Islam and Politics
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Let us even accept — for the sake of argument though it is extremely hard for any reasonable and sane person to do so — that the Ordinance XX of 1984 is not a bad law and that Ahmedis should not be allowed to call themselves Muslims and their places of worship mosques. However, stopping them from reading the Quran? Forget that it is part of their religious belief and forget that their modes of worship like any citizen of Pakistan are protected acts under the constitution of Pakistan. Are we saying that the Holy Quran, which calls its author, i.e. God, the ‘Rab-al-Alameen’ or Lord of all the worlds, is limited to Muslims?....
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam
For nearly a decade, Muslims have hoisted Turkey as an illustration of Islam’s compatibility with modern liberalism. Never mind anachronistic Saudi Arabia, we said. Forget volatile if syncretic Indonesia too. It was Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey that exemplified Islam’s liberal credentials: peaceful and democratic even as it veered away from a century of coercive secularism….
For over a decade US-based Hindu American Foundation has attempted to cultivate a soft, pro human rights, pluralist public image. The controversial ascendance of Narendra Modi, and America's growing awareness of extremist and divisive ideologies that seek to stifle religious freedom , has forced HAF to reveal its true identity as the US arm of the sectarian Hindu supremacist movement, known in India and across the world as Hindutva (which is different from Hinduism)….
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
To truly comprehend anything and to form a correct opinion about it, one needs a proper mindset. If that is absent, then, no matter how obvious a thing may be, one will fail to understand it properly….
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
This man claimed that if the history of the earlier prophets had been carefully protected, it would have been possible to highlight ‘all the details of their Government’; in just the same way as one can with regard to the polity that the Prophet Muhammad established in Madina. In other words, he suggested that even though the Quran does not explicitly mention the establishment of Divine Government by earlier prophets, and this remains unknown to History so far, it must be accepted as an actual fact simply because this man’s conception of the Deen suggested to him that this must certainly have been the case!....
Where does Bangladesh stand at the age of 42? In the month of victory, this year, everyday is marked by strike, blockade, Hartal, killing, burning cars, buses and people…..
The intellectual dishonesty of Israel’s supporters is appalling. But in some odd way, it is also understandable. How else could they respond to the massively growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign? When a non-violent campaign - empowered by thousands of committed civil society activists from South Africa to Sweden and most countries in between - leads a moral campaign to isolate and hold into account an Apartheid country like Israel, all that the supporters of the latter can do is spread lies and misinformation…..
The Turkish government is in full-blown denial about secularism and religious freedom, as evidenced by PM Erdogan’s preposterous claim two years ago that “Turkey is a secular state where all religions are equal.” If Turkey is ever to be secular, it must allow the free exercise of all religions – including Islam…..
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The nature of the fundamental mistake in Maulana Maududi’s interpretation of Islam is not of the same as sidelining an aspect of the Deen (as for instance, denying the practice or Sunnat of the Prophet) or adding a new aspect to the Deen (such as a new claimant to prophethood). Rather, the Maulana’s real error is that he had transformed the philosophy of the Deen. This is the root of all the other mistakes that he made. If someone believes that the fundamental purpose of life is to earn money, he will not deny the salience of other basic human needs and related matters....
In Pakistan Maududi started a campaign against the Ahmadiyya community, resulting in the bloody Lahore riots of 1953. To control the riot there was a selective declaration of Martial Law in Lahore. Maududi was arrested by the military headed by Lt. General Azam Khan and in the military court Maududi was sentenced to death for instigating that riot. But the death sentence was changed to life imprisonment by presidential pardon. ……
All that we hear about this country is underwritten by violence: between Shias and Sunnis, Deobandis and Barelvis, Muhajirs and so called ‘original’ Pakistanis. Of late, visible violence against women has increased and so has the attacks against religious minorities like Christians. So it was refreshing to read that Bilawal Bhutto plans to organize Basant festival in Sindh…..
For the benefit of foreign visitors, the army has patched up many shell holes in the walls of Dacca University, where hundreds of students were killed. But many signs remain. The tank-blasted Rajarbagh Police Barracks, where nearly 1,000 surrounded Bengali cops fought to the last, is still in ruins……
During the early days of Islamic scholarship, thinkers and philosophers were persecuted in the struggles for dominance between contending schools of thought, and in the 12th century when Bakhtiyar Khilji was conquering the Ganges delta, thousands of Buddhist intellectuals and monks from the nearby Nalanda University were put to death. When Mongol hordes invaded Iraq, the famous Bait-al-Hikmah, or House of Wisdom, was specifically targeted, as it represented the intellectual prowess of civilisations they were determined to destroy......
likely continue its confrontational policy towards India and Afghanistan, thus
further dissipating its capital of goodwill in the international community.
Such goodwill, if any exists, is already at a very low ebb. Pakistan is likely
to invite international sanctions in the future if it continues with its
present policy towards Afghanistan, which might further accelerate its descent
it into anarchy. The issue of nuclear proliferation can once again surface, and
Pakistan may be asked very hard and uncomfortable questions.....
When I first
heard Kakon Bibi’s name I was both astonished and overjoyed. With Kakon Bibi’s
name, I came to know that there ARE non-Bangali freedom fighters. I was
puzzled. “So, we fought too! But, why weren’t they mentioned in one single book
in school?” Freedom fighter Kakat Heinchita, widely known as Kakon Bibi, and
locally known as Khasi Mukti Bekti (the freedom girl of Khasi), is a member of
the Khasi community and lives in Sunamganj, Sylhet. She lost her husband and
many other family members during the Liberation War. In an interview with
photographer Elizabeth Herman, she said: “I have lived with wounds in both of
my legs for my whole life. .......
Literature for the Sudhakar group was a means of infusing a sense of confidence in the Muslim society of Bengal about the inherent strength of Islam, enlightening the Bengali Muslims about the great contributions that Islam has made in the development of human civilisation and inspiring them to create their own literature in their own mother tongue — Bangla. In order to achieve their cherished objectives, members and sympathisers of the Shudhakar group not only projected in their literary works the great contributions of the Muslim thinkers in the progress of human civilisation, but also made intellectual efforts to refute the demeaning propaganda against Islam and its followers by the rival religious communities of Bengal, such as the Christian missionaries and the orthodox Hindu revivalists..’...
On a recent visit to Dhaka, Syed Haider Farooq Maududi, son of Jamaat-e-Islami founder Maulana Maududi, argued that a democratic state should stay away from religion, observing that “religion is for the people and people are not for religion”. Arguing that religion should stay within the personal life of individuals, he said: “The holy Quran does not talk about politics; it rather talks for the person so that one can become better. Political interpretation of religion always brings destruction in the society.…….
Had he not been murdered, who is to say that Mujib could not have lived up to his visions of a Sonar Bangla that strived to be the Switzerland of Asia? It is true that Mandela is singled out for celebration because he defied the trend of post independence disillusionment seen throughout the South after decolonisation. But Mujib’s vision was a worthy one. However far from it he was when his life was cut short, might he too not have stepped down from power after being out of prison for nine years?....
These insightful studies clearly indicate that secularisation processes are complicated, fluid and multidirectional, thus obviating the clear demarcation emphasised by theories of secularism between religion, politics, culture, modernity and tradition. One may therefore conclude that theories of secularism need to be nuanced further by focusing on various societal processes. There is a need to comprehend religion not as a “given” “static” category, but as a lived reality that interweaves with many other socio-cultural factors to shape the socio-political responses of people....
“A dark time eventually comes to an end.” “Headscarf-wearing women are full members of the republic, as well as those who do not wear it,” he added. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkish army officer who founded the Turkish Republic, had established a republic based on nationalism and secularism, erasing any religious or political symbols representing the era of the Ottoman Empire to westernize the Turkish society, but is that called extremist secularism?...
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
"This essay is a summary of my book Ta‘abir ki Ghalati (‘Error of Interpretation’). Here, I have tried to briefly clarify why I think that the writings of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi (d. 1979), the founder of the Jama‘at-e Islami and proponent of a distinctly political interpretation of Islam, are problematic."…..
..... if Islam is rescued from the hands of its professional exploiters, if religion is taken out of the business of the state and becomes a matter between an individual and his Creator, maybe the strife tearing our society apart is reduced, and we move closer to the true spirit of Islam......
That the Middle East’s two Islamic “superpowers” are competitors for the religious leadership of the Muslim world is well recognized. Saudi Arabia, a key Arab state, contains both Mecca and Medina within its borders and is the guardian of the Sunni tradition of Islam. Its lack of affinity with Iran is acute. The Islamic Republic of Iran is not an Arab but a Persian state, its native language is not Arabic but Farsi, and it proclaims itself the custodian of the Shi’ite branch of Islam……
"When, on occasions, a person shows their intolerance of another individual, whether by aggression or violence and in such a way as to cause real fear to the individual, then the law can be invoked to protect that individual."
In this phase of the history of the development of Bangla prose appeared Ishwar Chandra Sharma, popularly known as Vidyasagar, the ocean of knowledge, with his multi-dimensional social and intellectual commitments. The most principled reformist among the English-educated Hindus of his time, Ishwar Chandra was a middle-roader, with the radical Young Bengal group on the one side and the orthodox Hindu elite on the other.....