Books and Documents
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
It is not just al Qaeda and Islamic State that show the violent face of Islamic faith and practice. It is Pakistan, where any statement critical of the Prophet or Islam is labelled as blasphemy and punishable by death. It is Saudi Arabia, where churches and synagogues are outlawed and where beheadings are a legitimate form of punishment. It is Iran, where stoning is an acceptable punishment and homosexuals are hanged for their “crime.”…
The Ottomans had lost wars before, but never the empire itself. This time it was different. The demands imposed by the Allies provoked a revolt by Mustafa Kemal, the hero of Gallipoli, who pushed the Greeks and Italians out of Anatolia, deposed the sultan and abolished the caliphate. ....
After 1970, Turkey was rocked by a series of socio-economic shifts. Urbanization that had been ongoing for decades accelerated throughout the 1980s, prompted largely by an economic restructuring plan recommended by the IMF after the military coup d’état of 1980….
Today, whenever we talk about a group of young Muslim men travelling across borders and fulfilling a religious responsibility, the discourse is about fighting what is popularly referred to as jihad, culminating in grotesque violence in the name of religion. And, whenever we talk about the caliphate--of which the Ottoman was the last, abolished in 1924-- the discourse is about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), known for its atrocities in West Asia, proclaiming its re-establishment....
Islamism is the movement that seeks to achieve a reformed political order that is founded on a reconciliation of Islamic principles and those of modern political theory, such as constitution, parties, elections, representative government, human rights, freedom, justice, and social and economic welfare. It emerged, not in the 1920s as Mr Owen says, but in the early 19th century, in response to the total defeat suffered by the Arabs at the hands of the western colonialists……
2003- For the first time, a program was organized by the Foundation for Pluralism to bring all the Hindus communities of Dallas together. Shanti-Shanti is an American girls duos chanting songs in Sanskrit, and they were introduced to the Hindu Audience for the first time. Indeed, that is the first time; Dr. Mihir Meghani of Hindu America Foundation was invited to be a part of the event, as he was set to bring all the Hindu Sampadrayas together. ....
Revolutions never work from the point of view of humanist values and human rights. Now that young Pakistanis are talking of revolution, it is imperative to remind them that they should talk of strengthening institutions and not a leader however promising….
Romantic love, too, constitutes a home for the secular par excellence. Islam has preserved some aspects of pre-Islamic poetry and has not erased the continuing fascination with the secular themes of love and conquest or fight and flight. Among the celebrants of secular love is Ibn Hazm of Córdoba (994–1064), whose “anticipations of Descartes’ and Kant’s criticisms of the faith of naïve rationalism rest on a limpid yet rambunctious religious faith” (p. 61). Ibn Hazm offers secular love in place of the sublimated and unsublimated eroticism of the mystics; to those who find a spiritual meaning in erotic longings, he offers a naturalistic alternative. The secularization of human love is prominent in the work of Ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328) as well, according to Goodman. And he sees Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (1272–1350) Rawdat al-muhibbin (Lovers’ garden) as “a thoroughgoing exposition of secular love.”….
Was Ibn al Arabi a “Zindiq (a hypocrite) or a “Siddique” (a man of truth)? Scholars were and are divided in their opinions about this prolific writer, talented poet and erudite philosopher, to say the least. The material for a detailed biographical sketch, a thorough enquiry into and dispassionate assessment of his doctrine are too inadequate, abstruse and unyielding to make any conclusive remarks about him. I content myself with presenting – objectively, as far as possible, a brief account of his life along with , what may be taken to be an apology of an interpretation of his views and the views of others on his doctrine…..
The Prophet said, ‘The Hour will come when leaders are oppressors, when people believe in the stars and reject al-Qadar (the Divine Decree of destiny) when a trust becomes a way of making a profit, when people give to charity (Sadaqah) reluctantly, when adultery becomes widespread – when this happens, then your people will perish.’ ”….
What history has torn apart let fiction bring together and so it is in the tale of Ali and Sunita, inhabitants of Sindh’s tumultuous present, man and woman, Muslim and Hindu. In Shah’s telling, theirs is a love that is much like Sindh’s lore, threatened, delicate and secret. Ali is a journalist, harbouring like so many millions of Karachi’s children; dreams of escape to a foreign land. Sunita is by virtue of indigenous connection, a child of the land; rendered less by the arithmetic of Pakistan’s new nationalism, its awkwardness with the hyphenation of a Hindu-Pakistani…..
Sympathy and the moral righteousness borne of the project of liberating girls like Aisha from the Taliban were then, and are today, dominant frames in how Westerners view Afghan women. The details of Afghan lives that do not fit easily into the plot of pity or the fantasy of freedom are almost always ignored. It is in this realm of overlooked narratives and hidden details that…..
But maybe that's the point: Humans talk in frameworks. People see the world through cultural associations and narratives of history, even if they're not apparent; that's why the attendees of Armstrong's book talks can intellectually understand that religion hasn't caused all the major wars in history while still almost subconsciously believing religion to be inherently violent. ....
By their virtuous behaviour and meditating reflection on the Holy Qur’an, the saints liberated believers from a mechanistic interpretation of Islamic faith reduced to formal rules of behaviour which the believer had to mindlessly follow. The saint draws his understanding from a meditative vision of God; he experiences a deep mysticism and follows the path of understanding until he experiences the unity of the created world as an emanation of the unique and single God.....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
dictating the US foreign policy did not begin as fallout of the World War I and
II but has been the continuation of the same policy that had driven the white
colonial nation to subjugate the ‘Injun Country.’ The continuous US and allied
military campaigns and wars that followed the two Great Wars, from Korea to
Cambodia and from the Philippines to Vietnam and more recently in the greater
Middle East in the last century or in this century, are all part of the same
worldview and conscious design……
Arzu Kaya Uranli
shows us a systematic and honest analysis beyond the 'veil' with great
sophistication. She draws a thin line between so called religious duty and
faithful action for the sake of God as well as sincere, pious Muslims and the
flawed followers of faith…..
of Chomsky’s mind is matched only by its dexterity. In his first triumph as a
public intellectual, he reinvented the field of linguistics by developing the
now widely accepted theory that the ability to learn language is an innate
capacity common to all humans……
Hazrat Inayat Khan
There are three
gifts of God given to some in this world, and these gifts are greater than
jewels, gems, wealth, or anything else in the world, and nothing can buy them.
One may be born with them, yet not know it. One gift is the influence to
progress, another gift is the influence to attract, and the third gift is the
influence to make difficult situations easy…..
From a book
titled Mecca, by a formidable British writer born in Pakistan, you expect the
world of Islam to unfold between the covers. Ziauddin Sardar does not
disappoint. Through a biography of Mecca, the holiest of holy cities for
Muslims and the centre of the Kaa’ba (the ‘Cube’ in Arabic), he takes you on a
fascinating journey of Islam. Muslims are supposed to have two kinds of
conversations while discussing their faith. One that they have with “others”
and another they have amongst themselves, but Sardar’s book allows both to take
Nyla Ali Khan
Even today, when the share of women in the Indian political space is negligible, with just 2 out of 87 members elected in the 2008 elections, Akbar Jehan appearing on the scene in the male dominated society of those times speaks volumes about her grit and competence. From breaking the myth about her having been married to Lawrence of Arabia to detailing how she virtually replaced Sheikh Abdullah in leading people during his incarceration, the book brings out some important aspects of Kashmiri history……
The Holy Vedas: Part - 7
Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar
Work and live as an act of offering to achieve immortal fame and complete satisfaction of having lived a successful life. Remember you are the child of immortality and that all life is but an offering, Never forget that the nectar-honey of the flower of mercy is for those who sacrifice, and the life offered is the life accepted. Let the sacred flame of divine fire shine brightly in your soul......
Hazrat Inayat Khan
The main object of life can only be one object, though there may be as many external objects as there are things and beings. There is one object of life for the reason that there is only one life and this in spite of the fact that it appears outwardly to be many lives. It is in this thought that we can unite and it is from this thought that true wisdom is learned. No doubt that main object of life cannot be understood at once, and therefore the best thing for every person is first to pursue his object in life. For in the accomplishment of his personal object he will arrive some day at the accomplishment of that inner object…..
Unlike other similarly situated Bureau of Prisons inmates, prisoners are designated for a CMU and transferred there without prior notice or pre-transfer opportunity to contest their placement. Instead, within five days of transfer to a CMU, an inmate receives a “Notice of Transfer to Communications Management Unit.” Our review of these notices from several cases suggests they do not describe specific acts or evidence underlying a designation that would permit a prisoner to challenge them....
As Human Rights Watch has previously documented, jails and prisons across the United States often respond to prison or inmate management challenges by segregating individuals from the general population, often through prolonged physical and social isolation, for hours, days, weeks, or even years. Isolation for 22 hours per day or more, and for one or more days, fits the generally accepted definition of solitary confinement. When it is prolonged, solitary confinement can constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment prohibited by human rights treaties to which the US is party....
Appu Esthose Suresh
A third of all “communal” incidents recorded by police in Uttar Pradesh in the 10 weeks following the Lok Sabha election results have occurred in — or on the fringes of — 12 assembly constituencies that are scheduled to go to polls over the next few months. If a larger circle is imagined — covering broadly the region around these constituencies — this proportion rises to two-thirds, police records scrutinised by The Indian Express show. The records show a running strand of attempts made by an aggressive BJP, a desperate SP, and a flagging BSP to turn every clash involving individuals from the two largest religious communities into a communal issue. There is also clear evidence of provocation in areas where Dalits and Muslims live together, leading to communal polarisation……
All Parts of the Investigation:
Express Investigation Part-I: Over 600 ‘Communal Incidents’ In UP Since LS Results, 60% near By-poll Seats
Express Investigation Part-II: My Loudspeaker versus Your Loudspeaker
Express Investigation Part-III: Dalit-Muslim Divide Deepens, Goes Rural
Fighting Kids to Dhaba Bill: Takes Little To Keep Communal Pot Simmering