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Why Islam needs a reformation, explains writer Ayan Hirsi Ali in her book

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ms Hirsi Ali’s new book, “Heretic”: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now,” poses a contemporary question of need of  a reformation in the practice and interpretation of the Islamic faith.

Ali’s previous books : “Infidel” and “Nomad: From Islam to America, A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations ” talked about her personal journey and the problems that she faced due to her rational thinking.

While talking about her new book she said that any serious discussion of Islam must begin with its core creed, which is based on the Quran (the words said to have been revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad) and the hadith (the accompanying works that detail Muhammad’s life and words), reported Wall Street journal.

“Despite some sectarian differences, this creed unites all Muslims. All, without exception, now by heart these words: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; and Muhammad is His messenger.” This is the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith,” Hirsi said.

Five areas in which the Islamic faith needs reformation To Control Terrorism

Hirsi has identified five precepts central to Islam that have made it resistant to historical change and adaptation in her book. “Only when the harmfulness of these ideas are recognized and they are repudiated will a true Muslim Reformation have been achieved.”

Here are the five areas that require amendment To Control Terrorism:

  1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.

Muhammad should not be seen as infallible, let alone as a source of divine writ. He should be seen as a historical figure who united the Arab tribes in a pre-modern context that cannot be replicated in the 21st century. Although, Islam maintains that the Quran is the literal word of Allah, it is, in historical reality, a book that was shaped by human hands. Large parts of the Quran simply reflect the tribal values of the 7th-century Arabian context from which it emerged. The Quran’s eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.

  1. The supremacy of life after death.

The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.

  1. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.

Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.

  1. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.

There is no room in the modern world for religious police, vigilantes and politically empowered clerics.

  1. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.

Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.

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“It is more in the nature of a public intervention in the debate about the future of Islam. The biggest obstacle to change within the Muslim world is precisely its suppression of the sort of critical thinking I am attempting here. If my proposal for reform helps to spark a serious discussion of these issues among Muslims themselves, I will consider it a success.’’

“Let me make two things clear. I do not seek to inspire another war on terror or extremism—violence in the name of Islam cannot be ended by military means alone. Nor am I any sort of “Islamophobe.” At various times, I myself have been all three kinds of Muslim: a fundamentalist, a cocooned believer and a dissident. My journey has gone from Mecca to Medina to Manhattan.’’ Ali adds to elaborate her standpoint.

The author considers her book is not a work of theology.

Note: Ms. Hirsi Ali’s new book, “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now,” is going to be published on Tuesday by HarperCollins.

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Author Maria Wirth Shares Her Opinions on The Idea of Hinduism

Author Maria Wirth speaks on Religion, Indian Culture, etc

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Maria Wirth
A picture of Author Maria Wirth. Facebook

By Muskan Bhantagar

Author Maria Wirth belongs to Germany and has been living in India from past 38 years.  She is the author of the book ‘Thank You India: A German Woman’s Journey to the Wisdom of Yoga’. Newsgram gets in a conversation with her over a telephonic interview. Here’s an excerpt:

Muskan Bhantagar: 38 years back when you came to visit india, what was the thing about indian culture or precisely hinduism that made you fall in love with it and stay back in India?

Maria Wirth: Actually, it was not too much India that attracted me. When I was in Germany still i had many questions like i was very much intrested in what is life and what is the meaning of life and I was reading on Buddhism at a time and I was not connecting Buddhism to India strangely, and i knew very little about India. So a friend convinced me to stop over in India and only when i bought a book by Swami Vivekananda, i discovered what great treasure is in India. I had no idea, anything about what Hinduism is about. it’s just what you hear usually in the west, is about caste systems,etc. So I didn’t associate India with anything positive actually and then by chance, I discovered there’s such a great treasure here and it is such a pity that we don’t know about it.

Maria
Maria recalls how initially she could not relate India with anything positive. Pixabay

Muskan Bhantagar: As we read in your articles that Islam and christianity have been promoting and propogating their religion for years now, but the hindus don’t do so. What do you think can be the reason behind this? 

Maria Wirth: Well I think, I was just writing an article I mean when you think how much Hindus have suffered over the last thousand years. So many were beheaded and tortured under the Muslims and then again under the British also. British were also very very brutual, especially after 1857 and etc. And hindus had no way to stand up for their religion. And I think this has gone very deep into the system of Hindus.

And then ofcourse after Independence, this secular education and even Hinduism is now put down even more than earlier. Earlier, education was not so under the Muslims, they had to lie low but they could still have gurukuls and their schools but not now.

So I think one reason is that you have been intimidated so much and also expect so much and like Arun Shourie, in his book he writes that 6th standard students learn in school, etc in Bengal that Islam and Christianity are the only religions which treat the human beings with dignity and equality. I mean such sentences. When you’re a child, it goes into you and then you just look down on it. And I think slowly slowly, even parents of these children say they have been brought up already like this.

Maria
Maria says that Hindus were previously tortured under the Islamic Community. Pixabay

Muskan Bhantagar: A large number of Indians are unaware about their own culture and heritage. What do you think can be a solution to this problem?

Maria Wirth: I mean it should get also in the schools. I was so shocked when I came to know that nothing is taught in Indian schools. Neither Mahabharata, Ramayana, Upanishad. Upanishad is philosophy, there is nothing to do with religion. It was very insidious that the British kind of bend or this stuff from being taught, because it doesn’t help them because it would make people strong. They wanted to destroy Indian sanskriti, Indian culture because it has lot of strength. Now like the young generation in India, they were brain-washed into believing that Hinduism is not worth anything. It’s so wrong, so wrong.

Author Maria Wirth spoke to us over various topics. We’re thankful to her for taking out time to talk to us and share her wise opinions. We hope to get more of her soon and help viewers know her better.

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Is Islamic Law Above Civil Law in Indonesia’s Aceh Province?

Aceh is the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law

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Aceh
Aceh is the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law.

By Kashish Rai

Recently on 21st April 2020, six people were flogged in Indonesia’s Aceh Province for violating Islamic Law in an indoor ceremony which was scaled down due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic.

Aceh is the only region in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law. About 98% of Aceh’s five million residents are Muslims and therefore subject to the law, known locally as Qanun.

The practice of flogging is taken into practice for some actions which are Considered as offences in the region at the tip of Sumatra island, which includes drinking alcohol, gambling, adultery  and having gay or pre-marital sex.

Previously, public caning has been livestreamed and uploaded on the Internet, drawing international criticism.

The public canings in Aceh Province attract a large number of spectators witnessing this pitiable event and taking pictures on their phones, but this time the event had a handful of people there.

Out of the total 6 people who were flogged, one unmarried couple was ferociously punished after they were caught together in a hotel room, while the other four were flogged 40 times each for drinking alcohol.

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You can watch the video here:

The point of the matter is that, even at this crucial time when the world is suffering a global Pandemic, the Aceh Province of Indonesia considers religious law above any other code of conduct! The social distancing guidelines that has been issued globally has become a matter of no concern here.

Aceh
Recently on 21st April 2020, six people were flogged in Indonesia’s Aceh Province for violating Islamic Law in an indoor ceremony which was scaled down due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. VOA

You can see in the video that through many of those watching this brutal act were wearing masks, while the cane-wielding enforcer wears a covering hoodie in any case – but pitifully, not all of the victims had their face covered.

The Rights groups in Indonesia and elsewhere have slammed public caning as cruel, and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for it to end, but the practice has wide support among Aceh’s population.

There are many cases associated with this practice of flogging. This video which was released two years back explains the plight of this heinous act where the people get subjected to canning publically.

Watch This Video From 2018: 

There are two questions that come up in the way, well, can we draw a conclusion forth that the Acehan Islamists consider the religion above humanity and human life? Is there no concern left for others’ safety during the time of such a deadly Pandemic?

ALSO READ: Google Researches About Remote Communication Among Workers

At this point of time, any religion shouldn’t be considered above humanity and the dignity and safety of humankind. This practice of flogging is indeed an atrocious act which shouldn’t be given mere importance.  The need of the hour is to ensure others’ safety and not being subjective of what needs to be done for vested interests.

 

 

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Demonisation Of Hindus At Danger Level – Fuelled By Arundhati Roy And Others

Killing someone because he worships God under another name is for Hindus unimaginable and ridiculous.

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Hindus muslim
Hindus are often too naïve to realize what mind-set the dogmatic religions foster. They unwisely give privileges to Muslims and Christians. Flickr

By Maria Wirth

Anyone who knows even a little about the mindset of Hindus knows that genocide is simply not in their genes. It never happened and it can never happen. Killing someone because he worships God under another name is for Hindus unimaginable and ridiculous.

Sometimes I check the German TV channel Deutsche Welle (dw) to know what they want us to think. Unlike in India, most German news channels are government friendly. Yet it always amazes me, although India and Germany are on friendly terms, how negatively dw reports on India.

So when on 17. April 2020 dw ran a negative story on “Islamophobia at an all-time high in India” and claimed that the Modi government uses the Covid 19 crisis to stigmatise Muslims, I was not surprised. The report showed Muslim vegetable vendors complaining that Hindus boycott them. It is true. Even in my village people refuse to buy from Muslims now, but dw did not tell the reason why this happens. It did not tell that some clerics considered the Corona virus as sent by Allah to kill millions of Hindus and asked the faithful to spread it. A huge congregation of Tablighi Jamat, an Islamic missionary movement, took place in Delhi, after which many participants spread out all over India and spread the virus at a time when the whole of India had only some 800 cases and few deaths. The administration and police tried feverishly to trace all those thousands of Tablighis and their contacts, after many of them, including foreigners, had tested positive for the virus. It was a Herculean task. But given the huge population density in India, it was crucial to prevent community spread of the virus. Police razzias and doctors who came to test were often pelted with stones. Several were injured.

Hindus muslim
Nobody needs to be worried about a nation where the Hindu roots are fostered. Flickr

Moreover, the Tablighis in quarantine facilities or hospitals behaved awfully. Doctors complained about spitting on them, excreting in the corridor, making obscene gestures, running around naked in front of female nurses, and demanding meat to eat.

Why would good Muslims, (and missionaries are supposed to be good Muslims), behave like this? The answer is probably that good Muslims know their holy books and want to follow their command. They know that Allah sees Kafirs as the worst of creatures who will burn in hell for eternity (Quran 98.6), so naturally they have contempt for them. They also know that they need to fight till the whole world accepts only Allah (Q 8.39). And since it is not easy to wipe out millions of Kafirs, the virus is seen as a gift from Allah which will do the job if widely spread.

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So it is no surprise that especially good Muslims want to spread the virus. Videos show how they aggressively resist testing, violate curfew, spit on vegetables and currency notes. A video shows policemen picking up currency notes from the street with a stick and putting them into a plastic bag. It is very insidious to throw money on the road, as the temptation to pick it up is surely great for children and the poor.

So it should not surprise that nowadays, during the Corona crisis, Hindus turn Muslim vendors away because they can’t be sure if those vendors are ‘good’ Muslims who believe that Hindus should die out. It is impossible to know, because they are allowed to deceive Kafirs, provided it fosters the spread of Islam. So “better safe than sorry” is naturally the motto. But all this was not mentioned by dw. At the end of the report, a woman commentator from India was interviewed. She said that there is a “360 degree discrimination against Muslims by the Modi government”. It was a lie. The government is not discriminating between different religious groups in regard to relief operations which are running in full swing, with money credited to accounts and massive support to migrant labour. I was annoyed about this type of reportage on India, especially, when dw does not show the real discrimination in Pakistan against Hindus and Christians who claim they don’t get rations during the Corona crisis and several were forced to convert to survive. But then, I was used to the bias against India by dw.

A few hours later I checked once more on dw.  The same report was broadcast, same footage, same vendors complaining, but now the woman commentator had been replaced with Arundhati Roy. This seemed strange.

Hindus muslim
When dw does not show the real discrimination in Pakistan against Hindus and Christians who claim they don’t get rations during the Corona crisis and several were forced to convert to survive. Wikimedia Commons

When she started to speak, slowly, amiably, with a smile in her for-Western-eyes pretty face, it was pure poison, vicious and dangerous. Roy is known to tell terrible lies about India since years but this time, something more sinister seemed brewing. Why did dw not simply run the same report again? Was that previous commentator not vicious enough?

Here is what Arndhati Roy (who by the way is Christian) said on the clip that dw put out on Twitter:

“Honestly the situation is approaching genocidal, because the government’s agenda has been this. Since this government came, Muslims have been lynched, Muslims have been hunted down but now the stigmatization with this illness has left government policies on the street now. You can hear it everywhere. It comes with the threat of extreme violence.”

This clip went viral. Yet it was not the complete interview. Here are some more comments by her which I had jotted down:

She said that the extreme violence comes in the background of the massacre (she used the word massacre) in Delhi – cleverly not mentioning who massacred whom, but implying of course that Muslims were massacred. She rued that Trump was there at the time, but didn’t say anything. She called RSS the mother ship of BJP who wants a Hindu state; said that the world welcomes Modi but it should know that he is very much part of the agenda (of making a Hindu state) and they were already building detention centres. She called most anchors in MSM channels “single member lynch mobs”. And as if this all was not enough, she compared the situation in India with what happened in Ruanda before the massive genocide and that genocide in patches happens already. She asked the world to keep its eyes on it.

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The anchor called it a very important message and asked how can we prevent the genocide, taking it for granted that Roy had spoken the truth and genocide is indeed planned by the Indian government. In the end, Roy is introduced among other flattering attributes as “most acclaimed intellectual”.

I felt shaken after hearing her. She gave the false and dangerous impression to the world that Hindus are planning genocide of Muslims. This is not a small thing. It is extremely dangerous and on Twitter already support comes in for the ‘Muslims of India’. We stand by you, is promised and a lawyer dressed in Arabic outfit tweeted he will adopt the cause of Muslims in India at UNHRC in Geneva for free… it got 17,6k likes and over 5k retweets.

Anyone who knows even a little about the mindset of Hindus knows that genocide is simply not in their genes. It never happened and it can never happen. Killing someone because he worships God under another name is for Hindus unimaginable and ridiculous.

Yet for the past thousand years Hindus were at the receiving end of jihads and conversion campaigns and millions of Hindus were massacred in cold blood because they were Hindus – massacred by Muslims.

So did Arundhati Roy demonise Hindus so badly to instigate Muslims to “rise up against the oppression” and prepare the world to believe that oppression by Hindus is for real? Is she trying to help Pakistan fulfil its “unfinished agenda” of taking Hindustan fighting and make it accept Islam? Arundhati Roy would know that Hindus are not aggressors by nature. She and her ilk may be desperate to paint Hindus black, as especially in Europe, people become more and more wary of the behaviour of Muslims in their countries but don’t have any problems with Hindus.

Hindus muslim
Anyone who knows even a little about the mindset of Hindus knows that genocide is simply not in their genes. Flickr

The faith of Hindus is based on Dharma and Dharma means to do what is right and in tune with one’s conscience. ‘Good’ Hindus are those rare human beings who see others as brothers and sisters, and are kind to animals and nature, too. Hindus do not divide humanity into those who are chosen by God and those who are eternally damned. Hindu children are not taught to look down on non-Hindus, unlike children of the dogmatic religions who are taught that their God loves them but does not love those ‘others’ unless they join their ‘true’ religions.

However, Hindus are often too naïve to realize what mind-set the dogmatic religions foster. They unwisely give privileges to Muslims and Christians, which even Hindus don’t have, in spite of Swami Vivekananda warning already over 100 years ago that every convert is not one Hindu less but one enemy more. Sri Aurobindo also felt that hope for India lies in those, who converted out of Hinduism, to lose faith in their new religion which most accepted anyway due to pressure or allurement at the time of conversion.

Truth does not need pressure and allurement. It makes sense. Untruth needs to be enforced with brutal laws that forbid people to believe anything else than what is declared as “the only truth”. The Hindu view is undoubtedly closer to truth. Nobody is forced to believe it and yet Hindus held on to it under extremely painful circumstances, and Westerners, dissatisfied with the Church, accept Hindu Dharma on their own accord. It is also no coincidence that modern science discovered that all is One Energy after Indian philosophy became known in the west.

Also Read- Science Behind Practising These Hindu Rituals

Nobody needs to be worried about a nation where the Hindu roots are fostered. Where Sanskrit is taught, which is the most perfect, dignified, powerful language on earth. Where yoga is practised in schools, which is an ideal means for all-round development and which, on a deeper level, helps to find fulfilment in live. Where Vedic philosophy is studied, which inspired the new scientific discoveries in nuclear physics. Where the amazing wisdom of Mahabharata and Ramayana becomes common knowledge. Where children chant “Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu” (May all be happy).

Why would those Indians who converted to Islam or Christianity not be also proud of the achievements of their ancestors? India was the cradle of civilization, a knowledge hub and the richest country on earth. It was known for its wisdom. Surely Christians and Muslims cannot have any objection that students are taught this fact or that they chant “May all be happy” in Sanskrit, the language of their forefathers. If someone calls such teaching communal it is malicious. Is not he the one who tries to divide society and not those who say “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (all is one family) due to their philosophical outlook?

One day, when people have become tired of blindly believing irrational dogmas, and when nobody is threatened any longer with dire consequences or even death if he stops believing in those strange dogmas, the world will be grateful to Bharat Mata that she has conceived and preserved over millennia those eternal, precious insights for the benefit of humanity.