New Age Islam
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Islamic Society ( 31 March 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Should Muslims convert their beards into another existential issue?


Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam


New Age Islam has received a number of letters expressing a variety of views on this issue. The most heartening is from former Cabinet Secretary Moosa Raza. He writes:


“I have known Justice Katju and I believe that he is a staunch secularist and is totally averse to all forms of radicalisms both Hindu and Muslim. I agree with his views that a minority educational institution can make any disciplinary rules to maintain its character. It can prescribe a uniform; prohibit the wearing of a particular dress etc. If anyone does not like such rules he is free to go elsewhere but he cannot ask for the rules to be changed. For instance a Muslim institution can prescribe a cap to be worn by all students. That would be well within its jurisdiction. By doing so it may lose many prospective alumni. That is a necessary consequence of its exercising the discretion. This discretion is not available to state-run institutions.”


I hope Muslims who are trying to drum up an issue where there is none, will take note and take heed.


Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

 

Supreme Court of India and Muslim Beard

 

From: Moosa Raza

Sent: Tuesday, 31 March, 2009 7:07:09 PM

To:       Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com and others

Subject: SC rejects Muslim's plea to sport beard, says no 'Talibanisation of India' - The Times of India

 

I have known Justice Katju and I believe that he is a staunch secularist and is totally averse to all forms of radicalisms both Hindu and Muslim.

 

    I agree with his views that a minority educational institution can make any disciplinary rules to maintain its character. It can prescribe a uniform; prohibit the wearing of a particular dress etc. If anyone does not like such rules he is free to go elsewhere but he cannot ask for the rules to be changed. For instance a Muslim institution can prescribe a cap to be worn by all students. That would be well within its jurisdiction. By doing so it may lose many prospective alumni. That is a necessary consequence of its exercising the discretion.

  

  This discretion is not available to state-run institutions.   MR

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

 

Date:    Wed, 1 Apr 2009 13:31:02 +0530 [01:31:02 PM IST]

From: Kasim sait`` <kasim@airtelmail.in>

To:       Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com and others

 

Mr. Moosa Raza has very rightly pointed out the secular credentials of Justice Katju who is also one who passionately reacts to many socio economic issues always providing the necessary historical context.

 

This information is necessary to keep in mind for the community because some sections are bound to react in a way they did in the Shah Bano controversy in which the Govt of the day reacted by wrongly making legislative changes in a hurry. To balance this act and equally appease Hindu sentiments, it also opened the Babri Masjid Pandora's box by opening the gates of Ayodhya temple which had been closed for ages. The turmoil which followed and created the communal Frankenstein is a recent historical experience which can be overlooked by only the most humanely irresponsible.

 

Taking all these factors into consideration, it is pleaded that narrow emotional reactions to the judgement be entirely avoided and this would encourage and strengthen the large responsible secular section of the majority community which is continually carrying on the relentless struggle against the communal poison spewing sections.

 

Kasim Sait

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

 

From: <KHALEELUR RAHMAN

To: Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com and others

Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 10:16 PM

Subject: Re: SC rejects Muslim's plea to sport beard, says no 'Talibanisation of India' - The Times of India

 

Assalamu Alaikum

 

We agree with what Mr. Moosa Raza sahib says. It is not proper to ask any minority institution to change its rules by any other minority student. Once admission is given, it is the duty of the students to follow the code of conduct. The student who went to the court on the issue should have got admission elsewhere instead of unnecessarily creating a problem to the institution, himself, judiciary and the community to which he belongs. It was undoubtedly not proper on the part of the student to make it a big issue forcing the judge to use the unparliamentary word "talibanisation".

 

Mr. Moosa Raza sahib has done well in expressing his well thought out opinion about this issue. The Muslim community will not support anyone who wants to rake up the old Shah Bano controversy and connect it to the present one to divide the people on religious grounds.

 

VMK

-----------

 

 

Date:    Wed, 1 Apr 2009 11:32:04 +0530 [11:32:04 AM IST]

From: abdul hannan

 

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA AND BEARD

 

Supreme Court’s decision

 

Supreme Court’s rejection to allowing Muslim students to sporting beard in convent school and quashing school’s rule on an application filed by Mohammed Salim, a student of Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary school in Madhya Pradesh and apex court’s comment “not Talibanisations in India” was a decision taken very quickly without studying and knowing that Islam what says about beard.

 

Justice Markandeya Katju said to speaking a bench headed by Justice Raveendran, “we don’t want to have talibans in the country; tomorrow a girl student may come and say that she wants to wear a burqa, can we allow it”.

 

There are concerns to disallow Muslim student to having beard in convent school, but Linking beard, which is any important subject in Islam and which is the Sunnah of all Prophets and the Messengers of Allah, with Talibanisation and saying, that it cannot allow “Talibans” in India is objection able matter and a very shocking decision received by the entire Muslim community across the country. If such comments passed by RSS or by any other party or by any Institutions, no matter of worries and Muslims lessen it with patience. But such comment passed by a Highest Judicial Institution of the country, a matter for great concern for all Indian citizens. Linking beard with Taliban, indicates the respected Justice Markandeya Katju has no knowledge about beard and its importance in Islam, as well as it shows that counsellor of this case was also not has any knowledge to how present correct information and right knowledge before the judge.

 

Beard in Islam

 

"What Allah has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the townships,- belongs to Allah,- to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; in order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Messenger gives you, and refrain from what he prohibits you. And fear Allah: for Allah is strict in Punishment." (Quran 59:7)

 

"O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered."(Quran 8:24)

 

"O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you." (Quran 4:59)

 

"O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak)." (Quran 8:20)

 

Above Qura’anic verses clear indicate that the path of the Prophets of Allah is the correct path and those who obey and move on their direction, in real, they are the Momin, true believers in Islam.

 

A Hadieth reported by Ibn Abbas “Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allah””

 

Imaam Aboo Haneefah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee and many other Imaams have declared the shaving of the beard unlawful. (al-Mishkaat (no. 38)

 

A Hadieth reported by Hazrat Abu Darda (R. A) in Muslim sharif says that the Prophet Mohammed (Pease be upon Him) said “I have no connection with one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing eg. In grief or affication”

 

Shaah Waliyyullaah ad-Dihlawee says in, “Its cutting, meaning the beard, is the way of the Magians, and it is the altering of Allaah’s creation.” (Hujjatullaahil-Baalighah1/152)

 

Four well-known Caliphs, Aboo Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmaan and ’Alee, all had large beards. As mentioned in Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’d (3/114),

 

CONCLUSION

 

Nobody can reject the importance of beard in Islam, if some Muslims shave their beards, they are the sinner in the eye of Allah, and they are moving in the direction not stated by any Messenger of Allah and it is not meaning that it is a rule, as the Justice Katju said “but you don’t sport a beard”, pointing towards the clean shave defender counsellor B. A. Khan.

 

Above given the references from Qura’an and Hadieth are just an example on the importance of beard in Islam, there are thousands of books, references, and hundreds of thousands of sites on internet can be easily searched and get the information about beard.

 

In above context linking the beard with Taliban, and describing entire Muslim community in India with Taliban, is not correct at any manner.

 

One thing we should want to say to respected Judge of Supreme court that he read and study once again on the importance of beard that what are the instructions about beard in Islam and our Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) what said about it. May be he could change his decision, if he does not do, study brings only light and knowledge.

 

After all, the Supreme court’s judgment and its linking beard with Taliban is totally wrong and it would  not be accepted by Muslims, what Muslims and the religious scholars react on this decision, remain to be seen, we can ask the Muslims to play their jobs and duty as the Qura’an says:

 

Invite (mankind), O Muhammd) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better (Surah al-Nahl -125)

 

ABDUL HANNAN, JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA

 -----


Muslims protest SC judge's beard remark


1 Apr 2009, 0203 hrs IST, Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN

MUMBAI: Muslim organisations have expressed displeasure over Supreme Court judge Markandeya Katju's observations that growing a beard was akin to

promoting `Talibanisation' in the country. The judge had made the remark while rejecting a Muslim student's plea that he be allowed to sport a beard to his school.

 

"This is a shocking remark and has hurt the sentiments of community members. We are planning to file a plea against the verdict,'' Rajya Sabha MP and Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind leader Maulana Mehmood Madni said. "Indian ulema are vehemently opposed to Taliban and its dangerous agenda. The verdict may affect our efforts to quell misconceptions about Islam.''

 

Muslims are now worried that the verdict may be used to harass Muslims in the future.

 

All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat president Zafarul Islam Khan called Justice Katju's remarks "unfortunate''. "Growing a beard is not mandatory, but part of the Muslim faith. Our organisation will approach the court against the verdict,'' Khan said.

 

"Muslims who don't sport a beard accept that they are wrong because growing a beard is part of the Sunnah (Prophet's traditions). Talibanisation and growing a beard are poles apart," Maulana Mahmood Madni of the All-India Ulema Council said. "The court should not have made such a sweeping remark which could only create problems for Muslims.''

 

toireporter@timesgroup.com

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Muslims_

protest_SC_judges_beard_remark/articleshow/4341750.cms

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


SC rejects Muslim's plea to sport beard, says no 'Talibanisation of India'


30 Mar 2009, 2302 hrs IST, PTI

timesofindia.indiatimes.com


NEW DELHI: Rejecting the plea of a Muslim student that he should be permitted to sport beard in his convent school, the Supreme Court on Monday observed secularism cannot be overstretched and that "Talibanisation" of the country cannot be permitted.

 

"We don't want to have talibans in the country. Tommorow a girl student may come and say that she wants to wear a burqa, can we allow it," Justice Markandeya Katju speaking for a bench headed by Justice Raveendran observed.

 

Asserting that he was a secularist to the core, Justice Katju however said religious beliefs cannot be overstretched.

 

"I am secularist. We should strike a balance between rights and personal beliefs. We cannot overstretch secularism," the judge known for his incisive remarks said.

 

Justice Katju passed the obsesrvation while dismsissing the petition of the student. Mohammad Salim of Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary School, a government-recognised minority institution in Madhya Pradesh, has sought quashing of the school regulation requiring students to be clean-shaven.

 

Challenging a Madhya Pradesh High Court verdict that had earlier dismissed his plea, Salim submitted that every citizen was entitled to follow his religious principles and that no one should restrain him from doing so in a secular country like India.

 

Salim's counsel Justice (retd) B A Khan argued before the bench that sporting beard was an indispensable part of Islam.

 

But Justice Katju was apparently not impressed with the argument and quipped "But you (Khan) don't sport a beard?" the judge asked the counsel.

 

The apex court then said that a minority institution has its own set of rules and rights provided by Article 30 of the Constitution and the same cannot be breached by any person.

 

"If there are rules you have to be. You can't say that I will not wear a uniform I will only a burqa," the bench observed.

 

The court further said if the student was not interested in following the rules then he has the option of joining some other institution.

 

"You can join some other institution if you do not want to observe the rules. But you can't ask the school to change the rules for you," Justice Katju observed.

 

Appearing for the student, senior advocate B A Khan said that Article 25 of the Constitution guaranteed protection to Salim to pursue his religious practice of keeping a beard and the regulation providing for shaving it off was violative of this provision.

 

He said the act of the principal to force the student to leave the school for keeping a beard was against "his religious conscience, belief and custom of his family".

 

Pointing out that Sikh community members were allowed to keep a beard and sport a turban, Salim alleged there was a clear discrimination on part of the school to force him to be clean shaven and this rule was violative of his fundamental rights.

 

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-society/should-muslims-convert-their-beards-into-another-existential-issue?/d/1290


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Total Comments (7)

  • 7 .

    Date:    Sun, 5 Apr 2009 15:24:00 +0530 [03:24:00 PM IST]

    From: Ghulam Muhammed <>

    To:       Sultan Shahin

    Subject:           AN OPEN LETTER TO JUSTICE MARKANDEYA KATJU - BY IQBAL A. ANSARI - SECRETRY GENERAL - MINORITY COUNCIL

     

    Human Rights Today

     

    Syeda Manzil, Muzammil Compound 4/ 1703, Dodhpur, Aligarh 202001

     

    Tel: 0571-2709629, Mob. 9411415100 E-mail:

      

    04.04.09

     

    Justice Markandeya Katju

     Hon’ble Judge

     Supreme Court of India

     New Dehli

      

    Dear Justice Markandeya Katju,

     

     While holding the honourable judges of the Apex Court, including you, in highest esteem, I am writing this as your fellow citizen of India, who has been disturbed not by the operative part of your recent judgment on beard in Mohammad Salim v. Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary Schools case delivered on 30 March 2009 which I consider erroneous, but by your observation that keeping beard is necessarily an expression of Muslim religious extremism, even terrorism, from which you are determined to save the country. Since in current common Indian Hindu perception Talibans are practitioners of extreme religious intolerance and violence, you have defamed the entire Muslim community, especially its conservative sections and others who keep beard and who may not be any less dedicated to peace and tolerance than you claim to be.

     

    By such patently defamatory remark you have damaged the reputation of the higher judiciary, reducing it to the level of the sections of media whose sensationalised projection of incidents reinforces negative stereotype of communities. It is not just rhetoric but a reality that your irresponsible utterance has contributed to further demonization of religious Muslims, especially practicing orthodox sections, whose chances of being treated as normal patriotic citizens of India have been further reduced, and whom the police and administrative personnel will treat with much deeper suspicion than already obtains in the country.

     

    I hope you have read the Quran wherein Allah exhorts Muslims to seek welfare and salvation by obeying Him and obeying His Prophet and by practising the Prophet’s Sunnah  (practices). While wearing beard is not prescribed in the Quran as obligatory for Muslims, there are strong exhortations in the Prophet’s Traditions for good Muslims to grow beard which is considered part of piety, over which all Muslim schools of thought and jurists are agreed and which enjoys the sanction of continuous customary Muslim practice since its advent till date. It is not only Islamic Mujahideen of yore who sported beard, but Khalifa, Qazis, scholars, Sufis, Saints and men of religious learning and piety, as well as many poets, philosophers, writers and political leaders including Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Maulaa Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. Zakir Husain and Hasrat Mohani among others wore beards.

     

    In India more than elsewhere persons wearing beard – among all religious communities – have been treated with more than average respect. In Islamic law as well as according to common Muslim norms, the witness of a bearded orthodox Muslim carries more weight  and conviction than of one without beard. For centuries in India a bearded non-drinking Muslim has been considered a more reliable and honest person, hence preference has been shown to such Muslims for the job of guards and drivers etc.

     

    More than a sympathetic understanding of the Quran & Hadith and of Muslim ethno-religious ethos, what is advisable for you to do is to get more closely acquainted with the binding international human rights standards on freedom of religion under Article 18 of the ICCPR and its General Comment No. 22 of the UN Human Rights Committee, which India has pledged at the time of its election in 2006 before the Human Rights Council to implement.

     

    Even if keeping beard is not essential requirement of Islam or any religion, every individual has the freedom to publicly manifest his/her religious belief, provided it is not violative of rights of others. It is not the “reasonableness” of any religious ritual formula which can be questioned under human rights law, it is rather the reasonableness of restriction and its essentiality for health, morality and public order or larger public interest which will have to be brought under critical scrutiny by their unbiased lordships in any court of law in any country for dispensing unbiased non-political justice to all human persons/citizens.

     

    Justification for prescribing uniform dress in schools and other institutions is provided for the desirable egalitarian ethos, obliterating the distinction of socio-economic class origin of school children. No such justification exists for prescribing the obligation of clean shavenness or non-wearing of scarf by girls.

     

    No public institution, including schools, can claim that there is any necessary correlation between efficiency of any work, civil or military, or promotin of learning or discipline or morality and clean-shavenness. It is just hegemonic pattern of norms of behaviour set by the dominant modern secular west, which imposes any such cultural homogenization. It is this anti-multicultural, anti-humanist mindset of yours which is also anti Indian pluralistic cultural ethos, which got betrayed by your reference to ‘burqa’.

     

    The earlier judgments rejecting the right of certain government employees to grow beard on religious grounds were based on wrong criterion of essentiality, which has not been uniformly vigorously applied while, say, upholding the conscientious objection of students from Jehovah’s Witness sect to singing the  national anthem in schools, or while upholding the right of the local authorities in Rishikesh to impose ban on the sale of eggs on the ground that it is a religious town.

     

    No such test of essentiality was again applied by larger Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Lahoti while upholding the Gujarat Government’s law banning slaughter cows, calves, bulls and bullocks of all ages irrespective of their utility for larger public interest.

     

    It needs to be noted by you and the public intellectuals in India that many erroneous judgments related to Muslims have been taken by the community in its stride, it is your association of beard with religious extremism including violence of Taliban that has rightly hurt most Muslims, and it is for you to decide how to make amends.

     

    In view of the fact that your remarks have already evoked public debate, I cannot withhold publication of this letter till availability of your response and approval, which I would have normally done.

     

     

     

    With regards,

     

    Yours sincerely,

     

     

     

     

     

    Iqbal A. Ansari

     

    (Retired Professor, A.M.U, Aligarh)

     

    Secretary-General

     

    Minorities Council

     

     

     

     

     

    Copy to:

     

    (i)                  Justice K.G Balakrishnan, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India

     

    (ii)                Justice P.N Bhagwati, Retired Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India

     

    (iii)               Justice A.M Ahmadi, Retired Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India

     

    (iv)              Justice V.N. Khare, Retired Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India.

     

    (v)                Justice V.R Krishna Iyer, Retired Judge, Supreme Court of India

     

    (vi)              Soli J. Sorabjee, Former Attorney General of India.

     

    (vii)             Mr. K.G. Kannabiran, President, PUCL

     

    (viii)           Justice Rajindar Sachar, Retired Chief Justice, Delhi High Court; Former President, PUCL.

     

    (ix)              Mr. Shanti Bhushan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India

     

    (x)                Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India

     

    (xi)              Mr. Colin Gonsalves, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India.

     

    (xii)             Mrs. Indira Jaising, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India.

     

    (xiii)           Ms. Asma Jahangir, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

     

    (xiv)           U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights

     

    (xv)            Chairperson, U.N Human Rights Council

     

    (xvi)           Director U.N Information Centre, Lodi Estate, New Dehli

     

    By Ghulam Muhammed
  • 6 .

    Should Muslims convert their beards into another existential issue?

    ========================

    Dear Sultan Sahab,

    Problem with Political Islamists activist type of Muslim is this that they think that Islam exist in punishment whereas punishments are just a minor part of Islam to maintain order in society. Mullahs’ are possessed by the Genie of Piety - Yaani in Maulviyon par Taqway ka Bhoot Sawar Hai. No doubt veil and beard have their importance in Islam but Islam is not just the name of Punishments, Beards, Veil, and Mullahs having Bad Breath but a way of life which in my humble opinion can only be spread in society gradually and systematically to create an environment for a healthy, clean and pious society. This cannot be achieved by those [Jihadis, Talibans, Afghan Warlords and Saudi and Irani Mutawwas] who had been Foot Soldiers for the US CIA during several of their Campaigns. Saudi Mullahs used in Iran Iraq War for issuing Fatwa against Iran, Irani Ayatullahs were part and parcel of Iran Contra Scandal, Pakistani Mullahs [Mawdudi] included since 1965 till even now are part and parcel of establishment, list goes on and on…

    Read a debate amongst Pakistani Ignorants and guage the level of education in my country.

    Public flogging of a woman in SWAT - is this the Islamic way of handing out justice?

    http://teeth.com.pk/blog/2009/04/03/women-being-publicly-flogged-swat

    By Aamir Mughal
  • 5 .

    Video of Taliban Flogging Rattles Pakistan By SALMAN MASOOD Published: April 3, 2009

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/world/asia/04swat.html?ref=world

    An undated image taken from mobile phone footage released by Dunya TV Channel shows a woman in a body-covering burka face down on the ground being flogged. Dunya TV Channel/Associated Press

    http://blogs.channel4.com/snowblog/2009/04/03/pakistan-tracing-the-flogging-footage/

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The video shows a young girl held face down as a Taliban commander whips her repeatedly with a leather strap. “Leave me for the moment — you can beat me again later,” she screams, pleading for a reprieve and writhing in pain.

    Paying no heed, the commander orders the others to tighten their grip on her and continues the public flogging. A large group of men quietly stands and watches in a circle around her.

    The girl in the video is a 17-year-old resident of Kabal in the restive Swat region in northwestern Pakistan. The images, which have been aired repeatedly by private television news networks in Pakistan, have caused outrage here and set off bitter condemnation by rights activists and politicians. It has also raised questions once again about the government’s decision to enter into a peace deal in February that effectively ceded Swat to the Taliban and allowed them to impose Islamic law.

    The two-minute video is the first known case of a public flogging of a woman in Swat. Apparently shot on mobile phone and widely circulated in the picturesque valley, it demonstrates vividly how the Taliban have used public displays of punishment to terrify and control the local population.

    It was not clear what the girl was accused of. One account said that she had stepped out of her house without being escorted by a male family member, said Samar Minallah, a rights activist. Ms. Minallah said she distributed the video to local news media after it was sent to her by someone from Swat three days ago

    Another account said that a local Taliban commander had falsely accused the girl of violating Islamic law after she refused to accept his marriage proposal.

    A Taliban spokesperson defended the punishment to the GEO television network , but said it should not have been done in public.

    Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister of North-West Frontier Province, where Swat is located, also tried to play down the flogging by claiming that the video was recorded in January before the peace agreement. He called it an attempt to sabotage the peace agreement.

    Not many seemed willing to countenance the argument.

    “This is absurd,” said Athar Minallah, a lawyer who campaigned for the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in a telephone interview. “No one can give justification for such an act. These handful of people have taken the population hostage and the government is trying to patronize them. If the state surrenders, what will happen next?”

    Asma Jehangir, one of the country’s leading rights activists, condemned the flogging as “intolerable.”

    “This is an eye-opener,” she said in a televised news briefing in Lahore. “Terrorism has seeped into every corner of the country. It is time that every patriotic Pakistani should raise a voice against such atrocities.”

    She said she would join other rights activists and citizens in rally against terrorism Saturday in Lahore, where militants stormed a police academy this week. “It will be a peaceful march to show that the people of Lahore will not stay silent,” she said.

    Jugnu Mohsin, a peace activist and publisher of Friday Times, the country’s most popular weekly, blamed the military for allowing the Taliban to gain strength and giving the militants a free hand to commit such atrocities.

    Ms. Mohsin, along with her husband, Najam Sethi, one of Pakistan’s most renowned journalists, said she had received threats from Islamic extremists.

    “I know that the federal and provincial governments are innocent victims and bystanders,” she said. ”The military has handed over the ownership and refuses to fight.”

    In February, after 20 months of losing battles against the Taliban in Swat, the government and the military accepted a peace deal and the establishment of Islamic courts in the region. In return, Maulana Fazlullah, the leader of the Taliban in Swat, pledged to lay down the weapons and end the violence.

    Those who opposed the deal said it would strengthen the militants and give them time to regroup and tighten their control in Swat.

    The government said the agreement would end the violence. Hundreds of schools have been destroyed in Swat, several government officials beheaded and female education banned under the Taliban.

    Both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani condemned the flogging and ordered and investigation.

    Mr. Chaudhry has also constituted an eight-member bench in the Supreme Court after taking notice of the video, a news release by the Pakistani court said.

    The justice ordered the interior secretary to bring the girl before the court on March 6.

    Sherry Rehman, the former information minister and a member of the ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party, demanded immediate action by the government.

    “Ignoring such acts of violence amounts to sanctioning impunity,” Ms. Rehman said in a statement. “The fire in the Swat Valley and our northern regions can engulf other parts of the country, if we do nothing to put it out.”

    By Aamir Mughal
  • 4 .

    Dear Sultan Shahin,

    It is unfortunate that Muslims can not see past the surface and do not afford the time and effort to research an issue.  Unneccessary statements are made just to appease the central dogma of the time.   The issue at hand is the fundamental right of a human being and weither he has the right to dress a certain way, or express his religion a certain way.   In the US and Western countries where the so called secularism that is being talked about here originated, it would be a nonissue.  The state has no right to tell an individual how to dress or what and how to follow a certain religion.   The expression of religion is inaliable right that also can not be taken away by an institution either.  

    Institutions can set up parameters but they can not encroach upon a persons inalianable right.  For example, would it had been okay for the same institution to mark all the hindus with a yellow hankershief or all the Jews with a star of david.  Absolutely not.  Can the institution teach hate.  For example, can it teach that Hindus are going to hell and you should kill them all.  That is also not right.   Can the institution require all teachers to walk over the Quran to denounce religion.   I mention these examples to set up the pretext that institutions although they may be private are limited with regards to the parameters they set up.    What determines the limitation?  I would say the first test would be if the parameters encroach on an individual's inalienable rights.   In this case, I think the institution did.   The wearing of the beard is a religious symbol.  This is undenyiable.   In fact, its a symbol that is undisputed among the four schools of thought, the shia, the eastern orthodox church, among Jews, among sikh and even among chinese monk.   This is not a person piercing their ears.   

    The second test is the parameter necessary for the function of the institution and implementation of its vision?   Can you really argue that leaving the beard impedes a young man's education?  I would say absolutely not.   How shallow do people have to be to think that the overgrowth of facial hear can somehow alter a person learning ability.   There is also not a legitimate argument that would state the shaving of the beard somehow implements the vision of the school.   A school's vision should be based on intellectual consideration.  As far as hygiene, leaving a better is medically proven to be more hygienic.

    Without making the discussion any longer than it is.  I am sorry that Muslims dont reflect your vision of what Muslims should be.  However, who are you?  The last time I checked, Islam does not have a pope.  So you  dont have the religious authority to tell me what to do.   You are a shallow self hating muslim.

     

    By Habib Hamidi
  • 3 .

    Date:   2 Apr 2009 12:32:13 -0000 [06:02:13 PM IST]
    From:  pranav trivedi
    To:      sultan shahin   editor@newageislam.com

    Respected Sir,

    Just read about you and your pious work in today's Gujarat Samachar newspaper. I am a govt. medical officer in Gujarat. I visited your web-site & felt a glass of AMRUT in a desert. Currently, all Muslim brothers & sisters have need to understand Islam in proper way. Much more fundamentalists are in Indian sub-continent. Through my observation, I found that the reason of such fundamentalism in Muslims is due to lack of proper knowledge of Holy QURAN. And also reason of that is Holy QURAN is not available in local language or in any language, which Muslims can understand and think in a proper way.

    I think, Holy QURAN and HADISs should be available in all local languages, which most of the Muslims can understand. Also all books should be with proper translation and remarks ( I mean, like TIKA, e.g. Bagvad Gita is widely available with TIKA). And all TIKA ( explaination??!!) should be brain storming. I will be glad to help you by any mean, any time.Please try to publish Holy QURAN & HADIS in various languages, also try to make it available on web also.

    Thanking You.

    Dr. Pranav Kanubhai Trivedi
    At. Mangrol
    Di. Junagadh
    State : Gujarat

    By Dr. Pranav Kanubhai Trivedi