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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Unlike the Taliban, who follow the Deobandi and Salafi strains of Islam, Barelvis are relatively tolerant of minorities. Still, when I spoke with Raza Rumi, a commentator and analyst based in Ithaca, he said that blasphemy was a key issue for the Barelvis and that they condone violence to protect religion. .....

 

It cannot be disputed that these governments are responsible for the greater defamation of Islam today, by helping to create the terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Daesh. By shedding human blood and vandalizing the holy graves of prophets and shrines of God's saints across the Muslim world, they continue to defame Islam and Muslims the world over. Thousands of innocent Palestinians have been victims of Israeli- violence over the years. Still, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and other Wahhabi governments are silent onlookers of this dance of destruction. ....

At a place where differences had no significance, we were the guests of God. Hence, we were very careful not to upset our host. We knew none of us, black or white, Shiite or Sunni, rich or poor, were privileged in the presence of God. We were competing to please one another, because we knew that this was also the way to please the Creator....

 

The murderer of Salman Taseer met his fate in Pakistan. Perhaps this was a way for Pakistan's army elite and politicians to deliver a message to official bodyguards that no one would be spared if they killed bosses. However, there is no such message for Shahbaz Bhatti's murderers, since Bhatti belonged to Pakistan's poor Christian community. ....

 
Arabs Must Reject Sectarianism
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
Arabs Must Reject Sectarianism
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

The sectarian divisions that have evolved into armed conflicts and produced armed militias are politically manufactured. Those who would tear us Arabs apart to suit their own agendas are using fiery religious rhetoric for their own ends. We, the citizens of the United Arab Emirates – and all GCC states – have never differentiated between Sunni and Shiite nationals.

 
Balochistan Matters
Hussain Nadim
Balochistan Matters
Hussain Nadim

The fact is that Balochistan can never truly develop, even with ten more of the economic corridors or industrial zones, unless and until there isn’t first a development of human capacity in the province. Infrastructure, rail and roads do not develop the people, it’s the people that develop and maximise the benefit out of infrastructure and other projects.

 
What It Means To Be A Muhajir?
Maria Sartaj
What It Means To Be A Muhajir?
Maria Sartaj

The humans of Karachi are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, a condition where the hostage starts expressing empathy for his captor. Karachites are psychologically ailing on many levels and need healing of all sorts but this can only come from introspection. If he were alive today, Mohammed Ali Jinnah would be considered a mahajir and a person of a persecuted religious minority as well, and this certainly isn’t the Pakistan one’s forefathers moved hundreds of kilometres for.

In Israel, Racism Is the Law
Ben White
In Israel, Racism Is the Law
Ben White

"Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits." To enforce this "two-tier system", the Israeli military conducts nightly raids, detains Palestinians without trial or charge, tortures detainees.....

 

Non-Muslim minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs have been the victims of suicide bomb attacks on their neighbourhoods, and their community members have been converted to Islam against their will. Houses of worship of non-Muslims as well as of Muslim minority sects have been attacked and bombed while filled with worshippers.....

 

From the beginning of the last century, when reformers dominated their civil societies under secular dictators, to the end of it, when they reached back to a more “original” or “pure” Islam while aspiring to democracy, they have seemed to embrace an internecine frenzy. A sliding back to “pure” Islam has inevitably become sectarian between the Sunni majority and the Shia minority, to say nothing of the other deviant sects that get trampled as the big sects brawl.

 

Those who are being oppressed have to be from a similar background. Those who were killed have to share their beliefs. If they do not have identical beliefs, the news of their oppression or genocide deserves a cursory glance and nothing more. “Closing the gap” doesn’t mean for everyone to homogenize their beliefs, it means extending our hands in respect and recognition of the fact that someone from another school of thought is still our equal in faith. ....

Halting the demolitions is therefore vital to ward off any future violations. This settler-dominated Israeli coalition is sniffing every opportunity to expand its settler-colonial empire in the West Bank. The demolitions are one core part of bringing this about and one that Israel has practised around 50,000 times since 1967.....

 

Sectarianism today is a perfect storm — the product of a confluence of factors at play in the region. The first culprit in stoking sectarian conflict is Islamism. This modern-day ideology, born in the 1930s, calls for an ideal Islamic state built on the foundations of Islamic law and Sharia. The Islamic state is a utopian panacea that looks to religion to perfect modernity. But the Islamic state is not a generic idea, as it requires harkening to either Shiite or Sunni conceptions of Islam….

“Daesh didn’t come from the moon,” said Sheikh Faisal Essawi, the mayor of Amiriyat Falluja, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “It did not grow from the earth. Part of our people became Daesh. Because of corruption. Because of injustice. Because of the culture of hate.”....

 

When Shiite mosques issue their five calls to prayer every day, they're amplified through loudspeakers and echo down every street. But the Sunni man who sings the call to prayer for this mosque does it indoors, so few people hear. This worship space is so obscure that some foreign news articles have stated as fact that there is no Sunni mosque in Tehran at all.....

 

Culture develops in amalgams; we are products of all the layers that Islam went through over the years in South Asia. Islam itself has no room for casteism and does not recognise one race as being superior to the other. Hazrat Bilal was a former slave who was the first one to give the Azaan (call for prayer) yet people assume those with darker skin are inferior to them in Zaat (caste)....

But there is one big difference between intra-Muslim and intra-Christian divisions. The former are tending to grow wider, as tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia exacerbates the sectarian chasm in every other place where different forms of Islam coincide, from the civil-war zones of Syria and Yemen to the streets of Beirut and Islamabad. Among Christian leaders, meanwhile, it is generally agreed that everything should be done to overcome division.....

 

... The rub is that it was Sunni Arab tribesmen who eventually came to power in the evolving Muslim community and established the great empires of the Umayyads (661-750) and Abbasids (750-1258). In other words, military prowess trumped divine patrimony.....

 
Saudi Kingdom and the Shia Islamic Republic
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Saudi Kingdom and the Shia Islamic Republic
Yasser Latif Hamdani

It is a great tragedy of the Muslim world that its leadership at this crucial juncture in world history is in the hands of two myopic sectarian states like Saudi Arabia and Iran, more interested in undermining each other than helping their own people secure a better life....

“The Hazaras feel themselves defenceless against the threat facing them,” Mr. Royesh said, pointing to the recent beheadings in the southern province of Zabul of seven Shiite Hazaras, including a 9-year-old girl, by militants linked to the Islamic State. In many other places, the Taliban, the Hazaras’ old nemesis, are resurgent, gaining territory by the week.....

 
Religious Division
Ayesha Fakhar
Religious Division
Ayesha Fakhar

The state of Pakistan must also take strong measures for its perpetual prosperity. The state must ensure that each of its inhabitants is out and out Pakistani with equal rights and responsibilities, belonging to whatever sect and race. The people of our country should remain calm, peaceful and keep a neutral stance because this religious divide can surely fracture the geography of our country as it has fractured Syria.

 
Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: The Long War Continues
Daniel Williams
Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: The Long War Continues
Daniel Williams

In both countries, rule is maintained by strict enforcement of ultra-conservative Islamic social norms. Iranian clerics directly oversee politics and brook no dissent outside their ultra-puritanical version of Shiite Islam. The Saudi monarchy declares itself carriers of a true, purist Islam. Politics are confined to intra-family intrigue;…

 
Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Sectarian Game
Toby Craig Jones
Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Sectarian Game
Toby Craig Jones

The real problem is not just that Saudis are willing to live with violent sectarianism. They are now beholden to it, too. That the kingdom’s leaders have embraced sectarianism so recklessly suggests that they have little other choice. This should be frightening, considering more is likely to be in store. But it should also be clarifying for those who believe that Saudi Arabia is a force for stability in the Middle East. It is not.

 

The blasphemy law, Islam and the state

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Salmaan Taseer’s murder — the death of reason

By Raza Rumi

The IS threat

By Huma Yusuf

Implausible denial

By Express Trubune Editorial

The business of war

By Dr Asad Zaman

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

 
The Ahmadi Conundrum in Pakistan
Saima Baig
The Ahmadi Conundrum in Pakistan
Saima Baig

Blasphemy is a crime in Pakistan, the punishment for which can be death. The law is a leftover of the Indian Penal Code that the British had introduced, and which was later expanded upon by the military dictator Zia ul Haq. More often than not, it is used to target minority communities, especially the Ahmadiyya, who were declared non-Muslims in 1974,...

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Good column! Jamelle Bouie is a very valuable acquisition for NYTimes' op-ed page.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Let us fight this oppression rather than talk about who is more responsible for it
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • When governments pander to orthodoxy, they make good governance impossible.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • @Mohammad Hussain HINDUS HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN HARMONY WITH ALL COMMUNITIES. TROUBLE SHOOTERS GET WHAT....
    ( By Dev Soni )
  • @Na H Il FACTS ARE BASED ON COMMON SENSE, WHICH IS MOST UNCOMMON WITH PEOPLE WHO USUALLY BRUSH IT ASIDE.
    ( By Dev Soni )
  • @ Dev Lmao even rioters nd supporters of mass murderers look concerned abt "harmony" No one can handle...
    ( By Mohammad Hussain )
  • @Dev Soni I would really like to know the fact....
    ( By Na H Il )
  • MADRASSAS ARE THE ROOT CAUSE OF RELIGIOUS FANATICISM AND SHOULD BE BANNED FOR RELIGIOUS HARMONY.
    ( By Dev Soni )
  • Iam humbly requesting all the learned friends please don't waste...
    ( By Attaullah Mahdi )
  • In India secularism means that tolerance of atrocity and exploration...
    ( By Satchidananda Mishra )
  • I think this is the best way to make presence on fb
    ( By Madhukar Sibal )
  • If any nation wants to learn how to treat a minority in times of need, please....
    ( By Ghulam Hussain )
  • Madarasas will flourish till the day of judgement. The critics and anmeies...
    ( By Ashiq Dar )
  • “It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Surely, in the body there is a small piece of flesh....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • This write-up points out to us a very deplorable situation developing in Pakistan. Pakistan has done practically nothing to....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Fully agree that "Oppression of Women Has Nothing to Do With Islam Rather It Is the Consequence of Cultural Practices"
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • The usual meaningless whataboutery from Hats Off!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off maliciously exaggerates "muslim sense of entitlement. and of course their inbred hatred of idolaters and polytheists, ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • by the where were you hiding after the lahore church blast? and under which stone....
    ( By hats off! )
  • islamophobia is the best defence against the islamic/muslim sense of entitlement...
    ( By hats off! )
  • sahih muslim 4-1039. so that is what the favorite wife of the prophet said...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Your criticism of Qutb was lukewarm but your support is firm.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Only the ignorant hatemongers still continue to badmouth CAIR...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • You read the Quran as a slavish literalist but you do not have the wisdom to see....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • You don't even have the sense to see that Pamela Taylor is not a critic of Islam...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • My question arose from your self-invented hypothesis that God sent subsequent....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Only a slavish literalist would call someone an apostate for rejecting words that insult....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Not only were Ilhan Omar's arguments valid, she knows the U.S. Constitution...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The ILO defines "gender equality" as follows: "Gender equality entails the concept....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I wonder how GM sb is blind to my criticism of Syed Qutub. However, I will not throw out the baby with the....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • every facilitator of cair or stealth jihadis by definition speak the truth. just like the "moderates".
    ( By hats off! )
  • I say what Allah says in the Quran about the Quran and about His previous Books. I do not say anything....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You are digressing. Pamela only sees problems and not solutions and the fact that the guidance....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You are the one who raised the question and have the answer as to why the final revelations....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Are you asking questions or taking up a position ? You are rejecting the verses which makes you an apostate. You ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • most of the islamic terrorists quote either hadees or the qur'an. those quoting....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer sb. asks, "What is your basic belief about verse 9:5 which...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sb. is now trying to use the Quran as a weapon of war against me....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sb, asks, "Has GM sb proved that any people of earlier scriptures ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Without seeing a problem, how is one going to find a solution? As I said before...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )