Hamas Unwritten Chapters by Dr Azzam Tamimi
by Puan Zarina Nalla (MPF)
Dr Azzam Tamimi’s most recent book; Hamas Unwritten Chapters, is indeed very timely. It comes almost 10 months after Hamas; the Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine, made a sweeping victory in an election that was unequivocally democratic” bewildering political pundits, making political observers sit up, overturning many assumptions both regionally and globally.
The surprise electoral victory has in fact, led to a renewed interest in Hamas. What does the movement stand for? How did it begin? What do the Palestinians see in them? Who was Sheikh Ahmed Yaasin? Are suicide bombers in the context of Palestine, martyrs or not? These are undoubtedly valid and honest pertinent questions , and those who genuinely seek a clearer and accurate picture of the current conflict, will appreciate Dr Tamimi’s book.
He writes objectively and illuminates a subject which has often been described solely from the Israeli and Western perspective whose analyses often betray HAMAS and its genuine struggle towards peace.
The book traces the origin of Hamas from its birth fifteen years ago at the beginning of the first intifada. It meticulously details the influence of its exiled leadership in Syria and elsewhere, and its internal … [Read more]
Islam and the Challenge of Democracy by Khaled Abou El Fadl’s
Princeton University Press 2004
by Dr Azzam Tamimi
On a website, named Scholar of the House and dedicated to him and his works, Khaled Abou El Fadl is introduced as “the most important and influential Islamic thinker in the modern age;” as “an accomplished Islamic jurist and scholar;” as a “high-ranking shaykh;” as “a world renowned expert in Islamic law;” and as “a prolific author and prominent public intellectual on Islamic law and Islam.” There is little more one may aspire to achieve. However, few Muslims would have heard of Abou El Fadl, let alone read him. Nevertheless, he seems to be a rising star in the United States where he has managed to persuade a good list of scholars and thinkers to take part in this project of his. So, what is interesting about the book is not so much the topic but rather the format, which is similar to his earlier book The Place of Tolerance in Islam. In both works a number of scholars respond to Abou El Fadl’s lead piece, and then Abou El Fadl responds to their responses.
As for the topic, this book, perhaps, could not have … [Read more]
The Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire by Arundhati Roy
Flamingo, London, 2004, pp 145.
by Dr Mazeni Alwi
This slim volume is a collection of Arundhati Roy’s essays and speeches, focusing on the events that cascaded from September 11 to the US led invasion of Iraq. Most people by now would have known that Arundhati Roy shot to literary fame through her first novel, “the God of small things” which won the Booker prize.
Ms. Roy puts her fame and talent in the service of things dear to her heart : poverty, the widening gap between the rich and poor, state terrorism in Kashmir and religious fanaticism, gaining celebrity status internationally when a New Delhi court convicted her of contempt of court for her part in defending villagers who lost their land in the mega dam projects in the Narmada valley. Of late, her concerns have extended beyond India. Thankfully she has put her eloquence, wit and good looks into the service of global justice and democracy, speaking for the poor and voiceless of the world against rapacious corporate globalization and the menace of imperialism by the present US administration piloted by President Bush and his cabal of neoconservatives.
Ms. Roy’s critique of corporate globalization … [Read more]
Practising and Thinking Muslims (Review)
15th April 2004
Being the first MPF function, albeit unofficially, the air was filled with anticipation as it got off to a promising start when guests started arriving as early as 7.00 pm. The registration tables saw an unabated flow of people as the ladies manning them performed some fine juggling to fit in many who requested last minute seats. A mini bazaar added to the air of festivity. Within the hour the hall was filled and more seats had to be made available as the crowd kept streaming in.
Brother Abdur Raheem Greene arrived promptly and after a brief welcome and introduction by Dr. Mazeni Alwi, MPF’s pro tem chairman, the evening was soon under way.
Brother Greene began by pronouncing the shahadah and declaring that the best speech is the book of Allah and the best way, the guidance of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He warned against matters that have been newly introduced into Islam which lead to misguidance and ultimately straying away from the path of Allah.
Brother Greene then juxtaposed two extremes we find today. Those … [Read more]