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  • Whosoever condemns  terrorism must be welcomed by all.  People trying to foster  universal brotherhood must be supported by....
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • Hats Off is out of his mind. Is there any ambiguity at all?.... 
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • A bunch of hardcore christian theologians says Hats Off! He is not only in denial but resorting to a blatant lie. I repeat that ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • “Why is the Sufi counter-narrative not effective enough to make a difference?” Sufi theologians need to do hard work. They must speak with one voice. The ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Sir, In Sanatana Dharma (aka Hinduism), volumes have been written to establish that E:kam  e:va adviti:yam "One Only without a Second"....
    ( By Chilukuri Bhuvaneswar )
  • @DG Gyan Chandra Sikhism and Buddhism ? Reinterpretation and revision is the call of the hour.
    ( By Anand Kumar )
  • Let there be a 10 day seminar of the learned,men of knowledge.One side Ulemas of Sunni,Shiya or whomsoever....
    ( By DG Gyan Chandra )
  • Good info Mr Abbas. Thanks.'
    ( By Ajoy Chakra )
  • @Ajoy Chakra Turkey and Bosnia and If I am not wrong Azerbijaan too follow the policy of Secularism..' ..
    ( By Syed Arif Abbas Abdi )
  • A scholarly debate with an apostate would be a waste of time. A scholarly debate...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Extremism is the result of ignorance and inability to think for oneself. Forgetting the fundamental principles...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hadith tales, whether they be about Taif or Ghazwa-e-Hind, do not deserve our time...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sufism is not Islam and against the teaching of Islam.In order to judge some thing as Islamic, it must....
    ( By Abu Basim Khan )
  • haha...offering water to tree of islam and secretly cutting its roots.....
    ( By Ahraz Mohiudin )
  • The coexistence and tolerance of Islam /Quran exposed in Islamic countries whereas same Islam adopt altogether ....
    ( By Vijay Tiwari )
  • But you are not opening eyes for 49th Imam and Fatimid khalifatullah Kareem Shah Al Hussaini led Islam??
    ( By Muhammad Mukhtar Alam )
  • Absolutely right@Iqbal'
    ( By Muhammad Shah Rukh )
  • @Dalchand Chauhan , you are as bigoted and fundamentalist as your sanghie friends like shaheen etc.'
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • @U P Ojha Sir, of course very nice guys are there but very few have guts to come forth rest maintain low profile by suppressing ...
    ( By Dalchand Chauhan )
  • The fact that this could be considered an act of apostasy must not be ruled out ... We have to appreciate reformers coming from the ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • Chauhan sahb, 90 % of Indian muslin are illiterates and rest 80% are blind Orthodox....
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • @U.p. Ojha Dear sir, his(Sultan Shahin) job will be great only if he is listened, acted upon by the Muslim masses ....
    ( By Dalchand Chauhan )
  • If Islam has survived on sword and war then tell me how this Islam has spread In India. Just by Saint of Allah Khawaja Gareeb ...
    ( By Muhammad Shah Rukh )
  • @Bijay Choudhary Sir,the word terrorism has been unfortunately labelled to Muslims. Why doesn't the Indian media call the Maoists ....
    ( By Aamirr Sohail )
  • @amirr Sohail America fought in Korea in Vietnam for years then why Vietnamese and Koreans did not took to terrorism. No ....
    ( By Bijay Choudhary )
  • @Bijay Choudhary  Islamic terrorism is only 20 years old and Quran is about 1400 years old. Do you still think that the ....
    ( By Aamirr Sohail )
  • Islam has survived on the strength of sword and fire ,war and hatred which are enshrined in Quoran. Unless ....
    ( By Bijay Choudhary )
  • @Aamirr Sohail RSS is a Nationalist party ..  Many young muslim boys have ....
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • Stop RSS terrorism first, your RSS terrorists are becoming prime minsters and minsters.' ....
    ( By Aamirr Sohail )
  • The very foundation of Islam , as I understand , is based on violence .. When I talk to muslim guys .. their way ....
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • a bunch of biased hard core christian theologians are expected to support christian...
    ( By hats off! )
  • as usual mr. naseer ahmed proves his mastery over wilful ambiguity....
    ( By hats off! )
  • @Meraj Siddiqui he meant the stupid statement of mohammed arif as being a ....
    ( By Ali Siddiqui )
  • Ojha you are advised to study the Quran. You will get all the solutions of the problems...
    ( By Meraj Siddiqui )
  • @Mohammad Arif Ali Siddiqui And you are an idiot'
    ( By Ali Siddiqui )
  • Have you ever read it. If a Hollywood actress like Lindsay Lohan can accept Islam by reading ...
    ( By Aamirr Sohail )
  • @UP Ojha At present Islam is deep embedded in Indian subcontinent with largest of its ....
    ( By Ajukis Rambler )
  • Yes, very right, have put it to it's real place'.
    ( By Dalchand Chauhan )
  • If a book has so much to create violence than peace than why don't all just denounce...
    ( By Chandan Bandyopadhyay )
  • Whatever it is it SURELY not God revealed as being claimed, and can be modified...
    ( By Venugopal Bhat )
  • Your Favourite Author's Page

      

    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    A regular NewAgeIslam.com columnist, Arshad Alam is a Delhi-based academic, political commentator and writer.


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

     
    Islam and Tolerance

    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....

    Islam and Politics
    What Explains BJP’s Win in UP
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    What Explains BJP’s Win in UP
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    While reams of paper have been wasted arguing the positives and negatives of demonetization, what escaped the analysts’ attention was that this was never a move about black money or to positively influence the economic order. It was a thorough political move aimed at transforming Modi into an icon of the poor. While we all saw the recalibration of ATMs to accommodate new notes, what we missed was the simultaneous recalibration of Modi’s image as the messiah of the poor. Politics is about perceptions and till the time Modi is seen as hurting the interests of the rich, he will remain the darling of the masses....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    ISIS in India?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    ISIS in India?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The media overreach which happened in this case actually helps no one. Going ballistic over the ‘ISIS in India’ and coming to conclusions even before the investigating agencies have started looking into the profile of alleged terrorists only helps stoke negative fears about a section of Indian population. More so when the same media houses have maintained a studied silence on the alleged links of some members of Madhya Pradesh unit of BJP with the ISI or the recent conviction of some members of the RSS in Ajmer blast case. This hypocrisy only lends credence to the perception that the media is biased and has an agenda which makes the Muslim community nervous.....

    Islam and Politics

    Syed Shahabuddin: The Failure of a Promise
    Syed Shahabuddin

    A career bureaucrat, a politician and a chronicler of Muslim times are some of the ways in which one can describe Syed Shahabuddin. A risk taker, he resigned from his job in the Indian Foreign Service to become a full time politician, something which was a rarity those days, especially for someone who was a Muslim. A man with middle class moorings, it must have required great courage and conviction to leave his job and try to dabble in politics....

    Islam and Tolerance

    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...

    Islam and Sectarianism

    Attack on Qalandar Shrine: Muslims Themselves are the Problem
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Isn’t it known for a fact that Salafi madrasas equate visitations to shrines as grave worship and therefore consider majority of South Asian Muslims as potential idolaters? The same hate is being peddled in the name of Islamic literature through cheap publications and sermons on televisions. Acts like bombing shrines are a direct result of what is going on in our homes, our schools and in our neighbourhood. There cannot be any dispassionate discussion on the causes of such brutality without asking tough questions about ourselves as to how our own hate mongering about different maslaks (sects) have acquired a new normality within our everyday discourses.....

    Islam and the Media
    Why Muslims Need Their Own Media House
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Why Muslims Need Their Own Media House
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Muslims are also reported in the mainstream media through their ‘peculiarities’, particularly in terms of their religion. Thus stories on triple Talaq, polygamy and such issues gain wide prominence within the mainstream media. A bit of research would tell us that polygamy is more among Hindu castes than Muslims, but when there is a discourse of relating a community to the practice of its religion, and then all facts and figures are given a go by. The problem is compounded by the well-entrenched belief among the media establishment that Muslims are best represented by the Ulema. And thus we have in television studios Muslim religious clerics who through their ignorance and trying to reduce everything to religion, end up giving a bad name to Muslims.....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Madrasas, Islamism and Terrorism
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Madrasas, Islamism and Terrorism
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The sophistication that is required for arms training and the knowledge that accompanies such training simply eludes a madrasa graduate. Within their madrasas they are too engrossed in literal textual hair splitting and in repeating a knowledge system which has absolutely no relationship with the present world. When an average madrasa graduate in India cannot locate USA on the world map, then it is too much to expect from him to be involved in the obliteration of America. When average madrasa graduate is taught that it is the Shia and the Ahmadias who are the enemies of Islam, then it is natural that their energy will be channelized in countering them rather than thinking about waging jihad against the Hindus....

    Islamic Ideology

    On the Self Acquired Importance of the Ulema
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The ‘golden age’ of Islam tells us that there was always a tension between the Ulema and the philosophers. The latter did not take them seriously and at times publicly lambasted them for their limited understanding of how the world works. To make matters worse, there were poets whose favourite pastime was ridiculing the Ulema for the incoherence of their thoughts. Moreover, philosophers were Aalims in their own right: no one could accuse IbnSina or IbnRushd for not knowing religion. Indeed, in their own worlds there was hardly a distinction between the pursuit of religious and material knowledge....

    Islamic Society

    Why Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan and Indonesia Must be Repealed
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Analysts say that it is understandable that these things are happening in Pakistan. After all the country was made in the name of Islam; so it is a natural outcome that Islam will pay an important role in the public sphere. But then similar things are happening in Indonesia, a country whose tolerance and democracy was touted as the role model for Muslim countries the world over. The world’s most populous Muslim country with mid boggling diversity in terms of ethnicity, religions and languages is today falling prey to the same rhetoric making Islam the only standard against which all other religious and secular traditions must be judged and evaluated.....

    Islamic Society

    Madrasas and Failure of Muslim Leadership
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    There was an attempt made by the earlier government to bring all such madrasas under one umbrella by creating an All India Madrasa Board. It was a good idea to start with, but with various interests competing as Muslim interests, there was hardly any headway and eventually the suggestion went to the cold storage. The interesting part of this proposal was the it were Muslims themselves who had drafted this proposal. But then for many successive governments, some Muslims are more important than others. The opposition to this proposal from the Ulema saw to it that the bold proposal by reform minded Muslims was shelved....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Will Turkey Become another Pakistan?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Will Turkey Become another Pakistan?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The regularity with which terrorists are able to attack key cities in Turkey is alarming. The previous year saw more than 25 terror attacks in different parts of the country including Ankara and Istanbul. Most of these attacks have been attributed to Islamist terrorism but then even the erstwhile secular formation like the Kurdistan Workers’ Party is not unknown to have used terror tactics. The latest attack yesterday on a nightclub in Istanbul is just one more in a series of such attacks. It is not clear whether there were multiple attackers involved but surely the analysis is veering around the consensus that it seems to be the handiwork of the ISIS. ...

    Islamic Society
    Rohingyas and the Myth of Ummah
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Rohingyas and the Myth of Ummah
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    It is not that atrocities against these Muslims have not been documented: Human rights groups have done and have tried to make international bodies aware of it. Despite all these documented proofs, important Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran have not been able to isolate Myanmar over this issue. We need to ask those who swear in the name of the Ummah: is the blood of Rohingyas insipid in comparison to other Muslims?...

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Berlin Attack is a Test of German Patience
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The detailed contours of the attack will emerge slowly but surely. After all the German police and the media have shown restraint in the past and are showing it now by not jumping the gun by naming this Islamic organization or another. They are not even unequivocally saying that this is an Islamic terrorist attack. Contrast this with the Indian media: within minutes they seem to know the name of the terrorists, the organization which they belong to, and even their other plans. But this is beside the point; the contrast only being made to show that despite such atrocities the German press and the police have maintained their neutrality and are still not openly hostile towards the Muslims.....

     
    Interfaith Dialogue
    Is a Dalit Muslim Unity Possible?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Is a Dalit Muslim Unity Possible?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Thus in all probability, this alliance is going to be a political alliance of convenience. It would have been much better if this alliance would also become a social alliance between Dalits and Muslims. But for that to happen, Muslims have to engage with the entrenched caste practices and ideas within their own community. It is all very well to say that Islam does not recognise caste, but anyone who is familiar with Muslim society would say that Muslims are as casteist as the Hindu society.....

    Islamic Society

    Jamiat Conference and the Mirage of Deobandi Barelvi Truce
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Both these sects are also an institutional organization which means that they run an organized system of mosques and madrasas. If they are really serious about doing something about their differences, then perhaps the first site to start doing this should be the madrasas. After all, it is through the network of madrasas that these differences are forged onto the minds of students and the common Muslims. Why not start by repudiating those texts which denounce the other sect as deviant Muslims....

    Islamic Society
    Uniform Civil Code or Islamic Reform?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Uniform Civil Code or Islamic Reform?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The position of AIMPLB is only furthering the agenda of the BJP. If the BJP wants to portray the Muslims as the regressive minority, the AIMPLB is more than willing to act like one. By not engaging with the questionnaire of the law commission, it does not realise that it is sending a wrong message to other communities that Muslims remain committed to be wedded to the norms of a bygone era and refuse to come out of it. Granted that BJP might be willing to polarise society for electoral purposes, granted that it has a hidden agenda; ....

    Islamic Society

    Beyond the Moderate and Radical in Indian Islam
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

     The regime of reform became common to both the Barelvis and the Deobandis, following the model of early Islam which was adopted by them both. The problem of the loss of pluralism starts from there: till that model of early Islam heavily infused with Arab cultural traditions gets questioned, there is no point pitting moderate Barelvis against the radical Deobandis....

    Islam, Women and Feminism
    Europe and the Muslim Body
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Europe and the Muslim Body
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Sex and sexuality was never a taboo subject and early Islamic texts devote pages after pages to its discussion. Hence in Islam liberal ideas may not develop a critique of the body similar to the West for the simple reason that the Muslim body was never denied its pleasures. Thus the reason why some Muslim women would not see the veil as a symbol of sexual repression while the Christian West will is precisely because their historical and religious experiences have been very different. By reading the veil only as a symbol of oppression, Europe wants to universalize its own historical biases, anxieties and particularisms. ...

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Haji Ali for All: The Hon'ble Mumbai High Court Did Not Agree With the Mullahs’ Claim That Islam Is a Backward, Regressive Religion
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The second observation of the Court was that they wanted to know if segregation was an essential feature of the Islamic faith. It is a matter of great shame that the Dargah trustees went at length to prove that it was essential to the Islamic faith. Marshalling passages from the Quran and Hadees, they went at great lengths to show how Islam indeed was a backward, regressive religion which limited the movement of women. The Court however was not convinced and could not find any merit in the argument that allowing women to pray at the Dargah will fundamentally alter the faith of Islam....

    Islamic Society

    Anjem Choudary and His Followers Bring Shame to Islam
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The prime question which never gets asked either by the Choudarys or the Naiks and millions of other Muslims is that why they are being made targets of vilification. What else do they expect when in the 21st century, they want to implement an early medieval law? Do they think that the world will appreciate them when they advocate amputation for minor theft, when they have no law to tackle sexual assault or when they justify slavery by denying agency to women in all quarters of life? ...

    Islamic Society

    Indian Muslims: Lopsided Priorities; Introspection and an Engagement with This World Is Missing
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    But perhaps the problem is much deeper and it has to be so with the way Islam itself is seen by its followers. For the adherents of this religion, Islamic supremacy is the norm since it believes that Islam is the most perfect and true of all religions. …

    Things can be rectified. But for that Muslims have to understand that theirs is not the only religion in the world which is divinely revealed. Moreover, they have to think anew their relationship with the nation state where they are in a minority. Islam has to take a back seat because there is nothing here which can tell them how to interact when they are in a minority situation. The only way forward is to accept the new challenges and altered realities which have come in the wake of modernity. Sadly, such introspection and an engagement with this world is missing.

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    The Problem with Zakir Naik: Even if he can’t be linked to Terrorism yet, he must be taken to task for Outmoded and Medieval Theological Interpretation of Islam
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    If one assumes that Islam is perfection, that Quran is the uncreated word of God, then perhaps there is no need for any introspection. Best of all, then perhaps there is no problem with Islam and by extension Muslims. In pandering to these beliefs, Zakir Naik is not engaging in any dialogue. In fact, he is not even interested in a dialogue.

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Obfuscating Terror: Zakir Naik is not the only one who believes in the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was an insider job as part of a grand design to malign Islam
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Both were apparent during the holiest Muslim month of Ramzan which will go down in history as one of the bloodiest. In terrorist literature, Ramzan is called the month of jihad and action. True to their calling, they were able to murder and maim scores in Istanbul, Baghdad and Dhaka, not to mention other smaller acts of so-called jihad....

    Books and Documents

    Deoband and Theological Anti-Pluralism: A Critique of Husain Ahmad Madani’s ‘Islam and Composite Nationalism’
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    In order to make this transition from plurality to pluralism, Madani would have to forgo his own notion of superiority of Islam over other religions. This he is clearly unwilling to do. Islam for him is the only true religion and it is this conviction which leads him to claim that, ‘while being aware of the truth of their (other religions’) falsehood’, Islam is ready to ‘cooperate and tolerate’ them. In other words, Madani not only disqualifies and derogates other religions as being false, he is also of the view that, ultimately, Hindustan be Islamised: that the Hindu–Muslim entente (composite nationalism) is only required till the time people of this country do not become Muslims (Jab Tak Hindustan Ke Tamam Baashinde Mussalman Nahin Ho Jate). Such a notion hardly augurs well for any kind of pluralism….

    Although, Madani accepts that Muslims in India already cooperate with ‘non-Muslims’ on a number of civic and non-religious issues, his plea is that this temporal cooperation should not be confused with any kind of religious co-operation. Even the ‘compositeness’ of his nationalism is not an end in itself. In his own words, this composite nationalism is ‘temporary and special’ and is only required till the ‘light of true religion (read Islam) dispels its (India’s) darkness’. Shedding further light on his ‘special’ and ‘temporary’ concept, Madani elucidates that ‘composite nationalism is needed only till such time different communities (Aqwaam, sng. Qaum) and different religions exist in a country. When the entire nation becomes Muslim (which is the prime real aim: Jo Ki Awwaleen Maksad Hai), where is the need for it?’ It is very clear, therefore, that for Madani, even diversity, (forget pluralism) holds no merit of its own, rather its advocacy is strategically needed only for such time till Islam becomes the sole hegemonic religion of India. ….                                                                           

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    TOP ARTICLE

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
    If Islam Means Peace, Why Is Much Of Its Theology Soaked In Hatred, Humiliation, Offensive War?
    Sultan Shahin, New Age Islam

    Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common feature is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist and totalitarian Jihadi theology. This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation, that 1.6 billion Muslims believe, teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness.

     But there has to be a reason why jihadi ideology has gained acceptance so quickly; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars prove so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, including Muslims, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to heaven?

     Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself.....

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