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Books and Documents

Interview

Many Schools Of Thought in Islam Recognise the Validity of Arbitrary Triple Talaq: Kamal Faruqui
Kamal Faruqui

We represent all schools of thoughts followed in the Islamic world, be it Shafai, Hanafi, Hanbali, etc. We come to a position on any issue, take for example Talaq (divorce), after a thorough consultation with Islamic experts. Many schools of thought in Islam recognise the validity of arbitrary triple Talaq announced at one go. That’s why we have accepted this. But many of us consider this the ugliest thing.....

It’s Genital Genocide: That’s Exactly What’s Been Happening to Women and Girls
Leyla Hussein

Oh, you don’t know what it’s like to have FGM, because you haven’t had type III.” [Leyla had type I, the least severe type.] Physically, yeah, I didn’t have type III. But psychologically, it’s still the same, because for me, it’s not necessarily about the cutting. It’s the fact that a child’s being grabbed, pinned to a table.....

It Is Through Those Caricatures That I Sarcastically Address the Social, Cultural and Political Situation in Egypt:  Islam Gawish
Walaa Hussein

It is an old and very simple idea, widely used internationally, but not in the Arab world. Al-Waraqah relies on a beautiful, popularly enjoyed drawing style that employs stick figures, not detailed drawings, to convey meaningful ideas. It is through those caricatures that I sarcastically address the social, cultural and political situation in Egypt......

 

Muslim Women Support Hindu Women on Shrine Entry – No One Can Be Banned: Zakia Soman
Zakia Soman

Well, we’ve been opposing the ban introduced in 2012 on women’s entry to Haji Ali Mazaar – we believe in equality of all human beings, irrespective of gender, caste, race and religion. We are opposed to women being excluded from anywhere – we totally support the women who’ve demanded entry into the Chabutra at Shani Shingnapur temple......

The US is one of the Most Fundamentalist Countries in the World: Chomsky
Noam Chomsky

 “There is plenty of anger and good reasons for it, if you look at what is happening to people.” Citing a recent study in the United States that points to increasing mortality rates of less educated, white men in the age range of 45-55 years, he says: “that just does not happen in developed societies.” “It is a reflection of depression, hopelessness, concern that everything is lost – nothing is in our lives, nothing is in our futures, then at least show your anger.”.....

 

Slow Genocide of Minorities in Pakistan: Farahnaz Ispahani
Farahnaz Ispahani

Two things, he legalised Islamisation—whether it was bringing in the Hudood (ordinance in 1979 under which Sharia laws applied in cases of extramarital sex, theft and prohibition). From very little things like introducing prayer times in government buildings to very, very, very harsh laws of blasphemy. The other thing would be the birth of these Jihadi groups in a very, very big way. He attempted to alter our culture—Pakistani diplomats’ wives could no longer wear saris—they were considered Hindu and un-Islamic. You could no longer say Khuda Hafiz; you had to say Allah Hafiz.....

India Is Tolerant, I’m Proud to Be Indian — and I’m Still Music’s Original Heart-Throb: Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain, India’s Iconic Tabla Maestro

My father used to say, ‘I am a worshipper of Maa Saraswati. I love her and she loves me, that is it.’ He introduced me to Lord Ganesha’s Pakhawaj, to Lord Shiva’s Dumroo. Every religion preaches, ‘Love thy neighbour.’ I believe if you are kind to the people around you, you have practised your religion....

Pakistan’s Minorities, Majority Scared Today — Mosque-Military Alliance Decides All, Including Pathankot: Farahnaz Ispahani
Farahnaz Ispahani

Very early, it was clear that for Pakistan’s religious minorities to be equal citizens was going to be very difficult. The first major sign was PM Liaquat Khan giving the Objectives Resolution soon after Partition, talking about a Muslim nation. Right off, the Preamble was not secular – anyone who’s not Muslim was already not being addressed in the same way.....

 

India, Afghans Not Enjoying Pak Cooperation – But Afghans Are Smart: Ata Mohammad Noor
Ata Mohammad Noor

Ata Mohammad Noor, a former mujahideen, is governor of Balkh province in Afghanistan and personally helped defend the Indian consulate at Mazar-iSharif when it was attacked by heavilyarmed militants alongside the Pathankot terror strike. Speaking with Rohit E David, Noor discussed Pakistan’s role in fomenting militancy in India and Afghanistan,

 

‘Bhakti Challenges Communal Religion’
Anuradhan Raman

To recognise that religion is not likely to disappear from human history is really an important thing. Just look at world politics! Secularism cannot hide from that if it is to be truly secular in the best Indian sense. I think the formulation of the idea of the Bhakti movement tried to take that into account, even if it did so from a majoritarian, Hindi-speaking — Hindi-constructing!

 

Religion Seeks To Touch People’s Hearts
Mouhanad Khorchide

The new book by Islamic Studies scholar Mouhanad Khorchide argues for a modern understanding of the Koran and considers the relationship between God and humanity. "The Koran aims to bring up mature human beings, who develop their own religious nature", says Khorchide. Interview by Canan Topcu

 

Egyptian Researcher Ahmad Abdou Maher: ISIS Implements Islamic Heritage Taught by Al-Azhar
Ahmad Abdou Maher

Ahmad Abdou Maher, an Egyptian researcher of Islamic studies, criticized the Egyptian school curricula in a December 21 interview on Al-Hayat TV. Maher complained that Egyptian history books glorify Islamic heritage and are “full of wars, blood, and slaughter.” Maher stated that “ISIS is a loyal and bona fide implementation of our Islamic heritage, which is taught by Al-Azhar.”

 

Terrorism is a New Ideological Trend, Has Nothing to Do with Islam - Grand Mufti of Syria
Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria

Terrorism is a dangerous political trend. It is also a cultural trend. And we have to study it in order to fight it. ISIL is trying to promote its political agenda through violence, using weapons. They tell their followers that they will go to paradise, “If you murder people, you will end up in paradise.” But this goes against the Prophet’s teachings, because, of course, nobody gets to paradise using these methods. We need to preach the idea that a person gets to paradise through cultural enlightening, education and solidarity.

Pervez Hoodbhoy on Liberalism, Religious Freedom, and Extremism in Pakistan
Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy is a prominent Pakistani nuclear physicist, essayist and defense analyst. In 2011, he was included on the list of 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, for his “bold secular defiance.” His articles and commentaries about Islam, education, and secularism have had a lasting impact on debates in Pakistan. He recently spoke with Muhammad Akbar Notezai on liberalism, religious freedom, and extremism in Pakistan.

 

Modi's a Force of Nature ... Not Communal At All: Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

He has a mandate; he is the leader. He is not corrupt, he has credibility. Maybe the land Bill was wrong, and the GST is now stuck. But in the long run, he will be successful and the hotheads will be marginalized once there is visible economic growth. Yes, I will say a PM has to have badappan, he must reach out, he must have dialogue, win over the Opposition.

Tariq Ramadan on Refugees, Far-right, Extremism and Muslim Identity
Professor Tariq Ramadan

We are self-critical, but we are unhappy in an emotional way, so it's not structured, it's not sophisticated. We need to be able to confront some of our interpretations. There is such diversity in Islam so we have to be constructively self-critical in a rational and structured way and not in an emotional defeated way, as victims.....

A Year with the Quran
Souheila al-Jadda

A Year with the Quran
Souheila al-Jadda

I wouldn’t say “learn the Quran” because that would be presumptuous. But to read and debate particular issues with the sheikh is probably closer to the point. I’d written on Muslims and Islamic societies for about 17 years as a journalist. …

 
Is Islamic Terrorism A Myth?
Ludwig Watzal Interviews Elias Davidsson

Not many people have the guts to question the official narrative of the attacks committed on 9/11 in the United States of America, in London, Madrid, Mumbai or elsewhere, which governments attribute to Islamic terrorists. Elias Davidsson is one of those,...

India’s Creativity Faces Pakistan-like Threats: Javed Akhtar
Jawed Akhtar

Recently, i was part of a TV discussion. I told the panel that the scene i’d written in Sholay, where Dharmendra is behind an idol, talking to Hema Malini in a temple, well, today i would not write that scene. There’ll be many people up in arms, saying this is an attack on their belief. One thought such things happened only in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan – it’s sad that it’s taking place in our society......

 

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 is a severely misunderstood historical figure who has suffered perhaps more than any of the other Mughal rulers from present-day biases. There are two main reasons why Sanskrit ceased to be a major part of Mughal imperial life during Aurangzeb’s rule. ....

Muslims Up, Hindus Down: The Perils of Reading the Census as Sensex

In an interview to The Wire, ex-bureaucrat, former secretary of the Planning Commission and currently Supreme Court Commissioner for Food Security N.C. Saxena tells Chitra Padmanabhan that there are many more factors affecting the population growth rate than just the natural ones. Chief among these factors are regional patterns of population growth in India, the urban-rural dimension, and migration. Excerpts from the interview:

Former Secretary Of The Planning Commission And Currently Supreme Court Commissioner For Food Security N.C. Saxena

 
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Islam and Meditation
Special Correspondent New Age Islam

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Islam and Meditation

The ‘Indwelling God’ is a philosophical concept and not an established fact. If the concept of the indwelling God was factual, then every person should have experienced that God. However, there are only few persons who make this claim. People at large have never had this experience. Everyone knows that thirst and hunger are indwelling realities. So, had God been an indwelling fact, we would have been able to realize God just as we realize thirst and hunger. If only few people claim that they have realized that God dwells in them, while the larger part of humanity has not experienced this, it means that the concept of indwelling God is not correct.....

Fundamentalism Is a Great Menace That Threatens Peace and Harmony between People of Different Religious Persuasions
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

The first challenge that Muslims, and with them the whole human community, must face according to me, if they do not want to sink deeper into irrationality, is an intellectual challenge. As I have said, it seems that the troubles that we are seeing in West Asia today, and even more elsewhere, will be repeated as long as the sources that feed fundamentalism are not purified and healed. It can be compared, when it expresses itself through violence, to a new form of Nazism because of the methods used and because of its promotion of racial and religious hatred: attacks against places of worship and culture ...

According to Çeviköz, stories and comments with a “neo-Ottomanism” theme appeared in the Western media extensively following Turkey's regional policy of 2002-2009 due to Turkey's successful foreign policy that resulted in temporary membership in the UN Security Council. Such coverage contributed to “a boost in confidence” among Turkish leaders......

 

Palestine ‘Shocked’ At Indian Abstention
Suhasini Haider

We were shocked. The Palestinian people and the leaders, we were very happy with the UN resolution, but the voting of India has broken our happiness. India is a very special country for us, and its abstention from voting can be termed as a departure from India’s traditional position on Palestine that has remained unwavering since the last seven decades. The India-Palestine relationship is built on mutual trust, respect and common cause against colonialism. And it has remained steadfast irrespective of what political disposition is in power.....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

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