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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Only Tolerance Can Ensure the Survival of Humankind
Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Only Tolerance Can Ensure the Survival of Humankind
Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

In today’s globalised and interdependent world, all of us are aware that human societies are diverse. There are countless differences between people. However, the quality that allows us to accept that other people have the right to say and do as they please is known as tolerance. In simple words, tolerance doesn’t mean agreeing with other people. Instead, it involves with disagreeing with others in a respectful manner....

“We don’t make wine to sell, and we don’t force people to drink,” said Shahi Gul, 50, a mother of six. “We are blamed by the local clerics as using wine to tempt Muslim youth, which is not true. We do this as it is allowed in our religion and culture.” Gul, whose sisters and niece converted to Islam, said she worries about the conversion of so many young Kalashas, especially through marriage. She said girls are “easily converted” by Muslim visitors who woo and marry them....

Shia Hazaras are a Persian-speaking ethnicity of Mongolian decent who immigrated from Bamiyan, the Hazara region of central Afghanistan. Earlier, they had arrived in colonial India as labourers to feed their families; subsequently, they were forced to flee by the tyrant ruler Abdur Rahman Khan. Many Hazaras settled in Quetta, in close proximity to the cantonment area, owing to their employment in the army....

 

What the Supreme Court has done is unprecedented: It has stood up for a poor mother of three trapped in a collective lust for violence. No one could have rescued her, not the president with a pardon, not the prime minister with guts to stand by the targeted Christian community....

 

Pakistani conservatives, emboldened by gains in the general election this summer, goaded the generals into rebelling against the army chief, whom they accused of being an Ahmadi, a persecuted religious minority. They called Prime Minister Imran Khan a “Jew child.”...

 

Justice Khosa’s opinion added, “Blasphemy is a serious offence but the insult of the appellant’s religion and religious sensibilities by the complainant party and then mixing truth with falsehood in the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was also not short of being blasphemous.”...

In the wake of the tragedy of Pittsburgh, the murder of 11 Jewish people at a synagogue in America’s most deadly act of antisemitism, we have heard a repeated cautionary refrain: that words have consequences. Donald Trump’s White House denies that the president’s rhetoric has any impact on reality.

 

Unfortunately, it has become fashionable for sections of the upper middle class and even for some middle-class families to have their child domestic help accompany them to public places. They do this without realising that they are displaying their class arrogance and superiority in a most crude manner.

 

Although the Ahmadis regard themselves as Muslims, their persecution and marginalization is considered legitimate and often encouraged across Pakistan. Against this backdrop, the community has suffered inconceivable persecution in the country. This kind of treatment has remarkably caused international human rights concerns...

What would these great schisms in Christianity and Islam mean to an atheist? Wouldn’t he laugh? What would he be thinking while observing the struggle between a Shiite and Sunni, and later the hundred other “beliefs” that fissured the once monolithic faith emanating from Mecca and Medina?...

 

The justice system fails the blasphemy accused because the accuser is allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner. According to statistics, a large number of blasphemy accused in Pakistan were killed before their respective trials were over. The lynching of university student Mashal Khan over false allegations of blasphemy last year and the killing of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan in 2014 are two instances (there are numerous others) where allegations of blasphemy led to loss of lives in the most brutal way....

In Pakistan, a Christian mother of five who was accused of blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed in 2009 awaits the decision that will mark her fate — but even if she is granted clemency, Islamic hardliners stand prepared to act on their threats against her life and that of the justices who will decide....

"Sunni rulers have viewed with much anxiety the new ‘Shiite crescent' that extends from Iran to Lebanon," said Dr. Ahmad Mousalli from the American University of Beirut, indicating that this is the main reason why the Syrian crisis became more of a regional problem rather than a local one, as it was seen as an opportunity to weaken the Shiites and replace them with a Sunni government....

Europe’s perplexed Pakistanis
Pervez Hoodbhoy
Europe’s perplexed Pakistanis
Pervez Hoodbhoy

Isolation from the mainstream has extracted a price in the general well-being of immigrants, particularly for Pakistan-origin Brits. Muslim school students — of which a full 40 per cent are Pakistanis — have been documented as underachievers. Muhammad Anwar, a social scientist and author of British Muslims and State Policies argues that Pakistani-Brits generally have education achievement levels lying at the low end of all ethnic minorities in Britain.

Situation of Minorities in Bangladesh Is a Human Rights Issue
Tasmiah Nuhiya Ahmed
Situation of Minorities in Bangladesh Is a Human Rights Issue
Tasmiah Nuhiya Ahmed

The status of minorities all over the world has demonstrated a pattern of discrimination and insecurity. Bangladesh is no exception. Violent attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh prompted popular protests at home and abroad, and the minority communities think that it is an attempt to force them to leave the country as in 1971.They fear that the extent of the dreadfulness of attacks on the minorities might exceed what they had seen in 2001...

They opened themselves to the allegation that they do not believe in the finality of the Prophet as the last Messenger of God. They claim MGA was sent to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace just as it is predicted in Islam but they have never questioned the finality of the Prophet’s word. There are four million Ahmadis in Pakistan and 10-20 million around the world....

 

For them this is a slippery slope leading down to the unthinkable: a day when Ahmadis would be accepted as normal citizens of Pakistan. The backlash came from within PTI and from without. The strongest pressure to dismiss Atif Mian came from right-wing and centre-right parties — JUI (F), PML-N, MMA and JI. But even the nominally secular ANP, which lost hundreds of its members to Taliban suicide attacks, hit its political opponent with a religious club....

Naya Pakistan or the Same Old Bigoted Pakistan?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Naya Pakistan or the Same Old Bigoted Pakistan?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Today, it is an Ahmadi; tomorrow it could a Shia. Yet another day it can be the Sufis. There is a problem at the ideological foundation of Pakistan itself. The country will continue to create enemies out of its own people, till the time it actively confronts its past. Pakistan today needs to dialogue with the ghosts of Jinnah and Iqbal and perhaps tell them unequivocally that they were wrong in ways in which they conceptualised Islam as the ideological bedrock of the state of Pakistan....

People have wondered how an economist enjoying the respect of his peers worldwide could be denied inclusion simply because of his faith in Ahmadiyyat. Those who argue that it is consistent with the constitution and laws of Pakistan which describes them as non-Muslims assert that they should not claim to be Muslims. If they accept their status as non-Muslims, they can enjoy all those rights and protections which other minorities are entitled to according to the Pakistan constitution....

I have run into many Pakistanis with PhDs, including some who work for the World Bank, who argue in favour of Pakistan’s constitutional discrimination against Ahmadis. “Why don’t they just acknowledge that they are not Muslims, then they can live in Pakistan, like Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis,” one of them once asked me....

 

Radical Islamists took to the streets of Pakistan on September 1, to protest Prime Minister Imran Khan's appointment of former Princeton University scholar Atif Mian, a minority Muslim of the Ahmadiyya faith, to the Economic Advisory Council (EAC). Demanding that Mian be removed from the EAC, a key forum that advises the prime minister on economic issues, demonstrators threatened to lock down Pakistan's major cities, including Islamabad, its capital....

 

A Pakistani waited for his flight to move thousands of miles away from home. This moment was anything but insignificant. Leaving behind his hometown and a promising career in the Police was the hardest decision of his life. He clearly wanted to stay. But it is hard to stay when you, your family and your whole community is being butchered by militants. His batch mates would soon be promoted to senior ranks in the police. And he would soon start a new life as an Uber driver in New York City....

Allama Iqbal, the renowned Muslim philosopher, was an admirer of the founder of the Ahmadi movement and is rumoured to have joined it for a while as well before turning viciously vehemently and vociferously against it. Maulana Azad, the great Islamic scholar, considered the Ahmadis to be “Ghulat” i.e. a group that has transgressed the boundaries of divine faith but nonetheless is reported to have mourned the death of the founder of the Ahmadi movement....

 

They wanted to live as a minority, take the insults, experience what people from smaller communities go through, and face the humiliation, the expletives, the religious decree awarded against their own faith. Similarly change can only come to Pakistan with action, with resistance against tyranny; the time to win a debate on social media, the time to call spades a spade without a follow up is gone. It is now the time to walk the talk, to act, to show, to rise up....

Well-to-do Shias praise Prince Muhammad for ridding Awamiyah of a slum infested by gun-toting criminals, drug-dealers and a Shia cult, called the Shirazis, which appealed to landless peasants in Eastern Province. Some Shirazis took up arms and called for the death of the Al Sauds after their rabble-rousing preacher, Nimr al-Nimr, was executed in 2016...

 
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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 )