South Asia

ISLAMABAD, Nov 10, [1998] (IPS) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's attempt to Islamise Pakistan has been checkmated by the imposition of Governor's rule in the troubled Pakistani province of Sindh.

The controversial 15th Constitutional Amendment Bill, popularly called the Shariat Bill, has lost even the slimmest chance of ratification in the Senate, but rights activists who are alarmed by the loss of freedom say the reprieve is at best temporary.

Just last Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made the bill the main plank of a public speech in the mountainous nort
The question of Muslim personal law has become not only a question of Muslim identity but also a question with deeper political implications. The Muslim leadership doggedly resist any reform in certain aspects of the law particularly pertaining to marriage and divorce and the Hindu communal leadership would not accept anything short of complete abolition of personal law pertaining to Muslims.
The violence of Islamism has roused anxious concern throughout the world, especially the Muslim world. In the United States, the media and policy makers wage a campaign to demonize Muslims and Islam as a threat to Western interests and civilization itself. This politically motivated propaganda has been aided by the Islamic resistance to Israel's occupation of Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan, along with such incidents as the plot to blow up New York's World Trade Center.
“Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised through their chosen representatives within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust; And whereas Islam is the State religion of Pakistan and it is the obligation of the State to enable the Muslims of Pakistan, individually and collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam set out in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah;

And whereas in
Introduction

The objective of this paper is to provide a historical overview of the processes of communal identity formation in Sri Lanka with special reference to the Muslim community [1]. Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic society in which Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others have coexisted for centuries. However, in more recent times, ethnic relations on the Island have been consistently strained by the rise of communalist politics which have deepened ethnic and religious divides.
• Excerpts from: New York Times, November 28, 1999

Sufia Kamal, Bangladeshi Writer and Women's Rights Advocate, Dies
By Douglas Martin

Sufia Kamal, a Bangladeshi poet, political activist and feminist, died at age 88 on Nov. 20 1999 and was buried [...] with full state honors, the first woman to receive that recognition from Bangladesh. [...] [Thousands] of people paid their respects to Ms. Kamal at her funeral [...] in Dhaka. [...] [Begum Kamal] ...
Introduction

We live in an era where relativism and humanism affect almost every facet of our lives. Not least among these facets is the discourse of Islam vis a vis women’s human rights. The importance of such factors as relativism, humanism and gender sensitivity has not come about in a vacuum.
1. Introduction:

An attempt is made in this paper to trace the development of ethnic consciousness and religious fundamentalism among Sri Lankan Muslims and the bearings of this development on Sri Lankan Muslim women.*

At the outset, I should clarify the use of the terms ethnic consciousness and fundamentalism. Both these terms are very popular and controversial in the current socio-political discourse. There are a number of definitions and disagreements about them.
Introduction

Dominating the courtyard of the homestead of Abdul Hossain is a large and ostentatious shrine. Decorated with Arabic designs and words, and surrounded by flags, the shrine (mazaar) is similar to hundreds of similarly venerated graves scattered over the landscape of rural Sylhet, in north-east Bangladesh. It proclaims for all to see that the late Abdul Hossain is a pir.
We have to take stock of various developments which took place in India in last fifty years of our independence. It is also important to take stock of developments among Muslims in this period, especially with reference to reform movements in Indian Islam.

India opted to be a secular country and this decision had several repercussions. Right at the stage of constitution making there were debates about uniform civil code. There were heated discussions. Muslim members opposed adoption of uniform civil code. Ultimately a compromised was accepted.
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