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Books and Documents

Interview

“Black and White” is about the Indian Muslim woman, who is overcoming all social and religious inhibitions, proving her potential, and creating her identity as an achiever. We have chosen this name to represent the two aspects — outer and inner self. Black signifies the Indian Muslim women’s pain, suffering, inner darkness, suppression, lack of awareness of their rights; white represents awakening to one’s own self, to the light of one’s inner strength and daring to take the necessary steps for one’s rights….

 

The U.S.-Saudi alliance appears to be intended to minimize the influence of the Brotherhood, while creating a counter-balance to the influence of Iran in the Middle East , which Israel also supports….

 
Boko Haram: Threatening West Africa?
Nicholas A. Heras and Jacob Zenn

Assessing Boko Haram’s threat to international security cannot be done without considering its relationship to AQIM, MUJAO, and Ansaru. At this point, however, I do not believe that either Boko Haram or Ansaru is planning attacks outside of Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The international community should, however, watch for “little Boko Harams” emerging elsewhere in West Africa....

 

We thought for decades that relative gender equality could be taken for granted in Tunisia. But we now realise that Tunisia is no different from other Arab countries. We used to think of ourselves in Tunisia as a model for progress in the Arab world. Now we see daily evidence of the Islamists' determination to smash that model. But Tunisian women do not want a uniform culture....

 

And what about the fact that this One God seems so far away, and we need intermediaries to arrive to that One God? So they worshiped the other gods as conjugates to direct their prayers to the ultimate God, and Islam said well you don’t need all of these conjugates, and saviours, you just need One God, the Creator of all, to direct your prayers to Him, because wherever you are, He can hear you, He sees you, and He can respond to your prayers....

 
Bush's Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme
Katharine Teresa Gun
Bush's Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme
Dennis J Bernstein

I was hoping the British ministers would see the truth and question the actions of Blair and the secret negotiations he was having with Bush at the time. I wanted more transparency on the issue. I wanted people to question what was going on and to generally challenge this bandwagon for a pre-emptive strike against a country that was already very impoverished and no threat to anybody whatsoever….

 
Why Do Westerners Convert to Islam?
Batool al-Toma
Why Do Westerners Convert to Islam?
Tariq Ramadan

Because of all the dreadful situations that had occurred around the world, and have happened because Muslims have interpreted the Qur'an in terms of wanting to carry out these catastrophes for religious reasons. This has triggered many non-Muslims to want to look into Islam to see what this religion says about terrorism, peace, peaceful coexistence with other people from other faiths and so on....

The jury is out as to whether the Afghans are up to the task of protecting their people. But it’s very important to point out that the last 12 years have not been a waste. There’s far greater personal freedom in Afghanistan; millions of children are now in school, including girls, which was unheard-of in 2001.....

 

This has been going for two and a half years. I think the Americans think that as long as they keep talking, no one will point out that they're not actually doing anything. The problem now for the West is that the rebels they want to support are the Free Syrian Army, allegedly all defectors from the Syrian government army. They do not want to support the Islamist rebels with links to al Qaeda....

 

Khairat Al-Shater rules Egypt through the MB’s Guidance Bureau. When it was rumoured Al-Shater would become prime minister my response was why. He already rules Egypt. He doesn’t need the title because he’s Egypt’s invisible president....

 

Allah knows what will happen to them (Alawites). There is a difference between the basic Kuffar [infidels] and those who converted from Islam. If the latter, we must punish them. Alawites are included. Even Sunnis who want democracy are Kuffar as are all Shias. It’s not about who is loyal and who isn’t to the regime; it’s about their religion. Sharia says there can be no punishment of the innocent and there must be punishment of the bad; that’s what we follow....

It further helps to undermine the often ideologically-motivated position that Islamic thought is univocal and ossified and that there is a fundamental “clash of civilizations” between a monolithic, frozen Islamic world and a monolithic but dynamic West. Part of the argument I will be making in the book is that if there is indeed a clash of world-views today, then that clash is to be found more among Muslims themselves rather than between Muslims and non-Muslims on a number of critical issues. ...

 

As Tunisians are we in a position to be able to enjoy freedom? Are we in a position to introduce democratic conditions? Can we really respect others? Or are we having a revolution only in order to return to the old times? The Islamists want to force us to dress according to their rules; otherwise they threaten to kill us. We're not even allowed to discuss religion or morality openly anymore!....

 

Mohammad said: "I have left behind no Fitnah more harmful to men than women." This is a recurring theme in all major religions. There is a Jewish prayer that says: "Blessed are you, Lord, our God, ruler the universe who has not created me a woman." In the Bible, there is one verse that says: "Her filthiness is in her skirts" (Lam.1:8-9). There are of course many examples of religion's misogynist perception of women…..

Is there a solution? Yes, we need to redefine Pakistan. The Two-Nation Theory brought the country into existence, but it cannot hold the country together, not any more. What we need now is a constitution that gives exactly the same rights and opportunities to all of its citizens independent of their ethnicity or religious affiliation, and a mechanism that can enforce the laws that matter most, those of life and personal security to its citizens. …

 

Eltahawy takes pride that though she became an activist, a frequent TV talking head opining about the Arab Spring, she has remained a writer. Indeed, she was recently signed by the distinguished publishing house Farrar, Straus & Giroux to write a book about her experiences and the plight of women in the Mideast, including her opposition to female genital mutilation. (Her working title is Headscarves and Hymens.)…

 

For some time now, the proponents of international Wahhabism have been working on a plan to establish a Wahhabi zone of influence that extends right across the entire Sahel region, from Niger, northern Nigeria and Mali through to Senegal. This represents a huge threat to our brand of Islam, which has always lived in harmony with local cultures....

The onus is on us. You can't fight fascism batting on the back foot. You've got to hit it out of the park. I put harsher responsibility on Indian Muslims because they are free, living in a democratic society. If they want to know what it's like to live under Islamic rule, they can see what`s happening in Pakistan....

Islam, Essential to America?
Scott Korb
Islam, Essential to America?
Scott Korb

The book was my own effort to equip myself to talk about and engage with the nation’s fastest growing religion, to offer a snapshot of one of its most influential institutions, and to tell the stories of the students and scholars who have taken up the challenge of this experiment in American education....

 

Some scriptures are in conflict with each other, or are in conflict within themselves in that you may have one part of the scripture promoting peace and the other part of the scripture being extremely violent, and this has been noticed in the studies of the scriptures of the world’s religions…..

'We Shared One Thing in Guantánamo Bay – Pain'
Ahmed Errachidi
'We Shared One Thing in Guantánamo Bay – Pain'
William Skidelsky

The ordinary soldiers were executing orders. They were very cruel, but they were being used as well. They were told that we were terrorists who had been trained not to feel pain. If I was to meet them today, I would tell them that what they did was wrong, but I would forgive them. But the politicians, the generals in charge – I will never forgive those people. I believe they need to stand trial....

 

Mohammad says he also supports Saudis going to fight in Syria. Dozens of Facebook pages memorialize Saudis killed in Syria. Late last year, a judge in one Saudi city told young anti-government protesters that they should be fighting jihad in Syria, not demonstrating at home. Reached by phone, Abdurrahman al-Talq, father of one of the defendants, recalls what the judge said….

 
Sufism Is Everybody’s Cup of Tea
Muzaffar Ali
Sufism Is Everybody’s Cup of Tea
Muzaffar Ali

As I said before, Sufism is everybody’s cup of tea. I am one of those who got into it because I was concerned about where I was coming from — unless you belong somewhere you don’t get that feeling of rootedness. Then your sensibilities get a different type of shape. Slowly, I found Sufism seeping into everything that I did, through music, through poetry… I found Sufism through my rootedness —...

People in Shahbag are indeed asserting the importance of secular politics. This is evident in their slogans and in the absence of informal obeisance to this religion or the other, which take place in many other 'secular' scenarios. Apart from brief Namaz [prayer] breaks, I noticed nothing that had any particular stamp. What was interesting that most of the assemblies were not talking of 'true Islam' or 'true Hinduism'....

We are waiting for them to bring about change - women are ready but men have fallen into the trap of religious fundamentalism. It suits them in certain ways to keep women suppressed, i guess. Activists are trying to help. There are some organisations that provide help and assistance such as the Pannah group, War against Rape and Rozan. ....

 
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