Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

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.....

A Peek into What Saudi Arabia Might Have Been If King Faisal Was Still Alive
Nadeem F. Paracha

No other Saudi monarch before or after him has been able to match the kind of populist appeal and fame that Faisal finally cultivated for himself. To retain this appeal, Faisal began to fund various movements both on the left and the right. For example, he bankrolled various left-wing Palestinian outfits fighting against Israel, and on the right, bolstered radical right-wing groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood who were opposed to Nasserism and Ba’ath Socialism.....


How Non-Muslims 'Survive' in Turkey
Burak Bekdil

A non-Muslim can rise and become a darling of today's neo-Ottoman Turks. He can win hearts and minds in important offices in Ankara -- and a bright career. But to maintain his fortunes he must remain loyal to the official Islamist line, both in deed and rhetoric….

Erdogan’s Mosque-Building Frenzy
Abdullah Bozkurt

Drawing on the infamous Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia and Ayatollahs of Iran, Turkey's chief political Islamist, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his associate zealots in the government have been preoccupied with the idea of constructing mega mosques in Turkey and abroad to build influence and project a politicized religious discourse to the masses....


Muslim League’s use of the Ulema
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed

I would say that the creation of Pakistan furnished the Ulema with the opportunity to realise their political project of creating an Islamic state whereas in India the Hindutva forces have not been able to subvert the secular-democratic state the Indian Constitution prescribed and the very able leadership of the prime minister consolidated and institutionalised....

Who is Bombing Whom in the Middle East?
Robert Fisk

The Saudis are bombing Yemen because they fear the Shia Houthis are working for the Iranians. The Saudis are also bombing Isis in Iraq and the Isis in Syria. So are the United Arab Emirates. The Syrian government is bombing its enemies in Syria and the Iraqi government is also bombing its enemies in Iraq....


The issue of the Islamic State, and the young British men and women running away to join their ranks, has captured newspaper headlines across the country yet deserves a more nuanced debate than a focus on religious ideology. Libya is often cited on the news these days as the departure point for migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe....


Rule of Lawlessness Makes Arabs Rise Up
Rami G. Khouri

Our Arab societies are brittle, volatile, violent and fragmenting, in many cases because there is no effective check on the exercise of power by indigenous or external powers. This leaves your average Arab citizen totally exposed and helpless. Not surprisingly, individuals who feel they are mistreated, exploited and sometimes brutalized in their own societies, often by their own countrymen, eventually fight back to try to protect themselves and their families....


Will Gwadar Mean More Misery For Balochistan?
Ahmar Mustikhan

The reason for killing Mahmud was simple: the ISI does not want the rest of Pakistan to know the horrendous situation in the killing fields of Balochistan. It also wants to teach an unforgettable lesson to Pakistanis like Sabeen Mahmud who show the temerity to question the raison d’etre of the Deep State — the ISI, military intelligence, generals and top security related bureaucrats — for the Baloch killings....


Why is the oppression of Muslims by the Chinese government all right for us whereas a slight sense of injustice by other countries makes us boil with rage? When will we stop our double standards and act fairly? Our hypocrisy is what lands us in trouble every time......

Woman, Moment, Nation
Khaled Ahmed

The Political Odyssey of a Pakistani Woman by Syeda Abida Hussain (2015) rivets the reader with its honesty of detail. “I am a year older than Pakistan, one of midnight’s children, born to privilege and a contingent sense of entitlement,” she begins, with a pledge of cold realism that doesn’t abandon the 700-page narrative....

Don Quixote
Najam Sethi

Don Quixote
Najam Sethi

Now the “dharna” seems like an illusion of the past and Mr Sharif is firmly in the saddle. He said the Taliban were “misguided Muslims” who should be walked the talk. Now he admits they are terrorists who should be eliminated. He said intra-party elections in the PTI were unprecedentedly free and fair....


Islamic political parties constitute the most tangible institutional manifestation of diverse schools of political Islam, ranging from the most militant to the moderate. They advocate diverse and at times contradictory ideological orientations and responses to major concerns in the contemporary Islamic world with regard to social justice, human rights and the position of women and minorities....


Islamic State’s New Afghan Front
Javid Ahmad

The Islamic State’s followers are making significant inroads and steadily gaining strength in Afghanistan, as demonstrated by their recent vicious attack in Jalalabad that left 35 people dead. However, new reports have surfaced, though unproved, that the group’s emergence represents “a rebranding of marginalized Taliban” that has splintered from Taliban factions and pledged allegiance to the self-declared caliphate of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria....


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  • This is a great article. What is great is acknowledging the fact that the gunman Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to Abubucker Al Bagdadi just after ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • To Shfaqat Mahmood. You are true in many sense, but you need to understand political power. Our countries never had real democracy, those people we choose are mostly ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • To Author The case of Ms Woo is not new in India, to heart the family of grown of girl, the only difference is this case Ms ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Zakir Naik, is nothing but a parrot of Saudi Sheikhs who pay him to sing Wahabism. If he is true what he claims, then why ...
    ( By abdul Hamid )
  • I live in the US. It is just all such a mess that I cannot even say where it starts or ends. There ...
    ( By Amy )
  • i really feel good to read this article '
    ( By Shakeel Ahmed )
  • Islam must of course come to terms with modernity but using labels like "Islamic terrorism" do not in any way help in that process and ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "A privileged, supremacist outlook" is exactly what Islam does not need. Zakir Naik's claims are offensive and anti-Islamic.
    ( By Ghulammohiyuddin )
  • Well argued and fair!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • In other words, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is just like Pakistan itself!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • If Pakistan will not donate to University Of Jihad, then who will?'
    ( By Prince Koul )
  • This is an important and woeful subject. Excellent overview.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Adopting a democratic system of government, creating a distance between state and religion and modernizing Islam are all achievable goals as Tunisia has demonstrated. Tunisia ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Selling a House to a Jew is a Betrayal of Allah". This is a very deceptive article. A geo-political measure is presented as if it is ...
    ( By Ghulam Faruki )
  • These strange Fatwas are best to be avoided. They only earn ridicule.'
    ( By Anand Kumar )
  • The second great prophet in Islam whose name is mentioned 25 times in Holy Koran. said “You shall know the truth, the truth will set ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • What is the source of all the talks between angels and Allah or angels and prophets ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Allah then told the angels to gather soil from all parts of the earth! You could have better avoided such references which is not there in ...
    ( By Abdul Salam )
  • Selling a House to a Jew is a Betrayal of Allah". This is a very deceptive article. A geo-political measure is presented as if it is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very good article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It has now become clear that Omar Mateen was gay. His father however strongly disapproved of it as is clear when he tried to falsely ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Those who are different from us nevertheless have the same right to security, respect, jobs and housing as any of us. Let us not make ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hamdullah would be prosecuted in any civilized country for his obscene threats made on television. Such persons should not be called "ulema" in Pakistan or ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • So what happened to Mandal after the partition. As a representative of hindu dalit community to what heights did he reach in islamic pakistan. how ...
    ( By prisha )
  • The website is flooded with anti-Muslim Personal Law Board reformation suggestions, issues of triple Talaq, Khuda Hafiz vs Allah Hafiz, Ramadan vs Ramazan etc as ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Dear Aayina: I see you as a moderate intellectual concerned for the safety and progress of all. I demanded your comments as I appreciate and ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • To Raihan Nezami What you want to know from me. I did not understand well. I have always said to you in my comments, you can disagree on ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Mr Tufail Ahmed Sb must conduct some research on the topics before coming out with any authoritative statement to something in the light of factual ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • If our religion condemns homosexuality, the proper thing to do would be to question such a condemnation in light of present scientific understanding of the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • In response to Aiyina's comments: Eversince I was born, raised and schooled, like other Pakistanis I read and observed that India never loses any opportunity to ...
    ( By Shafqat Mahmood )
  • This article is based upon false misconceptions and pre-assumptions of sold media that is well known to all. The sad part is that the author ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Highly commendable arguments and helpful list of questions to tackle this issue openly. However one answer and one question on the subject:- “… the question of ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Aayina: In a generalised hateful manner you're getting too much judgemental about the Muslims it shows the Bhagva impact upon you '
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Mr Aayina: I'm still waiting for your response upon my last comment replying to some of your points.'
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • There are more destructive phobias in the world than Islamophobia i.e. Americophobia ....
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Mr Ram Puniyani must be congratulated for his dare devil approach of factual expression. '
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Though this opinion article is very well-written with very sound ideas, I would like to intervene that it is a combination ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Though this opinion article is very well-written with very sound ideas, I would like to intervene that it is a combination ....
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Please also see this news item:..
    ( By Dr. M.A. Haque )
  • Well at least Islam will win, which is all Muslims of world want. Kill the rest Hindus so even this type of articles stop and this ...
    ( By Aayina )