Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

The continued polarization between Israelis and Palestinians reflects growing hatred within both societies. On the one hand, Palestinian terrorists spew anti-Semitic rhetoric in an effort to stir their people to violence; while on the other hand, the Israeli government feeds into existing Islamophobia and deploys it when annexing new Palestinian territory. ... European elites need to start blaming the Palestinians, and Americans need to start blaming Israel—not in order to shame either side, but to acknowledge that peace is the only answer to a conflict. And without it, even worse consequences are in store for Israel and Palestine in the years ahead.....


Religion and Politics Make an Explosive Mixture
Dogu Ergil

An identity acquires acute importance when it is faced with an existential danger. Its defense becomes a life-and-death matter. This is the time when the identity-group demands the utmost sacrifice from its members. What is our collective (national) identity? It is officially defined as Turkish and Muslim. When the constitutive ideology of the republic was Turkish nationalism, Turkishness was expressed loudly; being a Muslim was only whispered…..


Tunisia held its second legislative elections in three years. Unlike elections in other Arab countries—Iraq, for instance—Tunisia’s was not marred by sectarian divides; nor, like Egypt, did it deepen the schism between secularists and Islamists. In what was a first in the Arab world after the Arab Spring, a faith-based party, Ennahda, politely handed power to its secular opponent, Nidaa Tounes. The secularists—a coalition of loyalists to ousted leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, liberals, and leftists—responded in kind. “We in Nidaa Tounes believe that the Ennahda movement has become a reality in the Tunisian political landscape,”…


An Intifada of Individuals
Uri Avnery

An individual Arab listens to the news is incensed by the latest outrage against the Holy Shrines and drives his car into the nearest group of Israeli soldiers or civilians. Or takes a knife from the kitchen of the Israeli restaurant where he washes the dishes and stabs people in the street. No prior information.….


In his article about the wannabe Jihadists who bought “Islam for Dummies” on Amazon, Mehdi Hasan cites a leaked 2008 classified briefing note on radicalization prepared by MI5’s behavioral science unit. It revealed that a large number of radical Muslims “do not practice their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could… be regarded as religious novices.” Contrary to their misguided belief that they are fulfilling commands in the Quran, western wannabe jihadists project onto the scripture conclusions they concoct in their minds after reading newspapers. Without the tools of interpretation, this is all they can do with the Quran they recite. However, while this religious ignorance may characterize Western men who join extremist groups, the case for those indigenous to Muslim majority countries is somewhat different…..

Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel for the Arab World?
Khaled Almaeena

Arab leaders failed to nip in the bud the steady deterioration of order. This plunged very quickly into chaos and destruction. This rapid decline and complete breakdown of the few existing and struggling social and political institutions has now almost created a point of no return. The Arab world cannot absolve itself of blame for the current impasse, nor can it deny its responsibility for the social ills that contributed to the sectarian divide…..

Moreover, it is not just sections of liberal, middle-class Muslims that have bid adieu to the polemics around secularism. Poor Muslims in rural India have also begun showing greater concern for their economic interests and survival than for identity politics. For instance, in Birbhum district of West Bengal, many poor Muslims switched their loyalty to the BJP because functionaries of the Trinamool Congress stopped paying their MGNREGA wages. This shows that possibilities of the community rising above identity-based politics continue to exist, despite the trend represented by the MIM......


The issue of Gaza with regard to violence in Sinai is a red herring. In the past year, the authorities and the media have made Hamas – an offshoot of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – a convenient scapegoat for many of the country’s problems. The resulting public animosity towards Hamas has meant that claims against the group have gone unquestioned…..

War on Islam: the Uighurs of China
Rev. Frank Julian Gelli

Perhaps 15 million Uighurs versus 1.300 million, overwhelmingly Han Chinese. David confronts Goliath. But violent resistance by Uighurs against Chinese targets has made the Beijing rulers jittery about security. They perceive that obscure race could be the spanner in the works of their mighty Communist party. Like insignificant specks of grit that can jam up a mechanism, the Uighurs might bring the regime crashing down. Hence Comrade Xi Jinping has vowed to ruthlessly repress the ‘rampant terrorists’….


No Religion, Including Islam, Advocates Terrorism or Militancy
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The greatest problem with a large section of the Muslim community is that its members are lagging behind in modern, scientific education. It is modern education alone that can change traditional mindsets. There is another problem. Some Muslim thinkers of the 20th century have interpreted Islam in political terms. A number of such Muslims are obsessed with a politicised ideology of Islam. The need of the hour is to counter this problem. However, it cannot be countered by means of the gun. This problem can be solved only through ideology. It is not an issue of ‘gun versus gun’, but is rather an issue of ‘gun versus ideology’. We have to present Islam as a religion of peace.....


Sealing the Fate of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa
Ramzy Baroud

The combination of right-wing politicians allied with religious zealots is now defining the Israeli attitude towards Palestinians, particularly in Jerusalem. They are eyeing al-Aqsa for annexation; the same way the Israeli government is labouring to permanently annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.....


No Scope For IS In Pakistan
Najam Sethi

Pakistan still doesn’t have an effective, institutionalized anti-terrorist state structure. Nor is there sufficient spine or vision in its ruling civil-military classes, media and judiciary to compel a systematic and comprehensive policy response to the creeping “religiosity” in state and society. But this is a recipe for dysfunction and instability rather than a takeover by IS or the Taliban…..


The Gaza Strip Has Become a Prison
Daoud Kuttab

What they need is not only a roof to live under, but, more importantly, a horizon that can give them hope for the future. Gazans, especially the young, want to know what they can look forward to and what they can plan for. Most Gazans see their future in emigration to a third country, whether legally or illegally. Neither Hamas nor the PLO has done much to give people in Gaza have a goal…..


Why Did Islamic Party Lose Election In Tunisia?
Barrister Harun ur Rashid

The ideology canvassed by Islamic parties does not appeal to the majority of voters in the Muslim majority countries. It is noted that last April, Islamic parties also did poorly in the general elections in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority in the world with about 240 million people, of which 88% are Muslims. Voters in Indonesia have reaffirmed the appeal of broad-based secular parties over Islamic-oriented rivals…..


Pakistan's Failure to Act and Promoting the Narrowed Thought has Put it in Real Danger
Kamila Hyat

By our failure to act and by promoting the narrowed thought we see everywhere, we have put ourselves in real danger. The road has been left open for forces such as the Islamic State to walk in. Some suggest the group, neither Islamic, nor a state, but backed by the same powers that have promoted hard-line sects in our country before, is already here. .....

Indian Muslims: Flattened By Secularism
Pradeep Chhibber and Rahul Verma

Hindus see Muslims as a religious community first, and vice versa. The state sees Hindus and Muslims, especially the latter, as a religious community. Consequently, the religious elite and religious bodies become guardians of the community’s interests. It is the religious elite who, for many in the Indian state, define and understand Muslim interests. The intellectual elite, especially those educated in the best Western tradition associated with the Congress or the left, often assert that only they, the secular, can address the problems faced by the Muslim community. Secularism reduces the entire set of problems the Muslim community faces to one of the state retaining its “Dharm Nirpekshita”…..

The anointing ceremony is devoid of religious or scriptural legitimacy. In Islam, there is no concept of a hereditary position of ‘Imamat’, but the family of the Shahi (royal) imam has been holding it for 16 generations. According to the Sunnah of the Prophet, the most qualified people to lead the prayers are those who are the best readers of the Quran and if they are equal in reading the Quran, then the most knowledgeable of them about the Sunnah of the Prophet....

That is why the West largely remained silent when the military toppled the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. Ennahda has proven that this prevailing view about Islamists in the West is not necessarily true. It did not insist on remaining in power and accepted its defeat during the elections. ....


Religion under Pakistan Constitution
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Bangladesh’s separation affected the debate around religion in Pakistan in three significant ways: it was a blow to Pakistan’s self-identification as a Muslim homeland, forcing it to seek its raison d’être not in the Two Nation Theory of the Muslim League but the Islamic ideology of those religious parties that had opposed the Muslim League during the Pakistan Movement. It stripped Pakistan of the bulk of its non-Muslim minorities. Finally, it elevated religious parties, particularly Mufti Mahmood and Maulana Maududi, to the status of a national opposition….


Saudi's Support For Houthis; Could This Be The Final Nail In The Coffin?
Dr Walaa Ramadan

The dominating matter which emerged from the Arab Spring is Saudi Arabia and UAE's position regarding the emerging popularity for Political Islam when the populace of the respective countries was allowed to democratically choose who leads them. Following the toppling of their despotic leaders, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya saw the rise of Political Islam. While Tunisia attained relative stability and the Islamist party, Ennahda, has been partaking in the democratic electoral process since the fall of Ben Ali, Egypt and Libya have not seen a similar calm…..


Fighting For Survival in Sinai – A Heaven and Hell
Ramzy Baroud

Sinai is both heaven and hell. This triangular desert boasts an arid landscape of hopeless horizons often interrupted by leftover military hardware from previous wars. The land is comprised of breathtaking beaches, incredible history, and a fusion of fascinating cultures that reach back into the past as far as ancient times can possibly go. This thrilling land of contradictions is amazing, yet lethal….


High Price of Cheap Oil
Praveen Swami

Nearly 50 years from that day in Caracas, it is hard not to hail Perez Alfonso as a prophet. The devil’s excrement brought untold wealth to West Asia-North Africa, but it also throttled education and industry, leaving the world’s largest oil exporters poorer, relative to the world’s great economies, than they had been. It sustained despotisms, paving the way for civil war and terrorism. Indeed, it opened the door to endless war….


Turkey: The Great Muslim Democracy
Burak Bekdil

It is not a coincidence that Turkey, where, in the Prime Minister's words, the pious Muslims are the main actor of the political system, ranks 154th in the prestigious Reporters Without Borders global press freedoms index. And it was not a coincidence that, despite too much political euphemism…..


Contradictions: We Turks Have To Wonder, the Kobanis Are Thanking a Man on the Other Side of the World and Not the County That Gave Them Shelter and A Chance To Survive
Dogu Ergil

Sultan Muslim, a Syrian Kurdish woman from the besieged town of Kobani, has given birth to her seventh child in Suruç, a town in Turkey where she sought refuge with her family. You would expect that she and her family would feel grateful that Turkey has offered them a safe place and livelihood during such dire times. Instead, she and her husband named their newly born son Muhammed Obama Muslim, after US President Barack Hussein Obama. One might expect that the child would be named Recep Tayyip or Ahmet. But instead they honored President Obama as their savior, not Turkey's president or prime minister…..


Hope Springs from Tunisia Again
Semih Idiz

Ennahda, which still has significant support, has not been voted out, of course, and will undoubtedly share power in a coalition government. This is normal in a secular democracy. Tunisia, as a predominantly Islamic country, also has serious problems to overcome yet before it can become a genuine democracy. It is nevertheless the country that inspired the Arab Spring and which is inspiring hope today…

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  • The exact words of the Hadith in Arabic are as following: قال رسول الله صلی الله عليه وآله وسلم کنت نهيتکم زيارة القبور اَلا فزورُوها فانها ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Haque Sb,: A little more of logic. All moral precepts have come from religion does not imply that all religions promote morality or even that every ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I am not sure about the link between morality and all the so-called religions but surely with Islam, mortality has the strongest link. I have ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • The ideal situation would be when everybody goes around naked and people maintain their modesty by lowering their gazes below the knee. Being ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • BTW.. what is an original moral precept? Don't different ideas of morality run together in the same space-time continuum? Look at our moral landscape today...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Why dont you go write this article in ultra muslim countries that force all women to don the Burka, irrespective of their religion? Why ....
    ( By secularlogic )
  • The only advantage that Hats Off has is that he is good with his "turn of the phrase". Anyone who is good with his language ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • So much wasted breath. Let people do what they want! Ever heard of free will?'
    ( By secularlogic )
  • ETHICS: Chapter 9 Kantian Theory : The Categorical Imperative: Section 4. Moral Law What is the "moral law"? When Kant speaks about ....
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Exhibitionism is sought to be crushed by modesty. Modesty is aggressively (after all a job is to be done) exhibited!'
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • A large part of Hindu concept of morality stems from the Philosophy of the Vedas. The Gita draws upon the wisdom of the Upanishads, which ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • There are moments of mirth even on this bleak site. As I read the comments of one venerable gentleman below, the image of Rumpelstiltskin going ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • There are so many peaceful org. like ISIS-Boko Haram-taliban-lashkre taiyba.jesh etc.., giving employment to only muslim youths...still I ...
    ( By Ram Avtar Gupta )
  • Fair. Rhetoric as yours are essential for the growth of the community and trust of others. The only conclusion I reach is a true religionist ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • The Writings of New Age Islam provide me sanity in this crazy world....God bless your team'
    ( By Kartikaey Pulkit Mishra )
  • The situation is totally different in Kerala'
    ( By Safwan Muhammad Al-Shafi'i )
  • These begger hero's are annihilating all Islamic states by killing innocent people in the name of Quran.'
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Don't be exclusive, but inclusive.'
    ( By Debaprasad Mohanty )
  • @Jayaraman Subri they are more educated then manuvadies passing out from saffron terror networks'
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • I appreciate questioning rhetoric from the community. Questioners are the mark of a secure society. More power to questioners!
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • Not only Women , even men who pass out from such seminaries , do not have any basic knowledge of science , maths geography , ...
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • Madresa graduates are really past masters in the art of begging.They beg all the year round, in the of mosques, madresas, yateem khanas(orphanage),and so on. ...
    ( By Maitham Kaivan )
  • @Aariz Mohammed Ek hi tou baat hai Bhai......Sach se kyu'n mun'h chipate ho aap Musalman......Mazhabi Jhooth-Mooth akhir kab tak chalega dost ?Aage badho aur apne ...
    ( By Naree Masand )
  • The caption should be 'Rethinking Madrasa Education'.
    ( By Aariz Mohammed )
  • All women Madarsa graduates should have admission in schools after certain age since life is not about couple of Hadiths which is part of the ...
    ( By Dr Muhammad Mukhtar Alam )
  • Madarsas should include modern teaching in their curriculum
    ( By Asad Khan )
  • Interesting'
    ( By Raj Kumar Bhadana )
  • And yes. West is good, and Islam is West , so we are all good, good. Unfortunately I firmly believe, West is bad in the ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • The rise of Wahhabism with its coerciveness, exclusiveness and austere puritanism is the most regressive and tragic development in the history ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats off is back with his hat on! Does he continue to be so-called atheist Hindu? He seems to be quite disturbed that Mr Naseer ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • Naseersaab, You ask why philosophers are not in the business of producing moral precepts. Philosophers study and analyze knowledge. They ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The review sounded quite credible, and the book's author seemed well-read and well-informed, until I reached the part that discloses who the sponsor of ....
    ( By Usama Khalidi )
  • Royalj, You also ask "Why Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, who follow the greatest prophet who ever walked on the earth, are lagging behind the Indians ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Royalji. If you are done with your ala, bla.. I need to tell you that unlike BJP, Allah governs by laws and not by ordinances. ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • Royalj, It is you who has failed to answer simple questions. Try answering them if you can: 1. What do you ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Naseer: You have been caught red handed. You did not answer a simple spiritual question. What does Allah want: repentance of a sinner and turns ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Hats Off,: With reference to two of my articles which incidentally are the same two articles being discussed now with GM Sb 1. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, There is a history behind why the degree of PhD or doctor of philosophy is the highest academic degree irrespective of the subject. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Hats Off, You can say what you wish to say by quoting me on the different subjects that I have covered. As your comment stands, ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • this is precisely what other skeptical commentators were saying to counter mr naseer ahmed's eulogy of jizya as an wonderful way of dealing with the ...
    ( By hats off! )