Books and Documents
Islam and Politics

Erdoğan’s Illiberal Democracy
Mustafa Akyol

The last time Turkey experienced “total power” and “personalisation of the state,” the ruler in charge was Atatürk. Unlike Erdoğan, he was never elected in free and fair elections, so his rule was both illiberal and undemocratic…..


Indonesian Jihadis Down but Not Out: Panchshila versus Islamism Is an Old Struggle
Pallavi Aiyar

The Indonesian state’s response to the terrorist threat has been muscular. Densus 88, the elite police counter-terrorism unit, has been at the forefront of neutralising the Jema’ah Islamiah (JI), the group behind most of the mass civilian bombings of the last decade. Using sophisticated surveillance equipment and by investing in the training of anti-terror forces in the best international intelligence-gathering practices, terrorist networks in Indonesia have been effectively disrupted and their organisational capacity crippled….

Mursi's Trial Shows How Deep Egypt's Tragedy Is
Robert Fisk

If a court could show the divisions of a nation, this one did. Mursi might have sound legal grounds to object to the hearing but, alas, an awful lot of people believe he should never have been elected, that he never acted as their President and was thrown from power in ignominy last July because he was planning a coup of his own.....


Turkey 2014 Is Not Iran 1979, But Orwell’s 1984
Emre Deliveli

I see their point. After all, since students are legally adults, it would be unfair to limit the ban just to them. I am not sure how the government would be able to pass a law to this effect, as experts have deemed it to be unconstitutional, but I am sure they will find a way. They could start by introducing the adultery act that they tried back in 2004…..


Saudis Fight a Lost Battle against Change
Nicola Nasser

Adding to the Saudi vulnerabilities, both challenges are weighing in heavily on the legitimacy of the ruling family whose title to the throne of Saudi Arabia is de facto, not de jure.

Voices that are marginal but loudly heard nonetheless are demanding the Islamic holy places in Mecca and Madina be declared a Vatican – like status free for the Hajj for all Muslim believers because the Saudis have no legitimate title from the Sharia to be their guardians and because they have politicized the Islamic ritual as manifested by banning the Syrians from the Hajj for political reasons.


Have The Arab Revolutions Failed?
Ramzy Baroud

Challenging the falsehoods and simplifications that surrounded the so-called Arab Spring from the very start doesn’t necessarily mean that one is in doubt of the very notion that genuine revolutions have indeed gripped various Arab countries for nearly three years. In fact, the revolutionary influx is still underway and it will take many years before the achievements of these popular mobilisations be truly felt…..


Salafis Try Their Hand at Religious Politics
Khalil Al-Anani

Salafism is struggling to avoid the political fate of the Brotherhood. The mounting anti-Islamism sentiment among Egyptians, coupled with the heavy governmental crackdown against Islamists, has urged Salafi sheikhs and leaders to rethink political participation. For many of them, politics is no longer a blessing but a curse…..

Peace in Kashmir – Part (1)
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Peace in Kashmir – Part (1)
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The Kashmiri Muslims seem to have become upset with just about everyone. They are living in an atmosphere of mistrust. It is, however, possible, for the Kashmiris to start a new life at any moment if they want. But for this, there are two necessary conditions. Firstly, the Kashmiris must admit that they themselves are responsible for the unpleasant situation they find themselves in today. As long as they continue to blame others for this situation, it will not be possible for them to start a new life……


If the Quran were, as the Muslim Brothers demanded, to constitute the moral community of a democracy then what kind of discussions about governance could non-Muslims engage in? More specifically, as debate moves from particular policy prescriptions to underlying principles, how can they engage in those discussions? Can they, for example, offer their own interpretations of the Quran (or the sunna) in order to debate what the principles of Islam require of a state? Or must they stand aside in those debates? ….

Now The logical questions that arise in the mind of every sane Muslim are: how did the trend of terrorism emerge among Muslims? What are the reasons behind this bloody phenomenon? And how can we put an end to it? Most researchers who take up issues pertaining to Islam and Muslims hold that this phenomenon emerged in the beginning of the eighties of the last century. According to them, there was an age-old ideological and political prelude to the practical emergence of this phenomenon. Some ideological and political events led to a peculiar situation that created the forces of political Islam........ 

My India Visit: Let Us Redeem Our Tryst with Destiny in Full Measure
Yaqoob Khan Bangash

Both India and Pakistan are separate sovereign countries, but are still tied to each other in several ways. Without compromising on our separate existence, we can still cooperate and transform the lives of the millions in the region, just as our founding fathers dreamt it. Let us redeem our tryst with destiny in full measure....


Egypt and Political Satire
Nervana Mahmoud

I do not know if political satire will survive in Egypt or not. I hope it will. Some have blamed Youssef for rushing his return, suggesting that his timing was bad and that he should have waited a bit longer. I think they are wrong; Youssef’s return is a tough test of our desire for democracy. We Egyptians should not let our profound insecurity control our mindset…..

The Saudis Are Mad? Tough!
Fareed Zakaria

If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most responsible for the rise of Islamic radicalism and militancy around the world. Over the past four decades, the kingdom's immense oil wealth has been used to underwrite the export of an extreme, intolerant and violent version of Islam preached by its Wahhabi clerics....


Sudhakar Group and Maulana Muniruzzaman Islamabadi Interpreted Islam in Bangla to ‘Cleanse the Faith of Islam’ From the Influences of Hinduism and Christianity - Part 11
Nurul Kabir

‘Conditions were so bad and the food shortage in the Province so great that nothing less than heavy imports from outside the Province and from abroad and their quick distribution could bring relief to the sufferers and to the dying. Help from other parts of India was both slow in coming and meager. War conditions and lack of safety at sea made speedy outside assistance almost impossible. The South-Asian granaries, which were close to Bengal, were occupied by Japan. And aid, even ships escaped Japan’s attack, from far-off countries, was as bad as having no aid at all....


Pakistan’s New Normal
Khaled Ahmed

Pakistan must strive to end its regional and global isolation, and reach out for international help, which is still forthcoming because a Taliban victory will result in al-Qaeda rule in a state possessed of nuclear weapons and populated by people steeped in Islamic extremism. Because of the media hype triggered by LoC incidents, Sharif was helpless at the UN, where he challenged India rather than terrorism. ….


The Souls of Muslim Folk
Hatem Bazian

Muslim's double consciousness was formed in the colonial period and continues in the post-colonial state. When the terms Islam and Muslim are used, they have to be understood within the confines of colonial epistemology, for the pre-colonial conception of both is no longer present, and whatever vestiges are located or discovered, are experienced through the colonial cartography. What colonisation has done was to construct an external objectified Islam and Muslim....


General Sisi Is No Saviour for Egypt’s Non-Islamists
Nervana Mahmoud

The weakness of the non-Islamists in Egypt is quiet spectacular, considering how their Islamists opponents insist on perpetuating their own self-defeating policies, continuous protests and disruption, and the absence of any articulation of a “clear-end-point.” In fact, they have even rejected mediation efforts by Professor Kamal Abu El Magd, whose suggestions could have provided a true reconciliation path....

In the world, nobody can claim that he is only creature of God, and other peoples are not His creatures. Everyone can claim that God is his creator and he has the right to worship or obey Him according to his own belief and method. So it is very clear to all the people that God is for all and He loves His creatures as the man loves his children. Except Jews religion all the religions of the world are open for everyone to follow……


Don't Confuse Islam with Islamism
Tahir Gora

The legacy of Maududi's extremist ideas is not confined to Jamaat-i-Islami only. One can witness thousands and thousands of internet sites and social media websites that exhibit Islamism in our modern times day and night. There's even a Facebook site called "Convert Facebook into Islamic Book." This may sound funny, but for Islamists, who are followers of Islamism, it is a serious wish…..

Israel on the Prowl Again As War Looms in Lebanon
Ramzy Baroud

The situation is highly charged, if not perilous, considering Lebanon’s unmanageable sectarian balances, let alone the direct involvement of Lebanese parties in the brutal Syrian war. If not treated with sensitivity and political wisdom, Lebanon’s vastly changing demographics will not bode well in a country of exceedingly fractious sectarian politics…..

Where Does This Fanaticism Come From?
Khurshid Anwar Tr. New Age Islam

Lo and behold! This is the very Wahhabism that had strictly banned women from laughing out loudly, participating in any television or radio show or any public event, driving car, motor cycle or a cycle, and standing against the window to see outside. Where do all these restrictions and conditions go when it comes to suicide bombing? Of course, it is an outcome of a grossly deceitful and double-standard doctrine propounded by the Wahhabi ideologues.......


Turkey: Hate Speech in Politics and Media
Bulent Kenes

Turkey has been home not only to a host of positive developments, but also to various discriminatory acts, injustices, unfair practices, acts of oppression, hate crimes and hate speech during the history of the republic, the 90th anniversary of which we marked on Tuesday…..


I recall an interesting story told by a journalist who mustered up courage to ask the king of Jordan: “Why don’t you give at least one percent of your wealth of trillions as a subsidy to reduce the soaring food prices?” The king replied: “This wealth belongs to the royal family, not to the public”. But the king did not explain how and from where had his family collected this much money, while his grandfather Abdullah had fled from Mecca on a donkey!! After this incident, the journalist was never seen again. Soon after this, the King Hussein paid a visit to Gulf countries with an aim to acquire financial support from them, while at the same time; Queen Noor was in Paris for shopping.  A Kuwaiti newspaper headline went: “King begs and Queen goes for shopping."…

Muslim fundamentalism is not a question of security for westerners, says Bennoune, but a more basic question of human rights for hundreds of millions of people who live in Muslim-majority countries. And she has little patience with the argument that human rights is a western concept that should not be applied to Muslim countries……


Are ‘Political Islam’ and democracy compatible?
B S Prakash

Simply stated, that Islam is/ has the answer not only to spiritual impulses or religious needs but for social and political order, as well. Islamism in this sense not only defines and regulates the relation between man and God but equally between man and man (and woman) and this includes the relation between the ruled and the ruler. The adherents also advocate that the ideal society is one in which Holy Prophet lived in Medina…..

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