Islam and Politics
Imam Ghazali, the 11th century Persian jurist, theologian and mystic, seems to have gotten it right. He became the bridge between more orthodox Islam and adherents of Sufism. Followers of both schools of thought, via Ghazali, developed a mutual understanding by utilising established Islamic theology to reconcile Sufism with orthodoxy, and Sufism to enrich theology....
The Muslims of Bengal in general and those of East Bengal in particular, did not like the movements because, as Nirad C Chaudhuri, admittedly a devoted orthodox Hindu himself observed in his memoirs, ‘The Swadeshi movement of 1905 was mainly an assertion of the nationalism of the new Hindu school.’...
He could hear shouts from below, chants of “Kill the Han, smash the Hui [another Islamic minority], and drive the Mongols out.” I heard similar versions of the chant later from other witnesses. Although sometimes the order of other groups was switched up, or the verb changed (“Cut the Kazakhs!”), the first clause was always the same....
Not so long ago neo-Ottomanism was the vogue phrase to describe Turkey’s expanding regional influence, pursued under a catchy dogma of “zero problems with neighbours.” Now there are zero neighbours without problems....
Whether Islam is compatible with democracy is a question that has given rise to countless and counter positions and processes. On the one hand, the prevailing media and intellectual circles in the West perceive Islam at the root of the authoritarian policy in the Muslim Middle East. To them, Islam is patriarchal and lacks any concept of citizenship and freedom, since its belief in God’s sovereignty has diminished popular power……
The colonial India began to witness the emergence of ‘terrorist movement’, under the leadership of different clandestine groups of ‘anarchist’ revolutionaries, with the advent of the 20th century. Disappointed by the ‘passage of hundreds of fruitless resolutions against British tyranny and exploitation by the Indian National Congress’ over the years, a section of the English-educated young men started forming clandestine groups to put up armed resistance against the colonialist British regime ……
Muslim world and Catholic Church have been accused of resisting reforms, the reasons for this resistance are said to be different. Modern science, a key instrument of reforms has challenged the dogmas of Catholic Church hence the dichotomy. Acceptance of modernity is integral to reform in any social or religious group. Modernity came to the Muslim world riding the crest of colonial inroads. The experience of colonization in the Muslim world was most humiliating….
Egypt Has Exposed the Lie and Ludicrousness of Exalted Ideas like the International Community and the Civilised World
This piece was intense for me, my eyes welled up - how can humans be stripped off their dignity? As an Indian American Muslim, I can relate with this and will write about it one of these days....
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam
During the wars against terror, Tahreek-e- Taliban Pakistan and its extremist allies have issued written statements, for more than 300 times, threatening that they will eliminate Kuffar (infidels) along with their well wishers from the land of Islam, Pakistan. It should be clear that the word “Kuffar” in their dictionary includes Shiites, Ahmadis, Qadyanis as well as other Muslim sects who they believe indulge in shirk (associating someone with God) and bida’t (innovation) and therefore must be killed. That is why Imam Barahs (Shiites ‘congregation halls) Ahmadi Mosques, Sufi shrines and mosques, schools and other religious centres in Pakistan have been destroyed on a large scale. This is how Jihadis treat with the non-government organizations, while the government educational and health centres have been subjected to stern Fatwas issued by them. Given this terrible story of hatred and heresy, if the Pakistani political leaders, sell-out media persons and activists of other fields consider holding a peaceful dialogue with the terrorists and sectarian murderers to change their religious doctrines, it will be simply absurd….
But it seems the so-called peace talks, or the negotiations, are only going around in circles in order to give Israel more time to complete its expansionist plan. These negotiations, with starts and stops, have been going on for the past 20 years, ever since the Oslo Accords, but have never borne any fruit for the Palestinians. In fact, the talks harmed the cause of the Palestinians, since they allowed Israel to proceed with its illegal expansion with less resistance. …
In his Sept. 12 Toronto Star column, decrying the Parti Québécois’ proposed Charter of Quebec Values, Haroon Siddiqui wrote that “[Pauline] Marois is engaged in an ugly cultural warfare of the right-wing Republican kind.” I agree that the Quebec Premier’s campaign against religious expression is “ugly,” but Siddiqui is misunderstanding the nature of that ugliness in an important way…..
Spiritualities, philosophies and religions run through History to remind us of those fragilities, those vulnerabilities, those risks — they are so many reminders along the road, as their own excesses must also be. One should observe the world, and observe oneself, with the humility of those who feel and know, deep within themselves, how important it is to engage in a continuous, perpetually renewed education to humanity; to learn to listen and listen to oneself, everyday, always…..
Many Turks feared religion would shape politics; however, if we turn the statement on its head we should question the instances when politics has shaped religion in modern day Turkey. Maybe it is time the Ulema seeks freedom as well from the government? The first step may be allowing the imam to enjoy his music?....
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman believed that, out of dislike for Jinnah, Mountbatten not only contributed to India’s having Kolkata but also deprived East Bengal of certain Muslim-majority areas. ‘Even though Muslims constituted a majority in Nadia, he allotted Krishnanagar and Ranaghat Junction to them (West Bengal of India). Similarly, though there were more Muslims than Hindus in Murshidabad, he gave the entire district to India. In Maldah district there were as many Hindus as there were Muslims and so he divided it into half. But although Dinajpur had a Muslim majority he cut Balurghat into two so that Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling could go to India and Assam could have a direct link with the rest of the country….
As exciting as it was for the city to be home to a colourful cross-border wedding, the Indian media couldn’t help but spread gossip that the Pakistani bride is the daughter of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The paparazzi chased her into elevators and the tabloids had a field day posting about it online. Some guests from our wedding party, too, got calls from curious quarters, wondering if the bride really is Nawaz Sharif’s niece. Thankfully, her in-laws issued a statement denying the rumour and the Shaadi gossip in India was, once again, restricted to whether or not the young Pakistani girls attending were good-looking and how old the bride is etc....
While the ‘circumstances’ that led to the ‘unfortunate division’ of Bengal on communal line were created over the decades primarily by the British colonial regimes and their local collaborators, particularly the Hindu political elite and economic interests, certain personal biases of the last British viceroy of India for Jawaharlal Nehru, particularly vis-à-vis Mohammed Ali Jinnah, might have played a role. In addition to the people’s will, the particular liking and disliking, inclinations and disinclinations, and biases and non-biases of the crucially important leaders, after all, have influenced the course of history across the world. ….
There are 180 million Muslims in India. Though the Election Commission does not give electoral roll estimates on religion, one can fairly estimate that in 218 Lok Sabha constituencies across India, Muslims have more than 10 per cent vote share. With parties actively wooing the Muslim vote, what impact will it have on General Elections 2014?.....
A significant portion of commentary on Turkey in international media was by and large repetition of old positions with new 'proofs' found in protests themselves and Turkish government's handling of them. Many saw the fulfillment of long prophesied Turkish lapses on spectrums of Islamism-secularism or democracy-authoritarianism….
In the midst of such campaigns for partition of Bengal on communal lines, some leaders from both the Bengal Muslim League and the Bengal Congress made serious efforts to avert the division of Bengal and keep it as a sovereign state outside India and Pakistan…
It is no longer clear what Gaza and Ramallah still have in common. It is evident that the languages spoken in both of these cities are different, the grievances vary, and the political expectations are no longer in tandem. This is in fact much more dangerous than a case of failed leaderships, for it is a breakdown of a national discourse or even worse, a fragmentation of a national identity….
Here, again, along with political, economic and religious reasons, the language, Bangla language in the present case, its different varieties spoken and written in East and West Bengals, domination of Sanskrit and words of Sanskrit origin in the works of the Hindu authors and that of Arabic and Persian words in the works of the Muslim ones, even the different contents of literary works produced by the Hindu and Muslim litterateurs of Bengal, substantially contributed to the political partition of the Bangla-speaking region on communal lines…..
There are two axes—Islam and jahiliyya around which the entire
discourse of Jamaat revolves, and the binary opposites are at loggerheads with
each other also. The latter connotes everything that stand in opposition to
Jamaat’s understanding of Islam. To Maududi—the architect of Jamaat,
sovereignty rests with God that ought not to be shared by human beings. That
implies that the principle on which today’s modern nation state is based is
‘people’s dominion over people’, which is patently against the sovereignty of
God. Therefore, nation state quintessentially epitomises jahiliyya, the
fountainhead of all evils and usurper of God’s sovereignty....
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Those who call themselves Muslims today are not the Khair-e-Ummah or ‘the best community’ that the Quran talks about, but a degenerated community. According to the Prophetic prediction, at present there is no Islam in practice. Muslims only use the term ‘Islam’ to claim that they are ‘true’ Muslims, whereas this is not the case. Although there are a billion Muslims around the world, but they are like ‘foam on the surface of the sea’. …
A state is a territorial entity whose boundaries play a pivotal role in defining nationhood. In contrast, religion is a reality that transcends all local, national, ethnic and linguistic boundaries and brings into being a wider community of faith. It is time we realised this and moved on to the task of nation-building in a rational way….