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...These were cemetries where family and companions of the Prophet were buried. No one had destroyed them for over 1200 years! Of course, all the scholars, jurists and theologians, indeed all the Muslims who had been alive for 1200 years were in error until Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab came along and through a marital alliance entered into a power sharing agreement with the ancestors of the Al-Saud family in the 18th century. Today the world over people worry about Daaesh (ISIS), the Taleban, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and ‘Islamic terrorism,’ (however problematic that term is) and people constantly talk of radical Islam. However, why not pause for a second and talk about reasons for the rise of all these war-mongering, psychotic monsters? ...TOI on July 3, 2017, 10:04 a.m.
...Until and unless the people of Europe and America wake up and pressure their governments into not propping up and selling arms to and generally ignoring the role of the country that is the fount of this vicious, bigoted and frankly evil ideology then not much will change and I fear things will get worse. People say Muslims don’t condemn terrorism. What about the world isolating the so-called Kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula that has been fuelling hate not just across the world but especially amongst Muslims for so long. I don’t hear anyone condemning them. Where is the outrage? Where is the disgust? Are the petrodollars so enticing that you are willing to sell your consciences for a few baubles. A so-called prince has devastated Yemen and her people. One of the most beautiful countries I have visited has been reduced to rubble and Yemenis are dealing with famine and chronic disease. UNICEF fears that 300,000 people might be affected by cholera in the coming weeks in Yemen. Why? Because a young man wanted to lay his claim to the throne! ...TOI on June 5, 2017, 11:27 p.m.
...Of course, nothing can be further from the truth. While the very people who have access to internet and telephone banking argue on social media about how people should bear some pain for ‘the nation,’ others who depend on daily cash payments have been stuck in interminable lines outside banks. It seems that many people think that the life of the poor is not anyway circumscribed by hardship and pain. Meanwhile, citizens have been told that they can only access a limited amount of their money while the very same public banks into which money is being deposited are being unable to collect loans worth billions from wealthy individuals and corporations. Indeed, it is incredible how large parts of the middle classes and the elites have bought into the narrative that this move is all about fighting corruption and terrorism. ...TOI on Nov. 22, 2016, 9:41 p.m.
...Sadly, however, it seems that the discussion and public perception of heritage is reduced to meaningless stereotypes. Some days ago the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) organised a meeting in Lucknow for all the state level conveners in order to discuss the pressing issues that surround heritage conservation. People from all over Uttar Pradesh attended the one day conclave and shared their experiences as well as the ways in which, given limited resources, they were trying to do their bit for the preservation and conservation of the state’s cultural and physical heritage. Mr Hari Om, the state’s secretary for culture, who also happens to be a classical singer, spoke at length about the need to acknowledge and work towards the preservation of the interests and rights of artisans, emphasising that often their contribution is at best and at worst deliberately exploited. ...TOI on Sept. 24, 2016, 11:10 p.m.