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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

True Secularism, Indonesian Style
Sreeram Chaulia

Unlike in theocratic Islamic nations, where the state machinery allies with the mosque and imposes strict restrictions and codes on personal behaviour to make religiosity overwhelming, Indonesia’s secular republic strove to emphasise that Ramzan’s observation must not hamper the syncretic identity of the country. An archipelago where 95 per cent of the population is Muslim was at pains to ensure that the remaining five per cent should not feel elbowed out as second-class citizens.....

 

Continued violence against these groups is a testament of President Joko Widodo’s failure to keep his promises, which include protecting the rights of marginalized communities and the principles of pluralism and diversity. Plurality and the protection of minority is the raison d’etre of Indonesia’s existence and continue to unite its people as a nation......

 

However, as the Ulama gained strength in PAS, a religious differentiation of sorts took place in the party with serious political ramifications. Malay/Muslims, especially the professionals came to be looked upon as the “real” enemy of the Ulama group. This differentiation became much more pronounced after PAS joined forces with DAP and PKR to form a loose coalition called Pakatan Rakyat....

 

Sectarian clashes in Bengal and Bihar: Removing imam from a mosque and preventing the burial of a Muslim on sectarian lines lead to violence

It’s time community leaders came forward and reined in the aggressive ulema who want to replace Barailvi imams from mosques that cater to people who used to be overwhelmingly Barailvi until a couple of decades ago. Muslim graveyards should be available to all Muslims, regardless of sectarian beliefs or faith (aqeeda). No Mullahs have the right to decide who is a person of good aqeeda or bad aqeeda or practicing or non-practicing. Barailvi ulema too should be stopped from following their regressive and reactionary politics, damaging the society further, already reeling under a militant fundamentalist onslaught. 

Indian Muslim society should not be following regressive trends in Pakistani society while we have not followed progressive trends from Pakistan as in the case of change in Personal Law which used to be the same Anglo-Mohammedan law in the sub-continent before  General Ayyub Khan’s reforms in Pakistan. 

Missing Persons: A Burning Issue of Public Importance
Faisal Siddiqi

Baloch insurgents allege that there are around 12,000 to 14,000, and the Islamic militants allege that there are several thousand enforced disappearances. There is little evidence to support such exaggerated numbers. Firstly, the second Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance had 801 alleged enforced disappearance cases pending before it as of October 2013. Secondly, there were about 721 alleged enforced disappearances cases pending before various courts as of December 2013, and these cases overlap with cases before the commission....

 
Only Way Forward
Abbas Nasir

Therefore, when such a security set-up was tasked with also dealing with the Baloch insurgency, seen as secular in its ethos, the proxies that were sought out, armed and empowered had to have religion at their heart by definition. The loyalty of such proxies in Afghanistan and India-held Kashmir had been long established, even if the long-term disaster they turned out to be is hardly ever acknowledged by the creators....

 

Murder and Mayhem in Balochistan
Dr Mohammad Taqi

On the Shia/Hazara massacres issue, the duo consistently harps on about the security establishment’s line that it is ostensibly an ‘Iran-Saudi proxy war’ without ever showing how many — if any at all — the Hazaras have ever killed. On the other hand, in its two years’ stint, the sham nationalist dispensation of the NP has failed to apprehend and punish even a single killer of the Hazara Shias....

 

It is time Muslims understood these warnings of the Quran and shunned sectarianism to move towards real unity in the midst of a multitude of diverse ideas and interpretations. It is simply not possible to have an entire community of 1.6 billion think alike on all issues. But it is possible to have acceptance of differences, and happy coexistence, as is the case with civilised communities the world over. Let us leave the seventh-century Arab tribalism that Islam came to annihilate.....

If Hezbollah wants to protect the Shiites, then it must accept that a new reality is taking form in Lebanon and all around it. The party cannot enlist its community in perpetual war against its surroundings and hope to win. Nor should Christians go along with such a mad, suicidal project. For once Christians have a key role to play as conciliators between Sunnis and Shiites. That’s their best safeguard against elimination....

 

No, Hamza Ali Abbasi, You Cannot Shame Us for Talking about Pakistan’s Minorities Too!
Kashif Chaudhry

However, they don’t seem to bat an eye on the treatment meted out to our own minorities on home soil. Tell them the Rohingya Muslims identify as Shia Muslims or Ahmadi Muslims, and the fury and passion will magically dissipate in an instant. Some might even start justifying the persecution. For these right-wing Pakistanis, hypocrisy and double standards continue to be prominent themes even in issues related to human persecution....

 

The honour of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is misplaced when it kills Ahmedis, Shias or the Kalash people because of their faith. This honour is misrepresented when silence prevails over the killing of Palestinians and the Rohingya Muslims. This honour is misused when US-made weapons are used against the Muslims in Yemen by the Saudis to consolidate their power in the region. And honour is trampled upon when Islam is used in the name of blasphemy to extort profit or settle personal scores....

 

What is Good Enough Reason for Massacre?
Zehra Abid

Terrorist attacks have become such an accepted reality in this country that we are now forced to find reasons about why people should not be killed. Since the attack on Ismailis in Karachi there have been conversations in the media, on social media, between family and friends, about why Ismailis should not have been harmed. These conversations are hinged on what Ismailis have done for Pakistan and how the religious sect contributes to society at large....

 

Balochistan: Sanguinary Faultlines

Amidst disappearances, torture and indiscriminate artillery attacks, the Baloch stand hardened in their separatist resolve. As the Government decides to further entrench militarization by launching its "grand operation", the ethnic problem in Balochistan is bound to worsen. The butchery in Mastung suggests that ethnic minorities are now at risk across the Province....

 
Rohingyas and Ahmedis
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Rohingyas and Ahmedis
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The public opinion in Pakistan, however, is up in arms against this grave humanitarian tragedy. It is tragic that when it comes to discrimination Pakistanis are unable to put their own house in order. Consider the similarities in the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to the treatment of Ahmedis in Pakistan since 1984 and earlier....

Exodus of Religious Minorities from Pakistan
Obed Suhail

If we want Pakistan to be a safe sanctuary for the religious minorities that chose to stay in this county at the time of partition, then we must understand and address the maltreatment that forces them to flee their homes. Some of the biggest challenges include discriminatory laws, intolerance, militancy and lack of political will to safeguard the interests of these communities. There is an urgent need to enable all religious minorities to practice their faith freely and without fear....

 

Mastung: More Massacres, More Denial
Hassan Raza

Still, every time an attack of a sectarian/ethnic nature takes place in Pakistan, we witness a jingoistic brigade turning up with their rather mindless rhetoric about how calling the dead "Shia" or "Pakhtun", as in the recent case, would "affect" national unity....

 

Will the Houthis abandon Ali Abdullah Saleh?
Manuel Almeida

His story is unconvincing. The Saudis, who rightly blame Saleh for helping the Houthis to overthrow the Yemeni government and spreading a senseless war across the country, have taken a clear position on his future: he must leave. Only a day after the Saudi-led air strikes begun, Saleh made an offer to negotiate a political settlement between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia that fell on deaf ears....

 

Sowing the Whirlwind in the Middle East
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Daesh is only looking to exploit and expand it. Every time an issue and conflict, from Iraq to Yemen and Syria to Lebanon, is cast and portrayed in sectarian terms, the extremists win. When Muslims are divided in terms of Sunnis and Shias and fly at each other’s throats, it is Islam that stands to lose....

 

Shia Sunni Takfiriyat Not Acceptable
Mike Ghouse

Prophet assigned you and me to read and understand the Quran, and he knew that we all will have a different understanding of it based on our own experiences. No one has a right to declare other’s tradition as false or heretical. That is the Job of Allah, not yours. If you do that, you are assuming to be his deputy, an associate of God, or a partner of God and that is not acceptable to any Muslim other than men like you. Unless you have an appointment letter from Allah, your declaration is not acceptable to any....

Middle East Suffers Sectarian Meltdown
Bill Stewart

It is true that barbarism has often followed in the wake of religion. Right now, it is Islam that is in the dock, as sectarianism tears Syria and Iraq apart and the forces of the Islamic State militants shoot and behead their captives in a deliberate orgy of terror....

 

The Sunni-Shiite divide has hardened as Shiites have consolidated and monopolized power – creating the conditions for IS to seize earlier this month Ramadi, the capital of Anbar and of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland. Calling the divide “a very old debate” that many Muslim scholars once thought was nearly forgotten, Masmoudi says sectarian tensions won’t abate until regional powers stop stoking them. Those regional powers are primarily Shiite Iran, he says, but also Iran’s rival, Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia....

 

The Necessity of Tolerance among Muslims: Hazrat Said Nursi on Bridging the Sunni and Shi’a Sectarianism
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

Hazrat Nursi reminds both Shi’as and Sunnis (and indeed all Muslims) that the purpose why they should always be in harmony with each other is for the realization of the success and victory (faith) of Islam in this present world. Amity and fraternity among all Muslim groups (Jamaat) are for the purpose of Ittihad Muhammadi (unity of all the followers of Prophet Muhammad). All Muslims are Ahl-al Qiblah (people of one direction and perspective); thus, they should manifest this oneness of mind and heart at all times (Cf. Damascus Sermon, op. cit.). In Hazrat Nursi’s Damascus Sermon, he plainly states that when the worldwide Islamic Ummah will comply with this call of unity, then Nusrat (help) from Allahu Taala will come from on high, and will make the Muslim Ummah victorious once again.....

Terrorism myth and the ISIL war advances warrant rethinking and nobody is ready to face the reality check. Facts speak the language of reality loud and clear. Time and history are not on the side of American-led war adventures and humanitarian disasters happening daily throughout the Arabian Peninsula. All war monsters are on the losing end. None can explain logically why and for what purpose are they engaged in humanitarian catastrophes. Logic seeks truth....

 
Deadly Delusions
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Deadly Delusions
Dr Mohammad Taqi

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has already raised concerns about the increasing civilian casualties in the ongoing operation in Kalat, Balochistan. On the other hand, by delinking the brutal sectarian slaughter of the Ismaili Shias from endemic rabid Jihadism, the state gets to skirt its responsibility to confront and control the latter. Conceding, on the state’s part, the bitter truth that sectarian killers such as those who perpetrated the Safoora Chowk massacre are but a subset of the rampant and increasingly virulent jihadist milieu will require soul-searching and correcting policies that have taken Pakistan from one disaster to another....

 

The Sectarian Divide Threatens Saudi National Unity
Khaled Almaeena

We cannot allow this hatred to spread anymore. We must not stand idly by while evil men who are bent on rending our social fabric continue with their destructive deeds. Many of us had hoped that the Center for National Dialogue would play a bigger role in addressing the sectarian divide and in uniting our nation….

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Dear sister Teresa, Thanks for this meaningful review. I hope this review will encourage both serious readers and peace....
    ( By SAJID ANWAR )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Taj Mahal's deterioration is symbolic of a paradigmatic shift in our values.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is so dumb really Turks, Arabs and Persians are not...
    ( By What? )
  • Dear Sister Teresa, You have wonderfully given the gist of the book and created curiosity among the readers ....
    ( By Rajat Malhotra )
  • An anti-reform AIMPLB gives Islam a bad name and is like a curse on the Muslim community. We need new leadership.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • ully agree with this press bulletin. Indian Muslims must reject the leadership of such regressive clerics.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus Sb says: “The way you are speaking in your comment shows you are not a Muslim.” From what I say, he can....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus Sb says: Those who say, fitna means “shirk” and opine that the early Muslims fought to end fitna” must have meant “to end that ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write this, G-d is known ...
    ( By Lenny SB )
  • Please read my article on subject of "there is no compulsion in Religion...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Related article...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Please read my comment again and again. You did not get my comment. I did not say both...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Arbitration is of two kinds - binding and non-binding. When the parties choose binding arbitration, the decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • All right thinking Muslims must welcome such a course. Academic independence of the Universities must be protected and respected. There ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Referring to your comment: 7/18/2018 5:04:08 AM, to you both views are valid and fitna could mean “shirk or polytheism” also. The Quran clearly commands ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What do I mean by acceptance? Read the Quran carefully. There isn’t any verse that calls for tolerance of the peaceful rejecter of Islam. There ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The title question sums up the matter of the article. The answer is the course will discuss in detail how Muslim clerics and fundamentalists misinterpret ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Site Web Israel and Myanmar give more rights to muslims, than muslims give rights to Kafirs,...
    ( By Shan Barani )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write,..
    ( By Lenny SB (Shivarsi) )
  • I fully agree with Faizur Rahman sahib. Such "courts" should be called "Arbitration centers.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A course on "Uses of religions to gain political power" would be entirely appropriate. By the way, Obama refused to use the label "Islamic....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • بہت بہت شکریہ جناب! اللہ عز و جل آپ کے مبارک کلمات کو مستجاب کرے۔ آمین بجاہ سید المرسلین صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم
    ( By misbahul Huda quadri )
  • fve questions
    ( By hats off! )
  • بہت عمدہ ۔ اللہ تعالی ہم مسلمانوں کو صوفیائے کرام کے نہج پر شریعت و طریقت کو سمجھنے اور اس پر عمل کرنے ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Mushrik and muwahhid, Muslims and non-Muslims all equally need to adopt the path of tolerance. One sided tolerance is not helpful. This point should also ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Az-Zuhri informed him from Urwah bin Az-Zubayr and other scholars that (until there is no more fitnah) the Fitnah ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • An excellent read that contextualises many pertinent issues connected to Muslims and Islam! Your angle ....
    ( By Meera )
  • Naseer sb, Can you suggest me how many books have you read on theology? From your comments it appears you have been inspired by orientalist ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sahib, What is theology? Why do you use theology in general term? In your comment you meant that those who follow theology are following ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Before I say anything further, could you please explain your questions? What do you mean by acceptance?....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Tolerance in Muslim society earlier was because of low level of outward piety. Intolerance grows as the level of outward piety grows. Outward piety is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Muslim nation (with the exception of one or two Muslim countries) as a whole has been blind and deaf to the above advice and ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I fully agree with Rashid sahib.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • At this rate Hats Off may soon get some insight into his unquenchable hatred of Muslims.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is the time when the anti-Muslim hate propaganda of the BJP/RSS is at full blast to cover up for the absence of any acchhe ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent book review! As the reviewer says, "secularism cannot be used as a pretext to ignore discrimination on grounds....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very true.
    ( By Sahab Ali Khan )
  • Read Ghulam Mohiyuddin Sb's comment. He is saying the same thing. So, can you speak of acceptance rather than tolerance? Will the Muslims accept ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb, You always express your wrath by the word ‘bigoted’. It is your style and I should ignore it with the faith in this ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )