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Books and Documents

Islam and Tolerance

The Qur’anic Perspective of Tolerance: Eminent Muslims in Their Encounter with Christianity
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

            The Quran clearly reveals that, “all the children of Adam are equally honoured” by God (See, Surah Bani-Israil: 70). The Quran also takes an all-inclusive humanistic view in its understanding of justice and equality among all peoples. When it comes to judging actions that either benefit or harm humanity, the Quran does not distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims. As pointed out in Surah Nisah: 123-124,...

 

Of course, Sayyidna Umar was simply following what he learnt from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself, that the protection of life, property and religious freedom of minorities is the religious duty of the state. That he personally would be demanding justice in the hereafter on behalf of a Zhimmi who had been wronged by a Muslim. That there is no compulsion in religion and that Muslims must be just to friends and foe alike....

Meanwhile, men, women and children are being offered as human sacrifices on the altar of political cynicism. Divine justice will doubtlessly judge not only the murderers and a creed that often seems bloodthirsty, but also those who insist, against all evidence, that this creed has nothing to do with those deaths. The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West, and confirmed by too many supposed Muslim "moderates" both at home and abroad. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror. ..

Why They Lynched Mashal Khan
Pervez Hoodbhoy

While searching for a real explanation, let’s first note that religiously charged mobs are also in motion across the border. As more people flock to Mandirs or Masjids, the outcomes are strikingly similar. In an India that is now rapidly Hinduising, crowds are cheering enraged Gau Rakshaks who smash the skulls of Muslims suspected of consuming or transporting cows. In fact India has its own Khan — Pehlu Khan....

Mashal Khan: A Son from Swabi

Next to Mashal’s house is a mosque where the prayer leader, Fazle Amir, tried to provoke people and cast doubt over Mashal’s innocence. Background interviews with family and neighbours reveal that Fazle Amir tried to dissuade people from attending the funeral. “We were about 50 people who laid Mashal’s body to rest,” says Mohsin Waqar, a cousin. “Around 300 to 400 people were standing outside like confused spectators.”...

 

In The Name Of God: Blasphemy-Related Crimes
Sanchita Bhattacharya

The dangers of the Blasphemy Law are that related "crimes" require no proof of intent or evidence to be presented after allegations are made and does not include any penalty for false allegations. Moreover, most of those who are accused in blasphemy crimes in Pakistan spend years in prison, waiting for a hearing....

 

They shot him, drilled screwdrivers into his skull and mutilated his dead body in a frenzy of murder and grating vengefulness, duped and urged on by sectarian vigilantes and clerics. Having killed him, the bloodthirsty mob cheered wildly, congratulated each other and then solemnly swore not to disclose who all actually took part in the gory manslaughter....

 

Looking For Enlightenment Post-Masha
Khadim Hussain

Privatisation of jihad and justice and negation of human aesthetics lie at the core of this narrative. The curriculum, pedagogical methods, and academic environment suppress critical thinking and suffocate creative consciousness. To add fuel to the fire, dissenting voices are curbed with full force of the state. Intellectual and creative endeavours are castigated and stigmatised....

 

Suhana, Nahid and the Curse of Muslim Intolerance
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

It is not also enough to say that when Prophet of Islam went to Medina, women sang in his honour. It is also not enough to cite Hadiths where it is stated through Aisha, the Prophet’s wife that women used to come and sing in her house in the presence of the Prophet. What is required is an attempt to break this scholarly consensus which argues that music and singing is forbidden in Islam. Doing so does not require an exegetical exercise of sifting through the pages of Islamic literature, but to argue boldly and consistently that Islam needs to be one with the fundamental marker of contemporary modernity: that of expanding choice and freedom. It is up to these Mullahs and overtly sensitive Muslims to decide whether they want Islam to become an ossified, irrelevant doctrine or whether they want it to be a flag bearer of inclusivity and freedom....

The Intolerance of the Cult of 'True Islam'
Haroon Riaz

We may feel appalled by the Islamic State and dismiss and condemn them as “Kharijites,” but what about the apologies for the very philosophy that they are acting on? Are they not found all over Pakistan? Or sitting in the next cubicle at your workplace? Religious zeal and puritanism sound like nice ideas but they need to understand that the fabric of the society cannot remain intact without the necessary tolerance for the faith of each other....

 

A Half-Victory for Tolerance in Indonesia

Ahok’s opponents seem to have concluded that the surest path to victory is to pander to the sectarians. Both Mr Baswedan and Mr Yudhoyono attended dawn prayers with Mr Shihab at the latest rally, even though moderate Muslim groups had told their members to stay away. Mr Baswedan, who was once feted as a model of tolerance, also gave a speech at FPI’s headquarters in January alongside Mr Shihab, who has twice been convicted of hate speech and used to be shunned by mainstream politicians....

 

We need to take a hard look at our Blasphemy Law and discuss whether, as a society, we want to have a law that allows the imposition of a majority’s subjective religious right at the expense of others’ basic rights with little or no limitation, and a society whose culture of rightful subjective imposition is unchallenged and unmoderated. Hopefully, the answer is no....

 

A number of new factors, however, are contributing to an increasingly intolerant trend. One has been the rise of Salafism, a conservative, often puritanical, movement within Sunni Islam originating mainly from Saudi Arabia. In Southeast Asia, despite certain differences, the term is frequently used interchangeably with Wahhabism, a branch of the Islam often associated with ISIS and Al-Qaeda....

 

Religious Extremism and Intolerance in Pakistan
Malik Muhammad Ashraf

Pakistan has become hostage to the self-proclaimed righteous guardians of the religious tenets as interpreted by them against the spirit of Islam, which believes in building social harmony, peace and protection of the minorities living in an Islamic country.….

 

In Pakistan, Voices of Tolerance Are Clamouring To Be Heard Amid the Dominant Extremist Rhetoric
Haroon Khalid

At least in the popular imagination, Sindhi culture is seen as the last vestige of religious and cultural syncretism that was once spread all over Pakistan, including Jhang. For example, Jhule Lal, a deity of the Sindhi community, is revered by Muslims and Hindus alike. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar a Muslim mystic who tapped into Shaivistic asceticism and translated it into a Muslim ethos...

Politics, Plurality and Inter-Group Relations in Indonesia: Strengthening Tolerance
Jeremy Menchik

Indonesia’s plural legal system is similar to those of India, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and Spain in providing a mixture of individual and collective forms of recognition. Indonesia’s mass Islamic organisations are similar to those of Senegal, Egypt, and Turkey as well as to mass Christian organisations in Northern Europe and Latin America….

 

Indonesia’s Blasphemy Laws

The use of blasphemy laws is linked to rising religious intolerance. In recent years hard-line Islamists have become increasingly assertive, railing against deviants, heretics and their ilk. Muslim parties in parliament have pushed laws against alcohol, pornography and sexual minorities. Yet it is not at all clear that these moves have widespread support….

 

Death of Debate: Unfortunate That Intolerance Is Considered A Characteristic That the Holy Quran Teaches
Durdana Najam

Our entire religious discourse revolves around worshiping the name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) rather than following in his footprints. The whole life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was an epitome of tolerance, and that too with everyone including the non-believers. Not everyone embraced Islam neither was it required of the scheme of God when Islam was revealed. ....

Bringing Religious Intolerance Down to Earth: The Case of the Sunni-Shia Schism
Louay Fatoohi

The issue of whether ‘Alī or Abū Bakr should have succeeded the Prophet is completely historical and absolutely irrelevant to our world today. Any attempt to use it to take a view on today’s world is an attempt to manipulate history to serve present interests and/or to take the world 14 centuries back in time. In both cases, it is ultimately about exercising power and control. There is nothing godly or religious about playing out this difference of the past in today’s world......

Religious Tolerance: Muslims Must Stop Being Provoked By Allegations of Blasphemy, Instead, Recognise Efforts of the Occident to Bridge the Gap through Interfaith Harmony
S M Hali

Islam lays great emphasis on religious tolerance but currently, it is at its lowest in many Muslim societies. Islamic State’s (IS's) destruction of churches and massacre of members of the Shia faith has also tarnished the image of Islam. In Pakistan too, certain segments of society show a lack of tolerance towards other sects of Islam and other religious and ethnic minorities....

There is Zero Tolerance for Hate Speech in Pakistan, Even If You are a Cleric!
Zara Hafeez

In Pakistan, stirring religious hatred is unlawful. The law clearly states that any act or speech which instigates sectarian odium, whether inadvertently or wilfully, can lead up to a possible prison sentence for nearly seven years. Yet, there are hundreds of these clerics on the loose, who incite hatred every day....

 
Bangladesh: Freedom and Death
S. Binodkumar Singh

Bangladesh: Freedom and Death
S. Binodkumar Singh

"Al-Qaeda in Indian Sub-Continent (AQIS) is taking responsibility of killing Ananta Bijoy." AQIS, in another message posted on justpaste.it declared: "We want to say to atheist bloggers! We don't forget and we will not forget others who insult our beloved Prophet Muhammad and Allah. Another file closed! Stay tuned for next target....

 

You can Never Kill Ideas: An Anonymous Blogger on the Deaths of Secularists in Bangladesh
Ananda Bijoy Das

Ananda Bijoy Das was killed just two days ago in Sylhet, Bangladesh for simply saying, writing and expressing his opinions. Bangladesh had a strong secular tradition which is now being eroded. I was always proud of the fact that Bangladesh hadn't fallen to the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism….

 

Why Secular Expression is Being Killed in Bangladesh, One Blogger at a Time
K. Anis Ahmed

In the long and ongoing contest between an intolerant conception of Islam and a rationalist idea of what it means to be Bengali Muslim, the bloggers sadly are not the first victims. Sceptics, including prominent literary figures like Daud Haider in the 1970s and Taslima Nasreen in the 1990s, have faced strong Islamist backlash and have had to leave the country for good....

 

Is Bangladesh Following Pakistan Into Extremism?
Ananda Bijoy Das

The group have been marked for death by Hefazat-e-Islam, quite an effective arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, the religious-political organisation that wants Bangladesh to become like Pakistan, the country it broke away from. Ananda Bijoy Das has been hacked to death, meeting the same fate. He was walking out of his home in Sylhet when four people chased him and clobbered his head with machetes....

 
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  • Dear Royalj, You have rightly quoted Abdul Karim Soroush that the clergy are not defined by their erudition or their virtue but by their dependency on ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Correct translation in Urdu [98:1] وہ لوگ جنہوں نے اہل کتاب اور مشرکین میں سے کفر کیا، ہرگز باز آنے والے نہ تھے باوجود ...
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  • A good observation by Aayina and sadly true. I remember my childhood in which we participated in every festival without inhibition of any kind.'
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  • Yunus sb's choice of analogy is interesting and reveals why he erred in correctly understanding 98:1, 98:6. A robber is dishonest by the very meaning ...
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  • I speak of logically derived meanings. Logically derived meaning is not an interpretation but the meaning. Not all books/writings are....
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  • grammar has never been allah's strong point.'
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  • The clergy are not defined by their erudition or their virtue but by their dependency on religion for their livelihood.-Abdul Karim Soroush'
    ( By Royalj )
  • Islam is a euphemism for Arab Imperialism.Islam seeks to arabianise the whole world and destroy non-arab culture and Non-Arabs. Muslims are recgonised as Arabs.It this ...
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    ( By hats off! )
  • this will stop once the pakistani dhimmi kuffars start paying jizya. moderate muslims on this...
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  • Good article. Care and concern for humanity is the essence of zakah that the Qur'an repeatedly...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
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  • Shaheen Nawaz what about India leaving kashmir.'
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