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Books and Documents

Interview

A Peek into the Afghan Taliban Mind
Munizae Jahangir
A Peek into the Afghan Taliban Mind
Munizae Jahangir

“We have never invited Pakistan or Afghanistan for talks. Afghan Taliban is a reality and we do not feel a need to sit across the table with Pakistan. We will hold peace talks with the US. The Afghan people or government can be taken on board at a later stage,” he added. Influential Pakistan politico-religious leader Maulana Fazl ur Rehman travelled to the Qatari capital earlier this month to facilitate talks with the Taliban, albeit the two sides officially denied the Doha rendezvous....

 

I decided I wasn’t going to read them. My wife did read them and called me in tears over the way people attacked our son and family. (She’s used to the attacks on me.) I must say that I have gotten a great many private messages from leading evangelical and even charismatic leaders who want me to know that they do not endorse or share the venom expressed in the published comments. Many progressive Christians have sent kind and supportive messages, too. .....

 

As for the Islamic Bomb, as yet it is not a reality. The bomb that Pakistan made was, at least initially, purely in response to India's 1974 test. Growing radicalization in Pakistan could change that, and some religious-political parties do claim the bomb for Islam. They want to terrify Pakistanis into believing that we are under constant siege and thus create a climate where the right-wing ideology of hate and violence can flourish....

 
Mohamed Morsi: ''We Don't Want a Theocratic State''
President Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi: ''We Don't Want a Theocratic State''
President Mohamed Morsi

I'm doing my best. I am pleased that there is diversity of opinion and am glad that we have an opposition. We are still learning how to cooperate in a fully democratic environment – with real freedom – for the common good of all Egyptians so that we can move forward together. No one has the right to use force. At the moment, we do not have a parliament, but that will soon change….

 

What this means for Israel in the region, regardless of the United States, is that the Muslim Brotherhood whether they have the support of the Egyptian people, or not, will be extremely sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Although the Muslim Brotherhood has made it clear since coming to power that they will respect the Camp David agreement, they have slowly started to show that perhaps they will seek a revision of the established relations with Israel.

 

There was a terrific story to be told here: the journey from neglected orphan to acclaimed leader—from marginalized outsider to the ultimate insider—made all the more dramatic by the tension between idealism and pragmatism, faith, and politics. I wanted to be able to see Muhammad as a complex, multidimensional human being, instead of the two-dimensional figure created by reverence on the one hand and prejudice on the other. I wanted the vibrancy and vitality of a real life lived....

Hamas is Israel's Creation
Farooq Sulehria
Hamas is Israel's Creation
Farooq Sulehria

After Sept 11, and even before that, the images of the Arabs have been negative: If he is a man he is a terrorist or a wife-beater. If she is a woman, she is pictured as a veiled victim. After the fall of "Communism", the western world needed a new enemy. The way Mossad created Hamas, CIA created Bin Laden and al-Qaida. In the beginning of the second Intifada the typical story in Israeli and international media was: Palestinian mother sending her child to an Israeli checkpoint to become a martyr....

How worried are you about this phenomenon in France? How big is it? After all, France with some five million Muslims has the largest Muslim population in Europe.

In France the problem is probably huge. It’s a new phenomenon, we have little knowledge of it and it is growing because the geopolitical environment is not under control. By that I mean that on the southern rim of the Mediterranean Sea you have countries like Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya where weak, pro-Islamic governments have come to power after the Arab Spring. They are no longer in control of society and more importantly, they are not in control over the internet propaganda machine. This uncontrolled terrorist, Islamic fundamentalist internet propaganda is spreading across the world and given the proximity between the two banks of the Mediterranean, this propaganda has begun infecting French society. That is why the influence of this trend is growing and could lead to more radicalisation in the near future….

The 19th girl child born to her father’s sixth wife, Fawzia Koofi was left out in the punishing winter of Afghanistan’s Badakshan province to die. She survived and was taken back in. When she was three, her father was killed by the Mujahideen. Imprisoned by the Taliban, her husband died of tuberculosis. The Taliban has also tried, several times, to assassinate her. Fawzia has endured all this to become the first woman Speaker of the Afghan Parliament....

Christianophobia: Christians Persecuted Throughout the World by Islamic, Hindu Extremists
Grand Mufti of Libya Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani
Christianophobia: Christians Persecuted Throughout the World by Islamic, Hindu Extremists
Ashraf Abdul-Wahab

Libyans from different backgrounds are being constantly invited to make free trips to Iran. Yes, we had some calls from families informing us about the conversion of their sons into the religion of the atheist Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani [founder of the Ahmediyya sect] who claimed he had received a divine revelation and who had also claimed that he was a reincarnation of God!  His doctrine has been widely followed in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India....

The village, which sits on the edge of the Himalayas amid tall Chinar trees and flowing streams, is home to over 100 Muslim families but has only five families of Kashmiri Pandits, a Hindu community that for the most part fled the region in the 1990s under increasing threats of violence. Only some Pandit families, including Mrs. Bhat's, chose to stay behind. Mrs. Bhat's election was celebrated as a sign of growing tolerance in the region, although some of the initial euphoria has died down since then.....

'If This Were a Civilized Land, Faith Would Be Private': Uzma Aslam Khan
Awais Aftab
'If This Were a Civilized Land, Faith Would Be Private': Uzma Aslam Khan
Uzma Aslam Khan speaks to Awais Aftab

We can't even get our passport renewed without 'confessing' to not being Ahmadis. I've even been asked my religion while registering for a blood test. And to whom are we always in need of confessing? Not to God, but to a bunch of people who call themselves the state. If this were a civilized land, faith would be private and proof against those we know are playing God would be public. But in Pakistan, it's the other way around: Faith is public and proof is private....

Well, speaking of Punjabi music particularly, this has its own special beat and mood. Its beat has been popular across centuries - and it's no different in Pakistan today. The popularity of this form of music stems from its roots embedded within folk culture. Also, anyone who is a follower of Punjabi music usually has a Sufi temperament, which is part of the craft and adds to the experience of appreciating this music. ...

 

It is not easy for women to work in any country, and particularly for those who are pushing for equality. Naturally, it is more difficult in countries in conflict. But so far, we are much better in terms of women's participation in the government and politics than most countries in Asia. As to making an impact, we have a strong independent human rights commission in Afghanistan, where using the word 'human rights' was counted as a crime few years ago. ....

Religion and secularism, truth and falsity, friendship and enmity, hope and despair, bravery and cowardice, love and betrayal, collide in the pages to form a highly-charged battleground of ideas about a world poised for an uncertain future. In this phone interview, Salman Rushdie talks about the novel that robbed him of a decade and the lessons it has taught him about free speech, religious fundamentalism and the importance of standing up for what you believe in....

Freedom To Criticize Religion Is A Touchstone Of Free Expression
Gilbert Achcar
Freedom To Criticize Religion Is A Touchstone Of Free Expression
Gilbert Achcar and Farooq Sulehria

In Europe, when you feel you have been a victim of hate speech, you can resort to legal action. The question of Western double standard is usually raised with regard to Jews there, as it is much more difficult in Europe to articulate an anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic speech than an Islamophobic one. But this state of affairs owes to two factors. The first is Europe’s sense of guilt with regard to the Jewish genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany during the Second World War with much European complicity....

The idea of a world government that may assure peace in the world is empty of meaning. It makes no sense because, first of all, a world government should express the will of all countries in the world by a universal parliament, hierarchical and unipolar, in which the great powers should live side by side with the poorest countries. It has no meaning because the so-called five BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are....

 
‘It Is Very Lonely To Fight For Justice’
Shoma Chaudhury
‘It Is Very Lonely To Fight For Justice’
Shoma Chaudhury

Why was the critical evidence produced by senior Gujarat policemen like Rahul Sharma and RB Sreekumar not produced in court in time? If the Rahul Sharma CD (with call records of those fatal days) had been investigated by the CBI in 2006, and authenticated, it would have produced so much material. But the analysis was left to NGOs. First Jan Sangharsh Manch did some of the analysis; then we filled the gaps when we found the phone records of Modi and others have not been examined.

Today being Akbar Bugti’s death anniversary, am sharing an autobiographical interview of him published in HERALD about 30 years ago. (Have misplaced the only copy I have, so can’t give the exact month and year or include the photos.)

 One may or may not have liked Bugti, and although I heard various negative stories about him, I could understand what it is like not to have control over one’s own life, to be persecuted in one’s own land, and the pain and humiliation of endless subjugation. In fact, I got to like him. And I share this as a matter of history. - Najma Sadeque (spelling wrong in the printed version)

Excerpts: “In the last few years, foreign money has been pouring into Baluchistan. The Western and Arab World have suddenly discovered a place called Baluchistan and its importance ever since the Russian presence in Afghanistan. But most projects are ‘pocket’ schemes – they go into the pockets of officials and blue-eyed notables. The sizes of the ‘pockets’ have increased, they’ve become gunny bags. Little trickles into ‘development’, but no government consultations are held with tribal elders on projects. It doesn’t win the loyalty of the locals or gratefulness to foreigners, whatever their intentions are. You can pour in millions, but you can’t buy Baluchistan and the Baluchis.”

 
French Muslims Seek Equal Rights, Respect For Islam: Analyst
Nabila Ramdani
French Muslims Seek Equal Rights, Respect For Islam: Analyst
An interview with Nabila Ramdani

Now they are saying there is no question of security, we can go ahead with it and France is saying, yes, there is a question of security and there is something we have to distinguish to separate between religion and sports; now it is not only between state and religion; it is between religion and sport.

 
A Spy’s Life: An Interview With A Senior Yemeni Spy
Ahmed Bin Mo’aili
A Spy’s Life: An Interview With A Senior Yemeni Spy
Muaad Al-Maqtari

He had different duties in different countries, which required him to travel in several Arab countries. Because of this, Bin Mo’aili acquired tens of wives over the years. Bin Mo’aili worked for 23 years in Saudi intelligence and then for ten years in Yemeni-Iraqi cooperative intelligence. But now, things have changed. Currently, he is facing problems with Yemeni intelligence operations, known as the Political Security Organization (PSO), because they separated him from his 31 children who live all around the Arab countries he has worked in and who are awaiting his return.

 
Socialists and Writers
A.G. Noorani
Socialists and Writers
By A.G. Noorani

Now there is a Persian saying: “Ai Roshnu-Tuba to Burman Bala Shudi” – Perhaps it is an illumination of my mind which became a disaster for me. That is to say, it was because we worked hard and enrolled new members, organised socialist forums and, of course, we had a policy, which was not opposed to the socialists, [that we became suspects in the eyes of the socialists]. In our view [this] should [have been] the policy which all socialists and communists in India should [have followed]....

 
Taking Tea with Afghanistan’s Most Fearsome Warlord
General Abdul Rashid Dostum
Taking Tea with Afghanistan’s Most Fearsome Warlord
By Magsie Hamilton

At six feet tall, he towers a good seven inches above me. I feel my legs wobble – his reputation is nearly as fearsome as his bushy moustache. He is General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s most powerful warlord, head of the Uzbek tribe, unofficial ruler of the north, and, as the government’s chief of staff, commander of an army of over 25,000 men....

 

When Manji is asked to elaborate on what she means by being free-thinking and Muslim, she gives the Quran as an example saying it contains three times as many verses calling on Muslims to thank, analyze, reflect and re-think, than verses that tell them only what is right or only what is wrong. Manji clarifies that this means that there are three times as many passages encouraging Ijtihad than blind submission. In that sense, she adds, progressive Muslims are at least as authentic as the mainstream – and quite possibly more constructive….

Home and the World
Musharraf Ali Farooqui
Home and the World
M A Farooqui in an interview with A M Hashmi

This is more of a challenge with rhymed poetry. If rhymes are involved, much of the poem is lost in translation, only an impression is conveyed. But I have translated the prose poems of Afzal Ahmed Syed, whose work I really admire and whom I consider Urdu's greatest contemporary poet, and they have been very well received. In translations of classical prose such as Dastan-e Amir Hamza I think that about 90% of the original can be communicated effectively if one has control over one's medium....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • scientists (IMHO) probably will get it wrong when they stray into humanities. laws of science are...
    ( By hats off! )
  • You discuss the central idea of this article both historically and theologically. Through your discussion, many significant ....
    ( By Meera )
  • ہندستان ایک ایسا ملک ہے جہاں ہر قوم و مذہب کے لوگ بلا تفریق مذہب و ملت آباد ہیں، ہندستان میں ہندوؤں کے بعد مسلمان ...
    ( By ڈاکٹر ساحل بھارتی )
  • none of the articles is fruitful - people do not read nor do they accept = they do what their mind says ....
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  • New Zealand's Prime Minister is a shining example for regressive societies. No wonder she sticks in Hats ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • What she writes is a hundred times better than Hats Off's bilious vomitus.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Hats Off's hatefulness has reached nihilistic proportions. He is need of help.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • What she writes is a hundred times better than Hats Off's bilious vomitus.....
    ( By H S )
  • آل انڈیا مسلم پرسنل لاء بورڈ کی تجاویز کہ مدارس کو رائٹ ٹو انفارمیشن ایکٹ (معلومات حاصل کرنے کا حق)کے تحت لانے کی تجویز خود ...
    ( By عبدالمعید ازہری )
  • the author does not have proper understanding of Naskh therefore his article is full of errors and does...
    ( By Alifa )
  • With people like Apoorvanand, India can't be so bad. Fortunately there are....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Jacinda Ardern has set a great example for India...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Religions should bring us together instead of driving us apart.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • a very simple minded woman with very mediocre capacity of analysis. incapable...
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  • not to worry. it is a matter of parity. islam hates the kuffar as much...
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  • ‘Lesson for World Leaders’: Imam Thanks New Zealand PM after Prayers" another islamist...
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  • Only a hateful ex-Muslim would call Erdogan a "moderate Muslim". A much...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is a bogus article because it uses arbitrary, self-serving or false arguments to support its contentions...
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  • I agree with Mr Sultan Shahin that Islam needs to change itself from within...
    ( By A S MD KHAIRUZZAMAN )
  • Good article! It has given good suggestions. We should do self-introspection and reform ourselves. For ...
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  • Naseer sb., There is no compulsion in any of Jesus's sermons. He never said anything like, "“Kill....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sb., It is not a question of believing or not believing in the Quran. It is a question of believing.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Happy Holi, everyone.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • GM sb says "In Christianity, there is no compulsion in religion. 2Ti 2:24 As the ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • "It appears" is not the primary evidence. It is the supporting evidence to what the Quran...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Hats Off's frenzied animus seems to be eating him from within. I hope he does not explode.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats off's literalism is a mirror image of Naseer sb.'s literalism. One...
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  • More rubbish from Hats Off! Violent extremism, by whatever name, is the same....
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  • Yes, good call. BUT the President's comments connecting ANZAC with the deranged....
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  • What is Hats Off talking about? Where does Wajahat Ali say anything...
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  • Bandage treatment of marriage and inheritance laws will not help. What....
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  • The rise of Wahhabism, white nationalism and Hindu nationalism has shrunk...
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  • Very good article! The call to reject hate, intolerance, exclusion and violence must be vigorous and oft-repeated...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • what do you call a person who believes in a text that gratuitously denigrates...
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  • Religion is from God and God alone can tell us about the history of His religion....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )