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Islam and Sectarianism

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....

 
Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 2 – Protection of Their Lives
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 2 – Protection of Their Lives
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

But in fact the above referenced Quranic verses and Ahadith deal with the war-related rulings and situations related to self-defence. However this self-defence cannot be claimed at individual level or by a group of individuals. The idea of self-defence is applicable to the situation, when it turns to be too destructive to be controlled and when there is no option left except for fighting in defence. As obviously the fight for defence is the right of every country, so it is not wrong to say that the Muslim governments are allowed to defend their land, property, life etc. But it is completely wrong to derive the meaning from these verses and Ahadith in justification for fighting against those non-Muslims who have agreed to live peacefully in minority or majority....

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.”....

 
Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 1 – Freedom of Religion
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 1 – Freedom of Religion
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

Hence they should not be forced to accept Islam, as forced belief will not benefit them. The forced-conversion will be tantamount to denying the Islamic right of religious freedom given to non-Muslims. With that I also do not deny this fact that the right to preaching has been given to the righteous Muslims. However the point to be noted here is that the Quran lays down guidelines for them when preaching Islam, as Allah Almighty says, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best…” (16:125). It exhorts the preachers to use well-mannered advice and sound reasoning, rather than radical or physical aggression....

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.....

 

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.....

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....

 

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,...

 

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...

 

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....

 

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
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....

 
Pakistan, Land of the Intolerant
Mohammed Hanif
Pakistan, Land of the Intolerant
Mohammed Hanif

As I grew up, Ahmadis went from being treated as zealous reformist Muslims to non-Muslims to Kafir, or heretics — worse even than Hindus or Jews. In the mid-1980s, a decade after Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims, another set of laws forbade them to act like Muslims. This is the tricky bit, because Ahmadis insist on calling themselves Muslim and behave like Muslims.....

We cannot talk critically about religion in this society. Every society, howsoever religious its population might be, will have a few people who do not believe in God or religion. Do we have such people in Pakistan? There must be some. Do they dare come out and declare their existence? Could they come forward and have discussions about their point of views and/or beliefs with all the theists who are around...

 

What happens then to our sense of fair play when it comes to the rights of those who may not adhere to the majority faith in our own countries? The recent tirade against Ahmadis by the dubious Captain Safdar springs to mind. The very fact that the floor of the National Assembly could be used for such invective is mind-boggling. Nor is he alone in attempting to demonise this community....

 
This Silence That Can Kill
Kamila Hyat
This Silence That Can Kill
Kamila Hyat

The incident also raised questions over Captain Safdar’s alleged support for certain right-wing segments. We also have the newly formed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan in Lahore, which had received over 7,000 votes in the NA-120 by-poll last month. The TLP had taken voters away from the party to which Safdar himself belongs, the PML-N, and of which his father-in-law Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is chief. The TLP campaigned carrying posters of convicted killer Mumtaz Qadri; the posters are still pasted across areas of that constituency....

 

The persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan, including minority Muslims, traces back to how the agenda of Pakistan’s movement was formulated and how Pakistan as a country grew after it became an independent state. The question of why Pakistan’s founding fathers needed Islam to build an agenda for an independent state is still hotly debated both inside and outside the country.....

 

Ahmadi Muslim. The two words I am not allowed to put together if I write for a publication in Pakistan, or speak on national television. Once, it was simply the details of the punishment meted out to Ahmadis for practising Allah's name that I had listed — an ordinance of the Pakistan Penal Code and not my personal opinion — which were edited out from an op-ed I wrote for a national daily. Another time, during a talk show on a leading news channel, my comments on the persecution of Ahmadis were not bleeped out — the whole portion, in fact, was edited....

 
What Lies Ahead For Ahmadis
Yasser Latif Hamdani
What Lies Ahead For Ahmadis
Yasser Latif Hamdani

So this idea that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam is an entirely false idea based on a lie. Yes some populists might have used Islamic slogans but so did opponents of the Muslim League. Maulana Ataullah Shah Bokhari, a man championed as a freedom fighter by India to the extent that even Nehru sent moving eulogy on his demise, famously declared that voting for Muslim League or for Mr. Jinnah is like eating pork. Mazhar Ali Azhar of Majlis-e-Ahrar called Jinnah Kafir-e-Azam and Pakistan Kafir-i-stan. Their abuse against Pakistan and Jinnah is a matter of record. ....

Merchants of Hate
Kamal Siddiqi
Merchants of Hate
Kamal Siddiqi

However, the fact that a senior member of the ruling party would make such a statement is indeed unfortunate. This is because it gives encouragement to those who use violence to justify their beliefs. In the past, members of the Ahmadi community have been killed after statements were made against them. Who can forget the killing of two Ahmadi persons in Hyderabad after a famous TV talk show host condemned the community on television a day earlier....

 
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  • GGS says in the article: “ Hadith scholars and jurists have always held the view that any Hadith contradicting....
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  • “The gnosis and knowledge of men is, compared with the Prophet’s, like the drop of moisture which oozes out of ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
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  • Masha Allah!'
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  • Some excerpts from the Last Sermon of the beloved Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul ...
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  • Does anybody see any abuse in any of my comments in this thread? You can read GGS comments directed at me. Those are hostile and ...
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  • Are you so thick headed that you do not even understand what you say? Below is your argument for decriminalizing adultery in Islam : “By ...
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