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Books and Documents

Islam and Tolerance

Asia’s two largest and most diverse democracies held national elections in recent weeks, and religious tolerance was on the ballot in both. Voters, however, delivered diametrically opposed verdicts. ...

 

“We’re seeing religious interest groups promoting social issues based on religious tenets, such as Christians for Fair Trade, Muslims for the Environment....

Today we have strayed from the soul of Islam in our personal lives; we lie, cheat, steal at a higher rate than ever before; we exploit and oppress in our small spheres. In short, our problems are caused by our moral corruption. But there is something more. And it is getting scant attention in the Muslim discourse. Islam teaches us the correctness of belief is even more important than correctness of deeds......

Suleiman describes homosexuality as a “repugnant shameless sin” and a “disease” that will “destroy our children.” He warns women, without condemnation, that if they are “promiscuous” or “open [themselves] up to a relationship,” their father “kills you and he kills the guy — you are offending Allah.” Is Suleiman really the right Muslim to advise tech companies on extremist content?....

 
Islamic Heritage of Peace, Tolerance Celebrated
Raziuddin Aquil
Islamic Heritage of Peace, Tolerance Celebrated
Raziuddin Aquil

The king also referred to interfaith dialogue and understanding in India for thousands of years, mentioning how Muslim scholars studied and wrote in Sanskrit and Hindu intelligentsia mastered a whole world of scholarship. Invocation to such historical experience can help develop a strong defence against violence; Muslims and non-Muslims can help out each other for a better future in an atmosphere that ensures security and peace for all....

 
The Basis of Islam is Tolerance Not Terrorism
Basil Hijazi, New Age Islam
The Basis of Islam is Tolerance Not Terrorism
Basil Hijazi, New Age Islam

The Muslims in the era of the Prophet [peace be upon him] and after him in the era of the companions [Sahaba] were threatened with the sudden violent attack by the forces who used to see Islam with contempt and hostility. So the “defensive war” was immensely necessary at that time. The fight of Islam was defensive and not offensive. It is necessary to understand that sometimes defence wears the dress of offence merely for reasons such as, preventing the obstacles in the preaching of Islam, applying and propagating the principles of humanity, brotherhood, equality among the servants of Allah and social security and deterring the strong from oppressing the weak....

One cannot deny that it is not only extremist groups which are using the guise of Islam to justify their inhumane crimes. It is also corrupt politicians and governments. The government of many ‘Islamic’ countries are indeed using the excuse of their interpretation of Sharia to oppress its people in order to gain power and control. Both extremist groups and corrupt governments have misappropriated the terms Islam, Sharia, and the like, in doing so they have created a barrier between the truly beautiful teachings of Islam and the rest of the world....

 

In the present era political analysts are fond of pointing to give examples of religious intolerance in the contemporary Muslim world and attribute the absence of tolerance to the backwardness of Islam, and in particular to the insistence by Muslims that religion must dominate and fashion the whole of life, restoring God to the public and the private sphere in non-negotiable and essential. This refusal to separate Masjids from State, such analysts conclude, is one of the main reasons why the Muslim world lags behind the west as regards both the principle and practice religious tolerance....

A tolerant attitude can only come from a person who is self-confident in his beliefs. This confidence is built through rational thinking, logic and open-mindedness. Such person has no inner fear in listening to other opinions. If such an opinion does pass logic and rationality checks, then it is received with open-mindedness. Hence, to eliminate intolerance from society one should eradicate the intolerant mindset…

 

“That’s why it hurts that on Tuesday, ‘Allah u” and ‘Akbar’, those two simple words so close to our hearts, instantly shaped the entire news coverage and presidential response. A common, benign phrase used daily by Muslims, especially during prayer, is now understood as code for ‘It was terrorism’.” Words and images shape attitudes, and can lead to prejudices. Neighbours who until recently were friends are transformed overnight into suspicious foreigners. Beards and Burqas become symbols of a hostile faith.,,,

The Qur’anic Perspective of Tolerance: Eminent Muslims in Their Encounter with Christianity
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam
The Qur’anic Perspective of Tolerance: Eminent Muslims in Their Encounter with Christianity
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

            The Quran clearly reveals that, “all the children of Adam are equally honoured” by God (See, Surah Bani-Israil: 70). The Quran also takes an all-inclusive humanistic view in its understanding of justice and equality among all peoples. When it comes to judging actions that either benefit or harm humanity, the Quran does not distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims. As pointed out in Surah Nisah: 123-124,...

Of course, Sayyidna Umar was simply following what he learnt from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself, that the protection of life, property and religious freedom of minorities is the religious duty of the state. That he personally would be demanding justice in the hereafter on behalf of a Zhimmi who had been wronged by a Muslim. That there is no compulsion in religion and that Muslims must be just to friends and foe alike....

Meanwhile, men, women and children are being offered as human sacrifices on the altar of political cynicism. Divine justice will doubtlessly judge not only the murderers and a creed that often seems bloodthirsty, but also those who insist, against all evidence, that this creed has nothing to do with those deaths. The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West, and confirmed by too many supposed Muslim "moderates" both at home and abroad. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror. ..

Why They Lynched Mashal Khan
Pervez Hoodbhoy
Why They Lynched Mashal Khan
Pervez Hoodbhoy

While searching for a real explanation, let’s first note that religiously charged mobs are also in motion across the border. As more people flock to Mandirs or Masjids, the outcomes are strikingly similar. In an India that is now rapidly Hinduising, crowds are cheering enraged Gau Rakshaks who smash the skulls of Muslims suspected of consuming or transporting cows. In fact India has its own Khan — Pehlu Khan....

Next to Mashal’s house is a mosque where the prayer leader, Fazle Amir, tried to provoke people and cast doubt over Mashal’s innocence. Background interviews with family and neighbours reveal that Fazle Amir tried to dissuade people from attending the funeral. “We were about 50 people who laid Mashal’s body to rest,” says Mohsin Waqar, a cousin. “Around 300 to 400 people were standing outside like confused spectators.”...

 
In The Name Of God: Blasphemy-Related Crimes
Sanchita Bhattacharya
In The Name Of God: Blasphemy-Related Crimes
Sanchita Bhattacharya

The dangers of the Blasphemy Law are that related "crimes" require no proof of intent or evidence to be presented after allegations are made and does not include any penalty for false allegations. Moreover, most of those who are accused in blasphemy crimes in Pakistan spend years in prison, waiting for a hearing....

 

They shot him, drilled screwdrivers into his skull and mutilated his dead body in a frenzy of murder and grating vengefulness, duped and urged on by sectarian vigilantes and clerics. Having killed him, the bloodthirsty mob cheered wildly, congratulated each other and then solemnly swore not to disclose who all actually took part in the gory manslaughter....

 
Looking For Enlightenment Post-Masha
Khadim Hussain
Looking For Enlightenment Post-Masha
Khadim Hussain

Privatisation of jihad and justice and negation of human aesthetics lie at the core of this narrative. The curriculum, pedagogical methods, and academic environment suppress critical thinking and suffocate creative consciousness. To add fuel to the fire, dissenting voices are curbed with full force of the state. Intellectual and creative endeavours are castigated and stigmatised....

 
Suhana, Nahid and the Curse of Muslim Intolerance
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Suhana, Nahid and the Curse of Muslim Intolerance
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

It is not also enough to say that when Prophet of Islam went to Medina, women sang in his honour. It is also not enough to cite Hadiths where it is stated through Aisha, the Prophet’s wife that women used to come and sing in her house in the presence of the Prophet. What is required is an attempt to break this scholarly consensus which argues that music and singing is forbidden in Islam. Doing so does not require an exegetical exercise of sifting through the pages of Islamic literature, but to argue boldly and consistently that Islam needs to be one with the fundamental marker of contemporary modernity: that of expanding choice and freedom. It is up to these Mullahs and overtly sensitive Muslims to decide whether they want Islam to become an ossified, irrelevant doctrine or whether they want it to be a flag bearer of inclusivity and freedom....

Tarek Fatah, Liberal Hypocrisy and the Limits of Muslim Tolerance
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Tarek Fatah, Liberal Hypocrisy and the Limits of Muslim Tolerance
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

In absolute terms, the attack on Tarek Fatah must be condemned. There cannot be any context to what was pure and simple an act of heckling, intimidation and violence.  There is simply no excuse for this kind of behaviour. Certainly there are more civil ways to air one’s differences, but then who cares to keep a tab on their own instincts of hatred. I am appalled to hear excuses like Tarek Fatah shouldn’t have been there in the first place, that his mere presence ignited the mob because of his Islamophobic utterances. This is all nonsense...

We may feel appalled by the Islamic State and dismiss and condemn them as “Kharijites,” but what about the apologies for the very philosophy that they are acting on? Are they not found all over Pakistan? Or sitting in the next cubicle at your workplace? Religious zeal and puritanism sound like nice ideas but they need to understand that the fabric of the society cannot remain intact without the necessary tolerance for the faith of each other....

 

Ahok’s opponents seem to have concluded that the surest path to victory is to pander to the sectarians. Both Mr Baswedan and Mr Yudhoyono attended dawn prayers with Mr Shihab at the latest rally, even though moderate Muslim groups had told their members to stay away. Mr Baswedan, who was once feted as a model of tolerance, also gave a speech at FPI’s headquarters in January alongside Mr Shihab, who has twice been convicted of hate speech and used to be shunned by mainstream politicians....

 

We need to take a hard look at our Blasphemy Law and discuss whether, as a society, we want to have a law that allows the imposition of a majority’s subjective religious right at the expense of others’ basic rights with little or no limitation, and a society whose culture of rightful subjective imposition is unchallenged and unmoderated. Hopefully, the answer is no....

 

A number of new factors, however, are contributing to an increasingly intolerant trend. One has been the rise of Salafism, a conservative, often puritanical, movement within Sunni Islam originating mainly from Saudi Arabia. In Southeast Asia, despite certain differences, the term is frequently used interchangeably with Wahhabism, a branch of the Islam often associated with ISIS and Al-Qaeda....

 
Religious Extremism and Intolerance in Pakistan
Malik Muhammad Ashraf
Religious Extremism and Intolerance in Pakistan
Malik Muhammad Ashraf

Pakistan has become hostage to the self-proclaimed righteous guardians of the religious tenets as interpreted by them against the spirit of Islam, which believes in building social harmony, peace and protection of the minorities living in an Islamic country.….

 
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