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Islamic Ideology (10 Mar 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

If Not the UN Charter, Muslim Countries Should At Least Follow Their Own Primary Scripture, the Holy Quran, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC at Geneva



By Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

10 March 2017

UNHRC, Geneva, General Debate, 9 March 2017

 Item 3. Promotion and Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development.

Oral statement by Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam On behalf of: Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum

 9 March 2017

Mr. President,

The Right to Freedom of Thought and Religion has been an article of faith for the world  since the formation of the UN.  Much effort has been made to turn it into reality, the latest being Resolution 16/18 adopted in 2011. Based as it was on a consensus of Islamic and Western nations, it had particularly raised hopes of minorities in Muslim countries. The assumption was that now member countries would repeal blasphemy and other anti-democratic, sectarian and anti-minority laws.

But nothing much seems to have changed. A moderate Muslim country like Indonesia prosecutes a Christian Governor for quoting Quran.  Another country Malaysia continues to uphold a ban on Christians using the word Allah to denote God.  Madrasas continue to teach xenophobia and intolerance across the world, including in the West.

Blasphemy laws continue to be on the statute books, for instance, in Pakistan. Salman Taseer, the liberal Governor of Punjab was murdered merely because he showed compassion for a Christian lady wrongly accused of blasphemy and asked for the repeal of the blasphemy law. On the basis of this law, religious minorities can be arbitrarily accused of blasphemy and killed, either by a lynch mob or by the judiciary. No evidence is required, as that would allegedly amount to accusers being asked to blaspheme the Prophet again. Similarly, attacks on minority Hindu, Christian, Shias and Ahmadis continue under different legislations. Pakistani laws prohibit the Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims.

It’s time the Council found some way to see that the countries that agree to its covenants also practice it.

Such anti-minority legislations not only violate the UN Resolution, but also Islam’s primary scripture. The Holy Quran does not prescribe any punishment for blasphemy. Nor does it permit any one to declare others kafir. It clearly says: La Ikraha fid Deen, (There can be no compulsion in religion). (Chapter 2: verse 256).

If not the UN Charter, Muslim countries should at least follow their own primary scripture, the Holy Quran.

The Resolution 16/18 was specifically adopted by the Human Rights Council to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief. It had evolved as a consensus measure by the two blocs in the council represented by OIC and Group of Western European and other States. Since 2000, OIC had been calling for a resolution castigating Defamation of Religions, while Western nations had opposed this and called for complete freedom of expression.

In the case of Pakistan, the implications of Resolution 16/18 would include not just the repeal of the blasphemy law but also the law declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims. A secular, democratic government, particularly one that is a signatory to the UN Charter and various other covenants including Resolution 16/18, has no reason to be determining who does or does not belong to which religion. This has to be entirely the prerogative of the individual or community.

Indeed in Quran Chapter 49, verse14, God talks about those nomadic desert Arabs who were claiming to have accepted Islamic faith after the Muslim victory at Mecca. They were told that Faith has not yet entered your hearts, yet you will be rewarded for your good deeds. These people were not stopped from practising Islam in any way, although God had Himself testified that Faith had not yet entered their hearts. And here in Pakistan one finds a whole community of believing, practising Muslims, being denied their inalienable right to choose their own religion, simply on account of some marginal theological differences. What gives the Pakistani government the authority to decide who is and is not a Muslim? Is that the function of a government? Clearly the passage of consensus Resolution 16/18 and Pakistan agreeing to it has made no difference to its practices.

Similarly, literature that preaches hate continues to be taught at madrasas and schools in Muslim countries around the world, including in the West. Saudi Salafi textbooks continue to teach xenophobia to Muslim students the world over. They are told, for instance, that they should neither work for nor employ a non-Muslim, if there are other options. The term non-Muslim, for Saudi textbooks, means all non-Salafis, non-Wahhabis, including Muslims of other sects, particularly Sufism-oriented Muslims. Attacks on Sufi shrines like the one that happened recently in Sindh, Pakistan, killing almost a hundred devotees and injuring 250, is a natural outcome of such teachings.

It will be wrong, however, to put the entire blame on Salafi-Wahhabi ideology, which no doubt provides an extremist interpretation of Islamic tenets and has been spread around the world with an investment of tens of billions of petrodollars. The fact remains that Mumtaz Quadri, the murderer of Governor Salman Taseer came from a non-Wahhabi Barelvi sect and was incited into his act and promised Heaven in lieu of this murder by a Barelvi Mullah Hanif Qureshi. A shrine has now been built in the outskirts of Islamabad to worship him.

Barelvis are considered Sufism-oriented and have been the main victims of Salafi-Wahhabi attacks on Sufi shrines. The half a million people who thronged the murderer Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral and the tens of thousands who are visiting his so-called shrine, however, are largely from Barelvi sect. They consider Governor Salman Taseer to be a blasphemer and his murderer an Aashiq-e-Rasool, i.e., some one who loves the Prophet (pbuh). The fact is Salman Taseer had merely called for the repeal of this black Blasphemy law. Because of this law, religious minorities can be arbitrarily accused of blasphemy and killed, either by a lynch mob or by the judiciary. No evidence is required.  Asked to provide evidence, the accusers or witnesses ask if they are being asked to blaspheme the Prophet by repeating the accused’s blasphemy. Hence no specific accusation, no debate, no proof is required for pronouncing a guilty verdict which invariably means death sentence. An estimated number of 1,274 people have been charged under the blasphemy laws of Pakistan between 1986, from when they were included in the Constitution by General Zia-ul-Haq, until 2010. Currently, there are at least 17 people convicted of blasphemy on death row in Pakistan, with another 19 serving life sentences, according to United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Several have died in custody or on the death row.

Clearly there is extremism of one sort or another in many Islamic sects and no one particular sect should be blamed entirely for the present state of affairs, despite the involvement largely of people from Salafi-Wahhabi school of thought in the extremist violence being perpetrated around the world.

It is strange that countries with such hateful practices, in clear violation of UN Charter and UNHRC’s resolutions continue to play an important role in the Council’s deliberations.

Clearly there is need for both the Muslim governments and the larger international community to introspect if they have truly accepted the consensus Resolution 16/18. If they are committed to it, they should be concerned about its non-implementation by member-countries, particularly from the OIC block. If nothing else the UN HRC rapporteurs should be naming and shaming those countries which continue to teach xenophobia and hate in their classrooms. It should not be difficult to bring out Saudi textbooks for students from class VIII to XII, for instance, and tell the world what is being taught not only in Saudi Arabia but across the Muslim world where Saudis distributes their books for free. Even in the West most mosques and Islamic centres distribute Saudi published Salafi books.

Muslims have no option but to rethink their theology and bring it in line with the spirit of Islam, the Qur’anic ideals, as well as the requirements of life in the globalised, deeply inter-connected 21st-century world. We Muslims need an internally consistent, coherent Islamic theology of peace and pluralism. All of us Muslims must accept that Islam is a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many, as we have been told in the Holy Quran, and not a totalitarian, fascist ideology of world domination.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/sultan-shahin,-founding-editor,-new-age-islam/if-not-the-un-charter,-muslim-countries-should-at-least-follow-their-own-primary-scripture,-the-holy-quran,-sultan-shahin-tells-unhrc-at-geneva/d/110360

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  • @Suhel Khan who is funding wahabism n salafism which say even music dancing even some say mobile is Haram but AK 47 is halal.why not hospital medicine rail plane car also bcm Haram which was not at the time of inception of Islam

    By Atul Shukla - 3/22/2017 8:04:54 PM

  • @Suhel Khan all well established norms r not always correct. Well established ' Manubaad' is discarded now. Slave trade also now discarded.
    By Ajoy Dutta - 3/22/2017 7:56:07 PM

  • Sultan Shahin has been for long, pursuing his single agenda of criticising each and every aspect of Islam and its well established norms. I wonder who is funding his efforts.

    By Suhel Khan - 3/22/2017 7:44:24 PM

  • @Kartikaswara Gouda you talked about shivaji. do you know that during his coronation manuvadies persecuted him and after much difficulty he managed to corona ted himself. after his death power usurped by peshwas and his children sidelined . maratha rule was worst nightmare for dalits. you talked about Hinduism. but do you know its early AUTHENTIC teachings. in early text of Hinduism there was no concept of IDOL worship. initially Hinduism also believed in ONE GOD formless shapeless. history should not be read selectively
    By Iqbal Husain - 3/22/2017 7:43:49 PM

  • Goutier record Islamic have hatred roots
    By Sant Singh - 3/22/2017 7:37:31 PM

  • Western writer- ISLAM AND THE BHAGAVAD-GITA In the last 30 years, I have spoken against Islam and Islamic fundamentalism numerous times in my books as well as in in my articles and conferences. Often thus, I have been often branded as an Islamophobe or a hard-line pro-Hindu… Yet, when I came to India, I was innocent : I did not know the difference between a Muslim and a Hindu. And as a journalist I had similar prejudices and ideas about India as any other Western correspondent. In fact I embraced the same ideas: ‘secularism, the Congress is the only party that can unify India, Hindus too can be fundamentalists’, et cetera... But then, I started covering Kashmir during the 90s, when separatism bloomed and violence set fire to the Valley. It is there that I saw the first Hindu leaders whom I had interviewed previously, assassinated in the most savage manner, such as doctors, lawyers, or All India radio broadcasters. And then, when Benazir Bhutto gave her famous speech of ‘Azad Kashmir’, every mosque in Srinagar and the Valley repeated that cry, telling Hindus: “Convert or die”. And in a few weeks, 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits left their ancestral houses and land, for no other crime than being Hindus - and that without firing a shot in self-defence - becoming refugees in their own country, a first in the world. Thus my eyes were opened and I lost my innocence. Since then, covering many other countries, I witnessed the same phenomenon in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan, of Hindus being the target of hatred, as Jews have been for centuries. This set me to study Indian history and I quickly realised that great Hindu heroes such as Shivaji Maharaj or Maha Rana Pratap, had been bypassed in Indian history books, to a single paragraph: Shivaji Maharaj who alone with his wits, extraordinary courage and a few hundred men, defeated the most powerful army of the world of his time, is a ‘plunderer’; and Maharana Pratap, is described as a small chieftain, although he is the only Rajput to have fought the Moghols and to have held Akbar’s army at bay the Hadilghati battle. The irony is that tyrants such as Aurangzeb, who were monsters not only towards Hindus but also with their own family – Aurangzeb poisoned his own father, beheaded his brother Dara Shikoh, imprisoned his son - are lauded in history books as ‘firm but just emperors under whom arts flourished’ (Aurangzeb actually banned music at his court, because it was un-Islamic)…. …It happens that my wife and myself are teachers of the pranayama and meditation techniques of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, that we have practicing for the last 25 years and which have changed our lives, giving us energy, enthusiasm and commitment. We do this free, as a sewa, to partake of this great gift to humanity that originates from India. During the last Shivaratri celebrations, we taught in Sri Sri’s Bangalore ashram a pranayama course to a batch of Iranians. Our group, which had many girls and ladies, some of them who always covered their heads, was reserved at first, but as the course progressed, there grew a bond of affection and warmth between us all. We could perceive so much love and humanity in all of them. And by the end of the course, we all danced and hugged each other. Now it is not because I have fought Islam that I did no know before this course that Muslims can be, as much as the others, decent human beings, warm, family oriented, hospitable. In fact, I remember when as a youngster I drove to India by road from Paris, crossing many Muslim countries. My best friend was then a Muslim French Moroccan. He would say “Assalam-o-Alaikum », and doors would open, smiles were flashed, we would be dined, entertained, respected. This universal brotherhood of Islam does not exist in the Hindu world – try to say OM Namo Shivaya to another Hindu in the US and see what look he or she gives you ! So this set me thinking: Islam was born in Iran and since Khomeini’s takeover, though it has a Shia majority, Iran has an
    By Kartikaswara Gouda - 3/22/2017 7:37:11 PM

  • Ignorance is Bliss.---English proverb.
    By Polumetla Kumar - 3/22/2017 7:34:23 PM

  • Islam started with human race. Prophet Muhammad is the last one in reforming ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES. He preached in Mecca for thirteen years without any offence or defence but he suffered much, his followers were murdered and butchered yet he did not raise a finger against the polytheists in Mecca. His followers migrated to Christian Abisinia. Muhammad hiself escaped to Medina to save his life. There Muhammad spent two years preaching. No offence no defence. But when they had some followers he decided to question the atrocities commiting mecca on poor believers. Mere 300 people but the Meccans retaliated with more than 1000 well equipped warriers. Muhammad SA won the battle that is Badr. Next year Meccan polytheists attacked Medina (Uhd) and Muhammad SA suffered great loss yet not routed. Again comes The battle of Trench with confederation of Meccan Polythiests, jews, Chritians and the Medina hypocrites. That battle was won by the grace of God without weilding a sword. Thus within 8 years 57 wars were fought by Muhammad SA. Then Islam became a force to reckon with. The Bysentine and Persian empires perished but they did not attack India. Indian attack comes from Mahmmood Gazni even that was not for spread of Islam but to nutralise the Sindhis who captured the gift ship from Sri Lanka to the Khalifa. When Constandinople was captured by Muslim force Europe cut off from business from India, China. Like moths the Europeans began to srarch for way to India. Thus Columbus reach America, Gama came to Kerala. The first Muslim slaughter was in Goa by the Portugeese. Around 600 Muslims killed there and Goa came under Portugese. Calcutta came under British and the British ruled India for around 250 years. The belligerent Europeans wrote many stories to defame Islam and that is known now Indian History. Read in Arabic. The world history is noted by eminent writers. Real truths not fabricated as of the Europeans. Travel through out India and see the Hindus of different castes, different foods, diffirent gods, rituals, adivaasies, wanawasies. All holding thier own customs. The age old temples, from Kailas to Kanyakumari, the cave temples, wall paintings of Ellora. Then where is there Hindu salughter, rapes, and destruction? The Taj Mahal was built when the country was in calm and peace. Look at Burj Khalifa the tallest building in Dubai. When Muslims get resources and peaceful atmosphere they will make wonders not blunders. As of refugees they are educated class of people looking for job like teacher, enginner and doctors not beggars. Even the elite Indians beg for jobs in AMERICA, Astralia, Canada, Ebgland. Even billionire Mallya is in London as a refugee so also Lalit Modi. So dont lie. Dont spread nonsense. Islam will prevail. Insha Allah.
    By Saidu Pallipparambil - 3/22/2017 7:29:55 PM

  • If they do not talk of peace, why refugees from Syria, Jordan and Iraq beg and crawl to go to Europe instead of super-rich Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman etc. Are they afraid that Wahabi Sunnis of Arabia will kill them (Shias, Ahmediyyas, Ismailis, Sufis etc)? So much for the religion of peace.
    By Polumetla Kumar - 3/22/2017 7:13:51 PM

  • Dear friends, I suggest all to read JIHAD- A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery written by M.A.Khan, Pub. By Felibri.Com and is freely available on internet. This will answer many questions about Islam.
    By Surya Prakash Samidala - 3/22/2017 8:24:39 AM

  • Don't compare Beef Ban with blasphemy Mr Shamim Siddiqui....There is also meat ban of Pig in Islamic Countries ,Horsemeat ban in European countries.Somewhere you must realise and respect sentiments of other faith too.Its not that always Muslims shall have the first choice on anything in India.
    By Arnab Pal - 3/22/2017 8:20:58 AM

  • @Polumetla Kumar, Sir are you talking about today America and Europe countries who are talking about PEACE.
    By Naeem Ahmed - 3/22/2017 5:32:04 AM

  •  @Dolly How does it excuse barbarians who committed atrocities on Indians which included SCs and STs?
    By Polumetla Kumar - 3/22/2017 5:30:17 AM

  • Polumetla Kumar i suggest you to read Dr ambedkar book 'riidles of Hinduism " , books by periyar the great wendy doniger in order to grasp atrocities committed on sc st.
    By Dolly Passey - 3/22/2017 5:22:44 AM

  • @Saidu Pallipparambil why they could not built such buildings,minars,forts in Arabian countries before? Didn't they know the techniques?
    By Ajoy Dutta - 3/22/2017 5:21:32 AM

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