Time to face the ISIS inside of us

ISIS

By PD Dr. Elham Manea

“We are ISIS”.

A startling statement? Yet this was the title of an article written by former Kuwaiti Minister of Information, Saad bin Tafla al Ajami, published by the Qatari newspaper al Sharq in 7 August 2014. He was not celebrating the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), nor the atrocities it is committing against civilians and minorities in Iraq and Syria.

He was reminding us that ISIS, while condemned by the majority of Muslims, is a product of an Islamic religious discourse that dominated our public sphere in the last decades – a mainstream discourse!

ISIS “did not come from another planet’, He said. ‘It is not a product of the infidel West or a bygone orient”, he insisted.

No, “the truth that we can not deny is: ISIS learned from our schools, prayed in our mosques, listened to our media… and our religious platforms, read from our books and references, and followed Fatwas (religious edicts) we produced”.

He is right.

It would be easy to insist that ISIS does not represent the correct teachings of Islam. It would be very easy to do that. And yes, I do believe that Islam is what we, humans, make of it. Any religion could be a message of love or a sword for hatred by the people believing in it.

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Pakistan Independence: Prisoners of Persecution

Report: Violence Towards Religious Communities in Pakistan

By United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

http://goo.gl/yHjH0gThe Religious Violence Project, an undertaking of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, has tracked publicly-reported attacks against religious communities in Pakistan over the past 30 months. The latest report covers the period from July 2013 to June 2014, during which 122 incidents of sectarian violence resulted in more than 1,200 casualties, including 430 deaths. While the number of attacks are slightly down from the previous year, they remain alarmingly high. The violence impacted both Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities, threatening Pakistan’s stability.

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Press Release: Commonwealth states should uphold charter values, says Global Minorities Alliance

Speakers: L to R: Mridul Wadhwa, Deirdre Flanigan, Shahid Khan and Peter Tatchell

Speakers: L to R: Mridul Wadhwa, Deirdre Flanigan, Shahid Khan and Peter Tatchell

The Commonwealth theme of ‘welcome’ is a distant dream for some citizens in commonwealth states, says Global Minorities Alliance.

Global Minorities Alliance (GMA), a Glasgow based human rights organisation which fights for the rights of the minorities worldwide, organised a discussion panel at Glasgow University Memorial Chapel to discuss the human rights issues present in member states of the commonwealth.

The talk was the part of GMA’s campaign to raise awareness of human rights abuses, from the anti- conversions laws in India to the criminalisation of LGBTI communities in a number of the African countries represented at the Commonwealth Games.

The event was an opportunity to create a space for concerned people to share and learn from each other’s experiences as well as to discuss human rights issues at home and abroad.

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