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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

Pakistan’s inability to restrain Islamist groups raises serious questions: Is the creeping confluence of religion and state complete? Will governments need the support of religious extremists to acquire power and keep it? Can religious radicals meet their long-desired goal of establishing a theocracy? Has the military joined politicians in the race to pander to extremists? Will the military agree to share power with extremists? Can extremists eventually replace the military as the arbiters of the country’s destiny? Will semi-literate clerics and Madaris students one day rule a country of two hundred million people armed with nuclear weapons?...

 
Return of a Spectre Called Blasphemy
Farzana Shaikh
Return of a Spectre Called Blasphemy
Farzana Shaikh

But they also brought to fruition a state-sponsored policy, active since 9/11, of quietly empowering Barelvi groups to counterbalance so-called “hardliners” among Pakistan’s proliferating Deobandi and Salafi groups. They were seen to have grown increasingly independent of their handlers within Pakistan’s military and security establishment, whose authority it was said they were now prone to question. It is no wonder that eyebrows were raised when Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, declined to act in support of the government claiming the protestors were ‘our people’....

 

The seeds Maududi sowed became the plants that sapped this noble religion of all progressive ideas and pushed people into a rigid conformity with his brand of 'Islamic ideology'. The introduction of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan was a natural result of the process of Islamisation that Maududi and other right-wing religious parties had set in motion. They had found fertile ground for their agenda in the social conditions of Pakistan.....

Saudis Fail at Their Own Conspiracy
Bruce Riedel
Saudis Fail at Their Own Conspiracy
Bruce Riedel

The war in Yemen is costing Riyadh about $5 billion a month. It is a humanitarian catastrophe for the Yemeni people. The Saleh fiasco demonstrates that the Saudi coalition is flailing without a way out. The only winner is Iran. Washington needs to help Riyadh find a way out of the quagmire....

 

A traditional Gulf state and a Wahhabi state to boot, Qatari conservatism was everything but a mirror image of Saudi Arabia’s long-standing puritan way of life. Qatar did not have a powerful religious establishment that could enforce ultra-conservative social norms, nor did it implement absolute gender segregation. Non-Muslims could practice their faith in their own houses of worship and were exempted from bans on alcohol and pork....

 
Islam Marches On, In and On Islamabad
Ayesha Siddiqa
Islam Marches On, In and On Islamabad
Ayesha Siddiqa

‘Mullah-military alliance’ is of course short-hand for describing the changes unfolding in Pakistan that have sapped its already weakened democracy and rickety institutional infrastructure. What we are witnessing is the metamorphosis of the country’s socio-polity from a post-colonial form to a more organic religious one.....

 

In June, Saudi Arabia — along with two other Persian Gulf states and Egypt — picked a fight with Qatar, on the grounds that the country is funding Islamic terrorism. The move was almost satirical, given that Saudi Arabia itself has long funded the spread of fundamentalist Salafi Islam, which is often associated with extremism. However, this diplomatic spat seems to be more than just an example of Saudi Arabia’s pot calling Qatar’s kettle black...

 

Sadat violated the Arab taboo against good neighbourly relations with the Jewish state and opened the way for additional peace agreements. The defection of Egypt from the Arab military coalition eliminated the option of a two-front conventional war against Israel and saved the Israeli taxpayer billions of dollars. The heavy price paid by Israel to Egypt was total withdrawal from the Sinai and removal of settlements. ...

 

The Barelvi movement, the most popular one within the Islamic tradition in South Asia, was seen as the perfect response, an interpretation of Islam rooted in South Asian culture, a depiction of Sufi Islam. However, such assumptions are based on a quite simplistic understanding of Sufism. There is no one uniform interpretation of the term. Sufism means different things to different people. Even within the Sufi tradition, there is a range of ideas, some of which sometimes directly contradict each other....

For decades, the Deobandi-Salafist groups championed the cause of violent jihad in Pakistan, while the Barelvi groups mostly remained apolitical and non-violent. However, unlike the common belief that only Deobandi-Salafist groups apostatise other sects, Barelvi literature is also rich with Fatwas against the followers of other Islamic sects. One reason why Barelvi groups weren’t radicalized during the Afghan jihad is because the Saudi funding to fight the Soviet Union was directed towards Deobandi and Salafist groups due to their ideological affinity....

Religious Fascism Wins in Pakistan
Karamatullah K Ghori
Religious Fascism Wins in Pakistan
Karamatullah K Ghori

“Who is the army to adopt a mediator’s role; where does the law assign this role to a major general?” the judge asked. Pakistan is a long way from answering this thorny question. But in a tiny span of just three days, the country has slid many a miles on the road to a precipice. Earlier, on November 24, the notorious Hafiz Saeed, head honcho of the UN-sanctioned Jamaat-ud Dawaa (JuD) was set free, prompting an irate White House to call it “a step in the wrong direction”....

Politics of Hate from the Labbaik Crowd
Khurram Husain
Politics of Hate from the Labbaik Crowd
Khurram Husain

A cut-throat power struggle at the top of the political pyramid, coupled with the disproportionate power that has just been handed to individual preachers with small and medium-sized congregations, and the fragility of our food and fuel logistics and choke points in our external trade mean the potential to hold the country to ransom with ease has been thoroughly exposed…

 

The Axis of Moderation comprises Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Arab Gulf countries, except for Qatar. The great mistake that the Axis of Moderation has made in confronting the Iranian regime -- to try to curb its export of the its "Revolution" -- has been to fall into the trap of propagating sectarianism. While Iran portrayed itself as the defender of all the Shiites in the world...

 

Arab countries, individually and collectively, will need a fully formed strategy to confront existential foreign and domestic threats to their sovereignty and security in the coming years. It is high time for Arab leaders to outline a vision for the future of inter-Arab relations, and a plan for engaging with their non-Arab neighbours on regional opportunities and challenges. Last but not least, Arab leaders must also explain how they will provide better domestic governance for their people....

 

What these three rogue states have in common is the destruction of Iran like they did with Iraq, Syria or Libya. Netanyahu has warned President Bashar al-Assad not to allow Iran to build military bases in Syria. It remains to be seen whether the new (alleged) “Axis of Evil” or the Russian Iranian Turkish alliance will prevail in the Middle East....

 

Fascism is a modern phenomenon, and presupposes a modern society of alienated individuals held together by the belief in abstract concepts, with nationalism as the dominant vehicle for producing a sense of community. Yet, when existing structures are unable to arouse passion among the population, the process of alienation increases in society, and concomitantly, the popular desire for a stable community intensifies. This gap is filled by fascist groups, often through the invocation of millenarian fantasies or an imagined glorious past....

 
The Battle of the Islamic World
Ghassan Charbel
The Battle of the Islamic World
Ghassan Charbel

It is true that the modern part of the world wants our markets, but it is also true that we need the fruits of its laboratories and research, and we also need its incredible technological progress and investment. Fear of terrorists and extremists has consumed the energies of Islamic countries and deprived them of stability, investment and prosperity. That is why the current battle looks like the battle of the future of the Islamic world....

 
Where Does Pakistan Stand?
Shahid M Amin
Where Does Pakistan Stand?
Shahid M Amin

 Compassion and mercy were some of the most endearing qualities of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Those who abused him and tortured many of his companions included Abu Sufyan, the leading foe of Muslims, and his vicious wife Hind, who had mutilated the body of Hamza, beloved uncle of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). But when Makkah was conquered, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) forgave Abu Sufyan and Hind. It was this compassion and forgiveness that made Islam so attractive and helped it spread all over the world....

 

Mohammed bin Salman, at least, appears to have signalled his intent to oppose Iran and its proxies across the Arab world. The game, therefore, is on. The prospects of success for the Saudis will depend on the willingness of their allies to engage alongside them, and a steep learning curve in the methods of political and proxy warfare....

 

It has already been noted that Netanyahu is no different from his predecessors Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, or for that matter, their predecessors, too. They all participated in the years of institutional neglect of the Arab sector. The events of October 2000 that led to the second intifada saw 12 Israeli Arabs and one non-Israeli Palestinian killed by Israeli police. This should have been a warning and was a missed opportunity for change....

 

It is equally deplorable that to achieve their vested interest of acquiring power and ruling the Muslim world, the propaganda wing of ISIS is also spreading disinformation that democracy is against the basic tenets of Islam. This couldn’t be further from truth. Not only Islam practiced and propagated democracy through a parliament called Majlis-e-Shoora but dynastic rule is not permitted. Western democracies, like the US have borrowed from Islamic democratic canons in their constitution and acknowledged our Holy Prophet (PBUH) as one of the greatest lawgivers of the world as depicted on the Supreme Court friezes....

 
Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last
Thomas L. Friedman
Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last
Thomas L. Friedman

If this virus of an anti-pluralistic, misogynistic Islam that came out of Saudi Arabia in 1979 can be reversed by Saudi Arabia, it would drive moderation across the Muslim world and surely be welcomed here where 65 percent of the population is under 30. One middle-age Saudi banker said to me: “My generation was held hostage by 1979. I know now that my kids will not be hostages.” Added a 28-year-old Saudi woman social entrepreneur: “Ten years ago when we talked about music in Riyadh it meant buying a CD — now it is about the concert next month and what ticket are you buying and which of your friends will go with you.”...

 

Normalisation through weakness is the exact opposite of peace through strength, and therefore, is destined to fail. It is an idea that is tinged with betrayal: betrayal of common Arab interests, as well as the betrayal of Palestine. For the people of the Arab world, Palestine has long been a rallying cause because it's about more than geography or a homeland for the Palestinian people. Palestine is the test of Arab conscience...

 

Over the past year, a steady drumbeat of news reports from the Persian Gulf, intelligence assessments regarding Syria’s civil war, and firsthand accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region....

 

 "What we are dealing with here are two princes, both of whom are relatively young. Bin Salman has been showing exceptional boldness, which may even be too adventurous. The decisions that he is making would have been considered insane just a year or two ago, and he is thrusting Saudi diplomacy into entirely new spheres. It will be interesting to see how it all ends."...

 


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  • oN balance,it is a good article- eye opener to Muslims'
    ( By Dr.A.Anburaj )
  • For Muslims Pro.Mohammed alone is Supreme -next to Allah - others who are recognised as Prophets ....
    ( By Dr.A.Anburaj )
  • How about Quran 9:123. At-Tauba (The Repentance) - 9:123 [read in context] ....
    ( By zuma )
  • How about Quran 59:14. Al-Hashr (The Gathering) - 59:14 [read in context] ....
    ( By zuma )
  • Most of the deviations in Islam are the result of mistranslation..Amr, malakat Ayman and fazzal are ....
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  • What the Pakistanis did to Abdus Salam should put all Muslims to shame.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • True, we should respect all prophets equally. We should also listen....
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  • Jesus – Was He God? Many times Jesus referred to His own deity, both....
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  • LET’s examine the Quran more closely: 1. The Quran Has Many Internal Inconsistencies. Here are just ....
    ( By Maria Sanchez )
  • Now will be in their list.
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  • Let's give a bad scenario that Quran 9:5 was written after the Meccans had converted to Muslims, Quran....
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  • AAP KHUD KO MANWAKAR SHARMINDA NAHI HO RAHE THE ....
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  • Recently, the Secretary of the Publications (Tasneefi Academy) at Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Maulana Muhiuddin Ghazi...
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  • Mr. Satish you say, "9:5 was revealed one year after the Meccans had converted to Islam"....
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  • How about Quran 2:246. Al-Baqara (The Cow) - 2:246 [read in context] أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الْمَلإِ مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَى إِذْ قَالُواْ لِنَبِيٍّ ...
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  • Zuma do play interpretation interpretation game, Suktan Shahin does same, misleads to all other who are not believing in your book.' ...
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  • Mr Zuma you are using the word fight though the Arabic word I'd jahd or jahadu or yujahiduna or ....
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  • A reasonable rebuttal of Jehadi attempts to hijack the Quran.
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