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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

Emiratis, Omanis, Saudis: the Rising Competition for Yemen’s Al Mahra

Driven by competing agendas, the Gulf powers are empowering different tribal and/or political groups in Al Mahra: Hadi’s loyalists (Saudi Arabia), secessionists (the UAE), current leading tribes and the former sultanate’s sympathisers (Oman). While preventing Iranian interferences is a shared objective among all three actors, this rivalry could shake consolidated local balances, in a region still relatively quiet despite the civil war raging elsewhere in Yemen....

 

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law: Breaking up the Herd
Kamila Hyat

Very little progress has been made in the case since then. Mashal’s sisters are unable to attend their educational institutions because of the threat the entire family faces and neither the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government nor the ANP, after whose leader the university is named, have taken any real action in the matter. In other instances, persons accused of blasphemy had been killed in jails...

 

Children Bear Traumatic Costs of Israeli-Palestinian Gambits
Akiva Eldar

Psychologist Shafiq Massalha, who studied the dreams of Palestinian children, wrote that his findings raise troubling questions regarding their mental health, their view of the world in which they live and the manner in which they perceive Israelis. The hardships experienced by the current generation of Palestinians, Massalha adds, as reflected in the dreams he studied, raise the question of whether there will be any room left for reconciliation and the creation of normative relations between the two people....

 

The Iran-Saudi Arabia Rivalry Has a Silver Lining
Roya Hakakian

In 1936, Reza Shah, an autocrat whose vision for Iran bore some resemblance to Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 for Saudi Arabia, banned the Hijab. Watching the women in his family go out without their heads covered, his relatives recounted in memoirs, had been painful for the shah, but he believed it an essential step toward modernity....

 

Istanbul Summit Exposes Divisions within Arab World
Daoud Kuttab

While inter-Arab and Arab-Muslim differences have surfaced in the form of attendance at the Istanbul summit, it might be hard to assess the results of these meetings and whether they will have a long-term impact or if they are nothing more than a storm in a tea cup that will quickly evaporate.....

 

Gender Equality in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan
Zeynep Kaya

Kurdish government officials point to their society’s stronger democratic credentials and argue that this is why their government pursues higher levels of gender equality. They emphasise that the KRI’s economic dependence on the central government limits their ability to allocate and train staff for policy implementation, support and protect vulnerable women and undertake a wide-range of awareness raising activities. ...

 

In Turkey, We Are Surrounded With Violence
Melis Alphan

A father who tortures his eight-year-old son by tying his hands and feet, a mother who bashes up her three-year-old daughter, a mother who batters her stepson for taking one Turkish Lira from home to buy a gift for Mother’s Day, the owner of a kindergarten who locks a two-and-a-half-year-old child and beats them, a hairdresser who beats his nine-year-old apprentice until he bruises, a mother who drags his six-year-old son by tying him with a rope to a car… The list goes on like this.....

 

What Are The Saudis Afraid Of?
Hamid Dabashi

Our fates are not in the hands of the ruling families or cliques or ideologies of any state that is under the illusion of ruling over us - particularly the two belligerent states of Iran and Saudi Arabia. We, the people, Arabs and Muslims, configure our own destinies.  The ruling states do their own things and we do ours....

 

Partition, Triple Talaq, Babri Mosque and Lisan-e-Qaum: Grave Mistakes Made By Our Ulema
Prof. Mohsin Usmani Nadvi

We should do introspection. We have committed a number of grave mistakes in our national and communal history and have suffered humiliation. If the idea of cause and effect is right then we can say that the miserable state of Muslims is a result of the mistakes made by us in the past. Though a reminder of the mistakes is not heartening but it indeed causes a change in the way of thinking.  As long as the way of thinking is not corrected the direction of our efforts will also not be right....

Militants and Military: Pakistan’s Unholy Alliance
Ahmed Rashid

The Islamabad fiasco brought to the surface another deep concern: the growing sectarianism among the Islamist groups. For two decades, Sunni extremists have been killing Shia Muslims in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. These Sunni militants usually belong to the Wahhabi or Deobandi sects, or offshoots of them, and these include al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic State. Their interpretations of Islam are severe, and they reject Shi’ism and Sufism....

 

However, the Kingdom could be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. These plans alienate the hard-line Wahhabi clerics who wield significant power and influence in the country. On top of this, Saudi Arabia has already been alienating their oppressed Shiite minority. The sectarian tensions have escalated with the recent siege of the predominantly Shiite city of Awamiyah, where 20,000 civilians have been forced to flee their homes.....

 

The Death of Political Process in Pakistan: Dangerous A Precedent for the Nuclear Country
Dr. Azeem Ibrahim

This is no way to run a country. This is not even mob rule: it is the rule of whichever small mob thought to occupy some road intersections this month. Not to mention that random mobs can now demand the sacking and hiring of ministers, on the fly changes to electoral law, amnesty for political insurgents and so on. In the best-case scenario, this will leave only one authority with the capacity to impose some semblance of order over the country: the Army....

 

Hizb-e-Islami’s Hekmatyar had rapport with the Islamic world. Hekmatyar’s association with other nations was based on their mutual belief of internationalism of Islamic Ideology. In the Civil War, Ahmad Shah Masood, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and other important Jihadi figures established a new ethnic joint group known as the Northern Alliance. The purpose behind the creation of this group was to oppose Hekmatyar and other powerful Pashtuns for ethnic and political aims....

 

A change has occurred in the attitude of Syria’s Sunni Arabs towards Israel, but it is limited rather than comprehensive and largely incomplete. A change is required in a mentality that has prevailed for decades and perhaps centuries. Eradicating anti-Semitic culture will be a long and complex process, one that will require Israeli patience – and a strategy that should not be limited to sending diapers or even a few bullets. ....

 

The Mullah-Military Takeover of Pakistan
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Saeed’s release, coupled with the civil-military leadership kowtowing to a radical Islamist group that has already contested two by-elections in the country, is the formal completion of the political mainstreaming of jihadists in Pakistan. This mainstreaming has not only been planned by the military leadership, it has also been pushed by them, resulting in the Dawn Leaks episode last year, from which the civilian government never managed to recover.....

 

What’s Behind the Islamist Protests in Pakistan?
Niloufer Siddiqui

The party adheres to a sub-sect of Sunni Islam which emphasizes personal devotion to the prophet Muhammad, engages in such practices as the veneration of saints, and has typically been considered moderate and tolerant. As a result of some of these practices, the sub-sect has been a victim of extremist outfits in Pakistan, such as the Pakistan Taliban. But the TLP itself has violent origins. It was formed in large part to express support of Mumtaz Qadri, who killed the governor of Punjab for defending the rights of a woman accused of blasphemy in 2011....

 

Pakistan Islamic Lab Results: Military Must Stop Its Tango with Militant Groups
Saad Hafiz

Pakistan’s inability to restrain Islamist groups raises serious questions: Is the creeping confluence of religion and state complete? Will governments need the support of religious extremists to acquire power and keep it? Can religious radicals meet their long-desired goal of establishing a theocracy? Has the military joined politicians in the race to pander to extremists? Will the military agree to share power with extremists? Can extremists eventually replace the military as the arbiters of the country’s destiny? Will semi-literate clerics and Madaris students one day rule a country of two hundred million people armed with nuclear weapons?...

 

Return of a Spectre Called Blasphemy
Farzana Shaikh

But they also brought to fruition a state-sponsored policy, active since 9/11, of quietly empowering Barelvi groups to counterbalance so-called “hardliners” among Pakistan’s proliferating Deobandi and Salafi groups. They were seen to have grown increasingly independent of their handlers within Pakistan’s military and security establishment, whose authority it was said they were now prone to question. It is no wonder that eyebrows were raised when Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, declined to act in support of the government claiming the protestors were ‘our people’....

 

The seeds Maududi sowed became the plants that sapped this noble religion of all progressive ideas and pushed people into a rigid conformity with his brand of 'Islamic ideology'. The introduction of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan was a natural result of the process of Islamisation that Maududi and other right-wing religious parties had set in motion. They had found fertile ground for their agenda in the social conditions of Pakistan.....

Saudis Fail at Their Own Conspiracy
Bruce Riedel

The war in Yemen is costing Riyadh about $5 billion a month. It is a humanitarian catastrophe for the Yemeni people. The Saleh fiasco demonstrates that the Saudi coalition is flailing without a way out. The only winner is Iran. Washington needs to help Riyadh find a way out of the quagmire....

 

Qatari Wahhabism Vs. Saudi Wahhabism And The Perils Of Top-Down Change
James M. Dorsey

A traditional Gulf state and a Wahhabi state to boot, Qatari conservatism was everything but a mirror image of Saudi Arabia’s long-standing puritan way of life. Qatar did not have a powerful religious establishment that could enforce ultra-conservative social norms, nor did it implement absolute gender segregation. Non-Muslims could practice their faith in their own houses of worship and were exempted from bans on alcohol and pork....

 

Islam Marches On, In and On Islamabad
Ayesha Siddiqa

‘Mullah-military alliance’ is of course short-hand for describing the changes unfolding in Pakistan that have sapped its already weakened democracy and rickety institutional infrastructure. What we are witnessing is the metamorphosis of the country’s socio-polity from a post-colonial form to a more organic religious one.....

 

The Plot behind Saudi Arabia’s Fight with Qatar
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In June, Saudi Arabia — along with two other Persian Gulf states and Egypt — picked a fight with Qatar, on the grounds that the country is funding Islamic terrorism. The move was almost satirical, given that Saudi Arabia itself has long funded the spread of fundamentalist Salafi Islam, which is often associated with extremism. However, this diplomatic spat seems to be more than just an example of Saudi Arabia’s pot calling Qatar’s kettle black...

 

For How Long Will The Peace Treaty With Egypt Be Robust?
Efraim Inbar

Sadat violated the Arab taboo against good neighbourly relations with the Jewish state and opened the way for additional peace agreements. The defection of Egypt from the Arab military coalition eliminated the option of a two-front conventional war against Israel and saved the Israeli taxpayer billions of dollars. The heavy price paid by Israel to Egypt was total withdrawal from the Sinai and removal of settlements. ...

 

The Barelvi Movement and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Party – The Forces Behind The Protest – Are Deeply Imbued In Sufi Shrine Culture
Haroon Khalid

The Barelvi movement, the most popular one within the Islamic tradition in South Asia, was seen as the perfect response, an interpretation of Islam rooted in South Asian culture, a depiction of Sufi Islam. However, such assumptions are based on a quite simplistic understanding of Sufism. There is no one uniform interpretation of the term. Sufism means different things to different people. Even within the Sufi tradition, there is a range of ideas, some of which sometimes directly contradict each other....

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NEW COMMENTS

  • "It sees Sunni and Shia denominations as branches of a single tree that are united deep down at roots (Iman and Islam) and thus fruit....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Brave lady!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Do not seek where the truth lies in Shia-Sunni polemics. Neither side has it. The truth lies in the unity....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer Saheb, there is a reason why I am so insistent on coherence, consistency and rigour in arriving at any new understanding of Islamic postulates. ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Gulam Mouyddin Muslims living in wester countries and in India are busy in putting pressure to have exclusive and different laws for Muslims.....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Non-Muslims(addressing by negativity by Muslims a degoratory word) readers do not get decived by the articles and the comment. You will feel ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Royal J As I said I don't care what is your relgion. But perception of your after life comes from relgion life.....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Relevant verses of the Quran: 1. Do not marry a polytheist until they believe: A slave who believes is better than a polytheist, even though ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • If one really wants moral judgements to be free from religious coloring, one should drop words like momin and kafir from one's vocabulary.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Shahin sb, The so-called sword verses have been explained with the help of the verses 9:1 to 9:29 alone .....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, You may try with someone who may know nothing of the Quran but knows logic. Ask Arshad Alam to check with someone who teaches logic ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What Shahin sb says below, is an excellent endorsement of what I say in my article on the universal application of the terms Momin and ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shhains sb says: Maybe a passage from Towards Understanding Quran, Tafheemul Quran will help: فَاَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُوۡرَهَا وَتَقۡوٰٮهَا ۙ‏  ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Arshad, the concept of Servant Leadership, which I have mentioned in another....
    ( By Royalj )
  • Aayina, How many people, do you think, will understand, connect and internalize the statement....
    ( By Royalj )
  • Labels such as 'Momin' and 'Kafir' are meaningless. Let us just...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • If we can be role models, so can others? Are Gandhiji, Martin Luther King Jr, the Dalai Lama....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • yet another article of Muslim victimhood. Crocodile tears.
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer Saheb, I hope the illiterate Bedouins of 7th century Arabia to whom Quranic verses were directly addressed....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Naseer Saheb, you say: "God enlightens us about right and wrong." فَاَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُوۡرَهَ....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Maybe a passage from Towards Understanding Quran, Tafheemul Quran will help: فَاَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُوۡرَهَا ....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Naseer Saheb, I don’t think any amount of explanation, interpretation and contextualisation – and I have read many from Islamic scholars who want to present ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Histories are written by the victors. If we discard even Ibn Ishaq and Waqidi then there is no way to discover what the Meccans thought ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • Our theology has codified the five pillars and the six articles of faith. Why has it failed to derive the principles of War from ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The source of Yunus sb's confusion is his misunderstanding of verse 91:8. He understands it as God inspiring both good and evil when it actually ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The hadith quoted by Arshad sb says that a person is not a momin when he is committing a sin which means that he is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Steve, Thanks for entering this site and posting your comment which only represents the popular opinion based on 'Islamic sources'. Unfortunately the 'Islamic sources' ....
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • "Al-Bukhaari narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No adulterer ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • From the Qur'anic perspective all believing humans stand equal before God and will be judged on the basis of their deeds and taqwa. Thus, even ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The following is by Yunus sb. There are two grievously flawed statements reviewed below in Naseer Sb article re The ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • We started with an assumption that the marriage is invalid which makes the person zani, and ended up with the conclusion that such an assumption ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Not even asingle war by the prophet was defensive. Behind every war there was a ...
    ( By Steve )
  • Also learn from Israel on how to de-islamise sensitive pockets - such as settlements in West Bank - This methodology....
    ( By ShanBarani )
  • The BJP can learn from Israel on the subject of respecting Muslim cultural sensitivities but it would.. .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • While our Prophet fought valiantly for the defense of Islam and for the defense of his followers against some ruthless....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • But one is called a zani only after the adultery not before it.
    ( By arshad )
  • Shahin sb, Please ask the two faced Islamic scholar to comment on the following: From the Qur'anic perspective all believing humans stand equal ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Royalj Read your comment again. Shia over sunny as prime-ministers. RoyalJ Whatever God you belive I don't care, for me ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Shahin Sb, Can you please direct me to the laws or principles of literalism that force you to ignore verses 9:1 to 9:29 to understand the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer Saheb, "We do not talk about literalism or interpretation when we talk about the law books or the text books or the books of ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )