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  • Your Favourite Author's Page

      

    Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, NewAgeIslam.com

    Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor of this progressive Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com and President of non-profit NGO New Age Islam Foundation and its subsidiary Education for Peace, a center for preventing radicalization, established in April 2008. He has over four decades of experience in journalism, mostly writing op-eds for major Indian and international publications, specializing in Islamic theology and Muslim politics. As a human rights defender, he has been representing major international NGOs and participating in debates at the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva for over a decade. He considers Islam as a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many, not a totalitarian political philosophy to dominate the world. He founded this website, seeking to rethink Islam, in all its aspects, to adjust to the demands of changing times, and thus to encourage Ijtihad in earnest.


    Please read below the articles written by him for NewAgeIslam.com

     
    The War Within Islam

    Any Harm to Indian Nurses Will Negate the Assertion of Islamic State and Will Have Huge Ideological Ramifications, Mr Caliph: It Will Show You as A Mere Terrorist
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    The abduction of 46 or some of the nurses by his ‘Islamic army’ is not in consonance with Islamic diplomatic principles or principles of war. The nurses are not a part of the Iraqi government which Mr Baghdadi is at loggerheads with. They are guests or ambassadors of India doing a noble service to the nation to which he belongs. Their abduction from their place of work and confining them against their will is against the principles of an Islamic caliphate and against the tenets of Islam. They are not the citizens of the country. They are citizens of India with which the ISIS does not have any disputes and which is not a party to the war. Therefore, any harm to the nurses or any other Indian worker in their captivity will not be in the interests of the ISIS itself, not to speak of the damage it will cause to the image of Islam and Muslims the world over. It will become an international issue and will aggravate the international political situation.

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    We are interested in Taliban and Boko Haram because they are no ordinary criminals. They are committing suicide to kill other Muslims, hoping to go to heaven. Which ordinary criminal does that? These are Islamist terrorists. They consider themselves followers of what they call "pure" Islam and a large number of Muslims consider them the best of Muslims. Pakistan government is not able to act against them in Punjab because, though they have killed thousands of Pakistanis,  almost all of Punjabi Muslims love them. They have admirers among Muslims all over the world. Their Salafi-Wahhabi ideology is being spread with the help of billions of dollars of petrol money.

    These terrorists are out to create a Khalifatul Muslemeen to rule the world. They mince no words when they talk about killing all those Muslims (first) and then non-Muslims who do not believe in ahl-e-hadeesi ideology, which they consider purest version of Salafism. They have been destroying for years Sufi shrines and killing visitors to those shrines. They have been kidnapping and killing Muslim girls who would dare go to schools. They go to mosques with suicide vests and kill themselves during prayer in order to kill fellow Muslims so that they reach heaven instantaneously and take ownership of their 72 wives waiting for them there.

    Which gang of ordinary criminals - mere law and order problem - does these things?

    --- Sultan Shahin

    -------------------

    Observer sb., We must be concerned why so many extremely violent and perverse groups such as Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Al Qaeda, the Talibans and others derive support from the Quran. We keep saying that the Quran does not allow such extremist beliefs and behaviour, but the Islamophobes keep quoting from the Quran to contradict us. This back-and-forth has been going on for several years, but it is not getting us anywhere. Even if what we are saying is correct and what the Islamophobes are saying is false, we do need to find NEW ways to make such gross misinterpretations impossible. Einstein defined insanity as:  "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin  - 5/30/2014 1:54:34 AM


    Islam and Spiritualism

    Islam Is Based On the Prophet's Mysticism, Honesty and Social Activism, Says Sultan Shahin in Pune: Muslims Should Strengthen These Spiritual Foundations of Islam and Not Fall Prey to Fascism
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Islam is based on the foundation of mysticism, total trustworthiness of the Prophet and his social activism, fight against oppression and exploitation, said Sultan Shahin, founder and editor of the multilingual Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com, addressing a mixed gathering of intellectuals, activists and youths in Pune, Maharashtra. The session was chaired by Syed Bhai, president of Muslim Satyashodhak Samaj, Pune. The founder of the Society Mr. Dnyaneshwar Mulay is at present Consul General of India, New York and was earlier India's High Commissioner in Maldives.

    People who peddle hate and intolerance, exclusivisim and fascism, in the name of Islam, should study the character of the Prophet (saw), his early life as much as his career as a prophet, said Mr. Shahin. He went on: " It is very important for us to study what did the Prophet do before he was chosen by God to be his messenger. We don't know much but what we do tells us that he spent hours and days in mediation, in the way of our Sufis and Rishis, was considered a man of impeccable honesty by the people of Mecca including later his enemies and ran what today would be called a human rights NGO, called The Alliance of the Virtuous, fighting oppression, protecting the weak."

    Mr. Shahin continued: "The mystic meditations of the prophet in the cave of Hira (Ghar-e-Hira) for weeks at a stretch are well known, and so are his personality traits like honesty and total trustworthiness, for which the Meccans had named him al-Ameen (The Trustworthy). But perhaps not many know about his social activism and his fond memories and moving descriptions of these activities during his days as prophet. The Prophet and his allies in the organisation were active in search of justice for all, particularly the wayfarers, traders from foreign soil who had been wronged by Meccans and other oppressed and exploited. "  

    "This group of Meccan activists The Alliance of the Virtuous," explained Mr. Shahin, "had been formed by the prophet's uncles Zubair and Abu Talib, in his presence, in a meeting at the house of Abd Allah ibn Judan. The circumstances in which this Alliance  was formed and the purpose behind it are quite instructive. South African author  Farid Esack quotes a narration by Ibn S'ad (1967,1, p., 144) to tell this fascinating story of pre-Islamic Mecca. ....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Wahhabi Impact: Influence of Wahhabi Islam on the Indian Muslim community is growing
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    The influence of Wahhabi Islam in the Indian Muslim community started growing around this period. Indian Muslims have a long tradition of Sufi Islam or what is called the Barelvi tradition. A milder form of Wahhabism exists in the subcontinent in the form of the Deoband theological school, which commands a large following but has always coexisted with other forms of Islamic traditions. This has made Islamic practices in India dynamic and syncretic. No wonder then that many sections of the Muslim community have resisted the strict code of conduct and practice of a “puritanical” religion advocated by the Wahhabis……

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    Hefazat-e-Islam’s Threat of Civil War in Bangladesh: Political Islam Is On the March, But Where Is The Moderate Islamic Narrative?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Regardless of the merits of the case one gets a sense from Hefazat-e Islam threatening civil war in which "lakhs of people will be killed" as well as the events surrounding the "sudden" emergence of Hefazat that Political Islam is on the march in Bangladesh. A creeping radicalisation of the society is going on. Unimpeded. No organised effort seems is being made to check its growth in the only way it can be checked – with a counter-narrative of moderate, mainstream Islam.  Bangladesh has the reputation of a moderate Islamic country which said NO to Two-Nation Theory and put its ethnic, linguistic identity above its religious one.  

    Spiritual, mystical side of Islam is not much in evidence, however, today, in Bangladesh as also in many other parts of the Muslim world.

    One gets to read an occasional plea in the Bangla media: “O God, or O Politicians, don’t let Bangladesh become another Pakistan or Afghanistan.” But neither politicians nor the media are using Islam’s peaceful, moderate, spiritual side to counter the radical, supremacist, totalitarian, misogynist, narrative of political Islam that means to destabilise the region and the wider world. ...

    Based on the author's contribution as a panellist in the release of Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Frances Harrison’s Report "Political Islam and the Elections in Bangladesh" released at Senate Hall, University of London, on 30 September, 2013

    Multimedia

    How Pakistanis Are Being Brainwashed Into Engaging In War against India: Virulent Anti-Islam Propaganda in Pakistan In The Name Of So-Called Ghazwa-e-Hind
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Top Pakistani cleric Maulana Irfan ul Haq quotes an obviously concocted Hadees against idol-worshippers of India and appeals to all Pakistanis to take arms to destroy all infidels from the Indian sub-continent.  The term infidel and idol-worshipper obviously includes in his dictionary the overwhelming majority of Muslims who show veneration to the great Sufi saints who brought Islam to South Asia.

     The Maulana claims that Prophet Muhammad has predicted that one day India will be conquered by Mujahideen and all idol-worshippers will be destroyed. Those who will participate in this bloody war will go straight to Heaven. This is called Ghazwa-e-Hind. This is one of the many examples of how fanatic Mullahs brainwash Pakistani people and promote terrorism against India. Read below the full script of the speech rendered into English.

    Will Indian Muslim leaders and Ulema please stand up and say that this Hadees is an obvious concoction of the Pakistani Mullahs. If not now, when? How long will we silently watch our religion being hijacked by fanatics, and to our detriment?

    These petrodollar funded fanatics are already destroying Sufi shrines in Pakistan and in several African countries. Nearly all religious, architectural heritage of Islam has been already destroyed from Hejaz now called Saudi Arabia. The few remaining around Masjid-e-Nabwi in Madina are on the verge of destruction.

    Now they are bent on attacking India too. When will we speak out, confront them, at least say that this is not Islam.


    <

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Do Not Entertain Any Defamation of Islam Resolution Until Islam Is Protected From Defamation by Jihadi Literature in the Islamic World First, Sultan Shahin Asks UN Human Rights Council
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    We Muslims of the world, at least our governments, have been bludgeoning the United Nations since 1999 in our bid to protect Islam from defamation. But aren’t the states that claim to speak for Muslims the worst defamers of Islam themselves?

    Linking Islam with terrorism is considered defaming Islam. One would assume that Muslim countries would first prohibit defamation of Islam by ideologies of terror in their own countries. However, the case is quite the opposite. It is media outlets refuting the Islamist terrorist ideologies that are banned, as was a website called New Age Islam a couple of months ago in Pakistan.

    The terrorist mouthpiece Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad whose extremist ideas New Age Islam refuted continues to flourish. The Taliban fatwa that New Age Islam refuted was titled: ‘Circumstances in which the killing of innocent people among infidels is justified.’ Anyone would consider such an essay defamatory to Islam. But not the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was the web-magazine that sought to refute this that was blocked.

     It's time we Muslims made up our minds, Mr. President. What is Islam: a totalitarian, fascist, supremacist and exclusivist political ideology out to conquer the world or a spiritual path to salvation?

    The international community is supposed to protect Islam from Islamophobes. But the Islamophobes portray Islam exactly in the way the Jihadists do. Jihadists do it approvingly and Islamophobes disapprove and condemn. If Islamophobes’ narratives of Islam are defamatory, as they indeed are, then so are the narratives of Jihadi groups whose ideology thrives in the Muslim world. Both are violent, patriarchal, regressive, misogynist and based on sexual fantasies of sick men. It is this narrative that is taught in most of our madrasas, in schools and colleges.

    I hope the UN Human Rights Council will not entertain any defamation of Islam resolution until Islam is protected from defamation by Jihadi literature in the Islamic world first.

    ISLAM IS INDEED NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE PORTRAYED AS A RELIGION OF TERROR.

     

    Related Articles:

    ‘Bidding the Good and Forbidding the Evil’ (Amr Bil Ma‘Ruf Wa Nahi ‘Anil Munkar) By The Traditional Institution Of Religious Police Stands Un-Islamic Today

    The Beautiful Islamic Doctrine of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil: How Wahhabi Ideologues Misused It to Turn Islam from a Spiritual Path to a Supremacist Political Ideology

     

    From the Desk of Editor

    Do knowledgeable Indian Muslims tacitly support Jamaat-e-Islami's bid for reprieve to Bangladesh's war criminals? Does this amount to treason or is it merely inhuman and un-Islamic?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Reacting to my statement in the recent brainstorming session New Age Islam Foundation had organised among some Sufi-minded Indian scholars, Muhammad Yunus Saheb shared the following thoughts with me in a personal letter but he allowed me to choose whether to share it with readers. So I am putting it below in this column for wider dissemination.

    My comment: As far as I am concerned I continue to believe that by supporting the war criminals of Bangladesh who were involved in the killings of tens of thousands of innocent fellow Bengali Muslims Indian wing of Jamaat-e-Islam is revealing its anti-national, inhuman and un-Islamic character. Also, that by keeping quiet at Jamaat-e-Islami's public demonstration of its demonic face, the larger Indian Muslim community, certainly the knowledgeable among them, are participating in this treasonous, inhuman and un-Islamic act. Let us not forget that we are talking here about mass murder, genocide of Muslims by a fellow Muslim Army that should have been there to protect them and their religious leaders whose job it was to protect them rather than point them out to the marauders so they get killed. I know these are strong words, possibly revealing my own intolerance. But, be that as it may, I do have very strong feelings about what happened in Bangladesh. I will try briefly to explain why. Perhaps one should not tolerate everything.....

    Jamaat-e-Islami has its own ideology. It believes that Islam is a totalitarian political philosophy out to conquer the world. As Maulana Maududi, its founder-ideologue said: "Islam wishes to do away with all states and governments which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam. ... Islam requires the earth - not just a portion, but the entire planet."

     I consider Islam a spiritual path to salvation and am grateful for God having created such a beautiful multicultural, multi-religious, multi-colour, plural world.  I want to co-exist with people of all hues in this world.

     I repeat, I do not see any reasonable possibility of Muslims like me having any rational dialogue with such fanatical people who are prepared to kill any number of innocent people including fellow citizens and fellow Muslims and interpret Islam whichever way suits their politics in their crazy bid to conquer the world for establishing their rule in the name of restoring God's sovereignty.

    The War Within Islam

    Destruction Of Islamic Cultural Heritage: Muslims Must Reclaim The Spiritual Values Of Islam, Sultan Shahin tells a public dialogue during UN Human Rights Council’s 22nd session at Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    In modern world, human right to preserving and maintaining cultural heritage is considered universal and inalienable. But there are some forces of darkness, unfortunately professing my own faith, Islam, who are enemies of cultural heritage. Schooled and trained in Saudi-Wahhabi-Salafi version of Islam, the Taliban in Afghan-Pakistan region and Boko Haram in Africa have wreaked devastation of precious Islamic heritage in parts of Africa and Buddhist heritage in Afghanistan. The fabled city of Timbuktu in the present-day Republic of Mali in West Africa, also called, the Jewel of the Desert, was known as the City of 333 Sufi Saints.  I don’t have to remind the knowledgeable audience in this hall of the state of ruins to which it has been reduced recently by the same forces of darkness that destroyed the Bamiyan Budhas, though they may go by different names in different parts of the world.

     Their inspiration comes from Saudi Arabia which is engaged right now in the destruction of oldest Muslim heritage buildings in Medina in the name of expansion of the Prophet's Mosque (Al-Masjid al-Nabawi) to facilitate the building of luxurious seven star hotels. The tomb of the Prophet is once again the prime target of the Saudi regime as it has been ever since the illiterate Najdi Bedouins captured what used to be a more cosmopolitan society that had developed over the centuries in Hejaz.

    Debating Islam

    Can We Ignore Questions Like: Is Islam A Political, Fascist, Totalitarian Ideology That Prohibits New Ideas Or A Spiritual Path To Salvation That Accepts Myriad Interpretations Of Islam?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    In the course of a discussion on the subject of Jihadism, on another thread, I had asked a regular contributor: "Do you consider Islam a political, fascist, totalitarian ideology or a spiritual faith that accepts not only myriad interpretations of Islam but also other faiths and calls them all Islam?”

    The person concerned did not reply despite repeated reminders. But Mr. Ghulam Mohiyuddin responded, thus helping our discussion go forward, though in a different though related and important direction.

    I am bringing it on a new thread now to facilitate further discussion in a more pointed manner....

    From the Desk of Editor

    Why Identify Islamist Terrorists With Wahhabi Ideology, Ask New Age Islam Readers: Is This Not Promoting Sectarianism In Islam?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Dear Mr. Sadaf, You are spot on: “New Age Islam takes the name of Wahhabis, only to push the silent and peaceful Wahhabis to take a stand and oppose these people ... being violent.” I wish some other intellectuals on the site also had the sense to understand this. I am quoting you from another thread. Your comment is being quoted in full below along with some other comments to provide a perspective.... If I may add a word, New Age Islam is not happy to do that. We do that with a very heavy heart. Only because it has to be done. At least we feel so. We may be wrong. But we feel that the time for pussyfooting is long past. Pakistan is a gone case. But Indian Muslims may perhaps be brought back from the brink. The total Indian Muslim silence over West Bengal Muslims demonstrating in support of Bangladeshi war criminals has shaken me up. Until today I haven’t heard a single voice of dissent, except, of course, a few on New Age Islam. I hope there is still time for us Indian Muslims.

     Wahhabism has been spread aggressively since the 1744 pact between Muhammad bin Saud and Muhammad ibn ʿAbdul Wahhab which marked the emergence of the first Saudi state. But even before that Mohammad Abdul Wahhab had started implementing his perverted ideas of stoning women to death and destroying Islamic heritage buildings with the help of Uthman ibn Mu'ammar, the ruler of his native village Uyayna in Najd. He had personally organised the stoning of a woman accused of committing adultery a la Taliban and Boko Haram in our times. Even before meeting Ibn-e-Saud he had destroyed the grave of Zayd ibn al-Khattab, a companion of Prophet Muhammad (saw), whose shrine was revered by the local population. After the pact with Ibn-e-Saud, of course, a wave of killings and destruction of Islamic heritage sites started. ...

    Muslims and Islamophobia

    Countering Islamo-Fascist Ideology; Moderate Mainstream Muslims Must Speak Out and In One Voice, Without Equivocation: Sultan Shahin Tells UN Human Rights Council
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Mr. President,

    A violent display of intolerance towards sectarian and religious minorities along with terrorism directed at non-Muslim neighbours continues to plague several Muslim countries. For instance, hundreds of Shias have been killed recently in Pakistan. Hindu girls continue to be abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. Taliban’s war on girls’ education continues. Indian city of Hyderabad was recently attacked. Despite a ban on his organization and a 10 million dollar US bounty on his head, Hafiz Saeed continues to strut around the country and taunt the world.

    Rights violations are reported from all over the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Tunisia. A fascist ideology is seeking to forcibly convert the world to its version of Islam. An intra-Islam clash of civilisations appears to be going on. Some Muslims are resisting a determined attempt to colonise their minds. From Bangladesh and India to Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, etc. We can see Sufi Ulema loudly denouncing Islamo-fascism, exclusivism, supremacism and jihadism.

    But the mainstream moderate Muslim majority and their governments continue to remain largely silent onlookers. What message do we Muslims give to the world community by keeping quiet on such humiliation to Islam? Will the world community be wrong in deducing that all Muslims believe that the Taliban, the products of petrodollar-funded Deobandi-Wahhabi-Salafi madrasas, are correct in their understanding of Islam? That Islam does indeed stand for forcibly converting the world to its point of view? That Salafi-Wahhabism is the real Islam? That Taliban truly represent the larger world Muslim community? And if that is the case why should the fear of Islam not grow in the world? Why should we complain of Islamophobia?

    Regardless of what interpretation of Islam a Muslim state follows, however, it should NOT be allowed to impose its ideology on its citizens.  It is incumbent on the world community to make sure that all signatories to the UN Charter and its various covenants implement its provisions in letter and spirit.

    I know it for a fact that the larger Muslim community does not subscribe to the Talibani, Jihadi, Salafi –Wahhabi-Takfiri ideology that accuses overwhelming majority of Muslims of apostasy and considers them wajibul Qatl (deserving death). But are we not creating just this impression by staying silent when such blood-curdling threats are given and then carried out? Do we have any ground to blame the Christian fundamentalist, Zionist, or Hindu Islamophobes for spreading the fear of Islam? Are we not doing that ourselves?....

    Debating Islam

    Do Muslims need to disassociate themselves from Salafi, Wahhabi ideologies of permanent war with non-Muslims and moderate Muslims? A New Age Islam debate
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Dear Naseer Saheb,

    This dialogue has taken a rather serious turn in a somewhat different direction with wider implications. I am, therefore, taking it to the home page for a wider participation of our readers.

    Religion may have nothing to do with terrorism in our view. But when terrorists put out manifestos (you have read Osama bin Laden’s letter to America, now on the site) and publish magazines (look at Nawa-e-Afghan Jehad, for instance, and many others) which shout from rooftops that their inspiration for terrorism for the sake of world domination is their religion, Islam, and Islam is our religion as well and I don’t think that my religion teaches terrorism, then I do have to protest. I do have to point out that though these people are indeed part of my religion, they are a small group called Wahhabis or Salafis and they all come from only one set of madrasas, Deobandis, which were founded over a century ago with similar intentions of “fighting the infidel.” ...

    Before you go further reading this comment, please go to http://nawaiafghan.blogspot.in/  Find a recent issue, say July 2012.  The cover Story screams “Shariat ya Shahadat” (Islamic code of life called Shariah or Martyrdom). It asks Muslims to choose between the two. There is no third choice: either establish Islamic Sharia in the world or gain martyrdom.  And, I am sure you know that many Muslims around the world including those living in and enjoying the munificence of the West have made this choice in favour of Martyrdom in the pursuit of establishing Shariah.

    In this issue alone you will come across articles like: Sahaba-e-Karam rizwan alaihum ka shauq-e-Shadat (how the companions of Prophet Mohammad saw loved martyrdom) by Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadwi Rahmatullah Alaih, How companions died for the Prophet by Hafiz Ibnul Imam, My Days With Shaikh Osama bin Laden Rahmatullah Alaih, (a tribute  to the late terrorist-in-chief ) by Shaikh Dr. Aiman Al-Zawahiri madzillahu, A call for action to my brothers in the land of revelation and Islam – Saudi Arabia – by Shaikh Dr. Aiman Al-Zawahiri madzillahu, Woh haalatein ke jin mein kuffar kea am logon ka qatl jayez hota hai (Situations that religiously justify killing common people among infidels by Shaikh Yusuf al-Abeeri Rahmatullah Alaih Ta’a’la, Jihad fi sabeelillah aur uska maqsad (Jihad in the way of God and  its objective) by Maulana Manzoor Ahmad Nomani Rahmatullah Alaih, In praise of martyrdom by Muhsin-e-Ummat Shaikh Osama bin Laden Rahmatullah Alaih , Wana Operation ke bare mein Lal Masjid ke fatwa par Pakistani ulema ka ittefaq (All Pakistani ulema agree on the fatwa given by Mullahs of Islamabad’s Red mosque denouncing Pakistan’s political, bureaucratic and military leadership for their WANA operation), the criminals of Jamia Hafsa by Silsabeel Mujahid, Why we reject the United Nations way of life and accept Allah’s way of life by Abdul Aziz al-Jaleel and so on. ...

    From the Desk of Editor
    Coping With Critics Of Moderate Islam - II
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Coping With Critics Of Moderate Islam - II
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Dear Muhammad Yunus and Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheban, You both are terribly concerned about the agenda of ex-Muslims or near ex-Muslims or would-be-ex-Muslims who talk on this “unmoderated” site about why they have left Islam and why we too should leave Islam. But I do not have a clear guidance from either of you what the site should do to become “moderated.”

    Obviously, I must start censoring. But what, who, how much, which particular sentences. One hint I got was from one of Mohiyuddin Saheb’s comment. He wrote, quoting a certain “Rationalist,” not “Rational Younus”: "Internet will hasten the fall of Islam." While he (Rationalist) has the right to hold that view, the only websites which would publish such a comment are the bitterly anti-Muslim apostate hate websites.”

    Personally I have no problem with the sentence quoted here. This is some one’s wishful thinking, irrational belief or maybe intuition: how can I know. He should have the right to express his view or even wishful thinking.  I believe that it is internet that will save Islam from the depredations of Saudi, Salafi Islam. Now my view too could be just wishful thinking, irrational belief or intuition. This is neither here nor there. I just don’t see why I should be worried about someone wishing or believing in the fall of Islam. I also did not find any problem with this person finding Islam and even Quran problematic. This is again his view. My faith in my understanding of my religion is far too deep and strong to be shaken by such remarks.

    However, the sentences preceding that were indeed just a part of standard hate speech that we have routinely deleted and have now been deleted. ...

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    Cyber-Terrorism and Freedom of Expression: Sultan Shahin Asks United Nations to Redesign Internet Governance
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    This was done in such a systematic and organised manner using all technical resources of the web, social networking sites and free sms messages, etcetera, whose origins were concealed in various ways, that nearly  30,000 north-eastern Indians left the South in a hurry within a couple of days fearing for their lives. Jihadi groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba sponsored by Pakistan were later found to be involved.

    The government of India did take action and banned some websites and blogs for a fortnight, but by then it was already too late. Many Indian intellectuals and activists considered this a violation of freedom of expression. I found myself in a minority of one in a panel discussion on a government-run TV Channel Doordarshan arguing that governments should have the power as well as the capability to intervene in emergency situations. For, the issue is not just that of terrorists seeking to provoke sectarian, ethnic or communal violence through the misuse of cyberspace, or creating panic as they did in Bangalore; they may very well attack our vital infrastructural or defence resources. Some months ago, Iran’s nuclear installations were attacked by some computer viruses coming through cyberspace whose origins have still not been determined. As far as we know, these installations were not making weapons. But if these could be attacked in this way, nuclear weapons-making installations too can be attacked in future. One can’t even imagine what destruction such attacks would wreak.

    Clearly the world faces a grave security challenge from cyberspace. Advantageous as internet has been in bringing the world together as a global village, at least for the millions of netizens, it has also the potential to be used as a threat to world peace.  -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing A parallel NGO event organised by RADDHO and its partner organisations in Room XXIII, Palais de Nations on 25 September, 2012 during the 21st regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    Terrorists Have Failed So Far and Should Not Be Allowed To Affect Global Multiculturalism, Sultan Shahin Tells Parallel Meeting at UNHRC in Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    “The very idea of Indian Muslims living peacefully and marching towards prosperity strikes at the very root of Pakistan’s existential philosophy. The very existence of a prosperous Muslim community in India destroys the Two-Nation Theory on which the state of Pakistan is based. The very fact that Muslims in India not only live peacefully among themselves but also in harmony with a variety of other religious, linguistic, ethnic communities while Muslims in Pakistan are deeply divided among themselves and constantly at each others’ throats is a profoundly destabilising factor for the very existence of Pakistan.

    “That Pakistan’s Muslim Sindhis, Baluchis, Pathans, Saraikis, and indeed Mohajirs would love to join the Indian mainstream, given half a chance, cannot possibly be lost on the Pakistani establishment that has spawned these terrorist organisations to further its dubious strategic imperatives. We the Muslims of India, by our very existence, more so on account of our peaceful and prosperous existence, are an existential threat to Pakistan. And not just to its terrorists, which are in any case a part of the establishment. We can’t help it. There is nothing we can do about it. That is why it is in our particular interest, in the interest of Muslims of India, that these terrorist camps are destroyed and the criminals who have wreaked so much havoc on our land are brought to justice.”

    In a wreath-laying ceremony at the bomb site in Oslo on July 22nd, 20012, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said Breivik had not succeeded in his declared goal of destroying Norway's commitment to being an inclusive, multicultural society. Stoltenberg said: "The bomb and the gun shots were meant to change Norway. The Norwegian people answered by embracing our values. The perpetrator lost. The people won."

    Very proudly, we Indians too can say on our commemoration of 26/11 that Pakistani terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan have failed to even so much as create a dent in the multicultural harmony of our society. And if we can say that nowhere in the world is the prevailing state of peace and group harmony being disturbed as a result of terrorist strikes, this is perhaps the best tribute we can pay to the International Victims of Terrorism on the Day of Remembrance. They have been victims of a hydra-headed barbarian ideology that wants to divide us all in exclusive groups. We have not allowed them to succeed and let us resolve that we will not let them succeed anywhere in the world.....Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam speaking at a parallel meeting in Palais des Nations, Geneva on September 20, 2012, paying tribute to the International Victims of Terrorism on the Day of Remembrance.

    Muslims and Islamophobia

    Xenophobia and Religious Intolerance in Islamic Societies Is a Result of  Misinterpretation of Islamic Scriptures, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Despite all efforts by the civil society, Islamophobia in the West is on the increase, partly fuelled by continuing terrorist attacks, exclusivist attitudes and xenophobia among Muslims and mistreatment of religious and sectarian minorities in the Islamic world on spurious grounds like blasphemy.

    Last year we had to suffer the killings of 77 innocent people in Norway. Now comes a report from Finish Intelligence, warning us that Islamophobic extremist groups exist with agendas and ideologies akin to those of the Norwegian mass murderer. SUPO has found that there is an “ideological preparedness to commit violent acts” and that the manifestos of these groups are specifically focussed on Islam as a culture.”

    While the civil society and governments in the West must refrain from strengthening Jihadis, installing them in power in place of secular Muslim governments, and protecting the ideological founts of Jihadism in Saudi Arabia, we Muslims too need to introspect.  What are we as people and our governments in the Islamic world doing to fuel this growing fear of Islam? If news emanating from Islamic countries consistently tells a tale of hatred and killing and forced conversion, how can it NOT lead to growing Islamophobia in the world?

    While several Muslim countries like Egypt, Libya, Iran and Iraq are constant sources of such bad news, the worst case scenario is in Pakistan. Christian, Hindu, Shia, Ahmadi, all religious and sectarian minorities, are facing atrocities. Hapless Hindus have even begun to leave the country following a wave of abductions and forced conversions. Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) has found that hate content has grown further in school text books.

    Deliberate misinterpretation of selected portions of Islamic scriptures and their propagation to foment hatred against all minorities has grown manifold. Mainstream Muslims who see Islam as a blessing to mankind have no option but to rise against this misuse of Islam by exclusivist Wahhabi terrorist groups supported by Pakistan Army’s intelligence agency, the infamous ISI.  Indeed Muslims everywhere must oppose the exclusivist-literalist interpretation of the Holy Quran that claims that all its verses are of universal application regardless of context.  -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing the United Nations, 21st session of Human Rights Council, Geneva on 14 September, 2012

    From the Desk of Editor
    Coping With Critics Of Moderate Islam
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Coping With Critics Of Moderate Islam
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Our numbers are depleting fast. Wahhabies are trying to convert us, radicals trying to kill us in our mosques and shrines, silent ex-Muslims ignore us, not-so-silent ex-Muslims crucify us with their memorized quotations from early biographies and pornographic portions of “authoritative” hadees. How do we respond?

     It will not do to lash out at critics of Islam from either side of the growing divide. If we want moderate Islam to survive even till the end of the 21st century, not to speak of the present millennium or beyond, we have to urgently come together and brainstorm.

    This is what New Age Islam is for. It has already brought many thinking Muslims from all over the world together. Let us stay together and think together. Let us feel grateful for the gift of some articulate critics. They give us an opportunity to try articulating our own ideas. We may passionately believe in something and yet not be able to express that with any degree of eloquence.  We need sounding boards. God has given us a few. Let us use that. Who knows we may bring some of them back to the fold of moderate Islam.

    Muslims and Islamophobia

    Muslims Need To Reflect Why So Many Millions of Us Are Leaving Islam for Christianity or Simply Calling Ourselves Ex-Muslim
    By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    In the following article translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi of New Age Islam, the author Shakeel Rasheed laments the large-scale conversion of Muslims to Christianity. 20, 000 Muslims already have, though many seem to retain their Muslim names. He blames Christian evangelists for this and, like Muslims world over, accuses them of making use of immoral techniques, taking advantage of problems facing Muslims to covert them to Christianity. He doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that Muslims leaving Islam in large numbers, not necessarily converting to Christianity, but becoming just ex-Muslims, is a worldwide trend.

    Talking about the trend in Africa a prominent Islamic scholar of Libya Sheikh Ahmad Al Qataani told Al-Jazeera recently: “Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa’s main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non-Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people.”

    The Libyan Sheikh goes on: “When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand (329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year 2000. … There are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity.”

    The stories which “Maulana” Mohammad Rahmatullah Mir Quasmi, administrator of a large madrasa in the Bandipura region of Kashmir told Mr. Rasheed of the spread of Christianity in the valley of Kashmir shocked the author. The “Maulana”, he reports, is fighting a lone battle against the Christian preachers of Kashmir.

    But there is not the slightest hint of introspection among Muslims in Kashmir or elsewhere why Muslims are leaving Islam in droves. Most Muslims are just happy at the lie spread by Islamophibic media in the West that “Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world”. Muslim numbers may be growing in some countries due to immigration and large-scale reproduction among Muslims in a bid to perpetuate our poverty and illiteracy. The Islamophobes in the West, however, have their own agenda: spreading the fear of Islam. But Muslims and our media in particular love to lap up this lie and keep repeating this a thousand times, thus further spreading the Islamophobic lie.

    Time we gave some serious thought to what is really going on in the world. Why are Muslims everywhere, not just in Kashmir or Africa, leaving Islam in droves is a question that should engage our minds, if Islam has to survive on this planet. Another question that needs to engage our minds is: does it matter to the world or Allah if the number of Muslims is diminishing. Is there any reason for us as a humanity to be worried? From all accounts Muslims are only as bad or good as other religious communities. If anything, we may actually be worse, judged from several social parameters of human behaviour as much as the parameters of taqwa that God set for us. God has promised that He will destroy Muslims and bring a better community on earth if Muslims fail to keep their covenant, so why should we as humans worry? – Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    From the Desk of Editor

    Baitul Muqaddas-Masjid-e-Aqsa complex: Why are we Muslims so obsessed with it as our Qiibla-e-Awwal contrary to Qur’anic teachings?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    … This is what most Muslims remember and follow. But the very next verse explained to them that Baitul Muqaddas was the Qibla for Jews and Christians, something Muslims have forgotten. Our self-righteous ulema are of course in the habit of ignoring inconvenient Qur’anic verses, verses that do not support their rapacious, self-righteous, male-chauvinist, Islam-supremacist attitudes. Let us read this verse and see what it says:

    Sura Baqra: 2: 145: “Even if thou wert to bring to the people of the Book all the signs (together), they would not follow thy Qibla (Kaaba); nor art thou going to follow their Qibla (Baitul Muqaddas) nor indeed will they follow each other’s Qibla. If thou, after the knowledge hath reached thee, wert to follow their (vain) desires, then wert thou indeed (clearly) in the wrong.” …

    Were we thus to read the entire Qur’anic exhortation on the issue of Qibla, we would not have fallen into the ever deepening morass of intra-Ahl-e-Kitab conflict. We can continue to revere the sacred places in Jerusalem according tour traditions while recognizing God-ordained rights of the Judaeo-Christian religious communities to their Qibla in Jerusalem as we have ours in Mecca. Exactly what shape our expression of reverence for our original Qibla takes and whether we are allowed to visit and when and how frequently, etc, can be peacefully and easily negotiated once we concede their God-given right to their Qibla. …

    Islam and Human Rights

    Islam Fully Protects Human Rights of Religious Minorities: Sultan Shahin tells UNHRC at Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    ... In several Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, for instance, no religious minority can even build their places of worship. And this when not only international conventions to which they are signatories, but even the religion they claim as their own, Islam, fully stands for minority rights. More than any other country Pakistan seems to be suffering from an epidemic of minority bashing. It is time the UN Human Rights Council reminded these countries to respect their own signatures on the UN conventions, if they cannot follow their own religion.

    This is not only giving these Muslim-majority countries, but our religion, Islam itself a bad image, leading to fear of Islam in the minds of many non-Muslims around the world. I would like to bring to the notice of representatives from the world community that our religion, Islam, stands fully for protecting the rights of the practitioners of all religions.  Indeed, the Holy Quran, while giving Muslims permission for the first time to defend themselves with arms, 13 years after the advent of Islam, asked them to do so in order to protect religious freedom per se, religious freedom of Jews, Christians, Hindus and Muslims,  not just the religious freedom of Muslims.

    The Quran said in Chapter 22, verse 40: “And had it not been that Allah checks one set of people with another, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and the mosques, in which His praise is abundantly celebrated would have been utterly destroyed. Clearly this makes it imperative as a religious duty on the part of Muslims to protect by whatever means available to them the rights of religious groups to build and worship God in their churches, synagogues, monasteries, temples, mosques. In Saudi Arabia, Taliban-controlled areas in Pakistan and Boko Haram controlled zones in Nigeria, for instance, it is impossible for religious or sectarian minorities to even build their places of worship, not to speak of practising their religions freely. The verse from Quran quoted above, makes it imperative on Muslims, in my view, to struggle to the best of their ability and resources, to change this situation. At the very least we  should try and convince the authorities in these areas who claim to be Muslim to follow the Quran in letter and spirit and stop adding to the Islamophobia already prevailing in the world....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Islamic Radicalism Going Mainstream Throughout The East, says Sultan Shahin in a conference at United Nations in Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Many Muslims, who still hate to be called Wahhabi, have nevertheless developed Salafi attitudes. You will find many Muslims in Pakistan and now also in India walking down the street in Arab dresses, for instance. Beards and hijabs have become common not only in the East but even in the West. Women, whose grandmothers never wore a veil, burqa or a hijab, are donning this symbol of slavery everywhere. Some moderate, liberal Muslims are themselves so affected by Salafi propaganda coming from all sorts of media that in their own minds they have started considering themselves hypocrites. Some are leaving Islam and calling themselves ex-Muslim. These responses are no help.

    Mainstream, moderate, liberal Muslims must study their own religion. They will find so much humanity, rationalism and spiritualism in Islam that their doubts will vanish; the spell cast on them by the all-pervasive militant Wahhabi propaganda will cease to have an impact. And then they should stand up and be counted. Whatever little resources they have must be expended to stem this tide. Islam has always defeated this group in the end. It will do so again. But we will have to do something about it. Ideology can only be fought with an ideology, with a better ideology, not with arms and weapons. We have to work at promoting our own ideology, our own understanding of Islam.  As a British Prime Minister once said: “It’s not enough to be nice.” -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing a conference at The United Nations in Geneva on 14 March 2012, organised and sponsored by INTERNATIONAL HUMANIST AND ETHICAL UNION, NATIONAL SECULAR SOCIETY and NEW AGE ISLAM FOUNDATION.

    Some other speakers in the conference were: Raheel Raza, Canada Muslim activist who spoke on “The rise of Sharia Courts in the West”, Keith Wood, United Kingdom Executive Director, National Secular Society on “Church influence, canon law and civil law in Europe”, and Leo Igwe, Nigeria International Representative, IHEU, on “Religion, witch hunts, homophobia and Human Rights in Africa”. The Chair and Moderator was Roy W. Brown, former president and now Main Representative, IHEU, UN Geneva.

    Islamic Society

    “Madrasa Education is a Clear Violation of the Human Rights of Children”: Sultan Shahin asks UNHRC to make Muslim Countries Stick to their Pious Declarations
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Both the *Declarations emanating from Arab countries, Marrakesh 2010 and Cairo 2009, provided in the report, are full of high-sounding resolutions on protecting the rights of children. But it is wealthy Arab countries that fund the tens of thousands of madrasas running across the Muslim world. As practised today Madrasa Education is a clear violation of the human rights of children to equality, dignity and quality education. Along with funds, the petrodollar-rich Arab countries also provide the core curriculum and text books for these madrasas. This teaching provides basic grounding in an extremist religious outlook that keeps these children from interacting with other communities, even other Muslim sects, and thus deprives them of any possible opportunities for a normal life. …

    United Nations Webcast - UNIS, General Debate Item:3 (cont.), 27th meeting 19th Session 09 March 2012

      span>

    Most of the children admitted to these Islamic religious schools come from the poorest of the poor families. They are plucked out of their natural environment where they would have learned some skills necessary to survive as working adults. They are brainwashed in the madrasas by some semi-literate Mullahs and once their utility for attracting Arab funds earmarked for madrasa education is finished, they are literally thrown out on streets without any means or skills for survival. The wealthy and middle class Muslims do not send their children to madrasas, as they know that the only careers available to these children is to become low-paid imams or muezzins in village mosques. In some countries, like Pakistan, though, there is another option too. They can turn into suicidal human bombs, bringing some short-term prosperity to their impoverished families, but losing their own lives and killing scores of innocent men, women and children of other religions or other Islamic sects. … I would, therefore, urge the Council, to find some way to make countries stick to the promises and pious declarations they make to appear to be part of the comity of nations. … -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing the 19th session of UN Human Rights Council at Geneva on 9 March, 2012

    The War Within Islam

    Salman Rushdie's Indian Mullah critics, listen to the message of Satanic Verses
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Salman Rushdie's Indian Mullah critics, the beardless as much as the bearded, have reason to celebrate. They have forced the government into surrender to their demand of keeping Rushdie away. How much ill-will they have created against Muslims in the country in this process, of course, does not matter to them. They are in a state of Jihad against India, the same as their Pakistani counterparts. Read the Urdu press where most of the columnists are Mullahs, some openly bearded, some with their beards well hidden in their stomachs. You would seldom find a good word about India. Nothing positive at all. ...

    As for Salman Rushdie, does his novel Satanic Verses not offend me? Of course, it does. Are my religious sensibilities not hurt? Of course, they are. Particularly the fact that he gave prostitutes of Mecca the names of our beloved Prophet’s wives whom we revere even more than our mothers. But I think I am more hurt reading newspapers everyday when I see Mohammads reportedly committing the most heinous crimes; they lie, cheat, loot, rape, murder, massacre, do everything dreadful you can imagine. More than fifty percent of male Muslims are named Mohammad or Ahmad and as everybody knows we are the most corrupt people on earth. Prostitution is a profession Muslims women are very good at. Even when forced into business by devilish Muslims, Muslim prostitutes command a premium. Looking for prostitutes rich and corrupt Saudi men prefer to go to Muslim Indonesia rather than non-Muslim Thailand, for they can engage in halal prostitution there. Even today some of these prostitutes, I am sure, have the names of our dear Prophet’s wives and our dearest, most revered mothers. Like the name Mohammad or Ahmad among Muslim men, prophet’s wives’ names are the most popular among Muslim women. -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Debating Islam

    'Moderate' Sultan Shahin on Islamophobia:  ‘Knowing Islam’ blog jeers at New Age Islam
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    “When I came across this article, actually it is a verbatim of speech given by an Indian Muslim to UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council), I recognized the name 'Sultan Shahin' immediately and also his website 'New Age Islam' which claims to be speaking against radical Islam. Previously, I never read his works as I never believed that Islam can be reformed.
    “When I read it, I found that, in most places, he says all the right things like hardship of religious minorities in Islamic nations, cruelty of blasphemy law and moderate Muslims having no influence among Muslims, desires of Muslims to implement Shariah law.
    “It is quite easy to get carried away by this kind of presentation - seemingly honest - of acceptance of prevailing Islamic extremism and extend trust to believe in whatever he says regarding the nature of Islamic teachings. Because, he completely misrepresents many things, as one will understand while reading, like Islamic stand on other religions, position of Islam on interreligious marriages and teachings of Prophet Mohammad. I never read his work on Jihad, its meaning and implications, but I can imagine how that could be.
    “So, is he an Islamic scholar standing for reforms in Islam or a deceiver or a Muslim who believes Islam to be a different one from mainstream line?
    “He tells that Islam of terrorists, extremists and Islamic ulema - who spend their life in studying Islamic scriptures - is an aberration of true Islam and is a product of some 'Petro Dollars'; in the process he innovates by telling blatant lies and half-truths. So, the natural question should be 'why'?”

    Above quotation is the introductory part of a 6, 000 word essay posted by a blog called Knowing Islam. This blog was created by someone who sought to understand Islam in the wake of dastardly attacks on Mumbai (26/11) by so-called Muslim or Islamic terrorists sent by Pakistan. His studies have led him to believe, like many Muslims themselves, that the Saudi Petrodollar Wahhabi Islam is the real Islam and the mainstream Islam is fake. He also has come to believe, understandably because of the immense visibility of Petrodollar Islam everywhere on the internet, that most Muslims in the world are Petrodollar Islamists. He (possibly she) has written a 6,000 word essay denouncing “Sultan Shahin, editor, New Age Islam,” as in his view “Sultan Shahin” represents moderate Islam. In his view Islam cannot be moderate. Hence the denunciation. He has spent so much time and effort dissecting every point “Sultan Shahin” makes in one of his oral statements to the UN Human Rights Council, that it would appear in his view he must be doing a great service to humanity by exposing the “claims made by Sultan Shahin on behalf of moderate Islam.”

    It would be easy for us to denounce such a person as an inveterate enemy of Islam and leave it at that. This is what most of our columnists in Urdu Press would do. But there are several disturbing facts that emerge. One, this person was at least neutral, if not friendly towards Islam until 26/11/2008 Mumbai killings, that is only three years ago. Two, he has reached the conclusions he has because we have left Petrodollar Islamists to dominate the internet discourse on Islam. Three, he has not become an enemy of Islam, only an enemy of moderate Islam. He doesn’t spend time denouncing extremist Islam. Why, apparently because he thinks extremist Islam will demolish Islam by itself. He doesn’t need to expend any energy denouncing extremist Islam. Only stumbling block in the destruction of Islam in his view is moderate Islam, as represented in New Age Islam. That’s why he has to spend so much time and energy fighting New Age Islam. Time we looked within. Why are we creating more enemies of Islam? Why are we allowing extremist Petrodollar Islam to dominate our discourse? Our Prophet (pbuh) had followed the policy of turning determined foes into dedicated friends and followers of Islam. Why are we doing the reverse?

    Please read the following essay carefully. You will find this person has not invented arguments, mostly. He is merely using information that has come to him from Islamic, early Arab sources, so-called history books and Hadith books written by Arabs, clearly as part of their effort at Prophet’s character assassination. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was presented in these books of hadith and history as a sexual pervert and cruel tyrant, so as to justify the tyranny and sexual deviations of the dynasty that had taken over the Islamic state after killing all the family members of the Prophet merely 48 years after his demise. What kind of Muslims theses Arabs would be who accepted the killers of the Prophet’s family and even their children and grand children as their rulers and allowed them to engage in various perversions.

    One of the comments on this blog reads, in part: “One simple reading of biography of Prophet Mohammad, written by pious Muslims like Ibn Ishaq, Tabari, Ibn Sa'ad, will tell that moderate or liberal Islam is simply an oxymoron.”

    This is a general refrain on the internet. Not only that the Arabs do not denounce the writing of Ibn Ishaq, Tabari and Ibn Sa'ad, etc., indeed they use them as justification for their own perversions. Even today Saudi courts, of course, “puritan Islamic” courts, give judgements, Islamic judgements, of course, - everything they do is pristine Islamic - allowing, even ordering sexual perversions, like paedophilia, and justify it by presenting the Prophet himself as a paedophile. They cannot find justification for their deviations in the Holy Quran, so they justify it by what they call the conduct of the Prophet and his sayings. Wahhabi Islam is the main ideological support base of Saudi dictatorship and calls itself Islam.

    Muslim Press never stops gloating over how many non-Muslims are converting to Islam. But we don’t realise how many Muslims are leaving the fold of Islam openly to join the ex-Muslim brigade. We are not even aware that many Muslims themselves, until recently moderate, liberal, mainstream, have now come to feel, like this non-Muslim blogger, that Islam is an extremist religion inimical to humanity, a curse for mankind. Hence, they have no option but to leave. Some stay within the fold, ostensibly, due to family and other pressures, while denouncing Islam in their heart or in the company of close friends. – Sultan Shahin, editor, New Age Islam

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    TOP ARTICLE

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Indian Muslim Clergy to Counter ISIS Propaganda: But they should go beyond rhetoric to a genuine counter-narrative that refutes Jihadism based on traditional Islamic theology

    The clergy is required to counter the exclusivist Jihadi theology of violence and supremacism which is primarily based on the traditional Islamic theology of consensus of all schools of thought. This has to be done through a counter-narrative based on a new inclusivist theology of peace and pluralism. But to do that the clergy will have to work towards evolving a new theology that is different from the traditional theology taught in madrasas. It is this age-old theology that is used by Jihadis to propagate their message. 

    It cannot be stressed enough that the reason Jihadis have been able to capture the imagination of thousands of our youth the world over is that they are not saying anything new. They are simply showing a way to practice what the ulema (religious scholars) have been preaching. The Jihadi narrative is the traditional Islamic theological narrative of Islam domination over all other religious beliefs, and eradication of what it considers the biggest crimes humanity can commit, particularly shirk, polytheism or idol worship, and kufr, rejection of the prophethood of Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh). All the most eminent scholars of Islam from Imam Ghazali (11th-12th century) to Imam Ibn-e-Taimiya (13th-14th century), Mujaddid Alf-e-Saani Sheikh Sirhindi (16th-17th century), Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlavi (18th century) have shown a vision of political Islam that was finally given a more definite form in the 20th century by Maulana Syed Abul A’la Maududi, Hassan al-Banna, and Syed Qutb. The Jihadi ideologues of the 21st century may be stressing some parts of this traditional narrative more vigorously and downplaying some other aspects. But they are not saying anything that is entirely new or radically different.

    Jihadi literature has not dropped from the sky all of a sudden. This is not the creation of Osama bin Laden or so-called “Khalifa” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Their narrative of world domination, fighting those who do not accept the message of Islam is basically what is taught in all our madrasas. The definition of Jihad as fighting those who do not accept the oneness of God and prophethood of Mohammad (pbuh) is found in books of every school of Sunni fiqh (jurisprudence), be it Hanafi, Malaki, Shafei or Hanbali. Indeed, even Shia theology does not differ much with Sunnis in matters of political Islam. They too want world domination for Islam and desire to subdue all non-Muslims.

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