Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Radical, Political Islam May be Challenged More Effectively through Mainstream Islam, says New Age Islam editor, Sultan Shahin

Mr Sultan Shahin Editor,, addressing UN Human Rights Council’s Fourteenth Session on 15th June 2011 for International Club for Peace Research (ICPR) on Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action contrasted the role of mainstream and Wahhabi version of Islam in the matter of promoting peace. In his view Arab imperialists, who had been inveterate enemies of Islam and had accepted Islam only when they had no other option and perhaps with a view to subverting Islam from within, took over Islam not long after the Prophet’s death and succeeded in their anti-Islam goal.

Elaborating this theme, he said :“Not long after Prophet Mohammad’s death, Arab imperialists who were inveterate enemies of Islam’s ideology of human equality and respect for all religions practically hijacked Islam and created a hereditary monarchical system in the name of Khilafat that immediately embarked on a project of imperialist expansion. Then, in order to justify the misuse of Islam to run an unIslamic system of imperialist expansion based on Islam-supremacism, they undermined the only scripture the Prophet had left behind, the Quran, and created a parallel scripture called Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet). Compiled two to three centuries after the death of the Prophet, these sayings were attributed to the prophet and were advertised as marvels of research in which meticulous care had been taken to find out the route through which the saying had travelled for two to three centuries before being written down.”

Explaining the role of Hadees in the subversion of Islam from its original purity and broadmindedness to a desiccated, dry version, shorn of all compassion and God’s promise of mercy, he further said: “A mere glance at some of these sayings recorded in what are considered the most authentic compilations, the voluminous Bukhari and Muslim, shows that some of these sayings had been concocted to suit the imperialist tendencies and even the lecherous nature of the monarch-khalifas. But nevertheless, through massive and constant propaganda Hadith was made to occupy the same space in the minds of average Muslims as the Quran, if not more so.

On the role and the current phenomenon of spreading Ahl-e-Hadeesism with the help of massive injection of petrodollars, he elaborated: “It is no accident that the most influential ideological group among the radical Jihadis calls itself Ahle-Hadees (People of Hadith), people who believe in the Hadith probably even as superior to the Quran. These monarchs also created another very powerful institution to enslave Muslims and control them: the clergy. Mullahdom or any kind of priesthood was not part of Islam when the Prophet made his transition to the other world, saying he was satisfied that he had completed Islam. But the hijacked and subverted Islam that we have inherited through centuries made sure that Muslims largely do not consult the Quran for guidance on ideological issues.”

Full Text of the UNHRC speech is available at:

Kashmiriyat vs Islamic Fanaticism: Pakistan’s greatest disservice to Kashmir

Delivering a speech in a seminar organised by Inter-Faith International on “Self-determination issues in South Asia at Geneva during UNHRC’s June 2010 Session Mr Sultan Shahin, Editor, said that in his view the greatest disservice Pakistan has sought o do to Kashmir is damaging the distinguishing feature of Kashmir that made every Kashmiri proud, its Kashmiriyat. The state of Jammu and Kashmir had a deeply composite culture, shaped by its mystics, the Sufis and the Rishis. These Sufis had enormous influence on the minds of the people of all religions and were revered and followed by all.

Giving the example of the mystical verses of Hazrat Nuruddin Nurani, for instance, which have had great influence in shaping the Kashmiri literature as much as the general mindset of common Kashmiris, Mr. Sultan Sahhin said: “The people of Kashmir have suffered immensely since the Pakistani invasion of their land soon after Partition in 1947. India took the matter to the UN Security Council to persuade Pakistan to stop aggression and make arrangements for returning the territory it had occupied. Security Council asked Pakistan to withdraw its forces from Occupied Kashmir within 90 days. But Pakistan has failed to do so till date. The Security Council too failed to get Pakistani aggression vacated.”

Full Text of the UNHRC speech is available at:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Missing Introspection needed to counter growing Islamophobia

Editor,, Mr Sultan Shahin's oral statement in the Thirteenth Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 16 March, 2010 introspects the reasons behind growing Islamophobia. He says that discrimination against religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries has grown. Anti-blasphemy laws, for instance, have been routinely used to harass and commit acts of violence against religious minorities. The Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, mentioned the case of Christians and the minority Muslim sect of Ahmadis who are continually harassed on baseless allegations of blasphemy in Pakistan despite the government’s stated commitment to fulfil its international obligations.

In Mr. Sultan Shahin’s view another issue that may be fuelling Islamophobia is the widespread Islam-supremacism in the Muslim community. God told us in the Quran, Mr. Shahin says, that Islam is not a new religion; it is the same religion that God has been sending to this planet through tens of thousands of previous prophets. We were told that the Holy Quran is merely a reiteration of the messages that were sent before. We were specifically told not to fall in the trap of considering ourselves the chosen people. But we did not listen. We have developed an ideology of Islam-supremacism, contrary to all Islamic teachings. We have developed a theory that Muslims alone will go to Heaven, all others are going to be consigned to Hell, no matter how righteous. Obviously anyone who harbours a feeling of superiority over others cannot possibly expect to have good relations with them.

Mr. Shahin has another lament too: He says: “Then we have allowed a section of Muslims to spread among us a version of exclusivist Islam that wants us to get away from each and everypre-Islamic tradition. Pre-Islamic traditions like Hajj and veneration of Kaaba sharif are intrinsic to Islam itself. But we are told that we should behave and look different from followers of all other religions and forego all our local cultural traditions. A derivative of this same petrodollar Islam is what is known as Jihadi Islam. This Jihadi Islam is taking away our youth, brainwashing them and turning them into human bombs. It is using some verses of the Holy Quran as weapons of war. We all know that the Prophet had to fight existential battles to safeguard Islam. These verses were revealed then to buttress the war effort. But they are not meant for us to act upon today.”

Full Text of the UNHRC speech is available at:

Pakistan is the biggest violator of human rights in the Muslim world after Saudi Arabia and Iran

Mr Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age said on 11 June 2010, addressing a parallel seminar on Human Right Concerns in South Asia organised by Inter-Faith International during UN Human Rights Council’s Session at Geneva:

“Humanity in general, but Muslims in particular, have got to become very careful about how Islam is being projected by Muslims in the eyes of the world. Thus not only world organisation like the UN, but also Muslim Organisations like OIC must intervene and seek to impress upon offending Muslim countries like Pakistan to stop following domestic and foreign policies that sully the name of Islam.”

Explaining the situation in Pakistan, perhaps the biggest violator of human rights in the Muslim world after Saudi Arabia and Iran, Mr Sultan Shahin, said: “Just a couple of weeks ago, nearly a hundred Ahmadis were killed while praying in their mosques in Lahore. This kind of killing has become virtually routine for another sectarian minority, the Shia, too. Suicide bombers regularly invade their mosques on the pretext of praying with them and explode themselves, killing scores of their co-religionists. Ethnic minorities like the Baluchis, Mohajirs, Pashtuns and Sindhis are under constant pressure of varying intensity at different times on different pretexts. Religious minorities like Hindus and Christians face similar persecution.

“There have been several incidents of these religious minorities having had their prayer houses burnt down, killing scores. Forced conversions to Islam, particularly of Hindu girls, who are abducted first, have become another routine. Hindu minorities who constituted 23 per cent of the population at the time of Pakistan’s creation in 1947 have now been reduced to barely 2 per cent. These religious minorities, along with the Ahmadis, also suffer from Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws which prescribe death for alleged defamation of Islam. In the case of Ahmadis their mere claim to be Muslim constitutes blasphemy. This leads to some ridiculous but deadly situation for the minorities. Two Ahmadi teachers were put under detention and faced the threat of death penalty merely because their bikes had a sticker containing a verse of the Holy Quran, (Is God not sufficient for His servant?). “

For the full text of speech go to:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sultan Shahin battling Petrodollar Islam, says Mohammad Wajihuddin of Times News Network

Sultan Shahin

Mr. Mohammad Wajihuddin of Times News Network quotes Sultan Shahin, the Editor of liberal Islamic website New Age Islam as saying that he is battling Petrodollar Islam. In a write-up on the anti-fundamentalist website, he says: Virtual warrior Sultan Shahin takes on Muslim fundamentalists through his website

He describes his titanic struggle against the fundamentalists of all hues and Islam-supremacists in the following words: “Son of a maulvi, Shahin grew up in a village in the backwaters of Aurangabad in Bihar, and remembers the many nights, he, along with his five siblings, went to bed hungry as his father fell ill and later died, leaving the responsibility of supporting the family on Shahin’s young shoulders. While studying in a college in Patna, he worked part-time for a couple of local Urdu dailies. Shahin later landed up in London as editor of Asia Times, a weekly owned by one Arif Ali of Indian origin. A decade or so in England, he says, gave him great experience “as it exposed me to different strains of Islam and Muslims”. Like, once at a friend’s house in Nottingham, he heard a 20-year-old Muslim extolling the virtues of Ahle Hadees, a sect which propagates puritanical Islam. Shahin asked the boy the treatment he would prescribe for those Muslims who didn’t follow the Ahle Hadees sect. “Kill them,” said the young fanatic in a cold-blooded tone. “It really disturbed me. The boy had apparently been influenced by radical organisations like Al Mohajirun and Hizb-ut-Tehrir. Thousands of young Muslims had been brainwashed by incendiary preacher Omar Bakri who commanded the following that saints do,” recalls Shahin. “I knew it would not take long before the fires of fanatic Islam reached the Indian subcontinent and consumed our youth.” ... Read More