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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions - Part 4

The law empowers prosecutors to prosecute conduct that might seem otherwise innocuous— translating books and publishing them online, or storing ponchos and socks, as described in two cases below—for the ostensible purpose of preventing terrorism. While US courts have interpreted this law as criminalizing conduct only—and not as infringing on freedom of association—many scholars disagree. David Cole, a law professor who also served as counsel for plaintiffs in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, has written, “what good is it to have a right to join or associate with a group if the government can make it a crime to do anything whatsoever on the group’s behalf?”[....

 

South Asia’s Apostle of Secular Humanism – Josh Malihabadi (Part 1)
Josh Malihabadi

Those steeped in the high culture of Urdu poetry do not really care. They know well the power and exhilarating beauty of Josh’s literary creations. His dexterity and genius in transposing thoughts into words created new thoughts and expressions. Poetry flowed from his pen like water from a bubbling spring – he is said to have authored well over 100,000 A’shaar (couplets) and more than one thousand Rubaiyyats. Some among them represent the finest that Urdu poetry has to offer. This puts him into the pantheon of Urdu poets alongside giants like Ghalib and Iqbal......

Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions - Part 3

In some cases we examined, a government agent appears to have taken on the role of a religious authority figure for a target who was searching for guidance about Islam because he was young, a recent convert, or socially outside the mainstream Muslim community due to race or ethnicity. These cases are particularly troubling to many in American Muslim communities, where members feel law enforcement is exploiting the very paranoia described in detail in section VII. In some cases, the FBI employed versions of Islam when interacting with the target that led targets towards specific mindsets and actions.....

 

We have been asked by our academic colleagues in Gaza – whose universities have been destroyed a number of times in the last six years, who are unable to teach or study, and who are also in growing need of food and medicines, like the rest of the almost two million Palestinians living in Gaza – to urge you to act urgently, to make your voice heard in Israel and abroad against what the Israeli government is inflicting on the Gaza population. More than 650 people have been killed already in Gaza by the IDF since the start of the Israeli operation on July 8th, 2014, and the number will be bigger by the time you read this message......

 
The Holy Vedas: Part - 5
Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar

He knows truth who knows This God as One.

Neither second nor third Nor fourth is He called; Neither fifth nor sixth Nor seventh is He called; Neither eighth nor ninth Nor tenth is He called.

He surveys all that breathes And that breathes not.

He possesses the Power Supreme He is the One, The One Alone.

In Him All divine powers Become the One Alone. (Atharva.13.5.14-21)…..

 

The Origins of War
Gwynne Dyer

Some 59 skeletons were found in 1964, lying together in a gravesite beside the Nile Rıver, near what is now the Egyptian-Sudanese border. They died between 13,000 and 14,000 years ago, and some of them seemed to have died in battle. That was big news half a century ago, when most people still believed organized killing was an invention of civilization. Now they are back in the news, billed as evidence of the world’s oldest-known battle……

 

A Life inside Al Qaeda

When he fled to London to avoid angry members of his former gang, he ended up in central London’s Regent’s Park mosque; then he was offered a Saudi-funded scholarship to study Arabic and his new faith at an ultra-conservative religious school in Yemen. He accepted and this first trip to the Middle East marked the real start of his extraordinary journey through 15 years of extremism in Britain, Denmark and Yemen…..

 

The stand of the Union of India is that Fatwas are advisory in nature and no Muslim is bound to follow those. Further, Dar-ul-Quaza does not administer criminal justice and it really functions as an arbitrator, mediator, negotiator or conciliator in matters pertaining to family dispute or any other dispute of civil nature between the Muslims. According to the Union of India, Dar-ul-Quaza can be perceived as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, which strives to settle disputes outside the courts expeditiously in an amicable and inexpensive manner and, in fact, have no power or authority to enforce its orders and, hence, it cannot be termed as either in conflict with or parallel to the Indian Judicial System. The Union of India has not denied that Fatwas as alleged by the petitioner were not issued but its plea is that they were not issued by any of the Dar-ul- Quaza. In any event, according to the Union of India, few bad examples may not justify abolition of system, which otherwise is found useful and effective……

The Smiling Face of Iraq’s Islamic State

The magazine carries pictures of crowds cheering IS militants as they parade through Syrian and Iraqi towns with the black flag, graphic photos apparently of Sunni civilians slain by the “Rafidhi,” a derogatory term for Shias, and of Shia soldiers “heroically” killed by the Mujahideen. Dabiq also features a long and complex theological article essentially justifying the caliphate and Baghdadi’s position as both religious and political leader.....

Dialogue in a Pluralistic World

Desiderio Pinto’s essay covers a wide historical canvas, focusing particularly on noted Indian Muslim figures who promoted interaction with, and understanding of, people of other faiths. These include early Arab and Persian scholars who translated Buddhist and Hindu texts into Arabic and Persian, and several Sufis who unhesitatingly adopted certain ‘Buddhist’ and ’Hindu’ practices, not seeing this as in any way contradicting Islam.....

 

The Sufi Movement: East and West

Hazrat Inayat Khan was a man with a mission to bridge the gap between East and West and between people who claimed to follow different religions. This he sought to do through the message of mysticism that transcends humanly-constructed barriers of communal, ethnic and national differences. He was the one called to bring Sufi wisdom to the West, as was made clear by his Murshid or guru, Hazrat Abu Hashim Madani.  Hazrat Inayat Khan described Sufism as “a mother of the coming reform in the religious world.”.....

 

Hafeez Naumani: My Story of Captivity
Hafeez Naumani

As is obvious from his autobiographical account the policy of harassment, intimidation, humiliation and implication of Muslims (specially the youth) in fabricated and baseless cases has been in place since 1947 and continues to be followed till today no matter which government is in power......

 

The Pashtun Enigma

In recent years the Pashtun regions have been defined by the complicated counterinsurgency campaigns more than 300,000 NATO and Pakistani troops have been waging in Afghanistan and Pakistan. With the imminent withdrawal of most Western combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, the Pakistani army is in the midst of what it calls a “comprehensive operation” in North Waziristan. These complicated struggles require a new understanding of what afflicts the Pashtun homeland in Afghanistan and Pakistan….

 

Review and Excerpts from Wael Hallaq's The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament
Wael Hallaq

The proposition that a modern Islamic state is impossible and evens a contradiction in terms contains at least two hidden questions that must be stated at the outset. First, if this state is inconceivable, then, one might ask, how did Muslims, having in the past commanded a great civilization and built many empires, rule themselves? What form of governance did they practice? And second, with this impossibility in mind, what type of political rule are Muslims presently adopting or likely to adopt in the future?....

 

The Animals’ Lawsuit Against Humanity: A Remarkable Work of Great Spiritual and Literary Merit

Imagine a team of Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims and Christians from different lands closely collaborating with each other on a joint project for global goodness? Difficult, or even almost impossible, isn’t it? But this is something that actually happened, believe it or not, around a thousand years ago, leading to the production of a remarkable work of great spiritual and literary merit: The Animals’ Lawsuit against Humanity.....

Shorish Kashmiri, Azad and Partition
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Nehru and Patel, more rightly than wrongly, were the architects of partition, not Jinnah. Maulana Azad’s book, India Wins Freedom, seconds that. Indeed, he says so very clearly that it was Patel and company who were the flag-bearers of partition and not Jinnah. He calls Nehru’s decision to torpedo the Cabinet Mission Plan a Himalayan blunder……

 

The World Before Her: Two Women, Two Worlds
Sudhish Kamath

As the film cuts between their lives (Ruhi's tense training days in the run-up to the finale of the beauty pageant and Prachi's training days at the Durga Vahini camp), we first see how different they are and yet slowly see that their lives are not all that different after all. They are both chasing dreams that actually live out fantasies of men and that too defined in a system, by the rules laid down by men.......

The Holy Vedas: Part - 4
Edited and Prepared By Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar

The Holy Vedas: Part - 4

The divine light of cosmic intelligence, which has golden radiance and a sweet voice, descends from heaven to inspire us thrice at our assemblies. Mayest Thou accept, O Lord of Divine Light, the praises recited by the eulogers and thereupon fulfil all our aspirations.  (Rig.3.54.11) …….

 
The Holy Vedas: Cosmic Yajna - Part 3
Edited and Prepared By Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar

The Holy Vedas: Cosmic Yajna - Part 3

The refreshing glow of Divine Consciousness sends forth each busy man to his pursuit; she knows no delay. O Dawn, rich in opulence, when you come, birds that have flown forth rest no longer.....

 

The Hijab of Cambodia

Most of the 60 Cham Muslim women interviewed tried to hold on to religious tenets by modifying some of their religious practices. The issue of ritual purity was especially sensitive, because the communal kitchens often served pork meat and soup, while some of the agricultural work involved feeding and washing pigs. Some women would try to avoid eating pork as much as possible, which was not easy because there was not enough food to eat in the first place. Others would secretly prepare and eat whatever items they could find……

 
The Holy Vedas: 'Vedic Concept of Creation - Part 2
Edited and Prepared By Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar

The Holy Vedas: 'Vedic Concept of Creation - Part 2

The theory of evolution is one of the greatest revelations of modern scientific thought. Various philosophers, physicists and scientific men, working independently of one another and in different domains of Nature, have, have established the truth of this theory, so that, instead of remaining a theory, there are evident signs of its soon becoming a proven fact. The theory enunciates the great truth that all complexity came out of simplicity, heterogeneity out of homogeneity, perfection out of imperfection, variety out of uniformity. All this beauty and grandeur with apparent paradoxes is the result of the struggle which Nature wages towards the attainment of order and perfection. In the beginning of the present order of things, in some far-off period, in some distant point of time, the whole universe existed in a state of Paramanu…..

The Holy Vedas: A Golden Treasury - Part 1
Prepared By Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar

The Holy Vedas: A Golden Treasury - Part 1

Hymns of Creation

In the beginning was Hiranyagarbha (Golden Womb).

The seed of elemental existence,

The only Lord of all that was born.

He upheld the heaven and earth together

To what God other than Him, could we dedicate our life?

(A tharva.4.2.7)

Humanity is proud of this most ancient heritage and it has been the most amazing accomplishment of man-kind to have preserved this divine literature to this day under all hazards and vicissitudes of history. The Vedas constitute the back-bone of our entire culture and development through the millennia not only in India but also abroad. For most of us, they constitute the first literature that dawned on us at the earliest time of man's appearance on this globe. In India, we regard them as the revealed knowledge. What the effulgent sun is to animate and inanimate activity on the terrestrial earth, the Vedic enlightenment is to the prestigious life of man on this planet for the majority of humanity. Man with his most highly evolved physico-psychic complex is a gem in our divine creation, much above animal level. For his fulfilment, the necessary code of conduct is incorporated in the Vedic texts. It is the most precious gift to humanity from our benign Creator and Lord. ....

The Pakistani Woman
Mehr Tarar

“There are two powers in the world: one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women” — Muhammad Ali Jinnah…..

 

Dispatches from War- Torn Afghanistan
Carlotta Gall

This was the idea that made Taliban supremo Mullah Omar take on the US because he was ready to sacrifice everything rather than befriend non- Muslims as that was against his belief and religion. This is precisely the idea that so many Pakistanis espouse everyday in their writings, TV programmes and what have you. And yet if the US thought it would be able to get Pakistan to play along, then surely the Americans were taken up the garden path by the Pakistanis with their eyes wide open.....

 

India’s Islamic Traditions

The religious environment was syncretic in nature. But the fact remains that Muslims remain a force to reckon with today whatever the plusses and minuses of their cultural heritage. What this book provides is a background to the past in all its convolutions. Muslims in India today seem rudderless, but under the new political dispensation they may yet get into the mainstream and become a force to reckon with......

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