Monthly Archives: February 2011

Suicide Missions: Nothing Islamic About It

What is common between Kiyoshi Ogawa, Hossein Fahmideh and Andrew Joseph Stack III ? They all died on a suicide mission for a cause they strongly felt about. Thanks to media and some groups, Suicide missions are projected to associate only with Islam. It is forgotten that neither Muslims are the first one to use it or will be the last one. The data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world’s religions. One of the largest ever opinion poll conducted by Gallup in Islamic world found out that the overwhelming majority of Muslims – 93 percent – condemned the Sep 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Among the seven percent who viewed the Sep 11 attacks as “completely justified “not one gave religious justification” for their views. As per Gallup, “Politics, not piety, differentiate moderates from radicals” in the Islamic world. Continue reading

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Are the Maoists Serving People’s Interest?

The abduction of a district collector and a junior engineer by the Maoists in Orissa has become a major news now. Like some earlier similar episodes in AP and W.Bengal, this episode is now over with the release of the two, of course with the government accepting some demands. Then what? Neither the CPI (Maoist) leadership nor those who are celebrating the episode are asking this question. If this is the way to achieve people’s demands. The Maoists do not understand that the Communists are not contractors of revolution, but the vanguard forces who prepare the people for making revolution. Theirs are anarchist actions which are rejected by history and which negate the role of people in making history. The role played by the Maoists in W.Bengal where they support Mamta Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress and in Jharkhand where they support Shibu Soren’s JMM which is in alliance with BJP are not serving revolution, but counter revolution. Continue reading

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Arab upheaval: Misplaced Western Effort To Take Credit

In case of upheaval in Arab countries the western, and even the Indian media, have blown the role of Facebook and Twitter so much out of proportion as if there would have been no revolution without them. What they tend to forget is that the ideology, the leadership, the zeal and motivating factors are more important than means. When they talk of Muslim Brotherhood, it needs to be highlighted that its concept of government having people’s mandate, has its roots in the immediate aftermath of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and not that of the western democracy of 20th or 21st centuries. The Brotherhood was formed in 1928, much before many western countries became democratic.But the problem with the western media is that over the years, they have distorted the image of Islam so much that it has become a sort of synonym to terrorism. How can they now say that Islam believes in peaceful political change like the one which is happening now?
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The Gatekeeper of Ghalib’s Grave

In fact Ghalib’s grave, far from being reviled or shamed as the lover’s in the verse was, is rather an honored place of visit in Delhi. The grave is next to the Ghalib Institute (or the Ghalib Academy, one of the two) only a stone’s throw from Nizamuddin Dargah. I went there at night and the resplendence of the dargah didn’t quite make it to Ghalib, so the surroundings were rather dark. There is a small fenced compound just off the side of the gully, at one end of which is a small structure, a hut almost, of stone. At first I did not even notice the broad, in English, Hindi and Urdu, that proclaimed this to be the grave. When I did see it, I noticed that the only entry into the compound was gated and padlocked. It was past 8:30pm and I assumed this meant that the site was closed for the day. Continue reading

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David Cameron Was Right On “Islamist” Extremism

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech against “Islamist extremism” delivered recently at a security conference in Munich sparked an unnecessary controversy in the U.K., particularly among Muslims. Their reaction was perhaps based on newspaper reports which sensationalised the issue – maybe to capture the attention of Western audiences – by saying that Mr. Cameron wanted Muslims to adopt British values. There was nothing in his speech that extolled the supremacy of Western values over Islamic values. To be fair to Mr. Cameron he took pains to distinguish “Islamist extremism” from Islam which he called a peaceful religion. And he attacked European “right-wing fascist” parties saying that they were fuelling Islamophobia by seeking the forcible expatriation of Muslims and a ban on their mosques. Continue reading

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We – The Hosni Mubaraks

We all are standing at the Tahrir Square helplessly without being able to remove the rule of Hosni Mubaraks. These are those Hosni Mubaraks who have been in power for over generations. These are none other than us.We are clinging to our prejudices, preconceived notions, respective schools of thought and outdated ideas more strongly than Hosni Mubarak clung to power. Some of us are clinging to them from a much earlier age. Some of us are still not relenting while Hosni Mubarak actually did. Hosni Mubarak proved to be more flexible and accommodating. Our arrogance is the greatest Hosni Mubarak. When I find arrogance it only means that truth is eluding us; the seeking of which is our career on earth – to the best of our capacities and with utmost humbleness.
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Peace Process In Assam And The Victims

ULFA which was formed on April 7, 1979 by Bhimakanta Buragohain, Rajiv Rajkonwar alias Arabinda Rajkhowa, Golap Baruah alias Anup Chetia, Samiran Gogoi alias Pradip Gogoi, Bhadreshwar Gohain and Paresh Baruah at the historic Rang Ghar in Sibsagar to establish a “sovereign socialist Assam” through an armed struggle. Over the period of time it has been observed that peace processes after violent armed conflict often don’t include the issues of justice for the victims. Justice is sacrificed for the sake of peace. In many African countries truth commissions emerged as a strategy to preserve truth and to seek victim’s right to truth. Continue reading

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Flawed War On Terror: Time To Undo Wrongs Against Muslims

The woes of the ordinary law-abiding Muslim have been compounded by these mindless acts of terror. Living as he is on the margins of society, discriminated against in the job market, in education, when seeking loans and even when looking for accommodation, he is now burdened with the stigma of being in tacit collusion with the terrorists. The Hindutva terror network has spread far and wide is evident from the fact that apart from the Sadhavi, the Swami, myriad underworld figures, there is an army colonel involved in planning the attacks. What is disturbing is that many misguided Indians believe that these mass murderers are giving Muslims a dose of their own medicine and therefore deserve commendation. Continue reading

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Book Review: Rounded up – Muslims after 9/11

After reading ‘Rounded Up’ I am simply shocked. Is it the same USA? It is unbelievable that inhabitants of USA, champion of human rights and land of many civil rights movements, could be made to live in perpetual fear after 9/11. How can enlightened and highly educated people react in such irrational way? An event, which is still shrouded in mystery and which quite a few people consider as an ‘inside job’, triggered unprecedented devastation in the form of loss of human lives and ruined countries around the globe. Rounded Up’ gives an insight into fake encounters (Batla House, Delhi) and witch hunting of Muslims by security agencies in India as well. It seems our intelligence is following studiously FBI.
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Closer Look: Aligarh Movement

There are three myths about the Aligarh movement: it was simply a movement for education, Aligarh Muslim University IS the movement, and that the movement is long dead. Syed Ahmed Khan’s concerns, visions, and efforts for the Indian Muslims came to be later known as the Aligarh Movement but it was not simply a movement to make Muslims learn Western education or even the establishment of a university. It was a movement to give mission to a community that seemed to have lost its bearing in the fast-changing world, to prepare them for new challenges, and give them new tools to connect back to their religion and history. Incredibly, Muslims of India still face these issues and the need for Aligarh movement is still alive. Continue reading

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