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Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

The Rohingya – the World’s Most Persecuted Religious Minority on My Mind
Aijaz Zaka Syed

With our indifference and inaction, we are not only betraying Myanmar’s Muslims but we may also be paving the way for more such tragedies around the world. If we do not act and soon, there will be a catastrophic price to pay. That is the message from the Haram....

 

Myanmar’s Unpeople: Suu Kyi Is Not the Only Leader Who Can Be Accused of Hypocrisy
Mahir Ali

Given that she eventually entered into a power-sharing arrangement with the military, which continues to exercise considerable control, not least in matters related to ‘security’, speaking up for the human rights of the Rohingya would in all likelihood have made precious little difference on the ground. That is, of course, an inadequate excuse for not speaking up. ....

 

Myanmar Treatment of Rohingya Looks Like 'Textbook Ethnic Cleansing', Says UN
Michael Safi

Myanmar’s treatment of its Muslim Rohingya minority appears to be a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing, the top United Nations human rights official has said. In an address to the UN human rights council in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein denounced the “brutal security operation” against the Rohingya in Rakhine state, which he said was “clearly disproportionate” to insurgent attacks carried out last month....

 

Personal law is not person al at all; arguably, it is not even law. It bestows rights to a community but its members can exercise that right only individually. It is inherent in India's circumstances that it pits the Hindu majority against the Muslim minority. Few care to recognize that the crux of the matter is gender inequality across the board. Instead, the conflict features two sets of men, each of whom claims to speak for women but uses that as a pretext for inter-community fear-mongering and contestations.

 

Are We Really Prepared For A Uniform Civil Code?
Faizan Mustafa

It is an erroneous perception that we have different personal laws because of religious diversity. As a matter of fact, law may differ from state to state. It appears that the framers of the Constitution did not intend total uniformity in the sense of one law for the whole country, because the power to legislate in respect of personal laws has been given to both Parliament as well as state assemblies. ...

 

One Nation One Code: The four-part series on Constituent Assembly debates on the Uniform Civil Code

How Ambedkar and others pushed for a uniform code before Partition

How the clause on a Uniform Civil Code was rendered toothless

Uniform code will hurt harmony, minorities argued to make a case for

How Muslim fears were allayed, and the UCC became a directive

principle

True secularism demands a Uniform Civil Code

Compiled by New Age Edit Bureau

 

The future of Islamism: Can political Islam make it in the modern world?
The Economist

As with Islamism’s downfall in Egypt, its happier progress in Tunisia is, in large part, a matter of context. Unlike Egypt and Turkey, Tunisia does not have a strong and politicised army. And whereas the state’s repression in Egypt before the revolution seemed to harden the Brotherhood, in Tunisia it led Ennahda members, who shared prison cells with other opposition leaders, to adopt a more liberal worldview. The unique challenges faced in each country undoubtedly shaped their development. So Mr Ghannouchi says he has no desire to export the Ennahda model, seeing it as derived from the Tunisian context. “But if others find that they can benefit from our experience, that would make us happy.”

Iran Is Sending a Dangerous Message to the World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Russia, Turkey and Qatar are leaning further toward Iran. Moscow has intensified its intervention in Syria. Regional conflicts have helped Tehran create proxies and Shiite militias in several Arab countries. Europe appears more focused on striking business deals with Iran than on its militaristic policies and human rights violations. All these factors have empowered and emboldened Tehran.

Autumn of Iraq’s Bleeding Map
Ghassan Charbel

Seeing Iraq’s Kurds opt for independence would be a resounding event. Change is very dangerous in a region with fragile maps. Coexistence in the terrible Middle East is not in its best days. Velvet divorce similar to that of Czechoslovakia is not an option. Our culture does not produce velvet. The picture is really vague. But it is certain that the autumn has invaded the Iraqi map, and the country will not be the same after this fall season.

 

Dear Muslim, Have You Learnt To Live With Insults And Prejudice?
Aakar Patel

What’s it like to hear casual bigotry (references to ‘mossies’, ‘terrorists’) in the office, at the parties, and to overhear such things in public places? Did you once feel like punching people in the mouth (I would have) and have you stopped feeling it now? How? When our great leader separates Muslims from other Indians because of their faith (as he did so brutally the gentle Hamid Ansari), do you feel less Indian? Actually, wrong question. What I am searching for is more likely this: do you feel pushed away from all of us, and your country, or just the man who said those words? I hope it’s the latter.....

The Terror Next Time: The Daesh Story Is Not Ending
Ramzy Baroud

Strangely, the ‘US-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIS’ seems to have access to the firepower needed to turn cities into rubble, but not the wisdom to understand that unchecked violence inspires nothing but violence; and that state terror, foreign interventions and collective humiliation of entire nations are all the necessary ingredients to restart the bloodbath all over again....

 

White Supremacism in Israel
Rima Najjar

 Recent survey has found that nearly half of Israeli Jews believe in ethnic cleansing. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin reportedly called the findings a ‘wake-up call for Israeli society’. But what is it that these people should wake up to? The Jewish state was founded on ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs and defends its “existence” by continuing to ethnic cleanse Palestinians. That’s what they should wake up to — the end of Israel as a Jewish state....

The Battle for Al-Aqsa 'Has Just Started'
Linah Alsaafin and Budour Hassan

The Battle for Al-Aqsa 'Has Just Started'
Linah Alsaafin

The importance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and its status among Palestinians stretches beyond being a place of worship into a communal space. "Al-Aqsa is like our own home and our sole breathing space," Zahra Qaws, a nurse and resident of the Afro-Palestinian community inside Jerusalem's Old City, told Al Jazeera.  "We don't just pray there," Qaws said. "We gather there, we rest and relax there, and our kids also play there. Separating us from al-Aqsa is like stripping us of our lungs."....

 

Only Palestinians Can Change Their Reality
Amira Hass

Even if the Palestinians had a single, united, respected leadership that had a reputation for integrity, and even if its members excelled intellectually, were committed to their people and strategically capable, it would have been difficult for it to challenge the dispossessive/acquisitive enterprise that Israel keeps strengthening and enhancing. Difficult, but possible.....

 

In Search of a Muslim Identity between the Two Extremes of Secularism and Religious Law
G. Amogha Rao

The parallel system would prefer that all Muslims be subject to their legal philosophy but the State emphasizes the requirement of “consent”. The State also attempts to remedy the multiple failings of the parallel system, as seen in the Imrana, Asoobi and Jatsonara cases. In the whole process of locating identity, the Indian Muslim is offered a hybrid judicial system that is a product of a conflict of legal philosophy. The coexistence of these two systems is neither efficient nor sustainable but it serves the dual purposes of maintaining secular status and assuring the Muslims of the protection of their legal philosophy.....

 

Back to Nation-Building in Afghanistan, Good
Max Boot

This is an overdue recognition that an unseemly rush to the exits and an over eagerness for peace talks defeat the United States’ objectives in Afghanistan by convincing the Taliban that we lack the will to prevail and will soon be gone. But on a deeper level, there was far more continuity than change — not least in Mr. Trump’s denial that he is engaged in nation-building when he is doing precisely that....

 

Israel’s Deafening Silence over Charlottesville
Akiva Eldar

When terror strikes in Trump’s country and the assailants are not called Mohammed or Ahmed, Netanyahu does not dare draw the Holocaust weapon from his arsenal. The only reference by the Netanyahu family to Trump’s outrageous equivalency between the neo-Nazis and their opponents came from his son Yair....

 

Patriotism Does Not Need ‘Song’ Test
SS Dhawan

However, the onus for integration — through economic linkages and by creating an all-inclusive education stream — is as much on the majority community as on the minority. A multi-cultural society like ours must make an allowance for the fact that even as we live in the same nation, we often cohabit parallel realities. There is no clash of civilisations here: it is just spurious nationalism that keeps intruding into our lives from nowhere....

 

India’s Muslims and the Price of Partition
Ajaz Ashraf

For India’s Muslims, their recompense is that their status is better than that of Hindus and Christians in Pakistan and Bangladesh. That is no consolation for Muslims whose ancestors did not succumb to the Muslim League’s fears and fantasies, which seem to be slowly spinning their way into the orbit of Indian reality....

Dispelling Nostalgic Nationalist Myths
Nyla Ali Khan

Nationalist discourse creates the dichotomy of the inner/outer in order to make the sanctity of the inviolable inner domain look traditional. Nationalist writers assert that as long as the inner or spiritual distinctiveness of the culture is retained, a postcolonial nation can make the required adjustments to cope with a modern material world without losing its essential identity. The result, however, is not the orderly process of modernization but rather the continued immiseration of women....

 

The Israel Lobby vs the First Amendment
Ramzy Baroud

To ensure that ordinary Americans never understand that reality is entirely different from what the media reports, the Palestinian voice is habitually muffled and the Palestinian intellectual is hidden from view. For many years, the "debate" has rarely focused on Palestinian rights, but has been a one-sided Israeli diatribe about its security, future and its twisted, convenient and ever-flexible definition of anti-Semitism.....

 

Religion Is an Inner State
Amin Valliani

At times, the so-called religious leaders and scholars empowered the states, rulers, warriors and politicians etc to carry on with their brutalities while the true leaders who abstained were treated badly. For example, in the last stages of Umayyad rule, Ibn Habaireh, the governor of Iraq, offered Imam Abu Hanifa the office of chief justice which he declined. On his refusal, he was subjected to ill treatment....

Saudi Arabia and Israel Are Best Buddies
Dr Ludwig Watzal

Perhaps US President Donald Trump is that stupid to walk into this Israeli-Saudi trap. The US has already paid a high price for its illegal attacks across the Middle East. Why should the American people take the bullet for these two rogue regimes? When Saudi Arabia and Israel want to attack Iran, the tens of thousands of their decadent princes should fight together with the Israeli army. So far, Saudi Arabia was unable to defeat a bunch of Houthi tribesmen in Yemen....

 

Reducing Middle East to a Videogame
Aijaz Zaka Syed

 Land Warrior, for instance, creates a scenario in which Arabs from several countries have banded together into a terrorist organization to destroy the US and the West (Al-Qaeda? Daesh?) Full Spectrum Warrior is set in a fictional country called Tazikhstan that is a “haven for terrorists and extremists.”....

 

Was Jinnah’s August 11 Speech Just ‘Ceremonial’?
Zulfiquar Rao

In his speech he assured the citizens of the new country saying, “You are free, you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or cast or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State... ..

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  • Maybe a passage from Towards Understanding Quran, Tafheemul Quran will help: فَاَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُوۡرَهَا ....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
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