Thursday, June 21, 2012

Muslim women stage a march against terrorism in Agra, Islam, Women and Feminism,

Islam, Women and Feminism
Muslim women stage a march against terrorism in Agra

Hundreds of Muslim women took to streets in Agra on Sunday against the terror menace.

The rally was a part of the three-day National Women Muslim Conference, which concluded at Mathur Vaishya Bhavan in Agra.

carrying banners and placards with messages against terrorism, the participant said that the aim of this march is to create awareness among women especially Muslim women against the terror menace.

Shahzad Khan, organiser of the event, said that this was a three-day campaign to create awareness among the educationally backward sections of the society.

"This campaign was to create awareness among the Muslims who are educationally backward. National Muslim Front has begun this door-to-door campaign today along with Muslim women to guide children towards education," said Khan.,-women-and-feminism/d/2728

Indonesia Upholds Blasphemy Law, Islamic World News

Islamic World News
Indonesia Upholds Blasphemy Law

Critics say the law is vague, allowing authorities to interpret and enforce it how they choose, which they say has largely been used against those seen as offending mainstream Islam.

The government used the blasphemy law in the past to outlaw religious groups, including Ahmadiya, a minority Islamic group banned in 2008 whose members identify themselves as Muslims but do not believe in the core tenet of Islam that Muhammad is the last prophet.

They also say conservative Islamic groups have used the law as justification

for violent attacks on minority religious groups.

'Blow to freedom'

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a US based rights organisation, said the ruling "dealt a severe blow to religious freedom" in the world's third-largest democracy.

"Indonesia's laws should protect those who peacefully express religious views and punish those who threaten to use violence against others, not the other way around," Elaine Pearson of HRW said.

The US commission on international religious freedom, a non-partisan body that advises the US government, said the ruling may embolden religious extremists and foster sectarian strife.

Chairul Annam, one of the lawyers arguing for the law's repeal, said "the judges closed their eyes and hearts.

We are very sorry that discrimination suffered by minorities in this country was not recognised by the court."

Fatwa-mongers have a lot to learn from ancient jurists, Islamic Sharia Laws,

Islamic Sharia Laws
Fatwa-mongers have a lot to learn from ancient jurists
By Arif M Khan

The communiqué further said that what is hidden and secret belongs on the outcome of the judicial proceedings. The legal verdict shall depend only on express statements, evidence adduced and facts of the case. In another communication to Abu Moosa Ashari, the Caliph laid down that “no person shall hold law court or hear legal dispute except the authority established by law”. The reason being that such authorities are supported by state power, and state power, when applied correctly, is an effective deterrent against wrongdoers and false witnesses.

This position was further reiterated by Caliph Umar in his communiqué to Abdullah bin Masood whom he had appointed as in-charge of education in Kufa. Ibn Masood was regarded as an authority in Quranic sciences and one prophetic narration had named him as one of the four teachers of Quran. Keeping in mind the erudition and scholarship of Ibn Masood, people started flocking to him to seek his verdict (fatwa) in matters of disputed and he willingly obliged them. On bearing this news, the Caliph wrote a letter and asked if he has started settling legal disputes despite the fact that he has not been vested withsuch authority.

Ibn Masood replied in the affirmative. The Caliph sent him a rejoinder directing “leave this work for one who is competent to take care of the benefits and harms associated with the administration of justice.”

Sultan Shahin: A Life Positive Magazine Profile: The universe is a manifestation of the one universal consciousness, Spiritual Meditations

Spiritual Meditations
Sultan Shahin: A Life Positive Magazine Profile: The universe is a manifestation of the one universal consciousness

Sultan Shahin, a journalist, spoke to Praveen Chopra

Is this man for real, you wonder. He has the temerity to write that Muslims in India should have no qualms in claiming their Vedic heritage. Or that Muslims' prayers remain unheeded because they have forgotten how to pray effectively, to meditate that is. He calls the Babri mosque demolition an opportunity for Muslims to learn some lessons and to feel grateful to God for making it possible.

They can, for example, exert their right to forgive and thus set both parties to the dispute free of the karmic debt. This is provocative stuff. But Sultan Shahin, son of a maulvi (Muslim priest) and married to a Hindu, is an unusual man. His journey of transformation has been atypical too. He was attending a barbecue party in England about eight years ago where one face-reader told Sultan that his birthday must be on October 26. For Sultan, this was too close to reality (October 27) for comfort.

Starting with astrology, Sultan went on to delve into spirituality. One of the things he tried was the Hasidic Jewish prayer about forgiving all people who might have hurt one physically, psychologically or financially in the past. For him, this brought back memories: the experience of hurt and living through the accompanying pain again. It wasn't just a load off his shoulders metaphorically; the pain he used to suffer in his shoulders and back disappeared, too. This demonstrated for him the relationship between experience and the body, which is a store-house of experiences. Growing in knowledge, he becomes aware that all that is is energy. Sultan believes that the less conscious we are of the density of things, the freer we are of illusion.

In retrospect, Sultan says, he had faintly realised such truths even as a teenager. Born in a village in Bihar, he used to take the cattle out for grazing which gave him ample time to reflect. The thinker in him made him argue with his father: "Why do you want me to pray to a God I don't understand?" He stopped doing namaaz (prayers) but promised his father that he would study all religions, particularly Islam, and choose the one that most convinced him.

Making sense of Pakistan’s nuclear moves, Islam and Politics,

Islam and Politics
Making sense of Pakistan’s nuclear moves
By Cyril Almeida

Occasionally, very occasionally, the military mind here hits upon a good idea. The offer to supply nuclear fuel cycle services under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards may be one of those ideas. Let’s begin with the science bit in this maze of scientific jargon and high-stakes international politics.

What Pakistan has offered is analogous to an oil-refining facility. If you have a generator and barrels of crude oil, you can’t very well pour the oil into the generator and flip the switch; you need petrol or diesel. So for countries looking to, say, set up a nuclear power plant — all the rage nowadays — Pakistan is offering to prepare the nuclear fuel that will power the plant which will produce electricity. That’s all we really need to know.

Why is this a good idea?

Pakistan is the bad boy of the nuclear world. Well, maybe not as bad as North Korea or Iran, but bad enough. Neither are we truly accepted as one of the members of the nuclear club nor are we trusted with the technology.

The reasons for this are varied. First and foremost, we screwed up: see A.Q. Khan. (Sure, there may be explanations and mitigating circumstances but we made our own bed.) Then we have loads of jihadis running around blowing up stuff (and themselves). We have an Army which jealously guards its nukes but forgot to inoculate itself against its own progeny, the aforementioned jihadis.

The Status of ‘Suicide Attacks’ or ‘Martyrdom Operations’ in the Shariah, Islamic Sharia Laws,

Islamic Sharia Laws
The Status of ‘Suicide Attacks’ or ‘Martyrdom Operations’ in the Shariah
By Maulana Waris Mazhari
(Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand/Noor Mohammad Sikand)
However, now that fidayeen attacks are no longer confined just to Palestine and directed only at Israelis, but have become a global phenomenon, targeting even Muslim countries and Muslim peoples, as in the case of Pakistan, those who sought to provide legitimacy for such actions are faced with a peculiar dilemma. It is true that, prior to the American aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan, fidayeen attacks by Muslim groups were confined only to Palestine. However, continued American imperialist offensives, including America’s unstinting support to the Israeli occupiers, have driven many Muslim youth to the wall, forcing them to take to such radical steps as suicide bombings in utter desperation. This must be recognized as the basic root of the phenomenon of fidayeen attacks by Muslim groups that has now spread out from Palestine to expand to other lands. Ultimately, the dominant Western powers, particularly America, are to blame for this development, which they berate as inhuman and cruel. The fact of the matter is that these bombings are a result of pent-up feelings of revenge in the face of intolerable oppression. At the same time, it must also be recognized that seeking to right wrongs in this manner has led to these Muslim groups exceeding the bounds of Islam and morality. Hence, it is crucial for Islamic scholars to seriously ponder on the legitimacy of suicide bombings in Islam, especially since Muslim groups who engage in such attacks often do so precisely in the name of Islam and claim that in doing so they are acting according to Islamic commandments.

Munir Commission Report-36: The Decision Of 24th December 1952, Books and Documents,

Books and Documents
Munir Commission Report-36: The Decision Of 24th December 1952
The Decision Of 24th December 1952

Under this head we shall deal with a number of files which were postponed for a discussion with the Chief Minister and in respect of which a decision was ultimately taken on the 24th December.

(A) Convention at Rawalpindi on 15th and 16th November 1952—The following extracts from speeches deserves notice:—

(1) Master Taj-ud-Din: Zafrullah will have to face a trial after his removal for anti-State and anti-Islam activities.

(2) Qazi Ehsan Ahmad: The struggle is between ghaddar and wafadar or between truth and falsehood. * * * In these days the terms interest and profit, bribe and fee, spy and prophet are synonymous. Violence is permissible for the protection of Islam, though not for its propagation. The Mirzais want to rejoin India.

Muhammad Miskin: Don’t let Mirzais be buried in your graveyards. Abdullah Shah: Mirzais were caught smuggling arms. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Dajjal, a false nabi.

Master Taj-ud-Din (second day) ‘Cease fire’ had been manoeuvred by Mirzais. Not even during British regime was section 144 applied to mosques. If Government feel reluctant to declare the Ahmadis a minority, boycott them socially and economically. Ammunition weighing one maund, ten seers and four chataks had been imported into Rabwah. (How precise is the information!) Hafiz Muhammad Saeed: In Gujranwala, shops were keeping separate utensils for Mirzais. (Which means, you also should do the same thing) Maulvi Muhammad All Jullundri: Mirzais were zindeeq and punishable with death. Every Muslim should add the word kazzab (liar) to the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Whoever kills a pretender gets the reward of a hundred martyrs.

In its 62nd year, Israel is in a diplomatic, security and moral limbo, Current affairs,

Current affairs
In its 62nd year, Israel is in a diplomatic, security and moral limbo
Says an editorial in Haaretz, Tel Aviv
April 19, 2010

The joy attendant on Israel's Independence Day traditionally focused on emphasizing the growing list of the young state's achievements and the sense that the country was progressing toward a better future - one of peace, enhanced physical and existential security, integration into the family of nations and the region, and a normalized existence. But the country's lifespan, which was considered a great virtue in and of itself during the first few decades, has become secondary to a far more important question: Within what dynamic is Israel operating? Is time on Israel's side? Is it setting goals for itself and working toward their realization? Has it blossomed into maturity? Are its citizens more secure and happier? Does it greet the future with hope?

Unfortunately, Israel's 62nd Independence Day finds it in a kind of diplomatic, security and moral limbo that is certainly no cause for celebration. It is isolated globally and embroiled in a conflict with the superpower whose friendship and support are vital to its very existence. It is devoid of any diplomatic plan aside from holding onto the territories and afraid of any movement. It wallows in a sense of existential threat that has only grown with time. It seizes on every instance of anti-Semitism, whether real or imagined, as a pretext for continued apathy and passivity. In many respects, it seems that Israel has lost the dynamism and hope of its early decades, and is once again mired in the ghetto mentality against which its founders rebelled.

Granted, Israel is not the sole custodian of its fate. Yet the shortcomings that have cast a pall over the country since its founding - the ethnocentrism, the dominance of the army and religious functionaries, the socioeconomic gaps, the subservience to the settlers, the mystical mode of thinking and the adherence to false beliefs - have, instead of disappearing over time, only gathered steam. The optimistic, pragmatic, peace-seeking spirit that once filled the Israeli people, in tune with the Zionist revolution, which sought to alter Jewish fate, has weakened. And it is not clear whether the current government is deepening the reactionary counterrevolution or merely giving it faithful expression.,-israel-is-in-a-diplomatic,-security-and-moral-limbo/current-affairs/d/2735

Speaking of fatwas: What about female circumcision?, Islamic World News,

Islamic World News
Speaking of fatwas: What about female circumcision?

Last month, a group of prominent Muslim scholars met in the Turkish city of Mardin to revisit the Mardin fatwa, the 14th-century legal edict written by Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyya, who lived during the brutal Mongol invasion. While the Mongols eventually embraced Islam, they unleashed terror on their religious brethren. Ibn Taymiyya declared that, although the Mongols were nominally Muslim, they did not rule according to classical Islamic law and, therefore, could be killed. The Mardin fatwa is often quoted by Osama bin Laden and other extremists to excommunicate and murder Muslims who don’t share their views. The fatwa is also used to justify the murder of unarmed combatants.

The scholars declared that these interpretations of the Mardin fatwa are erroneous, that the killing of non-combatants is forbidden. Furthermore, they made it clear that jihad has multiple meanings, one of which is armed conflict. But only a head of state, not individuals, can declare armed jihad, and only as a defensive means against aggression.

The strong opinion followed a remarkable 600-page fatwa issued by an influential Pakistani scholar, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who categorized individuals committing terrorism in the name of Islam to be outside the fold of the faith. He, too, said in no uncertain terms that the killing of non-combatants is forbidden, as is suicide. Suicide bombings, he said, lie outside the bounds of Islam and can in no way be justified. He reiterated this stand by condemning the “black widow” terror attacks in the recent Moscow subway bombings.

Objectives Resolution and Secularism –14, Urdu Section,

Urdu Section
Objectives Resolution and Secularism –14
By Wajahat Masood
(Translated from Urdu by Sohail Arshad)

One angle of the administrative chaos was that the transfer of a large number of the government officers to Pakistan or India on religious lines had become inevitable. Because of the possibility of migration also there was a decline in the sense of responsibility, discipline or the fear of authorities’ reprimand among the administrative officials. In the united Punjab, Lahore was the administrative centre. The systems of all the important government offices, banks, railways, telephones, radio, and the roads were centralised in Lahore. Unfortunately, Lahore was the centre of communal skirmishes that took place from time to time in the months of May, June and July. In the united Punjab, Lahore and Amritsar were like twin cities. Apart from the geographical proximity between the two cities there was a striking similarity in social, cultural and civilisational approaches there. The only difference was that Lahore was regarded as the centre of Muslim society and culture while Amritsar represented Sikh culture.

After mid-July both the cities became a part of such a communal confrontation that can be called the duet of barbarism. The irresponsible inflammatory oration of the religious leaders of two communities was reaching its crescendo. The cut-off organs of Muslim victims would be sent to Lahore in brass containers (the circumcised organs would indicate the religious identity of the dead). The next day, the brave men of Lahore would despatch a gift of similar nature to Amritsar. A train of Muslim refugees coming from east Punjab was slaughtered in Amritsar, and the next day a whole train of non-Muslim refugees was massacred. When a procession of nude girls was taken out in Lahore, the Muslim girls were meted out the same treatment in the streets of Amritsar the following day. When the Muslim localities were burnt down in Amritsar, the incidents of burning down of non-Muslim localities started in Lahore. A number of Muslim authors have written in their books without any regret or remorse, rather with a little pride that in the non-Muslim locality of Lahore called Shah Almi which was a marvel of architecture, the Hindus had made proper arrangements for protection against the attacks of the rioters. But some Muslim youths sneaked into Shah Almi through underground drains, and the locality comprising beautiful timber framed homes turned into ashes in no time.

Reclaiming Jerusalem’s lost legacy, Interfaith Dialogue,

Interfaith Dialogue
Reclaiming Jerusalem’s lost legacy
By Saif Shahin

Jerusalem or the abode of peace. A city of walls and cracks, peoples and passers by, culture and commerce, loving and losing. Above all, a city of worship, of religion — or so they say!

For more than half a century, Muslims and Jews have been jousting for Jerusalem. Both say it is among the holiest of their cities, and they have an assortment of archaeological and architectural evidence to support their claims. Neither denies the claims of the other; indeed, for Muslims it is partially so holy because of the same claims that the Jews make upon it. Yet, both want exclusive rights over it.

Lost on both sides is the supreme irony that their thoroughly temporal squabble is in direct defiance of spiritual legacy of the city they are struggling for — the significance of sacrifice.

Jews view Jerusalem, specifically the Old City, as the place where they were forged into a nation for the first time by King David in the 10th century BC. David’s son Solomon built the First Temple of the Jews here as the dwelling place of god. Destroyed by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC, a Second Temple was built — which stood until 70 AD, until the Romans pulled it down.

The site of the two temples, the Temple Mount, occupies a central place in Jewish religion and culture. That is why Jews around the world pray facing Jerusalem, and they hope to build a Third Temple there some day.

No Religion Can Claim To Possess Absolute Truth, Spiritual Meditations,

Spiritual Meditations
No Religion Can Claim To Possess Absolute Truth
By Thomas Chillikulam
Divine understanding ...
Religious fundamentalism runs on the engine of arrogance. A religious fundamentalist claims to possess absolute knowledge and truth about God. The basic teachings of religions regarding God prove such claims to be false because all religions perceive God as an inexhaustible and indescribable mystery that cannot be grasped fully. The Bible affirms that the ineffable mystery of God eludes understanding - "Can you penetrate the designs of God? It is higher than the heavens; what can you know?" (Book of Job 11:78).St Augustine, an early Christian thinker, warned those who hold absolutist claims: "If you know God,it is not God". For St Thomas Aquinas, Christian theologian of all times, the greatest of all knowledge about God is: "To know that one does not know God".

Upanishadic sages were aware of the incomprehensibility of the divine mystery. The mystery of God is so ineffable that, "The eye does not reach it, or speech, or the mind. It is not understood by those who understand it; it is understood by those who do not understand it," says the Kena Upanishad (1.3.4).The Absolute is anirvachaniyam or indescribable. Hence, after every description of God, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (3.9.26) adds "neti, neti" - "not so, not so". Sufi Muslim saint Sarafudddin Maneri acknowledges: "A hundred thousand intellects cannot comprehend Thee, O, You who lie hidden from the gaze of eye and soul". Khwaja Abu Sa'id, another Sufi saint, declares: "No one knows the full story, hold your tongue, hold your tongue".

To Bangalore, with hate, Radical Islamism and Jihad,

Radical Islamism and Jihad
To Bangalore, with hate
By Praveen Swami

Police hunting for the perpetrators of last week's attacks on the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore are revisiting the 2008 serial bombings in the city.

“HAPPY Vishu, Malayalees and Pravasees,” reads the cheerful red banner running across the web page set up by an enthusiastic resident of Pallikera in Kerala. Photos offer a glimpse of the small town's charms: men with gym-honed biceps, the Bekal fort, and, improbably, photos of two western tourists hugging the billboard of a local celebrity.

Fifteen years ago, a young man named Sarfaraz Nawaz left Pallikera on a journey that would lead, step by step, to the serial bombings in Bangalore in June, 2008. From his story, and that of his associates in south India's Islamist networks, investigators have pieced together a fascinating account of how multiple jihadist cells formed across the region; linked to each other only loosely through leaders, who in turn were connected to Islamist groups in the Gulf and the Lashkar-e-Taiba's commanders in Pakistan.

But the story also demonstrates disturbing gaps in intelligence; gaps that allowed jihadists to mobilise and recruit members, and prepare for attacks. Following last week's bombings at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, the police in Karnataka have renewed the search for over a dozen individuals linked to Nawaz's networks who eluded arrest after the June 2008 serial bombings in India's information-technology capital.

Born in 1977, the quiet, scholarly Nawaz joined the Students Islamic Movement of India in 1995. In 1996, he left home to study at the famous Dar-ul-Uloom Nadwat-ul-Ullema seminary in Lucknow. But he found its clerical austerity stifling, and returned to Kochi to study at Accel Computers. Fluent in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Urdu and Arabic, Nawaz began writing regularly in the SIMI-linked Kerala magazine Nerariv and the pro-National Development Front newspaper Thejus.,-with-hate/radical-islamism-and-jihad/d/2741

Now, Islamic Terror Strikes Pakistan’s Top University, Islamic World News,

Islamic World News
Now, Islamic Terror Strikes Pakistan’s Top University

LAHORE: The professor was working in his office here on the campus of Pakistan’s largest university this month when members of an Islamic student group battered open the door, beat him with metal rods and bashed him over the head with a giant flower pot.

Iftikhar Baloch, an environmental science professor, had expelled members of the group for violent behavior. The retribution left him nearly unconscious, and it united his fellow professors, who protested with a nearly three-week strike that ended on Monday.

The attack and the anger it provoked have drawn attention to the student group, Islami Jamiat Talaba, whose morals police have for years terrorized this graceful, century-old institution by brandishing a chauvinistic form of Islam, teachers here say.

But the group has help from a surprising source — national political leaders who have given it free rein, because they sometimes make political alliances with its parent organization, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s oldest and most powerful religious party, they say.

The university’s plight encapsulates Pakistan’s predicament: an intolerant, aggressive minority terrorizes a more open-minded, peaceful majority, while an opportunistic political class dithers, benefiting from alliances with the aggressors.

This is the University of the Punjab, Pakistan’s premier institution of higher learning, with about 30,000 students, and a principal avenue of advancement for the swelling ranks of Pakistan’s lower and middle classes.

The battle here concerns the future direction of the country, and whether those pushing an intolerant vision of Islam will prevail against this nation’s outward-looking, educated class.

That is why the problem of Islami Jamiat Talaba is so urgent, teachers say. The rhetoric of the group is strongly anti-West, chauvinistic and intolerant of Pakistan’s religious minorities. It was a vocal Taliban supporter, until doing so became unpopular last year. Its members block music classes, ban soft drinks and beat male students for sitting near girls on the university lawn.,-islamic-terror-strikes-pakistans-top-university/islamic-world-news/d/2742

Islamophobia: French Government Is Responsible For Protecting Religious Minorities, Islam and the West,

Islam and the West
Islamophobia: French Government Is Responsible For Protecting Religious Minorities

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am fully aware that coming here to tell you about violations of Muslims’ rights living in France can appear inadequate.

It is true that every day, thousands of people are detained, killed, tortured throughout the world, because of their religious, political beliefs, their sexual orientation, or colour of skin.

On the other hand, France, the country of my ancestors, has always claimed to be the champion, not to say the inventor of human rights.

French diplomacy has excelled in giving lessons in this issue.

However, we are facing important movements is Islamophobia, characterized by violence especially conducted towards Muslims.

That is why, just like many citizens, we were first surprised than astonished by what happened during the period from May 2003 to March 2004.

It is during this time that a so-called debate took place on the national level leading to the adoption of the 15th March 2004 law banishing in state schools the wearing by pupils of religious sings showing ostensibly a religious belonging, also called (anti- veil law).

Burqas: Terrorists’ Calling Card?, Islam and the West,

Islam and the West
Burqas: Terrorists’ Calling Card?
By Ryan Mauro

On April 17, a refugee camp at Kohat in Pakistan was struck by two suicide bombers who disguised themselves in burqas. The attack, which killed 41 people and injured 62, is sure to heighten the debate in Europe about whether wearing burqas and niqabs in public should be banned. A parliamentary committee in Belgium has unanimously approved such a ban, with the final vote in the House of Representatives on April 22 expected to pass it. Movements to ban the burqa in Europe are growing due to concern that the Islamic veil can be used to disguise the identities of terrorists planning attacks like those that just took place in Pakistan and over the lack of assimilation of Muslim immigrants.

These concerns are not unfounded. Even though Islam frowns upon cross-dressing, male terrorists dressing up as burqa-clad women in order to carry out attacks is becoming more and more part of their modus operandi. This tactic has even been used by bank robbers and other criminals on many occasions, including in the US.

Terrorists have repeatedly donned burqas in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as in the UK, Iraq, the Gaza Strip, India, Somalia and Mauritania. In the UK, one man who tried to set off a bomb in July 2005 in London was able to escape by wearing a burqa. The use of this clothing makes counter-terrorism difficult because female police, who are in short supply, must be used to search those wearing burqas. The police chief of Iraq’s Babil Province in August 2008 complained about this after two burqa-wearing females attacked Shiite pilgrims.

Insurgency and Terrorism: Need for New Thinking, War on Terror,

War on Terror
Insurgency and Terrorism: Need for New Thinking
By Raghu Raman
13 April 2010

With conventional methods failing against insurgency and terrorism, there is a need for new thinking

The global war on terror offers opportunities for imbibing lessons that other countries have learnt at high costs—often paid for in blood. The last decade of anti-terror and anti-insurgency operations conducted the world over offers valuable insights for the conduct of such operations in the future.

Historically, conflicts have had four distinct eras. After World War II, there was a race to achieve arms superiority, culminating in the nuclear détente between two superpowers and the other members of the nuclear club. The next era of the Cold War saw the superpowers’ ideologies being played out in proxy wars all over the globe. The third era was a variation of the arms race, but backed by economic power. During this, the US, under Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” programme, broke the Soviet Union’s back by upping the economic ante so high that the Soviets couldn’t afford to stay in the game. The emerging doctrine at the end of this era was that strength ruled the world. Conventional, nuclear and economic supremacy was the strategy that guaranteed security and safety. Photo: AFP

Though India faced challenges of secessionism, insurgency and terrorism virtually since its independence, much of the world’s attention was occupied by the US-Soviet conflict. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, however, terrorism and guerrilla warfare started occupying global centre stage. And while this was a game changer, the Western world relegated it to a Third World or West Asia problem.

Sinners and Saints, Spiritual Meditations,

Spiritual Meditations
Sinners and Saints
By Jug Suraiya

The 'scandal' of Nithyananda is of course not a scandal at all. A needless brouhaha has been created about self-styled 'godmen' who turn out to be satyrs in holy garb, sinners disguised as saints. Such distinctions would be meaningless both for the hedonist as well as the spiritualist. In Tantricism, for instance, to name just one spiritual discipline, sex is only a means to attain a higher level of consciousness, as are alcohol and narcotics, both of which are commonly viewed as vices.

However, the Catholic church's cover-up of alleged paedophilia and the 'sex guru' episode might revive that old chestnut: the nature of 'good' and 'evil', the difference between saints and sinners, angels and demons. Are good and evil polar opposites, implacable adversaries, like matter and anti-matter, absolute in themselves? That was the heretical Manichean worldview. This presented the problem of two absolutes, good and evil, or two infinities, which is a logical impossibility. In orthodox Christian theology, evil is not absolute in itself; it is an absence, a retraction of the good, the way a shadow is the lack of light. But this means that absolute good, or infinity, can be restricted, which again is logically impossible.

In the Indic perspective, good and evil aren't two sides of the same coin; they are the same side of the same coin. Or, to use the analogy of light, good and evil represent the two ends of the same spectrum, which ranges from infrared to ultraviolet. Seen in this light - both literally and metaphorically - good and evil are part of the same continuum, but at different margins of the same scale.

Sirajuddin Quraishi to be Obama's guest, Islamic World News,

Islamic World News
Sirajuddin Quraishi to be Obama's guest

The Chairman and Managing Director of Hind Group of Industries and the President of India Islamic Cultural Centre, Sirajuddin Quraishi is leaving for Washington today on the invitation of the US President Barack Obama. He will participate in the summit meeting of small and big Muslim businessmen of the world to be held on April 26-27. Before leaving, Mr Quraishi said that this was the first effort to bring the Muslim businessmen from all over the world at one platform and hoped that the success of this conference would inspire Muslim countries to organise such programmes. He pointed out that the industrialists had one common virtue that they shared their problems with each other and found a solution with collective deliberations. This conference, therefore, could prove to be an important platform for collective consultations for the Muslim businessmen of the world, he said.

Mr Sirajuddin Quraishi further said that he had numerous positive experiences during his stint as a businessman and social activist and had a lot to share with other people so that they can benefit. He said that the Hind Group has made proper arrangements for all the civic amenities like roads, electricity, clean drinking water and even mobile hospitals for the inhabitants of the 110 km area that has been taken over by it adding that it has adopted 1300 villages.

Mr Quraishi said that the Muslims today needed business, education and security and to provide them with that the governments needed to be impartial.

What Can These Women suicide bombers Be Thinking?, Islam, Women and Feminism,

Islam, Women and Feminism
What Can These Women suicide bombers Be Thinking?

Since 1985, more than 250 women, Tamil, Chechen, Indian, and Muslim, have become suicide bombers.

An unsettling new trend is emerging: conversion of Western women to Islam and their recruitment into Islam's most murderous cults. How can such a misogynistic movement seduce women?

Recently two American women were picked up on terror charges: one the petite blonde known as "Jihad Jane" and the other, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez. What's even worse is that there are more in the pipeline.

Colleen LaRose, whose Internet name is "Jihad Jane," converted to Islam and acted as a screener and recruiter for assassins to murder a Swedish cartoonist who "offended Islam." She was trying to find others like herself-preferably women who would not easily be identified as Muslim-to carry out such missions. Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a 31-year-old American (a blonde like LaRose), was arrested in Ireland for conspiring to murder the same cartoonist. What might these women have in common?

Such women are troubled, not well educated (often school dropouts), and would be called losers in our society-but get attention and the illusion of affection from Islamic radicals. The militants need such women, and will do anything to recruit them. LaRose was so secretive about her activities that even her last live-in boyfriend (she was married and divorced several times) was unaware of what she was doing. She also had a history of alcohol abuse, and her former boyfriend noted that she was not very bright.

Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, according to her distraught mother, was also married three times-as a teenager, then to an illegal Mexican immigrant who fathered her child and was caught and deported, and now to an Algerian Muslim she met on line. She has taken her six-year-old child with her to Ireland, and her mother says that the child is being radicalized to hate Christians and to become a "good Muslim.",-women-and-feminism/d/2748

Wrongs From The “Right” Bukhari, Islamic Ideology,

Islamic Ideology
Wrongs From The “Right” Bukhari
By Dr. Shabbir Ahmed

The Hadith Collection by “Imam” Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail Bukhari is considered by Mullahs and their blind followers as the most authentic book on earth after the Quran. Let’s examine it. Most of the references given here belong to Bukhari published by Madina Publishing Company, Karachi, 1982, Printer Hamid & Co. It is nice to see that this version of Bukhari gives us the complete original Arabic text as well which I have checked personally. The translator into Urdu is “Maulana” Abdul Hakim Khan Shahjahanpuri. For the sake of brevity, only the relevant lines have been selected without compromising the meanings and context in the least. Vol = Volume. P or Pg = Page number. # = Hadith or Baab (Chapter) number. Another example, 2:76 would mean Vol 2, page 76. When referring to the Quran, 2:76 will mean Surah 2 verse 76.

Please remember that popular books have many different publishers. That causes some variation in page numbers but, invariably, a little effort can lead the reader to the desired references. It is always of great help to go to the relevant, stated chapter and search the narratives given in The Criminals of Islam.

Please know that an outstanding scholar of Islam, Ubaidullah Sindhi concedes, "I cannot teach Bukhari Hadith to any youngster, or to a non-Muslim because of shame." (Preface to his Tafseer, Ilham-ur-Rahman). Let’s explore why he said this …