Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

Playing With Fire: Diagnose Saudi Arabia’s Fear Instincts
Moazzam Husain

In the clearest sign of this fear, Saudi Arabia has recently declared the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation and passed new anti-terror laws that Amnesty International regards as a tool to crush peaceful expression....

Pakistan Marked By Two Parallel Phenomena: The Army Stepping In Repeatedly To Save the Country; and Persistent Efforts to ‘Islamise’ the State and the Society
M Saeed Khalid

In practice, the two noble sounding ideals have been used to coerce people to follow preconceived notions in order to serve individual or clan interests. Consequently, two generations of Pakistanis have failed in realising the objectives set for the nation at the time of its creation. The legacy we have prepared for the coming generations is, to put it mildly, embarrassing......


The Endless Calamity in West Asia
Vijay Prashad

Navi Pillay suggests that U.S. protection notwithstanding, Israel is no longer to get preferential treatment. What is good for the goose will have to be good for the gander. Second, a new public awareness of Israeli policies fuels the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, whose Indian branch has begun to protest the participation of Indian artists in Israeli cultural fairs and Indo-Israeli business deals....

Erdogan’s Win Will Not Save the Muslim Brotherhood
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Muslim Brotherhood supporters and deposed President Mohammad Mursi supporters are certainly fooling themselves to think Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will achieve miracles for them. When the Iranian-related scandal was exposed in Turkey, they became worried they might lose the support of the prime minister and be orphans without him….

The Mirage of Peace
Ramzy Baroud

As the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a “framework” agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority looms, time is also running out for the American administration itself. The Obama administration must now conjure up an escape route to avoid a political crisis if the talks are to fail, as they surely will…..


Egypt Comes Full Circle: The End of the Arab Spring
Toby Cadman

It is deeply regrettable that the euphoria that surrounded the end of the Mubarak reign was short lived. Egypt today has reverted to an autocracy and any dissent or challenge to the ruling military administration will seemingly be quickly silenced. Democratic rule must return to Egypt. A process of justice, accountability and reconciliation must find a place in Egypt's next chapter whether it is in Minya, Cairo or ultimately The Hague……


Baloch Blot on Pak Army
Tufail Ahmad

As it is happening in Balochistan now, Pakistani army was engaged in killings and torture of Bengali people in East Pakistan when a courageous Goa-born Pakistani journalist Anthony Mascarenhas collected reports and published an article titled Genocide in The Sunday Times of London of June 13, 1971. His article exposed Pakistan army’s war crimes and drew international attention to the issue of what is now Bangladesh. In the case of Balochistan, roughly the size of Italy, a similar situation prevails now as the Pakistani army is abducting and killing Baloch political activists, lawyers and journalists whose mutilated bodies are found every week….


In An Increasingly Talibanised Pakistan, ‘Liberal-Fascists’ Are Being Attacked
Khaled Ahmed

“Bangladeshi intellectuals have long known and appreciated the opposition mounted by Pakistani liberals during 1971. What was interesting for me to discover on this trip is the abiding hold of that liberalism across generations. As a narrative of extremism has come to dominate global perceptions of Pakistan, the fact that there is a durable, indigenous tradition of liberalism has fallen by the wayside…..


Increasing Danger for Turkey to Enter Into Syrian Quagmire
Lale Kemal

Two separate incidents that have taken place inside Turkey in a week that involved acts of terrorism originating from Syria, as well as the Turkish downing of a Syrian fighter, have increased the potential for this NATO member country to be dragged into the Syrian quagmire of a three-year-long civil war…..


The fact that no representative from the party has ever publicly repented for its criminal activities in 1971 and attempts to justify such heinous crimes is also another strong reason why it should be banned since no proper trial against the party will give others reason to follow its footsteps whenever such an opportunity may present itself in the future…..


 The dreams were of a self-regulating culture, freedom of speech and thought, economic emancipation, and wide-scale social development leading to an altruistic uplift of all classes – a thriving nation with the bounties that God had bestowed on this green land of ours…..


1971 was a dark year in Pakistan’s history and it was squarely our fault, make no mistake about it. But by continuously overlooking the shocking atrocities committed by us and the biased agenda pursued by the West Pakistani establishment leading to the events that year, we do ourselves more harm than good. Correction only comes after self-reflection. It is only after you realise that you were at fault that you might make an effort to avoid making the same mistake again.....


“The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and in-grafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.” He stands proved right in our land too. Can the youth see beyond propaganda? In the answer lies the future of the Pakistan Jinnah created and the clerics have made hostage.....


Thus, the spirit of liberation of the masses of people is defined by the interests of the classes that form the people, not by the interests of classes standing opposed to the people. Conflicting interests confront and one dominates the rests, and the dominance, if not by the people, distorts the spirit of liberation of people.....


Afghanistan: Sufi Leaders Add 'Dignity' To Elections: Most Prominent Mystics Returning To The Political Arena?

"I do not deem your departure advisable at this time for your presence in Afghanistan is a source of blessing and pride for this land's inhabitants," wrote King Amanullah Khan (r. 1919-29) to Naqib Sayed Hassan Gailani, Pir of the Qadiriyyah Sufi order of Afghanistan on March 21, 1929. Faced with an uprising that eventually ended his reign, the Afghan monarch beseeched the Sufi Pir to abandon his travel plans, and instead, assist the state in subduing the rebellion….

Outside The Liberal Club
Abdul Rahman Mustafa

In the Pakistani version of liberalism, by contrast, the very existence of multiple opinions about a concept such as the Shariah makes applying that concept unfeasible. While this close-minded version of liberal fundamentalism might have a lot in common with some stripes of Islamic fundamentalism, both are opposed to the pluralistic tradition of classical Islamic law which developed a system where rival schools of law were established, tolerated and allowed to engage in healthy debate with each other......


A Bus Ride Straddling History and Geography
Neha Naqvi

We watch for the opening and closing of the border gates. I am unsure what to expect, but nothing prepares me for the potent throngs of people – all ages – on either side shouting slogans, waving flags. Hindustan-Hindustan-Hindustan! They shriek. Pakistan-Pakistan- Pakistan! Comes the echo. The bus glides past them, indifferent, and it is all rather surreal. As I look from face to face, on the inside and the outside of the bus, I feel a palpable sadness that I do not have the words to express.....


Turkish Secularism against American and French Examples
Arslan Ayan

In literature, the term "secularism" is used to mean the separation of religious affairs from governmental issues. Thanks to the realization of this separation, freedom would be injected into the state as well as religion. But in France, while religion was eliminated from the life of the public, the state fully obtained the reins of religion. So, an injustice appeared between the two. The current Constitution clearly states that in accordance with secularism in Turkey, no kind of religion or faith can become involved in the political process…..


The U.S. And Saudi Arabia: Friends, Not Dependents
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Obama possibly wants to reassure the Saudis that the U.S. will not give up its long commitment to Saudi Arabia’s and the Gulf’s security. This commitment was established by former American president Dwight Eisenhower, and became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. King Saud traveled to Washington to meet with Eisenhower following this famous declaration in 1957…..

When will A ‘Possessed’ Erdogan Allow Twitter’s Return to Turkey?
Diana Moukalled

What has happened to Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Why is he behaving like a man possessed? He threatened to “wipe out” Twitter and declared that he would not pay attention to any domestic or Western reaction. He went ahead and implemented a court order, and blocked Twitter from the Turkish public……


The idea that Turkey is a model Islamic democracy that "Arab Spring" countries could emulate is in shambles….


The Two New Universes of Kurds and Turks
Nuray Mert

For someone like me who is so committed to the peaceful solution for the rights and freedoms of Kurds, it is utterly hard to take sides. I feel caught up between feelings of hope and hopelessness on one hand, joy and sorrow on the other. It is easy to blame Kurds for turning a blind eye to Erdoğan’s autocratic rule, yet it is ruthless not to understand their caution and concern. Kurds are not only concerned about endangering the prospect of the peace process, but very scared of the possibility of rising a nationalist block in the case of Erdoğan’s demise….


The problem is not that one is stranded in the problem, but the real problem is that one is unable or unwilling to understand its problem. The real problem starts when fantasies start replacing the hard realities surrounding the different aspects of the problem. It is the most severe form of a problem when the authority starts deceiving itself and its own people through adorable dreams based on daydreaming…….


Controversial Saudi Ban of Brotherhood Backfires: Indian Clerics Oppose
Samira Shackle

The Nadwatul Ulema is not the only Indian organisation to express concern about the decree. Maulana Jalaluddin Umri, head of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, was quoted by an Indian website as saying: "The movement of Al Ikhwaan ul Muslimoon [Muslim Brotherhood] is based on Islamic principles of tolerance and brotherhood, so banning it would definitely hurt Muslims all world over." A group of Muslim organisations in India released a statement saying that the decision by Saudi was "unjust" and "un-Islamic"…..

Kuwait… A Tale of Two Summits!
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Kuwait… A Tale of Two Summits!
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

There must be true intentions and willingness to make sacrifices. So are Arabs prepared to confront the ongoing massacre in Syria? Is Qatar ready to give up the chaos-funding policy it has adopted for over a decade and a half now? And Is (Iraq’s) Maliki's government ready to join the league of moderate states or will it continue to deviate more towards Iran?....

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