Thursday, November 30, 2023

Is 'Genocide Joe' Listening To What The Palestinian Children Are Saying?

By New Age Islam Staff Writer 30 November The Released Children Of West Bank Recount The Horror Of Their Captivity In Israeli Prisons Main Points: 1. The western media has not told their stories of pain and torture. 2. The prisoners were beaten to death. 3. Even old men were beaten to death in Israeli prisons. 4. Most of them were put into jails for throwing stones. 5. They were threatened not to celebrate their release. ------- A Red Cross vehicle carrying released hostages drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt on Nov. 28.Photographer: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images ------ The Israel-Hamas war has exposed not only the hypocrisy of the Islamic world but also the hypocrisy of the West. The US and the UK present themselves as the flag bearers and upholders of human rights but this war has exposed their hypocrisy and proved that human rights is only a diplomatic and political tool for them. The US has long used this tool to further its political interests in the world. But it has killed millions of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Vietnam for its military and political goals. It is now looking for an opportunity or alibi to destroy Syria, the last post of resistance in the Middle East. And to achieve its objective, it has destroyed a large part of the country and killed millions of civilians in the name of finishing off terrorist organisations active in the region. In the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, the US president Joe Biden has demonstrated his hypocrisy and allowed the Netanyahu government to carry on with the genocide of the Palestinians winning for himself the sobriquet of 'Genocide Joe'. On the pretext of defending itself, Israel started bombarding Gaza and destroyed almost half of Gaza and rendered 75 per cent of people homeless. Israel committed large scale violation of human rights and rules of war but the US president Joe Biden aka Genocide Joe pretended not to see. He ignored the slaughter of infants in hospitals by the IDF, cutting off electricity to the patients in the ICU and restricting medicine and treatment to them. The IDF dropped bombs on women and children gathered at Rafah border in the hope of exit The IDF bombed Al Ahli Hospital, Jenin refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, Al Shifa Hospital and Indonesian Hospital. It bombed residential buildings in Gaza without giving warning to the residents killing the whole families occupying them. The IDF has killed more than 50 journalists in Gaza and even hit ambulances carrying patients. In short, the war crimes of Israel's army and its leaders are enormous and unforgivable. The human rights violations of the Netanyahu government not only during the ongoing war but also in normal times in West Bank has been documented. The ongoing prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas has also exposed the human rights violations by the Israeli forces in West Bank and in the Israeli prisons. The children and women released from Israeli prisons have narrated heart wrenching stories of torture and humiliation in the prisons. Most of them had been arrested without any charge under administrative detention, a common practice in West Bank. Some of them were arrested just for throwing stones. They were jailed for 8 to 20 years and were forced to live in inhuman conditions. A 16 year old girl was arrested and sentenced to 9 years in jail. She was released as part of the prisoner swap after serving 8 years in prison. So the Israeli government released her because she had already spent 8 years in prison. Another was also released after 8 years. A woman Isra Jaabis was also released after 8 years. A boy was spent 20 years in Israel's prison. Among the persons released is,a 14 year boy, Ahmad Salaymeh was released with the warning that he should participate in celebrations of his release. He was threatened that he would be arrested again if he celebrated his released. He was arrested for throwing stones. Another 18 year old boy narrated his tale of torture in the Israeli jail. He told a reporter: "The jailors came in to count us and we put our hands on our heads (to save our heads). They started shouting on microphones to scare us before entering. But no one reacted. When they entered, they began beating me severely. I tried to push one away so he would focus on some one (else) but he kept beating me. He hit me on the head and left torture marks on my back and broke my hands. I was in pain on the floor for a week relying on some one to help me drink water and eat. I was on the floor. They didn't give me any treatment. They kept coming in and beat us targetting not just me but others as well until their faces bled. Our room was like a war zone to them. Every time they entered, it was as if they wanted to kill us. They beat us with metal bars until they bent aiming at our heads and hands to break them. They broke my fingers. All the hospital and doctors said my bones were smashed and needed surgery. They would beat some until he died. Some prisoners died. No one knows what happened to them. There was an old man (who died).I forgot his name.” Other prisoners released have narrated similar stories of torture and death in Israeli prisoners. They are kept hungry and are forced to live in inhumane conditions. The famous journalist Gideon Levi says that the people of West Bank are picked up regularly, at every night under administrative detention. The Israeli Zionists consider Palestinians animals and consider themselves the chosen ones. The Israeli forces have picked up 3200 Palestinians from West Bank since October 7 and this will continue. This prisoner swap has brought the brutal and barbaric face of the Israeli and the US and UK governments hidden behind the poster of human rights to prominent. The Israeli government did not know that it would have to free them one day and the prisoners would tell their stories to the world. The mainstream media has not showed their stories but the social media broadcast all the atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli security forces. The western media has only showed the 'ordeal' and 'nightmare' the Israeli hostages went through for fifty days though the released Israelis do not have stories of torture, starving and humiliation. Yes, some of them have lost weight which is big news for them. The Jewish channel CNN showed a 7 minutes 17 seconds interview of the father of the 9 year old Emily who had been kidnapped by Hamas on October 7. The father is asked several questions but he does not say she was beaten or kept without food. He tries his best to look very sad though his daughter is back. Intriguingly, the channel does not interview Emily. Many Israelis describe the fifty day captivity of their loved ones as 'hell' but do not say how the relatives or loved ones of the Palestinians whose sons and daughters were kept in captivity for 8, 15 and even 20 years on false charges and tortured, kept hungry and dehumanised every day would have felt. No matter what the outcome of this Israel-Hamas war is, the hypocrisy of the US and the western world has been exposed. The atrocities and the barbaric face of Israel has become more prominent because the social media has exposed their human rights violations fully. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Why Islam And Other Spiritual Systems Decry Anger? The Disease And Its Treatment

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam 30 November 2023 Anger Can Affect Anyone, Regardless Of Religion, Caste, Or Culture. It's Crucial For Individuals To Learn To Control It, Letting It Go. Indeed Treat This As A Diease That Requires Proper Treatment, Considering Its Nature, And Effects On The Mind And Soul. ----- Anger is a significant social issue that can have severe consequences, and its resolution is crucial for maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Anger is one of the most disliked things in Islam. At several places in the Quran and Sunnah, we come across numerous passages that dislike angry behaviour. Instead, we find beautiful guidance that teaches us to be forgiving and to stop acting out of anger. For example, Allah Almighty says in the Quran, “Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good” (3:134) Not only does Islam dislike the attitude of anger, but so do other religions. Anger is something no good human being would like to adopt. But this is also to know that an angry attitude can attack anyone regardless of religion, caste and culture. Hence it is equally necessary for all people to learn how to control it. The one who experiences anger must first learn how to control it when it arises. He or she will have to consider anger's nature, its effects on the mind and soul, and, in the end, how to let it go. The reason Allah, the Exalted, created man and gave him feelings of good and evil is to see what kind of passions a person feeds into and how much control they have over them. "Anger" is a significant feeling among these feelings. According to verse 3:134 mentioned above, those who swallow their anger and become forgiving are referred to as the favourite slaves of Allah Almighty. Allah, the Exalted, according to Imam al-Ghazali, likes the person who swallows anger above all other types of sips. A companion approached the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and requested some advice. "Avoid getting angry," the Prophet (peace be upon him) counselled him. If he had wanted to, he could have given him advice on Zikr, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and other topics, but instead, he taught him how to control his wrath. One of the main defences of the recommendation to control anger is that rage is a collection of many evils rather than just one evil. For this reason, Sufi scholars say that anger is the mother of all maladies. (Ihya al-Uloom) These days, being angry is considered a skill. Some people would proudly declare, for instance, that "my scalp is hot, I don't care, I just say it with a clear mouth, I can't tolerate anything." They use these grandiose phrases as if they are discussing something important, but in reality, they are all tricks of Satan, who utilises them as his instruments to incite people to wrath and cause us and our loved ones to suffer. Anger is not just a fleeting emotion; it is a disease that profoundly changes a person's personality. Imam al-Ghazali says in this context that persons who are able to manage their wrath are among scholars, Ulama, saints, and virtuous people. Those who are furious, on the other hand, exhibit dreadful facial expressions, lose their composure, and transform into a vicious beasts. (Ihya al-Ulum) A person can quickly go from reason to less rationality when they are angry. He does not even realise that something is wrong with his head. Some have said that being angry is the primary cause of idiocy and less logic, as though anger had a major role in leading someone to act foolishly. The following tips can help one manage their anger: There must be a cause for anger since it becomes a permanent feature of our emotions. Experts say that anger is a reaction, and fear is always the result of ineptitude. One of the primary reasons of rage is fear. For instance: When a man neglects his wife's rights, he is always plagued by anxiety about how he will get home. How can the debts and maintenance be paid? When he returns home, his wife will ask him about unfulfilled commitments, medical costs, household rations, and child expenses. He will become fearful of his shortcomings and become agitated anytime she brings up any of these issues. He will become angry, fight, etc. to cover up his inadequacy and dread of being encircled. In this situation, turning his incompetence into competence is the only thing that can soothe his rage. Various self-conceived beliefs can give rise to anger, such as those concerning caste, family, tribe, colour, and the false notion that one is better than another due to unwarranted discrimination. It's crucial to understand that rage is a normal feeling and a component of human wants first and foremost. Therefore, any anger management techniques will merely focus on controlling the anger rather than completely eliminating it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, "The strong man is not the one who can overpower others (in wrestling); rather, the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry." [Sahih/Authentic - Al-Bukhari and Muslim] This implies that actual power is not solely determined by the strength of muscles and body. Strong people are not the ones who always defeat strong people. Rather, a truly strong man is one who exercises self-control and overpowers himself when he is in a state of anger. "Anger" is a major factor in the sharp increase in divorce rates. Some men take their wives' trivial issues to the point of divorce out of anger, and most of them subsequently admit that they divorced them out of anger and that they are ashamed of it and need to be taught something in order to get their spouse back. A useful remedy for controlling anger is to repeat the punishment of God and the power of Allah in the mind during anger. You can also control your anger if you avoid being around the person you are upset with or in their vicinity. Movement-heated molecules, according to Imam Ghazali, are the true source of heat in the human body. Because of the spirit of revenge, the more he thinks, moves, responds, raises his hand, and reacts, the more he will move in response. However, the heat will dissipate as soon as he moves away, settles down, and ceases making such reactions. This will ultimately soothe his irate mood. To control anger, one must practise humility and remember that there are those who are more important than themselves. Additionally, when you become angry, step away from the person who is offending you, sit down, drink some water, and begin reciting Taawwuz (I seek the protection of Allah from Satan) aloud. If you do this, God willing, your anger will be restrained. ---- Kaniz Fatma is a regular columnist for New Age Islam URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Depth Not Duration

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 30 November 2023 “The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.” George Santayana's pithy observation is indeed very thought-stirring. Wisdom must be unfathomable to produce something equally profound. Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' wrote, "Athaah Samudra Se Hoti Hain Udbhaasit Gaambheerya Ki Urmiyaan/ Jaise Chhichhle Gyaan Se Upajti Hain Saadharan Panktiyaan" (The ripples of seriousness come out of an unfathomable sea/ Just like, superficial knowledge produces substandard writings). Profound produces permanent is the mantra to excellence in all walks of life. When we hanker after mediocrity, we produce something pedestrian. That's why it's said that it's better to create just one thing in life but that should be everlasting rather than create or churn out a lot many things having very little value. Ek Hi Aansoo Ho Magar Ho Jaan-E-Hayaat/ Uss Se Kya Haasil Agar Laakh Dariya Bah Chale (There must be just one drop of tears but that should be the essence of life/ What's the use if tears flow like an insignificant river). Once an interviewer asked the great thespian Dilip Kumar that despite being more than 50 years into acting, why did he act only in 60-odd movies. Dilip Kumar smiled and quoted Pandit Brij Narayan ' Chakbast,' "Ho Jise Justajoo Maahtaab Ki, Anjum Se Dil Us Ka Bahlta Nahin/ Haath Aa Jaate Hain Sitare Haath Badhane Se, Maahtaab Lekin Haath Aata Nahin" (One who's desirous of the moon, cannot be happy with mere stars/ One can reach out to the stars rather easily but the moon remains elusive). Dilip Kumar drove home the point that in life, it was not quantity but the quality that mattered. Depth is far more important than duration. Zindagi Gahari Ho, Lambi Na Sahi (Life should be deep even if it's not long). The great Persian poet Firdausi wrote just one book Shahnama that had 60 thousand sublime couplets, but his name is on top in the pantheon of Persian literature, nay, world literature. By the way, his 'Shahnama' is considered to be one of the ten greatest creations in world literature alongside Rumi's Masnavis, the Bard of Avon's ' Othello,' and Dante's 'Divine Comedy.' Likewise, only three movies immortalised Hollywood heart-throb James Dean who died painfully young at the age of 24. Remember the old Scottish proverb that depth begets further depths, each profounder than the rest. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Deep-Rooted Islamophobia Behind West's Unconditional Support To Israel

By New Age Islam Staff Writer 29 November 2023 France And Germany Have Demonstrated Intense Hate Of Palestinians Main Points: 1. Western world has legitimised the genocide in Gaza. 2. Solidarity with Israel mutated to an uglier form of xenophobia. 3. Keir Starmer said Israel was entitled to starve Gazans. 4. German film director appealed to Berliners to join rally in solidarity with Israel. 5. Hamas has become synonymous with Palestinians in Germany. ----- Mr Mukul Kesavan's article, Behind the Mask, rips off the mask of hypocrisy that the West has put up and exposes its deep-rooted bias against the Islamic world. Even as the people in the Western world are united in their solidarity with the Palestinians facing death, destruction and genocide, the heads of the governments of Europe have extended unconditional support to Israel. Rishi Sunak and the US president 'Genocide Joe' visited Tel Aviv soon after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and approved of Israel 's right to self defence. Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak and Olaf Scholz and Keir Starmer Sourced by the Telegraph ------ The heads of states of Italy, Greece and Germany also patted at the back of Netanyahu and supported the imminent genocidal attacks of Israel on the innocent people of Gaza. Millions of people in their own country were protesting against Israel's bombardment of Gaza's hospitals, refugee camps, schools and residential buildings but their leaders blinded by their deep-rooted Islamophobia watched the massacre silently. Not only that, the Director of the International Film Festival appealed to the people of Germany to join a pro-Israel rally in Berlin. The governments of the Western countries also tried to curb the pro-Palestine protests by banning protests and blacklisting youth for jobs. This degree of hatred for Palestinians and support for Israel was unprecedented. The solidarity with Israel silently mutated to an ugly form of xenophobia. This has roots in the local problem of immigration in Germany and France. Muslim immigration from the Middle East has become a major political issue in France, Sweden and Germany in recent decades. The immigrants are projected as potential security threat because Muslims are stereotyped as extremists and terrorists. Therefore, Palestinians are synonymous with Hamas. That's why Kier Starmer said on public radio that Netanyahu had the right to cut off electricity and water to the Palestinians in Gaza. This kind of sentiments against the Palestinians has its root in the fact that the Western countries see Israel as a western country because the Jews migrated to Palestine from Europe. But the main reason behind the West's unflinching and unconditional support to Israel is its geopolitical importance. Israel serves as a buffer state between the oil-rich Arab countries and the West. It has its own significance in maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East. It has managed to prevent any kind of unity among the Arab states. It has been able to pitch the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq against the governments of the respective countries. It has prevented the rise of the hardline Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the advantage of the US. Together with Israel, The US and the UK have controlled the geopolitical affairs of the Middle East. Israel defeated the Arab countries and brought them down to their knees with the help of the US. Gaza is important to the US as much as it is to Israel. Gaza is controlled by Hamas which has the support of Iran together with Hezbollah. The triple H, (Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthis) pose a threat to the geopolitical interests of Israel and the West. Iran, Syria, and Russia form a political bloc in the Middle East that poses a threat to the interests of the US in the region. Hezbollah, Hamas and Houthis are proxies of Iran. In the new political order, militant groups play a significant role. From Wagner group of Russia, to the ISIS and Al Qaida of the US to three H of Iran-Russia, non-state actors are increasingly being exploited and used by powerful countries to shun accountability. Hamas is also said to be a secret ally of Netanyahu government who have symbiotic relationship. Both protect each other's interests. This is why, even after the large scale destruction of Gaza after due to Hamas' attacks on Israel, Hamas is being presented as the messiah of the Palestinians. After the prisoner swap, its popularity has suddenly risen sharply in West Bank. In the near future, Hamas will be helped by Israel to form government in West Bank and then Israel will bombard West Bank after a similar October 7 like attack by Hamas. This strategy has been adopted by the US. The meeting of the heads of intelligence agencies of Israel, US and Egypt in Qatar is not to facilitate prisoner exchange. Political leader can do this. The meeting of Mossad, CIA and Egypt's intelligence agency with Hamas leadership hint at more important programmes for future. Prisoner exchange discussions are only a cover. This also strengthens the stance of the Washington Post that Netanyahu and Hamas have a symbiotic relationship. Hamas will continue to play in the hands of Israel and the US in the hope that in the future, it will grow strong enough to come out of their influence and can take their own decisions as an independent political entity. But perhaps it may not be possible. ----- Behind The Mask By Mukul Kesavan 26.11.23 At the time of the truce or ‘humanitarian pause’, the number of people killed by Israel in its pulverisation of Gaza was 14,532 according to the Gaza media office, with an additional 7,000 missing, likely buried in the rubble. Forty per cent of this figure is made up of children, and women and children together account for approximately two-thirds of the death toll. No conflict in the 21st century has seen children being killed at such a rate. Eighty per cent of Gaza’s population has been made homeless. Nearly every member of the Israeli cabinet has made statements that rhetorically endorse genocide and/or ethnic cleansing in Gaza. And yet, the leaders of the Western world, with a couple of honourable exceptions, continue to legitimise and endorse Israel’s slaughter as a natural extension of its right to self-defence or as the inevitable consequence of Hamas’s October 7 massacre. The West has chosen a side. Its sponsorship of Israel is not new; what is novel and clarifying is the stark relief in which its partisanship can be viewed against the backdrop of this bloody war. Gaza is so small and densely populated that the cruelty of war is condensed into an easily understood graphic. The atrocitiesvthat might have been obscured by ignorance in some other, more complex, geography are brutally clear in Gaza. A territory stoppered at two ends by closed border crossings is bombed into submission. Its northern population is forced south by Israel, allegedly for its own safety, and then ordered to move again under the threat of more bombardment after the north has been reduced to rubble. Twenty-one thousand dead and two million people, living for the most part in tents as winter approaches, hungry, thirsty, and threatened by disease, are classed as collateral damage proportionate to Israel’s military aim of eradicating Hamas. This is a hard case to make. It doesn’t help that Israel’s rogue settler population in the West Bank has declared open season on Palestinians with the active aid of the Israel Defence Forces. Yet the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany and, most notably, the United States of America have doubled down and insist that there will be no call for a ceasefire till Israel has destroyed Hamas. When this is set against the videos of hundreds of dead Palestinians in blue body bags being buried in mass graves, connivance in collective punishment mutates into something darker; it begins to seem like complicity in war crimes. The reputation of the West, such as it was, for championing universal values and a rules-based order is unlikely to recover from this Gazan adventure. Gaza seems like an inflection point in the shaping of world opinion because the West’s leaders — Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer and Olaf Scholz and Joe Biden — didn’t pretend, this time round, to be even-handed. Starmer declared on public radio that Israel was entitled to besiege Gaza and cut off water and electricity. The German government threatened to deport immigrants who posted in support of the Palestinian cause. Biden fast-tracked weapons shipments and promised fourteen billion dollars in military aid. It is the brazenness of the West’s hostility towards the Palestinians, as opposed to its traditional hypocrisy, that makes this moment historic. Why this happened now will be argued over interminably by historians, but as contemporaries we can guess at the reasons. There has always been a tendency in Western governments to see Israel as a Western country in a rough neighbourhood. Israel’s foundation in the aftermath of the Holocaust in the heart of Europe, the crucial role of European Ashkenazi Jews in Israel’s creation, gave it a claim to being a kind of honorary European nation. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a circling of Western wagons. Before that, the great fear about China, provoked by Xi Jinping’s assertiveness and stoked by the US, had consolidated a sense of Western identity that had dissipated in the decades after the disappearance of the Soviet Union. In this charged geopolitical environment, Hamas’s massacre of Israeli civilians seemed both an outrage and a cue for Western solidarity with Israel against the savagery of Islamists. What began as solidarity with Israel mutated into something uglier. As massive demonstrations in the great cities of the West made the case for the Palestinians and a ceasefire, Western governments and their intellectual auxiliaries began to see the marchers, especially those that were migrants and Muslims, as Trojan horses that threatened not just Israel but their own sense of self. The absence of uniform solidarity with Israel seemed like the presence of an insidious alienness. The best example of pro-Israel feeling being directed at the enemy within comes from a German civil society organisation, not the State. The director of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Lars Henrik Gass, posted a message on the Festival’s official Facebook page in which he urged Berliners to join a rally in Berlin to express solidarity with Israel and to demonstrate against anti-Semitism: “Half a million people took to the streets in March 2022 to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This was important. Please let us now send a signal that is at least as strong. Show the world that the Neukölln Hamas friends and Jew haters are in the minority.” (Emphasis added.) The dog whistle here is the place reference. Neukölln is the name of a borough in Berlin which has a high percentage of immigrants. Eighteen per cent of the borough’s population is of Middle-Eastern origin and it is host to a substantial Palestinian community. Instead of straightforwardly asking for solidarity against anti-Semitism and for Israel, the director of one of the important short film festivals in Europe chose to smear Neukölln’s immigrant community as Jew haters instead. From Israel being a European country in a rough neighbourhood, we have segued seamlessly, thanks to Gass and his ilk, to rough neighbourhoods in European countries. ‘Hamas’ has become a synonym for Palestinians in general and a metaphor for the Muslim immigrant, Europe’s favourite bogeyman. The anxiety about immigration as a political issue feeds into the hard line that countries like Germany and the UK have taken against the Palestinian cause. If a hostile critique of Israel amounts to anti-Semitism, Europe’s moral health demands unequivocal support for Israel in times of trouble. Since Jeremy Corbyn was indicted for tolerating anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, Keir Starmer has performatively purged Labour of Corbynites and committed the party to a strongly pro-Israel position. British Muslims, traditionally committed Labour voters, are now treated by Starmer as a political embarrassment. As European governments of the Left and the Right move to restrict immigration, the face of which is the Muslim migrant, they have chosen to use the charge of anti-Semitism as a way of disciplining and punishing disobedient minorities. The flip side of that coin is an Israel-right-or-wrong foreign policy that has brought Gaza to the brink of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Source: Behind The Mask URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

The Qur‘an And The Fate Of The Universe: Qur’anic Verses And Scientific Quotes About The Events Of The Last Day Seem To Echo, Almost Word For Word

By T.O. Shanavas, New Age Islam 29 November 2023 In this article, we explore an intriguing parallel between a Qur'anic verse and scientific concepts on the fate of our universe. The metaphor in verse 21:104 ( “On that day when We shall roll up heaven as a scroll for writings; As We originated the first creation, so We shall bring it back again--A promise binding on Us; So We shall do it.”), portraying the rolling up of heaven like a scroll, offers an intriguing perspective resembling the scientific notion of the Big Bang and the eventual collapse of the universe. This interpretation suggests ancient texts potentially alluding to concepts remarkably aligned with modern scientific understanding, a fascinating connection between ancient wisdom and contemporary knowledge. The continuous scientific reports on global warming are a daily occurrence in the news. At our Islamic Centre, we conscientiously make efforts to counteract the catastrophic consequences of human greed and misuse of nature's resources. The omnipresent God of the Qur’an, who comprehends both the greedy and the powerful, foresaw the relentless advance of global warming as a consequence of their disregard of divine guidance and the greater good. The temptation to cite the Qur’anic verses about the events of the Last Day (Yawm al-Qiyamah) arises as modern scientific quotes seem to echo, almost word for word, relevant verses from the Qur’an. For example, Global average sea level has risen 8–9 inches (21–24 centimetres) since 1880. In 2022, global average sea level set a new record high—101.2 mm (4 inches) above 1993 levels. The rate of global sea level rise is accelerating: it has more than doubled from 0.06 inches (1.4 millimetres) per year throughout most of the twentieth century to 0.14 inches (3.6 millimetres) per year from 2006–2015. For instance, by the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience more intense high-tide floods due to a wobble in the Moon's orbit that occurs every 18.6 years’ Figure 1. Seasonal (3-month) sea level estimates from Church and White (2011) (light blue line) and University of Hawaii Fast Delivery sea level data (dark blue). The values are shown as change in sea level in millimetres compared to the 1993-2008 average. NOAA image based on analysis and data from Philip Thompson, University of Hawaii Sea Level Centre. ------- "The Qur’an mentions that the initial signs of the culmination of the universe will be marked by rising ocean levels and coastal flooding: [On the Last Day] 'And the ocean filled with swell' (Qur’an 52:6). The Arabic term 'sajara' in this verse signifies 'to fill.' According to present-day cosmology, the inundation of coastal areas aligns with the concept of ocean 'filling,' attributed to the melting ice from the North and South Poles, as well as mountain glaciers." Science describes other events to follow as the collapse of the universe continues: “Billions of years from now, there will be a last perfect day on earth. Thereafter the sun will slowly become red and distended presiding over earth, sweltering even at the poles.”43 Astronomers suggest that the Sun will undergo significant changes due to hydrogen and helium fusion, resulting in its expansion and cooling. This cooling might align with the Qur'anic verse 81:1 (“When the Sun shall be darkened”) describing the Sun being darkened. Additionally, when the Sun becomes a red giant, the Qur'an seems to depict this state as a "ruddy and bloated" sun, likening it to a description of heaven being as molten copper in Qur’anic verse 70:8 (“Upon the day when heaven shall be as molten copper”). As the "Last Day" extends over billions of years, scientific projections indicate extreme heat on Earth. According to renowned astronomer Carl Sagan, rising ocean temperatures will release more water vapour into the air, potentially increasing cloud cover, temporarily shielding the Earth from sunlight and delaying the inevitable. However, the Sun's evolution continues, leading to the eventual boiling of the oceans. The Qur'an seems to forewarn about this phenomenon during the last days of the universe, mentioning "when the sea shall be set boiling" (Qur’an 81:6). As the "Last Day" unfolds into eons, scientific predictions suggest the Sun will consume Mercury, Venus, and potentially the Earth, leaving the inner solar system within the Sun. The Qur'anic verse 75:9 (“And the sun and moon are united”) refers to the sun and moon uniting during the last days of the universe. The absence of mention for other planets in the Qur'an could be due to the nomadic Arabs' language limitations at the time, which didn't include specific terms like "Mercury" and "Venus." However, the moon was a familiar celestial body known to all Arabs during that era. There are three scientific theories concerning the ultimate fate of the universe: Big Freeze or Heat Death, Big Rip, and Big Crunch. Edwin Hubble's observations in the 1930s–1950s supported the concept of galaxies moving away from each other, contributing to the widely accepted Big Bang theory. The Heat Death theory posits that as existing stars exhaust their fuel and cease to shine, the universe will gradually grow darker. Eventually, black holes will prevail, but even they will fade away over time. The Big Rip theory suggests that everything, no matter how minute, will disintegrate into unbound elementary particles, radiation, and beyond within a finite time frame. On the other hand, the Big Crunch theory proposes that galaxies moving away from each other will eventually reverse course, collapsing back into a singular point, akin to the initial state of the universe during the Big Bang. The Qur'an seems to suggest a fate for the universe akin to a Big Crunch. While it describes the galaxies moving away from each other, it also alludes to the universe's expansion, stating, "And it is We who have built the universe with [our creative] power; and it is We who are steadily expanding it" (Qur’an 51:47). This expansion hints at a reversal during the "Last Day," where the receding galaxies reverse direction, potentially leading to the eventual collapse known as the Big Crunch. The verse seems to reflect this reversal in the movement of galaxies. The Qur'an seems to suggest a fate for the universe resembling a Big Crunch. While it describes galaxies moving away from each other, it also depicts the universe as expanding: "And it is We who have built the universe with [our creative] power; and it is We who are steadily expanding it" (Qur’an 51:47). The concept of the "Last Day" involves a reversal in the movement of galaxies, leading to the eventual Big Crunch. This reversal is possibly reflected in verses 81:15-16: "So, I call the receding stars to witness, the planets withdrawing into themselves." Science suggests that during the universe's collapse, individual galaxies would merge as intergalactic space diminishes. This idea aligns with the Qur'an's depiction of a decrease in observable shining points in the sky during the merger of galaxies, presenting a scenario where the sky appears empty: [On the Last Day] "when the sky stripped bare" (Qur’an 81:11). The formation of a black dwarf, a type of star that loses its ability to produce heat and light as it cools, aligns with the description in verse 81:2: "When the stars fall, losing their lustre" in the Qur'an. This verse potentially refers to this celestial state during the "Last Day." Additionally, other Qur'anic verses, such as "When the sky is rent asunder and it becomes red like ointment" (Qur’an 55:37); "And (on that day) the earth is moved, and its mountains, and they are crushed to powder at one stroke" (Qur’an 69:14); and "It will be no more than a single blast..." (Qur’an 36:53), describe the ultimate destruction of the universe. ----- T.O. Shanavas is a native of Kerala, but is now based in the USA. He is the author of “Islamic Theory of Evolution The Missing Link Between Darwin and The Origin of Species.” Co-author of the book, And God Said, "Let There Be Evolution!": Reconciling The Book Of Genesis, The Qur'an, And The Theory Of Evolution. Edited by Prof. Charles M. Wynn and Prof. Arthur W. Wiggins. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Words Are Freudian Slips

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 29 November 2023 "Dil Ki Gahraiyon Mein Jo Hota Hai Barbas Zubaan Pe Aa Hi Jaata Hai" Bahadur Shah 'Zafar' (What's in the depths and crevices of heart/ Tends to surface on the tongue) While browsing through my old Persian diary, I came across a startling thought and stopped to mull over it: A wound on the tongue gets healed fast but a wound caused by the tongue never gets healed. Tongue is indeed made of loose leather and seldom do we think of using it carefully. Words stab deeper than any piece of iron or steel can ever. Differences caused by intemperate tongue can seldom be reconciled. Hadn't Draupadi uttered "Andhe Ke Andhe Hi Hote Hain " (Blind begets blind), Kurukshetra would never have taken place and so many lives would never have been laid down. French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote to his beloved, "Kill me if you want, but speak not sardonically." Words smart you till you die. However seemingly stoic an individual may be, it's difficult for anyone to forget the sarcasm of words and the damage caused by a rapier tongue. We can forgive a person who has hurt us but seldom do we forget the words that caused a difference, a gulf. Words are double-edged knives. They can heal as well as peel; peel your skin off. And why do words always make such a drastic and debilitating impact? Words are often rooted reflections of our mind. They're Freudian slips, involuntarily and unwittingly revealing what you really think of a person. A blow may taper off but a word cannot. Though at times, sarcastic words can galvanise you to do your damnedest, but their bitter impact cannot be mitigated. Words are always taken as premeditated actions with an intention to hurt a person. Words can even change the psychology of a person who happens to be at the receiving end. An extensive medical survey in Indian social and familial context way back in 1967 revealed that when mother-in-laws scoffed at their daughter-in-laws for not bearing an issue by calling them ‘Baanjh' or 'Vandhya' (barren, arid), they actually went barren because of the negative impact of the word and would never conceive! We all are so casual, nay frivolous, with words that we never think of their lasting consequences and ramifications. We hurt people and they hurt us in return, thanks to words, which could have been spoken with so much sensitivity and empathy. Tongue indeed causes festering wounds. To quote Salaam Machhlishahri, "Beshumaar Rishte Bigade Hain Zubaan Ne / Dar Ke Maine Apne Lab See Liye Hain" (This tongue has spoiled many a relation/ I've, therefore, sewn my lips). True. Lest you should speak out something for which you repent later, you had better keep mum. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Temple in UP 'Purified' after, Saiyada Khatoon, a Muslim MLA's Visit

By Syed Ali Mujtaba, New Age Islam 29 November 2023 In an ongoing attempt to ‘other’ the Muslim community, a new event has come to light when a temple in Uttar Pradesh was 'purified' after a Muslim MLA, visited the Hindu place of worship at the invitation of the local people to participate in a religious function. Hindu outfit members alleged that as the MLA belongs to a different religion, her visit disturbed the sanctity of the place. (Photo/Facebook/ @Saiyadakhatoon306) ------ The incident took place on Sunday, November 26, 20023, when Doomariyaganj Samajwadi Party MLA, Ms Sayeda Khatoon had visited the ‘Samay Mata temple’ located at Badhani Chafa's Nagar Panchayat in Siddharthnagar district of UP. After the MLA left the temple, some people who were not in favour of her visit, purified the place with 'Ganga Jal' amid chanting of the Vedic hymns. The purification ritual was done by Dharamraj Verma, chief of Badhani Chafa's Nagar Panchayat where the temple is located. "Because Sayeda Khatoon is a Muslim and eats cow meat, her visit to this holy place had made it impure," Dharamraj Verma said, adding, "After this purification, this place has now become completely pure. He further said, the MLA was invited by some "unrighteous" people, and such an act can never be tolerated.” Dharamraj Verma is associated with BJP and Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right-wing group started by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath mainly for hate Muslim activities. In response, MLA Sayeda Khatoon who is known to have got several temples renovated in the area said, "Many Brahmins and saints of the area are associated with me and had invited me to the temple' about ten days ago. I honor all religions; I am a legislator for all the people in the area and will go wherever I am invited," “I am being a people's representative would continue to visit places related to all religions and sects and would not be deterred by any such kind of cheap acts,” she further said. ------ Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Religious Indoctrination At An Impressionable Age

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 28 November 2023 Lareb Hashmi, a 20-yr-old B.Tech student, who was arrested for attacking a bus conductor with a cleaver in Allahabad, told investigators that he had been following the preaching of many foreign (read Pakistan) based religious 'scholars' (Barelvi sect) on the internet. Lareb Hashmi, B.Tech student who attacked a bus conductor over ticket dispute suspended from College (Image Source - OpIndia Hindi) ------ Alas, the promising future of a 20-yr-old young lad who was good at studies, seems to be in the doldrums now. In his quickly uploaded video clip, he said that only " Mustafa rules the world not Modi or Yogi ''. He is also heard taking the name of a Pakistani cleric while chanting 'Allah u Akbar' (Allah is great). I've been writing in newspapers as well as on your portal that scores of Muslim youngsters like Lareb are falling prey to these clerics, mostly from Pakistan, and their incendiary teachings. At this impressionable age when one should study for a safe and secure future and career, the youth are listening to all bogus religious preachers whose only objective is to indoctrinate their listeners and make them hardcore Muslims. Hindus are also doing the same. A week ago, one of the biggest religious rascals, Bageshwar baba visited Poona for three days. 'Educated', English-speaking Hindu youngsters and women rushed to his religious gatherings and sought that crude baba's blessings. They shouted Sri Ram, Jay Bageshwar Dham. Women genuflecting before such Babas is intelligible because most of the women are sickly and irrationally religious but young people prostrating and going ga-ga over these frauds is indeed baffling. People, who should have been permanently in prisons, are roaming freely and preaching. Gullible masses are calling them living gods. Government must take some stern steps and block people's access to these clerics, preachers and Babas in Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Go to the hinterland of Punjab. Young guys, who call themselves ex-Sikhs and ex-Hindus, are the most active participants and volunteers in Changai Sabha (Healing sessions) conducted by clever and cunning Christian missionaries and evangelists. These young ex-Sikhs and ex-Hindus are now trying to Christianise others. Religion has gone too deep into the psyche of Indians and young people are most vulnerable to getting swayed by these charlatans and impostors. They're getting indoctrinated like Lareb Hashmi. This is really alarming. Ban all faiths and their preachers. Na Rahega Baans, Na Bajegi Baansuri. But in a primitive and religiously superstitious country like India, which survives and subsists on rabid religiosity, this seems highly improbable. So, expect to see many more Larebs in the days to come. Allah u Akbar, Jai Sri Ram, Jai Prabhu Yeshu. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Amid Gaza War, A Spiritual Revolution Taking Place In The West

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam 28 November 2023 Christians And Atheists Have Embraced Islam After Reading The Quran Main Points: 1. Young people in the US and UK are reading the Quran. 2. Many people are studying books on Islam. 3. They are embracing Islam because of the hollowness of the western society. 4. Many are taking their Shahadah on TikTok. 5. They are surprised to find praises of the Jesus and Mary in the Quran. ----- Amid the Gaza war, a spiritual revolution is taking place in the West. Thousands, if not millions, of the Christians and atheists of the US, UK and Ireland have converted to Islam during the last one month. They were overwhelmed by the resilience of the Muslims of Gaza amid the worst of suffering and massacre. The westerners want to find out what gives them so much strength to endure all the hardships and pain and submit to the will of God. To find it out, they turned to the Quran. Many women and men have been reading the Quran and trying to understand its message themselves. The message of the Quran has changed their lives, the way they looked at the society and their filled their spiritual vacuum. The reasons for accepting Islam or falling in love with the Quran as given by different people are presented below: 1. The Quran starts with its message directly. It does not start in the fashion of "Once upon a time..." or " In the beginning there was.... ". 2. The first surah of the Quran starts with "read". That's a wonderful message. It teaches man to read and gain knowledge as knowledge leads man to the right path and salvation. 3. A surah is named Al Nisa ( woman) which shows God gives woman an equal place to women in society. 4. One woman was surprised to know that the Quran allows divorce It may be surprising to many who criticise Islam for having the system of divorce which is misused by men to exploit and oppress men. To many women in the west, divorce allowed by the Quran is feministic as it gives women the break free of a tortuous marriage. 5. A 21 year old boy of the Ireland said he converted to Islam because the western society has made the youth wayward. In the name of freedom, it has allowed the young men to lead a purposeless life. They are taught that they should care for their own desires and their wn interests. It has allowed porn and usury and fornication while the Islamic states have banned porn, fornication and usury. The western economic system is based on usury. The Quran envisages a well knit family and society. Every individual has a duty towards the family and the society. 6. A Christian woman said she was moved by the merciful, forgiving and loving God if the Quran. The Quran says God of merciful and forgiving while God of the Bible is ruthless. 7. A new Muslim woman was overwhelmed by the praises of Jesus in the Quran She was moved by the verses that said Jesus talked when he was a baby and said he was a prophet. This was not known to her. She was very proud to know that Jesus talked when he was a baby and announced he was a prophet. She was so excited that she said she would go to the coffee house and tell those present there that Jesus talked when he was a baby. 8. Another Christian man said that when he reads the Quran on camera, the Christians threaten him with the wrath of God while the Muslims say, ' Let him just read. He may be led to the truth. ' When reads the Bible while playing the music or holding his dog, no Christians say 'you should not play music or hold your dog while reading the Bible' but when he reads the Quran while playing the music or holding the dog, the Muslims comment, ' you should not play music while reading the Quran or should not hold the dog because it is unclean. Someone writes that it is okay as he is only reading the translation. 9. One lady was surprised to know that prophet Moses was so strong that a man died of his single punch. There are many reactions of the people of the west on Islam and the Quran. Listening to their opinions and views on Islam and Quran opens new perspectives of the Quran. The Indian Muslims or the non -Muslims look at the Quran from their own social milieu but the westerners look at the teachings of the Quran from their own religious and social background and evaluate the teachings of the Quran from their own point of view. The open and liberal society of the west has also given them the freedom to choose their belief. They are not under pressure from the government or from the church. They are drawn towards Islam by their own conscience. They have not been coerced or proselytised by any Muslim organisation active in the west. They are studying the primary book of Islam and learning about Islam directly from its fundamental source. They are reading the Quran on their TikTok videos and are being guided by the viewers. No Islamic scholar or preacher is involved in their spiritual journey. They have been scrambling for books on Islam and the Quran. Today more and more westerners are turning towards Islam because of the materialistic and consumerist approach of the western society. The loneliness of people because of the disintegration of the family and society has compelled man to seek spiritual fulfilment. He looks for solace, comfort and mental peace. The Quran has provided them with the solution. That's why more and more people in the US and UK are turning towards the Quran. This phenomenon has some lessons for the Muslims of the world. They failed to present the Quran as the book for the entire humanity though Gid says that it is a guidance (dhikr) for the humanity (Alameen).It speaks of the previous prophets and messengers and has even chapters after Abraham, Jesus, Mary, Bani Israel (Sons of Israel). It also narrates the story of Prophet Moses in detail and the story of his confrontation with Pharaoh. Therefore, the Quran provided the Muslims with ample premises to reach out to the People of the Book and other religious communities and establish good relations with them. Most of common Christians do not know that the Quran praises Prophet Jesus, Prophet Moses, Mother Mary and other prophets of Bani Israel. Many Christians are finding the apocrypha that has made way into their faith through the Quran. Therefore, the tragedy that the Muslims of Gaza are going through and the spiritual and moral strength they have demonstrated during series of death and destruction has forced the westerners to turn to the Quran to get the same moral and spiritual strength and resilience so that they can also face the hardships of life and find mental peace. ----- S. Arshad is a columnist with URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Monday, November 27, 2023

Islamophobe Greet Wilders, the new Dutch PM?

By Asad Mirza, New Age Islam 27 November 2023 Last week’s elections in Netherlands threw up a rather surprising victory i.e. Greet Wilders, a known rightist and Islamophobe. Perhaps his victory marks the continuing trend of right-wing politicians coming to power in Europe, particularly during the last two years, on the basis of appealing to the masses on populist slogans but offering nothing concrete. Last week, veteran Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders vowed to be prime minister of the Netherlands eventually, following an election in which his party won the most seats. Wilders vowed on X, “I will be prime minister.” In a long post on X, he expressed frustration at other parties for their apparent unwillingness to cooperate with his Freedom Party (PVV), Wilders said he would "continue to moderate" his positions if necessary, to gain power. Although Wilders' party finished well ahead of rivals in the November 22 vote on an anti-immigration platform, his party won only 37 seats in the Dutch parliament. That means he will have to cooperate with at least two more moderate parties in order to form a government. Earlier, the conservative VVD Party, of caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which shares many of Wilders' views on immigration, said it would not participate in a cabinet with him. However, the VVD's new leader, Dilan Yesilgoz, did not rule out offering outside support to a Wilders-led government. Pieter Omtzigt, who leads the centrist reform NSC Party and is also seen as a likely partner in a Wilders' government, has said cooperation will be difficult due to extreme positions Wilders has voiced that appear to violate Dutch constitutional protections on freedom of religion. Wilders’ stand on Islam Geert Wilders is known for his radical anti-immigration and Islamophobic politics and his staunch Euro-scepticism. In 2007, Wilders sent a letter to the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant calling the Qur’an a “fascist book” just like Mein Kampf. The newspaper put the letter on the front page but in an editorial suggested that the PVV leader had gone too far with the comparison, which was deeply hurtful and offensive to many. This letter and other comments led to Wilders being prosecuted for inciting hatred and discrimination. He denied any wrongdoing. In 2011, he was acquitted and his comments were ruled acceptable within the context of public debate. In a 2008 interview with the Observer, Wilders said that Islam is not a religion; it’s an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture. The interview coincided with him creating a short film entitled Fitna, an Arabic word meaning “strife”. In the film he again criticises the Holy Qur’an as a “fascist book” and intersperses images of the September 11 attacks with quotations from the Islamic holy book. It was screened on the internet and sparked violent protests in the Muslim world. In February 2009, Wilders was refused entry to Britain to screen the film on the grounds of it being a threat to public order. Wilders, who denied any wrongdoing, appealed, and a court later said the decision was wrong. The Dutch public prosecutor stated that statements made in it were “hurtful and offensive to a large number of Muslims” but not punishable by law. The episode subsequently became part of the 2011 case. Wilders coined the word “Head Rag” to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women. In the Netherlands’ annual political debates in September 2009, Wilders suggested an annual tax of €1,000 on headscarves, provoking a scandalised reaction. His position on headscarves, and talks on Turkish accession to Europe, had led him to break with the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and set up the PVV, or “Party for Freedom”, in 2005. On immigration, Wilders stands for decreasing and clubs it with Moroccans, whom he describes as “scum” migrating to Netherlands and delivered a speech at The Hague in 2014 condemning migration. In a lengthy prosecution, which he claimed was politically motivated; this speech was eventually ruled as unlawful discrimination in terms of insulting a group. It resulted in a criminal record for Wilders but he was acquitted of inciting discrimination and given no other penalty. From calling Moroccans "scum”, to holding competitions for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, Wilders has built a career based on his self-appointed mission to stop an "Islamic invasion" of the West. Wilders also condemns the Dutch democracy and has stated that there is an enormous gap between this fake Dutch parliament and the common people at large. Talking in the 2015 budget debates, Wilders argued for a closure of the borders and questioned Dutch democracy because MPs did not agree with him. He also wants The Netherlands to leave the EU, just like the UK. Moreover, Wilders pledges to close the Dutch representation in Ramallah, home to the "corrupt Palestinian Authority." He also describes Israel as the only true democracy in the Middle East and has stated that once in power he’ll ensure Dutch relations with Israel are strengthened and will move the Dutch embassy to Jerusalem. Dutch politics The Netherlands is known for low corruption, press freedom and moderation, but for the past two decades, it has witnessed rising support for far-right parties. Prof Tom Louwerse of Leiden University’s Institute of Political Science told The Guardian that the Dutch far-right has polled on average 15% to 20% votes in the past decade. Prof Matthijs Rooduijn of Amsterdam University told a Dutch news website that he sees the election as a “breeding ground for right-wing populism”. Although Wilders is extremely right-wing on immigration, he has populist policies on healthcare, pensions, the minimum wage and social housing. “The electorate of the PVV in general consists of people who experience more difficulties,” said Rooduijn. “They feel they are being neglected. They have tough lives, economically but also culturally. And that is one of the reasons they vote for a party that promises radical change.” But will this radical change happen? Wilders has won the most seats and has been invited to try to form a coalition. However, the Dutch representative democracy and the process of electing a coalition PM is very complicated. And it could take months for him to be chosen as the prime minister. Overall, the Dutch elections may serve as an indication of the increasing right-wing sentiments in Western Europe. The far-right has grown throughout much of Europe in the past decade. Giorgia Meloni of Brothers of Italy rode to power last year, the National Rally led by Marine Le Pen came second in the 2022 French presidential election polls, and the Alternative for Germany party is currently polling second. … (Asad Mirza is a Delhi-based senior political and international affairs commentator.) --- URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Myanmar Rebels March to Topple the Military Regime

By Nava Thakuria, New Age Islam 27 November 2023 India’s eastern neighbour has been facing relentless turmoil following the military coup on 1 February 2021 and it lately witnessed a flare-up in violence as many ethnic armed outfits started a massive offensive against the Burmese military junta in the last week of October. By now some parts of Myanmar have gone under the control of pro-democracy & anti-junta rebels, which have vowed to throw away the military dictators from Naypyidaw. The intense fighting continues in the south-east Asian nation and it slowly expands into new localities with densely populated areas. From the States of Shan, Karen, Kayah (formerly Karenni), Mandalay & Sagaing divisions, the battles against the junta forces (popularly known as Tatmadaw) expanded to Rakhine and Chin States. The land of golden pagodas slipped into an intensive conflict soon after the present band of dictators, led by Min Aung Hlaing, staged the coup over a thousand days ago alleging voting fraud and ousted a democratically elected government under the leadership of Nobel peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party National League for Democracy (NLD) recorded a massive victory in the last national elections. The pro-democracy icon was detained and later imprisoned by the military-controlled courts for many years with fictitious cases alleging her involvement in various electoral corruption. By now 2,940 civilians have been killed and over 24,000 have been arrested by the military authorities within 1000 days of the coup, where more than 3,33,500 civilians rendered homeless because of the ongoing gun fighting between junta forces and armed rebel groups. No less than 150 media personnel were also detained by the military council and some 25 are still inside various jails. At least three journalists died of military atrocities in separate incidents. Days back, the Geneva-based global media safety and rights body Press Emblem Campaign expressed serious concern over the imprisonment of working journalists in Myanmar and urged the authorities to ensure fair trials for them. The recent wave of gun fighting broke out on 27 October, when three ethnic minority groups (namely Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Ta'ang National Liberation Army and Arakan Army) coordinated their offensive in the northern Shan locality, which is adjacent to China. Named Operation 1027, the offensive has achieved some successes as Tatmadaw had to lose nearly 200 military camps and nine towns till the third week of November. Lately, the Arakan Army (AA) has launched an offensive in Rakhine State killing many soldiers and even compelling some to surrender with arms & ammunition. Speaking to this writer, Burmese political activist Khin Ohmar informed that the Rakhine State has already descended into a full-blown civil war, where the Myanmar military is shelling innocent people and using airstrikes to displace more people while blocking humanitarian assistance to the people in distress. She also added that the military junta is laying landmines and continuing to use airstrikes on overpopulated villages as a form of collective punishment. But lately, the soldiers have been abandoning their outposts and various strategic points to avoid the hit of AA offensives, added Ohmar. Amazingly, a recent public demonstration attracted the attention of political observers as it chanted slogans against China, which is usually known as a good neighbour and arms supplier to Myanmar. A good number of people assembled in front of the Chinese Embassy in Yangon on 19 November and propagating anti-Beijing statements was an unusual occurrence in the country. The seemingly pro-junta militia groups claimed that Beijing was behind the recent offensive against the military regime and also supporting the People’s Defence Forces (PDF), the armed wing of the National Unity Government. Speculations are now raised that Communist China wants to topple the current batch of Burmese military dictators. The troubles in various western Myanmar localities increased the influx of refugees to northeast India. Many Burmese soldiers also crossed the porous boundary to arrive in Mizoram and were later sent back by the Indian agencies. The government in Aizawl has extended necessary support to the refugees (mostly Chin people as they enjoy ethnic proximity to Mizos). The Chin bordering hilly State now gives shelter to thousands of asylum seekers and many of their children even enrolled names in the government-run schools. Manipur and Nagaland have also witnessed the arrival of over 600 Burmese nationals in the last few days. Meanwhile, New Delhi has directed Indian nationals in Myanmar to register their names with the embassy in Yangon. It also asked the citizens to avoid non-essential travel to the country in view of the evolving security situation there. Earlier India called for cessation of gun fighting between the junta forces and rebel groups near the international border. It maintained the call for the return of peace and stability as well as democracy in the country. The Buddhist-majority country supports a number of north-eastern militants including the Ulfa (independent) chief Paresh Barua, who have been waging a war against New Delhi for separatist homelands. Amazingly, most of the north-eastern militants remain supportive of the Burmese military rulers and hence they are keeping themselves away from the anti-junta armed movement. But their camps are also on the rather of anti-junta groups as it came to public notice that a group of armed Burmese rebels recently raided the camp of United National Liberation Front, a banned outfit from Manipur, somewhere in Tamu locality. They also seized some documents and a large volume of arms and ammunition from the UNLF camp. New Delhi must deal with the junta carefully as it simply cannot ignore the generals if it wants a sustainable solution to insurgency problems in the region. … The writer is a northeast Bharat-based senior media columnist -- URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Munawwar Rana: A poet with sensitivity and sensibility

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 27 November 2023 Aap ko chehre se bhi beemaar hona chahiye Ishq hai toh ishq ka izhaar hona chahiye Munawwar Rana (You must appear unwell/ If you're in love, your countenance must reveal that; as they say in Urdu, Beemaar-e-ishq) Tumhari aankho ki tauheen hai zara socho Tumhara chahne wala sharaab peeta hai (Just think, it's an insult to your limpid and translucent eyes/ That who loves you, drinks from the goblet; and not from your eyes) Chalti-phirti hui aankhon se azaan dekhi hai Maine jannat toh nahin dekhi, ma dekhi hai (I've seen a moving Azaan/ I've not seen heaven but I've seen mother) So jaate hain footpath pe akhbaar bichhakar Mazdoor kabhi neend ki goli nahin khaate (They spread a newspaper and sleep/ Laborers don't take pills for sleep) Munawwar Rana's abovementioned couplets are proof that poetry, written in a simple language, can also appeal to the readers and listeners in a very effective manner. All that a poet needs are clarity of thoughts, correct and taut language and a heightened power of expression. Munawwar is endowed with all these prerequisites; and even more. His fondness for simple Hindi and Avadhi (he was born in UP but spent a considerable period of his life in Calcutta) words and avoidance of difficult Persian and Arabic words got him great popularity among the masses. But that doesn't mean, Rana's poetry is substandard or mediocre. This couplet underlines his poetic depth: Kuchh bikhri hui yaadon ke qisse bhi bahut thay/ Kuchh uss ne bhi baalon ko khula chhod diya tha (There were many stories of scattered memories/ She too let her tresses fall loose). Or this one, " Hum kuchh aise tere deedaar mein kho jaate hain/ Jaise bacche bhare baazaar mein kho jaate hain " (The way a child is lost in the market, I lose myself when I see you). One concurs with Rana when he says, " Nekiyaan gin-ne ki naubat hi nahin aayegi/ Maine jo maa par likha hai, wahi kaafi hoga " (There won't be any need to count my good deeds/ What I wrote on mother will be enough). Rana has given utmost respect and importance to human values and relations. If you want to have a cornucopia of mother's love, read Rana. Mother is the leitmotif of his poetry. In other words, mother is the guiding light in all his writings. He wrote couplets on sisterly love as well: Kisi ke zakhm par chahat se patti kaun baandhega/ Agar bahanein nahin hongi toh raakhi kaun baandhega (Who'll assuage the pain with love and affection/ If there won't be sisters, who'll tie rakhis?). He's a very sensitive poet with compassion. This couplet will prove that, " Farishte aa kar un ke jism par khushboo lagate hain/ Voh bacche rail ke dibbon mein jo jhaadoo lagate hain " (Angels apply scent to the bodies of those street urchins/ Who broom in railway compartments). Though a nice human and a brilliant poet, of late, he has been in the news for all wrong reasons like supporting Talibans and the gruesome killing of a French teacher in October 2020 for showing Muhammad's objectionable sketches in the class. His rigidity as a Muslim is now disturbingly obvious and his recent incendiary statements are unbecoming of a poet of his stature. This saddens all those who've loved him as a poet par excellence. They still love him. By the way, his Urdu ghazals were translated into English by Tapan Kumar Pradhan. I'm afraid, translations are pretty humdrum and don't do justice to the original ghazals in Urdu. … A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. --- URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Subversion of Muslim Reservation in Kerala

By Grace Mubashir, New Age Islam 27 November 2023 Reservation is the right of Aspiring Younger Sections of Muslims. Reservation for differently abled could be accommodated without affecting Muslim reservation. If turns of 26 and 76 replaced with 27 and 77 this injustice could be solved without any problem. Instead of ensuring justice for all communities, the current Kerala government is using the social fault lines for its political demands. Any doctoring of reservation policies in the system will affect an aspiring younger generation. Major points: ----- 1. The notification by the state government giving four percentage special reservation for the differently-abled, dated 31.10.2019 and 1.10.2023 will reduce the reservation allotted for Muslims 2. According to the Narendran Commission of 2001, 7383 more posts were recommended to meet the existing 12 percentage reservation for Muslims in the state 3. Although no caste census was taken after 1931, the Muslim population is widely known. 4. Muslim population in the state is 26.6 percentage according to the 2011 census. 5. Demand is strong from the Muslim community to revise the quota numbers to reflect the Muslim's increasing population in the state. ----- Denial of benefits due to backward Muslims is becoming a running story in Kerala. The State Minority Department, founded on the recommendation of the Rajinder Singh Sachar Committee to study the backwardness of minorities in Kerala, has unscientifically and illogically brought down changes leading to injustice. The benefits of welfare schemes of the State Minority Development Committee have been drastically reduced in recent times. The notification by the state government giving four percentage special reservation for the differently-abled, dated 31.10.2019 and 1.10.2023 will reduce the reservation allotted for Muslims. As per these two rulings reservation for Muslims will be reduced to 16 and 20 percentage of the total allotted reservation. Every year, the Kerala Public Service Commission appoints around 30,000 people, out of which Muslims are eligible for around 3600 appointments. As per the new rule, the turns of 26 and 76 are lost to Muslims, thus effectively losing around 700 posts for Muslims. The 4-percentage quota for the differently abled will be carved out from the existing quota for minorities, not from the General List. This will dent the aspiration of many young Muslims striving for upper social mobility. According to Narendran Commission of 2001, 7383 more posts were recommended to meet the existing 12 percentage reservation for Muslims in the state. In 2008 Paloli Committee adopted this suggestion. This promise was included in the election manifestos of both the Congress-led coalition and the CPI M-led coalition. The left government ruling the state in their second term has not taken any steps to fulfil this poll promise. As per the existing rules, if a list is published for appointment, 12 percentage quotas should be allotted for Muslims. If unfilled, it will be carried over to two immediate years adding to the quota available for that year. If not filled, the quota for a community will be given to other reserved categories. Kerala Public Services Commission has defied this rule by denying carrying-over. Many appoints for Arabic posts and the Waqf Board have been lost due to this policy. This tinkering of Muslim reservation should be read in the background of more than 10,000 posts due to Muslims being frozen as backlogs. As per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 initially 3 percentage was earmarked as the special quota for the differently-abled sections. This later was raised to 4 percentage. As per 3 percentage reservation in the 100-rotation table they were given turns of 1A, 34A, and 67A. when this addition to reservation breached Supreme Court instructed a 50-percentage upper cap for reservation, this was reviewed. It should be remembered as per the 103 Constitutional Amendment Act; this upper cap is not applicable for reservations for backward classes from upper castes. In 2014, as per amended rules, 4 percentage was allotted to the differently-abled sections. This rule was issued by Kerala State Social Justice Department as Article 34 of the act on 31.10.2019. This amended rule effectively further reduces Muslim reservation. 12 percentage quotas were looted to Muslims as per four decades old statics. Although no caste census was taken after 1931, the Muslim population is widely known. The Muslim population in the state is 26.6 percentage according to the 2011 census. Demand is strong from the Muslim community to revise the quota numbers to reflect the Muslims increasing population in the state. In Kerala, 50 percentage has been allotted for all OBC, SC, and ST sections. In all 40 OBC reservations, quotas have been fixed like this: 14 Ezhava, 12 Muslims, 4 Catholics, 3 Vishwakarma, 1 Nadar, 1 Dheevara3 OBC. In the reservation roster of 100, turns of 6, 16, 26, 36, 46, 56, 76, 86,96 have been allocated for Muslims. If turns of 26 and 76 is removed it will practically cause 20 percentage diminishing in the reservation for Muslims. Reservation for differently abled could be accommodated without affecting Muslim reservation. If turns of 26 and 76 replaced with 27 and 77 this injustice could be solved without any problem. Instead of ensuring justice for all communities, the current Kerala government is using the social fault lines for its political demands. Any doctoring of reservation policies in the system will affect an aspiring younger generation. … URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Muslim Women being Seduced Online through ‘Bhagwa Love Trap’: Scanty Evidence, High Publicity

By Syed Ali Mujtaba, New Age Islam 27 November 2023 Hindutva is on Prowl! Some Hindutva groups are taking part in an online plot to seduce Muslim women, which is being called as "Bhagwa Love Trap." Even though the evidence of "Bhagwa Love Trap" is scanty, the publicity it has generated on social media has turned heads and led to real-world violence in India. Videos with the hashtag 'bhagwalovetrap' are posted on social media websites where Muslim women’s personal details are revealed and their photographs standing beside Hindu men are used to allege such interfaith relationships. The accusers have made false allegations about women’s character that were found to be untrue as the pictures were morphed and the personal details were forged but the damage was done. The "Bhagwa Love Trap" theory suggests that some Hindutva elements are trying to seduce Muslim women and lure them away from their communities. The idea is primarily being pushed to frighten the Muslim community and to keep their girls indoors and not come into social spaces. This is a conspiracy being played on the online medium and this narrative is being spread on social media. According to a report the phrase "Bhagwa Love Trap" has been used more than 200,000 times since March this year. A Video of a Muslim girl and Hindu medical students riding a scooter has purportedly been circulated on social media early this May that had led to communal unrest in Madhya Pradesh. As a result of such similar videos more than 15 confrontations from across India have taken place that follow a similar pattern. The "Bhagwa Love Trap" theory has mostly been championed on social media, often by anonymous accounts. Videos alleging the theory is real, featuring these and other incidents, have been viewed more than 10 million times on YouTube, Instagram, and X, accompanied by the hashtag #BhagwaLoveTrap. According to Shoaib Jamai, a media influencer, ‘Hindu youths are being "brainwashed" by the "Hindutva brigade, to lure Muslim women into love traps.” Mr Jamai bases his comments seeing the videos circulating online, that show Hindutva leaders actively encouraging Hindu men to pursue Muslims. He quotes Yogi Adityanath’s words at a political rally in 2007, where the UP CM says; If Muslims "take one Hindu girl,""we should take a hundred Muslim girls". It is in recent memory that an open-source app on the Microsoft-owned Github platform called “Bulli Bai” – a derogatory term to describe Muslim women. The app had made a sensation as it had put more than 100 Muslim women ‘on sale’ for a virtual 'auction.' Several Indian Muslim journalists were targeted by the app, including Ismat Ara who filed a police complaint and then shared on social media that said the app was “designed to insult Muslim women”. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders described the app as “absolutely chilling” and urged Indian authorities to take action. The makers of the “Bulli Bai” app after being arrested had confessed that their actions were based on the behest of Hindu right-wing people whom they had acquainted on social media platforms. A similar app, named ‘Sulli Deals’, also on GitHub, had put nearly 80 Muslim women “for sale” but no arrests were made in this case. -- Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at ----- URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Friday, November 24, 2023

Israel-Hamas Uneasy Truce Delayed by A Day

Netanyahu seems to be under pressure from his Zionist-terrorist ministers. 1. The truce will come into effect by Friday. 2. 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians will be released in four phases. 3. Israel minister Ben Gvir insists that war should be renewed after the temporary truce. 4. Ben Gvir is a convicted Jewish terrorist of the West Bank. 5. Another minister of the Netanyahu government Smotrich was declared a Jewish terrorist by Shin Bet, Israel's security agency. By New Age Islam Staff Writer 24 November 2023 The four-day temporary truce between Israel and Hamas that was to start on Thursday 23 November has been delayed by a day and will be effective since November 24. According to a minister in the Israeli government, some formalities still needed to be completed before the release of hostages. It seems that Hamas have been putting conditions before Netanyahu that are difficult for him to accept but he has been compelled to accept them because of the pressure at home for securing the release of the 240 Israelis held hostage by Hamas since October 7. Netanyahu has reluctantly agreed to release 150 Palestinians for only 50 Israelis abducted by Hamas on October 7. This is being interpreted by a section of the international media as a victory for Hamas and a defeat for Netanyahu. But the truce is not a permanent one but a temporary truce and so does not mean much for the besieged Palestinians who have been attacked incessantly by the IDF. 77 per cent of Gazans have been rendered homeless due to the large-scale destruction of residential buildings. 13500 Gazans have been killed by the bombing out of which 5500 are children and 3500 are women. 30 thousand are injured out of which 75 percent are women. According to the conditions agreed upon in the truce, medicine, food and fuel will also be allowed in Gaza. Therefore, the temporary truce will bring some relief to the people of Gaza before they are pounded by Israeli forces again. Israel has put more than 6000 Palestinians from the West Bank in jails, out of which only 150 will be released. After this phase of truce, another truce will take place for the release of the rest of Israelis in Hamas captivity. After every truce, the Israeli forces will bombard the remaining parts of Gaza and by the time all the Israeli hostages are released by Hamas, the entire Gaza will be turned into rubble. This should be noted that Israel has agreed to the truce after destroying half of Gaza and its infrastructure. Therefore, it will agree on another truce after it destroys 75 per cent of Gaza and kills another 15000 thousand people. Another important point should be kept in mind that through the released hostages, Israel will try to get information about Hamas hideouts and intensify its operations. Therefore, the temporary truce will only benefit Israel. The release of 150 hostages by Israel does not mean much for Israel as Israeli soldiers pick up Palestinian boys and men from the West Bank regularly. They put minor boys in jail merely for pelting stones at them and torture them in jails. Therefore, after releasing 150 or even 500 Palestinians and securing the release of 240 hostages, the Israeli forces will arrest another 1000 from the West Bank. This kind of hostage exchange is not a permanent and viable solution as long as Israeli soldiers and illegal settlers have an upper hand in the West Bank. The Jewish fascist leaders in the Netanyahu government are behind the heightened conflict between Israel and Gaza. Netanyahu formed his 7-party coalition government in December 2022. His government depends on the far-right parties led by Zionist fascist leaders. Two of them are declared terrorists by Israel's court and Shin Bet. Bezalel Smotrich has been declared a Jewish terrorist' by Israel's security agency, Shin Bet for planning terrorist attacks in the West Bank in 2005. Ben Gvir, another minister in the Netanyahu government was convicted for supporting a designated terrorist organisation of Israel, Kach. Kach espouses kahanism which believes that all Arabs in Israel are the enemies of Jews and Israel. It also advocates that Arab Muslims should be stripped of voting and political rights in Israel. Ben Gvir's party Otzma Yehudit espouses Kahanism and Jewish fascism. Under the pressure of these Zionist and fascist parties in his coalition, Netanyahu has had to formulate the policies of his government and set its priorities. Among its policies and priorities are annexation of West Bank to Israel, expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, reforming the judiciary, halting the nuclear programme of Iran and setting up separate police for the Muslims of Israel. The separate police for the Arab Muslims and minorities of Israel will be called the National Guard. The civil society has opposed these undemocratic and fascist policies of the Netanyahu government. These programmes have caused differences in the Netanyahu government. Defense Minister Yoah Gallant opposed judicial reforms inviting Netanyahu's ire. Due to the opposition of his coalition partners, Netanyahu has rejected ceasefire resolutions of the UN and the OIC and the demands of civil society of the world. The Palestinians of the West Bank have faced intensified incursion by Israeli forces and settlers. Under the policy of the Netanyahu government, the illegal settlers of the West Bank are being distributed sophisticated weapons by the IDF. The attack on Gaza was also meant to drag Iran into the war so that Israel and the US could launch an attack on Iran. Iran understands this game and, therefore, has been fighting a proxy war behind Hezbollah. Therefore, Hamas' 7 October attacks proved a God-sent opportunity for Netanyahu's government. Under the pretext of finishing Hamas, it destroyed Gaza and killed civilians, mostly children. His government cut off electricity, water and fuel supply to the besieged population. It attacked the Palestinians in the West Bank and killed more than 170 people. The attacks still continue and Palestinians are being picked up by Israeli soldiers. Under these circumstances, any temporary truce will not have far-reaching consequences. It will only benefit Netanyahu's government. The world community, especially the Arab and Islamic countries should work for a permanent ceasefire and solution. The Islamic countries have consulted China and requested Xi to intervene for a permanent ceasefire but much cannot be expected from China as China's foreign policy does not allow it for India's, Sri Lanka or Maldives-like military adventure. China remained neutral even during the Russia-Ukraine war. Russia also does not want to get directly involved in the Israel-Hamas war though when its economic and military interests are under threat, it does not hesitate to fire the shots. Russia hit a US military base in Syria when the US and Israel attacked Syria but has remained neutral on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Therefore, the Arab and Islamic countries will have to take the lead themselves in diplomatic, economic and even military action against Israel if they really want to save Palestine and to save themselves in the long run. ----------- URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Re-examination of Blood-Money Law Prevailing in Muslim Jurisprudential Texts

By V.A. Mohamad Ashrof, New Age Islam 24 November,2023 There are wide-ranging jurisprudential derivations prevailing over the amount of ‘Diya’ (Blood-money) of females. There is no consensus of opinion amongst Hanafi, Maliki, Hanbali and Shaafi related to Diya. The paper argues that the blood-money of a female fixed as half that of a male was merely based on the social context of the era, as the economic loss was greater if the breadwinner of the family was killed. This social condition has changed now. Based on the Maqasid Shariah approach Mohammad Hashim Kamali (Professor of Islamic law and jurisprudence at the International Islamic University Malaysia) and Yusuf al-Qaradawi (former chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars), the paper probes into the reasons why gender inequality over Diya which prevails in the Muslim world has to be changed. The arguments of Mohammad Hashim Kamali and Yusuf al-Qaradawi on the concept of Diya are examined in the paper. This paper further seeks to illustrate specifically the ways in which traditional Islamic jurists have interpreted and formulated rights based on cultural definitions of "man" and "woman" and their influence in Islamic fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and also why this has to be revised based on Islamic theory of justice. What is Blood Money? Blood money (‘Diya’) is intended as compensation for the unintentional damage caused to the victim’s family; it is confined to the cases of killing by mistake in which premeditation of murder has absolutely no room. ‘Diya’ is basically compensation for the financial harm caused to the family of the victim. And since the accidental killer is the one who caused the family harm, he or she is to pay them that compensation even though he or she had not intended to kill the victim. The Qur'an specifies the principle of Qisas (i.e. retaliation) and compensation (diyah) in cases where one believer kills another believer: It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake. He who hath killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave and pay the diyah to the family of the slain unless they remit it as a charity. If he (the victim) be of a people hostile unto you and he is a believer, then (the penance is) to set free a believing slave. And if he cometh of a folk between whom and you there is a covenant then the diyah must be paid unto his folk and (also) a believing slave must be set free. And whoso hath not the wherewithal must fast two consecutive months. A penance from Allah. Allah is Knower Wise (Q. 4:92). We find that the Qur'anic statement is general and does not privilege man with any special status. As a general rule, blood money is payable by the criminal himself or his legal heirs in the category of agnates (ʿāqilah). Equality of the Sexes: There cannot be any ontological difference between males and females as both are carriers of the spirit from God (Qur'an 32:9, 15:29, 38:72, 21:91). Umm Salama, a wife of the Prophet, asks why men are mentioned in the Qur'ān when women are not. God’s response (Q.33:35) enumerates the virtues expected of both men and women as if to explain that human perfection is no different between the sexes. Men are specifically and predominantly addressed mainly because they are perpetrators of injustices against women. Women need to look no further than the Qur'an’s counsels of perfection to see that their perfection is no different from that of males. According to the Qur'an if a human is unjust to others, he or she is unjust to himself because humanity is like one single individual self (Q.17:70). That is also why if one murders a man it is as if he has murdered the entire humanity (Q.5:32). Prophet Muhammad taught: ‘All people are equal as equal as the tooth of a comb. There is no claim of merit of an Arab over a non-Arab or a white over a black person or a male over a female. Only God-fearing people merit a preference with God.’ (Bukhari). “O people O your Lord is one your ancestor is one O there is no preference to an Arab over a non-Arab or a non-Arab over an Arab or a red-skinned over a black-skinned or a black-skinned over a red-skinned except by the level of piety.” (Narrated by Ahmed 411/5). This oft-quoted hadith is considered a definitive statement of the ideology of equality espoused in the Qur’an and thus in Islam. It is an important instruction to humankind to treat fellow human beings with dignity and respect without discrimination or prejudice based on any ground. The only distinction that can be made between human beings is a distinction based on their fear of God which is mentioned in Q.49:13. The Qur’an proclaims: “Therein We decreed for them a life for a life an eye for an eye a nose for a nose an ear for an ear a tooth for a tooth and a wound for a wound” (Q.5:45). God - the Just the Merciful and the Wise - has ordained and enforced the principles of equality among all people making no distinction between males and females under the law. As per the verse a man is sentenced to death if he kills a woman and other wits are treated in the same manner. Since blood money comes as compensation in the case of killing by mistake, the sex should not determine the size of the blood money. Some scholars do not accept the usage of this verse as a justification for equality in punishment and blood money based on the argument that this story was initially narrated on the Sons of Israel in the Torah and that it does not relate to Muslims. However, this argument is not well founded since whatever was ordained on previous generations was ordained on us unless otherwise indicated in the Qur’an and the Sunnah for or against it. Insofar as a person is killed in a premeditated manner, the family of the person killed can call for the killing of the guilty individual. However, only the nearest male relative is allowed to make this request and no other person. Along with this, there is the principle of equity: a woman for a woman, a slave for a slave. “O’ you who believe! retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain, the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female” (Q. 2:178). If this equity cannot be produced, then no retaliation may be exercised. The view that says that the blood money of a woman is less than that of a man is tantamount to saying that her life is less important than that of a man. Therefore, this view is contradictory to the Islamic jurisprudence by default and the idea does not have any supporting evidence and even the Ahadith that were mentioned in support of this argument were verified and identified by a number of Hadith jurists as weak in authenticity. In Islam, no person has preference over another except by the criteria of the levels of faith, piety and good deeds. The Scripture says: “O people! We have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. The noblest of you in God’s sight is the most pious amongst you” (Q.49:13). “Claim not purity unto yourselves He knows best those who guard themselves against evil” (Q.53:32). “Whoever kills a believer by design shall burn in the Hellfire forever. He shall incur the wrath of God who will lay His curse on him and prepare for him a mighty scourge” (Q.4:93). “It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer by accident excepted” (Q.4:92). “Do not kill yourselves God is merciful upon you” (Q.4:29). There is not a single verse in the Qur’an that grants men a degree over women in either mind or religion: ‘If anyone does deeds of righteousness be the male for female and have faith they will enter Heaven and not the least injustice will be done to them’ (4:124). While the Qur’an is replete with commandments that man and woman are equal in God’s eyes it is prudent to reflect on the following verse: 'The true believers’ men and women are friends to each other. They enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil' (9:71). Patriarchal Interpretation: Throughout the world, women still suffer discrimination and oppression for no reason other than their gender. This is because of patriarchy, a social system in which positions of dominance and privilege are primarily held by men. We have to realize that the condition of women in the Muslim world is not much different. When a nation deprives women, who make up at least 50% of the population of equal opportunity to reach their full potential that nation’s social and economic development is curtailed. The Qur’anic verses are strongly critical of women’s low status in pre-Islamic Arabia and bring substantial reforms in the ways in which women were viewed and treated in pre-Islamic Arabia. For instance, the practice of female infanticide is condemned; aspects of marriage divorce and inheritance practices are reformed to give women a greater say and autonomy (Q.16:58–9). The Qur’an guarantees women their right to work and earn. Medieval jurists agreed that Muslim women had an independent financial standing. They noted that the marriage contract was not of service but of companionship. They argued that it was the husband's duty to obtain prepared food for his wife if she did not volunteer to cook. Furthermore, the Muslim woman kept her own name after marriage and was not required to do housework. The Qur’an itself defines marital relations as one of tranquillity, affection and mercy (Q.30:21). It encourages Muslim couples to live together in kindness or separate charitably (Q.2:187, 2:229). Besides the spiritual equality of both man and woman, the Qur'an also holds both equally responsible for the transgression of the laws of the Islamic jurisprudence i.e.; the boundaries set by God (Q.5:41, 24:2). As equal independent creations of God the ultimate role of men and women is to serve as vicegerents on earth to worship God and follow His commands so that we may return to Him. Both men and women share this responsibility which constitutes our basic role in life. The Qur’an outlines the attributes believing men and women should try to live by but in no specific way are we told in what capacity each individual man and woman should practice these: “Say: Behold my prayer and all my acts of worship and my living and my dying are for God alone” (Q. 6:163). This verse which was addressed to the Prophet but serves as an inspiration to all reveals that our vicegerency is not only spiritual but must be consolidated with actual service. The Qur’an does not distinguish between a man and a woman's vicegerency (Q.2:30, 2:38). Each gender has the ability to contribute to successive generations as implied by the term Caliph in the Qur’an (vicegerent). But that doesn’t limit a woman's vicegerency solely to bear or rear children. Her potential for financial earning is also recognized by the Divine Writ (Q.4:32). Fiqh Reading and Its Inadequacy: In the case of blood money, there is not any single hadith which discriminates against genders in the entire corpus of six authentic collections of hadith literature (al-Sihah al-Sittah). Despite this bare fact, see how a conservative scholar defends gender discrimination in blood-money. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sheha, a Saudi conservative scholar, claims thus: Islam stipulates that the blood money to be paid for a woman's death is half of that which is paid for a man when she is killed by accident, rather than a capital crime.1 Al-Sheha deliberately ignores the fact that there is no difference had the victim been a minor and he simply assumes that such discrimination is the absolute verdict of Islam. Based on weak evidence he argues that being breadwinners it is legitimate to allow a double share of the female to the relatives of the male victim ignoring the cases where female partners are breadwinners. According to the contemporary concept of the fiqh, despite declarations of the equality of the sexes before God women are considered inferior to men and have fewer rights and greater responsibilities. Although it is mistakenly argued Islam has played a strong role in restricting the freedom of women in Muslim societies these restrictions are not inherent in the religion of Islam but rather stem from cultural interpretations. Pre-Islamic tribal law and the cultural constructs internalized by the early Muslim communities discriminated against women and influenced the Sunnah of the early Muslims and the exercise of ‘Ijtihad’. Women’s status in Islam is the product of biased interpretation and selective acknowledgement of textual sources from which rights have been derived. Unjust laws discriminatory constitutions and biased mentalities that do not recognize women as equal citizens violate women’s rights. There is no divine sanctity for such a detailed approach. Take the recent example of the prohibition of driving prevailed in Saudi Arabia. Until 2018, women could not drive cars in Saudi Arabia. A ban on female drivers was lifted by the Saudi government in 2018, opening the door to driving a car. If an authoritative ruling from Saudi Arabia states that women cannot drive because it would increase possible, contact to freely mix with men which can lead to sins this logic must be judged against Islam and history. It is a fact that the Qur’an emphasizes modesty for both men and women in order so that we conduct ourselves respectfully (Q.24:30-31). It is also a fact that men and women in the time of the Prophet did interact (Q.60:12) so the justification of this law on Islam is bogus. It is unduly harsh and anti-Islamic. Orthodox and conservative Muslim scholars claim that the texts by the great theologians and jurists of centuries past have perfected the understanding of Islam and the doors of ‘Ijtihad’ should therefore remain closed. As Sachedina notes: ‘It is remarkable that even when women transmitters of hadith were admitted in the ’ilm al-rijal’ (“Science dealing with the scrutiny of the reports”) and even when their narratives were recognized as valid documentation for deducing various rulings they were not participants in the intellectual process that produced the prejudicial rulings encroaching upon the personal status of women. More importantly, the revelatory text regardless of its being extracted from the Qur’an or the Sunnah was casuistically extrapolated in order to disprove a woman’s intellectual and emotional capacities to formulate independent decisions that would have been sensitive and more accurate in estimating her radically different life experience.’ 2 Islamic scholar Leila Ahmed explains that "had the ethical voice of Islam been heard I here suggest it would have significantly tempered the extreme androcentric bias of the law and we might today have a far more humane and egalitarian law regarding women." 3 In the modern era, Blood Money (diyah) plays a role in the legal system of Iran Pakistan Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In Iran and Pakistan, the diyah is the same for Muslims and non-Muslims. 4 However, this is not the case in Saudi Arabia where there is faith-based discrimination still prevailing. It is prescribed by the traffic regulations of Saudi Arabia that someone who knocks down and kills a person in a traffic accident shall be liable to pay diyah to his legal heirs and in addition be liable to imprisonment. The blood money payable for a woman’s accidental death is half as much as that of a male. 5 Arguments of Kamali and Qaradawi in Support of Gender Equality in Blood Money: Mohammad Hashim Kamali is the Founding Chairman and CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He served as the Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC, 2004–2006). Kamali argues: ‘Muslims should also find their own realistic solutions and should not allow the real challenges to get entangled in the heated exchanges of secularist, religious and ultra-conservative debates. To correct the imbalances of history naturally takes time and reflection on the newly emerging issues. Gender equality and justice are undoubtedly long-term engagements. Windows of opportunity present themselves from time to time and prudent government leaders should be alert to utilizing them for society’s benefit. Juridical issues of concern to Shari‘ah should also be addressed, as far as possible, through imaginative ijtihad that is informed by the broader guidelines of the Qur’an and Sunnah on human dignity, equality and justice. We say this because scholastic Islamic jurisprudence on women’s rights has been influenced by medieval social values that also found their way into Qur’an hermeneutics and juristic interpretations of the schools of Islamic law. To say, for example, that the diyah (blood money for manslaughter) for a woman is half that of a man simply overturns the broader Qur’anic principles on the sanctity of life, on just retaliation (qisas), and its unqualified and gender-blind proclamation on human dignity.’ 6 The Qur’an draws no distinction between one life and another even if one is that of an infant and the other an adult in his prime a great scholar and a commoner a man and a woman — all are equally subject to the laws of qiṣaṣ and diyah. The diyah provision appears in a long verse of the Qur’an in reference to an unintentional killing that shall be compensated by the freeing of a slave and payment of blood money to the family of the deceased. If the killer is unable to pay his expiation shall be fasting for two consecutive months (Q.4:92). There is no distinction anywhere in this passage which is the principal verse on diyah between man or woman Muslim or non-Muslim. Let me quote Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (1926-2022), the eminent Islamic scholar, in this context: ‘There is neither a single well-authenticated statement by the Prophet Muhammad nor any consensus of religious authorities (‘Ijma’) to establish that the blood money paid for the killing of a woman is half the sum paid for the killing of a man. There are two Ahadith which are not perfectly authenticated that address the question. The best one in terms of authentication is that narrated by Al-Nisai and Al-Daraqatni which still suffers a time gap in the chain of transmitters up to the Prophet as was pointed out by. Statements related to the Companions suffer in the same manner. What remains then is the only well-authenticated tradition on the subject "For a soul a hundred camels." “The general agreement of authorities that the value of the blood money paid for the killing of a woman is half that for the killing of a man falls short of a consensus. Ibn `UIayya and Al-Asam, two scholars from the high order of jurisprudence (fuquh’ as-salaf) make the value of the blood money the same for both men and women. This opinion is in agreement with the generality of reference to "believer" and `soul" in the Qur'an and the Hadith. If we opt for this opinion today, we are not to blame since in addition to the previous reason the legal opinion (‘fatwa’) could change with age and environment but the new legal opinion is neither in conflict with the relevant textual statements nor with the general objectives of Islamic Teachings. Under the subtitle, "Blood Money the Same for Men and Women " Sheikh Shaltut writes: ‘Woman's humanity stemming from the same origin as that of the man her blood is the same as his he being from her and she from him and equal retaliation in kind being the rule common to both cases of homicide and hell and damnation being the other worldly punishment for the killing of either man or woman so the rule of the verse applies to the accidental homicide of either a man or a woman’”. “It is true that the scholars have differed over the amount of blood money whether it is the same or double in the man's case. Al-Razi tells us in his ‘Tafsr al-Kabir’ that the majority of jurisprudents double the sum in cases of male homicide. He adds that Al-Asam and Ibn `Ulayya make the sum paid the same. The majority cite the ruling of the Companions `Ali `Umar and Ibn Mas'ud ruling on this matter as well as the rules of inheritance and legal testimony in which the woman's inheritance and testimony equals only half those of the man. Al-Asam however cites the verse: ‘and whosoever kills a believer by mistake’ (4:92). All agree this verse addresses both men and women; therefore, the ruling on the sum paid is the same. They cite as evidence for this the following hadith: Mu`adh ibn Jabal reported that God’s Messenger said: “The woman’s blood money is half the man’s.” Researchers of the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah would conclude rather naturally that women’s blood money in Islamic Shari’ah is equated to that of men and that there is no solid evidence that proves otherwise. Syed Qutb wrote in his ‘Fi Zilal Al-Qur’an’ (In the Shades of the Qur’an): “The first thing that was ascribed by the Islamic Shari’ah in the capital punishment is equality of blood and in all other punishments. This great principle of Islam is the first true and universal declaration of human rights in which all people are equal before the law.” 7 Reform in Diyah Law is Urgent: The Qur’an describes the mandate of monotheist prophets as inspiring humankind to rise up and establish ‘Qist’ the ultimate stage of social freedom, justice and unity. The Qur’an says: " We sent Our messengers with clear signs, the Scripture and the Balance, so that people could uphold justice" (Q.57:25). The implementation and enforcement of laws based squarely upon the notion of gender equality is one of the principal means by which the widespread discrimination suffered by women in the name of Islam could be eliminated. The absence of such laws in the Muslim world is a damning indictment of the failure of many states to live up to the true ideals of Islam. If Islam is to be dragged into an interpretation which is precisely in conflict with the welfare of mankind or even oppresses the human race, then that kind of Islam will have become a fossil religion that is no longer useful to humanity. Because Islamic law should be an embodiment of Divine Justice (Q.5:8, 4:135). Islamic jurisprudence which represents the moral and ethical values of Islam from which Islamic law can be distilled is aimed at establishing a just society. Diya is quantified at a standard amount by Islamic jurisprudence that does not vary by reference to the offender’s personality and status but does vary by reference to the type of crime and injury inflicted. That is why the diyah of a child, an adult, the rich or the poor are all the same and so is the diyah of man and woman or Muslim and non-Muslim according to contemporary ijtihād. References: 1. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sheha, Women in Islam & Refutation of some Common Misconceptions, Translated by: Abu Salman Deya ud-Deen Eberle, Islam Land: Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia: Islamic Education Center, 2000, p.113 2. Abdulaziz Sachedina, Woman Half the Man? Crisis in Male Epistemology in Islamic Jurisprudence. In ‘Perspectives on Islamic Law Justice and Society’ (Ed. R. S. Khare) Rowman & Little World: New York, 1999, p.149 3. Laila Ahmed, Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992, p.88 4. Richard J. Terrill, World Criminal Justice Systems: A Comparative Survey, NY: Routledge, 2012, p.559 5. Aharon Layish, “Saudi Arabia Legal Reform as a Mechanism to Moderate Wahhabi Doctrine,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 1987, p.282 6. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Shariah Law: An Introduction, Oxford: One World, 2011, p.275 7. Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, ‘The Status of Women in Islam’ ( (Paper presented at the International Colloquium on Reform the Methodology of Islah held on 2023 November 18, 19 at Kozhicode, Powered by: Academy for Islamic Studies and Research under ISM Kerala, CIG Building, Kozhicode). ---- URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism