Islamic schools are supposed to present a better alternative to what is being taught in mainstream schools but apart from a single subject of Islamic studies, most Islamic schools offer little enlightenment.
Saudi court preachers miss no opportunity to vilify the Shias. They do not shy away from using even the most sacred platforms, such as the minbar, to spewing hatred.1
Turkey has a new president in Recep Tayip Erdogan, hitherto Turkey’s prime minister. Our correspondent reports what he saw before, during and after the election in Turkey. After spending half a month during and after the latest presidential election in Turkey, a Crescent International correspondent shares his observations and analysis.
During the course of the past 18 months the world in general and the Muslims in particular were watching the movement of people and the counter-movements of regimes.
Muslims occupy a vast swathe of the earth’s surface. From Morocco in the west to Indonesia in the southeast, Muslims reside in a part of the globe that acts as a bridge between Europe and the vast archipelago of Southeast Asia.
As Turkey’s hopes of becoming the leading power to restore Muslim public identity and its own Islamic socio-political distinctiveness gradually fade away from Muslim memory, it is important not to exaggerate the deviations of contemporary Turkey.
The world is babbling with news about Iran being on the threshold of going nuclear, in a military sense. Israeli words are coming out of American mouths. US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told CBS news that Iran could build a nuclear bomb in a year or less (music to Israeli ears).
Applying secular perspectives, derived from the Western notion of party politics, on measuring the power of the Islamic movement will never produce accurate results. Just like applying secular methods of pure party politics will never bring a desired result for an Islamic movement.
The Turkish High Court’s decision on Wednesday 30 July to not ban the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) was hailed by some as a victory for democracy. The decision was the outcome of three days of deliberations over the case, which had first reached the court early in March.
The long-established fault-lines dividing Turkish society are emerging to dominate its politics once again. As on so many occasions in the past, the secular elites are once again up in arms to protect the nation-state that they have dominated for 85 years.
Turkey's secular elites, whose attempts to portray the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leaders as religious extremists continue to fail, have now resorted to a ruse to achieve the desired but elusive results. But because of the determination of those targeted to fight back, analysts believe that the scheme will throw the country into turmoil;
On the eve of Turkey’s parliamentary elections, Hurriyet, a daily paper in Ankara, predicted that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would not get more than 30 percent of the popular vote. In the election on July 22, the AKP increased its vote by 12 percentage points to 46.5 percent from a crowded field of 14 political parties and 700 independent candidates. Despite increasing its share of the electorate’s votes, the AKP’s seats declined slightly to 341 from the 354 it had had in the outgoing parliament of 550.
Three times in the last 50 years – in 1960, 1971 and 1980 – the Turkish military has seized power from civilian governments whose policies they deemed unacceptable. In 1997, Turkey suffered a “soft coup”, when the military forced prime minister Necmeddin Erbakan out of power for being too Islamic.
If a country’s architecture can be taken as indicating its status in the world, that of Istanbul reflects fairly accurately both Turkey’s past and its present. While the grandeur of its historic buildings are vivid reminders of past glories, the blandness of its contemporary buildings–concrete and glass boxes–reflects the disrupting influence and ultimate vacuousness of its Westernization.
A spate of recent events highlights the urgency with which the Americans are trying to reshape Islam in their own image and interests. Since mid-August, for example, reports in several Egyptian newspapers have told of dozens of mosque imams and khateebs being sent to America secretly in what are called "cultural exchanges".
The scourge of secularization is spreading so rapidly in Pakistan that Islam, the Qur’an and hadith are now openly ridiculed in educational institutions, in open disregard of the feelings of Pakistan’s overwhelming majority or the consequences of such actions.
Throughout his rule, president Husni Mubarak has governed Egypt under an emergency decree, using his dictatorial powers to persecute the Islamic groups that have always constituted the most vocal opposition to his regime.
Since its creation more than 50 years ago, Pakistan has been trapped in a crisis of identity. For the ruling elite, it has meant the continuation of raj by other means with all the attendant pomp, ceremony and priveleges.
Fifty years after its creation, Pakistan is still unsure of its identity. Notwithstanding the Zionist settler entity in Palestine, Pakistan is the only country in the world to have come into existence on the basis of religion - Islam - but it has yet to find its moorings.