“Real” Islam and the Secular State

By Mark E. Gammon. In his address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Obama laid out a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (ISIS, or, alternatively, ISIL) that was predicated on two basic propositions. As many Twitter users put it succinctly: “The Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state.” Both of these assumptions are open to debate, but for those with more than a passing interest in religious ethics, the first deserves special scrutiny. The president of course was echoing … [Read more...]

Narendra Modi and the Dawoodi Bohras: A Relationship of Profound Ambivalence

By Abdeali Ujjainwalla. Former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s ascendency to Prime Ministership in India has re-ignited the debate among the Dawoodi Bohras who are overwhelmingly Gujarati either as resident in the state, or resident elsewhere but with ancestral roots to the state. While most discussion tend to revolve around the 2002 Gujarat carnage where many Bohras were victims of violence and Modi was accused of abetting the violence, this brief article focuses instead more on the pr … [Read more...]

Airing Dirty Linen in Public: A Critical Riposte to Hamza and Poonawalla

By Abdeali UjjainwallaI refer to Shireen Hamza’s piece on 5 March 2013, and Aziz Poonawalla’s response on 7 March 2014. As I know neither Shireen nor Aziz, my riposte to both of them is a dispassionate one. I am however a Dawoodi Bohra follower of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb. I would also like to think that I am as intellectual as Aziz with a doctorate in political science, and slightly older than Shireen being in my early 30s. I come from a generation of Dawoodi Bohras who are both at on … [Read more...]

Schism among the Dawoodi Bohras

By Shireen HamzaA schism has occurred in my religious community. Of the many reasons I could have imagined a Muslim, American college student might find herself socially boycotted by some of her Muslim peers, this was not one of them. In the past two weeks, my grief over the loss of my religious leader, Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, was compounded by the loss of most of my childhood friends, and all of my classmates from the seminary I used to attend (Al-Jamea-tus-Saifiya). Messages … [Read more...]


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