Kashmir:  trouble in Paradise

So much for Ban Ki-moon’s heart and possibly even more so his soul!  One can only recall the quote in Matthew and the betrayal of Jesus, “When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” The United Nations has walked away from the slaughter in Kashmir and washed its hands of it, and the world body has told India, “It’s…

Read More

Tolerance in Islam: the case of Al-Andalus

Gökhan Göl History of Conquest of Iberian Peninsula Al-Andalus was the Muslim territory in the Iberian Peninsula and is known for being the center of tolerance in Europe during the dark Middle Ages, times of many religious and political strife. The name of the territory means in Arabic “Land of Vandals” and was applied to most of the Iberian Peninsula, even entire of it. The conquest of the Iberian Peninsula took place during the Umayyad dynasty in 711. In 710, Musa b. Nusayr, the governor of Ifriqiyah (the name for…

Read More

The spiritual crisis of Western civilisation in the 21st century

“Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton In the alarming times in which we live, in which the post-Enlightenment Western world has once again, after the anti-semitism of the 1930s, chosen a universal scapegoat to serve as a negative self-definition – and this time it is Islam – nothing could be more topical than an analysis of the spiritual crisis within Western civilisation itself, that persists relentlessly in inflicting such intense suffering on itself and the rest of the world. For in this strange post-9/11 world, the…

Read More

How to spend spiritual time in Istanbul

1. Fath 1453 Panorama Museum This museum, located at the exact battle field and close to the tent of the Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih, is the fruit of a scholarly research and artistically hard work. You will see it when you visit inshaAllah. Whenever I go there, I do remind myself of this and share it with students and friends. You can make your own way of storifying or another way of motivating the children. They need to imagine themselves as if they are in the illustrated battlefield. Here is the…

Read More

Islam in Spain: A Fragmented History, a Fragmented Identity

Islam is presented to the Europeans as something alien and threatening, but in fact, they share a history of 1300 years. Spain, in particular, has a special bond with the Muslim world: Al-Andalus (1) was the result of the first contact of Islam with the West. However, since the fallen of Granada a successful propaganda apparatus has been veiling and distorting the historical events creating, thus, a vulnerable and fragmented collective identity unable to incorporate and articulate part of the past of a whole people, and this trauma continues today…

Read More

Six Fundamentals That Will Pave The Way Forward For The Islamic World

The six illnesses which Imam Nursi listed in his famous Damascus Sermon are still the main problems that are challenging modern Muslims. Approximately one hundred years ago, Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi addressed a congregation comprised of ten thousand people including hundreds of scholars in Jami’ul Amawiyya (Umayyad Mosque) – it was 1911 and he was 35. This sermon was first printed in the original Arabic and then in 1955 in Turkish with the Imam’s translation under the name of “Hutbe-i Şamiye (the Damascus Sermon)”. In the Damascus Sermon, Imam Nursi…

Read More

Establishing the Islamic Unity is Fardh

The fact that bringing about Islamic unity is a fardh duty points out the urgency of this issue. None of the Muslims has the luxury of remaining aloof to the establishment of Islamic unity. The issue of the unity of the Muslim Ummah is not something new, but it is an issue of unity which was perpetuated by the prophets who were consecutively sent to humanity down the ages. Allah (SWT) says as follows after mentioning His messengers in the Qur’an: “He knows what lies before them and what lies…

Read More

The role of civil society in struggling against Islamophobia

Islamic non-governmental organizations should develop projects for enhancing the mechanisms of appropriate promotion and efficient representation in every field and on every topic of Islam in the fight against Islamophobia. ISLAMOPHOBIA: A THREAT OR AN OPPORTUNITY? Islamophobia is a compound word formed from the Greek word ‘phobia’, which means ‘baseless fear’, and Islam. Their combination together in one word is daunting, and the reality has become one of the gravest threats of our times. Unless it is defined properly and fought against with a strategic action plan, this relatively recent…

Read More

Nationalism In the light of Risale-i Nur

Nationalism and ethnic conflicts is one of the most grieving agonies that the Islamic world is experiencing. The position of Islam on the issue needs to be highlighted and stressed clearly. “O humankind! Surely We have created you from a single (pair of) male and female, and made you into tribes and families so that you may know one another (and so build mutuality and co-operative relationships, not so that you may take pride in your differences of race or social rank, or breed enmities).” (Hujurat, 49:13) We can explain…

Read More

The Outcry of Rohingya!

Until 1784, the Rohingya Islamic Sultanate, which was founded just 23 years after the conquest of Istanbul (1476), was ruled by 26 kings. It was then occupied by Burma between the years 1784 and 1823. The Burmese government oppressed both Muslim Rohingyans and Buddhist Rakhine people and thousands of Rohingyans had to migrate to India. After the years of British occupation (1823-1937), the Burmese government staged a dark plot with the coordination of the British to make sure that Rohingya could not become an independent state. The Burmese government provoked…

Read More