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Islam and Politics

A False Dilemma: For Ramachandra Guha Empathy for Muslims Is a Liberal Predicament, He Makes a Deeply Unfair Argument
Abdul Khaliq

By drawing a parallel between the Trishul and the skull-cap and Burqa, Guha is guilty of the most fallacious equivalence. In his jaundiced view, they represent an analogous anti-modern outlook. He should know that the skull-cap and Burqa are no more than markers of cultural identity whereas the Trishul is, quite simply, a weapon. A more appropriate analogy would be to compare the skull-cap with the cross worn by the Christian or the sacred thread and Tilak that many Hindus sport or the Sikh turban....

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

Liberals and Nationalism
Ashutosh Varshney

Liberals and Nationalism
Ashutosh Varshney

What kind of a nation is India — is it civic or ethnic? If we go by the Constitution, India chose more of a civic than an ethnic model at Independence. In the 1950s, Indians living in East and South Africa and Malaysia were not granted Indian citizenship, even though they had Indian ancestry. Rather, they were encouraged to remain committed to their adopted lands. Equally important, no ethnic or religious groups were given political primacy in the constitutional settlement. All groups and citizens were legally equal....

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

Muslim Question: It’s Not Just Religion, its Also Caste
Khalid Anis Ansari

Several prominent left-liberal scholars have stretched their necks out on the so-called “Muslim question” in the last few days. What is perhaps striking is not the minutiae of the debate but rather the broad consensus across ideological positions on the “terms” in which the debate is supposedly being conducted. I will argue that the “Muslim question” shares a constitutive relationship with the repressed “caste question” within Indian Islam, and the left-liberals have been extremely hesitant in acknowledging this....

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

Abul Kalam Azad, the Lodestar
Syeda Hameed

“I am a Muslim and profoundly conscious of the fact that I have inherited Islam’s glorious traditions of the last 1.300 years. I am not prepared to lose even a small part of that legacy. I have another deep realisation born out of my life’s experience, which is strengthened not hindered by the spirit of Islam. I am equally proud of the fact that I am an Indian, an essential part of that indivisible unity of Indian nationhood without which this noble edifice will remain incomplete. I can never give up this sincere claim,” he said. Are Muslims, as a Quaum, secular Hindus and political parties who claim to be secular willing to imbibe these words and give the country the fresh life-blood needed to restore its critical state of health?...

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

The Last ‘Peace Process’ Warrior: Abbas Hanging by a Thread
Ramzy Baroud

From American and Israeli viewpoints, the “peace process” could be considered a success. It allowed the US to define the political agenda in the Middle East and for Israel to shape the physical reality of the Occupied Territories in any way it found suitable. The Palestinian leadership has emerged as the biggest loser....

 

A Liberal Critique of Religious Orthodoxy Cannot Offer Bad Stereotypes to Bolster Its Argument
Mukul Kesavan

Two, waving a Trishul about in public is not like wearing a Burqa in public. The former is a threat to public order and an incitement to violence; the second is not. To yoke them together by arguing that they represent the worst of both communities and then to double down and insist that the Burqa is therefore like a Trishul (Guha’s words) is to compare the patriarchal oppression of Muslim women to a menacing assertion of Hindu supremacy....

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

Comparison of the Burqa, a Symbol of a Besieged Minority, With the Trishul, a Symbol of Aggressive Majoritarianism Is Callous and Insensitive
Irena Akbar

A Burqa is to be worn; its appearance might cause contempt, or even fear, among some but it doesn’t kill. A Trishul, like all weapons, is designed to kill, to intimidate the enemy, and was used by Hindu deities to defeat evil forces. In times of hyper-Hindutva, the Trishul is used by grass roots BJP workers to exert Hindu dominance over the Muslim enemy. Which is why there is frequent news of motorcycle-borne youth with Tilaks on their foreheads and saffron flags in their hands brandishing Trishuls in Muslim-majority areas of small towns of the country....

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

“The call for partition was a bargaining ploy or what Jaswant Singh calls “tactics” , (Jinnah, India Partition & Independence, Jaswant Singh, page 276) whereby M A Jinnah wanted to strike a better deal for Muslims in a United India. But partnership with Muslims would have made it impossible for the Congress to get what Maulana Abul Kalam Azad described as “unadulterated Hindu Raj” (India Wins Freedom, page 124). Partition, in a way, was the gift the Congress gave to the Hindu Right, which in the fullness of time, is toady’s HINDUTVA”….(Saeed Naqvi, Being the other : Muslim in India (2016) page 58).....

Why I Stay in Gaza
Atef Abu Saif

According to the World Bank, youth unemployment in Gaza hit 58 percent in 2016, and nearly 80 percent of the territory’s two million residents received aid. The United Nations has warned that the place might collapse. Despite a reconciliation deal in the fall, tensions remain between Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, and Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank....

 

Nature of Indian Polity and Lack of Education Means India Will Not Groom Muslim Leaders like the UK's Sadiq Khan
Tufail Ahmad

And this is where Guha is wrong and Mander is right. Guha ignores the fact that hatred can single out communities by their dress. Hatred brews in a certain type of political cultures cultivated by a certain type of political parties and religious groups and their leaders. The Burqa's role in subjugating Muslim women must be criticised, but skullcap and beard are traditional characteristics of piety among Muslims in India. Irrespective of religious affiliation, people will wear a certain type of dress which is protected by modern democracies as a right to religion....

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

Citizenship Rights, Not Burqa: Why the Harsh Mander-Ramachandra Guha Debate Must Continue — and Expand
Suhas Palshikar

Guha is implicitly right — what the Muslim community in India has often got is a leadership that uses attractive minorityism in the name of the Indian Constitution and keeps organising in favour of triple Talaq and Shari’a. One wishes Mander had dwelt upon this entrapment of the Muslim community along with its near complete marginalisation. Unfortunately, the way Hindu majoritarianism has framed the Muslim question in recent times, there is little space for imagining that the two types of politics — Muslim politics of reform and Muslim politics for full citizenship rights — can combine....

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

The Stereotype of a Single Muslim Identity Has Been Exploited By the ‘Secular’ Parties and the Communalist Parivar; It Needs To Be Broken To Achieve Genuine Social Transformation
Harbans Mukhia

The inherited single mould gets reinforced again and again by the addition of a sense of fear and insecurity which has been part of the deal handed out to the community and for breaking out of which the community has shown rather feeble energy, some instances notwithstanding. The endeavour to break out has to be led from within the community, boldly taking risks and standing up for the community and for India. Not easy, especially when a militant majoritarian threat is looming large on it, but when were social transformations easy?...

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The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha

The Left-Liberals, Muslim Leadership and the State, Sadly: A Reply to Harsh Mander and Ramchandra Guha
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Recently, the editorial pages of the Indian Express witnessed a debate on the Muslim situation by two very well-known and respected minds of India. Harsh Mander (Sonia, Sadly) lamented that even the Congress had abandoned the Muslims politically, although much of his analysis veered around how the RSS’ and BJP’s majoritarian agenda have almost reduced the Muslims to the status of second class citizens. Guha’s rejoinder (‘Liberals, Sadly’) reminded Mander that in large measures the Muslim present is the result of lack of an enlightened and liberal leadership within the Muslim community. Both arguments are valid and important but the reality of the Muslim condition today is perhaps more complicated: one in which not just the right-wing Hindu nationalism but also the liberals and the left must be brought within the ambit of discussion....

Get Me Back My Turkey
Thomas L. Friedman

Get Me Back My Turkey
Thomas L. Friedman

Bullies like Trump and Putin are relentless. They will keep driving through red lights, smirking all the way, as long as we let them. But American voters can stop Trump, and America and its allies can stop Putin — if they act together. Then you won’t see Putin or Trump smiling so much anymore. As the great philosopher Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.”...

 
Saudis Nuclear Energy Pursuit
Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal

Saudis Nuclear Energy Pursuit
Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal

They are upset because Riyadh has demanded the right to control the enrichment of uranium and the reprocessing of reactor spent fuel into plutonium. Both enriched uranium and plutonium are used as a fissile material for atomic devices. In addition, the Saudi ruling elite’s insistence that Riyadh would pursue nuclear weapons if Iran develops nuclear weapons also alarms the Americans....

 

It is, therefore, with some sadness that I must dissent with his recent piece in The Indian Express on Muslim politics. Mander (‘Sonia, Sadly’) quotes a Dalit leader as telling Muslims who come to political meetings: “By all means, come in large numbers to our rallies. But don’t come with your skullcaps and Burqas.” He is dismayed by this advice, seeing it as a gratuitous attempt to get “Muslims to voluntarily withdraw from politics”. To the contrary, while the words may be harsh and direct, the spirit of the advice was forward-looking....

Sonia Gandhi's Fear That the Congress Is Being Perceived as a Muslim Party Completes the Community’s Abandonment
Harsh Mander

Muslims are today’s castaways, political orphans with no home, for virtually every political party. This despite India being home to a tenth of the world’s Muslims, around 180 million people, making it the largest Muslim country after Indonesia and Pakistan. There has never been a harder time to be a Muslim in India, not since the stormy months that followed India’s Partition. It was only the blood of the Mahatma spilled 70 years earlier which then stilled the feverish communal hate that had engulfed the land. But today the large majority of Indian Muslims feel even more profoundly alone and abandoned....

 

The Path to a Nuclear-Free Middle East
Akiva Eldar

Saudi Arabia is not alone. In January 2017, the head of Jordan’s Atomic Energy Commission, Khaled Toukan, said his country expects to obtain bids for the construction of nuclear reactors from China, the Czech Republic, Japan and the United States. In addition, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates have long expressed interest in developing civilian nuclear programs....

 

Peshmerga Unification in Jeopardy
Fazel Hawramy

The long simmering tension between Erbil and Baghdad which resulted, on 16 October 2017, in open confrontation in Kirkuk and other disputed territories, has wiped out any trust between the Iraqi security forces – including the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) – and the Peshmerga, created over three years of fighting a common enemy in the Islamic State....

 
Libyan Limbo
Dr. Mohamed Chtatou

Libyan Limbo
Dr. Mohamed Chtatou

In the last years of the life of the dictator Qaddafi, disappointed by the Arabs cold shoulder for his repetitive calls for unity, he turned to Africa where he poured millions of dollars in economic aid and declared himself in return “King of Kings of Africa” and often left Tripoli in massive motorcades to go lead the prayer in a given African country and fell important. Today, he must be turning in his grave to see his countrymen selling migrants to earn money and he sure is unhappy and depressed that his country has, alas, stooped to such low behavior and debased, in the process, its dignity and identity for money….

 

Israel: The Arabs’ Not so Secret Friend
Salman Rafi Sheikh

With the passage of time, and as Iran’s influence, presence and expansion becomes crystal clear, this alliance is coming out of the mysteries of secrecy. It is becoming public, and it is acquiring a strategic character too, which means that the leading ‘Sunni’ Arab countries are no longer aversive to Israel, are ready to compromise on the Palestinian issue to have Israel on their side of war against Iran...

 

The Duelling States of Palestine
Shlomi Eldar

These new methods are unlikely to deter Hamas from carrying out its Nakba Day plans. Demonstrations and clashes will take place in any event, and the only question is how many Palestinians will pay with their lives or limbs so that Hamas leaders can prove to the PLO and Fatah that the Hamas way is the right and effective one. Experience suggests that Hamas will defeat Fatah in in terms of shaping public perceptions, but that the Palestinians themselves will pay a very high price....

 

In a conflict as protracted as Afghanistan, a singularly fragile ray of hope for peace can stir up global interest. Ghani’s offer has done that. With the Americans having already recognised the impossibility of a military solution to the Afghan war, the Trump administration’s bellicose “new” approach of taking the fight to the Taliban, is in fact an attempt to fight the Taliban to the negotiating table....

 

Babri Masjid Issue, and How Can the Indian Government Resolve the Issue with Peace and Satisfy All Parties?
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

In my view, whenever a possibility of a peaceful resolution exists, one party to the conflict must avail it and not sink into quarrels or controversy. After the mosque was demolished, I suggested that Muslims could adopt the same model of relocating mosques which had been adopted by Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt....

 
Paeans to the Mughals
Subrata Mukherjee

The Muslims also brought with them new industries like Shawls, Muslin, Galicha (carpet), stone work and other fine metallic works including gold and silver; (6) to develop a lingua franca. Urdu was developed for the common people. However, for hundreds of years, no literature, no official work and court verdicts were written in Urdu as Persian was the official language....



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NEW COMMENTS

  • What Hats Off wants to be considered are in fact items which need to be rejected and denounced.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the matter of "idrubihunna", the matter of the evidentiary value of a woman and kuffar being less than that of a momeen....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Bahut khub lajwab. Alhumduliillah
    ( By Arifkhan )
  • The article tries to cover certain important issues related to marriages. No doubt there are certain expectations for a successful....
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • "The real reason for the loss of faith in Islam is not the West but Turkey itself: It is a reaction to all the....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is somewhat of a stretch but it is harmless.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • اسلام علیکم یا شیخ ما طالعت بنسہ کتب الدیوبندیۃ ما قالوا ھکذا قط بل انما قالا
    ( By muhammad khalid )
  • You seem to blame everyone except yourself!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • i suspect it ois the company. with so many foul mouthed exegetes, lying "moderates....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Yes, dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheb, This is the bitter truth. The pathetic plight of ....
    ( By GRD )
  • What makes you do it? I don't know. Is it just bad manners
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Worrisome but does have elements of truth!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islam Bharat me na hi aata to shi Tha
    ( By Parveen )
  • Sad to note that Justice Sachar passed away today.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The status of women seems to be directly proportional to how civilized a society is.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sharia upholders get Legislative Council seats while reformers get nothing
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The charge-sheet leaves no doubt that she was a target only because she was a Muslim. The Hindu right wing in Jammu has been indulging ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • We can blame all Muslims for they hate the Hindus as Khafirs Kufueer........( so many such words ) etc.What....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • After all you are the expert here. Right? So you tell me ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, what makes you write such inane comments?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mathematicians think god id a mathematician. ulemas think god is an ulema. garbage pickers think god ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Great article except there was one bad apple - Hajj Amin al-Husayni who " al-Husayni still collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • God is the greatest mathematician" - which God we talking about: Hindu, Muslim, Christian....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • kaash khuda mujhe bhi apne mehboob k nakshe kadam par chla de sari umr bs itni si iltija h aapse'
    ( By sharib )
  • The muslims view Trishul as a weapon...but the hindus see it as a symbol of Lord Shiva. Who is today using the Trishul as a ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Having said that, one must add that none of these played the causative role in the current marginalisation and brutalisa­tion of the community. For that, ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • The problem is Muslims neither understand hindus or hindu fears, nor hindutva . When they think of " Hindu rashtra" or "hindu right wing" the ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Very strange logic..so when you can practise hindu phobia why shouldnt the world practise I... tell me....
    ( By indiewater )
  • I am unable to fathom what is the purpose of this ARTICLE. I know the author has been writing similar articles earlier too. But he ...
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • Your article drives us to introspect and reflect on how politics has become devoid of any humanity. Truly, women’s bodies have been used as sites ...
    ( By Meera )
  • Political parties exploit communalism because it is an exploitable issue. They will exploit anything that yields them. .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! We cannot blame all Hindus but we can blame Sanghis for whom hating Muslims has become....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Crimes as heinous as rape have no religion, a lawyer waging a legal....
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Though we entertain acute differences in numerous theological, doctrinal and jurisprudential matters of faith, we cannot reject outright the mystical...
    ( By GRD )
  • dear mr dehlvi, how long will we fool ourselves while persistently denying to recognize religious bigotry behind religious crimes....
    ( By hats off! )
  • with all respect to mr. mohammad ghithreef, Hippocrates was great and venerable man. i am sure he meant...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear hats off, If such a heinous crime can get conflated with religion in order to provoke communalism, then what more can be expected?
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • and they st\ill wonder why pakistan is seen as a pariah state by the west and other countries?
    ( By Vladimir T )
  • You said:The madrasas or Islamic seminaries are not included in the RTE and modernising madrasas take political precedence over establishing quality secular education schools in ...
    ( By Mohammad Ghitreef )
  • Any oppression and Attucks by Hindus on Muslims is always shown as Muslim victimises due to relgious atrocity done by Hindus. If the vice-versa is the ...
    ( By Aayina )