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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

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”....

 

In order to make this transition from plurality to pluralism, Madani would have to forgo his own notion of superiority of Islam over other religions. This he is clearly unwilling to do. Islam for him is the only true religion and it is this conviction which leads him to claim that, ‘while being aware of the truth of their (other religions’) falsehood’, Islam is ready to ‘cooperate and tolerate’ them. In other words, Madani not only disqualifies and derogates other religions as being false, he is also of the view that, ultimately, Hindustan be Islamised: that the Hindu–Muslim entente (composite nationalism) is only required till the time people of this country do not become Muslims (Jab Tak Hindustan Ke Tamam Baashinde Mussalman Nahin Ho Jate). Such a notion hardly augurs well for any kind of pluralism….

Although, Madani accepts that Muslims in India already cooperate with ‘non-Muslims’ on a number of civic and non-religious issues, his plea is that this temporal cooperation should not be confused with any kind of religious co-operation. Even the ‘compositeness’ of his nationalism is not an end in itself. In his own words, this composite nationalism is ‘temporary and special’ and is only required till the ‘light of true religion (read Islam) dispels its (India’s) darkness’. Shedding further light on his ‘special’ and ‘temporary’ concept, Madani elucidates that ‘composite nationalism is needed only till such time different communities (Aqwaam, sng. Qaum) and different religions exist in a country. When the entire nation becomes Muslim (which is the prime real aim: Jo Ki Awwaleen Maksad Hai), where is the need for it?’ It is very clear, therefore, that for Madani, even diversity, (forget pluralism) holds no merit of its own, rather its advocacy is strategically needed only for such time till Islam becomes the sole hegemonic religion of India. ….                                                                           

A Life of Poetry and Adventure
Khaled Ahmed
A Life of Poetry and Adventure
Khaled Ahmed

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 large-scale violence.....

 

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......

 
ISIS: The Knife That Slaughters Islam And Muslims
ISIS: The Knife That Slaughters Islam And Muslims
By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

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’s Complex Views of the Islamic World
William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Complex Views of the Islamic World
The Economist

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”.

 
A Treasure-Trove of Spiritual Wisdom
A Treasure-Trove of Spiritual Wisdom
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

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 despair.”...

OMAR Ashour 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 writes:as 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”. ….

The anti-pluralism thesis and theology of the extremist Islamists such as the Salafist author of the book “Mujmal UsulI'tiqad Ahlis Sunnah wal-Jama'ah” should be condemned and refuted point by point to ensure democracy, pluralism and religious co-existence in the Muslim countries. For that, the monopoly of the priestly classes over the Islamic law and philosophy will have to be done away with. A great number of Muslim modernist thinkers, reformists and sociologists who ventured into Ijtihad or rethinking of the Islamic postulates have concluded that democracy is consistent with the progressive Islamic thought. …

The churning 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 disappearing.....

 

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’. ..

 
Wahhabi Terrorism or the Sufi Saints' Peace Path
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
Wahhabi Terrorism or the Sufi Saints' Peace Path
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. ....

(Excerpts from this Book Release speech is posted exclusively on NewAgeIslam.com)

My mind has been focused on ideological questions: especially, the ideology of jihadism – or its soft version called Islamism which survives in the social and legal mainstream of free societies such as India. India is already a Shariah-compliant state in the matters of marriage, divorce, re-marriage, inheritance, court witnesses, Waqf, gender relations, etc. I ponder over how ideas coalesce into ideologies and rule over people's minds. For example, it takes a single Islamic cleric to shut up an entire village of Muslims. So, at issue is not the vast majority of Muslims, but the single cleric and his set of ideas, or his ideology that is consequential on a mass scale. Some argue that a fatwa is merely an Islamic opinion but for the vast majority of devout Muslims, it is more effective than a court order; it impacts their lives; and as a promise to God, it is consequential in their daily lives.

Dewan-e-Farid
Sadia Dehlvi
Dewan-e-Farid
Sadia Dehlvi

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,…

 

Today, Muslim 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.....

 

As promised, the cleric had issued a backdated marriage certificate that showed them, at the date of filming, to have been “Sigheh,” or temporarily married. Under Sigheh, the duration of the marriage is determined in advance; it could be as short as an hour or as long as a decade. If a child is born, he or she is a rightful child, with all legal entitlements from both parents. When the Sigheh expires, the couple should separate, unless the arrangement is mutually extended. ....

Anyone who dares to protest against the atrocities of Pakistani administration and its intelligence agencies is tortured, prosecuted and eventually eliminated. It may be recalled that innocent protestors were killed in Chilas, when they protested peacefully against the construction of Diamar Bhasha Dam on their land, the UN disputed territory without their consultation. Similarly, innocent protestors were killed in Hunza.  ....

 
Parenting—The Spiritual Way
Parenting—The Spiritual Way
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

I was only one thing—the mother of my son”, she writes. “Nothing else mattered. No one else mattered. Definitely not me, my body, or my mind. Everything else could wait.” In this regard, Behl advises parents that they need to give time to each other and to themselves, too. “Your child will respect you more when he sees you have a life outside of him,”...

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