Islam and Politics
The first approach, represented by Erdogan, is predicated on the notion of the “will of the people (Milli Irade)”, at the expense of some of the fundamental freedoms, constitutional checks and balances and the separation of powers. The second approach, especially pushed for by Ihsanoglu, advocates the maintenance of the existing parliamentary system and warns that a hybrid system, where both prime minister and president are elected directly, risks creating instability, tension and polarisation…..
With Independence Day coming our way, I am drawn to reading them again, for some reason. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that this August 14 gives us little to celebrate and much to mourn. We mourn the state of our nation, its politics, its crumbling affairs of law and order but what we mourn most, albeit unconsciously, is the loss of our own identity…..
Both men have had a lasting impact. Sukarno is widely seen as a model of Indonesian nationalism and was a pioneer of the patriotic movement while Hasyim was the founding father of NU, now the largest Muslim organization in the world, which preaches a moderate Islam that rejects the idea of an absolute Islamic state in Indonesia…..
Time changes everything. Time has changed Gaza. But the Strip was never a passive place of people subsisting on hand-outs or a pervasive sense of victimhood. Being a freedom fighter preceded any rational thinking about life and the many choices it had to offer growing up in a refugee camp, and all the little kids of my generation wanted to join the Fidayeen. But options for Gazans are becoming much more limited than ever before, even for my generation.....
Gardner attributed the appeal of the "Islamic State" for Albanian Muslims to penetration of the Muslim communities in the Western Balkans by Wahhabism, the fundamentalist doctrine originating in Saudi Arabia.....
To understand the collective Arab panic over the weekend in Cairo on the Gaza ceasefire, an overview is required. Ever since King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia came out of convalescence from Europe in February 2011 to see the first two casualties of the Arab Spring — Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali — his heart sank. Logically, next to fall would be monarchies and emirates — Saudi, Jordan, Qatar, Morocco, Bahrain, the GCC in general. "Never," screamed Abdullah…..
All four leaders of the Islamic renaissance met unusually tragic ends. The last of the revolutionaries, Colonel Qaddafi of Libya died in a sewage hole. Today, there is no Bhutto, King Faisal, Shah Iran, Anwar Sadat or Qaddafi to challenge. Whatever remains of the Muslim world comprises political touts and carpetbaggers. The map of the Middle East has changed forever…..
Mohammed Fahad al-Harthi
The deteriorating situation in the Arab world reminds us time and again of a real need for strong leadership in the region. The current harmony we are witnessing between Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo may well just be the light at the end of a dark tunnel......
I don’t see what it is that they are waiting for but I believe it is high time Muslim leaders start appreciating the gravity of the situation and pinpoint their common enemy. We must revive regional organisations like the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and make them more effective and influential. The Muslims of the world must come together to fight this injustice. Not just as Muslims, but as humans, otherwise, Palestine, as we know it, will seize to exist....
For an exclusive Sunni-Islamic nation, Maldives has always remained moderately religious. Islamic tenets have mostly been confined to homes. Where religion bans habits like drinking and smoking, both the society and the law have abided by it. Where personal and penal laws are concerned, following the Shariat having become a custom and habit over the centuries, people follow much of it willingly…..
The idea of a national home for the Jews in Palestine was only a device. In fact, British imperialism sought a home for itself in the form of a permanent mandate in the religious home of the Muslims. This is indeed a dangerous experiment, as a member of British Parliament has rightly described it, and can never lead to a solution of the British problem in the Mediterranean. Far from being a solution of the British problem in the Mediterranean, it is really the beginning of the future difficulties of British imperialism. The sale of the Holy Land including the Mosque of ‘Umar, inflicted on the Arabs with the threat of martial law and softened by an appeal to their generosity, reveals bankruptcy of statesmanship rather than its achievement. The offer of a piece of rich land to the Jews and the rocky desert plus cash to the Arabs is no political wisdom.....
The Arab regimes' complicity with the Israeli occupation is not new; it was always a condition and a decisive factor in the success of the military objectives in the war against the Arabs and Palestinians. However, the new issue is that America has succeeded in forming a regional security alliance against "terrorism" that actually protects US-Israeli state terrorism…
To top it off, nations witnessed countries making peace with Israel and others protecting their borders with the Jewish state contrary to the official anti-Israel party line. In fact, Israeli presence has even become customary in some Arab states. As a result, the need for a new political plot emerged, and sectarianism seemed to be the answer. Sectarianism seemed an even better tool than anti-Israeli rhetoric since it plays on sensitive religious chords….
In simple terms, the idea of state failure itself was premised on the assumption that weak or new states should allow and welcome intermeddling from Western overlords whose ‘guardianship’ was really something to be grateful for. Unsurprisingly, in the years hence, the term has become a mainstay of justifying interventions and intermeddling via the ‘guardian’ countries themselves or international institutions whose hold over global economics permits them similar licence…..
A climate of fear and silence has seized the leadership of the Muslims such that not so much as a whimper could be uttered by, or heard from, the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs or the Jama'atu Nasril Islam, even though it is Muslims who are unjustly gunned down in broad daylight and in cold blood…..
As conflicts rage around the world and innocents suffer in the Gaza crisis, Ukraine-Russia tension continues, and sectarianism boils over in Iraq and Syria, one wonders if history is repeating itself. Just as in 1914, now a hundred years after World War I, small conflicts have the potential to boil over into something bigger. Slogans of national interest, democracy or religious utopia are being raised by different sides to mask the age old desire for domination of resources.….
The $1.2m contract secured by Washington's Levick Strategic Communications from the Jonathan's government is a freebie that can only happen in Nigeria. It's like someone walking in the door of a good salesman offering hard, cold cash to sell a product. After some briefing, the salesman and the one offering cash both know that the product is patently bad. But it matters not. The salesman or anyone for that matter would be stupid to walk away from that humongous amount of free money…..
Nauman Sadiq, New Age Islam
No informed person can deny the importance of oil for the industrial economies, but it is generally believed in the foreign policy circles that oil took the centre stage in the international politics only after the collective Arab oil embargo of 1973 when the price of oil quadrupled in a short span. It is a fact that the US got so paranoid after the Embargo that it started keeping 60 days stock of reserved fuel, just in case the Arabs do it again.....
Pakistani democracy has done things to itself which it now finds impossible to get rid of. We can take it as an axiom of ‘modern’ civilisation that the state has no business to legislate about religion. It is not for the state to say who is an infidel, who a pagan or who a righteous Muslim. And please let us not take Saudi Arabia as a model. The Saudi kingdom is unique unto itself. We can take its money and say thanks but it is not a model that any other country, while remaining sane, should care to emulate.
Concerns about the escalation of violence were reflected in the rapid decisions of Western and Asian countries to withdraw their diplomatic staff and nationals from Libya, thus prompting local observers to rule out any foreign intervention or brokerage between the conflicting parties….
It is also worrying that India’s Shia Muslim leadership, under Iran-backed cleric Maulana Kalb-e-Jawwad, is unable to grasp the threat to Indian Muslims from global Jihadism originating from Iraq and Syria. Until now, terror attacks in Jammu & Kashmir and elsewhere in India could be traced to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and other terror groups backed by it, but an era of global Jihad has stamped its footprint in India…..
The war, and our pro-Israeli stance, has cut the ground from beneath those Arabs who were our advocates. If they are to take a public position favourable to us again, we must give them something to rally around. It is equally true that the Arabs will have to respond positively. Our commitment to Israel’s existence is not negotiable. From our own point of view, the beginning of wisdom is to understand that we are in serious trouble in the Arab lands, and that we cannot just wait patiently for them to get over their anger....l
Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi
Many Arab countries have sickly, anemic political systems that are sorely in need of rehabilitation if not outright regeneration. The lackluster and often non-existent development on this front has resulted in revolutions in some countries and stifling crises in others. Leaders in these countries are simply too deluded to recognize the realities on the ground…
But let us not blame others for our plight. What were we doing for the past 40 years? Dictators held sway. They would use the security element as an excuse to increase their hold on a population that just wanted to live. The Arab people witnessed instability, suffering and oppression not only from external sources like the 2003 invasion and dismantling of Iraq but chaos and disorder was caused even from within. Added to this was a loss of dignity and morals of the Arab people. There were no role models and the absence of spiritual guidance hardened those that were once good people……
Iraq: How Did We Get Here?
Sarah Childress, Evan Wexler and Michelle Mizner
Disenfranchised Sunnis found an outlet in a militant group that had recently coalesced in the fight against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. ISIS, which had a reputation for ruthlessness, gained a rapid foothold in Iraq, capturing the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi in January, and Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, in June. The world was surprised by how quickly the Iraqi army fell to a small force of fighters. Shia militias have stepped in to fill the void, and sectarian killings are on the rise again.....