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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

Reconciliation Process in Palestine
Moonis Ahmar
Reconciliation Process in Palestine
Moonis Ahmar

The Israeli state taking advantage of fragmentation within the Arab world and split in the Palestinian community in the form of Hamas and Al-Fatah deepened its program to settle hundreds of thousands of Jews in the West Bank. Consequently, West Bank, which before June 1967 Arab-Israeli war was under the Jordanian control, has lost its demographic edge in favour of Jews.....

 

This will not affect the legal status of one group – children born to undocumented Bangladeshi parents in the United States. They were granted citizenship as a birthright, thereby giving them a very different life from their parents. It is time for Bangladesh to formulate a policy that will address this issue of citizenship of children born in the Rohingya camps....

 
Revisiting Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

Salman Rushdie’s almost magical dream like complex web of fiction titled Satanic Verses is not easy to fathom even for an unbiased mind on its first reading. The nuanced references to maliciously crafted Hadith however are obvious to detect and therefore for those to whom the corpus is “holy, Shariff and Sahi” must be a cause for concern, a blasphemy and a hurt. It was perhaps this that caused a supposedly learned Iranian Supreme Spiritual Leader Khomeini to issue a fatwa of death on the author. An edict at that time had influenced a few minds against Salman Rushdie as he being instrumental in causing strife in the larger community of Muslims....

How Salafism's Rise Threatens Gaza
Colin P. Clarke
How Salafism's Rise Threatens Gaza
Colin P. Clarke

With ISIS' example in mind and that group's success in taking over large swaths of Syria and Iraq, the active Salafi groups in Gaza have gone to great lengths to position themselves as the most radical organizations within the occupied territories. These groups consider Hamas members infidels for their willingness to participate in Palestinian legislative elections in 2006. Salafi groups are inherently opposed to elections, since they believe that only God's law matters and that Sharia is the only acceptable governing platform....

 
Pakistan: One Country, Several Systems
Yaqoob Khan Bangash
Pakistan: One Country, Several Systems
Yaqoob Khan Bangash

Since its inception Pakistan has always decried that ‘external forces’ are trying to destabilise and dismember it.  This fear has led the state to become suspicious of all regional movements for rights or autonomy, and everything which does not fit the state’s narrative. This mind-set has not only promoted conspiracy theories and made stars out of conspiracy theorists; it has also led Pakistan to become a prisoner to its own fears....

 

According to Jaber and Bseiso, the national library is important for Palestine because it will gather the scattered documents that trace Palestinian history, such as the remaining archives of the Palestinian Research Centre, which are preserved in Algeria, as well as documents in Britain that date back to the days of the British Mandate and documents related to properties and land ownership in the Ottoman archives.....

 

In the Muslim countries such as in Pakistan for example, where on Fridays particularly, scores of innocent people are slaughtered in houses of worship by terrorists, does not rate a mention in the international media more than once, if at that and no fatwa is issued. It seems that generally mass killing committed by non-Muslims of non-Muslims, non-Muslims of Muslims and Muslims of Muslims is not defined as terrorism, State or non-State sponsored, but if Muslims commit the same on non-Muslims, it is definitely defined as Terrorism.....

Not only did the percentage of Pakistanis below the poverty line fall over the last few decades, it fell so fast, that despite the census recording the addition of 75 million people, there are actually at least 25 million less people below the line than in 1998....

 
My Religion Is Not the Business of the State
Yasser Latif Hamdani
My Religion Is Not the Business of the State
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Yes the same Attaullah Shah Bokhari who famously said that those who vote for Jinnah or the Muslim League are the same as those who eat pork. Majlis-e-Ahrar called Pakistan Kafiristan and called Jinnah Kafir-e-Azam, but in this country that Jinnah founded, we have to live by the diktat of these personnel. The purpose of the Constitution is not to fix your religious belief or Aqeedah....

 

In common with the Sadat Egypt, Mr Mubarak’s Egypt is marked by too much Western influence and dependence on US aid, conspicuous consumption by rich entrepreneurs, and the peace with Israel - all seen by Arab and Western commentators as reasons why Mr Sadat lost his popularity and died unregretted....

 
Iran’s Pressure on Kurds Could Backfire
Fazel Hawramy
Iran’s Pressure on Kurds Could Backfire
Fazel Hawramy

Iran devoted enormous energy to try to prevent Iraqi Kurds from holding their Sept. 25 independence referendum, accusing the Kurdish leadership of recklessness and endangering the stability of the region. Having failed in that endeavour, officials in Tehran are now at a loss as to what punitive measures they can realistically take to punish the Kurds without causing further instability on their doorstep.....

 

But where does a Pakistani politician acquire the art of speaking persuasively? Unfortunately, our party platforms have become notorious for being used only to abuse rivals, and our legislatures are rarely treated to insightful speeches that could command the respect of both friend and critic....

How Syria’s Victory Reshapes Mideast
Alastair Crooke
How Syria’s Victory Reshapes Mideast
Alastair Crooke

Western officials may imagine that they have a hold over Syria by holding reconstruction funding hostage to having their way with Syria’s future: if this is so, they will as wrong about this as they have been on almost everything pertaining to Syria....

 

Despite all those counterweights and brake mechanisms, the sweeping Turkish and Iranian fury against Kurdish statehood makes it difficult to predict what will happen down the road. It seems, however, that Barzani will refrain from going a step further. He is expected to put on his pragmatist’s hat and embark on efforts to soothe the anger of his neighbours, which has haunted Kurdistan for decades...

 
A Proposal for Islam
Mustafa Akyol
A Proposal for Islam
Mustafa Akyol

I came to understand that while I was being held in the JAWI headquarters, listening to a loud Quranic recitation coming from the next room. I heard the Quran and for the first time in my life it sounded like the voice of an oppressor. But I did not give in to that impression. “I hear you and I trust in you, God,” I said as I prayed, “despite these bigots who act in your name.”...

More than 92% of voters in Iraqi Kurdistan have opted for independence, according to election monitors, in an overwhelming endorsement of a proposed split from Baghdad that has sparked increasing threats of air and land blockades that could be imposed as early as Friday. The result came after Iraq’s parliament authorised the prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, to send troops into areas disputed between Arabs and Kurds that were contentiously included in the ballot....

Iraq remains a construction, an artificial confection of miscellaneous, often murderous groups. It is being held together – barely – and the Iraqi leaders wish to keep it this way.  Given its sheer vulnerability, the Iraqi state, or at the very least parts of it, have been ripe for severance. Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, vain efforts to secure various states of autonomy were crushed with cold blooded determination.  Towns such as Halabja and Qala Diza blot the text books as bloodied, failed enterprises....

 

And he thought of Yoda. Like the king, he said, the Jedi master was known for his intelligence. He was popular among Saudis. And – sealing the deal – he was the same color as the Saudi flag. “He was wise and was always strong in his speeches,” Mr. Shehri said of the king. “So I found that Yoda was the closest character to the king. And also Yoda and his light sabre – it’s all green.”...

 

Unfortunately, this form of self-realization does not harmonize well with the predicament of Pakistan’s own minority population whose persecution is the candle that fades into insignificance, at once overwhelming and invisible; part of the national fabric but barely acknowledged....

On the eve of a historic day in Kurdistan, its two biggest hubs were a tale of two cities. In Erbil, the centre of the independence referendum to be held on 25 September, a festival feel that had built for the past week had taken over neighbourhoods. Flags fluttered from street poles, and car windows and shops were festooned with banners proclaiming the dawn of self-determination....

 

Pakistan today does not seem any different to the 9th century when the great Sufi mystic Mansur Hallaj was killed on grounds of blasphemy for his words “Ana ‘l-Haqq” or “I am the Truth”. As is the case today, Hallaj’s execution was motivated by an act of personal revenge by the ruling order of Baghdad — blasphemy was just the feeble excuse to justify this with religious authorities insisting that his words were a claim to divinity. Far from being blasphemous, his words actually signified complete submission to a higher being...

Why Is Turkey So Disjointed Over The Iraqi Kurds?
Merve Tahiroglu and Aykan Erdemir

Iraq’s Kurds are preparing to hold their referendum on independence on Sept. 25, and in Turkey anxieties are high. Ankara, headed by the iron-fisted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, officially opposes the plebiscite. The Turkish government has long feared Kurdish independence outside its borders lest it provoke similar aspirations within them. ...

 

Finally, BNF appeals to the UN and UNSC to take over the control of this disputed region, or, at least, ask Pakistan to give the cases of the above mentioned political workers and other activists to the International Court of Justice or any other impartial Court for a fair trial. Clearly, Gilgit Baltistan (according to UNCIP resolutions of 13th August 1948, 5th Jan. 1949, and 28th April 1949 and so on) does not fall under the ambit of Pakistan’s constitution and its imposed Administration and Judicial system. BNF and other Political and religious workers in Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan are facing death sentences in fake cases without right of appeal in any High Court and Supreme Court....

 

Among the curriculum’s changes, the notion of jihad has garnered particular attention. Defenders of teaching jihad as a love of homeland argue that it is a spiritual concept that has been erroneously co-opted by extremists and wrongly associated with terrorism, and that progressive Muslim groups have been using more peaceful interpretations of the concept for centuries....

A recent religious edict allowing ordinary Egyptian citizens to illegally excavate and keep antiquities and treasure from their own land has triggered an uproar from the country’s government officials and moderate religious scholars.....

 


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  • By asking Muslims and Islamic states to keep away from...
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