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Interview

Egypt Salafist Party Leader Defends Decision to Back Sisi
Enas Hamed

When it comes to electoral alliances, we have no problem with opening channels of communication and forming alliances with prominent political parties. However, according to the conditions and standards set by the party, we currently have no proposals for potential alliances with specific parties. The claims about the Nour Party allying with the leftist National Progressive Unionist Party and the liberal Conference Party are unfounded……

 

‘Revoking Article 370 Means Burning the Bridge between J&K and India’
Praveen Swami

Well, if Mr. Modi goes ahead and fulfils his poll promises, he will end up severing Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the country. That is what Mr. Modi will do. He has promised to revoke Article 370 from the Constitution, which means that the constitutional bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian Union will be destroyed. This basically means that the structure of Jammu and Kashmir’s position in the Indian Union will be undermined…..

 

Former Muslim Alom Shaha: Why Atheists Should Care About Anti-Muslim Prejudice
Chris Stedman

Although I am an atheist, I nevertheless find it distressing that people can be contemptuous of all Muslims based on their own prejudices about what it means to be Muslim. Some atheists are guilty of this ideological categorization, too, and it bothers me that some of those who really should know better feel that Muslims and non-Muslims cannot, by definition, get along…..

Hamid Mir himself has never been above controversy. He is known to have liaisons with some unseemly characters like Malik Ishaq of LeJ, which cannot perhaps be explained away on the ground of an exercise in investigative journalism. He has been described as India-phobic and Indian agent in the same breath. Some people insist vehemently that he is an ISI agent, and claim to have proofs to back their claim. But what can be said without fear of contradiction is that he has had close relations with Osama and other Al Qaida figures....

 

Q: How did Islam come to be used as a justification for terrorism among Saudis?

A: It is a matter of how a group of so-called clerics interpret, or misinterpret, Islam. In Surat Al 'Imran of our Holy Book, it says, "No one knows [the Qur'an's] true interpretation except God, and those who are well-grounded in knowledge say, 'We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord.'" But some clerics stop in the middle of the verse, and just say, "No one knows [the Qur'an's] true interpretation except God and those who are well-grounded in knowledge." Then they put it to you that they alone are well-grounded in knowledge, and go on to use the half-sentence as a divine mandate for their own authority. If we claim that our religion is a peaceful religion, calling for peace between nations and between religions, then these false foundations need to be addressed…..

Jimmy Carter Talks About Iran, Campus Rape, Jesus Christ and the Paintings of W.
Elizabeth Dias

But unfortunately there have been interpretations of what Jesus did by very wonderful theologians that wrote individual letters to individual churches all across Asia minor and so forth, that can be misinterpreted and to prove by male religious leaders that women should not be equal in the eyes of God…..

 

That is why we should all work according to our abilities to save the young people who are lured by paradise, virgins, the defence of oneness and loyalty and disavowal. You should open the eyes of our young people to the real Islam - the Islam of love and compassion and charity - not the Islam of bombing and killing and cruelty…..

 

“Allah Makes Muslims, Allah Makes Queers”: A Interview with Terna Tilley-Gyado of Coming out Muslim
Terna Tilley-Gyado

I’m currently based in Boston area and I’m actually also a student, studying to become a therapist in the global mental health field. I am especially interested in working with LGBT folks, particularly refugees and asylum-seekers. I consider myself a practicing Muslim and a dervish of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order. I converted to Islam nearly 15 years ago…..

 

"I do not consider that there is a chance lost by Hezbollah, because I think there weren't a chance even. Yes, our idea is to employ the respect that we got in the interest of promoting a culture of resistance in the Arab and Muslim world. Hence we are open to the national and Islamic forces.....

 

Seymour Hersh Reveals Potential Turkish Role in Syria Chemical Strike That Almost Sparked US Bombing
Amy Goodman

Here’s what’s scary about it. What’s scary about it is the military community—I know that the Southern Command, etc., were very worried about this possibility. The war is going badly for some of these jihadist groups. They obviously—more than al-Nusra, other groups obviously have the capacity now to manufacture sarin, with the help of Turkey, and the fear is that as the war goes bad, some of this sarin—you can call it a strategic weapon, perhaps; when used right, it can kill an awful lot of people very quickly—is going to be shipped to their various units outside of Syria. …..

 
Social Struggles in Indonesia, Women Workers and the Left
Alex de Jong, Wolfgang Alles, Zely Ariane

There are attempts to give a political expression to the workers movements worth mentioning. The first is the “workers go political” approach of FSPMI, the metal workers union. They encourage their members to be parliamentary candidates for any political party that agrees with a platform put forward by FSPMI. The agreement includes that the FSPMI candidacy will only obey the union, and not the political parties on whose ticket they are running…..

 

Mona Eltahawy:  Many Governments Are Confused They Don’t Know What to Do About Egypt
Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian-American writer

What you’re seeing in Egypt now is people continuing to be willing to pay their lives to have that ... to demand accountability and to demand that government listen to you. And so you can’t be anywhere in the world and be watching this and not have to ask yourself, ‘What would I do if I were in that position? Would I also be that courageous and would I also be willing to pay with my life, with my physical safety, in order to ensure that my country is being run the way that I want it to be run?'….

 

If an infant in a cradle can be a prophet (Issa AS), then why an eight-year-old child can not be the Imam? It is not strange. Although we may not accept this belief as we are Sunni. However, this belief does not harm their Islam, and they are Muslims.....

Ulema have a very important role in keeping societies – especially various sects of Muslims – knit together by spreading Islam in its true spirit. If Ulema do not perform their role well, people will kill each other as they are doing in various nations right now…..

 

Fethullah Gülen on Arab Uprisings, the Sunni–Shi’ite Sectarian Tensions, Radicalism, and Conservative Islam
Manuel Almeida

Treating religion as a political ideology is the greatest betrayal against religion, as it amounts to reducing Islam to a simple or lowly set of principles and caricaturing it. The role of the centuries-long colonialism in this should be noted. Indeed, the tendency to reduce religion to politics and to resort to violence is more prevalent in countries which were colonized in the past. To our dismay, the violence by these radical groups is sometimes given wider coverage in the media when compared to the vast majority of Muslims, who do not approve of them….

Fethullah Gülen on Hizmet Movement, Hanafi School of Islam and the Relationship between Islam, Politics and Democracy
Manuel Almeida

Let me put it blatantly: If Muslims can freely cherish their religion, perform their religious duties and rituals, establish institutions defined by their religion, teach their religious values to their children or other aspirants, speak their mind about their religion in public debates, and make religious demands in compliance with laws and democracy, then they do not have to try to establish a religious or “Islamic” state....

AAP and the Indian Muslims
Humra Quraishi

Together with Kejriwal's anti - Modi stand, the fact that he is talking of the Bijli - Paani - Sadak issues has helped build the connect. For let’s not overlook the fact that a great majority of the Muslim population of this country survives in under - developed Bastis and Mohallas and ghettos. He is talking of relevant issues which affect their daily lives.…..

My initial reaction was disbelief. My work is always in verite and focused solely on characters. We started following eight characters in January 2011 in Tahrir Square. Their trajectory would determine whether there would even be a film. It's been a tough road but a truly gratifying one. There were so many other great films that were shortlisted [for the Oscar nomination] and just as deserving…..

Qadeer Baloch: ‘If There Is a Referendum in Balochistan, People Will Vote For Independence’
Meena Menon

People are calling me a RAW [Research & Analysis Wing] agent and they think I get money from some agency. I don’t know this RAW and I have not seen or met anyone from there. I don’t need funds — there are over 19,000 missing people and their families contribute to the organisation and we also raise contributions.....

 

What we have is the war of terror. And the terrorists really have been the UK and the US armed forces and the governments behind them. I actually think that the risks have escalated. We have hypocrisy of the war on terror has been played out in the places like Libya and Syria where the West, the UK and certainly the US has been allied with Islamic fundamentalists. Those who were on the ground and killing civilians, raping women and children, the guys that killed Muammar Gaddafi and obviously those tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries in Syria, these are all supposedly our enemy and yet we have been supporting them, we have been financing them.....

 

Most Ulema Are Reactionary, but We Need To Reach Out To Them and Explain the Urgent Need for Their Role to Be Progressive: Peace Activist and Writer Dr Javed Jamil
Dr Javed Jamil

Muslims are the most backward and poor people of India. Though there are certain structural biases and prejudices against them, they themselves have given up the struggle that could lead to their betterment and progress. Muslims have media like Peace Tv and Etv Urdu and scores of journals and newspapers in print, but it is a sign of their apathy that Muslims never discuss national Issues, confronting the whole country. The minority syndrome is so deeply embedded among Muslims that they can’t think beyond smaller community issues confronting them. The need of the hour is to develop media that can be an alternative to the mainstream media and discuss national issues. Till then the stereotyping by media will continue and Muslims will suffer…..

Interview on Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s Spiritual Journey into Islam and the Life of Prophet Muhammad
Craig Considine

Eventually, I came across the Qur'an, and I was convinced that Islam was the religion that had always resided in my heart. I remember the actual moment that I recognized my primordial nature. It was during a ski trip to Vermont. I had been reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X for weeks. I finished it in the car, closed the book and said to myself: "I am a Muslim." I was sixteen years of age. From that moment forward, I would be an observant Muslim known in Islamic circles as Ilyas 'Abd al-'Alim Islam…..

However, once Germany develops its own Islamic theology, then this will provide impetus for debates on Islam and modernity in Turkey and other Islamic countries. These will be the mid- to long-term effects once these chairs have found their place in the German academic landscape. Critical perspectives and methods from Christian theology, as well as comparative aspects of culture and religion may play a role. This will enrich Islamic theology....

 

Pervez Hoodbhoy: ‘Running Nuclear Reactors near Karachi Can Be Worse Than Storing Bombs’
Mohammad Shehzad

The risk may be medium or even low, but the consequences of an accident are extremely high because of the plant’s location. Nevertheless, our government has been successfully enticed into the deal because the Chinese are dangling a $6.5 billion soft loan – which is greater than the annual budget of the Pakistan Army. This means that we will not seriously consider alternative means of energy production, such as wind power, which exist aplenty in Pakistan but need capital……

 

Abdullah Anas: Jihad, Then and Now
Tam Hussein

We realised it was not about carrying Kalashnikovs and calling for fighters. I remember when I came back from my first trip to Mazar-i-Sharif in 1984, and writing a report to Sheikh Abdullah Azzam saying we needed a hundred Muslims with the following skills: aid worker, political [operative], mentor and proselytizer, in addition to being a bridge between the Afghans and the outside world. These men were to be like ambassadors in the twenty-nine provinces of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, we failed in this; otherwise the outcome might have been different.....

 
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