Books and Documents

The War Within Islam (05 May 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Changing Muslim Psyche: Allah Hafiz vs. Khuda Hafiz

By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

May 5, 2009


April 28 is the day Saddam Hussein was born in 1937. Most people have forgotten the grandeur of the birthday bash in Iraq each year. But the Urdu press hasn't. In the middle of the crucial general elections, Aalami Sahara, has a cover story: "Salaam to the greatness of the Lion of Iraq" emblazoned on top of a photograph of a grand statue of the fallen Iraqi dictator.


It would be too impractical even for the Muslim wonderland of Urdu Press to do so, but if it could, it would similarly celebrate Osama bin-Laden's birthday too. There is no question, however, that bin-Laden is a highly revered figure in the community.


What is common between the two, one a secular fundamentalist and the other a radical Islamist? They both confronted America. That they were both American agents whom America used for its own purposes and that whatever they did and perhaps Osama is still doing has resulted in the killing of millions of Muslims is, of course, of no account. We love confrontation.


Fed on the diet of Naseem Hijazi's romantic war novels, acclaimed as Islamic historical fiction, in their youth, many of our intelligentsia -- if they can be called that -- simply love confrontation and abhor sensible compromise. Anyone in the community, for instance, who suggests a negotiated settlement of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, involving compromise, is branded a BJP agent. Knowing that, not many dare suggest sensible solutions.


Muslim leadership and even journalism has now passed into the hands of bearded clerics. Some of these mullahs may appear clean-shaven, their beards concealed well within their stomachs, as the saying goes, but their responses are the same as those of ignorant mullahs.


What are these responses? Pessimism, negativism, perpetual grievance-mongering, call for confrontation, decrying compromise, conspiracy theories, taking affront at the slightest criticism -- each one manifestly against the spirit of Islam. No matter how badly off a Muslim is, you ask him how he is and his answer will be Al-hamdo lillah (All praise be to God, meaning I am good and I thank God for that).


Is the negativism of Muslim press having an impact? It is. A Muslim today will still start with Alhamdo lillah but then immediately start chanting a litany of complaints. Sachar committee report is of course, the handiest weapon.


Ask them to feel grateful to God that you are not living in Pakistan where your mother would be asking you to pray at home and not go to mosques for fear of being blown up by suicide bombers; ask them to feel grateful that you are living in the only non-Muslim majority country in the world which allows you to organise your personal life in accordance with Muslim Personal Law; that your constitution guarantees you equal status; that no party can come to power at the Centre which has not got your votes: and you are immediately branded a Hindu agent.


This is the condition of a community whose religion exhorts it to live with an attitude of gratitude even in the direst of circumstances, to start every prayer with Al-Hamd (Praising God). God's bounties are so many and so great that we will not finish recounting them even if we spend an entire lifetime doing that.


Islam-supremacism, contempt for other religions, are our mantras. We forget that our scriptures ask us to revere equally as Prophet Mohammad all the 124,000 prophets that preceded him in all parts of the world. This is an essential requirement for the Islamic faith.


Inner spirituality has been sucked out of our religion with the onset of Wahhabism in a big way. Under US protection, Saudi Arabia is spending tens of billions of dollars for the last 35 years in spreading a desiccated, arid, desert version of Islam, devoid of all spiritual values. The Islam to which we had been introduced in the sub-continent by our saints is dead and gone. People may still visit Sufi shrines, but the inclusiveness that it entailed is no longer there.


We are now living in an era where Wahhabis have got so emboldened that they can kill us, the clean-shaven lot, for saying Takbeer (a loud affirmation of faith) in a mosque before iftar. This is what happened to Mohammad Iqbal in a village in Saharanpur (He survived but his seven-year-old daughter got killed in the stone-pelting that ensured after the nimaz-e-maghrib).


Gandhiji started this move to impose Wahhabi Mullahs on us in 1920s, supporting the anti-national Khilafat movement. Mulayam Singhs and Mayawatis plus the media's love for dramatic beards and burqas, have finally succeeded, in no small measure with American and Saudi help. Am I too complaining, blaming others? Perhaps I can't escape the impact of the surrounding ambience for too long. It's time I too succumbed to the desert culture that has already forced most Muslims to say Allah Hafiz in place of the user-friendly and closer to home Khuda Hafiz.


The author is editor of www.NewAgeIslam.com


Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1252947

©2009 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd.

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/changing-muslim-psyche--allah-hafiz-vs.-khuda-hafiz--/d/1383


  • Sultan Shahin

                 I can understand your standard, your intention, your intellectual and moral stature - from your words towards Taslima Nasreen and Salman Rushdie.

    It's your own personal opinion; you own it as your right. Thanks, but no thanks.

    An Indian | Homepage | 05.23.09 - 2:09 am | #


    By An Indian -

  • Dear "An Indian", Are you the same "An Indian", or a different one? First time I am finding someone objecting to "instant replies to commentator's comments". If you give a reply, you are dubbed “publicity hungry", and if you don't, I suppose some "an Indian" would call you arrogant.

    Taslima Nasrin is, of course, a hero to all those Muslims who believe in the right of minorities to be treated as equal. You cannot fight for minority rights in India, the one country which grants you the very best of rights in its constitution and truly treats you as equal, and ignore the rights of minorities in Bangladesh or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

    Salman Rushdie is a great writer. He is not just a good writer like V S Naipaul. He has extended the reach of English language and literature and given them new idioms, new ways of expression that many have been trying to follow since, though without much success.

    His “Satanic Verses” was a particularly good read. Both Islam and Western Democracy, the only two religions in the world today that are prepared to kill in order to expand their reach, are ignoring him at their own peril. Rushdie could do a great deal of good to both these ideologies if they had cared to introspect the points he made in his wild dream within a mad man’s dream.

    Rushdie is a true friend of both Islam and Western Democracy, not that these two ideologies are mutually antagonistic or incompatible. In a sane world he would have been a hero both in the Muslim world and the West. The West is able to lionise him because it was able to take the focus away from what he said about Western Democracy utilising the crazy reaction of mad and illiterate Muslims the world over. The West fears introspection as much as does Islam. Crazies in the Muslim world gave it a way out by outraging the world public opinion by the famous fatwa.
    Indian Muslims have particular reason to be proud of Salman Rushdie. He is an Indian (by birth and at heart) and a Muslim.

    Sultan Shahin | Homepage | 05.21.09 - 4:00 pm | #


    By Sultan Shahin -

  • Sultan Shahin or whoever you might be under cover (mask) of "that name".

    I am happy that you had "at-least the moral courage" to quote a lengthy comment from an "anonymous commentator", who posted comments to your article on CounterCurrents - on your blog.

    Are you trying to market your blog, or are you trying to please others on both sides of the aisle. Have you read about Taslima Nasreen, Salman Rushdie, and other hypocrites??

    I believe YOU SHOULD FIRST try some soul-searching, self-preaching, and truth-finding things about your article, your views about Islamic belief, Islamic history, Islamic teachings, Spread of Islam, etc. before you can comment on anyone's comments.

    It's not the language or length that matters - it's the contents (meat) in the article or comments that are of essence to readers.

    With your instant replies to commentator's comments, it appears you are just "publicity hungry", and looking for solace from readers on the other side of isle. Good Luck.

    An Indian
    An Indian | 05.21.09 - 9:25 am | #

    By An Indian -

  • *         It looks like "eclipse" is over, and CounterCurrents website is emerging after being obscured for a while, following election results. Was it a result from falling of a "mad elephant" which lost elections? It needs to be buried in Gujarat and Latur - epicenter of earthquakes.

    Anyway India is a DEMOCRACY - let's not allow it to become DEMO-CRAZY, like our neighbours.

    We, The Indians have a lot to do, and demand many things from our elected politicians.

    First we need PEACE and SECURITY. Internal, as well as from external influences - as we gave you (ruling party) a stronger mandate. That's one of the "real fruits" of our VOTING POWER.

    An Indian.
    An Indian | 05.21.09 - 4:23 am | # 


    By An Indian. -

  • All that I can say to you "An Indian" is that I endorse most of your ideas. I think you should not stop there and keep enlarging your laundry list. The mere fact of spelling out what needs to be done is important. You never know who you are inspiring when and where to actually do something about something.
    Sultan Shahin | Homepage | 05.18.09 - 6:34 am | #


    By Sultan Shahin -

  • History of the rise of Allah Hafiz brigade and the demise of Khuda Hafiz


    from      soulat pasha <soulatpasha@yahoo.com>

    to         Sultan Shahin  Editor@newageislam.com

    date      26 May 2009 11:51

    subject  Fw: Allah Hafiz to Khuda Hafiz Nadeem F. PARACHA

    --- On Sun, 5/24/09, Aly Philippe Bossin <sindhian@gmail.com> wrote:


    From: Aly Philippe Bossin <sindhian@gmail.com>

    Subject: Allah Hafiz to Khuda Hafiz Nadeem F. PARACHA

    To: "Aly Philippe Bossin PKEDSU" <sindhian@gmail.com>

    Date: Sunday, May 24, 2009, 3:03 AM


    The first time Allah Hafiz was used in public was in 1985 when a famous TV host, a frequent sight on PTV during the Zia era, signed off her otherwise secular show with a firm ‘Allah Hafiz.’


    As most Pakistanis over the ages of six and seven would remember, before the now ubiquitous ‘Allah Hafiz’ came ‘Khuda Hafiz’.


    The immediate history of the demise of Khuda Hafiz can be traced back to a mere six to seven years in the past. It was in Karachi some time in 2002 when a series of banners started appearing across Sharea Faisal. Each banner had two messages. The first one advised Pakistani Muslims to stop addressing God by the informal ‘Tu’ and instead address him as ‘Aap’ (the respectful way of saying ‘you’ in Urdu). The second message advised Pakistanis to replace the term Khuda Hafiz with Allah Hafiz.


    The banners were produced and installed by Islamic organisations associated with a famous mosque in Karachi. Ever since the 1980s, this institution had been a bastion of leading puritanical doctrines of Islam. Many of the institution’s scholars were, in one way or the other, also related to the Islamic intelligentsia sympathetic to the Taliban version of political Islam and of other similar fundamentalist outfits.


    However, one just cannot study the Allah Hafiz phenomenon through what happened in 2002. This phenomenon has a direct link with the disastrous history of cultural casualties Pakistan has steadily been suffering for over thirty years now. Beyond the 2002 banner incident, whose two messages were then duly taken up by a series of Tableeghi Jamaat personnel and as well as trendsetting living room Islamic evangelists, a lot of groundwork had already taken place to culturally convert the largely pluralistic and religiously tolerant milieu of Pakistan into a singular concentration of Muslims following the “correct” version of Islam.


    The overriding reasons for this were foremost political, as General Ziaul Haq and his politico-religious cohorts went about setting up madrasas in an attempt to harden the otherwise softer strain of faith that a majority of Pakistanis followed so they could be prepared for the grand ‘Afghan jihad’ against the atheistic Soviet Union with a somewhat literalist and highly politicised version of Islam. The above process not only politically radicalised sections of Pakistani society, its impact was apparent on culture at large as well.


    For example, as bars and cinemas started closing down, young men and women, who had found space in these places to simply meet up, were forced to move to shady cafes, restaurants and parks which, by the mid-1980s, too started to be visited by cops and fanatical moral squads called the ‘Allah Tigers’, who ran around harassing couples in these spaces, scolding them for going against Islam, or, on most occasions, simply extorting money from the shaken couples through blackmail.


    Then, getting a blanket ideological and judicial cover by the Zia dictatorship, the cops started to harass almost any couple riding a motorbike, a car or simply sitting at the beach. Without even asking whether the woman was the guy’s sister or mother (on many occasions they were!), the cops asked for the couples’ marriage certificate! Failing to produce one (which in most cases they couldn’t), hefty sums of money were extorted as the couples were threatened to be sent to jail under the dreadful Hudood Ordinances. The same one the Musharraf government eventually scrapped.


    Some of these horrendous practices were duly stopped during the Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif governments in the 1990s, but the cat had long been set among the pigeons. Encouraged by their initial successes in the 1980s, Islamist culture-evangelists became a lot more aggressive in the 1990s. Drawing room and TV evangelists went about attempting to construct a “true” Islamic society, and at least one of their prescriptions was to replace the commonly used Khuda Hafiz with Allah Hafiz.


    This was done because these crusading men and women believed that once they had convinced numerous Pakistanis to follow the faith by adorning a long beard and hijab, the words Khuda Hafiz would not seem appropriate coming out from the mouths of such Islamic-looking folks. They believed that Khuda can mean any God, whereas the Muslims’ God was Allah. Some observers suggest that since many non-Muslims residing in Pakistan too had started to use Khuda Hafiz, this incensed the crusaders who thought that non-Muslim Pakistanis were trying to adopt Islamic gestures only to pollute them.


    The first time Allah Hafiz was used in public was in 1985 when a famous TV host, a frequent sight on PTV during the Zia era, signed off her otherwise secular show with a firm ‘Allah Hafiz.’ However, even though some Islamic preachers continued the trend in the 1990s, it did not trickle down to the mainstream until the early 2000s. As society continued to collapse inwards — especially the urban middle class — the term Allah Hafiz started being used as if Pakistanis had always said Allah Hafiz.


    So much so that today, if you are to bid farewell by saying Khuda Hafiz, you will either generate curious facial responses, or worse, get a short lecture on why you should always say Allah Hafiz instead — a clear case of glorified cultural isolationism to ‘protect’ one’s comfort zone of myopia from the influential and uncontrollable trends of universal pluralism?


    I’m afraid this is the case.

    By Aly Philippe Bossin -

  • Sultan Shahin!

    But voting is "An Act of Faith", including in Islam. And INC (i.e. Congress - "a lesser evil" or DEVIL) has won with majority, repudiating everyone's expectations, exit poll results, projections, media manipulation, etc.

    After two decades of DECAY, starting from misuse of power by Indira Gandhi ((farce Emergency Rule - becoming a "minority party" from once an "absolute majority party")), it needs to seriously sit-down and put its house in order. I am sure Congress learned lesson during this long sojourn (hibernation), that India is a democracy, and they cannot take minorities and/or dalits for a ride - or consider their votes, rights, wishes, and wants "for granted".

    a) Firstly, Congress (or any ruling coalition) it needs to tackle the security situation - instead of ruling like an "onlooker" government. It cannot ignore the basic tenets of constitution i.e. provide PEACE and SECURITY to its citizens, whether Minority or Majority.

    b) Secondly, Congress (or any ruling coalition) needs to take action against those scores of suspects - now culprits of terrorist attacks, riots, pogroms, massacres by those once muscle-flexing Saffronites.

    c) Third, Congress (or any ruling coalition) needs to instruct the army to keep their "eyes and ears" OPEN - and not let the likes of Srikant Prasad Purohits to walk-away, tarnishing the image of Indian Army.

    d) Fourth, Congress (or any ruling coalition) needs to implement the impending Police Reforms - detach political power of transferring police officials

    e) Fifth, Congress (or any ruling coalition) needs to reform Judicial System.

    And there is a big laundry list of things which needs to be done.

    An Indian | 05.16.09 - 5:19 pm | #


    By An Indian -

  • Date:     Sat, 16 May 2009 13:33:25 +0530 [05/16/2009 01:33:25 PM IST]

    From:    Ghulam Muhammed

    To:       Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com


    It is significant that on the day that election news is pouring in to grant Indian National Congress a sweep in the Parliamentary elections, India's second most important Newspaper should publish on its editorial page, an article by a French scholar, lamenting the absence of Muslims in the whole cavalcade, even though they form about 13% percent of total of Indian voters. The glaring role of Indian National Congress in the marginalization is now being noticed internationally and a move will be on in this age of liberalization and globalisation, to counsel elements in Indian National Congress, to take affirmative redressal measure, if it wants to see a future India as a peaceful democratic nation. Now that BJP has suffered a rout, Congress cannot hide behind the BJP charges of 'appeasement' to perpetuate institutionalized marginalization of Indian Muslims.


    Jaffrelot writes: To ensure political voice is more important at a time when this minority is discriminated against.


    Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai





    Looking for the Muslim MP


    Christophe Jaffrelot


    Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 2202 hrs IST


    Except in 1980, when the percentage of Muslim MPs in the Lok Sabha — 9 per cent — was roughly equivalent to the percentage of Muslims in the Indian population — 11.4 per cent according to the 1981 census — this minority has always been under-represented in Parliament. The gap increased in the late ’80s, to fall to about 5 per cent in the ’90s, the decade when the BJP remained the first party in the Lok Sabha for quite some time; it then increased slightly in 1999 and 2004 thanks to the good performance of parties which had nominated a large number of Muslim candidates, mainly the BSP and the SP. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, Muslim MPs represent 6.4 per cent of the total MPs while Muslims represent 13.4 per cent of the Indian population, according to the 2001 census.


    The situation may not be very different this time if we go by the candidate lists. There are a very high number of Muslim candidates in the fray: the fates of about 780 are becoming clear as you read this. This figure reflects the will to take part in the political process of the world’s largest democracy, a will also reflected in the usually high turn-out of Muslim voters that retain faith in the electoral process, even, and especially, post-Ayodhya. But in most of the states — including Muslim-majority J&K — the percentage of Muslim candidates is far below the percentage of Muslims in the general population. In Assam, wher


    e Muslims represent 30 per cent of the population, they are 19 per cent; in UP, where Muslims are 18.5 per cent, they are 11 per cent of candidates; a similar proportion in Bihar strive to represent a state where Muslims are 16.5 per cent of the population. The only significant exception is Maharashtra.


    More importantly, in most of the states, a majority of Muslim candidates are independents. In Maharashtra, precisely 52 per cent contest as independents; in Gujarat and MP, 54 per cent; in Haryana, 66 per cent; in Rajasthan, 80 per cent! These reflect the reluctance of the parties — especially national parties — to nominate Muslim candidates. If one does not expect the BJP to behave otherwise (the party has nominated only 5 Muslims this time) the Congress has never paid so little attention to Muslims, if that is judged by the percentage of its candidates that is Muslim.


    Excluding in J&K, less than 30 Muslims have been given Congress tickets this time — an appallingly low number — and interestingly, none in Maharashtra. Similarly, the communists do not make much room for Muslim candidates, not in West Bengal, with half a dozen candidates, nor in Kerala, where there are only a couple of Muslim candidates on the lists of the CPI and the CPM. The only national party giving prominence to Muslim candidates is the BSP. In UP, its stronghold, the BSP has actually nominated more Muslim candidates than its rival, the SP (13 against 12). Mulayam Singh Yadav might lose sections of the Muslim vote to the BSP anyway because of the entry of Kalyan Singh in the party.


    In Maharashtra, too, the BSP is the party which has given more tickets to Muslim candidates than any other party, including the SP (9 against 6). Similarly, in Karnataka and in Kerala; in the latter it has given more tickets to Muslim candidates than the communists and the Muslim League! It is possible that the BSP aims to become the new political channel of expression for Muslims by reconstituting the old UP Congress coalition of Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims. This would certainly be a significant development if it enables Muslim communities to remain part of the institutional framework, defusing centrifugal forces which could take the form of a “Muslim party” or even extra-constitutional modes of action. To ensure political voice is even more important at a time when this minority is discriminated against in the labour and housing markets, as has become evident from recent surveys. One thing to look at in the results is whether the BSP has a chance at being this voice.


    The writer is at CERI, Sciences Po, Paris and has co-edited ‘Rise of the plebeian? The changing face of Indian legislative assemblies’. This article was co-written with Virginie Dutoya, Radhika Kanchana and Gayatri Rathore.


    By Ghulam Muhammed -

  • from     Mufaddal Khumri

    to         sultan shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com

    cc        NewAgeIslam-Newsletter@newageislam.com

    date     17 May 2009 19:20

    subject            : Secularism wins in Indian elections , NewAgeIslam.Org - 17 May, 2009


    Sultan Sahab,



    It has been a long time since I communicated with you. In the meanwhile I have been regularly accessing your site and its many wonderful news item, especially the very scholarly articles, some of them very incisive and many of them untrammelled by emotions.


     “The elections in India are over but the apathy for Muslims continues. Of the 543 elected MPs only 27 are Muslims, a mere 4.97%. Compared this to the overall Muslim share in India’s population and one would realize the community’s political and social alienation. Even in states where Muslim population boasts of a sizeable section they have no or little representation. Be it Assam, Andhra, Bihar, Maharashtra or UP, be it Congress ruled, BJP or Left, the disdain is universal. Muslims remain unpalatable and untouchable to political parties of all hues. Can we identify representation in the last government? How many Muslims had significant portfolios being allotted to them? The Congress can have Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister since it is a pseudo Hindu move to have a Sikh as a Prime Minister, but for them to have a Muslim adorn any senior position is anathema. Congress is a pseudo Hindu party which adorns the secular garb, whereas the BJP is a Hindu part without the garb. One is a devil in disguise whereas the other prefers to adorn no mascara.


    As a community we have been left at the cross roads of destiny. I can never foresee any political enlightenment or representation for Muslims in Indian democracy. The demographics in India have been so cleverly manipulated during the linguistic re organization of states that Muslims never stood a chance to gain political power in post partition India. Their population spread across cities and states had been so aptly worked out that they just could not vote en masse. And even if Muslim population could have gained in some states and constituencies, political parties ensured those Muslim candidates were not given poll tickets. All in all a very effective mechanism to isolate nearly 14% of your population by giving them limited representation.


     This Sir, is Indian democracy and its secularism. Be it the Congress, BJP, Third or the Fourth front, modern India has adeptly disenfranchised Muslims!!”



    Mufaddal Khumri, Abu Dhabi, UAE

    By Mufaddal Khumri, Abu Dhabi, UAE -

  • Major Ghouse Quadri  chides Mr. Sultan Shahin for "superiority complex" for speaking the truth as he sees it.  However, the good major loses his credibility by praising the Khilafat movement.  Khilafat movement's real motive was to reestablish the "great" Muslim empire once again in India so the rule over the native majority by the minority Muslims could continue for another thousand years.  Gandhiji did make a huge mistake in not realizing the motives of the Islamists who started the Khilafat movement that ultimately resulted in the genocide of over 50,000 Hindus.   

    By Sriram Jagan -

  • In reply to Farukh Khan 5/9/2009 4:40 who says:  "Your reply shows your ideological depravity. By questioning integrity and loyalty of Indian Muslims towards their nation you should be fairly compared with people like Modis!!!"


    Let me assure you that I am neither a person of "ideological depravity" as you call it, nor anything to do with any extreme ideologies.   I am a very secular minded person who is not afraid of speaking the truth as I see it.   That does not mean I am biased or hate Muslims or support extremists such as Bajrang Dal.  I did outline my views of what I see as issues that Muslims deny to face. I also proposed some very fundamental solutions to attain reconciliation and rapprochement.  Certainly that cannot be the case if I am an ideologically “depraved person".


    You have really not challenged the facts that wrote.   If you read my message carefully, I am for a secular India where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and all sections of the society live in peace and harmony. 


    You raked in Babri mosque, so I asked you if you have regrets to the historical suffering of Hindus at the hands of your invading ancestors.  But, your answer is a noticeable silence.  What I have issue with is views such as yours that totally ignores the historical hurt of the Hindus at the hands of Muslims but only focuses exclusively on perceived "Muslim suffering".  


    If you feel as a second-class citizen, then you have to look at yourself in the mirror to ask if you have any responsibility in feeling this way.  As long as you view yourself as a Muslim first instead of as an Indian you will make your own perception a reality.  Do any Hindus think Abdul Kalam and people like him as a Muslim instead of as a great Indian?  You should ask yourself, why is that?


    People like Owais, the MLA from Hyderabad openly declare that they are Muslims and not Indians. It is also a fact that a section of the Indian Muslims do think they are Pakistanis at heart.  Some patriotic Muslim Indians themselves have candidly observed and condemned this fact right here in this website. So, It is good to hear that you feel you are an Indian.  You say the partition was a tragedy and don't agree with it.  Good. But, is your reason because it weakened the "Muslim power" in India as many feel, or because you really feel it was morally wrong to refuse to be part of a secular democratic India as constitutional equals after the Muslim minority had ruled over the rest for over eight centuries?


    I am advancing these arguments in order to get you to see that there are some other facts and truth that you have ignored to seek and contemplate within yourself to answer why you feel like a second class citizen instead of blaming your fellow citizen and the country.


    You speak negatively of Gandhi and Nehru.  Why? All they wanted was a secular, democratic and united India where everyone including Muslims would have constitutionally equal rights.   What is wrong with that?  Apparently, you have been reading too much of cooked-up revisionist history books of Pakistan.  The truth is that the minority Muslim elite did not want to lose their power that they had enjoyed over the natives uninterrupted for over eight centuries.  They created Pakistan and most of the wealthy and elite Muslims moved to Pakistan leaving behind mostly the poor and illiterate Muslims.


    This website is a great effort by Mr. Sultan Shahin to boldly and honestly address the real issues and truth, however unpleasant that may be, with an aim of building a harmonious society for all Indians.  This is not the usual politically correct forum where people just do lip service.  Mr. Shahin, my sincere thanks to your brave efforts in not being afraid to speak up about unpleasant truths.  Only such honest an open discourse would enable us to solve our pestering communal issues.


    To conclude, I request Mr. Khan to honestly contemplate and list for himself as to why he feels like a second class citizen and examine each one of the issues from an honestly broader perspective and not just a myopic Muslim-colored one. If he chooses, we can debate here further. I also would assure him of my good intentions for lasting communal harmony of India.


    By Sriram Jagan -

  • Date:     Thu, 14 May 2009 00:21:53 -0700 [12:51:53 PM IST]

    From:    marghoob inam

    To:       Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com

    Subject:             my response



    This is my reply for what u written

    i never mention that ALLAH will punish Sultan sahab for sure, instead what i wrote is that if u mislead or tell untruth then ALLAH will punish. ok . u must understand this.

    also there is no moderate type of Muslim instead there is only and only one type of Muslim which is coming from the beginning.


     Wahiduddin Khan is the man who recently wrote in al-risala that in today prospective the model of Islam presented by HAZRAT MUHAMMAD is not relevance instead the model by MASIH[ISA MASIH] is relevant. if u read al-risala then u can understand what type of Islamic knowledge wahid saheb is spreading.

    The interpretation of wahid saheb of Islam is very bad. u really should not read the book written by wahid saheb.


    Think twice before reading wahid saheb

    As far as Maududi is concern , i think he one of the few man who really help to understand the quran. he was a brilliant man and had vast knowledge.

    By marghoob inam -

  • from      Shiva Shankar

    to         Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com

    date      14 May 2009 14:25


    Dear Sultan Shahin,

           I was looking at your website, and I was astounded that you could write the following:


    ' ...As for the Jews, neutral observers have to understand that at that time the Prophet was fighting for his community and faith's very survival. The Jews first entered into an agreement with him and then when war came stabbed him in the back, expecting the far superior army of Meccans to decimate the ill-equipped and extremely weak Muslim army. But the reverse happened with the blessings and support of God, the only thing that could indeed have saved the Prophet, his army and Islam. Now the perfidious Jews had indeed to be taught a lesson as a warning to other tribes who were now entering into similar agreements with the Muslim community. ...'


    It seems to me that you are justifying the murder of women and children! Yet you seem quite concerned, and rightly so, about the murder of Palestinian women and children by the Israelis. Why cannot your argument be morphed to the argument Jews use today to justify the mass murder they commit???


    It also points out the enormous difference between Mohammad and the Buddha. Can you imagine the Buddha even wishing, let alone committing any harm to any sentient thing? Not just towards humans, but universal compassion towards all sentient beings was the Buddha's core message.


    Religious enlightenment is a realisation, an understanding, a state of being, not some dogma about God, or heaven etc.


    Here is an answer by Professor Thurman to a most specific question:


    '... Q: Is it possible to attain enlightenment without being Buddhist?


    A: Yes I think so. Although the Buddhist philosophy and psychology (is) about realistic worldview and realistic meditation I think, to be fully enlightened, that psychology and philosophy must be fully explored and understood.


    But you could do that without philosophy without formally being a Buddhist. In Buddhism enlightenment comes through understanding reality and not just through believing, not just through faith. If you think Buddhism as a religion is somehow taking refuge and having faith then that won't necessarily produce enlightenment. ...'


    Which is why I urge you once again to read the following extract from Toynbee. It is not an accident that Buddhists have been amongst the most peaceful of people, despite Sri Lanka's bloody assault on women and children (which as a Buddhist I condemn first and foremost).


    From A. Toynbee's A Study of History (Part VI - Universal States)


    '... .......  the encounters of the religions with one another brings up the question whether they can coexist in fruitful harmony or whether one of them will eventually supersede the rest. Till recently, the higher religions have coexisted, mainly because the past inadequacy of means of communication had set limits to the propagation of even the three principal missionary religions: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. By harnessing muscle power and wind power, their disseminators had succeeded in capturing entire continents, but not the whole face of the Earth. Present-day means of communication make it possible for each of them and for other religions too, to win adherents all round the globe; and for each, this raises the question of coexistence versus competition.

           Buddhism has always acquiesced in an amicable coexistence with the previous religions of the countries into which it has spread; and we may hope that this Buddhist tradition will prevail. Our common human nature is differentiated into different spiritual types; these different types find satisfaction in different presentations of religion; and the recent `annihilation of distance' has made it possible, now, for the first time, for an individual to choose for himself, when grown-up, the religion he finds most congenial to him, instead of inheriting automatically, through the accident of the time and place of his birth, without regard to his individual temperament.

           This freedom of choice would be assured to the individual in a physically united world if Buddhism were the only missionary religion in the field. Unhappily, Christianity and Islam do not have Buddhism's tradition of tolerance. Hitherto, each of them has demanded from its adherents an exclusive allegiance. Each of them, too, has been unwilling to tolerate the coexistence of any other religion except its own precursors, and these only in an inferior status and on humiliating terms. On these terms, Christianity has tolerated Judaism grudgingly and non-commitally - and at periodic intervals has withdrawn even this modified toleration - while Islam, less grudgingly and more bindingly, has tolerated both Judaism and Christianity. Are the Christian and Muslim `Establishments' capable of extricating themselves from their own traditions? Will they be able to adopt the amicable spirit of Buddhism which answers to the spiritual needs of a physically unified world? If Islam and Christianity prove unable to achieve this revolutionary change of outlook and ethos, will they lose their hold? And, if they do lose it, will their heritage pass to Buddhism, or will Mankind embrace some other religion or religions that have not yet appeared above the horizon? The `annihilation of distance' has already raised these questions, but it has not yet indicated what the answer to them are likely to be.  ...........

    By Shiva Shankar -

  • I am delighted to read most comprehensive comment on the ongoing debate from Major Quadri, very well written and point to point disposition indeed. One cannot achieve any goal while creating more enemies amongst Muslim community. We may have some noble ideal for the community but castigating the entire community will create more problems than solve them. I know Mr Shahin's exposition is the result of his deep anguish with the present state of affairs within community and it seems he really doesn’t want to create any misguided stir, still his words are enough to ignite some elements that actually rule the roost.


    Major Saheb has a diplomatic tone; he also wants to do and say the same thing but in a different manner. Although, he relies more on the military history rather than Romila Thapar, Vipin Chandra or Harbans Mukhia etc. Khilafat Movement was a mistake which Gandhiji realized later on. Jinnah was extremely opposed to it as it was a mixing of religion in politics.


    Shahin Saheb and Major Saheb, both are the two shores of the same river. Don't we remember Garam Dal and Naram Dal during our freedom struggle time in the Congress? We may have several opinions on the same problem. These only establish the fact that we are in deep trouble i.e. ideological, social, political. Thanks to New Age Islam that it provides a platform to discuss our affairs right here. This purpose is served and I hope we will achieve something MATERIALLY in future if we continue to debate and discuss issues pertinent to us.


    Best Regards

    By Shamshad Elahee Ansari, Dubai -


    'Not an act of faith' by Sultan Shahin, (DNA, May 5), is an honest assessment of what Islam means in this day and time and how it is being taken over by fanatics.

    The so-called secular parties who are appeasing the fanatics among the Muslim community and ignoring the poor Muslims purely for vote bank politics should take a proper look at the present atmosphere.

    Mullahs and moulvis are exploiting the ignorance of the masses about their own religion.

    The Sangh Parivar is also not espousing the cause of the Hindus but they do the opposite of what the secular parties do. Both the secular parties and the BJP are not in favour of anybody but are either anti-Hindus or anti-minority. The time has come to re-define secularism and the state should not interfere in religious affairs.

    --V Sundaram, Mumbai

    Friday, May 8, 2009 21:22 IST



    By V Sundaram, Mumbai -

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