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November 2013 eGazette – True Khilafat compatible with Democracy

- Islam belongs in people’s lives, not in politics, says Karima Bennoune - A Secular Constitution for a Pluralist People – Atheist Ireland Submission to Constitutional Convention - Study: Over 60% of Israelis want Separation of Religion and State

Al Islam eGazette

True Khilafat compatible with Democracy

Worldwide Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

On 28 September 2013, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (Jamaat), His Holiness and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad held an audience with more than twenty Indonesian guests representing various media, educational institutions and think-tanks at the Taha Mosque in Singapore.

During the 70 minute question and answer session, His Holiness explained the true teachings of Islam and clarified various misconceptions concerning the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.

Speaking about the fact that some non-Ahmadi clerics deemed Ahmadi Muslims to be non-Muslim, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

The Holy Prophet taught that no one has the right to call any person who utters the Kalima to be a non-Muslim. The truth is that no human being or power has the right to deny what is in the heart of another person.

Speaking about the progress of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Immense goals and objectives cannot be achieved overnight. However we believe that if not in this generation, then in future generations, we will win the hearts of people across the world in vast numbers. It will be a long process but no doubt we will be successful.

Upon being asked whether there could be more than one Khilafat within Islam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

There cannot be a Khilafat in each sect of Islam. If Muslims wish to progress then they have to unite upon the leadership of one person in accordance with the prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said that the Institution of Khilafat will be established within the community of the Promised Messiah. Certainly, you will not find any other Islamic community that is united like the Ahmadiyya Community. Wherever our members are in the world they act in the same way and have the same beliefs.

In answer to a question about whether Khilafat and democracy are compatible, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Khilafat has no relation to government or politics. When Ahmadiyyat spreads far and wide the Khilafat will play no role in government and will never interfere with matters of State. We have no political ambitions or desires. We believe entirely in a separation of religion and matters of State.

To read the full book click here

Islam belongs in people’s lives, not in politics, says Karima Bennoune

Source: Guardian UK

Writing a book about Muslim fundamentalism, the subject of Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, felt like dancing in a minefield, admits Karima Bennoune. The law professor, who describes herself as a secular person of Muslim heritage, set out to capture the voices of those battling fundamentalism on the front lines of countries such as Algeria, Afghanistan, Niger, Russia and Pakistan.

Bennoune lays out a critique of Muslim fundamentalism, not from a crude “war on terror” viewpoint, but from a human rights perspective that, paradoxically, does not always sit well with rights groups in the west. She grew up in Algeria and the US, and is an ardent critic of Islamism; those three letters at the end make an enormous difference, she argues. “Being a devout believer has nothing to do with purveying political Islam. The vast majority of Muslims are not fundamentalists, though, of course, many are,” she writes.

To read his book click here

A Secular Constitution for a Pluralist People – Atheist Ireland Submission to Constitutional Convention

By Michael Nugent

Atheist Ireland has today made this submission to the Constitutional Convention.

1. Executive Summary

1.1 Atheist Ireland is an advocacy group for atheism, reason and ethical secularism. We are the only advocacy group in Ireland that promotes the political cause of separation of church and state as a primary aim. We are participants in the dialogue process between the Government and religious and philosophical bodies. We participate in events organised by international bodies such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE. We work with other advocacy groups who are seeking to bring about an ethical society.

1.2 One of the most striking features of the Irish Constitution is its overt theistic, religious, Christian and Roman Catholic character. This is a result of the political personnel and culture of the Ireland of the 1930s, and it is entirely inappropriate for the Ireland of the 21st century. If the Convention is to make serious substantive proposals for change, it must address this issue and the problems that it has caused over the decades. We ask you to add secularisation and separation of church and state as one of the additional items on your agenda.

1.3 Atheist Ireland wants a secular Irish Constitution, which respects equally the right of every citizen to our religious or nonreligious philosophical beliefs, with the State remaining neutral on these beliefs. Religious States promote religion, atheist States promote atheism, and secular States promote neither, but respect equally the right of each citizen to hold and manifest their personal beliefs. In a pluralist democratic society such as Ireland, a secular Constitution is the only way to protect equally the rights of religious and nonreligious people.

1.4 We recommend the following three categories of amendments:

(a) Remove specific references to God, such as all authority coming from the Holy Trinity and our obligations to our divine Lord Jesus Christ (Preamble); powers of government deriving under God from the people (6); blasphemy being an offence (40); the homage of public worship being due to Almighty God and the state holding his name in reverence (44); and the glory of God (Closing Line).

To read further click here

The Muslim Times’ Collection about Separation of Mosque-Church and State

In the Muslim Times we have a category, ‘Separation of Mosque-Church and State,’ which is under ‘Law and Religion,’ tab in the menu below the picture of the Mosque of Medina in the header. This should give you a readily accessible catalog of all the posts that we have made in this category in the last three years.

To read further click here

Study: Over 60% of Israelis want Separation of Religion and State

The past Jewish year included an ongoing attempt to draft yeshiva students, emotionally charged Chief Rabbinate elections, the exclusion of ultra-Orthodox parties from the government, an attempt to impose the core curriculum on haredi schools, a dramatic High Court decision against the operation of businesses on Shabbat and an unprecedented ruling by the Jerusalem District Court in favor of the liberal Women of the Wall organization.

As one of the most eventful years in Israel in terms of state-religion relations comes to an end, a majority of the public asserts that it’s time to separate between the two.

The Hiddush association’s Religion and State Index, in cooperation with Ynet – a comprehensive annual research published for the third time – shows that the number of Israeli in favor of separating religion from the State reached a new high in Jewish year 5773, standing at 61% (including 84% of seculars) – a 9% rise from last year.

Thirty-nine percent are against separating religion from the State (83% of ultra-Orthodox Jews, 73% of religious Jews and 54% of traditional Jews).

To read more click here

Alislam-eGazette Publishes a Landmark Volume on Separation of Mosque-Church and State

Epigraph: “O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.” (Al Quran 5:9)

Alislam-eGazette is an international electronic publication of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with a subscription of more than 40,000.

I will introduce the volume by a collection of quotes about Separation of Church and State:

“Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.” ― Thomas Jefferson

“Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself – that is my doctrine.” ― Thomas Paine, The Age Of Reason

To read his book click here

November 2013

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