ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Diversity among Muslims in Asia

Modes of Engagement: Muslim Minorities in Asia edited by Rafiq Dossani, The Walter H Shorenstein, Stanford, Asia-Pacific Research Centre, 2014; pp xxii + 200, $24.95.

Fatwas and Muslim Women

The Supreme Court's ruling that clarifi es that though it is not unconstitutional to issue fatwas, they are merely opinions of the issuer and not binding on anyone must be welcomed. The Court has, however, taken a balanced view in not declaring the functioning of any religious institution as illegal or against public interest. The courts functioning under the constitutional framework have done a lot for Muslim women's rights and entitlements and within the Islamic framework. Muslim women must utilise all spaces wherein they get better rights.

Culture, Rationalisation and Secularisation

Culture, Rationalisation and Secularisation Irfan Engineer Communal Threat, Secular Challenge by K N Panikkar; Earthworm Books, Chennai, 1997; pp 176 + xxiii, Rs 125 (paperback), K N PANIKKAR is a professor of modern history at the Centre of Historical Studies, JNU. His main research area is the cultural and intellectual history of colonial India. His contribution on the subject of communalism/ secularism is seminal and is not confined to writing atone, though that continues to be his important contribution. He has been extensively touring the country and acquainting himself with the ground realities by associating himself with the activists of various movements at the grass roots level. The book reflects the rich academic rigours as well as the experience gathered from his association with grass roots level activists. The book in this sense is not just another addition to the subject but contributes many interesting insights and missing links.

Misuse of Muslim Identity

Irfan Engineer Indian Muslims since Independence by Omar Khalidi; Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1995; pp xii+246, Rs 295. THE Sangh parivar has always targeted the largest religious minority of the country, viz, the Muslims, and called it a pampered community. They have time and again attacked the entire Muslim community by creating its stereotyped image. 'Muslim identity' generated by the stereotypes is then proclaimed to be essentially anti-Indian (read anti-Hindu). The communal leadership of Syed Shahabuddin. Owaisi, Banatwala, et al, also have politically exploited such a construction of a distinct Muslim identity. Their dispute with the Sangh parivar is not on the existence or non-existence of a Muslim identity but that the Muslim identity is not detrimental to the national interest.

Religion, State and Secularism

Irfan Engineer Secularism should not mean equal encouragement to fundamentalism of all communities. To reject this version of secularism, the ruling classes whose interests it serves need to be defeated.

Politics of Muslim Vote Bank

Politics of Muslim Vote Bank Irfan Engineer A survey of Muslims in Bombay brings out the strong anti-Congress sentiment prevailing in the community. Irrespective of the Ulema council's directive, a majority of the Muslims are for an alliance with the backwards.

Backward Communities and Migrant Workers-in Surat Riots

In the riots in Surat that followed the demolition of Babri masjid on December 6,1992, the BJP and Hindutva forces had the backing of the migrant Hindu communities in the city. These upwardly mobile communities were looking for a broader identity and a larger political role, which the Congress had failed to provide. The BJP attempted to fill this vacuum and, therefore, had the resources of these communities at its disposal.
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