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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

When Rape Becomes a Weapon of War

“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine,” Murad concludes. Despite recent gains against ISIS in Iraq, many Yazidis still remain in captivity. As a story that hasn’t yet ended, “The Last Girl” is difficult to process. It is a call to action, but as it places Murad’s tragedy in the larger narrative of Iraqi history and American intervention, it leaves the reader with urgent, incendiary questions: What have we done, and what can we do?...

 

Changing the Lens through Which We View Islam
Zakia Soman

The crucial chapter about the Quran records all the important principles enshrined and underlines their relevance in modern times. Fair play, decency, trust, honesty in daily transactions are emphasised in the Quran. Peaceful co-existence, non-violence, non-dynastic rule, freedom of religion, impartiality, compassion, kindness, justice, decorum and good behaviour are some of the values explained at length using quotes from various verses and anecdotes from the life of the Prophet....

 

‘I Hate Muslims’: A Book Uncovers the Bullying Faced By Muslim Children in Many Indian Schools
Nazia Erum

“If they think we are terrorists then we will show them what we can do. How can they say that to us? Every time there is a terror attack in the news, my classmates ask me the next day, “Arre Yeh Kya Karwa Diya Tumne? [What have you done now?]” “As if I am responsible!” When I asked Raffat why he gets into physical fights instead of complaining to the school authorities, he says that there is no point in trying to reason away the unreasonable. “If they want to fight, we cannot shy away!” said the visibly upset young man....

Remembering Dina, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s daughter
Akbar Ahmed

Neither Indians nor Pakistanis quite forgave Dina Wadia for being Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s daughter; the former made her life miserable through a protracted, mean-spirited grab for her father’s house in Bombay and the latter ignored her as an embarrassment who dared to marry a non-Muslim in defiance of her father’s wishes. ...

The Catholic Writer Garry Wills Explores the Quran

The main point of the Quran’s discussion of violence is to establish limitations on its use, and to “abstain from violence to the degree that that is possible.” While a few endlessly cited verses have to do with violence, “the overall tenor is one of mercy and forgiveness, which are evoked everywhere, almost obsessively.” This is what is striven for in the Quran, not war....

The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World

Over time, then, while earlier generations in the West had regarded the existence of God as a natural and fundamental belief, as something that was self-evidently true, many now took a diametrically opposed view. They began claiming that atheism was the natural philosophy of humanity and that it was the beliefs of religious people that required rational explanation. They insisted that belief in God was a form of wishful thinking for consoling weaker and foolish people and for exploiting the poor, or an illusion created by fearful minds to console themselves in the face of what they regarded as the universe’s meaninglessness....

 

The Secrets about Fatehpur Sikri
Rana Safvi

The Mughal association with it began with the Battle of Khanwa between Babur and Rana Sanga in 1527. After his victory, Babur constructed a garden there, which he named Bagh-e-Fatah (victory garden). The village was renamed Shukri (place of thanksgiving). Babur’s grandson Akbar ordered the construction of a royal city, which then served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571, on an isolated elevated, rocky ridge. Thus was built a majestic imperial city....

 

Everybody Lies: How Google Search Reveals Our Darkest Secrets
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

The final – and, I think, most powerful – value in this data is its ability to lead us from problems to solutions. With more understanding, we might find ways to reduce the world’s supply of nasty attitudes. Let’s return to Obama’s speech about Islamophobia. Recall that every time he argued that people should respect Muslims more, the people he was trying to reach became more enraged. Google searches, however, reveal that there was one line that did trigger the type of response Obama might have wanted. He said: “Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbours, our co-workers, our sports heroes and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform, who are willing to die in defence of our country.” After this line, for the first time in more than a year, the top Googled noun after “Muslim” was not “terrorists”, “extremists”, or “refugees”. It was “athletes”, followed by “soldiers”.” And, in fact, “athletes” kept the top spot for a full day afterwards. When we lecture angry people, the search data implies that their fury can grow. But subtly provoking people’s curiosity, giving new information, and offering new images of the group that is stoking their rage may turn their thoughts in different, more positive directions.....

 

Chip in the Madrasa: An Insightful Tale That Unravels How the Wahhabis Play Their Vicious Games and Continue To Maintain Their Vice-Like Grip on Muslim Minds across the Globe
Vivek Sinha

“…it’s only to cement our ideology in the Muslim minds. The billions of dollars continue to pour in only to erase all other competing versions and interpretations of Islam for Muslims, and for the rest of the world. These funds are put into the laps of shady businessmen like you so that you expunge all other interpretations and establish that Wahhabism is the only version of Islam....

 

Probe Dispassionately Islam’s Spread in India
Raziuddin Aquil

The Turks, Afghans and Mughals, amongst other sets of Muslim immigrants from Central Asia, Iran and the Middle East, were essentially urban people and wherever they settled down in the subcontinent, new cities and towns emerged. In some cases, following the change in political regimes as well as a dominant Muslim presence, a pre-existing city was renamed and transformed into a Muslim stronghold. Also, the prolonged interaction between Muslim urban centres and a predominantly Hindu rural hinterland led to the gradual diffusion of Islam in this region….

Reflections: Personal as Well As Social Aspects of Islam

Eaton stresses that life is to be lived not according to our self-will, but, rather, according to God’s guidance. This is something that not just Muslims but all other people who believe in God would readily agree with. Another theme common to all religions that Eaton touches on is life after death (for which this life is a preparation). He reminds us: ‘Religion assures us—all the authentic religions say this, whether openly or by implication—that what lies beyond our brief life or, to put it another way, what lies outside the little world we know, is more real than anything that we experience here.’?....

 

Karo Kari or honour killing in upper Sindh is popularly perceived as a phenomenon according to which a male relative can kill a woman and her lover, if he thinks that his ‘honour’ has been violated due to sexual relations between the two, relations that are not sanctified by society via marriage.

The ultimate vindication of honour lies in physical violence, as ‘to kill or die for honour’ is a regular phrase that resounds in discourse on honour in this area. However, it is also important to note that the static binaries of honour violence, as a relationship between men and women...

 

When we met Katie, she had very strong views about Muslims: that she wouldn’t want to sit next to a Muslim on a bus; how she was fearful of women wearing the Niqab. But she also wanted to try to understand the Muslim community and had a genuine desire to have her preconceptions challenged. We hoped that people who shared some of Katie’s views would go on the journey with her. I think the disguise element was an absolutely crucial part of this....

 

A Night at the Museum
Sumaira Samad

A primary theme characterising the various eras is that of degeneration and decay. The Mohenjo-Daro of 2084 BCE is a city in decline. The spirit that inspired its great civic planning, egalitarianism and vast trading networks has given way to narrow self-interest, hollow rituals, and intrigue. The Takshasila of 455 CE is also about to change forever; the reforming spirit of Buddhism is dwindling and both secular and religious authorities follow a myopic, self-serving path. Mughal India, meanwhile, is at the height of its splendour, a rich blend of various cultures and religions....

 

The Story of the Jews: The Long Fight to Survive
Andrew Anthony

The hatred that manifests in the euphemism “anti-Zionist” serves today to normalise the ever-embattled condition of Jews who, by dint of being Jewish, are viewed as part of an international conspiracy to deny Palestinian rights. If that seems hyperbolic, why is it a typical sight in Britain and Europe to see Jewish schools, community centres and synagogues under guard – armed guard in France?....

Blood and Cash Fighting God’s Holy Wars

In our age, Islam is often taken to task for the violent imagery that is contained within the Qur’an, and the example set by its warrior-prophet, Muhammad, but less often scrutinised is the propensity of Christianity for acts of savagery. Many early Christians held to the pacifism of St Basil, who laid down that Christians who had shed blood were not eligible for communion, but St Augustine of Hippo developed the doctrine of the just war, arguing that it was meritorious to use violence against those who held other religious beliefs....

 

On some other issues, publics in Eastern Europe have similar views regardless of their country’s church-state relationship. There is no clear difference, for example, on views about democracy. In countries with or without official or preferred religions, similar shares of people view democracy as preferable to any other kind of government (medians of 47% and 46%, respectively). Similarly, on the topic of pluralism, medians of 50% in both types of countries say it is better if society consists of people from different nationalities, religions and cultures (as opposed to a homogeneous society)....

Islam is the most common government-endorsed faith, with 27 countries (including most in the Middle East-North Africa region) officially enshrining Islam as their state religion. By comparison, just 13 countries (including nine European nations) designate Christianity or a particular Christian denomination as their state religion. But an additional 40 governments around the globe unofficially favour a particular religion, and in most cases the preferred faith is a branch of Christianity. Indeed, Christian churches receive preferential treatment in more countries – 28 – than any other unofficial but favoured faith....

How Sex, Drugs and Politics Earned In Between's Director A Fatwa
Nosheen Iqbal

“When the movie was released in Israel and Palestine, it was like a bomb for both sides,” says Hamoud, her hands flicking for emphasis. “There were walkouts. It was a shock to the system for Palestinian society, about rebelling from the mainstream, and people feeling shame about themselves. But a lot of people – women, gay people, alternative scenes – were just so pleased it represented them.”....

 

Hamza bin Ladin: From Steadfast Son to Al-Qa`ida’s Leader in Waiting
Ali Soufan

Strikingly, Hamza directs followers not to travel to theatres of war within the Muslim world, but instead to attack targets in the West and Russia. “Perhaps you are longing for emigration,” he says. “Perhaps you yearn for sacrifice in the battlefields. Know that inflicting punishment on Jews and Crusaders where you are is more vexing and severe for the enemy.” He urges “martyrs” that “the message you intend to convey through your blessed operation must be explained unequivocally in the media” and suggests talking points to align these explanations with al-Qa`ida’s own propaganda.....

 

The JuD and LeT Guide on How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa

The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and JuD trace their roots to an organization called Markaz-e-Dawat ul Irshad (MDI) that was established in 1987 to focus on jihad, which was taking place in Afghanistan, and Dawah (proselytizing) for which Hafiz Saeed set up the JuD in 1985. The organization evolved over years from jihad during the 1980s and the 1990s to doing charity and more recently politics. It is adept at the art of survival by staying on the right side of the Pakistani state. ...

 

The Exile: Osama Bin Laden after 9/11
Owen Bennett-Jones

Some militants are on the state payroll but maintain a degree of independence. Some retired ISI officers join militant groups but from time to time report back to their old employer. And yet the claim that some serving ISI officials took independent decisions on such a sensitive matter as Bin Laden’s location is highly contentious. The ISI may be far less competent than it is often portrayed....

 
Revisiting Sufi Classics
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

A Sufi was stoned by children and as it became dark, hailstones greeted him and he started cursing children whom he imagined were throwing pebbles on him in the dark. But at length he discovered that the pebbles were only hailstones and felt sorry stating: “O God, it was because the house was dark that I have sinned with my tongue.” Attar remarks “If you understand the motives of those who are in darkness, you will, no doubt, forgive them.” Who amongst us has not unresolved grudge against someone and still says “Mlliki yawmiddin” that implies that God alone is the judge.....

 

The State Is Right to Humanise Isis Recruits, We Need To Understand
Rachel Shabi

These questions arise not least because of the uncertainties and complexities over what happens for Syrians in real life once Isis fighters have been defeated – as is now the case in Mosul, recaptured by Iraqi forces last month, and could be in Raqqa with the current US-backed military efforts to reclaim the city. ....

 

Of Context and Semantics
Amina Wadud

The landscape of Islamic rhetoric is slowly changing, and with the emerging coverage of Queer Muslims to the liberal and feminist populace, the very foundations of traditionalist values are being questioned. It would be highly remiss of me to not recommend this book, which created the benchmark in Islamic feminist literature....

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NEW COMMENTS

  • The basis and inseparable principle of Islam is the followers of Non-Arabic religions are Khafirs. As long as Khafir concept is exist, No ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Hats Off's venom has always been directed more at moderate Muslims...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Although we do not want to join the Ahmadi sect we should certainly try to learn what makes them better exemplars of peacefulness...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • i know. you are one of the most moderate muslims since the prophet.....
    ( By hats off! )
  • To Mohmmad Rofiq. First I wish Mr sultan Shahin forward this to you. Indonesia and Malaysia ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Historical Krishna or Mohmmad paigamber cannot be my ideal even Swami Ramdas says. This both had gave enough blunders in human life...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Article writer hiding its identity which tells thousand word how this Abrhamic tradition is hollow of non-violence had no example to ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Abhrahmic violence technology is best why to use Dharmic relgions Non-violence notion when Abrhamic tradition and its God had establish it'd hegemony on ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • I do not need any anti-venom to spurn your hateful activity in this forum.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • so your anti-venom is just like snake-oil.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • The venom spewers are just a distraction here. The would fit in nicely in any apostate website.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mr ghulam mohiyuddin comes to this forum to "spew" his anti-venom?
    ( By hats off! )
  • Iran and Saudi Arabia are equally to blame for the winds of war in the Middle East. We should condemn both equally.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! Let us hope Malaysians heed it.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islamophobics will always deny the existence of Islamophobia just as the worst racists deny the existence of racism. One's own....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off's bitter hate for Islam makes him blind to the whole person and the sum total of his achievements and makes him paint ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • yeah! caravan raiding is so generous. just like taking sex slaves is. also it was really generous of the prophet to to reserve....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Jehadi ideology has to be defeated. Using the holy platform of the mosque to spread such an ideology must be prohibited. Exposure...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I am hopeful Allah is with me." Zakir Musa. I would be very surprised if Allah is with you and your retrogressive ideas....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Comments of the PAS President and Hats Off are equally simplistic but the latter's comment is also mean-spirited.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • To fix the me and other you have to fix your "Quran" first which has highest notion of me and other on nearly every page.' ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • This is what happens when Urbanisim, and mordernity was imposed on the Tribal India. I am against of all this public place encroachment but we need ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • PAS President Tells Leaders, Politicians to Emulate Prophet Muhammad's Style of Leadership" that should be fine. now they all can start ghazwas, get mal-e-ghanimat....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Speaking up against anti-Semitism and against jihadism is always good but Hats Off has to demur because for him nothing....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • No where does it say in the Quran that men are not allowed to use their God-given intelligence....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • a full blown case of the "no true scotsman...."
    ( By hats off! )
  • Instead of blaming others, Pakistan's educational system should strive to eradicate all impediments to scientific....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off's comment is totally inappropriate. The article speaks of all fanciful aggrandizements of one's past propagated by ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Struggling to defend the indefensible.
    ( By Ramachandrannair Kazhipurath )
  • but of course! muslims can keep yakking off about the nasty golden age of....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Courage to Chart New Paths" That is exactly what Islam needs today. How deeply or...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I don't agree with fear of islam equivalent to hatred of muslims because there are many types of muslims some are liberal and fundamentalist....
    ( By krishna )
  • Festivals which are conducted once in a year shall be tolerated.But on a daily or weedly basis show of strength should be banned. Public roads ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • It's Muslim arrogance that to separate place for worship and living, for highly populated India. The technology...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Whats the point of Article. Only one thing can be learn how to be cruel to be just, and give inspiration to hardliners to kill....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Denial of God is fundamental right, if person believes it. Looking at miserable situations of millions, especially when one minority ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Potrait of Jinahh must remain in the hall, it's irrational demand of BJP goons. They reflect the historical fact that all political leadear had been ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • To Gulam Ghus Siddique. You showed the all grammatical need, other than it is hard to tell the intentions. Even keeping the word same meaning can be ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Assalamaulakum Janab sawal-Kya phone par ijajat dene s nikha ho jata h'
    ( By Abdul wahab )
  • "All this can only deteriorate further unless we all demand that faith becomes strictly a personal matter out of the public domain – FOR EVERYBODY." I ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )