The Virtual Mosque
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The Female Sharia Judges of India

From her home in the Indian city of Bhopal, Safia Akhtar listens in on her neighbors’ most intimate dramas.   As often as three times a week, women pass through her door to complain of deceitful husbands, evil in-laws, abandonment, and abuse. Akhtar, a grandmother, hears from both sides of each dispute before dispensing justice, according [...]

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Who was the agent of the British?

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is accused of being a British agent because he declared that fighting the British rule in India was not Jihad, as defined by Islam. The reason he gave for this was that the British allowed every religion freedom of worship and preaching and Jihad is only allowed where these are prohibited by a ruler. One further reason [...]

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The meaning of Jihad

When people hear the word Jihad these days they still tend to think of men with long beards sitting in caves with rocket launchers resting on their shoulders. Or men strapped with explosives around their chests trying to walk into buildings or busy market places. So when the historian S Irfan Habib visited Chennai, India to give a speech on [...]

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India’s Hidden Massacre

In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India. Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused [...]

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Pakistani Hindus seek safety in India

Preetam Das is a good doctor with a hospital job and a thriving private clinic, yet all he thinks about is leaving Pakistan, terrified about a rise in killings and kidnappings targeting Hindus. A successful professional, he lives in Karachi with his wife and two children, but comes from Kashmore, a district in north of Sindh. His family has [...]

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Anti-Ahmadism in India

Indians, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, must learn from the sectarian developments in Pakistan, and make every effort to stop any expression of sectarian prejudice in public contexts. A few days back a small headline in the Urdu daily Munsif (Hyderabad) caught my eye: “The Worst Attempt at the State Level to Declare the Qadianis Muslim.” [...]

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India jails 31 Hindus for life for killing Muslims

Thirty-three Muslims burned alive when building was set alight during bout of communal violence in Gujarat state A court has sentenced 31 Hindus to life imprisonment for killing dozens of Muslims by setting fire to a building during one of India’s worst rounds of communal violence nine years ago. Judge ST Srivastava acquitted 41 others [...]

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