Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Pakistan's Terrorism Problem Can't Be Solved Without Protecting Its Minorities
Rozina Ali

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. .....


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....


Remember Those Who Have Died For Religious Freedom
Tahir Gora

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

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

"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.....


From Egypt to Indonesia, All Islamic Nations Must Learn from Pakistan’s Mistakes
Farahnaz Ispahani

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.....


Kuwait’s Shia Policy Might Become a Model for Other Sunni States in the Region
Khaled Ahmed

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. ....

Israel Demolishing Homes, Peace and International Law
Chris Doyle

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….

Sunni Resentment Muddles Prospect of Reunifying Iraq after ISIS
Tim Arango

“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.”....


The Precarious Existence of Iran's Sunni Muslims
Steve Inskeep

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.....


Caste Away: No Matter What One Accomplishes One Will Always Be Considered As Part of a ‘Dirty’ Clan or Low Caste
Maria Sartaj

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)....

Shias, Catholics and Protestants: Sectarian Splits Are Widening In Islam and Lessening In Christianity

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

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

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

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: New Age Islam’s Selection From Pakistan Press, 4 January 2016

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

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,...

Of Christmas Lights and Hapless Cries
Talal Almas

To all my persecuted and marginalized Christian friends in Pakistan -- and in other insular and provincial parts of the world -- please know that you grace us with your resilience despite the immense potential to succumb. One day, not far from now, your numerous sacrifices will spur to fruition; one day, your blood will make the oppressors' knees go perpetually weak; one day, our Pakistan will be a Christian Pakistan, a Jewish Pakistan, a Hindu Pakistan, and, most importantly, Jinnah's Pakistan.

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  • Hats Off's frenzied rant is very much a part of his relentless hate war against Islam. His thoughtless ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mr Kabir has very beautifully discussed the subject of sufism and spiritualism. Sufism has been the way of God loving people across religious affiliations because ...
    ( By arshad )
  • generally it takes a lot more words when you have nothing to say. this article is a good example. typical case....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Mr. John, would you please say good bye to the idea demonstrated in your comment. Your idea is not yours but has been borrowed from ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • The stages are: 1. Realization that Islam (or any other religion) is a good religion and feeling attracted. 2. Acceptance of the new religion and practicing ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Muslims took their law from the Romans and the Jews. Islam is Medieval and is not practicable in the modern society.
    ( By A. John )
  • Rohingyas were mercilessly slaughtered by the Myanmar army in a well planned ethnic cleansing. Does Hats Off know what he is talking about?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Where is the need for making such thoughtless and wild allegations against the writer of a harmless piece?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • most of the islamic nations somehow (miraculously) manage to have a very low minority burden but the populace starts screaming...
    ( By hats off! )
  • the legendary emigre word soup maker is back again with another of her mixed vegetative soup, served with some semantic mincemeat and assorted grammar....
    ( By hats off! )
  • When one can allege that the U.S. government can be complicit in attacking its own Defense Department's Pentagon building in the capital city...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By hats off! )
  • GM Sb is a doctor but his education may not be relevant to what is being discussed. What can I say about his intelligence when ...
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  • Islam does not want its followers to go the extremes of hardship. Allah Almighty says in the Quran, "Allah intends ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Hidayat, the Arabic word, literally means guidance, instruction, righteousness or the true path. The word hidayat is comprehensively....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Mr Qazi has very correctly pointed out the message of moderation in the Quran, an aspect which the Muslims...
    ( By arshad )
  • Naseer sahib imputes that I had implied "any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Oh really? What does GM sb comprehend? That any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse along the path ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mohammad Hussain, Christianity makes it as a duty for the citizen to wage war to save one's country if war is thrust!'
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Ak Bhat, Al( the) + Ah ( God)= The God'
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  • Joyson Duraisingh the non muslims have freedom to worship in their own way . It is an estabished ....
    ( By Ghulam Ahmad Dar )
  • @Gulam Ahmad Dar No consensus on idol worship, whatever may be the consequences
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
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    ( By John Vedhamuthu )
  • Dinabandhu Nayak you are right,sir'
    ( By Akshaya Sahu )
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  • Dinabandhu Nayak sir, slavery is unknown to Hinduism - cruel joke at its zenith!'....
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
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  • Stop Talibani bagdaddi culture respect SUFI Ahmediays etc be respectful to others'
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  • Islam will dominate the world insha Allah'
    ( By Muzafer Sheikh )
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    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
  • Why leave the great USA.
    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
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    ( By Rakesh Rawat )
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    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
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    ( By misbahul Hoda )
  • Hats Off's criticism of this article is contrived and hollow.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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