Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Politics, Plurality and Inter-Group Relations in Indonesia: Strengthening Tolerance

By Jeremy Menchik
December 6, 2016
Since democratization began in 1998, Indonesia has been home to radical social movements like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). Indonesians have heard recurrent polemics against faith and other minorities from religious leaders and government officials. In a democratic society, intolerance is an unfortunate manifestation of political liberty.
The massive turnout for the 5 November 2016 anti-Ahok demonstration offered a vivid reminder that millions of Indonesians are sensitive to a non-Muslim becoming the political leader of a predominantly Muslim country. While these acts do not negate the success of democratisation, they are a reminder that tolerance must be carefully nurtured and intolerance managed by policymakers.
The State and the Place of Religion
As a result of incessant polemics, many Indonesians today feel unnecessarily threatened by faith minorities such as Christians, Shiites and Ahmadis. Every expression of intolerance should be met with an expression of tolerance. Individuals are less likely to believe polemics when they see that their neighbours, classmates and fellow citizens hold different religious views.
It is exposure to difference that explains why Muslim Indonesians from religiously diverse ethnic backgrounds—Torajan, Nias, Balinese—tend to be more tolerant of Christians than Muslims from religiously homogenous backgrounds like Sasak, Sumbawa, and Sundanese.
The government currently recognises only six religions: Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism, Hinduism and Protestantism. Yet Indonesia is home to other religions as well. The programme of the Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP) on local religions is a great example of an effort to educate the public about other traditions, including Sunda Wiwitan, Sikhism, and Baha’i.
This public recognition is an important strategy of expanding state tolerance beyond the current truncated system of pluralism. Special attention should also be devoted to educating the police, since they are often the ones that have to defend minorities against intolerant groups. No actor is more powerful than the state in shaping social attitudes.
The current system of pluralism fosters oppression of unrecognised minorities like Sunda Wiwitan. It could be otherwise. Article 1 of the 1965 presidential decree on blasphemy and the defamation of religion states that other religions cannot be banned and makes clear that the Ministry of Religion could recognise other traditions. Rather than forcing all students to be educated in one of the recognised religions, the state should allow students to take a class on comparative religions or ethics or to opt out of religious education.
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah are the backbone of civil society in Indonesia and a bulwark against radical groups. The more that leaders like Abdul Mu`ti, Haedar Nasir, Said Aqil Siradj, and Ahmad Ishomuddin denounce intolerance, the more likely their supporters will be able to defend democracy and pluralism. Denouncing intolerance is not “playing politics,” it is a vital manifestation of NU and Muhammadiyah’s commitment to tolerance.
Four Don’ts in Studying Intolerance
Thanks to Indonesia’s vibrant public sphere, scholars play a major role in combating intolerance. Yet, there are many ways that the study of intolerance could be improved.
Firstly, they need to be precise. Because tolerance is a general value it is easy to lump attitudes toward minorities together. That is a mistake. Over the 20th century, attitudes toward Christians vastly improved, while attitudes toward Shiites and Ahmadis deteriorated. That difference should not be ignored. Similarly, since intolerance can be studied through attitudes, discourse, physical violence, or government policies it is easy to lump them together. That, too, is a mistake. Since democratisation in 1998 and the accompanying violence, physical acts of intolerance toward Christians have declined, but it is not clear that attitudes have improved.
Secondly, they should not misrepresent levels of tolerance in secular democracies. Secular democracies like the United States also face problems of intolerance; no one paying attention to the white nationalist movements supporting Donald Trump could think otherwise. Indonesia, too, will not resolve its issues of intolerance if the state becomes completely secular. The idea that the West has resolved issues of religious intolerance – while the developing world, or Muslim world, has not – is a dangerous myth.
Thirdly, they should not misrepresent levels of tolerance in the Suharto era. The New Order regime used minority communities instrumentally to shore up political power. Its acolytes massacred hundreds of thousands of suspected communists and demonised their family members. While the New Order was also witness to the emergence of champions of tolerance like Abdurrahman Wahid, it is unclear to what degree Wahid’s views reflected those of NU members or Indonesian Muslims; survey data since 1998 suggests that Wahid’s views reflected those of only a small minority. The common perception that Indonesia faces a “crisis of intolerance” since democratisation is built on a partial depiction of the New Order.
Indonesia Not Exceptional
Finally, Indonesia is not exceptional. Indonesia’s plural legal system is similar to those of India, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and Spain in providing a mixture of individual and collective forms of recognition. Indonesia’s mass Islamic organisations are similar to those of Senegal, Egypt, and Turkey as well as to mass Christian organisations in Northern Europe and Latin America. Pretending that Indonesian Islam is exceptional precludes clear analysis and effective policy recommendations about best practices in the struggle against intolerance.
Indonesia faces many of the same challenges that other democracies face: radical social movements, economic inequality, poverty, inadequate access to good education, and a history of civil conflict. Studying how other states have successfully (and unsuccessfully) addressed the challenge of intolerance can help Indonesia become an ever-more tolerant nation and an example for others to follow.
Jeremy Menchik is an Assistant Professor in the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He contributed this article to RSIS Commentary. This is part of a series by the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
Source: eurasiareview.com/06122016-politics-plurality-and-inter-group-relations-in-indonesia-strengthening-tolerance-analysis/
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-tolerance/jeremy-menchik/politics,-plurality-and-inter-group-relations-in-indonesia--strengthening-tolerance/d/109291#sthash.dACPECbA.dpuf

Trump’s Cabinet Members Want Jihad against Political Islam, but Their Efforts Will Fail

By Juan Cole
Dec 4, 2016
Several members of Donald Trump’s new team, including National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and proposed Secretary of Defense James Mattis have expressed themselves troubled about “political Islam”  (or in Flynn’s case,  just “Islam”).  Mattis seems to have confused Daesh’s (ISIS, ISIL) idea of a neo-Caliphate (bringing back a medieval papacy-like institution to Islam) with “political Islam” in general.  He wants Americans to ask the question of whether political Islam is good for the US…
Gen. Mattis should grapple a little with whether his 2004 Fallujah campaign did not alienate the Sunni Arabs of Iraq, turn them off to the 2005 elections, and pave the way for them to ally with Daesh/ ISIL in 2014.  That is, Mattis may have created the political Islam he now wants to name and ideologically combat.
The American right wing has substituted hysteria about socialism with hysteria about Islam and especially political Islam, equating both with terrorism.  And its members appear to imagine that Islam is an ideology like Communism, and can be defeated by the United States just as Communism was (well, except in China, which, let’s face it, is a hell of an exception).
There is hopeless confusion on the American right wing about Islam in general and political Islam in particular.  Let me suggest some distinctions:
Muslims are adherents of the religion of Islam.  Some 85% of them in opinion polling are not fundamentalists.
Fundamentalist Muslims are those who take a literalist approach to Muslim law, ritual and doctrine and disallow any ambiguity.  Fundamentalists can be quietist (uninterested in politics) or political.
Political Islam is the attempt to make Islam the basis for a political ideology that would dictate government policy.  It is analogous to Zionism, which makes Jews the basis for a political ideology.  It is also analogous to the Christian Right in the US, which makes Christianity a political ideology and pursues the Christianization of American law (e.g. striving to ban abortion, to outlaw sex outside Christian marriage, etc.)
Not all Muslims are fundamentalists.  Many in e.g. West Africa or South Asia are Sufi mystics who have an allegorical interpretation of the religion.  Others are secular-minded.  Of the fundamentalists, not all are devotees of political Islam.
Terrorism is the tactic of a non-state actor harming non-combatants to achieve a political goal.  Very, very few Muslims engage in terrorism, and very few fundamentalists do so, and very few devotees of political Islam do so.  (People of Christian heritage also routinely deploy terrorism).
Arguably, Daesh runs a terrorist state, not a political-Islamic one.  The people fighting against Daesh at Mosul include a large contingent of Shiites who believe in political Islam and belong to the major parties in the Iraqi parliament that advocate this ideology, including the Da’wa Party of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and the Islamic Supreme Council of Ammar al-Hakim.  If you denounce political Islam across the board, you’d have to denounce the Iraqi government, but Gen. Mattis construes it as a friend.
Regular readers will know that I don’t like the word “Islamism,” which was coined by French academics in reaction against the English-speaking world’s tendency to speak of Muslim fundamentalism.  In English, fundamentalism is a perfectly good description of the phenomenon, and it has the advantage that we all recognize that fundamentalism exists in all religions.
Martin Marty’s “Fundamentalism Project” at the University of Chicago resulted in several volumes that underline this point.  Here are some common elements in fundamentalisms across the board as Marty’s project discovered them:
1. Patriarchy:  women are to be subservient to their fathers and husbands and if possible to remain at home.
2.  The rules of religion are self-evident and must be literally obeyed.
3.  Children of believers should be segregated from non-believers (as incoming Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos holds).
4.  Fundamentalists hold that their religious laws are binding on all, believer and unbeliever alike (thus, incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to keep an LGBT meeting from happening on a state college campus; fundamentalism construes public space as belonging to fundamentalist believers).
5.  Fundamentalist believers are the in-group.  The out-group is rejected.
6.  They are nostalgic for an imagined religious golden age of the past that they would like to reinstate.
So here is a question for Gen. Mattis and Gen. Flynn:  If political Islam is so bad, why is political Christianity better?
And, then we have to ask, are governments ruled by believers in political Islam really inimical to the US?
The ideology of the ruling government of Morocco, a non-NATO ally of the United States, is political Islam.
The major opposition party in Tunisia, the only successful case of democratization coming out of the Arab Spring, is a party of political Islam.
Adherents of political Islam just won a majority in the Kuwaiti parliament.  Kuwait is a key ally of the US which provides basing to the US military.
The major Shiite parties forming the government in Baghdad, Iraq, are all devotees of political Islam.  The Baghdad government is a key ally of the US in taking down Daesh/ ISIL.
While the Muslim League, the ruling party in that fantastic Pakistan over which Trump gushed in his phone call to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is not a fundamentalist party despite its name, many of its backbenchers to believe in aspects of political Islam.  I.e., they believe in using the state to assert what they consider to be Islamic law.  Pakistan is waging a long-term and important campaign against the Pakistani Taliban, from which the 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan benefit.
The US has been actively backing 30 Syrian rebel groups for years.  Almost all of them have as their ideology political Islam.  It is the regime of Bashar al-Assad, backed by the Ba’ath Party, that is secular.
So Gen. Mattis apparently does not mean by “political Islam” what social scientists or people in the Middle East mean by it. Governments of political Islam, aside from Iran and a few others, appear to have perfectly good relations with the US.
On the other hand, secular governments like that of Syria, Algeria, and Uzbekistan have often had frosty relationships with the US.
In any case, neither Islam nor political Islam in any way resembles Communism.  Islam is the religion of 1.6 billion people, over a fifth of humankind.  Because of high birth-rates in Muslim countries, moreover, the proportion of the world that is Muslim will probably go to 1/3.
If the United States, which is 5% of the world by population, tries to go against a third of humankind, it will lose.  But the fact is that the US has no beef with most forms of Islam or even political Islam.  And aggressive attempts to dictate to Muslims what they may believe will backfire, just as the whole Iraq War backfired.
The US can defeat individual terrorist organizations that appeal to Muslim themes.  Counter-terrorism tactics can work.  But it will need Muslim help, including the help of devotees of political Islam.  If Daesh goes down in Iraq, it will have been defeated in large part by an alternative form of political Islam, to which the US gave air support.  If what the Trump cabinet wants to say is only that the US plans to promote kinds of Islam that support the US and to fight those that stand in the way of the interests of the American Empire, well, the French and British empires used to plot out those schemes, too.  Those empires aren’t around any more, but there are plenty of governments rooted in political Islam.
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-politics/juan-cole/trump%E2%80%99s-cabinet-members-want-jihad-against-political-islam,-but-their-efforts-will-fail/d/109292#sthash.97PNN3qP.dpuf

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

By Zulfiqar Shah
30 November, 2016
Sindh-Balochistan: 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.
Politics is patchy social process, imbibed with the power; therefore state apparatus of Pakistan, like elsewhere in the world today, has particularly determined the social interdependence among and between the indigenous-aboriginal Sindhi and Baloch as well as the migrants, refugees, and immigrants between 1947 and 2016.
Nationhood, nationality, and identity today is a diversified, as well as a simple matter. This can only be described, determined, categorised and awarded on the grounds of aboriginality, indegenioushood, ethnicity, linguistics, ethnology particularly in the world of post-immigration and migration issues, social organism, United Nations instruments, the comprehensive laws, regulation, principles, and procedures practiced in the nation-states and federations across the globe and historical-cultural references as well.
In Sindh, Kolhi, Bhil, Meghwar, Rebari, Gurgla and Brahvi, the aboriginal Dravidians and Proto-Dravidians; and Sammat specifically and rest of original Sindhi are indigenous. Sammat mainly includes Arians, Brahman Hindus, various lineages of Rajputs, the communities associated with Indus and died River Sarswati, lakes and waters bodies, costal and island communities; and non-samat indigenous Sindhi include ethnic and/or linguistic Balochi who claims Sindhi identity are indigenous Sindhi that includes indigenous Siraki subculture of Sindhi as well.
This also includes those who settled in Sindh over one century ago. Indigenous Sindhi, who earlier were living in the 1700s borders of Sindh, and later on moved in the contemporary and Britain borders of Sindh, for examples Kutchi, and some other Zaats (the family lineage on the pattern of profession, topography, and iconic family backgrounds) are aboriginal or indigenous Sindhi.
Indigenous Baloch of Karachi that claim Baloch identity are also indigenous Sindhi with their Baloch identity. Baloch that have migrated to Sindh from 1890 to 1945 are submerged in Sindhi society, and cannot be thought of being non-indigenous. Thus, by every mean they are considered, thereby and are, indigenous and original Sindhi with their elders Baloch identity.
Punjabi migrants in the wake of Sukkur, Guddu and Kotri (Ghulam Mohammad Barrage) Barrages construction in Sindh have assimilated in Sindh; therefore they are Sindhi and can be said Sindhi of Punjabi origin. Some amongst them are still holding Punjabi sub-culture, especially those who migrated after Kotri Barrage and Guddu Barrage; however their large majority has submerged linguistically with Sindhi.
A smaller numbers of Rajasthani and Gujarati in various districts on the western bank of Indus as well as in the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, and southern parts of district Jamshoro that includes Memon of Okhai and Kutyana background, Silawat, and other Zaats are also Sindhi, and using either various dialects of Sindhi or a blend of Sindhi-Rajasthani or Sindhi-Gujarati.
Most of them, like Memon, are from within the historical borders of Sindh. Smaller groups like Silawat settled in Sindh on the invitation of Pir Pagar Surihya Badshah in 1900s, and other who either have migrated before the concept of border restrictions from the bordering areas, even in some cases from distant lands of South Asia, or during the Britain India, have not only assimilated in Sindh and Sindhihood, but also have been protecting, defending and contributing in Sindh. It is general unwritten rule of Sindhi that indigenous and migrant Baloch are Sindhi in Sindh.
Sindhi bordering with Rajasthan and Gujarat state of India in Sindh speak Sindhi, Datiki, Marwari, and Parkari. They are ethnic Sindhi, with linguistic variations and connectivity with Rajasthan with reference to Dhatki and Marwari. Sindhi in Rajasthan, India bordering districts of Sindh has desert diction. Dhatiki and Marvari in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan, India, have ethnic connectivity with Sindhi in desert area of Sindh. Sindhi of desert diction is spoken in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan, India.
On the both side of the borders, people are indigenous in overwhelming majority. Hindu and Muslim on both sides of Thar Desert in Sindh and Rajasthan, India linguistically, dialectically and from the point of view of diction - Sindhi, Dhatki and Marwari - are indigenous to Sindh and Barmer and Jaisalmir districts of Rajasthan at least.
Meanwhile, districts of Kutch and Bhuj in Gujarat, India are ethno-linguistically Kutchhi Sindhi Muslims and are indigenous majority of the districts. Rest of Sindhi dictions and their spoken centers are Lari Lasi in Karachi; Lari and Lari Lasi Thatta; Lari in Badin; Mirpurkhas; Tando Allahyar, and Tando Mohammand Khan. Although Lari, but called literary Sindhi, is spoken in Hyderabad, and adjoining Jamshoror and Kori towns and villages, as well as in Matyari districts.
Lari Lasi is also spoken between river Indus to the borders with Balochistan downward Jamshoro and Kotri towns of district Jamshoro, and Jhirik of district Thatta. Wicholi, which has no popular name, is spoken in Nawabshah, Dadu, northern Jamshoro and Naushehro Feroz. Utaradi, is spoken in Khairpur, Larkana, Sukkur, Ghotki, Kashmore, Jaccobabad and Qambar-Shahdadkot districts of Sindh. Siraiki, is neither felt and nor has remained an alien language of Sindh. Sindhi rulers during first half of 1800s were Sindhi of Siraiki diction, until Sindh was invaded by Britain.
Linguistically Siraiki is diction of Sindhi, its name is acquired from Sindhi word Siro, the fringe, which means in Sindhi, a language that is spoken in the fringes of Sindh in north. Multan has once remained Capital of the Kingdom of Sindh. The ethnic composition of Siraki is like Sindhi and Baloch, a blend of ethnic Baloch, Sindhi of Samat (indigenous) and Dravidian (aboriginal) origin in association with the indigenous to the territory of which unofficially is called Waseb by Siraiki in Punjab, and forms ethno-linguistically roughly half of demography and population of Punjab. The lingual-cultural nexus of Siraki and Punjabi is also important through the history of shared borders.
Colonial Britain Indian Partition refugees, were refugees themselves, the immigrants; however their offspring are sons and daughters of the soil and are Urdu speaking, Bihari (Bhojpuri mostly), and Qaimkhani (Rajasthani) Sindhi. The process of cohesion, since integration is mostly a state supported feature across the nations today, is underway in Sindh, however in slow pace in terms of sociological inter-weaving.
In some cases, those ethnically or linguistically non-Sindhi, have migrated towards Sindh since 1990, and have become permanent residents of Sindh, have no intention to return to their previous lands, and have associated their interests and commitments with Sindh in terms of its sovereignty and security in all of its manifestations, can be said and claimed as Sindhi.
However, as rule of thumb with reference to various nation-state laws across the world, and in the light of United Nations instruments, the offspring of migrants are also Sindhi. It is a unwritten and consensual sentiment and expression of Sindhi that those who does not pour their commitment with the sovereignty, security and interest of Sindh, can never be accepted as Sindhi, whether they are aboriginal, indigenous, original or naturalized Sindhi.
In Balochistan, aboriginal and indigenous Baloch of Balochi group of languages that include Proto-Dravidian Brahvi inclusive of aboriginal, indigenous and resettled from Sindh centuries ago as well as recently; various versions, dialects and expressions of Balochi spoken in the cultural-topographical areas of Sarawan, Jhalwan, Makaran, and others, similarly to the other mountainous nations across the world, particularly in South Asia.
Aboriginal as well as indigenous Sindhi including Lasi Lari Sindhi, Utradi (northern Sindh) and other smaller variant linguistic groups of Balochi including Brahvi mostly dwelling at the borders with Iran and Afghanistan, and Siraki areas of Punjab, the dwellers of high rise mountains, dasht (arid plains) and arable plains, are the aboriginal and indigenous Baloch, Balochistani.
This also includes, Baloch of linguistic Baloch and Jadgal / Sindhi and others, living beyond the borders of Balochistan outside Pakistan who have settled in Balochistan from Helmand and Balochistan adjacent areas of Afghanistan; Sistan-Balochistan, and adjacent areas of Iran, as well as Baloch that have resettled on the lands of Balochistan from Middle East, Sindh, and Siraiki area in Punjab provided that their settlement is permanent, and does not intend to return back to the respective lands.
Pashtun are aboriginal, indigenous, and refugees as well as migrant (from Afghanistan) Pashtu speaking Balochistani. Previously known as British Balochistan, the Pashtun area of Balochistan is topographically similar to Balochi. Almost similar in patterns, tribal construct and principles are shared by Balochistani of Baloch, and Pashtun origin. The historical affinity between Baloch and Pashtun has many examples like the one, marriage of a Khan of Kalat from the family of Prince in Kandahar, who gifted Quetta to her daughter as Shaal (a cultural gift).
Pashtu speaking subcultural areas of Balochistan includes, the Afghanistan-Pakhtunkhuwa-FATA bordering tribal, the high rise mountainous, and valley areas. Pashtu in Balochistan is linguistically associated with southern Afghanistan Pashtu with its own peculiarities, and dialectical waves amongst bordering tribal and valley Pashtun. Pashtun refugee influx from south-eastern Afghanistan particularly from the area that falls between Qandahar to Zabul during the cold war has been witnessed in various Pashtu speaking majority districts adjoining to Quetta.
Baloch and Pashtun share, historically, culturally and linguistically, one common city, the Quetta, where Pashtun are aboriginal, and linguistic Brahvi and Balochi Baloch are indigenous, besides the later settlers from within north-eastern and central-southern and eastern Balochistan. Khuzdar, the second largest city of Balochistan is Baloch of linguistic Brahvi, Balochi, and to certain extent Pashtu and Brahvi Balochistani.
During 1970s and later on, the anarchy in Afghanistan mainly became reason to larger migration of Persian speaking Hazara from central Afghanistan. Hazara, historically, are Mongolian ethnics. They almost are limited to Quetta city with a smaller number of populations in comparison with Pashtun and Baloch in Quetta. The settlement patterns of Pashtun, Baloch and Hazara are similar to certain extent; however the development and urbanization in Quetta, although slow paced, has changed the ethnic patterns of settlements.
Unlike the Pashtun residents of city, the oldest one, and the Pashtun and Brahvi Baloch settlers in the rural orchards of the urban Quetta, is now home to urbanized Baloch. The returnee of Balochistan Liberation War mostly from Helmand, who returned with the comeback of Nawab Khair Bux Murri, their tribal and political leader, are settled in the worst living condition outside Quetta on the sides of Ring Road. No displacement support has been tendered to them, over one decade, either from Government of Balochistan, Quetta Municipality, and the UNHCR. They live in the temporary hamlets.
The understanding, historically between the people from both lands, and officially between Governments of Sindh and Balochistan is that the rainfall on the mountains, if and where it drains towards Balochistan is the area of Balochistan, and if and where it drains to Sindh is the area of Sindh.
Baloch of linguistically Sindhi, resides in Lasbella where they are known as Lasi, and the language is called Lasi Lari, the Baloch of historical Magus area, called Jhil Magsi, mostly speak a Sindhi blended with Balochi or Balochi blended with Sindhi, the Baloch of Dera Allahyar, Dera Murad Jamali, Sibi and Bolan speak Balochi as well as Sindhi. This is also found to certain extent in the various pockets of Khuzdar and Qalat. Brahvi are Balochi Dravidians, who live in Balochistan and Sindh indigenously.
Linguistically Brahvi and Sindhi until mid 1980s shared around 30 percent vocabulary at least. Brahvi and Tamil language also share phonetics and considerable vocabulary. (A book by Haleem Brohi, author, social-science researcher and intellectual) Various dialects of Balochi are spoken according to the cultural-topographical areas of Balochistan, and have a better linguistic connectivity with Persian at the Iran borders particularly in southeastern Balochistan.
Baloch of Helmand, Afghanistan are Balochi speaking, while Baloch of Sistan-Balochistan, Iran and adjoining areas speak Sindhi blended with Persian influenced Balochi, and Iranian Balochi. Jadgal (linguistically non-Balochi, but ethnically Baloch, and indigenously non-Balochi linguistic) form majority in Sistan-Balochistan in Iran. They are recognized Baloch in Iran and in Balochistan.
Sindhi of all faiths and paths, reside in all continents. There are Sindhi that are historically submerged in some nations, like in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sindhi who are now indigenized with the tribe or clan name Al-Sindi. Some Sindhi families are submerged in Java and Sumatra islands; and some are submerged in Russia, living in Moscow having combination of names and family names of Sindhi and Russian. They migrated from Sindhi in 1800s There are indigenized Sindhis in various African countries. Sindhi in Diaspora in the wake of Partition of united India, and thereafter during last seven decades are in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and North America.
Sindhi are indigenized in Afghanistan with 15000 population, some villages of Sindhi are there in Chittagong and Khulna Divisions of Bangladesh and are indigenized. Sindhi are second largest business community after Jews in the world, which includes those who directly migrated from Sindh to various countries, and those who routed the travel towards the final destinations. This still is happening. Besides, an exodus due to the harassment caused in 1948 by non-Sindhis, and thereafter a gradual exodus has been taking place since August 14, 1947 until October 12, 2016 from Sindh and Balochistan.
Dutch were the first among the European nations that colonized South Asia. Goa in India and Gundz between Gawadar and Pasni on the Balochistan coast were the first areas of this region in its hundreds years history after Alexander the Great from Greece that were invaded by a European country. Britain came later. Dutch colonizers settled in Gundz and submerged in Baloch nation, and are called Dutch Baloch.
Sindh and Balochistan have underwent a difference in polity and development between aboriginal-indigenous-indigenized Sindhi as well as Balochistani and the refugees, the immigrants, and their offsprings that are sons and dauthers of the soils today. There was a wave of violent conflict in Sindh, and conflict in Balochistan between both.
Sindh and Balochistan, for centuries, have remained one country, with combined Capitals and Headquarters in Kalat, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Brihamanabad and Multan during various periods of the history. Southern Punjab, the Siraiki land, has also remained part of that Kingdom for centuries, and shared common centre of Indus civilization, which earliest was centred in Mehar Garh (5000 BC). The adjoining districts to Meher Garh in Balochistan, are Balochi, and link Sindhi speaking Baloch plains of Balochistan. Later on, the first excellence in Urbanization of human history, Moen Jo Daro (3000 BC) is located in the centre of Sindh on the right bank of river Indus.
The civilization has its spread upto Tibet in China in the north, eastern Afghanistan down to the Kandahar, Gujarat and Rajasthan states of India with existence in Haryana, and has its borders in the west up to Combodia. Between Mayanmar to Combodia, it infuses with Yellow river civilization of China, therefore, historically and academically this area is called Indo-China. (Refer to Study of History, Arnold J. B. Toynbee)
The Indus civilization has another city Harappa, in Punjab of Pakistan; however the Capital of the civilization, Moen Jo Daro, because of being on the Banks of river Indus and near the Sea, is exceptionally urbanized due to being also trade centre of the civilization.
Indus civilization has hundreds of sites in Kuchh, Bhuj, and other parts of Gujarat State in India, "more than Sindh" (With reference to the discourse by Sain Atta Mohammad Bhumbhro, a historian and translator of numerous books on the history of Sindh). In that context, the hitherto held researches proves that Kuchh, Bhuj, and some other areas of Gujarat in India have more (hunders) Indus sites if compared with Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and other federating states in Southasian countries. In Gujarat new excavations of the sites were successfully undertaken by 2013; however the excavations in Gujarat are also under process. Besides, one Indus site was discovered by 2012-2013 in Haryana State of India. (The excavations during 2012-2014 held in India according the Indian and foreigner reaches and archaeologists, Daily The Hindu and its monthly publications in 2013).
Indus, that begins in Tibet now in China, shares its name Sindhu with the land Sindh, which today is a federating state in Pakistan; albeit historically have remained a country for centuries. It is academically established that Moen Jo Daro is Capital of Indus civilization, led by the King Priest. Apart from so many heights of urbanization, the city was having covered drainage and sanitation, and also was having a swimming pool, called Great Bath. The structure there has also arrangements of bathing norms including dressing and other necessities.
It is shocking to see the civilization disconnect between Sindh-Balochistan of Indus civilization (Asia) and the West. Europe and North America, excluding the snowy regions, have a history of weekly bathing that was practiced until 1960s. Americans were first among the Westerns who started daily bathing in 1970s, and thereby rest of western societies followed American bathing routine.
Perfumes in Europe were necessity due to this delayed bathing; hence France did mastery in putting foundations of perfume and thereafter use of in the West. Perfumes for decades have remained an important source of exports for France in the European, and other markets in the world, particularly in the West, since the oriental societies in Southasia inclusive of Iran and Afghanistan, Tibet and China, and Middle East were using their traditional brands of non-alcoholic perfumes called Atar due to being tropical and semi-tropical regions, (hot summers), and even parts of autumns and winters.
"This probably is the reason for daily bathing in Indus and other civilizations in Asia." (By a Sindhi from Sindh in Pakistan, on October 16, 2016) Irony of the Indus Nations is (Empires of Indus -- well coined expression by prominent author Alice Albinia for giving such a title to her book) their civilization disconnect from Moen Jo Daro in certain aspects.
Sindh and Balochistan are thankful to the United States of America for its support to the Government of Sindh for being concerned and rendering support for the protection, renovation and preservation of archaeological sites in Sindh through its Islamabad Embassy and Karachi Consulate. Sindh and Balochistan, once Buddhist, are also grateful to Japan for its support to Sindh to protect Indus civilization through protecting its Capital, Moen Jo Daro by the means of coating it.
Unfortunately, the funds released to Government of Pakistan were no used for five years. Moen Jo Daro still requires appropriate initiatives for its protection. Both historical lands are also thankful to Russian Federation, which through Islamabad Embassy participated Moen Jo Daro initiatives by Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of great Sindhi leader martyred Benazir Bhutto.
Balochistan and Sindh are also thankful to the Italy for returning back the archaeological assets of Balochistan, which Italian authorities collected while acting against international mafia of archaeological smugglers. Sindh and Balochistan welcome previous US President Bill Clinton's remarks on Moen Jo Daro and the people of Indus civilization during his presidential address; and with reference to the US being concerned for civilization, culture and Sufism in Sindh and Balochistan, the mainland Indus civilization.
In Sindh, Urdu speaking Sindhi and Sindhi speaking Sindhi shared differences over development, which turned into lesser than five years in low-scale violence. Gradually, it started turning into tolerance, and between 2000 and 20012 it transformed into accommodation of both. With a polarization in the opinion only in 2014 on the issues of shares, it gave birth to demanded for the division of Sindh by the sons of soil who are offspring of 1947 influx from mostly a few states of today's India, and in reaction there were debates, discussions, even sharing of old wounds, as well as massive people outpour across Sindh against the demand.
It subsided and it gradually is pacing ahead after 2015 towards further maturity for positive cohesion. Government of Pakistan, and some quarters have been mentioning the acts of violence, which in common language are also said to be terrorism. However, the political party that has been referred to that has refused of its engagement with mentioned acts.
Sindh and Balochistan together like Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa have received Afghan refugee of cold war, who lived for over a couple of decades on the lands, and a large number of them is still staying in Sindh and Balochistan. Balochistan, recently through Sardar Mehmood Khan Achakzai said that Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa belongs to Afghan, and the Afghan refugees are rightful to live over there. The reconstruction of Afghanistan carried out by international community through ISAF and beyond, led and participated by the USA, and other UN Security Council members, although has created conducive environment that a considerable number of Afghan refugees returned until 2012.
Sindh, especially is facing serious crises of demographic pressure in the form of refugees from across the world because Government of Sindh is not entitled to legislate, play determining role and decide the refugee status, settlement as well as naturalization of the foreigners that are destined to live in Sindh. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa are also undergoing the same situation. Punjab is the only province in Pakistan, which almost does not receive refugees.
Even due to the Operation Zarb ul Asab by Pakistan Army on the insistence of the USA; as well as US drone program in FATA to little extent has caused displacements, which were directed towards Sindh. Punjab refused receiving the internally displaced persons of flood in Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa, like it did during concerning the settlement of Afghan refugees during cold war "Mujahideen" in and around the borders between the both sides of Pakhtun lands (Pakistan - Afghanistan border Khyber at Pakhtunkhuwa inclusive of FATA).
Sindh has cordially received Baloch displaced persons due to civil war in Balochistan. Sindh, like Balochistan, previously received Iranian refugees due to Islamist revolution in Iran. Africans including Sudanese, Nigerians, as well as Palestinians are living in Sindh including a limited number of far-eastern refugees.
Hundreds of Tibetan and a few thousand Poland (Polish) refugees got settled in Sindh between 1920 and 1940s. Tibetan live in Karachi and Hyderabad of Sindh commonly known as Chinese some of them are dentists, as well as there are also some original Chinese. Polish have naturalized in Karachi. Besides, due to security reasons, some of Jews of Karachi have preferred to claim Zoroastrian (Parsi) identity over leaving Sindh. They are not counted in census. There is only one Jews family, though, in Rawalpini, Punjab. Some Gorkhas from Nepal are also localized in Karachi.
Hundreds of thousands Bangladeshi illegal immigrants are living in Karachi. Until 2012, 200,000 ethnic Rohingyan Muslims have illegally entered Sindh and sought refuge. The worst aspect of this is despite documenting these illegal entrants; the National Data Base Authority (NADRA), a central government agency, issues them citizenship documents within shorter span of time. Government of Sindh is not consulted for that matter. Even some illegal Afghans including the very recent ones have sought Pakistani citizenship along with the travel documents.
Sindh is already undergoing demographic issues, and peopling of Sindh has become a real challenge with reference to the people's sovereignty for us as a nation. Taking care of hundreds of thousands refugees since three decades and receiving the new one, with swift citizenship facilitation, is an act of ethnic cleansing by tactically converting aboriginal, indigenous and indigenized majority into minority besides causing gradual exodus of Hindus from Sindh.
Moreover, cities of Sindh cannot afford further massive influx of refugees and illegal entrants because number of immigrants and settlers from within Pakistan come in hundreds of thousands every decade. This further is intensified when Pakistani armed forces entrepreneur sector has acquired hundreds of thousand acre lands in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and to limited scale in various districts to develop mostly high-rise buildings for accommodating hundreds of thousands more from outside Sindh. This no doubt includes various schemes especially Bahriya Town, the largest one in Karachi.
Entry of terrorists on the pretext of Islam associated with Al-Qaida, ISIS and other groups has remained frequent, identified in some cases and have always been posing security risk, and threat to considerable extent. Therefore exclusive authority for settlements from within Pakistan particularly in Sindh, along with Balochistan as well as in Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa and rest, including decentralization of the process of immigration, naturalization and refugee resettlement is required.
It is needed to mention that Punjab alone in Pakistan does not have considerable number of foreigners as well as internal migrants from Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa. And, Sindh alone, apart from world outside, receive hundreds of thousands from northern Pakistan, particularly from Punjab. Sindh and Balochistan demand the protection of their demographic sovereignties through legislation, and procedural empowerment.
Besides, Sindh is the only federating province in Pakistan, in whose legislature resent settlers are allowed to run elections, become member Sindh Assembly and also become cabinet ministers. Sindh and Balochistan demand for themselves, and for the rest provinces including Siraiki districts / land, Punjab as well as for FATA that a new legislation should be undertaken without delay for vote rights in the historical lands to those who have not got birth there.
The settlers' participation for the provincial and federal legislatures should be barred. They after the settlement tenure of ten years be given right to run elections for the local government, and those who get birth on the lands may be legitimize to become members of legislatures after process of elections. This does not only is in accordance with various United Nations instruments, but also prevailing practices in federations across the globe.
Besides, Pakistan Rangers - Sindh, composed of Sindhi, Frontier Constabulary - Balochistan composed of Balochistani, and the rest should be authorized to not only protect their borders with the neighbouring countries, as in the case of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa, and Balochistan is already being practiced, they should also be allowed to install at the communication and strategic entries and exists at the provincial borders because dozens of activities have happened during 2014 - 2016 on Sindh-Punjab borders in which borders of Sindh are violated by Punjab Police, Pakistan Rangers - Punjab and Pakistan Army based in Punjab, and especially on the orders of Government of Punjab.
This is a violation of territorial sovereignty of Sindh. In federations across the world, federating states or province do contribute their Sovereignty to create a Federation in the Sovereignty of Republics. There is no land or territory within Pakistan which is called Pakistan. Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa together, willingly or unwillingly, form the entity named Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Only Islamabad is martially Pakistan in terms of direct and physical territorial domain as 'Pakistan', if viewed beyond the federating provinces.
In 2013, Jammat-e-Islami Pakistan declared Mohammad Bin Qasim 'First Pakistani'. Later on in 2013, Pakistan Army Chief General Pervez Kiyani while addressing the army men said that Mohammad Bin Qasim is the 'First Pakistani'. Apart from the dissents concerning historical and contemporary narratives about Pakistan, it is established fact according to the official record; the name of newly found country was 'Pakistan'.
Since Pakistan had its first constitution by a military ruler General Ayub Khan in 1960s, therefore official addition of word 'Republic' was not part of it. Pakistan was officially named 'Islamic' Republic of Pakistan in 1973. It means Pakistan was not Islamic country or republic on August 14, 1947. This is also validated by the speeches by M.A. Jinnah after creation of Pakistan. If this is very same, the Pakistan of M.A. Jinnah, then why one needs to choose First Pakistani from among the Arab Muslims of invader origin? Was Jinnah not the First Pakistani?
Besides, how a General who leads an Army of existing country can claim term Hero a historical invader of almost half of that country? If it was M. A. Jinnah's Pakistan and according his first speech Pakistan was secular. In that case, can a general be allowed to claim Alexander the Great 'First Pakistani?' Sindh Balochistan together one country at that time under Raja Dasrath gave Alexander a tough fight; and ironically Punjab, having capital at that time between Taxila and Islamabad welcomed Alexander the Great without any fight.
If Pakistani armed forces are federal, can they claim invaders of any part in the federation of Pakistan as their hero in direct or indirect terms? Although as mentioned above, the Constitution of Pakistan is illegitimate on the valid grounds, if the Constitution is taken in practical terms as the book of superior law of the state, according Holy Quran, as mentioned above, religion is a personal matter of everyone. Why then, a Republic can and should be Islamic? Wasn't that reason that Holy Prophet chose word Khilafat, despite Islamic? God himself says in Holy Quran by mentioning word "nations" that waging war for the nation is appreciated.
However, Holy Quran never suggests military offense; and the wars waged during the period of Holy Prophet were not offensive. They were either defense or defensive offense. Why not, if unavoidable and enviable, with the consent of Sindh and Balochistan, and rest of the provinces and federating nations of Indus lands, Bibi Khudaijatul Kubra A.S., and Hazrat Ali Allaih Sallam (A. S.), chronologically first Muslim, be declared First Pakistani?
Pashtun Saduzai, Sindhi and Baloch Asehaba Akraam, even a Sindhi woman was Harem in the family of Holy Prophet, why then Hazrat Ali A. S, or Asehaba from the lands of Indus be made first Pakistani if ideological security of 'Islamic Republic' is valid from the point of view of Sharia? Pakistani passport carries word 'Pakistani' for the Nationality of the passport holders.
If nationality of the people in Pakistan is Pakistani, then why Muslim nation? If that is official position of Pakistan, then why to believe on Two-Nation theory? Is there any formal treatise of Two Nation theory because theories are always been expressed in treatise. Besides, If Islamic Republic of Pakistan's military wages war against another Islamic Republic's, for example Afghanistan or Iran? Both would be raising the slogan 'Allah o Akbar' (God is great). Whose God would be great? And, if soldiers killed, whose soldier would be martyr?
Sindh declares if Mohammad Bin Qasim is the first Pakistani, Jinaah is the last.
Sindh and Balochistan do not believe in Two Nation theory. Besides, in 1971 East Pakistan became Bangladesh on ethnic-national bases, which need no translation into end of the concept of Muslim nationhood of a few united Indian states, which in itself is deceptive if Muslims of other province of united India were not included in Pakistan, if seen on the theoretical disposition of those who believed, and profess it.
Sindh and Balochistan have expressed themselves by participating Second World War for the freedom of Sindh; 1946 British Indian provincial elections; in 1948, and in almost all of decades within Pakistan through either popular will in the case of Sindh, and through resistance as well as popular movement in Balochistan. After dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971, Sindh and Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa also were not sought their Will (election for the Constitutional Assembly) for the federating states that are called provinces in Pakistan, to become part of remaining State of Pakistan, through the instrument of the peoples' will.
Thus, Sindh and Balochistan ascertain that their being part of State of Pakistan is violation of universal will and right, which was not sought from 1947 to 1971 and from 1973 to 2016. Sindh and Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa, and Siraiki southern Punjab through their elected political representations, however their participation in Pakistan Armed Forces was negligible, never gave consent, opinion or suggestion for waging war on East Pakistan.
Thus, if the wrote to be federation, declare and wage the war on its own citizenry and federating state/province by the majority decision of ethnic Punjabi (in terms of districts, half of Punjab) dominated armed forces, it is declared that 1971 War was on East Pakistan and on its people -- men, women, and children.
Hence, Sindh and Balochistan in terms of any action by the forces of the State on the political dissent and difference on federalism is considered war against historical homelands and their people in Sindh, Balochistan or elsewhere. Sindh and Balochistan re-ascertain their sovereignty in terms of territory, people, political will, and governance including economy.
Government of Sindh and Balochistan, through their Assemblies, Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, political leaders, religious scholars and persons of opinion have time and against protesting and expressing their will against armed forces and services actions against people and the lands.
The collective will by the legislatures, governments, political and social leadership, and millions of peoples action for taking to the streets concerning broader sovereignty and security of Sindh and Balochistan, regarding issues ranging all fields of statehood of the federating states, including the armed forces and services actions, some of the matters out of which, while taken to the Sindh High Court and Balochistan High Court were favored as per their frame of justice.
Sindh and Balochistan officially, publicly and popularly; politically and socially have been mentioning the discrimination, humiliation, intrusion and non-cooperation by Punjab in terms of economic, social and political acts and actions. Chief Minister and representation of Sindh Government also have formally mentioned the colonization of Sindh by Punjab.
Government of Balochistan has time and again been expressing its opinion on Guwader and other matters and issues. This is nothing but seventy years long federal failure, to which seventy years long popular will has been expressed through all legitimate and recognized institutions and forums, and in last one decade reiterated in all forms as mentioned above.
Sindh and Balochistan, therefore, finally, give option to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan manifested and translating through the hierarchy of leadership to transform into a new statehood, a Union of Sates that falls around the Indus with the popular and constitutionally elected will of the historical lands, for ensuring sovereign autonomy and self rule for the historical nations and lands around the Indus.
Let the foundation of civilisation and urbanisation of humankind capitalised in Sindh and Balochistan, spread across the Indus, and beyond, contributes polity and culture of human interaction in Pakistan, South Asia and across the world.
Zulfiqar Shah is a Sindh civil and political rights activist, journalist and writer. Although UNHCR recognized refugee, he is still associated with historical Diyal Das Club located in Hyderabad, Sindh. He is virtually house arrested on the request of Pakistan authorities, with round the clock audio-visual monitoring by Pakistan, USA, and India. The references to the facts and opinions have mentioning and citation apart from those that are established facts. The facts concerning period of colonial Britain are in documents that available for Public in India Office Library, London, UK; as well as Government of India at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata being Britain rule capital and sub-capital in undivided India. A word 'Personality' used in the write-up is suggested by a Sindhi from Sindh in Pakistan.

Source: merinews.com/article/global-order-ideologies-religions-sufism-and-sindh-balochistan---iii/15921210.shtml
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-sectarianism/zulfiqar-shah/global-order--ideologies,-religions,-sufism-and-sindh-balochistan-%E2%80%93-iii/d/109296#sthash.csxIxef5.dpuf

Islam Is an American Faith Tradition

By Khalid Saeed
I am sure everyone has heard them and the American Muslim community has been feeling the insults and the sting of the disparaging comments, remarks and actions against Muslim and Islam.
There are individuals, groups, and ‘the Centre for American Progress’ in their report ‘The Fear Inc.’ has identified a network of dozens of foundations which are actively spending millions of dollars in an organized fashion for years to create hate against American Muslims and their faith.
Free speech is cherished value of America, but, it is beyond me why and how Islamophobe bigot’s Network is getting away with openly working to create hate against peace loving seven-million strong American Muslim community in the guise of free speech.
Our founding fathers envisioned the Muslims and Islam to be part of American landscape and there were serious discussions about the freedom of religion, liberty and Justice for all in America including Muslims.
Professor Denise Spellberg, a specialist in Islamic history, has written a book called “Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders.” After reading this book, any honest historian would have to accept the fact that America was founded on a Judeo-Christian and Islamic thought.
Here is a very important piece by Professor Spellberg ,“….In Williamsburg, we see that there’s, attested in the local newspaper, The Williamsburg Gazette, which was also the bookseller, a line written by someone else that actually says, “Thomas Jefferson, Sale’s Koran two volumes,” and it was 16 shillings. He bought it in 1765, and that’s what the records tell us from that newspaper. So eleven years before he wrote the Declaration of Independence.”
“And we know that Jefferson thought about Muslims citizens because in 1776, a few months after writing the Declaration of Independence, he makes a note in his personal papers. He records that Locke said, “Neither pagan nor Mahometan,” meaning Muslim”, nor Jew ought to be excluded from the rights of the commonwealth because of his religion. So even that early he was thinking about it,” states Spellberg.
“Even earlier, in 1765, while still a law student (which is one of the reasons he bought the Qur’an; he was immersed in legal studies) we see he took notes for his cases based on laws from around the world. Since many people thought the Qur’an was a book of laws, and only that, he probably used it for that reason. But at the same time, he encountered a legal precedent, an earlier British legal precedent that said that Muslims were not perpetual enemies in British legal thought. And he wrote that down, he wrote that precedent down too. So this is a world in which there were Muslims. Muslims had been in contact with the English for a very long time through trade and other peaceful means,” wrote Spellberg.
In the afterward of the book, Spellberg talks about the fact,“….. that (as in the 18th century), Muslims, Jews, and Catholics were often linked together as outsiders. Once the theory of civil rights and religious liberty included all three groups, they were technically accorded these rights. There’s no religious test in the Constitution, freedom of all religion is guaranteed in the First Amendment. But in truth, Jews and Catholics struggled into the 20th century to realize those rights against amazing bigotry.”
“I think the difference is Muslims now are in a position that Jews and Catholics once were. They are a group that is often targeted as not fully American. When we have a diverse and dynamic American citizenry, who vote, who live here, and who have been guaranteed rights (not just in terms of our documents, but historically),” Spellberg concludes. “Those who would suggest somehow, that American Muslims are not full citizens, probably need to learn more history.”
The bigots, the hatemonger Islamophobes keep blaming a religion and its adherents (all Muslims) for action of ISIS. I say that if ISIS is Jihadists Muslims and they follow Islam, then why 90 percent of their victims are Muslims, they are blowing up Mosques and not the bars, movie theatres, dance clubs etc.?
According to a study in 2015 Islam has 1.7 billion adherents in the world. However, only a tiny percentage of believers actually indulge in violence and terrorism. Surely it is mistake to believe that 1.7 billion people are all “followers, promoters and believers of violence”.
The Quran says: “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)
The Bible says: “Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. (Exodus 23:7)
Muslim scholars and leaders all over the world have been condemning vehemently the killing of all innocents in all suicide bombings unconditionally without any ifs or buts. This is the mainstream Islam, mainstream scholarship which has been saying this for years: you don’t go out and kill people willy-nilly on a bus or in a mall, in the main street or anywhere else. However, their condemnation is largely ignored by the mainstream or corporate media.
Alarmingly, many people with their personal agenda keep repeating and keep scaring us with talk of the so-called Sharia Law. However, there is no book of Sharia Law, it doesn’t exist.
The holy Quran is a book of peace and guidance for the Muslims. It asks us to not to lie, not to cheat, love and help humanity, love our parents, daughters and wife, do the charity work. It forbids killing of the innocent people. Even committing suicide and taking one’s own life is forbidden in Islam and its punishment is eternal hell because life is sacred and it belongs to God, the Creator.
It is my humble request to all peace loving fellow Americans to not support the arguments of the Islamophobes and bigots who legitimize their hate through bigotry. I urge you to please trust the fellow Muslims that you know and that you hear.
Source; dailydemocrat.com/social-affairs/20161202/islam-is-an-american-faith-tradition
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-the-west/khalid-saeed/islam-is-an-american-faith-tradition/d/109294#sthash.61b1LYva.dpuf

War as Performance: The Fidayeen War Is Performance Theatre

By Praveen Swami
December 6, 2016
Left Behind In The Rubble At Nagrota, The Detritus Of A Fidayeen:
An assault rifle, ammunition, injectable painkillers, incongruously, a small bottle of cheap, yellow Attar. The terrorist who carried these things, we know from the testimonies of others, would have risen early that morning, bathed, prayed, and shaved himself from head to foot. He’d have darkened his eyes with kohl, like a traditional bridegroom, and then perfumed himself, so he did not stink of war when the Houris he had been promised greeted him inside the gates of heaven.
The mother of one such Fidayeen, Imran Majid Butt, wrote this poem: “I wait for the day, O’Allah, when you will call out: ‘Who is the mother of this blood-drenched rose?’”
Ever since September’s strike on the 12th Brigade’s headquarters in Uri set the Line of Control ablaze, and brought India and Pakistan closer to war than they have been since 2002-2003, the cult of the Fidayeen has seared itself on our public discourse as never before. India, it’s been claimed, is facing a grim new kind of war. Facts, though, tell another story: Fidayeen warfare is, in fact, a sideshow, militarily ineffective and strategically marginal to the jihadist insurgency in Kashmir. The cult of the Fidayeen is about dying, not killing. The hysteria we now see, both in the media and among policymakers, is precisely the end it is intended to secure.
The Lashkar’s Fidayeen War Began In 1999, Soon After The End Of The Kargil War:
To the jihadist movement, it signalled that Pakistan’s military defeat was not a reason to lose heart. That July, a single Lashkar Fidayeen entered the Border Security Force’s sector headquarters at Bandipora, and proceeded to hold off an assault involving the elite, but tactically unsound, National Security Guard for three days. In November, that year, two Lashkar Fidayeen stormed the 15 Corps’ headquarters in Srinagar’s Badami Bagh, killing eight soldiers.
“I announce the breakup of India, Insha Allah,” Lashkar chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed said soon afterwards, addressing an ecstatic crowd of over 250,000 people at the terrorist group’s annual congregation in Muridke. “We will not rest until the whole of India is dissolved into Pakistan”.
Even though the Fidayeen became emblematic of the post-Kargil insurgency in Kashmir — a campaign that claimed the lives of more Indian soldiers than the war itself — its actual impact was less-than-spectacular. From 1999 to 2003, the most intense phase, Fidayeen attacks claimed some 200 of the over 5,000 lives lost in Kashmir. Less than half of those fatalities were of security force personnel, a small percentage of the over 1,300 soldiers and police personnel who laid down their lives during those years.
Little Has, In Fact, Changed. This Year Has Seen Dramatic Losses To Fidayeen Strikes:
 Thirty five security force personnel killed — in comparison, 12 terrorists claimed to have been shot dead. However, the bulk of those losses came at Uri, where an official investigation has shown that most of the casualties were caused not by the attack, but by carelessly-stored fuel. In Pampore, where eight Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed inside a bus, the major fatalities were caused by ill-trained men shooting their comrades in the back. These incidents, the data shows, were outliers: Overall, from 2005 to now, Fidayeen attacks have claimed just 107 of the 1,044 soldiers and police personnel killed, while 77 attackers lost their lives. Last year, 13 Fidayeen were killed for the loss of three security force personnel.
It’s hard to say precisely what led so many young men to volunteer to die for the Lashkar’s cause. Few, we know, were ethnic Kashmiri; the bulk came from Pakistan’s Punjab. Their backgrounds were diverse: while the 26/11 attacker Muhammad Ajmal Kasab never went to secondary school, Imran Butt graduated from a college in Sialkot. In one of the few empirically robust studies of the Lashkar’s cadre, C. Christine Fair concluded the average Lashkar operative was better educated and less steeped in conventional religious learning than the population as a whole.
Anecdotal evidence exists that many of the Fidayeen had past records of criminal behaviour: Through the sacrifice of their lives, they may believe that their lives acquired redemption. The scholar Ayesha Siddiqa has suggested jihadism might be one of few means for young men in rural Pakistan to find agency and self-respect, however perverse, in otherwise meaningless lives. “I met some young boys from my village near Bahawalpur who were preparing to go on jihad,” she wrote. “They smirked politely when I asked them to close their eyes and imagine their future: ‘We can tell you without closing our eyes that we don’t see anything’”.
In the camps, the Fidayeen were taught to see themselves as angels of vengeance. “Today,” Imran Butt wrote in a parting letter to his mother, “the kafir tests our self-respect by humiliating us, by tearing down our mosques. The kafir plays with the honour of our mothers and sisters while we silently watch. I find it intolerable. I want to cut open the Kafir’s jugular to quench my anger. I want to keep doing so until the day comes when my Master cools my breast and makes Islam victorious.”
C.M. Naim, in a superb essay on the Lashkar’s propaganda, noted that while these atrocities were indeed part of Jammu and Kashmir’s reality, “the jihadi concern with sexual exploitation of Muslim women by non-Muslims has a history too. It is the obligatory motif in their literature in South Asia, invoked with reference to both Muhammad bin Qasim’s attack on Sindh (eighth century) and the jihad of Syed Ahmad of Rae Bareli (19th century) against the Sikhs”.
Late in the 11th century, the mystic Hassan Ibn al-Sabbah set up the first Fidayeen order, to wage war on the Seljuk Empire. The historian Amin Maalouf has perceptively noted that their killings were “intended primarily as a twofold lesson for the public: First, the punishment of the victim and, second, the heroic sacrifice of the executioner.”
The Fidayeen war is performance theatre, each act competing with the last to gain our attention through acts of ever-increasing terror.
Source: indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/india-pakistan-nagrota-pathankot-uri-attack-terrorism-kashmir-terrorists-4412267/
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/praveen-swami/war-as-performance--the-fidayeen-war-is-performance-theatre/d/109295#sthash.myWgOkzC.dpuf

Hijab-Clad Muslim Cop Called ‘ISIS’, Harassed In US

A Self-Defense Class for Muslim Women In NYC

US Embassy in Pakistan Hosts Discussion on Violence against Women
Inside A Self-Defense Class for Muslim Women in NYC
Edmonton Police Investigate After Man Ties Noose, Threatens Two Muslim Women
Pakistan Prepares for Its First-Ever Women’s Kabaddi Championship
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Hijab-clad Muslim cop called ‘ISIS’, harassed in US
December 5, 2016
New York: An off-duty hijab-clad Muslim police officer was called “ISIS” and told to go back to her “country” by a white man who also pushed her 16-year-old son, the latest in a series of incidents in which headscarf-wearing women have been targeted in the US following Donald Trump’s win.
Officer Aml Elsokary, who was off duty and wearing her hijab, dropped off her son in Brooklyn. After parking her car, she returned to the scene to find her son being shoved by the suspect, a white man in his 30s.
When the officer, a native New Yorker approached, the man said, “ISIS (expletive), I will cut your throat, go back to your country!”
Elsokary did not identify herself as a police officer, and was unarmed, the New York Daily News reported, citing police sources. The suspect then fled the scene. Police were trying to track him down.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is probing the episode as a bias incident which took place on Saturday.
Officer Elsokary who proudly wears her hijab on duty was touted as a hero by the New York city mayor after she ran into a burning building to save an elderly man and baby girl in April 2014.
Responding to a call about a fire over the police radio, Elsokary and her partner had rushed to a smoke-filled building.
The decorated officer had joined the force shortly after the September 11 terror attacks to “show people that the terrible acts of that day contradicted the teachings of Islam,” Mayor de Blasio had said at a 2014 dinner. The mother-of-five had received a medal for her bravery.
Saturday’s incident comes amid a slew of intimidation and assault cases that have been reported across the country against hijab-clad women following Trump’s win.
On Thursday, a Muslim student was allegedly assaulted aboard a subway train by three drunk white men who repeatedly screamed “Donald Trump!” and hurled anti-Islam slurs before trying to rip her hijab off.
Earlier this month, a Hijab-clad Muslim student was allegedly struck in the face with a glass bottle in broad daylight at the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
In another incident, a hijab-clad woman was allegedly accosted at a US store by another customer who called her a “terrorist” and told her to “get out” of the country.
Also, a Muslim student’s hijab was allegedly ripped off and her hair pulled down by a classmate at a school in Minnesota.

US Embassy in Pakistan Hosts Discussion on Violence against Women
December 06, 2016
Islamabad - The US embassy in Islamabad, in collaboration with the Islamabad Club, hosted a panel discussion with students and experts on ending violence against women as part of its commemoration of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence said a statement issued by the US embassy yesterday.
American Ambassador David Hale gave the closing remarks. The envoy said: “The 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women campaign offers an opportunity for action from everyone— men and women, boys and girls, government officials, and community leaders—to end violence against women and girls around the world.”
Participants discussed the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in building resilient, democratic societies; supporting open and accountable governance; ending extreme poverty; and to furthering international peace and security.

Inside A Self-Defense Class For Muslim Women In NYC
DEC 5, 2016 9
Nisma Zakria stood in a basement gymnasium in the West Village on Saturday afternoon, demonstrating how to strike an attacker grabbing her hijab. Her partner, also in hijab, gripped the cloth draped across her chest. "I'm going to take my arm inwards and out," Zakria said, raising her dominant arm up high and sweeping it down in a wide circular motion, hooking her "attacker's" arm up and away. Completing the circle, Zakria brought her hand down to her side. "I am slapping my thigh," she said with a smack. "You make them lose their grip."
A second-degree black belt from Staten Island, Zakria teaches self-defense classes through the Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment (WISE), a self-defense nonprofit for Muslim women. Last weekend, the Muslim Community Network invited her to lead two sold-out workshops for Muslim women and their allies. Interest has been overwhelming—in large part, the organizers said, because of President-elect Donald Trump, who has stoked Islamophobia and called for a ban on Muslims entering the US. "We were not expecting that when we published the event the election would have gone the way that it did," said Emaan Moosani, Program Director at the Muslim Community Network. "Within ten hours it was sold out, [and] our Facebook event had 500 shares."
"We are here because we feel that we are being targeted," said Amirah Aulaqi, a 26-year-old modest fashion designer and one of Saturday's guest speakers. Reports of hate crimes have increased significantly in New York City this year to date. As of November 13th, 328 hate crimes had been reported in NYC, compared to 250 during the same period in 2015. Of that total, 25 have allegedly been committed against Muslims—a 108 percent increase from last year. Last week, men screaming 'Donald Trump' attacked a woman wearing a hijab on the subway.
Aulaqi took her first self-defense class last winter, following the Paris attacks and residual uptick in bias attacks on Muslims in the US. On Saturday she helped facilitate a class that was half self-defense, half emotional check-in—similar to classes she taught last year. "We didn't want to just do self-defense courses. We really needed a support group," she explained. Many of her participants have been recent immigrants. "We [worked] with a lot of mothers and women who wear full garments that are really normal to them back home, and when they get here [to America] they don't understand other people being fearful of them."
Zakria said she draws on her religious beliefs to diminish a hypothetical attacker. "In Islam we believe that men and females are created out of mud and god gives you life," she said. "That's how Prophet Adam was created. [So] I was like, since when are we afraid of mud?"
For forty-five minutes, women split off into pairs to practice offensive and defensive moves. One involved disarming an attacker who grabs your hair (grab their hand, step on their toes, then swing your free arm around to hit their elbow). The group also learned the attacker's most vulnerable body parts—eyes, nose, throat, knees—how to palm heel strike someone in the chin, and how to protect your head from a blow using fists and forearms.
Also, how to speak—and yell—in self-defense. "Repeat after me," said Tish Tabb, a volunteer instructor with the Center For Anti-Violence Education: No! No! No! No! NO! NO!
Another tactic—the "broken record"—is geared towards verbal harassment. "Let's say someone comes up to you and says, 'You're ugly. Why are you wearing that? What are you doing here?,'" Tabb said. "One of the things you can say is just the same phrase over and over again: "I don't want to talk to you. I don't want to talk to you. I don't want to talk to you. Go away. Go away. Go away."
Magda Kamel, in her early 60s, wore a bright blue hijab covered in white dots. She said that she has been verbally harassed many times since she moved to the US more than 35 years ago.
"Mostly they say the f-word and, 'Get back to your country,' and, 'You have no right to be here,'" Kamel recalled. Since the election, things have been worse. "It gives them affirmation to do what they want. It's okay to [say], 'We hate you.'"
The class, Kamel said, was a confidence boost. "Sometimes I get nervous and cannot explain myself in a normal way," she said. "This encouraged me to put my hand the right way."
Earlier, Aulaqi said one goal of the class was to help women simply go about their daily routines. "Even though something may have not happened to us already, it can probably happen to us," she said. "We cannot be crippled by the limitations that other people set on us."

Edmonton Police Investigate After Man Ties Noose, Threatens Two Muslim Women
DECEMBER 05, 2016
Edmonton police are looking for a man who harassed two Muslim women at the University LRT station earlier this month.
Two young women, both wearing hijabs, were approached by a man while standing on the station platform about 8:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The man pulled a rope from his pocket and tied it into a noose before threatening the women, saying “This is for you.” He then began singing O Canada.
One of the women recorded the incident on her cellphone.
Police said they were investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The suspect is described as a thin, balding white man in his 60s with grey hair. He was wearing glasses, a black jacket and green pants.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

Pakistan prepares for its first-ever women’s kabaddi championship
December 6, 2016
By Natasha Raheel
KARACHI: Pakistan will be holding its first-ever women’s kabaddi national championship from December 14 in Lahore with more than seven clubs expected to participate in the event, revealed Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) Secretary Muhammad Sarwar.
The four provincial teams, Islamabad, WAPDA, HEC and Army will be participating in the event while more teams are expected to join them in the inaugural championship.
Pakistani women break new ground at Kabaddi World Cup
Sarwar, who believes that the championship is a huge step forward, is hoping that the event will encourage women to pursue the sport.
“The event is a huge step forward. We want to encourage girls to develop an interest in the sport and even represent the national side in the future,” he said. “We will be making selections for the national side based on the performances in this championship and hopefully this will give us a larger pool to select from.”
Meanwhile, national captain Khazeema Saeed believes that the sport has come a long way since she, along with her national teammates, started playing the sport last year.
Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi: Pakistani women will play World Cup
“I’m extremely excited about the start of this championship,” Khazeema told The Express Tribune. “Since last year, the sport has really picked up with an increase in the number of girls trying out for the national side. I’m sure this championship would further increase the interest in the sport.”
Khazeema, 19, was also part of the U19 squad that first went on a training tour in Iran. She then competed at the South Asian Games and again went back to Iran for a tournament where the team bagged bronze.
Pakistan women power through to semis
“It has been a learning experience as the various tours taught each and every one of us a lot,” she said. “We are thrilled to be part of something big because when people say kabaddi, they imagine a bunch of men playing the sport. We want to change that and this championship will certainly help.”

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