Islam and Politics
IF MAULANA MAUDOODI, one of two or three people who gave birth to modern political Islam, were to travel through the Muslim world now, he would find some mildly pleasant and very unpleasant surprises. Some 35 years after his death, the political movement he founded, Jamaat-i-Islami, remains an influential force in Pakistan, especially in the area bordering Afghanistan. In Bangladesh, meanwhile, the movement's leaders.…
Dr Adil Najam
Saudi petrodollars have been a dependable source of emergency cash for Pakistan. Third, the Saudis have taken in battalions of Pakistani labour who are the source of massive remittance flows to Pakistan....
Control by civilians present two challenges. For mature democracies like the west, where civilian control has historically been strong and military establishments have focused on external defence only. And the fledgling democracy like Bangladesh, with scant experiences in combining popular government and civilian control, face tougher challenges. They must ensure that the military will not attempt a coup d’état, or otherwise defy civilian authority….
In some circumstances, our real choices between national security and moral consequences will be between controlled and uncontrolled liberties. We will be wasting time and lives in pretending differently. In the fight against terrorism, some of the world’s most established democracies did not shy away, at times, from doing what they thought is necessary; in many cases their choices were shocking to any idealist. Unfortunately, we live in those awful times….
As a final act of viciousness, they dug large pits where the tent had stood; making sure it could never be re-pitched. Overnight, the Loi relief camp had become half its size. Pitted with holes. Many of its former residents scattered to the winds. Human debris....
They hacked my husband right before me.” Was she attacked? Shabana is quiet. I try again. This time, her voice a whisper, she says, “They stripped several of us. Took our honour.” They first beat them with batons, then stripped them and brutally sodomised them. The men were stripped and simply chopped into pieces. Shabana and several others were thrown out, naked, an hour later….
The party has been “nearly dependent” on the cadre strength of the Jamaat, whose main agenda is to become a national political alternative and create a situation that will help foil the ongoing trial of war criminals and free its leaders who have been convicted and those who are under trial. The Bangladesh war crimes tribunals have so far convicted 10 persons for committing crimes against humanity—genocide, mass rape, torture, arson and forcible abductions —during the liberation struggle. Eight of them are key leaders of the Jamaat, which was a cohort of the Pakistan Army….
The questions that Bangladesh faces do not have any easy answers. They are rooted in the very idea of Bangladesh: a predominantly Muslim country separated from Pakistan in 1971 on the question of its linguistic and ethnic identity. The fight in the country is to maintain and preserve this distinct character....
...the experience of the last three years has shown that democracy is a long and intricate path and without including all political forces, domestic and regional stability will remain far-fetched....
Violence-ridden political scenario in Bangladesh as of now gives rise to multiple premonitions. Discerning and concerned citizens are worried. One such worry, willy-nilly, relates to our collective mindset being projected as one that is predisposed to becoming a wellspring of violence, unless it is somehow suitably moulded and rounded up to accommodate and live with modernity. Are the so-called religiously motivated extremist groups trying to redefine the concept of “nation-state''?....
The parties to the conflict are not answerable for what may have been done centuries ago but are indeed answerable for what they do today. It is time both sides show wisdom and take actions for common good. May the world achieve peace and may humans learn to coexist….
Topmost on his agenda is to try and rebuild stable and mutually beneficial relations with India, Afghanistan and America so that Pakistan’s economy and civil society can benefit from the peace dividends of aid, trade and commerce in the future instead of being buffeted by proxy wars and cross-border terrorism as in the past. A number of significant steps have been taken: the DGMOs of India and Pakistan have met after 14 years to try and stabilize the Line of Control and minimize the chances of knee-jerk conflict as witnessed recently; there is a new commitment to help stabilize and unite Afghanistan without any vested-interest interference or manipulation from Pakistan as in the past;….
It is believed that some of the militant Baloch nationalists who were fighting an insurgency against the Pakistan Army in the remote mountains of the arid province of Balochistan in the 1970s had acquired a couple of AK-47s from Iraq, whose ruling Ba’ath Socialist Party was allegedly supporting the insurgency. In 1973 the Pakistan government under the leadership of the populist, left-leaning Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, claimed to have confiscated a cache of arms and ammunition that included up to 300 AK-47s from the Iraqi attaché’s house in Islamabad….
Nadeem F. Paracha
Until not long ago village and even town houses here used to be built without proper toilet facilities. In villages nature’s open spaces took care of waste disposal. The same laissez-faire attitude accompanied the building of Islamabad which, incredible as it may sound, fifty years after its founding still has no proper facility for waste disposal, with refuse and waste dumped in open spaces. At least we are a nuclear power. That should be of some consolation....
The Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan — having recently won back Taliban and al-Qaeda protection — flexed its street muscle by protesting against the hanging of a man it feels affiliated to. It rightly expected the parliament to bend in deference to this new “empowerment”. But the media in Pakistan has mixed the message more than usual this time….
They have outlawed Ahmadi Muslims as non-Muslims. They are forcibly converting Hindu girls to Islam and trapping Christians in blasphemy cases. A genocide is unfolding, as Shia Muslims are being hunted and murdered systematically. These murders are ideological; the killers are not found. The secular Jinnah is dead; the Islamist Jinnah is alive….
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Let us even accept — for the sake of argument though it is extremely hard for any reasonable and sane person to do so — that the Ordinance XX of 1984 is not a bad law and that Ahmedis should not be allowed to call themselves Muslims and their places of worship mosques. However, stopping them from reading the Quran? Forget that it is part of their religious belief and forget that their modes of worship like any citizen of Pakistan are protected acts under the constitution of Pakistan. Are we saying that the Holy Quran, which calls its author, i.e. God, the ‘Rab-al-Alameen’ or Lord of all the worlds, is limited to Muslims?....
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam
For nearly a decade, Muslims have hoisted Turkey as an illustration of Islam’s compatibility with modern liberalism. Never mind anachronistic Saudi Arabia, we said. Forget volatile if syncretic Indonesia too. It was Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey that exemplified Islam’s liberal credentials: peaceful and democratic even as it veered away from a century of coercive secularism….
For over a decade US-based Hindu American Foundation has attempted to cultivate a soft, pro human rights, pluralist public image. The controversial ascendance of Narendra Modi, and America's growing awareness of extremist and divisive ideologies that seek to stifle religious freedom , has forced HAF to reveal its true identity as the US arm of the sectarian Hindu supremacist movement, known in India and across the world as Hindutva (which is different from Hinduism)….
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
To truly comprehend anything and to form a correct opinion about it, one needs a proper mindset. If that is absent, then, no matter how obvious a thing may be, one will fail to understand it properly….
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
This man claimed that if the history of the earlier prophets had been carefully protected, it would have been possible to highlight ‘all the details of their Government’; in just the same way as one can with regard to the polity that the Prophet Muhammad established in Madina. In other words, he suggested that even though the Quran does not explicitly mention the establishment of Divine Government by earlier prophets, and this remains unknown to History so far, it must be accepted as an actual fact simply because this man’s conception of the Deen suggested to him that this must certainly have been the case!....
Where does Bangladesh stand at the age of 42? In the month of victory, this year, everyday is marked by strike, blockade, Hartal, killing, burning cars, buses and people…..
The intellectual dishonesty of Israel’s supporters is appalling. But in some odd way, it is also understandable. How else could they respond to the massively growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign? When a non-violent campaign - empowered by thousands of committed civil society activists from South Africa to Sweden and most countries in between - leads a moral campaign to isolate and hold into account an Apartheid country like Israel, all that the supporters of the latter can do is spread lies and misinformation…..
The Turkish government is in full-blown denial about secularism and religious freedom, as evidenced by PM Erdogan’s preposterous claim two years ago that “Turkey is a secular state where all religions are equal.” If Turkey is ever to be secular, it must allow the free exercise of all religions – including Islam…..
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The nature of the fundamental mistake in Maulana Maududi’s interpretation of Islam is not of the same as sidelining an aspect of the Deen (as for instance, denying the practice or Sunnat of the Prophet) or adding a new aspect to the Deen (such as a new claimant to prophethood). Rather, the Maulana’s real error is that he had transformed the philosophy of the Deen. This is the root of all the other mistakes that he made. If someone believes that the fundamental purpose of life is to earn money, he will not deny the salience of other basic human needs and related matters....