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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

Pakistan’s Shrinking Liberal Minority
Ronald Meinardus

Religious extremists do not descend from the sky with bombs strapped to their chests. Every effect has a cause, and the responsibility for the creation of the bigots falls squarely on those who call themselves secular and liberal.....

 

Afghanistan: Peripheral Consolidation
S. Binodkumar Singh

The other salient features of the draft peace agreement prominently include: the Government would offer an official pardon to associates of the HeI militant group and would work to have the group removed from the United Nations blacklist; the group would not join the Government but would be recognized as a political party involved in major political decisions;....

 

One Man's Terrorist... — ... Another Man's Freedom Fighter
Nadeem F. Paracha

Funny thing is that when pressed to describe a person who has no qualms about strapping a suicide belt around his waist and then blowing himself up in a crowded mosque, a Sufi shrine or a congested market buzzing with men, women and children, the apologist would often strike a pose of the unbiased and objective thinker to suggest: You see, one man's terrorist can be another man's freedom fighter.'...

 

With a few years of hindsight, it is now clear that much of this effort was built on sand, literally. It is bound to vanish, not unlike some dunes in the Sahara....

 

Pakistani Priests with a Divine Mission
Yasser Latif Hamdani

If there must be a CII its members ought not to be from religio-political parties. They also should not be extracted from sectarian clerics. Instead the CII should be filled up with non-sectarian modern Muslim men and women of vision, schooled both in modern knowledge, law, science and Islamic jurisprudence....

 

A section of "Dalit Muslims" testify that they are seated separately in non-Dalit Muslim feasts. Almost a similar proportion of respondents confirm that they eat after the upper-caste people have finished. Many say they are served food on different plates....

 

Saudi Arabia’s Austerity Blues
Lal Khan

Even the fall in oil prices from its peak of $115 to $35 a barrel has failed to produce the dividends for the capitalist economies and empires. On the contrary, the oil producing countries have certainly felt the impact of lower prices on their growth rates, their trade figures and their public finances. Saudi Arabia, in particular, has been forced to impose austerity...

 

Bangladesh: Some Unresolved Issues
Taj Hashmi

The Bangladesh Government on the one hand denies there is any al Qaeda or ISIS in the country, on the other it holds BNP-Jamaat supporters – the so-called anti-Liberation and pro-Islamist terrorists – responsible for the killings...

 

Murky Operations and Karachi, the City Of Crimes
Ambreen Agha

The controversial targeted operation has further complicated the law and order situation in this city of crimes, which has long been infested by politically-motivated and backed turf wars, target killings, criminal gangsters, land grabbers, organized gangs of extortionists, ethnic strife, and religiously motivated Islamist terrorist violence.....

 

Turkey Should Not Repeat Pakistan’s Mistake
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Many well-meaning Indian Muslim modernists like the Aga Khan III and Syed Ameer Ali wrote letters of appeal to Ataturk asking him to preserve the institution of Caliphate, to even become the Caliph himself, but Ataturk refused to budge. There are many historians and scholars of constitutional law who have questioned Ataturk’s decision to follow the French model instead of the British model that would have accommodated some role for religion....

 

Understanding Saudi Arabia: To Retain Their Royal Power, the House of Saud Is Prepared To Take the World Down With Them
Michael J. Brenner

They are keenly aware that this legitimacy hinges upon their acknowledged status as custodians of the Holy Sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina. These sites the House of Saud seized by force in the 1920s from a rival principality without even a semblance of consultation. That is also why the founding alliance with the leaders of the Wahhabi movement is so crucial to the Saudi royals. Its founding preacher, Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, helped make the Saudis a serious local military power in the 1700s.....

 

The Extremist Consensus: Principle of Punishing the Prohibited Has Been Accepted By Pakistan; but Commanding the Permitted Has Been Wisely Ignored
Khaled Ahmed

The principle of Nahi an-al Munkir (punishing the prohibited) has been accepted by the modern state; but Amr bil Maruf (commanding the permitted) has been wisely ignored. Terrorist leader Mangal Bagh forced people to say Namaz in the mosque under strict roll-call and burned down the houses of those who didn’t attend the five-times-a-day prayer. In Swat, warlord Fazlullah tyrannised the population under Amr bil Maruf, just like the Taliban did in Afghanistan....

 

Countering Pakistan’s Extremist Mindset
Imtiaz Gul

One wonders that if science academics — who are opinion-multipliers — in  Islamabad are hostage to a mindset that qualifies as radical, anti-human rights, obscurantist, can we really then condemn Madaris — seminary — teachers, say in Peshawar, Kohat, Bahawalpur or Nushki ?...

 
Is There An Arab World?
Khaled Al Maeena

Is There An Arab World?
Khaled Al Maeena

The creation of Israel by a unilateral decision, displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees, coups d’etat and bloody revolutions in the newly formed Arab states whose border demarcations were mostly deformed — all were the ingredients that led to the present day regional predicament....

 

Are The Pakistanis Proud Citizens Of Their Country, Or Animals Being Tested In A Lab?
Nadeem F. Paracha

The ‘Islamic Socialism’ bit, however, was only nominally touched upon. It was simply a rhetorical gesture, to counter accusations by the religious parties. Although there were some ideologues within the PPP at the time who defined ‘Islamic Socialism’ as a localised fusion of social democracy, socialist economics, the ‘Quranic concept of egalitarianism’ and Muslim nationalism (of the likes of Jinnah and Iqbal), there was hardly any talk of just how this fusion would be converted into a holistic economic programme....

 

Saudi Arabia — A Kingdom in Retreat
Alon Ben-Meir

All Saudis are expected to attend mosque every Friday, and Wahhabism is taught from an early age. Saudi Arabia uses religion to control the population and teaches to hate those who do not share their Islamic values. The clergy exercises extraordinary power and are free to issue edicts (Fatwas) at their pleasure. The religious system is often run contrary to the social, political, and economic aspirations of the young, and is leading to a growing resentment which is becoming increasingly troublesome for the government....

 

In Pakistan’s northwest — the main Taliban sanctuary in the country — where psychiatrists estimate millions are suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological illnesses after years of militant attacks, army offensives and US drone strikes....

 
Does Saudi Arabia Want to Break Up Yemen?
Bill Humphrey and Stephan Richter

Does Saudi Arabia Want to Break Up Yemen?
Bill Humphrey and Stephan Richter

The best explanation for the bull-in-a-china-shop approach the Saudis have taken in Yemen to date is this: Saudi Arabia would rather demolish and break up Yemen into its former two halves again than have it remain united. After all, the latter scenario might entail dealing with a potentially hostile state. Split into two parts, Yemen might be much less of a problem. Consider the historic dimension in support of this hypothesis:....

 

An Islamist may be a lost Muslim or a Muslim gone astray, but he or she is a Muslim all the same. We must stop repeating ad nauseam that these aberrant Muslims have “nothing to do with Islam.” In other words, we must acknowledge that two Islams are locked in a fight to the death, and that because the battlefield is the planet and the war threatens values that the West embraces, the fight is not solely the Muslims’ affair....

 

Why Islam as State Religion May Be Preferable To the Mask of Secularism in Bangladesh
Garga Chatterjee

When Islam was incorporated as the state religion in 1988, all major Opposition parties, including the Sheikh Hasina Wajed-led Awami League and Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party, had denounced the move in no uncertain words. But Islam plays a much bigger role in Bangladesh politics now than it did during the 1971 Liberation war or the heady days of the anti-dictator, pro-democracy movement of the 1980s. Political parties have responded by variously pandering to majoritarianism....

 

Libya’s Civil War: Unity, up To a Point

Mired in war, threatened by jihadists and short of cash—it is a wonder that anyone wants to rule Libya. Yet until recently the country had four competing governments. Rival administrations based in Tripoli, the capital in the west, and Beida, in the east, have spent the past two years fighting over a disputed election, among other things. That has allowed Islamic State (IS), the third contender, to grab roughly 180 miles of coastline around Sirte, in between them.....

 

Ayub Khan’s Republic: Pakistan
Nadeem F. Paracha

First, to get re-elected as president in 1965, Ayub allowed his information ministry to co-opt certain Ulema who asked to negatively highlight the gender of his opponent, Fatima Jinnah. Secondly, after the 1965 war with India ended in a stalemate, it negatively impacted the country’s economy. Ayub began to lose popularity and increasingly began to use religious rhetoric. Muslim modernists began to abandon him.....

 

Lebanon Cannot Stand On Its Feet Anymore, It Is Overwhelmed, Frightened and Broke
Andre Vltchek

It stands at the frontline, facing Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL) in the east and north, hostile Israel in the south and the deep blue sea in the west. One and a half million (mostly Syrian) refugees are dispersed all over its tiny territory. Its economy is collapsing and the infrastructure crumbling. ISIS is right on the border with Syria, literally next door, or even with one foot inside Lebanon, periodically invading, and setting up countless “dormant cells” in all the Lebanese cities and all over the countryside. Hezbollah is fighting ISIS, but the West and Saudi Arabia apparently consider Hezbollah, not ISIS, to be the major menace to their geopolitical interests. ....

 

Pakistan: The Myth of a Fixed National Interest
Khaled Ahmed

There is, of course, the assumption that one party — the US — has the capacity to punish; and the other — Pakistan — has, instead, the capacity to endure pain. Clearly, in this unequal relationship, America has more options than Pakistan, although it’s the weaker party that should ideally work with more options.....

 

Some say that many donors, including Turkey, are not charities. Political interests may motivate Turkey’s financial and humanitarian aid, no matter how hard both sides try to deny it. Increasing Turkish projects in Gaza would allow Turkey to become a key player in the Palestinian issue, as is evident in its stances and moves regarding Israel's blockade...

 
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  • @Aariz Mohammed Ek hi tou baat hai Bhai......Sach se kyu'n mun'h chipate ho aap Musalman......Mazhabi Jhooth-Mooth akhir kab tak chalega dost ?Aage badho aur apne ...
    ( By Naree Masand )
  • The caption should be 'Rethinking Madrasa Education'.
    ( By Aariz Mohammed )
  • All women Madarsa graduates should have admission in schools after certain age since life is not about couple of Hadiths which is part of the ...
    ( By Dr Muhammad Mukhtar Alam )
  • Madarsas should include modern teaching in their curriculum
    ( By Asad Khan )
  • Interesting'
    ( By Raj Kumar Bhadana )
  • And yes. West is good, and Islam is West , so we are all good, good. Unfortunately I firmly believe, West is bad in the ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • The rise of Wahhabism with its coerciveness, exclusiveness and austere puritanism is the most regressive and tragic development in the history ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats off is back with his hat on! Does he continue to be so-called atheist Hindu? He seems to be quite disturbed that Mr Naseer ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • Naseersaab, You ask why philosophers are not in the business of producing moral precepts. Philosophers study and analyze knowledge. They ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The review sounded quite credible, and the book's author seemed well-read and well-informed, until I reached the part that discloses who the sponsor of ....
    ( By Usama Khalidi )
  • Royalj, You also ask "Why Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, who follow the greatest prophet who ever walked on the earth, are lagging behind the Indians ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Royalji. If you are done with your ala, bla.. I need to tell you that unlike BJP, Allah governs by laws and not by ordinances. ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • Royalj, It is you who has failed to answer simple questions. Try answering them if you can: 1. What do you ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Naseer: You have been caught red handed. You did not answer a simple spiritual question. What does Allah want: repentance of a sinner and turns ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Hats Off,: With reference to two of my articles which incidentally are the same two articles being discussed now with GM Sb 1. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, There is a history behind why the degree of PhD or doctor of philosophy is the highest academic degree irrespective of the subject. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Hats Off, You can say what you wish to say by quoting me on the different subjects that I have covered. As your comment stands, ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • this is precisely what other skeptical commentators were saying to counter mr naseer ahmed's eulogy of jizya as an wonderful way of dealing with the ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseersaab, You are the one who is making the claim that moral precepts did not exist before religions brought them to us...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The writer should correct himself and check with the fact, when he says: "The surname "Barelvi" denotes that the bearer belongs to the northern Indian town ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Royalj, It does not matter what I have to say. What you say is not the position that reputed Christian commentators have taken on the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What does Allah wants; repentance of a sinner and turns to the right path or the sinner should be stoned to death?...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Some fatwas do occasionally come making a general claim that Islam is a religion of peace, but the claim is absolutely ..
    ( By Royalj )
  • GM Sb,:Your comments are in red....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • No doubt Baghdadi is an open dangerous enemy of humanity, but the fake Imam Agakhan and his secret Imami jihadi gang doing the same ...
    ( By Gulshanin )
  • I would equally suggest that hate preachers like Naik and Choudary are recognized and dissuaded from preaching by way of well-thought rationalist write-ups.' ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • To Abdulla: I appreciate your personal opinion on food habits. But many people earth eat diet by relgious practice....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseersaab, I have already refuted several times the claims you make in your article. Religions are not the sole source of moral precepts. Philosophers are not ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • There is duplicity in this fatwa. It has quoted Sheikh Mohammed Al Munjad among other 'authentic Ulema' who have in clear terms said that ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Mr GRD: Do you refute that Allah the Almighty has sent His messengers (peace be upon them) (about one lac twenty four thousand in number) ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Mr GRD: Where are these schools located? Is it your personal experience. Please be a little more explicit. '
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • These fatwa of Ahle Hadith Muftis are run of the mill. Why they don't refute the Saudi Salafi extremism inculcated in schools....
    ( By GRD )
  • Oh, Royalji I have understood! It means if you ask a pricking question , the ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • This is in response to Royalj's comment who does not appear to show a good understanding of Christianity. The story of Jesus (PBUH) alongwith the commentary ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, All the arguments that you have put forth so far, are covered in my article and I am reproducing here the part that answers ...
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  • The women from all over the world should come forward to protest against womanphobia and Islamophobia as they are being deprived of their individual rights ...
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  • @Manzurul Haque: “What is picking the brain”? (A true scholar will not feel shame to learn from anyone). When someone picks your brain with some ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Naseersaab, Not all philosophers are deontologists. Moral behavior can exists in its own right because of its intrinsic soundness. Louise Antony, a professor of philosophy, puts ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • US isolationaism. Who is bothered about the views of US stooges and traitors to the human cause.'
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • Land lust. The situation in India and Pakistan is very similar. I have campared this like A father/mother is standing outside with all power allowing to rape ...
    ( By Aayina )