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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Between Dictators and Democrats, Pakistan’s Ahmadis Continue to Suffer
Lutful Islam

But when it comes to murders, both the target killings and vigilante actions are commonly attributed to the more militant organisations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, named after Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, a notorious anti-Shia cleric. It seems to be the main group responsible for Ahmadi and Shia killings across Pakistan. There is a whole spectrum of Deobandi groups, ranging from hard-line Taliban to the Punjab based Ahle-Sunnat-wal-Jamaat (ASWJ) which are known to have instigated or perpetrated violence against Ahmadis on a regular basis....

 

Cosmic war divides the world into good and evil, us and them. We do not have a middle ground; we have to choose a side. The terrorist groups like TTP, LeJ, LeT, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar have clearly chosen their sides. They aligned themselves with the forces of “good” that has been assigned a duty to destroy all those Pakistanis who are allies of “evil” (democracy, music, dance; art, culture and above all America)....

 

Kurram Agency: Sectarian Bloodshed
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Apart from the recent suicide attacks, the broad trend of decline in sectarian incidents has given some relief to locals. This has, however, come at the cost of a simultaneous increase in terrorist and militant activities from across the Afghan border. While the security situation has witnessed remarkable improvements, particularly after Army operations in North Waziristan, Orakzai and Kurram's adjacent areas of KP, the presence of TTP and IS on the abutting Afghan territory have created new threats for the Kurram Agency....

 
Honour the Baluch
Akbar Ahmed

Honour the Baluch
Akbar Ahmed

"A Baluch woman dressed in her wedding finery and wearing all her jewellery could walk alone from one end of Baluchistan to the other end without ever being molested." Baluch elders said this in response to a query on Baloch character while sitting with the-then Balochistan's Chief Minister, Jam Mir Qadir Khan of Las Bela. The image struck me as a metaphor; a literal sociological reflection on contemporary Pakistan. It has stayed with me ever since....

 

Sectarian Discourse in Iraq Is Reinforced as Iraq’s Sunnis Eye Post-IS Future under Regional Cover
Omar Sattar

As Sunni political parties move closer to adopting a unified Sunni stance on federalism and national reconciliation, and with Turkey proclaimed as a sponsor for Iraqi Sunnis (just as Iran is sponsoring Shiite parties), sectarian discourse in Iraq is reinforced. Even though some progress was made on the path toward settlement and Iran’s influence was successfully curbed by the US and Arab countries, the absent role of Iraqi national and civil parties on the political level is likely to serve the current sectarian and ethnic divide....

 
HashtagOscarsSoAhmadi
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

HashtagOscarsSoAhmadi
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

An Ahmadi won Best Supporting Actor, a Shia won Best Foreign Language Film, a woman won the Best Actress – if this is not a declaration of war against our sensibilities, what is? By highlighting Ahmadis, homosexuals, and women as representatives of Muslims, they’re trying to marginalise the Sunni Muslim straight men. Fun fact: Ahmadi actors now have 1 Oscar win, compared to zero for Sunni Muslims. But do not expect anyone in the West to create hashtags to underscore our plight....

What if Mahershala Ali visited Pakistan?
Kashif Chaudhry

Despite his extraordinary feat at the Oscars, many prominent Muslim activists refrained from celebrating Mahershala, with some even issuing outright condemnations because of his beliefs. Mahershala also identifies as an Ahmadi, a sect that faces severe persecution at the hands of Sunni supremacists across the Muslim world. ...

Trump’s Ban on Muslims Is Just as Offensive as Pakistan’s Racial Profiling of Pakhtuns
Raza Habib Raja

Every time there is a blast in the country, the ethnicity which gets the spotlight is the Pakhtuns, along with the Afghans. Over the years, the Pakistani public has developed kneejerk hatred against the Afghan Pakhtuns, which has permeated our cultural zeitgeist. There are news of incidents where even ordinary warnings issued by normal law and enforcement agencies openly draw the focus towards them, and reinforce the prevalent stereotypical views. ....

 

Religious Minorities under Muslim Rule
Tesneem Alkiek

Religious minorities are often depicted as oppressed and vulnerable victims of their Muslim rulers. This portrayal, however, is far from accurate. This brief paper seeks to reorient our understanding of the rights and responsibilities religious minorities possessed under Muslim rule....

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 Vs Islam: What Is The Way Forward?
Hatem Bazian

I would like to situate the current period by referencing prophetic traditions that should provide a metaphysical grounding for what is being experienced. In a prophetic Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, it is reported that the Prophet Muhammad said, "Time will pass rapidly, good deeds will decrease, miserliness will be thrown (in the hearts of the people), afflictions will appear and there will be much 'al-Harj." They said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is "al-Harj?" He said, "Killing! Killing!" Another prophetic Hadith states, "Islam will be fought with Islam." If taken together with the first one, then it can provide a better grounding to the crisis underway….

Turkey's Transformation as the Sunni Version of the Shia Theocratic Iran
Tufail Ahmad, New Age Islam

Till 1924, the Islamic world was led by the Ottoman Caliph based in Turkey. During the First World War (1914-1918), the Turkey-led Caliphate began disintegrating. Around this time, Indian Muslims led by Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar and his brother Maulana Shaukat Ali as well as Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad supported the Khilafat Movement for the restoration of the Caliphate, something the ISIS is trying to revive now. The Arab nations, having been mistreated by the Ottoman caliph, disliked Maulana Azad for supporting Turks, though he was respected for his scholarship.....

Pakistani society is still marred by racism and questions of caste, even among Muslims, despite the Qur’an setting out radical equality for all. Across South Asia, Muslims remain divided up by various hierarchical systems. This long trail of caste-related injustice goes back to the beginnings of sub continental societies and seems impervious to the intrusion of other sources of identity such as the nation state or religion....

The Battle for the Souls of Islam
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Most significantly blasphemy is a tazir offence and not a Hadd offence under Islamic law. No religious scholar of Islam will tell you otherwise. This is because the Holy Quran does not prescribe a punishment for blasphemy. This in itself makes the whole issue of blasphemy law a discretionary measure and not binding for a Muslim state to follow. The majority view in Islam has been for the 1000 years that death for blasphemy, in the rarest and most extreme of cases, can only be awarded to an unrepentant Muslim male unless he repents and there is always room for repentance under Islam....

Sectarian Cleansing Rears Its Ugly Face Again In Iraq
Baria Alamuddin

“Sunnis were grabbed in the streets or dragged from their homes and instantly killed. In the first week of the events, militiamen drove around with speakers shouting for Sunni men to come out of their homes. On Jan. 13, more than 100 men were taken and have not been seen since.”...

 

You simply cannot beat an ideology with legal manoeuvring and legislative moves. While we thought hanging Qadri, the gunman, for his disregard for the law would result in establishing some semblance of sanity, what ensued was a stunning mass of his “followers” showing defiance against the writ of the state as they gathered for one of the largest funerals this country has seen. Now there are reports that he is also getting a multimillion shrine built at his burial grounds, which will naturally turn into yet another gathering point for the hardliners....

 

Two men among the children of Israel were the opposite of each other. One of them was a sinner and the other would strive in worship. The worshiper would see the sinner and tell him to stop. One day he found him sinning so he said: Stop! The sinner said: Leave me alone, by my Lord, have you been sent as a watchman over me? The worshiper said: By Allah, Allah will not forgive you or admit you into Paradise. Later their souls were taken and they met in the presence of the Lord of the worlds. Allah said to the worshiper: Did you have knowledge of me or power over what is in my hand? Allah said to the sinner: Enter Paradise by my mercy. And Allah said to the worshiper: Take him to the Hellfire....

Sectarianism In Muslims Is Mostly A Product Of Ignorance And Vested Interests

In line with Quranic spirit, philosophy, art and poetry and mysticism all exhort us to be humble towards the Real or Truth in order to receive it to eschew stubborn dogmatic attitude, to listen more and speak less, to let the Other or Love dictate terms rather than dictate to them, to forego attempt to solve problem of religious divergence here and leave it to God there, to resist attempts at meaning closure or finality of interpretation, to attend to life with all its mystery, uncertainty, inexhaustible richness and beauty. To identify a sectarian ideologue one can apply a golden test “Empty vessels make much noise.” Truth overpowers us and makes one dumb. “Ripeness is all.” “The rest is silence….

How Syria Defeated the Sunni Powers
Emile Hokayem

For Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, this situation raises major moral and political questions: If military victory is no longer feasible, why should they continue to support rebels at the cost of more Syrian lives? Can they and their rebel proxies carve out zones of influence that will allow them to shape Syria’s future? ...

Global order: Ideologies, Religions, Sufism and Sindh-Balochistan – Concluding Part
Zulfiqar Shah

Liberation of mind, for example, has always remained the fundamental of every religion, theosophical movement and sufi paths. It has expressions according to the space, since liberation of mind is usually an act to alleviate beyond the Time. Therefore, faithful, theosophists, and sufis artificially detach from the immediate space which is called Tiag in Sindhi and almost in some other parts of South Asia. This is an attempt of meditative saturation, which basically equates the Time in the space, and the time inside….

 

Why Minority Muslim Sects Are At Most Risk in Pakistan
Raza Habib Raja

And yet this question is raised again and again. To some extent this has its roots in the very genesis of Pakistan. When you create a country for “Muslims” and moreover try to form a constitution in the light of Sharia, with clauses that actually prevent Non-Muslim to be the Head of the State, then perhaps defining a Muslim becomes inevitable….

 

Jinnah Would Have Been Ferociously Maligned, Had He Been Alive Today
Nadeem F. Paracha

Imagine Jinnah alive in 2016. If you can do this, then it should not be hard to also imagine this: a video statement of a cleric would have appeared on social media sites in which the pious gentleman would have exhibited great concern about the founder of Pakistan being a Twelver-Shia....

 

The Ahmedi Community Suffers Under the Religious Right in Pakistan
Saad Sayeed

“Acknowledging Dr Salam is long overdue but it is a good thing on the part of the government,” said Saleem-ud-Din. “They should acknowledge the true heroes of Pakistan.” When asked about the incidents that followed the announcement, he is careful not to make any assertions but merely point to facts. “I cannot connect the two events but all I can say is that the raid at Rabwah and Dr Salam being honoured happened on the same day and both actions were taken by the government.”....

Turkish Islamists’ Trial with Sectarianism
Mustafa Akyol

This dramatic change did not happen because Turkey’s Sunni Islamists suddenly became sectarian after a theological soul-searching. It happened because of a major political drama they witnessed: the Syrian civil war. From the beginning of the war in spring 2011, both the Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Islamists in its base focused on the brutality of the Syrian regime over its people — especially the Sunni opposition...

 

Bigotry against Ahmadis, a Constant in Pakistan
Rabia Mehmood

For about a century now, followers of Ahmadiyya community have been ostracised for an interpretation of Islam that differs from traditional orthodox positions. Ahmadis say their faith has been misinterpreted by mainstream Muslims and clerics intent on persecuting them....

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NEW COMMENTS

  • The most sensible article on the subject.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Atheists believe that they will die like flies and there is no afterlife. Against this backdrop Easter should be viewed. Easter is literally a matter ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Dear Ghulam Muhiuddin Sahab, What you say is so patently obvious that any person who believes Qur'an to be divine speech ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • A very well written article "it is compassion towards others and good deeds " that are the markers of the strength of faith..but who will ...
    ( By awaya )
  • Dear Zuma, You did not answer the question: ‘And how much pluralism does islam offer to atheists, agnostics, kafirs and Mushrikeen and pagans ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Zuma, I endorse your statement that from the Qur’anic perspective, “Allah accepts non-Muslims whether they are Jews or Christians ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Quran calls Muslims to believe in Allah. Who is Allah? Allah is the creator of all human beings. The following are the supporting quranic ...
    ( By zuma )
  • As Allah accepts non-Muslims whether they are Jews or Christians or other religions as long as they ...
    ( By zuma )
  • I do not question Sharmaji's wisdom but we must be aware that he has a clearly atheistic agenda.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • While the basic Quranic ethics remain eternally valid, the legal or quasi-legal commands derived....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I fully agree.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Our goal for frequency of triple talaq must be an emphatic 0%.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Kafir most certainly does not mean either disbeliever or infidel in the sense in which the Quran uses the word....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Qazi Saheb, the term "Kafir" can also be translated as "Oppressor" or "Religious Oppressor", in view of Naseer Saheb's comprehensive delving into its ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Mr. Ashok Sharma, you seem to have a much better understanding than most Muslims of what Islam's role should be in contemporary times. I ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • recent duly approved exegetic publication, Essential Message of Islam, demonstrates as below that the Qur'an recommends monogamy as the social norm:...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Polygamy negates the Constitutional principle of gender equality. It is an unfair assault on the rights ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • And how much pluralism does islam offer to atheists, agnostics, kafirs and Mushrikeen and pagans and ....
    ( By shan94 )
  • It is not surprising that the letter allegedly published some 15 years ago is not answered for it has a long list of sensitive questions. ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Quran only promises those Muslims who do good deeds to paradise even of those who do evil deeds. The following is the extract: (سورة البقرة, ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Quran 2:62 mentions that Jews, Christians, and Sabians, who believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous deeds will have their reward with ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Inequality in what has come to be known as personal laws exists across all religious...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?” (Q10:99). Words that are so clear and yet so forgotten!....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • New idea is a "bidyat," and they r kafir only No matter from where he is. This world...
    ( By Syed Javed Jafar )
  • Such atrocities only tell us how far we are from what we call 'civilisation
    ( By Meera )
  • Chapar ganju...hindu hindu karta firta hai. Khud ka dharm to pata nahi Aur Islam pe unlngli uthata hai.ek baat kah dun jispe tum ungli uthare ho ...
    ( By Tarik Ahmad )
  • Appeal Ka Asar hooga'
    ( By ASLAM QURAISHI )
  • Dear Sheik Aftar Ali, It appears to me that you have not read the article closely. I have not talked about ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • It is true “An examination of the foundations of the Islamic faith shows respect for Christianity” Koran 5:82 states as follows “And you will find the nearest ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • This is to express ones disgust at this sordid affair generated by blasphemy law anywhere in Muslim world! Historically Muhammad the Messenger of God during his ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Quran 2:11 is applicable to Muslims as well as non-Muslims since it mentions that Muslims should not make mischief on ....
    ( By zuma )
  • I had meant the following comment to be posted in "Islamic World News" section. Sorry!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Quran 2:220 demands Muslims to deal justly and instead of deceitfully. The following is the extract: (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #220)-Mohsin ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Ok then u accept the salafi or shia ideology
    ( By Sheik Aftar Ali )
  • Respected - dear AIMPLB see how our indian muslims will think differently and identify indian muslim and how integrate all indians. any language - dress ...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Proofs please. Some anonymous old man (no name), some anonymous young men (no names), police complaints withdrawn (no FIR records). The name of the....
    ( By Unmai Virumbi )
  • Quran 2:204-205 support the same that Allah dislikes Muslims to make mischief on the earth. The following are the extracts: (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara....
    ( By zuma )
  • I completely disagree with this statement"The so called fringe is perhaps not the fringe at all; it actually tells us how the majority within this ...
    ( By awaya )
  • Does Allah loves the just? Allah certainly loves the just. Or else, Allah would not mention the phrase, Make not mischief ....
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Muhammd Yunus, You have mentioned in your comment about Allah does not forbid Muslims to be virtuous and just to those Muslims who ...
    ( By zuma )