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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Tumult in Egypt and America’s Myopic Response

While taking classes at the US Army War College, the officer, a devout Muslim, sometimes led Friday prayers at the local mosque. During campus debates he took exception to those who claimed that political Islam was incompatible with democracy. In his final paper he argued that Arab democracies must include Islamists, even “radical ones”....

 

The Science-Religion Relationship Can Contribute To Inter-Religious Dialogue

Likewise, many theologians are now aware that they cannot pursue their theological commitments and formulate their religious beliefs without taking into account the findings of contemporary science. In other words, today many people realise that science and religion are complementary to each other, a far cry from the earlier model that posited them as being in conflict....

 

Need For a Counter-Ideology to Overcome Radicalism In The Name Of Islam

Terror in the name of Islam is an issue that Khan has for long been concerned about and has sought to counter, including through many of his writings and discourses. In this book, Khan stresses that to tackle Muslim militants and their seeking to provide their militancy with pseudo-religious justification there is a pressing need for Muslims committed to peace to promote an Islamic counter-ideology, a narrative of Islam that is based on peace.....

Muslims Have Issues beyond Polygyny, Triple Talaq and Halala

The urgency with which a batch of homologous petitions have been filed against Halala and polygyny this year, and the media attention that instant Talaq received last year, would make anyone think that these are big, and the only issues facing Indian Muslims. The reality, however, is different. Instant Talaq despite its atrociousness was never a major problem and its setting aside by the apex court had rendered Halala too redundant....

Radical Islam Is the Problem and Moderate Islam Is the Solution

This matter has profound importance: Waters disbelieves, and I do believe in a moderate Islam. She has no hopes for changes in Islam; I argue that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution. Among other benefits, my approach offers the possibility of cooperating with anti-Islamist Muslims, something I hope For Britain will make a priority....

 

The Way Islamic History Unfolded Before and After the Death of Prophet Was Unprecedented

She repeatedly mentions how simple Muhammad's (PBUH) message was and how peaceful was the purpose of his revelation. Allah's guided Prophet wanted to bring a system to the fallen Arabs so that it could expel anarchy and put Islam on the map. She points out that unlike the followers of nearby Christians and Jews, Arabs had no revelation of their own. Muhammad, after taking over Mecca from the Quraysh without shedding a drop of blood, destroyed the idols from Kabah, and linked Islam with the story Abraham, Hagar and Ismail....

 

Pakistan Today Finds Itself Swamped With Crises It Can’t Resolve

Yet one wonders if homo pakistanicus under ideology today, with a 60 per cent literacy rate, is more “dangerous” than the one in 1947 when the literacy rate was less than 20 per cent. Pakistan has a lot of religion but lacks the “software” of useful knowledge needed in today’s world.....

 

A Parallel History of the Mughal Empire and Its Women, Many of Whom Were Accomplished, Educated, Articulate and Cultured

Of these, perhaps the most powerful and flamboyant is Noorjahan who has coins issued in her name and is allowed to issue Farmans — both kingly prerogatives — and who enjoys the singular privilege of being the only wife of Jahangir for the last 16 years of his life. Of her Sir Thomas Roe, the English Ambassador to the Mughal court is constrained to observe: “Noormehal fulfils the observation that in all actions of consequence in court, a woman is not always an ingredient, but commonly a principal drug of most virtue.”...

 

Iran: A Riddle Wrapped In a Bundle of Incomprehensible and Highly Inflammable Contradictions

For decades, modern-looking men with clean-shaven faces, sporting silk ties and wearing Italian suits, had led Iran. They could converse in fluent French and, even more conveniently, in English. They were sometimes criticized for being autocratic, but they were at least “our” autocrats. The country is now led by turbaned and gray-bearded clerics aided by stubble-faced technocrats deeply distrustful not only of US foreign policy but also of many aspects of secular culture—except nuclear technology....

 

Benazir Bhutto Remembered: Charisma Hides Corruption in Pakistan
Khaled Ahmed

BB tried to be pragmatic and to be on the right side of General Aslam Beg, the army chief, but “her minister for defence, Colonel Sarwar Cheema, did not help with the equation and incurred the hostility of the army chief”. BB was not good herself at taking sane advice as she ignored Hassan Zaheer, her principal secretary and author of a tell-all book on the dismemberment of East Pakistan....

 

Conflict between Religion and Politics in Today’s fractured Islamic World

The long counterinsurgency campaign included the Bud Dajo massacre (March 1906) of nearly a thousand unarmed Muslim villagers who had taken refuge in an extinct volcano on the island of Jolo. A grim photograph of American soldiers posturing afterward like big-game hunters over a heap of corpses would not look out of place in a Holocaust museum. When asked by a Senate committee in 1902 if punishing families by burning crops and villages lay within the rules of civilized warfare, Brigadier General Robert Patterson Hughes, provost marshal general of Manila, replied, “Those people are not civilized.”...

A Pakistani Does Not Equal A Muslim and A Muslim Does Not Equal Pakistani
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The first is the idea of Islamic ideology as the basis of polity in Pakistan. To this end, he quotes both Suhrawardy and Toynbee, showing that any attempt to create an exclusively Muslim or Islamic state would actually lead to the state’s destruction. Indeed it would have been even more useful if he would have referred to Mr Jinnah himself, who had told the Raja of Mahmudabad that the idea of an Islamic state where Muslims were divided into 70 plus sects would mean the state’s dissolution....

 

Survival of a Civilisation Depends On a Creative Minority
Mubarak Ali

Toynbee argues that the process of history cannot be understood rationally because history is a creation of God and man is just an instrument who helps accomplish a divine plan. Therefore, human nature should be understood through intuition and by adopting mystical methods....

Extricating Pakistan from Islamism

Pakistan does need to self examine in order to shift the narrative from its repressive commitment to religion. India, too, has a major role to play by helping it shed the feeling of insecurity from its larger neighbour that had been responsible for many of the course shifts. There is a laundry list of political and social initiatives but Madiha also retains a realistic outlook by pointing out that the Islamists are sure to oppose legal reforms, reform in school curricula and regulation of Madrasas....

 

The Rise of Syed Qutub in Muslim Brotherhood Hierarchy: The Secret Islamist Society That Nurtured Jihadist Terrorism

If Jahiliyyah amounted to the servitude of humans to other humans, for Qutb, true Islamic life involves total submission to God. Qutb preached that Islam would ultimately prevail but its triumph would not occur simply by virtue of its revelation by God but rather through a group of people understanding the task, believing in it completely and conforming to it as closely as possible.” Qutb called for the creation of a Qur’anic generation which would act as a vanguard “to point out the road of salvation to humanity and to build the road as well.”...

 

Why Pakistan Lost Out
Khaled Ahmed

The state was more inclined to favour the narrow worldview of the madrasa than the schools it ran or private sector schools. Politicians who announce doing away with “English-medium” O-level institutions have no regard for the job market that regularly rejects the ideologically acceptable products. The book asserts: “Over the past three decades, intolerance and violent reactions to dissent and differences of opinions, particularly relating to issues that have to do with religion....

 

Why Islam's Reformers are Vitally Important

Indeed, the paucity of books on anti-Islamist Muslims symbolizes their larger predicament: they are threatened, marginalized, and dismissed as frauds. Threats come from the Islamists, the advocates of applying Islamic law in its entirety and severity as a means to regain the medieval glory of Islam. Islamists attack modernizers with words and weapons, rightly sensing that these liberal Muslims pose a profound challenge to the current Islamist hegemony. ...

 

Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny

In response to the spiritual void and uncertainty of the 'new Iran' - many sought out 'uncanny' ways to deal with the new reality. The Iranian Metaphysicals tries to make sense of the complex and discursive realm of contemporary Iranian spirituality. An anthropological work; we encounter a wide range of people, from clerics, to laymen to scientists....

 

No Home for the Weary: Insightful Accounts of the Rohingya Crisis Unfolding In Myanmar and Its Deep Resonance across South Asia

Ibrahim and Wade agree that the transition to democracy failed to reverse the crisis for the Rohingya because the National League for Democracy (NLD), a party of and for Burmans, never saw this issue as crucial. During the transition and into current times, taking a stand for the Rohingya has become politically risky even for Suu Kyi. Wade observes that “[p]rior to 2012… [t]hey were never incorporated into the narrative of the wider struggle of persecuted minorities there. They had no voice, and no presence. It seemed as if they were ghosts — people who lived in Myanmar, but who didn’t quite exist.” NLD spokesman U Win Htein told Wade: “We have thousands of problems, and Muslim problems are one of a thousand. We will deal with each and every one of them according to the priority we choose”....

 

How Islam Shaped the Enlightenment

What this book shows is that the great philosophes may have been innovative thinkers, and they took Islam seriously as a religion, but they ultimately lacked the scholarly skill to excavate Islam in Europe. It was, instead, done by an often motley group of scholars who fought against remarkable odds to establish the field of Islamic studies. As we know today, this did not necessarily lead to a great understanding between religions....

 

Making Music for a Peaceful World!

Splashed with amazing colour pictures, Why I Still Carry a Guitar is a must-read book that can stir one’s conscience and make us think that though we may be born in a certain faith context, as we grow up, rather than blindly swallowing whatever has been told to us by others, we should to study deeply matters of faith independently and seek thereby to get a better understanding of God. Then religion may become sheer music to the ears! ....

 

The Ideology of ISIS: A Global Threat

One of the major debates under the rubric of security dilemma shaped the question: how to understand Islam? The American presence in the Middle East in general and its influence in Muslim majority countries first saw the birth of Al-Qaeda, a group under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden. He once was the blue-eyed boy of the White House who later turned rogue. The attack in 2001 shaped the American policies towards Muslims in general; it led to American misadventures in Iraq in 2003 under the rhetoric of ‘either with us or against us’....

 

There is always the question of the degree of religiosity observed by a family. Then there are other questions that Farooquee’s childhood stories address: What does your family think about cow slaughter? They oppose it when others around them oppose it as they do not want sentiments to be hurt. Is circumcision painful? Not at all. You can hardly feel it when it happens....

 

Why Europe Need Not Fear Muslims

“The civilization of Muslim Spain was the embodiment of the Islamic compulsion to seek Ilm, or knowledge. Andalusia produced many firsts. Through Spain, Europe received models for universities (Oxford and Cambridge are examples), philosophy and literature, and the study of medicine originating from the work of Avicenna and Abulcasis.”...

Islam Is All about God’s Immense Compassion: Islam Is Good, Muslims Should Follow It – Part 2
Sanjiv Bhatla, New Age Islam

It stands to reason that if Islamic jurists had set the example of kindness and compassion as advocated by Islam, and additionally of tolerance and open mindedness as displayed by Prophet Muhammad himself, then a common Muslim too would have cultivated these qualities in his day-to-day conduct. …As things stand, because of the Islamic jurists’ rigidity, a common Muslim walks around with a halo of intolerance hanging over his head. It surely puts him in a bad light in comparison to the peoples from other faiths.  To love a religion is one thing, to be haughty about it is another. Muslims by and large do not seem to understand the difference…..

 
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