Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

The Pakhtun Spring
Khurram Husain

The Pakhtun Spring
Khurram Husain

They want the rights that the Constitution guarantees them: the right to be secure from arbitrary detention, the right to peaceably assemble, to speak their minds. The roots of the movement go back in time to the discontentment that was brewing in the camps set up to house IDPs from the military operations in the tribal agencies, as well as Swat, in the 10-year campaign against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan....


The Kurds Have Been Sacrificed
Christian Chesnot

Three years ago, the Kurds seized Kobane (Ain Al-Arab) from the jihadists. The whole world hailed this symbolic victory, underlining the heroism of the Peshmerga. The image of women in battledresses against the ISIS fighters wearing black made the headlines. The battle of Kobane will always be the first victory on the roadway leading to the demolishing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's "self-proclaimed caliphate" in Syria...


Saudi Shiites and Their Role in the ‘New Saudi Arabia’
Hassan Al Mustafa

Shiites in Saudi Arabia – and all the Saudi people – now have a chance to truly participate in establishing ‘the new Saudi Arabia’ and to efficiently contribute, alongside the political leadership, to build their future without any fear of ‘Takfiri’ Fatwas (religious edicts) or sectarian discrimination. These Fatwas and practices are over now and will never return again as is confirmed by the royal will....


The Daring Plan to Save a Religious Minority from ISIS – Concluding Part
Jenna Krajeski

Pir couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone in Sinjar was going to die. One night, he had watched an Isis video in which Yazidi men were forced to convert; later, he heard that they were killed anyway. Pir, Elias, and Ismael felt guilty that they were safe in America. More than once, they offered to go to Iraq. “We the former interpreters present in DC today are ready to conduct these operations with the US Special Forces, or to go to Sinjar on our own to rescue what can be rescued from our people,”...


Forced Confessions in Iran’s House of the Dead
Ervand Abrahamian

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in “The House of the Dead,” his semi-autobiographical novel about inmates in a Siberian prison camp. Iran continues to fail the Dostoyevsky test.

Irrespective of the findings of Mr. Rouhani’s committee, what Iran needs is a radical reform of its legal procedures to ensure that its courts will stop the use of “confessions” and instead rely on verifiable independent and collaborative evidence....


The Daring Plan to Save a Religious Minority from ISIS – Part One
Jenna Krajeski

A system developed. The Yazidis e-mailed and texted Cannon and Padgett reports that they received by phone from Mt. Sinjar. Cannon forwarded the reports to an e-mail chain that quickly grew to include some two hundred officials, including people far her senior, such as the U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad. She included officials who disapproved, at least initially, of using the Yazidis as sources, among them career diplomats who preferred their own sources and were sceptical that members of the Office of International Religious Freedom, who are not Iraq experts, understood the consequences of focussing on Yazidis. “Isis had already killed two thousand Shia,”...


Verdict in the Mashal Khan Case: Half-Justice Is Injustice
Rafia Zakaria

Mobs do many things in Pakistan: they harass women, they burn down buildings, they torch cars; they are guilty of devastating Gojra, of tearing the bodies of Muneeb and Mughees Butt to pieces, cheering the killer of a governor, mourning the death of a dictator. They are guilty also of the murder of a man named Mashal Khan. ...


Iran’s Worsening Treatment of Religious Minorities

The Iranian regime boasts about respecting religious freedom and being tolerant towards religious minorities, and President Hassan Rouhani has frequently promised them equal rights. Nevertheless, reports from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International reveal a different story. The rights of the Iranian people to enjoy religious freedom continue to be violated and many are facing systematic persecution and discrimination on a daily basis....


There is no official declaration or consensus – and there is hardly a warrant or possibility for having it – of mutual excommunication of Shias and Sunnis from either the fold of Islam or Heaven. Opinions, speculations, guesses, Fatwas quoting this or that source that can’t be independently and unproblematically validated in the Quran  and contradict basic tenor of Tradition don’t constitute decisive knowledge that should bother us too much. Theology and politics often mix up and create a mess that sages and artists can clear.....

Neighbours in al-Salhi’s home district in the southern city of Basra decorate cars and homes with posters of him in military gear, rifle in hand, standing next to Shiite saints. His face appears on wristwatches for sale in the markets and on cakes in a bakery. One of Iraq’s top sculptors, Ahmed al-Bahraini, has started work on a 6-meter (20-foot) bronze statue of al-Salhi for a main square in Basra....


Shunned by Pakistan’s Muslims, Ahmadis Find Refuge in a City of Their Own
Mehreen Zahra-Malik

Yet hard-liner Muslims come to Rabwah, too. When the annual processions to mark Eid Milad-un Nabi, birthday celebrations for the Prophet Muhammad, roll through the city, the authorities warn Ahmadis to shut their businesses and lock themselves inside their homes, as procession leaders hurl “unrepeatable” expletives against Ahmadi leaders and declare them “worthy of being murdered.”....


Pakistanis Celebrate the Other in Sindh, But for How Long?
Ayesha Tanzeem

The performer danced with reckless abandon, her head bent forward, moving rhythmically left to right with the drum beat, her long, black, untied hair creating an arc in the air as it flew back and forth. Another woman, probably a relative or a friend, tried to throw a scarf over her head, but gave up after it kept falling off. The scene could have caused an uproar in another part of Pakistan, a conservative country where women in public are expected to be subdued and not draw attention to themselves, but not here.....


The Barelvi Bandwagon: Pakistan Establishment’s Misuse of Religion Has Paved the Way for Sectarianism
Khaled Ahmed

When and if the law took its normal course, the courts were made to realise that the clerics could not be challenged. The government was scared of prosecuting them and the judges soon got the message. This immunity led to the criminalisation of religion in Pakistan. Madrasas, funded lavishly from outside the country, became more assertive and enslaved poor disciple-students through free lodging and boarding.....

Blame Islamic Fundamentalists, Not Ahmadis for Ruining Pakistan
Mehr Tarar

Take Allah’s name and no one will question you. Use the prophet’s name, and people will rally with your cause. Chant slogans to uphold the sanctity of the finality of Prophethood, and whatever chaos you unleash will be pardoned. Faith is personal. Faith is the human connection to the divine. Faith, or lack thereof, is to be judged only by God. What is forgotten here is that in an almost 97 percent Muslim Pakistan, everything starts and ends with Allah’s name. For us, no name is more sacred than that of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)....

Balochistan: Ethnic Carnage
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Balochistan: Ethnic Carnage
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

A series of attacks on Punjabi and other non-Baloch settlers in Balochistan, as well as the destruction of national infrastructure have followed the killing of Akbar Bugti. These killings have been orchestrated by Baloch militant organizations such as the BLA, BLF and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), among others, who began to voice anti-Punjabi sentiments in their slogans in the wake of the military action against Bugti....


Political Engineering of Religious Extremists
Munir Ahmed

The religiously motivated political engineering has delivered nothing but political chaos and instability, an ultimate social segregation and unbearable economic losses to the country. The ridiculous sit-ins cannot be a remedy to any political situations — a tradition developed by the Jamat-e-Islami (JI), a religious political party,...


What Would Motivate Pakistan To Tackle The Escalating Persecution Of Religious Minorities?
Huma Yusuf

In Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen argued that economic and social development is facilitated by freedom, and that any form of ‘unfreedom’ hampers progress and prosperity. By this argument, states should promote religious freedom to facilitate an overall environment in which freedom is respected and protected — in other words, rights beget rights, which in turn beget growth. But Sen’s premise will have few takers in Pakistan...


Drain the Swamp Of Sectarian Hatred

There are groups in Pakistan that act like this as well. This despite the fact that Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, dreamed of a modern and moderate country where citizens - Muslims, Hindus and Christians - were free to worship whoever they liked, as he went to great lengths to emphasize in his address to the Constituent Assembly, three days before Pakistan’s creation.


After Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Bahrein, is North Africa the next realm of a more assertive Iranian foreign policy? These fears come from Iran’s attempt to expand its influence in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia – and its “backyard:” Senegal, Niger, Guinea and Mali....


Pakistan: Shrinking Political Space for Minorities
Sarwar Bari

No wonder for centuries human beings have been trying to be humane. Yet, it seems an unfinished agenda. Sadly, often the protagonists of religions happen to be in the forefront of violations of the teachings of the founders of the religions they follow. Let’s remind them what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had said in his last sermon “… An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white.”...

Letter from Deathbed
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Letter from Deathbed
Yasser Latif Hamdani

When Captain Safdar’s antecedents in Majlis-e-Ahrar, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind were trying to destroy the foundations of this country and abusing Jinnah as Kafir-e-Azam and Pakistan as Kafiristan, it was the Aga Khanis, Ahmadis, Christians, Dalits and scheduled caste Hindus who stood with Jinnah against Majlis-e-Ahrar and other traitors like Khaksars, Khudai Khidmatgars and Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind — all of whom had sold themselves to the Indian National Congress....

Where Should Hazaras Go?
Mohammed Hanif

If you were a Hazara in Pakistan, you were a marked person. If death didn’t catch you in a bomb blast, it would come in the shape of a bullet in the back of your head. It didn’t matter if you worked for the police or any security agencies, it didn’t matter if you were an Olympian boxer or a famous TV actor or a much loved school teacher; all were on an arbitrary death row....


Pakistan, Land of the Intolerant
Mohammed Hanif

As I grew up, Ahmadis went from being treated as zealous reformist Muslims to non-Muslims to Kafir, or heretics — worse even than Hindus or Jews. In the mid-1980s, a decade after Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims, another set of laws forbade them to act like Muslims. This is the tricky bit, because Ahmadis insist on calling themselves Muslim and behave like Muslims.....

Thinking Critically?  In Pakistan, Space, Even For Conversations amongst Friends, Has Shrunk Drastically
Faisal Bari

We cannot talk critically about religion in this society. Every society, howsoever religious its population might be, will have a few people who do not believe in God or religion. Do we have such people in Pakistan? There must be some. Do they dare come out and declare their existence? Could they come forward and have discussions about their point of views and/or beliefs with all the theists who are around...


Our Pet Obsession: Declaring Ahmadis Non-Muslims, It Appears
Ayesha Ijaz Khan

What happens then to our sense of fair play when it comes to the rights of those who may not adhere to the majority faith in our own countries? The recent tirade against Ahmadis by the dubious Captain Safdar springs to mind. The very fact that the floor of the National Assembly could be used for such invective is mind-boggling. Nor is he alone in attempting to demonise this community....

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  • Naseer sahib, Perhaps while writing comments, you did not put in your mind overall areas of my presentation of the commentary on the verse 4:89. ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • 3/16/2018 8:34:58 PM Ghulam Mohiyuddin “The independent reasoning derived from the Quran” — in other words many clauses in classic jurisprudence ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is sad but radicalization of some Muslim youth in Kashmir should not come as a surprise.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Your insights on Kashmir issue are invaluable! Truly conflict resolution is a double- edged sword!! Any...
    ( By Meera )
  • Before the battle of Badr, what was the position of the Muslims? They were persecuted for thirteen years in Mecca, lost their businesses, faced sanctions...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Gulam Moyuddin it same like your Arabic Allah choose all male messenger.'
    ( By Aayina )
  • In the case of early hypocrites, the verses were revealed to guide the Muslims and save them from destructive plan of hypocrisy and oppression but ...
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • The Salafist anti-terror fatwa deserves appreciation. The Sufi-oriented fatwas against terrorism deserve appreciation. As regards the ideological dispute between these two groups claiming ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Why are all "BEST OF BEFORE" articles written by males?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Is there no one to table a Fresh Plea in Supreme Court to Declare relation between a boy and....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • "The verses are clear by themselves." Yes, Naseer sir, these verses are clear but some people cunningly present...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • This is a good commentary series.
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • Thank you, Sahil Shadab But you can also read the same connotations in my previous articles as well. Please ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Nice work Mr. Siddiqi You are doing a great thing but it should have come much earlier.
    ( By Sahil Shadab )
  • Islam means only peace peace and peaceful. Some one can differentiate own benefits'
    ( By Mohammad Akhtar )
  • Prophet pbuh & his companions are the role model of real Sufis.they follow the command of Quran & Sunnah.jihad in its right ...
    ( By Arshad Andrabi )
  • @Md Mosaib Do not please hide your massacre by quoting thousand year old stories. What is happening in Afghanistan,syriya,iraq,maldeves...
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • @UP Ojha What about asaram or you want to hear more and please don't talk about bloodshed I don't want it to hear ...
    ( By Md Mosaib )
  • Worthless is your preachings to rectify a religion of bloodshed and idiocy,till they accept to honour other faiths. Remove....
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Sufi-ism is an amalgamation of vedanta n some superficial(modfied) rituals of lslam, it has nothng to .,...
    ( By Manzoor Hussain )
  • @U P Ojha Yahoodi wants to wipe out the spiritual power which is been gifted by Almighty to the followers of Sufi Saints the ....
    ( By Abulhasan Dasankop )
  • @Mansoor Hakkim Ahamed Can you name a single islamic country where peace and tranquility prevails. Wherever their ....
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Where is Islam u r talking about,y r u preaching Muslims,better to preach tyrants,whome Rob Iraq,afghanistan etc etc,y don't u preach Burmies hiered army ....
    ( By Mansoor Hakkim Ahamed )
  • About Muslim and non Muslim from Pakistan to Morocco'
    ( By Rakesh Singh )
  • @Iqbal Husain Can you produce proof of any war between caste in India? I will provide 100 times from book of history.... start' ....
    ( By Rakesh Singh )
  • @Rakesh Singh heavy price is paid by bahujans of india they werepersecuted by manuvadies down the ages.
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • But why they would do it? They never paid high price.
    ( By Rakesh Singh )
  • The verses are clear by themselves. It is the contextual (mis)information imported from outside of the Quran that creates confusion. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Both communalist Muslims and communalist Hindus dislike the idea of interfaith...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is better to ignore such verses rather than be obsessed by them.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yes dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin sb, Even this Salafist anti-terror fatwa states that there is no place for violence or discord in the religion of peace. ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • The word medieval is the period between the fall of the Roman empire and Renaissance and these events are significant to European/Christian history. This ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • “It also tells us that it is Abraham who coined the term "Muslim" and Allah named all his followers Muslims. (Qur'an 22:78)” (Dr Duderija)...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Nizam Elahi yes off course for chriatians bible is right for hindus geeta is right for muslims quran is right. ex muslims or ex hindus ...
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • The conclusion out of this post n reactions/ comments leads to merely one point that whatever Holy Quran says is absolutely right....
    ( By Nizam Elahi )
  • श्रीस्वामीसमर्थाय नमस्कार Namaskar Sir. 1. Terrorism is the Soul of Islam. Koran Commands its followers to Convert ....
    ( By Vasant Narayan Deshmukh )
  • There is no supremacism or political Islam in Sufism but to purify the heart and soul in total submission to ALLAH and THE PROPHETpbuh'
    ( By Peer Nizam U Din )
  • Excellent Sultan Shahin Bhai'
    ( By Rakesh Ralli )
  • See videos of ulemas, molvis and Muftis, read your own books, post them without reference, you will say they defame Islam.'
    ( By Anand Kumar )
  • श्रीस्वामीसमर्थाय नमः Namaskar Sir. 1. Since you are talking about " New Age Islam ", loudly denounce the most Inhuman Commands given in Koran to Muslims "To ...
    ( By Vasant Narayan Deshmukh )