Connect with us

Featured

Many People Still Living in Extreme Poverty Worldwide

Published

on

The world’s poorest populations suffered a huge economic blow from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Their impoverished conditions were brought to sharp relief in an environment of death, fear and agony. The poor have largely remained invisible to counterparts who are better-off when in fact, 698 million people live under the standard absolute international poverty line of $1.90 a day or in extreme poverty. They are our neighbors, the people who work in our households, the people we encounter on our travels. Reducing extreme poverty is even more significant when the prevalent excessive inequality is taken into account. The increase in billionaires’ wealth by $10.2 trillion during the COVID crisis is but one example of the status quo. 

Extreme poverty – A Snapshot

The World Bank began publishing data on extreme poverty from 1981 onwards but as far back as 1820, a vast majority of people lived in impoverished conditions. Economic growth over the past two centuries lifted people out of poverty even as the world population rose over the same time. Industrialization, a key avenue for economic development, was among the major drivers of employment growth and poverty reduction. Economic liberalization, education and skill-building, technologies and infrastructure, and government interventions, played roles in alleviating poverty.

Impact of COVID19 on extreme poverty 

Unfortunately, the COVID19 pandemic disrupted the steady gains in extreme poverty reduction. According to the World Bank, it has led to an additional 120 people living in poverty, and the number is expected to increase to 150 million by the end of 2021. 

Lockdowns announced by governments worldwide hit businesses. Some went under, contributing to rising unemployment. Others cut wages, affecting workers’ ability to meet household needs and compelling them to take on debt to pay for medical emergencies and other expenses their salaries and savings could not cover. In India, informal workers were among the worst hit as construction halted and borders closed at the same time as employment opportunities dried up. 

The economic blow isn’t expected to heal anytime soon. The International Labour Organization (ILO), in its 2020 Global Wage report noted that wages had fallen or were growing slowly in the first half of 2020. The Organization also warned that COVID19 was ‘likely to inflict massive downward pressure on wages in the near future’, with ‘women and low-paid workers disproportionately affected by the crisis’. 

Before COVID-19 struck, two other issues – conflict and climate change – were standing in the way of extreme poverty reduction. Climate change, which includes global warming and large-scale shifts in weather resulting from human actions, makes the poor sink deeper into poverty. It has a disproportionate effect on farmers depending on whether they’re ably supported by government policies during climate crises. The destruction, violence and displacement engendered by civil conflict also has a debilitating effect on the economic condition of affected populations. 

How does climate change affect poverty?

The extreme weather events brought about by climate change threaten communities that lack the basic infrastructure to support them against climate impacts. These front-line communities often have no option but to move away from their homes and seek out new livelihoods, increasing the likelihood of hunger and poverty. 

Climate change not only changes the weather, it causes more frequent and destructive earthquakes and tsunamis. Loss of property or limb massively burdens people already living in poverty. 

About 78 percent of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas and rely on agriculture for subsistence. Climate change can worsen drought, threatening livelihoods, particularly those of poor agrarian populations in developing countries. 

The ensuing food shortage can trigger conflict and displace populations. In the absence of government insurance or financial assistance, farmers are left to support themselves and the odds that they will plunge deeper into poverty increase.

Climate change has varying impacts on populations and countries. Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria that struck in 2017 and resulted in $90 billion in damage. The poorest communities suffered the most while the wealthy fled the island or managed to rebuild their homes. 

How is conflict a cause of poverty?

Violent conflict intensifies poverty in a number of ways, from destroying infrastructure, production, assets and institutions, to increasing unemployment and inflation. It causes the forced displacement of populations and separation of families. Civil conflicts can make well-off households more vulnerable to poverty. In Rwanda, the Hutus, after claiming power after generations of cyclical poverty, waged genocide against the previously-dominant Tutsi people, making them more vulnerable to poverty. 

Today, the highest levels of poverty are present in countries most affected by conflict, including Columbia, Rwanda, Syria and Uganda. The Syrian Civil war wiped out the country’s middle class, and over 80% of its population lives below the poverty line. It is likely that a vast majority of Syrians are trapped in chronic poverty and may pass poverty on to future generations. 

Poverty reduction programs

Many countries worldwide have implemented poverty reduction programs aimed at increasing the income-generating capacity of their poorest populations. Decades of rapid growth enabled China to help reduce the global rate of poverty by 70 percent. The country has established assistance funds and provided scholarships to people in developing countries to pursue education in China. Between 1981 and 2013, it lifted 850 million out of poverty. 

Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest economies in terms of per capita income. The country has made huge strides in easing extreme poverty by reducing income poverty, increasing access to basic necessities, rebuilding government infrastructure and renewing public-private partnerships. In 2000, 86 percent of Tanzanians were impoverished; by 2018 this number fell to 28 per cent. 

Tajikistan, the poorest of the former Soviet Union states, has made steady gains in growing its economy and reducing extreme poverty. Between 2000 and 2018, the landlocked country’s poverty rate fell from 83 percent to 27.4 percent of the population. 

Many People Still Living in Extreme Poverty Worldwide

The world’s poorest populations suffered a huge economic blow from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Their impoverished conditions were brought to sharp relief in an environment of death, fear and agony. The poor have largely remained invisible to counterparts who are better-off when in fact, 698 million people live under the standard absolute international poverty line of $1.90 a day or in extreme poverty. They are our neighbors, the people who work in our households, the people we encounter on our travels. Reducing extreme poverty is even more significant when the prevalent excessive inequality is taken into account. The increase in billionaires’ wealth by $10.2 trillion during the COVID crisis is but one example of the status quo. 

Extreme poverty – A Snapshot

The World Bank began publishing data on extreme poverty from 1981 onwards but as far back as 1820, a vast majority of people lived in impoverished conditions. Economic growth over the past two centuries lifted people out of poverty even as the world population rose over the same time. Industrialization, a key avenue for economic development, was among the major drivers of employment growth and poverty reduction. Economic liberalization, education and skill-building, technologies and infrastructure, and government interventions, played roles in alleviating poverty.

Impact of COVID19 on extreme poverty 

Unfortunately, the COVID19 pandemic disrupted the steady gains in extreme poverty reduction. According to the World Bank, it has led to an additional 120 people living in poverty, and the number is expected to increase to 150 million by the end of 2021. 

Lockdowns announced by governments worldwide hit businesses. Some went under, contributing to rising unemployment. Others cut wages, affecting workers’ ability to meet household needs and compelling them to take on debt to pay for medical emergencies and other expenses their salaries and savings could not cover. In India, informal workers were among the worst hit as construction halted and borders closed at the same time as employment opportunities dried up. 

The economic blow isn’t expected to heal anytime soon. The International Labour Organization (ILO), in its 2020 Global Wage report noted that wages had fallen or were growing slowly in the first half of 2020. The Organization also warned that COVID19 was ‘likely to inflict massive downward pressure on wages in the near future’, with ‘women and low-paid workers disproportionately affected by the crisis’. 

Before COVID-19 struck, two other issues – conflict and climate change – were standing in the way of extreme poverty reduction. Climate change, which includes global warming and large-scale shifts in weather resulting from human actions, makes the poor sink deeper into poverty. It has a disproportionate effect on farmers depending on whether they’re ably supported by government policies during climate crises. The destruction, violence and displacement engendered by civil conflict also has a debilitating effect on the economic condition of affected populations. 

How does climate change affect poverty?

The extreme weather events brought about by climate change threaten communities that lack the basic infrastructure to support them against climate impacts. These front-line communities often have no option but to move away from their homes and seek out new livelihoods, increasing the likelihood of hunger and poverty. 

Climate change not only changes the weather, it causes more frequent and destructive earthquakes and tsunamis. Loss of property or limb massively burdens people already living in poverty. 

About 78 percent of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas and rely on agriculture for subsistence. Climate change can worsen drought, threatening livelihoods, particularly those of poor agrarian populations in developing countries. 

The ensuing food shortage can trigger conflict and displace populations. In the absence of government insurance or financial assistance, farmers are left to support themselves and the odds that they will plunge deeper into poverty increase.

Climate change has varying impacts on populations and countries. Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria that struck in 2017 and resulted in $90 billion in damage. The poorest communities suffered the most while the wealthy fled the island or managed to rebuild their homes. 

How is conflict a cause of poverty?

Violent conflict intensifies poverty in a number of ways, from destroying infrastructure, production, assets and institutions, to increasing unemployment and inflation. It causes the forced displacement of populations and separation of families. Civil conflicts can make well-off households more vulnerable to poverty. In Rwanda, the Hutus, after claiming power after generations of cyclical poverty, waged genocide against the previously-dominant Tutsi people, making them more vulnerable to poverty. 

Today, the highest levels of poverty are present in countries most affected by conflict, including Columbia, Rwanda, Syria and Uganda. The Syrian Civil war wiped out the country’s middle class, and over 80% of its population lives below the poverty line. It is likely that a vast majority of Syrians are trapped in chronic poverty and may pass poverty on to future generations. 

Poverty reduction programs

Many countries worldwide have implemented poverty reduction programs aimed at increasing the income-generating capacity of their poorest populations. Decades of rapid growth enabled China to help reduce the global rate of poverty by 70 percent. The country has established assistance funds and provided scholarships to people in developing countries to pursue education in China. Between 1981 and 2013, it lifted 850 million out of poverty. 

Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest economies in terms of per capita income. The country has made huge strides in easing extreme poverty by reducing income poverty, increasing access to basic necessities, rebuilding government infrastructure and renewing public-private partnerships. In 2000, 86 percent of Tanzanians were impoverished; by 2018 this number fell to 28 per cent. 

Tajikistan, the poorest of the former Soviet Union states, has made steady gains in growing its economy and reducing extreme poverty. Between 2000 and 2018, the landlocked country’s poverty rate fell from 83 percent to 27.4 percent of the population. 

Addressing extreme poverty is a challenge that countries must tackle proactively and smartly. Apart from accelerating economic growth, reducing aspects of inequality and pursuing inclusive growth can give the extreme poor a leg up to emerge from their dire situation. 

Continue Reading

Featured

Is anti-Semitism essential for the survival and growth of Zionism and Jewish peoplehood?

Published

on

Is anti-Semitism essential for the survival and growth of Zionism and Jewish peoplehood?

Unlike any other state around the world, Israel is constantly whining about its international image being tarnished and unfairly sullied. The apartheid entity routinely blames “anti-Semites”  for ” seeking constantly to lynch the Jewish state’s image.” Israeli Hasbara (propaganda) doctors would voice all sorts of unreasonable and preposterous “rationales” to explain the utter lack of love for the pariah state among the peoples of the world.

Israel, which the late American evangelist Jerry Falwell referred to as “the nation-state of the Lord” has effectively been transformed in the eyes of the bulk of humanity into the nation-state of the devil.  Well, but even the devil itself is probably learning “useful” lessons from Israel.

While insisting that Israel’s ugly image suffers due to anti-Semitism, not Israel’s abominable behaviour in occupied Palestine, the professional twisters of truth would eventually invoke the mantra that “boys will always be boys and goys will always be goys”! (goys or goyem is a derogatory Jewish term for non-Jews)

Israel firsters, whose Chutzpah often transcends reality,  would never attribute the sullied image of the apartheid entity to its unceasing and unmitigated crimes against the helpless Palestinians. We all know that not a single day passes without a Palestinian boy, child, woman, worker, farmer, doctor, student or journalist getting murdered or maimed by the Gestapo-like Israeli army or the even more murderous paramilitary Jewish settlers all over the Occupied West Bank.

We kill them knowingly

Israeli officials and spokespersons are well aware of the  utmost gravity of these crimes. However, they would argue that these crimes, however nefarious and barbarian, should not lead to tarnishing Israel’s image.

Read Also: Are Palestinians facing a pre-holocaust situation in the West Bank?

Moreover, the Zionists would argue that international critics of Israel’s  “actions” are guilty of singling Israel out for their scathing criticisms, while conveniently ignoring other villains on the world’s arena, such as Russia, the Syrian regime, and even the U.S. and its allies who killed and maimed thousands of innocent people in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Being hated is essential to being Zionist

Yes, the Zionists do admit, though begrudgingly,  that they indulge in all sorts of heinous crimes, including crimes against humanity, against the Palestinians.

Generally speaking, the Zionists don’t claim that these crimes are correct and ethical, although religious Talmudic settlers thugs, such as Ben Gvir and Smotrich, who won recent Israeli elections, would cite numerous quotations from the Torah and Talmud “proving” the utter morality and perfect legitimacy of these crimes, including burning Palestinian kids alive.!

Read Also: The fanatic Zionist and me: Truth versus arrogance of power

None the less, the Zionists would insist that Israel has the right to defend itself as if self-defence justified an evil military occupation, dehumanizing repression and humiliating apartheid for over half a century. One settler leader from the settlement of Kiryat Arba near Hebron had the audacity to say “if Joshua did exterminate the Canaanites, why can’t we do the same to the Palestinians”?

A little story that speaks volumes

Exposed and demoralized before the entire world, Zionist spokespersons would reveal, often inadvertently,  one of the most outrageous aspects of their collective evil mindset. A few days ago, an Israeli right-wing activist wrote in Ynet  that Jews can survive only if they are hated by Goyem, but in order to be hated, Jews must indulge in every evil act in order to draw hateful reactions from non-Jews.”

Read Also: Even if a hundred  holocausts were committed against Jews, it gives them no right to slaughter Palestinians and steal their homeland

I really had thought that perhaps only a small esoteric Jewish cult did indulge in this strange behaviour.  But then a friend intimated to me a little secret.  He told me a story he said he had heard from his father who died many years ago. According to the friend, when Arab kids in a given Palestinian town were playing near the small local  Jewish neighbourhood, the mother of the only Jewish kid who was playing with them, gave the Arab kids some sweets and a few piasters , asking them to hit and curse her own kid!.  I remembered this little story when a Zionist settler activist told me during an internet chat  recently  that “we need to be hated in order to survive as Jews.”

Some audacious rabbis would privately explain such bizarre behaviour by arguing that if Jews found absolute love and acceptance by non-Jews, they would eventually assimilate and perish as a people.

In other words, anti-Semitism is essential for the survival and growth of Zionism and Jewish peoplehood! One Israeli rabbi reportedly argued that if there were no anti-Semitism, it would be the moral and religious duty of the Jews to create “some” anti-Semitism to make Jews feel that they are different”!

Startling Open Secret

This startling open-secret should explain the fact that numerous trumped-up anti-Semitic incidents, including torching synagogues,  scrawling anti-Jewish graffiti, and vandalizing Jewish grave headstones are often committed  by Jews, not anti-Semites! Just ask Law-enforcement authorities in the U.S. and UK, and they would tell you some shocking stories in this regard.

And, yes, there are numerous rabbis and Talmudic sages who would argue that Jews will not survive and prosper if they were readily accepted and loved by goyem, since such cordiality and friendliness would lead to slackness, integration assimilation and ultimate extinction of Jews . Jews in America are often cited as a classical example. Due to their complete integration into the  American society, most American  Jews blended completely and thoroughly,  melting away into the general fabric of American life, leaving themselves,  their children and their grandchildren only nominally Jewish.

In light, Jews must accordingly show off their brutal ugliness and evilness to  Goyem in order to generate a certain amount of anti-Semitism which would be highly beneficial, useful and even vital for Jewish survival and growth.

There is absolutely no doubt that  Israel’s 75-year-old ongoing holocaust against the Palestinians can be explained, at least in part, in light of this criminal mentality, which actually constitutes a creed and ideology for millions of Zionist Jews.

Some readers, stunned by the utter shamelessness and diabolic oddity of this mentality might be prompted to think that the author of this article is perhaps exaggerating and blowing things out of proportion.

But there is no exaggeration here. I remember the late American Jewish author Alfred Lilienthal quoting a Zionist rabbi in his masterpiece-book, the Zionist Connection, as saying that “a little anti-Semitism is always useful since it reminds us of who we are.”!  

Chasing the Mirage of the desert

Today, Israel and its tails, mouthpieces and allies in the U.S. and some European countries are fighting an anti-Semitism that doesn’t really exist except in the sick mindsets of Zionist leaders. Thus, every legitimate criticism of the brutal Israeli occupation, including the apartheid regime in the West Bank, is twisted to imply hated for Jews. 

Read also: Israel Has No Right to Exist if Palestine Has No Right to Exist

The Zionists would argue cunningly and tendentiously that opposing Israel is opposing Jewish self-determination. They conveniently ignore the fact that Israel’s right to exist is inextricably entwined with Palestine’s right to exist and the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. And. Yes, Israel has no right to exist as a criminal entity, practising open-ended occupation and apartheid and indulging in all forms of repression and savagery against a people whose only “crime”  is nothing other than being non-members in the “chosen-tribe club” So, let the Zionists chase the mirage of the desert for as long as they wish.

In the final analysis, humanity is under no legal or moral obligation to accept, condone or tolerate Jewish apartheid in Palestine  than it was to accept the apartheid of the former White supremacist regime in South Africa. Meanwhile the Zionists may seek to vent their endless frustration at humanity by threatening to unleash their stale scarecrow of anti-Semitism in the face of critics. It is too late for them. The peoples of the world have already wakened up.  The magic has been annulled! and we will continue to tell the truth about the evil entity even if telling the truth is perceived as anti-Semitic

Continue Reading

Domestic Violence

What Does Shraddha Walker’s Murder Mean for Love in India?

Published

on

What Shraddha Walker's Murder Means to Love in India?

Earlier this month, India was shocked by the news of the murder of 28-year-old Shraddha Walker by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawalla. Aftab had killed Shraddha merely three days after they moved into their new home in Delhi in May this year. Aftab had cut the body of Shraddha into 35 pieces and stored them in a fridge. He was gradually disposing of the body parts in a nearby forest area.

Interfaith Couple and Sensational Murder Trial

After the news of Shraddha’s murder broke in mid-November following the arrest of Aftab Poonawalla, it became a sensational murder trial. The murder was debated on prime-time debates on TV.

While the murder was chilling and one could expect it to cause a sensation, it became a sensational murder trial for very wrong reasons in India. The fact that Shraddha and Aftab were an interfaith couple made it a sensational murder.

Even though Aftab has claimed that he killed Shraddha in a fit of rage while they were fighting, the police are yet to establish the motive for the murder. The media trial, however, has given a religious colour to the murder.  Some people, including those on TV debates, have dressed the murder in the language of religion.

Love Jihad?

The religious colour given to the Shraddha murder and the transcending of the murder beyond its context is a result of the Love Jihad discourse adopted by the ruling right-wing party BJP.  BJP used Loved Jihad as an electoral issue in many state elections.

At present, eleven states where BJP is in power have passed legislation against Love Jihad. The argument by the Hindu nationalists is that Muslim men intentionally fall in love with Hindu women and then these men force the women to convert from Hinduism to Islam.

Also Read: Love Jihad: A Conspiracy or a Political Campaign?

Demonizing Muslims

There are also attempts to demonize Muslims after the murder of Shraddha. A man from the UP state recently went on TV to support the actions of Aftab. He claimed to be a Muslim, named Rashid Khan and justified the cutting of Shraddha into 35 pieces.

When the police arrested the said man, it was found that he is a Hindu, named Vikas Gupta.

Vikas Gupta’s statement went viral on social media and Muslims were called out and demonized for his statement.

Also Read: Bollywood’s portrayal of Kashmir- Journey Of Representation From Heaven To Hell

A Setback to the Freedom to Love in India?

Shraddha’s sensational murder trial has raised questions about love in India. It will hurt the hard-won right of freedom to love.

There are two aspects to be considered. First is the freedom of young people to love or live in live-in relationships. Since the news of the murder reached almost every home in India, it will scare people from getting into live-in relationships. Further, society will also be suspicious of these relationships. Live-in couples already face difficulty in negotiating the conservative society in India and the case will only exacerbate it. For instance, live-in couples in India find it difficult to find a house or rented accommodation. Aftab and Shraddha also lived in rented accommodation. More people than ever before will now hesitate to rent their accommodations to live-in couples.

Second, as discussed above Shraddha’s murder will make it worse for interfaith couples to negotiate everyday life in India. Even though India was never a safe place for interfaith couples, the case is going to make society hostile to interfaith love. Those who were already against interfaith love will use this case to further cement their position on Love Jihad.

Further, society in general parents of young people in particular will turn hostile against love.

Also Read: The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim Hindutva Pop in India 

A Difficult Task Ahead

The sensational murder trial and the media trial of Shraddha’s murder by Aftab have raised questions about love in India. Further, the discourse of Love Jihad is also back. Hindu nationalists will make sure that the case is exploited to its full to make a case for Love Jihad.

For those in India, who want to preserve the hard-won right of freedom to love, the task ahead is very difficult. Even though the case has already become sensational, they must make sure that it is restricted to its immediate context. If the case transcends its immediate context, hate will win against love. Love must triumph!

Continue Reading

Featured

The Scope of inter-religious pluralism within Islam

Published

on

Even though pluralism is a loaded term, its generic meaning suggests a phenomenon of peaceful coexistence between entities of diverse cultural, religious, and political inclinations. It is important to remember that pluralism does not mean the elimination of difference, nor does the word “tolerance” do justice to its intended purpose. Pluralism is not merely tolerating the other but engaging with the beliefs of others with peaceful dialogue and action. The scope of inter-religious puralism within Islam proposes this kind of pluralism.

Also, read Islamic Democracy: Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

What does Pluralism mean in Islam?

Looking at the subjective meaning of pluralism within the ambit of Islam, the proponents of various Islamic discourses have proposed that pluralism is a pronounced feature of Islam. Many Muslim intellectuals claim that pluralism is central to the fundamental essence of Islam. A convincing case can be made for the presence of a compelling pluralistic ethos within the Islamic scriptures.

In his essay, Reformist Islam in Comparative Perspective, Mehran Kamrava claims that the rise in the level of religiosity amongst Muslims has given rise to other forms of Islam. One of which according to him is “likely to have the most resonating consequences for Islamic jurisprudence in both the near and the distant future” and calls it “intellectual Islam”. He claims that it is through this form of Islam that a Muslim reformist discourse is introduced. Which has produced significant work to locate the place of inter-religious pluralism in Islam. He further derives some themes out of the reformist discourse, very important with their reference to pluralism in Islam:

“First is a deep and abiding conviction in Islam as faith and a system of belief. In its current manifestation, the discourse of reformist Muslim intellectuals does not seek to instrumentalize Islam for purposes of achieving modernity in a manner palatable to the masses at large. Islam is not a means to an end; it is an end in itself. It simply needs to be re-thought and reformulated. The reformists’ reliance on and endless references to the Qur’an bespeaks of the text’s cultural centrality to them.”.

Such display of absolute faith by Muslim reformists whilst having reformist inclinations bespeak of their balanced position. A flexible modern vision can develop interfaith dialogue. The abiding conviction to Islam earns a sense of authenticity for their thought process in the eyes of fellow Muslims.

Read here, Islamophobia: Impacts on Muslim Women

What is Democratic Pluralism?

The next theme of the reformist discourse is “democratic pluralism”: “Pluralism, the reformist discourse’s proponents maintain, is a salient feature of the spirit of the Qur’an and the hadith.” (Kamrava )

To support his claim he cites another Muslim intellectual Abdulaziz Sachedina who quotes:

The challenge for Muslims today, as ever, is to tap the tradition of Koranic pluralism to develop a culture of restoration, of just intrareligious and interreligious relationships in a world of cultural and religious diversity. Without restoring the principle of coexistence, Muslims will not be able to recapture the spirit of early civil society under the Prophet.

In the globalized world, the facets of modernity like its political model of the nation-state have become a governing principle for all ethnic, cultural, and religious pluralism. This means the only larger identity governing the religious identity of the people is that of the nation-state. In the religiously pluralistic society of today, people may have different identities, but the model of the nation-state promises all of them the same status. People might identify with different religious inclinations, but the state identifies them as either citizens or residents of the state. This is exactly the kind of challenge that Sachedina talks about when he implores Muslims to revive the tradition of pluralism that is central to the Islamic texts for peaceful coexistence in the globalized world.

Also, read Why should dignified Muslims never normalize with Israel?

The Case of Muslims living as a minority

If Muslims live in a minority in a nation-state that runs on one of the political models of modernity like democracy or secularism, then for the sake of the welfare of Muslims they need to fulfill the duties that the nation-state demands from them. Andrew March talks about the jurisprudence of Muslim minorities also called Fiqh al-aqalliyyat al-muslima in Arabic:

Fiqh alaqalliyyat tends to be a discourse where departures from traditional Islamic commitments are not seen as desirable, and certainly not goals in and of themselves, but where creative rethinking often occurs in subtle and pragmatic guises. It is thus an important object of study for those interested in the ideal moral encounter between a public religion like Islam and modern/post-modern secularism. (March 6).

Important questions of interest toward non-Islamic institutions have been addressed from within internal Islamic discourses that advocate for a positive Muslim attitude concerning the issue of pluralism.

Read here, How Practical is the Secular Democracy of India? Curbing of Religious Freedom in Kashmir

Islam’s relation with other Faiths

The third theme within the reformist Islamic discourse is “Islam’s relations with other great faiths”. An important aspect central to the Muslim understanding of pluralism is the conception that god’s message in the Quran is universal and that the revelation was made through more than just one prophet, which means that the revelations had multiple manifestations. The basic underpinning for this idea can be seen in the Quran which mentions the monotheistic traditions of Judaism and Christianity. Far from denying the Quran in fact validates that Torah and Bible were predecessor scriptures affirming that their message has come from the same god. Many Quranic verses echo the sentiments which envisage a world where diversified people are united by their pious intentions and mutual devotion to God.

Also, read Islam in 2075: World’s Largest Religion!?

Some Important Milestones in the Islamic History

Apart from the theoretical contributions to promote Islamic pluralism, efficient action has also been taken within the Muslim discourse on a practical level to perpetuate inter-faith harmony.

One such historic step was the “1981 adoption of the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, whose article XIII states: Every person has the right to freedom of conscience and worship in accordance with his religious beliefs.”.

Apart from this, another significant step was taken in 1990 when the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam was adopted, Article 1(a) of which states:

“All human beings form one family whose members are united by submission to God and descent from Adam. All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the grounds of race, color, language, sex, religious belief, political affiliation, social status or other considerations. True faith is the guarantee for enhancing such dignity along the path to human perfection.”

Read here, Is This the Ultimate Solution to Rising Islamophobia in India?

Islamic Tradition of Peaceful Coexistence

The Quran recognizes fundamental rights for all humankind whether Muslims or non-Muslims and explicitly forbids compulsion in faith. The Islamic texts also provide a practical model of implementing pluralistic ideals which have greatly affected the treatment of non-Muslims in Muslim lands. Contrary to the Islamophobic stereotypes, Islam not only acknowledges pluralism, but it also goes beyond the reductive concepts of tolerance and intolerance to endorse and encourages a tradition of peaceful coexistence.

Also, read Islamophobia: Impacts on Muslim Women

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending