Islamic liberalism is a million times more dangerous than radical Islam
Posted by jagoindia on June 13, 2011
Islamic liberalism is a million times more dangerous than radical Islam
Posted by jagoindia on November 17, 2009
A synopsis of different sects of Islam
Posted by jagoindia on July 13, 2009
There’s no India, nor Pak, says SRK
IANS 12 July 2009,
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan pitched for greater harmony among South Asian people as he accepted an honorary doctorate from a British university, saying governments were best left to their own “agendas”.
“We belong to – I know it’s a bit of a cliche but – one world. Specifically I think, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka — all of us, we’re the same. I really believe we are the same,” Khan told journalists after being made honorary Doctor of Arts by Bedfordshire University Friday.
The doctorate in recognition of his “exceptional achievement as a film actor and producer”, was proposed by an Indian NGO called Routes 2 Roots, which works to bring South Asians together.
“My mother is from Hyderabad in India and father is from Peshawar (in Pakistan). So I do believe in this (cultural unity).
“Especially when you come away from India or Pakistan you realise there is no Indian or Pakistani — we’re all together. We are – culturally, as human beings, as friends. These are the aspects that keep us together.
“As far as the (government) agendas are concerned, let them go on.”
Invited by a Pakistani journalist to visit Pakistan, said: “I also do wish to go there – my family’s there.”
Posted by jagoindia on July 6, 2009
July 05, 2009
In a confidential report, the Jammu and Kashmir police has accused moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Shabir Ahmed Shah of having links with Pakistan-based terror group Lashker-e-Tayiba.
In the report to the state Home Department, the police have suggested some pro-active measures to curb the anti-national activities of separatist leaders and also slapped the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against pro-Pakistan leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani [ Images ].
In its report, the police alleged that Shah was in constant touch with Furqan of Lashker-e-Tayiba and used to take orders directly from him, official sources said.
The report, which has been sent to the Home Department to confirm the Public Safety Act on Shah, has accused him of hatching a conspiracy with LeT cadres in destablising the peace in the state. The name of Furqan first surfaced during the probe of Hurriyat leader Sheikh Aziz’s killing. He was shot dead in northern Kashmir by militants.
During investigations, it came to light that Furqan was in constant touch with Shah on a mobile not registered in the name of the separatist leader, the police claimed in its report.
Shah was also accused of receiving funds from abroad through hawala channel, which were, in turn, handed over to Lashker cadres, the sources claimed.
The police also claimed to have gathered electronic evidence, including some e-mails, pointing towards Shah’s involvement in Lashker-e-Tayiba’s nefarious designs to destabilise the functioning of the state government.
Shah, who has been in the custody of the state police since the last six weeks, also acted as a go-between to bridge the differences between Geelani and moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the sources claimed.
This, according to the report, was being done at the behest of the Lashker-e-Tayiba, which wanted a united platform for the separatist leaders. Besides Shah and Geelani, a host of other separatist leaders including Nayeem Khan, Aysa Indrabi, Mohammed Saleem Nanaji and Ghulam Nabi Sumzi, majority of whom are Geelani’s supporters, have been detained.
Posted by jagoindia on June 25, 2009
by Paul E. Marek
History lessons are often incredibly simple.
I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.
“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”
We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behea
The fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
d, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous.
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians – most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”?
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.
Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
Adar 28, 5767 / 18 March 07
Posted by jagoindia on May 10, 2009
Hasan Suroor, Friday, May 08, 2009
TRANSFORMED: From a “cultural” Muslim into someone acutely conscious of her Muslim identity. —
In a short film on her life and work, Shabana Azmi when asked how she would describe herself says: “I’m an actor, I’m a Muslim, I’m a social activist…”
Ms Azmi’s stress on her religious identity would seem strange to anyone familiar with her background — daughter of diehard Communist activists; childhood spent in a godless commune; and married, by choice, to a progressive, non-practising poet and film-maker. Had I misheard ? Was she quoted out of context?
Odd though her remark might have sounded, I would be lying if I said I was surprised.
For this is what post-Ayodhya and post-9/11 climate has done: made even notional and accidental Muslims conscious of their religion. I know Muslims who once despaired of religious tags but are now increasingly tending to go the Shabana Azmi way though, in India, the situation is not yet as dire as in the West where Muslims are going to absurd lengths to assert their Islamic identity.
At a question-and-answer session that followed the screening of the film at the Nehru Centre, Ms Azmi explained her transformation from being simply a “cultural” Muslim with a taste for “biryani” and Urdu poetry into someone who was now acutely conscious of her Muslim identity.
And, inevitably, she traced it to the demolition of Babri Masjid which she described as the most “traumatic” experience of her life; and the violence sparked by it.
“Until then, I had taken my composite culture for granted but for the first time, I was made conscious that I was not simply another Indian citizen but a Muslim. I couldn’t believe this was happening. My multicultural world was shattered with the Shiva Sena wanting proof of my loyalty,” Ms Azmi said.
And then came 9/11 after which every Muslim came to be seen as a potential terrorist.
“When we protested they said ‘no, no we’re not saying all Muslims are terrorists but it is also a fact that all terrorists are Muslims.’ What nonsense! Are all Tamil Tigers Muslim; are all Naxals Muslims; or are all Maoist guerrillas Muslims? Such sweeping generalisations don’t help. It puts the whole community on the defensive,” she said adding: “When you are called a Muslim as though it were a term of abuse it makes you edgy…and makes it difficult for you to be objective about your community.”
Yet, the fact was that for all their problems Indian Muslims were privileged because they lived in a democracy: a privilege that not many Muslims could claim, she pointed out.
“When I say things like these, journalists turn around and ask: so are you saying that Muslims don’t face discrimination? My answer is: yes, they do, but so do women, and the Dalits, and the disabled. Who doesn’t face discrimination of some sort? It is not about discrimination. It is about tolerance. It worries me that all over the world people are becoming more intolerant,” Ms Azmi said.
She also had a bone to pick with the media which, she said, ignored moderate Muslim voices because it did not find them “sexy enough.” There were “very strong” moderate Muslim voices in India but they were not represented in the media. On the other hand, there was a tendency to play up the extreme Muslim view; and to sensationalise even moderate opinion by quoting it out of context.
Illustrating this with a personal experience Ms Azmi said not long ago she was quoted as complaining that she and her husband Javed Akhtar could not find a house of their choice in Bombay because they were Muslim.
“What I had in fact said was that I was not bitter about it because discrimination happens against everyone. They edited out that sentence and I was left sounding as a bitter Muslim complaining about discrimination — and this led to a huge controversy,” she said.
But things were changing and some very strong liberal voices were emerging in the media.
She admitted that Muslims had been complacent after 9/11 and “didn’t bother much” but had now realised that they needed to stand up and be counted as their response to the Mumbai attacks showed.
“When I first heard of the Mumbai attacks I was very afraid and said to myself: this is it for Muslims. They will find it very difficult. But nothing happened because Muslims responded very sensibly,” she said pointing out how a group of imams refused to allow the terrorists’ bodies to be buried in their cemetery because, they said, what these men had done was un-Islamic and they had no right to be buried in a Muslim cemetery.
There was little new in what Ms Azmi said but it was obvious that she felt hurt; and her new-found obsession with her Muslim identity shows what the anti-Muslim hysteria has done even to the moderate Muslim mind.
One doesn’t necessarily have to swallow the Muslim protestations of innocence and victimhood (a lot of their difficulties are of their own making) to understand why they feel the way they do, but a crude display of religious identity is still hard to justify.
Posted by jagoindia on February 26, 2009
“There is no Moderate Muslim Country or Successful Islamic Democracy because Islam and Freedom cannot coexist in the same way Muslims cannot exist with Non Muslims peacefully”
Here are 17 examples showing Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen GCC Countries: UAE , Kuwait , Oman , Bahrain , Qatar are members of GCC ( Gulf Cooperation Council), Uzbekistan, Judea / Samaria / Gaza
Posted by jagoindia on December 31, 2008
Sadly, mainstream Muslim teaching accepts and promotes violence.
by TAWFIK HAMID
Tuesday, April 3, 2007 12:01 A.M. EDT
Not many years ago the brilliant Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, published a short history of the Islamic world’s decline, entitled “What Went Wrong?” Astonishingly, there was, among many Western “progressives,” a vocal dislike for the title. It is a false premise, these critics protested. They ignored Mr. Lewis’s implicit statement that things have been, or could be, right.
But indeed, there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. One would expect the orthodox Islamic establishment to evade or dismiss these complaints, but less happily, the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists’ defense.
These “progressives” frequently cite the need to examine “root causes.” In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological “rootlets” of Islamism, the main tap root has a name–Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.
It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the “end of days.” The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.
The grave predicament we face in the Islamic world is the virtual lack of approved, theologically rigorous interpretations of Islam that clearly challenge the abusive aspects of Shariah. Unlike Salafism, more liberal branches of Islam, such as Sufism, typically do not provide the essential theological base to nullify the cruel proclamations of their Salafist counterparts. And so, for more than 20 years I have been developing and working to establish a theologically-rigorous Islam that teaches peace.
Yet it is ironic and discouraging that many non-Muslim, Western intellectuals–who unceasingly claim to support human rights–have become obstacles to reforming Islam. Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Shariah’s inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western “progressives” pave the way for Islamist barbarity? Indeed, if the problem is not one of religious beliefs, it leaves one to wonder why Christians who live among Muslims under identical circumstances refrain from contributing to wide-scale, systematic campaigns of terror.
Politicians and scholars in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria–which happened in the last few decades–or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Western feminists duly fight in their home countries for equal pay and opportunity, but seemingly ignore, under a façade of cultural relativism, that large numbers of women in the Islamic world live under threat of beating, execution and genital mutilation, or cannot vote, drive cars and dress as they please.
The tendency of many Westerners to restrict themselves to self-criticism further obstructs reformation in Islam. Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.
Western appeasement of their Muslim communities has exacerbated the problem. During the four-month period after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish magazine, there were comparatively few violent demonstrations by Muslims. Within a few days of the Danish magazine’s formal apology, riots erupted throughout the world. The apology had been perceived by Islamists as weakness and concession.
Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America’s enemies.
Progressives need to realize that radical Islam is based on an antiliberal system. They need to awaken to the inhumane policies and practices of Islamists around the world. They need to realize that Islamism spells the death of liberal values. And they must not take for granted the respect for human rights and dignity that we experience in America, and indeed, the West, today.
Well-meaning interfaith dialogues with Muslims have largely been fruitless. Participants must demand–but so far haven’t–that Muslim organizations and scholars specifically and unambiguously denounce violent Salafi components in their mosques and in the media. Muslims who do not vocally oppose brutal Shariah decrees should not be considered “moderates.”
All of this makes the efforts of Muslim reformers more difficult. When Westerners make politically-correct excuses for Islamism, it actually endangers the lives of reformers and in many cases has the effect of suppressing their voices.
Tolerance does not mean toleration of atrocities under the umbrella of relativism. It is time for all of us in the free world to face the reality of Salafi Islam or the reality of radical Islam will continue to face us.
Dr. Hamid, a onetime member of Jemaah Islamiya, an Islamist terrorist group, is a medical doctor and Muslim reformer living in the West.
Posted by jagoindia on December 2, 2008
It’s not enough for Muslims to be revolted by terror
It is time for Muslims to take a serious stand against the perpetrators and reclaim the religion, says SULTAN AL-QASSEMI.
“They knock on my door aggressively but I don’t open it, I stay very quiet.” The caller pauses briefly before continuing. “But I am fine.” These were the words of the UAE national, Rashid al Owais, a 40-year-old marble trader whose business took him to Mumbai last week. Rashid, a Muslim and an Arab, was among the hostages of the co-ordinated terrorist attacks by a cowardly crew of criminal gangsters. He was speaking to Dubai TV on Thursday night from his hotel room in the Oberoi Trident, where he had been holed up since the beginning of the siege. Naturally, the UAE was one of the first countries to condemn this “reprehensible crime”.
Nothing, the key word
The situation of the UAE is unique: Its ties with India go back hundreds of years, and it is a country where the peaceful Indian community constitutes a majority of the foreign residents.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, an association of 56 Islamic states, also condemned the terror attacks stating that “these acts of violence contradict all human values and can be justified by nothing”. Nothing is the key word here.
Since the evil attacks of September 11, moderate Muslims dread the news of yet another “holy attack” in which the name of their religion — which means peace — is used as an excuse for bloodthirsty savagery.
In fact, there is an unannounced air of relief among Muslims whenever perpetrators of violent attacks turn out to be from non-Islamic fundamentalist backgrounds. Such was the case during the Virginia Tech University massacre in April 2007 in which 32, mostly students, were killed by a South Korean.
We like to remind others that, like Rashid al Owais, Muslims are victims of terror too. We also are mindful of other notorious non-Islamic groups that perpetuate violence, including Eta in Spain and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.
Symbol of humanity
The latter are responsible for up to 60,000 deaths and more than 200 suicide attacks, one of which took the life of Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India. The perpetrators of last week’s Mumbai attacks could not have chosen a more powerful symbol of humanity than India, with its beautiful mosaic of ethnicities — a mosaic that will undoubtedly continue to shine, despite the crimes of an unrepresentative minority who hijack Islam whenever the state of their miserable existence dawns upon them. India is a proud nation in which the Hindu majority embraces many minorities such as Muslims and Christians, and where they are able to dream and flourish. This is the country of Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, who, as a poor boy in the mid-20th century, was forced to sell newspapers to pay for his studies, but who grew up to be elected as the 11th president of over a billion people earlier this decade. This is the country, too, of Azim Premji, a young Stanford graduate who had the opportunity to turn a fledgling family business called Western Indian Vegetable Products Limited, into a global software giant now called Wipro, making him, until recently, the richest citizen.
This is the country of Shah Rukh Khan, an orphaned Muslim boy who rocketed into movie stardom and, yet, respects the religion of his wife and continues to place the Holy Quran next to Hindu Gods in his house. This is the country of the Taj Mahal, the most magnificent Islamic structure in the world, built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
But, most importantly, this is the country of the everyday man and woman, Hindu, Christian and Muslim, who wake up each morning and often embark on a journey that could last several hours, leaving their loved ones behind to build better lives for their families. This vision of humanity is at odds with the beliefs of terrorists, brainwashed thugs, who also leave their homes and embark on a journey — but in their case to commit murder.
It is not enough for moderate Muslims to be revolted by the attacks in Mumbai as we have been revolted by the attacks on the New York office towers, Amman wedding, London transport system, Madrid trains, Beslan school, Jerusalem pizzeria, Baghdad markets and numerous other places. It is time to take a serious stand against these perpetrators and reclaim our religion. Muslims must be more vocal in their sentiments regarding such criminals, and Islamic states must counter this behaviour proactively.
To borrow from an unpopular phrase, the Islamic states must launch a psychological pre-emptive strike against these terrorists and, more importantly, those who encourage them. Muslim preachers who fail to condemn terror must either be re-educated or discredited completely, and those who excuse terror using certain conflicts as a pretext must be silenced because the poison that they spread today will come back to haunt us all tomorrow.
Some media outlets can also act as a conduit for the terrorists’ propaganda. The stories of reformed radicals such as Sayed Imam, also known as Dr Fadl, must be highlighted to the ignorant minority. Our message must be clear: “These acts of violence contradict all human values and can be justified by nothing.” Nothing.
(The author is a Sharjah-based businessman and graduate of the American University of Paris. He is the founder of Barjeel Securities in Dubai. This article was first published in The National, Abu Dhabi. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted by jagoindia on December 2, 2008
In your Nov. 28 editorial “Murder in Mumbai,” you write, “As in Pakistan, India’s 150-million strong Muslim population is largely moderate and not easily radicalized.”
I believe the problem is not only radicalization, but more importantly, silence and complacency of so-called “mainstream” Muslims during such events as killing of non-Muslims.
We witness this everywhere in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Arab countries, Indonesia, and other Muslim countries. When a suicide bomber blows himself up in a populated area somewhere, we do not see demonstrations of protests, burning of effigies of Osama bin Laden or other extremists. But if somebody publishes a caricature on Islam, we immediately see mass protests.
Silence of the majorities in Muslim countries is, in fact, the best support the extremists can get from the people. Therefore your comment that the “Muslim population is largely moderate” should not calm us down. It is, rather, a repetition of that fairy tale that the media feed us with.