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Islamic fanatics are against human rights, women’s rights, free speech and democracy. Islamic fanatics are against everything Indian liberals stand for – but liberals strangely sympathise with them....

 

So he gave me a dusty, old, thick copy of Tagore’s Gardener. He must have thought I wouldn’t understand this and I especially wouldn’t be able to finish it off in one day. The moment I started reading Tagore’s poems, Woh Kahin Mujhe Lag Gayi....

 
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: Religion Should Not Be an Issue in Dealing with Terrorism
Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: Religion Should Not Be an Issue in Dealing with Terrorism
Abubakar Abdurrahaman Dodo and Amina Alhassan

Well, if you have identified terrorism with Islam, that is a problem and it has become an issue of what means you have to contain the situation. One has to find out if Christians in Nigeria ever committed any act of terrorism. Therefore religion should not form an issue in dealing with terrorism...

 
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: ISIS, Al-Shabab Boko Haram Are Only Using Islam To Justify Terrorism
Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: ISIS, Al-Shabab Boko Haram Are Only Using Islam To Justify Terrorism
By Abubakar Abdurrahaman Dodo and Amina Alhassan

It is true that ISIS, al-Shabab, Boko Haram are all using Islam to justify their actions. However, again, this is not something new. There have been groups such as the Hashashin, one of the assassins who have been assassinating rulers across the Muslim empire and they considered themselves to be Muslims; they used Islamic terminology to justify their action. The Qarmatians did the same thing. They attacked Makkah and killed pilgrims and put their bodies into the well of Zam-Zam and took the Black stone away to eastern Arabia for 25 years. You know, they considered themselves to be Muslims. You have the Khawarij during the time of Ali bn Abi Talib.....

 

The men in our community fully exploit women. I have great hopes now that triple Talaq will be abolished in our country. Along with this, the ‘Halala’ tradition, which demands that if a repentant husband wants to remarry his divorced wife, she has to be another man’s wife first before a final comeback, should be repealed completely.....

The Caliphate beyond ISIS (Part Two)
Salman Sayyid
The Caliphate beyond ISIS (Part Two)
Junaid S. Ahmad

Saudi clan ruled through a logic of Kemalism seemed to go against the grain of what they understood about rule from Riyadh. They were more comfortable with idea that Kemalism was to be found among the Ba’thists of Syria and Iraq, Mubarak in Egypt, Qaddafi in Libya, Suharto in Indonesia. The identity of a political project and its meaning is not merely a function of its content, but rather how the content is articulated in relation to other elements. So for example, the Pahlavi regime was dominated by the logic of Kemalism even though it was a monarchy.....

 

My interest in Sufism began at the same time as my inquiries into Islam – very early after high school. I read Spanish mystical literature that cited the Muslim Sufis as examples of effective religious instruction. I heard that the Bosnians in particular resented the interference of the Wahhabis in their affairs, using the pretext of Islamic solidarity during the war. As Bosnians would tell me, they needed arms and relief, which they got from America, but the Saudis, sent them Wahhabi editions of the Quran....

 

Islamist organization Jamaat ud Dawa has reportedly set up a Shariah court in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore. According to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, the "court" will dispense "speedy justice," taking up citizens' complaints and issuing verdicts in accordance with the Shariah. Although similar courts already exist in the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, this is the first time that Islamists have established a Shariah tribunal in a major city....

 

This task has to include not (only) more exhortations to greater piety, but also broadening and enriching the sense of the Islamicate. Muslim autonomy requires not only Muslims to know their Deen but also to know their history. I would argue that without a historical sensibility any understanding of our Deen will be stilted and simply reproduce and reinforce Orientalism.....

 

In many cases, the use of sexual violence continues to foster and empower these insurgents and these terrorist networks in a way that really demands a response. So we need to start thinking about preventing sexual violence and punishing sexual violence and being a key element of conflict prevention and resolving conflict....

 
'Maldives Is Sitting On a Time Bomb'
Mohamed Nasheed, Ex-President , Maldives
'Maldives Is Sitting On a Time Bomb'
Parvathi Menon

I don’t think this need to go through the UN route. I think it should be country-based. The actual leverage is with England and Europe. They [the ruling regime in Maldives] have their money here, their children here, and their second homes here. But for the ordinary people of the Maldives, India is very important because for they depend on India for almost everything -- medical treatment, education, holidays, good food and films.....

 

My religion commands me to speak the truth and respect that truth even if it hurts you or your family and Quran is specific on that. If that is my fate, what would be my interest? My interest is the betterment of the Muslim people. I like to see them as philosophers, car drivers, sculptors, and dancers and musicians, who the Muslims were during the era of rationalist movement in Baghdad.....

We represent all schools of thoughts followed in the Islamic world, be it Shafai, Hanafi, Hanbali, etc. We come to a position on any issue, take for example Talaq (divorce), after a thorough consultation with Islamic experts. Many schools of thought in Islam recognise the validity of arbitrary triple Talaq announced at one go. That’s why we have accepted this. But many of us consider this the ugliest thing.....

Oh, you don’t know what it’s like to have FGM, because you haven’t had type III.” [Leyla had type I, the least severe type.] Physically, yeah, I didn’t have type III. But psychologically, it’s still the same, because for me, it’s not necessarily about the cutting. It’s the fact that a child’s being grabbed, pinned to a table.....

It is an old and very simple idea, widely used internationally, but not in the Arab world. Al-Waraqah relies on a beautiful, popularly enjoyed drawing style that employs stick figures, not detailed drawings, to convey meaningful ideas. It is through those caricatures that I sarcastically address the social, cultural and political situation in Egypt......

 

Well, we’ve been opposing the ban introduced in 2012 on women’s entry to Haji Ali Mazaar – we believe in equality of all human beings, irrespective of gender, caste, race and religion. We are opposed to women being excluded from anywhere – we totally support the women who’ve demanded entry into the Chabutra at Shani Shingnapur temple......

 “There is plenty of anger and good reasons for it, if you look at what is happening to people.” Citing a recent study in the United States that points to increasing mortality rates of less educated, white men in the age range of 45-55 years, he says: “that just does not happen in developed societies.” “It is a reflection of depression, hopelessness, concern that everything is lost – nothing is in our lives, nothing is in our futures, then at least show your anger.”.....

 

Two things, he legalised Islamisation—whether it was bringing in the Hudood (ordinance in 1979 under which Sharia laws applied in cases of extramarital sex, theft and prohibition). From very little things like introducing prayer times in government buildings to very, very, very harsh laws of blasphemy. The other thing would be the birth of these Jihadi groups in a very, very big way. He attempted to alter our culture—Pakistani diplomats’ wives could no longer wear saris—they were considered Hindu and un-Islamic. You could no longer say Khuda Hafiz; you had to say Allah Hafiz.....

My father used to say, ‘I am a worshipper of Maa Saraswati. I love her and she loves me, that is it.’ He introduced me to Lord Ganesha’s Pakhawaj, to Lord Shiva’s Dumroo. Every religion preaches, ‘Love thy neighbour.’ I believe if you are kind to the people around you, you have practised your religion....

Very early, it was clear that for Pakistan’s religious minorities to be equal citizens was going to be very difficult. The first major sign was PM Liaquat Khan giving the Objectives Resolution soon after Partition, talking about a Muslim nation. Right off, the Preamble was not secular – anyone who’s not Muslim was already not being addressed in the same way.....

 

Ata Mohammad Noor, a former mujahideen, is governor of Balkh province in Afghanistan and personally helped defend the Indian consulate at Mazar-iSharif when it was attacked by heavilyarmed militants alongside the Pathankot terror strike. Speaking with Rohit E David, Noor discussed Pakistan’s role in fomenting militancy in India and Afghanistan,

 
‘Bhakti Challenges Communal Religion’
Anuradhan Raman
‘Bhakti Challenges Communal Religion’
Anuradhan Raman

To recognise that religion is not likely to disappear from human history is really an important thing. Just look at world politics! Secularism cannot hide from that if it is to be truly secular in the best Indian sense. I think the formulation of the idea of the Bhakti movement tried to take that into account, even if it did so from a majoritarian, Hindi-speaking — Hindi-constructing!

 
Religion Seeks To Touch People’s Hearts
Mouhanad Khorchide
Religion Seeks To Touch People’s Hearts
Canan Topcu

The new book by Islamic Studies scholar Mouhanad Khorchide argues for a modern understanding of the Koran and considers the relationship between God and humanity. "The Koran aims to bring up mature human beings, who develop their own religious nature", says Khorchide. Interview by Canan Topcu

 

Ahmad Abdou Maher, an Egyptian researcher of Islamic studies, criticized the Egyptian school curricula in a December 21 interview on Al-Hayat TV. Maher complained that Egyptian history books glorify Islamic heritage and are “full of wars, blood, and slaughter.” Maher stated that “ISIS is a loyal and bona fide implementation of our Islamic heritage, which is taught by Al-Azhar.”

 
Terrorism is a New Ideological Trend, Has Nothing to Do with Islam - Grand Mufti of Syria
Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria
Terrorism is a New Ideological Trend, Has Nothing to Do with Islam - Grand Mufti of Syria
Sophie Shevardnadze

Terrorism is a dangerous political trend. It is also a cultural trend. And we have to study it in order to fight it. ISIL is trying to promote its political agenda through violence, using weapons. They tell their followers that they will go to paradise, “If you murder people, you will end up in paradise.” But this goes against the Prophet’s teachings, because, of course, nobody gets to paradise using these methods. We need to preach the idea that a person gets to paradise through cultural enlightening, education and solidarity.

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