Books and Documents
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.”...
In most Arab states, “ruling families ‘own’ the state... to all intents
and purposes; they will fight to the last soldier in their praetorian guard in
order to preserve their reign”....
Then Pakistan’s first military coup was staged in1958 and he was in the
wrong place, Moscow, attending the first Afro-Asian Writers’ Congress together
with Hafeez Jalandhari, the poet who authored Pakistan’s national anthem. Faiz
was arrested upon his return....
Careful studies of al-Qaeda and ISIS have shown that the United States
and its allies are following their game plan with some precision. Their goal is
to “draw the West as deeply and actively as possible into the quagmire” and “to
perpetually engage and enervate the United States and the West in a series of
prolonged overseas ventures”...
There are good reasons to believe that a well-constructed police action,
or even serious diplomatic negotiations with the Taliban, might have placed
those suspected of the 9/11 crimes in American hands for trial and sentencing.
But such options were off the table. Instead, the reflexive choice was
The mistake the world is doing in fighting against ISIS is its sole reliance on the use of military power only. This approach of confrontation as we have seen has failed. At the same time it should also be noted that little effort to fight against the deviant ideas of ISIS is not sufficient. We ought to affirm here that the world must fight, refute and reject the deviant thoughts and misguided ideas of ISIS, adopting the sound and true tenets and realistic features of Islam....
While Europe was still groping its way through the dark ages, Timbuktu
was a beacon of intellectual enlightenment, and probably the most bibliophilic
city on earth. Scientists, engineers, poets and philosophers flocked there to
exchange and debate ideas and commit these to paper in hundreds of thousands of
manuscripts written in Arabic and various African languages......
The book poses a question: can ISIS outfit establish a state? It then answers that any organization that adopts the ideology of Takfeer and suicide bombing can never establish a state, as the Kharijites could not get success at establishing any state, despite having huge armies. Similarly, never can this Takfeeri outfit establish a state, because it has only the potential of bombing and destroying countries and not establishing any state. The ideology of ISIS is hostile towards all the people and legitimizes shedding their blood....
Shakespeare offers a less villainous Muslim character in “The Merchant
of Venice”. The Prince of Morocco is lined up among Europeans as one of
Portia’s potential husbands, yet she is disgusted by his skin colour (“If he
have the condition of a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he
should shrive me than wive me”). He implores his would-be wife to “mislike
[him] not for [his] complexion | The Shadowed livery of the burnished sun” and
to view him instead as a man of accomplishment “that slew…a Persian prince |
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman”.
Trust in God is central in moving towards a ‘life without limits’,
Vujicic tells us. “Through my faith in God, I face each day with confidence and
place my future in God’s hands”, he says, adding, “I talk about FAITH as an
acronym: Full Assurance in the Heart. I may not be able to produce evidence for
all that I believe in, but I feel fully assured in my heart that I am much
closer to the truth by living with faith than I would be by living in
succinctly poses this question in his findings in a research paper
entitled “The Deradicalisation of Jihadists: Transforming Armed
Islamist Movements”. Since the online
jihadist indoctrination and recruitment of Muslim youth is
snowballing, he opines that a well-thought-out, well-reasoned and effective
‘online de-radicalisation’ against the extremist rhetoric is imperative,
particularly for the moderate Muslim scholars and thinkers. He
opposed to its effects on radicalisation, the Internet can play a vital role in
promoting a counter-narrative and in facilitating counter-radicalization and
de-radicalization efforts”. ….
and displacement in the wake of recent wars are not a return to an authentic
earlier version of Islam or of Muslim power. It is a period of radical change
in which sectarian and religious minorities are cleansed from their ancestral
lands: Muslims today make up a larger proportion of the population of the
Middle East than ever before. The brief optimism and eclecticism of the
postcolonial era, where cultural identity could be vague and political energy
was directed to ideas like pan-Arabism, socialism and secularism, are
One issue that one could differ with the Maulana, though, is his
understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature. In a chapter
on Muslims and scientific education, he speaks of monotheism as having lead man
to think of nature not as something to be worshipped but as ‘a thing to be
exploited’, something ‘to be conquered’, an ‘object’ of ‘conquest’. ..
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
Explaining Sufism as an alternative to Wahhabi terrorism (and its South
Asian variants, Deobandism, inspirer of the Taliban, and the radical Jamaat-e
Islami founded by Maududi) he must needs take up many things. These include the
metaphysical principles in common between Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, the
origins of Sufism and Shiism, the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and the
doctrines of the outstanding Sufis...
The ‘world mind’ that Laszlo calls for is based on what he calls a
‘planetary ethic’. “In a globally interacting and interdependent world,” he
writes, “the dominant ethic cannot be local, regional, or ethnic. It cannot be
only a Christian ethic, or Jewish Muslim, or Hindu ethic—it must bring together
all the ethics that guide people’s behaviour.” This planetary ethic, Laszlo
says, must be reflected in awareness of human responsibilities.....
Armed with her training in both Sharia and civil law, and taking on the
cases of persecuted reporters, dissidents and minorities, she enters a trench
war within Iran’s deteriorating and corrupt legal system. ....
Known for pluralistic religious symbols to express his religious devotion and belief in the oneness of God, Khwaja Ghulam Farid in another verse writes, “Day and night, morning and evening, My ears hear Krishna’s flute, From the first day Ranjha graciously, plays his holy flute and lets me hear, celestial music in the mode of unity.”
This week, Roberts traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco, alongside more than 250 Muslim religious leaders, heads of state, and scholars, for a groundbreaking summit. On Wednesday, the Muslim leaders released the Marrakesh Declaration: a 750-word document calling for religious freedom for non-Muslims in majority-Muslim countries.
At the outset, Haiduc-Dale describes the book’s focus as “the variety and meaning” of Palestinian Christian “actions in response to circumstances created by the onset of British rule as a way of understanding the process of identification.” Yet by forcing most interactions into the framework of Muslim-Christian relations, Haiduc-Dale forecloses certain avenues of potential identification on the part of Palestinian Christians. Arab Christians would benefit,…
women face attack — not the horrors of fundamentalist regimes, obviously, but
verbal abuse, spitting, minor assaults such as pulling headscarves off — on the
streets of the liberal democracies in which they grew up or where they took
refuge. Often with small children in tow, they are harassed as symbols of the
very world view that is presumed to subjugate them.....