Islam and Politics
ultraconservative school based on the belief in return to a purer Islam as
practiced in the time of the Prophet Mohammed, has caused global worry as
radical groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda draw on elements of its
teaching. In China, however, the level of state control over religious activity
depends on ethnic and geographical factors, not ideological ones....
But I was moved
when instead he focused on a tiny detail of his remembered life there, because
it suggested how utterly the Syria of his memory was being erased. Many big
things of memory — a city, stability, comity — were gone, and he was cherishing
ever smaller, personal things. “The water was so good,” he said wistfully. “You
could drink it straight from the tap, and it was cold and delicious.”...
Tan Hui Yee
complexity of the situation often gets lost amid the alarming headlines, and is
muddied by competing versions of Rohingya history used by both sides to support
their agendas. The Rohingya speak a language similar to what is used in
southern Bangladesh, a fact often used to discredit their claim of being native
Syed Munir Khasru
There is still
hope in Ms. Suu Kyi’s leadership, the military’s pragmatism, and the goodwill
that the international community now has for Myanmar. This new democracy needs
to find a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis, as much for itself as for
the refugees who should not be either forgotten or forsaken by the global
community. Migrants, whether in Asia or Europe, should be treated with the same
degree of humanity....
Asif Haroon Raja
The sort of
destruction and pogrom carried out by the new crusaders has paled the
barbarities of the medieval crusaders and even the Mongols under Chengiz and
Halaku – notorious for their genocide, into insignificance. None in the past
had razed any Muslim cities to ground as was done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya
and now in Syria. After repeated destruction of Gaza by the Israeli forces and
keeping it besieged since 2007, Syrian cities are being devastated in
succession. Hama, Homs, Lataqia, and now Aleppo are worst affected....
Samudra Gupta Kashyap
Assam’s BJP government forced a change to a 72-year-old tradition: hundreds of
madrasas stayed open on Friday, the day of congregational prayer for Muslims,
and were shut on Sunday...
Tufail Ahmad, New Age Islam
There is a
section of Indians such as those represented by the Hindu fringe which worries
about Pakistani terrorism and India's integrity. To them, I would like to say
this: for the first time since the Mauryan Empire which lasted from the 4th
through the 2nd centuries BCE, for the first time in more than 2000 years,
India is militarily the strongest state which has the capability to fight both
Pakistan and China at the same time. But wars are not won by the force of
weapons alone. Wars are won and lost by the intellectual judgement of political
Islam is the
religion of 1.6 billion people, over a fifth of humankind. Because of high birth-rates in Muslim
countries, moreover, the proportion of the world that is Muslim will probably
go to 1/3. If the United States, which is 5% of the world by population, tries
to go against a third of humankind, it will lose. But the fact is that the US has no beef with
most forms of Islam or even political Islam.
And aggressive attempts to dictate to Muslims what they may believe will
backfire, just as the whole Iraq War backfired.....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
The US and the
European Union, which have shown unseemly haste in lifting international
sanctions on Myanmar following its promise of political reforms, must push the
government in Yangon to rein in the troops going on the rampage in Rakhine.
Myanmar must open the Rakhine province to international media and allow the UN
to probe the widespread abuses and crimes against humanity....
One member of
an Islamist party recently complained, “Throughout the New Order and after, we
have always been a minority of second-class citizens, haven’t we?” With such
rhetoric, they called on the masses to be ready for Shuhada (martyrdom) in
As states fail,
youth identify more with their religion, sect or tribe than their country. In
2002, five Arab states were mired in conflict. Today 11 are. By 2020, predicts
the report, almost three out of four Arabs could be “living in countries
vulnerable to conflict”...
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi
Muslims have lived in the north-western Myanmar state of Rakhine for several
centuries. Yet they have been labelled illegal migrants and have been denied
their basic rights as citizens. Buddhist extremists have deprived Rohingya
Muslims of their rights with the blessings and encouragement of the Myanmar
groups such as Nahdlatul Ulema told their supporters to stay away from the
protest, but politicians associated with the campaigns of Ahok’s two rivals in
the election attended, all the same, along with tens of thousands of people
bused in from outside the capital….
Even as they
underlined that a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country cannot have a
‘one-size-fits-all’ law, the parties only disagreed with the BJP’s effort to
reform — even if it means adopting a Uniform Civil Code – because it must come
from within the Muslim community and not imposed by a party driven by
In its November
14, 2016 issue the Bangkok Post reports, “Myanmar's Rakhine state was hit by
fresh waves of violence over the weekend with more than 30 'insurgents' killed
during two days of fighting, the military said, as proof emerged of atrocities
against villagers.” Another news outlet, Myanmar Observer has reported that
Myanmar Army has rained rockets on Rohingya houses in Rakhine state killing
scores, burning houses to ashes. When people started flee from their burning
houses they were shot at, killing men, women and children....
Indonesian Muslims have not been easily swayed by sectarian arguments. Hardline
groups such as FPI have staged rallies against Ahok for years, but they have
rarely drawn much of a crowd or done much to reduce his popularity. Yet Ahok’s
comments about the Koran seem to have offended many….
This is visible
in the slogan “Banglar Hindu, Banglar Bouddho, Banglar Christian, Banglar
Musolman, amra shobai Bangalee.” With all its graces, this slogan inevitably
implies that Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian lives are worth something because
they are equal to Muslim lives. That for everyone’s lives to carry value, they
had to be forged into a national identity. All cultural differences that are
present due to spiritual differences will have to be put aside, or at least,
ongoing importance of the "Islamic" in the lives of Muslims, and the
essentially contested nature of many of the major concepts in the Islamic
tradition, the neologism of a progressive Islamist would, in my view, go a long
way toward problematising, destabilising and, hopefully, conceptually
decoupling the concept of Islamism/Islamist - and, more generally, the concept
of Islam itself - from conservative, puritanical expressions of political
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
In order to
think strategically about non-violently resolving a violent conflict, a clearly
defined political purpose is needed; that is, a simple summary statement of
'what you want'. However, given the complexity of the multifaceted conflict in
the case of Syria, it is strategically simpler to identify two political
purposes. These might be stated thus: 1. To end the war in/on Syria, and 2. To
establish a democratic form of government in Syria (which, obviously, requires
removal of the dictatorship)....
When will our
elections be made Shariah compliant? If they already are, then could those
responsible for the “scientific measurement system to gauge the effectiveness
of policies based on the teachings of Islam” please explain to us how
gerrymandering is justified in the teachings of Islam?...
Going by these
classifications, religious practices that are Farz or Wajib for the Muslims
will be covered in India by the religious freedom clause of the Constitution.
Even what is recommended by religious texts can perhaps be claimed to fall
under that protective umbrella, but not what is merely permissible — and
certainly not any abominable practice that according to Muslim theologians
themselves is Bidat (against true religion)....
S P Seth
and the Wahhabi version of Islam have become indistinguishable, and used to
strictly supervise and control people’s ‘moral’ and social behaviour. Even with
this internal compact with the clerical establishment, and partly on their
behest, the Saudis still felt insecure and have gone on to promote Wahhabi
version of Islam in the wider Islamic world. This supposedly would make Saudi
Arabia the authentic voice of Islam...
significantly the Qur'an does not say "mutual consultation of
Muslims," but instead states the broader "mutual consultation,"
recognizing the secular form of public governance involving Muslims and
non-Muslims. Chapter 4 Verse 59 reaffirms this point declaring, "Verily,
Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that,
when you judge between men, you judge with justice." Verse 60 further
adds, "Obey Allah, and obey His Messenger, and those who are in authority
objections of his Iraqi neighbours and American allies, Mr Erdogan has also
clamoured for a greater role in the offensive against IS in Mosul, citing a
duty to protect his fellow Sunnis from Shia militias. His talk of an incursion
is probably bluster, designed to sustain a wave of nationalist frenzy…
irretrievable breakdown of marriage be a ground for divorce under the statutory
marriage laws of India? Can a woman facing savagery at the instance of another
woman at home seek relief under the anti-domestic violence law? Will the word
‘Talaq’ texted on a cellphone to a married Muslim woman by her husband
instantly dissolve her marriage?....