Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
With the Malacca government declaring that they are following a national fatwa in imposing a blanket ban on vaping and the sale of vape products, non-Muslims in the two states must be wondering why an Islamic edict should apply to them.
Islam need not be attuned to the normative demands of modernity for there will always interpretations from the epistemological pluralism of Islam which will contest this view. Rather the normative present should become the standard against which Islam should be judged. ...
In the wake of the Paris bloodbath, the attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Bamako, Mali, and murders elsewhere before and since, people desperately want to understand the root cause of all this violence. That’s true not only in the West, where many blame Islam itself. It’s true in the Middle East, too, where we are struggling to come to grips with the carnage and the region’s role in it.
Our responsibility as Muslim citizens is to be part of the solution despite our grievances. If we want to defend the life and civil liberties of Muslims around the world and the peace and tranquility of every human regardless of their faith, we must act now to tackle the violent ex- tremism problem in all its dimensions: political, economic, social and religious.
Anas Alam Faizli
Islam is a religion that inculcates thinking. If we encourage thinking, and if we allow continuous discussions and debates, we will nurture intellectualism and progress. We need to question in order to understand the purpose of certain systems, rulings or judicial decisions.
Bashy Quraishy, New Age Islam
Simply put, any faith that does not accept its follower’s quest for exploratory questioning or fulfilling the ordinary human desire for spiritual and moral advancement, would in the longer run have difficulty in appealing or contain ability to fill the inner void resulting in the lack of peace. That is why, it is alarming that some groups within Islam wish to enforce a puritanical form of faith that was prevalent 1500 years back. The practices of 7th century are gaining ground in 21st century, among Muslims communities at large and even some of the educated and aware Muslim youth are attracted to it, both in the Islamic world as well as in the western part of the planet.
Our responsibility as Muslim citizens is to be part of the solution despite our grievances. If we want to defend the life and civil liberties of Muslims around the world, and the peace and tranquility of every human regardless of their faith, we must act now to tackle the violent extremism problem in all its dimensions: political, economic, social and religious. ...
Azis Anwar Fachrudin
The 90-minute film Rahmat Islam Nusantara (promoted in English as The Divine Grace of East Indies Islam) has attracted international attention, along with the idea of Islam Nusantara, after a piece about it appeared in The New York Times. Sharing the theme of Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) national congress several months ago, the film always intended to share the idea of Islam Nusantara, Indonesia’s unique style of Islam, with a global audience.
It’s true that terrorism in the 21st century is disproportionately rooted in the Islamic world. And it’s legitimate to criticize the violence, mistreatment of women or oppression of religious minorities that some Muslims justify by citing passages in the Quran. But let’s not stereotype 1.6 billion Muslims because of their faith. What counts most is not the content of holy books, but the content of our hearts.
Ali A. Rizvi
...I wanted to be able to criticize Islam as one should be able to criticize any set of ideas, but I didn't want to be seen to demonize an entire people -- the people I was raised by and grew up with. Neither narrative made this distinction between ideas and people. It is crucial to emphasize the difference between the criticism of Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry: the first targets an ideology, and the second targets human beings. This is obviously a very significant difference, yet both are frequently lumped under the unfortunate umbrella term, "Islamophobia."
We Muslims need to admit our problems and face them. Only then we can treat them and start a new era to live in harmony with human mankind. Our religious leaders have to show a clear and very strong stand against polygamy, pedophilia, slavery, killing those who convert from Islam to other religions, beating of women by men, and declaring wars on non-Muslims to spread Islam.
Being the majority doesn’t give us the right to set the rules for others. That is oppression. At least what we can do is have the courage to admit that we are fine oppressing the minorities because well, we are ignorant and selfish.
My own understanding developed over the past couple of decades is that Sufis have shown the way, taking Islam culturally and peacefully to most remote corners of erstwhile Sultanate and Mughal rule, being part of the political process, yet maintaining critical distance from politics, which often involved violence especially in conquests and control of areas offering resistance. ...
Khwaja Khusro Tariq
Autocratic regimes within the Muslim world have long practiced a contrived and self-serving anti-Semitism. They use state-controlled media and politicized clergies to cultivate an anti-Jewish animus in their citizenry. It is taught in schools and mosques through selective and acontextual readings of both scripture and history. This de rigueur hatred serves such regimes several uses. …
Unless Muslims acknowledge the violent elements in their Islamic literature and reform it according to norms of the 21st century, groups like ISIS with their idea of revival of Caliphate will continue to rise. They will continue attacking and realizing the mission outlined by the former head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Zarqawi in his 7 point agenda which was heavily inspired by the caliphate concept of Islam......
Raza Habib Raja
A classic case is the issue of Ahmadis. Since mainstream clergy has declared them as Non Muslims and their status does not directly affect us, therefore all of us have simply accepted that they are. None of us is ready to challenge clergy and to conduct efforts to repeal second amendment. No political party can muster the courage to confront a handful of zealots.
The truth is that Islam has already had its own reformation of sorts, in the sense of a stripping of cultural accretions and a process of supposed “purification”. And it didn’t produce a tolerant, pluralistic, multifaith utopia, a Scandinavia-on-the-Euphrates. Instead, it produced … the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Benazir’s actual killers, connected to Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud — himself killed by an American drone — had stayed the night before the murder at a seminary called Darul Uloom Haqqania, near Peshawar, belonging Maulana Samiul Haq, the famous teacher of the Afghan Taliban. That lead went cold long ago.
Aziz Ali Dad
The Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Isis and Boko Haram are not embodiments of the old, traditional order of Islam for they do not derive their legitimacy from tradition. Rather they are forces that have succeeded to break the traditional world view of Islam by defying tenets and procedures that have succeeded to keep the religious worldview intact despite the onslaught of modernity.
It is, however,
time for progressive leaders of Muslim and other religious communities to
ensure their archaic personal laws changed with the times. Already, advocacy
groups of various religious communities are rooting for a Uniform Civil Code. A
recent survey of over 5,000 Muslim women across 10 states reveals that a
majority is against the practice of triple Talaq. Over 92 per cent of those
surveyed wanted polygamy banned......
According to Holy Quran, any kind of deviation from the right of humanness is injustice. It includes all acts of injustice to others as well as all acts of impropriety (indecency and immodesty) corruption, perversion, and immorality....
In the run-up to the Tunisian Constituent Assembly elections and the aftermath that saw a plurality of seats won by the al-Nahda (Renaissance) party, you may have noticed frequent references in the media to this political organization as a "moderate Islamist" party. This is of course not the first time such terms have been used to denote Islamist political factions: recall for example how the ruling AKP party in Turkey is often called "mildly Islamist" (to borrow the Economist's phrasing). Unfortunately, however, such terminology can only be characterized as part of what Hussein Ibish - director of the American Task Force on Palestine - calls an "intellectually and politically indefensible rush" to portray Islamist parties as "more moderate or pluralistic than they actually are." -- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
His death may encourage the US to withdraw troops quickly from Afghanistan, strike a deal with the Taliban, and play down terrorism directed at India rather than the US. Pakistan will see this as vindication of its two-faced policy of using terrorists against India while playing footsie with the US. Such two-facedness may mean worse violence within Pakistan, with radicals gaining ground from liberal Muslims. India may suffer further 26/11-style attacks, more violence in Kashmir, and more external assistance for domestic jihadi groups. We may even suffer another Kandahar-type hijack. To scotch this, militant Hindus want to emulate the US by raiding and assassinating targets in Pakistan such as Hafeez Saeed of the Lashkare-Taiba , mastermind of 26/11. This approach will fail. Just look at the ultimate failure of many killing missions of Israel, which is global No.1 in political assassinations and much admired for it by the RSS. -- Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar