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Debating Islam

The religious dimension at its core is obvious. However much we may point to absent permits and municipal laws, these were not the concerns of the 50 protesters. They were reacting, maybe irrationally, to the possibility that their faith and that of Muslim youths’ might somehow be challenged or compromised by the inanimate cross symbol....

 
‘Non-Devout’ Reformist Muslim
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
‘Non-Devout’ Reformist Muslim
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

If all Muslim public figures need to apologise for not fulfilling “obligatory duties prescribed by Islam” one should expect millions of apologies every day from Muslims not waking up before dawn for their ‘mandatory’ Fajr prayer, or for not following the Ramazan obligations as mandated by Islamic scriptures....

 
Defending the Right to Offend
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Defending the Right to Offend
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Those who want to silence the debate on Islam -- on what is explicitly done in the name of Muhammad, and according to the instructions of the Quran -- are not only threatened with physical assassination, but must also endure systematic attempts at character assassination. But I will not be silenced by threats. How can I be silent? Has the threat from radical Islam diminished since 2005? Am I to say nothing when Ethiopian Christians are brutally beheaded by supporters of the so-called Islamic State in Libya? Am I to be silent as the mayhem caused by the Jihadists drives thousands to risk their lives....

The late Mohammad Rafi, a Muslim singer who is a household name in India, sang bhajans so poignant and soul stirring that they bring tears to the eyes even of a Hindu-turned-atheist like me. Iqbal, a Muslim poet, wrote the lyrics of arguably the most patriotic song in India that celebrates “Hindustan” as the best nation in the world. More recently, A.R. Rahman, an observant Muslim composer who won an Oscar for his score in Slumdog Millionaire, has recorded the most goose-bump-inducing rendition of Vande Mataram — an ode to the Hindu Motherland....

 

Faux moderate Muslims like the Muslim Council of Britain (which is the UK's CAIR) keep on telling us that Islam and politics are utterly separate. It often says, for example, that "Islam isn't the same as Islamism". Yet Islam itself has always been political in that Sharia law is at the heart of Islam and Sharia law covers all aspects of life....

 
Islam and Tribalism
Irfan Husain
Islam and Tribalism
Irfan Husain

Wahabi influence and money has thus transformed the social and religious landscape across much of the Muslim world. This vision has fuelled extremism by excluding other, less-rigid interpretations of Islam, deeming followers of different sects non-believers....

 

It moves on to analyze different understandings of the Holy Texts: the Quran and the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith) that relate to Jihad. In other words, the article brings forth verses from the Quran and Hadith that ISIS uses to justify its actions. It concludes with a glimpse of the open letter written by celebrated Muslim scholars explaining their points of view on Jihad, attacking innocent people and elaborates on their attitudes towards the Islamic State in general....

A majority of Muslims are sceptical of IS’s coming into existence and then gaining tactical and financial strength. On the other hand, there are many who would love to join hands with it blindly and sacrifice their lives for its cause – which, in their eyes, is an utmost sacred cause. Ahadith (sayings) of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) regarding Jihad and the establishment of Caliphate usually obviate any counter/critical-narrative for those in favour....

 
The Quest for Islamic 'Reformation'
Saleem H. Ali
The Quest for Islamic 'Reformation'
Saleem H. Ali

While most Madrasas or Islamic schools are not militant to this extent, and many can function without this kind of radical activism, some of the underlying teachings of Islam that can easily be taken out of context need to be more explicitly and universally addressed. The only way for this systemic change to occur is for the Ulema (Islamic scholars) to pass clear and unified Fatwas and injunctions in these matters to inculcate tolerance and the rule of law....

In current debates, the more invested "viewer" projects their own fantasies onto the figure of Islam, which is commonly used as a blank screen, similarly denuded and emptied of all nobility that might resist the projections of a Europe afraid of losing her culture in an increasing global and multicultural world....

 
ISIS’s Turkish Brothers
Burak Bekdil
ISIS’s Turkish Brothers
Burak Bekdil

The Turkish ISIS is an ideological inspiration by an Islamist poet, who happens to be President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s favourite. If a “mere” 11.3% of Turks think so generously of ISIS, it means there are nine million Turks sympathetic to jihadists....

Uzbekistan remains opposed to the interpretation of Islam perpetuated by fundamentalists. They remain committed to their legacy of Islamic faith as a cultural and local institution devoid of the trappings of the politicization that can be witnessed in different corners of the world....

 
Misunderstanding ISIL, Again
Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou
Misunderstanding ISIL, Again
Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

If perceiving ISIL as a religious actor is therefore partially warranted, it is necessary to explain why this is a moment of increased visibility of religion-driven and religion-dominated conflicts, and also to connect the evolution of the “caliphate” as a specific political project to larger post-colonial dynamics....

 
Hirsi Ali and Her Errors
Harun Yahya
Hirsi Ali and Her Errors
Harun Yahya

Islam champions true democracy, freedom of thought and secularism. Muslims are ordered to invite people to the right path in the kindest manner, but leave the choice to them....

Related Article:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali – The Literary Queen Of Reformist Islam Is Not Infallible: A Critique Of Her Essay, “The Future Of Islam In The Hands Of Reformers”

Spiritual Islam Vs Bigoted Islam
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
Spiritual Islam Vs Bigoted Islam
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

By no stretch of imagination can we say that a solitary witness is always a liar and neither does the Quran call them a liar. It calls them a Fasiq or a person given to wickedness. The lesson to derive from this is that an individual who is concerned about the “sins” of others is driven by wickedness or by a hate for others rather than love. He is driven by feelings of revenge and retaliation rather than forgiveness. He takes gleeful pleasure in catching others in the wrong rather than overlooking faults…..

....the author’s self assumed role as a reformer of Islam is commendable, but if she is conflating Islam with its secondary sources and is sceptical of Islam’s core scripture, the Qur’an and its Prophet, she simply does not know what Islam stands for and therefore will be dismissed as a reformer by the Muslim community, though she may be patronized by others for speaking up against Islam and its Prophet. ......

Related Article:

The Future of Islam in the Hands of Reformers

Phenomenon of Community, Not Phenomenon of Islam
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
Phenomenon of Community, Not Phenomenon of Islam
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

The writer has divided Muslims into Mecca Muslims and Medina Muslims. Again, this division is wrong. The fact is that Muslims of both the periods are one and the same. The only difference is that, when the Prophet was in Mecca, he received those revelations that pertained to the basic principles of Islam...

Muslims DO Speak Out, We're Just Not Listening
Rabbi Marc Schneier
Muslims DO Speak Out, We're Just Not Listening
Rabbi Marc Schneier

If we make the mistake of portraying Islam itself as the enemy, and dismissing the courageous stand of the moderate Muslim majority against extremism as meaningless, we perpetuate a false narrative of perpetual conflict between Islam and the West and, unintentionally, strengthen the terrorists....

The most obvious is Islam, not only as a faith but also as a source of identity and an important factor in social relations and politics. Islam has long been important to Muslim politics. It has played a role in the struggles for liberation from colonialism in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East....

 
Respect Islam’s Diversity
Zainah Anwar
Respect Islam’s Diversity
Zainah Anwar

If it is “Haram”, “UnIslamic”, “anti-God”, “anti-Syariah” to question the pronouncements of a mufti or a chief minister on any Islamic matter, why should we expect those extremists in Syria and Iraq to disobey the commands of their self-appointed caliph....

 

The graphic images of violence that have been unleashed upon the world by Middle Eastern insurgencies that promote religious and ideological extremism— namely by Houthi rebels in Yemen and ISIS in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya – accompany the rising use of violent rhetoric in the regions directly affected....

 
Are All Terrorists Really Muslims?
Aakar Patel
Are All Terrorists Really Muslims?
Aakar Patel

As is obvious, most terrorists in India are Hindus, the ones whom we have conveniently labelled ‘Maoist’ instead of ‘Hindu’. The second largest group of terrorists is the tribals, animists and perhaps, some Christians, of the north-east. Muslims are third....

As far as Muslim intellectuals who cared about the condition of Muslim reality were concerned, they sought to revive Islam in order to reform Muslim society. But today we live in an age, when Muslims and non-Muslims are talking about reforming Islam to revive Muslim societies. While the new, reversed Juxtapositioning of revival and reform, is gaining dominance the old theme of revival continues to echo in the collective Muslim consciousness....

Racism has been a quiet issue in our religion, whether we care to acknowledge this fact or not. Technically, it shouldn’t be, because there are numerous Quranic passages that tell us to accept our Muslim brothers and sisters of every race, ethnicity, or “tribe….

 
Does Islam Permit Destruction of All Statues?
Azis Anwar Fachrudin
Does Islam Permit Destruction of All Statues?
Azis Anwar Fachrudin

In general, most Muslims, either as a minority like in India or as a majority like in Indonesia, have no problem with statues, unlike those who prefer a literal interpretation of the Prophet’s sayings, or Hadiths....

 
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