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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Pakistan's Punjab: Deceptive Recovery
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Ten persons, including six Policemen, were killed and another 35 were injured in a suicide attack near a Police check post outside the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz (centre) at Raiwind Town in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, on March 14, 2018. A teenage suicide bomber blew himself up when a Policeman tried to stop him from entering the Markaz. At least 70,000 followers of Tablighi Jamaat were present at the annual congregation.....

 
A Gory Nauroze
S. Mudassir Ali Shah

A Gory Nauroze
S. Mudassir Ali Shah

Ruthlessly persecuted for generations, the Hazaras justifiably denounce the assailants who have turned their festivities into tragedies. Their argument that the timing and location were not a coincidence cannot be faulted either. Hours after the Nauroze bombing, colourfully garbed Hazara women and children partied on the same street near the Kabul University. Not only did they enjoy the fiesta, they also demonstrated their incredible resilience.....

 

The message of mosques where people come to pray in congregation five times a day can be disseminated to millions. The imams and Khateebs can do wonders in stressing the principles of love and equality and remind people of the manners of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They should stress the importance of sticking to the religious values....

 
The Pakhtun Spring
Khurram Husain

The Pakhtun Spring
Khurram Husain

They want the rights that the Constitution guarantees them: the right to be secure from arbitrary detention, the right to peaceably assemble, to speak their minds. The roots of the movement go back in time to the discontentment that was brewing in the camps set up to house IDPs from the military operations in the tribal agencies, as well as Swat, in the 10-year campaign against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan....

 

The Kurds Have Been Sacrificed
Christian Chesnot

Three years ago, the Kurds seized Kobane (Ain Al-Arab) from the jihadists. The whole world hailed this symbolic victory, underlining the heroism of the Peshmerga. The image of women in battledresses against the ISIS fighters wearing black made the headlines. The battle of Kobane will always be the first victory on the roadway leading to the demolishing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's "self-proclaimed caliphate" in Syria...

 

Saudi Shiites and Their Role in the ‘New Saudi Arabia’
Hassan Al Mustafa

Shiites in Saudi Arabia – and all the Saudi people – now have a chance to truly participate in establishing ‘the new Saudi Arabia’ and to efficiently contribute, alongside the political leadership, to build their future without any fear of ‘Takfiri’ Fatwas (religious edicts) or sectarian discrimination. These Fatwas and practices are over now and will never return again as is confirmed by the royal will....

 

The Daring Plan to Save a Religious Minority from ISIS – Concluding Part
Jenna Krajeski

Pir couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone in Sinjar was going to die. One night, he had watched an Isis video in which Yazidi men were forced to convert; later, he heard that they were killed anyway. Pir, Elias, and Ismael felt guilty that they were safe in America. More than once, they offered to go to Iraq. “We the former interpreters present in DC today are ready to conduct these operations with the US Special Forces, or to go to Sinjar on our own to rescue what can be rescued from our people,”...

 

Forced Confessions in Iran’s House of the Dead
Ervand Abrahamian

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in “The House of the Dead,” his semi-autobiographical novel about inmates in a Siberian prison camp. Iran continues to fail the Dostoyevsky test.

Irrespective of the findings of Mr. Rouhani’s committee, what Iran needs is a radical reform of its legal procedures to ensure that its courts will stop the use of “confessions” and instead rely on verifiable independent and collaborative evidence....

 

The Daring Plan to Save a Religious Minority from ISIS – Part One
Jenna Krajeski

A system developed. The Yazidis e-mailed and texted Cannon and Padgett reports that they received by phone from Mt. Sinjar. Cannon forwarded the reports to an e-mail chain that quickly grew to include some two hundred officials, including people far her senior, such as the U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad. She included officials who disapproved, at least initially, of using the Yazidis as sources, among them career diplomats who preferred their own sources and were sceptical that members of the Office of International Religious Freedom, who are not Iraq experts, understood the consequences of focussing on Yazidis. “Isis had already killed two thousand Shia,”...

 

Verdict in the Mashal Khan Case: Half-Justice Is Injustice
Rafia Zakaria

Mobs do many things in Pakistan: they harass women, they burn down buildings, they torch cars; they are guilty of devastating Gojra, of tearing the bodies of Muneeb and Mughees Butt to pieces, cheering the killer of a governor, mourning the death of a dictator. They are guilty also of the murder of a man named Mashal Khan. ...

 

Iran’s Worsening Treatment of Religious Minorities

The Iranian regime boasts about respecting religious freedom and being tolerant towards religious minorities, and President Hassan Rouhani has frequently promised them equal rights. Nevertheless, reports from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International reveal a different story. The rights of the Iranian people to enjoy religious freedom continue to be violated and many are facing systematic persecution and discrimination on a daily basis....

 

There is no official declaration or consensus – and there is hardly a warrant or possibility for having it – of mutual excommunication of Shias and Sunnis from either the fold of Islam or Heaven. Opinions, speculations, guesses, Fatwas quoting this or that source that can’t be independently and unproblematically validated in the Quran  and contradict basic tenor of Tradition don’t constitute decisive knowledge that should bother us too much. Theology and politics often mix up and create a mess that sages and artists can clear.....

Neighbours in al-Salhi’s home district in the southern city of Basra decorate cars and homes with posters of him in military gear, rifle in hand, standing next to Shiite saints. His face appears on wristwatches for sale in the markets and on cakes in a bakery. One of Iraq’s top sculptors, Ahmed al-Bahraini, has started work on a 6-meter (20-foot) bronze statue of al-Salhi for a main square in Basra....

 

Shunned by Pakistan’s Muslims, Ahmadis Find Refuge in a City of Their Own
Mehreen Zahra-Malik

Yet hard-liner Muslims come to Rabwah, too. When the annual processions to mark Eid Milad-un Nabi, birthday celebrations for the Prophet Muhammad, roll through the city, the authorities warn Ahmadis to shut their businesses and lock themselves inside their homes, as procession leaders hurl “unrepeatable” expletives against Ahmadi leaders and declare them “worthy of being murdered.”....

 

Pakistanis Celebrate the Other in Sindh, But for How Long?
Ayesha Tanzeem

The performer danced with reckless abandon, her head bent forward, moving rhythmically left to right with the drum beat, her long, black, untied hair creating an arc in the air as it flew back and forth. Another woman, probably a relative or a friend, tried to throw a scarf over her head, but gave up after it kept falling off. The scene could have caused an uproar in another part of Pakistan, a conservative country where women in public are expected to be subdued and not draw attention to themselves, but not here.....

 

The Barelvi Bandwagon: Pakistan Establishment’s Misuse of Religion Has Paved the Way for Sectarianism
Khaled Ahmed

When and if the law took its normal course, the courts were made to realise that the clerics could not be challenged. The government was scared of prosecuting them and the judges soon got the message. This immunity led to the criminalisation of religion in Pakistan. Madrasas, funded lavishly from outside the country, became more assertive and enslaved poor disciple-students through free lodging and boarding.....

Blame Islamic Fundamentalists, Not Ahmadis for Ruining Pakistan
Mehr Tarar

Take Allah’s name and no one will question you. Use the prophet’s name, and people will rally with your cause. Chant slogans to uphold the sanctity of the finality of Prophethood, and whatever chaos you unleash will be pardoned. Faith is personal. Faith is the human connection to the divine. Faith, or lack thereof, is to be judged only by God. What is forgotten here is that in an almost 97 percent Muslim Pakistan, everything starts and ends with Allah’s name. For us, no name is more sacred than that of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)....

Balochistan: Ethnic Carnage
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Balochistan: Ethnic Carnage
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

A series of attacks on Punjabi and other non-Baloch settlers in Balochistan, as well as the destruction of national infrastructure have followed the killing of Akbar Bugti. These killings have been orchestrated by Baloch militant organizations such as the BLA, BLF and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), among others, who began to voice anti-Punjabi sentiments in their slogans in the wake of the military action against Bugti....

 

Political Engineering of Religious Extremists
Munir Ahmed

The religiously motivated political engineering has delivered nothing but political chaos and instability, an ultimate social segregation and unbearable economic losses to the country. The ridiculous sit-ins cannot be a remedy to any political situations — a tradition developed by the Jamat-e-Islami (JI), a religious political party,...

 

What Would Motivate Pakistan To Tackle The Escalating Persecution Of Religious Minorities?
Huma Yusuf

In Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen argued that economic and social development is facilitated by freedom, and that any form of ‘unfreedom’ hampers progress and prosperity. By this argument, states should promote religious freedom to facilitate an overall environment in which freedom is respected and protected — in other words, rights beget rights, which in turn beget growth. But Sen’s premise will have few takers in Pakistan...

 

Drain the Swamp Of Sectarian Hatred

There are groups in Pakistan that act like this as well. This despite the fact that Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, dreamed of a modern and moderate country where citizens - Muslims, Hindus and Christians - were free to worship whoever they liked, as he went to great lengths to emphasize in his address to the Constituent Assembly, three days before Pakistan’s creation.

 

After Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Bahrein, is North Africa the next realm of a more assertive Iranian foreign policy? These fears come from Iran’s attempt to expand its influence in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia – and its “backyard:” Senegal, Niger, Guinea and Mali....

 

Pakistan: Shrinking Political Space for Minorities
Sarwar Bari

No wonder for centuries human beings have been trying to be humane. Yet, it seems an unfinished agenda. Sadly, often the protagonists of religions happen to be in the forefront of violations of the teachings of the founders of the religions they follow. Let’s remind them what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had said in his last sermon “… An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white.”...

 
Letter from Deathbed
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Letter from Deathbed
Yasser Latif Hamdani

When Captain Safdar’s antecedents in Majlis-e-Ahrar, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind were trying to destroy the foundations of this country and abusing Jinnah as Kafir-e-Azam and Pakistan as Kafiristan, it was the Aga Khanis, Ahmadis, Christians, Dalits and scheduled caste Hindus who stood with Jinnah against Majlis-e-Ahrar and other traitors like Khaksars, Khudai Khidmatgars and Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind — all of whom had sold themselves to the Indian National Congress....

Where Should Hazaras Go?
Mohammed Hanif

If you were a Hazara in Pakistan, you were a marked person. If death didn’t catch you in a bomb blast, it would come in the shape of a bullet in the back of your head. It didn’t matter if you worked for the police or any security agencies, it didn’t matter if you were an Olympian boxer or a famous TV actor or a much loved school teacher; all were on an arbitrary death row....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • there is no country in the world where asia bibi is safe.there is no dearth of muslims everywhere in the world who sincerely believe ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • what a sense of entitlement and hubris! unbelievable. astounding egotism and egoism.she talks as if she has a god given right to us visa ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • we now have a present day example of how islam treated its minority populations so much so that most islamic countries are surprisingly free ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer sb. keeps asking the same questions again and again and will probably continue to do so ad infinitum. I shall end my participation ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I have wasted enough of my time trying to deal with Naseer sb.'s refractoriness and abusiveness. He keeps asserting his points without producing any ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I shall let Naseer sb., wallow in his abusive and undignified verbal assaults but I shall end my participation in this thread with the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A good article but it becomes an occasion for Hats Off to vent his venom!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A knowledgeable and astute analysis.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Authentic Hadith are the words of the Prophet, not the words of God. Only the words of God are holy for us. Even when ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • As usual, Hats Off brings in human misguidedness in a debate on religion. Any sensible discourse on Islam get his knickers in a twist!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • lousy islamophobes.the kalash are flourishing under an islamic rule in pakistan. just like the yazidis in syria and the bahais in iran and the ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • how do we empathize with the pain and suffering of idolators and polytheists under an islamic rule?like for instance in the hejaz. like in medina.
    ( By hats off! )
  • some epimenides stuff going on here.only an hadith can tell us if the prophet forbade it. because if prophet said it, it is again ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • some epimenides stuff going on here.only an hadith can tell us if the prophet forbade it. because if prophet said it, it is again ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Oh, I am extremely perplexed by the author!He says the Prophet instructed not to write down Hadith. Truly the Prophet did so in the ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • The author quotes Ms Hazelton for the prophetic story but fails to realize that Ms Hazelton herself has based her story on the sources ...
    ( By Usman Sakhi )
  • How have you come to know that the Prophet did not allow Hadith reporting?Any proof? 
    ( By Ghulam Hussain )
  • ایمان جب انسان کے اندراپنی جڑیں مضبوط کر لیتاهے تو گناہ مشکل اور نیکی آسان هو جاتی هے_دل نرم اور آنکھیں نم رهنے لگتی ہیں.
    ( By خالد حسن )
  • "Pain and suffering not only restore our relationship with God, they are also helpful in restoring our relations with others who are living in ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Muslim world is already facing calamities of the time. It may lead to bloody event. If there is possibility of overthrowing Saudi powers and ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • غورکیجئے کلمہ کا نام کلمہ توحید ہے نہ کلمہ وجود ، تو اللہ کے علاوہ کوئی معبود ہے ہی نہیں تو عبادت کرنے والے ...
    ( By Nisar )
  • کہتے ہیں جب گناہ گار کی میت اٹھائی جاتی ہے تو وہ بھاری محسوس ہوتی ہے ، جب کہ  نیک آدمی کی میت ہلکی ...
    ( By خالد حسن )
  • Salman is a murderous ruler who must be tried for his crimes and punished. The clerics must be flogged for their fatwa.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Barelvis believe that the prophet sallalahu alaihi wasallam is noori bashar (human and light. Deobandis say he is not light. Barelvis visit the shrines and ask Allah for ...
    ( By Ali Murtuza )
  • Neither Ghulam Uncle Sam nor Uncle Sam can give honest answers to the following questions without incriminating Uncle Sam. Their lies are exposed. GUS is a ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Salman must have done some good work and some bad work but it does not mean he is mujaddid. I am sure sure Imam ...
    ( By Muhammad Siddiq )
  • “...exploiting the podium of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by using its imams to praise, sanctify and defend the rulers and their actions.” There is nothing new in ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • @Faruq Adil, In the first centuries of Islam, three major sects, Sunnis, Shias and Kharijites appeared. All of them developed their respective jurisprudential schools [madhhab], adopting different metholdogies ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Can this moron show any answer that is unclear and confusing? The fact is that he is left speechless and without anything to say ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The old fool does not realize how stupid it is to consider something as adultery, that has neither criminal nor legal consequences but considered ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The collapse of the three buildings was not assisted by controlled demolition. Anyone who claims they were is either a liar or an idiot.Anyone ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I have to again explain to the thick-skulled moron that  even if the wife of a man with the husband’s consent has sex with another ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What are the various sub sects of Kashmiri Sunni Muslims?
    ( By Faruq Adil )
  • Naseer, a self-deluded moron, again proves that he is just a village mullah who knows how to curse and who thinks he is the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off probably thinks he made a clever comment! I do not think anyone else would want to make such a dumb comment.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • If one wants to insult the Prophet what better place to do it than the columns of the New Age Islam? Hats Off knows ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What an inappropriate and snide comment from Hats Off!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The truth denier Ghulam Uncle Sam pretended that "Uncle Sam wore fine clothes" and defended as long as he could. Uncle Sam stands fully ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What I said was very clear but beyond the understanding of the old fool. The difference between the meaning of adultery in Islam and in Pagan ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • How would Satan or his follower behave when frustrated in his attack on the Quran to prove that not all its verses are the word of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )