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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

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....

To Win Its War on Terror, Pakistan Must Accept Ahmadis as Muslims
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Takfir, the act of declaring an individual or a group outside the fold of Islam, is the founding principle of jihadism. This is why most of the victims of jihadist terror are Muslims who are deemed not Muslim enough. As long as the Pakistani Constitution indulges in Takfir, the state can never claim to challenge jihadist ideology. Pakistan’s fight against terror, therefore, hinges on the state accepting Ahmadis as Muslims....

She Healed Others In The Face Of Hate and Overcame Pakistan’s Repressive Laws to Stay True To Her Muslim Faith
Amjad Mahmood Khan

Ahmadi Muslims recite the Kalima (a Muslim’s principle creed), pray facing Mecca five times a day and assiduously follow the Quran. However, unlike other Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims also believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889, is the promised Muslim Mahdi and messiah the Prophet Muhammad foretold would come to guide Islam back to its true path. That belief is criminal in Pakistan...

Global Order: Ideologies, Religions, Sufism and Sindh-Balochistan – III
Zulfiqar Shah

Sociological polity and unexpressed aspects - Sindhi and Baloch today have transformed into modern social and cohesive entities, as they were historically. However, the linguistic, ethnic and sub-cultural additions that were resulted by the partition of British India, and after the creation of Pakistan, initiated the process of integration in the societies....

 

Global Order: Ideologies, Religions, Sufism And Sindh-Balochistan – II
Zulfiqar Shah

Balochistan and Sindh freedom movements, in association with war in Balochistan, have been oldest if compared with liberation movement of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Freedom movement for Gilgit-Baltistan, to create Balawaristan, has been addressed by creating Gilgit-Baltistan administrative unit...

 

Global Order: Ideologies, Religions, Sufism and Sindh-Balochistan – I
Zulfiqar Shah

Borrowing words from G. M. Syed, Sindh is a historical country; nation; and the freedom of Sindh is possible, and can be claimed unavoidable. I add with due permission from G. M. Syed that Sindh is also a Sovereign State. Sindh State has evolved through thousands years of Kingdoms/Emirate and finally modernized under colonial Britain like united India, after having more than a dozen treaties and instruments signed between Sovereign Kingdom of Britain and Emirate of Sindh....

 

Pakistan’s Treatment of Its Minorities Is a Reflection on Its Identity and Its People
Yaqoob Khan Bangash

The real issue is that Pakistan’s treatment of its minorities is a reflection on itself, its identity and its people — as a whole. Pakistan is a country which is constantly at war with itself. As one commentator once mentioned, Pakistan is a country which threatens by not point a gun at the other but at its own head — its Pakistan’s implosion which threatens world peace more than its war with any of its neighbours. ...

 

Discrimination against Minorities in Pakistan
Yasser Latif Hamdani

This raises bigger questions, however. Pakistan is a nation state and Pakistan’s army is a national army. Why must the question of religion come up in the appointment of the army chief? The right wing disagrees. They say that Pakistan is an Islamic state and all main offices of the state must be held by Muslims, who fulfil the official definition of what a Muslim is...

Nigeria: Between the Nigerian State, Shiites and the Sunnis
Charles Onunaiju

The ideological insecurity of the Sunni-dominated northern establishment should never be taken for a threat to state security. How could the "roar of the words", for which the Shia clerical establishment is famous all over the world and which is replicated in Nigeria by the equalitarian, republican sermons of the Islamic movement of Nigeria, constitute a threat to state security?....

 

Mosque officials say some 120 families have been moved to buildings nearby, while others have left to try to go home. Plenty remain, crowded into a row of shelters crafted from fencing, trees, blankets, corrugated metal, and in one case what appears to be a billboard for a pricey Calvin Klein watch....

 

In a nearby prefab shelter, Fazih, weathered and sun-beaten, isn’t sure of his age but recalls fleeing so-called Islamic State after months of surviving on animal feed. He tells how the men of his village waved their white undershirts in the air at the advancing Iraqi army....

 
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