It has been on the cards ever since the Pakistani political right wing collected on The Mall in Lahore a few years ago to stand shoulder to shoulder with Saeed....


Like Cold War: Pakistan Is Counting On China to Balance India-US Bonhomie
Khaled Ahmed

US President Donald Trump’s challenge to a “double-dealing” Pakistan has provoked commentators in the country to invoke the threat of a Cold War-like confrontation between America and China — with Pakistan safely operating on the Chinese side while India draws closer to the US. But Pakistan needs to be realistic. The 2008 Mumbai attack issue is still not resolved and Pakistan continues to prevent the UN from subjecting its main accused, Hafiz Saeed, to trial....


Take Away Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize, She No Longer Deserves It
George Monbiot

This week, to my own astonishment, I found myself signing a petition for the revocation of her Nobel peace prize. I believe the Nobel committee should retain responsibility for the prizes it awards, and withdraw them if its laureates later violate the principles for which they were recognised. There are two cases in which this appears to be appropriate. One is Barack Obama, who, bafflingly, was given the prize before he was tested in office. His programme of drone strikes, which slaughtered large numbers of civilians, should disqualify him from this honour. The other is Aung San Suu Kyi....


Pakistan Won’t Let Terrorist Organizations Contest Elections, For Now
Stephen Tankel

But militancy is not the group’s only mission. It is also dedicated to proselytizing and nonviolent reformism intended to turn Pakistan into a “pure” Islamic state. Many Pakistanis see Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which runs hospitals and ambulance services across the country, as a robust social welfare organization, and not an alias for a lethal terrorist group....


Where Is The International Outcry?
Mahmood Hasan

Myanmar is already at war with more than a dozen insurgent groups along its borders. But the emergence of ARSA will be a game-changer for Myanmar. Islamic militants from al-Qaeda, ISIS and other jihadi outfits will most likely infiltrate ARSA and pose serious threats to Myanmar's security. ARSA's cross-border activities may also pose a security threat to Bangladesh. Myanmar's air force helicopters have already violated Bangladesh's airspace several times during the past weeks. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres rightly warned that ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas could lead to regional destabilisation.

Jinnah, Rohingyas and Pakistan
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Jinnah, Rohingyas and Pakistan

The case of the Rohingya has always been that they should be given equal rights as citizens of Burma. To suggest that they might have exercised their right to self determination in 1947 along with Pakistan is an absurd claim. If some members of the Rohingya community had raised this possibility, it was promptly shot down and rightly so by Jinnah and the All India Muslim League. And it certainly cannot be held against the Rohingya that some of their forbears might have wanted such a solution.

The ICG says Arsa members are young Rohingya men angered by the state's response to deadly riots in 2012. Young men trying to escape the area used to be able to do so by boat to Malaysia, but the Malaysian navy blocked that route in 2015, which led to thousands of people being stranded at sea and, the group says, others considering violence.

This is in the context of extreme poverty, statelessness and restrictions on Rohingya people's movement. The security forces crack down heavily on violence; a UN report in February described the "devastating cruelty" of soldiers who had beaten, raped and killed people in the region while it was in lockdown following the October 2016 attack.

Laws For Women, Not Against Muslims
Noorjehan Safia Niaz and Zakia Soman

This hegemony of patriarchal forces has continued even after 1947, till date. Muslim women such as Shayara Bano and others are only calling for a halt to the rampant violations of their rights in family matters, and seeking justice. The absence of a comprehensive codified personal law in our country has resulted in the Muslim woman suffering in matters of divorce, halala, polygamy, guardianship and custody of children, share in property, and so on. The Shariat Application Act, 1937 is silent on all these matters. It is claimed that Indian Muslims are governed by Shariat. But the Shariat as practiced currently in different parts of the country is undefined and unwritten. …

Profit Maximization is Easy: Invest in Violence
Robert J. Burrowes , New Age Islam

Profit Maximization is Easy: Invest in Violence
Robert J. Burrowes , New Age Islam

If you are inclined to ponder these questions, you might also consider making moral choices that work systematically to end the violence in our world: consider participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’, signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ and/or helping to develop and implement an effective strategy to resist one or the other of the many threats to our survival using the strategic framework explained in Nonviolent Campaign Strategy.

Where is our Rohingya Policy?
Brig Gen Shahedul Anam Khan ndc, psc (Retd)

The reality is that the Rohingyas are victims of state terrorism. And there are benefits of registering the Rohingyas even if we are unwilling to acknowledge them as refugees. For one thing we can have a tab on the exact number that have entered the country. As of now, in spite of our declared intention of not allowing in the Rohingyas, a large number of them have entered Bangladesh. The figures varies between 90,000 and 150,000. …


Holy Men — Theirs and Ours: Religion in Politics Produces A Highly Toxic, Explosive Mix
Pervez Hoodbhoy

It gets far worse when religion is infused into politics. This produces a highly toxic, explosive mix as large masses of people blindly and unquestioningly follow holy men. Instead of dividing people still further, whether inside or outside national boundaries, South Asian states should aspire towards becoming a part of cosmopolitan world society removed from the prejudices of religion, caste and race....

We should have, beyond our national passports, a global passport. Over time, the withering of the monopoly power of the nation state, and the oppressive, absurd, monopoly power of the national passport – that would be my reformation....


Beyond Fake Dreams: The Masses in Both India, Pak Need To Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Hasan Suroor

While politicians in the two countries are engaged in competitive nationalism, the two feeding off each other, the pressing bread-and-butter issues seem to be nobody’s priority. It’s revealing that both India and Pakistan are at the bottom of the heap on most social indicators. Shamefully, more people in India live in poverty than in all of sub-Saharan Africa, according to a UN study, and in Pakistan 40 per cent of its population lives under the poverty line, official figures show.... 

In A Country of Men, In a Nation of Sons, Baby Girls Have Few Chances
Rafia Zakaria

It is a biological fact that the Y chromosome, whose presence makes a male baby, is contributed by the father. The meaning is obvious: it is the father and never ever the mother who is responsible for the gender of the child. Facts like this, however, mean little or rather nothing at all in a society where men are in charge, making frequent and fitful messes, and women are allotted the thankless task of cleaning up after them....

Escape From Houses of Pain in Saudi Arabia
Bilkis Irani and Nabban Haque

Escape From Houses of Pain in Saudi Arabia
Nabban Haque

“I was told I would be working at a house in Al-Qassim with a large family,” Majeda said. “But when I got there, they were unlike any family that I had ever seen.” Surrounded by scantily clad women and witnessing acts that “no brother and sister would perform,” Majeda soon realised that she had become a victim of human trafficking. Her view was only enforced when her new employers confiscated her phone....

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  • Exclusivist and hegemonistic tendencies must be rooted out of Islam. Pluralism and respect for other religions and other sects are the true tenets of Islam.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • وہابی دیوبندی ہمیشہ یہی جملہ کہتے پھرتے ہیں کہ نبی ہماری طرح ہیں کسی دیوبندی نے اپنی کتاب میں لکھا کہ نبی کا علم چوپایہ ...
    ( By Abdul Ghani )
  • The writer has mixed two different issues in the article. But... good effort, bachcha.'
    ( By arshad )
  • What Hats Off wants to be considered are in fact items which need to be rejected and denounced.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the matter of "idrubihunna", the matter of the evidentiary value of a woman and kuffar being less than that of a momeen....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Bahut khub lajwab. Alhumduliillah
    ( By Arifkhan )
  • The article tries to cover certain important issues related to marriages. No doubt there are certain expectations for a successful....
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • "The real reason for the loss of faith in Islam is not the West but Turkey itself: It is a reaction to all the....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is somewhat of a stretch but it is harmless.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • اسلام علیکم یا شیخ ما طالعت بنسہ کتب الدیوبندیۃ ما قالوا ھکذا قط بل انما قالا
    ( By muhammad khalid )
  • You seem to blame everyone except yourself!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • i suspect it ois the company. with so many foul mouthed exegetes, lying "moderates....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Yes, dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheb, This is the bitter truth. The pathetic plight of ....
    ( By GRD )
  • What makes you do it? I don't know. Is it just bad manners
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Worrisome but does have elements of truth!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islam Bharat me na hi aata to shi Tha
    ( By Parveen )
  • Sad to note that Justice Sachar passed away today.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The status of women seems to be directly proportional to how civilized a society is.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sharia upholders get Legislative Council seats while reformers get nothing
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The charge-sheet leaves no doubt that she was a target only because she was a Muslim. The Hindu right wing in Jammu has been indulging ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • We can blame all Muslims for they hate the Hindus as Khafirs Kufueer........( so many such words ) etc.What....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • After all you are the expert here. Right? So you tell me ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, what makes you write such inane comments?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mathematicians think god id a mathematician. ulemas think god is an ulema. garbage pickers think god ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Great article except there was one bad apple - Hajj Amin al-Husayni who " al-Husayni still collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • God is the greatest mathematician" - which God we talking about: Hindu, Muslim, Christian....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • kaash khuda mujhe bhi apne mehboob k nakshe kadam par chla de sari umr bs itni si iltija h aapse'
    ( By sharib )
  • The muslims view Trishul as a weapon...but the hindus see it as a symbol of Lord Shiva. Who is today using the Trishul as a ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Having said that, one must add that none of these played the causative role in the current marginalisation and brutalisa­tion of the community. For that, ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • The problem is Muslims neither understand hindus or hindu fears, nor hindutva . When they think of " Hindu rashtra" or "hindu right wing" the ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Very strange logic..so when you can practise hindu phobia why shouldnt the world practise I... tell me....
    ( By indiewater )
  • I am unable to fathom what is the purpose of this ARTICLE. I know the author has been writing similar articles earlier too. But he ...
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • Your article drives us to introspect and reflect on how politics has become devoid of any humanity. Truly, women’s bodies have been used as sites ...
    ( By Meera )
  • Political parties exploit communalism because it is an exploitable issue. They will exploit anything that yields them. .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! We cannot blame all Hindus but we can blame Sanghis for whom hating Muslims has become....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Crimes as heinous as rape have no religion, a lawyer waging a legal....
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Though we entertain acute differences in numerous theological, doctrinal and jurisprudential matters of faith, we cannot reject outright the mystical...
    ( By GRD )
  • dear mr dehlvi, how long will we fool ourselves while persistently denying to recognize religious bigotry behind religious crimes....
    ( By hats off! )
  • with all respect to mr. mohammad ghithreef, Hippocrates was great and venerable man. i am sure he meant...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear hats off, If such a heinous crime can get conflated with religion in order to provoke communalism, then what more can be expected?
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )