Islam and Politics
Abdullah's decision to keep spending at all-time highs reflects the House of Saud's conviction that the greatest danger to its survival is at home from disaffected citizens. The Saudis are much more worried about internal unrest than most outside observers — of course the royals know more about internal stresses than most outsiders. With the king and Crown Prince Salman in poor health, this is not the time for social disorder or risky experiments in political reform. Not opening the door for women to drive is one reflection of the conservative mind set…..
The struggle between good and evil never ends. We should stand against evil, not the people. We should raise our voices against evil practices, not against a single person or a party. If we want to live in harmony we should condemn evil in a chorus. The evil today is autocracy, one-man rule, the undermining of rule of law and the use of hate as a political strategy….
The paradigm of conflict resolution has to change from reaction to prevention, and transformation from state-centred to human and people’s-centred perspective in analyzing and addressing conflict. Acehnese had prayed in silence for too long. In wars their voices had been silenced. Today, in peace, the downtrodden, especially the women, are still not able to have their voices heard. They still have to pray in silence.....
Turkey is probably no more wanted in the SCO than in the EU or among Arab nations in the Middle East. The SCO's heavyweights are Russia and China, both of which support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan's one-time best regional ally and presently his regional nemesis. During Putin's high-profile visit to Ankara at the beginning of December, Erdogan had to admit that Turkey and Russia "keep on falling apart" on the issue of Syria. For Russia, Turkey means $$$$.......
Tunisians have a rich civil experience that saved them - the legacy of the late Habib Bourguiba who established a civil culture based on justice, laws and on mutual respect. This culture obstructed religious fascist movements who sought to take over governance by using democracy and disrespecting its rules - just as similar groups have done in Egypt and just as other groups are currently doing in Libya in their bid to forcefully take over the parliament and presidency…..
Nadeem F. Paracha
There’s a war on in Pakistan and it’s largely existentialist in nature. It’s a war for the mind, body and soul of the idea that drove the ‘Pakistan Movement’ and succeeded in creating a separate and sovereign Muslim-majority enclave in South Asia. It’s not a recent war. It’s been raging between various political, intellectual and religious sections of the enclave’s polity and society for over six decades now…..
In Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, the candle-like minarets of the Central Mosque look out over streets and alleyways filled with a plethora of churches and cathedrals. Yet these two Abrahamic religions do not co-exist quite as peacefully in many other parts of Nigeria, which is about half Muslim and half Christian; bouts of violence have broken out periodically since the 1960s, mainly in the northern and central parts of the country, many of which are under Islamic law, or Sharia ….
Saudi effort to tone down its clerics is mild, hesitant and belated compared to what some Muslim states do. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan already routinely use cameras. Kuwait has long installed tape-recorders to monitor Friday sermons. Preachers in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates need not write their own sermons…..
The method seemed to pay off in the Arab spring. But in places like Tunisia and Egypt, the Brotherhood misread election wins as endorsement for its Islamist project, when they equally reflected the weakness, after years of dictatorship, of other political actors. The Brothers overplayed their hand and alienated support. Elsewhere, the Brotherhood found its white-collar brand of Islamism outflanked by harder-line groups that demanded instant rather than gradual application of Islamic law, or rejected democracy as a deviation from God’s commands….
Seth J. Frantzman
Bali-Beslan-Mumbai- Kano-Peshawar, the list of mass killings of civilians at the hands of various jihadist-Islamist groups grows by the year. Since 2001 they have been getting more frequent and horrific. They span the globe. It is our generation and the next generation’s challenge to wrestle with and defeat this evil that stalks us all. 9/11 was not the first Islamist terror attack of its kind. Charles Allen’s excellent 2007 book God’s Terrorists traced the history of the Wahhabi cult from Saudi Arabia to India, Pakistan and back again beginning in the 18th century…..
The fact is, “secularism”, for the numerous Srivastavas and Bhagats, is just a stick to beat the Muslims with. They shed crocodile tears, which can drown the entire nation, over the apparent “communalisation” of middle-class Muslims and exhibit extreme discomfort over it. To these writers, the body etiquette of a Muslim is sufficient to brand him/her as “communal”. The same standard is not applied to a Hindu sporting a vermillion mark or wearing a sacred thread. After all, Hindus are capable of pure, unadulterated secularism (or the Indian version of it)….
For now, the Jewish ruling elite rejects any coalition with the 20 percent of “Palestinians in Israel,” as Arab-Israelis like to call themselves. Arab-Israelis themselves are also wary of any such arrangement. Traditionally, the fear factor on the Jewish side and diffidence on the Palestinian side have undermined the possibility of such an opening. But the reality is that a Jewish/non-Jewish coalition, formal or informal, would create an unprecedented tsunami on the Israeli political scene….
C. M. Naim
It may be more accurate to assert that the ‘Anglophone’ population in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad prefers it that way. Who are these ‘Anglophones?’ The people who quickly switch to English when after starting a serious conversation in Urdu, seldom buy and then read an Urdu newspaper, and prefer to look with disdain at what they may perchance see in Urdu—’Just some more backward thinking.’—rather than take it as seriously as any scribbling from the English language sister journals of the same Urdu dailies.....
Shahi Imam Ahmad Bukhari of Jama Masjid, Delhi
Misuse of mosques for politics has reached its peak. In an incendiary speech from the Jama Masjid, Delhi its imam called Muslims to engage in love jihad as the only suitable response to attempts by Hindutva forces to convert 200 Muslims in Agra on 8 December and the announcement that thousands more will be converted in Aligarh on 25th December.
"Convert them and marry them. This is the only suitable response to attempts at converting Muslims to Hinduism," he told thousands of Muslims listening to his speech within the mosque and outside.
In his 41-minute political speech, descending at times to the language of the gutter, he announced, amidst chants of Allahu Akbar (God is Great!), the Muslims will never accept a second class citizenship status in this country and will keep fighting for their rights, despite the thousands of riots, including the one Muslims will never forget, the one that happened in Gujarat in 2002. ...
The Imam was full of praise, however, for the electronic media, particularly Times Now whose anchor Arnab Goswami had given munhtor jawab (appropriate reply) to the spokesmen of Hindutva parties on his show on 11th of December.
He said this country is secular because the majority of people are secular. Only 31 per cent voters have supported the saffron alliance. He repeatedly invoked the rights given to minorities by the constitution of India. He said the country is moving in the direction of another partition. The present-day situation is beginning to resemble the situation in 1947. But Muslims have to work to save this country from another partition. It's our duty.
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam’s Agha Shorish Kashmiri, bitter opponent of the Muslim League and Mr Jinnah, wrote a book on the life of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in the 1970s in which he produced an interview he claimed to have taken over a period of one week in April 1946, published supposedly in Chattan the next week or month. In this extraordinarily prescient letter, Maulana Azad, like a modern day Nostradamus, is said to have predicted Pakistan’s various dilemmas over the next quarter of a century with great accuracy…..
Embed In the weeks before December 6 this year, the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, jihadist websites and Twitter accounts linked to a new generation of Indian radicals — of the Indian Mujahideen, now merged into al-Qaeda, of the Islamic State-linked Ansar al-Tauhid — invoked the memory of that event, and vowed vengeance. The Babri Masjid remains the central motif for this generation of jihadists, just as it was for “Tunda”. His is a story that’s just starting to emerge from interrogation records and court documents as he awaits trial…..
The aggressive and anti-Constitutional statements of the BMAC President, many Muslims fear, will give the Hindutva forces a greater leverage to mobilize support of even secular minded Hindus and will only sharpen the divide between the two communities. It is also a matter of concern that the co-founder of BMAC, Mr. Zafaryab Jilani has not condemned the statements. His silence in this matter will be construed as his support to the stance taken by the cleric……
The blue-blooded Muslim League thought that it could continue to gamble on the back of the wild card of religion. So if you demanded rights for your homeland, you were accused of narrow provincialism that was against the lofty pan-Islamist ideals, if you dared to ask for your share in resources, you were blamed for obstructing the renaissance of Islam and if you wanted respect for your language, you were definitely a traitor and an Indian stooge…..
“Dar-ul Qaza will decide matters in the light of Islamic tenets on various issues of day-to-day living like marriage, divorce, inheritance, maintenance,” he added. In brief, Muslims should no longer seek justice in secular courts of law. According to Mufti Ahmed Devalvi of Jamia Uloomul Quran, Jambusar, “Being believers of the faith, Muslims must accept the sharia’h tenets in resolving their disputes irrespective of the outcome of the disputes.”.....
This fragility of nationhood is one reason why all sides in Pakistan need India as an enemy and Kashmir as a cause to pine for. The nation has been an incomplete project for many reasons, most importantly because of religion. Even a monotheistic one does not suffice to bind together people who speak different languages and have different historical memories. Kashmir is a piece of land which all Pakistanis can pine for. It is a distant dream and, more than that, they know in their hearts they will never have it. ….
Contrary to common misconception, Muslims are neither homogeneous nor are their interpretation and implementation of the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad monolithic. Aside from the belief in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, there isn’t a whole lot that Muslims are united on. And such seemingly extraordinary reality is profoundly consistent with the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad which proclaimed that Muslims would, in due course, have more denominations than Jews and Christians….
Sir Syed earned his ‘ropes’ during the mutiny of 1857, Iqbal wrote eulogies for the Queen and British officials deputed to India and the All India Muslim League sided with the British during the Second World War while the Congress was openly opposing involvement of Indian troops in the war. Even the Khilafat Movement indirectly helped the British case against Mustafa Kemal Ataturk after the First World War. What needs to be taught to younger generations and discussed with general public are the indigenous anti-colonial movements emanating from Indian Subcontinent in the twentieth century…..
“Allah has made us neighbours. That is a ‘sign,’ Mr. Prime Minister ... had we not squabbled among ourselves; imagine what our peoples could have achieved… Had we lived in peace and friendship, we could have made our countries heavens on earth...” “...Let us come to an agreement on all matters. Please understand that we wish to be your friend and partner, not enemies as we have been for the past 100 years. Imagine what we could do together…
Over the years in a very calculating and insidious manner, Israel has attempted to change the demographic landscape of Jerusalem and is blatantly depriving Palestinians of their religious rites by preventing them from praying in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The rights of Palestinian refugees should be reviewed and those ejected since 1967 should be allowed to return. Palestinians have a right to their land, even though Israel to this day refuses to define its borders and continues its illegal settlements. What Europe and the rest of the world should now do is see to it that UN Resolutions 242 and 338 are implemented....
Ida Lichter, M.D
While Islamists might wish for a viewpoint such as hers to be marginalised or ridiculed, she has persevered in striving to explain these differences. As a campaigner for peace and pluralism, Ahmed is dismayed by the toxic lure of an Islamist doctrine that is supremacist, separatist, and hostile to secular Western values, and she calls for an urgent review of this ideology….