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Realignment of militants
Muhammad Amir Rana

FIVE Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commanders including the militant group’s spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid have announced their oath of allegiance to Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi, self-proclaimed caliph of the militant group Islamic State. The development may encourage other militant groups and commanders to do the same — particularly those who are now critically reviewing their oath of allegiance to Mullah Omar and association with Al Qaeda after the emergence of the Islamic State in the Middle East.  

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The social contract debate
Muhammad Amir Rana
CAN the prevalent political unrest and discontent in Muslim societies be regarded as a desire for change? In other words, are Muslim societies in search of new social contracts? The militant struggle is all about a complete repla­cement of existing social contracts with an Islamic code of life. Both non-violent radicals and traditional religio-political forces are pursuing varying agendas ranging from Islamisation of their respective societies to reformation of and adjustments in constitutions in line with their perceived Islamic ideals. 
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A television reporter was standing in the floodwaters. He was yelling and cursing democracy for all the miseries that the rains and floods had brought. His repeated yelling and cursing suggested that either he did not have anything else to report or did not want to. As such images now frequently appear on Pakistani TV screens, viewers are also getting used to them. 
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Event
Dialogue on Democracy 4: Constitution is supreme and all Pakistanis are bound to abide by it: religious scholars
Pakistan’s Constitution is a national-level social contract and in the light of Islamic teachings every Pakistani is bound to abide by it. National-level disputes and conflicts, which are shared by all and not linked to certain religious sect or community, should be settled through the majority opinion. A minority cannot be granted the right to impose its opinion on majority. Same principle would apply to interpretation and exegesis of Shariah that would be the prerogative of the elected parliamentarians. .... Read On >>
 
Dialogue on Democracy 3: Muslims should run their state affairs with mutual consultation and consensus: religious scholars
Muslim jurists’ support for monarchy in times of discord, as an alternative system to Islamic caliphate, was based on their understanding that Islam does not provide a specific framework to run the state affairs. It has been left to Muslims to decide about their system of government with mutual consultation and consensus. Once a social contract, or constitution, is agreed upon, its protection is obligatory. Similarly when democracy is related to solving problems with consultation and collective intelligence, then it is very much relevant to Islam. These views were expressed by eminent ..... Read On >>

Dialogue on Democracy 2: Islam puts great emphasis on justice, rights and rule of law: religious scholars
Islam has laid down some guiding principles on justice, rights and responsibilities, equality and rule of law, which should become the basis of any political system that undertakes to govern an Islamic state. In that regard democracy appears very close to Islam. These thoughts were expressed by leading religious scholars in a seminar on “Democracy and constitution of Pakistan: viewpoints of clergy and religious scholars (II),” organized by Pak Institute for Peace Studies in Lahore on May 19, 2014. The first of this series of dialogues was held in Karachi on May 17, 2014.  Read On >>



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