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First woman to lead Friday prayers in UK

This is such an interesting development. Much as it is preaching to the converted syndrome. But as such scattered reformist acts occur within Islam is a welcome development. Debate and dialogue is important for a dynamic religion such as Islam which has been maligned and stereotyped in this age of corporate media and gross generalisations.

Story and picture from the Independent (By Jerome Taylor): A Canadian author will become the first Muslim-born woman to lead a mixed-gender British congregation through Friday prayers tomorrow in a highly controversial move that will attempt to spark a debate about the role of female leadership within Islam.
Raheel Raza, a rights activist and Toronto-based author, has been asked to lead prayers and deliver the khutbah at a small prayer session in Oxford.
She has been invited by Dr Taj Hargey, a self-described imam who preaches an ultra-liberal interpretation of Islam which includes, among other things, that men and women should be allowed to pray together and that female imams should lead mixed congregations in prayer. […]
June 15th, 2010|Islam, Religion|6 Comments

Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

The massacre of Ahmadis in Lahore has once again exposed the inner fissures of our society. As if treating them like second class citizens was not enough, the attacks on their private space of worship has confirmed that militant Islamism is now an embedded reality

Lahore’s now the latest target of Taliban

Once again the terrorists have hit Lahore. But this time they have chosen the favourite target of the fundamentalists – the Ahmedis who were declared as non-Muslims in 1974. Two places of worship have been attacked and innocent people have died. This is unacceptable and outrageous. It means that the state policy of exclusion has […]

May 29th, 2010|human rights, Lahore, Pakistan, Religion, terrorism|0 Comments

The Battle over Hindu History

Author Wendy Doniger, Professor of the History of Religions, University of Chicago’s Divinity School , writes on this blog about her new work. This new work further consolidates the view that much of the now politically packaged Hinduism was actually a product of colonial scholarship in the ninteenth centruy.

The Battle over Hindu History

For years, some Hindus have argued that the 16th century mosque called the Babri Masjid (after the Mughal emperor Babur) was built over a temple commemorating the birthplace of Rama (an avatar of the god Vishnu) in Ayodhya (the city where, according to the ancient poem called the Ramayana, Rama was born), though there is no evidence whatsoever that there has been ever a temple on that spot or that Rama was born there. […]

May 9th, 2009|books, History, India, India-Pakistan History, Politics|2 Comments

Meeting Iqbal Hussain in Lahore

During my recent visit to Lahore, I met the Lahore artist, Iqbal Hussain. We had a nice, engaging chat, saw his recent works some displayed and some eating dust in the splendid Cooco’s Cafe located next to the Badshahi Mosque.

Iqbal’s matter-of-fact portraits have […]