Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

Impossible Dialogue: The Choice in Yemen
Ramzy Baroud

Considering the mistrust in the very process that is meant to lead the country toward permanent reforms and democracy, and in the very representatives guiding the transition, it is no wonder that Yemen is once more at the brink of tumult…..


Al-Qaeda’s Notion of ‘Freedom’
Mustafa Akyol

Known by its acronym ISIS, this fanatic group has shocked the world with its brutal executions, including beheadings, of not just the supporters of Bashar al-Assad, the dictator of Syria, but even elements of the more moderate opposition. It is clearly an offshoot of al-Qaeda, and thus proudly executes the acts of violence that the rest of the world considers as terrorism….


Look to Egypt in Freedom’s Battle
Rami G. Khouri

Will we see popular forces that brought down the Mubarak regime mobilise yet again to oppose the current government’s draconian laws that aim to control and stifle political protests? It is not yet clear if those demonstrators who have taken to the streets in half a dozen Egyptian cities in the past few days represent a wide cross section of the Egyptian population, or only a small stratum of activist progressives. Will Egypt now see its fourth popular revolt against autocracy in the past three years?......


The Problem is Authoritarianism, Not Islam

Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia are very different countries, but one thing that they share are Islamist governments (at least until recently in Egypt's case). To varying degrees, these governments have undermined their democratic credentials by failing to protect civil and human rights and employing heavy-handed tactics against their opponents. Despite repeated assurances, Islamist leaders have shown little interest in democracy beyond winning at the ballot box.....


The principles distinguish cultural Islam from political Islam. Included in cultural Islam are the country’s two largest Muslim groups, Nahdlatul Ulema (NU) and Muhammadiyah, which focus more on socio-cultural issues such as education and health than on efforts to establish an Islamic state or enforce Islamic law…….


Secularism Leading to Islamism
Tufail Ahmad

Malala is criticised because her father wore black armbands on the 50th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence Day, saying that Swat had suffered since its merger with Pakistan in 1969. There is nothing blasphemous in the book. The Islamists are attacking her for trivial points: for writing Jinnah instead of Quaid-e-Azam, or great leader; for not writing “peace be upon you” with Prophet Muhammad’s name, not a norm in English……

Mistaking Maududi for Mao
Nadeem F. Paracha

Mistaking Maududi for Mao
Nadeem F. Paracha

But the fact remains, no amount of red mufflers and lefty rhetoric can change the reality that many of these men fought a concentrated war on the behest of the US with leftists throughout the Cold War and those who didn’t are simply mixing up their Maududi with Mao…….

True Islam Can Stop Extremism
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

True Islam Can Stop Extremism
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Individuals are violent. Extremist groups that misinterpret religion in their zealotry or self-interest commit acts of violence, prompting a violent reaction. And so begins a vicious cycle of violence and hatred. These people mask their political or power agendas in false religious doctrine. We must make that distinction — between religion and the power-hungry — and combat the extremists……

The Probable Effects of Arab Spring on Muslim World
Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef, New Age Islam

The Probable Effects of Arab Spring on Muslim World
Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef, New Age Islam

Now Muslim world became divided in so many states, which often acted as satellite to big powers. Some of them such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey and some gulf states like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Arab Emirate, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar are prosperous countries in terms of beautiful cities, gigantic shopping malls filled with European goods, in addition to lavish palaces and monumental mosques etc. But when it comes to Arab world, it is the royals, army junta or a privileged class who rule the roost….


Is Netanyahu the new Ahmadinejad?
Murtaza Haider

Recent developments in the Middle East show that the Israeli-Saudi nexus has surprisingly met failure in mobilising the world against Iran. In fact, if influential observers, such as Roger Cohen of The New York Times, were to be believed, it's Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and the aging Saudi monarchs who now risk isolation......


India Must Stop Being Delusional About Pakistan
Tufail Ahmad

A year before Pakistan was created, Mr X of the US embassy in Moscow, later identified as George F Kennan, wrote a long telegram outlining how circumstances and the Bolshevik ideology were interacting to shape the internal behaviour and external relations of the Soviet State. While this interaction proved untenable, terminating in the USSR’s breakup, a similar interaction between circumstances and Nazaria-e-Pakistan — ideology of Pakistan, or ideas connected to Islam and taught to Pakistanis about their national identity — appears enduring.....

Has Angola Banned Islam?
Eric Owens and Others

A number of newspapers in the region are reporting that the Republic of Angola has outlawed Islam, apparently in an effort to thwart the spread of Muslim radicalism in the country…..

Related Articles:

No, Angola has not ‘banned Islam’. It’s a little more complicated than that

By Khadija Patel

Reality behind Banning Islam in Angola

By Abdelrahman Rashdan


Hamas Mixed On Iran Nuclear Deal
Asmaa al-Ghoul

“It was smart of Iran to resolve its problems with the world after years of being characterized as a terrorist state and of provoking the Gulf states, only for it to come back and take its place among the nations by easing the wave of hostility that is hampering it economically,” moderate Hamas figure Ahmed Youssef…..


Sudhakar Group and Maulana Muniruzzaman Islamabadi Interpreted Islam in Bangla to ‘Cleanse the Faith of Islam’ From the Influences of Hinduism and Christianity - Part 14
Nurul Kabir

Hindu College was founded in Kolkata in January 1817 with a view to providing education to the ‘sons of respectable Hindus, in the English and Indian languages and in the literature and science of Europe and Asia’.......


The Right’s Attitude to Radical Islam Is As Bad As the Left’s
Nick Cohen

If you haven’t seen it, Silent Conquest is a documentary for everyone who goes along with the ‘Islamisation of the West crowd’. The producers say that it ‘offers a frightening insight into the extent to which Europe, Canada and the United Nations have already succumbed to the restrictions of Shariah blasphemy laws.’ The standard liberal dismissal of such statements as ‘racist’ is hopeless, in my view, and illiberal in itself…..

Iran Deal: For Fortress of Islam to Study
Ayaz Amir

The world moves on even as Pakistan pays fitful attention to the heroic performance of its three stooges: the Jamaat chief, Munawar Hasan, the PTI chief, Imran Khan, and the PML-N’s loose cannon, Interior Minister Ch Nisar. These characters live in a world of their own....


Afghanistan: Key to Revival of Silk Road, Keynote Address by The Deputy Chief of Mission (Minister Counsellor) of the Embassy of Afghanistan in India
M. Ashraf Haidari, The Deputy Chief of Mission

If we pick one country that best captures the essence and character of the Silk Road, it is Afghanistan. Diversity defines our ancient and modern history, our pluralistic society of many customs and traditions, our rugged terrain of many mountainous valleys, and our cuisine of many cultural tastes—among so much else. These rather unique Silk Road qualities and characteristics of Afghanistan are capped by the centrality of our geography at the Heart of Asia region, consisting of 14 countries, which form the backbone of the Old or New Silk Road. So, it is the quintessential importance of our geo-strategic and geo-economic location that makes us the most relevant and consequential country in reviving the Silk Road.....


Stamp of Arab Imperialism on Pakistan
Yasser Latif Hamdani

It is therefore an irony that the stamp of Arab imperialism has become even more pronounced in that consolidated Muslim state; the new fad of ‘Al-Bakistan’ licence plates is a case in point. After speaking Urdu for almost 800 years, the Muslims of Pakistan have decided to dispense with the letter ‘p’ and adopt ‘Allah Hafiz’ instead of ‘Khuda Hafiz’…


In Turkey, Can Islam And Democracy Coexist?
Anthony Limberakis

Turkey can no longer afford to treat its religious minorities – Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Alevi Muslims, Armenians, Syriacs and Orthodox Christians – as second-class citizens. The Turkish government, and its Islamic majority, must recognize the legal status of these communities……


The media as a whole, including the more serious press, has taken pleasure of late in burying the Arab Spring. Commentaries have practically invoked an Arab Winter. One can read headlines such as "Democracy has no chance in Egypt" or "The experiment has probably failed for the foreseeable future." All the while, change is fully underway in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, people are fighting and dying, yet there are also negotiations…..


The Great Syrian Risk Game
Vijay Prashad

Fearful of the implications of ISIS, the Saudis have funded Zahran Alloush’s Army of Islam — but it is too late to the battlefield. For, good reason is the Saudis furious with the United States for its reticence to bomb Syria and encage Iran — Saudi projections have begun to unravel.....


The Rule of an Islamic Government
Javed Ahmed Ghamidi

The Saudi government was established with the reformist movement of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Thus, on the very first day of its inception, it decided that the law of the land would be the Islamic Sharia. A great majority of Sunni scholars do not regard kingdoms to be governments, which is against Sharia but they more or less agree to the interpretation of Sharia made by the Saudi government. This is because they think that it is an Islamic government and, on this basis, they show allegiance to it….

MENA Youth Refuse To Step Down Despite Setbacks
Aisha Habli

Nonetheless, MENA youth are resilient and remain determined to be agents of positive change. Despite the frustration and the challenges, they have refused to give up, or to sit passively on the sidelines. We have a big role in carrying our communities forward even when the older generations may have grown tired, and we will continue to create positive change....


Kurds: Separatism or Right to Statehood?
Ilya Kharlamov

The Kurds are the world’s largest ethnic community with no state of their own. A total of 30 million Kurds live in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and other countries. The Iraqi Kurds were lucky to be receiving in the early 1990s, but things have been pretty bad for their kinsmen elsewhere. In Turkey, the decades-old warfare between ethnic Kurds and the government has claimed tens of thousands of lives….

Arab Countries That Ousted Their Rulers Are Embarking On The Important Post-Revolutionary Task Of Rewriting History But What To Write Is Contentious

ARAB countries that ousted their rulers are embarking on the important post-revolutionary task of rewriting history. Education ministries in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia are purging school textbooks of the praise they once heaped on former dictators. Teachers are making ad hoc changes in their classrooms too. But what to teach is contentious…..

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