Parasites In The Lands Of The Infidels

Egypt’s Resilient and Evolving Social Activism

Why did Trump strike Syria?

In an interview, Amr Adly discusses his recent Carnegie paper on Egypt’s large private enterprises.

It’s Time to Take a Hard Look at the U.S. Relationship With Egypt

As we work to eradicate ISIS, Iraq's Christians, Yizidis need our help now more than ever

Should America’s Refugee Policy Put Persecuted Christians First?

Muslims Were Banned From the Americas as Early as the 16th Century

Review: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Will Make You Rethink Race

Inside Trump’s shadow national security council

Turkey in Transition (?): Before and After the Attempted July Coup

Trump Signs Executive Order Curbing Obamacare

Lion's Den :: Daniel Pipes Blog


Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries

35 Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in the Arab World

Trump could cause ‘the death of think tanks as we know them’

The Arabs had a country

The Islamic State is attaining its key goal, and U.S. media find the story of “limited interest

While the Muslim Brotherhood gets all the ink, the Salafists go on a rampage.

Egypt, I like your style

The warning bells are ringing

To the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces

A test for the Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt’s changing foreign policy

Egypt beyond Mubarak

The dissolution of the NDP

Remaking Cairo from below

Why Egypt should join the ICC

No citizenship without social justice

Mubarak's message

A new era for US-Egypt relations?

The old regime must be prosecuted

Revolution Interrupted? Liberating the media

The Brotherhood on the edge of reform


Buying the People’s Assembly

What do Salafis really want?

A state of counter-emergency

Minimum wage a cure for 'corruption'

Beyond the referendum

Reform security, secure reform

The Tunisian Revolution: Initial Reflections

The Egyptian Revolution: First Impressions from the Field

Lest the revolution turn into a wasted opportunity

The U.S. Should Not Get Involved in Libya

Five positions on the revolution

Urbanised Islam behind Pakistan's Sufi shrine bombings

Rethinking Internal Security in Egypt

Leo Strauss and the Grand Inquisitor

Push ahead now for a solution in Palestine

The Ongoing Attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians


Saudi Arabia and the Spectre of Protest

America Quiet on the Execution of Afghan Christian Said Musa

Egypt’s Copts in Al-Qaeda’s Sights

The Worldwide Danger of Religious Fundamentalism

Tread Softly



The global force behind Mumbai’s agony is in our midst

Some Discussions about Qur’an, Violence and Fitnah

Terror in the Name of God

The Adventure of an Islamic Reformer at Oxford, London, and Istanbul

Thank God for Justice

Using C hristian Principles to Enhance Economic Theory and Practice:

Worldwide Hate Speech Laws?

Freedom Agenda In Flames

Commentary: Candidates should seek votes of Muslim-Americans

Why Barack is Winning?

Indian Muslims and 'Terrorism': Some Searching Questions

Taqlid, Ijtihad, and Democracy

Election 08: Senator Obama, American Muslims and IslamophobiaStatement of Concerned Scholars about I

Struggling against sectarianism: Shia-Sunni ecumenism

“Happy Eid” from Turkey

Book Review: Islam in Post-Modern World

The Concept of Jihad in Islam

Downhill in Afghanistan:

> How Not to Toast a Tyrant

How Not to Toast a Tyrant

Manufacturing 'Terrorists' The Indian Way

Madrasas: Reforms a Must


Fort Lauderdale's Anatolia Cultural Center endeavors to 'show the real Islam'

The Balance of Tomorrow:

Book Review: Aurangzeb Revisited

America wants Iraq’s last drop of oil

Terrorising Muslims in the Name of Countering Terrorism

A proposal for new Iraqi/US co-operation and a suggestion of how this can be achieved

How will the Georgian struggle affect Iraq?

Is Obama a man of action as well as words?

Can moderate Iraqis believe Obama’s promises?

Can Iraq be ruled successfully by a Shia/Kurdish coalition?

Name of the Book: Issues in Madrasa Education in India

Dangerous Portents in Jammu and Kashmir: A View From Doda

London School of Islamics

Rethinking Kashmir Politics

Norman G. Kurland, J.D

Sir Salman Rushdie's fatwa against freedom of expression

You Still Can't Write About Muhammad

Muslim Women: The Dangerous Triangle

Judeo-Christian "Rights of Liberty" (and Muslim "Rights of Justice," as well ???)

Turkey's dangerous message to the Muslim world

Captive to a Discarded Cause

Egypt's sexual harassment 'cancer'

The Origins and Legacy of the Movement to Fight Religious Persecution


A secular state must deliver

“Islamic Economics” – Islam less, economics more-1

Exploiting the Muslim- Jewish divide is the wrong way to win votes.

How To Win The War Of Ideas (Glassman, WSJ)

The Olympic Games—Political Games?

Me without my Hijab

The changing face of American Islam

An Islamic case for a secular state

Getting a read on moderation


Muslim Ghettoisation

Hurting their cause

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

Things are calm, time to talk

Awaiting China ’s implosion

The view from Bali

Why Blame Muslims Alone for Terrorism?

Consequences of Religious Extremism and the Lack of Democratic Principles

Cultural Accumulation and Modern Reading

Liberation Without War

Gaza's New Residents: Terrorists from all over.

Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

From the Archive
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Our Response to Al-Qaeda Criminals Inciting their Terrorists to Murder Our Person
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The Permissible and the Prohibited Food Items in Quranic Sharia Legislations
We Say the Following about the Debate about Quranists between the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and the Head-Sheikh of Al-Azhar
The Falsehood of Al-Aqsa Mosque of Jerusalem
Message to the United Nations:
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To whom who says the Qur’an is not complete
Obama, Dobama, And The Price of Ignorance
God's Sharia Laws versus Man-Made Sharia Laws
Fatwas: Part Forty-One Issued by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, translated by: Ahmed Fathy
The Interview of Dr. A. S. Mansour with "Egypt Post One" Website
Quranic Terminology: High, Superior, Exalted, Sublime, and Supreme
The Upbringing of Children between Egypt and the USA
Passive Terrorism: An Analysis of the Phenomenon of Passive Terrorism
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Book Review: Aurangzeb Revisited
Name of the Book: The Ulama, Islamic Ethics and Courts Under the Mughals—Aurangzeb Revisited
  by: : Yoginder Sikand

Berated as a villain and a fiercely anti-Hindu fanatic by his Hindu critics and lauded as a champion of Islam by his Muslim admirers, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was actually far more complex a person than either camp makes him out to be. In a refreshing attempt to humanise his image, this book seeks to discuss Aurangzeb's religious policies by setting them within a broader political framework. Rather than being solely guided by religious beliefs, the book shows that Aurangzeb's religious policies were a result of a complex interplay of personal as well as political factors. In this way, the book provides a far more nuanced picture of the Emperor than what both his vehement critics and his passionate backers present.Far from causing a radical break with Mughal precedent, Bhatia argues, Aurangzeb's religious policies, in particular his attitude towards the orthodox Sunni ulema, represent, in many senses, a continuation of it. As before, under Aurangzeb, sections of the ulema received generous royal support, and they, in turn, proved to be a major ideological pillar for the regime. Although Aurangzeb was certainly more generous with his patronage of the ulema than several of his predecessors, he did not allow them to dictate state policies. Though they were given prestige, the ulema remained, in the final analysis, subservient to the state and lacked an effective independent voice to enforce their views. While Aurangzeb sometimes sought their advice on matters of the shariah, he often dispensed with their views altogether, preferring his own opinions to theirs. As before, the shariah, in the sense of fiqh or historical Muslim jurisprudence, remained only one, although in some spheres major, source of law under Aurangzeb, and it was often supplemented, even supplanted, by imperial edicts and customary laws, some of which were directly in contravention of the shariah as the 'orthodox' Sunni ulema viewed it.Bhatia supplies numerous instances to substantiate this argument. Aurangzeb's imprisonment of his own father and murder of his brothers, which brought him to power, were, of course, just two of these instances, but there were others as well. When the imperial qazi refused to read the khutba in his name, Aurangzeb had him summarily dismissed, and, later, when the Shaikh ul-Islam refused to supply him with a fatwa legitimising his plans to invade the Muslim kingdoms of the Deccan, he caused him to meet with the same fate.Yet, at the same time, Bhatia acknowledges that Aurangzeb did take certain other steps that were, so he believes, calculated to win the approval the 'orthodox' ulema. One of his major achievements in this regard was to commission the compilation of a code of Hanafi law, named after him as the Fatawa-e Alamgiri, the collective work of several ulema. Bhatia opines that in itself this did not represent a major development in Islamic law as it was simply a digest of secondary sources by earlier ulema for the guidance of qazis or judges, and, despite it, qazis continued to hand out judgments according to their own understanding and interpretations of the shariah.Other measures taken by Aurangzeb, viewed as either a result of his religious zeal or an effort to win crucial ulema support, included the selective destruction of Hindu temples, the imposition of the jizya on Hindus, the resumption of some tax-free grants to Hindus, the curbing of certain rituals at Sufi shrines and so on, all of these passionately backed by leading sections of the court ulema. Bhatia argues that some of these measures were only half-heartedly introduced and implemented. Thus, typically, cases of temple destruction occurred not in times of peace but in regions that had been newly conquered or where Aurangzeb had sent his forces to put down rebellions led by Hindu chieftains. At the same time as Aurangzeb forbade the construction of new temples, he is also said to have granted tax-free lands to some temple establishments and to have instructed his officials not to harass the priests who were in-charge of old temples.Likewise, Bhatia points out, it was only twenty-two years after his ascent to the throne that Aurangzeb decided to impose the jizya on the Hindus, and this may have actually been a response to the outbreak of rebellions of the Marathas, Sikhs, Jats and others. Certain classes of Hindus, including government officials, were exempted from the jizya, while, at the same time, Aurangzeb made arrangements for the zakat to be collected from Muslims. Bhatia writes that 'It is also stated that long before jizya was imposed, Aurangzeb had ordered the abolition of a number of unauthorised taxed which placed heavy burden on the Hindus' (p.52). He admits that one of the aims of imposing the jizya, as the court ulema saw it, was to degrade the Hindus, and this naturally caused considerable ill-will and resentment among them. That the financial aspect of the jizya was not seen by the ulema as equally important as its symbolism is reflected in the fact that the total collection from the jizya was only slightly more than the money spent on collecting it, with much of the money collected going into the pockets of corrupt officials. And as for the resumption of tax-free land grants to Hindu priests and yogis, Bhatia writes that this was only a temporary measure in the wake of Hindu-led rebellions and that when these subsided the edict was allowed, for all practical purposes, to lapse.Much of this book is devoted to a detailed discussion of the elaborate hierarchy of court ulema under Aurangzeb. Starting from the Shaikh ul-Islam and the chief imperial qazi in Delhi, this carried all the way down to the local level, including the vast chain of muhtasibs or censors of public morals. These ulema were, in effect, government employees, paid in cash as well as in the form of tax-free lands by the state. They manned the courts, acted as conduits for information to the Emperor and also served as an important source of legitimacy for the regime.But was this elaborate hierarchy of religious specialists, trained in the shariah, truly able to function in the manner that is made out by pro-Aurangzeb propagandists? Bhatia opines that the system was riddled with corruption and inefficiency. May qazis were indeed upright but many others were not, and some used their position to extort money from the public. The muhtasibs were charged with enforcing Islamic laws and morality, but were often unable to do so, particularly when it came to local Muslim elites, many of who were given to a life of wanton luxury, including usury, drinking and music, which the 'orthodox' Sunni ulema condemned. Bhatia writes that numerous Sufis protested against the harshness of the muhtasibs, particularly on the issue of banning music. Despite the ulema's insistence on the strict following of Islamic jurisprudence in matters related to revenue collection, the traditional revenue system remained intact. Likewise, local caste panchayats, even among local Muslim convert groups, continued to be allowed to function and decided disputes on lines that sometimes contravened the shariah as the court ulema understood it. Despite stern opposition from the 'orthodox' ulema, partly for what these ulema saw as some of their unwarranted beliefs and practices but also because of jealousy owing to their mass support, popular Sufis, including those who preached the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud or the 'unity of existence' and sought to stress the oneness of Hindus, Muslims and others, continued to flourish. Furthermore, the 'orthodox' ulema, Bhatia writes, were unable to present a united front, often at odds with each other and riddled with internal jealousies and rivalries.In other words, Bhatia argues—critiquing both those who demonise as well as eulogise Aurangzeb for his religious policies—in the face of the various political and other constraints that Aurangzeb was confronted with, 'the idea of an Islamic state under Aurangzeb remains no more than a mere fiction' (x).Clumsy grammar and frequent repetitions mar the book, as do unnecessarily long sections that could easily have been presented in a more concise fashion. Yet, this book excels as a rare, balanced portrayal of a much-discussed but still little- understood figure.

Sukhia Sab Sansar Khaye Aur Soye
Dukhia Das Kabir Jagey Aur Roye The world is 'happy', eating and sleeping
The forlorn Kabir Das is awake and weeping