Islam and Politics
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
absence of a clear cut hierarchy and an apex body of decision makers has not
only produced a crisis of legitimacy but has also made the process of religious
reform difficult. It is argued that it would have been much better for the
state to deal with a body of Muslims rather than different maslaks and faith
orientations within Muslims who have never ending arguments with each other.
The problem is that if such an arrangement of power is made within Muslim
society, then only the orthodox Ulema will find space within it....
if you go and cast your vote, you will get Sawaab (blessings) from Allah. On
the other hand, if you fail to go and vote, it is an error that will be held
against you.” The right to vote is a beautiful right that we have been given as
Indians and we must treat it with the kind of piety with which we treat our
religious obligations. …
spearhead of a backsliding “Islam” is the wicked Wahhabis and their Saudi
superiors. This symmetric synergy of small-minded Salafis and lavish bank
account Saudis has wreaked havoc in the Muslim East: Iraq, Syria, Yemen,
Bahrain, Libya, etc. But now the Salafi-Saudi magic is backfiring —
On this issue, one of the two important concomitant commandments, that
is, Halal حَلال and
Tayyeb طیب, the latter is hardly ever mentioned by the
religions operatives. For simple reason that if they did, the whole Halal
industry comprising of trillion dollars of commerce in the world, will
collapse. Even governments in the West, traders in live cattle and Halal
industry are netting billions in export and so are loath to stop it.....
The stance of
the Myanmar government that the Rohingyas are illegal immigrants and thus, not
the original inhabitants of Myanmar does not stand the test of historical
records. It has a ridiculous that these people have been living in Arakan
(later renamed as Rakhine) for over 500 years — even before its capture by the
Burmese army in the early 15th century. Ever since the capture of Rakhine, the
Rohingya Muslims are now referred as illegal immigrants from East Bengal...
As far as beef is concerned, Hindus are largely unworried when Parsis,
Christians and even other Hindus consume it but see red when Muslims do so.
Secularism is enshrined in the preamble to the Constitution, its most important
page. Cow protection is in the Directive Principles of State Policy. In the
Constituent Assembly, some Hindutva types wanted to impose a beef ban. But
members from the Northeast stood up to protest. Beef was their staple diet. If
banned, they would secede from the Union....
Syed Ata Hasnain
The educated and evolved Indian Muslim community must come out to
engage with conservative Muslims whose fears may still be alive. Living in many
isolated areas in smaller towns and cities there are a large number who are
still poverty-stricken and unsure of themselves. As Islam witnesses turf and
sectarian battles elsewhere, Indian Muslims must shun them, battle poverty and
enhance their social empowerment. They should avoid becoming pawns in the
larger games of other nations.....
Empirical historical evidence and a little common sense are enough to
tell us the type of future options Israel has in store for the Palestinians:
Perpetual apartheid, ethnic cleansing or a mix of both. The passing of the
Regularization Bill on Feb. 6 is all we need to imagine the Israeli-envisaged
future. The new law allows the government to retroactively recognize Jewish
outposts built without official permission on privately owned Palestinian land....
Israel never seems to have a good answer to accusations against the
settlement enterprise. Whenever the claim that Israel stole Palestinian lands
is heard, Israel’s answers inevitably are: “We invented the cellphone,” “We
have gay rights,” “We fly to help Haiti after an earthquake.” Obvious
obfuscation. And when pushed to explain why the much-promised two-state
solution is perennially stuck, the response is always to blame Arab
Meanwhile, mainstream Han society, especially on the Chinese web, has
grown increasingly vitriolic toward Muslims. Han chauvinism and ethnocentric
nationalism are common in online forums, occasionally including Islamophobic
warnings that the mosque will soon overshadow the Party. Yet Islam appears to
be thriving among the Hui. Hui Muslims make up the majority of the
approximately 14,000 Chinese pilgrims who go on hajj to Mecca each year....
Blame will lie with the misguided hawks of Israel’s political right.
But most of all it will rest with our own spineless world leaders who could
have implemented international law and stopped the illegal building and the
senseless capture of Palestinian land, when they had the chance....
Hanne Nabintu Herland
Millions marched in Libya July 1st, 2011 in support of the government
of Muammar Gaddafi, and pleaded for NATO to stop the destruction of the
country. At that time, the massive support for Gaddafi was not reported in the
mainstream media, yet it was well known that Gaddafi had many supporters. Libya
was Africa’s richest country, a socialist, welfare state with lavish benefits,
free education, and good living standards. Since 2003, Libya had opened up
towards the West in a liberalization process largely led by Saif al-Islam
For many people, Yusuf Al Qaradawi epitomises moderate Islam. From
banning female circumcision to allowing coeducation, the Qatar-based Egyptian
cleric’s bold and progressive edicts have challenged conservative views for
decades. But he often comes under fire for his views in favour of suicide
By the way, the sobriety of the Turkish government and Turkish
Islamists has not been limited to their reactions to the Russians. The Israeli
Parliament recently approved thousands of new settlements in the West Bank and
conducted missile attacks on Gaza, but there has been great silence on the side
of Turkey’s government and Islamist circles.....
The Muslims do not think they have the extra burden of defeating the
BJP in each and every election. Rather there is an acute realisation that there
will be an electoral contest every now and then, and this democratic rite
should not be allowed to accentuate the differences and polarisation. Nor is
there any feeling that defence of the secular values and arrangements is their
particular burden. Secularism is a collective undertaking and commitment....
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Let’s us start with the grand secular alliance of the SP and Congress.
They are the favourites for the Muslim vote. But their record in terms of
Muslim empowerment and security is not as good as it is made out to be. For
one, Muslims have remained the most deprived category in Uttar Pradesh. The
level of education and employment is appalling. Not just that: A comparative
analysis will show that within Indian Muslims, they are perhaps the most deprived
in terms of social, educational and economic indicators.....
Shah Rukh Khan
I was accused – including by my leftist friends – of behaving like a
“Muslim” rather than an “Indian” voter after I wrote an article highlighting
the limited credible choices available to Muslims in the assembly elections.
The SRK-Raees debate is to be seen in this wider context of how all Muslims are
seen as being torn between their Muslim-ness and Indian-ness. To me, that’s
more troubling than SRK’s role in one film....
Admittedly, Salafism is a very confusing term and people use it very
loosely to refer to any number of phenomena. When the Ahl-i Hadiths or the
Salafists use it for themselves, they mean a theological commitment to a
certain understanding of God and to a certain interpretation of Islam which
tends to be very literal and tends to be against what they consider to be
innovations — new things that have come into Islam after the early
Rakesh Krishnan Simha
When Saudi Arabia announced that it had cobbled together a global
Islamic alliance to fight terror, and that the organisation would be headed by
Raheel Sharif, the recently retired army chief of Pakistan, there was derisive
laughter across the civilised world. After all, Saudi Arabia backs several
vicious Islamic terror groups in Syria, while Pakistan is the world’s largest
incubator and exporter of terror.....
Experts say the long leash given to the Jaish could be part of a
deliberate strategy by the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. “The Jaish
is is not as publicity-oriented as the Lashkar,” notes scholar Ayesha Siddiqa,
“and has over years managed to stay aloof from popularity contests among the
jihadis, which is why it has managed to acquire the reputation of being India
and Kashmir focused.”....
Ministries she controls and officials she directly employs are
rubbishing the accounts of desperate people and repeating as fact the denials
of the Burmese army. That is the same army that has an appalling track record
of burning villages and raping women from Myanmar's many ethnic minorities.
Under pressure from abroad, Ms Suu Kyi did set up a commission to investigate
the alleged abuses and it is due to report back in the next few days. But it is
headed by the vice-president Myint Swe, a former general, and is widely
expected to be a whitewash. The truth about what has been happening in northern
Rakhine state may never be truly uncovered.....
The ultra-conservative alliance, buoyed by Trump’s policies, includes
Saudi-backed ultra-conservative ideologies and governments that are
beneficiaries of Saudi largess and opportunistically play politics with
religion, as well as anti-Saudi jihadists. Saudi largesse is part of a
massively funded, decades-long soft power play by the kingdom designed to
box-in Iran by globally promoting an ultra-conservative, supremacist, intolerant
strand of Islam...
Azis Anwar Fachrudin
Meanwhile, Rizieq’s prosecution, in my opinion, must continue. This
will give a lesson to the Muslim groups who insist on upholding the law that
the law can be used against them. This move is particularly significant given
that rational arguments cannot convince them. As an old Arabic proverb goes:
“He who lives in a house made of glass must not throw stones on others’.”...
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
It cannot be denied that the eight million American citizens are at
increasing risk for the daunting challenge from terrorist groups operating from
outside the US, particularly Syria, Iraq and several West Asian and North
African Muslim countries. Some of these groups including ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al
Shabab, and Boko Haram have indiscriminately targeted the American citizens in
several nefarious terror attacks. Given this, the uncompromising counter-terror
stances such as the above will considerably help rescue the US citizens who are
wantonly attacked by the radical Islamist terrorists.....
Barnett R. Rubin
The administration’s counterterrorism policy would make a political
settlement impossible, which is probably fine with Mr. Trump. A peace process
requires differentiating the Taliban from global jihadists, integrating the
former so as to isolate the latter. The leaked draft of an executive order to
revive torture and re-establish black sites, however, referred to “a global
armed conflict with ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other associated
international Islamist terrorist groups,” and made no distinction among