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Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

The Syrian Sarin Attacks of August 2013 and April 2017
Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham

The sarin attacks in Syria of August 2013 and April 2017 resemble one another closely. They reflect a strategic mode that might be repeated yet again by Assad, as long as he remains fully backed by Russia and Iran. At the same time, the geopolitical shift suggested by the recent US military response in Syria marks a desirable turn with consequential implications regarding the ongoing relationships among the US, Syria, Russia, and Iran....

 
Islam: The Battle Within
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

Can we imagine today Prof. Jamal Khawja in conversation with top Deoband Ulema or Arkoun presenting a paper in a conference in Azhar or Fazlur Rahman giving extension lecture on annual conference of JeI or head of great seminary addressing annual philosophy or social science congress? Where are those prepared to learn and thus engage in proper dialogue with the other? If most of Muslims think they already have all the answers and thus needn’t think or learn or engage in a proper dialogue as Adonis notes, what can one do?...

Has Turkey's Referendum Emboldened Hate?
Pinar Tremblay

There is a growing environment of fear, suspicion and anxiety on Turkish streets. Months of acrimonious campaigning ended April 16 with voters narrowly approving constitutional amendments that will greatly expand the presidency's power. Though the campaign is over, it cultivated seeds of ill will that have grown and spread, evoking hateful rhetoric against those who opposed the amendments.....

 

Turks Vote to Give Away Their Democracy
Burak Bekdil

Turkey's soul-searching and societal wars never have a moment of truce. Turkey's wars are not just between political leaders and parties; they are wars between the supporters of a democratic, secular country and those of a caliphate which Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, abolished almost a century ago. As Kati Piri, the European Parliament's Turkey rapporteur, said of the referendum: "This is a sad day for all democrats in Turkey."....

 

When Mustafa went about establishing a modern and secular state, many of his moves were deemed controversial by existing Islamists who were still loyal to the Ottomans. He would go on to pass laws regarding gender equality and women’s suffrage. He would also introduce religious reforms, abolishing the Islamic Caliphate. He scrapped a ban on alcohol and forbade women workers from wearing headscarves.....

 

The Salafi Call has been known to modify and review several Fatwas in the past, in light of prevailing political circumstances. Between 2011 and 2014, the movement had issued a fatwa prohibiting Coptic candidates from running in the parliamentary elections, but then in 2015 it changed its mind to include a number of Copts on its electoral lists, as per the election law at the time. This time, the Salafi Call seems to be having a change of heart in regard to women in leadership positions.....

 

Who Are You, Bangladesh?
SN Rasul

The history you’ve inherited is a history tainted with the blood of certain individuals. When a religio-centric government tried to quash your protests under a unified-linguistic dictatorship, you protested. What else could you do? What was the alternative? Grit your teeth and take it in stride? Hell no. Bengalis weren’t real Muslims, they said. And real Pakistanis can’t be allowed to speak Bangla. How could they?...

 

Erdoğan’s Referendum Victory Spells The End Of Turkey As We Know It
Yavuz Baydar

“The Turkish republic has always been flawed, but it always contained the aspiration that – against the backdrop of the principles to which successive constitutions claimed fidelity – it could become a democracy. Erdoğan’s new Turkey closes off that prospect.”...

With Religious Groups Entering The Electoral Fray, Pakistan’s Polity Is Tilting Sharply
Khaled Ahmed

As power came from a deniable jihad, religious parties could afford to rest on the margins. But now, as the state of Pakistan reacts against the jihadi “recoil”, two terrorist-declared outfits are ready to become political parties, hoping to secure more votes at the polls than the Jamaat-e-Islami....

 

Inside Turkey’s Purge
Suzy Hansen

The police officers came to the doctor’s door in Istanbul at 6 a.m. — dawn raids usually start then, sometimes 5:30 — and one of them said, “You are accused of attempting to kill President Erdogan.” The doctor couldn’t help it; he laughed. “Really? I did that?” The police officers smiled, too. “Yes. Also for attempting to destroy Turkey and for being a member of a terrorist organization.” “Really?” He looked at them. They carried pistols. “Can I have a cigarette then?” The police seemed surprised. They didn’t expect a Gulenist to smoke. I’m not a Gulenist, the doctor insisted. That didn’t help him......\

 

What Is at Stake in Turkey’s Referendum

A “yes” vote would overhaul the state in its present form, abolishing the post of prime minister, sidelining parliament, and formalising a system in which the president answers no one except voters. A “no” would mark a major setback for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, though far from a fatal one. Yet there is much more riding on the outcome than one man’s political fortunes. What is at stake?...

 

Assad Says Videos of Dead Children in Syria Chemical Attack Were Faked
Rick Gladstone

Vilified by accusations of using a chemical bomb, Syria’s president intensified his counterpropaganda campaign on Thursday, suggesting that child actors had staged death scenes to malign him and that American warplanes had bombed a terrorist warehouse full of poison gases, killing hundreds of people....

 

Why the Syrian Chemical Weapons Problem Is So Hard to Solve
Max Fisher

The weakened norm emboldens Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons for two reasons. First, his commanders face less of a taboo in deploying them and so are less likely to object. And, second, Mr. Assad has little to gain in upholding a norm that never worked to his benefit....

Turkey Is Sliding Into Dictatorship

Turkey matters not just for its size, but also as a bellwether of the political forces shaping the world. For centuries it was the seat of a great empire. Today, as a frontier state, it must cope with the violence spewing out of war-ravaged Syria; it is a test case of whether democracy can be reconciled with political Islam; and it must navigate between Western liberalism and the authoritarian nationalism epitomised by Russia. In recent years under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has gone backwards.....

 

The conflict has taken an especially heavy toll on the adult male population, with several tens of thousands of Aleppan men killed or maimed in the past six years. Many more have been drafted by the government or are fighting in the ranks of one of Syria’s many militias, for or against al-Assad’s regime....

 

Syrian Refugees Are 'Left Out in the Cold' by the Biggest Arab States That Refuse to Welcome Them
Vijay Prashad

Those Syrians who do find their way to the GCC states enter the web of the Kafala or sponsorship system, where the rights of the migrants are minimal. GCC countries prefer to provide funds to the UN and others so that the refugees remain outside their fortress. ‘Assad must go’ is an easier slogan for them to chant than ‘Syrian refugees are welcome here.’...

Pakistan Approves Military Hero to Head Tricky Saudi-Led Alliance
Ben Hubbard

The appointment of a popular Pakistani general to head a Saudi-led alliance of Muslim countries has set off a furore in Pakistan, amid fears that the move could exacerbate sectarian tensions at home.....

 

A Khaleeji Venture: Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism
Asad Rahhim Khan

To embrace an alliance that excludes Iran, Iraq, and Syria is a political message wrapped in a sectarian bow. Pakistan’s success is defined by its neutrality: a parliamentary democracy siding with neither Sunni kings nor Shia theocrats. Second, a Khaleeji vanity project is the wrong vehicle to be fighting IS and affiliates anyway. As Kamel Daoud puts it, “Daesh [IS] has a mother: the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex.” The kingdom may make the right noises, but it refuses to go after the radical trends it has encouraged for decades....

 

Pakistan’s Search for a New National Narrative Is a Fraught Endeavour
Khaled Ahmed

When Pakistan’s most sickeningly pathological terrorist Fazlullah killed 130 children in a school in Peshawar, he quoted from the Hadith which form a part of Sharia in Islam. Pushed back by Sharia, Sharif took himself to Karachi last year where he mixed with the Hindu minority community and made them happy by observing Holi with them....

 

Bangladesh: Lingering Darkness
S. Binodkumar Singh

Continuing these efforts, the Government banned Ansar al-Islam (Defenders of Islam), the Bangladesh chapter of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), on March 5, 2017, as its activities constituted a threat to public security. The ban circular observed that the militant organization's activities went against peace and order in the country. The radical group was earlier known as Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT, Volunteer of Allah Bangla Team)....

 

Is Hamas Prepping For A 'State Of Gaza'?
Adnan Abu Amer

Hamas may believe that the new committee will address the governmental work left undone by the failure to provide for Gazans’ needs under the consensus government. No one can predict, however, at this point how the PA might act to punish Hamas....

 

In Pakistan, Judges Are a Part of the Problem of Religious Conservatism Trumping Justice
Khaled Ahmed

The policeman, Mumtaz Qadri, who shot Taseer, was hanged in 2016 after being sentenced by a judge of an anti-terrorism court. The judge left immediately for Hajj after the sentencing, but the prosecutor complained of death threats being flung at him daily. Qadri has a grand mausoleum just outside Islamabad, where thousands go to pay homage to him. The son of the murdered governor, Shahbaz Taseer, was kidnapped by the Taliban and kept under savage conditions in Afghanistan for three years before he was able to escape....

 

Who’s Pakistan's Enemy Number One?
Pervez Hoodbhoy

Fortunately, the ultra-religious sorts — which this land is abundantly blessed with — are free from useless doubt. For them more is better. Every newborn, say the ultras, comes with a guaranteed Rizq (provision) stamped on its forehead. Now let’s assume, ignoring the visible contrary evidence, that this is correct. Yet there shall remain an impossibly difficult problem even if food and water were to drop miraculously from the skies. ....

 

Erdogan Should Put Brakes on Himself
Shantanu Mukharji

Ever since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan survived the July 2016 coup attempt, he appears to have lost his sense of diplomacy, his statecraft and arguably even his mental equilibrium. This is visible in ample measure in the insecure President’s body language and rhetoric in the wake of a diplomatic row snowballing into a major crisis before the referendum he is seeking from the Turks, both within and outside Turkey...

 

Henna-Adorned Hands Give Voice to Turkish Referendum Opponents
Pinar Tremblay

Henna is a symbol of innocence and sacrifice in Turkey and the region. Turkish bridal showers often include the bride getting a henna design on her palm. Young conscripts also get henna on their hands just before they are sent off to serve their country, as a symbol of dedication. For the people of Anatolia, henna symbolizes new beginnings, excitement and sacrifice for an important cause. It is an ancient tradition that has been cherished by Jews, Arabs, Alevis, Kurds and Turks — it is an image that unites and transcends politics….

 
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  • 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 )