Islam and Politics
Tufail Ahmad, New Age Islam
There is a
section of Indians such as those represented by the Hindu fringe which worries
about Pakistani terrorism and India's integrity. To them, I would like to say
this: for the first time since the Mauryan Empire which lasted from the 4th
through the 2nd centuries BCE, for the first time in more than 2000 years,
India is militarily the strongest state which has the capability to fight both
Pakistan and China at the same time. But wars are not won by the force of
weapons alone. Wars are won and lost by the intellectual judgement of political
Islam is the
religion of 1.6 billion people, over a fifth of humankind. Because of high birth-rates in Muslim
countries, moreover, the proportion of the world that is Muslim will probably
go to 1/3. If the United States, which is 5% of the world by population, tries
to go against a third of humankind, it will lose. But the fact is that the US has no beef with
most forms of Islam or even political Islam.
And aggressive attempts to dictate to Muslims what they may believe will
backfire, just as the whole Iraq War backfired.....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
The US and the
European Union, which have shown unseemly haste in lifting international
sanctions on Myanmar following its promise of political reforms, must push the
government in Yangon to rein in the troops going on the rampage in Rakhine.
Myanmar must open the Rakhine province to international media and allow the UN
to probe the widespread abuses and crimes against humanity....
One member of
an Islamist party recently complained, “Throughout the New Order and after, we
have always been a minority of second-class citizens, haven’t we?” With such
rhetoric, they called on the masses to be ready for Shuhada (martyrdom) in
As states fail,
youth identify more with their religion, sect or tribe than their country. In
2002, five Arab states were mired in conflict. Today 11 are. By 2020, predicts
the report, almost three out of four Arabs could be “living in countries
vulnerable to conflict”...
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi
Muslims have lived in the north-western Myanmar state of Rakhine for several
centuries. Yet they have been labelled illegal migrants and have been denied
their basic rights as citizens. Buddhist extremists have deprived Rohingya
Muslims of their rights with the blessings and encouragement of the Myanmar
groups such as Nahdlatul Ulema told their supporters to stay away from the
protest, but politicians associated with the campaigns of Ahok’s two rivals in
the election attended, all the same, along with tens of thousands of people
bused in from outside the capital….
Even as they
underlined that a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country cannot have a
‘one-size-fits-all’ law, the parties only disagreed with the BJP’s effort to
reform — even if it means adopting a Uniform Civil Code – because it must come
from within the Muslim community and not imposed by a party driven by
In its November
14, 2016 issue the Bangkok Post reports, “Myanmar's Rakhine state was hit by
fresh waves of violence over the weekend with more than 30 'insurgents' killed
during two days of fighting, the military said, as proof emerged of atrocities
against villagers.” Another news outlet, Myanmar Observer has reported that
Myanmar Army has rained rockets on Rohingya houses in Rakhine state killing
scores, burning houses to ashes. When people started flee from their burning
houses they were shot at, killing men, women and children....
Indonesian Muslims have not been easily swayed by sectarian arguments. Hardline
groups such as FPI have staged rallies against Ahok for years, but they have
rarely drawn much of a crowd or done much to reduce his popularity. Yet Ahok’s
comments about the Koran seem to have offended many….
This is visible
in the slogan “Banglar Hindu, Banglar Bouddho, Banglar Christian, Banglar
Musolman, amra shobai Bangalee.” With all its graces, this slogan inevitably
implies that Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian lives are worth something because
they are equal to Muslim lives. That for everyone’s lives to carry value, they
had to be forged into a national identity. All cultural differences that are
present due to spiritual differences will have to be put aside, or at least,
ongoing importance of the "Islamic" in the lives of Muslims, and the
essentially contested nature of many of the major concepts in the Islamic
tradition, the neologism of a progressive Islamist would, in my view, go a long
way toward problematising, destabilising and, hopefully, conceptually
decoupling the concept of Islamism/Islamist - and, more generally, the concept
of Islam itself - from conservative, puritanical expressions of political
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
In order to
think strategically about non-violently resolving a violent conflict, a clearly
defined political purpose is needed; that is, a simple summary statement of
'what you want'. However, given the complexity of the multifaceted conflict in
the case of Syria, it is strategically simpler to identify two political
purposes. These might be stated thus: 1. To end the war in/on Syria, and 2. To
establish a democratic form of government in Syria (which, obviously, requires
removal of the dictatorship)....
When will our
elections be made Shariah compliant? If they already are, then could those
responsible for the “scientific measurement system to gauge the effectiveness
of policies based on the teachings of Islam” please explain to us how
gerrymandering is justified in the teachings of Islam?...
Going by these
classifications, religious practices that are Farz or Wajib for the Muslims
will be covered in India by the religious freedom clause of the Constitution.
Even what is recommended by religious texts can perhaps be claimed to fall
under that protective umbrella, but not what is merely permissible — and
certainly not any abominable practice that according to Muslim theologians
themselves is Bidat (against true religion)....
S P Seth
and the Wahhabi version of Islam have become indistinguishable, and used to
strictly supervise and control people’s ‘moral’ and social behaviour. Even with
this internal compact with the clerical establishment, and partly on their
behest, the Saudis still felt insecure and have gone on to promote Wahhabi
version of Islam in the wider Islamic world. This supposedly would make Saudi
Arabia the authentic voice of Islam...
significantly the Qur'an does not say "mutual consultation of
Muslims," but instead states the broader "mutual consultation,"
recognizing the secular form of public governance involving Muslims and
non-Muslims. Chapter 4 Verse 59 reaffirms this point declaring, "Verily,
Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that,
when you judge between men, you judge with justice." Verse 60 further
adds, "Obey Allah, and obey His Messenger, and those who are in authority
objections of his Iraqi neighbours and American allies, Mr Erdogan has also
clamoured for a greater role in the offensive against IS in Mosul, citing a
duty to protect his fellow Sunnis from Shia militias. His talk of an incursion
is probably bluster, designed to sustain a wave of nationalist frenzy…
irretrievable breakdown of marriage be a ground for divorce under the statutory
marriage laws of India? Can a woman facing savagery at the instance of another
woman at home seek relief under the anti-domestic violence law? Will the word
‘Talaq’ texted on a cellphone to a married Muslim woman by her husband
instantly dissolve her marriage?....
old city is the world’s only “synagogue church”, where Jesus reputedly
delivered his first sermon. It is a reminder that many local Jews would soon be
calling themselves Christians, and later Muslims. Farther north, in the town of
Bokaya, an ancient synagogue can be found next to churches and mosques. For
centuries the Abrahamic faiths lived alongside each other in a communal harmony
unknown in Europe....
It is also time
for the Muslim community to introspect on how things have come to such a pass.
That the “Shariah” law as practiced in India falls short of meeting the evolved
standards of gender justice and equality is a given. Practices like triple Talaq,
Halala and polygamy, steeped in patriarchal and medieval narratives, can hardly
be regarded as just and fair....
From right here
in the heart of this deeply flawed democracy, like millions of other Iranians
in the US and around the world I have opposed crippling sanctions and
warmongering against our people when you, your predecessors, and your entire
regime were wasting precious resources of our nation on a wasteful, dangerous,
and misbegotten nuclear project....
It is felt that
polygamy is the instrument through which Muslims reproduce faster than Hindus
and at some point will become a majority. The incidence of polygamy is actually
higher among Hindus than Muslims according to the data, but the perception is
powerful enough to drive this demand for the Uniform Civil Code....
consequences of this Act are open to debate. Yet the message that it brings
home is that the application of the usual law, as enunciated by the Supreme
Court, would have been of greater benefit and extended to the Muslim woman the
rights granted to other Indians. Worse, the Act generated a conflict of
interest between the two principal religious communities of India, fostering
hostility against each other and the government....
M Venkaiah Naidu
“The times they
are a-changin’” sang Bob Dylan many years ago. But, unfortunately, hundreds of
Indian Muslim women, who have been victims of the instant triple Talaq
practice, seem to be caught in a time warp controlled and dominated by an
anti-progressive patriarchal society. It is truly shocking that an abhorrent
practice like triple Talaq, which has been banned in many countries, still
finds support in India. ...