Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Woman's Account of Syria's Tyrannical Regime
Samzar Yazbeck

She was arrested, blindfolded, pushed into an office; then her blindfold was removed, and a senior police officer hit her hard in the face, and jeered at her for falling down and being unable to get to her feet again. "Well, well, what a hero, you went down with just one slap," he said. "Isn't it awful when such an angelic face gets hit?" Then they showed her what she was risking: the filthy cells where tortured young men lay in their own blood and excrement, waiting for the next beating, because they had been on a demonstration. ...


The Poetry of the Taliban: A Lesson You won’t Forget
Poetry of the Taliban

An old Persian adage goes Mushk aan ast ki bebooyad, na aan keh attaar begooyed (a great perfume announces itself by its fragrance, it’s not the one that the perfumer says is good). The work claims to be aimed at preserving and introducing to the world what Faisal Devji calls the Taliban movement’s ‘aesthetic dimension’. The editors maintain that “the very idea of members of the Taliban writing and publishing poetry undermines many of the traditional stereotypes we hold dear about them.”...


Terrible Period of Mankind's History
'Pakistan on the Brink'

Rashid chooses to follow the western understanding of 2 Talibans- the Afghan Taliban run by Mullah Omar that fight NATO and the Afghan Army, and the Pakistani Taliban or the TTP that engages the Pakistani Army. But for Pakistan watchers, Indians in particular, it is the spectre of the Lashkar e Taiba and other allies like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba that target India and minorities including Hindus, Christians and Shias that pose a more insidious threat in the long term. ...


Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero To A New Vision Of Islam In America
Moving the Mountain

I am an American citizen born in Kuwait of Egyptian parents. I grew up in Great Britain, Malaysia, and Egypt and have lived in the United States since 1965, when I was seventeen. When I arrived in America, I experienced serious culture shock. This was the heyday of the “God is dead” movement. Islam was almost always portrayed negatively in the media and larger culture. Arabs were then considered uncouth, dirty, and uncivilized. ...

Indonesia's Ahmadis Look for a Home in a Novel 'Maryam'
Maryam By Okky Madasari

How does it feel when you are not allowed to go to your own house? How does it feel to know that your house was burned down and someone else now occupies it? “Maryam,” the third novel of author Okky Madasari, is a story about the suffering of the repressed Ahmadiyya sect in a small coastal village called Gerupuk in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Maryam, the main character, was born and raised in an Ahmadiyya family. ...

“Celebrating Divine Presence” is a book that aims to—and in so many ways succeeds at—revitalizing our experience of all religions by bringing them together as “beads on one string,” to quote the words of the twentieth-century spiritual master Meher Baba. In these chapters, the authors, all practitioners, and many scholarly, invite you into their personal faith journeys. The tone of this book is personal and conversational, while also featuring in-depth studies of ten religious traditions....


The Origins of Islam: Tom Holland Explains New Book In the Shadow of the Sword
Tom Holland

In an excerpt from his new history of Islam, ‘In the Shadow of the Sword,’ Tom Holland explains why he has written a revised history about the origins of the Quran, the home of Muhammad, and its connection to the Judeo-Christian tradition…


Centuries of Shariah law: A British Muslim Lawyer’s viewpoint
Sadakat Kadri is an English barrister and author

"It would be literally impossible to follow all of them because plenty of them directly contradict each other. So you have to make choices and Muslims have been making choices for ... the last 1400 years. "There are interpretations which do justify stoning, which do justify the concealment of women behind Hijabs, which do justify the execution of adulterers. But those are just interpretations of the Shariah….

Saudi Society: Response to New Media

Prince Muhammad bin Saud bin Khaled discusses pros and cons of modern communications technology in his new book titled "Rejection and Acceptance." He gives a theoretical view in the first chapter while explaining the relation between religion and science and its products. He has included the viewpoints of Muslim scholars and researchers in the light of the objectives of Islam and its philosophy in dealing with new scientific developments and innovations. …

Talking to Terrorists: Face to Face with the Enemy
A. Faizur Rahman is the Secretary General of Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought

In his Meditations, the great Roman emperor and stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius had written; “Facts stand wholly outside our gates; they are what they are, and no more; they know nothing about themselves, and they pass no judgment upon themselves.” Lest we act in haste, Taylor cautions us that the word “terrorist” is not easy to define and is therefore effectively banned on the BBC World Service and Reuters. …


The Pakistan Forecast
Dr. C. Raja Mohan is the Strategic Affairs Editor of the Indian Express

Cohen now brings us a collection of essays written by him and others on the future of Pakistan. The contributors include scholars from Pakistan, India, Britain and the United States. Together they help us reflect on the prospects for a country that is the sixth largest in the world. It is the world’s second largest Muslim nation and with its fast growing population will soon overtake Indonesia as the first. …


What’s Inside Muslim Minds?
Ishtiaq Ahmed is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University.

Multiple meanings and interpretations of Islam are possible. The two main interpretative approaches are those of the apologists who strive to reconcile Islam with modernity and the Islamists who fiercely oppose it. The author has adhered to the highest standards of honest and qualified research. The result is a mine of information and profound insights.  … 

Letter from Haripur jail, Pakistan

It is also an inspiring account of the writer’s own struggle against despair and cynicism. Through the author’s graphic descriptions, the reader learns of the conditions of our jails and the treatment meted out to prisoners that virtually criminalise them. But there is also a human dimension to this tale of brutalisation as exceptions are always present. …

Christian Jihad: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses

Is it true that the Bible teaches peace and the Koran war? Only if you approach the books selectively, taking the gentlest of Jesus'' teachings and setting them against the harshest of Muhammad''s. Philip Jenkins''s challenging new book Laying Down the Sword shows that the Bible contains incitements not just to violence but also to genocide. ...

Constructing Religiously Ideal ‘Believer’ and ‘Muslim Woman’ Concepts: Author Adis Duderija explains his book for New Age Islam readers

The concern of my book Constructing Religiously Ideal ‘Believer’ and ‘Muslim Woman’ Concepts: Neo-Traditional Salafi and Progressive Muslim Methods of Interpretation (Manahij) is to explore how on the basis of different manahij, and the assumptions that inform them, the two contemporary Islamic communities of interpretation, NTS and progressive Muslims, conceptualise their respective versions of a religiously ideal ‘Believer’ and ‘Muslim Woman’ concepts. -- Adis Duderija for NewAgeIslam.com

In The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, Andrew McCarthy demonstrates that leftists and political Islamists have mounted a dynamic double-front against American and Western traditions. McCarthy begins with the historical foundation for the deep natural attraction that draws Islamists and leftists to pursue many of the same ends by employing similar means.  The shared touchstone is centralized control of society for the end of accomplishing social justice -- at least, as respectively defined. -- Karen Lugo

Desai says that he played in the Mahatma’s lap as a child would type letters which Gandhiji dictated to his father Mahadevbhai. The documentary is a tribute to Desai’s commitment to communal harmony too. It is catharsis of an old soldier, a devout disciple of peace’s paragon. “The post-Godhra pogrom of 2002 shattered me. I don’t blame Narendra Modi alone for it. I, as a Guajrati, felt guilty. I felt I too was part of the mob,” recalls Desai in the documentary. “I am doing Prayschit (penitence) through Gandhi Katha”. His daughter insists that Desai is brutally honest in calling 2002’s pogrom a “blot on Gujarat” because he doesn’t seek any favours. -- Adab Nawaz, NewAgeIslam.com


British would not even have spoken to Indian leaders or thought of transferring power, and the emergence of Pakistan and India could not have been envisioned, unless the rulers understood the grave threat posed to their rule by this awakening brought on by “Al-Islah” and the Khaksar Movement.” The author said, “it must be realized that behind partition were vested interests of Muslim and non-Muslim leaders. Endorsement of partition breeds hatred between Muslims and Hindus and serves no purpose; therefore, writers and speakers must shun the justification of partition. To obtain peace in the region, the history of both countries needs to be rectified and re-written; peace in the region will not be found, unless it is realized on both sides (India and Pakistan) that partition was not endorsed by the majority of Muslims and Hindus. Partition was a blunder and was sought to meet political ends.”-- Nasim Yousaf

They solicited submissions from across the United States, mainly through Facebook and Twitter, winnowing down a couple of hundred to a collection that represents women with origins in East Africa and across the Middle East to Pakistan, as well as a mixture of ages, professions and sexual orientations. Some experiences speak to issues broader than those concerning Muslim Americans: The woman who discovers that her dream date already has a young daughter, or the woman who comes out to her parents only to learn that they had been reading her blog for years. -- NEIL MacFARQUHAR (Photo- Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi)


Mujahid Hussain’s book tells us how holy warriors using terrorism as their modus operandi have spread out from Punjab to new centres of turmoil in Pakistan’s intra-state conflict. There are factors that persuade Pakistan to fight against the terrorist organisations located on its soil. There are equally a number of factors militating against Pakistan’s campaign to fight terrorism. Together, these two contradictory compulsions characterise the current scene. The state has used terrorists in the past through ‘non-state actors’ in a foreign policy of covert ‘proxy war’ in Afghanistan and India. It has not abandoned its intent to do so even after these elements have aligned themselves with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The use of fully armed non-state actors in deniable wars has tended to create multiple centres of power in Pakistan, meaning that the state has abdicated a large portion of its claim on the ‘monopoly of violence’ in the Weberian sense. -- Khaled Ahmed

In their arguments and examples, the so-called critics of Islam as well as Islamic fundamentalists get caught up in kind of sophistry. They both search for verses in the Koran and writings of the Prophet and subsequently cite them out of context. Fundamentalists then use the authority of the text to justify their authoritarian views. Critics of Islam do the same, although in the name of enlightenment and progress. Islamic reformers act no differently, as they also assert that they know what "Islam" is supposed to be. And as each of these three groups makes the claim to know the true nature of Islam, they lead to an essentialist characterization of the religion and merely reproduce the Orientalist narrative. -- Katajun Amirpur (Photo: Thomas Baur)


Essential Message of Islam is a labour of love in which Muhammad Yunus and Ashfaque Ullah Syed try to expose these lies for what they are by reverting to the Quran, deriving the meanings of its words, idioms, figures of speech and phrases from their usage across its text, and interpreting the message of its suras and ayats from its “broad moral trajectory”. For instance, Muslims often talk about the Ummah, the brotherhood of all Muslims, but Yunus and Syed say the Quran envisions the brotherhood of the entire humanity. “The Quran recognizes the diversity of human race, language and color (30:22) and declares that if God willed, He would have made humanity into one community (10:18, 11:118), guiding them all (6:149),” they write. A crucial verse (5:48) states: “For each of you We have made a (different) code (Shariah), and an open way (of action). If God so pleased, He would have made you (all) into one community. Therefore vie (with each other) in goodness (so that) He may test you by what He has given you. (Remember, you) all will (eventually) return to God, and He will tell you in what you differed.”-- Saif Shahin, NewAgeIslam.com

Islamic practice is often a mixture of cultural norms mixed with formal Islamic law, resulting in a "curious mixture of unity and diversity" that varies quite a lot from country to country (all religions have such a spread). It is often difficult to see which is which and without an understanding of what is meant by "Islam", and in the face of such cultural pluralism, some scholars refer to "Islam’s", which Ramadan criticizes as being sourced in the confusion between culture and Islam. -- Vexen Crabtree


Jameelah had already written strong denunciations of her inherited culture, and of the U.S.-aided Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. Even at the age of eleven, she later noted, she had felt herself drawn to Islam and the Arabs; she had also convinced herself that any Jewish desire to seek a home in Palestine was a desire to recreate the golden days of Arab-Muslim-Jewish fraternization and creativity in Andalusia. Consequently, she was horrified to discover in 1948 that her almost non-Jewish, Ethical Culture-liberal, comfortably suburban parents could be openly racist with reference to the Arabs-particularly, the Palestinian Arabs-and could enthusiastically contribute to fund Zionist ambitions in Israel. It was equally opportune for Jameelah that it was Baker who found her papers, and not some perfervid, jargon-struck academic. As an experienced writer, Baker rose to the occasion by deciding to tell Jameelah's story more or less as it unfolded for her, honestly sharing with us her frustration as contradictory details-even deliberate deceptions-stumbled out. She has skillfully created a narrative that grabs our interest fast, and then compels us to read the book as avidly as one reads a good whodunit. Of course, in this case, it is not the question "Who?" but "Why?" that lies at the center. -- CM Naim (Photo: Maryam Jameelah)

During the past 72 hours since a meeting was held between the president, the prime minister and the chief of army staff, there has been a significant deterioration in Pakistan’s political atmosphere. Increasingly desperate efforts by the various agencies and factions within the government to find a home – ISI and/or Army, or the civilian government-for assigning blame over the UBL raid now dominate the tug of war between military and civilian sectors. Subsequent tit-for-tat reactions, including outing of the CIA station chief’s name in Islamabad by ISI officials, demonstrates a dangerous devolution of the ground situation in Islamabad where no central control appears to be in place. -- Excerpts from Pakistan's Confidential Memorandum to US that led to Ambassador Hussain Haqqani's resignation: Save the civilian government from an army coup, Briefing For Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

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  • Dear hats off! Why not read the article and post a comment on it, rather than turning the debate to another direction. What Islam....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Is Javed Ghamidi also delusional? Or Is Ghulam Mohiyuudin sb a determined obstructer of the truth? According to Javed Ghamidi, the following ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • what was allowed for the prophet was not allowed to others. no one was allowed to marry the widows of the prophet.....
    ( By hats off! )
  • First you need to do something about your own hate speech.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus sahib, I do not know whether explanations of the fighting verses have the effect of Islam being seen as a less violent religion or ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The article is based on the principle of exceptionalism - what was allowed to the Prophet and why but is not allowed to his followers ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin Sahab, Agreed! In fact the Qur'an asks the Muslims to seek the best meaning in it and to focus ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • i am going to learn how to get the good meaning out of hate speech and...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Excellent article
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good article! However if the time and effort that our ulema have spent over the past century...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • There is a good way to read the book and there is a Saudi/Hats-Off way to derive the worst meaning out of it. Giving vent ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off's hatefulness has blinded him to the fact that the Muslim community is not one homogenous mass. Moderate Muslims have their moderate opinions ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Muslims are not as pre-occupied with kufr as Naseer sb. thinks. Muslims hate Shias, Sunnis and Ahmadis a lot more than...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very good lecture.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the saudi barbarians are merely asserting what their holy book tells...
    ( By hats off! )
  • The fight against sexual abuse necessarily entails more respect for women as equals with the same rights...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the pretended surprise of "moderate" muslims is the grass in which the snakes of extremism hide and bite the kuffar.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • As a society, we need to critically reflect on our practices that deny basic human rights to some individuals. Likewise...
    ( By Meera )
  • Rightly said, women’s right to assert themselves in matters of marriage should not be denied. These....
    ( By Meera )
  • Why is this so-called Capt. Safdar’s bigotry surprising? Replace Ahmadi with Hindu, Safdar with Jinnah and the rest of the speech ...
    ( By South Asian )
  • Jai Shree Ram'
    ( By Rajkumar )
  • GM Sb says: “His claim that he is dealing a deadly blow to the extremist ideology is not only grossly exaggerated but is delusional” The definition ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Let us introduce common civil code in India, we can forget all such nonsenses.Let all married couples have two children in all let us ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Sorry sisters, men do not like to self police so they do all short ps of thing with women on matter of clothing. Last peace ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • The simple answer, he was. He wanted Muslim to educate to dominate Hindus, if two nations theory cannot came into realisation.
    ( By Aayina )
  • Easy way to is that called themselves as new Qadyian relgion and Gulam Mirza Ahmed as their prophet. Just start to lie like Mulism do that ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Its may be true that Muslim may not need to sexually assault. I have witnessed lots of my Muslim friends that Muslim girls are reach to ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Convertion might be not limited to bride but for kids certainly Muslim kid. Hypocrates have no answer ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • a shameless member os the most persecuted sect in islam revels in his stockholm syndrome and crows about it. he never...
    ( By hats off! )
  • As is typical of him, Naseer sb again resorts to abuse and insults. The fact remains that he has been trying to make a huge point ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Giving the spouse-to-be freedom of choice in matters of faith would be the right way to prove one's love and respect. There should be no ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Well Done, keep it up...'
    ( By vgf )
  • the rag that goes by the name of "the independent" is now owned by a saudi arabian. one saudi ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • All religions teach hatred and violence. Religious scrptures are full of bigotry. We should not be apologetic and there is no need to lie or, ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • What Wahiduddin Khan, Javed Ghamidi and Muhammad Yunus have been saying is what Yunus sb said in his article “Hindus are Not the Mushrikin Mentioned ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • dictionaries are inherently islamophobic. and arabic does not have a word...
    ( By hats off! )
  • @Manzar Khan By the way, I am not suggesting any changes in Islam. Only a new Islamic ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • @Manzar Khan Who authorised theologians to create their theology. In Islam, there is nothing between a Muslim and his...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Who authorized u Mr Shahin to suggest changes in Islam?'
    ( By Manzar Khan )
  • Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan Thanks very much indeed. Regards.
    ( By Sultan Shahin )