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Books and Documents

Debating Islam

A Net Assessment of the Middle East
George Friedman
A Net Assessment of the Middle East
George Friedman

The collapse of the Soviet Union energized Islam, both because the Mujahideen defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan and because the alternative to Islam was left in tatters. Moreover, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait took place in parallel with the last days of the Soviet Union. Both countries are remnants of British diplomacy. The United States, having inherited the British role in the region, intervened to protect another British invention — Saudi Arabia — and to liberate Kuwait from Iraq....

 

If I was the interviewer I would have urged her to calm down. No need to get so upset, Ma'am."Muslim" is not a term of abuse. Not yet. But, actually, it is not so much Nasreen who is the problem. Her outburst is symptomatic of the militant, in-your-face brand of modern-day atheism she shares with the likes of Richard Dawkins, the British uber atheist whose anti-religion rants have alienated many of his own atheist mates on both sides of the Atlantic....

How to Save People from Apostasy?
V.M. Khaleelur Rahman
How to Save People from Apostasy?
V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

Ignorance and poverty are the issues of mostly the villages and poor Muslims are affected by it whereas misunderstanding is due to lack of religious education in educational institutions. A majority of Muslim children are unaware of even the fundamentals of Islam. Even today there are thousands of villages where Muslims are in a microscopic minority. There are no mosques, madrasas and maktabs and consequently people are ignorant of Islam. There are no enough knowledgeable persons even to conduct Janaza prayers, solemnize marriages and slaughter animals in Islamic ways. In some villages dead bodies are buried without prayers and animals are slaughtered without Bismillah....

Saudi Arabia has also stepped up pressure on its own 15 percent Shi‘ite minority, largely concentrated in the kingdom’s vast Eastern Province, home to the bulk of its oil industry. On Friday, ISIS claimed credit for a suicide bombing that killed at least 21 people at a Shi‘ite mosque in Qatif governate, located just a few miles from the Bahrain causeway. But hundreds of Wahhabist websites calling for the total elimination of Shi‘ism undoubtedly egged the bombers on....

 
To Beat ISIS, Kick Out US-led Coalition
Sharmine Narwani
To Beat ISIS, Kick Out US-led Coalition
Sharmine Narwani

With the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the US inadvertently extended Iran’s arc of influence in a direct geographic line to Palestine, leaving the Israeli colonial project vulnerable. Former President George W. Bush immediately took on the task of destroying this Resistance Axis by attempting to neuter Iranian allies Hezbollah, Syria and Hamas – and failed....

 

Our beloved film critic advises Noor to read Surah Baqarah for getting herself enlightened on the particular issue of Adam and Eve. Agreed! A simple question: Do Muslims look up for everything in the Quran? What about the Islamic canon?  The story of Eve seducing Adam is not in the holy book but still one finds such stuffs in the exegeses of the Quran. Do not the explanations of the book and a good number of apocryphal stories that make rounds in the Muslim households have an umbilical relationship with the Bible. There is nothing much in the Quran on Prophets—Joseph, Noah, Moses and others, however, still we know a good deal about them from books like Qasas-un-Nabeeyeen...

Related Article:

Heresy Based On Hearsay

Overcoming a Resilient Islamic State
Vijay Prashad
Overcoming a Resilient Islamic State
Vijay Prashad

Da’esh will not be defeated on the battlefield alone. It will have to be suffocated by lack of resources. Grievances of the sect were set in motion by the bloody Lebanese Civil War, which lasted 15 years and left the country exhausted into peace. A police officer of the time told me that the Lebanese Civil War has not ended but is “at half time”. Even an intermission would be a relief for the people of Syria....

 

In addition to airstrikes, Saudi efforts to build a Yemen military force to defeat the Houthi insurgents is lagging and, Riedel notes, “even if this approach gains momentum, it will only lead to a brutal civil war in Yemen much like Libya, Syria and Iraq in which al-Qaeda and its offshoots will be the main beneficiaries....

 

Islam isn't Christianity. The two faiths aren't analogous, and it is deeply ignorant, not to mention patronising, to pretend otherwise - or to try and impose a neatly linear, Eurocentric view of history on diverse Muslim-majority countries in Asia or Africa. Each religion has its own traditions and texts; each religion's followers have been affected by geopolitics and socio-economic processes in a myriad of ways....

Brutal Truths about ISIL Victories
Afzal Ashraf
Brutal Truths about ISIL Victories
Afzal Ashraf

The fight against ISIL is in many ways a fight between the idea of a nation state and the idea of a revolutionary ideological empire. Lessons learned about the intrinsic strengths of revolutionary insurgencies in comparison with the strengths of conventional armies are not being applied....

 

ISIS will be counting on the militias doing just that. Its currency is fear and panic. It trades off an Iraqi Sunni Arab population who believes that they are the only force capable of protecting them. Its brutality is designed to polarize and divide. Any Shiite militia crimes will likewise serve their immediate ambitions of securing permanent control over Anbar….

 
Tablighi Jama’at: A Bird’s Eye View
Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam

There are some points over which Tablighi Jamaat is criticized. It does not believe in clergy. Any member can be a preacher, even if he is an illiterate.  Another practice that is criticized is the collective long prayers particularly at the end of a tour or programme during which the participants collectively cry. Crying at the realization of sins and asking God for forgiveness is a private affair between man and God and not a public affair (as Riya, show). Third, during the Tablighi tours, the members offer Tahajjud prayers together under the leadership of an imam. Tahajjud is not a Farz Namaz. ... But Tablighi Jama’at has made Tahajjud a Farz which can be called an innovation (Bid’at).....

Coptic Orthodox Bishop Benyamin opened the collection of donations intended for the church, the suggestion of some leading Muslim members in the area to offer a contribution….

Marriage isn’t all fun and games; it is something that takes you away from all the things you love. It’s better for boys; their lives pretty much stay the same. But for girls, your entire life will change. Since then I began to observe our society. I observed married people and their actions....

 

In this kingdom, where it is common for royalty to study in foreign universities, this son has not. Little is known about this favourite son—even his age is a matter of debate. In the debate, his age varies between 27 and 35. Even the higher figure is about half the average age of the office-bearers of the king’s ministry. This son quickly prosecutes a war in a neighbouring country, to the south, a war that soon leaves thousands dead in aerial strikes alone....

 
Is ISIS Really on the Run?
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS Really on the Run?
Patrick Cockburn

Many news outlets across the world republished the map as evidence of the success of air strikes by the United States and its allies in support of the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. The capture of Tikrit after a month-long siege is cited as a further sign that a re-energised Iraqi state is winning and one day in the not too distant future will be able to recapture Mosul in the north and Anbar province in the west....

 

It seems that in secular India, religious beliefs cannot be overstretched.  Are people afraid that permitting young Muslim boys to grow a beard is a step towards “Talibanisation” of the country and hence this practice should be nipped in the bud....

 

The Muslim philosophers, who read Aristotle mostly through the eyes of Plato, were already familiar with the term "wisdom" (Hikmah) from the Quran and the sayings of the prophet of Islam....

 

‘Islam is the Solution’ became quite dominant. That new slogan pierced through the collective psyche of various Arab Muslim intellectual groups throughout the Middle East and beyond, specifically because it seemed to be an attempt at tapping into the region’s own historical and cultural references....

 
IS — A Baathist Brainchild?
Linda Heard
IS — A Baathist Brainchild?
Linda Heard

A recent report by the German magazine Der Spiegal, drawn from documents smuggled from Syria to Turkey, is eye-opening. Separating fact from fiction is an almost impossible task but if young Muslim men and women were being indoctrinated and manipulated by people with a very different agenda, it wouldn’t be the first time....

 
Who Are The Worst Of Creatures In The Quran?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
Who Are The Worst Of Creatures In The Quran?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

It should now be clear that both “the best of creatures” and “the worst of creatures” refers to specific people of the Prophet’s times and not to people of this age. The believers or Muslims have no basis to consider themselves as the best of creatures or to consider others as the worst by citing this verse which only speaks of a specific group of people of the Prophet’s times .....

Salafist fundamentalism – an intolerant version of Islam at odds with the more moderate Sufi-influenced variant that prevailed in India for centuries – has been spreading across Bangladesh in recent years. While Bengal’s long secular tradition, which drove its efforts to break away from Pakistan, is still alive and well, the corrosive impact of the radical Islamists – who use force to silence those with whom they disagree – is undeniable. Roy and Washiqur are far from the first Bengali intellectuals to face the Islamists’ particular brand of censorship....

 
Is the Quran a Book of Contradictions?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
Is the Quran a Book of Contradictions?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

Most definitely, the Quran is not a flat text. The Quran creates a tension and maintains it to steer people to the right path. At the same time, it makes allowances for the frailties of man and the door to mercy and forgiveness is kept open……

The question is what “Islamic economy” refers to. One thing to note is that the Islamic economy is not just another name for Islamic finance. From a commercial perspective, it naturally encompasses all the sectors driven by the Muslim population’s adherence to some form of faith-based activity that has a market impact....

 

A fatal conceit exists on the left in its use of Islam.  It’s this: leftists are in every way superior to Muslims.  Islam, violent and useful, though dangerous, is primitive and no match for the great minds and godless certitudes of “progressivism.”  Islam can be used and then dispensed with.  But the left underestimates the power of an ancient faith -- and its faithful -- at its own peril....

 
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