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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

Just more than a decade before the demise of the Ottoman Empire, intellectual Yusuf Akcura argued there were three alternative ideologies that might unite the fading multiethnic, multireligious state: Ottomanism, Islamism and Turkism....

 

The images streaming from cities in three countries in our region — countries that, tellingly, had sat out the 2011 Arab Spring — spell it out: Demonstrators are out in the streets and town squares protesting against the miserable social, political and economic conditions that have long bedevilled their lives....

Beginning as early as the mid-1960s, Saudi Arabia systematically began to spread its version of Wahhabi Islam in the Sunni world, including South Asia, as an instrument of its foreign policy and a tool for expanding its regional and international influence....

Anyone who benefits from a certain system can never bring change in the status quo. Perhaps it is time for the educated class in Pakistan to fill the space of a genuine anti-status-quo political party....

 

Whoever fails to deliver can no longer hide behind “the system.” They are “the system,” and if they don’t fix it, they will be overturned with it....

It is only natural for Muslims in India to be a little anxious as the country awaits the Supreme Court verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janam Bhoomi dispute at Ayodhya to be delivered in a few days. A variety of rumours are floating which do not bear repetition in any responsible section of our media. But these are making many Muslims restive.

However, every challenge is also an opportunity. The demolition of Babri masjid on 6 December 1992 presented Muslims with an opportunity. Now that the masjid was no more and Muslims do not worship bricks and mortar or plots of land, they could have forgiven the miscreants who demolished the mosque and moved on, gifting the land for building a temple. I made this point in an article entitled “Opportunity for Muslims,” published by The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, on 13 Jan 1995. This was reproduced on NewAgeIslam.com on July 1, 2009.

Let me give you here some relevant excerpts from this article written almost 25 years ago....

Outside, the protesters are becoming more angry, more confident and more numerous. Some observers fear they will take down the whole political system. What they want to replace it with is unclear....

 

This augurs badly for the political, economic and intellectual elites who have supported and benefited from this system at the expense of the majority of the Arab peoples....

 

For Pakistan, China has been the bedrock of our foreign policy, as well as our economic saviour. It is also an important importer of Saudi and Iranian oil. And other developing Muslim countries have benefited from Chinese aid and loans. All these factors have served to mute criticism of Beijing’s assault on Uighur religion and culture....

This year, the Arbaeen ceremony was also a political skirmish — the latest test of Iran’s power in Iraq and of Iraq’s increasing desire for independence from its powerful neighbour....

 

The silence of Muslim countries in particular is because they have an equally harsh anti-extremism policy. Moreover, there is a feeling in the Muslim world that they should support China because it is facing up to the US which is considered as the bigger enemy.

Several officials said the withdrawal of U.S. support for its allies in Syria all but guarantees an eventual victory there for the alliance that includes Iran, Russia and the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad — perhaps working in combination with Turkey...

 

The Turkish policy midwifed the birth in the 1970s to militant groups like the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which only dropped its demand for Kurdish independence in recent years....

 

Thus, speaking about “Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds” is rather like discussing “Catholics, Protestants and Canadians,” or dividing the population of Asia into the three religious sects of “Buddhism, Shinto and Japan.”…

 

The Shiites of Iraq have been in the center of the uprising. Most likely, they are the ones who know most about why it has erupted, and how the regional expansionist conspiracy is hell-bent impoverishing one of the Middle East’s richest countries....

 

Although the de facto Saudi ruler Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) is hellbent on fighting Iran to the last American, his country will not escape punishing attacks from Iran should war break out. ....

 

Until very recently the geopolitical configuration of the Middle East appeared to be stabilizing: Iran faced crippling economic and financial sanctions imposed by a growing antagonistic coalition including the US, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. ...

 

Khashoggi’s remains have never been found. Maybe there was nothing left to conceal once the body parts had been boiled in acid at the consul-general’s residence....

 

The efforts to divide are orchestrated and well-funded. The truth is that much of the division based on our religion is against our religion and against the commandments of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the two sources we gave a lot of lip service to....

Individuals once tolerated by regimes as symbols of their openness to change were sidelined or pushed out when proposed reforms cut too deeply into autocratic prerogatives....

While reforms such as allowing women to drive and to travel without a guardian's approval are positive, some things "are better left unchanged," she said. The risk is of "harming the purity of Saudi when new, non-Islamic practices start to spread in the holy place."...

There is a clear pattern of human rights abuses without meaningful checks since the crown prince came to power. An early signal of this trend was nothing less than Saudi Arabia’s role in creating one of the worst man-made catastrophes in Yemen.....

 
Islamo-Fascism and Islam-Supremacism Feeding Islamophobia Worldwide: Sultan Shahin Tells UN Human Rights Council In Geneva
Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam
Islamo-Fascism and Islam-Supremacism Feeding Islamophobia Worldwide: Sultan Shahin Tells UN Human Rights Council In Geneva
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

Madame President,... But xenophobia, particularly in the form of Islamophobia, is growing in several European countries and partly feeds upon the flagrant violation of the human rights of religious minorities in several Muslim-majority countries. Petrodollar Islam has injected the poison of Islam-supremacism in Muslim societies worldwide.  Even exemplary moderate countries like Indonesia, Malaysia are now infected with this virus. But the worst case scenario is evolving in the only Muslim nuclear power, Pakistan. Jihadi vigilantes including members of security forces are hunting down and killing all those who oppose their version of Islam. The country is drowning in a sea of violence but civil society, media or elected parliamentarians dare not condemn the wanton killings in the name of Islam. -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 16th session in Geneva on 22 March 2011 in the General Debate on Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

Though the Security Council refused to act, Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, acting alone, sent no less than six fact-finding missions to investigate. They consistently reported that Iraq was raining down chemical weapons on Iranians. Still, the UN did not act....

 

They are sitting on a heap of rubble in Yemen, in Aramco and in Syria. Iran, meanwhile, has consolidated itself with the Hezbollah in Beirut, the Hashd al-Shaabi (in Iraq) and the Houthis in Yemen..,.

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