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  • Your Favourite Author's Page

      

    Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, NewAgeIslam.com

    Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor of this progressive Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com and President of non-profit NGO New Age Islam Foundation and its subsidiary Education for Peace, a center for preventing radicalization, established in April 2008. He has over four decades of experience in journalism, mostly writing op-eds for major Indian and international publications, specializing in Islamic theology and Muslim politics. As a human rights defender, he has been representing major international NGOs and participating in debates at the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva for over a decade. He considers Islam as a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many, not a totalitarian political philosophy to dominate the world. He founded this website, seeking to rethink Islam, in all its aspects, to adjust to the demands of changing times, and thus to encourage Ijtihad in earnest.


    Please read below the articles written by him for NewAgeIslam.com

     
    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Islamism and Islamophobia Have Created a Vicious Cycle of Xenophobic Violence, Sultan Shahin Asks UNHRC at Geneva to Persuade Muslim Nations to Follow UN Charter

    Mr. President,

    Islamophobia and Islamist violence are both growing and in the unlikeliest of places. Recent attacks on churches in Sri Lanka were as much of a surprise as the attack on mosques in Christchurch. And now copycat attacks are taking place elsewhere. A vicious cycle of xenophobic violence is in operation.

    While the world suffers from Jihadist violence, Muslims in particular suffer the most causalities in sectarian wars incited by the Islamist Jihadist ideology. And yet, even almost two decades after 9/11, Muslim nations continue to be in denial. Islamist ideology based on the Islamic theology of consensus is absolved of any responsibility for violent extremism.

    The result is that Muslim children continue to be taught in madrasas Islam supremacism and contempt for other religions. Even explicitly violent passages have not yet been weeded out from text books.

    The terrorism it generates takes many shapes. If Hindu, Sikh and Christian girls are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan, this too essentially comes from contempt for other religions taught in religious seminaries. In several countries including Pakistan, some Muslims do not wait for courts to pass judgements to punish those they consider guilty.

     The Council should convince the offending states to establish the rule of law on the basis of the UN Charter and repeal unacceptable laws against freedom of religion and conscience.-----

    Islam and Human Rights

    NewAgeIslam.com Founder Sultan Shahin appeals to New Age Islam readers to please click the following link and sign it, all appeals will go automatically

    https://www.change.org/p/president-of-pakistan-pakistan-a-front-line-human-rights-defender-mr-baseer-naveed-rendered-stateless  

    The International Human Rights Council, Hong Kong (IHRC-HK) is extremely concerned about the malicious and unlawful actions of government of Pakistan against its Executive Director, Mr. Abdul Baseer Naveed who has become the Stateless—neither is he citizen of Pakistan nor of Hong Kong, where he has been residing since 2006.  The Pakistani government has deprived him of his passport, freedom of Movement and right to adopt nationality of his choice....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Sultan Shahin’s Response to Dr Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s Message Inciting Kashmiris for Jihad: Kashmiris Know Their Islam Better than You Think,  Stop Trying to Misguide Them

    Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, you should have sought to understand the philosophy of Kashmiriyat that reigns in Kashmir before writing your latest missive. The Muslims of Kashmir have traditionally understood the message of Islam much better than the fundamentalists and exclusivists who present Islam as a totalitarian, fascist, political ideology of world domination, which seeks to eliminate all the scores of religions sent by God before Prophet Mohammad. This is the reason why even those Kashmiri politicians who now advocate secession have contested elections for the legislative Assemblies constituted under India’s secular and progressive constitution. This is the reason why only a few Kashmiri youth have taken to the path of terror, which you call Jihad. Most of the terrorism seen in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been part of a proxy war waged by neighbouring Pakistan for its own ends. Pakistan, of course, has turned export of terrorism to a fine art, affecting all corners of the globe....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Editor Sultan Shahin Urges UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to Consider Jihadi Literature and Intolerance of Minorities in Muslim Countries Too As Defamation of Islam

    The U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, last March, condemning “defamation of religion” as a human rights violation. Speaking for the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Pakistan said that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.” It called on states “to deny impunity” for those exhibiting intolerance of ethnic and religious minorities, and “to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs.”

    However, Mr. President, news reports often emanate from Islamic countries, particularly Pakistan, of intolerance of and disrespect for minority religious beliefs. We also see free publication and distribution of Jihadi literature associating Islam with and indeed promoting human rights violations and extremist violence. Even school and madrasa text books are not free from extremist and exclusivist teachings, asking Muslims to stay away from religious and cultural celebrations of other religious communities. Pakistan’s notorious anti-blasphemy laws ensure that members of religious minorities are either lynched by mobs or awarded death sentences on mere accusations of blasphemy. The case of a Christian lady Aasia Bibi, mercifully out of the country now, has brought this issue to world’s attention. Ahmadiya Muslims are officially excluded from Islam and even debarred from claiming to be Muslim in any way. Like non-Muslim minorities, they too suffer indignities of various kinds in their daily life. Hundreds of young Hindu girls are routinely abducted and forcibly converted to Islam and raped in the name of marriage.

    While this resolution seeks to protect Islam from defamation through any association with terrorism, the religion is routinely defamed in Muslim countries by publication of literature justifying violence against non-Muslim civilians. The very title of a long essay in the Taliban mouthpiece Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad was: ‘Circumstances in which the killing of innocent people among infidels is justified.’

    I would, therefore, urge the Council to ask the Muslim countries to treat intolerance of minorities and Jihadi literature too as defaming the religion of Islam....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Why have Fatwas against Islamist Terrorism failed as A Counter-Terrorism Tool, Explains Sultan Shahin in a Conference in Birmingham, And Suggests the Kind of Fatwa Required

    Numerous fatwas (edicts) have been issued by ulema (Islamic scholars) across the globe, particularly since 9/11 in a bid to stem the tide of Islamist terrorism. Tens of thousands of ulema have endorsed these fatwas issued by influential institutions of Islamic learning of all sects in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as other parts of the world. When issued, these fatwas inspired great expectations. As perceptive and insightful an observer as Mr. Ziauddin Sardar proclaimed “the beginning of the end of the war of terror” when a hundred thousand Deobandi ulema endorsed a fatwa issued by the hundred-year-old Islamic madrasa in Deoband, India, “unequivocally denouncing terrorism,” in June 2008. Similarly, Sufism-oriented Barailwis, hard-line Salafis, Ahl-e-Hadeesis, have all denounced Islamist terrorism in their separate or joint statements. But terrorist ideology continues to attract our youth, particularly in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. What used to be merely a Pakistan-sponsored secessionist struggle is showing signs of tuning into an Islamist struggle for the establishment of Islamic Sharia through a universal Caliphate, very much redolent of the objectives of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS.  Popularizing the slogan of “Shariatya Shahadat,” a militant leader Zakir Musa, Burhan Wani’s successor, even threatened to kill Hurriyat leaders for calling Kashmir’s separatist movement political and not religious. Calling them “hypocrites, infidels, followers of evil”, the militant had warned to chop off their heads to be hanged in Lal Chowk in Srinagar, “if they create hurdles in the path of making Kashmir an Islamic State”....

    Debating Islam

    Tahreef Fil Quran: Has Quran been recorded correctly? How Real Are Questions of Corruption, Distortion, Deletion, Overinclusion or Abrogation in Quran?

    Different Muslims, uncomfortable with these violent verses in Quran have tried different ways of dealing with them. Some have rejected Islam as a divine religion and become and are now becoming in larger numbers "ex-Muslims." Some have taken the instructions to heart and adopted radical extremism and terrorism, as a way of quick transition to Heaven through martyrdom. Others engage in what is called taaweelat or allegorical interpretations. Some Muslims try to change the very meaning of Arabic words used in these verses and say that Arabs have not understood Arabic of the Quran in all these centuries. The consensus theology is that it is every Muslim’s religious duty to help Islam conquer the world and extirpate all other religions, including those that were brought by previous prophets in whom all Muslims must believe to be a Muslim. Most mainstream Muslims accept the consensus theology but do nothing about achieving this religious goal. However, they do applaud, if not openly, at least in their hearts, when someone appears to be doing something about it....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Do Not Repeat the Mistakes of 1989 in Allowing the Return of Taliban, New Age Islam Editor Sultan Shahin Asks International Community at UNHRC in Geneva

    Mr. President,

    The US is withdrawing from Afghanistan as well as from Iraq and Syria. Inspired by the Taliban declaration of victory, a radicalised terrorist in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, backed by a Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist organisation, attacked an Indian military convoy, killing 40 soldiers. Similar suicide attack killed 27 elite revolutionary guards in Sistan, Iran. Emboldened Jihadists will surely carry out more such attacks in future. The gloating in Islamist circles for having “defeated” both the superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, has reached its peak.

    Mr. President,

    Still fresh in our minds is what happened when the international community abandoned Afghanistan in 1989. Taliban ruled and Al-Qaeda got a safe haven. A series of atrocities including 9/11 and horrors of Islamic State followed.

     In this backdrop, the complacency of the world community in allowing Taliban to govern Afghanistan is inexplicable. Jihadist strength does not come from their soldiers and territories. It comes from an ideology and ideologies cannot be defeated militarily.

    Mr. President,

    The Jihadist ideology is based on very solid foundations in Islamic history, scriptures and theology. Moderate Muslims have not yet succeeded in evolving a satisfactory alternative theology of peace and pluralism to challenge the current theology of violence and exclusion. Even when such a theology evolves, it will take time and effort for it to be established. Mainstream Muslims should be allowed the time and space to work out and propagate a counternarrative. I would, therefore, urge the international community not to repeat the mistakes of 1989 and invite further disasters....

    Islamic Society

    Can Madrasas Be Allowed To Have ‘Sovereignty’? Let Them At Least Weed Out Violent Passages from Their Text First

    “An attack on the sovereignty of madrasas” is how the All India Muslim Personal Law Board secretary described the suggestion to bring the Muslim religious schools under the Right to Education (RTE) act. Madrasas’ autonomy and independence guaranteed under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution will be threatened, Khalid Saifullah Rahmani said recently.

    But, the question is what have Indian madrasas, where more than seven million children go for basic education, made of their autonomy? Even if one concedes that it is okay for them to teach just Islamiyaat, they must be asked what brand of Islam are they teaching these impressionable children?...

    Islam and Pluralism

    Arabic Imperialism Vs. Islamic Pluralism: Has The Time Come For Islam To Go Local?

    Transition to local languages has not been easy for other religions too. A certain holiness does attach itself to some languages. Vedic Sanskrit, for instance, is sacred for Hindus, Hebrew for Jews. Christianity’s struggle to retain the Bible in Latin and Greek was intense and bloody, with a powerful Church putting up a stiff resistance. Eventually, the Bible did speak to the people in their language. The Ulema in India refuse to accept as Quran an Urdu or English translation of the holy book....

    From the Desk of Editor

    Did Islam Change Its Policies From Inclusivism Of Early Madina To Exclusivism And Intolerance Of Religious Minorities In Later Madina Days? Ask New Age Islam Readers
    Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam

    I am receiving calls from agitated readers of an original NewAgeIslam.com article published on 2 August, 2018, reproduced by Urdu daily Inqilab today, of course, without acknowledgement, as is the custom with Urdu Press in India. This was written by our regular columnist Mr. Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi and is titled: How Imran Khan Will Set Up Medina-Like Islamic Welfare State? The paragraph which is troubling readers is the following:

    “Some would argue that Meccan Islamic principles, as compared to the Madinite period of Islam, was more pluralistic, peaceful and inclusivist, though under compulsive circumstances. However, the Islamic state in Madina witnessed an aggressive phase including Ghazwas (Islamic battles), enactment of blasphemy laws, extradition of Jews and Christians, abrogation of the peaceful verses of Qur'an such as La Ikraha Fid-Deen (“No coercion in matters of Religion”).”

    Related Articles:

    How Imran Khan Will Set Up Medina-Like Islamic Welfare State?

    http://www.newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/ghulam-rasool-dehlvi,-new-age-islam/how-imran-khan-will-set-up-medina-like-islamic-welfare-state?/d/116014

     

    عمران خان کس طرح مدینہ جیسا ایک اسلامی ویلفیئر اسٹیٹ قائم کریں گے

    http://www.newageislam.com/urdu-section/how-imran-khan-will-set-up-medina-like-islamic-welfare-state?--عمران-خان-کس-طرح-مدینہ-جیسا-ایک--اسلامی-ویلفیئر-اسٹیٹ--قائم-کریں-گے/d/116055

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Defeating Islamism and Jihadism: Evolve a New Theology of Peace, Pluralism and Gender justice, Sultan Shahin asks Muslim States at UNHRC in Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    A War on Terror has been raging for 17 years now but we are no closer to defeating Islamist terror. Jihadism continues to attract Muslim youth. This is because the world has not paid enough attention to the ideology of Islamism and Jihadism.

    Mainstream Muslims have considered Islam a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many. Islam aims at reforming society for a peaceful, harmonious, pluralist existence. However, due to certain historical factors, the theology and jurisprudence of Islam that evolved in the 8th and 9th centuries (CE), present Islam as a political, totalitarian ideology of supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and gender discrimination. It is this theology of violence, exclusivism and world-domination that is taught in madrasas and sustains Islamism. But despite the Islamist violence against peaceful Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the community is still not focussed on the need for evolving a counternarrative of Islam.

     It is imperative that Muslim countries that have signed the UN Charter look into the issue urgently and work towards developing a new theology of peace, pluralism and gender justice. While several countries like Morocco and now Saudi Arabia appear to be moving in this direction, the one country that has made a solid contribution is Turkey. In a decade-long exercise 100 Turkish scholars have managed to limit the number of authentic ahadith to just 1600, out of over 10,000, and provide each hadith with context and suitable interpretation. This book of authentic Hadith has been provided to all mosques in Turkey but I hope it is made available to the global Muslim community in their own languages as soon as possible.

    Allama Iqbal, a poet-philosopher of the South Asian sub-continent had called for the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam almost a hundred years ago. Let us at least start working on it now....

    Debating Islam

    Is God in Islam Just and Rational as Mutazillah believed or Arbitrary and Despotic as Hanbali-Zahiri-Ashari-Maturidi postulate?  Does Quran Support Both Positions?
    By Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam
    … 

    the mainspring of thinking of both these groups, indeed all Islamic scholars of all schools of thought was Quran and except in the case of Mutazillah, Hadith. All of them may have violently disagreed with one another, even thrown each other in prison and got one another lashed, but they were all very sincere seekers of the Truth of Islam. The proof of their sincerely lies in the fact that not one of them recanted, despite facing extreme persecution by the Khulafa of their times. And the source of their thinking was Quran alone in the case of Mutazillah and Hadith and Seerah too in the case of others. Apart from Zahiris and Hanbalis, all of them had studied Greek philosophy, but their primary faith was in Islam and Islamic scriptures.

    Islamic Ideology

    Sufi Theologians Too Need To Introspect and Cleanse Their Theology of Elements of Supremacism and Political Islam: Sultan Shahin Tells Muslim Nations at UNHRC, Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Mr. President,

    Even17 years after 9/11, terrorism in the name of Islam is nowhere near its end. Yet, all that one hears from Muslim leaders is rhetoric against Islamist terrorism. No concrete action has been taken to cleanse the Islamic theology of totalitarianism, xenophobia, intolerance and a historical urge to expand the land of Islam through offensive Jihad. One would think that at least Sufi Muslims, who have been for long a victim of Jihadism, an offshoot of neo-Khwarij Salafism, would introspect and look into their own theology and purify it from elements of political Islam.

    This may sound strange to some. For, Sufism has been identified as the antidote to Jihadism. But we must also understand that Sufi theologians too have been votaries of Islamic world domination. The strangest thing that is happening now is that rather than cleansing their theology of traces of political Islam, sections of Sufi Muslims are actually engaged in what can be called a Wahhabisation of Sufism. The inclusive doctrine of Wahdatul Wujood (unity of being) has been replaced by exclusivist doctrine of Wahdatul Shuhood (unity of perception). Enlightening Sufi books teaching mysticism, ethics and morality have been taken out of the courses of study from Sufi madrasas and women are being barred from visitation of shrines.

    I would like to appeal to Muslim governments represented in the Council to introspect and cleanse the Islamic theology of elements of totalitarianism and offensive Jihad for world domination. There are war-time instructions in Islamic scriptures that should not be considered applicable to us Muslims today in the 21st century. Instead, what even earliest Sufi and Salafi theologians have said is that one so-called sword verse alone has abrogated 124 early verses of Quran preaching peace and pluralism....

    Islam and Politics

    Greater Damascus: The Final Touches on the New Demographic Map
    Eyad Abu Shakra

    Well, logically, what remains of the set ‘scenario’ are determining the details of the Kurdish-American co-operation east of the Euphrates River, and settling the issue of Southern Syria with Israeli input. The pre-2011 is now dead. This is a painful fact that one needs to accept; however, what is even worse and more dangerous is that we are going through the redrawing of new maps in an increasingly fragile and weak region....

     
    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    'Make Revolutionary Changes in the Islamic Theology of Consensus to Fight Jihadism': Sultan Shahin Asks Muslim Nations at UNHRC in Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Sixteen years after 9/11, the issue of Jihadi terrorism has become even more complex and widespread.

    First, though Jihadism is a violent offshoot of Wahhabism and Salafism, the international community has allowed the fountainhead of Wahhabi/Salafi ideology to continue to spend tens of billions of dollars to Wahhabise the world Muslim community.

    Second, we recently saw with horror, but without any protest from the international community, the sight of a UN-designated terrorist, with a ten-million-dollar bounty on his head, launch a political party and nominate another US-designated terrorist to contest democratic elections in Pakistan. Apparently, some countries can ignore UN directives with impunity.

    Third, the Muslim community has failed to grasp that Jihadism spread so rapidly around the world because at its core it is not very different from the theology of consensus that informs the religious beliefs and practices of all Muslim sects. That is why Jihadis are not impressed when we Muslims either proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace and pluralism or when we try to wash our hands off Jihadism by claiming that it has nothing to do with Islam. If we Muslims want to live as honourable citizens in the 21st century’s globalised world, we must rethink our consensus theology in all its dimensions and make revolutionary changes to bring it in line with the needs of present times....

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Triple Talaq Row: Social Boycott as Punishment Is Juvenile; AIMPLB Scholars Must Follow Quran and Accept Inevitability of Change
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    The root of the problem for the ulema lies in the stagnation in Islamic theological thought for over a millennium. Orthodox Islam had called for creative rethinking of issues as and when new situations emerged. This was called ijtihad. It was practised by jurists like Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafei, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, etc. The gates of ijtihad, however, were closed after that. It was said that fresh thinking is no longer required. No one had the authority to close the gates of ijtihad, but ulema accepted that. This is what has caused the biggest problem. Indian ulema are perhaps the most conservative of all today. They would not even accept what their counterparts in Pakistan and Bangladesh have....

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Triple Talaq Controversy: Male Chauvinist Indian Ulema Are Subverting Islam to Mislead the Supreme Court
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    ... Now Islam is a religion being practiced only by some Indian Mullahs, so it would seem. This even amounts to declaring Shias as well as Sunni Wahhabi sects like Ahl-e-Hadith apostate because they consider triple talaq in one session as equal to only one reversible talaq.

    Even stranger is the fact that AIMPLB consists of Ulema from Shia, Ahl-e-Hadith and other Salafi-Wahhabi sects as well.  Why are they not protesting at being virtually called apostate groups which have “re-written Quran and forced Muslims to commit sin, altering the very essence of the religion of Islam” by a group of which they are members?

    The most astounding fact in the AIMPLB affidavit is the justification it seeks for instant triple talaq from the Holy Quran. This has never been done before. Everyone knows there is no justification for instant triple talaq in the holy Quran. All protagonists of the triple talaq in one sitting have so far only quoted Ahadith (so-called sayings of the Prophet, many of them clearly weak and inauthentic, collected hundreds of years after the demise of the Prophet) and juristic rulings of companions of the prophet, or later jurists and theologians.....

    Islamic Ideology
    Is This the Islam of Prophet Mohammad, a Blessing to Mankind?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Is This the Islam of Prophet Mohammad, a Blessing to Mankind?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    So it is good that Sufi ulema, under attack from Wahhabi militants, are coming out to denounce the Salafi understanding of Islam. But is this enough? Do they not need to ask why it’s Salafis who are winning this ideological war? Have Sufi ulema been able to bring back to the Sufi fold even a single Islamist terrorist? After all, all the terrorists of today, at least from the South Asian and African Sahel region were part of a Sufism-oriented Islam until recently. Wahhabism existed mainly in the Arab regions. There were very few Salafis anywhere else. Easy availability of petrodollars for the propagation of Salafism has certainly played an important role. But can money alone bring about this kind of transformation? Why is the Sufi counter-narrative not effective enough to make a difference?

    Writing in this space, almost exactly a year ago, I had made an earnest appeal to the Sufi Ulema and Mashaikh gathering in Delhi for an international conference. I had asked them to go beyond the usual shibboleths and utilse this great opportunity to consider this most urgent question: why is the Sufi focus on positives of Islam not working? The more Sufis and other moderate Muslims denounce terrorism, the more followers this Satanic ideology finds. I had pointed out the basic reason behind this conundrum: the radical theology of violence and exclusion and the current theology of consensus of all ulema, including Sufi ulema, are by and large one and the same. Any differences are cosmetic...

    Islamic Ideology

    If Not the UN Charter, Muslim Countries Should At Least Follow Their Own Primary Scripture, the Holy Quran, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC at Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Blasphemy laws continue to be on the statute books, for instance, in Pakistan. Salman Taseer, the liberal Governor of Punjab was murdered merely because he showed compassion for a Christian lady wrongly accused of blasphemy and asked for the repeal of the blasphemy law. On the basis of this law, religious minorities can be arbitrarily accused of blasphemy and killed, either by a lynch mob or by the judiciary. No evidence is required, as that would allegedly amount to accusers being asked to blaspheme the Prophet again. Similarly, attacks on minority Hindu, Christian, Shias and Ahmadis continue under different legislations. Pakistani laws prohibit the Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims.

    It’s time the Council found some way to see that the countries that agree to its covenants also practice it.

    Such anti-minority legislations not only violate the UN Resolution, but also Islam’s primary scripture. The Holy Quran does not prescribe any punishment for blasphemy. Nor does it permit any one to declare others kafir. It clearly says: La Ikraha fid Deen, (There can be no compulsion in religion). (Chapter 2: verse 256).

    If not the UN Charter, Muslim countries should at least follow their own primary scripture, the Holy Quran.....

    Islamic Sharia Laws
    How Islamic Is Instant Triple Talaq?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    How Islamic Is Instant Triple Talaq?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    As an average Muslim understands, in Islam intention is all-important. So much so, that when a Muslim stands up for prayer, it’s not considered enough that he is doing everything that is done in prayer. He has to specifically state that he intends to pray. Now read what AIMPLB’s law book says in the matter of triple talaq:

    “Talaq-e-Sareeh i.e. Talaq by using clear and plain words effect divorce whether one intends divorce by them or not.”

    It must have been based on this that the Deobandi fatwa told a young Muslim husband that even if you wrote the word talaq thrice in jest while chatting playfully with your newly wedded wife online, your divorce is final and you cannot remarry her unless your wife performs halala, that is, marries someone else, consummates her marriage, sleeps with the new spurious husband for a few nights, and gets a divorce from him later.  Halala is the most obscene social practice among Indian Muslims which has the blessings of all sections of ulema....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Deepening Signs of a Civil War in Islam: Massacres of Sufis in Pakistan In The Name Of Pure Islam Reveals a Worsening Global Crisis
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Today the question is: Is this pure Islam or true Islam, as Salafis claim? Not for the first, nor for the last time, to be sure, over hundred devotees of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh have been killed in the name of what Salafi-Wahhabis consider true, pure Islam. Salafi-Wahhabis abhor Sufism because they believe that Sufi practices resemble pre-Islamic polytheistic Hindu traditions. Any Muslim who strays from the path of what Salafis consider true Islam is an apostate and deserves to be killed. The murderer has been brainwashed by ulema of his sect into believing that he can be assured of a place in heaven if he kills apostates and kuffars....

    Islam and Sectarianism

    Murderous Sectarianism in Islam: Salafi Ulema Should Not Only Condemn the Massacre at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine but Also the Ideology behind It
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    We also need to expose the hypocrites within Islam. There are people who denounce terrorism in public and teach in their madrasas that early peaceful and pluralistic verses of Quran have been abrogated by the later war-time verses asking us to kill the kafir and mushrik. Of course, war-time verses had come in a certain context which no longer exists and so these instructions can no longer apply to us. The first task before us is to come out of denial, accept that our theology and jurisprudence have been corrupted and then start thinking of changing our mindset, so that we can live as peaceful citizens of this inter-connected twenty-first century world....

    Islamic Ideology
    How Islamic Are ‘Islamic’ Blasphemy Laws?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    How Islamic Are ‘Islamic’ Blasphemy Laws?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Regardless of any justification for Blasphemy laws in Muslim countries, common sense suggests that they can only be applied to Muslims. Otherwise, the term blasphemy can be stretched to mean anyone who doesn’t believe Islam to be a true religion. But anti-Blasphemy laws are applied to non-Muslims in every Muslim country that has such laws. So ultimately the question is related to whether Muslims believe in freedom of religion. Clearly many don’t, except when they live in non-Muslim-majority countries.

    Although Quran, Islam’s foundational text, contains hundreds of verses asserting the legitimacy of other religions, a consensus in Islamic theology and jurisprudence has somehow emerged that other religions cannot be allowed to exist. Theologians cannot directly contradict the Quran by saying so, but this is the obvious implication of their doctrines of Jihad. Mainstream Islamic Theology and jurisprudence is completely based on a dichotomy between Muslim and Kafir. Kafirs have to be eventually eliminated from the world, either by persuasion or use of force. The only other option is they accept Muslim domination and accept the status of dhimmis (jizya-paying second class citizens).

    Islam and Politics
    Deoband- Bareilly Unity: Cosmetic and Dangerous
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Deoband- Bareilly Unity: Cosmetic and Dangerous
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    As long as this Muslim-Kafir binary informs the consensus theology of ulema, it will be difficult for Muslims to live amicably with others. Temporary sectarian unity which could threaten permanent communal harmony is not the way forward. As Muslims, we need to not only bridge our internal divides, but also stop thinking in terms of Kafir and Momin. We cannot survive as Muslims in the 21st century multicultural world with our antiquated notions of supremacy and separatism....

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
    Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Denying freedom of religion to Muslims and ex-Muslims, not to speak of non-Muslims, indeed has a long and gory history. The Quranic dictum (2: 256) la ikraha fid Deen [Let there be no compulsion in religion] did not leave an impact beyond the life of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Forcible conversions started with the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) fighting Ridda (apostasy) wars against the tribes who had left Islam after the demise of the Prophet. They were all brought back to the fold of Islam or killed. Similar is the case of Khwarij in the time of the fourth caliph Hazrat Ali (RA) and beyond to neo-Khwarij today, also known as Wahhabi or Salafi.  These groups mostly kill Muslims whom they consider “heretics” including Shias and Ahmadis....

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    TOP ARTICLE

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Why have Fatwas against Islamist Terrorism failed as A Counter-Terrorism Tool, Explains Sultan Shahin in a Conference in Birmingham, And Suggests the Kind of Fatwa Required

    Numerous fatwas (edicts) have been issued by ulema (Islamic scholars) across the globe, particularly since 9/11 in a bid to stem the tide of Islamist terrorism. Tens of thousands of ulema have endorsed these fatwas issued by influential institutions of Islamic learning of all sects in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as other parts of the world. When issued, these fatwas inspired great expectations. As perceptive and insightful an observer as Mr. Ziauddin Sardar proclaimed “the beginning of the end of the war of terror” when a hundred thousand Deobandi ulema endorsed a fatwa issued by the hundred-year-old Islamic madrasa in Deoband, India, “unequivocally denouncing terrorism,” in June 2008. Similarly, Sufism-oriented Barailwis, hard-line Salafis, Ahl-e-Hadeesis, have all denounced Islamist terrorism in their separate or joint statements. But terrorist ideology continues to attract our youth, particularly in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. What used to be merely a Pakistan-sponsored secessionist struggle is showing signs of tuning into an Islamist struggle for the establishment of Islamic Sharia through a universal Caliphate, very much redolent of the objectives of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS.  Popularizing the slogan of “Shariatya Shahadat,” a militant leader Zakir Musa, Burhan Wani’s successor, even threatened to kill Hurriyat leaders for calling Kashmir’s separatist movement political and not religious. Calling them “hypocrites, infidels, followers of evil”, the militant had warned to chop off their heads to be hanged in Lal Chowk in Srinagar, “if they create hurdles in the path of making Kashmir an Islamic State”....

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