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Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

In Yemen’s Turmoil, is The Muslim Brotherhood the Main Loser?
Manuel Almeida

The Brotherhood’s fortunes took a turn for the worse with the military offensive by the disgruntled Zaydi Houthi rebels who took over the capital Sanaa in September this year. In this ambitious move the Houthis were supported by pro-Saleh tribes and groups in the military, looking to undermine President Hadi’s position and resentful of the growing power of al-Islah…..

 

Turkey's Bark and Bite
Burak Bekdil

Turkey is not the only country reflecting the Islamist hypocrisy when it comes to trafficking money with the Palestinians -- and Israelis. As recently highlighted in an article in The Times of Israel, official data tells of a booming, but very discreet, trade relationship, blossoming between Israel and Malaysia -- another "loud voice against Israel and a benefactor for the 'Palestinian cause.'"…

 

Is Another War Coming To The Occupied West Bank?
Juan Cole

But there is one scenario in which “transfer” (i.e. ethnic cleansing) could occur. That would be a repeat of the 1947-48 civil war in British Mandate Palestine, which eventuated in the ethnic cleansing by Jewish militias of 720,000 Palestinians out of a pre-war total of 1.2 million. Jewish terrorist organizations such as the Stern Gang simply mowed down Palestinian villagers with machine guns to scare their neighbours into fleeing their homes, which the nascent Israelis then usurped…..

 

Arab World: Let Citizens Be the Arbiters of States
Rami G. Khouri

Groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS, the Houthis in Yemen, Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers in Iraq, the Muslim Brotherhood and tribes across the region all reflect the brittle nature of statehood and national identity in many Arab countries, forcing citizens to seek their critical needs in arenas beyond the control of the state. Many, perhaps most, Arab citizens have a utilitarian, mercantile and pragmatic relationship with their states and governments, rather than a deeply emotional and organic one as people tend to have with their family, clan, tribe, religion or ethnic group……

 

The Hot Winds of Indo-Pak Partition Left Salim Mirza Stranded
Jawed Naqvi

The atheist Hindu migrant from Rawalpindi plays Salim Mirza in the movie, the stoically unflappable head of a Muslim joint family in Agra caught in the throes of India-Pakistan Partition. Though the unspeakable violence and communal strife of Partition has been recorded in detail in novels, films, short stories, documentaries, Garam Hawa, roughly translated as ‘the hot winds’, gives a palpably searing view of how a reasonably happy Muslim family is slowly and inevitably torn asunder by the sheer winds of Partition. The Garam Hawa had uprooted a prosperous orchard, Mirza Sahib mumbles to the Tonga driver on their way from the train station. The two had driven there several times in recent days to see someone off to Pakistan…..

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…..

 
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  • Hats Off, Bernard Lewis is not some third rate journalist but a historian whose credibility is very high and is consulted by presidents on how to ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, You continue with your inane arguments ad infinitum. Can you show me an academic discipline (western) which ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb says: "You make no difference between contextual verses and verses with eternal applicability." The above is a nonsensical ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Haquesaab, How successful has Islam been in preventing excessive retaliation? Do ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A thought has just occured to me. What if there is a law (legal system) that says you cannot defend yourself and your family, ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • GM sb. Religion may still be needed to check me from excessive retaliation, while defending myself and my family. At least Islam is ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • Haquesaab, When it comes to defending yourself and your family against assault, do you need your religion to tell you what you should do?
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  • Venugopal Bhat ji. I found a lot of fake sentences in your post. How do you manage it?'
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  • Professor Sanjay Kumar ji. There is not one road crossing in urban India, where govt land has not been looted by Muslims to construct ...
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  • Yes, GM sb. Righteousness, justice, equality, forgiveness, rationality and compassion are Islamic. But a Muslim cannot include evil in his life because he believes ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • True Ashok Chohan,
    ( By Tanveerahmed Salwati )
  • Just as day and night Co exist , so do immorality and fanaticism . Today the world has reached to the acme of immorality , ...
    ( By Ashok Chohan )
  • The problem is not in the verses themselves , but in their interpretation and application . Moreover , more than Quran it is the hadith ...
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  • Firstly out right condem or delete the evil preaching like ARMED JIHAD .. instead of explaining what is good and bad ARMED JIHAD... Because ...
    ( By Venugopal Bhat )
  • slam is basically to loot plunder rape so as to become owners of others properties as they otherwise could not do so...
    ( By Sanjay Kumar )
  • For a thousand years we have been repeating how the Quran was diligently memorized and transcribed and the version authorized as final 20 years after ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Haquesaab, Which of the following principles that I had listed do you think are non-Islamic?...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Some religious books and their interpretations written thousands of years ago are irrelevant today. They.....
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  • Naseersaab says, " I am speaking about producing a moral principle and not learning." It seems you have no idea what....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping....
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  • Wahhabism’s most dangerous deviation, in the eyes of the Sunnis who met in Chechenya, is that it sanctions violence against non....
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  • As they say change is a constant. People have to change adapt to the change....
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  • @Nisar Ahmed That is why thousands of true follower r dying daily and living their life like hell.....Kafiro....
    ( By Vikram Singh )
  • @Vikram Singh If you don't no any thing about islam & it's rule then don't interfere I our religion who r u to ask to ...
    ( By Nisar Ahmed )
  • Thanx for bringing one of the controversial talk(because it is related to islam) ...this is what we want .if Muslims want sharia law for them ...
    ( By Vikram Singh )
  • The whole debate is lengthening only becoz of theological illiteracy . Non of us had ever read....
    ( By Durgesh Nandan Mohanty )
  • Laws should be formulated by representatives of the people. Religions may prescribe general principles, e.g. justice, fairness....
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  • In short nothing but to notorious Islam in the name of terrorism. True believer never misuse or interprete Quranic verses for his....
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  • Jihad does not mean warfare against non-Muslims rather it means "spiritual struggle" according to the following Hadith : The Messenger of God was returning....
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  • The questions of hats off are always difficult to answer, but one can hazard a guess. Why is 'this' better than 'that'?....
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  • Solution is provided in the ideology of peace presented by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan....
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