Showing posts with label minority rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minority rights. Show all posts

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Hindu-Muslim Amity in India

We took a pledge from you, ‘Do not shed one another’s blood or drive one another from your homelands’. You acknowledged it at the time, and you can  testify to this. Yet here you are, killing one another and driving some of your own  people from their homes, helping one another in sin and aggression against them..’ (2: 92)

‘Lord, we fear he will do us great harm or exceed all bounds’ (20:45)

‘We have put our trust in God. Lord! Do not make us an object of persecution for the oppressors’ (10: 85)

‘Lord, we have put our trust in You; we turn to You; You are our final destination. Lord, do not expose us to mistreatment at the hands of the disbelievers. Forgive us, Lord, for You are the Almighty, the All Wise’.  (60:6) 

‘Truly those who persecute believing men and believing women, then do not repent, theirs shall be punishment of Hell, and theirs shall be the punishment of burning’. (85:11) 

An Unjust World

Today, millions of people suffer injustice, persecution and slaughter at the hands of unjust regimes around the world. In several nations- whether they are Muslim-majority or non-Muslim majority, minority communities are facing legal discrimination and political oppression. Consider the recent events impacting certain peoples, the harrowing accounts of systematic oppression are mind-numbing, and make for depressing reading: genocide of the Bosnian Muslims in Europe in the 1990’s; the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Muslims in Central African Republic; the high-handedness of the  Myanmar/Burma regime vis-a-vis the Rohingya Muslims; the inhuman treatment being meted out to the Uighur Muslims in China;  the throttling of civic, political and economic freedoms of Muslim- majority provinces in Russia (the situation of Chechnya/ Dagestan, Crimean Tartars, etc); the volatile situation in Kashmir; the fifth-generation/ long-suffering Palestinian refugees;  the situation of millions of refugees from, and internally displaced persons in, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Libya, Yemen,  etc.  

The mindset of the self-exalting Pharaohs, hell-bent on persecuting the hapless children of Israel in ancient times, seems to be alive, as if it were, and bedevil, almost every nation and generation of people. The denial of human rights and community interests and political oppression is often serviced in the name of superior race; majority religion; superior caste; pure ethnicity; national culture; secular law, popular will, etc. Not just under despotic regimes, but also under so-called democracies, minority communities and their interests are trampled upon. The national ‘self’ is imagined in such a narrow way that the minorities are treated as the ‘other’ and the law is unleashed to deny and deprive the basic rights of such persons: citizenship, civic and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, etc. Hence, in the name of socially-codified communal prejudices in such democracies, the human dignity, basic identity, fundamental rights and other collective interests of the minority is unrecognized, and often, criminalized. 

The Darkness in Delhi

As I write this, my city, Delhi, is limping back to ‘normalcy’ after the dastardly, orchestrated, anti-Muslim violence of last week that claimed over 50 innocent lives, and critically- injured hundreds of others, ordinary people going about their everyday lives. Shops and establishments, vehicles and other properties, houses and the mosques of the Muslim community were particularly targetted by the criminal thugs on steroid. The communal fire and riots were ignited and perpetrated with a clear and malicious intent to destroy the peaceful and dignified co-existence of the Hindus and the Muslims of the city for several decades. By attacking the very livelihood of the minority community, the marauders and their political dons hope to break the harmony in society. With every communal violence, the 'distance' between communities increase, leading to 'apartheid-cities' segregating the people from one another, further and further. [Inset: 'A mosque in Delhi's Ashok Nagar was torched and a saffron flag associated with the Hindu far right was placed on the minaret' [File: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Al Jazeera]

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Banning ‘Triple Talaq’ in India


In recent years, Muslim women in India have publicly raised issues of unfair treatment at the hands of their unjust husbands, triggering wider debates on the reform of Muslim personal law in a secular country. As it happens, an unscrupulous husband  makes an oral pronouncement or a simple declaration of 'Triple Talaq’ by sending an e-mail/mobile phone text message/WhatsApp/Facebook/Twitter posts, etc.- to his wife and such a communication would apparently result in instant and irrevocable divorce, valid for the purpose of the Muslim law.  For, ‘Talaq-e-Bidd’at’- an irregular form of divorce under Muslim Law- does seem to allow men to simply evade their marital obligations with their wives and to end the spouse relations without any regard for the ethical framework of the Qur’an and the Ahadith on matrimonial justice. Indeed, a grave distortion of the Islamic institution of divorce has been created in recent times by rotten husbands, leading to an unfortunate public perception that a Muslim husband may put away his wife at his mere caprice. Seeking to prohibit and penalize this kind of deviant practice -‘Talaq-e-Bidd’at’- that is tilted against Islamic values, women’s rights and gender justice;  India recently announced a new national legislation entitled the ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019.   

Monday, January 7, 2019

Islam and the West: Beyond Identity


More than ever before, individual and social identities are in flux. Ways of life as understood in both tradition-bound societies, and also in the advanced industrialized nations, are shifting under the strong currents of economic globalization and associated transformations. The usual lense of 'spiritual' East and 'materialist' West does not really explain the creeping changes around the world. In his Friday Sermon of 04 January 2019~ 27 Rabi’ul Aakhir 1440 AH,  Imam- Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius spoke about the growing churning happening in the Arab-Islamic world and in the West, pointing to a deep irony: whereas a 'god-less' Europe increasingly appreciates the values of diversity and humanitarianism at the root of a spiritual outlook; the rich-Arab States-despite their claims of faith in God- are increasingly turning to materialism and are virtually indifferent to the solidarity obligations of core Islamic valuesPointing to the inherent limitations of synthetic materialism to sustain human interest over the longer term and the profound appeal of the spiritual path in the inner quest of people for lasting happiness; Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) highlights the major opportunity it represents for Islam to fill the growing 'emptiness' in the West, even as the Speech underscores the profound need for the Muslim societies' in our times to appreciate and reclaim their pure faith/spiritual legacy from corrupting influences that grip their social orders: the 'worship' of riches;  denial of human rights; mindless extremism, internecine violence, etc. 

Read the Friday Sermon Below:   

SPIRITUALITY AND MATERIALISM

There is a common belief among us that the Arabs and Muslims in general are spiritual while the West, i.e. industrialist and capitalist American and European societies, is materialistic. But how true is this claim?

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Little Girl of Kathua


'And when the baby girl who is buried alive will be questioned about; 
For what offence was she killed?'
                                            ---Surah Al Takwir, Ch:81: 9-10)

Last month, the kidnapping, gang-rape and brutal killing of an eight-year old little girl in Kathua, in the Jammu region, caused a national outrage in India. And the country witnessed a series of popular protests against the rising tide of horrific incidents of violence against women and girl children in recent years. The government’s woeful record of abject failures in dealing with the question of safety and security of women and girl children was highlighted in these mass mobilizations. Across several cities and townships, public meetings called for ending the prevailing culture of impunity around sex and gender-related crimes. That the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself was reminded on Indian women’s safety by well-meaning foreigners during his recent tour of Britain speak volumes about the national dishonour and humiliation these institutional failings represent for the people.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Human Rights and Justice Matters

Today (1st May), some countries in the world are celebrating International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day. Whether in France, or other major countries of the world, many, including Mauritius celebrate Labour Day to commemorate the working class, to give a just impetus to the injustices they had to suffer throughout the years. This is a holiday where the mass and the superpowers also must reflect on the human side of workers, regardless of their rank in the work industry and give them all the rights they deserve. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that despite that the rights of workers and all people are recognized, but these rights are rarely taken into consideration.

Injustice today reigns in favour of the “strong”.

Injustice, despite the fact that it is considered one of the most repulsive characters of man, continues to make havoc in every corner of the world. We witness it in our daily lives. It is no longer seen as something bad but something good! People ignore its seriousness. The situation is completely reversed. Instead of making justice govern our decisions, our reasoning and our judgment, it is injustice that has the upper hand. Even stranger, man rejoices in his unjust act without considering the grievous consequences that await him.

The injustice towards others is something the Lord of the Worlds has categorically prohibited. He even forbade it on Himself. Injustice is a major sin and manifests itself in many forms. In the world of work, the injustice of bosses, entrepreneurs, businessmen towards their employees, their workers, their servants is not a secret. How many thousands of workers are poorly paid or denied their wages or their rights while their bosses lead a life of luxury, in extreme extravagance breaking the heart of these poor people! Similarly, we witness injustice in the legal field. When a man in power accuses a weak low-ranking person, the latter is quickly judged and undergoes his sentence without defence.