Showing posts from October, 2014

Religion and Violence - an analysis by Prof. Juan Cole

Prof. Juan Cole is one of the best authorities on comparative religion. He teaches at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In recent weeks since the bigotry-ridden comments by Bill Maher and Sam Harris (in the HBO), who are open bigots and racists, much debate has surface in the media on the subject of Muslim violence. Are they prone to more violence than other religious faiths? Here below is an article by Prof. Juan Cole which is a must-reading for anyone interested to get the real picture on religion and its connection to violence. It appeared under the title:  Terrorism and the other Religions ========================== Contrary to what is alleged by bigots like Bill Maher, Muslims are not more violent than people of other religions. Murder rates in most of the Muslim world are very low compared to the United States. As for political violence, people of Christian heritage in the twentieth century polished off tens of millions of people in the two world wars and colonial repre…

Death of an intellectual giant - Ali Mazrui

Professor Ali Al-Amin Mazrui died last week on 13 October 2014, at Binghamton, New York, in the United States after being ill for several months. He was 81. I first learned about this great scholar when I was preparing a talk on Africa in the early 1980s in California. My search on the topic took me to the university library where I found some two dozen books on Africa written by this renowned Kenyan academic.  He was simply the best authority on Africa, consulted by heads of states and governments, international media and research institutions for political strategies and alternative thoughts. It was no accident, therefore, that the professor would be contacted by both the BBC of the UK and PBS to write and present a ground-breaking 9-part television series in the 1980s entitled “The Africans - a Triple Heritage” that talked of the indigenous African, Islamic and Western, influences on the continent. I remember watching that series multiple times, taking notes and audio-taping it. In …

Prof. Ali Mazrui - Dead

Renowned academic, Africa's foremost political thinker, Prof. Ali Mazrui has died. Inna lillahi wa innahi wa raji'oon.

Review of Bertil Lintner's Article "Muslims of Myanmar"

It is good to read Bertil Lintner’s latest article “The Muslims of Myanmar” in the Irrawaddy. For years, his misconstrued article in the Far Eastern Economy has been the only staple for pseudo-experts on terrorism watch in south and south-east Asia. It was a flawed article on several points. The most striking assertion being the so-called link of al-Qaeda with some Rohingya groups that have been vocal about human rights of their people. Based on my own research on this sensitive subject I found out that there was absolutely no truth to the myth propagated by him, which was based on secondary and tertiary sources. We can probably guess who were feeding him such mis- or dis-information at the expense of the Rohingya people and their legitimate rights. The fascist, hatemongers within the Rakhine and Buddhist community inside Burma exploited his half-baked flawed thesis towards fear-mongering against the Rohingya people as if the mythical Mujahids were a reality in Burma. To them, if the…

Modi's US Visit - an analysis

The Indian Prime Minister was in NY last month to attend the UN General Assembly session. According to published reports he received a raucous reception from some 18,000 American- and Canadian- Indians who had gathered in Madison Square Garden, the famed New York sports arena. It is not difficult to assume that they supported his Hindutvadi agenda. Many in the audience wore T-shirts bearing Modi’s image, waved it on posters, and chanted his name “Modi, Modi, Modi” in unison, like a mantra, drowning out the announcer’s attempt to introduce him.
“It’s starting to sound like a campaign rally,” Hari Sreenivasan, a PBS anchor who was acting as M.C. of the festivities, remarked about the chants before Mr. Modi arrived.
The crowd was shown a video that showed Modi’s rise to power from the chief minister of Gujarat to prime minister of India: Modi praying, Modi bowing, Modi speaking, Modi saluting. “Minimum government, maximum governance,” the words on-screen read, quoting one of Modi’s many m…

Rohingya people need our help

The Rohingya people of Myanmar (formerly Burma) who mostly live in the western part – the Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state, bordering Bangladesh, are undoubtedly the most persecuted people on earth. Denied citizenship in the Buddhist majority country, the Rohingyas have simply become the most unwanted people in our planet. The nearby Bangladesh does not want the persecuted Rohingyas to settle there either. In desperate attempts to save their lives, many Rohingyas have become now the ‘boat people’ of our time!
Who would have thought that in our time, some 68 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the world community to guide its behaviors and actions we would see so much of intolerance and persecution of peoples based on their race or ethnicity?
There are 30 Articles of the UDHR, starting with “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…” The second one reads: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this De…