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Islamic Ideology

Islam is compatible with democracy. It is rather the interests of rulers of Muslim countries which are not compatible with democracy, says Asghar Ali Engineer.

Who is the authoritative custodian of these truths? In Hinduism, this was always a tricky question. But even for traditionally more centralised religions like Islam and Christianity this question is now deeply contested. Statements like “SIMI does not represent Muslims” or “Bajrang Dal does not represent Hindus” are understandable at one level: they are claims to the effects that the beliefs and actions of these groups do not have the imprimatur of many members of the community. But the crucial question is not whether these groups are representative. The question is deeper: can we have confidence that there are resources within those communities to prevent such groups from existing, or reining in their actions? Simply denying them representative status does not answer this more important question, says academic Pratap Bhanu Mehta.

 

'Indutva', not Hindutva, need of the Hour
M D Nalapat

In 1997, this writer had written about his vision of “Indutva”. A word that encapsulates the fact that every Indian, no matter to which faith she or he belongs, exemplifies the fusion of the Vedic, the Mughal and the Western. The three civilisational strands have come together in India, and can ensure social cohesion and harmony that would be a nightmare not just for the ISI, but for those in China too that are nervous at India’s steady climb to great power status. Several policymakers in Islamabad and Beijing must have been gleeful at reports of churches being targeted in Karnataka. Analysis by well-known journalist and academic M D NALAPAT.

 

Jeddah — With leading media outlets racing to broadcast the Tarawih prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan, Saudi worshippers and scholars see the media mania is causing them to lose the spiritual atmosphere during the rite.

 

Muslims are trustees of God’s message to mankind. They fulfill their trust by presenting to the world a model society: civilized, caring, compassionate and truthful. Such are the characteristics of any society, which implements the Islamic code of living. They complement that with conveying God’s message and calling on others to accept it as a faith and implement it as a constitution. As we said earlier, Ramadan provides the perfect training for the Muslim community to discharge its duties, writes

Adil Salahi in the Arab News.

 

NEW DELHI: Two 19th century personalities find mention in the e-mail sent by Indian Mujahideen as “visionary legends” in whose memory the serial blasts which marred the Capital on Saturday evening have been carried out. Even as the group terms the two Sayeed Ahmed Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed—as “Mujahids”, Islamic scholars differ to say they were “scholars” who fought the British rule and are celebrated as “freedom fighters”.

 

The optimism that bubbled over in AC Grayling's account of an atheist getting his foot in the door of No 10 was akin to the delight of a Christian's hope for the keys of the kingdom of heaven (The rise of Miliband brings at last the prospect of an atheist prime minister August 21, posted below)….An atheist prime minister need not be one who is unaware of the good work that religious groups can do, writes Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet thetablet@thetablet.co.uk, in The Guardian, London.

 

Leading academics, authors and scientists in Britain are launching a campaign to stop state-funded faith schools from discriminating against students and teachers on the grounds of religion. From Monday, such schools will be allowed to include faith as a selection criterion for teaching and non-teaching posts, reserving more places for people from the same religious background, reports Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent, The Guardian, London.

 

Children start their new schools this week for the 12th year under Labour. Who could have predicted that more pupils than ever will be going to religious schools this term, as the churches boasted gleefully? Pews empty but faith schools multiply… Labour's new rules mean that anyone who works in these institutions may have to get down on their knees to keep their jobs, writes Polly Toynbee in The Guardian, London.

 

In this climate of quarrels between religionists and secularists, there are very many reasons to hope for a non-believer at No 10. When Labour cabinet members were asked about their religious allegiances last December, following Tony Blair's official conversion to Roman Catholicism, it turned out that more than half of them are not believers. The least equivocal about their atheism were the health secretary, Alan Johnson, and foreign secretary David Miliband, writes British philosopher AC Grayling in The Guardian, London.

Also: Why can't atheists stop preaching? By Satya Pradhan, London, and other responses.

 

In Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s warped views, all Muslims must strive for and live in an Islamic state. "It's as difficult for a Muslim to live in a non-Muslim society as it is for a fish to live in a desert," writes Geelani in Rudad-e-Qaf, his prison memoir…The chant of "freedom for Islam" is actually a gross misinterpretation of a faith which unambiguously calls God "Rabbul Aalameen (lord of the universe)" and Prophet Mohammed "Rahmatulil Aalameen (blessing for universe)", writes Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN

 

NAGPUR: A history of sorts was created when around 700 women offered the Nafeel Namaz (Shukrana or thanksgiving namaz for Allah) at the 110 years old Cutchi Memon Jamat Jama Masjid in Sadar for the first time. The women were very happy as usually they are not allowed to enter a mosque. Some non-Muslim women which included Padma Deshraj, a teacher with Saint Ursula High School and others were also invited to this masjid as a goodwill gesture during the namaz time from 3 pm to 5 pm.

 

It is a strange year for religious voters trying to decide between candidates who, on Saturday August 16th, will air their views on matters spiritual and earthly by talking in turn to Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor in California. From Economist.com.

 

Your life is a gift. However, most Christian teens have at one time or another contemplated ending their life by committing suicide. Christian or not, there are few that see suicide as anything less than a tragedy, says Kelli Mahoney, About.com

 

Are you not aware that God sends down water from the skies, with which We bring forth fruits of different colours? In the mountains there are streaks of white and red of various shades, as well as others jet-black. Similarly, human beings, beasts and cattle have various colours. It is those who are endowed with knowledge that stand truly in awe of God. Indeed God is Almighty, Much-Forgiving. (The Holy Quran, The Originator, Fatir, 35: 27-28)

 

Saudi scholars are now opening a heated debate about whether or not women can become muftis, reports Arab News.

 

Calling out Europe on its latest cherished masquerade of passing its dirty laundry as an elaborate defence of Enlightenment values is a challenge and who better to take it on than Europe’s most admired philosopher, writes US-based attorney and academic Rafia Zakaria.

 

THE decision by Turkey’s Constitutional Court not to ban the ruling AK Party is as remarkable as it is welcome, says an editorial in the Arab News.

 

The funny thing about faith-based mutual funds is, well, that there's anything called a faith-based mutual fund. For one thing, scripture is full of exhortations against accumulating wealth. The New Testament, especially, repeatedly reminds followers of Christ that earthly wealth means nothing in heaven, writes Grace Wyler in Newsweek, Jul 28, 2008.

 
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