Books and Documents
The War Within Islam

Though Islam had its genesis in Arabian Peninsula, it was the Persians, Turks and Kurds—all non-Arabs, that extended its spread and development resulting in a vast political territory stretching from the Iberian peninsula to the Hindukush and Gangetic valley. In India, Islam entered after three hundred years of the demise of the Prophet, after being enriched for two hundred years in the most civilized and culturally sophisticated land called Persia....

Bangladesh’s Long Twilight Struggle It cannot Afford to Lose
Syed Badrul Ahsan

It is an unhappy Bangladesh its people inhabit today. Secular Muslims, and they are by far the majority in the country, have nevertheless been unable to put up a decisive response to the sinister doings of the bigots and their friends, such as those in the BNP. It is once more a twilight struggle for Bangladesh’s citizens, against the forces of medieval darkness, one they cannot afford to lose….


Pakistan: The Story of a Nightmare
Kamila Hyat

What we need to admit, openly and loudly, is that we are living today in a nightmare; an especially macabre, terrifying nightmare from which we cannot wake up. The nightmare is our reality. There is no way of shaking it off or sitting up to sip some cold water, knowing it will then go away. It is here to stay. We have waited too long. The question now is whether the nightmare can be swept away. The dream of course will be even harder to reconstruct.....


General Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan’s Prodigal General
Najeeb Jung

Weaponisation, sectarian brutalisation and a completely non- secular sectarian approach were his legacy to the people of Pakistan. This policy of Islamisation not only crept into the military but gradually helped Islamic parties and Jihadi groups gain considerable power and weaken the state. Gen Musharraf, for all his plain talk positioning himself as a soldier of modern secular governance....

Civil-Military paralysis
Najam Sethi

Balochistan has been laid low by insurgency and sectarian terrorism. The military is using a combination of Frontier Corps, ISI, MI and "pro-Pakistan" Tribal Lashkars to combat militant Baloch nationalism. This is the source of hundreds of "missing or dead persons" in the province. But the military refuses to put the same force-combination to use against sectarian terrorists. This leads to the suspicion that the military is not acting against the sectarian terrorists because they are also being used by the military against the Baloch nationalists. Certainly, this is a common refrain in Balochistan. Meanwhile, the provincial civilian leadership is paralysed. It is averse to stepping on the toes of the military's counter-insurgency and national security policy in the area no less than admitting "democratic" failure by handing over the province to the army under Article 245...


Consent and Coercion in ‘Takfiristan’
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Something along the lines of Nazi Germany seems underway in Pakistan where the consensus — the APC after all included all major political parties — is to treat the Takfiri barbarians with kid gloves as they massacre what are becoming the Jews and gypsies of Pakistan, i.e. the Barelvis, Shiites, Ahmedis, Christians and Hindus....


Can The Pakistan Army Stop Communalists And Extremists?
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

Can the law enforcing agencies who work under the officials arrest any killer or the lower courts who are weaker than those officials give punishment to those killers in view of their own security when the home minister of Pakistan provides arms license and financial assistance to the leaders of the Jihadi organisations through his closest relative and the chief minister of the largest province of the country and the law minister of his cabinet makes arrangements for all the facilities and payments worth lakhs of rupees to the killers of the minorities in Pakistan?...

Pakistan Losing both War and Peace
Zafar Hilaly

That is not to say that the military does not believe in dialogue, agreement, reaching a consensus, convincing opponents and not crushing them. Needless to say, we make peace usually with unsavoury enemies – not with friends – but surely never with those who believe that the slaughter of innocent women and children actually brings them closer to God. For them there can be no mercy and with them no peace.....

Shias and Sunnis Continue To Fight over Whose Version Is the True Islam
Irfan Husain

Other religions have gone through periods of sectarian violence: witness the bloody religious wars that Catholics and Protestants fought in Europe. But while these tensions have mostly died down with the slaking of religious passions among most Christians, Muslims continue to fight over whose version is the true Islam. Indeed, much of Islamic history is written in the bloodshed either over succession, or in sectarian wars....

Killing and Slaughtering Human Beings In The Name Of God Is the Order Of The Day
Dr Irfan Zafar

Was our Holy Prophet (pbuh) a Shia or a Sunni? Or was he Deobandi or Wahabi? Did he belong to any sect? If the answers to all these is in negative, then why can’t we rise above religious divides and simply call ourselves “Muslims”, the way it should be according to the injunctions of the Holy Quran. Killing and slaughtering human beings in the name of God is the order of the day...

Dancing with the Taliban
Halima Mansoor

The way things are going, the day will come when the likes of the TTP, LeJ will be our ‘lawmakers’ and their narrow interpretation of ‘Muslim’ will be enshrined in the Shariah. How will our state heads and party leaders make ‘brave’ statements against the murder of the Hazaras or blowing up girls’ schools when their ‘this-is-against-Islam’ leg would have been amputated?...


Sufi Islam Has Given Way to Wahabi Bigotry Allowing Obscurantism to Prosper
Saad Hafiz

If Pakistan continues on its present suicidal path, there will be no escape from a downward spiral of hate and spite, rage and self-pity, poverty and oppression, culminating sooner or later in the country’s disintegration. But even today, despite the murder and mayhem, not all in Pakistan seem convinced that confronting the jihadist movement is an urgent need for Pakistan’s survival as a democratic country....


Arab Citizens Are Challenging the Very Legitimacy of the Autocratic Ruling Authorities
Rami G. Khouri

.....Arab world had used for decades to maintain docile populations in corrupted, mismanaged and under-achieving states. More significantly, it now seems, more and more Arab citizens are challenging the very legitimacy of the autocratic ruling authorities, and in fact going a step further and claiming that true sovereignty rests in the hands of the citizens....

Bangladesh: A Son, a Father . . . And the Jamaat
Syed Badrul Ahsan

Sayyid Abul A'ala Maududi, the founder of the organisation, was dismissive of the idea of Pakistan because of his belief that such a state, if cobbled into being, would only leave the Muslims of the subcontinent even weaker than they would be in a united India. But Maududi and his party clearly were unable to withstand the Jinnah tidal storm....

Are Arab Monarchies Patronising Violent Sectarian Organisations and Extremists in Pakistan?
Nadeem F. Paracha

These talk about an ideological, sectarian and ‘geopolitical’ proxy war between countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait on the one side against the non-Arab and Shia Iran on the other. Also in the mix are the US, China and, of course, India. All are explained to have been using Pakistani agencies, governments, terror outfits and most of all, Pakistani territory to fight these proxy wars.........


Who’s Afraid of Ayesha Siddiqa?
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Dr Siddiqa’s 2007 masterpiece Military Inc: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy clearly did not win her any friends amongst Lieven’s friends There is no indication that the dark night of Takfiri terrorism is about to lift its heinous shadow from Quetta’s Shia Hazara. Are 40 days enough of a respite for the Hazara to be digging mass graves for their loved ones again? The terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) appear to think so.....


Shahbag Square — Where’s That? Abdul Kader Mullah — Who’s He?
Pervez Hoodbhoy

History cannot be undone but it’s time to move on. Bangladesh is right in demanding an apology from Pakistan — one which we have so far refused to give. Let us do so now and start a new chapter in the relationship between our two states. If we have the honesty and courage to take this step, as a bonus, the problem of Balochistan might become a tad easier to understand — and perhaps, solve.....

Wresting Islam from Islamists
Hamid Dabashi

Radically expanding that "diminutive political space", the Egyptian revolution will go down in history as the paramount occasion when the public sphere became the transformative location where Muslims began wresting Islam from Islamists and thereby reclaimed their religion beyond any such false and falsifying divide....

Bangladesh Frustrated At 'The Butcher of Mirpur' Abdul Quader Mollah of Dreaded Razakar Militia Unleashed By Pakistan Army in 1971 Not Getting Death Sentence
Sreeram Chaulia

As soon as a tribunal prosecuting war criminals of the liberation struggle of Bangladesh pronounced a life sentence on Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Abdul Quader Mollah, hundreds of thousands of citizens spontaneously jammed the streets demanding death penalty for a man notorious as “Mirpurer kosai” or “The Butcher of Mirpur”. Mollah was found guilty of killing 381 civilians as a member of the dreaded Razakar militia unleashed by the Pakistan Army in 1971 to suppress Bangladesh’s freedom struggle....


Yemeni security forces claimed that more than 40 AQAP and Ansar al-Shari’a militants were killed in the fighting, which ceased two days after the tribal leaders mediated a ceasefire between the Army and the militants to allow the resumption of negotiations .....


In Pakistan, the ‘Establishment’ Is the Thierry Tilly and the People the Védrines Family
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Pakistan came into being to suit the exigencies of the British rulers and their manufactured elite, which thought it could serve Britain better if they had the status of a country attached to their picket or garrison outpost. When demands for India’s independence gained strength, the British realised that with independent-minded politicians holding sway, their interests in the Gulf, especially their oil interests, which were of primary importance to the industrialised world, would irreparably suffer....


Sheikhs, Imams and Maulanas Sail To Infidel Lands to Serve Islam
Farooq Sulehria

Tahirul Qadri’s Canadian nationality has recently been a subject of intense debate. While our firebrand Sheikh-ul-Islam was stating that he was ready to sacrifice his life for his cause, curiously he did not really commit to renunciating his Canadian nationality. Ironically, Sheikhs, Imams and Maulanas always seem to set sail to infidel lands every time they have to serve Islam....

Pakistan: No Wrong Turn Now
I.A Rehman

Such ideas have been spewed every now and then by armchair cynics whose antipathy to democratic governance is incurable. Of late, however, they have been gaining currency in quarters that enjoy a certain credit for seriousness. And, of course, there are quite a few jaded actors who are always keen to assume the role of counsel to the luckless people of this country.....


Pakistan Bans Films, TV Shows and Websites at the Drop of a Hat
Nadeem F. Paracha

Pakistanis have always found ingenious and enterprising ways of getting the banned material into the comforts of their homes. Mainly because there is something not very right about parliamentarians, military hunks and animated preachers with questionable ethics, and closets packed with all kinds of skeletons, behaving as the moral compasses of the nation....

Is Music Un-Islamic?
Sruthi Gottipati and Malavika Vyawahare

India Ink interviewed Akhtarul Wasey, a professor and director of the Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia University, in New Delhi, about the topic on Tuesday.

Q. What is your reaction to the fatwa issued against the all-girl Kashmiri rock band Praagaash?

A. We should look at things in a proper perspective. If the girls are engaged in learning and getting and training in a musical instrument, there is no harm….

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