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Islam and Pluralism

A Sindh without its Hindus will not be Sindh, for Hindu Sindhis, like Muslims, are the children of the soil. If the Muslim Sindhis closed their eyes and let the forced migration of Hindus continue unabated, then they, too, should better start looking for a place to migrate to. Sindhi Muslims, being Sufis by nature, are the real target. Actually, all thinking, feeling, non-conforming, people of the country are the target of discrimination.

The spirit of Idul Fitri encourages Muslims to renew their relationships with relatives. They are enthusiastic about visiting parents, siblings, friends and neighbors. Idul Fitri is believed to be a day when God Allah will erase all sins, as long as Muslims express repentance and ask for forgiveness from others. On that day, most Muslims think positively about others. They imagine that all Muslims are brothers, so that they have to love each other, regardless of ethnicity, social class, political affiliation and madzhab (school of law).

Pakistan: The Hindu Exodus is a fruit of radicalisation, a grim reminder of horrors of Partition
Ayesha Siddiqa

The migration and self-exile of a 100 Hindu families seems to have hit the headlines in both India and Pakistan. The story angered Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who, as is his nature, over-reacted by trying to stop Hindu pilgrims going to India out of fear that these people were using the pilgrimage as an excuse to slip into India and seek asylum. This, according to Malik, would naturally bring a bad name to Pakistan. Hence for him, this is nothing more than a conspiracy to malign Pakistan. The Federal Investigation Agency, which comes under Malik’s ministry, and is responsible for immigration issues, reported to its boss that agents were misleading the Hindu families and encouraging them to seek asylum. But what Malik seems to struggle to hide is the fact that Hindu migration is not a new phenomenon. It is that Islamabad seems to have noticed it just now. According to civil society and human rights activists in Sindh, there has been a slow and gradual move by Hindus to migrate from Pakistan. According to one estimate, there are 4.5 million Hindus in Pakistan, most of whom are concentrated in Sindh, especially Hyderabad-Karachi, Tharparkat, Mithi, Mirpur Khas, Shikarpur and Sukkur. The more affluent ones tend to migrate legally.

Perils of intolerance: Sindhi Hindu families escaping to India should be a wake-up call for Pakistan
I.A Rehman

In any case the situation is indeed far graver than it has ever been presented in the media or elsewhere. The time for dealing with it through sermons or flat denials is past. Nothing will be gained by running news on TV to the effect that Hindus, Sikhs and Christians are buying national flags as enthusiastically as patriotic Muslims, though it may well be true. The time has come for the state to undertake a thorough reappraisal of whatever is amiss in law and social practice with regard to the right of minorities to be treated as equal citizens of Pakistan.

 

Pope Kyrillos V, born Yohanna in the town of Beni Sweif in 1831, lived through turmoil, revolution and wars. He became the 112th pope of the Coptic Church in 1874 and held the post until he died in 1927 at the age of 96, making him the longest-serving pope in the history of the Church. The name Kyrillos, which means master in Greek, is popular in the Coptic Church, where clerics associate it with biblical accounts of the life of Joseph.

 

Modern Pluralism Discourse: Imposed Tolerance Is Sick At Heart As It Harbours Hatred
Aziz Ali Dad

One of the challenges faced by modern societies was the issue of pluralism that is described as “a state of society in which members of diverse social groups develop their traditional cultures or special interests within a common civilisation.” The contours of the modern discourse on pluralism were shaped during the late 19th century in the United States of America. ...

The Raison D’être of Pakistan
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The ‘Destruction of Pakistan Council’ (DPC) is said to be behind the rickshaw marketing campaign that states: ‘Bharat se rishta kiya, nafrat ka intiqam kiya’... How then would this be Ijtihad? Remember there is a hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that the ummah cannot err in consensus. Can a few unelected public servants and their favourite religious scholars shape this consensus? No. It is tantamount to closing the door of Ijtihad altogether and empowering a few men with a divine mission to rule against the will of the majority based on selective religious interpretation....

Muslims are brothers of other Muslims wherever they are. The report says that countries must think twice before giving citizenship to any Muslim because even though he may be following customs and rituals of that country as a citizen, one day he will certainly come under the influence of militant teachings of Islam and follow this guideline of his religious book, Quran, “O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another. (Surah: 5:51) It is a harsh reality that certain Ulema have, knowingly or unknowingly, done great damage to Islam. These Ulema are presenting Islam to non-Muslims, western countries and America as an intolerant and confrontational religion. We must bring basic changes in this attitude by reforming ourselves....

The Qur’an espouses harmonious inter-faith relations with Christians and Jews and all other faith communities
Islamic scholar Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

Executive Summary: The paper begins with an introduction to the Qur’anic warnings against the Christians and the Jews (1) but without going into details, comes straight to its concluding exhortations on religious tolerance (2) and to its concluding message on religious pluralism (3). Sub-heading (4) captures the Qur’an’s approval of some of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews). The discourse then jumps to the Qur’an’s common criteria of divine Judgment for all believing communities, (5) and complements this with arguments that refute any Qur’anic basis for inter-faith enmity or hatred (6). Its concluding sub-heading (7) demonstrates that there is no Qur’anic basis to prohibit the construction of churches, synagogues or any houses of pure worship in Muslim countries – an issue that concerns all minorities in the Muslim countries today and conceivably results from a deep fear of the Muslim theologians and leadership of their youth abandoning an exclusive, atavistic and globally trivialized faith to live more comfortably in the pluralistic and progressive society of the secular world without the tag of Islam branding them as anything but noble. The sub-headings speak for themselves and conclusively establish the theme of this article.

Understanding Qur’anic Verse 5: 51: ‘Do Not Take Jews or Christians as Your Friends’
Mike Ghouse

A few Muslim scholars from our past have duped us in believe that God is hateful to others... God ain't. God is neither a villain nor a bad guy. God is kind, merciful and just and wants his creation to get along and live in harmony. There are many verses that guide one to be righteous. We should not accept any translation of Quran that makes God a villain of his own creation. Those translations reduce him to Rabbul Muslimeen from Aalameen....

Political Islamism is the battle for Pluralism
Marwan Muasher

Today, a glance at headlines around the globe leads one to believe that Islamism is pitted against secularism in the battle for control over the new Arab world. This rise of Islamists clearly stokes fear in the West and leaves many clamouring for the good ol’ days when the good ol’ boys were in charge. This is not a clash between Islam and the rest — this is a battle for pluralism. It pits the believers in pluralism from both secular and Islamist camps against those who cling to outdated notions of exclusion or superiority....

Salient Features of Progressive Muslim Thought –Social Justice, Gender Justice and Irreducible Religious pluralism
Dr. Adis Duderija
Great economic disparities between the majority world of the poor South and the minority world of the rich North. According to Safi this “Empire’ consists of a multitude of forces “among them the oppressive and environmentally destructive forces of multi-national corporations whose interests are now linked to those of neo-imperial, unilateral governments…..that put profit before human rights and ‘strategic interest’ before the dignity of every human being.”....

The term untouchable itself is vile word, and it can have a psychological impact on someone to whom it is being applied. It is a word which does not take into account the personal history of an individual. One can even suggest that a word like this can lead someone to suicide or to some criminal activity. Every religion of the world gives a message of peace, equality and unity. Religion and the secular thought teaches us that every man and woman is equal in the eyes of Lord…

Various Islamic scholars agree on the point that the meaning of the Ayats concerning close interaction and intimacy (Mawalat) should be considered in the true perspective and background of its revelation, taking it in a generalized way will not be appropriate, but it hampers its significance. “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity”. (Surah Al-Mumtahanah V-8) -- Waris Mazhari, Translated by NewAgeIslam.com Edit Desk

Such cross-cultural evidence in Maltese towns with Arabic names like Mdina (not Medina) and Rabat, and a statue of the Virgin Mary on a church's baroque facade described in the inscription as “Sultanah“, make one wonder whether this little Mediterranean archipelago of three small islands is the forerunner of global universalism in which languages enrich each other and racial frontiers slowly fade out.  - Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

 

Scholars will dwell upon his attribute of Rahmatalil Aalemeen (‘Mercy for all the worlds’ —including those of the birds and beasts, of insects and worms, etc.), because a Muslim is adjoined to not hurt any living being except in the way of God. Scholars will explain what the Prophet said to his followers about how to treat women, how to interact with people of other faiths and how to carry oneself in one’s everyday life. -- S G. Geelani

 

The event of the conquest of Makkah was another instance of the Prophet’s pluralistic and humanistic approach. After the conquest he not only granted amnesty to the people of Makkah but also declared the house of his bitter opponent Abu Sufyan as a place of asylum and peace, regardless of who accepted Islam and who didn’t. -- Muhammad Ali

He was perhaps the only prominent Muslim of his generation to publicly champion the radical thinking of Tilak, writing glowingly about him in his journal. He also wrote many verses praising him, including the following at his demise:

jab tak wo rahe dunyā meN rahā ham sab ke diloN par zor unkā

ab rah ke bahisht meN nizd-i-khudā hūroN pe kareNge rāj Tilak

There was one more way in which Hasrat was a maverick: he wrote verses expressing deep love for Krishna, and often went to Mathura to celebrate Janmashtami. -- C.M. Naim (Photo: Hasrat Mohani and Dr B R Ambedkar)

If this isn’t the society you wish for yourself and your children, why contribute in making it that way for the ‘other’? Why then the apathy when it comes the other? It’s the Christians, the Shias and the Ahmadis now. It will not be too long till this blind, raging hatred engulfs us all too. If we don’t find it in ourselves to stand against bigotry, to express outrage against this barbarism, to be compassionate towards those that suffer than we’d be well on our way towards self-destruction. Heck, we’re already there. -- Sana Saleem

In Britain, getting married is no longer a prerequisite for sharing a bed or living together. Marriage has become a 'partnership' and living together 'cohabiting'. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2009, 10 per cent of couples were cohabiting, most of whom were believed to be of 'no-religion'. Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus are unlikely to be cohabiting. As women assert more religious and cultural influence over children during their early socialisation, commonality of religious faith is considered particularly salient for women. In this respect, Muslim women show stronger religious commitment than Sikh and Hindu women. As religious affiliation declines, ethnic importance in marriage declines too, hence the likelihood of more inter-ethnic marriages in the future. -- Dr Ramindar Singh MBE

 

If only Pakistan imposes a true Islamic system, we’ll be able to get rid of the hypocrisies committed in its name.’ Of course, such suggestions are proposed by fellow Pakistanis. The other comment is usually from readers in India or the West. It’s a simple question: ‘Why are Pakistanis always so engrossed in religion?’ We have to finally recognise (on an official level) that we live in a land of many ethnicities and multiple interpretations of Islam. This phenomenon has to be harnessed and celebrated, not repressed or be afraid of. This very repression has produced nothing but an ideological neurosis that we suffer from today. -- Nadeem F. Paracha

Activism and spreading the awareness of how much communalism and Zionism can be detrimental to democracy and world peace, are the keys to defeating these ideologies said experts……. “There is a great deal of confusion in the terms, Hinduism and Hindutva. Hinduism is a religion, a collation of multiple traditions prevailing in the subcontinent. Mr. Faizur Rahman accused the Zionists and their right wing Christian supporters of manipulating the Bible to suggest that it preaches racism. -- A Special Correspondent, TCN (People in the photograph From Right to Left: Rev. Viji Varghese Eapen (welcoming the gathering), Mr. A. Faizur Rahman, Dr. Ram Puniyani and Mr. M.M. Philip)

Israeli soldiers told to 'cleanse' Gaza - C4 News exclusive

 

The beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever violates the rights of the People of the Book, I will complain against them on the Day of Judgment." Violence against religious minorities should outrage every Muslim with a conscience because such violence is a misrepresentation of our beloved Prophet Muhammad and transgression of the core of our beliefs. We pray that God will help us to stand for what is right and leave all that is evil and promote understanding and harmony amongst each other. Let us work together to stop violence of all forms against all people. -- Imam Mohamed Magid

History stands testimony that power-intoxicated nations in the hour of their victory forced conversion or opened Inquisition Courts. But, let it be recognized, no Muslim ruler was ever known to have burnt Kafir to death on religious grounds. And that is why in the centres of Muslim power for centuries like Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, Bhopal, Hyderabad etc the overwhelming Hindu majority maintained its growth rate. With pronouncing la ikraha fi deen (there is no coercion in your religious affairs) and lakum dinakum walya deen (to you your religion and to me mine) Islam - some 1450 years before - guided humanity to peaceful coexistence, universal brotherhood, tolerance and accommodation.-- Hassan Zainagairee

As international criticism has mounted, an Iranian official has alleged that Nadarkhani is being prosecuted not for his faith but for crimes including rape and extortion. Nadarkhani's attorney, however, says the only charge the pastor has faced is apostasy, and court documents support this assertion. Although Iran's penal code does not include a specific provision for apostasy, judges are given a fairly wide degree of latitude to issue rulings based on their own interpretation of Islamic law. -- Roxana Saberi

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Unlike the word Kafir, the word Mushrik has a fixed meaning throughout the Quran.   One may chose to translate it as "Polytheist" or an equivalent expression such ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Very well said. The path to change does not begin with laws (it ends with them). It begins with respect and change in our daily ...
    ( By sonika rahman )
  • Verse 9:5 should never be discussed alone since it is modified by 9:4 and 9:6 with  the effect that the command to kill the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Subject: HIS SECULAR HOLINESS   “Secular Logic,” seems to have reached the end of what he calls, “Fruitful Discussion.” Not sure, what he ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • So its come down to semantics now.
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Mr Yunus,It is alright. I am not offended. "Believers" and "Muslims" has become so synonymous that one has to make a special effort to ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Subject: NAY, BUT YE WILL COME TO KNOW   Knowing the deadly mental syndrome known as “Indifference,” which has plagued the Muslim minds, ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Subject: THE TRANSLATION OF QUR’ANIC VERSE 9:5   As-Salaam Alay-Kum   From the two words “Kill” to “Slay” used by the Islamic scholars ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Subject: THE TRANSLATION OF QUR’ANIC VERSE   As-Salaam Alay-Kum   From the two words “Kill” to “Slay” used by the Islamic scholars with ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • SLAY, KILL, BELEAGER & BESEIGE   POLYTHEISTS, IDOLATORS, PAGANS, MUSHRIKUN & ASSOCIATORS     Sūrah: Al-Tawbah (The Repentance) – Chapter: 9 – Verse: 5   Sahih International: And when the ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Mike has done an admirable job correcting gross misrepresentations of Islamic dicta. Instead of using the Quran as a source book of rules, we ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thanks Yunus sahib, for your long comment. Very useful, informative.
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Talking about “Flip-Flop,” here are some of the quotes which will help enlighten all of my fellow Muslims about a mysterious ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam   Talking about “Flip-Flop,” here are some of the quotes which will help enlighten all of my fellow Muslims about a mysterious ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Sir, Your oft-repeated mantra that someone has not understood Islam and as such, he or she is ignorant, is an insult to other's intelligence.  You gave ...
    ( By Mohammad Asghar )
  • Dear Secular Logic, My opening words in the last comment; 'believers and Hindus' are technically incorrect and offensive as Hindus are also believers. Sorry ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Secular,I love both believers and Hindus and all mankind. My (jt) exegetic work which is duly approved and authenticated and under posting at ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Yunus Saheb,   Fear and Hate drives “Secular Logic,” to continue to thrash any sensible explanations which you submit to him/her attention. Isn’t it a complete insanity?   Beware ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Secular Logic,Just scroll down and see. I have answered the question on uncleanliness twice. The other points are best taken up in greater detail in ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Normal 0 false false false EN-US ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Mr Naseer Ahmed,I believe I have read that article and we had some discussion about how many people agreed with that definition of Kaafir. ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Mr Yunus, I am sorry if pointed questions are making you uncomfortable. Actually, it is pointed questions and pointed answers that are usually more ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • A good expose of Ayyan Ali is available on alternet.org. http://www.alternet.org/media/anti-islam-author-ayaan-hirsi-alis-latest-deception
    ( By C M Naim )
  • Secular Logic,My article " who is a kafir in the Quran? Part 3 gives a very direct answer.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • “Satyamev Jayate - Truth alone triumphs”
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Secular Logic,Your asking me pointed question: "to unequivocally say that those who worship idols and who practice polytheism commit no sin?"  I am no one ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • The subject of battles covering the Medinian period covered in the following article.What does "Smite at their necks or finger tips meant?" The clear ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Verse 16:106 and related issues covered in my article below:The Law of Al Taqiya in Islamhttp://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/the-law-of-al-taqiya-in-islam/d/8182
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Verse 65:4 In rare cases menses  may not begin until the age of 18 without any defect  (these girls are statistically speaking outliers) and if ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Mike Ghouse,While I agree with most of what you have written, I also disagree on some of the points.In our search for political ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Hello Yunus Saheb,   As-Salaam Alay-Kum   Subject: WHERE IS THE COMMON SENSE & HUMAN DECENCY?   I keep cautioning you that the “Grand Prosecutor,” like “Secular Logic,” will never ever ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Dear सत्य प्रकाश,   Thank you kindly for a polite reminder about “Thinking” about myself and the religion of Islam.   “Show Us The Way,” is what I wrote ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Save the Girl Child: She is an Asset …….and not a Liability!! – March 12, 2015   Women play an important role in shaping the destiny of our ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Dear Mr, Mohammed Rafiq ,   Are you serious Islam have not caste system ? Just name of sect. you cannot deny about caste system in Islam. ...
    ( By सत्य प्रकाश )
  • This article was written to counter the Sunni narrative according to which the Meccan pagans had no alternative but to accept Islam or be executed irrespective ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Mr Yunus,You yourself are not convinced about whether idolatory is a sin or not. How are you going to convince all Muslims to not ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Dear Secular Logic,Your statement that all Hindus believe the God is unseen and one lends credence to my following article that had received some ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • FOR THE SAKE OF BLEEDING HUMANITY   We cannot afford in this heart-breaking time of crisis, to indulge in mutual recrimination; but let us appeal to all God-fearing Mohammedans ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Another Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh yesterday. Reform is going to be very bloody, very cruel, if it happens at all.
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Kesav Ji,   You tell me about it. I would like to hear your side of the story.   Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia     mohammedrafiqlodhia http://www.wethemoderatemuslims.com http://www.readingisliving.com
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )