Yoginder Sikand: ‘Progressive Islam’ in Pakistan

Some interesting observations about the tragic irrelevance of secularized Pakistani intellectuals and the tools available for socially progressive activism within Pakistan's indigenous Sufi tradition. I've always been frustrated by how prominent Pakistani intellectuals always seem to resort to imported Western discourse when advocating justice or reform, even when directly applicable Islamic concepts and terminology are readily available.  Instead of using arguments that could resonate with … [Read more...]

Lessons learned from the PMU Experiment

Below is an article by me on the PMU that ran today in alt.muslim.com. In it, I try to lay out my longstanding concerns about PMU in a balanced manner. ----------------------------------Lessons Learned From The PMU ExperimentBy Svend White,  September 26, 2005 http://www.altmuslim.com/perm.php?id=1555_0_25_0_CThe Progressive Muslim Union is going through a rough patch.  A series of defections of prominent supporters that started in July (Muqtedar Khan, Michael Knight, Laury … [Read more...]

Why Tom Tancredo can stand by bombing Mecca

Rep. Tom Tancredo has not only refused to retract his "bomb Mecca" comments, but has upped the ante, declaring that his shrill, prejudiced anti-Muslim rhetoric is justified by the supposedly widespread extremism of "moderate Muslims". While part of his chutzpah can no doubt be ascribed to his own churlishness and to the extreme political climate prevailing within the GOP, to write this off as simply the result of his prejudice is naive.  It would be political suicide … [Read more...]

The backlash continues

The saga continues, alas.Apparently, total agreement with (or silence concerning) Muqtedar Khan's inconsistent politics is now part of the Shahadah, and some people appear committed to browbeating me into recanting my heresy (last posting: "The Last Word on Muqtedar Khan and PMU"). Someone who signed on at July 26, 2005 12:13 AM as MMamdani wrote a nasty comment (read it in its entirety here) that, as eager as I am to move on, requires a response : Akram, you now officially qualify … [Read more...]

The last word on Muqtedar Khan & PMU

A few weeks ago, I posted some comments  concerning Muqtedar Khan's resignation from the Progressive Muslim Union that sparked a rather lively exchange between myself and some of his defenders in the blogosphere.  I ended up removing the original entries from the blog after a few days.  I did so out of my own ambivalence about PMU/MWU and because I realized that some my off-the-cuff remarks could have been phrased more judiciously (not to mention weren't intended as my definitive … [Read more...]

Postscript to Muqtedar Khan’s resignation from PMU

Due to my own increasing ambivalence about PMU/MWU in recent times and my conclusion that this exchange is ultimately unconstructive, I have decided to remove my previous postings on the topic.  I continue to feel that the wording and tenor of Muqtedar Khan's resignation letter"--his scathing statement is already being disseminated on the Internet (e.g., LivingTradition, American Muslim Perspective)--were inappropriate and problematic coming from a scholar dedicated to reform and what … [Read more...]