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Interview

Well, Wahhabism goes back as a sect, a fanatical sect, to the Ottoman Empire. And the common kind of wisdom in the Middle East is that the British secret service used Wahhabism as a way to create divisions and unrest within the Ottoman Empire. And one of the things that's often not understood about these Wahhabi religious leaders made an alliance with the House of Saud, basically just bandits at the time, giving them religious legitimacy which they needed in order to control Mecca and Medina....

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Islam, Muslims, Interfaith Relations and Peace
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Islam, Muslims, Interfaith Relations and Peace
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

Those Muslims who refer to others as Kafir or Ghair Muslim are committing a sin. This is because according to the Quran and Hadith, all persons are children of Adam, which makes all human beings blood sisters and blood brothers to each other. ...

Moderate Islam is possible. We should welcome that. We have reformist views within Islam. It’s not impossible to revive that tradition....

 

Yes, the idea of an inclusive India and our democracy have definitely staved off the threat of IS and its ilk – but this may change in a few years, if more Hindutva voices keep complaining about Akbar, Kabir, etc., and talking of Muslims as ‘outsiders’, if democratic institutions are hobbled, and if the insidious influence of petro-dollars on Muslims is not faced up to.  Let us not be complacent.  India is many ideas – not all of them are peaceful or cohesive....

 

One of democracy’s prerequisites is awareness of cultural, religious and ethnic diversity – lest democracy turns into majoritarianism. We must celebrate plurality – this can be done only by promoting minority studies though. ....

 

The violent death of Amjad Sabri, an artiste who gave so much to music, is shameful for Pakistan. He memorably sang the famous Qawwali ‘Bhardo Jholi Meri Ya Muhammad, Tere Dar Se Na Jaoonga Khali’ – but what has Pakistan given him? Bullets in his chest....

 

The Prophet Muhammad (saws) was considered even by his enemies to be an honest man, so much so that they trusted him with their valuables despite being at war with him. For us as Muslims, it’s important to let non-Muslims judge us from our actions, not our words. The best way for that, I believe, is to expose them to our Muslim hospitality, especially during Ramadan.....

 

God recognizes the liberty of its subjects to choose with their free will. In the Quran people have the freedom of even being without a faith. What is being done by pressure has no value for God. By forcing Islam on people you end up creating hypocritical people....

Talaq Must Go Through the Court Of Law
Bader Sayeed
Talaq Must Go Through the Court Of Law
Shobha Warrier

'My religion is great and it has given a lot of rights to women, but these intermediaries are interpreting it wrongly and ruining it.' 'I have great faith in our judiciary. I am sure they will see through the drama of men.'...

 

Muslims are too busy crying ‘Islamophobia’ rather than tackling jihad or other issues including domestic violence, mental health and women’s rights. These are the real issues for us as Muslims – it’s not about Hijabs or making sure western culture embraces us more. It’s about human dignity...

 

Our crisis stems from the inability to reconcile with others, with modern life, and first and foremost, with ourselves. Even though we lead a modern life, the foundations of our minds are traditional, belonging to another age. Therefore, some sort of schizophrenia is inevitable...

Ramadan is more than abstinence from food and drink during the hours of daylight. It is a time for contemplation, devotion and remembrance of God, especially through the reading or recitation of the Quran. Tending to the welfare of the less fortunate members of the community, giving to the poor....

 
God Is Not A Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…
Emeritus Desmond Tutu
God Is Not A Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…
Grant Schreiber

Peoples’ interpretation of religion can change, but I don’t believe the role of religion is changeable. Religion does not just concern one’s personal relationship with God; it’s more about the manner in which we interact with others – about our broader responsibilities to the human family and the earth we share....

 
Globalization Is Very Much In Accordance With Divine Culture
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

Globalization is very much in accordance with divine culture. This is because for the past thousands of years, the divine message had remained restricted to the local level. Globalization made it possible to disseminate the divine message to people at a global level through various means....

 

Just because Sunnis and Shias disagree on certain points of theology does not preclude them from working together to face the existential threat that is facing all of us equally. When the US invaded Iraq in 2003 with their “shock and awe” carpet bombing campaign, they didn’t care if the people buried in the rubble were Sunni or Shia. When a new atheist like Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins rants about the “evil of Islam,” they don’t make any distinction between Sunni or Shia. ....

Muslim countries have adopted a “We-They” concept with respect to non-Muslim minorities. This concept is anachronistic to the modern world. The concept of today's age is “We-We”, that is, equal human rights for all.....

Prosecution is difficult in a system where Jihadis targeting India are seen as 'the good guys'. Yes, Secretary Rice had told Islamabad to shut down all terrorist operations. But that wasn't the first time and certainly not the last. Pakistan has persisted with the same policy since the 1990s. When pushed by US on terror: first deny, then list Pakistani grievances, bring up Kashmir and blame India, provide commitments and assurances and end again with denial.....

ISIS and Women
Rafia Zakaria
ISIS and Women
Katty Alhayek

To give you a concrete example, when they talk about the veil, for instance, the discourse surrounds the questions: Is it required? Is it in the Quran? Is it Islamic? So there is a reduction of this idea to a doctrinal question....

 
Interfaith Relations in Lebanon: Ancient, Tragic, Diverse, But Hopeful
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam
Interfaith Relations in Lebanon: Ancient, Tragic, Diverse, But Hopeful
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

And yet, one can sense something else beneath the surface when looking out upon these Phoenician, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Ottoman, and finally modern ruins. . .all in the same place. . a place that connects, as you have mentioned in your question, significant mosques (Shiite and Sunni) and churches (Catholic and Orthodox)....

 

Islamic fanatics are against human rights, women’s rights, free speech and democracy. Islamic fanatics are against everything Indian liberals stand for – but liberals strangely sympathise with them....

 

So he gave me a dusty, old, thick copy of Tagore’s Gardener. He must have thought I wouldn’t understand this and I especially wouldn’t be able to finish it off in one day. The moment I started reading Tagore’s poems, Woh Kahin Mujhe Lag Gayi....

 
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: Religion Should Not Be an Issue in Dealing with Terrorism
Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: Religion Should Not Be an Issue in Dealing with Terrorism
Abubakar Abdurrahaman Dodo and Amina Alhassan

Well, if you have identified terrorism with Islam, that is a problem and it has become an issue of what means you have to contain the situation. One has to find out if Christians in Nigeria ever committed any act of terrorism. Therefore religion should not form an issue in dealing with terrorism...

 
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: ISIS, Al-Shabab Boko Haram Are Only Using Islam To Justify Terrorism
Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Terrorists Misrepresent Islam: ISIS, Al-Shabab Boko Haram Are Only Using Islam To Justify Terrorism
By Abubakar Abdurrahaman Dodo and Amina Alhassan

It is true that ISIS, al-Shabab, Boko Haram are all using Islam to justify their actions. However, again, this is not something new. There have been groups such as the Hashashin, one of the assassins who have been assassinating rulers across the Muslim empire and they considered themselves to be Muslims; they used Islamic terminology to justify their action. The Qarmatians did the same thing. They attacked Makkah and killed pilgrims and put their bodies into the well of Zam-Zam and took the Black stone away to eastern Arabia for 25 years. You know, they considered themselves to be Muslims. You have the Khawarij during the time of Ali bn Abi Talib.....

 

The men in our community fully exploit women. I have great hopes now that triple Talaq will be abolished in our country. Along with this, the ‘Halala’ tradition, which demands that if a repentant husband wants to remarry his divorced wife, she has to be another man’s wife first before a final comeback, should be repealed completely.....

The Caliphate beyond ISIS (Part Two)
Salman Sayyid
The Caliphate beyond ISIS (Part Two)
Junaid S. Ahmad

Saudi clan ruled through a logic of Kemalism seemed to go against the grain of what they understood about rule from Riyadh. They were more comfortable with idea that Kemalism was to be found among the Ba’thists of Syria and Iraq, Mubarak in Egypt, Qaddafi in Libya, Suharto in Indonesia. The identity of a political project and its meaning is not merely a function of its content, but rather how the content is articulated in relation to other elements. So for example, the Pahlavi regime was dominated by the logic of Kemalism even though it was a monarchy.....

 
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