Books and Documents
“God said, ‘You
fool. This very night your soul will be required of you. And the things you
have stored up—whose will they be?”...
a fable about a Jesuit, a Danish and a Dutch chaplain in China arguing
ferociously among themselves: a mandarin, disturbed by the noise, asks for an
explanation, and when they continue fighting he throws them all in prison until
they agree. They will never agree, he is told. Well, they must forgive each
other, he says. That, he is told, is also impossible. In which case, he says,
“they must remain in prison until they pretend to forgive each other”....
diverse scholarly activity and textual exchange buttressed the encyclopaedia.
Al-Nuwayri quotes earlier thinkers extensively, including figures who may be
familiar to Western readers, like Aristotle, Avicenna and the ancient Greek
physician Dioscorides. In a self-effacing note in his preface, he insists the
compendium is the achievement of other writers. His own words “merely interpret
the book’s contents and frame them like eyebrows over the eyes.”...
that the authors identify with—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—belong to the
‘Abrahamic family’. They contain rich spiritual treasures. Yet, much evil has
also been, and continues to be, fomented in their name (as is the case with
many other religions, too), including war, hate, terror and oppression. As the
authors tell us: Religions come into being to call us back to the spiritual
paths from which we have strayed, the paths that lead to healing. But religions
themselves, as institutions, go astray, too...
Linked to the
crucial role that interfaith dialogue can play in peace-building is what it can
contribute in terms of providing spiritual direction to humankind. At a time
when materialism is at its zenith, when moral values face a grave crisis, and
when the market is the new deity for vast millions, the crisis of the lack of
religious and spiritual values affects people across all religious boundaries.
The ideology of
totalitarianism in the name of Islam that underlies various forms of Muslim
extremism can be countered on other grounds (for example, on the basis of
secular human rights), but to be acceptable to Muslims for whom Islam forms
their frame of reference, the critique has to be in Islamic terms, and in this
task this little book excels....
goodness in cultures and faith traditions other than the one they identify
with, the contributors to this volume discuss the ethics of harmonious
coexistence in a multi-religious society, something that is of global
importance today, particularly in the context of endemic violence in the name
of religion in many parts of the world....
are the Muslim millennials, the global generation born in the past 30 years,
but with a twist. Unlike their Christian counterparts in the US and western
Europe, most of whom are turning their backs on organised religion, Generation
M has “one over-riding characteristic, which is that they believe that being
faithful and living a modern life go hand in hand, and there is absolutely no
contradiction between the two,” ...
towards soccer is driven by opportunism and impulse. The group fundamentally
despises the game, yet can’t deny that it is popular in its ranks and in
territory it governs,”...
Many of us
choose to nurse our wounds, making them even worse by refusing to forgive those
we see as responsible for them. We think they deserve to be hated. This gives
us a deceptive sense of power over them. We feel that forgiving them might mean
that condoning their actions or that we are weaklings. Little, however, do we
realise that the resentments that we so carefully cultivate against others for
what they may have done only damages us further....
Islam gave rise
to “a movement of women’s liberation” that “shook the social sphere of the
time, which was essentially grounded in a merciless patriarchal system.” It
encouraged women to speak for themselves as they entered the social sphere and
sought their rights that tribal tradition had denied them....
... the "open perspective" fosters inspirational personal
growth and transformational social change by opening people up to positive elements
of other religious traditions. In doing so, Christians and Muslims leave behind
the "ideology of religious supremacy," and acknowledge the
"mercy of God,"...
This is what Allah's servant `Imam Ali, Amir
Al-Mu'minin, has ordered Malik ibn al-Harith al-Ashtar in his instrument (of
appointment) for him when he made him Governor of Egypt for the collection of
its revenues, fighting against its enemies, seeking the good of its people and
making its cities prosperous.
هذَا مَا أَمَرَ بِهِ عَبْدُ اللهِ عَلِيٌ أَميِرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، مَالِكَ بْنَ الْحَارِثِ الاْشْتَرَ فِي عَهْدِهِ إِلَيْهِ، حِينَ وَلاَّهُ مِصْرَ: جِبْوةَ خَرَاجِهَا، وَجِهَادَ عَدُوِّهَا، وَاسْتِصْلاَحَ أَهْلِهَا، وَعِمَارَةَ بِلاَدِهَا.
He has ordered him to fear Allah, to prefer
obedience to Him, and to follow what He has commanded in His Book (Qur'an) out
of His obligatory and elective commands, without following which one cannot
achieve virtue, nor (can one) be evil save by opposing them and ignoring them,
and to help Allah the Glorified, with his heart, hand and tongue, because Allah
whose name is Sublime takes the responsibility for helping him who helps Him,
and for protecting him who gives Him support. He also orders him to break his
heart off from passions, and to restrain it at the time of their increase,
because the heart leads towards evil unless Allah has mercy.
However, others — including Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, the
co-chairman of the congressional inquiry — believe the hijackers had an
extensive Saudi support system while they were in the United States. Graham has
said that the pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the
Not only are we made aware of the racial discrimination faced by Muslim
women, particularly those who wish to stay veiled while living in the West, but
also how, once internalised by them, does it actually frame and affect their
psyche. It is the trauma of living in a hostile cultural environment that turns
Ameena into a religious fanatic with Jamila and her family's politics acting as
mere facilitators of that transformation....
A common explanation for the rise of Islamic resistance movements is
that the socialist, secularist, and nationalist opposition had been crushed by
the old regimes' security forces, while the Islamists were not. In countries
like Libya and Syria, however, Islamists were savagely persecuted, too, and
they still came to dominate the opposition. ...
And since the Greeks, escape routes have been identified and sought —
Aeschylus hoped law could provide reconciliation; Jesus later claimed this
power for love. But in his disturbing new book, “Spiral,” Mark Danner worries
there is no way out of today’s “forever war,” which continues unabated after 15
...called on jihadists in Southeast Asia who could not afford to make
the journey to IS territories in the Middle East, to either migrate to the
Philippines or to kill IS enemies wherever they may be found, even using
vehicles to cause their deaths. IS-related groups have to be neutralised or
eliminated in Southeast Asia for Al-Fatihin to lose its potency and relevance,
along with its plans for a caliphate....
Few people are as simultaneously despised and pitied as Muslim women.
Largely relegated to both helpless victim and existential threat, their voices
are muffled by a western media and public that treats their lives and bodies as
blank canvases onto which others are free to paint their fears and
Ahmed passed away at a young age before the book was published. But he
has left behind one of the most dazzling books in recent memory, full of
overpowering illumination of the kind rare in contemporary scholarship.
Shia fought Sunni. Britain, France and a reluctant America fired shots
in Libya. Russia showily shored up the president of a Syria torn apart,
probably forever, like the colonial borders that created the countries of the
region after World War I....
If our hearts and minds are tuned to these traditions, he writes, we can
appreciate and support for one another, despite our religious and other differences.
Studying the wisdom of the world’s religions can, he says, help us develop
compassion for each other and discover that the message of love and mercy is
common to all our faiths....
The founder and prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was also a statesman.
Consequently, his leadership intertwined politics, law, and religion, placing
the lattermost at the forefront of public life. In contrast, Christianity
placed Christ in opposition to the existing legal order and political
He says it not in so many words but by simply recalling that Firaq had a
tendency to fish for sympathy, and that Ali Sardar Jafri, of all the people,
had made a documentary which was far from an accurate representation of facts
in Firaq’s life, which in the last few decades, bordered on morally bankrupt...
She shows how Afghanistan led to Iraq and how Iraq led to ISIS. Lamb
says the West’s sense of failure in both Afghanistan and Iraq led President
Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron to stand by “as more than 200,000
people were killed in Syria and Vladimir Putin started to redraw the map of
Europe, annexing Crimea from Ukraine.”...