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Arshad Alam

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Articles by Arshad Alam

AMU’s Family Problem

AMU’s Family Problem

Nov 13, 2014

Rather than providing avenues and spaces which can promote critical thinking and a questioning attitude towards issues of hierarchy and gender bias, AMU actually ends up reinforcing it.

Madrasa Myths

Madrasa Myths

Sep 15, 2014

Sakshi Maharaj, the BJP MP from Unnao, is only reiterating the long held beliefs of his party on madrasas. But for those who still have some regard for facts, here are some

'Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.'

'Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.'

Jul 25, 2014

That is what the BJP's minority affairs minister had to say when questioned about the outrage perpetrated by the Shiv Sena MPs in the heart of Delhi. Where's the justice? Who is being appeased?

The ‘Pulping’ Of Thought

The ‘Pulping’ Of Thought

Feb 12, 2014

That Penguin has decided to pulp Wendy Doniger's The Hindus should come as no surprise...

How To Break A University

How To Break A University

May 24, 2013

The dictatorial and anti-academic attitude of the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia has neither attracted media attention nor elicited any discussion within the teaching community

Exempted Futures

Exempted Futures

Aug 11, 2011

Why is there a deafening sound of silence at the ease with which the government capitulated to the demand for exempting madrasas from the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act?

The Politics Of Deoband

The Politics Of Deoband

Jul 28, 2011

We need to understand Deoband first if we wish to view the recent controversy regarding Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi in perspective.

The Grand Minority Status

The Grand Minority Status

Apr 07, 2011

A whole range of self-appointed guardians of Muslims took it upon themselves to turn Jamia Millia University into a minority institution. Did they even think through the implications?

Smash These Idols

Smash These Idols

Jan 31, 2011

Muslims in the Arab world have had enough of their dictators. One hopes that l'affaire Vastanvi would lead to Indian Muslims in general and Deoband students in particular to start articulating a similar demand

Local Wisdom

Local Wisdom

Oct 20, 2010

Contrary to what many commentators have written, the mood on the Muslim street is not one of betrayal but a positive acceptance of the judgment as a respectable way forward towards an amicable solution.

Veils Of Ignorance

Veils Of Ignorance

Mar 25, 2010

Why must the onus to defend freedom of expression lie with the 'moderate Muslims'? Why not ask the so called secular parties to come out in Taslima N

Bareilly Burns Amid Barelwi Triumph

Bareilly Burns Amid Barelwi Triumph

Mar 15, 2010

A sectarian contest within the Muslim community --a quest to establish Barelwi supremacy over the Deobandis -- escalates and ignites the simmering animosity between Hindus and Muslims in the sleepy, small city in UP

Rethink The Politics Of Blasphemy

Rethink The Politics Of Blasphemy

Jan 08, 2010

The failed attempt on the life of the Danish cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, once again raises issues of intellectual dissent and the nature of blasphemy in Islam.

Song Sung Blue 

Song Sung Blue 

Nov 11, 2009

Whatever be Mr Arjun Singh's motivations in 2006, this time around it is the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind -- or more correctly, the struggle over its leaders

The Bogey Of Muslim Reservation

The Bogey Of Muslim Reservation

Apr 17, 2009

There have been demands for the entire Muslim community to be categorized as a backward class, ignoring the internal differences among Muslims -- exactly what the report probes by looking at the question of caste, which has long being dismissed by e

Who Speaks For Muslims?

Who Speaks For Muslims?

Feb 26, 2009

It was rather rich of the VHP to ask the Deoband madrasa if Muslims regard India as their homeland. But, even more dubious was Deoband actually replying to such a question asked with an obvious malicious intent.

The Politics Of Victimhood

The Politics Of Victimhood

Feb 06, 2009

So we have yet another attempt to form a Muslim political front just before the Lok Sabha elections -- this time led by Ulama located in various madrasas in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, particularly Azamgarh...

Degrees Of Populism

Degrees Of Populism

Jan 29, 2009

Without spending a penny, the government wants to show the Muslims that it is doing something for them -- its move to legally recognise madrasa degrees is a regressive and measure that was tried, with disastrous results, in Pakistan by the Zia ul Haq

False Custodians

False Custodians

Sep 15, 2008

The so-called Indian Mujahideen wants to gain Muslim sympathy by stating again and again that it is fighting against the RSS and Bajrang Dal. However, in equating RSS with the Hindus, it becomes the most ardent supporter of its avowed enemy.

Listen To The Guru

Listen To The Guru

Jun 18, 2008

Does anyone remember the e-mail purportedly sent by 'Indian Mujahidin' and signed by 'Guru al-Hindi' that claimed responsibility for the ghastly killings caused by the Jaipur blasts?

Modernising Madrasa Education

Modernising Madrasa Education

Apr 23, 2007

Far from suggesting ways to bring madrasa students into the educational mainstream, by way of a model through which religious and non-religious subjects can be integrated into a well meaning whole, the government's programme merely gives some funds a

The Eurocentric Veil

The Eurocentric Veil

Nov 01, 2006

A singular understanding of the veil in Europe as a symbol of exclusion is deeply problematic. It should also be seen as a desire for inclusion with a difference.

Madrasa Myths

Madrasa Myths

Oct 12, 2006

While it is important to recognize that Indian madrasas are not related to terrorism, this should not be stretched too far to mean that nothing is wrong with them.

Hypocritical Silence On Darfur

Hypocritical Silence On Darfur

Sep 27, 2006

Why is it that the Muslims only raise a hue and cry when the perpetrators of violence happen to be America or Israel but choose to look the other way when Muslim regimes do the same?

Competing Islams

Competing Islams

Sep 14, 2006

Despite the attempts of a section of media and the Hindu Right to paint the Muslims as a monolithic community, the recent incident in Moradabad unravels the deep divisions within Muslims. Time for ordinary Muslims to question the interpretation of th

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