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Interview

Until And Unless All Jihadis in This Region Are Put Out Of Business, None of Us Is Really Secure: Pakistan's Ex-Ambassador to US Husain Haqqani Speaks About the Battle for Pakistan
Husain Haqqani

My concern has always been how to make sure that Pakistanis are part of the 21st century and not living in some dream world of the 7th or 8th century. Pakistan's raison d'etre shouldn't be some abstract ideology; it should be the prosperity of our people. I'm also here because I'm working at a think tank in Washington DC called the Hudson Institute which has an initiative called 'India, its neighbours and globalisation'. Is this region the outlier in globalisation? Are our problems catching up and holding us back? Are we spending too much energy on our little quarrels? ....

People who say such things can be forgiven. There is extreme hopelessness in our country and people are even disappointed with politicians. The important thing to note is that it is not important whether Malala was shot or not -- Malala is not asking for personal favors or support. She is asking for support with girls' education and women's rights. So don't support Malala, support her campaign for girls' education and women's rights…..

 

‘Indian Hand in Baluchistan? Bring Evidence before the Parliament, SC’
Adnan Farooq

The enormity of conflict in Balochistan has had always been downplayed – and branded as a normal crisis of governance, tribalism and issues of local competition. But we have to understand – that bad governance, tribalism and societal crisis that includes criminalization and Talibanisation are instruments of Islamabad’s larger policy to maintain colonial control.

 

Uri Avnery on Middle East Peace Talks: 'Pessimism Means Nothing to Me'
Uri Anvery

It's always good when Israelis and Palestinians sit down across from each other and negotiate together. When a third party is there, an American, or the UN, or whoever else, then nothing good comes of it – because every third party has its own interests and keeps them in consideration. Unfortunately, there's now no alternative. If the Americans aren't involved, then nothing at all happens….

I have a Muslim for nineteen years. Growing up, I did not know anything about Islam. Nothing about Prophet Muhammad; so, once I came to know was when I read some books about Prophet Muhammad. Then I realized the continuance of all the religions that have come before. I think it was actually very easy to accept Islam....

 

Sectarianism, Sectarian Conflict and Inter-Sectarian Dialogue Among Muslims
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

According to a Hadith report, Muslims will be divided into seventy-three sects, and only one sect will remain on the right path. However, no sect has the right to claim that it is on the right path or that it is what is called the firqah-e-najiyah—the sect that will receive salvation. Those who have differences with other sects have only one right—that is, of peaceful persuasion. If persuasion does not work, then they can do Dua or supplication to God. That is all.....

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Madrasa Education and the Ulema
A Question and Answer Session with Maulana

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Madrasa Education and the Ulema
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Unlike some others, I am not critical of or opposed to the madrasas as such. Muslims need both types of education—religious as well as secular. Muslim children should have knowledge of both their religion as well as secular subjects. There is, of course, no need for all Muslim children to go to full-time madrasas to train to become Ulema. However, some children must do so in order that the tradition of religious learning can be carried on. We need madrasa-trained Ulema who have knowledge of the Quran, Hadith, Islamic jurisprudence and Arabic. As far as the question of madrasa ‘reforms’ is concerned, I really don’t believe in this talk of ‘modernisation’. You certainly cannot ‘modernise’ the Quran and the Hadith. So, I think the word ‘modernisation’ in this context is uncalled for….

'You Either Normalise With China or Normalise With Pakistan’
Stephen P Cohen

I regularly teach American officers in various summer schools, and seven years ago they started telling me, ‘Professor, I’ve served in Afghanistan for a year and the people who were shooting at me were coming from Pakistan. They are our ally. Why are they doing this?’ I would tell them that Pakistan is playing a double game. And that began a slow shift in American opinion about Pakistan. Ironically some Republicans are more anti-Pakistani than the Democrats. It used to be the other way around....

 

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Violent Conflicts in the ‘Muslim World’
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

…violence is condemnable in the absolute sense of the word. I don’t believe in the theory of ‘justified violence’. According to Islamic teachings, there is no justified violence. All cases of violence are wrong. No excuse whatsoever gives a person the license to kill other human beings. According to me, the only option before us is that of peace. War and violence are no options at all….

Partition Is Marked By Memories, Speculation – And Curiosity
Vishwajyoti Ghosh

That exists especially for people who haven't moved from Bangladesh. For them, it is constant speculation. For me, the third construct was curiosity. When I was in Dhaka, they kept asking me, "Do you eat meat in India?", "How much does Shah Rukh Khan charge for his films?" or "When do they fly kites in your country?" …

 

Indonesia’s Terrorism Expert on the Country’s Homegrown Jihadis
Yenni Kwok

When these Afghanistan alumni returned, they brought home Salafist jihadist ideology and Wahhabi religious practice. It created a stir among the DI members at home because they were essentially traditionalist Muslims in the Indonesian sense — they also believed in mysticism….

 

I want to see woman working in the media on an equal basis. Actually, more and more women are entering the media. At university, 90 per cent of those studying journalism are women, but it is the opposite in the media, where 90 per cent are men and only 10 per cent are women….

 
Education: 'Modern' and 'Religious'
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Education: 'Modern' and 'Religious'
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Education can be either formal or informal. With regard to Muslims, for instance, I would think that they must join modern, educational institutions for their formal education, but, at the same time, there should be a system of informal education that can fulfil their spiritual needs. This is the best settlement to balance the two requirements. Formal education will give them the jobs that they want. And, at the same time, informal education will help to build their spiritual or religious personality…..

“Black and White” is about the Indian Muslim woman, who is overcoming all social and religious inhibitions, proving her potential, and creating her identity as an achiever. We have chosen this name to represent the two aspects — outer and inner self. Black signifies the Indian Muslim women’s pain, suffering, inner darkness, suppression, lack of awareness of their rights; white represents awakening to one’s own self, to the light of one’s inner strength and daring to take the necessary steps for one’s rights….

 

The U.S.-Saudi alliance appears to be intended to minimize the influence of the Brotherhood, while creating a counter-balance to the influence of Iran in the Middle East , which Israel also supports….

 
Boko Haram: Threatening West Africa?
Nicholas A. Heras and Jacob Zenn

Assessing Boko Haram’s threat to international security cannot be done without considering its relationship to AQIM, MUJAO, and Ansaru. At this point, however, I do not believe that either Boko Haram or Ansaru is planning attacks outside of Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The international community should, however, watch for “little Boko Harams” emerging elsewhere in West Africa....

 

''The Arab Revolutions Have Triggered a Male Identity Crisis''
Amel Grami

We thought for decades that relative gender equality could be taken for granted in Tunisia. But we now realise that Tunisia is no different from other Arab countries. We used to think of ourselves in Tunisia as a model for progress in the Arab world. Now we see daily evidence of the Islamists' determination to smash that model. But Tunisian women do not want a uniform culture....

 

And what about the fact that this One God seems so far away, and we need intermediaries to arrive to that One God? So they worshiped the other gods as conjugates to direct their prayers to the ultimate God, and Islam said well you don’t need all of these conjugates, and saviours, you just need One God, the Creator of all, to direct your prayers to Him, because wherever you are, He can hear you, He sees you, and He can respond to your prayers....

 

Bush's Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme
Katharine Teresa Gun

I was hoping the British ministers would see the truth and question the actions of Blair and the secret negotiations he was having with Bush at the time. I wanted more transparency on the issue. I wanted people to question what was going on and to generally challenge this bandwagon for a pre-emptive strike against a country that was already very impoverished and no threat to anybody whatsoever….

 

Why Do Westerners Convert to Islam?
Batool al-Toma

Because of all the dreadful situations that had occurred around the world, and have happened because Muslims have interpreted the Qur'an in terms of wanting to carry out these catastrophes for religious reasons. This has triggered many non-Muslims to want to look into Islam to see what this religion says about terrorism, peace, peaceful coexistence with other people from other faiths and so on....

Khaled Hosseini on How the Iraq War Hurt Afghanistan
Khaled Hosseini

The jury is out as to whether the Afghans are up to the task of protecting their people. But it’s very important to point out that the last 12 years have not been a waste. There’s far greater personal freedom in Afghanistan; millions of children are now in school, including girls, which was unheard-of in 2001.....

 

Robert Fisk: 'Syrian War Could Go On For Two, Three Years'
Robert Frisk

This has been going for two and a half years. I think the Americans think that as long as they keep talking, no one will point out that they're not actually doing anything. The problem now for the West is that the rebels they want to support are the Free Syrian Army, allegedly all defectors from the Syrian government army. They do not want to support the Islamist rebels with links to al Qaeda....

 

From Academia to Activism: Kifaya Movement Founding Member George Isaac Speaks About Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood
Michael Adel

Khairat Al-Shater rules Egypt through the MB’s Guidance Bureau. When it was rumoured Al-Shater would become prime minister my response was why. He already rules Egypt. He doesn’t need the title because he’s Egypt’s invisible president....

 

An Interview with Jabhat Al-Nusra: Not Only Shias, Even Sunnis Who Want Democracy Are Infidels and Must Be Killed

Allah knows what will happen to them (Alawites). There is a difference between the basic Kuffar [infidels] and those who converted from Islam. If the latter, we must punish them. Alawites are included. Even Sunnis who want democracy are Kuffar as are all Shias. It’s not about who is loyal and who isn’t to the regime; it’s about their religion. Sharia says there can be no punishment of the innocent and there must be punishment of the bad; that’s what we follow....

Waging Patience, Not Violence:  A New Historical Understanding of Jihad
Asma Afsaruddin

It further helps to undermine the often ideologically-motivated position that Islamic thought is univocal and ossified and that there is a fundamental “clash of civilizations” between a monolithic, frozen Islamic world and a monolithic but dynamic West. Part of the argument I will be making in the book is that if there is indeed a clash of world-views today, then that clash is to be found more among Muslims themselves rather than between Muslims and non-Muslims on a number of critical issues. ...

 
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