Books and Documents

Islam and Politics

A Day and Night-Mare
Uri Avnery

Right after the election Netanyahu decreed that the next government would be a narrow coalition of orthodox and rightist parties, which would be able at long last to do the things he really wants to do: put an end to this two-state nonsense, castrate the Supreme Court, muzzle the media and much more….


Turkish Islamists exploit Palestine
Abdullah Bozkurt

Turkish Islamists' latent hostility towards President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement and keen interest in exploiting public frustration over the lack of political progress and lingering humiliation of the Palestinian people, has now stirred a backlash against Turkey. Gaza-ruler Hamas is obviously favored by the Islamist leaders as Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal frequently attends private dinners at Erdoğan's house, often shows up in Ankara unannounced and has been an enthusiastic campaigner at Davutoğlu's public rallies in Turkey to garner support for the Islamists….


The Muhammad Cartoon Madness
Mustafa Akyol

I know that the issue at stake here is freedom of speech, which is a value that I also passionately defend. But freedom of speech can be combined with either respect or disrespect to people of different faiths, and the former is arguably wiser and more helpful. We live in a world where formerly isolated cultures constantly meet each other ……


Forbidden Images: The Issue Is Not What Islam Forbids but What International Secular Law Says States Should Do To Guarantee Equal Treatment to Muslims
Jytte Klausen

Writing about how this state of affairs has come about can be likened to embarking upon a hermeneutic archaeology of narratives and images. Layer upon layer of distortion must be removed before a real appreciation of the history of pictorial portrayal of Muhammad emerges. What follows is a study of how the world at-large arrived at the erroneous conclusions that ‘Muslims do not allow depictions of their Prophet’, or variations of the do-not-publish-pictures-of-Muhammad dictum.....

A Peek into What Saudi Arabia Might Have Been If King Faisal Was Still Alive
Nadeem F. Paracha

No other Saudi monarch before or after him has been able to match the kind of populist appeal and fame that Faisal finally cultivated for himself. To retain this appeal, Faisal began to fund various movements both on the left and the right. For example, he bankrolled various left-wing Palestinian outfits fighting against Israel, and on the right, bolstered radical right-wing groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood who were opposed to Nasserism and Ba’ath Socialism.....


How Non-Muslims 'Survive' in Turkey
Burak Bekdil

A non-Muslim can rise and become a darling of today's neo-Ottoman Turks. He can win hearts and minds in important offices in Ankara -- and a bright career. But to maintain his fortunes he must remain loyal to the official Islamist line, both in deed and rhetoric….

Erdogan’s Mosque-Building Frenzy
Abdullah Bozkurt

Drawing on the infamous Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia and Ayatollahs of Iran, Turkey's chief political Islamist, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his associate zealots in the government have been preoccupied with the idea of constructing mega mosques in Turkey and abroad to build influence and project a politicized religious discourse to the masses....


Muslim League’s use of the Ulema
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed

I would say that the creation of Pakistan furnished the Ulema with the opportunity to realise their political project of creating an Islamic state whereas in India the Hindutva forces have not been able to subvert the secular-democratic state the Indian Constitution prescribed and the very able leadership of the prime minister consolidated and institutionalised....

Who is Bombing Whom in the Middle East?
Robert Fisk

The Saudis are bombing Yemen because they fear the Shia Houthis are working for the Iranians. The Saudis are also bombing Isis in Iraq and the Isis in Syria. So are the United Arab Emirates. The Syrian government is bombing its enemies in Syria and the Iraqi government is also bombing its enemies in Iraq....


The issue of the Islamic State, and the young British men and women running away to join their ranks, has captured newspaper headlines across the country yet deserves a more nuanced debate than a focus on religious ideology. Libya is often cited on the news these days as the departure point for migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe....


Rule of Lawlessness Makes Arabs Rise Up
Rami G. Khouri

Our Arab societies are brittle, volatile, violent and fragmenting, in many cases because there is no effective check on the exercise of power by indigenous or external powers. This leaves your average Arab citizen totally exposed and helpless. Not surprisingly, individuals who feel they are mistreated, exploited and sometimes brutalized in their own societies, often by their own countrymen, eventually fight back to try to protect themselves and their families....


Will Gwadar Mean More Misery For Balochistan?
Ahmar Mustikhan

The reason for killing Mahmud was simple: the ISI does not want the rest of Pakistan to know the horrendous situation in the killing fields of Balochistan. It also wants to teach an unforgettable lesson to Pakistanis like Sabeen Mahmud who show the temerity to question the raison d’etre of the Deep State — the ISI, military intelligence, generals and top security related bureaucrats — for the Baloch killings....


Why is the oppression of Muslims by the Chinese government all right for us whereas a slight sense of injustice by other countries makes us boil with rage? When will we stop our double standards and act fairly? Our hypocrisy is what lands us in trouble every time......

Woman, Moment, Nation
Khaled Ahmed

The Political Odyssey of a Pakistani Woman by Syeda Abida Hussain (2015) rivets the reader with its honesty of detail. “I am a year older than Pakistan, one of midnight’s children, born to privilege and a contingent sense of entitlement,” she begins, with a pledge of cold realism that doesn’t abandon the 700-page narrative....

Don Quixote
Najam Sethi

Don Quixote
Najam Sethi

Now the “dharna” seems like an illusion of the past and Mr Sharif is firmly in the saddle. He said the Taliban were “misguided Muslims” who should be walked the talk. Now he admits they are terrorists who should be eliminated. He said intra-party elections in the PTI were unprecedentedly free and fair....


Islamic political parties constitute the most tangible institutional manifestation of diverse schools of political Islam, ranging from the most militant to the moderate. They advocate diverse and at times contradictory ideological orientations and responses to major concerns in the contemporary Islamic world with regard to social justice, human rights and the position of women and minorities....


Islamic State’s New Afghan Front
Javid Ahmad

The Islamic State’s followers are making significant inroads and steadily gaining strength in Afghanistan, as demonstrated by their recent vicious attack in Jalalabad that left 35 people dead. However, new reports have surfaced, though unproved, that the group’s emergence represents “a rebranding of marginalized Taliban” that has splintered from Taliban factions and pledged allegiance to the self-declared caliphate of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria....

Saudi-Zionist Conspiracy against Muslim Community
Falahuddin Falahi, Tr. New Age Islam

It is common knowledge that the Aal-e-Saud conspired to eliminate the Ottoman Caliphate merely on ethnic basis. It paved the way for the establishment of a Zionist government in connivance with Europeans and shot dead the soldiers of Ottoman Caliphate deployed in Kaaba and revolted against Ottoman Caliphate. The soldiers did not open fire in defense due to the respect of Kaaba and fell to the bullets of the Aal-e-Saud. Aal-e-Saud eliminated the Ottoman Caliphate and turned the land of Hijaz into Saudi Arabia.

Use of Religion in Politics
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Use of Religion in Politics
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Religion, however, was very much part of the campaign on both sides: Congress utilising its Deoband and Ahrari heavyweights to which the Muslim League responded by bringing in its own Ulema. Another significant fact that seems to have been underplayed in the book but which strikes one as significant is the fact that while Jinnah remained completely aloof from the UP election campaigns, Nehru, the socialist secularist, was directly involved with them and therefore must have sanctioned the use of Islam by his Maulanas himself....

Let Saudi Arabia Fume
Pervez Hoodbhoy

Let Saudi Arabia Fume
Pervez Hoodbhoy

Pakistanis have no desire to fight an enemy whose name (Houthis) they have heard now for the first time. Worn out by an internal Taliban insurgency that has claimed upwards of 50,000 lives, and wracked by a series of targeted assassinations and bombings of Imambargahs, the country is in no mood for a potentially disastrous overseas adventure. Parliament’s decision to stay neutral accurately captures the public mood....

Congress’ Use of the Ulema
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Congress’ Use of the Ulema
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The Congress backed Ulema, including Maulana Madni, the great proponent of composite nationalism, attacked Jinnah for being a Shia and having Ahmedis in the Muslim League. In Lucknow, Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar used the Madh-e-Sahaba to divide the Muslim vote along sectarian Shia and Sunni lines. Time and again the Congress backed ulema used the sectarian card to create dissentions between Muslims. While on the one side Congress criticised the British for using the policy of divide and rule, it used the same policy to attempt to break up the Muslim League….


The Middle East based IS has left its mark in Pakistan and Afghanistan several times in the recent past. On April 18, 33 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a terrorist attack in the Afghan city of Jalalabad, that President Ashraf Ghani said had been carried out by Islamic State militants....


Nigeria’s Election: A Triumph of Democracy
Sunil Vaswani

Nigeria needs outstanding leadership to sustain the growth in critical industries and drive efforts to effectively utilise natural and human resources. Leading the country into diversifying away from oil would be the key to success....


Ghani's Afghanistan: Policy Options for India
Shakti Sinha

Indians should reflect on GHQ’s refusal to let the Taliban and the Afghan government talk to each other even now. Mullah Baradar was just the first to be put through the grinder for trying to respond to former president Hamid Karzai's outreach. The Taliban are no doubt reliant on the Pakistani army for providing them with sanctuaries, training, arms and ammunition, but as they showed the last time around when they held power in Kabul, they did not agree to recognise the Durand Line as the international border....


Forty-four years ago, Jamaat had officially opposed the breaking up of Pakistan. Many of its leaders and members led local militias active in the brutal campaign of killing and rape against their own people. But they could not stop Bangladesh's "bloody birth"….


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  • Bediji, Words have meanings that change with the times. Martyr is from a Greek word which means both dying for a religious cause and witness. There ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • In contemporary age, Sufis have been very much a part of the discourse, politics, and practice of Islam in the modern world. Progressive....
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • حقائق کو توڑ مروڑ کے پیش کیا گیا ہے مضمون میں تعصب سے بھی کام لیا گیا ہے'
    ( By nisar )
  • My response: First of all the verse is not allegorical. It is meant to be taken literally. Otherwise, we are saying (nauzo billah) that Allah ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I am a Non-Muslim and do not understand the Quran. However, according to me, there are two types of Martyrs; one who fight for ...
    ( By Satbir Singh Bedi )
  • It is a matter of great concern if it is true that Suadi Women are being recruited or being influenced by the people with ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab, In your last comment you state: "Why is death glorified when the Quran ....
    ( By Muhammad Yunus )
  • The fact that people believe in Jinns makes me laugh.'
    ( By Satbir Singh Bedi )
  • Yunus Sb, My response is also on the dot about your logically unsupportable derivation of the meaning of Shuhuda in verse 3:140 and showing
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab, The whole discussion is about the interpretation of the verse 3:140 and I have made my position crystal clear through a
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Nice article! پورے ہندوستان سے ایک ہزار سے زائد مسلم علماء نے داعش کے خلاف مفتی منظر......
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Yunus Sb, If your definition of Shuhuda is simply "all those who bear witness", then every Muslim is a Shuhuda.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb, This is exactly why a moderator is required to take a discussion on such an important topic to a logical conclusion. You ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab! I am just copy pasting my last comment to you and my position remains unchanged and will remain unchanged if you went on ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Yunus Sb, Siraj Sb has shown that if you take the meaning of Shuhuda as martyr in 3:140, the verse becomes nonsensical. He ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Cat has been treated as innocent despite it is not Muslim. Let's meditate the Book #40, Hadith #553: Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar
    ( By zumamusa )
  • The second reason that it is wrong for Wahabi ideology in treating bankers, bond traders, office workers, fire fighters, and other Americans who perished in.... ...
    ( By zumamusa )
  • GM sb's last comment is at complete variance with his first comment in this thread.' .
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • False teaching from Wahabi ideology is proven: I have found a script that supports Wahabi ideology. The following is the extract: For jihadists there are no ...
    ( By zumamusa )
  • Powerful 'Open Letter to the Muslim World'! I think we did discuss this letter about a year ago....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! Scholarly and comprehensive. The centrality of justice in Islam is an undisputable fact.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Does Quran refers to "Shahadah, as a mere oral declaration, and regard the other four pillars - Salat (prayer), Zakat (traditionally,...
    ( By Mubashir )
  • Dear Siraj sb, Verse 3:140 is the only verse containing the word "Shuhada" that has a connection with battle. Since this is the verse that our ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I completely agree with the author as well as the commentator. The majority of us dream of a country where all have equal rights and ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Thank you Belinda!
    ( By yogi )
  • Undoubtedly a brilliant exposition of the Qur'an's take on justice. The coverage of verses is extensive and arguments compelling to...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • I am Salah Mhmd an old participant of the DY Workshop held another six years ago. I am entirely inclined to endorse the views expressed ...
    ( By Salah )
  • Why don’t they ban cow slaughter in 10 states and in north east by bringing bill in parliament....
    ( By Varsha Sharma )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab. I think God must have decided whether those slain at Uhud were MARTYRS as I am consistently and un-waveringly arguing or merely ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Siraj, Why do you make me repeat what I already wrote, copy pasted below: My translation of the verse 3:140 as noted in ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear M. Observor, Thanks for your comment.. I just quoted the Qur'anic verse and it is for the Muslims to take it the way way ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Should Muslims disassociate themselves from Salafi, Wahhabi ideologies of permanent war with non-Muslims and moderate Muslims? Let's meditate سورة المائدة, Al-Maaida
    ( By zumamusa )
  • Thee fact that such obscurantist subjects as Jinns and black magic elicited such wide spread interest in one of Pakistan's largest ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I can't believe that in this day and age we are having a lengthy discussion on who were the real shahids, who went to Heaven ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Yunus Saheb, I put in your words only. You said that the slain
    ( By siraj )
  • Dear Yunus Sb, I think I have made it absolutely clear that the Quran does not link shuhuda with getting slain in war at all. The ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab, The crux of your last detailed remark is: "It is our youth seeking “shahadat” and taking to terrorism
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Siraj, Please do not play with the words of Qur'an if you are a Muslim and not a non-Muslim who has entered this site to ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Logical question Mubashir. In fact full face covering is Gods humiliating punishment for evil doers: 10-27, …ignominy....
    ( By rs )
  • Is other relegious minority has left out in many numbers in Pakistan, well pakistani do not need any co-existence with other faiths whatever ....
    ( By Aayina )