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Islam and Politics

Islam’s Struggle for Space
Abukar Arman

Contrary to common misconception, Muslims are neither homogeneous nor are their interpretation and implementation of the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad monolithic. Aside from the belief in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, there isn’t a whole lot that Muslims are united on. And such seemingly extraordinary reality is profoundly consistent with the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad which proclaimed that Muslims would, in due course, have more denominations than Jews and Christians….

God Save the Queen?
Abdul Majeed Abid

Sir Syed earned his ‘ropes’ during the mutiny of 1857, Iqbal wrote eulogies for the Queen and British officials deputed to India and the All India Muslim League sided with the British during the Second World War while the Congress was openly opposing involvement of Indian troops in the war. Even the Khilafat Movement indirectly helped the British case against Mustafa Kemal Ataturk after the First World War. What needs to be taught to younger generations and discussed with general public are the indigenous anti-colonial movements emanating from Indian Subcontinent in the twentieth century…..

 

Love Thy Neighbour:  Global Politics Does Not Have To Be Based On Ruthlessness and Self-Interest
Harun Yahya

“Allah has made us neighbours. That is a ‘sign,’ Mr. Prime Minister ... had we not squabbled among ourselves; imagine what our peoples could have achieved… Had we lived in peace and friendship, we could have made our countries heavens on earth...” “...Let us come to an agreement on all matters. Please understand that we wish to be your friend and partner, not enemies as we have been for the past 100 years. Imagine what we could do together…

 

Recognition of the State of Palestine is a Must
Samar Fatany

Over the years in a very calculating and insidious manner, Israel has attempted to change the demographic landscape of Jerusalem and is blatantly depriving Palestinians of their religious rites by preventing them from praying in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The rights of Palestinian refugees should be reviewed and those ejected since 1967 should be allowed to return. Palestinians have a right to their land, even though Israel to this day refuses to define its borders and continues its illegal settlements. What Europe and the rest of the world should now do is see to it that UN Resolutions 242 and 338 are implemented....

 

Qanta Ahmed's Message and Mission
Ida Lichter, M.D

While Islamists might wish for a viewpoint such as hers to be marginalised or ridiculed, she has persevered in striving to explain these differences. As a campaigner for peace and pluralism, Ahmed is dismayed by the toxic lure of an Islamist doctrine that is supremacist, separatist, and hostile to secular Western values, and she calls for an urgent review of this ideology….

Israel, In a Perpetual Fit of Panic
Diana Moukalled

About a decade ago, the well-known Israeli novelist David Grossman described Israeli society as being in a perpetual fit of panic. Behind all of the manifestations of oppression and force Israel is employing against the Palestinians—from evictions and killings to arrests—it appears that the policy of justifying such practices under the pretext of the fear of another Holocaust has created a panicky Israeli state that is reproducing the past by excessively repeating some of the practices of the Nazis…..

 

Thus, dear brother, hold Islam responsible for the annulment, by the West, of the election which could have brought the Islamic Salvation Front (ISF) into power in the 1990s. In line with Dr Cole’s argument, hold Islam responsible for the implantation of the state of Israel on the earth land of Palestine since 1948. Hold Islam responsible for the collusion between the Egyptian military and Western powers which eventually led to the removal of ‘democratically elected government of Muhammad Morsi in 2012. Hold Islam responsible for the unceasing crisis we witness in Gaza where the Palestinians are living under constant occupation. Dr Cole is right. Islam is responsible for encouraging the oppressed people of Syria to rise up and take up arms against an oppressor and a liquidator…..

 

An Open Letter to Tarek Fatah: Can You Sit This One Out?
Amarnath Amarasingam

I'm accustomed to your posts, usually calling this or that individual an Islamist or attaching the Muslim Brotherhood label to some harmless and well-meaning Muslim organization in Canada. Then there are the occasional bizarre posts -- a cell-phone photo taken in secret at a café of a woman in a Hijab who is showing "a little too much butt crack" -- followed by your meandering thoughts about her hypocritical nature. As Canada's very own fake-outrage machine, most of us ignore your statements or shake our heads at them in disgust…..

Because of the centrality and unprecedented nature of some epochal events he wrought, there is no treatment of the life of the Holy Prophet [SAW] - popular, scholarly or even in an Oriental deprecatory diatribe -that could possibly have glossed over the closeness and affection between him and Bilal, his black Companion and muezzin; or the gender revolution he initiated which, in its essence, has still not been caught up with by the West. And within an oppressiveness that is inevitable in the world's universal patriarchy, the modern Western woman is not in any way free or more liberated than the Muslim woman - she is just richer, insecure - and more naked……

 

Some are mourning the death of democracy. When did you last spot that thing called democracy cruising the streets of Dhaka? Before democracy can die, it must first be born, so I shed no tears for the death of something that never truly existed. A free and fair election where the contest is between two dynasties with near identical economic policies is no choice at all. To paraphrase Karl Marx, the tragedies of 1971 is returning as farce as political parties trade insults on which leader was supposed to be working for Pakistani imperialism. Leave them be! Move on!....

 

The pro-Tobruk air force bombed Libyan Dawn sites in Zuwarah, Abu Kamesh and Tripoli’s Qasr bin Ghashir. Air strikes also targeted a warehouse and a factory in Zwara which is located west of the Tripoli. The targeting of the area West of Tripoli is critical for degrading Libya Dawn’s capabilities. Simultaneously, Italy and France are supplying intelligence to Haftar and his forces and Italy itself is supplying his forces with weapons and ammunition…..

 

Separate State and Religion
Sahin Alpay

Turkey needs to face the fact that experience gained over the course of almost a century has shown that the marriage of state and religion is detrimental to both. If Turkey is to ever consolidate a liberal and pluralist kind of democracy, state and religion need to be separated, and freedom for believers and nonbelievers alike has to be secured…..

 

An Open Letter to Bill Maher: Expose the Muslims Who Destroy Lives, and Who Wreak Havoc But I Caution You on the Anti-Islam Rhetoric
Rabia Chaudry

You have a massive following and are successfully leading a movement to demonize Islam in the liberal left, a place many American Muslims call home. You are leading people into rocks and hard places when you posit that Islam is the problem. You are putting Muslims up against a wall and pushing those who fear us further into spaces where little choice is left......

How ISIS Drives Muslims from Islam
Thomas L. Friedman

ISIS, by claiming to speak for all Muslims — and by promoting a puritanical form of Islam that takes present-day, Saudi-funded, madrasa indoctrination to its logical political conclusion — has blown the lid off some long simmering frustrations in the Arab Muslim world......

The Illusion of Spring
Khaled Ahmed

Why were the Arabs supposed to achieve enlightenment when some non-Arab predecessors had already messed up their springs? Iran got rid of monarchy and embraced democracy in the 1980s. Today, it stones women to death and jails them for watching men’s soccer. The shah ruled forever and looks good in retrospect; Iran now has regular elections but looks medieval. Pakistan first slipped into military dictatorship but now has democracy, where the blasphemy law is employed to hunt down Christians and forcible conversions are making Hindus run away……

 

Turkish Hospitality for Arab Terrorism
Burak Bekdil

Most Western observers tend to explain Erdogan's love affair with Hamas with realpolitik and pragmatism – that Turkey has sought regional clout among Arab nations by setting out to become the powerful defender of the "Palestinian cause." This author thinks that there is also "a story of indoctrination" behind the love affair......

 

A wide spectrum of factors acted in conjunction to bring about this decline of Islamist power in Tunisia. The symptoms of crisis were there. The winds of change were blowing across the country. But none of the Islamists, Ennahda leadership included, expected the radical departure taken by the Arab Spring. After decades of oppression, Ennahda was elected to office having won the confidence of the people. It was the first time in the history of Tunisia that Islamists came to power….

 

The Outer Edges of Islam: Wahhabism targets Muslims, not non-Muslims; fundamentalists are offended by modernity but welcome modern technology
Amir Hussain

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has continued the work that Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab began centuries earlier. They have destroyed religious sites around Mecca and Medina, serving as the role model for ISIS in its destruction of Shi‘a sites and Sunni shrines in Syria and Iraq. Watching Muslims destroy the religious and cultural heritage that other Muslims left for the world is particularly painful, and yet another facet of Muslim-on-Muslim violence……

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws Legitimise Intolerance

The country’s clerics are united in defending the existing laws. The most vociferous opponents of reform are not the Saudi-style extremists empowered during the Zia era, but Barelvis, a school of Islam that some once looked to as a moderate bulwark against extremism. Unsurprisingly, many conclude they can cry blasphemy with impunity…..

Saudi Arabia is playing politics with oil, forcing OPEC to maintain its current production levels at 30m barrels per day, to force down the price. Consequently oil prices have fallen 35% in 2014, tipping under the $70 mark for the first time since May 2010. The question is why the Saudis would risk the goodwill of other OPEC members, simultaneously emasculating the organisation and undercutting their ability to use it in the future to serve their interests……

 

No Secularism or Democracy without Religious Freedom
Sahin Alpay

Whatever be the reasons for the dominance of the AKP in Turkish politics today, the fact remains that the country is confronted with the most authoritarian civilian government ever. What is more worrying are the recent signs that the AKP government, faced with grave corruption allegations, is now trying to build a political alliance with the Kemalist military to fortify its power…..

 

Islam and the Constitution: ‘Islamic’ Constitutions Often Grant Just As Many Rights As Secular Countries: Implementation Is The Problem
Rafia Zakaria

While gender parity, political stability and democracy were found to be wanting in countries that ranked high in the Islamic Constitutions Index, it was also found that this was not so because the countries did not provide their citizens with rights in their constitutions. In fact, most of the countries were found to be granting just as many rights as secular countries, suggesting then that it is the implementation of rights, and the development of mechanisms that actually facilitate governance that may be lacking in these constitutions….

Why the Islamic State Failed in Myanmar?
Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Many madrasas in Indonesia, Malaysia and southern Thailand also function as media for the dissemination of jihadist ideology. In Myanmar, the presence of such madrasas preaching radicalised interpretations of Islam are only restricted to the northern areas of the Arakan province; and here too, the numbers are trivial. Thus, it appears that Myanmar so far lacks the necessary apparatus key to create a conducive environment for the growth and grip of radical Islam – which also explains the limited influence, the IS’s propaganda for ‘global jihad’ has had on Myanmarese Muslims......

 

Addressing last week’s Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) annual gathering in Lahore, former JI Ameer Munawwar Hasan said that it was beyond the system based on elections to overcome the challenges being faced by Pakistan. “The problems of the society… can only be resolved through adopting and promoting the culture of jihad and Qatal in the country. We need to wage jihad in the way of Almighty Allah along with democratic struggle to eliminate oppression and injustice from society.” Does Munawwar Hasan know the implications of his views?....

 
The Battle for Islam
Soumaya Ghannoushi

The Battle for Islam
Soumaya Ghannoushi

With over 1.6 billion followers, one third of them living as minorities, Islam is a major force in the world today. An active factor in international relations, its influence is far from local or confined to countries and communities classified as "Muslim." With the presence of Muslims in Western capitals and the rapid diffusion of mass-communication media, Islam has become a globalized subject, albeit one largely viewed through the prism of security and intelligence. Amidst the rise of al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, it has become increasingly perceived in Europe and the U.S. as a generator of crises and a threat to global stability and security…..

 
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