Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

Will There Be a Rise in Radical Islamism?
Mumtazer Turkone

Political Islam is a broad concept. Every ideological interpretation that sees Islam as the main reference for competition falls into this concept. Thus, the difference between coming to power through elections to enforce Islamic rules and implementing those rules through violence as done by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is only about the different strategies adopted....

Turkey, Pakistan and Islam
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Turkey, Pakistan and Islam
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Secular Turkey has perhaps preserved Islam far better than our Islamic republic has; a visit to Turkey would amply disabuse our notions of what a secular state looks like. One would argue that secular Turkey is far more Islamic in spirit than Islamic Pakistan is because the Turks do not treat Islam like a commodity....


Yemen Crisis: Problem and Solution
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Saudi Arabia accepted most of the Yemeni explanation for the border dispute, and back then Saleh considered the agreement a great achievement. By signing it, Saudi Arabia eliminated any justification for future disputes. However, Saleh violated it and let Yemeni groups ally with regimes opposed to the Kingdom — such as Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi — allowing them to carry out armed assaults against it....


Bashar al-Assad: The beginning of the end?
Marwan Bishara

But even those loyalists in the capital Damascus or from among the Alawite sect, who've become dependent on the regime, will soon conclude that it's wiser to sacrifice Assad in order to save the capital, the community and the country, than sacrifice them all in a desperate attempt to save a dictatorship....


The Mysterious Ideologue on Jinnah’s Left
Nadeem F. Paracha

Ironically, Latifi, who was one of the architects of this victory and a passionate supporter of Pakistan’s creation, did not move to the new country. He was constantly asked why, but he always refused to answer this question. Latifi was a good friend of famous Indian writer, Khushwant Singh. In fact, one of the main characters in Singh’s celebrated novel about India’s partition (1956’s Train to Pakistan) is entirely based on Latifi.....


Nakba and the Question of ‘Palestinian Strategy’
Ramzy Baroud

Palestinians in the occupied territories – from the occupied West Bank, annexed East Jerusalem or besieged Gaza – experience the Nakba in its most raw and painful forms. It is not just an event that delineates memory, but the very event that ushered in a process of dispossession, dislocation and deprivation, not just of land and freedom, but even of the right to form a national identity within the safety of a place that Palestinians can call home....

Thuggery of Religion
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Thuggery of Religion
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Salmaan Taseer ‘blasphemed’ half a decade ago by stating a mere fact, that the blasphemy law was being misused to settle personal scores, usually against non-Muslims. Pervez Rasheed is being ‘apostatised’ for another factual remark, that the Madrasas are ‘universities of ignorance’ and promote a ‘culture of hatred’. The then ruling PPP government’s appeasement of incandescent mullahs….


Emptying the Content of Religion
Taha Akyol

In our religion, supreme values such as not allowing undeserved benefits and taking one’s rightful share are the fundamental principles of a high morality. However, when power struggles push these values of religion back it becomes inevitable that the content of religion is emptied....


Baghdad Must Empower Sunnis or Lose Iraq
David Ignatius

The ISIS breakthrough in Ramadi brought wild celebration in other Sunni areas under its control. The group released a video Monday that appeared to show jubilant Iraqi men and boys in the Ninevah area spontaneously dancing and waving its black-and-white banners….

An Egyptian Habit
Sreeram Chaulia

An Egyptian Habit
Sreeram Chaulia

The sentencing of Egypt’s democratically elected and militarily overthrown President, Mohamed Morsi, to death by a politically biased court illustrates everything that is wrong with dictatorships. Since the coup d’etat against Mr Morsi in July 2013, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has taken Egypt back to the old, pre-Arab Spring totalitarianism, where justice is an instrument not to protect the vulnerable but to suppress them....


'Arab Spring Was Really a Spring for Al-Qaeda'
Luke Coffey

The fundamentalists and terrorist groups saw an opportunity to oust secular autocrats in the region, not as a way to bring in pluralistic democracy, but as a way to implement their perverse interpretations of Islam, and in the case of ISIL, to establish an extremist caliphate….


Conflating Islam with Islamism has sparked a dangerous discourse in which the majority of Muslims, who are not Islamist, bear the brunt. The pundits’ caustic claims that Islam and Muslims are inherently flawed bear too similar a resemblance to ISIL’s radically bigoted messages on Judaism and Christianity....

Turkey as ‘The Land of Islam’ Against ‘The Land of Infidels’
Nuray Mert

Religion has always played a role in Turkish politics, although secularism is guaranteed by the constitution. Islam has always been an essential part of right-wing politics: Religious discourse and symbols have been used and abused not only by Islamist but also nationalist and center-right parties....


End the Infighting and Honour Nakba
Daoud Kuttab

As long as Palestinians are unwilling or unable to put aside their petty differences, it will be difficult to use the full potential of all Palestinians and their friends around the world.....


The Nakba: A Crime Watched, Ignored and Remembered
Ilan Pappe

The only way to ensure that the pen of recording would be mightier than the sword of colonisation is to hope for a change in the power balances in the West and in the world in general. The actions of civil societies, conscientious politicians and emerging new states have not yet changed that balance. But one can take courage from the old olive trees in Palestine....

Wahhab developed another important concept, one that has implications for political state building until today – Muslim impostors, those who did not accept the purity of the Wahhabi ideal, would be declared Takfir (infidels), enemies of the original faith. Any Muslim who engaged in practices deemed to be bidah, and forbidden in the Wahhabi cannon, were to be annihilated. The main targets of this Takfiri were Shia Muslims, Sufis and all those who refused to accept the strict impositions of Wahhabism. By the end of the 18th century, the Saudi clan and their Wahhabi associates controlled most of the Arabian heartland, and parts of what are today Iraq and Syria. In 1801, they ransacked the largely Shia city of Karbala (located in today’s Iraq), killing its Shia inhabitants. Medina itself fell to the Wahhabis....


Confederation is the Key to Mideast Peace
Yossi Beilin

One of the greatest threats to Israeli-Palestinian trust is the argument that Israeli settlement expansion has become irreversible. On both sides, zealots argue that this makes a two-state solution no longer possible, leaving one unified state the only alternative....


Friends and Foes Mixed Up
Saeed Naqvi

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt becomes a source of great strength to its resourceful ideological kin in Gaza – the Hamas. As for the Saudis, they have gone to town about Iran and Shiasm being their sworn enemies. The truth of the matter is that much the greater danger to the monarchy comes from Political Islam reared in the ideology of the Akhwanul Muslimeen or the Muslim Brotherhood....


The Last Nail in the Mideast Peace Process Coffin
Yossi Mekelberg

In Ramallah, as could only be expected, the reaction to the new Israeli government was one of despair mixed with demands from the international community to exert its influence to stop settlements activity and bring the two-state solution back on the agenda....

GCC Seeks Results at Camp David
Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi

GCC Seeks Results at Camp David
Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi

It is clear that Gulf leaders want this meeting to be fruitful with results that will change the situation on the ground. Positive statements and assurances are not enough unless they are translated into a clear strategy based on firm agreements. There is no time to lose, the region is beset by terror groups that are occupying countries and threatening the world’s stability....


The Unfolding Arab Catastrophe
Ramzy Baroud

If Arab revolutions culminate into truly democratic outcomes, then, naturally, it would be good for the Palestinians. This assumption followed the simple logic that historically Arab masses perceived Palestine as the central and most common struggle that unified Arab identity and nationalism for generations....


A Day and Night-Mare
Uri Avnery

Right after the election Netanyahu decreed that the next government would be a narrow coalition of orthodox and rightist parties, which would be able at long last to do the things he really wants to do: put an end to this two-state nonsense, castrate the Supreme Court, muzzle the media and much more….


Turkish Islamists exploit Palestine
Abdullah Bozkurt

Turkish Islamists' latent hostility towards President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement and keen interest in exploiting public frustration over the lack of political progress and lingering humiliation of the Palestinian people, has now stirred a backlash against Turkey. Gaza-ruler Hamas is obviously favored by the Islamist leaders as Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal frequently attends private dinners at Erdoğan's house, often shows up in Ankara unannounced and has been an enthusiastic campaigner at Davutoğlu's public rallies in Turkey to garner support for the Islamists….


The Muhammad Cartoon Madness
Mustafa Akyol

I know that the issue at stake here is freedom of speech, which is a value that I also passionately defend. But freedom of speech can be combined with either respect or disrespect to people of different faiths, and the former is arguably wiser and more helpful. We live in a world where formerly isolated cultures constantly meet each other ……


Forbidden Images: The Issue Is Not What Islam Forbids but What International Secular Law Says States Should Do To Guarantee Equal Treatment to Muslims
Jytte Klausen

Writing about how this state of affairs has come about can be likened to embarking upon a hermeneutic archaeology of narratives and images. Layer upon layer of distortion must be removed before a real appreciation of the history of pictorial portrayal of Muhammad emerges. What follows is a study of how the world at-large arrived at the erroneous conclusions that ‘Muslims do not allow depictions of their Prophet’, or variations of the do-not-publish-pictures-of-Muhammad dictum.....

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  • @Safwan Muhammad Al-Shafi' Perhaps one of you must throw light into the system incl. the recent summons to ISIS. Cheers.'
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
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    ( By Bashy Quraishy )
  • The exact words of the Hadith in Arabic are as following: قال رسول الله صلی الله عليه وآله وسلم کنت نهيتکم زيارة القبور اَلا فزورُوها فانها ...
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  • The ideal situation would be when everybody goes around naked and people maintain their modesty by lowering their gazes below the knee. Being ...
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    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
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  • The situation is totally different in Kerala'
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    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Don't be exclusive, but inclusive.'
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  • @Jayaraman Subri they are more educated then manuvadies passing out from saffron terror networks'
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  • I appreciate questioning rhetoric from the community. Questioners are the mark of a secure society. More power to questioners!
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  • The caption should be 'Rethinking Madrasa Education'.
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  • Interesting'
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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