Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

Where is the Palestinian ‘Exodus’?
Ray Hanania

What we should do is what Israel has been doing since 1948. It knows how to tell its story to mass audiences effectively, even though the story is built on lies, exaggerations and the demonization of Palestinians and anyone who criticizes Israel....

Vegetarian Iftar at Jamia: Decoding the Politics of Muslim Rashtriya Manch
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The expectations of the MRM is laden with assumptions which in themselves might be completely untrue. In telling the Indian Muslims to become nationalist, they are assuming that Indian Muslims are not nationalist which is blatantly untrue. Any scholar of Indian Islam will tell us that it was Deoband which fought valiantly during the freedom struggle. It is however true, that there are deeper differences over the meaning of nationalism itself. But those differences are not just between Hindu and Muslim groups but also between Hindus themselves. If the suggestion of the MRM is that Indian Muslims do not love their country then it is blatantly false. Similarly the assertion that Indian Muslim share the same ancestors as that of the Hindu community might be true to a large extent. But to suggest that therefore Indian Muslims should willingly subjugate aspects of their religious and cultural identity to the cultural demands of the Hindus is going too far.....

Sheikh Sirhindi and Impact of His Ideas on Muslim Politics
Asghar Ali Engineer

It was in such atmosphere created by the Ulema against Akbar that Sheikh Sirhindi launched his campaign against Akbar, on one hand, and, Sufis like Abul Fazl and Faizi, on the other. The Sheikh’ and his followers wanted to revive strict application of orthodoxy and this is what they mean when they refer to Kitab wa Sunnah. They forget that there have been different interpretations of Holy Book and also there is no unanimity about Hadith. What Sirhindi was opposed to was liberal approach to religion and hence he firmly opposed the doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujud (unity of being) which opens the doors to all religions and makes them acceptable and respectable. He came out with his own doctrine of Wahdat as-Shuhud i.e. unity of witnessing or appearance. Wahdat as-Shuhud strengthened orthodoxy....

How the 1967 War Came Home to Me
Hanan Ashrawi

The Gaza Strip has been turned into a huge prison camp, where 1.8 million Palestinians are subjugated in dire living conditions. Although Israel withdrew its occupying forces in 2005, it maintained a suffocating blockade by air, sea and land. Gazans have endured a series of Israeli military assaults that have left thousands dead, a majority of them civilians.....

As part of the rant, Shah alleges that Muslims have not condemned groups like ISIS. But again, this claim is found wanting. Prominent Muslim scholars from around the world have condemned ISIS while tens of thousands of Indian Muslims rallied across the country against the armed group that originated in the Middle East....

Related Articles;

‘I Cannot Recall a Time When Muslims Were Suspected En Masse of Being Unpatriotic’


Our media, our plays, cinema, literature, serials have little to do with the Muslims. Muslims are zero if weighed on a scale. After Modi’s ascension on Delhi throne, it is believed that Muslims in general are facing a huge inferiority complex.  Perhaps, BJP wants this to happen to the Muslims. But we don’t see even a faint glimpse of this sentiment in our media and other artistic forms of expression. The chaos and havoc of UP after Yogi must be disturbing the Muslim youth. But nowhere do we get to witness this sentiment of worry and grief in our daily lives....

‘I Cannot Recall a Time When Muslims Were Suspected En Masse of Being Unpatriotic’
Naseeruddin Shah

But it is time for Muslims to throw the caretakers of religion out and form their own beliefs based on an understanding of what their holy book actually says. Nowhere else perhaps is the Quran recited so much and understood so little as in India. Muslims and Hindus both today need to start speaking for themselves and not buy into the harangues of narrow minded bigots and self-appointed spokesmen who condemn Yoga as anti-Islamic and those who consider equating Surya Namaskar with Namaz as insulting to Hinduism….

The Islamist surge has exposed growing radicalization in Indonesia's population, especially among the young, and especially in the universities, with the exception of the State Islamic Universities, which are usually bastions of moderation. This radicalization is often led by a well-funded Saudi network of schools, scholarships, imams, and mosques determined to wrest Indonesians away from local interpretations of Islam, which have usually encouraged democracy and peaceful relations between religions....


Most problematic is Qatar—notorious for funding Islamists from Libya to Egypt to Syria, from Gaza to Afghanistan (including Hamas and the Taliban), though it also hosts America's Central Command. Yet the quest for Arab unity, a mirage since the heady days of Nasser, who brought about the greatest Arab defeat in history in 1967 after waging a futile war in Yemen, continues....


Syria Has Effectively Ceased to Exist
Jonathan Spyer

That is, Syria will be divided between the regime enclave in the west, the Sunni Arab rebels in the northwest and southwest, a Turkish-ensured rebel enclave in the north, an SDF-controlled region in the northeast, and some arrangement involving both the SDF and Western-backed Arab rebels in the east....


The Good Muslim: So Much More than 'Not A Terrorist'
Nelly Kaakaty

In the news, Muslims are not humanized by stories; we are explained through statistics. We are discussed primarily in the context of terrorism and in conversations about extremism. When a headline deems a Muslim responsible for an atrocity, I am expected to speak out against actions that in no way represent me, or anyone like me. My existence should not be used in juxtaposition to violence. I am not your contrast to terrorism. I am not your example of a “good” Muslim; rather I am in the vast majority. What you see on TV, the narrative you are fed, is the anomaly.....

Is Bangladesh's Ruling Awami League Caving To Fundamentalist Pressure?
Shantanu Mukharji

The Greek goddess statue in front of the Supreme Court came under attack by Hefazat-e-Islam for removal as it was seen as unIslamic. Secondly, text books in educational institutions were tampered with to give an Islamic stance to the curriculum. In both cases, the government did not seem firm in its approach. This leads us to believe there is a likely drift to keep the fundamentalist lobby happy with elections in mind. This, therefore, necessitates formation of an Islamic wing....


Welcome to Everyday Life of a Muslim in Times of Lynch Mob
Nazia Erum

Probably, a picture of a blood soaked man with folded hands pleading for a fair chance in the face of camera phones doesn’t touch hearts anymore. It’s a sign of how developed we are, see even the so-called fringe has a Smartphone! Probably, we must not be affected by the gory details but look for positives and buy into the various theories that make us feel good about such ‘stray’ incidences. Let’s continue to unsee, unhear, and unfeel the fear next door in the life of your Muslim neighbour or colleague....


The Fall of The Roman Empire And The Rise Of Islam
Tom Holland

It was the prompting hand of God, not a mere wanton desire to extort sheep that had first motivated the Arabs to leave their desert homeland. Such, at any rate, was the conviction of Ibn Hisham, a scholar based in Egypt who wrote a century and a half after the first appearance of the Magaritai in Herakleopolis, but whose fascination with the period, and with the remarkable events that had stamped it, was all-consuming. No longer, by AD 800, were the Magaritai to be reckoned a novelty. Instead – known now as "Muslims", or "those who submit to God" –....


If We Cared About Peace We Would Be Talking To Hamas
Sarah Helm

After 10 years of a crippling economic siege Hamas is struggling to govern. It desperately needs money – not least to pay for fuel – and it needs Egypt to open its crossing into the Sinai. In return, both Egypt and Arab paymasters demand that Hamas show moderation....


Why Israel Needs a Palestinian State
The Economist

Israel is too strong for a Palestinian state to threaten its existence. In fact, such a state is vital to its future. Only when Palestine is born will Israel complete the victory of 1967....


Rule of Law and Political Use of Islam
Manzoor Ahmed

Political leaders and political parties professing a vision of a modern and progressive society need to take a stand based on principles and idealism and lead the people, appealing to and awakening their best instincts, instead of giving in to fear and prejudice....


So much is evident. But another implication of the resolution and its proponents’ arguments promises to have more lasting effects. MLA members are voting not only on the question of Palestine and the time-honoured right to resort to the tactic of boycotting to achieve justice against racism and occupation. Their vote will effectively define what the association is and does, and who belongs in it, in a broad and lasting way....


Jewish Nation-State Bill: Israel’s Precarious Identity Is Palestine’s Nightmare
Dr Ramzy Baroud

Israel’s odd definition of democracy and relentless attempts to reconcile between democracy and racial discrimination, however, is rarely challenged among its American and European allies. Palestinians, on the other hand, are bearing the brunt of racism more than ever before, for Israel’s Jewish dream has become their never-ending nightmare.....


Palestinians Expect Nothing Good from Trump
Omar Barghouti

The US has been arming Israel's wars on Palestinians and Arabs, and generously funding and protecting Israel's system of oppression, well before Trump. Obama, after all, has committed a record $38bn in military aid to Israel over ten years, even as domestic health, education and employment programmes face severe cuts across the US....


The Iranian Presidential Election: Will Rouhani be Stopped by the Conservatives?
Dr Pejman Abdolmohammadi

The results of this election will significantly influence the domestic and foreign policies of Iran for the coming years. If Rouhani is re-elected, Tehran would likely continue its opening towards the West, particularly on the economic level. If Raisi wins, there would likely be changes in the foreign policy of the new government, with a shift towards Russia and China as global allies. The Islamic Republic would also be more involved in regional conflicts. On the economic front, there would likely be less attention on liberalisation and privatisation....


We did not get into Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban; we went there to get rid of al Qaeda that the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Omar, had foolishly invited in when the Taliban were effectively in charge of the country. We wanted to eliminate Afghanistan as a staging base for al Qaeda, and that happened fairly quickly. The decision to stay around and help the new Afghan government destroy the Taliban while rebuilding Afghanistan into a western-style democracy came later.....


Suu Kyi’s Failure to Acknowledge the Persecution of Rohingya Muslims
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi

They see that her words resemble the proverb: “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” She was able to fool many people and even international human rights organizations, which had once mistakenly believed that she was an advocate of human rights. Suu Kyi was also able to fool the Nobel Peace Prize Committee so that the committee chose her for the most prestigious global recognition for promoting peace…..


Love in the Time of the ‘Holy Shiver’
Seema Chishti

Once we turn a blind eye to the pattern and tiptoe around the politics that calls for pushing the stunning diversity of India onto one straight line, we may as well be just rapidly filling in the colours in the “meme” that Dawkins spoke of. The “cut-and-paste” may have bloodier consequences than we can ever imagine. Killing “them” can never be the “new normal”: “New” it may be, but “normality” will elude such societies forever. It gets us all in the end. Ask the bloggers in Bangladesh.....

Why a Middle East Peace Deal Is Difficult
Bridget Johnson

Hamas, of course, controls Gaza and is a terrorist organization with nefarious ties and a mission to destroy Israel, regardless of the new PR campaign. If a peace deal is forged with only Mr. Abbas ‘Fatah party, then you’ve only dealt with the West Bank and Hamas will not abide by the security agreements. If you manage to bring Hamas in on the deal, then you’ve automatically created a state that is a state sponsor of terrorism....


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  • Yes, dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheb, This is the bitter truth. The pathetic plight of ....
    ( By GRD )
  • What makes you do it? I don't know. Is it just bad manners
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Worrisome but does have elements of truth!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islam Bharat me na hi aata to shi Tha
    ( By Parveen )
  • Sad to note that Justice Sachar passed away today.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The status of women seems to be directly proportional to how civilized a society is.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sharia upholders get Legislative Council seats while reformers get nothing
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The charge-sheet leaves no doubt that she was a target only because she was a Muslim. The Hindu right wing in Jammu has been indulging ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • We can blame all Muslims for they hate the Hindus as Khafirs Kufueer........( so many such words ) etc.What....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • After all you are the expert here. Right? So you tell me ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, what makes you write such inane comments?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mathematicians think god id a mathematician. ulemas think god is an ulema. garbage pickers think god ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Great article except there was one bad apple - Hajj Amin al-Husayni who " al-Husayni still collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • God is the greatest mathematician" - which God we talking about: Hindu, Muslim, Christian....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • kaash khuda mujhe bhi apne mehboob k nakshe kadam par chla de sari umr bs itni si iltija h aapse'
    ( By sharib )
  • The muslims view Trishul as a weapon...but the hindus see it as a symbol of Lord Shiva. Who is today using the Trishul as a ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Having said that, one must add that none of these played the causative role in the current marginalisation and brutalisa­tion of the community. For that, ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • The problem is Muslims neither understand hindus or hindu fears, nor hindutva . When they think of " Hindu rashtra" or "hindu right wing" the ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Very strange logic..so when you can practise hindu phobia why shouldnt the world practise I... tell me....
    ( By indiewater )
  • I am unable to fathom what is the purpose of this ARTICLE. I know the author has been writing similar articles earlier too. But he ...
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • Your article drives us to introspect and reflect on how politics has become devoid of any humanity. Truly, women’s bodies have been used as sites ...
    ( By Meera )
  • Political parties exploit communalism because it is an exploitable issue. They will exploit anything that yields them. .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! We cannot blame all Hindus but we can blame Sanghis for whom hating Muslims has become....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Crimes as heinous as rape have no religion, a lawyer waging a legal....
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Though we entertain acute differences in numerous theological, doctrinal and jurisprudential matters of faith, we cannot reject outright the mystical...
    ( By GRD )
  • dear mr dehlvi, how long will we fool ourselves while persistently denying to recognize religious bigotry behind religious crimes....
    ( By hats off! )
  • with all respect to mr. mohammad ghithreef, Hippocrates was great and venerable man. i am sure he meant...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear hats off, If such a heinous crime can get conflated with religion in order to provoke communalism, then what more can be expected?
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • and they st\ill wonder why pakistan is seen as a pariah state by the west and other countries?
    ( By Vladimir T )
  • You said:The madrasas or Islamic seminaries are not included in the RTE and modernising madrasas take political precedence over establishing quality secular education schools in ...
    ( By Mohammad Ghitreef )
  • Any oppression and Attucks by Hindus on Muslims is always shown as Muslim victimises due to relgious atrocity done by Hindus. If the vice-versa is the ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Muslims who truly understand Islam have no problem with Bahais or Ahmadis. Hats Off ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A sad but inspiring story.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Prof. Sajjad is right. We must fight all polarizing tendencies. Our emphasis must be on reforms towards gender equality....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • We do not have a problem with Hinduism. We have a problem with the Sangh. The RSS was created to masculinize....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I do not differentiate between the terrorism in the name of 'Islam' and terrorism in the name of "collateral damage.
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • to imagine that this horrendous blot on humanity is somehow completely unconnected with religious hatred requires a kind of blind insistent denial of reality.....
    ( By hats off! )
  • “...as if they have learned nothing from their gross mistakes and misleading reports and “analyses” over the past 17 years, ...” Such statements are based on ...
    ( By Skeptecle )
  • does the Qur'an support the bahais of iran and the ahmedis of pakistan?'
    ( By hats off! )
  • The Quran supports the oppressed. It then becomes problematic for the oppressors.
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )