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#586 [Permalink] Posted on 19th April 2017 14:05
Sean Cooper's Diagnosis

His diagnosis in the motivational sector is perfectly valid for us Muslims in the world dynamics.

(I intend to add comments on each point later, Lord Most high willing.)

1. Compare themselves to others

2. Judge themselves

3. Dwell on the past

4. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for themselves

5. Passively Wait Life To Improve

6. Shy Away From Change

7. Avoid (Calculated) Risks

8. View Failure As The End Of The World

9. Live By Other People's Standards

10. Give Away Power

11. Try To Please Everyone

12. Avoid Rejection

13. Demand Perfection Of Themselves
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#587 [Permalink] Posted on 6th May 2017 06:51
A facebook Conversation with Brother Abdullah Bin Mubarak


(We talking about Muslims not being interested in solving the worldly problems that we are facing as an Ummah.)

Abdullah Bin Mubarak : Most are just concerned with themselves that's why they are not concerned, secondly a lot already suffer from a defeatist mentality. Forums are the wrong platform in my opinion, especially given the fact that hardly anyone uses them these days. Your better off with a few like minded inviduals to discuss these things and take action, otherwise it just remains mere coffee talk.

Maripat Abu Adil: I do remember your view and I keep it in my mind all the time. (He had suggested earlier that forums are now useless for any meaningful work). The problem is that in spite of trying I have not been able to find these like minded brothers. Neither the Maulwi class is interested in these issues not the modern educated Muslims. Hence thirty odd brothers and sisters that generate view counter readings on my posts at MS is all that I have. My only consolation, therefore, is that Hazrat Ibrahim AS too gave his first Azaan in a lonely and desolate place.


Abdullah Bin Mubarak : I think a big concern is when theory just remains theory, how many more pages and pages of a thread do we need to fill without taking action at all, action is crucial otherwise it'll just remain a theory and get buried amongst the pages and still nothing achieved.

Maripat Abu Adil : Good question again ya akhi. My Barelwi friend and politician Saleem Peerzada Er puts it little bluntly - I am not interested in intellectual masterbation, he says. Yet I have to plod for some more time. I knew we have problems of Ummah and I felt that academics will have something to say about it and that is what I started exploring. On the practical, pragmatic, on the ground, in the action field what should be done and how can it be done that is all that is there on my mind at the moment. There is a reason behind that. We are living in bad times of Ummah. Perhaps the worst times. In these times any wrong step will go against us and that is what has been happening. I can give you very robust examples. I am also getting the feeling that my role is limited to theoretical and academic side only. I find no abilities and capabilities, let alone the talent for practical action. Honestly speaking this academic exercise itself has completely consumed and exhausted me. Finally it feels wonderful to communicate it!

Maripat Abu Adil : By the way only yesterday night I got the feeling that I am finally reaching the end of the tunnel in this pursuit of academic approach to the question of revival of Ummah and solution of the problems we are facing globally and locally. I have sort of started feeling some relaxation.
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#588 [Permalink] Posted on 6th May 2017 07:25
Maripat wrote:
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Thankfully I am getting back to this topic. (Unfortunately there is list of a score of other issues that is waiting my urgent attention in other threads.)

Sean Cooper's Diagnosis

His diagnosis in the motivational sector is perfectly valid for us Muslims in the world dynamics.

(I intend to add comments on each point later, Lord Most high willing.)


Preamble: The list that we are taking up again is about confidence in personal life. The list has been prepared by a non-Muslim and it is about individuals. here I shall attempt to generalize to Muslims in general as an Ummah and try to develop a Muslim point of view on the same issue.

The issue is of confidence or rather lack of it amongst Muslims as a world community. What is wrong with us and how we can improve the ground situation, the situation that is unarguably pathetic.
Quote:

1. Compare themselves to others

It is true that we Muslims compare ourselves with others and then we find ourselves wanting. We conclude that we are inferior and hence completely useless and we are worthless and we are of no consequence.

The strange thing is that most of these doubts and Satanic whisperings are baseless. When these objections and doubts about Islam and Muslims do have actual weight then in those cses the weight is really zero.

For example Islam did not keep its momentum in science and hence in technology and hence in military and hence we lost in a big way to the west. There is weight in this argument but the weight is really zero.

We do lack in science and technology but that is easy to compensate for if we only gave it a try. Just think of the oil resources of the Ummah and take off from there.

Quote:

2. Judge themselves

This too is true. We Muslims keep judgeing ourselves and we judge ourselves unfavourably. That is self defeating and it contributes to lack of confidence and hence courage and that in turn becomes cowardice and timidity.

Quote:
3. Dwell on the past


Dwelling on the past can be very debilitating for an individual but it can also be used for the better both in individual as well as community level. Glory of the past of the Ummah can be a wonderful motivating force and we Muslims must try the tap its potential to the full.

Quote:

4. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for themselves

This again is a debilitating factor for individuals and unfortunately we are indulging in the same at the group level - the Ummah herself. The world has been made for us we must take charge, if not of the world then of ourselves as an Ummah.


Quote:

5. Passively Wait Life To Improve

This is amongst the densest problems of Ummah. We wait for Allah SWT to do the needful - as if this world is Allah SWT's test and not a test for us. May Allah SWT forgive me for saying this.

Nothing happens without doing and we better start solving our problems. We msut make a beginning somewhere in a small manner and build upon that. We have been passively waiting for things to happen for a long time. This must come to an end we must become an active Ummah.

Quote:
6. Shy Away From Change

We do shy away from change and by now we are petrified of it. We got to change that. We have to take initiative to face the change and hence the world.


Quote:
7. Avoid (Calculated) Risks

This too is true about us an as Ummah - we simply are not enterprizing.
We got to give up our comfort, laziness and inaction.
Quote:

8. View Failure As The End Of The World

There have been many notable failures in the life of Ummah in recent times, unfortunately that time extends into five centuries. And we have taken those failures as the end of the world. The result is that the world keeps encroahing upon our life space constantly.

Quote:
9. Live By Other People's Standards

How completely and utterly this is true!
We think of the west at the standard and in that act we simply give all of our power to them.

Quote:
10. Give Away Power

Yup!
UN should decide about Palestine.
Not OIC.
USA should decide about the action to be taken against terrorism - not Muslims who have been defamed by that curse.

The western countries should take the Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Every such action begins by giving away our own power.
We become the losers.

Quote:
11. Try To Please Everyone

This is mainly relevant for individuals but we face this problem at the Ummah level too.
We are trying to please the west in general and the US in particular and we can see the consequences at many levels - psychologican, economic and social.

Quote:
12. Avoid Rejection

So what if the west does not like our values?
Try to stand on your own feet.
Quote:
13. Demand Perfection Of Themselves

This is another self-defeating psychological trap for us.
We think that the world will not respect us till we are perfect or at least like them.
Why we simply do not allow the world to fetch oil - as the Indian phrase goes?

My personal request to brothers and sisters is that they should all develop exercises and strategies along these lines and otherwise to bring Ummah out of this state of lack of confidence and courage.
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#589 [Permalink] Posted on 7th May 2017 14:59
Confidence of Muslims


Confidence and assertive mood of Ummah depends upon the confidence of individual Muslims and their own assertion.
In this context following things can be kept in mind.

(1) We Muslims do not need the approval of the West about our faith, beliefs and actions.

(2) We Muslims do not need the approval of the Christians about our faith, beliefs and actions.

(3) We Muslims do not need the approval of the Jewish people about our faith, beliefs and actions.

(4) We Muslims do not need the approval of the Hindus about our faith, beliefs and actions.

(5) We Muslims do not need the approval of the Marxists/Leftists/Communists about our faith, beliefs and actions.

(6) We Muslims do not need the approval of the LibDems (Liberal Democrats) about our faith, beliefs and actions.

Then comes the other consideration. As they say - discretion is the better part of valour.
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#590 [Permalink] Posted on 8th May 2017 17:14
Another article that I had tagged for days but did not get time to comment upon.

I mostly do not agree with Kafila postings but this one is not an opinion but an attitude that I like.

The Unapologetic Indian Muslim: Sabiha Farhat


These are tough times for muslims in India. But now that I look back and shed my ‘liberal’ prejudices – muslims were never acceptable as ‘who they were’ in Indian society. I had always blamed my mother for not giving me proper lunch box to carry to school. But the truth is that even in class 5, no student ate from my tiffin and gradually I started going to the play field in recess rather than enjoying a meal under the big Peepal tree. After that I took tiffin only when I prepared it myself, that was class 11 & 12. But even then the girls would hardly eat from my lunch box. We did sit together but no one touched my food. Was I the Untouchable?

The deeper I dig into my childhood the more I find such instances. Our neighbours often commended my mother on keeping the house ‘so clean despite being a Muslim’. Now I remember how much effort went into scrubbing the floors. My mother scrubbed them in the morning and she made me, her eldest child, scrub them in the evening. None of my girlfriends nor their mothers cleaned their floors in evening, cleaning was a morning chore except in our house. Now I know why – it was all an effort to prove that we were just as clean as any of the Hindu families around us. We were always trying to please our Hindu neighbours but they kept on demanding more and more. The entire effort went to waste when our neighbours visited but refused to recognize a ‘clean muslim home’. All they would say was, “but you are not like Muslims”. Imagine, they were ‘seeing’ our house every day but they refused to accept it as ‘reality’, they continued to believe in the stereotype of a ‘dirty muslim household’. The reality, the truth that they “saw” would just not register over their belief! Why? Because they wanted to believe in their “narrative” of supremacy.

When I was in class 6 or 7, that famous India-Pakistan cricket match happened, in which Javed Miandad hit a six on the last ball. There we were, glued to the television waiting to applaud for India and in my heart, for my secret crush – Ravi Shastri too. But Javed Miandad spoiled it all for us, I remember my brother cried when we lost that match. The next day in school when everyone was discussing cricket, I was shut up by simply being told – “oh, you must have celebrated yesterday, after all, your side won.” I was stunned into silence. Everyone had presumed that ‘my’ side was the ‘Pakistani side’. Where did all this come from? From my class mates who were my age, 12 or 13, with similar middle class backgrounds or were they mouthing their parents’ presumptions? I had forgotten these incidents and moved on but now, the aggressive Hindu has forced me to look back – I realise how desperately I had wanted to ‘belong’ to my friends but I was denied entry into the club that somehow had more claim to India and Indian-ness than me. The message that I took home that day was – ‘I was different so I did not belong’. This is the same ‘difference’ which a Dalit, a Scheduled caste or any person from a minority community feels. As a person of minority, one has to struggle to be recognized as ‘equal citizens’ of India. This recognition has been particularly denied to Muslims in India. The message is not just that we do not ‘belong’, we are also assumed to be ‘traitors and allies of Pakistan’ thus making us ‘unpatriotic’. One is alienated from the mainstream, her self-worth as an ‘individual’ is denied, it instills in the minority the order of second grade citizenship. All this happens at a very early age, an impressionable age. It made me more vulnerable and was perhaps my first experience of being told about my second grade status in my own country, a country, which the school text book reminds us is the biggest democracy in the world. I was alienated in a shared space – ‘my’ school. I was assumed to be ‘unpatriotic’ at the age of 12 or 13.

And so I did the next best thing, I tried to merge and be like everyone else. I started rebelling from my own religious background. I studied translations of quran and found flaws with respect to women’s status in it, slowly I developed a “sort of” feminist narrative on Islam. In it, I found elements of Patriarchy, Misogyny, Gender Inequality and all other flaws of an organized religion. I did not realize that I was still following the ‘Hindu’ narrative about a muslim. I argued with my father, when all he wanted was that I pray to God, once a day. I gave up my religion by the age of 17 when girls around me were still fasting for Santoshi mata or Guruwaar or Shani dev or some other diety. At 17 you only understand ‘liberal’ in a skin-deep sense. So I became liberal in the way I dressed, ate and lived my college life, completely aligning myself with upper caste Hindus. I should have been shocked at my “religious hindu girl friends” but I was not. I was a ‘subject’ of the Hindu Brahminical narrative. So strong was the grip of this majoritarian narrative that I, a rebel-muslim, failed to question my friends. But a questioning mind cannot be dulled. Sooner than later I discovered the flaws in Hinduism, it too had misogyny, gender in-equality and patriarchy. I realised that a ‘liberal Hindu’ mindset is just a disguise for a ‘Brahminical’ mindset. If liberalism does not allow you to break the barriers of race and caste, if it does not filter out hatred for minorities than how can you call yourself a liberal?

During my college days, I lived in my jeans and tees, much like any other urban girl. At every introduction, at every mention of my name – I was told, “oh! But you do not look like a muslim.” What does a muslim woman look like? Again, I was not acceptable as a non-hijab wearing modern muslim woman! They saw me every day yet denied my modern identity. I was ‘invisible’ to them. They wanted to stick to notions of a ‘hijab wearing muslim woman’ and when I did not conform to their narrative, they called me an exception! Just like our ‘clean home’ was an exception, my ‘patriotism’ was an exception, my ‘modern identity’ too was an exception! But why? Because stereotypes create Islamophobia and Islamophobia simply helps to establish Hindu Supremacy.

So well disguised was this denial of my identity that initially I was pleased at my ‘liberal identity’ but slowly I began to feel some anger as these remarks were thrown at me often. Things changed drastically when I went to study Film & Television at Jamia Millia Islamia University. Now that I look back, I feel I got into the prestigious institute because in my interview, I was able to present to the panel, a positive review of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, it was a ‘liberal’ panel of interviewers. The book was banned in India but my father had managed to bring a copy home which he kept hidden from us. I read it secretly at night. Maybe my approach to Satanic verses helped me. Once I joined the course, my mind opened up to new experiences, this is where I began to understand the concepts of ‘othering’, ‘us & them’. But by now I was so used to following the Hindu narrative about Muslims that I constantly judged Muslim students outside my center as conservative, hard-core fundamentalists. Anyone who had a beard was a fundamentalist and I did not want to associate myself with him. So strong is the grip of this narrative on me that even today I want to tell Muslim men to be ‘more normal’, to be like anyone else and merge in the mainstream. Why should they have beards? Why should the women wear burqa? Why do they look different? Why don’t we give (hindus) the Ram mandir? Why don’t we change our profession from being butchers to some other? When it came to matters of identity I was calling ourselves – ‘them’. The penny dropped. When did I start subscribing to the majoritarian narrative and criticizing people for the way they dressed, ate, earned their living? Why was I pleased at being a liberal Muslim? Were my neighbours and colleagues friendly because I did not look like a Muslim? What if I wore a hijab and was a practicing muslim? Recently a ‘muslim senior citizen’ was denied a seat in a delhi metro! Isn’t it alienation in a shared public space? What then happens in other such spaces – schools, colleges and offices – is anybody’s guess.

The deeper I dug, the more I realized how convoluted were my own thoughts about myself. Infact my entire family scrutinizes and criticizes conservative Muslims ruthlessly while singing classical Bhajans at friend’s ‘Pujas’. Is it an attempt to appease them? We celebrate Holi and Diwali like all Hindus. My daughter lights up the house with lights and diyas on Diwali and our neighbours appreciate it. But on Eid, ours is the only house that is lit up, no neighbor has accepted Eid as their own festival. Clearly the majority has never wanted to please its minority but is very loud and vocal on ‘appeasement of minorities’. Ironically, a narrative of ‘Hindu victimhood’ has been at play since 1980s, it has led to several riots in which more muslims have been killed than hindus. Every riot sets back the minority community by at least a generation. It takes away the home that was built over a period of 20 years, it takes away savings, security, livelihood, not to mention lives of loved ones. I will not even touch on rapes and arrests of innocent muslims. But the Hindu goes on believing in his ‘victimhood’ and in his acts of faith. To the muslim, he repeats the same questions why do Muslims live in ghettos? Remember what happened to Akhlaq who did not live in a ghetto? Why does the muslim community not help their women? Muslim women need as much help as Hindu women. Why are they so conservative? Why are there separate laws for muslims? Are there?!!!! Why don’t the muslims want uniform civil code? Really!!!??? All muslims may not be terrorists but all terrorists are muslims??!!! Only as much as all rioters are Hindus. Are the gau-rakshaks not bhakshaks? Clearly these Hindus have not known any muslim, nor do they know their own faith.

Muslims in India face a double-edged sword of Economic and Cultural alienation. They are pushed to live in ghettos, they have spent past 70 years in fear of riots. Only those who are willing to give up their religion (like me) and merge with Brahminical narrative can hope to rise economically and socially. They are Psychologically crushed by attacks on their cultural practices, eating habits, dressing style and professions. They are easy targets for the police and the mob. They can be lynched, beaten up, killed in encounter or be in jail for 23 years before being declared innocent. They can’t rent a house, get their child admitted to a good school or a house help to work for them.

Who will take the blame for this narrative of ‘othering’ the Indian Muslim? An average liberal hindu is upset when people like me refuse to follow his narrative. He is horrified that I have decided to ‘De-subjectify’ myself and assert my equal status, my first-grade citizenship in India. My ‘liberal Hindu’ friend expects people like me to not raise my voice – for he alone has the right to criticise ‘his PM’, ‘his government’, ‘his army’ and ‘his motherland’?!!! He does not want me to react to communal killings or state atrocities, not even state policies. He simply does not want me to have an opinion forget criticizing political ideologies. He is also not willing to look at facts, figures, documents, history. He is the one who eats eggs, fish, chicken, mutton and pork, he drinks scotch, he is well dressed, he is educated and has a white collar job. Infact he even relishes my Biryani. He is the one whose daughter can choose to marry anyone except a muslim man…

And lastly he expects me to be grateful to him for allowing me to live in India, imagine what my life would be in Pakistan?!!!

Let us make it clear that I or the Indian muslims have nothing to be grateful for, to the hindus in India. That we refuse to play your game in the name of ‘liberal forces’. You are not liberal if you have deep seated hatred for minorities. India, world’s biggest democracy is a farce, it is a mis-recognition of the system of democracy. True democracy in India can only be established through its minorities – a solidarity of religious, caste and indigenous minorities.

P.S. By any chance, if you feel threatened by burqa or a skull cap and beard – so be it! I’m not going to change till I want to. Deal with it.

Sabiha Farhat is a television professional and writer based in Delhi.

Source : Kafila
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#591 [Permalink] Posted on 8th May 2017 17:16
I did not get time to rip apart this article.

How the Ulema are Perpetuating Male Hegemony in the Name of Islam

Written by Zakia Soman,Noorjehan Safia Niaz | Published on: April 28, 2016


Photo: Courtesy DNA

The self-appointed custodians of Islam are doing the greatest disservice to Islam and Muslims, women especially
In our understanding the values of kindness, compassion and justice are the core values enshrined in the Quran. Clearly, hegemony is not an Islamic value and yet the experiences we have undergone in the course of our work in the last ten years give rise to certain fundamental questions.

Why are so many Muslims, particularly men, so hegemonic in their thinking? Why do most of them seem to think that reading, understanding and interpreting of the Quran is a sole male prerogative? They seem to think that Allah created men and women as unequal. This view of an unjust Allah is not acceptable to us and therein lies the crux of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan’s (BMMA) existence.

Globally, eminent scholars such as the late professor Fatima Mernissi, Dr Amina Wadud, Dr Khalid Masood, Dr Ziba Mir Hosseini and several more have dedicated their lives to reading and interpreting the Quran to highlight that Allah is just and fair. Volumes have been written on the tawhidic framework about Allah as a uniting, harmonizing force. But the fact remains that these scholarly works that bring out the essence of Islam as a religion of peace and justice remain unheeded and are not referred to by large mass of people in Muslim societies.

Unfortunately, the dominant thought processes that control Muslim societies remain patriarchal. The traditions and practices followed are often in direct violation of the Quranic spirit of justice. The stranglehold of patriarchal hegemony in India and in South Asia has got exacerbated by the arrival of Salafi-Wahhabi ideologies that now threaten to become the mainstream in Muslim society. This ideology has led to further strengthening of the hegemony of patriarchal mindsets in our community. Practices such as triple talaq and halala are manifestations of this trend. But at the core of this thinking is a patriarchal mindset of male superiority and domination.

We want to refer here to the dominant common sense prevalent in the Indian Muslim community about men being superior to women. Islam gave equal rights to women over 1400 years ago; but have they been translated into reality? So long as the dominant common sense about male superiority dictates the mindsets and behavior of Muslims these rights will remain on paper.

In what has been a masterstroke the patriarchal forces have succeeded in attributing this subjugation and injustice to Islam through misinterpretations, distortions and lies. They have invented fiction, half-truths and references that equate women with cattle and allow the men to get away with the worst kind of atrocities against them. In the process they not only violate the basic tenets of Islam, they also help demonisation and stereotyping of the whole community.

They treat their wives, sisters, mothers and daughters unjustly and, even if unwittingly, help the Hindutva campaigns. The self-appointed custodians of Islam do greatest disservice to Muslims and to Islam. It is a pity that even some so-called educated Muslims blindly support these custodians thanks to the common sense about male superiority in Islam that they suffer from.

Why has there been no concerted effort so far to challenge these patriarchal custodians? Why is it that the Muslim women themselves had to initiate a challenge to these hegemonic elements? Why are the wise Muslim men not supporting Muslim women’s’ struggle for Quranic rights of justice and equality? Or are they forever going to allow the conservative clerics to keep deciding for all 17 crore of us?


Why has there been no concerted effort so far to challenge these patriarchal custodians? Why is it that the Muslim women themselves had to initiate a challenge to these hegemonic elements? Why are the wise Muslim men not supporting Muslim women’s’ struggle for Quranic rights of justice and equality? Or are they forever going to allow the conservative clerics to keep deciding for all 17 crore of us? Are they not aware that Islam has no place for intermediaries between Allah and believers? And lastly, what legitimacy do they have to question Muslim women who stand up and fight for their Quranic rights?

We will recount here some direct evidence about the dominant Indian Muslim male thinking being hegemonic and in violation of Islamic values of justice and fairness. This is not to say that there are no exceptional and courageous Muslim men; all of us know many of them in our respective spheres. But as a whole, it is the patriarchal conservative thought process that dominates our conduct.

All of us Muslim women had come together in the aftermath of the communal violence of Gujarat in 2002 to unequivocally oppose the communal forces and to demand rehabilitation and justice for the survivors. Our work at the time was focused around fighting discrimination on communal basis and demanding equal citizenship for the largest minority.
As we began to know and learn about each other spread across different parts of the country we could at once identify a lot of common ground and the need for coming together as a national entity. We were all bold and gutsy women who had fought with their own adverse circumstances and were struggling for equal citizenship in our respective locations and local contexts.

After informal interactions spanning over nearly two years we realised that we shared a commonality of purpose and had a shared worldview. We felt that Indian Muslims were poor and backward despite the Constitutional guarantees. We agreed that we were denied our Quranic rights thanks to the nexus between the patriarchal forces in our community and various governments. We decided that we need to change the situation.

We were clear that women needed to take up the leadership of the Muslim community in India for so-called male leadership was responsible for the all-round failure. We formed the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan in January 2007. Our name was a very deliberated and considered exercise. We felt that we needed a name that spells out what we stood for. We were as Bharatiya as anyone else and we would not offer apologies for being Muslim and Bharatiya. Nobody can appropriate the word Bharatiya and exclude others.

We put together our worldview in the form of our mission document where we clearly stated that we believe in the values of justice, equality, pluralism and democracy enshrined in the Constitution of India. We also clearly stated that we saw no contradiction between these values and the Quranic values. We set forth to work on attaining our Quranic as well as citizenship rights. We clearly stated our solidarity with all those who are working for justice and equality in the country and the world.

We also stated that we believe in secularism, religious harmony and peaceful co-existence as opposed to communalism and intolerance. We wanted to develop an alternative voice of the Muslim community that was rooted in pluralism and mutual respect between communities. And we were clear that it should be a feminine voice as the regressive male voices had failed to achieve anything for Indian Muslims in sixty years after 1947.

Nobody asks where these scholars are when a triple talaq takes place in their respective cities or mohallas! Nobody talks about the scholars’ moral obligation to act when practices like halala are found rampant in our society! Another common experience is being told by a male member of a largely Muslim audience: your views are ok but why are you not dressed in Islamic way? Pray what is the Islamic way, we ask?


We embarked on a journey towards our mission focusing on the citizenship rights of our excluded community. A campaign on Sachar Committee’s findings and implementation of the recommendations was taken up in the initial years nationally and in various states. As soon as we found some bearings and women started becoming our members in large members we were faced with the reality of legal discrimination against Muslim women.

Across all states women began coming to us saying: I was divorced orally; I was thrown out after triple talaq, where do I go with my children; I received a post card from my husband divorcing me; I was away at my parents’ home for two months and learnt that my husband has married another woman; my husband divorced me and now wants me back; the qazi is asking me to undergo halala (meaning, marry and consummate marriage with another man, divorce him, only then remarry your former husband) etc etc.

The sad reality of male hegemony that rules the roost in our community ostensibly in the name of Islam dawned on us! We could not have asked the women to just go away! We realised that the long-term solution lay in the codification of the Muslim personal law based on the Quranic tenets. And this brought us into direct confrontation with the established patriarchal forces who had always spoken in the name of religion. We are not attempting here to give a summary of our work; anyone interested reader can visit our website. (www.bmmaindia.com).

Every public meeting, every seminar, every program of ours takes us on a familiar pattern of responses from Muslim males. We have women participating in large numbers, giving their testimonies, their inputs on a range of issues such as Muslim personal law, government schemes, communal harmony, different happenings in society etc. Above all, they give us their trust.

But invariably at the end of the program a Muslim male stands up and begins teaching us about Islam as he perceives it. He takes it upon himself, in spite of his apparent ignorance of the issue, to teach us about Islamic tenets. He thinks it is his prerogative since he represents the male species in a room full of women! Often such wise men beat a retreat when ordinary women start retorting with evidence and confidence.

We see another interesting response pattern at different public hearings across the country of women who have been orally divorced. After hearing heart-rending testimonies of their suffering, when there is an open discussion towards the end a male would stand up. He would say in a satiric, authoritative or sometimes angry tone that all this talk about triple talaq is uncalled for since triple talaq is un-Islamic!

Then, some of us would ask: why then does it take place in our society? Why do we not have a law against it? To this he would have no answers. Our women leaders regularly get invited to speak at various fora. It is a common occurrence, especially if the gathering has large numbers of Muslim male participants, to be told that your views are ok but we need to consult scholars. Obviously, in their opinion a scholar is someone with grey hair and maybe a beard!

Nobody asks where these scholars are when a triple talaq takes place in their respective cities or mohallas! Nobody talks about the scholars’ moral obligation to act when practices like halala are found rampant in our society! Another common experience is being told by a male member of a largely Muslim audience: your views are ok but why are you not dressed in Islamic way? Pray what is the Islamic way, we ask, only to receive stock replies. Again we see male hegemony at play trying to hide behind Islamic dress this time!
The problem seems to be that these men are not used to the presence of empowered women in their midst, leave alone their opinions. And they take refuge behind an imagined version of Islam for they have no real arguments.

Sometimes some well-educated persons who are sympathetic to our work end up suggesting: your draft law on Muslim Personal Law is very good; why don’t you send it to some ulema for their approval? This is gross ignorance to say the least and in the ultimate analysis only strengthens the stranglehold of patriarchy.

In recent days when the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of our demands for reform in Muslim Personal Law, a well-known Muslim lawyer pleaded with the court to allow the male clerics to be party to the petition. We wonder why a Muslim lawyer of such eminence would think it fit to rope in the clerics for this. After all, is he not aware that the conservative clerics are the impediment to any solution? In fact they are not just part of the problem; they are the problem!

This section has stonewalled any talk of reform in Muslim Personal Law since 1947. In 1986 they raised a hue and cry over a pittance of Rs 125 being provided to 65-year-old Shah Bano as maintenance post divorce on the ground that this would put Islam and Muslims in danger! And yet if large sections of educated Muslims think that the male orthodoxy is the sole custodian of Islam there is something wrong here. This is rank patriarchal hegemony being passed off as Islam.

Source : Sabrang
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#592 [Permalink] Posted on 9th May 2017 17:08
After finalizing my work on the Ghamidi thread I shall take up deconstruction of some Hassan Nisar statements in You Tube videos. Then I shall take a longish break from MS for I have done the major part of my work here and I deperately need to pay attention to my family and professional work. Jazakallah Khairan for being around for so long.
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#593 [Permalink] Posted on 9th May 2017 19:23
Maripat wrote:
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Last couple of posts have been highly informative....What is clear here is that its not only Middle class Muslims living in the West who suffer from an inferiority complex. And that its not only the west that is trying to invent a new Modernist Islam. But the East itself from India to China, to the Central Asian republics. Even the chattering classes in places like Pakistan and Bangladesh. A relentless Psychological warfare is being waged to achieve this objective.



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#594 [Permalink] Posted on 9th May 2017 19:47
Bismillah.

The following audio lecture by Shaykh Riyadh Ul Haq (DB) delivered almost a generation ago seems quite apt, in light of the last few posts.

The lecture is based on several narrations on the times of fitnah and is titled after the famous narration "Holding On To A Cinder."

youtu.be/hTI6-RrXxk8

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#595 [Permalink] Posted on 11th May 2017 06:03
Dear Muslims, When will you wake up?
I mean Muslims in general and Muslims of India in particular.
In the context of India Sachar Committee report has clarified, though you did not need this clarification, that your social, economic, financial, trade, commercial and business condition is pathetic and in most of the cases you are worse off than the so called Dalits.
Your security situation is lowest since partition.
A famous Mosque of yours was demolished in 1992.
You do not have even token governorship of a state.
Apart from Kashmir you have hardly seen a Muslim CM in India.
A Pahlu Khan, Akhlaq Saifi and many others can be killed with complete impugnity.
Your women are raped, many times multiple times.
Your propert and business is torched.

Yet you do not wake up.

wake up.

At least start crying at your loss.
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#596 [Permalink] Posted on 11th May 2017 06:27
Abdur Rahman ibn Awf wrote:
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Jazakallah ya akhi for the link.
After listening to few minutes of this long talk I agree that the material is relevant.

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#597 [Permalink] Posted on 20th May 2017 09:11
Eight Signs That Your perfectionism is Out of Control


1. You realize that your perfectionism is a problem but you insist that it is what it takes to succeed

2. You become defensive while receiving feedback

3. However you are critical of others

4. You procrastinate all the time.

5. You have a guilty conscience

6. You take mistakes personally

7. You take pleasure in other people's failures

8. You live in fear of rejection

Source : Forbes
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#598 [Permalink] Posted on 20th May 2017 11:09
The Need for Indian Muslims to reclaim and celebrate their Cultural heritage.

Here in the U.K the British have a fascination with India, as a mystical land with exotic culture and we have numerous pro-India travel documentaries and programmes being made every year.

And everything the British like about South Asian cultural is celebrated as being Indian.

For example Shalwar Kameez is Indian, Biryani is Indian, Henna/Mehndi patterns are Indian, Naan is Indian infact the entire cuisine of South Asia is Indian and much more.

But "Indian", is presented by their media as being synonymous with being Sikh and Hindu.

Anything they find negative they present as "Islamic culture", and Muslims from South Asia are presented in their media as being almost exclusively from Pakistan and Bangladesh your average person will not associate Islam and Muslims with India ...The consequences of this very subtle and sophisticated propaganda is that the good immigrants from South Asia are "Indians" that is Hindu/and Sikh. The Bad and burdensome immigrants from South Asia are Pakistani and Bengali that is Muslim.

Anything they like to applaud Culturally from the Sub-continent is presented as being Hindu/Sikh and anything Bad is Muslim. This has been going on for decades I can remember this from my Childhood.

If their was any positive initiative or Social activity being undertaken exclusively by Muslims they would wheel out a Hindu/Sikh Journalist or local Hindu Community spokesperson talking about excellent project by the "Asian" community the mention of Islam or Muslims would not be allowed into the Discourse.

This subtle propaganda was so effective that I personally did not know like most people from my generation until well into my Adulthood that all this Art and Culture that the Media in the west liked to celebrate about being Indian infact came from the Muslims....!

The Poetry, the Biryanis, and Tandoori chickens and Naans and the embroidery, patterns and beads on fabrics, the geometrical artwork on tiles, the Shalwar Kameez, the Mehndi and Henna and much, much, much, more. Are our Muslim heritage and our contribution to Indian culture.

I think it is time the Muslims of Indian celebrated the vastness of their Cultural contribution too India from language to Art to food. We need an organisation that celebrates and researches and highlights the Islamic Cultural Heritage of India.






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#599 [Permalink] Posted on 26th May 2017 16:51
Kanishka Sinha is Horrifird by the Noble Qur'an

I first read the Koran when I was around 22 years old.

I was in London, in the first year of my career, and one of my Muslim friends at work said he wanted to tell me more about Islam.

I was a sceptical atheist but more than happy to learn new things (I had been doing philosophy classes, attending lectures on Buddhism, workshops on past life regression, become a member of the Church of Scientology to find out more about it, etc.)

So we went to a public library and started reading it together.

It was a truly shocking experience.

I was completely taken aback when my friend started reading verses that were indisputably hate speech directed at non-Muslims, to my ears at any rate, that he seemed to be completely blind to.

There were two paragraphs that I still remember, nearly two decades on.

The first one was Koran 32:13 - "Had we willed, we could have given every soul its guidance, but it is already predetermined that I will fill Hell with jinns and humans, all together."

Again, and again, the Koran seemed to say that if God had wanted he could have given wisdom to everyone but he had made some blind and deaf and put a seal on their hearts so that they could not hear his message (Koran 18:57, Koran 17:46, Koran 45:23). In fact, in some places the Koran seems to say that Allah had consciously decided who would err and who he would guide (Koran 4:143, etc.).

I couldn't understand why an all merciful God would deliberately let some people go astray when he could have enlightened them. It seemed perverse.

But worse was to come.

The second paragraph that remains stuck in my head was Koran 4:56 - "Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise"

Basically my friend was telling me, with no trace of awareness of what he was saying, that the punishment I deserved for my atheism was to go to hell where my skin would be burnt off my body. I would be given a new skin only so that it could be burnt off again and again for all eternity. And this had been decided by an all merciful God.

I thought he had lost his mind.

It wasn't a typo either, time and time again, the Koran said that atheists would be burnt in a lake of boiling Sulphur, etc.

I couldn't believe that this book was what hundreds of millions of small children were taught to recite around the world. Later I found out that by some estimates 61% of the Koran is about non-Muslims and how stupid, unclean, etc. they are. The word unbeliever is used in the Koran close to a hundred times… I counted.

When I pointed out to my friend that his holy book was incoherent and bizarre to the point that I could not follow, he told me, a little defensively, that I was focusing on only the bad stuff and there was plenty of good stuff too. And he told me that he was trying to save me from my fate which was inevitable if I continued on my (then) current sinful path.

I told him that a book that claims to be perfect and divine cannot afford to have bad stuff in the same way that perfect meal cannot afford to contain pieces of dog shit in it, which is my current view on all religious books. There may be some interesting stories that we can discuss in the same way we could discuss Star Wars or Harry Potter. But religious books are certainly not divine.

Very far from it.

I also told him, that although I appreciated his concern (I genuinely did get that he was coming from a place of friendship), I'd take my chances with hell.

We remained good friends and had plenty of other debates.

But I think he realized that he'd lost me to Shaitan.

The memory came back to me today because I'm just finishing Hitler's Mein Kampf, and the bewilderingly unhinged chapters on Jews reminded me of how I felt all those years ago. I started thinking of the many parallels between the two books and movements as I walked to work yesterday morning.

Hitler was an Aryan race supremacist and Mohammad was a religious supremacist.

But that was as far as the differences went as far as I'm concerned.

Both painted a picture of being threatened by cunning, untrustworthy, and evil enemies. Both masterfully used propaganda and proselytization to passionately spread their belief systems. They were comfortable using violence to spread the lands under the sway of their ideologies and were tactically brilliant at warfare.

Both wrote books that shocked me with the sheer intensity of hate and bigotry they contained.

I know today that there are several books that have large volumes of hate speech - The Manu Smriti against women and Dalits, the Rig Veda against the Godless, the Bible against homosexuals and various others, etc. But I've only read parts of those books or abridged versions. The Koran and Mein Kampf are the books of that sort that I’ve read in full.

I thought by reading these books, I might be able to understand things from the perspectives of the authors, perhaps I had been too knee jerk politically correct in my assumptions, perhaps there was some genuine wisdom there that I would recognize by reading the actual texts rather than relying on second hand reports.

But there was very little there that I could relate to except admiring the ability of the authors to rouse large numbers of uncritical people with their oration and to create large and well drilled fascist organizations that would kill traitors or apostates, or even those who questioned the ideologies too vocally, without a second thought.

My next reads are Savarkar's 'Hindutva, Who is a Hindu' and Golwalkar's 'We, the People', two staple diets for right wing Hindutvadis. I have ordered them and they should reach me in the next few days.

Again, I want to read them to understand if there's something I might be missing.

I'm beginning to suspect that I'm going to be disappointed once again.

If you paint a group of people as so different from you as to be classed as the enemy you have dehumanized them.

And yourself.

Source : Facebook
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#600 [Permalink] Posted on 8th June 2017 08:41
Sahar Habib Ghazi's TEDx Talk


Save and download it before it is taken down.

Source : TEDx Stanford
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