Difficult as the situation is for Muslims around the world today, this is not the first time that the community has found itself in such a situation; dilemma ridden and faced with difficult choices. It came to a similar point early in the last century after the collapse of the Ottoman empire. It was faced with a choice; either to persist with the Arab-Islamic culture it had practiced for centuries, or to convert to the dominant Western culture.
Popular Perception Vs Reality
The two most misunderstood notions about Islam are the Jehad and the status of women.
Need to Be Contemporary
Islam could be made more contemporary by setting the interpretation to current times.
A Relationship of Equals
There must be mutual respect for each other’s culture. This must be a relationship of equals.
Instead of looking for solutions, we have made it a habit to add fat to the fire.
Pinning the Blame
The blame game will continue. But there is a need to look for some honest answers.
Politics of Faith
Islam tries to set boundaries on things that become inevitable in running a state. Though it does not ban warfare for obvious reasons, it clearly sets down what cannot be done during war.
Anecdotes: Beyond the Written Word
The primary text of any religion is the one that it writes across the pages of history; in actual lived experience of its followers and the in the experience of those who came in contact with it.
Islam: The Rational Viewpoint
In the Indian contest there is a need to take a hard look at regularizing the madarsa education, at the culture of fatwas and simplifying the process of talaaq for women.
Clearing the controversies
The correct concept of a religion can be portrayed to the world at large only when the followers are following the tenets correctly, and adapting the instructions to their present world practically.
For a Muslim this is a time for introspection. A time to look within and ask, why is it that I am a Muslim at all? For Islam is an exacting religion; five times of prayers, no booze, keep away from women, fast for a full month – a full list of what to be and what not to be.
Add to all that, Bush’s war on terrorism, inability to find houses for rent, and difficulties of hiring a Mini Van (not an easy task at all if you happen to sport a beard) and you would start getting the picture.