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  • Your Favourite Author's Page

      

    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    A regular NewAgeIslam.com columnist, Arshad Alam is a Delhi-based academic, political commentator and writer.


    Please read below the articles written by him for NewAgeIslam.com

     
    Islam and Politics
    The Many Meanings of Shaheen Bagh
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The Many Meanings of Shaheen Bagh

    It is the bravery and the far-sightedness of these protests that they have not allowed any religious cleric to come near them. What also needs to be underlined is that the established Muslim leaders of different political parties have not been allowed to make political speeches. The beauty of the movement is that it is acephalous wherein young people are refusing to be cowed down despite brutal repression at some places....

    Islam and Politics
    India Did Not Become Hindu in 2014
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    India Did Not Become Hindu in 2014

    It is important to call out this government for its treatment of Muslims. It is equally important for Muslims to protest against this oppression. But while doing so, Muslims and others should not forget that anti-Muslim prejudice is a systemic problem and not related to any one political party. A better tomorrow will only come about when we recognise this problem and collectively try to overcome a system which has been loaded against Muslims in many ways....

    Islam and Politics

    Muslims are Feeling Insecure: This Government Must Pay Attention

    On its own, the CAA is not too much of a concern for Muslims; however, seen in relation to the upcoming National Registry of Citizens (NRC), Muslims are right in getting aggrieved and hitting the streets. Although the poor of all communities will suffer from a nationwide NRC, it will be catastrophic for the Muslims because they will not have the safety net of CAA. Asking Muslims, who have been living in India for a thousand years, to prove their citizenship is not just absurd but patently discriminatory....

    Islam and Politics

    Why the ‘Liberal’ Support to Firoz Khan Must Not be Dependent on His Bhajan Singing Father

    However, there is no need for the ‘liberal media’ to point out that Firoz’s father sings Sanskrit Bhajans and maintains a cow shelter. This almost seems like the media’s support is dependent on his father being not a very ‘strict Muslim’. Certainly Firoz did not get this job because his father knows Sanskrit and composes Hindu devotional songs. We need to support Firoz irrespective of the social location of his family....

    Islam and Politics

    Who Are These People Who Want A Review Of Babri Judgment And Why Are They Allowed To Represent Us?

    Muslims need enlightened leaders who talk about education and employment. More importantly, they should also talk about reforming certain aspects of the personal law which have a tendency to create a negative stereotype in the minds of the majority community. It is time perhaps that some Muslims went to court and argued that these so called stakeholders do not represent us. They just represent themselves and their myopic interests....

    Islam and Politics

    The Impending Babri Judgment: Why Muslims Must Question Some of Their Core Religious Assumptions for True Closure

    Thus, in case of a favourable verdict, Muslims must welcome the judgment, but they should also be willing to gift the land to Hindus. In doing this, they should not put any condition on the other side; they should just gift the land as an act of pure goodwill. Such an act will not be an act of cowardice; rather it will be from a position of strength. This gesture might also become a turning point in Hindu-Muslim relations in India, which is currently extremely vitiated due to a number of factors....

    Islam and Politics

    Arif Mohammad Khan as Governor: The Fundamental Question to Ask is Why He Did Not Find Space in Secular Parties

    The real reason why Muslims and other secular intellectuals are gunning for him is not that he has changed many parties but that ultimately he joined the BJP. And that his utterances on triple Talaq and its eventual criminalization were designed to help the BJP. So, if a Muslim joins BJP today, does he automatically become an opportunist? Why is this kind of analysis reserved for Muslims alone?...

    Islam and Sectarianism

    Endgame for Zakir Naik? Zakir Naik and His Salafi Brand of Islam Can Only Survive In the Arid Landscape of Saudi Arabia

    That he was hounded out of India has certainly done good to the Muslim society as they are away from his poisonous lectures. His only hope now is to seek refuge in Saudi Arabia. I am certain he will be amongst his own kind in the holy land....

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Instant Triple Talaq is Gone; But Muslim Men Still Have a Lot of Privileges

    The only thing that Muslim woman has to do in this case is to report to the magistrate that the husband has given her instant triple Talaq. There is no need for a witness or any other corroborative proof, the statement of the woman would be sufficient to put the man behind bars. Of course, he will have legal recourse but given the state of judiciary in this country, it will take him years to prove his innocence......

    Islam and Politics

    Nusrat Jahan Reminds Muslims that Religion and Culture Must be Dissociated

    Just for a minute imagine a Muslim man marrying a Hindu actress according to Muslim traditions. All hell would have broken loose and accusations of love jihad would be levelled against the man. Like the Islamists, the Hindu right wing also works overtime to weaken Indian pluralism. In their intense hatred of Muslims, these Hindu right wingers do not realise that they are like carbon-copies of the very same Islamists that they claim to oppose.... 

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Why Zaira Wasim Quitting her Career Cannot be A Matter of Choice

    One Hindu actor deciding to quit does not affect the prospects of that community. Hindus are a developed community as compared to Muslims. The ideas of social and religious reform run deep into this community. Muslims entered the modern age by opposing modern education while Hindus embraced it. Muslims are not at par with Hindus in any of the developmental parameters. And that’s why one Muslim Zaira quitting a promising career calls for a deeper introspection from within the community….

    Islam and Politics

    Dialogue with Hindutva Parivar is a Must but Those Initiating it Are the Ones Responsible for Muslim Misery in India

    There is certainly a need to bridge the chasm which has been created between the Muslim community and the ruling dispensation. Owing to a number of factors, Muslims have thought that the BJP is their enemy number one. This perception needs to change for the very simple and pragmatic reason that no minority can prosper without cooperating closely with the state. But for this there has to be genuine rethinking amongst the Muslims on a number of issues....

    Islam and Politics
    Spotlight on Madrasas, Again
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Spotlight on Madrasas, Again

    Madrasa are in spotlight again. Not because there are wild allegations of these institutions harbouring terrorists but through a PIL filed in Delhi High Court to regulate the contents of madrasas and Maktabs. One must also add that the same PIL also asks for similar regulation in Gurukuls but given the fact that there are very few of them, the potential impact of the outcome of this PIL is to be felt by madrasas. The important point for us therefore is how Muslims should respond to such a PIL....

    Islam and Pluralism

    Some Questions to Muslims Who Believe Islam Promotes Pluralism

    Islam fought against polytheism practiced in Arabia and wiped it out very rapidly. The very reasonable conclusion that one derives from Islamic history is that monotheism is far superior to polytheism. ... the Prophet himself removed idols from the Ka’aba signalling the final triumph of Islam over polytheism?...

    Islam and Politics

    Amidst a Majoritarian Turn, Indian Muslims Need to Rethink Their Political Strategy

    Eventually, they will realise that only a share in power can save them from political oblivion. These regional Muslim parties must be open to all kind of political alliances, including the BJP. The only thing that should matter is who is giving them a better deal...

    Islam and Politics

    Bengal is on a Cusp of Change, Muslims Must Act Wisely

    The top leadership of the CPIM, who were basically from the other side of border, never gave any thought to the Muslim question in West Bengal. They had to tolerate the Muslims and even maintain a veneer of secularism because Muslims were their most loyal vote-bank. But beyond that, their historical antipathy towards Muslims blinded them to think in terms of any ameliorative action for this destitute community. ....

    Islam and the West

    New Zealand Terror Must be Condemned but Don’t Overlook How the Left is Helping the Muslim Right

    Notwithstanding what is meant by such a nebulous term like Islamophobia, one thing is clear that it will have a negative bearing on the voices of dissent and reform within Muslim societies. In the name of protecting Muslims, the left will end up advocating the causes and concerns of those Muslims who actually have been responsible for the mess that Muslim societies find themselves into....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Jihad and the Allure of Balakot
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Jihad and the Allure of Balakot

    Indeed Balakot is not just the name of a place; rather it is fundamentally an idea, the dissection of which remains central to decoding the narrative of Islamists of much of South Asia. The selection of Balakot by the JeM is not just for strategic consideration, but is also a symbolic continuation of the first jihad that saw so called martyrdom in action at this place. The characters were different but the cause and the underlying motivation was the same. And this motivation was to reclaim the land of al-Hind for Islam as it was supposedly under ‘Islamic rule’ back in the historical past....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Pulwama, Before and After
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Pulwama, Before and After

    There is certainly some truth in the arguments that militant groups active in Pakistan are majorly responsible for turning this young person into a suicide bomber. However, there is a need to underscore that certain theological precepts may also be responsible for what ultimately became of him. And that’s why there is an urgent need to question such theological discourses which makes someone prone to violence. Without putting an end to such pernicious reading of Islamic theology, it will be difficult to stop another Pulwama....

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Iranian Women are Throwing off the Veil for Good

    The particular verse is interpreted as signifying the separation of spaces where the normative behaviour expected of Muslims should be different. Rather than being a separation between male and female, it is more of an exhortation to respect the private sphere such as the domestic household. Such interpretations never become the normative understanding because the conservative Ulama have institutional control of Islamic societies....

    Islamic Society

    Rahaf Mohammed’s Case Brings the Issue of Apostasy in Islam to Spotlight

    However, we need to be wary of the long arm of the Saudi state. The state has been known to kidnap its ‘problematic’ citizens residing in other countries and bring them back to Saudi Arabia. Worse still, there have been reports that its hit squads have targeted dissidents even on foreign territory....

    Islam and Politics

    Muslims Must Avoid Namaaz in Public Spaces but Such Laws should be equally Applicable to All Communities

    There is no disagreement about the fact that other religious communities also do the same things: of course they do. Therefore there is a need to debate this practice within different religious communities. Likewise, it is up to Muslims themselves to have an internal debate over the issue and chalk out a strategy which puts an end to this problem once and for all....

    Current Affairs
    You will be Missed Mushirul Hasan Sb.
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    You will be Missed Mushirul Hasan Sb.

    Muslims, non-Muslims and atheists, all participated in his funeral prayer, something which is a rarity in these troubled times. Throughout his life, Mushirul Hasan Sb. laboriously wrote about the composite religious heritage of this country. In his death, he was perhaps giving us the same message....

    Islam and Politics

    Bulandshahr Reminds us that Mob Violence Scars Everyone
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The Muslim became the perpetual and potential other, always suspected of being beef eaters and therefore potential outsiders. Nothing much has changed between then and now: cow has been made as the symbol of creating difference between Hindus and Muslims. Cow has become the weapon to target Muslims. No one asks any question from those involved in lynching; rather the onus is on the Muslim to prove that they do not eat beef.....

    Islamic Society

    Why Does a Play Rile Islamists in Kerala?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The play is about women’s right, dignity and gender justice. It is also certainly humanist in the sense that the father eventually relents and redeems his own humanity. Also, the play would have lent itself to the current Muslim women’s movement in Kerala which is demanding entry of women in mosques. But then, all good things must come to an end. And in Muslim context, many a times it ends before it even starts....

    Also Read:

    Gender Equality in Islam

    Is A Woman’s Testimony Worth Half That of A Man?

    1 2 3 4 5  



    TOP ARTICLE

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Indian Muslim Clergy to Counter ISIS Propaganda: But they should go beyond rhetoric to a genuine counter-narrative that refutes Jihadism based on traditional Islamic theology

    The clergy is required to counter the exclusivist Jihadi theology of violence and supremacism which is primarily based on the traditional Islamic theology of consensus of all schools of thought. This has to be done through a counter-narrative based on a new inclusivist theology of peace and pluralism. But to do that the clergy will have to work towards evolving a new theology that is different from the traditional theology taught in madrasas. It is this age-old theology that is used by Jihadis to propagate their message. 

    It cannot be stressed enough that the reason Jihadis have been able to capture the imagination of thousands of our youth the world over is that they are not saying anything new. They are simply showing a way to practice what the ulema (religious scholars) have been preaching. The Jihadi narrative is the traditional Islamic theological narrative of Islam domination over all other religious beliefs, and eradication of what it considers the biggest crimes humanity can commit, particularly shirk, polytheism or idol worship, and kufr, rejection of the prophethood of Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh). All the most eminent scholars of Islam from Imam Ghazali (11th-12th century) to Imam Ibn-e-Taimiya (13th-14th century), Mujaddid Alf-e-Saani Sheikh Sirhindi (16th-17th century), Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlavi (18th century) have shown a vision of political Islam that was finally given a more definite form in the 20th century by Maulana Syed Abul A’la Maududi, Hassan al-Banna, and Syed Qutb. The Jihadi ideologues of the 21st century may be stressing some parts of this traditional narrative more vigorously and downplaying some other aspects. But they are not saying anything that is entirely new or radically different.

    Jihadi literature has not dropped from the sky all of a sudden. This is not the creation of Osama bin Laden or so-called “Khalifa” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Their narrative of world domination, fighting those who do not accept the message of Islam is basically what is taught in all our madrasas. The definition of Jihad as fighting those who do not accept the oneness of God and prophethood of Mohammad (pbuh) is found in books of every school of Sunni fiqh (jurisprudence), be it Hanafi, Malaki, Shafei or Hanbali. Indeed, even Shia theology does not differ much with Sunnis in matters of political Islam. They too want world domination for Islam and desire to subdue all non-Muslims.

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