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Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

Jerusalem: A Tale of Three Cities…One Jewish, One Christian and One Muslim
Adrija Roychowdhury

Medieval Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi once called Jerusalem “a golden bowl full of scorpions”. The holiest of the holy cities, and yet the bloodiest of them all, Jerusalem has remained the most disputed city in the world. Recently, when US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he yet again opened that sore wound that has been the cause of conflict among three of the largest religious communities in the world....

 

Arab Leaders Plan Major Response to Trump's Jerusalem Move
Daoud Kuttab

A more creative response would be that suggested by both the Palestinian and Jordanian foreign ministers at the Cairo Arab League meeting. They called for a high-level delegation of Arab foreign ministers to tour major European capitals to convince them to recognize Palestine as the best response to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital....

Trump’s Doomsday Jerusalem Speech
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

Trump’s Doomsday Jerusalem Speech
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

What is incomprehensible is why is it that the rest of the world is following this pied piper into Armageddon? Surely is it not cowardice that prompts them to have Palestinians fight their battle. Or perhaps they believe they can avert this religious zealotry in time to save their skins while continuing to make a Prophet by shedding the blood of the innocent in Jerusalem. How to explain their complicity and their madness other than to remind them to heed the words of Alexander the Great: “Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all”. ....

 

Reboot Muslim Political Discourse: Time to Argue In Terms Of Citizenship and Rights, As Minorities Do In US and UK
Tanweer Alam

I am deeply aware of the terror of cow vigilantes, anti-love jihad squads, harassment of Ghar Wapsi and other forms of anti-Muslim intimidation and violence that are part of our daily lives. Even with that, we have to move away from the communal discourse, resort to legal measures only and shift the language of political discourse from helpless victimhood to that of empowered citizens like others.....

The Myth of Muslim ‘Ummah’
Kamran Yousaf

Muslim capitals issued customary official statements denouncing the US decision. The Turkish government called an emergency summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the evolving situation. But that’s all our ‘Muslim Ummah’ could do. Perhaps, Trump already knew the Muslim world is so impotent that it would not move even if he declared the entire Middle East as part of Israel....

 

No Country for Afrazul
Syeda Hameed

The question before the hate merchants is: What to do with us Muslims? This huge population of Dadhi-Topi? All of us cannot be hacked and burnt or be ethnic-cleansed. But we can be beaten into submission, therefore hate crimes are allowed free run. Shambhulals know they can get away. Those who announce prizes for severed heads of dissenters are valorised, Jallads are garlanded, killers are given perpetual license to kill....

 

Wednesday was the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya by Hindu fanatics who claimed it was built on the site of a Hindu temple. Subsequent rioting between Hindus and Muslims, which killed more than 2,000 people by some estimates, is a reminder of what Hindu zealotry can wreak....

 

'Children of the Stones': The Day Palestine Was Reborn
Ramzy Baroud

My name is Ramzy, and I am the son of Mohammed, a freedom fighter from the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, and the grandson of a peasant who died of a broken heart and was buried beside the grave of my brother, a little boy who died because there was no medicine in the refugee camp's UN clinic. My mother is Zarefah, a refugee who could not spell her name, whose illiteracy was compensated by a heart overflowing with love for her children, a woman who had the patience of a prophet. I am a free boy; in fact, I am a free man....

 

‘Say the Word’: What the Rohingya Struggle is really About
Ramzy Baroud

Mohammed's 3-year-old son was killed by the Burmese military. The father’s message to the Pope was not seeking humanitarian relief for despairing refugees or even justice for his own child, but something else entirely."He should say the word as we are, Rohingya," Mohammed told the Catholic Crux Now. "We have been Rohingya for generations, my father and my grandfather." In Dhaka, the Pope attempted to reclaim that missed opportunity. “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya,” he said....

Behind China’s Attempt to Ease the Rohingya Crisis
Nicholas Bequelin

China has the diplomatic, humanitarian and economic resources to make a real difference in the lives of the Rohingya. But its current manoeuvring — which seeks to intervene only to preserve impunity for horrific crimes — is putting them to dangerous use. This is hardly the sort of behaviour worthy of a great power that in the words of Mr. Xi, aspires to make “greater contributions to mankind.”....

 

It’s true that the size of the liberal segment in Islamic societies is generally quite small, but it’s not that the radical militant sections are any larger. The vast majority of Muslims are moderate. They are neither liberal in the classic sense nor are they ready to do anything dramatic and harmful for the sake of orthodox interpretation of religious verses....

India’s Plural Soul
Gopalkrishna Gandhi

India’s Plural Soul
Gopalkrishna Gandhi

The India of Asoka, Akbar, Gandhi, Nehru, and Ambedkar is strong but pinioned under the blades of the Two Nations theory. It is for the inheritors of their India to match the date-lines of hate and the fate-lines of death with the life-line that Gandhi made from the essences, the intangible Susman of his belief that India is One Nation and Ishvar Allah two names, among other ones, for the One....

 

There is no denying either that Saudi Arabia, which leads the coalition, and retains all major decision-making powers of the coalition, calls Iran the “number one state sponsor of terrorism” and its leader “the new Hitler of the Middle East”. Few contend that the IMCTC’s branding as a “counter-terrorism coalition” is rooted in the Saudi view that Iran is a “terrorism exporter”. The IMCTC is, therefore, seen as a Saudi project to assert and defend the Kingdom’s interests in the Middle East against Iran….

This Political Turmoil in Pakistan Marks the Coming Out Of the Barelvis
TCA?Raghavan

Their hall mark is popular Sufism, a cult of shrines and a deep veneration of the Prophet. They are therefore in contrast to the austere and literalist Wahhabis. The Barelvis are generally regarded as pluralistic and adherents of a softer, more moderate approach; although this image is gradually changing much like everything else in Pakistan. For the past decade or so there have been many signs of ferment among them....

 

Ali Abdullah Saleh’s Death Will Shake up the War in Yemen

Mr Saleh commanded a network of tribal fighters. Last week he suddenly ended his three-year partnership with the Houthis. Backed by Saudi warplanes, his men captured large parts of the capital. In a televised speech on December 2nd, Mr Saleh condemned the “recklessness” of his former Houthi allies and called for a dialogue with the Saudi-led coalition. But within days he suffered a dramatic reversal. The Houthis recaptured most of the territory they lost and besieged the area around the ex-president’s home, which they later blew up....

Other Story:

Former Yemeni President Killed: The Price of Betrayal

 

Rise of Barelvi Activism in Pakistan
Muhammad Amir Rana

Pirs, or the custodians of shrines, constitute the local power centres and seek strength from the followers of their respective shrines. They hesitate to pool their local political resources to form a mainstream party, fearing it might compromise their authority. They prefer to form alliances with mainstream political parties. This way, they also feel secure as they enjoy their ‘spiritual’ status in mainstream parties...

 

Pope Avoids Politics in Myanmar but Can’t Quiet Questions on Rohingya
Jason Horowitz

“Nobody ever said Vatican diplomacy is infallible,” the Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, said at a news briefing here on Wednesday evening. He said that no one in the Vatican had second-guessed the pope’s decision to avoid mentioning the Rohingya or considered pulling the plug on the visit, which even the pope’s supporters consider a tactical blunder for a usually politically sure-footed pontiff. “He is not afraid of minefields,” Mr. Burke said, bristling at the notion that the trip had damaged the moral authority that is the pope’s most powerful diplomatic asset....

 

Pope on Migration: Peace Isn't Possible Unless We Go Beyond Polemics
Elise Harris

In many destination countries there has been a rise in rhetoric “decrying the risks posed to national security or the high cost of welcoming new arrivals.” And this rhetoric, he said, “demeans the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters of God.” “Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great concern for all those concerned for the safety of every human being,” he said.....

 

Long Divided, Iran Unites Against Trump and Saudis in a Nationalist Fervour
Thomas Erdbrink

The state’s theocratic ideology has long dictated an artificial version of nationalism, where everything is related to Islam. Love for Iran’s long pre-Islamic history has been illegal in some instances, and often deliberately ignored by officials and state television. But in light of the new national unity, those restraints have been relaxed so long as the presentations encourage patriotism....

 

Pope's Visit to Myanmar Raises Fears of Violence If He Mentions the Rohingya
Poppy McPherson

Nationalist leaders in Myanmar will be watching the visit closely, amid growing anger over the perception that the international community is meddling in Myanmar’s internal affairs. Rakhine nationalist leader Dr Aye Maung, the chairman of the Arakan National party, said the timing of the visit was strange. “Why does he choose this time and situation? One has to think: is there any tension between Christians and Muslims? Or is this is the request of the Catholic people here? Or are there any problems between Buddhists and Christians? Or is his intention mainly for the Bengali and Rakhine people?” he said....

 
Endgame in Syria
Mahesh Sachdev

Endgame in Syria
Mahesh Sachdev

By keeping a low profile during the conflict, India has earned wider acceptability across the Syrian social spectrum. In normal times, the annual bilateral trade between the two countries was over half a billion dollars, with India enjoying a large trade surplus. In a post-conflict situation, India has a potential role in institution building and reconstruction....

 

The Intelligence Bureau reports that India saw a record number of 25,000 Wahhabi-influenced people arrive in India between 2011 and 2013, conducting seminars across the country.

"With them they brought in $250 million (INR1.1 billion) in several instalments and used it to propagate the Wahhabi style of Islam," the reports noted.

Reports further claim a sum of $460 million (INR 3 billion) has been earmarked to set up madrasas (religious schools) while the remaining $300 million USD (INR 2 billion) has been set aside as miscellaneous costs, including alleged bribes to mosque authorities....

 

Seventy Years of Broken Promises: The Untold Story of the Partition Plan
Ramzy Baroud

When British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour made his promise to the Zionist movement in November 1917 to support the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, the once distant and implausible idea began to take shape. It would have been effortlessly achievable, had the Palestinians not rebelled....

 

What It Takes To Make Saudi Islam ‘Moderate’
Sigal Samuel

Saudi Arabia has so successfully promoted a particular version of Islam that if it tries to change that now, it risks empowering fringe voices who will claim to be sticking up for the old version. “You’re going to have extremists who are very willing to trumpet the fact that Saudi Arabia isn’t adhering to the real Islam, they’re just in the pockets of the West, which is already a pretty widespread view,”...

New Winds In Saudi Arabia
Khaled Ahmed

New fundamentalist Islam soon spread from Indonesia in the east to Algeria and Morocco in the west. One-fourth of the seminaries and mosques of Pakistan are still funded with Saudi money with many mosques dedicated to the cult of the late Bin Baz. Saudi Arabia has “funded” madrasas all over the world. They are quiet now but will react negatively, and Saudi Arabia under Muhammad bin Salman can ill-afford this reaction since all sorts of Muslims come for hajj to Saudi Arabia every year. The biggest challenge may rise in Pakistan where the Ahle Hadith clerics enjoy a heft with the state beyond measure….

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NEW COMMENTS

  • can polytheists living as dhimmis preach and convert the muslims? a deafening silence is the only answer.
    ( By hats off! )
  • The principle of 'abrogation' (Arabic: nasakh) claims that some verses of the Quran are in effect abrogated, superseded and replaced by other verses....
    ( By Mubashir )
  • habbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself) 2:106 Any message that We revoke or cause to be lost to history...
    ( By Mubashir )
  • I would urge Shahin sahib and Yunus sahib to not respond to Naseer sahib's ignoble and moronic attempts to prolong this...
    ( By Ghulammohiyuddin )
  • When shall we have our Erasmus?
    ( By Ghulammohiyuddin )
  • Good article! In the holy Book of the Religion of Peace there is no place for war-related verses...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The personal is the political" carol hanish - i hope i got the spelling of her name right. or it could be hanisch.
    ( By hats off! )
  • To Sultan Shahin & Gulam Rasool Dhlavi. Why Quran is empty with Muslim aggressors and treaty broker punishments Why Quran is empty for the right ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Shahin sb, Since you have understood correctly that I have said “a Muslim girl marrying a polytheist is Quranically a valid marriage”, why don’t you respond ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Understanding the Quran correctly, is very simple, and yet most people are engaged in making it difficult for themselves by interpreting unnecessarily, ignoring the simple ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Sultan Shahin. Let me clear first" I am not ashamed" at all for whatever I have said about you. Very Basic reason, you...
    ( By Aayina )
  • US will learn lesson for harbouring Muslims, good on thug countries alliance.
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer sab has brought this forum to it lowest level of discourse with his personal attacks and....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Condemning things seems to have become the essence of mullahdom. Shirk and bidat have provided them with their bread and butter.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: Once again Naseer sahib reads my comment according to his ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • The writer deserves congratulations for his fine piece of work.'
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Cite any verse of any poet that does justice to the Quran if you can." You are talking rubbish Naseer Sb as Mohiyuddin sb said. Why...
    ( By arshad )
  • pointing out that no benign meaning can be derived from murderous texts is an hostile act?...
    ( By hats off! )
  • I have cited two very famous and popular verses of Iqbal and shown that these do injustice to what the Quran teaches us....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The two faces of Muhammad Yunus If the Qur’an is interpreted by applying his methodology of logical derivation...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb, Keeping in mind Yunus sb’s definition of ‘Kafir’ in the Qur’an as “Wilful rejection ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, There is no cure for a person who is deaf, dumb and blind like Yunus sb who persists in misunderstanding what should be clear ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Religions are not written in stone. They are evolving entities. Trying to prevent people from getting the best and the most updated meaning from their ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • So, this is a curious thought and I have spoken of this. In the Christian plane which I am not of anymore and I ...
    ( By Amy Evans )
  • Abrogation verse is there in Koran - read : 2:106 : Whatever of Our revelations We repeal or cause to be forgotten, We will replace ...
    ( By Raman )
  • There is no scope of mis-interpretation of Koran - for the reason it is mentioned 13 times that this book is a clear message revealed ...
    ( By Raman )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has also asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: "In his latest comment Naseer Saheb says: he ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: As usual Naseer Saheb has ducked the crux of the ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Thank you for all your hard work and for this wonderful essay. I will share widely, aw ...
    ( By Dr. amina wadud )
  • some kitab, some mubeen and some allah. the text is so clear that two IIT trained ulemas cannot stand the sight of each other's....
    ( By hats off! )
  • being honest and truthful will destroy the basis of most religions including islam...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer sab's relentless and abusive assaults on Yunus sab are an example of mullahish arrogance. Such brazen....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • “The most prominent thing which distinguishes the religious mind, which infuses sanctity and...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The confusion about the concept of shahadah is just one of many that have left non-Muslims....
    ( By GRD )
  • Naseer sb, you again misunderstood what I wrote. I said poetry and something written in poetic style are two different things. One may not be ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Arshad sb, I agree with what you say about the Quran. It has its own charm, style, diction and power to awe, amaze and convince. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Different folks show their intolerance in different ways. People can have good inter-community relations in spite of these petty scruples. Making ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb can neither explain his flip-flops nor has the honesty to admit that he has revised his earlier categorical opinion that all the Mushrikin ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus sb says :"Flaw in Argument: A Muslim girl can fall in love with and marry a polytheist in breach of Qur’anic decree (2:221) retaining ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb, poetry is the art of use of language for conveying one's thought in an effective style. Quran is not vain poetry but it ...
    ( By arshad )