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Archive for the ‘Religion and philosophy’ Category

Om falsk aktivisme og påtatt frihetskamp

In Religion and philosophy on 30. September 2018 at 22:40

Artikkelen er også publisert hos Morgenbladet.

HVA HAR EN demonstrasjon foran Stortinget, Geert Wilders sin karikaturkonkurranse og den nye populistregjeringen i Pakistan til felles? Mye – blant annet den næring de henter fra hverandre og som blant annet manifesterer seg i debattene rundt ytringsfrihet og blasfemilover.

Dette er ikke nytt, dette fellesskapet blant identitære bevegelser – siden sommeren har debattene rundt no-platforming (nekte såkalt talerør til ekstreme krefter), avkolonisering av akademia (introdusere bredden av tanker og ideer på globalt plan) og rett til ytring løpt sine gang om hverandre – primært fordi disse henger tett sammen.

Nylig engasjert debatt rundt karikaturtegninger og forbud mot disse bør sees i sammenheng med disse – alle handler om ytring og forbud og alle er anført eller har en part som består av innskrenkende og regressive bevegelser som i sin natur er illiberale.

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Eclipse

In Religion and philosophy on 31. July 2018 at 19:40

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With all of our eyes

locked on her

the moon was blushing

and chose to hide

behind a veil

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Bønnerop om kulturarven

In Religion and philosophy on 29. June 2018 at 10:11

VI MÅ BEVARE vår kristne kulturarv hører vi vel vitende om at en slik selvfølgelighet er det få som kan være uenige i. Vi hører også at Norge og Europa må fremelske den judeokristne arven og dyrke de seire som gjenspeiler denne identiteten.

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Med andre ord er det en bekymring om at noe vi kan knytte en identitet og fellesskap rundt er under trussel og at vi må ha tiltak for å takle denne trusselen. Denne trusselen er i enkelte tilfeller muslimer – som jøder var før dem – men jøder er nå kosher, muslimer er enda ikke halal.

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Den sanne tro

In Religion and philosophy on 31. October 2017 at 17:14

Tekste er også publisert hos Minerva.

KEISER AKBAR I ble i sin tid introdusert for en konflikt mellom ismaili muslimene i India. Disputten gikk ut på om hvem som skulle anses som den gudommelige utvalgte Dai al-Mutlaq (Imamens stedfortreder) etter at forgjengeren døde.

Tradisjonelt skulle disse spørsmålene og disputtene ikke eksistere i det hele tatt – den gudommelige veiledning (nass) og troendes lojalitet skulle sikre en leder til enhver tid. Men her skulle altså en politisk hersker, som i tillegg ikke tilhørte samme tro, bestemme utfallet.

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Nå nylig har den samme grupperingen igjen havnet i en lederstrid. Saken behandles nå i Høyesterett i Mumbai, samt i land som Storbritannia hvor finansene til bevegelsen er bevart i stiftelser.

Dette er en av de problematiske aspektene når stat og religion skal balansere seg imellom, være seg i en majoritetssituasjon eller av en minoritet. Hvem har fullmakt til å definere hva som er det sanne – og hvor langt kan kampen for den subjektive sannhet gå uten at staten blander seg inn?

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A tolerance for others truth

In Religion and philosophy on 29. September 2016 at 18:40

Also published at Minareten

As long as they do not curse those who we deem sacred, we do not have any problem with them. This statement was given by late Israr Ahmed, a senior Salafi scholar in Pakistan. He was referring to Shia Muslims practice of tabarra, in where certain companions of the Prophet are criticised and even cursed due to events during the civil war following Prophet’s death.

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This statement could not gather enough attention, but it tells of a certain mind-set, which is the crux of majority and minority rights in several Muslim majority countries. Israr Ahmed was not the only one to ever have suggested this trade-off between granting safety in return of letting go of what a believer considers a religious obligation or practice.

What gives, a focus on dialogue, when the emphasis is on a notion of respect, rather than tolerance? Muslim intellectuals and clerics have occasionally called out for dialogue following acts of hatred, persecution and violence. Yet a strong commitment to tolerate is not present, especially when it comes to an internal sectarian strife.

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Mihu mussulman

In Religion and philosophy on 27. April 2016 at 19:03

Teksten ble for første gang publisert hos Vårt Land.

Mihu Yehudi spurte David Ben-Gurion da rabbinerne blant de ortodokse og reformister kranglet om å definere den nasjonale identiteten til staten Israel. Hvem er en Jøde er et eldgammelt spørsmål som fortsatt setter debatten i sving i Israel – noe lignende er tilfellet for muslimer. For hvem er muslim, og hva er definisjonen på Islam?

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Den hvite og den sorte standard

De aller fleste kjenner til de to store retningene innen islam – sunni og sjia. Ofte blir disse omtalt som en liten nyanse innenfor Islam, og at dem tilhørende hver av disse utgjør monolittiske og homogene størrelser. En bedre måte å forstå disse to konstellasjonene på er å se dem som paraply definisjon av et mangfold, bestående av ulike lovskoler, teologiske retninger, grad av esoterisk innvirkning som sufi- og irfan-tradisjonen i forhold til puritanisme – og ikke minst personlige preferanser.

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The changing nature of the institution of Caliph, the definition of Ummah, and how these have an effect on the concept of an Islamic state Part III – Islamic State

In Religion and philosophy on 29. February 2016 at 23:37

Text is also published at Eqbal Ahmed Centre for Public Education.

The institution of a central religious and political authority in Islam is something that has been changing drastically through times. Furthermore, what constitutes a Muslim – the pure definition of being a believer – is something that has not a consensus. These two concepts become quite central when some movements talk about the so called revival of a Islamic state. Is there a canon for an Islamic state, the community and the political leadership of this?

This series on three articles will focus on these three subjects, the institution of the Caliph, what the Muslim community (Ummah) is and what is in this concept of an Islamic state. Focus will be on the plurality in understanding these institutions and concepts and how through history they have developed.

Part III – Islamic State

Late last year Gambia passed a constitutional amendment, declaring the country to be an Islamic state. In terms of social life, or state apparatus, there has not been any major changes, yet the news were received as something dramatic.

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Gambia is not the only Islamic state which is declared so by an act of law, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Some of the Gulf countries amongst others are those who claim to be so. In addition, you have the regional breakaway movements, or the manifests of terrorist organizations with their own declared states. What is evident is the differences in between all these states.

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The changing nature of the institution of Caliph, the definition of Ummah, and how these have an effect on the concept of an Islamic state Part II – Ummah

In Religion and philosophy on 31. January 2016 at 18:14

Essay is also published at Eqbal Ahmed Centre for Public Education.

The institution of a central religious and political authority in Islam is something that has been changing drastically through times. Furthermore, what constitutes a Muslim – the pure definition of being a believer – is something that has not a consensus. These two concepts become quite central when some movements talk about the so called revival of a Islamic state. Is there a canon for an Islamic state, the community and the political leadership of this?

This series on three articles will focus on these three subjects, the institution of the Caliph, what the Muslim community (Ummah) is and what is in this concept of an Islamic state. Focus will be on the plurality in understanding these institutions and concepts and how through history they have developed.

Part II – Ummah

The community, nation or society – there are many variations in understanding the concept of ummah, the Muslim community, and still it is vague as it has been since its birth.

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In the later 20th century political landscape the term of a global Muslim community as a unitary block became the utopian goal for many an Islamist movement. Especially as a counter to the atheist-communist Soviet block and the democratic-capitalistic block led by USA. In these environments, the geopolitical and ideological lines shaped concept of ummah. Thus, the definition of laid emphasis on military might, political unity, civil rights and duties and the related economic system.

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The changing nature of the institution of Caliph, the definition of Ummah, and how these have an effect on the concept of an Islamic state Part I – Caliph

In Religion and philosophy on 25. December 2015 at 01:24

Essay is also published at Eqbal Ahmed Centre for Public Education.

The institution of a central religious and political authority in Islam is something that has been changing drastically through times. Furthermore, what constitutes a Muslim – the pure definition of being a believer – is something that has not a consensus. These two concepts become quite central when some movements talk about the so called revival of a Islamic state. Is there a canon for an Islamic state, the community and the political leadership of this?

This series on three articles will focus on these three subjects, the institution of the Caliph, what the Muslim community (Ummah) is and what is in this concept of an Islamic state. Focus will be on the plurality in understanding these institutions and concepts and how through history they have developed.

Part I – Caliph

There used to be a time when the word Caliph was mentioned we thought about oriental stories, magnificent palaces, harems, intrigues and power. Then war broke out in Syria and after a short while we came to know another kind of a caliph, one that will be the reference point for a long time.

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Last Ottoman Sultan and Caliph leaving his office

 

With IS declaration of a Caliphate the public was served the stories about end of the Ottoman caliphate and the early Muslim dynasties, but the historic roots, its function and its power was limited as IS was to dominate the news with a whole different agenda.

Caliph is a title that has developed over time, its meaning, its power, even its name has been evolving. It has also been quite central on several crossroads in Arab and Muslim history, while at the same time been a distant concept even when it existed for majority of Muslims. The institution had its many paradoxes; a Caliph could be the tyrant, or the rebel, the first among equals or the foreigner invader, the most powerful or the symbolic figurehead, the pious or the heretic – you have them all.

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The container beneath the hearth

In Religion and philosophy on 6. September 2015 at 02:08

‘Why am I still following this man?’ Thinks the crow. ‘He has nothing, nor for me, neither for himself, and he barely notices me. Had it not been for those crumbs he throws I would have been off to much more fertile grounds. Nothing holds me back, yet I am somehow mesmerized’.

The crow had been following this old beggar for days, noticing his simplicity, lack of commitments, him being free from the obligations of society. ‘How free is this man with nothing in hand?’ thinks the crow. ‘He reminds of a bird with no restrains, no chains, except for the body he has, which needs its nurturing’.

As the crow was thinking, they reaches a well in between the place they left, and the place they were to seek. The crow took the branch of the mighty cypress right beside the well, while the beggar took what was his share of water.

crow

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