Islam and Politics
Arab states are suffering a crisis of legitimacy. In a way, they have
never got over the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The prominent
ideologies—Arabism, Islamism and now jihadism—have all sought some greater
statehood beyond the frontiers left by the colonisers....
Bearded members of the Muslim Brotherhood, their skin scarred by the
torture of Mubarak’s security state, embraced secular Egyptian liberals and
declared common cause. Young men and women, their eyes burning with conviction,
proclaimed that the 18 days in Tahrir had given their lives meaning for the
For anybody reflecting on India-Pakistan relations, the abiding question must be that given the cultural similarities between India and Pakistan, why can’t they be friendly neighbours like the US and Canada?..
After 12 years of the attack, the Supreme Court finally acquitted all of
the convicts and recorded its anguish over the conduct of the investigation
agencies, which had booked and got convicted, innocents. It can only be hoped
that anguish is the beginning of reform.....
London has come a long way since the 1950s when an elderly Londoner
boasted she jabbed coloured people in the underground with her handbag so that
she could smile sweetly and apologise just to show them whites could be nice....
Without new blood, these vital reforms have no chance of success. And
without a new culture of accountability for government officials, Iraq has no
The Arab League is not alone in wrestling with the end of an age of
heroes, and the erosion of multilateral ideology by resurgent nationalism...
At the time Erdogan’s words sent shockwaves among Muslim Brotherhood
figures who were opposed to the separation of state and religion. .....
For ISIS and Al-Qaeda's Nusra, this status quo is ideal in Syria in
terms of preying on civilians' tragedies to increase recruitment, emerge as a
hard-line alternative to the more moderate groups and confirm the
conspiratorial sentiment that the West is allied with Assad. Given the brutal
nature of the war and the very low likelihood for an action plan to protect
civilians, Srebrenica moments are only bound to repeat in Syria....
Since November, ISIS’s pseudo-caliphate has lost forty per cent of its
territory in Iraq and ten per cent in Syria, as well as tens of thousands of
fighters, tons of arms, and hundreds of millions of dollars stored in
warehouses that have been bombed by the U.S.-led coalition. ISIS fighters are
dying faster than they can be replaced. For the first time, ISIS no longer
It is Islamism that makes war with the secular, not Islam which embraces
profoundly secular values: freedom of human will, freedom of belief, the
foundations of Divinely Authored pluralistic world and the unshakeable tenet
that Islam is nothing if not justice manifest. Objecting to the anti-violence
against women bills are the hallmarks of the imposters of Islam, not Islam’s
Thus, for some staunch Kemalist-secularists in Turkey, reviving the
memory of Kut from the forgotten pages of archives is a nefarious attempt to
further tarnish Ataturk's name by the current Islamist rule in Turkey. The move
is interpreted in terms of the incipient Islamisation of Turkey...
The trigger-happy soldier Elor Azaria and the peace camp leader Isaac
Herzog have more in common than either might wish to admit. In their different
ways, both have helped to turn all Palestinians into outcasts – and crush any
hope of concessions from Israel to peace...
China has never experienced widespread terrorism or Islamic militancy
and it has certainly not tried to export it either. Now it is facing both
dangers, and neighbouring states are questioning China's ability to treat its
Uighur population fairly and halt these trends....
The Taliban strategy is twofold: to inflict casualties in major cities
using bomb blasts and suicide attacks to demonstrate that they can hit even the
most protected targets, and to try to occupy a provincial capital for a few
days to expose the limits of Kabulís authority....
Palestinians face a daily battle to build, to get jobs, water,
electricity and to be able to travel anywhere including schools and hospitals.
Increasingly they despair of the international community, Israel and the
Palestinian Authority. “Nobody else but us will end this occupation,” a Bedouin
tells me confidently. “Giving up is not an option.”...
Salman Anees Soz
Two points of caution are in order. First, the past cannot guarantee the
future. Vigilance by Muslim families, community leaders, and the government is
necessary. Second, the rise of Hindutva and ultra-nationalism may pave the way
for institutionalised marginalisation of Muslims. This will shake the
foundations of India’s pluralistic character. These trends are dangerous,
self-defeating and threaten India’s security and well-being. Indian Muslims have
overwhelmingly rejected extremism....
Iraq is facing major financial
pressure, and the war against the Islamic State grinds on. The last thing the
country needs is a major political crisis. But that’s exactly what appears to
be in the works — unless the United States and Iran work together to help the
prime minister avoid it...
Very few Muslim states encourage a pluralist identity, where being a
Muslim is not considered synonymous with unflinching adherence to theology, or
even with religious belief at all. Clearly, this rigid ideology is incompatible
with modernity embodied in democracy and freedom of thought and expression.....
The brilliant light of Islam started blazing from the Arabian Peninsula
only a century after Hijrah to enlighten the four corners of the earth. The
first communicators began to convey the noble message to millions of people,
from the borders of Spain to the gates of Anatolia, from the coasts of East
Africa to the lands of Iran. Arab sailors, sharing the same enthusiasm, set off
across the Indian Ocean: first to India, and then Pakistan. After a few
centuries, Asian lands in the Far East had become acquainted with the
Does Libya need Al-Serraj to get out of its entanglement? He promised to
flow the cash into banks, solve the Misrata-Tawergha displacement issue, end
war in Benghazi and a lot more, but that remains ink on paper and needs a
comprehensive cooperation across Libya and involvement of all Libyan sectors to
Pakistan will remain a key ally for Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has
invested billions in supporting Pakistan for decades. The military relationship
between the two remains robust despite the differences over Yemen. The bonds of
religion and history unite the two Islamic countries. Sharif knows Riyadh will
want to avoid any damage to its ties to Islamabad. But Salman is also warning
Pakistan that the kingdom has other suitors....
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent address to the Indian
Diaspora in Brussels contained five significant points:
“Terrorism must be delinked from religion; no religion teaches
terrorism, a strong message that resonated from the World Sufi Forum recently
held in Delhi”.
“Terrorism is a challenge to humanity. The entire world must unite to
combat it….UN should define “terrorism” in a clear way”.
“India has not given in to terrorism, and there is no instance of
surrendering to terror outfits…. India is the lone light of hope amidst the
“India has been battling terrorism for decades. But the rest of the
world recognized the danger only after 9/11”.
“We cannot tackle terrorism with only bombs and guns. Misfortune of the
world is that the UN does not know how to tackle terrorism”....
S. Mubashir Noor, New Age Islam
to international terrorism are not new. Its citizens of Maghreb origin were
linked to the assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the 2004 Madrid bombings and
the shootings at Charlie Hebdo. Molenbeek’s demographics also fit the general
profile of areas most susceptible to radicalism. Its large Muslim immigrant
population lives densely packed in a virtual ghetto with inadequate amenities
and a deep sense of isolation. Regional unemployment runs alarmingly high,
perhaps 30 or 40 percent, and average income lags far behind the national
Many believe that the radicalisation of Muslims in Belgium was initiated
at the behest of Wahhabi imams from Saudi Arabia who preached at Brussels Grand
Mosque, which was constructed in 1967 as part of an oil deal with the House of
Saud. The unemployed and marginalised Muslim youth in Europe, particularly in
France and Belgium, turned to radical Islam in order to assert their identity
even at the cost of harming the global diversity of the religion.....