Islam and Sectarianism
political parties move closer to adopting a unified Sunni stance on federalism
and national reconciliation, and with Turkey proclaimed as a sponsor for Iraqi
Sunnis (just as Iran is sponsoring Shiite parties), sectarian discourse in Iraq
is reinforced. Even though some progress was made on the path toward settlement
and Iran’s influence was successfully curbed by the US and Arab countries, the
absent role of Iraqi national and civil parties on the political level is
likely to serve the current sectarian and ethnic divide....
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
An Ahmadi won
Best Supporting Actor, a Shia won Best Foreign Language Film, a woman won the
Best Actress – if this is not a declaration of war against our sensibilities,
what is? By highlighting Ahmadis, homosexuals, and women as representatives of
Muslims, they’re trying to marginalise the Sunni Muslim straight men. Fun fact:
Ahmadi actors now have 1 Oscar win, compared to zero for Sunni Muslims. But do
not expect anyone in the West to create hashtags to underscore our plight....
extraordinary feat at the Oscars, many prominent Muslim activists refrained
from celebrating Mahershala, with some even issuing outright condemnations
because of his beliefs. Mahershala also identifies as an Ahmadi, a sect that
faces severe persecution at the hands of Sunni supremacists across the Muslim
Raza Habib Raja
there is a blast in the country, the ethnicity which gets the spotlight is the
Pakhtuns, along with the Afghans. Over the years, the Pakistani public has
developed kneejerk hatred against the Afghan Pakhtuns, which has permeated our
cultural zeitgeist. There are news of incidents where even ordinary warnings
issued by normal law and enforcement agencies openly draw the focus towards
them, and reinforce the prevalent stereotypical views. ....
minorities are often depicted as oppressed and vulnerable victims of their
Muslim rulers. This portrayal, however, is far from accurate. This brief paper
seeks to reorient our understanding of the rights and responsibilities
religious minorities possessed under Muslim rule....
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Isn’t it known for a fact that Salafi madrasas equate visitations to
shrines as grave worship and therefore consider majority of South Asian Muslims
as potential idolaters? The same hate is being peddled in the name of Islamic
literature through cheap publications and sermons on televisions. Acts like
bombing shrines are a direct result of what is going on in our homes, our
schools and in our neighbourhood. There cannot be any dispassionate discussion
on the causes of such brutality without asking tough questions about ourselves
as to how our own hate mongering about different maslaks (sects) have acquired
a new normality within our everyday discourses.....
I would like to situate the current period by referencing prophetic
traditions that should provide a metaphysical grounding for what is being
experienced. In a prophetic Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, it is reported that
the Prophet Muhammad said, "Time will pass rapidly, good deeds will
decrease, miserliness will be thrown (in the hearts of the people), afflictions
will appear and there will be much 'al-Harj." They said, "O Allah's
Apostle! What is "al-Harj?" He said, "Killing! Killing!"
Another prophetic Hadith states, "Islam will be fought with Islam."
If taken together with the first one, then it can provide a better grounding to
the crisis underway….
Tufail Ahmad, New Age Islam
Till 1924, the Islamic world was led by the Ottoman Caliph based in
Turkey. During the First World War (1914-1918), the Turkey-led Caliphate began
disintegrating. Around this time, Indian Muslims led by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Jauhar and his brother Maulana Shaukat Ali as well as Mahatma Gandhi and
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad supported the Khilafat Movement for the restoration of
the Caliphate, something the ISIS is trying to revive now. The Arab nations,
having been mistreated by the Ottoman caliph, disliked Maulana Azad for
supporting Turks, though he was respected for his scholarship.....
Pakistani society is still marred by racism and questions of caste,
even among Muslims, despite the Qur’an setting out radical equality for all.
Across South Asia, Muslims remain divided up by various hierarchical systems.
This long trail of caste-related injustice goes back to the beginnings of sub
continental societies and seems impervious to the intrusion of other sources of
identity such as the nation state or religion....
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Most significantly blasphemy is a tazir offence and not a Hadd offence
under Islamic law. No religious scholar of Islam will tell you otherwise. This
is because the Holy Quran does not prescribe a punishment for blasphemy. This
in itself makes the whole issue of blasphemy law a discretionary measure and
not binding for a Muslim state to follow. The majority view in Islam has been
for the 1000 years that death for blasphemy, in the rarest and most extreme of
cases, can only be awarded to an unrepentant Muslim male unless he repents and
there is always room for repentance under Islam....
“Sunnis were grabbed in the streets or dragged from their homes and
instantly killed. In the first week of the events, militiamen drove around with
speakers shouting for Sunni men to come out of their homes. On Jan. 13, more
than 100 men were taken and have not been seen since.”...
You simply cannot beat an ideology with legal manoeuvring and
legislative moves. While we thought hanging Qadri, the gunman, for his
disregard for the law would result in establishing some semblance of sanity,
what ensued was a stunning mass of his “followers” showing defiance against the
writ of the state as they gathered for one of the largest funerals this country
has seen. Now there are reports that he is also getting a multimillion shrine
built at his burial grounds, which will naturally turn into yet another
gathering point for the hardliners....
Two men among the children of Israel were the opposite of each other.
One of them was a sinner and the other would strive in worship. The worshiper
would see the sinner and tell him to stop. One day he found him sinning so he
said: Stop! The sinner said: Leave me alone, by my Lord, have you been sent as
a watchman over me? The worshiper said: By Allah, Allah will not forgive you or
admit you into Paradise. Later their souls were taken and they met in the
presence of the Lord of the worlds. Allah said to the worshiper: Did you have
knowledge of me or power over what is in my hand? Allah said to the sinner:
Enter Paradise by my mercy. And Allah said to the worshiper: Take him to the Hellfire....
In line with Quranic spirit, philosophy, art and poetry and mysticism
all exhort us to be humble towards the Real or Truth in order to receive it to
eschew stubborn dogmatic attitude, to listen more and speak less, to let the
Other or Love dictate terms rather than dictate to them, to forego attempt to
solve problem of religious divergence here and leave it to God there, to resist
attempts at meaning closure or finality of interpretation, to attend to life
with all its mystery, uncertainty, inexhaustible richness and beauty. To
identify a sectarian ideologue one can apply a golden test “Empty vessels make
much noise.” Truth overpowers us and makes one dumb. “Ripeness is all.” “The
rest is silence….
For Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, this situation raises major moral
and political questions: If military victory is no longer feasible, why should
they continue to support rebels at the cost of more Syrian lives? Can they and
their rebel proxies carve out zones of influence that will allow them to shape
Syria’s future? ...
Liberation of mind, for example, has always
remained the fundamental of every religion, theosophical movement and sufi
paths. It has expressions according to the space, since liberation of mind is
usually an act to alleviate beyond the Time. Therefore, faithful, theosophists,
and sufis artificially detach from the immediate space which is called Tiag in
Sindhi and almost in some other parts of South Asia. This is an attempt of
meditative saturation, which basically equates the Time in the space, and the
Raza Habib Raja
And yet this question is raised again
and again. To some extent this has its roots in the very genesis of Pakistan.
When you create a country for “Muslims” and moreover try to form a constitution
in the light of Sharia, with clauses that actually prevent Non-Muslim to be the
Head of the State, then perhaps defining a Muslim becomes inevitable….
Nadeem F. Paracha
alive in 2016. If you can do this, then it should not be hard to also imagine
this: a video statement of a cleric would have appeared on social media sites
in which the pious gentleman would have exhibited great concern about the
founder of Pakistan being a Twelver-Shia....
Dr Salam is long overdue but it is a good thing on the part of the government,”
said Saleem-ud-Din. “They should acknowledge the true heroes of Pakistan.” When
asked about the incidents that followed the announcement, he is careful not to
make any assertions but merely point to facts. “I cannot connect the two events
but all I can say is that the raid at Rabwah and Dr Salam being honoured
happened on the same day and both actions were taken by the government.”....
change did not happen because Turkey’s Sunni Islamists suddenly became
sectarian after a theological soul-searching. It happened because of a major
political drama they witnessed: the Syrian civil war. From the beginning of the
war in spring 2011, both the Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and
the Islamists in its base focused on the brutality of the Syrian regime over
its people — especially the Sunni opposition...
For about a
century now, followers of Ahmadiyya community have been ostracised for an
interpretation of Islam that differs from traditional orthodox positions.
Ahmadis say their faith has been misinterpreted by mainstream Muslims and
clerics intent on persecuting them....
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Takfir, the act
of declaring an individual or a group outside the fold of Islam, is the
founding principle of jihadism. This is why most of the victims of jihadist
terror are Muslims who are deemed not Muslim enough. As long as the Pakistani
Constitution indulges in Takfir, the state can never claim to challenge
jihadist ideology. Pakistan’s fight against terror, therefore, hinges on the
state accepting Ahmadis as Muslims....
Amjad Mahmood Khan
Ahmadi Muslims recite the Kalima (a Muslim’s principle creed), pray facing Mecca five times a day and assiduously follow the Quran. However, unlike other Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims also believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889, is the promised Muslim Mahdi and messiah the Prophet Muhammad foretold would come to guide Islam back to its true path. That belief is criminal in Pakistan...
polity and unexpressed aspects - Sindhi and Baloch today have transformed into
modern social and cohesive entities, as they were historically. However, the linguistic,
ethnic and sub-cultural additions that were resulted by the partition of
British India, and after the creation of Pakistan, initiated the process of
integration in the societies....
Sindh freedom movements, in association with war in Balochistan, have been
oldest if compared with liberation movement of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
Freedom movement for Gilgit-Baltistan, to create Balawaristan, has been
addressed by creating Gilgit-Baltistan administrative unit...