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Showing posts from February, 2015

Rethinking Islamic Reform: Oxford University Islamic Society

The conference addresses the phenomena of how, in the post 9/11 world, it has grown to be an axiomatic truth that Islam needs to reform. Whether it is Western policy-makers seeking to protect themselves from Muslim extremists, humanitarian activists fighting to liberate silenced Muslims, or Muslims themselves responding to new paradigms faced in the 21st century, all are agreed that something within Islam needs to change. The question though, is what, and perhaps more pertinently, how?
The Rethinking Islamic Reform conference, originally held May 26, 2010, features two of the world's foremost Muslim intellectuals as they provide guidance in the ever polemical topic of reform in Islam. Oxford University Islamic Society is honoured to have hosted Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson (Zaytuna Institute, USA) and Professor Tariq Ramadan (Oxford University, UK) to participate at this ground-breaking conference. << click to Keep watching >>>>>

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American imperialism and the rise of Islamic extremism in Syria and Iraq

Just one year after the Obama administration backed off on plans to bomb Syria in the face of popular opposition in the United States and the UK, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has conveniently emerged as the new pretext for launching an open imperialist assault in the Middle East.

US President Barack Obama is set to announce an unending war supposedly directed at ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. The administration has already launched airstrikes in Iraq, accompanied by the reintroduction of troops into the country. This is to be massively expanded.

Last year, the casus belli for war against Syria was the alleged chemical weapons attack on Ghouta. Claims by the imperialist powers that responsibility for these attacks lay with the Assad government were later exposed to be a calculated fraud, including by journalist Seymour Hersh in a report that was subsequently buried by the US media.

While the ostensible target of the expanded war drive in the Middle East is now ISIS, behind…

IS (neither Islamic nor state) and the morning after war

As the US Congress ponders President Barack Obama's request for an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to fight the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), US policymakers must focus on the "morning after" before they embark on another potentially disastrous war in the Levant. The president assured the nation at his press conference on February 11 that IS is on the verge of being contained, degraded, and defeated. If true, the United States and the West must address the future of the region in the wake of the collapse of IS to avoid the rise of another extremist threat and another "perfect storm" in the region. The evidence so far that Washington will be more successful than during the Iraq war is not terribly encouraging. The Iraq War parallel George Tenet, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, wrote in his book At the Center of the Storm that in September 2002 CIA analysts presented the Bush administration with an analytic paper titled "The…

Traders: The powerful

Earlier, historians concentrated their research on the ruling classes as makers of history and neglected the marginalised groups including traders and merchants. They began to focus their attention towards the role of trading activities, when they realised that trade brought external and internal, social, cultural and economic changes in society.For the sake of profit, traders travelled to far off countries, risked disasters, bandits and endured all sorts of trouble to accomplish their missions.They brought unusual and extraordinary merchandise from other countries and introduced them in their society.Trade networks crisscrossed continents, inextricably linking cultures throughout history
They also increased the knowledge of language, culture and history.Historians made efforts to find various sources of their commercial activities and brought to light their contribution to history. Rulers patronised them, built rest houses called serai on highways for their convenience and arranged p…

Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative اسلام اور ریاست : ایک جوابی بیانیہ... جاوید احمدغامدی

The situation which today has been created in the whole world for Islam and Muslims by certain extremist organisations is the evil consequence of the ideology taught in our religious seminaries, and also propagated day and night by Islamic movements and religious-political parties. The true understanding of Islam in contrast to this has been presented by this writer in his comprehensive treatise on Islam: Meezan.
This understanding actually constitutes a counter narrative. It has been repeatedly pointed out by this writer that when in a Muslim society anarchy is created on the basis of religion, then the remedy to this situation is not advocacy of secularism. On the contrary, the solution lies in presenting a counter narrative to the existing narrative on religion. Its details can be looked up in the aforementioned treatise. However, the part of it which relates to Islam and the state is summarized below.
1. The message of Islam is primarily addressed to an individual. It wants to re…