Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

No doubt islamically inspired political parties have a natural support base in these Muslim lands due to the religious sentiments of those Muslims who desire to see their beliefs represented in the political realm. However, recent events compel one to have a rethink about the role of political Islam and the direction it should be heading…..

Pakistan’s India Obsession
Yaqoob Khan Bangash

Pakistan’s India Obsession
Yaqoob Khan Bangash

We can no longer be ‘Not India’ and cannot any longer act like a neglected twin. At least I would like to live in a country which does not define itself against any other country, but has its own identity and is comfortable with it. Obviously, identity formation is a long process and Pakistan is mired in several problems here, but still it would be healthy for Pakistan to think about what makes it special rather than what it is rejecting. .....


Death, Detention, Disgrace and Democracy
Adil Najam

Let that be the one lesson that others who play with power and politics may learn: if the choice is between death, detention, disgrace and democracy, always choose democracy. Even if the choice is not as stark as that, always choose democracy….


Education Apartheid: The structured discrimination in Balochistan
Farooq Sulehria

However, every time one looks into the structured discrimination Balochistan has been subjected to, one finds that it is not anti-development Baloch Sardars but the ‘federation’ that has impeded progress in Pakistan’s biggest province. A case in point is the education apartheid imposed by the Higher Education Commission on Balochistan…..


Much of current WMD instability lies in the Middle East. The region is roiling, with Syria’s civil war at the head but with conflicts or potential conflicts in Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia. Iran likely has biological and chemical stocks, and is likely acquiring nuclear weapons. Egypt is striving, amid threats of terrorism, to embed democratic polity after its failure under the Muslim Brotherhood government and the Army coup that deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have, or are suspected to have or be developing, biological and/or chemical weapons....

Is Sovereignty A Myth?
Nadeem M. Qureshi

Is Sovereignty A Myth?

Pakistan’s sovereignty, and for that matter of any undeveloped country, is a myth. And myth it will remain until we put together a coherent industrial policy that aims eventually to give us the required industrial and technological base to really build our own missiles and planes....

Beyond Jinnah’s Secularism
Jawed Naqvi

Did this idea of equality for religions, in Jinnah’s case primarily between Hindus and Muslims, overlook another issue — the hidebound social inequality both the Muslim League and the Congress strove to play down if not completely ignore?...


Trudeau and BCMA Make a Mockery of Piety and Politics
Tarek Fatah

The Liberal leader sat next to the Imam, raised his hands Islamic style and prayed in the front row of the mosque while Muslim women sat in the back rows as second-class citizens. Trudeau had no problem with this gender apartheid. He was later permitted to address the congregation…..


Zia’s Tenure Fragmented Pak Society
Maleeha Lodhi

Supporters and political heirs of President Zia often point to economic growth and political stability as the ostensible achievements of his years in power. But that claim is belied by an economy left in ruins, a more violent and fragmented society and state institutions with much weaker capacity to govern than ever before....


Jinnah's 'Secular' Speeches: Outlook Magazine Tracks Down Two of The Three Master Recordings That Pakistan Wants From India
Mohammed Ali Jinnah

It’s not just Jinnah. The shared legacy of Sadat Hasan Manto, one of the foremost portraitists of Partition, sits hidden in some vault of All India Radio. When historian Ayesha Jalal, Manto’s grandniece, sought the recordings as part of ongoing research, she was told by officials that the recordings did not exist.....


"Muslim societies are currently experiencing a contradiction which lies at the heart of political Islam: on the one hand there is an aspiration to modernity and social progress, and on the other, there is a desire to renew a religious life that is incompatible with the content of this aspiration….

What Went Wrong With Muslims?
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

What Went Wrong With Muslims?
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Here I would like to refer to two verses from the Quran. The first reads, “O Believers, turn you all together towards God.” (24:31). This is about following a U-turn policy. It means that Muslims must adopt such a policy at the level of the entire community. The other Quranic verse tells us, “God does not change that which is with a people until they change that which is with themselves.” (13:11). This means that if Muslims want to see a new future, they must change their present….


Once we have established the need for the state as a political entity, it becomes essential to define the political ideology of Islam. It is evident that the ideology will based upon the basic principles already elaborated in the discussion. Before we proceed further, the following clarifications must be made with respect to the Islamic state...

Muslims: Puppets and Idiots on the World Stage
Ayaz Amir

Then Muslims all over the Islamic crescent look for foreign conspiracies to explain their troubles. Happily, the world of Islam is self-sufficient in the matter of conspiracies. We just can’t manage our affairs, this incapacity a greater cause of our sorrows than the machinations of outside forces.  What threat is Bashar al-Assad to the Saudi monarchy or the Emir of Qatar, or Turkey for that matter?...

The founder ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi opined in his book "Islami Riyasaat" (Islamic State)  that the "complete and perfect code of Islam" can be rightly implemented only by Mullahs belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami. His idea was that a Jamaati Mullah dictatorship was feasible not only in a Muslim or Muslim-majority state but even in a non-Muslim-majority state like India. He was inspired by Lenin who believed that a communist dictatorship did not require the majority of people to believe in communism. Maudoodi considered Islam a political project meant to provide governance. However, the author of this article negates this idea and asserts that Islam has no interest in running a state and that Prophet Mohammad (saw) never showed any such inclination despite his having to govern the city of Madina for some time.  -- Editor

Maududi's thought was greatly intriguing because in recent times, the Jamaat has become synonymous with violence, irrational fundamentalism and dirty politics. Moreover, through his political thought Maududi espouses the model of a "theo-democratic" Islamic state. In traditional Islamic political philosophy a democratic state is considered as the most ignorant of states in the hierarchy of states….

Coming To Terms with Political Islam
Mehran Kamrava

As the latest chapters of the Arab Spring continue to unfold, scholars and other observers alike wonder about the role of political Islam in shaping the nature of things to come. One way to better understand the currents underlining the relationship between Islam and politics is to trace the historic evolution of Christianity and politics….


The Passivity of Age
Ayaz Amir

An open sewer is blasphemy, poverty is blasphemy, too great a gap between rich and poor goes against every grain of what we understand by Islam, and cooking oil from the intestines of dead animals is certainly blasphemy. But give a prize to our double standards: on abstruse things so passionate, foam round our lips; on real things with practical import, which affect the running of society, bishops of discretion....

Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab’s popularity caught his attention and Ibn Saud decided to use Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab’s popularity to accomplish his goal. In 1746 Muhammad bin Saud met Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab in person at Diriyya near Riyadh and pledged his allegiance to support his movement against shirk and bida’t. Abdul Wahab found it as a golden opportunity to boost up his movement and implement his reform works. In coming years this unity took an ugly turn and proved devastating for Muslim Ummah as it shook the very foundation of Ottoman Caliphate….


As the drawdown deadline inches closer, the United States (US) appears to have begun to appease its ‘ally’ in the war against terror, to ensure support for a safer passage to its troop as they return home. Crucially, US drone operations in Pakistan have been considerably scaled down. This is a significant change from what was witnessed during the earlier years of Barack Obama's presidency…


Other Nations Offer a Lesson to Egypt’s Military Leaders
Declan Walsh

Leaders in Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt are acutely aware of the parallels among them. General Musharraf, who speaks Turkish, used to wax lyrical about the secular vision of Turkey’s founder, Mr. Ataturk. More recently Turkish leaders have expressed fear that events in Egypt could stir trouble in their own country. “At moments of peril, it is more important than ever to stick closely to the democratic path…


Beyond Islamism: Islamism—Or 'Political Islam'—Is Not Dead
Tariq Ramadan

Islamism—or “political Islam”—is not dead. Those who have proclaimed its demise, or trumpeted the advent of a “post-Islamist” era, are wrong, as events in Africa, the Middle East and Asia clearly show. Islamism is not about to disappear, or even to fundamentally mutate. My thesis—my ideological stance, my hope—is that we must go beyond political Islam, and develop a critique of Islamism in all its forms....

Why Saudi Arabia is Taking a Risk by Backing the Egyptian Coup?
David Hearst

It took almost 60 years for the CIA to own up to its role in the British-backed coup that overthrew Iran's Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh on August 19, 1953. But Saudi Arabia's backing for the recent Egyptian coup, which its head of intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, had worked so tirelessly to achieve, was instantaneous....


I am not saying Indonesians are “good” or “bad” Muslims. I just want to highlight the fact that most Indonesians are apathetic to political Islam and that the country’s future will not be determined by who will prevail in the ideological battle between radical and liberal Muslims….


Even with over 100,000 Syrian lives lost thus far, China is unlikely to shift its position away from supporting the Assad regime. China’s current position allows the country to preserve its noninterventionist policy while simultaneously preventing the creation of a Uighur Islamic state….

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