Books That Every Muslim Intellectual Needs To Read

Compiled by: Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad

  1.  Al-Farabi. The Political Writings: Selected Aphorisms and other Texts. Trans. Charles E Butterworth. New York: Cornell University Press, 2004
  2. Al-Ghazzali, Abu Hamid Muhammad. The Alchemy of Happiness. New York: M. E Sharpe, 1991
  3. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 2006
  4. Aristotle. Politics. Trans. T A Sinclair. London: Penguin Classics, 1981
  5. Asad, Muhammad. The Road to Mecca. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1954
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Madrassas and Militancy

unnamedBy Mumtaz Ahmad Published: February 15, 2015

The tragedy of Peshawar that resulted in the death of students of the Army Public School has once again brought the issue of madrassa reforms into sharp focus. The National Action Plan, announced by the prime minister to combat extremism and terrorism in the country, makes two points about madrassas: to register and regulate them and to introduce curriculum reform. While very few people will disagree with the first point — the imperative need for the registration of madrassas and transparency of their funding sources — we are not quite sure about the causal relationships between madrassa curriculum on the one hand and extremism and terrorism, on the other.

The debate on madrassa curriculum before the 9/11 attacks focused mainly on issues of pedagogy — its intellectual orientation; the structure of its content; methodology of teaching; and the relevance of the madrassa curriculum to the educational needs of a modern Muslim society. Most critics of madrassa education contended that madrassa curriculum was outdated, narrowly focused on issues of fiqh and its most literalist interpretations, and based on religio-intellectual formulations and controversies that are no longer relevant.
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Why the Public Square?

By Sulayman S. Nyang

“The public square is not only the physical space that holds us together outside our private homes, but also the metaphorical symbol that represents the actuality and potentiality of civil society”

The Muslim Americans seem to have to come of age in America. Finally, the nation’s leaders and media have added them to the list of ethnic and religious minorities whose problems and conditions warrant conversational or literary discourse. This growing interest and coverage in the media has led many scholars, journalists and ordinary citizens to ask: Who are these Muslims and how are they going to fit in the larger American political and cultural context? These questions are part of the larger focus of the Project MAPS: Muslims in the American Public Square, based at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. This study, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, is part of a larger Pew initiative: “Religion in the American Public Square” that will examine Muslim, Catholic, mainline Protestant, evangelical Christian, African American Christian, Hispanic Christian and Jewish communities. Each such study will be the work of researchers and scholars drawn primarily from that community.
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Let Them Eat Cash

0630OPEDlanzone-superJumboBy CHRISTOPHER BLATTMANJUNE 29, 2014

A CHINESE millionaire tried to give $300 (and lunch) to homeless men and women in New York last week. This didn’t sit well with the nonprofit New York City Rescue Mission. The Rescue Mission offered to help with lunch, but wouldn’t cooperate in handing out cash. So midway through a meal of sesame-crusted tuna and filet of beef, some 200 homeless people discovered that they would not be getting money. Instead, the Rescue Mission would accept $90,000 on their behalf. You can imagine the anger and humiliation.

The millionaire, a recycling tycoon named Chen Guangbiao, wanted to set an example of generosity in the world’s financial capital. To announce the $300 giveaway, he’d taken out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times.
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In full: Mandela’s poverty speech

The full text of Nelson Mandela’s speech in London’s Trafalgar Square for the campaign to end poverty in the developing world.

I am privileged to be here today at the invitation of The Campaign to Make Poverty History.

As you know, I recently formally announced my retirement from public life and should really not be here.

However, as long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.
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Religion Off-Limits in Census, So Gaps in Data on Faith Remain

Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Published 4:00 am, Tuesday, April 18, 2000
The census has caused anxiety — even anger in some quarters — with its questions about everything from income to plumbing. But there is one major aspect of American life it fails to cover: religion.
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American Muslim Poll 2001

Project MAPS: Muslims in American Public Square is presenting the results of the first ever
systematic poll of American Muslims. The Poll covers the following four areas:
1) Demographics: gender, generation and ethnicity, U.S. born and immigrants, income and
education levels, age and occupation.
2) Religious practices: relationship with the mosque, conversion to Islam, importance of religion
in their life and interaction between the mosque and politics.
3) Opinion and behavior on social and political issues, party affiliation, voting in the presidential
election, foreign policy and other domestic issues relating to religion and public life.
4) September 11th and its aftermath: reaction, backlash, President Bush’s handling of the crisis,
war against terrorism and military action in Afghanistan

American Muslim Poll 2001

US Muslims & US foreign policy

American Muslims, along with many other concerned Americans, are becoming increasingly apprehensive about the foreign as well as domestic policies of the Bush Administration.

The muddled and unending war on terrorism, the imminent attack on Iraq, and the undiscerning policy of pre-emptive strike have all exposed the new face of the American empire. Equally disturbing for American Muslims, the US Department of Justice has seriously undermined the civil liberties and rights of Muslims and Arab-Americans in the name of national security. The situation was totally different before 11 September 2001 (‘9/11′).
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Islam in Europe and the United States

csisBefore discussing the major concerns and the main aspirations of American Muslims, I would like to point out that most of this analysis is derived from the meetings and seminars that were organized as part of the Muslims in the American Public Square (MAPS) Project. Through these seminars and other focus groups, we assembled nearly 300 community leaders, representatives of Islamic centers, imams, principals of Islamic schools, and other Muslim leaders. We held seminars in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. We also had one seminar for youth leadership; and there were two focus groups, one for mid-level leaders of Islamic centers, and another for those who are working full time for Islamic causes.

See chapter “What Are American Muslims’ Principal Concerns and Aspirations?” by Zahid Bukhari, page 44.

Download the complete book here.

Muslims in the United States

September 11, 2001 led to a renewed interest in Islam and American Muslims, who have become the focus not only of law enforcement agencies but of the media and the scholarly community as well. One basic inquiry, which has acquired a political as well as a scholarly character, is the question of precisely how many American Muslims there are.

See “Demography, Identity, Space: Defining American Muslims” by Zahid Bukhari, Page 7.

Download the complete book here

Trickle-down economics is the greatest broken promise of our lifetime

The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5bn. That should be a wake-up call to the deepest sleepers.

By Alex Andreou, Monday 20 January 2014

The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion – or half the world’s entire population – put together. This is the stark headline of a report from Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum at Davos. Is there a reason why the world’s powerful, gathering at the exclusive resort to sip cognac and eat blinis, should care? Well, yes.
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