Books and Documents
Islam and Politics
The Golden Visa
Rafia Zakaria

The Golden Visa
Rafia Zakaria

While much conversation and negotiation takes place between Pakistan and the US on various issues, the one concerning the ability of skilled Pakistani workers to live and work in America is seemingly of low priority, if at all. It is a pity, of course, given that Pakistan too is a labour-exporting country and Pakistani workers reportedly sent back over $10m in just half of the year....

It's time to appraise the turbulent situation in Bangladesh in terms of historical sociology. Like Pakistan, Bangladesh came into being in absolute haste (thanks to the stubbornness of West Pakistani leaders and military), almost without any plan or preparation on the part of the would-be founders. The cumulative effects of the  unprecedented brutal killing, rape and torture of tens of thousands of unarmed Bengali civilians by Pakistani troops and their local collaborators, and the destruction of the administrative, business, communication, and industrial infrastructure— during the Liberation War—were simply overpowering for Bangladesh.....


Who Is The Ruler Of Israel? Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Of Course, WRONG
Uri Avnery

From the point of view of Israel’s vital INTERESTS, it is sheer madness to provoke the President of the United States of America, who controls American’s flow of arms to Israel and the American veto power in the UN. But from the point of view of Adelson, who wants to elect a Republican president in 2016, it makes sense. ....

"Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of al-Qaida funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization."....


Assad’s efforts in 2011 to depict the uprising against his rule as no more than the work of armed terrorist gangs have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Syrian regime helped assure that extremists would gain control of the revolt and turn it into a sectarian conflict....


Let us not forget that just as we can’t relinquish Islam because it has been, or is being, abused, we can’t relinquish Sufism for the same reasons, as, without it, we can’t understand Islam’s deeper spiritual or metaphysical ground and the glorious heritage of traditional sciences, arts, crafts and in fact the beauty that has been the hallmark of Islam as a civilisational force…..


The Silence of the Liberal Muslim
Hasan Suroor

A Muslim woman is accused of blasphemy, sacked by her employers, dragged through police stations and courts, and is forced to go underground in the face of a vicious hate campaign, including death threats. This is not a story from the badlands of Waziristan, and her tormentors are not the Sharia-enforcing Taliban. It is happening right in the heart of modern India — in cosmopolitan Mumbai, to be precise — with our own Taliban leading the show.....

Democracy and Islam: Whoever Contemplates the Fundamentals of Democracy Will Find That It Is In Harmony with the Essence of Islam
Nadeem M Qureshi

The Quran is silent on the specific issue of a system of government for the Muslims. So we have to look further afield to the Prophet Muhammad and his companions for an answer. When he died, the Prophet did not nominate a successor. This was a conscious decision. He was aware that the end was near several days before he died. He could have named his successor at any time. But he did not....

The legitimacy of identifying Christians as infidels in Islam is uncertain. While militant Muslim groups, such as al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and ISIS, kidnap, kill or expel Christians because they consider Christians infidels, the practice of labelling Christians as infidels is definitely not unanimous among Muslims. There is simply no consensus, which presents an opportunity…..

'Islam Has Given Birth to Monsters, Needs Reform'
Abdennour Bidar

Muslims cannot make do with denouncing and repudiating terrorist barbarism, but must acknowledge that its roots lie within Muslim society, and especially within the Islam that is prevalent in the Arab world today. He points out that Islam, like all religions, has throughout its history been a source of much good, wisdom and enlightenment, but that today's mainstream Islam rejects the freedom and flexibility that are advocated by the Koran and instead promotes rigidity and regression that ultimately give rise to terrorism.....

Nigerian Politics: Church, State and Mosque

Worries about the fair treatment of Christians have also been exacerbated by the situation in the northeast, where Boko Haram, a jihadist group, is trying to establish an Islamic state. Instability has killed more than 16,000 people…..


A pattern apparent in these cases is the application of pressure on families in China to convince overseas Uyghurs to cease raising awareness of human rights abuses in China, an increasingly common tactic in 2014…


We see numerous protests in the name of Islam against critics of Islam--where are the protests in the name of Islam against the savage killers of the critics? The religious leaders of Islam readily issue Fatwas against the ridiculers of Muhammed--where are the Fatwas against the people who abduct schoolchildren, firebomb synagogues, make sex-slaves of girls, decapitate journalists and otherwise fail to practice a "religion of peace"? America's enemies are those who seek to institute Islamic totalitarianism--and those who support them. People should be free to pray to Allah and praise the Quran. But if they act to abet the users of force in any way, they then become "immoderate" Muslims…..


Rusting Anchor: The Creation and Mutation of a National Ideology
Nadeem F. Paracha

Islamic scholar and chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Abul Ala Maududi, was a well-read and prolific journalist and author. Though his commentaries in this respect were highly conservative, this was a radical conservatism of sorts that became the basis of the 20th century theoretical construct known as ‘Political Islam’ Maududi not only challenged the Muslim nationalism of the likes of Jinnah (claiming nationalism had no place in Islam), he even managed to offend many scholars of various Muslim sects, accusing them of either being wedged in ancient clerical traditions, or simply distorting the true message of Islam through unsavoury ‘innovations’.....

Turkey’s Eroding Democracy
Fethullah Gulen

Turkey has now reached a point where democracy and human rights have almost been shelved. I hope and pray that those in power reverse their current domineering path. In the past the Turkish people have rejected elected leaders who strayed from a democratic path. I hope they will exercise their legal and democratic rights again to reclaim the future of their country......


Enter Erdoğan and Putin
Mustafa Akyol

Polygamy, while not uncommon, is still illegal. Alcohol, while heavily taxed, is still easy to come by. With state support, religion is clearly playing a larger role in Turkish public life than ever before, but its use is clearly embedded within a nationalist rather than Islamic narrative. References to Islamic texts or to early Islamic history are exceedingly rare; Erdoğan speaks of the Ottomans, not the Prophet and his companions….


Pakistan’s Elusive Quest for Parity
Husain Haqqani

For example, 94 per cent of India’s children between five and 15 complete primary school compared with 54 per cent in Pakistan. Every year, 8,900 Indians get a PhD in the sciences compared with the 8,142 doctorates awarded by Pakistan’s universities since Independence. The total number of books published in any language on any subject in Pakistan in 2013, including religious titles and children’s books, stood at 2,581, against 90,000 in India. The parity doctrine also requires Pakistanis to see India as an existential enemy. Textbooks still tell Pakistani children that Hindu India threatens Islamic Pakistan and seeks to terminate its existence. Hardly anyone outside of Pakistan believes that to be true….


The Nucleus of Pakistan’s Non-State Actors: The Army and the ISI Cannot Solve the Problem Because They Are the Problem
Deepan Joshi

The ISI routinely murders journalists who come in its way and there are some brave ones out there as they work with the knowledge that they can be taken out. Saleem Shahzad is one of the standout cases since he reported on the links between the Navy and the al Qaeda and was picked up by the ISI for it and later found dead. Sections of the press are completely-irresponsible as you can see the cartoon Zaid Hamid presented as a security expert and Hafiz Saeed, the man who carries a US $10 million bounty on his head as an international terrorist, using the media to get his message across whenever he wishes to….


Muslims Should Approach All Politicians in Power for Redressal of Grievances, Regardless Of Their Political Affiliation, Say Indian Muslim Scholars

Muslims should give up blaming governments for their plight, said Shaikh Abu Bakr. He said that governments should always be accorded due respect, whether they are of BJP or any other party. “We should not have any problem in turning to the BJP government for our grievances to be redressed. The Ulema should meet the Prime Minister with an open mind, regardless of which party is in power”. Since Mr. Narendra Modi is the current Prime Minister, we must honour his position." he said. “Also, We are obliged to show our madrasa curriculums and text books to the concerned people of the government to remove doubts about their link to extremism," he said. 

“Muslims should not worry about the cartoons and drawings, defaming Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), because the Prophet cannot be depicted for real,” said Maulana Syed Muhammad Ashraf. He spoke on the reasons why Islam has been conflated in media with extremism. He said: “We have to keep Muslim youths away from the politically motivated ‘Islamists’ and recognize the real culprits who cause greater defamation of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) than the Islamophobes."

Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan said that Muslims themselves are responsible for the chaos and deterioration in their community. He called for introspection into the causes of Muslim decline. He said that Ulema and madrasas will be held accountable, if they do not serve the purposes they are meant for. ....

What Is Wahhabism In Saudi Arabia?
Galina Yemelianova

Neo-Wahhabis remain by far the greatest potential threat to the regime. The advance of IS in Syria and Iraq, as well as its counterparts in Africa and elsewhere, presents a serious religious challenge to the Saudi regime and its Wahhabi establishment. Both IS and the Saudis claim to represent the “true” Islamic state, subscribing to strict adherence to Sharia law. But they are also sworn enemies, since Saudi Arabia has officially joined the American-led coalition against IS, with whom a many neo-Wahhabi Saudis are actually fighting…….


King Salman's Shady Past
Rafia Zakaria

The newest king in the world, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, was the man the House of Saud had put in charge of raising money for the Afghan war against the Soviet Union. According to Bruce Reidel, an analyst writing in The Daily Beast, then Prince Salman was at one point instrumental in funnelling almost 25 million dollars a month to the Afghan Mujahideen….


Bad Saudi Vibes: It Has Blocked Change in the Middle East
Irfan Husain

In 1924-25, Ibn Saud, the founder of the current Saudi dynasty, defeated the Hashemites and seized control of Saudi Arabia with the help of the British. According to contemporary accounts, over the next seven years or so, tens of thousands were killed, many more had a limb amputated and up to a million fled Saudi Arabia. So when we deplore the actions of the Islamic State, we need to remember who provided them with a model for conquest. And when we are repulsed by their public beheading of prisoners, we need to keep in mind the fact that on Fridays, those given the death penalty by Saudi Arabia’s opaque and draconian legal system are decapitated in public squares…..


Egypt’s War on Atheism
Mona Eltahawy

If anything, Egypt’s nominally secular ruler is more Catholic than the pope, to borrow a metaphor from another religion. Assuming the role of defender of public morality is a deliberate reminder that the Islamists do not hold the copyright on piety. This is not new: The regime of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak often vaunted its religiosity to outdo its Islamists rivals…..


The Case for Reform of Islam in India
Tufail Ahmad

In India itself, a generation of Hindus – starting from Raja Ram Mohan Roy to Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. B R Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi – has accepted that caste system practiced by our parents was indeed a scourge that needed to be eliminated from Indian society; and once they accepted the problem in our midst they were able to initiate great social, political and legal reforms…..

Are Muslim Uighurs Fleeing China To Join The Islamic State?
Stuart Leavenworth

While China has labelled escaping Uighurs as potential terrorists, many of those held in Thailand are women and children, as televised footage from the country shows. Police found the Songkhla group hungry and mosquito-bitten, with some carrying Chinese bus tickets and their life’s possessions. “There is no indication whatsoever that the group being held in detention in Thailand is ‘terrorists….

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  • Rational,Yes, the Muslims must take responsibility for Islamophobia.
    ( By Observer )
  • KS,You mix up what people say with what the Quran says.The sending of the messenger and revelation of the Quran was clearly to wean ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Good interview, although it must be taken with a grain of salt!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Happy Holi everyone!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • European countries need to launch an anti-ghettoization program to fight both physical and mental segregation.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  •  Observer sb - 3/4/2015 7:42:45 AM “Rules for proselytizing in the Quran: (6:108) Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • ObserverLet us assume in 1200 years Muslim couldn't understand the difference between the kufr and Iman. First time you understood it after 1200 years. ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Scholars can afford lying.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • uh.. to clarify again.. this is so confusing:I thought you meant B1, but actually you meant B2And since I thought you meant B1, that ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Observer, you made a statement saying A. unequal treatment of non Muslims is not a part of the Quran. B. Jizya is unequal treatment ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Secular Logic,Where is the denial of Jizya?But you have not accepted that you made a false accusation. Instead like any other morally weak person, you ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Wikipedia tells me that the Quran mentions the Houris many times Those who are providing an abridged description of paradise are committing the sin of lying by ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • In the article What is Kufr etc part three in the comments section:Unequal treatment of non-Muslims is not part of the Quran. Jizya was in ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Yunus sahib urges compliance with "the universal trajectories of the Qur'an - doing of all that is good and lawful, excelling in all lawful avenues ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Secular Logic,Produce the proof where I said that there is no mention of Jizya in the Quran.Or produce  proof of anything else that I ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Mr Observer, I assure you I feel no pain at all. Far from being an Islamophobe, I have spent nearly two years trying to ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Secular Logic,I can understand the pain of  Islamophobes who turn and twist in agony every time their poisoned arrows are blunted. It was the ...
    ( By Observer )
  • As per Mr Khalid's story, Prophet ke karni aur kehni mein bahut pharak tha. It is obvious that those who are trying to redefine ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Excellent.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Muslims even moderates are grateful to Tabri and other historians without whom they would have not known the prophet.Perhaps the human mind is not ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Mr Mohammed YunusIf Ulema added glamor to Islam, you are depriving Islam from it. Who likes skinny Islam, you are proposing?if they are selective, ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiuddin Sahab,Truly worthy of blame in historical perspective is the Muslim elite of the past generations who, by and large, languished in ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • For liberal Islam to flourish, both freedom of speech and complete separation of religion from state are necessary and equally important.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What Mr. Jones says is sad but true.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • We must also blame the people who allow such maulanas to preach such rubbish.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • You can accept the Quran as the final word or pay heed to Tabari etc.What should be  clear is that there is an open ...
    ( By Observer )
  • "(6:108) Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • THE NEXT PART OF THE VERSE   The vast majority of Muslim clerics say the group cherry picks what it wants from Islam's holy book, the Quran, and from ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • TO TEACH CHILDREN HOW TO THINK   In public schools, however, disinterested teachers with dismal salaries, combined with a lack of regulatory frameworks for ensuring the quality of education, ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Rules for proselytizing in the Quran:(6:108) Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ...
    ( By Observer )
  • “The most basic definition of a  Kafir in the Quran that applies to all mankind is:   1. Anyone who hinders other people from following their religion (any ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • Orthodox Islam has turned mythology into theology in the form of hadith and elevated hadith to divine status. So legends and mythology occupy the ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • نعيش في عهد الجراح والشجون ونمر بفجاج الردى والأسى والألم والدموع وقد شوه الإرهاب شرف المسلمين في العالم كله و بذالك قد انكسر كل ما شيدته ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • The Saudi king should  read not only one book of 6th century but books for east too to get the facts of life and ...
    ( By sahani )
  • Land of india is special ground to breed and give birth to intellectuals and spiritual people. Only problem is the people born in india ...
    ( By sahanii )
  • Sultan Shahin sahebthe quote is available on internet which is said to be in Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi'i, Beirut, 1979, pp. ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Murari,There is no compulsion in accepting or rejecting a premise. It is up to anybody to read or not read or cursorily dismiss ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Shahin Sb,Sunni theology can be used to define a Muslim. According to Sunni theology, Muslim and Kafir are antonyms.The most basic definition of a ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Modi is the fittest person in this century to be the Prime Minister of India. Who do you want? Mufti Mohammad as PM and ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Also, Observer Saheb, It will be a god idea to define who is a Muslim. Much strife is caused by this. When a non-Muslim ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )