not coincidentally, that is the same message that ISIS is propounding to
Muslims around the world; most of whom, thankfully, are rejecting it. The
reality is that the vast majority of Muslims in America and other Western
countries despise ISIS' hateful ideology. So instead of demonizing Islam and
all Muslims with a broad brush, Americans of diverse backgrounds should
redouble our efforts to reach out to the peaceful Muslim majority and speak out
in opposition every time those prominent demagogues -- including presidential
The Ulema must
come forward and remove the un-Islamic elements from Muslim personal law.
Second, they must develop some consensus on controversial issues such as
polygamy and triple divorce, which the apex court has specifically noted as
discriminatory and arbitrary. In fact, the acceptance of modern Nikahnama in
itself can solve most problems. Why can’t the Ulema settle the issue of
polygamy using the analogy of slavery, which too is permitted by the Quran, but
is no longer acceptable today?
is a myth that Hindus are governed by one law. For instance, marriage among
close relatives is prohibited in north India but is considered auspicious in
the south. This is also true of Muslims and Christians. The Constitution itself
protects the local customs of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram.....
We had to look
around very little in order to find beautiful examples of religious harmony in
India today. Where people from different faiths come together in the spirit of
humanity, celebrating India’s diversity and rich heritage of tolerance. Here
are 10 examples of friendship, love and selflessness by people of different
allegiances towards those from other backgrounds than theirs. They are bound to
restore your faith in humanity and your country.....
Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the department of religious studies at Stanford
University, talking recently to an Indian daily, said, “Sanskrit flourished in
the royal Mughal court primarily under three emperors: Akbar, Jahangir and Shah
Jahan. However, we should not make the error of attributing Aurangzeb’s lack of
interest in Sanskrit to his alleged bigotry.” Aurangzeb’s name is being removed
from public places in India these days, but Truschke thinks he is “a severely
misunderstood historical figure who has suffered perhaps more than any of the
other Mughal rulers from present-day biases”. The decline of Sanskrit towards
the final part of Mughal rule happened because it was then yielding primacy to
In the darkness
of Kali Chaudas times we drag out every instance of the mosaic that is India. I
dare not use that word ‘secular, now as loaded as a gun. As for ‘syncretic’, it
belongs to a world of intellectual discourse, far removed from the emotional
connect of community. We in the media strive to play up a Muslim enclave that
never fails to celebrate Ganeshotsav with Mantra and Modak or Hindus steeped in
the wisdom of the Quran. And, more than army flag marches and Aman committees,
what stops communal riots is the intertwining of Hindu and Muslim threads in
the skein of humdrum commerce. Fundamentalism will always have to bow to
Zeeba T Hashmi
With a general
lack of recognition of religious identities, the minorities here suffer
unchecked verbal and violent onslaught by the puritanical clergy. Such is the
story of the Jews in Pakistan, a majority of whom had to go into exile or
change their names to Muslim nomenclatures so as to protect themselves from
widespread anti-Semitic sentiments here. We cannot ignore the fact that before
the 1970s there generally was no anti-Semitic feelings towards the Jews of
For the sake of peace and justice--and to prevent ongoing wars and bloodshed-- we Jews and Christians need to engage with Muslim leaders and followers sensitively and substantively in the years ahead.
Tolerance simply stated, is the absence of physical violence against someone else. But it doesn't guarantee that laws and edicts won't be issued that undermine the spirit of coexistence. Remember, the Nuremburg Laws were at first a 'tolerance' of Jews. Look where that brand of tolerance led. The Black Codes and Jim Crow were kinds of tolerance that were nothing more than hatred in its most cunning incarnation.
When earth is less than sacred,
we become less than human – a truth I believe both Islam and Buddhism, as I
have listened to their teachings, affirm. When we fully acknowledge the
sacredness of the earth we also become aware of our particularly human task as
khalifa, stewards, or as those beings living in that unique realm where we have
both the teaching of the Buddha and the capacity for taking moral
responsibility for other creatures.
Eric J. Hall
In New York, "Mostafa El Sehamy, a Muslim originally from Egypt who is married to a practicing Catholic of Mexican descent, said of Pope Francis, "He's just one of my favorite people. He's so humble and so into people. I'm a Muslim. But I believe that maybe God sent this guy to unite everybody together."
Imagine a Holy Land where all the major Abrahamic Faiths cooperated with each other respectfully and regularly held joint meetings and celebrations. What would it look like if the faiths honored their storied histories and intertwined prophetic traditions, joining forces to work for the betterment of all in the Holy Land?
Pope Francis, in recent times, has gained the admiration, love and respect of people of all faiths, including Muslims. In many ways Pope Francis embodies the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is in the example of the Pope that we see the example of one who of another faith becoming successful in his or her life in spirituality, character and leadership. And, I believe as Muslims we can learn from the Pope’s successes by seeing how it mirrors the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),
Pope Francis with moral clarity expressed concern about human behavior and it’s implications for human rights, poverty, refugees and a myriad other concerns affecting the powerless. We most certainly did not hear any words of inspiration from Salman on the pressing human rights issues confronting the world or benevolence towards the Syrian refugees.
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
approach to understanding the message of the Qur’an that dates back to around
the third century of Islam is through reading the Tafsir corpus which are drawn
on the secondary sources of Islam, namely, the Hadith, the Sira, including the
opinion (Rai) of past scholars, and the consensus of scholars (Ijma). The
Mufassir (exegete) attempts to explain each verse of the Qur’an in light of
these secondary sources or based on his own knowledge, doctrine, speculations
and choice of source material. This renders Qur’anic exegesis a highly porous
domain as the same verse can be interpreted differently by different Mufassirin
engaging a different Hadith, Sira report, and opinion, or consensus of scholars
(Rai, Ijma);and holding differing doctrinal orientation and worldview.
This in turn
leads to enormous divergence and even contradiction in understanding what the
Qur’an has to say on any given theme – the dress code for women, inter-faith
relations, business practices, lawfulness of various bounties of God like song
and music, governance of society, educational system and choice of profession
and business pursuit, marriage, divorce laws….
Francis and Muslims
Europe -- a handiwork of Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic
Studies at American University -- is both important and relevant to the current
crises brewing across European countries. A Pew Research Centre study tells us
Western countries with significant Muslim populations are getting worried.
Since 2011, the general population that is 'very concerned' about Islamic
extremism has increased. For instance, after the murders of the Charlie Hebdo
staffers, two-thirds in France are 'very concerned,' 29% more than the 2011
poll. In Spain, 61% are very worried about the extremist threat; and roughly
half in Italy (53%) and UK (52%) and 46% of Germans are apprehensive…..
So next time you observe a conflict (including a simple one), remind yourself that, fundamentally, the conflict has an (unconscious) emotional basis and the intellectual arguments being tossed back and forth are, at worst irrelevant and, at best secondary, to any resolution of it. Perhaps you could ponder what you might reflect to one or more participants if you were inclined to help them focus on the emotional underlay to what they were saying.......
Gouthama Siddarthan, New Age Islam
façade of ‘just for fun’, there is a hidden agenda to construct the image of
Hindutva. This is the micro-politics. At this juncture, one may post the
question whether Mahabharata is a Hindutva text. But that is beside the point.
My main concern is about the ongoing subtle technology-driven attempt to
cleanse the human mind of its regional, cultural and artistic icons, ideas,
folk art and folk literature.....
similarities and differences between the Qur’an and other scriptural and
non-scriptural Jewish and Christian writings cannot be used to draw any
conclusion about the originality, reliability, and credibility of the Qur’an or
the other sources. When the issues in question can be examined in the light of
historical knowledge, then history has to be the judge. Such issues can be
found in the story of the Exodus, for example. When the information is
impossible to ascertain historically, such as accounts of miracles, then faith
in any version has to be supported by the general credibility and reliability
of the source making the claim. In other words, when the Qur’an and Jewish and
Christian scriptures disagree on claims that are not possible to verify
independently, one has to take into consideration which of sources is more
Adis Duderija, Ph.D
Abdul Haqq’s ‘critique’ not only does not have any foundations but demonstrates why classical embedded Manahij, may they be ahl-Hadith or more prevalent Sunni Madhab based, must be critically and unapologetically assessed and their role in religion-based violence (with respect to both other Muslims as well as non-Muslims), strong elements of intolerance and gender based oppression recognized for what they are.....
The physical aspect of human journey from the sperm and an egg stage through the death is programmed precisely. The formula is same for all of humanity; and there is no such thing as a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or other gene. Regardless of what is being said about origins in terms of evolution, creation or the big bang, the undeniable fact is our existence, and we have to figure out how to live with each other......
Dr Paul Bhatti
We would like to convey this message that the minorities in Pakistan can only be protected if the true spirit of Islam is manifested. No religion, in its teachings allows killing the innocent people in the name of religion. It has been mentioned clearly in Islam that killing an innocent person means killing the whole humanity. Moreover, Islam has given clear instructions to probe into the matter completely and repeatedly to find out the facts before accusing a person for some undesirable act. .....
is not an obstacle to such solidarity. In fact, I feel encouraged to celebrate
Ramadan because I am a Christian. It is
because I know Jesus is Lord that I can live without fear, that I can challenge
myself to love more deeply and creatively. Table-fellowship is always a
subversive act for the Christian, and it is because I follow Jesus that I can
eat alongside as well as refrain with anyone—no matter who they are, no matter
what they believe, no matter what they have done.....
Jerusalem is far from being an abode of peace. It is not impossible, but very
difficult to turn this city into a place where practitioners of three religions
can worship God in veneration for each other……
And by the way,
Muslim soldiers stationed at Wazirabad Cantonment in British times used to help
their Hindu colleagues in staging Ramlila every year. Lakshman, Vibhishan and
Ravana’s roles were sometimes played by them. And once, hold your breath;
Sita’s part was enacted by a handsome Muslim sepoy. Ramzan is the right
occasion to savour such revelations in Haji Mian’s company when the feasting
begins after sundown around the illuminated Jama Masjid.....
religious authority will not add to the rational or the moral discussion of our
concerns as humans. But there is something more about us. We are also spiritual
beings. At least many of us believe that. Here it is where a religious
authority matters. It adds a spiritual dimension to the discussions on humans
and humanity's wellbeing. While rational and moral logic is enough for many
there are those who would benefit from having a spiritual dimension….