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Since I am a believing Muslim, I looking at the issue from an Islamic perspective. Many Muslims wrongly blame Hindus alone for communal hatred and conflict Muslims are no less responsible and we must acknowledge that. Islam, as I see it, exhorts me to establish good relations with people of other faiths, and that is what Muslims should also try to do. Yes, we must promote secularism, but secularism, as I understand it, does not mean that you abandon your religion, culture and identity…

Muslims have generally not engaged in any sort of planning for the community’s future, but, yes, now there is definitely some sort of soul-searching happening. There is an increasing realisation that we have to be self-dependent in all fields, because, given the fascist anti-Muslim character of the state government and the enormous influence and power of Hindutva groups in Gujarat, we cannot hope for the state and the wider civil society to help us. Earlier, some Muslims thought that religious education was enough and that worldly education would lead their children astray. However, that is largely a thing of the past and now people, including the ulema, believe that both sorts of education are essential and both go together. Islam says it is impermissible to abandon the world for the sake of the faith. Some Muslims say, “What is the use of higher education? Why should we waste money on this because we know our children won’t get good government service jobs because there is so much discrimination against Muslims in Gujarat?” -- Afzal Memon in an Interview with Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com

 

What you say is correct, to an extent, but this should not be exaggerated. It is not that all Dalits were complicit in the attacks or that they have been entirely co-opted by the Hindutva forces or that they have been completely Hinduised. This is not true. In fact, most of the attacks on Muslims in 2002 were engineered by ‘upper’ caste groups and elements and in relatively few areas were Dalit involved. In many places in Ahmedabad, the violence was led by migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Because Gujarat is relatively more prosperous, in recent years all sorts of babas, sadhus and mullahs and even criminals have been making their way from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to Gujarat and are known to be the backbone of reactionary and obscurantist groups here, Hindu and Muslim, including those that spread communalism and violence. So that is another source of conflict. Dalits are being wrongly blamed for the attacks, in order to give them a bad name and to perpetuate conflict between Dalits and Muslims. Some NGOs have also made this claim, either deliberately, to defame the Dalits, or in ignorance, since many of them have little or no grassroots experience. In rural areas Dalits played little or no role in the attacks, which were mainly done by the ‘upper’ castes. This is because, in contrast to urban areas, in villages Dalits have no civic rights, and their oppression at the hands of the ‘upper’ caste Hindus is direct and stark. -- Valjibhai Patel in an interview with Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com

“The attack on Libya, led by a French President whose policies towards North Africans have been openly racist, is the West's response to the uprising in the Arab world. Where is the proof that Gaddafi was about to slaughter civilians? -- Bedouin hyperbole is no proof. As Diana Johnstone has asked, why was no United Nations fact-finding mission sent to Libya to establish the truth before Sarkozy recognised a group led by Gaddafi's former right-hand man? If you support such a naked act of colonial intervention as the attack on Libya, you are not "progressive"; you are regressive”. -- John Pilger in an Interview to Farooq Sulehria

The destruction of the Babri Masjid and the violence that followed led to a thorough disillusionment of the Muslims with the Congress for conspiring to have the mosque destroyed, for letting Muslims be killed in vast numbers, and for continuing to deny them justice. This led to a realization that injustice and anti-Muslim discrimination was not something sporadic and exceptional, but, rather, that it was systemic. That realization was further reinforced, first in 2001, with the destruction of the twin towers in New York, which led to a heightening of anti-Muslim prejudice in India, and then in 2002, with the massacre of more than 2500 hapless Muslims in Gujarat. All this further exacerbated Muslim insecurities—not just in Gujarat but all over India—in the face of a very aggressive BJP and a hopelessly plaint Congress. I think this is when some Muslims began talking about the need for a separate Muslim political party at the national level, seeing how even the Congress had betrayed them. Groups like the Jamaat tap into this mounting sense of insecurity, which is now, not limited just to working class Muslims living in the ghettos but crosses all classes. Even rich Muslims are not spared this fear that they, too, could be targeted in the name of countering ‘terrorism’. -- Seema Mustafa in an Interview with Yoginder Sikand For NewAgeIslam.com

In the last few years, especially since 1992, when the Babri Masjid was destroyed and Gujarat witnessed considerable violence, Muslims have been giving particular attention to education. In fact, today Muslims in Gujarat have a higher overall literacy rate than Hindus, although their relative representation at the higher levels of education is much less. There are a number of new Muslim schools coming up today in Gujarat today. I see this with mixed feelings. On the one hand, setting up modern schools is, of course, a good thing. It shows that Muslims are awakening to the importance of education. But, on the other hand, often because Muslims often are denied admission in Hindu-managed schools, they are setting up their own schools which may not be of very high standard and which are culturally exclusive. There is, in addition, the fact that some groups who claim to speak for all Muslims or for Islam also don’t want Muslim children to study with others. Now, the problem is that this might further increase cultural ghettoisation and that students will grow up without ever having had the chance to make friends with people of their age from other communities. In such community-specific schools, Hindu as well as Muslim, there is also the danger that this would further entrench communal stereotypes and all sorts of obscurantism and feelings of insularity. For instance, some people associated with the Tablighi Jamaat are now setting up Muslim schools in different parts of Gujarat. No Hindus are going to send their children there. -- Hanif Lakdawala in an Interview with Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com

Noted Islamic scholar and social activist Asghar Ali Engineer heads the Mumbai-based Institute of Islamic Studies and the Centre for the Study of Secularism and Society. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand, for NewAgeIslam.com he reflects on various aspects of the Indian Muslim leadership.

Q: How can this process of shifting the agenda of Muslim organisations, from mere identity related issues to substantive issues of economic and educational empowerment, be facilitated?

A: For this to happen, the Muslim middle-class will certainly have to play a more important role in community affairs, which can happen only if the maulvis are sidelined. But this is an uphill task, given the small size of the Muslim middle-class and the powerful influence of the maulvis. Things have been made even more difficult than they might otherwise have been with Gulf petrodollars financing a considerable number of madrasas all over India. These Arab patrons have no interest whatsoever in promoting modern education and the economic advancement of the Muslim poor. Many rich Arab sheikhs are so neck-deep in corruption that they think that by patronising madrasas in poor countries like India they can have some of their sins washed away! They think that in this way they can overcome their guilt and compensate for their sins. And so you have this huge amount of money coming into India to fund splendid, palace-like madrasa buildings, even in small villages, and these are centres for promoting very conservative interpretations of Islam. Naturally, they work to strengthn the influence of th conservative maulvis. Poor Muslims might want to send their children to modern, English-medium schools, but because they are simply unable to afford their high fees, they are forced, often out of economic compulsion, to educate them in these conservative madrasas. And so the influence of the conservative maulvis continues to mount. -- --Asghar Ali Engineer in an Interview with Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com

Each time Muslims try to escape from their ghettoes there is either a riot that forces them back or else the media takes up some sensational issue, such as Imrana or Guriya or terrorism, which further demonises Muslims and forces them to become over-protective of their identity and seek safety in their ghettoes. The media, as well as certain Muslim organisations, just do not want to talk of the other many problems of the Muslims, such as poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, in order to present the picture that Muslims themselves are responsible for their plight. This, of course, suits the politics of certain Muslim ‘leaders’, but only further contributes to the marginalisation of the Muslim community as a whole. Take, for instance, the debate on Muslim Personal Law. Many Muslims are aware of the need for reforms in Muslim Personal Law, as, for instance, on the issue of triple talaq in one sitting. The Hanafi position that this is legal is not strictly in conformity with the position of many Muslim reformists, who point out that this practice was unknown at the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims may have readily acquiesced in this and accepted the reformists’ position, but the sensationalised media reporting about this issue made Muslims so defensive of their identity, which they thought as being under threat, that they refused to consider any reforms at all. -- Shakeel Ahmad in an Interview with Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com

Using all the documentation that we could lay our hands on, our team investigated the sources of funding for the US-based RSS-front organisation, the India Development and Relief Front (IDRF). This organization had filed for tax exemption status, claiming to be working for relief and development. However, as we showed in our report, most of the money that it collected in America, from Non-Resident Indians and others, and even from American companies, was going to RSS-front organisations in India, who are actively involved in promoting hatred against Muslims, Christians and other marginalised communities. We showed how, from the late 1980s, the RSS had expanded its so-called ‘Seva’ or service wing, heavily dependent on funds from America and Europe, to spread its network in India. Much of this money was being channelled through the IDRF in America and Seva International in Britain. Besides, money is also being funnelled through the illegal Hawala network, which, of course, we couldn’t investigate. -- Biju Mathew to Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com

All too often Iranians leave their country in search of material comforts in the West - in Los Angeles, in Sydney, for example. Many have a lavish lifestyle but because of the idealistic mindset Iranians when they get older find the materialism superficial and not satisfying their spiritual needs that cannot be satisfied through consumer goods - and alcohol and other drugs can only block out this spiritual need. It is a problem in the west because the secular nature of the consumer society conflicts with Islam because this religion is a comprehensive religion offering a realistic and factual worldview that satisfies basic and spiritual needs.

Politically this expresses itself in the west being controlled by Jewish thinkers who offer atheism to the non-Jews but then they themselves claim to belong to that long Jewish religious tradition. I noted this in my presentation at the 2nd Bioethics conference when I stated that two prominent Bioethicists, Jeremy Rifkin and Peter Singer both claim to be atheists and Jewish who are both set on establishing a materialistic-hedonistic mindset for the non-Jews, basing the premise of their argument on the Holocaust. This makes their whole argument suspect and superficial - and purely subjective where hatred of the German people is the driving force, not any fundamental ethical consideration based on sound philosophical, universal, considerations as made for example by philosopher Immanuel Kant. -- Dr. Fredrick Toben, speaking to Iranian journalist Kourosh Ziabari in an exclusive interview for NewAgeIslam.com

 

The Dawoodi Bohras, ethnic Gujaratis, are a roughly million strong group of the Mustalian branch of the Ismaili Shia Muslims. They are controlled by an elaborate hierarchy of priests, headed by the dai-e mutlaq, who claims to be the representative of the 21st imam of the community, who is believed to have gone into seclusion or ghayba in the eleventh century. Faced with stern Sunni opposition, the 24th dai of the community shifted to Gujarat in the twelfth century. The present dai, Syedna Burhanuddin, is the 52nd dai of the community, and this year he will celebrate his 100th birthday.

For several years, a number of Bohras have been speaking out against the corruption and oppressive practices of Burhanuddin, also accusing him of levying a number of taxes on the community and various other un-Islamic practices. The Bohra reformist struggle was launched in Udaipur in the 1970s, and today has spread to different parts of the world where Bohras live. Last week, some three thousand Bohras gathered at Udaipur to participate in the 14th World Dawoodi Bohra Conference in order to galvanise the movement against the Syedna's oppression.

In this interview given to Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com, the chief organiser of the conference, Abid Adeeb, President of the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat of Udaipur, and Vice-President of the Central Board of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, the international federation of reformist Bohras, speaks about the ongoing movement against the Syedna's oppression that, lamentably, has received little media attention.

"Irregular migration" is a term that is gaining increasing acceptance in international organisations and scientific discussion. Irregular migrants are people who are not entitled to reside in a country under that country's law. They were not permitted to enter it and have done so nevertheless, or should have left the country and have remained there. Official texts often speak of "illegal residence". The term "illegal residents" is frequently felt to be stigmatising. The two are not mutually exclusive. Refugees or persecutes who manage to get as far as Germany will generally not be among the weakest and poorest in their home countries. Illegality is often a transitional stage: they enter the country illegally, apply for asylum and may end up going underground again if they are unable to justify their reasons for seeking asylum or fail to have their grounds for fleeing their countries recognised as entitling them to refugee status. -- Dr Dita Vogel

 

Our society is in ferment, so, in that sense, this movement arose spontaneously. It needed a leader, a symbol. And, within the parameters of existing laws and realities, it was Mousavi who seemed the best candidate. Mousavi himself, I believe, was surprised by the force and dynamics of what happened. Hardly anyone had expected it. 

There is a huge difference. Under the Shah, the system was fairly transparent and more or less predictable. The Shah tried very specifically to suppress certain political opposition groups. But nowadays it is the case, or at least it seems so to me, that one part of the social establishment is opposed by another part of the social establishment. The current situation is more difficult to evaluate and very negative compared to the way things used to be when the battle lines were more clearly drawn. It makes the situation so confusing and difficult. At the end of the 1970s we had a dictatorial regime, a closed system against the entire nation. Today, however, the people and the establishment are split right down the middle. -- Mahmud Doulatabadi

 

Syed Shahabuddin, a former member of the Indian Foreign Service, is one of the most articulate Muslim politicians of independent India. He bears a lot of responsibility for the Hindu backlash (which, in turn, has fanned Muslim fundamentalism, leading to militant postures in certain quarters) as a response to the Shah Bano case and the Babri Masjid movement. Syed Shahabuddin, whose organization of these two movements met with an unprecedented response from Muslims, finds himself isolated today. This certainly merits a serious study of contemporary Indian Muslim Politics. Syed Shahabuddin was till recently the President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, which split into two factions sometime back. He now exercises control over the AIMMM faction, which he claims is the umbrella organization of all Muslim political parties and active groups. Despite this claim of support and popularity, he has failed to make it to Parliament for a good 12 years now. This situation is also a reflection and a sad commentary on contemporary Muslim politics.

 Earlier, Syed Shahabuddin had a 20-year long stint in Parliament, getting elected from Kishanganj in Bihar, which is a Muslim-majority constituency, but remains extremely backward, pointing to lack of nurture by him. So, the backwardness of Muslims has been used by Shahabuddin only to reinforce his atavistic politics. After the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 and his failure at the hustings, Syed Shahabuddin has raised innumerable controversies. -- This freewheeling exclusive interview by Ather Farouqui poses all those questions which were never asked of him earlier and should facilitate historians in the future in understanding the dynamics of society which help breed his kind of personalities.

Time is change in itself. We should not lose sight of the rise of fundamentalism in Pakistan. The assassination of Salman Taseer has been applauded by the lawyers who are seen as a liberal-minded section of Pakistan. If that is so, then the liberal elements in Pakistan need India’s encouragement if there is to be hope for Pakistan to become a modern-minded, democratic country. I have doubts about that myself but there is no harm in talking. We are trying it out because things happening in Pakistan cause problems to India. If India can have a catalytic effect to encourage Pakistan to draw back from extremism, we should try it. We need to adapt to change, but along with change in Pakistan’s attitude it’s the changes within Pakistan that should concern us. -- K. Shankar Bajpai

 

Taseer’s assassin is a Barelvi Muslim belonging to the Dawat-e-Islami, and 500 clerics of this faith supported his action. Significantly most of these mullahs are part of the Sunni Tehreek and are supposedly anti-Taliban moderates. Indeed, one of their leaders, Maulana Sarfaraz Naeemi, was blown up by a Taliban suicide bomber in June 2009 after he spoke out against suicide bombings. But now these “moderates” have joined hands with their attackers. Jointly they rule Pakistan’s streets today, while a cowardly and morally bankrupt government cringes and caves in to their every demand. Those who claim that Pakistan’s silent majority is fundamentally secular and tolerant may be clutching at straws. -- Pervez Hoodbhoy

LUBP: Welcome to LUBP, Tarek. Your thoughts about the state of affairs in Pakistan as the country enters 2011?

Tarek Fatah: Well, it is an awful start to the year. The assassination of Governor Salman Taseer is sad and frightening, but it is not surprising. Salman Taseer was brave individual who I followed on Twitter and was amazed at his courage. Unlike too many public figures in Pakistan, he stood out as an unapologetic liberal and secular Muslim. For that reason alone, he had to be liquidated. The smirk on his killers face tells the entire story. Having said that, those who live by the sword, die by the sword, and I am not referring to individuals, but nations. Pakistan was born in an orgy of mass murder inspired by religious and national hatred, and will go down in its own blood. Salman Taseer is just one in a long list of leaders and political workers killed by the dark forces of Islamism and anti-India and anti-Hindu rhetoric. Can we forget the massacre of the ruling family of Kalat in 1948 or the murder of Akbar Bugti or the assassination of Liaqat Ali Khan and Benazir Bhutto? How about the judicial murder of ZA Bhutto or the death by torture of Hassan Nasir? I can go on and on, but a nation and a people who have no regret in carrying out a genocide of its own citizens in 1971, should be prepared to count more Salman Taseers down the road. The only way to treat this cancer is to join the rest of the civilized world, including India and Bangladesh, to embrace secularism and the complete separation of the Mosque and the State. Otherwise, prepare for the funeral of the country.

The movement known as pasmanda tehreek (movement) is not coming with (any new divisions like those along) caste. In fact, the division was created and is maintained by the elite Muslim castes as it is in their interest. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, an upper caste, who also got entitled as Khan Bahadur by British Government, can be seen backing the inequality of the caste system. Many scholars and clerics remain instrumental in this hierarchical construction. We are highlighting the issue, invoking the same category of caste, which was earlier maintained to sustain inequality, to demand justice (haq). -- Mohd. Noor Hasan Azad and Khalid Anis Ansari

Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Jamaat-e Islami of Jammu and Kashmir is a veteran Kashmiri politician. Presently, he heads the Tehrik-e Hurriyat-e Jammu Kashmir. He talks about the Kashmir conflict and its possible solution in this exclusive interview with Yoginder Sikand, NewAgeIslam.com:

Q: In your prison memoirs, Rudad-e Qafas, you write that ‘It is as difficult for a Muslim to live in a non-Muslim society as it is for a fish to live in a desert’. But how can this be so? After all, the pioneers of Islam in India and in Kashmir itself, mainly Sufi saints, lived and preached in a society in which Muslims were a very small minority.
A: I meant to say this in a particular sense. Islam, as I said, is a complete way of life. No other path is acceptable to God. So, in the absence of an Islamic polity, it is difficult for Muslims to lead their lives entirely in accordance with the rules of Islam, which apply to social affairs as much as they do to personal affairs. For instance, Muslims in Kashmir under Indian rule live in a system where alcohol, interest and immorality are rife, so how can we lead our lives completely in accordance with Islam? Of course, Muslim minorities are Muslims, too, but their duty must be to work to establish an Islamic dispensation in the lands where they live so that they can lead their lives fully in accordance with Islam and its laws. Missionary work to spread Islam is as much of a duty as is praying and giving alms to the poor.
Now, as for your question about those Sufis who lived and worked in societies where Muslims were in a minority—they may have been pious people, but we take as our only model the Prophet Muhammad.

Q: How do you respond to media allegations that the Kashmiri movement for self-determination is ‘anti-Hindu’?

A: How can our struggle be called ‘anti-Hindu’? It is a struggle for certain principles. In Hindu mythology, when the Kauravas and the Pandavas, cousins of each other, were arrayed against each other on the battlefield, Arjun turned to Krishanji Maharaj, and told him that he could not bear to fight his own brothers. Why, he asked him, was he asking him to fight them? He wanted to refuse to fight. But, then, Krishanji Maharaj said, ‘Arjun, this is a battle for certain principles. In this, do not consider the fact that those who are opposed to you are your relatives’.
We Kashmiris, too, are engaging in such a battle for certain principles with the Indian Government, for occupying us against our will and for not acting on its promise to let us decide our own political future. It is not a war against Hindus or the people of India. It is not a communal conflict. In fact, there are many Indians who support our stand on the right to self-determination. – Syed Ali Shah Geelani to Yoginder Sikand, NewAgeIslam.com

Ahmed Rashid is among the most sought-after experts on the Taliban, Afghanistan and his crisis-ravaged homeland. Ramon Schack asked him about the current problems in the region. An excerpt from the interview:

The greatest weakness of Karzai and his administration is surely a glaring lack of ability to govern, as manifested for example in the influence exercised by the warlords or in rampant corruption. His desire to accelerate the negotiations with the Taliban and to get a green light for his efforts from the Americans are at any rate based on shaky ground. Karzai hasn't yet taken to heart the fact that, as an Afghan, one can only negotiate with the enemy if coming from a strong position. The current weakness of the Afghan government would place constraints on such talks from the very start, destroying everything that has been achieved in Afghanistan thus far. -- Ahmed Rashid

 

Waris Mazhari is a graduate of the Dar ul-Uloom At Deoband, possibly the largest traditionalist madrasa in the world. He is the editor of the New Delhi-based Urdu journal, Tarjuman Dar ul-Uloom, the official organ of the Deoband madrasa’s graduates’ association. Author of numerous books in Urdu on Islamic reform, he is a doctoral student at the Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, where he is working on a research project on madrasa reforms in contemporary India. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com, he critically reflects on the phenomenon of 'Islamic feminism' and on the stance of traditionalist ulema on women's issues.

Maulana Zahid ur-Rashidi is a leading Pakistani Deobandi scholar. He teaches at the Madrasa Anwar ul-Uloom and the Madrasa Nusrat ul-Ulum in Gujranwala, and the edits the influential Urdu Al-Shariah magazine, one of the few journals brought out by Pakistani ulema groups that seriously discusses issues of vital contemporary concern. He is a senior leader of the Jamiat-i Ulama-i Islam Pakistan, a leading Pakistani Deobandi political party. For several years he served as assistant to Mufti Mahmud, top leader of this party. He is a prolific writer, and has regular columns in leading Pakistani Urdu newspapers. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand, exclusive to New Age Islam, the Maulana talks on a range of issues: the Taliban in Afghanistan, militancy and terrorism in Pakistan, the demand for the enforcement of the shariah, the treatment of non-Muslim minorities in his country and more.

 

Maulana Zahid ur-Rashidi is a leading Pakistani Deobandi scholar. He teaches at the Madrasa Anwar ul-Uloom and the Madrasa Nusrat ul-Ulum in Gujranwala, and the edits the influential Urdu Al-Shariah magazine, one of the few journals brought out by Pakistani ulema groups that seriously discusses issues of vital contemporary concern. He is a senior leader of the Jamiat-i Ulama-i Islam Pakistan, a leading Pakistani Deobandi political party. For several years he served as assistant to Mufti Mahmud, top leader of this party. He is a prolific writer, and has regular columns in leading Pakistani Urdu newspapers. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand, exclusive to New Age Islam, the Maulana talks on a range of issues: the Taliban in Afghanistan, militancy and terrorism in Pakistan, the demand for the enforcement of the shariah, the treatment of non-Muslim minorities in his country and more

 

I see Islamic feminism as quite distinct from Islamic apologetics.  Islamic feminism confronts ideas and practices of gender inequality and injustice promoted in the name of Islam demonstrating from religious sources, foremost, the Qur’an, that these are not only un-Islamic but anti-Islamic.  Islamic feminism thus brings into the sharp light of day negative notions and behaviors found in Muslim quarters or shall we say the “bad news.”  Islamic feminism also brings the “good news” of demonstrable gender equality and justice within an Islamic framework. Thus Islamic feminism brings to attention the bad news with the good. Islamic feminism dealing with problematic gender thinking and practices checks, rereads religious texts, and offers clarifications in favor of an egalitarian reading and practice of Islam. Islamic feminism is not an apologia...

....As for Islamic feminism’s future it struck me back in the early 1990s when it was making its debut that Islamic feminism would become more secular in the sense that it would become part of a complex weave of multiple voices clamoring for gender justice and gender equality. I see that Islamic feminism is presently ushering in what I call “the new secular feminism”--a secular feminism re-invigorated by a more  robust discourse of gender equality in religious language—which celebrates inclusivity. Multiple streams will feed the new secular feminism which belongs to us all as we build it collectively. -- Margot Badran

There can be no question of Israel attacking Iran, or Iran attacking Israel. Any attack against innocent people with no true justification is unlawful according to the Torah. Every Jew who obeys the rulings of the Torah is also obliged to abide by Allah's commandment, “Thou shall not murder.” No matter how much certain circles in Israel favour conflict, bloodshed and disorder and no matter how these circles sometimes prevail, it is obvious that the great majority of Israel will not accept a physical attack on such a large and powerful country as Iran. We know what the real aim is of those who want to set Jews and Muslims against one another, and we have exposed their sinister tricks. So neither Iran nor Israel will fall for them. It is therefore essential for Jews and Muslims who genuinely believe in Allah, who love the Prophets, who

believe in the Books He sent down and who know that the Hereafter exists to form an alliance against irreligion, Darwinism, atheism and materialism. Atheists and Darwinists easily ally themselves around their own beliefs and try to crush believers, whatever their faith, with all their might. It is extraordinary how people who love Allah and want the moral values commanded by Him to prevail are unable to form an alliance while the alliance between Darwinists and materialists seeks to drown the world in blood. When true believers are allied they will obviously totally neutralize those who want war. It is therefore essential that our devout Iranian and Israeli brothers should treat one another with affection, love and understanding and wage a great intellectual struggle against irreligion, materialism and Darwinism using knowledge, science and culture. When that happens, nobody will be able to speak of war, assault, fighting or conflict. ...

I do not believe Israel will choose to do such a thing (attack Iran). True, devout Jews in Israel will not permit such an attack either. Turkey's policy has always been to support justice, the rightful and the innocent. But there is an important phenomenon to be noted here. Dajjal is trying to set Muslims and Jews, who are actually brothers and who are all descended from the Prophet Abraham (AS), against one another. It aims for the destruction of both Jews and Muslims. It is very important to expose the movement of the Dajjal and neutralize it, insha'Allah. -- Harun Yahya

Born in 1955 in the north-eastern Turkish province of Rize, the son of a village religious teacher, Ismail Kara is professor of Turkish intellectual history at the Marmara University Theology Faculty in Istanbul. An editor at Dergah Yayinlari, one of Turkey's most respected publishing houses, Kara is the author of 14 books, including Islamist Thought in Turkey, On Philosophical Language and, more recently, The Issue of Islam in Republican Turkey. Professor Kara spoke with The Majalla in his office at Marmara University, located on the Asia side of Istanbul.
In this interview with The Majalla, Ismail Kara, professor of Turkish intellectual history, speaks about Islam’s relationship with modernity and the state. Professor Kara discusses, among other things, political Islamism and its origins, and the increasing visibility of Islam in Turkey. -- Nicholas Birch
Photo: Ismail Kara

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  • When Hats Off runs out of arguments he pulls out CAIR! I have told him umpteen times that CAIR members represent....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off says, "an interfaith that extols the worst of each other." What a figment of an....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Reform means recognizing that the universal empowering teachings of Islam can be expressed successfully according to the maxims of every age." Fully agree. Excellent article....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • you ignore mine and i'll forgive yours. an interfaith that extols the worst of each other is the dream of liars, moderates...
    ( By hats off! )
  • card carrying members of CAIR are suddenly laying claims to oh-so-liberal tender views. the sudden innocence syndrome.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Aspersing this Pope for the past sins of the church is dumb and small-minded and shows a perverse penchant for besmirching as if such....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Pope At Mass: Exploiting Women Is A Sin Against God" apparently buggering children is on par...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off's attempt to be sarcastic when so many Yemeni children are starving or dying is despicable and beneath contempt.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off is either just ignorant or a born liar. Show me a single post of mine in which I have expressed any hatred of....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Gulam Mohyuddin how much you will lie yourself. Your Muslims arrogance unessacary, your relgious books have sex slavery of Yazdi womens, we not followers of Islam ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • yemenis en masse are getting to be very very exalted. most of them are starving....
    ( By hats off! )
  • moderates are inherent liars. mr. ghulam mohiyuddin thinks nothing of spitting into the very plate he is eating from....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Eid Mubarak, everyone.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I'm Hindu but this page is really awesome,, I appreciate the writer who is doing great job.. Thanks...
    ( By alpna singh )
  • Sex slavery and jiziya are dead issues except in the mind of Hats Off. He has to hold on to them im order to carry ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Poor Hats Off has been reduced to uttering sheer rubbish! My humble advice: If you have nothing to say, say nothing
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Allah is without doubt, all knowing, most wise and if Allah has forbidden usury, no good can come from it but only misery. It may ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • economics..blah, sub-prime..blah, blah this..blah,blah blah. that blah blah, therefore sex slavery...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Your hate war against Islam speaks for itself!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • yeah. yeah. i know. mr. naseer ahmed is the best there is. he is unique. he....
    ( By hats off! )
  • The Quran is a book of guidance/message (zikra lil alameen) for all of mankind (6:90). It prohibits usury, any kind of profiteering, gambling....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I am not a muslim, infact an atheist who found some articles in this group very interesting. I am sad ....
    ( By Vinay T S )
  • may be i love it so much i cannot get away from it. who knows? you are the expert. allahu a'alam.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, Naseer saheb is neither a moderate nor a progressive. He is a traditionalist who has discovered ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • How To Run With The Hares And Hunt With The Hounds" ijtihad with sex slavery promoting, jizya supporting moderate.
    ( By hats off! )