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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Jihadists are a subset of the puritanical Salafist movement that seeks “progress through regression”, as Mr Maher puts it. The movement aims for perfection by following the example of the first three generations of Muslims known as al-Salaf al-Salihin, starting with the companions of the Prophet Muhammad...

 
Giving Up Jihad
Giving Up Jihad
Robert Fulford

Those he calls Salafi-jihadists believe, Maher says, in progress through regression. They are the most extreme of fundamentalists. Salafism seeks to revive the purity of the first three generations of Islam, starting with the Companions of the Prophet. Only a small fraction of the world’s Muslims accept that idea, but their impact is large….

“There is a model in Egypt and the UAE where they monitor mosques. We have the technology today to hear everything… We used to have many Imams coming from different walks of life. Somebody upset; he would say ‘Why don’t you kill the Christians, and Jews, and Hindus’. The message of hate should stop. Religion didn’t come from hate....

 
Be Rich toward God
John Ortberg

“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?”...

 

Voltaire tells 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”....

 

Centuries of 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.”...


 

The religions 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...

Islam and the Future of Tolerance
Islam and the Future of Tolerance
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

The Quran, like any other text (religious as well as other) can be interpreted in diverse, often mutually-contradictory, ways. If radical Islamists champion a violence-driven, politics-centric interpretation of their faith, many Muslim reformists articulate diametrically different interpretations of Islam, which are rooted in a quest for peace. What people read into a text depends heavily on their cultural and ideological baggage....

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....

 

Celebrating the 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....

 
The Two Gandhis—Non-Violent Soldiers
The Two Gandhis—Non-Violent Soldiers
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

​But Badshah Khan’s message is scarcely limited to Islam. It can help the non-Muslim world to understand the true greatness of Islam, but more than that, it should help all nations to understand their own potential for love in action. If Badshah Khan could raise a nonviolent army out of a people so steeped in violence as the Pathans, there is no country on earth where it cannot be done.​"​...

Generation M 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,” ...

“IS policy 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,”...

 

‘The debate over whether knowledge has two roles, both for worldly flourishing and after worldly salvation, remains unresolved in madrasa circles.’ Many traditionalists focus only on the former role, thus seeking to limit madrasa education to the study of texts described as religious in a restricted sense....

 

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 principle financier.”...

 

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 years....

Al-Fatihin: Islamic State’s First Malay Language Newspaper
Al-Fatihin: Islamic State’s First Malay Language Newspaper
Jasminder Singh and Muhammad Haziq Bin Jani

...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 suspicions....

 
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