Islam and Politics
A pattern apparent in these cases is the application of pressure on families in China to convince overseas Uyghurs to cease raising awareness of human rights abuses in China, an increasingly common tactic in 2014…
We see numerous protests in the name of Islam against critics of Islam--where are the protests in the name of Islam against the savage killers of the critics? The religious leaders of Islam readily issue Fatwas against the ridiculers of Muhammed--where are the Fatwas against the people who abduct schoolchildren, firebomb synagogues, make sex-slaves of girls, decapitate journalists and otherwise fail to practice a "religion of peace"? America's enemies are those who seek to institute Islamic totalitarianism--and those who support them. People should be free to pray to Allah and praise the Quran. But if they act to abet the users of force in any way, they then become "immoderate" Muslims…..
Nadeem F. Paracha
Islamic scholar and chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Abul Ala Maududi, was a well-read and prolific journalist and author. Though his commentaries in this respect were highly conservative, this was a radical conservatism of sorts that became the basis of the 20th century theoretical construct known as ‘Political Islam’ Maududi not only challenged the Muslim nationalism of the likes of Jinnah (claiming nationalism had no place in Islam), he even managed to offend many scholars of various Muslim sects, accusing them of either being wedged in ancient clerical traditions, or simply distorting the true message of Islam through unsavoury ‘innovations’.....
Turkey has now reached a point where democracy and human rights have almost been shelved. I hope and pray that those in power reverse their current domineering path. In the past the Turkish people have rejected elected leaders who strayed from a democratic path. I hope they will exercise their legal and democratic rights again to reclaim the future of their country......
Polygamy, while not uncommon, is still illegal. Alcohol, while heavily taxed, is still easy to come by. With state support, religion is clearly playing a larger role in Turkish public life than ever before, but its use is clearly embedded within a nationalist rather than Islamic narrative. References to Islamic texts or to early Islamic history are exceedingly rare; Erdoğan speaks of the Ottomans, not the Prophet and his companions….
For example, 94 per cent of India’s children between five and 15 complete primary school compared with 54 per cent in Pakistan. Every year, 8,900 Indians get a PhD in the sciences compared with the 8,142 doctorates awarded by Pakistan’s universities since Independence. The total number of books published in any language on any subject in Pakistan in 2013, including religious titles and children’s books, stood at 2,581, against 90,000 in India. The parity doctrine also requires Pakistanis to see India as an existential enemy. Textbooks still tell Pakistani children that Hindu India threatens Islamic Pakistan and seeks to terminate its existence. Hardly anyone outside of Pakistan believes that to be true….
The ISI routinely murders journalists who come in its way and there are some brave ones out there as they work with the knowledge that they can be taken out. Saleem Shahzad is one of the standout cases since he reported on the links between the Navy and the al Qaeda and was picked up by the ISI for it and later found dead. Sections of the press are completely-irresponsible as you can see the cartoon Zaid Hamid presented as a security expert and Hafiz Saeed, the man who carries a US $10 million bounty on his head as an international terrorist, using the media to get his message across whenever he wishes to….
Muslims should give up blaming governments for their plight, said Shaikh Abu Bakr. He said that governments should always be accorded due respect, whether they are of BJP or any other party. “We should not have any problem in turning to the BJP government for our grievances to be redressed. The Ulema should meet the Prime Minister with an open mind, regardless of which party is in power”. Since Mr. Narendra Modi is the current Prime Minister, we must honour his position." he said. “Also, We are obliged to show our madrasa curriculums and text books to the concerned people of the government to remove doubts about their link to extremism," he said.
“Muslims should not worry about the cartoons and drawings, defaming Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), because the Prophet cannot be depicted for real,” said Maulana Syed Muhammad Ashraf. He spoke on the reasons why Islam has been conflated in media with extremism. He said: “We have to keep Muslim youths away from the politically motivated ‘Islamists’ and recognize the real culprits who cause greater defamation of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) than the Islamophobes."
Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan said that Muslims themselves are responsible for the chaos and deterioration in their community. He called for introspection into the causes of Muslim decline. He said that Ulema and madrasas will be held accountable, if they do not serve the purposes they are meant for. ....
Neo-Wahhabis remain by far the greatest potential threat to the regime. The advance of IS in Syria and Iraq, as well as its counterparts in Africa and elsewhere, presents a serious religious challenge to the Saudi regime and its Wahhabi establishment. Both IS and the Saudis claim to represent the “true” Islamic state, subscribing to strict adherence to Sharia law. But they are also sworn enemies, since Saudi Arabia has officially joined the American-led coalition against IS, with whom a many neo-Wahhabi Saudis are actually fighting…….
The newest king in the world, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, was the man the House of Saud had put in charge of raising money for the Afghan war against the Soviet Union. According to Bruce Reidel, an analyst writing in The Daily Beast, then Prince Salman was at one point instrumental in funnelling almost 25 million dollars a month to the Afghan Mujahideen….
In 1924-25, Ibn Saud, the founder of the current Saudi dynasty, defeated the Hashemites and seized control of Saudi Arabia with the help of the British. According to contemporary accounts, over the next seven years or so, tens of thousands were killed, many more had a limb amputated and up to a million fled Saudi Arabia. So when we deplore the actions of the Islamic State, we need to remember who provided them with a model for conquest. And when we are repulsed by their public beheading of prisoners, we need to keep in mind the fact that on Fridays, those given the death penalty by Saudi Arabia’s opaque and draconian legal system are decapitated in public squares…..
If anything, Egypt’s nominally secular ruler is more Catholic than the pope, to borrow a metaphor from another religion. Assuming the role of defender of public morality is a deliberate reminder that the Islamists do not hold the copyright on piety. This is not new: The regime of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak often vaunted its religiosity to outdo its Islamists rivals…..
In India itself, a generation of Hindus – starting from Raja Ram Mohan Roy to Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. B R Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi – has accepted that caste system practiced by our parents was indeed a scourge that needed to be eliminated from Indian society; and once they accepted the problem in our midst they were able to initiate great social, political and legal reforms…..
While China has labelled escaping Uighurs as potential terrorists, many of those held in Thailand are women and children, as televised footage from the country shows. Police found the Songkhla group hungry and mosquito-bitten, with some carrying Chinese bus tickets and their life’s possessions. “There is no indication whatsoever that the group being held in detention in Thailand is ‘terrorists….
But one thing springs to mind that cannot be ignored. The “value” of Free Speech and the “current climate” of violence committed against it. In particular and in relation to the Danish and French Cartoons violating the sensitivities of their Muslim minority community therein. The parallel drawn is this: Those who reacted violently in those two countries were citizens of the countries, as much as those who drew and published the cartoons. Can the violations therefore be said to be only a matter of degree of perception and hence the reaction is influenced by some other factors not taken into account?....
It’s correct and natural for a country like Turkey, with around five million of its citizens residing on the continent, to urge European countries to adopt policies to fight against all sorts of discrimination, including Islamophobia, and to call on them to avoid hate speech against Muslims. ….
It is a final touch of absurdity in a kingdom that is wicked in itself, and a source of wickedness and corruption elsewhere in the world. Saudi Arabia practices torture and arbitrary judicial murder. Women are beheaded in the street, liberal thought is punishable by flogging, which can be a death sentence even more horrific, and because it is more prolonged than having your head hacked off with a sword.....
He sternly condemned the scourge of terrorism that spilled blood across the globe, saying that blood in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Lebanon, Canada and France was “of the same colour.” But he used carefully calibrated words to describe Islamic terrorism as the action of a “minority” that “distorted religion.” He also called upon Western countries to mobilize against terrorism in “full awareness of the political factors” which had allowed terrorism to penetrate societies…..
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice and we as a nation have chosen to remain ignorant. Dumbed-down to the lowest common denominator, devoid of any aspiration, we are swallowing the dominant myths and mindlessly repeating the mantras inserted into our skulls, derived from a generation of cleverly crafted propaganda. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? The fact often disavowed that we are being directed, controlled, censured, commanded, preached at and indoctrinated by creatures who neither have the rights, nor the objective merits to do so……
Jeffrey D. Sachs
It is time for the West to allow the Arab world to govern itself and to choose its path without Western military interference. And there are heartening reasons to believe that a self-governing Arab Middle East would wisely choose to become a peaceful global crossroads and a partner in science, culture and development. The Arab world has played that beneficent role in the past, and it can do so again. The region is filled with talented people, and the overwhelming majority in the region want to get on with their lives in peace, educate and raise their children in health and safety, and participate in global society. Their objectives – prosperity and human security – are our own…..
The bottom line is that whether or not Islam can really be divorced from Islamism, it is strategically important to target Islamism as the ideological driving force and justification for violent jihadists. It is not just a drones-in-the-air and boots-on-the-ground war – it is also an ideological war…..
Belligerent rightists demand that Muslims distance themselves from terrorists or be deemed their accomplices. Righteous leftists warn against bigotry and Islamophobia while affirming that Muslims, being overwhelmingly moderate people, have nothing to do with terrorism. And then you have the Bill Maher approach: urging Muslims to prove their overall moderation beyond simply condemning terrorism. It is a truly bizarre ritual, this rush to assess whether Muslims en masse are moderate or terror-friendly; and, in either case, to what extent…
The persistence of the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with Saudi Arabia’s support and export of Wahhabism, have made the issue of violent extremism of vital importance. The attacks of September 11 and the US’s intervention first into Afghanistan and then Iraq conspired to accelerate the forces and influence of violent Islamist extremism. While the ghastly events in Paris earlier this month provoked oceans of condemnation, the long arm of this perversion of Islam shows that this struggle is far from over…..
Rami G. Khouri
Today, Hezbollah is a different and more complex actor. This reflects new, or merely more explicit, elements of the party’s basic dimensions: its active warfare and military deterrence against Israel; its fighting in Syria to maintain the Assad regime; its fighting against Takfiri militants such as Nusra Front inside Lebanon; its continued structural and strategic links with Iran; and its dialogue with the Future Movement in Lebanon to reduce domestic polarization and reconstitute a legitimate governance system with a functioning parliament and presidency……
The language of hatred and violence in the Muslim community needs to be replaced by a "heart and mind" engagement and cooperation among Muslims and with the other cultures. Therefore, the urgent task for Islamic pluralists is to lift the shadow of violence from the Islamic culture and recall Muslims to their traditions as an empathetic civilization that feels another's sorrow and does not need an enemy for its sustenance.....