Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

Reporting the Mideast: Go Back To the Streets
Ramzy Baroud

However, the quarrel, in part, is concerned with the cost-benefit analysis of some of these revolutions, Syria being the prime example. Is it worth destroying a country, several times over and victimizing millions to achieve an uncertain democratic future? The cost for Egypt was high as well, although not as high in comparison to Syria…….


Instilling Religious Values in Politics Must for Peace
Harun Yahya

Pope Francis is a religious leader who rejects all the material privileges bestowed by the rank of pope, who – it is said – goes out at night dressed as a priest to distribute food to the poor, who teaches that people who suffer will be blessed and, most important of all, who extends the hand of love and friendship to Christians, Jews, Muslims and even atheists. He possesses qualities that are particularly sought after in this century of hatred……


The New Official History and St. Sophia
Nuray Mert

Those who felt excluded by the Westernized secular Republican regime longed for compensation by identifying with “the lost empire.” In this view, it was a grand plot that led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and indeed it was “a plot against Islam,” since the Ottomans were the champions of the Islamic world…..


Erdoğan Raising New Army of Political Islamists
Abdullah Bozkurt

For that to happen, the level and intensity of the indoctrination of young students must be ratcheted up at the expense of teaching science, math and other essential academic subjects. In this politicized campaign, Islam is not a religion, per se, but rather, it is used and abused for self-serving ideological inclinations, a practice that will damage the spirit of tolerance and respect for others in the next generation. ….


A Bleak Future for Libya?
Stefanie Dekker

That's what the gentleman at the coffee shop tells me too. He says the hope and the excitement in the country after the revolution has gone: "In 2012 we still had hope... we had all the problems, but we believed slowly they would be fixed. But they have only gotten worse."….


Islamic Religious Texts Are Used To Justify Atrocities
Farzana Hassan

Instead of condemning these Sharia provisions as contextual relics of a barbarous era, many Islamist organizations continue to promote the cruel and vindictive code. And such atrocities do not happen only in far flung Islamic lands. Honour killings have taken place in our midst, and Muslims like myself and my fellow Toronto Sun columnist Tarek Fatah who denounce them, are continually harassed for our alleged hypocrisy and heresies……


Reading a Painful Guide to Iraqi Decay
Rami G. Khouri

This frightening, decades old pattern continues to this day. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Palestine, Sudan, Egypt, Somalia and Bahrain have all suffered debilitating civil conflicts, often coupled with fragmentation or collapse. The oil-rich Gulf States have avoided major political violence mainly because they have avoided anything that looks like political rights and activity among their citizens……


Pakistan: The Republic of Hate
Tazeen Javed

…every Muslim is out for the blood of those who do not subscribe to what they consider is the right way of practicing religion. Honour killings citing Hudood as an excuse, random killings citing Blasphemy law as the reason have become so common that people do not even question them. In the land of the pure, a heinous crime like murder gets the makeover of avenging the honour of the family or the honour of the Prophet, the murderer gets garlanded….


Myanmar’s Appalling Apartheid
Nicholas Kristof

Minura Begum has been in labour for almost 24 hours, and the baby is stuck. Worse, it’s turned around, one tiny foot already emerging into the world in a difficult breech delivery that threatens the lives of mother and child alike. Twenty-three years old and delivering her first child, Minura desperately needs a doctor. But the Myanmar government has confined her, along with 150,000 others, to a quasi-concentration camp outside town here, and it blocks aid workers from entering to provide medical help. She’s on her own……


The neglect of India coupled with the exclusive fixation on Europe is very indicative of the Arab and Muslim inferiority complex, which disguises itself as a superiority complex, so to speak, one that compels us to remind others that we once “ruled Spain.” That is, it is “not fitting for us” to compare ourselves to the Indians, especially after hundreds of thousands of poor migrant workers from the subcontinent flocked to the Arab Gulf countries, while the comparison with Europe, our erstwhile colonial master, satisfies our collective narcissism and is balsam to its ever-bleeding wounds…….  


Egyptians, Today Is the First Day of a New Beginning
Abdel Latif el-Menawy

I am telling you to participate in the elections, to choose Egypt, your country and your grandchildren’s future. This is an Egyptian day par excellence. It’s a glorious day in Egypt’s history as it takes us a step forward. Other steps will follow but the journey begins from here, today, from in front of the ballot boxes…..


Haftar’s Coup Attempt in Libya: Another Sisi?
Ramzy Baroud

"Opportunistic" is a fitting term to describe Libya’s rogue general Khalifa Haftar, who for the second time in less than four months mounted a coup against Tripoli. Haftar’s opportunism has accompanied the man for the last 45 years, and at 71, he is determined to harness the security chaos in Libya to his advantage…..


Failure of Political Islamists in Turkey
Abdullah Bozkurt

The Islamists' moves have resulted in the ambivalence of Turks, who believe that Erdoğan's vision has faltered a great deal amid corruption, social tension, economic woes and foreign policy failures. That means the time is ripe for a realignment of Turkish politics…..


The men practice Sufism, a moderate and mystical interpretation of Islam followed by at least 15 million of Egypt's 90 million residents. In the wake of the country's 2011 revolution, they've faced increased persecution, with a rise in attacks on Sufi holy sites by Islamist hardliners…..


‘Secularism and Pluralism Are Incompatible With Islam’: Professor Hayrettin Karaman, a Well-Known Islamic Theologian from Turkey
Semih Idiz

“The system of pluralism gives freedom to diversity, but keeps preferences outside the domain of religious and ethical evaluation. Islam, on the other hand, gives people freedom of religion and conscience, but when this freedom is used to blaspheme, sin, or shame, it subjects these to a negative evaluation.”….

Libya’s Suffering Is Likely to Linger On
Ramzy Baroud

Opportunistic is a fitting term to describe Libya’s rogue general, Khalifa Hiftar, who for the second time in less than four months mounted a coup against Tripoli. Hifter’s opportunism has accompanied the man for the last 45 years, and at 71, he is determined to harness the security chaos in Libya to his advantage……


The attacks on the symbols of the most popular form of Islam in Pakistan were “motivated partly by religious hostility” due to Wahhabi theological antipathy towards idolatry. However, the hostility to the shrines also “stems from the role played by these families in the local elites, which means that the Taliban have to attack and destroy them in order to seize local power”.[47] In July 2010 – just two and half months after I had visited the shrine – the Taliban attacked the Lahore shrine of a major saint in the Sufi order, Data Ganj Baksh, “killing dozens of worshippers and galvanizing Barelvi religious figures into an unusual display of united protest.”....


Uncertainty in Libya: Instability in the Country Cannot Be Explained Away By Clichés of Tribalism or Fanaticism, Politics Is At Work Here
Vijay Prashad

He was unable to control the town-based militias, who, after the fall of Qadhafi, became the centripetal instruments of Libyan confusion. Sidelining Parliament, the militias used their weapons to shut down oil wells and ports to blackmail a government overwhelmingly reliant upon oil money. Hifter echoed the Egyptian military script...


India, Turkey and the Dark Beginnings of the 21st Century
Nuray Mert

As Mishra states, although newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi brings to mind early 20th century authoritarian demagogues, he “also belongs to the dark days of the early 21st century.” One cannot avoid thinking of Turkey’s darkening prospects too. Moreover, this is not only true for Turkey and India, but also elsewhere we witness almost a global rise of new authoritarian politics in new forms……

A Jinnah for All
Nadeem F. Paracha

A Jinnah for All
Nadeem F. Paracha

The pragmatic Jinnah would try to find unity in diversity and draw from each ethnic culture, as well as from Muslim sects and sub-sects and minority religious groups in the country, choosing the best that they have to offer to Pakistan in developing its economy, its arts, its sports and its reputation as a modern, thriving and vibrant Muslim nation-state. It’s about time we stop studying and propagating Jinnah as an ideologue.....


Libya's Slow Motion Coup Ends the Uprising
Patrick Cockburn

The military regimes that came to power in the Arab world in the 1950s and 1960s all emphasised the national self-determination of states they had taken over. These regimes turned into vicious self-serving dictatorships, but this does not mean that their original aspirations do not remain valid……

Arabicising Pakistan
Rafia Zakaria

Arabicising Pakistan
Rafia Zakaria

The project of Arabicising Pakistan, the painstaking wiping away, hammering out breaking off and denunciation of all parts of our past that do not fit into an imagined always Muslim-ness is not a new one. The reconstruction of old leaders to fit into new guidelines of piety and purity, the banning of customs, the destruction of structures, the dereliction of art….

Saving Libya Would Save the World
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

If it fails, then the entire world will be involved in a new failed state – the latest to be added to a list comprised of Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia. On the international level, Libya poses the biggest threat because it’s on Europe’s maritime borders. The North African state contains around 200,000 armed men who have taken over most cities, bringing the country to the brink of collapse......


The ‘Revolutionary’ Face of the Syrian Conflict
Nicola Nasser

Obviously, the “Friends of Syria” have failed to artificially create any credible alternative to the incumbent regime, which, however, did change indeed. …


The New Cold War Redux and Its Islamic Dimension
Dr. Can Erimtan

Will the future see an open conflict between Saudi Arabia and Turkey? Will Turkey, as heir to the Ottoman tradition, attempt to eradicate the Saudi hold over the wider Islamic world or will Turkey's pragmatic pseudo-Ottoman stance prevail once more to grease the wheels of commerce connecting the Arab peninsula and Anatolia?....


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