Tag Archives: Religion

Religion of the Sindhis

Religion of the Sindhis (as recorded a century ago..)

– Gul Agha’s Notes

From Hastings (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (vol. 11, ca 1912). The section is written by a Prof. W. Crooke and is annotated by a number of citations and quotes. So what does an external, turn of the century, observer have to say: The province is distinguished from the other parts of India by the great predominance of Muhammadans, who, at the time of the census of 1911 amounted to 75.14%.. Hindus being 23.83% and the balance made up of animists, Christians, Parsis, Jews, and the so-called Hindu-Mohammadans, who follow both creeds.”

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There Can’t Be Just One True Religion

religion“How could there be just one true faith?” asked Blair, a twenty-four-year-old woman living in Manhattan. “It’s arrogant to say your religion is superior and try to convert everyone else to it. Surely all the religions are equally good and valid for meeting the needs of their particular followers.”

“Religious exclusivity is not just narrow- it’s dangerous,” added Geoff, a twentysomething British man also living in New York City. “Religion has led to untold strife, division, and conflict. It may be the greatest enemy of peace in the world. If Christians continue to insist that they have “the truth”- and if other religions do this as well- the world will never know peace.”

Courtesy and Thanks: The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller, page-3

The Pakistan Problem

The Pakistan Problem – II
April 25, 2009

By Badri Raina
Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page
The writer can be reached at badri.raina@gmail.com
Without religion, you would have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg
I
Nowhere is the truth of Weinberg’s insight more commonly and more globally apparent than during times of inter-community violence in one part of the world or another.

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The Namaz, Mazhab, and Masjid

by Khurram Chaudhry
In Saudi Arabia if you are found wandering the streets during the time of Salaa (Namaz) and have a green colored Aqama, then you are liable to get caned and forced into one of those building they miscall Masjid in the Kingdom. This is what is perceived as the “Islamic” state by the post-Yazid Sunni school of thought. It is perceived as imperative for a successful society to implement such measures as these measures ensure that the flock is in order and all citizens are exercising what is “fard” or obligatory upon them. I have yet to see any positive result of this and when I mention this I often get uncomfortable stares from the vast majority of “believers” who would rather I not touch upon this subject.

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How to TackleTerrorism- By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Tackling Terrorism

Please note: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is a Delhi-based Islamic scholar. He can be contacted on info@cpsglobal.org.

It is given in the Quran in these words: ‘Peace is the best’. (4:128)

Sufis have adopted this formula of Quran, which they call: Sulh-e-kul. It means ‘Peace with all’.

There is a verse in the Quran: ‘Don’t be extremist in your religion’. (4: 171)

A Quranic verse says that: ‘Whoever killed one single innocent human being should be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind (5:32),’

Terrorism is an international menace. Everyone condemns it but the question is: How to cope with terrorism? I would like to give the answer to this question in brief. First of all, we have to define what is terrorism. In Islam, only one kind of war is permissible, that is defensive war. This holds true only when the war becomes a necessity.

Continue reading How to TackleTerrorism- By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

How Religion Leads the World into Crisis

A monk’s take on Islam & Hinduism

Religion is spirituality gone bad and all conflicts of this world, inner or outer, are a result of one man’s belief being pitted against another man’s conviction, the Sadhguru said in the latest edition of On the Couch with Koel. On the conflict between Hinduism and Islam, which is on top of everyone’s mind because of the terror strikes in Mumbai, the Sadhguru’s theory seems to be simple. He says people who live on the surface and look for purpose in life have always been the most destructive ones. Your purpose is always bound to be in conflict with someone else’s, he said. Conflict isn’t about good or bad anymore. It is about your belief between the different religions would have been solved by now had each generation worked a little towards it and not let the issue becomes so complex. If you’re a believer, you are religious, he said. The moment you believe, you are convinced of something, and that’s a dangerous place to be in….

December 13, 2008

Terrorism can’t be fought with terrorism

Mumbai Tragedy and its impact on Pak-India Relationship

Terrorism has no nationality or a religion

by: Iqbal Tareen, USA

Our brothers and sisters in India became victims of the similar insane and inhuman attacks that our people in Pakistan have been subjected to for a long time. The blood of innocent men, women, and children that is shed in both countries makes us brothers and sisters in blood.

Our common enemy is trying to turn our nations into a cloud of smoke. Can we find common grounds to fight back this threat? There are political groups in both countries, which are taking an unholy advantage of this tragedy to settle their own narrow political and ethnic accounts.

We know terror can’t be fought with terror just the way you can’t wash dirt with the dirt. We also know every Pashtoon is not a terrorist and every terrorist is not a Pashtoon. We can’t allow gang violence in Pakistan to substitute state power and legal governance.

This is a wake up call for all who have decided to take a sideline. History will not absolve them and will remember them with an unkind headline. I urge you to join us in this historic meeting of Forum for Justice and Democracy at Sadaf Restaurant, 1327 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852 to take a stand against violence and terror.

Join us to send a strong message that we are watching and so is the world. We will not tolerate intolerance that continues setting communities and nations against each other.

History misrepresented

Dr Manzur Ejaz

The path we chose sixty years ago has brought us to where we are today. The violent and dark forces of history idealised and imposed through our textbooks could well be responsible for cultivating the minds of suicide bombers. It may seem rather abstract and presumptive to claim that the state has promoted a culture of hatred and violence by including warriors and invaders as heroes, and excluding real indigenous thinkers and anti-fundamentalism intellectuals in the educational curriculum. Therefore, the rise of religious fundamentalism, as embodied by the Jama’at-e Islami and the Taliban among others, should be examined objectively.

Continue reading History misrepresented

Humour and religion – Dr Manzur Ejaz

WICHAAR

The Chinese and other Far-Eastern immigrant communities are the only ones who have been completely reticent about religious matters. Their organisations may voice concerns about civil rights or national but they rarely react if Buddhism or other religions of that area are mocked.

Finally, American-Hindus have caught up with other religious communities in being extremely protective of their symbolic and figurative presentation in the western media. While Muslims from the Indian sub-continent have led the pack, other religious communities have their own ways of reacting to their perceived image in the media.

Hindu religious groups have been protesting over a soon-to-be-released comedy film The Love Guru. They object to the presentation of Hinduism in a comical way.

The ‘love guru’ is a comic character who helps others with their love-life. Hindus have claimed that their religion has been slighted because the character is shown in traditional Indian yogi attire and is shown to have been trained in Hindu institutions.

The producers of the film deny such allegations claiming that the love guru is a humorous character, not representing any religion. However, Hindu organisations rebut with the argument that whenever an Indian has to be ridiculed in American media, the character is shown in a sari or dhoti. And so is the case with the love guru.

Hindu fundamentalist organisations have been on the rise in the US in tandem with the ascendancy of Bhartia Janta Party (BJP) and its parent outfit Rastriya Sevak Singh (RSS). Many human rights organisations, specifically representing minority religions in India, have been alleging that the US-based branches of BJP and RSS have been providing most of the funding for extremist causes resulting in Muslim massacres in Gujarat.

Human rights organisations have also been demanding that the US government investigate this matter but the Bush administration has largely ignored such pleas.

As a matter of fact, these organisations have been extremely quiet about their business. Such a strategy has allowed them to remain in the good books of the American public; the Muslims, on the other hand, have been disadvantaged because of their high profile concerns.

Incidentally, Sikhs have had their own share of extremist agendas. Besides their universal demand of wearing a turban and carrying a mini-sword, they have been fighting on other issues as well, some of them termed trivial. A few years back an issue arose in North American gurdwaras over whether langar could be served on chairs or not.

The traditionalists objected to the use of chairs as a violation of Gurus’ path while the modernists argued that old people could not sit on the floor mats because of health reasons. Several people were killed in gurdwaras in Canada and the US over this controversy. It is not clear how the issue was ultimately resolved.

Religious communities from the sub-continent are notorious for being too defensive when it comes to religion. However, the majority of religious communities from the US and Europe are not immune to this either. The only difference is that they are perhaps more subtle in these matters. Despite being much more tolerant over the mixing of humour and religion, they characterise attacks on Christianity as attacks on anti-western civilisation. The Jews too often make references to anti-Semitism.

Amazingly, the Chinese and other Far Eastern immigrant communities are the only ones who have been completely reticent about religious matters. Their organisations may voice concerns about civil rights or national but they rarely react if Buddhism or other religions of that area are mocked.

Probably, this is because religion is rarely used as a political tool in their region. One seldom hears about communal or sectarian riots in China, Japan or other Far Eastern nations notwithstanding the suppression of a few cults here and there.

One can hypothesise that the Chinese, Japanese and other countries of that region have out-grown the sub-continent and other Asian countries because of their liberal religious lifestyle.

On the other hand, the rise of religious fundamentalism in almost every religious community in the sub-continent, the West, and the Middle East has hampered socio-economic growth. The rise of religious fundamentalism in these areas is surely a symptom of some serious underlying social problem.

The writer can be reached at manzurejaz@yahoo.com

June 28th, 2008

Courtesy – http://www.wichaar.com/news/152/ARTICLE/6473/2008-06-28.html

Albert Einstein described religion as “the expression and product of human weakness.”

Einstein believed religion bunk

By Stephen Adams

London: Albert Einstein regarded religions as “childish” and “primitive legends,” a private letter he wrote a year before his death has revealed

The great scientist’s views on religion have long been debated, with many seizing upon such phrases as “He [God] does not throw dice” as evidence Einstein believed in a creator.

But the newly unveiled letter written in German, a response to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, has cast doubt on the theory Einstein had any belief in God at all toward to the end of his life.

In the letter, dated Jan. 3, 1954, he wrote: “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

“No interpretation no matter how subtle can change this [for me].”

Einstein, who died the following year aged 76, did not spare Judaism from his criticism, believing Jewish people were in no way “chosen” by God.

“For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions,” he wrote.

“And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people.

“As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are better protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”

The letter, which for decades has been in private hands, has come to light as it is to go on sale at Bloomsbury Auctions in London tomorrow. It is expected to sell for up to 8,000 pounds ($16,000).

Einstein was educated at a Roman Catholic primary school but given private tuition in Judaism.

He later wrote that the “religious paradise of youth”- when he believed what he was told- was crushed when he started questioning religion at the age of 12.

“The consequence was a positively fanatic freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression.”

Yet many of his pronouncements appear to support a belief in a divine being, or at least a wish to believe in one.

The same year he wrote the letter he also said he wanted to “experience the universe as a single comic whole.”

Courtesy: The Daily Telegrah

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– Our source of the above news- National Post (The Canadian Newspaper), Wednesday, May 14, 2008, page A2